Monday, November 8, 2010

Tarot for 2010~ 11th Moon

The year is quickly waning and the 11th moon cycle has arrived. Here is the card I drew for this moon back when I did my New Year's spread--

The Wheel of Fortune (X)~

Round and round, up and down-- luck, change and fortune are the key words for my life this moon cycle. Generally, the Wheel of Fortune indicates good fortune, but as its a wheel of change, you never know what might come up.

This card is full of elemental energy-- on the wheel itself and surrounding it. The Elements symbolize all that is available to harvest, one only has to embrace the changes as the wheel turns.

Being receptive to change is one of the lessons in this card, something I tend to have difficulty with. But if it means good luck, abundance and riches as a result, I am willing to give it a try!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Silver Sisters Croning

My three friends' much anticipated Croning Ritual was just the other night and it was an amazing experience!

The evening was filled with lots of love, laughter and some tears. It was an incredible feeling to be in a room filled with women there to honor other women, to CELEBRATE aging instead of being fearful of it.

In this day and age of anti-aging creams and lip plumpers and Botox injections, its a rare thing to see women embrace growing older. And to me, that is sad, because aging isn't something to be feared, its a natural part of life. Some of the most beautiful people I know are people with salt and pepper, or silvery hair and wonderful lines that crinkle their faces, especially when they laugh. What's wrong with that?

Sage, Sephira and Windy may be crones, but they are anything BUT old. They are wise, joyous, energetic, sassy, creative... absolutely young in their hearts and minds. Nothing stops them. I was honored to be asked to be a part of this ritual and I am honored to call them friends.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'll Be at the Ball

The 19th Annual Denver Witches' Ball, that is! When? TOMORROW NIGHT!

Yes, 24 hours from now, the Witches' Ball will have just begun! And I will be there with my lovely wares at the Magical Marketplace downstairs. So be sure to look for the Into the Dawn Designs purple vendor tables where you will find...

... decorative egg rattles...

... rune necklaces...

... moon face necklaces...

... herbal pendulums...

... spirit boxes...

... hand sculpted scarab beetle jewelry...

... herbal rune sets...

... elegant tarot bags...

... and MORE!!! Don't miss the Witches' Ball!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Tarot Bags

Remember my tarot card inspired tarot bag I made? I got such a positive response about it from tarot friends, I decided I'd try my hand at making bags to sell in my online shops and at my vendor's booth at the Denver Witches' Ball this upcoming Saturday. So I've been sewing up a storm recently!

Spent one whole evening, six or seven hours, just cutting out the pieces for the bag and liner and pinning in the fringe/beaded edging. Then on to the sewing! Of course I'd get a color combination idea that I didn't have cut out yet and would have to go back and pin and cut more, but for the most part things have been moving right along.

Just *some* of the finished bags.

I've sewed so much in the last 2 weeks, I'm actually starting to get comfortable with my sewing machine! The machine manual is my best friend. I've learned so much with this project, like how to use the zipper foot. And I don't know the technical terms, but I learned to adjust little lever thingy for the feed pressure for velvet vs. cotton. Makes a huge difference!

I envisioned creating something really elegant to hold tarot decks and I really like how these bags have turned out. I made them a very generous size, too, so that they can hold even the largest decks. They are 8 x 6 inches overall and about 6 x 6 inches below the drawstring. If you use the bag for a smaller tarot deck, you could even store a small spread cloth in the bag with it.

If you're in the Denver area, watch for my tarot bags' debut at the Denver Witches' Ball on Saturday, October 23rd and look for them in my Etsy and ArtFire shops soon after that!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

If You Like Labyrinths

If you are a labyrinth lover then head over to Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom right now for your chance to win this--

a Meditation Labyrinth necklace!

Yep, today only you have a chance to win my Meditation Labyrinth necklace as a giveaway for Mrs. B's 31 Days of Halloween. All you have to do is follow the instructions under giveaway pumpkin #2 to enter up to seven times to win!

FOR THOSE VISITING FROM MRS. B'S-- MERRY MEET AND WELCOME!!! It's great to have you here! If after visiting all my links provided for entries in the giveaway you've decided you like my poly clay artwork please feel free to join

for daily Creative Quotes, Work In Progress Wednesdays, updates on my most recent creations available and other news. Thanks, and good luck with the giveaway!

