Sunday, August 30, 2009

Viona Art

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I'm currently costume obsessed as I'm still trying to pull together several costumes for future photo projects! You might remember me telling you about the Sorceress costume project! I'm still trying to make this happen! I'm totally inspired by the wonderful fairytale photography of Viona Art! She makes all the costumes that her models wear, she's over the top...check out her website! I really admire people who can construct even the simplest garments. I wish I had formal training, even just for making everyday wear. I need a cloak hoodie for this Fall...it's getting chilly in Chicago already!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Thank You!!!

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Wow, what an honor! I've received the Domestic Witch Blog Award from Carolina Gonzalez! Carolina keeps an amazing magickal lifestyle blog, I look forward to each and every post...so inspiring! She's one crafty lady and you can find her witchy wares in her Hoodoo Shop on Etsy! I'm especially smitten with her embroidery!

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Thank you for passing this award along to me Carolina! Now I'm supposed to pass this along to 3 of my favorite Witchy Blogs. (I would give this award to Sarah, the Witch of Forest Grove, but she already got it!) The following people are not Witchcraft practitioners per se, but people who are inherently Witchy and live magickal lifestyles!

Sasha and Amber of Violet Folklore met at an Herbal Apprenticeship! They share a love for fashion, art, herbalism, nature, music, and community! Together they keep a lovely magical lifestyle blog that accompanies their vintage clothing shop by the same name, Violet Folklore~haunted threads! I hear they may be adding herbal products to their shop!? I think these gals are the "bees knees" thanks for sharing the love and magick ladies! xo!

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Next we have Chad of Mon Petit Fantome! This magick man weaves an enchanting web of music, arts and crafts! Chad is a super supportive friend that I met through Etsy! He owns many of my Black Forest Relics and I have a lovely collection of fanciful forest inspired goodness from his shop too! I think Chad should be featured on the Selby because I want an official tour of his Witchy lil' house! (Chad is pictured below with his bandmate Tracy.) Thanks for all the support and endless inspiration Chad! xo!

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Then we have Tamera Jane, the loveliest Gypsy Witch you ever did see! She blogs about her magickal lifestyle on her blog Verhext! Tamera is equal parts Urban Gypsy and Wood Witch! When she's not working hard and living "La Vie Boheme" in California, she's working hard to build a cabin in the woods of Central Vermont! (She has mad style and you can find her vintage and handmade goodies in her Etsy shop!) Someday we're going to have the best Gypsy Witch party in the woods...I just know it!

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I know I'm only supposed to list 3...but this post would not be complete without the fabulous bohemian belle, Angeliska! Talk about a magickal lifestyle, I'm certain fairies and gnomes must live in her house! Oh look, kitchen witchery! Black Forest cake is in the oven for desert!

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Do you live a magickal lifestyle too? If so, I want to hear all about it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lily Fawn

Robyn Von Swank introduced me to the wonderful world of the lovely Lily Fawn a while back. (Robyn knows Lily from her hometown of Victoria, British Columbia.) Lily is one half of the unstoppable vaudeville-rock duo, Hank Pine and Lily Fawn. She recently released a solo album to tell her story. Lily's Lullaby album, Brightest Darkest, is a full-length release comprised of story telling ballads about baby snatching, woodland animals, deadly romance and fairytale nightmares. The album comes with with it’s own hardcover storybook so you can follow along with the songs! Lily’s voice sounds like a long lost relative of Julie Cruz, Johanna Newsome or Blossom Dearie. The music is inspired by artists such as; Bjork, Blonde Redhead, Godspeed You Black Emperor!

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Hank Pine and Lily Fawn the comic book series chronicles the sad, twisted and wonderful travels of our two, (three including the dead body in the garbage bag) New Orleans bound nomads! The Hank Pine and Lily Fawn Show is a vaudeville inspired variety act based upon the tragic and hilarious adventures of their comic book series. Like the great acts of old, the music covers many genres, yet all stems from a punk rock ethic! Lily tap-dances and plays the musical saw; trumpet, ukulele, flute, drums and sings! Hank also lends his vocals to this project and plays a mean guitar! In addition to her solo album, she released two albums with her partner in crime, Hank Pine.

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"Together their act is eye catching and foot stomping, based upon the tragic and hilarious adventures of their comic book. Hank is tall mysterious figure and member of a secret dooms day cult called the A.S.S. (Avatars of the Second Sun). Lily is a half-deer, half-human forest creature with a penchant for stealing babies from near by villages, thus rescuing them from the perils of our modern world. It is as though Lily fell out of a 1920’s fairytale, innocent and dangerous."

