A year of Goddesses: part 2

For the first half of the year – go to this original post.

It started out as challenge to myself. Inspired by artist/beader and  now fellow Art Elements contributor Cathy Mendola. It turned out to be educational, inspiring, and very, very fulfilling. Here is the remainder of the 2016 beaded goddess tapestries: 2016-part-2

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December may be my favorite. Mandala and snowflake inspired shapes crown her head. 

November – with a nod to Thanksgiving – rooted, holding wheat, recalling the harvest. 

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October brings Dia de Los Muertos. The color palette  and designs inspired by sugar skulls and talavera tiles. 

September/Virgo is my sign. I wanted her to reference the Zodiac a bit with the plenty/harvest that adorns the frame. 

 

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August – the ocean. Cresting waves, sandy neutrals. 

July – the summer sky and a hint of swirling fireworks. 

I am beginning work on a series for this year. While I had intended to take a smaller seasonal challenge this year – I had a great idea…. Stay tuned! Pictures coming!

Half a year of Goddesses?

I know June has just begun, but I am already finished my beaded goddess for this month. I am thrilled with the progress I am making. The design aspects flow more readily each month. I have abandoned symetry – which can be a challenge for me. And I have NOT hit a slump. If anything, the last 2 months went easier and faster… I know the blog has languished a bit, more htan a bit. There is a revamping in the works for this summer – thats all I’ll say for now.  

So take a look at half a year of goddesses:

6 goddesses. Jan - June

 

The Goddess project – one month at a time

 This year I have undertaken a project, a goddess project. Inspired by the fabulous bead artist Cathy Mendola, I am doing one seed beaded/bead embroidered piece a month incorporating a goddess cabochon. I met Cathy on Instagram!!! – she was doing a goddess project last year and used a few of my polymer goddess cabochons. We have talked and struck up an Internet friendship… and she has passed the torch of inspiration to me!

The time frame fits me well. I like to have something to bead on when I have a little late afternoon down time, with a cuppa tea. Or coffee. I do find bead embroidery to be very meditative. Over the course of the year I want to experiment with bead shapes, composition, movement… and plan to have a combination of wall hangings and pendants by year’s end. I hope to exhibit them next year. 

So here is the beginning: 

January goddess WIP

January – named for the Roman god Janus, whose 2 faces looked backwards and forwards in time… He’s often seen with a key… The key I used is a gorgeous lampwork key from Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictons. It inspired the purple accent tones in the piece. I chose this goddess, and the spiraling composition because I was thinking of New Year’s Eve and fireworks. No specific goddess was on my mind, but a piece that was symbolic of the year’s beginning. 

January Goddess

The completed January goddesses. She is wearing a crown of hematite stars. I havent decided yet how these will be mounted/displayed… but I have all year. 

February – starts with the festival of Imbolc, marking the mid way point in winter. Associated with the Irish goddess Brigid, whose domain was fire. Fire in the head of inspiration, fire in the forge… I created this polymer goddess with the stylized fire in her belly specifically for this month. But I was reading “Brigid: Sun of womanhood” (published by Goddess Ink) and thinking on Brigid’s association with healing and water and holy wells… of the symbolism of the light of spring emerging from the dark of winter… and my plans were changed… 

Brigid sketches

Brigid as “fiery arrow”, snowdrops, flames, water… so many sketches. But what else does one have to do at Jury duty? 

February WIP

Brigid in progress showing the fires of inspiration… little polymer flames made for this piece. 

February goddess

Finished! Thanks to Leap day as I needed a bit more time. 

Here is some of my inspiration from Cathy – who I will be interviewing over at Art Jewelry Elements blog on April 8th! Stay tuned! 

Cathdola montage

And yes – the 2 goddesses on the left are polymer cabochons I sculpted. While I look to possibly showing this series next year – I am also doing it as pure pleasure. The beads, the colors, the textures… and revisiting Cathy’s pieces I am drawn into the enticing movement in pieces and the composition. I want to play with symetry and asymetry. I want to push my color sensibilities out of the comfort zone. I look forward to a year of exploration and challenges! 

