costumes

A most blessed life…

21 February 2011

!!!!WARNING…  SUPER LONG POST, LONG WINDED RAMBLINGS, LOTS OF PICTURES!!!!

Sometimes I am amazed at my blessings…  To the point where it almost makes me nervous.  Is it really true, is this my life, is it a dream that I will wake up from?  When I got up this morning this was what greeted my eyes…

It has rained quite a bit in the last few days and it was rather cold last night…  so…  if only for a brief time…  snow!

My husband and I are very lucky to live on a ranch, Dos Pueblos Ranch. The top two pictures are the view looking to the north from our yard over the Avocado orchard.

This is the view looking across the street towards the west…

That is the ocean in the distance.  As much as I love England and the Smokey Mountains and would love to live in Devon or Ashville, this is pretty wonderful!  It is quiet and the neighbors are great people who obviously love rural areas too. Our foreman often rides his horse up the street on his way to his cows.  There are cats and dogs everywhere, I love it!

Our home is beautiful, my Cat Man honey and I share it with lots of cats (for full story click here).  I also have tons of beautiful things.  Being almost 50, having lots of various lives, lots of traveling and hobbies and NEVER getting rid of anything means I have loads of the most wonderful things.  I have posted pics of our home and a few of my workspace (in mid event mode) before but not yet of my office.  There are bits from my whole life in here, the parts that I love that are an inspiration to me.  It is here that I write my bids for brides, paint, draw, pay bills, practice my guitar (I have just started learning!!!  Yea!!!), read, think, dream.

From here on you can click on the pictures for a larger size.

In the above picture on top of my Indian armoire and to the right is one of the sets of wings from the faerie wedding I had so much fun doing.  I have these wings all over, I just love them so much…

This is the view from my desk…

It makes paying the bills much easier!

I was going to say these are my secretaries but really they are my bosses…  That’s Flat Top on the printer and Tiger in front with his tail on the book “A Bit Of Velvet and a Dash of Lace” by Magnolia Pearl’s Robin Brown…  possibly one of my most favorite people on the planet!  To see her lovely web and blog click here.

“Munchkin”. She is my most special companion and muse.  For more about the precious kitties we look after click here.

Below, this is my art desk, where I play…

The wings I made for the Practical Magic Blog Party.  For the story click here.

My toys…

I love the colors in Tiffany style lamps.  They glow like jewels!

Some of the results of my playing…  faeries…  lately always faeries…

A few (surprise!) non-faerie results…

The painting of the blue door is one I did from a photo in a wonderful book on India.

It sits with several of my inspirational mementos.  That is a vintage picture from India on the top left, isn’t it cool?

Below on the right is a collage I made.   For the story that is part of it see an earlier blog (here). Of course I have lots of Tolkien books.  The father of the modern Faerie Tale I think.  I wish he could have lived forever so he could keep writing wonderful stories.  But only if his lovely wife could have too.  I understand they were madly in love…  sigh!

The “taro readings” sign (above hanging on the left) is  from a Moroccan themed 40th birthday party I did.  Like I said I do not throw anything away, especially when it is cool.

Of course I have lots of lovely book-friends I dream with in my office.

That is Nipper at the bottom getting ready to jump on the computer

(what is it with cats and computers, they just have to be on them!).

I love to spend an afternoon loosing myself in great stories…  cup of tea, incense…  bliss!

Of course there is always a cat tucked in here and there…

By the way all the books on the shelves I can highly recommend.  Especially the stories by Sarah Addison Allen. They are most magical and precious, in the same vein as Practical Magic only more sweet and innocent.

More friends…

Below, vintage faerie tale books from Europe.  On top of the stack is a Navajo hogan (their style of house) jewelry box with my tiara from when I was 5 on top.  That is a picture of my mom on the left (the black and white photo, not the painting…lol!).  Sometimes I miss her so, so much.  I think she would have gotten a kick out of my life.  I inherited my creativity form her.

Its weird… she has been gone so long (35+ years) that it feels like she is a figment of my imagination.  In some ways she is like a secret invisible friend I carry around with me, like you used to do when you were kids.

OK, this is funny…  my mom hated having her picture taken, absolutely loathed it!  Every other picture I have loaded so far as been fine.  The one of my mom I had to try 3 times before it would align properly.  I told mom to cut it out, the picture was beautiful and I would put it on the blog no matter what even if it was upside down so she might as well let me do it properly…LOL!

