Sunday, November 30, 2008

Folkloric Hoodies!

Etsy is such a magical place! I found several designers who create folklore inspired clothing. I love this Goblin Hooded Frock by French designer Emmanuelle Marie. I love that she models her own designs...she looks like a punk pixie! Her Etsy shop is called Malam. Isn't it the cutest? She offers it in all different fabrics...I would LOVE a wool or velvet frock!

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An Etsy shop by the name Lone Moose offers wonderful designs for women and children! She uses wonderful natural fabrics like Linen and Merino. Check out this Pixie Hoodie for the wee ones!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Witches’ Kitchen

I haven't been this excited about something for my kitchen ever! Just look at this collection...I want it all! Couture Kitchen Witchery doesn't come cheap though! So for now I'll put this dream in a drawer with my dream of my Earthship House. Someday people...someday!

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"An Artecnica Design with Conscience™ project, Witches’ Kitchen™ is a handcrafted kitchenware collection inspired by the witches and wizards of western lore. The extensive collection is a collaborative exercise in sustainable design. Designed by Studio Tord Boontje and handcrafted by artisan groups from three different South American countries, Witches’ Kitchen features black ceramic cookware hand-molded by Colombian artisans, wooden kitchen utensils handcarved by Guatemalan craftsmen, and kitchen couture hand-sewn by Brazil’s Coopa-Roca women’s cooperative." Available at Unica Home

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The Kitchen Witch's Creed

In this pot, I stir to the sun an' follow the rule of harming none. Banishment of bane when goin' widdershins; an' with water and salt negativity is cleansed. Household duties are more than chores. Magick abounds when mopping floors.

With this broom, I do sweep to clean my house and safely keep. Marigold, Basil, Thyme, and Yarrow, my spell is cast for a better tomorrow. Lemons for joy and apples for health, the power within brings great wealth.

And, in this kitchen, I do pray to truly walk the Witches' Way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mood Board #1: The Loo

I have a few Home Improvement projects to do, so I've been collecting images. I'm puting a mood board together for each project! I'm going to start with the bathroom, I have the ugliest bathroom ever! The tile is like grey/beige...greige? But I think I'm going to be able to work with that. I'm painting the walls a light grey and the trim a creamy ivory. I think espresso towels will add a nice touch! I have lots of clear glass apothecary jars to fill and natural objects to display. Here are some images that have inspired me...
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I snatched this one from flickr...but I can't remember who?

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Above and below: Sophie Pretelat's 'Anges et Demons' installation at the Place de la Bastille, Paris...found via Blood Milk

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A full-size recreation of 17th Century naturalist Olaus Worm’s Wunderkammer by artist Rosamond Purcell

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ruven Afanador

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Surrealism can be credited with having pointed the way to a current revival of interest in wunderkammer...the return of curiosity as the repressed in science. It was suggested that the repeated return to curiosity in the twentieth century might constitute a kind of counterbalance to its positivist and technocratic tendencies. Walter Benjamin stated that the surrealists were the first to discover a revolutionary potential in the obsolete and the outmoded, in the material by-products and refuse of modernity.

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Featured in Elle Italia, November 2008, photographed by Ruven Afanador.

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Thanks for the link Pam! Phantasamaphile.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mark Dion

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Bureau of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism And Its Legacy

"Recalling the short-lived Bureau de Recherches Surréalistes of 1924–1925—part information centre and ‘public relations’ office, and part surrealist archive—Mark Dion trawled the Manchester Museum’s own collections and found the raw material for this book and an installation in the museum. Renowned for his work exploring taxonomy, archaeology and ecology, in Bureau Mark Dion documents his opportunistic encounters with the Museum of Manchester’s neglected drawers and overlooked recesses that are home to redundant labels, orphaned mounts, defunct teaching models, botanical freaks, Egyptian fakes and the minutiae that have fallen through the cracks of museum practice and lain abandoned. Dion’s Bureau of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacy is both a repository for the detritus of museum life and a working process, classifying the museum’s un-classifiable whilst exploring the bureaucratic workings of the institution."