Find Cathy on Facebook: – www.facebook.com/CathySMendolaJewelryandFiberArt/

Her blog is www.cmendola.blogspot.com 

Instagram as cathdola

 

Beading Back in Time – Blog Hop Reveal

 (If you are looking for the Art Jewelry Elements April COM follow this link. Thanks! )

 

Beading Back in Time! Time to find the Tardis key, walk through a certain circle of stones, or fuel up the DeLorean… 

This quarter we are inspired by ancient history, “Early Human” which for the intents and purposes here will be prior to 3500 BCE. Now this time period resonates with me… I hve been drawn to the carved stone goddess figures since childhood.  If you want to get really careful with dating and art history this period is even before the famous cave paintings of Lascaux! So I thought for sure it would be goddesses that inspired this challenge! 

ancient goddesses

1. Venus of Willendorf 2. Venus of Brassempouy 3. Venus of Laussel 

Goddess work collage

My goddess tiles, and small sculptures. 

Goddess amulet planning

So I set aside a small simple stoneware goddess. She is bare clay, fired to ^10 reduction with a wash of iron oxide to give her a patina. Iron oxide is a naturally occurring pigment, just rust actuallly, and it was used to color stone and cave paintings of this era. I tried her with honey tones, with rugged chunks of labradorite, with craggy rough turquoise. And I havent made a decision yet. I have an existing piece ( shown bottom left above) where I paired a stoneware goddess with Roman glass, geode slices, bronze ammonites… and I wanted to do something different. We’ll see what I finally decide on. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

 Here is what I did end up with as my “Early Human” offering: 

Tab set in copper, this Marsha Neal cabochon is a dark clay body with a white “crusty” glaze. This already felt right, but its a spiral – an ancient motif that can embody change, journey, progression, life, cycles, it was perfect. I was drawn to use other ancient materials – a hollow shell that is reminiscent of bone, and a chunk of amber. Both bone and amber were used as adornments since… forever. 

Early Human amulet

I wasn’t sure I would have time to complete the necklace parts, but the Muse ( and the clock! ) cooperated: 

Seed pods and chunky howlite connect the copper chain to the sari silk. Although rawhide would have been more historically accurate, the silk was the right fit  aesthetically. 

Final version!

 I love the pieces together, the spiral and the amber really sing to me. Please join us in this time travel inspiration, to our early human roots! 

All the participants links can be found at Sherri’s blog OR Lindsay’s blog. 

Thanks for joining us! 

 

 

 

 

Runic Goddess – the September Component of the Month reveal

 September. I miss you. <sigh> 

September Component of the Month is brought to you by Kristi Bowman of Dream Some Design. The colors in this amulet are WOW! It is white copper, I believe, and the style says primitive talisman to me… I wanted to bring out the subtle tones of peach/honey and aqua. Not my usual palette so I am happy for the challenge! 

Runic Goddess

The linear and dot motifs helped guide me. I wanted to play up the linear quality, and decided to incorporate the wrapped chain links. They are copper and nickel parawire tumbled to a shiny finish. ( Thanks to Lesley for inspiration on these links.) The gems – jaspers and agates – repeat the dot/round motif nicely. 

Runic Goddess Sept CoM

I wanted to give the piece another layer of meaning and keep in the primitive style. ( I mean that in the best way, naturally). I decided to stamp runes into copper discs and intersperse them with the gems. (The runes are linear in nature as they were originally carved in stone. This makes them easy enough to stamp with letter stamps… no curves needed. )

rune detail

rune chart

“Jera” – Harvest: beneficial outcomes to your commited endeavor. Reap what you have sown. 
“Dagaz” – Breakthrough: Self transformation, change. 
“Sowelu” – Wholeness: the path you must follow; the core of your individuality. 