Here is one of my beautiful Indian cabinets that hides the ugly paper work, files and such.  All through out my office I display my most precious belongings.  On top of the cabinet is my collection of Native American pots.  I gathered these during the time in my life when I had a Native American art store.  This was somewhere around 15 years ago!  Boy does time fly!  Also…  surprise, surprise, faerie wings on the wall.  Those were Bathilda Buzzwings, the reporter for the Faerie Wedding I did.

Up close of the beautiful pots…

Just in case you are curious…  from left to right there is a Story Teller from the Cochiti Pueblo, a Navajo pot (brown), inside is a Zia Pueblo piece with an Acoma pot inside.  Behind those are a Chumash basket with a vintage tourist kachina on top.  Next is a San Ildefonzo black pot (not by Maria unfortunately) and a vintage tourist kachina.  Behind these in the center is an antique tea pot from India.  Then there is a Hopi (my favorite) Nampeo family pot with another Hopi pot inside.  Next are two more Hopi pots with a plate from the Zia Pueblo behind it.  Behind the plate is a Santo Domingo pot with a Hopi pot inside and on top an old Pueblo pot of unknown origin.  Behind that is a Navajo wedding basket (whew! ).

On the doors are a collection of Native American and Tuareg fringed bags…  That’s a flint bag on the left and a paint bag on the right which has powdered ocher inside.  They are in the Sioux tradition but made by a local Chumash man.

The green bag is Tuareg and the white buffalo bag is from Taos pueblo.

Another one of my favorite pieces is a traditional wedding dress from Pakistan.

That is an Indian wedding Sari on the right.

Another thing I utterly delight in is my ridiculously large jewelry collection.  When I had my Native American store we carried tons of jewelry.  So consequently I have an embarrassingly huge amount of turquoise.

Behind the jewelry is an antique doll clothing steamer trunk.  I used to keep my jewelry in it but slowly it has all come out to be displayed so I can see everything easily.  The jewelry is just too pretty to be kept hidden.

My turquoise…  There is a mix of new and old pawn pieces.

Do you remember the scene in Amadeus where Mozart is trying on wigs before he is to meet the king?  He tried on several, three of which he loves.  He says, and I am paraphrasing, “Oh there all so lovely…  why can’t I have three heads”… and then he gives one of those ridiculous laughs.  I wish I had more arms so I could wear all my bracelets at once.

My Indian bangles…

My earrings, definitely need more ears too…

Necklaces too. at least with these the more you wear the cooler it looks…

Look at this beautiful piece.  It is a miniature Buddha shrine.

Here it is open, showing the Buddha.  That is a rather magnificent turquoise pendant behind it.

And look at this adorable mini Christmas tree.  I got it from Karla’s Cottage. A lovely lady and beautiful artist.  I couldn’t pack it away with the Christmas things as it was just too cute.

Well I think that is enough eye candy for one post.  If you have made it the whole way through…  thank you for letting me share.  Don’t you agree I am one lucky lady!

Blessings!

A Magical “Green” Woodland Party…

4 November 2010

OK all of my blog friends…  get ready for a mega-super long faerie packed post.

Remember a while back when I said I was working on a fund raiser for the Community Environmental Counsel that was to be a faerie themed event?  Well I finally got the pictures back…

I feel like a proud parent that is dying to show off pictures of her children…  all 100 pictures.  So consider yourself warned…

It was held in an outdoor large rotunda of the Fess Parker’s Double Tree resort.  We filled this huge space with approximately 250 trees, 400 shrubs and divided it into two spaces, one for cocktails and the other for dinner and dancing.  You are looking at the diner area in the front with the stage on the left and the cocktail area to the back on the right, behind the curtain.

The theme was an enchanted woodland forest.  As they are a non-profit that consults on local environmental issues they wanted a green event.  Well as you can probably guess green means a bit more to me that the average person.

I wanted to remind people of our heritage, of the myths and legends that surround the forests.   Of a time when we were intrinsically tied to nature.  When our daily lives were so mixed with nature and it’s folk lore that there was no dividing line.  Now because of the marvelous wonders of technology and science many of us live a life that is very removed from the rhythms of Mother Nature.  Our Earth is beautiful, and so magical.  To walk in the forrest or on the beach or any place where the magisty of Mother Nature is felt is to heal your heart, calm your mind, and remember your part in the big picture.  I get so frustrated at how political environmental issues have polarized us…  in large part because of the crazies on BOTH sides.  To me it is just good manners to care for this precious Earth.  My Mom taught me to not take more than I need and say please and thank you.  To strive to live a healthy earth friendly life is to do the same.   OK I am done preaching…  thank you for listening.  Anyway…

Some of the tables had wild fantastical trees complete with feathers, flowers, butterflies, bugs and hanging candles…

And some of the tables had low arrangements which were an eclectic mix of fun items like birdcages (with the doors tied open…  it is a thing I have against caging flying creatures) filled with butterflies (fake), lanterns, plants, garden statuary, cloches, funky old bottles with feathers, birds nests, and all manor of magical woodsy beauties.