But mine isn't the only giveaway today-- there is also a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Spelled with a W and also a custom Tarot Story from Looseleaf Handcrafted Stories. Not only that, but So Dark, So Cute is dressed up as part of the Haunted Blogs Tour and awaiting your visit and guest blogger Willow Silverhorse talks about carving a pumpkin protection charm.

So head on over to Mrs. B's for all the fun today!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Molding Sugar Skulls

My friend Sage and I got together yesterday and made sugar skulls! We've both wanted to do this for a long time and yesterday was the day. (Actually, I was so excited about doing it that I got the day wrong and accidentally showed up at her house an entire 24 hours early, but that's another story...)

The supplies-- sugar (but of course!), meringue powder, plus water and mixing bowls, measuring cups and three sizes of sugar skull molds. The molds and recipe we used came from the most excellent website.

Packing the molds nice and full.

Scraping off the excess for a nice flat back...

The mold after a piece of cardboard was laid over top of it and it has been flipped over.

Tapping the mold to release the skulls.

Large skulls!

Two types of the medium skulls-- the above are Traditional...

... and these are Oaxaca, a more whimsical style...

Cute little mini skulls!

An entire table full of skulls-- 5 large, 24 medium and 37 minis! They were so much fun to make and not hard to do at all. I think the biggest problem Sage had was finding a good meringue powder to use-- good meringue powder and using enough of it is the key. We don't think we got quite enough in our second batch of sugar mixture and we could see a difference in how it molded.

Now they need to dry for at least 24 hours (medium and mini) and longer for the large. Ours will get to dry until Sunday, and then-- we decorate!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Giveaway Day

Today is the day! Visit Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom for your chance to WIN one of my herbal pendulums!

I've donated a handmade African Violet and Amethyst pendulum as a giveaway for Mrs. B's 31 Days of Halloween-- all you have to do is visit her blog and follow instructions under pumpkin #1 for your chance to win!

But don't stop there-- there are 3 other giveaways today at Mrs. B's, plus a new blog to visit in the Haunted Blog tour AND a guest blogger post on mojo charms. Be sure to check everything out!

FOR THOSE VISITING FROM MRS. B'S-- MERRY MEET AND WELCOME!!! It's great to have you here! If after visiting all my links provided for entries in the giveaway you've decided you like my poly clay artwork please feel free to join

for daily Creative Quotes, Work In Progress Wednesdays, updates on my most recent creations available and other news. Thanks, and good luck with the giveaway!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Many people know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but are not aware that it is also Domestic Violence Awareness month as well. So this post is to help spread the word.One of the questions I often heard as a DV Victim Advocate when I did shelter work, and something I still hear now when abusive situations are discussed is-- "Why doesn't she leave?" The following is a VERY condensed summary of Susan G.S. McGee's article, "20 Reasons Why She Stays: A guide for those who want to help battered women." You can read the full article HERE, and I encourage you to do so.

1. This is the wrong question; it puts blame on the victim. So many people believe that if a woman really wanted to leave, she would. It's not that easy. We overlook the reasons women can't leave-- how she is trapped by the batterer with no money, no way to get safe housing, insurance, transportation, etc.

2. Incorrect assumptions of why she stays. Many DON'T stay. That's why battered women shelters are often at full capacity. It's important to realize that leaving is often a process, one the victim may go through many times. The more support she gets each time she tries to leave, the more it is likely that she will finally have the courage to leave for good.

Also, its important to note that the most dangerous time for a woman is when she is about to leave, is in the process of leaving or has just left. Up to 3/4 of domestic assaults reported to law enforcement agencies were inflicted after separation of the couples. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1983.)

3. Some battered women are held prisoners in their own homes, victims of psychological terrorism and brainwashing techniques used by their assailant to keep them in the violent relationship.

4. Some stay because they believe that counseling or therapy will help their batterers stop being violent. If the batterer is willing to go to counseling or anger management classes, why leave? Victims believe that these programs will help the batterer change and therefore, there is no need to leave, because he's going to get better.

