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in georgian mythology, tamar was the sky goddess who controlled the weather patterns. she enslaved dilis varskvlavi, the morning star, who was the master of winter.  whenever he escaped, snow began to fall, but every year she captured him and brought summer back to the land. tamar was an eternal virgin who rode through the air on a serpent. she is also identified with the georgian goddess lamara – “eye of the earth.”

tamar goddess wrist cuff

this cuff is a new style i’m making that ties on instead of using snaps or hooks.  this means it can fit more wrists.  🙂  the cuff is made of GORGEOUS sari silk ribbon from mudhound studio, blue fabric and lace from a porcelain doll’s dress that i got when i was about 7, hand-dyed vintage green lace (the earth), tea stained lace “flowers”, metal disks and a vintage blue button for the “eye of the earth”.  the light blues and creamy whites represent tamar’s virginity.

tamar goddess wrist cuff

in celtic religion and irish mythology, brighid (“exalted one”) is the daughter of the dagda and one of the tuatha dé danann. she had two sisters, also named brighid, and is considered “a classic celtic triple goddess”.  in her english translation of irish myth, lady augusta gregory (Gods and Fighting Men, 1904), describes brighid as:

“A woman of poetry, and poets worshiped her, for her sway was very great and very noble. and she was a woman of healing along with that, and a woman of smith’s work, and it was she [who] first made the whistle for calling one to another through the night. And the one side of her face was ugly, but the other side was very comely. And the meaning of her name was Breo-saighit, a fiery arrow.”

celtic goddess brighid wrist cuff

to represent the triple goddess, this wrist cuff has three fairly large celtic knotwork embellishments: one of bone and two of carved wood.  the cuff itself is made of red velvet, recycled silk ribbon and various types of vintage and antique lace.  the beads around the lower half are silvery and red — oh so goddess like!

celtic goddess brighid wrist cuff

these and other cuffs can be found in my shop >>

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whew!  summer is off to quite a fine start indeed!  [i typed this 6+ weeks ago — can you tell how slow i am!?]  i’ve been really fed up with my social anxiety issues that have plagued me for the past 20+ years (long story) so have been trying to put on my big girl knee-highs and get out more.  i can play tough!  while doing so, i’ve gotten to mark heaps of items off my “bucket list” which i actually call my “top 100 life to do items”.  i started this list so long ago that the first item is “have a baby” (my “baby” is now 9!).  it was maybe a year ago that i found it and added to it as the list was pretty sparse with many blanks.

in the past sixty days or so, these are the things i’ve gotten to mark as complete: see a whale in person, take a cruise, go on a canoe, meet seth apter, go to alaska, take a train to seattle, go a whole day in public without having anxiety, pan for gold, eat dinner at the space needle, take up archery (seriously, it’s fun!).  that’s not too shabby, eh?  here are five (of many) i have yet to do: celebrate ten years married (more than half way there), hike the appalachian trail, paint a portrait i don’t hate, publish a gluten free cookbook, sculpt something.  funny that only one of those requires getting out of the house.

side note.  i took this photo from our cruise ship… and i will go back one day.  she resides somewhere in alaska and i have to figure out where.  the boys in the ship bar we liked gave us lots of extra beers so there are a couple/few fuzzy days there, but i THINK it’s past juneau and before skagway.  definitely past ketchikan though.

punch the sky mountain, fisty mountain

needless to say, the studio is still not painted and the zine isn’t done being designed.  i feel “behind” in art, but that’s just silly… i’m home now and can paint and assemble each and every day.  while vacationing, it’s really difficult to “get my art in”.  what do you do while you’re on vacation?  i can’t not art.  i take an art journal, bag of pens, mini-paints and whatever else i can fit and a gallon ziplock of cuff stuff.  i can’t go a day without doing something creative… or my head will explode.  while sailing the seas, i made several new wrist cuffs that i will be posting here (and for sale in my shop) over the next several days.

number one in the goddess series of wrist cuff bracelets —>

medeina, baltic/lithuanian goddess of the forest and wild animals.  medeina originates from the root med, which means “tree”, thus the pieces of cut wood, carved wooden beads and antique wood buttons.

medeina goddess wrist cuff

wikipedia says:

Medeina (Medeinė) is another euphemism of the hunting and forest goddess. Medeina also was mentioned in 16th century by J. Lasicki. She was worshiped by peasants.

my husby is part lithuanian (and italian and native american) so it felt only right to create a wrist cuff in honor of a lithuanian goddess for some reason.  plus, i’m practically a peasant so all the more reason.