 

 I liked the meanings here. I thought that made for a powerful sentiment, a personal talisman. I would love to hear your thoughts as well… 

And dont miss the other pieces designed by my fellow Art Jewelry Elements team mates and this month’s guests! 

 

 

April Component of the Month! Headpins…

 (If you are looking for the “Inspired by Reading” post and creative reveal – please click here. )

 I love it when a plan comes together. I received these simply gorgeous glass headpins from the hands of Jen Cameron for this month’s Component of the Month at Art Jewelry Elements. But I was out of town. I got home with 36 hours until the reveal… and I was tired and had mounds of laundry to do… When I sat down this afternoon I was thrilled to make it work – and I am pleased with the results. 

Jen's headpins

The headpins made me think of water. Not only the color, but the spiral and the tiny bubbles… I have been working on and off lately on a series of Goddess necklaces. This color and the element of water made me think of Yemanja. She is the Yoruba orisha, or diety of water, childbirth, the essence of the ocean. She was and is revered in many Afro-American regions, from Brazil to the Caribbean. (My Yemanja figure, shown on my “water” shelf with Sulis from Bath, is from New Orleans. ) Over time, Yemanja was seen to share many characteristics with the Virgin Mary: protectress of women and children, robed in blue, Mother of all… Mary is also known as Stella Maris/Star of the Sea thus linking her with the ocean as well. 

Water elementals

So I started browsing the stash… and started with a piece of sea glass. Here is a little “photo essay” of the selection process: 

planning pix

After that – the Parawire and the seashell were kept in the mix, along with copper links. I found the color blue more vibrant than the gems in my stash, and turned to Czech glass and crystal to satisfy my palette. The copper links are stamped “etoile” and “de la mer” to reference Yemanja/Stella Maris/Mary. 

the necklace

Coiled wire bail, dangle headpin, stamped copper links, wire wrapped crystals and glass beads, sari silk, seashell, hand made wire clasp. 

Not bad for a day’s work! What do you think?

Please stop by these blogs – my team mates and the guest designers participating this month: 

Guest Designers:

Erin Prais-Hintz

Kathy Lindemer

Alice Peterson

 

AJE Team:

Susan Kennedy

Lesley Watt

Melissa Meman

Linda Landig

Jen Cameron

Goddess of Winter, Goddess of Spring…

 It may have been a year ago that I started this necklace. And as another turn of the wheel goes by, I am finally finished this necklace. I want to thank my friend, and our hostess – Sally Russick, for the incentive and inspiration to finish this!

I have been working loosely in a series lately – necklaces inspired by goddesses. Trying to embody the concepts of the feminine divinity and also incorporate the attributes of that goddess, in that certain culture, in that mythos. My heritage is Celtic and I am most often drawn to the Goddesses of that culture.  This necklace was started with a focal of vintage lace in resin – symbolizing the ice/snow/frost of winter. 

Winter focal

The Cailleach

“Cailleach” derives from the old Irish caillech, or “the veiled one.” The modern word cailleach means “old woman” or “hag” in Gaelic. The Cailleach is a widespread form of Celtic hag Goddess tied to the land and the weather Who has many variants in the British Isles.

The Caillagh ny Groamagh (“Gloomy Old Woman”, also called the Caillagh ny Gueshag, “Old Woman of the Spells”) of the Isle of Man is a winter and storm spirit whose actions on the 1st of February are said to foretell the year’s weather–if it is a nice day, She will come out into the sun, which brings bad luck for the year. The Cailleach Uragaig, of the Isle of Colonsay in Scotland, is also a winter spirit who holds a young woman captive, away from her lover. (Thanks to Thalia Took of “A-musing Grace” )

In Scotland, where she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter, she is credited with making numerous mountains and large hills, which are said to have been formed when she was striding across the land and accidentally dropped rocks from her apron. In other cases she is said to have built the mountains intentionally, to serve as her stepping stones. She carries a hammer for shaping the hills and valleys, and is said to be the mother of all the goddesses and gods.