5. Some stay because they hope that he will change and become non-violent. Everyone want to believe the best of their partners, those people they love. Most batterers are very charming and the relationship goes through a "honeymoon" phase after violence. Victims want the violence to end, but not the relationship.

6. Some women are forced to stay because they can't afford justice. The help of an attorney for a protection order or divorce requires money, and one of the ways batterers control their victims is by controlling their access to money.

7. Battered women stay for their children. Many battered women fear their abuser will get custody of the children if she leaves, and often, they do. Battered women are concerned about taking their children away from their homes, their school, their friends, their family-- which is often what must happen if they leave.

8. Some battered women stay because there is no place else to go. Not every town has a shelter, especially in rural areas. Many times, shelters are full. It is difficult for battered women to find safe and affordable housing.

9. Some women stay because they are not given accurate information about battering. Women are often told, and believe, that drugs or alcohol are the reasons behind battering, it's not their partner's fault. They are told that they are co-dependent that they need to change their behavior for the relationship to improve.

10. Some battered women stay because they believe what most people in our society believe about battered women, such as:
  • battered women imagine, exaggerate, deliberately fabricate or initiate violence
  • they somehow provoke or are to blame for the violence
  • all battered women come from poor, uneducated, or minority backgrounds
  • their partner just has a problem controlling anger, or that stress, alcohol or unemployment problems have caused the battering
11. Some stay for varying lengths of time because their assailants deliberately and systematically isolate them from support. Batterers are experts at driving away family and friends. They may keep their partner isolated by keeping her car keys or taking the phone away.

12. Some battered women stay because they believe in love and they still love their partners. Love is glorified in our society. Women are especially taught that love is the most important thing in life and without it, one has nothing. And batterers will often use the excuse, "I did it because I love you so much" as their reason for jealousy and abusive rages.

13. Some women stay because they believe what their assailant tells them, such as:
  • "You're crazy and stupid. No one will believe you."
  • You're the one who's sick. You need help. You're hysterical."
  • I know the judge, he won't put me in jail."
  • It's not serious. You're not really battered."
  • If you leave, I'll get custody because you abandoned me and the kids."
  • If you leave, I'll find you and kill you. I'll kill your family, your kids and your pets. You'll never escape me."
14. Some women stay because they are addicted and their addiction prevents them from taking action on their own behalf. It is hard to be in an abusive situation and get clean, especially when the addiction helps numb the pain. I had a case where the woman was addicted to crank; her partner was her supplier kept her high so that he could control her, which included pimping her out.

15. Some women are trapped in battering relationships because of sexism (unequal treatment of women). Women do not have economic resources equal to men, minimum wage doesn't pay enough afford health insurance or child care on top of food and safe shelter. Many can't find jobs or keep jobs because of harassment at their work place by the batterer.

16. Some battered women stay because institutions are helpless or unwilling to offer protection or assistance. Assailants are not routinely arrested or the victim is arrested for acting in self-defense. Protection orders are often not enforced. Courts do not make sure women are notified of their court dates, if she misses court, they blame her for not following through with charges. The list goes on and on.

17. They stay because of what women have been taught about both women's and men's roles (gender socialization). Girls are taught to be passive, nice, accommodating to others' needs, nurturing, and self-sacrificing. Most women have not learned to be independent, autonomous and to speak out.

Men are taught entitlement-- they are trained to believe they are entitled to the attention and services of women. Much more in the full article about this subject.

18. Some women stay because in addition to being a women and being battered, they are from another disenfranchised population. Women of color face additional problems with racism. Native American women may live on reservations where there is lack of resources. Rural women may have to travel for hours to find the nearest shelter. Lesbians and gay men may be threatened to be outed by their abuser. Often shelters have policies which do not allow transgender victims to stay there.

19. Some stay because of what the media says about battered women and domestic violence. Language like "love triangle" "domestic squabble" and "crime of passion" trivialize domestic abuse and the does not address the fact that it is about vengeance, power and control, not a "messy relationship."

2o. Some battered women stay because they believe if they try to leave, they or their children will die. And it is true, they might. Which is why they need the support of family, friends, their employer, the community and other professionals so much.