medeina goddess wrist cuff

this wrist cuff is 100% hand-sewn and embellished, and no machine was used in its creation and some of my old ones were (it seemed so much more “goddess like” to do it all by hand).  almost a full spool of thread was used to sew all of the many layers together and in adding all of the little “bits and pieces”.  it closes with two small snaps that cannot be seen when fastened.

medeina goddess wrist cuff

this wrist cuff bracelet as well as the ones that follow in the next few days are/will be available for purchase in my shop: http://alteredbits.com/alicia-caudle-art.php.  i really need to make some more manly ones next!

and my apologies — i’ve been getting lots of emails inquiring as to why i haven’t been adding things to the shop lately and it’s because i’m redesigning the site.  i was holding out to add things until then, but i’ll get some stuff up in the meantime and suspending my finickiness.

lastly, i have some upcoming give-aways planned so stay tuned.  this is in apology for being a butt head lately and not responding to emails, posting blogs, visiting blogs, etc.  sorry.

we pulp girls have certainly been slacking with the book posts lately, but i have a sneaking suspicion that we’re consciously or sub-consciously trying to prolong the whole event.  i also know that we’ve all been some busy girls with HUGE things going on in our lives as of late.  i have been instructed to keep the peeks of the last book i work in (this very book) kind of cryptic as we have some secret future exhibit plans where all will finally be revealed, so i’m not showing as many photos as i typically would.  this is, however, round one of two posts i will be doing.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
originally i had NO idea what i was going to do.  this was in part due to the fact that no natural bits (branches, flower bits, dried leaves, moss) could be sent overseas to new zealand or austrailia due to very strict postal laws and of course, particularly with a title like this, it was a necessity.  THANKFULLY i ended up being the last one to receive and work on this book so i’ve cheated and included heaps of nature bits in this so far.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
several different fabrics (some hand-dyed by my very own natural dyes i have been making), fibers, dried flowers, moss, vintage book and handmade papers surround the edges of the page.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
many watch parts, gears and vintage brass beads also adorn the page to depict “time”.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
even rust gears peek out through the sandwich of nature yummies and organic wool.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist
imagine living in the victorian era… you are little alice searching for the rabbit hole.  i imagine she would find many secret things along the way, and many little hiding places and treasures.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
two tiny drawers are hidden on the side of the book (i may add tiny “drawer pulls” but have not yet decided).

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
more treasures from nature, and even that “late” and elusive white rabbit hides in one of the secret drawers… ’cause in my world, he can.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
this is a bit wider of a peek, so you get a slightly better idea of where i went with this.  the alice image is actually a door that opens, and there is about an inch-deep secret hiding place inside.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
this is not the end result of the compartment, but i wanted you to see how deep it is — that is a deer knuckle bone or something odd like that, and of course a little vial.  not sure exactly how i will complete this section, but it will come to be soon enough, i’m sure.

pulp redux, altered book collaboration, handmade book, roots beneath the layers, alicia caudle, lisa jurist, alice in wonderland
i hope i don’t get in trouble for showing this much of the page.  BUT you have no idea what’s on the back, or any of the other secrets that alice and her friends hold, so that is good… for now.  every single little bit of this book has been hand-stitched — no sewing machine was used for any part.  AND i only bled once while creating it (so far).


i had SOOOOO much fun working on this first part of lisa’s book that i couldn’t stop.  my mind kept going and going.  as it now turns out, lisa’s book contribution is the first piece in a series of several alice-inspired nature/victorian/steampunk/forest/taxidermy/apothecary pieces.  they are so very alicia and contain all that i love.  none are 100% done, but i’ve started 6.

here are some very tiny peeks at my very first one that i started, called “finding the rabbit hole”.

alice in wonderland, steampunk, taxidermy, apothecary, forest, nature, bones, victorian, altered art, altered book, mixed media, assemblage, alicia caudle

i started mine on a 6″ x 12″ canvas — this is the 12″ side, with similar nature bits as in lisa’s book, twigs, dried flowers, moss, and other secrets.

alice in wonderland, steampunk, taxidermy, apothecary, forest, nature, bones, victorian, altered art, altered book, mixed media, assemblage, alicia caudle
here is alice’s key — all rusty with the number 41 on it.  maybe i’ll actually finish these 6 pieces before i reach that age?  it has no significance, of course… i just like numbers.  next to it, a real white rabbit taxidermy paw.

alice in wonderland, steampunk, taxidermy, apothecary, forest, nature, bones, victorian, altered art, altered book, mixed media, assemblage, alicia caudle
on the top left of the piece, there is a hole with a glass ring framing it.  if you peer inside, you will see a teeny tiny mouse skull and jaw.  this was taken while the adhesive was still wet, so there will not actually bit any shiny bits.  if there are, i shall fix that!

