Graagnagah are a tribe of giants living in the northwest passage of the Vongar mountains, one of the most inhospitable places of Lemparthia. A very friendly and well-travelled people with a wealth of worldly knowledge, the Graagnagah worship a mother goddess called Sharra. According to Graagnagah myth she rides through the skies on a large disc, following with great loyalty the sun, whom she fell in love with on her first visit to the mortal world.
I've not directly linked to the source because most of them come from dodgy wallpaper and blogsites that probably infected me with all kinds of computer STDs, but I've done my best to find the original artist where possible.
I've been feeling a little hemmed in here these past few weeks, as if my wings needed stretching, so when my application for a job at the local library fell through (much to my mystification- I was perfect for them!) I took it as a sign from the powers to take my freedom while I still have it. I'll be temporarily 'living out of home' for a few months as of next week- a combination of possible part-time work and a niggling curiosity to try living in the city again.
Of course living out of home and running a business at the same time ain't easy, so in order to lessen the load of what I'll be taking with me I've stripped down the supply shop inventory. I'll only be offering my craft kits (as many as I can make before I leave!), my ethical crystals (of which I have bought far more than good sense allows) and a few select little antique lovelies. Sparrow Salvage will of course remain open and I will still be making and adding work to it!
These dominoes are something special- I don't know how old they are exactly, but at least 100 years. There's something in me that likes to think they were (very well) made by someone poor, as they're clearly mimicking the brass pin and bone dominoes fashionable in the 19th century, but with simpler construction.
Barbarian hoard! I've been collecting and shopping for my new earthier version of Victorian tribal- I'm getting roughly 20% Victorian 80% tribal at the moment! Really there's no one accepted term for this stuff- myth and legend, sword and sorcery, D&D, sci-fi fantasy...whatever you want to call it, it's that.
The Victorian element really just comes into it with jewellery style- because the Victorians had a great love of nature, the motifs found in their jewellery lend well to fantasy style pieces.
Here's a run-down of the pieces and what I did to them- if anything:
1. bone connectors from Dinkalulu - I like these because they're hand done, you can see each one is different. The natural colour change of the bone has been left too- usually bone beads are bleached.
2. This is the top from a little stand that held cocktail sticks in the shape of swords. I stuck it in some oxidising liquid but the plating is preventing any real grunge. I've ordered some novacan blacking solution, if that makes it through customs I'll give it a go in that.
3. and 4. gorgeous pendant from lusturousthings. It too has a plating which is resisting my (probably dead) oxidiser. I've done a special grunging technique here that's basically preservation wax, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and then burned with a lighter. Two or three layers of that has given it a little 'I've been in the desert for 150 years' look, but I don't know if the sugar crust will stay. More wax should do the trick!
5. decorative metal brads from a vintage belt. They were super shiny silver, I chucked them in the oxidiser...the backs went nicely rusty, obvious where the plating wasn't! So I lost my temper and grabbed the nearest thing to hand- matt black spray paint. Now the fronts are black and the backs are rusted silver, and they make great hanging charms when their prongs are removed.
6. The metal detail from a massive 1950s button. It was threaded onto a big yellow perspex back, so I pulled it apart and then oxidised it, rusted it, oxidised it again and hammered it flat.
7. cage beads from Dinkalulu - a bit too shiny at the moment but my oxidiser is gone to Heaven, so I'll have to wait till the novacan turns up. They'd be great with torch-fired enamel...
8. Antique escutcheon plate- I was trying to curve it and it just snapped in two, so I've hammered the ends to flatten them. Need more hammering.
9. plastic sew-on gems from the craft shop discount bin. PLASTIC!?! Yeah, I don't usually use it (no matter how much you tell me it's 'lucite') -I have some illogical grudge against it, something about authenticity or whatever. The top one is how they came (aside from me reaming the holes bigger) and the bottom one I covered in copper tape and oxidised in the hope of elevating them from their cheap plastic status. It works.
10. A rusted flattened bottlecap, glued to a Victorian button. The button came to me with it's shank cut off (why would you do that?!?) so I hammered it flat to be a charm. Adding it to the rusted cap gives it a more primitive look.
11. Gorrrgeous vintage Indian pendant from Dinkalulu again. Different stones- lapis, agate, moonstone...no carnelian and that's a plus, because I'm allergic to it. Seriously- I can't touch it at all, it's like holding a low-current electric fence.
You might also notice the shop images changing a little- I've spent the last few days re-shooting all my stock, and already I am much more happier with the look. Things were starting to look a bit anaemic- there's an earthy darkness now that brings a cohesion and better suits my Victorian Tribal style.
I've been a bit quiet otherwise- feeling a bit under the weather due to various reasons, not all of them in my control but certainly all of them will be short-lived. I will conquer yet!
Flea market finds from the weekend. We arrived at the market about 15 minutes before close time (lazy sunday!) and it had been a rainy day, so most stallholders had apparently left quite earlier, so it was said. The best stall was still open however, and I managed to rummage around in their scrap jewelry box. Mostly it's filled with dime store rubbish and a few 1970s vending machine bits, but I did manage to score well this time- Victorian beading, half a cut steel buckle from the same period, and some cute little 1970s charms. I also scored a sweet little red rusty tin, but I forgot to photograph it!
Detail shots! I love them, tiny things made enormous by the beauty of the macro setting. Here's a piece just listed in the shop last night...
Here's a necklace which I think I'm happy with, so that will be listed later...
...and here's a bracelet that will also go up later.
I've rapidly fallen in love with chunky ethnic and crystal beads on Etsy, and inspired to make some hybrid work that sits somewhere between the bracelets I showed you recently and my wrist cuffs. I've done work like this before but it's about to get a whole lot more earthy.
Here's a 5 minute treasury I put together before I head off to bed. There's no theme except they're from my favourites, but there did seem to be a real green theme emerging!
This is very heartening to me, because green used to be my favourite colour, and then one day I couldn't stand it any more. It's taken me a long time to get back into it, and now it looks like I might be coming around. I'm a big believer in colour therapy and an mild believer in 'kooky' medicine such as aromatherapy and yoga. I do know my best friend's yoga techniques for helping me sleep work a treat, and reading up on heart chakra (im)balance certainly has a familiar ring to it.
I do know my casting off of green has been a casting off of the things it represents - love (including self-love), openness of emotion, grace, peace and trust. Green is calling to me again, and I'm grateful.