skulls

This is Halloween! Also I learn to crochet!

I was going to put this post off till I could clean the altar and release the bones, but I decided to give that it’s own post. So let the Pumpkindom begin!

As you can probably sense, Halloween is kinda a big deal round here. On several different levels. October officially kicks off essentially a two month long time of reverence to the ancestors, several feasts, and a lot of magical prep work. Samhain is a very important time for me. Ancestral work is some of my most beloved. Samhain is also the time that I make most of my tithes to the local spirits, house beasts, deities and the like. So a lot of work.

On top of that, every other year I share custody of the actual celebration parts of Halloween. Every other year the Lumberjack and I take turns. My years that means that I participate in my Coven’s public ritual, which is a lot of work and huge production. Eats a lot of time, but is worth it. This year is one of his years, which means I’m around more for us to do more…traditional Halloween things. This year we’re watching all the old Universal Horror Classics, The Mummy, Dracula, etc. (In previous years we watched all Vincent Price movies that was awesome! ). Probably will go out to a pumpkin patch, various other Halloween events, and are driving down to visit a friend and celebrate Halloween proper with him. It’s going to be good times.

One thing that’s become a tradition around here is the decorating of the house on Oct 1st. Really it’s more of a pumpkinafication but I love it. This year the Lumberjack was staying home sick on the 2nd so we spent all day pulling out the decorations, listening to horror tunes, and getting excited. The Lumberjack is an excellent decorator for the record.

We still want more decorations, and we usually buy a little each year. But I gotta say I’m happy so far. We took out the newly named Emily, our resin skeleton from her corner and put her in a new set of duds (one of my dresses and vintage hat). Now she is resting morbidly with cobwebs and the like right under my ancestors altar (the irony is not lost on me). Say “Hi!” Emily! 🙂

The other exciting thing that has consumed my mind, is that I learned how to crochet! I’ve been talking about it for a while, seen all these neat little projects on the Pinterest. My lovely friend Brenda (you know her from Smoke from the Temple) handed me off some standard sized hook and finally I just sat down with a youtube video and went at it.

My first crochet. Look Ma’ a trapezoid!

My grandmother had taught me the very basics of crotchet (and knitting and weaving) many years ago. I still remember the night that I for some reason asked to be shown. She pulled out a hook from her drawer of textile tools, the woman was a constant and amazing crafter, and some scratchy blue wool from her stash. I was horrible at it. Stitches were all different sizes, too tight, too loose. Never amounted to anything past that night. Despite that, she still gave me her grandmothers Ivory crotchet hooks. They have and continue to remain up on my ancestral altar.

This time I sat down and it wasn’t hard. It was easy, amazingly so, and fun. I love knot magic and my brain immediately jumped to all the uses this could be for. No more knitting warding bags and killing my shoulder. So for the past two days that’s pretty much all I’ve been doing lol. All I have is some pretty basic not pleasant acrylic yarn (I maybe a newbie but I am a textile snob), so I’ve just been practicing stitches and designs till I can buy some nice stuff for a cowl. As you can see my first foray was….not perfectly straight lol. I had forgotten a key step of adding a chain at the end of the row. But still not too shabby.

And then yesterday I pulled out some of Gma’s weaving thread to give some finer lace work a try. I have a lot of tiny tiny tiny lace hooks from my Gma or her grandma not sure whom. I have to say I like the little work a lot. A few hours in front of the youtube and viola! A doily is born!

Blocking with a pillow lol

So overall life is good at Fort Epic. The altar is underway with cleaning. I’ve made apple butter that needs canning. The weather turned delightfully chilly. My house feels amazing with all the decor and just happy Halloween vibes. I have oodles of projects to do, a new hobby to make use of. Holiday presents to get started on. Feasts to plan. And life to live.

What do you say Goblin-Cat? Want to say goodbye to the nice people and help me release the bones?

Meh.

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Friday Find

I’ve decided Friday’s will be the days that I post neat finds. Call me old-fashioned but I like the alliteration. It’s catchy 😉 Finds are things/places that I have acquired neat stuff from and that you can too. Because frankly it’s a pain in the ass for me to find stuff that I like. Gift lists are nigh near impossible. Things that I would think should be common place (like 1″ or bigger sphere brass beads *shakes fist*) are apparently antiquated or as the oh so clever man at the hardware store phrased it (whilst looking for actual IRON nails) “that sounds old timey”.

I have always imagined that I cannot be the ONLY person searching for these things and thus my will to share my resources in the hopes that others will share theirs 😉 hint hint, nudge nudge

Ok so on to the Find!

Don Simpson

I am a lover of skulls, bones, antlers, really any organic material. So you can what sorts of things I have tagged to come across my Tumblr dashboard. Yesterday I was pleased to see the stuff that muse-whipped was posting. Craved skull necklaces, amazing antler systrums, right up my alley! All by this artist named Don Simpson. Naturally I got to check out his page, see how much his stuff is etc. Because I would LOVE to own his skull fetishes. They are carved and organic, a real reverent touch, no plastic acrylic paint or any of that frippery that I’m not found of. They remind me a lot of my Coyote skull. In fact…

Holy bull riding zombies! That IS my Coyote skull! Needless to say I HIGHLY recommend Mr. Don Simpson. His work is impeccable and he puts real love and power into his pieces. As far as I can tell he only sells in person and through private messages on Deviant, all his unsold pieces can be found: Here. Obviously these are investments, and not cheap, but well worth it (if your into that kind of thing). And he does take commissions (hhmmm carrion crow skull…hmmm)

To back up my claim of his work being amazing, I’ll tell you the story of how this Linear Coyote came to live with me. I was at Pantheacon a few years back, my first time at the Con actually. Perusing around the dealer’s room, like you do, and came across this little booth of skulls and rocks, and organic odds and ends (score!). And there in the center of the table was this beauty. I had never seen anything like it before, and I just HAD to touch it. Ever so gently I ran my little index finger down the bridge of his nose, and BAM! Electricity. Chills. Magic. Fucking awesome. But you know budget etc, I keep looking. My Lumberjack Man was with me (Note: Lumberjack Man is not a pagan, if he were anything he’s a agnostic-psuedo-buddhist-Scientist-viking), and he turns to me with big eyes, “That Coyote skull just gave me chills when I touched it.” Now it’s time for my eyes to get wide. “It’s a sign! We have to bring him home!”. So off we scuttle to the hotel atm and purchase our magical skull. We’ve lived happily ever after ever since (well as much as you can with a Coyote and a Lumberjack Man with a Coyote totem in the house).

 

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Badger Skull B by *DonSimpson on deviantART

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Antler Eye Pendant 4 by *DonSimpson on deviantART

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Antler Systrum Set by *DonSimpson on deviantART