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You can also catch Lily tooting her horn in her other band Meatdraw. But wait folks, that's not all! She created a line of organic and wildcrafted herbal products, Earth's Herbal and Lilith Moon Products! She offers medicinal teas, skin salves, aromatherapy, tattoo care products, sex enhancers, and Trance Tonic!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

72 Hour Summer Clearance Sale

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I can't believe summer is almost over! But, I love the Fall...it's the season of witch. The weather, the clothes, pumpkin pie and hot mulled cider! Plus my birthday is in October and Halloween! Anyway, I want to clear out my etsy shop to make room for lots of wonderful new things! All inventory will be marked down 30%-40% Off! Sale ends Monday night!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Have you seen the new video by The Horrors!? This track really reminds me of My Bloody Valentine...can you hear it? "Primary Colours" is one of my favorite albums this summer! I really can't get enough of these guys, they just keep getting better! They obviously have some great musical influences. Their older stuff reminds me of old garage rock/trash punk like the Cynics, the Cramps and the Gun Club...and bits of old New Wave bands like the Cure and Joy Division. Lately you can hear psychedelic and prog rock influences like the 13th Floor Elevators and CAN. Clever fellas!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

and they lived happily ever after...

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Are they not the cutest couple!? There are so many nauseating wedding related blogs out there, so these two are really a sight for sore eyes! You might recollect my cynical rantings about American wedding customs and marriage...you can read that HERE. But honestly, I hold the ideals of Love and partnership in high esteem. Love is the Formula of the Universe! Love should not thwart one's true nature or obstruct one's destiny. I was thinking about Crowley's motto: "Love is the Law, Love under Will." I recommend you explore this ideology and integrate it into your belief system...it's on point! Just click HERE... I don't believe in such a thing as the blind or obedient love that religion promotes...that's entrapment. If there is no Freedom in Love, where else will you seek Liberation? Money won't liberate you! If you believe that, you become a slave to your material desires and you'll never find true fulfillment. I think Marriage should be based solely on LOVE: two individuals (who honor each others differences) that make a commitment to evolve together and can then extend their positive energies outward for the evolution of the collective.

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For those of you who have chosen not to walk the beaten path in life...your wedding day should be no different! Here are some alternative wedding links:

1. Once Wed ~ This blog features mostly modest yet beautiful and creative Handmade Weddings! They even feature great DIY projects!

2. Ethical Weddings ~ An eco-chic wedding blog...for those for you who want a "Green Wedding" this is an amazing resource! They feature things like organic, vegetarian, and vegan catering ideas, vintage wedding dresses, conflict free diamonds and recycled gold! Awesome!

3. The Offbeat Bride ~ this blog rocks, it covers, tattooed brides, punk, goth and steampunk weddings, eco-weddings for bohemians and hippies, lesbian weddings from the femme "lipstick lesbians" to butch, transmasculine beings, and other gender-benders), and just about every other theme you can think of!

4. Tattooed Brides ~ more tattooed ladies & gents...

5. Wedding Skulls ~ Goth, Halloween, Steampunk, Rockabilly, Heavy Metal, and Punk Rock Weddings!

6. So You're enGAYged ~ A great resource for same sex couples. I found quite a few others out there but suprisingly enough, nothing too exciting. Prop 8 Prop 8 Prop 8...lots of that coming up. Listen folks, I know this is an important issue...but don't let it ruin your special day!!! Fuck the Government and go out and have yourself a fabulous wedding!!! All of my gay friends are artistic types and ex-club kids. I would love to see any one of them get married because I know their weddings would be totally over the top! My suggustions? Have your wedding officiated by one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence or have your wedding at one of the many Radical Faerie Sanctuaries!

7. Interracial or Interfaith Weddings ~ There are so many resources so just google it! I think it's so important to get this right. Cultural alchemy is no easy task to pull off but balance will ensure everyone is comfortable and has a good time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Cozy Woodland Retreat ~ Home Sweet Home #6

Last week I told you about my Urban Sanctuary loft dream...but as much as I love living in the city, it sure would be nice to have a place to get away from it all. I dream of my own cozy little woodland retreat. The cabins below are amazing! I'd actually prefer something a bit smaller so I could focus on the artistic details. This is just evidence that if you really want something bad enough...you can make it happen! Never bury your dreams! The cabin below belongs to interior designer and fashion stylist, Scott Newkirk. It's a 300 square foot off-grid cabin built from salvaged and reclaimed materials. The complex (including an outhouse, guest house, and outdoor shower) sits on about three acres of Newkirk’s 50-acre property. You can read more about it here...

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The cabin below has a similar design but it's a Treehouse! This one belongs to Linda Aldredge, the owner of LuLu Organics. There an inspiring and amazing interview about her experience in the woods here...