The Cailleach displays several traits befitting the personification of Winter: she herds deer, she fights Spring, and her staff freezes the ground. (Wiki)

The snow, the rocks, the ice… the frost patterns on a cottage window; here is my “inspired by winter” necklace – 

Cailleach necklace

Spiral charm – K. Totten/Starry Road Studio

Lamwork – Anne Gardanne

materials: moonstone, blue ribbon jasper, chandelier crystal, smoky quartz, mother-of-pearl, river rocks, chain and seed beads. 

Cailleach necklace

 

Thanks to Anne Gardanne for her gorgeous lampwork – they inspired the palette of this piece!

The Cailleach is related to another Celtic Goddess – Bride (or Brigid). Her “day” is February 1, known as Imbolc on the ancient Celtic calendar. I have included a bit of her story, as it is her time of year, and the two goddesses are often seen as associated…

Thalia Took's Cailleach  Thalia Took's Bride

“Bride (or Brigid) is a beloved goddess of the Celts known by many names, Bride being the Scots Gaelic variant. Her names mean “the Exalted One.” She tends the triple fires of smithcraft (physical fire), healing (the fire of life within), and poetry (the fire of the spirit). In balance to this She also presides over many healing springs. Cattle are sacred to Her, green is Her color, and, perhaps one of the reasons She is so beloved is that She is said to have invented beer! Her feast day of February 1st is called Imbolc (the Christian Candlemas), when the predictions for the coming spring’s weather were made, a remnant of which is seen in the modern Groundhog Day. She is daughter to the Dagda, and invented the first keening when her son Rúadán was killed.

The Cailleach, crone Goddess of winter, is said to imprison Bride in a mountain each winter; She is released on the 1st of February, traditionally the first day of Spring in parts of the British Isles.

Bride the Goddess proved so popular that when Christianity came by, they converted Her to a saint. Called “Mary of the Gaels” by the Irish, St. Brigid is believed to be the midwife to Mary at the birth of Jesus, and so was thought the patroness of childbirth. Her importance is such that She is one of the three patron saints of Ireland, with St. Patrick and St. Columcille. Her nineteen nuns (a solar number) kept an eternal flame burning at Her monastery at St. Kildare.” (from Thalia Took at A-musing Grace)

Now – a necklace for Bride? Fire, a woven wire Bride’s cross, green gems… that may be next… Thanks for stopping by. Please visit my friends and colleagues also participating on this hop:

History Hop… My Medieval muse, my Celtic roots.

Hop to it! (Just a wee pun for our hostess, Leah of Beady Eyed Bunny…)

The brief – select a period of History – which in and of itself was a HUGE challenge for me. I liked and was inspired by so many… and create a piece inspired by that time, those people, their materials, their style…The choices: 

I had to choose Middle Ages/Medievel. In my minds eye I was seeing enameled pieces from Sutton Hoo, golden torcs, spirals, amber, pearls…My Celtic heritage was not going to be passed over. But gold – not going to happen. 

Celtic inspirations

My Celtic heritage has been a great influence on my work since I studied abroad while in  college, living and traveling on the soil of my ancestors. I designed and created Celtic penannular brooches in my final semesters studying metals in college. I wanted this piece to be informed by and inspired by – yet be modern, and reflect my current tastes in mixing materials and making pieces with meaning and intention. 

The Celts wore amber. and quite a bit of gold. They enameled, and created intricate knotwork designs, both geometric and zoomorphic. Knotwork seemed too obvious. Amber… My parents had given me a tiny bag of sand and raw amber chunks they collected on the beaches of Skagen, Denmark. I became intrigued with the idea of encapsulating the amber, so it moved freely within an amulet. 

But thinking on Celtic art, I was also thinking of runes and ogham script. In my associations, runes are more Scandinavian while Ogham is more Irish/Welsh. I usually include text in my pieces – so ogham was a must. I perused books in my personal library – La Tene period, Hallstadt…

Ogham stone Ogham

Sketchbook

The plan was to inset a plastic lens into faux bone thus creating a niche for the amber. I started that – last Wednesday. Not going to happen in the time I had remaining. Plan B – polymer. I have recently been reintroduced to polymer by the multi talented Christine Damm. I knew it would do exactly what I envisioned. 

polymer process pix

Top: working. Ivory polymer. 

