Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I'm just finishing up a little something I've written for Magpie Magazine. It's a piece about plant folklore and magick. I will include Love Potion recipes! I hope they like it and it gets published! I'm submitting it for the new Issue #3 due out this Spring. Magpie reports: "The third issue of Magpie will be a handmade faerytale book, sewn together by two sister spiders in their lair of feathers and patchwork blankets. Due out at the beginning of 2008, it promises to be full of: twisted folklore, shapeshifters and seamstresses, wildfood recipes, snippets of creative souls, interviews with music makers, unique illustrators and poets wielding words like spells. We hope each copy to be a gift to every reader, of pressed flowers between pages of poems..." Doesn't that sound lovely?
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The cover was illustrated by Julianna Swaney...I love her Artwork! Visit her website Oh My Cavalier or her Etsy Shop for more beauty!
If you'd like a copy of Magpie Magazine, go to their MySpace for more details...or email them at: magpiemagazine@yahoo.co.uk

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Erik Sanko is one of those extrordinary artists that does it all! He is a musician, artist and marionette-maker. The marionettes are complete works of art all by themselves. Erik took it a step further by bringing his characters to life in a marionette show called The Fortune Teller. Danny Elfman provided the erie score...Danny also did the score for Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. While the narrative was spoken by Gavin Friday of Virgin Prunes fame. It's a morality play featuring the Seven Deadly Sins. I wish I could have seen it! If you'd like to get a little taste check out this Video.
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"The Fortune Teller reveals a world of curiosities as seven unusual characters are invited to the estate of a late millionaire industrialist and informed they've been included in his will.
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On a dark night, the strangers arrive at the late millionaire's mansion only to learn their inheritances will be based not on a will, but on the readings of a fortune teller.
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One by one, each is delivered what they have coming to them, but perhaps not what they are expecting.Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Seven strangers' twisted tales are brought to life in a handcrafted marionette play and woven with haunting music to tell an eerily comic story of fate and fortune..."

If you visit his Website you can follow the links to listen to Erik's Solo music project as well as his band, the Indie outfit, Skeleton Key. Don't forget to follow the link to artist Jessica Grindstaff too!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


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Yay! I got a "You Make My Day Award" from Christie of Serenity Now. (Blushing!) Christie Darling...thank you! I love visiting your blog too! Many treasures to be found there!

Spead the Love! If you want to make someone's day too... the "You Make My Day Award" works like this: 1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day. 2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver. 3. Display the "You Make my Day Award" logo with a link to the post that I wrote. (Optional) 4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news!

Drumroll...and the winners are:
1. A Fanciful Twist ~ Better than Cupcakes...for real!
2. LittleRobot ~ Amazing Fantastic Wonderful Creations!
3. Edgar and Edgar ~ I want to be like Kimberlee when I grow up!
4. BibliOdyssey ~ Down the Rabbit Hole!
5. Curious Expeditions ~ Gourmet Food For Thought!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I've added some doll links of some of my favorite doll makers. See the "DOLL LOVE" category. This section will include puppets and marionettes too. I'll add more soon. I've always loved dolls. When I was a little girl, I had so many! I took really good care of them because I thought they were alive. My favorites were my old fashoined porcelain dolls. I constantly fixed their hair, straightened their dresses, and posed them neatly on my shelves. They stared at me from behind glass eyes, and sometimes they even gave me a good scare! My Aunt Terrie bought me a Charlie Chaplin vantriloquist doll one year for my birthday...he eventually had to be removed from my bedroom permanatly, my little friends were terrified of him. With the exception of a few bad seeds, my dolls loved me, watched over me and told me secrets! This beauty pictured below was made by Sarah of Black Eyed Suzie! I'm happy to announce that she is making an Edgar Allan Poe doll for me!!!
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After I dropped out of Art School my creative block magickally disappeared. I started making handsewn poppet style dolls, using velvet, beads, antique glass eyes, and other misc found objects. Each one was stuffed with herbs and other magickal components with specific magickal intentions in mind. For example, Love, Wealth, or Protection. Once I start creating a doll, they practically make themself. I always get the feeling my hands are being guided. It was during this time that my childhood notion was confirmed. Dolls do have spirits! And after further investigation, this idea goes waaay back. Wise Women and Medicine Men thoughout all cultures have made dolls and effigies as for spiritual purposes. The doll's spirit acts as an emissionary between it's creator and the spirit world. There is a sacred text called Tattvartha Sutra (That Which Is) a Jain manual for understanding the true nature of reality. It reveals that dolls, images, effigies, ect. are vessels for spirits, and therefore dollmaking is absolutly forbidden! Witchcraft! And you must remember the tales of the Salem Witch Trials? Poor old grannies burned at the stake for making poppets! Were they witches? Or just making ragdolls for their grandchildren. In any case, ask any dollmaker you know if the dolls they make have hearts and souls...I bet the answer will be YES! So be nice to your dollies!