Mark Dion’s Bureau of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacy, which opened at the Manchester Museum in May 2005 is now on permanent display at the Museum!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Matthew Barney

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You are looking at a still from The Cremaster Cycle, a series of 5 short films by Matthew Barney (Bjork's baby daddy). The still is from my favorite part of the series-Cremaster 5. The scene is called "A Dance for the Queen's Menagerie"

I suggest viewing the Cremaster Cycle before reading the synopsis. It's almost impossible find on DVD but you can find much of it on YouTube. I'd really love to see this on a big screen though...the sets, costumes, and scores are incredible!

Monday, November 17, 2008

le merveilleux

Art historian Hal Foster argues that the marvellous – ‘a state at once otherworldly, secular, and psychic’ – can also be understood as the phenomenon Freud termed ‘the uncanny’, which Foster regards, from the perspective of Surrealism, as the ‘return of the repressed for disruptive purposes’. By this means, these psychic explorers sought to achieve what Foster calls ‘the re-enchantment of a disenchanted world, of a capitalist society made ruthlessly rational’.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Andy Paiko

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The talented Andy Paiko was brought to my attention a few years back when he was comissioned by D.L. & Co. to make an Absinithe Fountain. His current body of work is influenced by Cabinets of Curiosity! Feast your eyes on these bell jars! Oh Desire...

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Shop Update!

I've just listed some amazing Black Forest Relics in my Etsy shop! The Crow claw is my design, the others are antique. The talon and claw sold right after I listed them, but the Little Teeth and Raven Beak are still available!
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Home of the Surrealist

André Breton, "the Pope of Surrealism" hoarded an impressive cabinet of curiosities in his atelier in the rue Fontaine. "André Breton spent his life surrounded by objects that were rich with contradictions," writes Noce. "At Drouot, the paintings—by Dalí, Ernst, Miró, and others—are the most valued. But in volume, the library constitutes the largest piece, attesting to an insatiable curiosity." His collection was auctioned off at the Hotel Drouot-Richelieu in Paris...4,100 lots! Books, which accounted for 3,500 of the lots, include some dedicated to Breton by Freud, Trotsky and Apollinaire as well as art catalogs and journals. This included the only known complete copy of André Breton's Surrealist Manifesto! Other key items such as his desk, his personal correspondence and a whole wall of objects and paintings by Miró, Duchamp, Kandinsky , Picasso, Arp, Victor Brauner, André Masson, Gorky and Picabia. Many of the pieces auctioned were personalized items, including art works, books and objects by Breton's friends and members of the Surrealist group he helped found, including Ernst, Man Ray, Dali, Magritte, Duchamp, Meret Oppenheim, Wifredo Lam and Diego Rivera. The wall's shelves were crowded with dozens of Oceanic sculptures as well as Inuit objects and pre-Hispanic figures from Mexico. He had a very large collection of primitive and outsider art. The sale was also replete with simple and found objects that Breton bought at auctions and flea markets or simply found while out strolling. "He had as much passion for a piece found on the bank of a river as for an important painting," says his daughter, Aube Breton Elléouët.

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It's a shame Breton's collection wasn't kept be studied by future generations. I was looking at this photo of Breton in his atelier, it immediatly brought to mind this photo of Pop Surrealist, Mark Ryden in his studio. And now all I can think about is the link between collecting and the Surrealist mind. As a rule I try to keep myself free from associating myself with any particular philosophy, religion or movement. But it's probably true that I am a Surrealist at heart.