If you've read this far, I thank you. I hope by sharing this information I have helped increase understanding of the devastation, fear and helplessness that surrounds those who are victims of domestic violence.

Don't ask, "Why doesn't she leave?"-- instead ask-- "Why is does our society allow domestic violence to continue?"

Friday, October 8, 2010

Feline Friday: Moose Sleeps On

Meaning, ON the couch cushion...

ON the top of the chair....

ON (not IN) the kitty cave catbed...

Moose just keeps sleeping on and on...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tarot for 2010~ 10th Moon

It's spooky October and the 10th moon has arrived. Here is the card I drew for this moon cycle back when I did my New Year's spread--

Knight of Cups~

Wow, the cups runneth over in this tarot card! An outpouring of love and other emotions is the clear message, whether these are directed at me or from me-- probably a bit of both. And as a knight, one is actively involved in all of it. Looks like a bit of celebration at the end of the path, as well, with the happy maidens there waiting.

Hard to tell with the water flowing over them, but it looks like the runes on the sides of the stone archway are Tiwaz on the left and Gebo on the right. Tiwaz is the rune of Tyr the Sky God indicates honor, authority and some rationality-- a good sign that emotions won't completely take over. There also victory and success in Tiwaz. Gebo is the gift-- a balance between sacrifice and generosity. What is given is also received, in all forms of exchanges.

Already I can see this card becoming a reality for this moon cycle. This cycle is filled with gatherings with friends and all sorts of business opportunities; lots of love, and giving and receiving ahead of me. Very exciting!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Incredible (In)edible Eggs

Once again, I've been playing with creating decorated egg rattles. Here is version 3.0--

This pic doesn't show it very well, but there is lots of subtle color on them from using mica powders. LOTS of mica powders! My hands were just a beautiful mess of color from blending. Each egg actually has 2-3 different shades of mica powders on it, giving them a nice metallic sheen.

These are jumbo sized eggs and have a nice rattley sound to them. Fun little items I created that I thought would be nice for using in drumming or chant circles. More varieties to come!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Fun is Here!

It's October 1st, and that means two things--

31 Days of giveaways, guest blog posts, creative Halloween ideas, Haunted Blog tours and more at Mrs. B's Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom...


The Masquerade Clay Ball has begun at Polymer Clay Smooshers. Come see the daily parade of fabulous and fantastical masks created by the Smooshers Guild and our fans!

I am proud to be part of BOTH of these exciting events-- as a giveaway sponsor for Mrs. B's 31 Days and partygoer at the Masquerade Ball-- but when will my giveaways and masks be shared? Visit each blog daily to find out!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Ball is About to Begin

Just 3 more days until the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild Masquerade Ball begins!

What's the Masquerade Ball, you ask? It's a fantastic parade of gorgeous masks like these, from last year's Ball:

Only this year, we've invited our fans to join in, so you'll see masks made by them as well as the Smoosher's guild! Plus, we'll be giving away some lovely prizes, too! And, if you join in our Spread the Word blog contest before October 3rd, you'll be eligible for the drawing for a beautiful bracelet made by Haffina Creations.

So come join in the fun at PCSG, starting October 1st!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tarot Card Inspired Tarot Bag

Using scrap fabric, plus some inspiration from the colors of the deck itself, I sewed up a tarot bag recently.

The deck is the Druidcraft Tarot and I pulled from The Lady (III) and Princess of Cups cards for the color scheme for my bag. The color of the panne velvet isn't quite accurately shown in these pics, it is more of an olive hue-- both the velvet and the cotton batik for the lining were leftover from when I made a cloak for myself several years ago. I made the bag a generous size of 9 x 7 inches.

I found the braided trim and beaded trim for half price, and both perfectly matched the colors in the cards shown, which are two of my favorite from the deck. The braid is a bit bulky for cinching up the bag with the drawstring, but I still like the way it looks.

Being a novice sewer, I wasn't able to completely hide the woven edge of the beaded trim into the seam of my bag bottom. My sewing machine foot wouldn't go over the beads if I got close enough to the edge to hide the woven part. There must be a little trick to doing that? If any one has suggestions on how to do that, I'd love to know for next time.

