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101  Re: Assemblage art swap gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: October 11, 2013 09:09:52 AM
I asked my partner SheepBlue for something small, as our little house has long ago filled up and display space is hard to find anymore. She responded brilliantly with this really quite tiny assemblage:

It's mostly natural materials picked up on her neighbourhood walks, but there are also tiny watch gears, a bottle cap and fragments of rusty metal included:

I love it a lot! It's amazing how much it's like my own style - semi-symmetrical, strings with beads and bits of stuff, mixture of natural and man-made... it's me! But even though it's small, finding wall space for it is still going to be tough, because I've already tried it in a few spots and it's clear that it won't go just anywhere. Cheesy

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102  Re: WWP Round 44 Mabon Swap (SU 7-29 to 8-15, SO 9-10) in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: September 30, 2013 07:05:00 PM
I had completely forgotten that, so long ago, Sabertooth Pixie had asked for my measurements and clothing sizes. So it was a complete surprise when I opened the rather bulky package that arrived today and found this:

She called it a tunic, I would call it a smock, but either way it fits remarkably well. (Coincidentally, I've just been reading a biography of the British sculptor Eric Gill, who always wore a similar garment, even though by the 1930's it was about 300 years out of fashion. Cheesy) In the very sweet note accompanying it, SP apologized for the fact that the seams weren't pressed, but her iron died while she was sewing, and she couldn't afford the time to go shop for a new one. I almost choked up when I got to the part where she apologized further for sending it without cuff buttons (the very handsome buttons were included separately) because in the move she couldn't find a needle to sew them on! Cry (As it happens it's okay, because I think I need a couple more buttons at the throat too, and I have four that will fit perfectly.)

I really like the colour, and while it's not everyday wear, I think it will go very will with a coat I'm working on. For next year's Harvest Festival, maybe.

Thanks again for this - it was SO worth the wait!


PS: And would you believe she claims this was the first real garment she'd sewn, and she made it up by combining several patterns? Wow!
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103  Re: Book of Shadows Round 3 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: July 26, 2013 07:13:04 PM
Eclectic Dreamer was finally able to get her package into the mail, and it arrived in record time.

First the BOS pages. These are not bound, but three separate signatures of 6 to 8 pages each. (So I can bind them in with other pages I'm collecting.) The Inanna page is a separate last-minute addition.

Some examples of pages:

These are just a few. Others include the healing powers of apple cider vinegar, poems, lots of spells, casting sigils, divination with stones and more.

And then there are the extras:

A beautiful hoop with a painted tree and shisha mirror moon (your shisha sewing is much tidier than mine!), and a set of tiny wooden runes - to go with pages of instruction and information. And a small stone eagle and two tiny bird beads, one mother-of-pearl and the other bone. Bought at the local gas station, she says!

A bottle of ruby-red St. John's Wort oil, some Alaskan alder-scented sea salt (which smells heavenly - I don't know whether I want to cook with it or bathe in it) and two bags of black seed (Nigella sativa) - there is information and recipes included in the BOS pages, of course.

And of course, writing and drawing stuff! Pencils, tons of erasers (always needed!), some very clever stick-on pencil holders and two white plastic things that I can't identify. Some kind of scraper?

Thanks for all this, Shawna! It was worth the wait. Cheesy


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104  Re: Book of Shadows Round 3 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: July 03, 2013 09:51:48 AM
Here's a photo of the stamps. I didn't think to take one of the stamped image, though.

I have to apologize for the raw silk on the book cover - it was such a good colour, and seemed like such a nice texture, but as I'm sure you've found out by now, it picks up every speck of lint for miles around! Sad

Adolph Hungry Wolf is a favourite author. I especially like the photos of 19th c. chiefs and others in the book.

By the way, I discovered a new paper that I used in this book for the first time, and I can highly recommend it. It's Canson XL "Mix Media". This is the first paper I've found that is not only good for just about every kind of medium I've tried on it, from watercolour to pencil to pastels, but markers don't soak through it at all, and best of all, it gives a beautifully crisp line with calligraphy ink. (I like to use a really sharp nib, which scratches the surface of most papers and makes the ink bleed. This one doesn't, which is brilliant.) Best of all, it's CHEAP! A 14"x17" pad of 60 sheets (way more than I needed for this book) was about $20 at Deserres. Canson papers are really widely available, so it should be easy to find anywhere. I hope they keep making it, because I may never buy another kind of paper again! Cheesy

Glad you liked the book, and I hope you make good use of it.

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105  Re: NeedleBook Rd2 Swap - Gallery - SO 06/24 in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: July 02, 2013 08:09:12 AM
Received from Seneris this morning!

She sent this Steampunk-themed needlebook made of soft, brown leather with a gear-pattern stamped into it.

Inside, there's a generous pocket to hold scissors, and four 'pages' of a lovely brown wool twill.

I'd asked for some place to store bits of embroidery thread, and her solution was these gears to loop them onto. I think this will work very well!

We'd agreed to include a few extras, and I got spoiled a bit. Seneris sent not only these great pieces of scrapbooking paper, but a second small needlebook, made like a paper matchbook. Very cool!

Thanks so much for these, Seneris! It's been fun swapping with you.

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106  Re: Shrine Swap in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: June 24, 2013 07:40:34 PM
Wow, so many great shrines since I had a chance to check last. I can't even name a favourite, although I have to say the tiny one with the kitten and cupcakes was uncharacteristically appealing!

I came home to a large package this evening, and it contained two amazing shrines from PerfectlyBohemian. I'd asked for one that was weatherproof enough to go in the garden, and boy, did she deliver!

This photo is a bit blurry (my camera just couldn't decide what to focus on!) but you can see the overall effect.