And what will become of my collections when I'm dead? Will my children/grandchildren understand the value of such a collection...the sentiment and symbolism behind each piece of art or artifact. Is it worth cataloging? I was reading an article about Breton, who was sometimes so poor that he went without power, and was forced to sell things from his collection to pay his bills. When faced with a financial crisis in 1931, most of his collection (along with his friend Paul Éluard's) was auctioned off. He subsequently rebuilt the collection until the time of his death in 2003. Certainly I've found myself in the same situation more than I care to admit. When I was trying to keep my little shop open, I sold many personal things that I wish I didn't sell. But still I have some great treasures! I wonder what my collection will be like when I'm as old as Breton was when he died at 70!?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Honey Honey

Have you seen the new amazing video by Feist yet? She's still totally incredible in spite of her rise to the mainstream! Lights, puppets and images courtesy of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop in Calgary...directed by Anthony Seck.

Datura Stramonium: Thornapple

Datura stramonium (Thornapple) is, like Henbane and Belladonna, a member of the order Solanceae. The plant is strongly narcotic, but has a peculiar action on the human frame which renders it very valuable as a medicine. The whole plant is poisonous, but the seeds are the most active; neither drying nor boiling destroys the poisonous properties. The usual consequences of the poison when taken in sufficient quantity are dimness of sight, dilation of the pupil, giddiness and delirium, sometimes amounting to mania, but its action varies greatly on different persons. Many fatal instances of its dangerous effects are recorded: it is thought to act more powerfully on the brain than Belladonna and to produce greater delirium.
Cast Silver Thornapple Candle by D.L. & Co.

The effects of Datura have been described as a living dream: consciousness falls in and out, people who don't exist or are miles away are conversed with, etc. The effects can last for days. Tropane alkaloids are some of the few substances which cause true hallucinations which cannot be distinguished from reality. It may be described as a "real" trance when a user under the effect can be awake but completely disconnected from his immediate environment. In this case, the user would ignore most stimuli and respond to unreal ones. This is unlike psilocybin or LSD, which only cause sensory distortions.

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Cast Pewter/Silver Plated Thornapple Pod available at Gold Bug

Datura stramonium is native to either India or Central America. It was used as a mystical sacrament in both possible places of origin. Aboriginal Americans in the United States have used this plant in sacred ceremonies. In some tribes datura was involved in the ceremonies of manhood. The sadhus of Hinduism also used datura as a spiritual tool, smoking it with cannabis in their traditional chillums. It was also widely used by the Magyar (Hungarian) spiritual leaders (the Táltos) since ancient times.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Riot Gurrl...

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So Courtney Love bought a couple of things from my Etsy shop! I sent along a nice little thank you gift, I hope she likes it! I can't tell you how much this means to me, it was another confirmation of sorts. I'll tell you all started in High School (89-93) when I was a young punk rock girl. The punk scene was really dominated by guys...especially at shows. (I use the term punk loosely to descibe the 'Alternative' music scene and culture) My love for Sonic Youth led me to bands like Bikini Kill, L7 and Babes in Toyland...bands that laid the groundwork for the riot girl punk movement. A dysfunctional home, Witchcraft and Music were the primary elements that shaped my young identity. Identifying with other punk girls and a woman-centric religion was empowering as opposed to my home life that made me feel trapped and powerless. Moving forward a bit, I left home several months after graduating High School. But I just moved from one dysfunctional situation into another. I lived in a crash palace with one of my best friends, and my boyfriend. It was a party all night, sleep all day situation...I really started to feel lost in the forest. After moving around from place to place for a while, my Aunt stepped in and offered to help me go to college. I attended Columbia College-Chicago, majoring in Fine Arts. I was bored to death the first studies lacked the depth I was hoping for. My relationship with my boyfriend at the time was becoming increasinly self-destructive. I needed CHANGE! That was the year Courtney Love's band, Hole released "Live Through This". It provided the fuel I needed to Rock On! My second semester I decided my minor would be "Women's Studies". I signed up for 2 life changing classes. One was called "Women in Art, Literature and Music" and the other was called "Exploring the Goddess". I discovered inspiring female artists like Frida Kahlo, Anais Nin, and Camille Claudel. I remember reading an incredible book called Meeting the Madwoman: Empowering the Feminine Spirit. It had a huge impact on me. Jungian analyst Linda Schierse Leonard wrote about the archtype of the madwoman as a messenger, metaphor and model who points the way to women's liberation. The Dark Muse, The Recluse, The Bag Lady, The Visionary, The Revolutionary, The Scorned Woman, The Caged Bird. The author encourages women to acknowledge their own madwoman in order to transform themselves. Meanwhile I was studying the many faces of the Goddess in my other class. It was the Goddess, Kali that I identified with the most. Goddess of Death and Destruction, Liberator from the bonds of Illusion. I found her image extremly empowering and had her image tattooed as an entire half sleeve by my friend Kim Saigh (yes, she's now on LA INK) I was a self proclaimed Spiritual Woman Warrior. I was all fired up and ready to set out and spread the TRUTH! Here's a pic of me during that time period (11 years ago!) a couple of months before I got pregnant with my daughter, Maya.

