bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: crafty

Announcement.

According to Etsy, I have been a customer of various shops hosted there since 2010, and as much as I always intended to open my own shop, I never did.

But I have been making my own devotional jewelry – usually ankle bracelets and necklaces – since 2010.

As well, there are several altar items

– such as altar cloths, sculptures, and other various accessories –

that I’ve always made for myself, since I couldn’t always find what I wanted for my altars.

So after years of getting compliments on what I’ve made, I’ve decided to see how it goes…

Here is my Etsy shop,

CrowsKnot

where you will find some of the Norse-inspired

(and definitely Loki-inspired)

glass bead jewelry and altar items that I’ve made.

Thanks for checking it out!

 

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Month for Loki, Fourteenth: Knot.

In the summer of 2012, I had one of the first of a series of strange vivid dreams  that involved Loki:

In this particular dream, I found myself searching through  a building of many rooms, and while I didn’t know what or who I was looking for, I knew I was looking for something…or someone.

Most of the rooms were spacious but empty – white walls, sparsely furnished, lit by buzzing fluorescent ceiling panels.  Like an abandoned office building, which I sensed may or may not be underground.

And then I was surprised to come upon what appeared to be a middle-aged man with dark auburn hair in one of the rooms.  As I’d mentioned, though most of the rooms were nothing more that white empty walls, the room this man was in was full of  brightly colored yarn.   Skeins of various colors and in various states of unravel lay scattered all over the floor.  While a few seemed no more than tangled handfuls of yarn, others were neatly wound and stacked in piles of three or four bundles, sorted by color.

Meanwhile the biggest jumble of knots lay closest to the man’s right foot.  I could also see that he was barefoot…. and he wasn’t exactly sitting in the chair.

This man was sprawled in an elaborately carved wooden chair large enough to easily be mistaken for some sort of throne.  I say sprawled because though I came upon him sitting upon this odd throne from behind and at somewhat of an angle, I immediately realized that this man was quite gangly; one of his legs casually dangled over one of the arm rests, and I couldn’t help but wonder how he’d  miraculously found a way to fold the length of the rest of his body comfortably within the confines of the seat.  

I don’t think he noticed me at first, as his head was bent in concentration upon his hands and the tangled mess of colored yarn in his lap.

However, when he did finally look up at me

He grinned….and casually asked me

if I knew

who he was.

Loki.

And Loki appeared to be knitting.  

But not with needles, mind you; He seemed to be knitting with His fingers.

(from my notebook, 17 July 2012)

~~~

But I learned something interesting today.

It occurs to me that Loki may not have been knitting.

He may have been nålbinding (“needle-binding”), an ancient technique which may pre-date knitting and crocheting by 1500 years, where a single length of thread or yarn is passed through loops by use of a single needle, and the resulting fabric is sturdily connected by interlocking these loops of yarn or thread with one another.  Nålebinding is also called ‘knotless netting.’

I came across this information today – though honestly I was researching something else that had nothing at all to do with Norse clothing -but a reference to socks caught my eye and I found my way to Hurstwic.org:

“However, Norse socks were not knitted (which apparently was unknown to the Norse). Instead, they were made using an ancient technique called nálbinding (needle-binding). Using a single large, thick needle, it was a method of knotting the yarn. Although time consuming, this approach resulted in a nearly indestructible garment. If the thread were to break or wear out, the garment would still be intact, since the thread was everywhere knotted to neighboring threads. Mittens and caps were also made using this technique. The sketch to the left shows the steps involved in making an article of clothing using the nálbinding technique. Note that the fabric grows in a spiral pattern. Once the spiral is large enough, it is knotted back on itself to create the shape of the finished article.”

 

(Photos: l-r: spiral nal-binding_sketch; Sock found in York; from Hurstwic.org.)

~~~

How does this personally relate to me in regards to Loki?

Loki has been referring me to knots and knotwork for many years now, and as it is with His method, I hadn’t any idea as to why He was always referring to such things, either literally or metaphorically.  But I’m starting to connect some things about knots and knotwork today.

But, barring that, it does give His references to ‘creating sockpuppets’ a whole new meaning, eh?

 

Month for Loki, Seventh: Crafting, connections and correspondences.

One of the first ways that Loki came to me was through colors.

I find crafting jewelry to be relaxing, so began making ankle bracelets for myself, and dedicating both the act of making the item and then, item itself to Him.  As I may have mentioned before, creating things – whether it’s crafting, cooking or making artwork – seems to help me connect with myself and with Him.

Here are the colors and common associations that I use in my crafts for Loki:

Red: Passion, heat, blood – a color that evokes life force, vitality, sexuality

Orange: Flame, joy, fire – a color associated with Loki as a fire God, and God of the hearth. Warmth.

Yellow: specifically joy and happiness.

