A New Blog for the New Year

For those of you who are reading my blog with an interest the topics of disability, jewelry, and/or art, I have decided to move a lot of this over to a new blog: Wunderkammer by C. Laurentine.

This blog is going to be focused mainly on religious, spiritual, and death-related topics along with mental health specifically in the Pagan and Polytheist communities.  I’ve decided to do this due to fear that my religious blog was going to be overtaken by my activist work and my art.  It felt kind of weird and not right for some reason.  There will be cross-over from time-to-time, but don’t worry!  I will be sure to post links and reblog when appropriate.

And for those who are here for religion specifically but are raising children, I’m going to spend the next year over at my PaganSquare blog talking on the subject of Syncretic Roman Polytheism and how I’m bumbling through religious education with a pre-schooler.

I look forward to hearing from and talking to everyone in the upcoming year!

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On the River and the Flooding

We in Columbia aren’t experiencing the massive flooding that’s hit around the state at a devastating rate that in some places is surpassing the floods of 93, which I’m old enough to remember very clearly.

I haven’t been out to see where the Missouri River is at.  I almost can’t bring myself to even think about it.  I have a specific cultic practice towards the Matronae attached to the Missouri that eventually I will get around to writing the booklet for, and this winter’s flood of the major rivers to me shows the massive arrogance of man thinking they can control the will of living Place.

My great-grandfather was one of the Army Corp of Engineer members that worked to control the Missouri River, which turned the Missouri River from a feared natural waterway into something completely different than what Lewis and Clark experienced…  And in turn it has been a natural disaster.  He is remembered dearly as a conservationist, an early one at that, so I wonder sometimes if he knew that this would happen.

While there are obviously less boats sinking on both the Missouri and Mississippi these days, we see over and over again that the levies we keep building to protect development we build on flood plains continue to make flooding worse.  The water has to go somewhere, and the fact that we’ve yet to realize that we need to respect the natural course of the rivers and the space they need to relieve themselves of too much water is, to me, a travesty all on its own.

Our community needs to settle into our understanding of our rivers and the Powers behind them.  We need to have our hands in the silt and clay, rebuilding what our not-so-distant Ancestors decided were ours to tamper with.  We need to find ourselves helping to bring these living landforms, ever evolving and changing, back into balance.

When I look at the Missouri River, or even the Mississippi, I see a caged creature that has been cut up and mutilated in some sort of twisted reconstructive surgery in our hands so that it conforms to what we want of it.  I see mankind’s willingness to force its will onto everything around it.  Rivers aren’t domesticated livestock.  Rivers are living entities who don’t really give a crap if they destroy our homes and businesses when we build in their spaces that they historically flow into when necessary.  The more we tamper with them, the more damage we do to the world around us, even if it helps our own existence.  But that’s not something a big river is going to put up with when it’s bloated and uncomfortable from the rain.

They are bigger than us.  We can try to control them all that we want, but time and time again we continue to see that it doesn’t work.  The water has to go somewhere.

 

Give Away and General Note

I’m alive.  I’m dealing with family and health of both the mental and physical variety currently.  The focus has been on creating physical items lately for me, because I’m forcing myself to stay grounded.

A copper bun pin with 4 pink pearls at the top laying on a dark gray bookWith that said, over on my Facebook page for my jewelry, Wunderkammer by C. Laurentine, I’m hosting a give-away for a bun pick.  I’ve pinned the post to the top of my page, so it should hopefully be easy to find.

The winner will receive their choice of plain or pink, gray, or white pearl copper pick.

Hope everyone is doing well during the holidays!

Self-Promotion Thursday: New Jewelry and an Early Sale Announcement!

It’s been a while since I’ve put up new jewelry pictures and links, so I’m going to work harder at getting that done on Thursdays.  I’m working on getting an actual art and jewelry blog up and running, but I’m not moving too fast on it.  Stick around, because I’m running a sale this weekend at my Etsy shop and you’ll find a coupon code that starts today at the bottom of this post. (I honor the discounted price on pieces placed on layaway during sales, by the way.)

New in the Etsy shop this week:

A black butterfly wing with blue and orange spots along its edge encased in a stain glass pendant.  It is attached to a rosary-style chain with peacock blue pearls and 5 larger brown smoky quartz beads.
Click picture to visit the listing.