Here I've removed the front glass to show the scene inside, with a little Earth spirit, a toadstool, and a die, some stamps, two keys and other things on the back. Note the wonderful birch trees painted on the side windows.

Here's a better shot of the little Gnome. He's polymer clay, with maple seeds as wings! What a wonderful little character!

And if you haven't already guessed, it's built inside a solar-powered light! This is the most brilliant idea I've seen in years. So amazing!

But believe it or not, the other shrine I received is just as brilliant!

This is one my "alchemy" theme, and is another weatherproof shrine. This one hangs up.

This is what you glimpse through the little porthole. (The front is removable to reveal the whole scene.) The two tiny phials are Earth and Water, and there are tiny alchemical text scrolls. It's so perfect and wee!

Even the back is fabulous! I love the "Dark Crystal" style of this.

Thanks so much for these utterly jaw-dropping shrines. I only hope you enjoy the ones I've sent you half as much!

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107  Re: Gathered Roots - Round 5 (Gallery) in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: June 16, 2013 01:40:17 PM
Heavy rain this morning put a stop to what I was going to do today, but it gave me a chance to unpack what received from Monnie on Friday. (Anyone who's ever had Monnie as a partner knows that you need to set aside some time to unpack one of her massive packages!)

In several little green flowered pouches there were a container of chai tea, bags of burdock root chai and dandelion root chai, and a dozen bags of other loose herbs:
chamomile, burdock root, calendula, comfrey, sage, St. John's wort, stinging nettle, hyssop, dandelion leaf, root and flower, and green tea.

Then there was a bag of body powder (really nice scent), a jar of "Granny's Herbal Salve", a bar of homemade shaving soap (which is exactly the right size to fit my shaving mug!), a small blank "Herbs" notebook, more empty bags (always handy) and a whole bunch of empty jars, phials and containers, including some very attractive Avon jars. So useful!

More Avon bottles, and a bag of empty plastic bottles and containers. Believe it or not, I went to three or four dollar stores last week looking for exactly this kind of little plastic bottle, and couldn't find any! Thanks for reading my mind, Monnie! Cheesy

There were actually two of these black and orange patchwork aprons storage rolls (I just realized), with pockets - there was so much in the box I missed the second one! It was very thoughtful of you to include this blue flowered carry bag, Monnie, because of course I couldn't possibly fit everything back into the box and needed it to carry my loot back into the house! Grin There's a little jar of Eucalyptus Congestion Balm, a wooden box with woodburned decoration, and a large card file box with a set of herbal recipe and information cards.

And finally (almost to the bottom of the box!) there are five bottles of essential oils: sandalwood, lemon, bergamot, patchouli and vetiver (one of my favourite scents!), a pouch of assorted stones (the three at the front are magnets) and a great mini binder with sleeves to hold file cards. I haven't seen anything like this before - it's such a useful idea!

Thanks, Monnie! I love being your partner for swaps, because your packages are always so jam-packed and so varied!

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108  Book of Shadows Round 3 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: June 12, 2013 04:54:31 PM

Book of Shadows Swap Round 3

Partners for this swap were:

Wulf <--> Eclectic Dreamer
icekibby <--> Sabertooth Pixie
Mandykaye <--> dharma_rebel
La-Fairy <--> Spazgirl1981
whileitsraining <--> Monnie31

Swap Status:
Still Crafting Sent         Partner Received   Feedback Posted
Eclectic Dreamer
Sabertooth Pixie
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109  Re: Gathered Roots - Round 5 (SIGNUPS CLOSED; MAIL BY 7/3/13) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Wulf on: May 20, 2013 03:12:13 PM
Finally got my herb garden renovated. Just finished setting the last of the flagstones this morning.

I was able to do it all with landscaping materials I had around the property. The circular planter - which is about 2 m (6 ft.) in diameter - and some of the outer beds are made from retaining-wall blocks that have been sitting beside our garage for four years. The paving stones are leftovers from when we first landscaped our yard. We somehow bought way more than we needed, and the excess ones have been stacked in corners and serving various other landscaping purposes for the past 25 years. I didn't quite have enough, so I had to steal about 6 stones from a part of the original path that's no longer used. There weren't enough retaining wall blocks to edge all the side beds either (some did actually get built into a wall, and I didn't want to steal from it!), but I have another stash of stones at our acreage that I'll bring home to finish the job with.

I'm hoping that this will help keep the slugs at bay. They've always been a scourge in any garden I've planted in the back yard. We originally had grass in this area at the very bottom of the yard behind the garage, but the trees grew up too high and it became too shaded for grass. Then about ten years ago I made the mistake of planting some ivy to grow up the back of the garage, and it completely took over:

Last year a huge tree from the neighbour's yard was removed, so I think there's once again enough sun back there to support something other than ivy and slugs. It took a couple of days last month to dig up all the ivy, and I was still finding roots I'd missed as I was laying the stones. But I think I got it all now.

I'm experimenting with a new style of plant marker. In my original herb garden I'd carved the names on little wooden stakes, but they rotted off at ground level in a couple of years. Then I bought some little wire and lead markers, but they weren't very visible, and for some reason the lead often fell off the supports over the winter.

So I'm trying wooden tags (recycled from an old Venetian blind) hung from wire supports. I've painted the names on with enamel paint, which I hope will survive the sun and frost for at least a few more years.

I've planted all the herbs I bought earlier this month, didn't have to move any of the existing ones (which are showing their happiness at being rid of the encroaching ivy), and still have room for some more. And if it gets crowded in the beds, or if the slugs get too bad, things can go in pots around the sides of the paving.

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110  Re: Book of Shadows Swap Round 3 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by Wulf on: May 20, 2013 05:32:25 AM

I've been staining book pages with tea. I started doing this in the basement, but the humidity in the house shot up to about 100%, so I moved them outdoors to dry!

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