Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Featured Artist: aKNITomy

Meet Emily Stoneking, amazing knitter of guts and seller behind aKNITomy.

The detail and craftsmanship in her pieces are pretty stunning- and the concept will delight science nerds with a sense of humor.

Biology 101 DIY kit

"I really like taking objects or concepts that many people (including myself, sometimes) are squeamish about and recreating them out of materials that many of the same people think are cozy and inviting."

Tell us about yourself
"I'm not a biologist, but I play one on the Internet! 
Actually, I'm just a crazy-avid knitter who is putting herself through school by making and selling knitted science themed stuff!"

Explain your craft
"I knit biology projects. The first was a dissected frog (the classic!), and later came the lab rat, fetal pig, earthworm, bat, and even the Easter Bunny (he's filled with Easter eggs and plastic grass!).
I have no background in science, I just really admire all that science is and does. This is my little knitterly homage to it, I suppose."
Alien Autopsy

Do you offer customers anything besides a product?
"I sell my patterns as well as my finished items, so customers who know how to knit can make their own dissections. I also provide pattern support, and am always answering questions -- everything from specific questions relating to one of my patterns, to helping out someone who is just learning and needs help with certain techniques!"

How have you grown as a seller?
"It's really important to take the time to work on new things."
 "When you create something and it is selling well, it's tempting to sit and make the same thing over and over, because you know it works. But stop and carve out some time to work on the things that you've been scribbling down in your idea notebook. It is good for you (keeps your mind active and your work fresh), and it keeps your customers coming back!"

Knitted Neuroscience

Any plans for the coming year?
"I've currently got a list of dozens of dissections and other science-themed knits that I want to get out into the world in the coming year, as well as launching a new hand-dyed yarn line!"

What's inspiring you right now?
"The Smiths song, Everyday is like Sunday. I'm currently brewing up some ideas for hand dyed yarns, inspired by Britain! I don't know when they'll debut, but I'm hoping for late Winter, early Spring."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Featured Artist: House of Eleggua

Visiting Carolina and Fernando's shop is like being welcomed into their home.
You see where they live and work, and they wouldn't share anything they wouldn't use themselves.

From beautiful altar adornments and prayer cards (all are prints or from sculptures painted by Carolina) to powerful magickal items, you can be sure they only offer the best.
Look through their shop and blog and you can see how dedicated they are to their faith and work.
Oya print

"we are a husband and wife team dedicated completely to the creation of magickal items for your devotional use"

"I have been a Witch for 22 years. Since my path mixes several pantheons, I could be considered an Eclectic Witch; but honestly, I would prefer the label of Artisan Witch...arts and crafts are entwined into my path to its very root; I am a painter, a doll customizer, a herbalist, and a daughter of the Orishas."
"My husband Fernando, a follower of the Norse pantheon, is the other half of House Of Eleggua. He's the homemaker, the wood carver, the sacred musician and the taxidermist, and also a Pagan since his early teenage years."

Tell us about your craft
"Creating art devoted to the spiritual paths of Pagans is the call of both our souls; we constantly seek and learn new techniques, and thrive on one of a kind and custom work for our customers, who are all over the world thanks to Internet."
"recreating crafts that are disappearing like spinning, hand sewing, hand carving"
 'Our spiritual path shapes all our life – we are committed to recycling, organic gardening, homemaking, and many times work with upcycled or discarded materials.  Everything you can find at our shop is handmade, homegrown and wildharvested by us."
"House Of Eleggua is mainly focused on the devotion of African – origin paths like Santeria, Voodoo, Hoodoo Umbanda, Kimbanda and Spiritualism, but we serve Pagans of all paths, and have created custom work for almost every type of practitioner under the wide Pagan umbrella."

A Protection bottle charm for your home
Our work covers three main areas
* Tarot and Spellwork services;

* Handcrafted and unique devotional items: amulets, incense holders, altar statuary and ornamentation, original paintings and prints, Book Of Shadows inserts, etc.

* Handcrafted spiritual supplies: spiritual waters, holy cards, herbs, ritual supplies, powders, oils, incenses, etc.