Bottom: Ogham writing around pendant. Copper overlay to be sawed. Amber and lens in place. 

The pendant

Here is the finished pendant! Three chunks of amber for the Goddess of the Celts – in her three forms of maiden, mother, and wise crone. The Triquetra – a three lobed symbol, also representing trilogies – body, mind, spirit; earth, water, sky; youth, maturity, age…… The ogham translates as “Goddess guide me”. The back – a subtle pattern of knotwork and a central triskele motif. 

Back of pendant

I had intended to pair this with amber beads. I am not sure. I have taken pix with a few different gemstone combinations. What do you think? 

1. Amber 2. howlite and emeralds

1. Amber 2. Howlite & emeralds

3. aquamarine & emeralds 4. Labradorite, howlite emeralds

3. Green aquamarines & emeralds 4. Labradorite, howlite, emeralds…

 

Please tell me what you think… I am thrilled with how this turned out, and thank Leah for initiating this challenge. I think I have a few more pieces rolling around in my head still! Please check out my fellow participants and their historical inspirations. (I may be late to the hopping, everyone! Teaching all day today. Monday over coffee at the latest, but I will jump in my Time Machine and meet you there. ) 

Ahowin – Art Nouveau www.blog.ahowinjewelry.com
Alicia Marinache – Victorian http://www.allprettythings.ca/
Becca’s Place – Renaissance www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com
Beti Horvath – Ancient Egypt and Art Deco www.stringingfool.blogspot.com
Cherry Obsidia – Ancient Mecynae Greece www.cherryobsidia.blogspot.com
Cooky – Renaissance www.shepherdessbeads.com/Blog.html
Jennifer Davies-Reazor – Medieval www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Kathleen Douglas – Indus Valley www.washoekat.blogspot.com
Kashmira Patel – Etruscan www.sadafulee.blogspot.com
Lady Grey – Victorian www.beadsteaandsweets.blogspot.com
Laney Mead – Pre-Columbian www.laney-izzybeads.blogspot.co.uk
Leah Curtis – Ancient Roman www.beadyeyedbunny.blogspot.co.uk
LiliKrist – Persia www.lilikrist.com
Melissa – Mesopotamian www.design.kcjewelbox.com
Melissa Trudinger – Art Nouveau www.beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Micheladas Musings – Ancient Romans www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com
Sandra Wollberg – Art Nouveau www.city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.com
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson – Art Deco www.sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com
Tracy Stillman – Victorian www.tracystillmandesigns.com

 

 

Button Swap Blog Hop

Good Morning! Welcome to the Button Swap Blog Hop! Thanks Cindy for hosting!  I have quite a journey to share, with interesting results – so refill your beverage and let me tell you the tale…

I got gorgeous buttons from my partner Sandi Volpe. I knew right away the button she cast was the star; organic shape, interesting design… I sort of see a female partial figure in there! I couldnt get to work until Thursday – yes, 2 days ago – but I knew exactly what I wanted to do…

starting out

The buttton was going to be “set” in Faux bone, creating a frame and a backing structure. Wires running through the shank in the back woud form prongs over the edges of the FB to secure the button. 

detail of button

(Do you see the female form? Are those breasts? They also look like owl eyes…)

ink and FB

Way too much color at first – I knew I would sand it back to a minimun, the antique look I desire.  

front back

There it is! Button set – front and back views. I inscribed the words “Bandia taobh istigh” on the back, Gaelic for ‘Goddess inside you’. I cant NOT see the female owl faced woman at this point in time. She is there every time I look. 

