If you’ve been following my work for any amount of time, you probably already know how much I love mythology. You may know that I made a small line of “Janus” earrings, in the shape of an abstract door, the significance of which soon follows. But did you also know that January is named after the Roman god Janus? Given that it’s the first month of the calendar year, Janus, the god of beginnings and endings, gates and passages, doorways and transitions, feels wholly appropriate as we welcome in the new year. On Roman coins and statues, Janus is depicted as having opposing faces… one looking to the past and the other, the future. This all sounds curiously similar to our many new year traditions.
And as such, I hope you’re not currently torturing yourself with New Year’s resolutions… but, if that works for you, more power to you! After all these years, I’ve found that, for me, resolutions serve only to be shameful disappointments laden with guilt. It’s been a long time since I made a New Year’s resolution. Now, the new-ish “word of the year” fad does sound tempting & intriguing, but I have yet to be inspired by a suitable word. Have you tried having a "word of the year"?
November and December flew by in a blur and I suddenly find myself in the middle of January feeling like the proverbial deer in headlights. Christmas decorations are still up and I’m turning a blind eye to them as I struggle to get back into the swing of things. Apparently, the struggle is not all my own … if you follow astrology. For weeks we were in the midst of not one, but two, planetary retrogrades … Mercury Retrograde, which ends on Jan. 18th and Mars retrograde, which just ended on Jan. 12th. You may have been feeling inspired, yet progress felt slow or hindered. Apparently, that’s normal. I know I certainly felt that way!
But on my bench lies some very tempting inspiration… in the form of some gorgeous Labradorite cabochons. Labradorite is a dark grey/black stone possessing a captivating iridescent flash from within, ranging from blue to gold to green, and is attributed with mystical and protective properties. It awakens your intuitive powers and facilitates access to your psychic capabilities. This is a powerful stone that ignites the imagination through both its alluring aesthetics and its enchanting metaphysical energies. How could I not be overcome with inspiration for creating a setting worthy of such a seductive stone?
With Mars Retrograde no longer a viable excuse and Mercury on its way out, I suspect it’s about time I make myself comfy at my workbench and see what magic may come my way and turn mere thought into a handheld treasure.
So tell me, what’s capturing your imagination as you dream about the possibilities in this new year?
Okay, I have to say it, full disclosure… For years I have not been a fan of Halloween, not since early in my twenties… sorry to disappoint! The tipping point was when I got my first house. Thanks to some insanely stupid traditions, Halloween suddenly became more of a “Save the Pumpkins!!!” yearly ordeal. After so many hours and monetary investment, my Fall decorating was my pride and joy… until the 31st of October rolled around. You’ve seen those smashed pumpkins in the roads, right? Some of them were mine…
This year the Autumn equinox occurs on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 9:04 pm EDT in the Northern Hemisphere. The Autumn equinox is when the sun is exactly on the equator and we have 12 hours each of daylight and darkness. But the best part of all? IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF FALL!!!
When I first started wool felting, it was just for fun. I’d begun with needle felting, pictorial, as if I was painting with wool. I thought that was where my interest was strongest, but I quickly moved on to wet felting. Now this is not the kind of felting where you basically shrink down a knitted object… a technique with which you may already be familiar. Instead, it’s using the combed and dyed wool from the sheep, laying out layers of the fiber and adding soap, water, and agitation to produce a fabric. And of course I wasn’t satisfied with just making a flat piece of fabric. I wanted to make something three-dimensional! Now mind you, this was only supposed to be a small indulgence of crafting in another medium to break up all the time I spent working on my copper jewelry. Something to rejuvenate my creativity and provide a small vacation from metalwork.
These days I seem to be doing everything except what I want to be doing... creating! If you’re on my email list or follow me on IG, you’ll already know I added several Crow pendants to the shop recently. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes boring technical stuff to do regarding preparing the emails, editing photos, IG posts etc., and it requires a lot of precious time. And then there’s the garden...
Just on the heels of the Supermoon, we welcome Summer Solstice … also known as Midsummer in Europe and Litha in traditional Pagan holidays. It is believed to be a time when the veil between our world and the spirit world is very thin, making it easier for spirits and faeries to cross over the threshold. In various folkloric tales, the Oak King, who rules from Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice, now passes the baton to the Holly King, who will reign from this day until December 21st.
Although your first impression of crows may be an association with death, bad omens, Halloween, or the terrifying movie The Birds, crows are actually highly intelligent creatures possessing some enviable traits, the blessings of Mother Nature’s everyday magic, and a tantalizing mythical allure.
As loyal members of their flock, they are vigilant guardians, ever watchful and protective. Maybe you’ve happened upon them roosting in the treetops and been assaulted by the loud cacophony of calls, warning their feathered friends of an intruder and possible danger. Or perhaps you’ve witnessed a mob flying and darting at a trespassing hawk, cawing and chasing until the interloper is forced to flee their territory. Crows also possess the finely tuned skill of facial recognition, so if you make a good impression … or especially if you make a bad one … crows will remember you.
If you’re a child of the sixties or seventies, you may have a vague recollection of decorating and dancing around a May Pole on May 1st at school or during a community-wide celebration. And did you ever pick a bouquet of Dandelions, Butter Cups and Johnny Jump-ups to secretly deliver to a neighbor, ring the doorbell and dash away? I have a wispy little memory of a May Pole at school and a clearer memory of my sister and I bringing hand-picked posies to our neighbors on May Day. But recently I became curious about Beltane, also a May1st celebration, and googled around on the internet to see what it was all about.
Thank you for stopping by the blog! My name is Carol and I'm a metalsmith and fiber artist who makes amulets and talismans. You can find my work at Willowsongstudio.com