3 Question Tarot Reading
Do you offer anything besides a product?
"We offer the expertise of a lifetime devoted to the practise of Spirituality and the creating of Devotional art.
...the assurance of three years of positive customer feedback... a unique approach to Afro-Caribbean religions, away from fear and ignorance." 
"We offer a constantly growing inventory, which offers a continuous selection of one-of-a-kind art, and the best handmade supplies for the practise of spiritual work. We offer handmade, homegrown and wildharvested items."
"We offer uniqueness, transparency and truth about what we do."

How have you grown as a seller?
"Be Yourself, Be Patient And Work Hard"
"After almost four years selling online, the most important tip I have learnt is Be Yourself, Be Patient And Work Hard. Customers are intelligent and can tell fake from true in a second, and that is the reason why many starting business fail – because they are trying to imitate someone else. We were the first shop to offer Santeria products at Etsy, and we hear of a new rip-off everyday from our customers and friends."
" matter how small your business is, it IS a business and must be treated as such. Learn accounting, marketing, tax laws, customer service, and anything that your business requires to grow. In this economy, this is more important than ever, because competition is higher."

What are you plans for the coming year?
"To continue work on our website, which we finally opened this year, and start working completely on our own. We intend to have an integrated shopping cart so we are not under the system of a venue any more. Hopefully, that will be a reality by Spring 2012. Also, we hope to make our Newsletter Subscriber Sales a regular feature, as we have just made the first one as it's been a roaring success."

Quick!  What's inspiring you right now?
"We are constantly evolving as growing as Spiritual Practitioners, so our work is never static. We are inspired by ancient crafts, and expect to offer more and better handmade items continuously. Of course, this will always be reflected on our shop."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Developing Talents this Month with the Golden Tarot

I grabbed my Golden Tarot and threw a large spread-
a set of 4 triplets outlining how I'm going to use or develop my skills this month.

The Golden is a beautiful set, as really anyone that has it will tell you.  Have only used it in spurts but it's really been calling to me.

Queen of Swords + The Moon + 3 of Wands

{This Queen has been coming up a lot for me and I see her as the serious business side.

I have time now to learn and produce- knitted more hours this past week than I don't remember when.
So- promotion, bookkeeping (a survey was emailed to me for my interest in a course learning such things.  I'll probably take that up!), ORGANIZATION.

{The Moon- equate this with Moonthrall, especially when reading for myself.  Also, inward, close to home.

I ordered more bubble mailers to ship knit items in.  Buying 2 or 6 at a time isn't cost effective or practical.

Have more items ready to relist after they sell.  I have 3 sets of handwarmers to make again because I don't usually have backups.  Not complaining but some more organization (have *all* my patterns typed up and filed would help).

And yarn sorted and boxed.  They're boxed.  Well, in boxes.

{The 3 shows keeping an eye out.  For jobs and other opportunities.

Maybe I'll get past the 3 of Wands to a 4 or 6 later this month.

Knight of Coins + Page of Cups + 2 of Wands

{I do not believe the Knight is myself- it feels separate from me altogether.  He's either an actual guy (this feels the strongest to me) or progress of the Page.  Acquiring monetary opportunities or learning skills to bring those in.

Pulled the 6 and Ace of Cups to clarify.
If you're familiar with tarot, there is support and love all over these.

The 6 shows two children in a garden, surrounded by trees and flowers.  They are sharing cups filled with them.  Being taken care of, enjoying friend- and partnership (likely new because of the Ace).  I've pulled many hints at this myself and have been told by others, of support coming my way.

{There is another nod to support from the Page of Cups, which takes on a monetary or business feel from the Knight.

I do not believe the Knight is myself- it feels separate from me altogether.  He's either an actual guy (this feels the strongest to me) or progress of the Page.  Acquiring monetary opportunities or learning skills to bring those in.

{2 of Wands- yet another card I feel to mean there are 2 people here.  A working partnership.

Not just standing there going "well I'm all packed and ready to go whenever this Knight gets here."  No- there is definite readiness and movement.

9 of Coins + 3 of Coins + King of Cups

{Enjoying my craft.  Being supported with wealth.