Our Faerie court…

(click on the picture for a larger size)

We had a Faerie Birch Queen who rode in on a Unicorn and would you believe it…  I do not have one picture!!!!!  Maybe it is the magical nature of the Unicorn that does not allow for photos…  However here is our lovely Queen

She sat on her Birch throne up above the rotunda and with her ladies in waiting reigned over her forrest that evening.

Along with the Queen we had Satyrs.  Does this picture make you giggle or what?…

There were lots of beautiful details…

And some just fun silly details…

Kenny Loggins played for us…

The deserts were adorable…

I think everyone had a fun time and came away thinking more about our beautiful Earth.  Even though a party of this size does have an impact on Nature no matter how you slice it.  Everyone did their best to keep it to a minimum.  The trees and statuary were loaned to us from three wonderful people…  , Katie Oriely Rogers Landscape Architect, Eye of the Day Garden statuary and Cal Western Landscape.  Everything went on to their respective permanent homes in peoples yards.  These people were brought in by the Event Coordinator Merryl Brown. She is wonderful at connecting all the right people together.  This event would not have been possible without the trees plants and statuary.  Imaging a forrest without trees!  She kept the big picture in mind and got anything that I might need… usually donated!  Most of her events have a huge on being green.  The food was locally organically grown, the decor (me) was mostly plants and props (which I use over and over) with a few locally grown flowers.  The costumes I made were mostly of recycled items from thrift stores.  The party supplies such as dishes, tables, chairs, etc were all rented and used again.  Fewer dishes were used (such as no bread plates and limited amounts of glass wear) so the water usage in clean up was reduced.  And I composted the remains of the flowers on the ranch that my husband and I live on.  Not too bad for such a decadent party!  Hope you enjoyed all of it!!


The Practical Magic… Looking Glass Trip

25 September 2010

For you my little witches…  A Practical Magic inspired  story…

Aunt Louise and Aunt Thelma are enjoying an afternoon of chocolate cake and goodies after spending the day working on their spells.

Conjuring is such thirsty work don’t you agree?

While they’re enjoying themselves let’s take a look inside their workshop…

It looks like they’re cooking up something fun…  lets take a closer look.

Aahh yes… a tincture of Bella Donna…

To be placed in the tiny vials.  Just the thing to help one get a little “shut eye” .

But what’s this?  Well it looks like they’re brewing up a few heavenly concoctions as well…  Crystalized Amber to be turned into the most delicious perfume…

Anise pods for another wonderful tincture…

Rose petals to make a lovely water for toning your skin…  maybe that’s why the Aunts don’t age?

Powdered Sandalwood for incense, that’s a bit of Bella Donna laying on the table just behind…

Bits and bobs for other goodies…  Sage and Ecanacia, lovely teas for the tummy and immune system.

Quail eggs, Dove and Eagle feathers,  you just never know what you will find…

What a magical place… loads of drying herbs and flowers…

Bunches of Sage and a jug of Lavender oil

As much as the Aunts are enjoying themselves…

They are thinking of wonderful far off places…

“Let’s pack our bags and go for a bit of fun…”

“Light the sage…  oooohhh see it’s working…”

The guardian at the gate watches…

“Are we ready?”

“Quick Louise look through the magic looking glass, do you see where we want to go?”

“Oh yes… there it is…”

“Sedona!”

“Only, something’s different…”

“We have wings!!!”

“Louise, look at your eyes!”

“Thelma, your hair!”

“Did you know this would happen?  I think our instincts are getting a little rusty.  Maybe we can find a physic work shop while we’re here.”

“However I do love these wings!”

“Shall we go for a stroll?”  “Oh do, lets”

“Tea time, not quite as good as midnight margaritas but much easier on the head!”

“So thoughtful of you Thelma to pack the china”

“Shall we go to another magical place?”

“What do you see Louise?”

“Oh that looks lovely over there…”

“Oh I completely agree…  Lets go!”

“After all our own home is beautiful and magical!”

“Just us, these two old bitties living in this big house with all these cats”

“It’s good to be home!”