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I was inducing altered states by taking alot of Acid and Mushrooms at the time. After quite a few revelations about my life path as revealed to me by my Higher Consciousness, I dropped out of school! I knew I just needed to be there to awaken the Goddess! Yes, I know that sounds crazy! I started making Intuitive Art after that and getting really deep into my Occult studies and spiritual practice. A strong spiritual foundation was the only thing to pull me through the following 10 years. It was a own personal Armagedon! One of my best friends/twin soul was killed while riding his bike. Followed by my mom's sister's suicide. Followed by my little sister Laina's heroin overdose that left her in a permanant vegetative state. A few years later my other little sister Sage, came to live with me...she had already been in rehab by the time she was 12. After she moved back home with my mom, she relapsed...ran away from home for a while. Followed by my Gradmother's suicide. Followed by my little sister going back to rehab after overdosing on heroin. Somewhere in between all those tragic incidents was a torrent of volatile love affairs, the births of my two beautiful children, opened/closed an Art Gallery and then Spiritual Boutique. Whew! And that's just the last decade...Live Through That! One of the primary steps of Spiritual Purification in Alchemy is called 'Nigredo' it translates into 'Blackening' Purification through Fire...burning! All that Death and Destruction was meant to make me stronger. I destroyed every false ideology fed to me as a child. Destroyed anything that kept me from evolving...including my own ego/self. I've been liberated from all false belief systems imposed upon me. I've destroyed all negative, parental, religious, and social conditioning about who I'm supposed to be. Chant it down...Ma Ma Ma Kali!

Maybe then you can understand why I find someone like Courtney Love inspiring. She just keeps going...keeps creating, no matter how many times she falls down...she gets up again! She's about to release her next album 'Nobody's Daughter' "I think the title just says it all," Love explained. "I'm not pouting. I'm not playing anything up. I don't have parents that I acknowledge. I'm nobody's daughter. I'm nobody's wife. I'm nobody's bitch. I'm nobody's daughter. I'm nobody's widow. I'm somebody's mother. Other than that, I don't identify with these other female roles I'm supposed to have."

It's time to get off my ass and back in the saddle. Can't keep a good woman down! Thanks for the reminder Courtney Love! Rock On Sister...It's the dawn of the Goddess Revival!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)

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"Ancestor" by Dream Asylum

Today is the last day of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos). Honoring the dead occurs in ancient cultures all over the world, and even in modern times it plays an important role in religions. It is founded on the belief that the dead live on and are able to influence the lives of later generations. These ancestors can assert their powers by blessing or cursing, and their worship is inspired by both respect and fear. Rituals consist of praying, presenting gifts, and making offerings. In some cultures, people try to get their ancestors' advice through oracles before making important decisions.

One of my favorite things to do is to make Pan de Muerto with my daughter. We get to make a great big mess in the kitchen and I tell her stories about our family. This year my oven is broken but luckily I live in a neighborhood that has several Mexican and Puerto Rican bakeries! They sell tiny loaves of Pan de Muerto sprinkled with colored sugar! Light a white candle for your Ancestors today!