By that point we all were wasps on the front porch. I suppose we could pretend it was against our will but we should’ve known the consequences. A consummate word smith, my punishment was to buzz only and dance to be heard. Even so no one wants to pay attention to a wasp for long because often comes the jab. And I do jab, because I can. Strong jaws chewing to make a home, I ruminate on the conjuring of that which I didn’t understand and got me here. The night we hummed to build energy, a sweltering solstice near an angry river. Fingers touched and my poetry was the command. The last touch I ever felt.
Embroidery does not need to be about the end result. Ritual stitching is a process of stitching regularly, perhaps daily in a practice of spell casting or contemplation. In this piece I created a spell for someone I knew who was suffering and was ready to leave this realm. In the work I focused my energy on providing for them a painless transition, the vibrancy of the colors reflected their personality. The movement of sewing can be a spellcasting, its repetitive nature builds power into the work.
I learned about more slow and mindful stitching through the work of Clare Wellesley Smith. "She specialises in projects that use local, natural colour, created from home-grown and locally foraged plants. Dyes and stitches on reclaimed cloth are used in slow processes that allow time for consideration of methods of production and narratives of use."
The forms were based on a painting by my good friend Ursula Gullow. See more of her work here.
I am a learning addict. I love a good course. I have done soo many thanks to MOOCs and various sites that have professionals kind enough to share the tricks of their trade.
Recently I have been doing quite a few with Domestika, especially ones for embroidery and fiber art. The pieces you see here are the projects I completed as part of two courses.
Photo Embroidery on Fabric by Studio Variopinto and Embroidered Tapestry Creation by Mariana Baertl.
It is important to me to push my skills and develop my craft. Exploring new techniques is like going to a new land.
It is possible to create a bewitching workspace where you are reminded of magick everyday. Altars can be disguised as displays with crystals representing the four elements. Choose moss agate for earth, citrine for air, carnelian for fire, and amethyst for water. Or go with crystals that represent the colors of the elements as they speak to you. Note the purifying selenite.
These embroideries were kits from Cozy Blue and Rik Rak, two of my favorite embroidery mavens.
Samhain is a time when the veil is thin and we think of those who have passed on. For many of us this means thinking of who we have known and loved, however I think we should also honor and acknowledge the passing of those who have had their lives stolen.
This is a small, contemplative stitching ritual that remembers people of color who have been murdered in the US.
Set up your ritual area however you choose to, have a piece cloth about 8 inches square. Choose a thread that is darker in color - purple, brown, dark red etc. With each stitch, say the name of someone who has been listed as murdered. There is a list at this website: Say Their Names
As you participate in this ritual, meditate on how you can be part of the change. Place your completed stitches on your altar, or somewhere you can see it to remind you of the struggle.
Here are some important resources:
Black Lives Matter
Southerners on New Ground
American Civil Liberties Union
Just over a year ago, I posted about celebrating the full moon as a family. I am ashamed to admit that we have fallen out of this practice since lockdown ended. I think it's time to start again. Tomorrow is a full moon, sometimes called a Blood Moon. Select this link to be taken to the list of activities.
Go here for all family resources
Sewing, sewing and more sewing! I've been running Open Coven now for almost five years and it has gone through many different iterations. I was so confused with where I wanted to go with it next that I pretty much left the site dormant for a while.
I did a lot of spiritual and creative searching and I am full of gratitude for the two covens I am part of who helped me figure everything out. Sewing is great for contemplation and inner journeying and as a result, I think I have a clearer idea of what I want Open Coven to become next. Expect more Pagan and witchcraft inspired craft projects, as well as lifestyle posts that kick against the norm!
Want artwork? Printouts? I've got them! No strings attached, no subscriptions or adverts or whatever. Use and be well.
Introduction to Magickal Art Journaling. This the first course I ever designed and taught. Originally a paid for course, I dropped the fees during covid. Now you can access all the materials (videos, printouts, everything) for free forever.
Free Zines I created Art Magick for Witches as a fundraiser some years ago. Read for free here, or download and print.
Artwork Some of my free pieces here.