To see other wonderful Practical Magic inspired blogs go to Practical Magic Blog Party and have FUN!!!!!

Longing for magical living.

28 July 2010
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One of my all time favorite stories (both the book and the film) is Practical Magic.  The story is wonderful and sweet and I seriously covet that house!!!!!

The clothing the Aunts wear, the incorporation of magic into everyday lives, serendipitous moments that mean something.  It is all so rich and wonderful!

The kitchen and the room right next to it that has all their potions and plants and tools in it are I think my favorite rooms.  They are light, airy, full of wonderful vintage items and magical things.

I love how the room is open to the outside with lovely blooming branches both inside and out in the garden.  There is a promise here of wonderful things to come.

But then I love the darker richer salon room with all it’s lovely leather and candles and old wallpaper.

The house is both dark and light…  like life and people I guess.

Can’t you just picture yourself curled up in this chair, with a cat on your lap, the blustery wind and rain pounding on the roof a fire in the fireplace, a cup of tea, and a good ghost story?

I have the tea, tea cups, cats (a plenty!) and ghost stories (anything by Barbara Michaels)…  I just need the house.

Every detail is perfect!  I think I could loose myself in here for hours.

All these lovely pictures and thoughts make me ache for more…  not sure how to put it into words, just more…  more richness, more meaning, more magic, more serendipitous moments.  I want to feel full with life’s magic, heady with it’s perfume.

I am working on more wonderful faerie costumes for a huge magical celtic forest themed event coming up soon but I am feeling not truly full and magical enough.  I want to be working with spider’s silk thread, gossamer fabrics and faerie dust.  I want to hear the faeries whispering in my ear.

I go to the beach and I want to get into the water, immerse myself in it, breath it, taste it, see the fish and the coral with all it’s magical color.  But then I want to swim like a mermaid not as I do in my human form.

I want to fly like the birds, play in amongst the tree branches.

I want to see stronger colors… like the mood and color palette of the 2006 film Peter Pan.  The colors in that movie were so surreal and dreamy.

I want to go to a school like Hogwarts and learn…  everything!

I am so blessed in my life, I do not want to sound ungrateful.  I live a life most people would be thrilled with, and I am.  I adore my life, my art, my work, my husband, my kitties, I just want more.  To feel like a child again and run and jump with abandon, loose myself in my imagination and playing.  Do you know what I mean?  Do you ever feel that way or am I just in a funky frame of mind.  My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Sedona soon.  I have a feeling that will help.  I know all this desire is just a need to be more deeply connected with the universe and my soul, my inner muse.  Just can’t seem to get there.  Wow… cosmic stuff, thanks for listening.

Anyway, I promised several days ago to post my mermaid party pictures, I still haven’t got them from the photographer yet.  As soon as I do I will share them with you.  It was so beautiful.  In keeping with the sentiment I expressed above the centerpieces of this party were so scrumptious, so wild that you just wanted to crawl in them and LIVE there.

To tide you over I will show you these two pictures that my husband took at the end of the party in the dark of the night.  The table glowed with the little lights I set into the centerpieces.   The pictures are a little hard to make out but they convey the feeling well.  Very fun!

See you in my dreams, hopefully it will be in technicolor!

Faerie Sightings

28 June 2010
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Some lovely summer solstice faeries for you…   have a mystical, magical faerie filled summer!

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science.”

Albert Einstein

Wedding Wings

7 June 2010
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Remember when I wrote a while back about the wings I was making for a lovely bride?  Well I have finally finished them along with a beautiful cloak and wreath to complete her wedding ensemble.

I am so pleased with the results, and I can say that as they are now in the bride’s hands and she seems thrilled too.  I had my friend Nancy Little Moon come over and try everything on for me so I could take a few pictures.  She is so beautiful inside and out.  I just love to have her model for me (she was the high priestess in the faerie wedding photo shoot on my web site). By the way she is also a wedding officiant who preforms the most beautiful and meaning full ceremonies. You can visit her web site Blessings in Paradise.com for more info.

(above) detail of the beading on the cloak.

I split the cloak up the back so it flows around the wings.  The wings are on a padded metal brace that slides between the skin and the corset.  They are remarkably light weight for being so large.

(above right)  detail of the wreath

I used a vintage Indian Sari and then glued to the edges moss, beads, jewels, bugs and all manor of magical things

My bride wanted it to evoke not just faeries but mermaids as well so I gave it a bit of a fish tale look.

(above) detail of the wing root.  (above right) a lovely dragon fly just for fun!

What a magical way to start a marriage!