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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 >>

i can’t help but adore wearing things that jingle.  as such, i love adding jingly little bells and coins that clank and clatter to my bracelets and wrist cuffs (i used to wear bells on my shoes, even, but i’m told i’m too old for such things now).  these are two of them…

in my goddess wrist cuff series:

aphrodite (whom everyone knows is the goddess of love, plus beauty, pleasure, and procreation.  this was so pink and pretty i couldn’t help but call it that.

aphrodite, salvaged textile wrist cuff, goddess cuff, bracelet

this is another one i tried to make a metal clasp for.  it’s tough — doesn’t wiggle or act like a jerk or anything.  i was quite pleased.

aphrodite, salvaged textile wrist cuff, goddess cuff, bracelet

and i also finished and took a better picture of the jingly coin bracelet i posted a shot of a long time ago (i’m kinda in love with it).

jingly coin bracelet

both of these and others are available on my website, if you’re quirky and fun enough to wear them… like me.  🙂 >>

the morrigan, goddess, wrist cuff

in a nutshell, the morrígan is a goddess of battle, strife, and sovereignty. she sometimes appears in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors.

this wrist cuff bracelet is 95% hand-sewn with very little machine sewing (just on the ends for reinforcement). it is adorned with both vintage and antique beads, buttons and lace, as well as a vintage chandelier crystal.  it fastens in the back with snap hidden underneath an antique cream button.

the morrigan, goddess, wrist cuff

belisama is the celtic goddess of fire. more specifically, she was connected with lakes and rivers, fire, crafts and light.  this wrist cuff was designed for a bold, fiery lady. (maybe i should keep it?)

belisama, celtic goddess of fire, wrist cuff

i’ve gotten bored of snap closures so i tried my hand at some hand-made clasps.  i think they need a bit of work, but this isn’t too terribly bad, for a beginner, if i do say so myself.  (shhhh if you think it sucks — i’m trying to boost my ego a bit here — i’m no metal worker)  i wear every cuff for a few hours to make sure it’s “perfect” and i think i’m going to reinforce the clasp a bit as one side shifts and turns a tiny bit.

belisama celtic goddess of fire wrist cuff

these and other wrist cuffs can be found in my shop:

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.

over the past couple of weeks i’ve experienced several good lessons.  some background on lesson number one…

cuff bracelet
last week my son’s school had a benefit art fair to raise money for more arty programs at their school.  i helped with the advertising (designed all of the fliers) and had a table there, which was joyous fun — 30 amazingly talented artist parents were there selling things from high end metal sculptures to jewelry to original paintings to t-shits (but really, really cool ones).  i really didn’t think i would sell anything but i was quite wrong.  i spent weeks getting ready, making lots of “little things” to sell with my art pieces — cheaper stuff like art print cards and such so that hopefully i’d make a few bucks for the school (20% went to them).  none of the “small things” sold except some of finn’s cards (of course!).  then, i also made a few more “tame” things — not really alicia-style but i thought maybe it would be better not to have everything anatomical or “weird”.  despite being well made and cool, none of those things sold.  i sold several prints (even the black and white woman and man which i didn’t feel would be interesting to school parents), some journals — just the funkier ones, some collages, some charlotte assemblages, etc.   lesson number one:  i sold almost everything i created from my heart.  things i loved.  i sold nothing that i made to be more acceptable to others.  just sold the skulls and rib cages and charlottes with anatomical hearts and alice in wonderland “stuff”.  so, i’m not making anything to “please” anyone else again.  that was my first and last time.  if i were to place blame, i’d say it was my mother’s fault, but i won’t.  next time she says “you should try making something a little less dark or weird sometime and see how it does” i’ll just smile and ignore her… then paint a girl with bone arms or something.

two cuff bracelets

i had also started making several cuff bracelets.  these were the first two which i forgot to take like a jackass.  i didn’t sell any at the art fair but got a call two days later that a gal wanted the ones i had for her shop.  just six.  but it was nice to sell them (even though it was wholesale).  i had mentioned to a new customer and my friend kerin a couple/few weeks ago that i was trying my hand at making cuff bracelets.  i’m not a jewelry person!  at that point i think i had 7 finished and 2 more started.  BOTH of them asked “have you seen or heard of sparrow salvage?  they literally both told me of this person within an hour or so of each other.  wowz!  her stuff is so very amazing!  i have since finished my two last cuffs and haven’t started any new ones.  go look at her stuff, seriously.  i LOVE it!

cuff bracelet, steampunk, gears, lace
this one is a little too big for my mini wrist but i think i’m going to keep it.  it has so many things i’ve gotten from my sweet friends.  lace from jo in england, lisa in maryland and debs in new zealand, watch parts from rainey in ireland, little bits from kerin in this place called oregon, wonderful fiber (what is it called?) from patti in kentucky, etc.  needless to say, it’s special to me.  i just have to shrink it a bit… and give it one more quick dip into coffee as the white is still a little too white.