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These lovelies were made by Lateefah Wright of Kil Studios. You must check out her website! I love love love her dolls! I hope to adopt one someday!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Recently a nice gentleman named Robert Chaplin stopped by my blogspace here and dropped me a line. In turn I visited his blogspace and made a new discovery. Robert is an amazing artist and uses his blog to share his newest work. He posted one particular piece that I love...an awesome etched piece of vintage ivory. I have seen such things before, but now I know what this lost artform is called, "Scrimshaw". Usually the pieces I have come across have nautical themes, ships, whales, ect. It all makes sense now... Scrimshaw artistians are usually sea faring people. The artform goes back to neolithic times. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it became the craft of sailors and whalers. Scrimshaw can still be found amoungst the Eskimo people, but otherwise "Scrimshanders" are a dying breed.

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One of my favorite sites to visit is Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons, Purveyors of Dark and Uncommon Goods. Founder, Derrick Cruz is a self taught Scrimshander. He offers dark romantic men's jewelry and functional Art Objects...rich with symbolism. And I know that inside every Black Heart beats one passionate and Blood Red! The best things get tarnished over time!

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When asked about the significance of the company's name in a recent interview he said "The phrase Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons jumped out at me while reading Kafka was the Rage by Anatole Broyard. I sympathize with this story. When I left Brooklyn to live in the Village, I felt as if I had acquired a new set of relative...uncles I had never met before...men who lived in odd places...who had shunned family life and been shunned in turn, who were somewhere between black sheep and prodigal sons of a paradoxical kind. An aura of scandal, or at least of ambiguity, hovered over these uncles...there was a flaw in their past, some kind of unhealthiness, even a hint of insanity...my favorite writers...i felt them waiting, almost calling out to me...they were all the family I had now, all the family I wanted. With them I could lead a hypothetical life, unencumbered by memory, loyalties, or resentments."

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His scrimshaw pieces are carved out of pre-banned vintage ivory piano keys. You really have to visit his site...every collection has a beautiful narrative to accompany it. Each piece is presented in artfully crafted box that looks like an old a book.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Victorian Dollhouses

I've been looking for a project for me and my daughter to work on together. After I saw these amazing doll house minatures I've been thinking about making a dollhouse. A project like this can take years. I figure it will be finished by the time she's a teenager! Remember the big Victorian house in Practical Magic? I've watched that move 101 times...at least! You can view the set design room by room here.
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I would decorate it quite differently of course. But the general structure, layout, woodwork, and fixtures are great. I don't want to build the actual house from scratch...I'm not that crazy! I wouldn't mind painting it though. But I'd like to buy a premade one...so I can focus on all the little details! Like Victorian flocked wallpaper, yay! Look at this witchy Apothecary cabinet! Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I don't know where to start... So if any of you crafty ladies out there have any links, please let me know! xo Lavona

Friday, February 8, 2008


My friend Robyn Von Swank is coming to stay with me for a week here in Chicago! I'm super excited! She's an amazing photographer and assemblage artist. She's going to shoot my products and we'll also work on a few theme oriented photo projects that will support the products and services of BELOVED & CO. I'm going for the whole NeoVictorian aesthetic. She's is the only photographer I know that can capture the images how I'd like to see them. She has a really impressive portfolio and has worked with many Eccentric Personalities. For example, the Queen of Rouge Taxidermy, Sarina Brewer. I should devote an entire blog about Sarina at some point...she's phenomenal! Meanwhile visit her website Custom Creature Taxidermy.

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This photograph is one of my favorites! The model here is genius, Thomas J. Kuntz, creator of art and automata. When I'm rich and famous, I would love to commission him to make me a Victorian Fortune Telling Penny Arcade Machine...Madame Fortuna...Knows All...See All! HeeHee!

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Did I mention Robyn makes fabulous Cabinets of Curiosities? They are available to purchase on her website! However, if you'd like to view more of her Photography, go to her Myspace page. She's a busy bee and I'd imagine she hasn't had the time to update her site! She recently moved to Hollywood and I think she's gonna be a big deal out there soon. So if you'd like to work with her...contact her now, before she's too busy!

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Monday, February 4, 2008


The dark musings of the Edgar Allan Poe have inspired generations. He is one of the forefathers of the Romantic Movement, a Gothic Icon. Up there in the ranks with the likes of Goethe, Byron, Keats, and Shelley. Recently I've seen some fantastic dollmakers make dolls in honor of our Grim hero. Here are two that I almost considered adopting. The first one was made by Joyce Stahl of Enchanted Productions.
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The second one is great too! He was made by a doll making team called Dylan & Jo. He is up for auction right as I speak!
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I've just added links to these artists...I was being lazy! I found them both on ebay! A lot of the "Primitive" doll artists on ebay belong to a group called EHAG (Eclectic Halloween Artist Group) So if you do an ebay search for EHAG lots of goodies come up, especially around Halloween!


I usually don't get too bent out of shape when I am the losing bidder on ebay. But I actually lost sleep over this one, it was perfect! I am looking for unique curio displays for my potion and specimen jars. If anyone comes across anything out there in the world, while treasure hunting, please let me know! I will reward you with a little treasure in return!
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I did win this one though...isn't it fantastic!? I thought I'd use it to dispense sugar next time I have a gal pal over for Tea. A great conversation piece don't you think?
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