{Skills for hire.

I'm getting the distinct feeling of being somewhere, enjoying something that interests me (either personally like knitting and crystals, or professionally.  Like knitting   Not crystals.  Yet.)  And attracting someone with a passing interest in whatever it is.

{And this Mystery Dude that keeps coming up with all the other cups and 2s.

We'll see.

The Fool + 5 of Swords + The Star

These bottom 3 cards are meant as a broader "timeline".

{The Fool has been popping up everywhere- in my own readings and those others have done for me recently.  The job thing is the only issue that stands out here, but it did bring some freedom.

{Then there is my reaction (after about 4 days) in the 5 of Swords.

Ever watch "Poltergeist"?  Remember when everyone thought the "house was clean" but it wasn't?

 The little girl is in her bed staring at the crazy stuff trying to break through their closet door and quietly says "No more."

That's how I kinda felt trawling through the craigslist ads again.
Though this one did catch my interest:

{Then you have The Star.  It's like an Awesome sandwich with my big slab of worry and defeat in the middle.

Perks me up a bit.

You can find more about the Golden Tarot and its creator, Kat Black.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saint Expedite

I posted this on another little piece of the internet.  Had begun another novena to St. Expedite earlier this week for help in getting my "side" projects going and becoming self supporting.
Well he does work fast....

Found out tonight I was fired.

I'm sharing this with you now because St. Expedite helped me out of a pretty bad time and I've begun to ask for his help again.

Here's the original post:
For my first real "work" post, I'll begin with St. Expedite.

He's the first saint, along with St. Jude, I've petitioned.  Novenas, random prayers in my own words, candles on my altar, the whole set up.  I'm not sure exactly how he popped up- but I was unemployed at the time and desperately looking for jobs.  Anything.

Here's how I went about it, with bits from my journal:

Get to Know Who You're Asking for Help
This point was driven home by several sources as a sign of respect.  You're also finding out who will actually work with and help you.  I was in need, and needed help fast despite a run of failures and problems.
Some of which were on my part.

You can find out more about St. E here:
St.   With history, prayers and pictures.  You can leave your own petition and read other people's.  Donations and tribute can be given (it's part of his payment anyway!)

St. Expedite on Lucky Mojo:  More history, using corresponding candles and oils, prayers

Gather your supplies- and be specific!
Ritual is important to me- preparing and lighting candles, setting up a space to work them- so I ran to the store and picked up some red tapers.  I already had some oils used in prosperity and fast luck so I set to work.

"Started another red candle with peppermint oil, gold & red glitter.  Began the novena.  This time I added a list of what I wanted in a job."

This time, I got one a few days afterward.

"Thing is, I stated at least $12/hr and 30 hours a week.  Never specified all in one job.  I got another pt job that week, for $8 an hour."
So, I ended up with just under 30 hours a week....but in total over $12 an hour!  Still not enough!  It's something I leaned right away- you need to be specific with this Saint.  And in any work you do.
But he brought me what I asked fork so he got his payment.  Pound cake, a note on St. and a donation.

Seeing what being specific (or not) brought, I made another list.  This time it had everything I *really* wanted in a job.  To be close, pay X amount, enjoyable...possibility for benefits.

I got that job- not as quickly as I would have liked- but soon after realigning my petition to what I wanted and needed.  If I kept feeling down about my prospects (I interviewed for a burger joint and wanted to die), that's all that would come my way.
The place has a huge learning curve and is not the smoothest place to work.  But it's all I asked for.

Give thanks and payment

It's always nice to show gratitude to whomever you petition for help, and it's given.
St. Expedite has his particulars.  And this is what I gave him:

*Tribute around the internet: on Youtube videos about him, Facebook groups, St Expedite. org, blogs.  You can also donate to organizations that promote him- or any cause that helps the very thing you need help with, too.

*Pound cake.  A piece left by his candle or picture.  I left it there way too long at first, but now it's for only one day.  You can crumble it and throw it outside for the animals after that.

*A white tealight and incense.  Something to leave on your workspace to show thanks.

Also of interest...