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dream...dream...dream...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Alison Scarpulla

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An enigmatic girl who is guided by voices walks swiftly down a lantern lit trail at dusk into the woods. Where is she going? Would you dare follow? Perhaps you'll just wait at the edge of the woods and wait for her return. She won't appear again until dawn when the air is crisp and dew is fresh. Where has she been? Would you dare ask?

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Alison Scarpulla lives "between worlds" and is visible only at dusk and dawn. She can guide the way to the Faerie Kingdom and the realm of Underworld...but she probably won't. She prefers to live in secrecy in her haunted house at the edge of the land. Many have sought to know her but only a chosen few are invited into her home. Once there she might make you a magick brew that allows you to see beyond the veil into the "otherworld". Or maybe she will show you her collection of magick feathers, master keys, talking skulls, and seeing stones...

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I'm doing a photo collaboration with Alison this Fall and I'm just brimming with excitement!!! We're doing the same kind of thing that Courtney Brooke and I did together. I will send her a box filled with materia magica and she will do a photoshoot based on how she intuitively connects with the objects!

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Alison is an elusive artist and generally doesn't do interviews. She would rather people just focus on her photography. This only adds to the intriguing quality of her work though, don't you think? Her compelling images encourage the viewer to use their imagination...something many people don't do often enough. Alison tells me lately she's "kinda sorta" working on music with her boyfriend. She also worked on a photo project with Mehdi Ameziane aka TwinSisterMoon for his 7" Vinyl release called "Bride Of The Spirits". Mehdi is one half of the psychedelic folk duo Natural Snow Buildings. The other half of the duo is Solange Gularte, her solo project is called Isengrind. All three projects, Twinsistermoon/Isengrind/Natural Snow Buildings, come together on "The Snowbringer Cult" a limited edition CD of 1000 packaged in a gorgeous 4 panel sleeve featuring gorgeous artwork by Solange. You can purchase through the Students of Decay website. Click on the mp3 links below to listen...dreamy!

twinsistermoon :: bride of the spirts
isengrind :: to ride with holle
natural snow buildings :: gone

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lofty Dreams ~ Home Sweet Home #5

Ideally, I'd like to have a live/work loft space in the city and a cozy little cabin in the woods. I really miss living in a loft... Unfortunatly, gentrification has infected every last bohemian enclave in Chicago, so finding an affordable loft space is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I'm always up for a treasure hunt though, so I know I'll find what I'm looking for when the time comes. I'm dreaming of an old warehouse or factory with exposed brick walls and pressed tin ceilings, exposed beams, wooden flooring that go on throughout a huge open floor plan. I want plenty of room for an studio/office where I can make soap and candles, jewelry, art and pottery. I'd love to have a big play area where my kids can stretch out, let loose and play!

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I dream of giant windows with tons of light! I picture the light pouring in over a little wooden indoor greenhouse where I can grow an herb garden. I'd grow common herbs to cook with, magickal herbs for witchcrafting charms and formulas, shamanic plants and entheogenic botanicals that make you "fly" and aid in lucid dreamtime!

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I'm going to the Chicago College of Healing Arts next Spring to take a year long program called Foundations in Herbalism. "The program provides an introduction to plant medicine and lays the foundation for further plant medicine training. Students are taught the skills necessary for designing and making herbal formulas, as well as organic growing and wildcrafting of herbs, and the ecological and political concerns of modern herbalism. An integral part of the program is its series of country weekends, where students are given the opportunity to work with the growing, harvesting and processing of botanicals. Hands-on medicine making labs allow students to gain experience in creating their own tinctures, pills, salves, essential oils and more!"

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I imagine creating a rooftop garden and keeping bees! Rooftop beekeeping could help to combat colony collapse disorder. Read more about urban beekeeping here...

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There are many benefits of a rooftop garden beyond the fact that they can be quiet urban sanctuaries. They add another dimension of green space to an urban scape without taking up an extensive area of land in densely populated places. In some European countries such as Switzerland, bylaws have been passed that new buildings must be designed to relocate the greenspace covered by the building to their roofs. Existing buildings must also comply with the bylaw by greening at least 20% of their rooftops. Read more about "green roofs" here...

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Monday, August 10, 2009

The Burrow ~ Home Sweet Home #4

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I finally took my kids to see the new Harry Potter movie...we loved it!!! I probably don't need to tell you I'm a huge fan! There's a Harry Potter Exhibition here in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry through Sept. 27th, I'm pretty excited about that too! Anyway, The Burrow, home of the Weasley Family, was featured extensively in the movie! I love that house! Molly Weasley gets the best Mom and homemaker award! The Weasley's Burrow has fueled my obsession for handmade houses! I love the Weasley's kitchen table plenty of room for a big family and and guests! Hmmm...I smell Gypsy soup!

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Warner Bros. should set up a website with set details, props and such for the Harry Potter series. There's a great website like that for the movie Practical Magic, where you can check out the interior design details for all the rooms of their magickal Victorian home!