judy wilkenfeld, altered book, workshop, kc willis

copyright judy wilkenfeld

speaking of kerin (which i’ll do again in a sec), she and i are going to be taking judy wilkenfeld‘s 3-day workshop at kc willis’s studio in colorado in august.  i’m going to make us pretty cuff bracelets for the occasion.  i’m a dork, i know.  but i think she is making us necklaces so she’s a dork too.

okay, okay.  lesson number two.  i started a painting of a girl a couple/few weeks ago.  grabbed an old painting i hated from about 6 years ago, painted the background black, sketched a girl, and spent a whole whoppin’ ten or fifteen minutes painting her face.  then i was tired and had to go to bed.  i hated her.  her mouth and coloring were wrong, her eyes are totally wrong, never finished her hair, etc.  i kept wanting to finish it.  my little dude asked me just a couple of days before he turned seven “why don’t you finish that girl, mom?”  and i said “i don’t know if i can.”  he said “the problem here is that you don’t believe in your art.  you CAN finish it but you’re just not letting yourself.  are you afraid it will be bad, or good?”  how can a little one be so insightful and wise?  lesson learned: believe in your art (i’m still working on this one).  i worked on it a bit by adding a border and scribbling in pen on her to emphasize her numerous flaws.  still don’t like her… or feel she’s done.  so, i emailed it to kerin… (told ya she’d pop up again!).

imaginary friend, portrait, painting, lady
keriny is a ninny.  she said “i love her!  don’t change a thing!”  or something to that effect.  she is ever so sweet, that kerin!  i said “but she’s not done — i didn’t even do the hair.  that was just left over red.  haven’t done her shirt.  her eyes are wonky and i think she should be looking down.  she said “leave her just as she is.”  i think she should see it in person to view the defects of perception and tones.  where is a good place to learn painting faces?  i adore kerin and totally respect her opinion but i think she’s wrong.  😉  i’ve been having fun with my weirdo little girls and want to do a small series of “imaginary friends” but having never taken an art class or workshop, so i’m not sure where to begin.  any suggestions would be quite welcome.  the whole reason i’ve started people is because i was commissioned to paint a nude lady in “my” style.  i don’t do people so wanted to practice first.  this girl here is my third person i’ve ever tried to paint, which i am sure is evident.  maybe i’ll start the nude after my fourth.

this piece is a portrait my son did.  i should take lessons from HIM.  it’s about 18 x 24 inches on heavy watercolour paper and coloured with dyes, not paint.  the black is three dimensional — black ink in glue.  he created this while still six.

child art, portrait, dye, painting
apparently they did two portraits in art class and the teacher kept the best of two.  i MUST see it because this is totally amazing to me.  i’m having it framed as soon as i have some money and hanging it on the main wall in our living room.  i’m such a proud mama!

oh wowz. the husby and i were busy doing some much needed clearing out of crap today as we still have boxes upon boxes of way too much stuff in our cluttered basement. i mean heck, i only moved in here… hmmm… about two years ago. you’d think that’d be ample time to get organized but apparently we’re slackers (i get too busy arting, he gets too busy making music and building electronic coolnesses and poof, there are still boxes everywhere). but enough prattle. i was excited to find many forgotten items:

necklaces, pendents, a lace thing, a rusty bell, some weird doll thing that needs to be altered or tossed, neat wing things with crystals hanging from them, cemetery photos, a dragon with a crystal (not really my “thing” but he looks cool enough), etc.

found objects, altered art, mixed media, altered bits

i also happened upon about a half billion wooden boxes and ceramic pots/raku pottery pieces. what can i do with all of them? in one of them was a little leather pouch my pops had made me years ago and inside was the best of all…

found objects, altered art, mixed media, altered bits

can you guess the best? the bear claw is pretty dang cool but i’m really diggin’ the teeth! i have no idea where they came from but my assumption is that the cute little pristine one was mine, the cavity filling one was my younger half-sister’s and the big ol’ gnarly one was my fathers. see them closer:

found objects, altered art, mixed media, altered bits

i can think of way too many things at once that i could do with those teeth. hey, i have a “thing” for anatomical stuff. i’m sure that’s overly obvious to everyone by now, but here is a sneak peek at something i’m working on today to further prove my point:

found objects, altered art, mixed media, altered bits

back to the found objects…. some things were not quite as exciting. like a box of letters from an old boyfriend (recycling material!) and some other things i’m going to try to find homes for before giving to goodwill as a last resort like beads that aren’t my style, charms and angle cards. i’ll post photos soon but i promise it’s nothing too exciting. i did find some quote cards from a lady did i site for once named mary anne radmacher who did a lot of inspirational pieces with her quotes as the central focus. i’ve used and shared several over the years so will definitely need to find a new home for what i have left of those.

happy day!


holy cow. right after i posted this i hit the mother load of forgotten stuff. mmmm…. i have so many plans for these rusty little pretties! i only “misplaced” them about 3 months ago but am so glad to have re-found them. i thought someone tossed them and was a tad bit on the pissy side.

found objects, altered art, mixed media, altered bits


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