I’m really excited to be teaching myself how to do stained glass, which eventually I hope to start building wardian case greenhouses and display cases for things like Ancestor relics.  I’m not there yet, but it’s the dream!

This is a Red-spotted Purple butterfly wing that was found naturally-expired in a relative’s garden.  I’ve encased it between 2 sheets of glass and used lead-free solder around the edges.  The pendant has been put on a rosary-style beaded chain that includes peacock blue pearls and 10mm brown smokey quartz beads.  The metal of the chain, including the hand-forged hook clasp, is copper.  And that hook clasp?  It’s been placed to the front of the necklace instead of the back, which is a style I’m moving towards for ease of use as well as aesthetic.  I know I’m not the only person out there that has issues clasping necklaces behind their heads.

The necklace is seconds quality, because a bit of flux slipped between the glass while I was making this.  It won’t structurally harm anything, but it does show up.  Therefore this piece has a 50% discount.

A sterling silver palmette-shaped filigree earring with a cluster of amethyst beads and jade green chrysoprase tear drop underneath.
Click picture to visit the listing.

These are actually older earrings that I am just getting around to listing.  They include my hand-made filigree pieces, variagated amethyst beads, and faceted chrysoprace briolettes.

A pair of long earrings consisting of an ivory and red handmade bead, 3 clear herkimer diamonds, 2 red garnets, hand-cut sterling silver hearts, and black sapphire teardrops
Click picture to visit the listing.

And some newer ones, featuring self-representing artisan-made lampwork beads, Herkimer diamonds, garnets, and black sapphire briolettes.  Oh, and hand-cut sterling silver hearts that I’ve texturized and put an oxidized patina on.  These lovelies measure almost 4-inches long.

Click picture to visit the listing.
Click picture to visit the listing.

Finally, there is this bracelet, which is another piece from my death-related line of mourning and memorial jewelry.  The beads are antique French jet, which are a wee bit chipped and definitely worn between the late 1800s and 1930.  I’ve made them into a brushed sterling silver chain and haphazardly stamped a Pablo Naruda quote onto them from his poem The Dead Woman.  Oh!  And lace.  Because lace.

But what about that sale announcement I promised?  Yes, from today until November 2nd, you can take 20% off in my Etsy shop with no minimum purchase.  Use code Samhain2015 at checkout.

I’ll be back in the next few days with photos from our Ancestor shrine.  But until then, have a great weekend with your Ancestors for those of you celebrating Them!

New Bobby Pins in My Etsy Shop!

Three bobby pins made with 2 round blue buttons and 1 button that is shaped like a daisy
Three blue bobby pins made from vintage buttons.  I love these for holding my veil in place when offering outside on windy days!  Click to see them in my Etsy shop!

I’ve been terrible about updating my Etsy shop lately, and partially it’s because I need to break down and get something to model necklaces on.  Yesterday I started putting together bobby pin sets made with vintage buttons while organizing my button stash.  My daughter and I are digging out the little buttons to string onto copper metal hearts, since much of my vintage button stash comes from my great-grandmothers’ stashes.  We’re going to decorate our Ancestor shrine in the upcoming days with the button hearts and skulls we’ve painted together.

Three bobby pins made with antique yellow buttons on an antique book background
Yellow and mustard bobby pin set – Click to see the Etsy listing!

The bobby pin sets have been something I’d pondered doing for a while, since I don’t have uses for single buttons that I’ve squirreled away over the years.  I’m trying to use supplies I already have before we move next summer.

Two red and one burgundy vintage buttons made into bobby pins sit on a tan antique book cover

When I was still able to cover my hair, I loved using decorative bobby pins for my scarves wrapped in tichel-style, and I imagine these would work nicely for other types of veiling.  Now I use them to hold my veil when outside and giving offerings without having to put a knot into anything (which is a no-no for the discerning Roman).

3 bobby pins made to 2 pink bobby pins with smaller white buttons and one larger darker pink button. 3 bobby pins made with 3 different gray buttons

Of course, I also just love them for a little extra in my hair when I wear it up, too.  Especially now that my hair is growing out again.

There is a little bit more hiding in my Etsy shop, since I promised some friends a shop update.  Stay tuned, because I’m considering a sale in the upcoming weeks!