The Burrow reminds me of the famous Handmade Houses of the Northern California woods in the 60s/70s...these homes were photographed and compiled in an amazing old book called Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher's Art. Another great book is Woodstock Handmade Houses My soul-sista, Tamera of Verhext fame, has a flickr set with more photos from these books, you should take a peek...

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It also brings to mind the hippie houses of Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen. Europe's largest commune, the self-governing community of Christiania began in 1971 in a squatted military area. A counterculture activist occupation of disused army barracks in the south of the city and has continued for nearly 40 years as a sort of utopian social experiment. More photos and info here...

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There's this brilliant man by the name of Lloyd Kahn who wrote three books on the subject of handmade human habitats called: Shelter, Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter, and Builders of the Pacific Coast. If you buy all three books from Shelter Pub you get 40% off only $47.31 for all 3 books!

Make sure to check out the link section of my blog, there's a category called "Eco-Dwellings" where you'll find lots of great links about sustainable and natural building! You can also click on the "Home Sweet Home" label below to link you to my blog posts regarding magickal living!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Something Wicked This Way Grows...

Another fantastic book that is sure to delight any botany enthusiast! Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities "A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. Amy Stewart takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature's most appalling creations in an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend."

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"Menacing botanical illustrations and splendidly ghastly drawings create a fascinating portrait of the evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, this compendium of bloodcurdling botany will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers."

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Brooklyn, New York) is hosting a live Wicked Plants exhibition through Sunday, September 6th! If you live in the Brooklyn area go check it out! Briony Morrow-Cribbs, who created the botanical illustrations for the book, also has her hand-tinted botanical prints on display! I wish I could go!

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"Visitors will come face to face with the potentially menacing powers of species that have the capacity to puncture, imprison, poison, and otherwise wreak havoc—as well as those that heal and salve."

See also: The Poison Diaries

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ugly Shyla

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Ugly Shyla is the embodies the dark side of the Moon. When the Moon card appears in a Tarot reading, we are encouraged to to explore the dark landscapes of the Unconscious...the watery realm of dreams and nightmares. With Pisces as its ruling sign, the Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness and genius. It is important to explore this realm with a sober perspective so we don't become hysterical or delusional. After all, nothing is as it seems in the Underworld. We must confront our greatest fears in the depths and unmask the monsters and demons to see them for what they really are. As important as the descent of the soul into darkness is, so is the return from the depths. If not, the core of the personality remains swallowed up by the sea of the night, and the process of self-developement has failed. Gazing into the depths is the feminine path to truth. The greatest danger here is withdrawl from the world or even mental derangement. However, if we listen to the voice of the Goddess of the Moon, the opportunity to become acquainted with our intuition is available. Then we can bring great creativity, powerful magic and visions and up from the depths.

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Ugly Shyla is an intuitive artist who conjures images from the Underworld. She invites us to explore the horrors of the collective unconscious through her art and modeling. Her primary focus is her morbid fine art dolls but she uses other mediums as well. You can also find her deconstructed clothing and handmade jewelry in her Etsy shop! And yes, she's a witch...she practices good ol' fashioned Louisiana Voodoo.

"This is the waning moon, the moon of witchcraft and abominable deeds. Such light as there may be deadlier than darkness, and the silence is wounded by the howling of wild beasts. This is the threshold of life; this is the threshold of death. All is doubtful, all is mysterious, all is intoxicating. Not the benign, solar intoxication of Dionysus, but the dreadful madness of pernicious drugs; this is drunkeness of sense, after the mind has been abolished by the venom of this Moon. She is the poisoned darkness which is the condition of the rebirth of light" ~Aleister Crowley~

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Botany in Wonderland ~ Imaginary Botanicals

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There is an artist known as "Fourteen (14)" who is working on a series of imaginary botanical illustrations for a book she's putting together called Botany in Wonderland! This is right up my alley since I'm totally botany obsessed! Oh, you are too? I have a whole string of "Green Magick" blog posts that you might enjoy so check those out! But now, feast your hungry eyes on this girl's wonderful illustrations! Her work reminds me of Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, which of course I LOVE!

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If that tickled your fancy, I know you're going to want one of these fabulous candles from Black Chandelier! (They are on sale for half price!) If anyone wants to send me a gift :) hint hint...haha! "Black Chandelier has traveled far and wide to bring you the most strange and magical scents in exsistence for the Imaginary Botanicals Collection. From haunted caverns to man-eating swamps, we have tirelessly chased these illusive and legendary botanicals to create wonderfully intoxicating candles. Don't bother referencing botanical texts for the registry of these plants, leaves and fruits; search instead fairytales, legends and the dreamiest dalliances of your own heart."

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