This was one of the items I sent to my partner, hawkeyes_girl in the WWP 43 - All Around the Maypole - Beltane Swap http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=422292.0#axzz2PZFPb175
One of her wishes was for certain spells with the intentions of inner peace, protection, and healing. I'm kind of a different type of pagan, so I don't really write spells (it's more free form with me), however; I do use tools with intent- like rocks with certain traits, colors, and/or ritual scented oils.
All of the little pouches plus the explanation fit into the big pouch. The mini pouches contained little helpful things that could be used for each of her spells. Each color represented each objective too. Black for protection, green for healing, and blue for peace. They were tied with bits of white leather, as that can be more interchangeable and neutral.
I also decanted samples of some of my favorite ritual oils that I have had good luck with for each objective. (Not of my making, but gave her the name of where they came from, as well as their description of each.)
The big pouch itself was made from some deer leather of two different colors. My partner's favorite colors were ocean tones, so I chose the blue for the main part of the bag, and green for the draw strings. The green drawstrings were either white or natural colored at first, but I got into my boyfriend's leather dyes so I could have some green lacing, as it's getting hard to find deer laces in a variety of colors now.
I wanted to try something a little different style-wise, so I started with a round bottom piece and stitched the blue around in a wrap style. I like making my pouches from scraps, to help ensure none of the animal parts I use are wasted, so the seam along the front is purposely a diagonal.
It worked well with a pouch in general, as it gave it a round bottom with a neck that narrowed ever so slightly for the drawstrings to work.
I hemmed the neck of the bag, and added stone (and copper) beads that held the same traits as the kits inside. There are also three copper jingles above the seam, as bells or jingly things are meant to keep bad luck or negative energy away.
Along the seam are attached decorations of things my partner loves.
Two beaded dragonflies made of crystals. One is green, the other is blue. They are flying at different angles, but both up the seam of the bag to channel positive energy towards the hands of the user. Again, blue and green are my partner's colors.
The middle beaded object is a triquerta. This is one of her specific symbols. It is a celtic knot style triangle with a circle through the middle of the points. I found directions on a blog that happened to be in Hungarian. http://ekszermania.blogger.hu/2011/11/25/triquetra-medal Through the help of google translate, and some most excellent graphics, I figured out how to make it!
The triquerta is made of size 11 delicas, and size 15 seed beads of the same color (Miyuki brand). It is a variation of circular peyote stitch. Really, REALLY fun to make!
Finally, I kept the drawstrings long, just in case she wants to tie them in a loop to hang around her ritual space. The ends of the drawstrings are capped with copper dangles, again for the spiritual properties of copper, and the jingle noise they create.
I also made sure to leave the bag, and each of the little inner spell pouches out in the full moon's light that night to give everything a positive cleansing and charge before the final box up to ship in the morning.
Finally my story behind the project:
I really wanted to make something totally custom for my partner. I started planning and gathering materials right after signups. I had some great ideas too. The following week was my birthday, and I ended up getting a cold that knocked me on my butt so badly I couldn't even make beading go correctly!
I ended up crafting the entire swap in less than a week. It was a lot of fun, but I hope I never have to get that close to a deadline again.
As I made the bag, it fought me the whole way. I started putting things together backwards... The drawstrings didn't want to fall correctly. I did everything shy of drawing blood with the glover's needle (really, REALLY hurts. They are special needles designed to cut through leather, so they are triangular with a super sharp point and slicing sides near the tip).
Finally it all came together, and everything got more and more inspiring for the finishing touches. The beaded hem wasn't exactly planned, and I wasn't entirely sure where I would add the finishing elements of dragonflies and triquerta until then.
Sometimes, the most amazing things come from a challenge. It's totally worth rising to it and coming up with something special.
Here's a link to my partner's gallery shots of the pouch (and the rest of the swap package): http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=423051.msg5028570#msg5028570
Thanks for looking- I had a blast making everything. I love working with blues and greens, so this was an extra refreshing craft project set for me.