The problem? I dont like it. The button is deep, and currently sits up too high. The copper prongs are too visually busy and distract from the button, and I want it to be all about the button…

Plans for FB button piece

Here is where the FB piece is going. This is another gorgeous antique button from Sandi. Framed and cushioned with leather, it is ‘glued’. (Shh dont tell. I almost NEVER use glue.) The plan here is a bracelet, triple strands – the leather, 2 strands seed beads and the clasp as shown. That is as far as the piece has gone for now…

Back to button #1. (Love the alcohol ink fingernails!) I have deep copper bezels from Nunn Designs, and I have been waiting for the right thing. This may be the right thing. 

New plan

On the left: set into epoxy putty. On the right: collaging in a plastic lens for the back, *text and a feather. 

Set in epoxy lens for back

Left: painted and distressed epoxy and tentative dangle choices. Right: Similar treatment to epoxy, lens in place. 

almost there! Lens in situ

*Caillech-oidhche is one Gaelic name for the owl. It literally translates as ” Crone of the Night” a reference to the Goddess the Cailleach – a crone, or aged wise woman; a Scottish goddess of winter, storms, stones. Since I was seeing a female form and an owl this dual reference sprang to mind. Owls are seen as symbols of wisdom and far-seeing/perception; both attributes we gain as we mature into wise women ourselves. 

This is as far as I have traveled. I am sorry to not have a finished piece, but I am sure you can appreciate the trials and tribulations. I am very happy with where this is headed. If I had planned the lens from the beginning I could have set it into the epoxy earlier. Now I will have to set it in and camoflauge the adhesive as a separate step. I had thoughts of collage and resin directly into the back over the epoxy putty but  wanted to be more finished for today…

Please take a look at my colleagues – who may have finished pieces for your viewing pleasure! (The list is alphabetical, names do appear twice. ) I loved this challenge – I had a secret stash of buttons I could share with a new freind, and it has definitely inspired me to stop hoarding and start integrating them! Especially my collection from my Grandmother. I think it would please her!

Thank for stopping by, happy travels!

 

Alice Peterson  and Kim Bender

Angie Blasingame and Billi R.S. Rothove

 Billi R.S. Rothove and Angie Blasingame

 Birgitta Lejonklou and Pam Farren

 Bonnie Coursolle and Tania Hagen

 Brenda Salzano and Hope Smitherman

 Cat Kerr and Heather Powers

 Cece Cornier and Jeannie Dukic

 Celeste Thurston and Christine Damm

 Christine Damm and Celeste Thurston

 Christine Stonefield and Dana James

 Cilla Watkins and Lori Bowring Michaud

 Cindy Wimmer and Mimi Gardner

 Cynthia Machata and Julia Johnson

 Cynthia Riggs and Lori Finney

 Dana James and Christine Stonefield

Diana Ptaszynski and Erin Prais-Hintz

 Emma Thomas and Rebecca Anderson

 Erin Prais-Hintz and Diana Ptaszynski

 Erin Siegel and Sharon Borsavage

 Heather Powers and Cat Kerr

 Holly Westfall and Sally Russick

 Hope Smitherman and Brenda Salzano

 Jayne Capps and Kim Dworak

 Jeannie Dukic and Cece Cornier

 Jenna Meyers and Kristi Harrison

 Jenna Tomalka and Karen McKillip

 Jenny Davies Reazor and Sandi Volpe

 Julia Johnson and Cynthia Machata

 Kalaya Steede and Kylie Dickman

 Karen McKillip and Jenna Tomalka

 Karen Mitchell and Renetha Stanziano

 Karla Morgen and Mary Govaars

Kay Thomerson and Shannon Chomanczuk

 Kim Ballor and Laurel Steven

 Kim Bender and Alice Peterson

 Kim Dworak and Jayne Capps

 Kim Roberts and Partner unable to participate at this time.