alice in wonderland, steampunk, taxidermy, apothecary, forest, nature, bones, victorian, altered art, altered book, mixed media, assemblage, alicia caudle
and of course i’ve found some of the white rabbits watch parts to include when i get a bit farther along.

i am thrilled to share that i have totally completed lisa sarsfield’s book for the pulp redux collaboration and have started in on lisa jurist’s.  wohooo!  BUT because lisa s. posted her contributions to kim’s book yesterday, i’m going to wait to share what i’ve done in her book.  i don’t want to steal her thunder, ya know.

for now, i shall offer up just a wee peek to hold you over until a later post.

okay, i lie.  i’ll give three peeks.

peek one.  see seth apter’s magnificent brass X?  all five of my contributions have/will have one of these (we pulpy girls love seth and i wanted to put a piece of him in our books):

altered book, handmade book, collaboration, pulp redux

peek two.  this is a peek of page two, just inside the top page with the book i previously showed.  had to add a classic red “alicia thing” and this is that:

altered book, handmade book, collaboration, pulp redux

and peek three. this is the back page.  can you tell what that is?  i know you can’t tell what’s inside.

altered book, handmade book, collaboration, pulp redux

check back in a few days for the rest of the photos AND lots of fantastic pulpy news.

altered book, handmade book, collaboration, pulp redux

i’ve also been working on several new assemblages over the past couple of weeks (five, to be exact).  i’m not sharing any of the completed ones yet (yes, i may finally reveal some of my motorized and light up stuff that i don’t typically show online), but i’ll share this cute little start to a costume girl i’m doing for now (check out her little skull mask and ribcage outfit).  a little more cutesy than anything i would typically do but halloween is coming and… yeah.  i made this little girl from apoxie clay and such (thanks again, kerin e. ninny!).  i hope to have her finished within the next week or so and will post it here (may have to make a wee video of her since it will be mildly interactive).

halloween, creepy doll, costume, altered art, zombie, anatomical, resin clay, apoxie clay, skeleton, doll art

for magnificent eye candy, check our pulp redux blog and lucky dip lisa’s blog.  new pulpy goodness was posted late last night!

hand made book, altered book, collaboration, labyrinth

where does time go? i said in my last pulpy post “i’ve just finished the cover and will post photos on wednesday” and here it is saturday.  that’s what you get when you’re a wife, a home school mom to a fireball kiddo, owner of two businesses and arty girl who can’t stop creating.  better late than never, eh?  and i confess: i have been very, very naughty.  i realized that i can post-date blog posts, so spent the last two weeks posting multiple blogs on sundays all at once.  i’m not going to do that anymore ’cause it throws me off.

anyway, this is the cover of the little book that i showed some of the guts of in this post last weekend.  click to see enlarged version — it’s rather “nesty” looking behind the labyrinth.

it measures roughly 4″ x 5″ and will go into the other parts of lisa’s book that i’m working on this weekend (starting today, that is).  shown here is a chartres labyrinth covered with little slabs of mica and rusty metal brads.

here is a tiny bit of detail as you can’t see it well in the above photo:

hand made book, altered book, collaboration, labyrinth

and the side view with my intentionally rough binding stitches (click to enlarge):

i am digging how rustic and old this all looks, like from way, way back when labyrinths started, zillions of years ago.  that is, at least, what i was striving for.

now i’m off to work on another part of her book.  seems i’m now limited to weekends for the pulp projects… so must hurry!

happy saturday, all!

as some of you may know, i was blessed last week or so with not one, but TWO books from the pulp redux collaboration in the same day.  i received lisa jurist’s book from kim palmer in austrailia, and i received lisa sarsfield’s book from debbie price-ewen in new zealand.  since i’m the last to work on lisa jurist’s book, i decided that i should start out with lisa sarsfield’s book entitled “labyrinth”.

i haven’t done much yet, but this is what i accomplished this weekend, or the part i’m willing to share so far.  i won’t give away my plans for the book, of course, but within my pages there will be a removable inner book.  here are some peeks at that…

first, the first two inner pages.  here i have hand stitched a classical 7 circuit labyrinth.  i did the stitching rough on purpose as i liked the little loops and tangles that came from the “imperfection”.  on the right, a small booklet within the book (that will go within the main book) explains the history of the classical 7 circuit labyrinth.

altered book, handmade book, labyrinth, mixed media art

here is a detail of the hand stitched labyrinth.  my fingers got a bit grumpy after awhile — i’m not the best or most patient stitcher in the world and after about 3 or 5 hours they stung a bit.  but it was well worth it!  four strings for every stitch — that was part of the time (and i did say i’m a slow sewer, right?).

altered book, handmade book, labyrinth, mixed media art

on the right of this page, i attached seven vintage beads and buttons to reinforce the seven aspect of this particular labyrinth.

