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(oops, i already posted the hawthorn spirit journal a couple of weeks ago so this title is inaccurate. sorry!)

within the past couple weeks, i’ve completed a couple more spirit journals. i’m kind of obsessed, but anyone that’s known me since i started this blog 7? 8? years ago? …knows that’s i’ve always been book obsessed.

this one is entitled “faery writing and forest runes” (because books need titles, you know). all of the twigs were found on the forest floor in the oregon rain forest and taken with both permission and gratitude.

the front is adorned with western red cedar and douglas fir twigs that were been nibbled by tiny forest creatures whilst the branch was still living and covered in bark. i call these twigs forest runes and like to think of the markings as faery writing because that feels more magical than a bug or a worm in a lot of ways. if you listen carefully, you can hear their messages.

faery writing and forest runes, spirit book by alicia caudle

here is a close-up/more detailed shot of the stunning little twigs. they are just as i found them, except that i oiled them a bit with some organic coconut oil to bring out their gorgeous hues:

detail of faery writing and forest runes twigs, handmade spirit book, alicia caudle

the energies these trees carry and the messages they convey to us are: strength, virility, presence, and knowing (western ted cedar), determination, purpose, achievement, and reaching new heights (fir — i do know that doug fir is not actually a fir). on the spine is a gorgeous curving piece of pacific madrone which teaches us individuality, adaptation, and how to step into our unique, individual greatness.

the covers are made from a thick luscious paper called bird’s nest paper that was handmade in thailand, with some thick natural cotton weave between the layers to add to its rustic and ancient feel. the spine of the book has yet another twig (the madrone as mentioned above) and it love the way they meander as it grow, as well as the stunning reddish hue of their wood (can you read the faery writing on that one?).

madrone-twig-book-spine

the tree of life, or world tree symbol on the back is actually a lined pocket where you can stick your notes or pen. i made this using reclaimed, naturally dyed fabric and natural hemp twine.

world-tree-back-book-pocket
the pages themselves are hand-dyed with organic coffee and the front edges have been tattered a bit to give a deckle edged look, which is one of my favorite things to do.

handmade-deckle-edged-paperthis book is available in my new but not quite fully complete website, here: http://aliciacaudle.com/art/shop/faery-writing-forest-runes-journal-alicia-caudle.php

thanks for allowing me to share another one of my spirit books. xx

seth apter's the pulse, style file

i am so excited to share that today i will be one of the many featured artists on seth apter’s “the pulse” for his weekly style file.  this is week 8.  (eight is a magical number.  if you knock it over, it’s an infinity symbol.  seth and the pulse and all participants are infinitely amazing!)

update: i’m a ditzy girl sometimes, despite my high IQ.  i posted this in advance, forgetting it was the STYLE photo, not the art photo.  so, you get a preview of a piece that will later be featured.  whoops!  sorry seth! after you see this, forget it entirely, ‘kay?  thanks.  🙂

the piece that i chose to submit is called “finding the rabbit hole” and is a play on my favorite story “alice in wonderland” (i’m sure you’ve heard of it).  🙂  but, this piece has the alicia-twist with a bit of taxidermy, a bit of nature, some watch parts and gears and lots of secret places.  the piece itself measures 6″ x 12″ and is the first in a series of 3 or 4 or 5 — i haven’t decided yet.  basically this is a rip-off of what i did in lisa jurist’s book for the pulp redux collaboration because i LOVED that piece so much — it really hit a personal note for me so i’ve created one for myself.  (i deserve it.)

alice in wonderland, taxidermy, nature art, skulls, bones, animal, white rabbit, rabbit paw, vials, steampunk, rusty key

in the piece you can see many representations of the story of alice: a glass ring that represents the looking glass, a mouse skull which represents the mouse she meets in the pool of tears, a broken piece of a pocket watch and taxidermy rabbit paw representing the white rabbit who is notoriously late, the rusty key, etc.  the little tree is the one she fell through the hole under its branches.

here you can see detail of the skull through the little hole (click to enlarge):

alice in wonderland, through the looking glass, mouse skull, steampunk, watch parts, pocket watch, gear, bones

when i was a little tiny girl, we lived in the middle of nowhere, oregon.  (it was actually called lorane — still is)  at the time, the population was about 47.  three or four of those were my family and at least 98% of the rest were “old” people (anything over ten is old when you’re 3).  i had really only one friend that i can recall (a cute boy named jasper pony p.) and the rest of the time it was solo going.  i would wander around our forest searching for gnomes, faeries and THE rabbit hole.  usually this would end in disappointment as i would typically only find things like caterpillars (who i would speak to as if i were alice), snakes, mushrooms, berries and deer poop.

detail of the taxidermy rabbit foot and rusty old key (the frame around the tree was one of the first things i made out of apoxie clay from a mold i created about a year ago — was saving it for something special):

alice in wonderland, through the looking glass, taxidermy rabbit paw, rusty key, tree, assemblage

after a long time of searching day and night for the rabbit hole (and probably not “night” — my parents were not neglectful or anything and would never have let me wander a dark forest alone at night as a small child), i gave up.  i thought that if it were meant to be, i would just find it.  instead, my flexed my creativity muscles and thought up my own stories of “alicia’s wonderland” and drew pictures of what it would look like while perched under trees with our goats, chickens and kitties.  that was equally as fun.

under the vintage photo of alice on the front resides a deep compartment — her photo being the door.  i have yet to finish the inside (shhh) but it will have these and/or other vials inside (drink me!) and a menagerie of additional skulls, bones and other bits.  probably a butterfly, too.

poison vials, watch part vials, animal skull, secret compartment

within each of the sides of this piece, there are four secret little drawers (whose faces i still must paint!).  inside the drawers: a beetle, a butterfly wing and a button, currently.  i am looking for a caterpillar and other pertinent items to fill them up a bit more.

alice in wonderland, looking glass, assemblage, nature, art, mixed media, secret drawers

 (i need to paint the edges of the canvas the piece is on, too!  how embarrassing that it’s STILL not all the way complete!)  i love all of the twigs, nature bits, flower petals, dried roses, shells, moss, feathers and wings that are between the layers.  reminds me of my forest.

alicia caudle, alice in wonderland, taxidermy, art, mixed media, assemblage, drawers, hidden doors, compartments, nature art

what was your favorite childhood story?

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Pulp Redux: International Altered Book Collaboration
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