 Kristi Harrison and Jenna Meyers

 Kylie Dickman and Kalaya Steede

 Kym Hunter and Lynda Moseley

 Laurel Steven and Kim Ballor

 Linda Djokic and Patty Gasparino

 Line Labrecque and Teri Baskett

 Liz DeLuca and Lorelei Eurto

 Lorelei Eurto and Liz DeLuca

 Lori Anderson and Niky Sayers

 Lori Bowring Michaud and Cilla Watkins

 Lori Finney and Cynthia Riggs

 Lynda Moseley and Kym Hunter

 Marianna Boylan and Tracy Statler

 Mary Govaars and Karla Morgen

 Mary Harding and Stacie Florer 

 Maureen Baranov and Tracy Bell

 Melissa Martin and Theresa Fosdick

 Michelle Hardy and Peggy Johnson

 Mimi Gardner and Cindy Wimmer

 Nicole Valentine Rimmer and Niki Meiners

 Niki Meiners and Nicole Valentine Rimmer

 Niky Sayers and Lori Anderson

 Pam Farren and Birgitta Lejonklou

Pam Ferarri and Stefanie Teufel (will share their reveal on a later date)

 Patty Gasparino and Linda Djokic

 Peggy Johnson and Michelle Hardy

 Rebecca Anderson and Emma Thomas

 Rebekah Payne and Sue Kennedy

 Renetha Stanziano and Karen Mitchell

 Rose Binoya and Shanti Johnson

 Sally Russick and Holly Westfall

 Sandi Volpe and Jenny Davies Reazor

 Shannon Chomanczuk and Kay Thomerson

 Shanti Johnson and Rose Binoya

 Sharon Borsavage and Erin Siegel

 Shirley Moore and Veralynne Malone

 Stacie Florer and Mary Harding

Stefanie Teufel and Pam Ferarri (will share their reveal on a later date)

 Sue Hamel and Terry Carter

 Sue Kennedy and Rebekah Payne

 Tania Hagen and Bonnie Coursolle

 Tania Spivey and Teresa Gagne

 Teresa Gagne and Tania Spivey

 Teri Baskett and Line Labrecque

 Terry Carter and Sue Hamel

 Theresa Fosdick and Melissa Martin

 Tracy Bell and Maureen Baranov

 Tracy Statler and Marianna Boylan

 Veralynne Malone and Shirley Moore

 

 

 

B is for Brigid – Happy Imbolc

Brigid

Imbolc – the Feast Day of Brigid – goddess and saint. Marking the halfway point from mid-winter to the coming of spring, days are a bit longer, early blooms are soon to bud. Brigid, the goddess of fire, of inspiration, healing, poetry, smithcraft. St Brigid – keeper of the flame, Abbess of Kildare. 

The above image is from my Encyclopedia of Goddesses – my submission for the Sketchbook Project. I included many of Brigid’s symbols – the snowdrop, the Brigid’s cross…and of course a triskele design to reference her Celtic nature. To me this marks a time to start things anew. Sweeping out the old, coming out of the winter hibernation to clean, refresh, and become ready. A new outlook, a new fresh start. Time to undertake new projects and endeavors, time to come out and start to blossom. I spent today with my attention on hearth and home. Cleaning and puttering around the house, neatening, organizing.  And I spend a good bit of the morning in the ceramics studio – purging, sorting, and making ready. Ready to do new work, ready to make the magic happen. Here’s to a fresh month, a dose of inspiration – the fire in the head of the Celtic bard! ( Yeats used the phrase to reference a visionary experience. I use it to refer to the fire of creative inspiration.)

Here are a few links if you are interested in more information or celebrating Brigid’s Day today…

Brigid – Celtic Goddess

Brigid of Kildare

Imbolc 

The Wild Hunt – Brigid article

Montage video for Brigid

And let me close with this lovely peom by the wise and wonderful Caitlin Matthews: 

HEARTH OF BRIGHID PRAYER by Caitlin Matthews

Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.

Mothers of our mother,
Foremothers strong,
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how
To kindle the hearth,
To keep it bright,
To preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours,
Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light,
Both day and night.

The Mantle of Brighid about us,
The Memory of Brighid within us,
The Protection of Brighid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness,
This day and night,
From dawn til dark,
From dark til dawn.