altered book, handmade book, labyrinth, mixed media art

this is an utterly crap and shadowy photo of the second page spread.  this is a variation of the roman labyrinth which the left hand side explains.  i’m a little embarrassed.  the stitching on this was initially perfect.  as in no lines were askew.  i sewed it onto birds nest paper and after the fact thought that it needed a quick dunk in coffee.  did it, wrung it out and poof, it dried all lame.  should i redo it?  be honest now.  the lower right was the most effected area… and bottom.  grr.

altered book, handmade book, labyrinth, mixed media art

and this is the back cover of the book — a reflection of the roman labyrinth.  i’m a horrible evening photographer — everything is shadowy and askew, but you get the general idea.  i’ll post better photos when i’m done.

altered book, handmade book, labyrinth, mixed media art

i will save the cover for later… mostly ’cause it’s not yet done.  this is just a small portion of what is to come in lisa’s book so stay tuned!

update: a few hours later

okay, just got some WAY better photos and finished and photographed the cover.  will post it all on wednesday or thursday, time permitting… just in case you want to peek back.

thank you all so very much for your concern for my sweet little man — i will catch up on emails and respond to each of you over the next couple of days.  we ended up taking him back to the hospital last night as he had a high fever AGAIN and tremendous stomach pain.  it was the “stabbing” pain he explained to me that made me wish to take him back in, just in case.  they thought appendicitis.  kidney infection.  bladder infection.  pneumonia.  seems none of the above so we were sent home.  today, high fevers but no more pain so we shall see how it goes.  after a week (minus friday) of burning up i’m quite worried, but he was jumping around like he felt great by bed time so that is indeed a good sign.

so, i mentioned yesterday that i had started a couple/few cuffs the other night.  this was the first i started, and i finished it today by adding a few blood red crystal beads and some black glass beads.  then it felt complete.

while creating it, and sewing on a tiny little royal looking key i had just aged a bit, a tiny voice sounded in my head “elizabeth bathory’s secret…”  i was perplexed by this curious voice but thought little of it as these sorts of things are rather regularly occurring with me.  but after a bit, i couldn’t get the thought of this lady out of my head.  i did a bit of research and found this photo of her…

once i found this image, which was just one of a very few i found of her, all was made clear.  apparently she and i both have an adoration for red ruffles, black lace and intricate cream lace.  at that point i realized that “elizabeth bathory’s secret” was the name of the cuff.  i really wish to wear it for a day or three to find out just what this secret is.  or perhaps that was her key to something mysterious, divine and unknown?

now, if you don’t know who elizabeth bathory (or erzsébet báthory if you prefer) is, you may be pleased or displeased to know that, in short, she was a countess who has been labeled the most prolific female serial killer in history.  she is also known as “the blood countess” as she allegedly bathed in the blood of her victims in order to retain her youth.  you can, if at all interested, read about here on wikipedia.

i wish to keep this, but have posted it in my etsy shop instead.  i’ll make myself a new one when i don’t have two huge hospital bills to scrounge money for.

happy fourth of july.  we had a FANTASTIC show of illegal fireworks as we seem to each year in our neighborhood.  we literally did not go a whole second (i’m really not exaggerating this time) without a flash or bang during the early dark hours.  was wonderfully fun for not being able to go out… and we probably saw more than we would have at home had we ventured away from home.

last night, while feeling happy that my little man was feeling better after days of fever and poo and being in the hospital for a day, i decided to make a cuff bracelet.  they are so much fun.  well, i ended up starting three.

then today, my little dude, after only a day and a half of feeling better, came down with a high fever again.  i’m really worried.  most people have more than one kiddo and calm down after each one — things aren’t as stressful once you’re to the second, third or fourth kiddo.  he’s my first and only so i’m in panic mode the second anything is wrong.  but seriously though… isn’t a high fever from sunday to wednesday night, a break, then a high fever again on saturday not good?  i so hope he’s better for the fourth… tomorrow.  we have fun plans of fireworks and grilling and joyous adventures.

but the cuffs… the distraction.  this one is called “green as the sea”.

rusty bits found on the ocean’s shore with pretty little sea green stone beads…

a little shell, hidden in some silk…

the ruffle rises and falls like the sea on one side of the wrist…

probably looks better not on me…

i’ll be putting these (this and the others once complete) in my altered bits shop or in my etsy shop as soon as i’m not taking temperatures and administering fluids and fever reducers and secretly fretting.

i was going to do a cuff a day from yesterday through next friday… but we shall see.  babies first.  pretties second.  just thought it would be a nice tiny break from all of the books and assemblages i have lined up here… a little instant gratification.

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