Overall, though, I'm really pleased with how my tarot bag turned out! I love the colors and the style and I really like that I'm using a bag that I created myself to store one of my favorite tarot decks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Front Range Pagan Pride Adventures

Yesterday was Front Range Pagan Pride Day and I had my very first experience with selling my wares from a vendor booth!

I only had about 2 weeks to prepare, so my booth was itty bitty, small potatoes compared to some of the booths there. But I did the best I could on short notice and I think it turned out fine.

I owe much thanks to some friends who helped make my vendor booth possible-- Sage, who gave me the idea, lots of encouragment and loaned me tables, and Deb who graciously loaned me the use of her canopy. I have fantastic friends!

One thing I definitely learned-- light weight tablecloths are not good when the wind blows! Even though we had them tied down, the wind puffed up and blew those light tablecloths easily, and lots of items on the table got moved around when that happened. I had to leave most of my pendulums bagged up together during the morning hours so they wouldn't roll away!

The rest of vendor's row at FRPP. There were about 6 other booths in the opposite direction from this view, including mine.

There were rituals, workshops, pagan bands, and other entertainment throughout the day. Nationally known pagan author and performer T. Thorn Coyle was our featured speaker, who lead us in some songs/chants and also meditations. But my favorite performance of the day-- the belly dancers! They were fantastic and performed for at least a half an hour.

Closing ceremony was a Blot ritual by a local Asatru (Norse/Viking) group, which was really interesting. The ritual came across as very empowering with the Hammer Rite, lots of praising and libating and hailing Odin.

Believe it or not, next year's FRPP is already in the works-- date set for October 1st, with Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor as guest speakers. I'll be there!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Handmade Artist Opportunity

If you create handmade items and have always thought, "I wonder if I should try selling online?"-- the answer is YES because ArtFire is offering an incredible opportunity right now with their Opt-In Group Deal.

Open a shop at ArtFire and sign up for the Opt-In Group Deal, and if 20,000 members sign up for the deal, your fees for a Pro Account will be just $5.95 a month! There are no hidden fees-- no listing fees, no re-listing fee every few months, no commission fees, and you can list as many items as you want-- for just $5.95 a month! Read more about this awesome opportunity here and find out about terms, conditions and FAQs here.

I have been at ArtFire for over a year now and I love this marketplace. And it just keeps getting better. It's simple to navigate and has lots of features for Pro-account sellers, like design customization for your studio, studio blog, easy networking and promotional tools for Twitter, Facebook, Stumble, and more. ArtFire Pro studios also have a global editor and the ability to create coupons which makes listing items and putting items on sale a total breeze.

So if you've been wanting to give e-commerce a try, DON'T MISS this limited time Opt-In Group Offer at ArtFire!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Everything for FRPP

Lots of work in progress this week as I get ready for vending at Front Range Pagan Pride day this upcoming Saturday, September 18th.

First off-- scarab beetles for necklaces and earrings!

And MORE scarab beetles in progress!

I've always wanted to try making pendulums. These will get a lentil shaped bead for the other end of the chain, to hold while using the pendulum. The bead on the left has African violet and gold leaf in it and has been polished, the one on the right has lavender buds and gold leaf and still needs to be buffed.

And lastly, egg rattles in progress. I thought these would be fun little items for those who like to go to drum &/or chant circles.

Still a lot to get done before Saturday, so I'd best get to it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Front Range Pagan Pride

Front Range Pagan Pride day is here in the Denver area this coming Saturday, September 18th-- and Into the Dawn Designs will be there as a vendor!

I'm very excited to be vending at FRPP this year! This all came about on very short notice, so I am working hard to create plenty of items to bring for my booth. Stay tuned this week for a sneak peek of just some of the pretties I'll have on hand. Such as...

... brooches/pins that will be perfect for cloaks, shawls, lapels or hat brims...

... fabulous fall faerie wear, like this golden aspen leaf necklace...

... or these brown and copper oak leaf earrings with fancy jasper...

More to come-- stay tuned! And come see me at Stapleton Central Park on MLKing Blvd. in Denver for FRPP this Saturday!