Green/Brown: Creativity, growth, change.  Laufey (Loki’s mother) is associated with trees, so I feel Loki has a special affinity for trees and plants as well.  A peaceful, lush shades of green and browns that signify growth and earth vitality.  I  feel Jormungandr can be associated with a paler green, signifying a connection to water/oceans, as well.

Blue: Sky (air) and ocean (water); another color (as with green) that can evoke peaceful associations as well as chaotic, energetic ones – a clear blue sky and a calm sea can also turn to storm-filled sky lit with flashes of blue-white lightning and dark-blue churning waves.

Purple: Self, knowledge.  The color of the crown chakra.  The color of sovereignty, divine connection and magic.

Gold: Treasures. Gold for Gullveig. Mead. As it is with purple, gold is associated with sovereignty, wealth, power, perhaps even decadence.  Gold can signify Loki as sovereign, or as consort, fool, or foil towards what is considered kingly, lawful, or valuable. Loki as a Gift-Bringer provides the Gods (Sif, Thor, Freyr) with items of value.

White: Bone. Purity of ash when paired with black – Loki as Sacrificial God of funeral pyre

Black: Secret or hidden knowledge, magic, death, sacrifice.  Darkness of the cave, of the mind, of the shadows within.  Loki as the psychopomp, the death of self, and self-delusion.

Pink: The flush of skin, the ‘comely hue.’  Another joyful, vital color, that may also evoke His playfulness, eroticism, flirtation or pleasure.

Silver: Silvertongue. Another color evokes ‘value’ – wealth, treasure.

Gemstones:

Carnelian: vitality, sexuality, warmth.  Stone for the red/orange chakra

Snowflake obsidian: Grounding, chthonic.  Coloring is evocative of ashes.

Iron Pyrite/Fool’s gold

Fire Agate

Red Jasper

Labradorite: Not the flame but the lightning, energy of electricity – I associate this stone not only with Loki but with His father, Farbauti, as well.

Jet: Grounding, along with other lava stones – reminiscent of a fire deity.

Green kyanite: Calming, stabilizing force.  I associate this stone with His mother, Laufey.

~~~

Colors I associate with members of His family:

Angrboda: Blood red, rust red, black, forest green.

Fenrir: Blood red, black

Hela: White, black, bone.  As well, a pale sort of pink.

Jormungandr: colors of water: aquatic blues and pale sea greens

Sigyn: Medium to pale blue, lavender, mauve, pink, yellow.  Also browns, heathered grey.

Narvi: Tans and browns, earthy tones of green, and gold.

Vali: Black, red, speckled greys.

Sleipnir: Dark to medium blues, black, silver, grey.

Farbauti: white, electric blue, medium purple

Laufey: earth tones – greens, browns, gold.

 

 

 

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 24: Crafty.

Though I intended on posting about something else today, I spent a good portion of this evening trying a new weave while making friendship bracelets.

I’ve been wanting to do some new color schemes.

I’m really pleased with this one that I did while watching TV:

braceletcloseup braceletflat bracelettwist

The funny thing is, once I untaped the bracelet from the board, it twisted up.

I think that the twist looked rather interesting – and I would have gladly kept it twisted – but it just wasn’t long enough to fit on my wrist (or ankle) as I intended it to do.

Perhaps I will iron it down tomorrow.

 

runecloth

Finally finished with the rune embroidery on this altar cloth.

I just wanted to post to let those who were asking to see it.

I’ve already gotten the nudge that perhaps I could embroider this 3 more times – as a border for each side.

Though I really hope that that was perhaps not meant as an actual request…as I’m really feeling inclined to embroider something else for a change.

Or I could just look at it as a means to further memorize runes…much like those embroidery samplers of the alphabet that young children were known to make in colonial times.

/end whineage.

 

Process, and projects.

So, as I mentioned a post or two ago, I have been working on several projects.

I have been making jewelry that mostly consists of beadwork and wire-wrapping.

I began last summer making necklaces and ankle bracelets, simply because I found that the process has become quite a meditative and calming activity for me.

I’ve made several pieces now, mostly for myself, as devotional jewelry, because most of the devotional jewelry that I’d purchased from retail was beginning to fall apart.

As well, I have been wearing an ankle bracelet 24/7 * for several years now, and I have found through experience that a lot of ankle bracelets (whether purchased retail or hand made by me) aren’t sturdy enough for such constant wear…or at least, the clasps aren’t.  I’m still trying to work out a means of clasp attachment – or a clasp/attachment combination – that will hold for longer than four months.  I’m getting there.

On the other hand, I switch out my necklaces a lot more often.  I have made several pieces each that are dedicated to specific Gods, and so I often wear those necklaces for shorter periods of time.  I might just phase out some of my older (retail purchased) pieces in favor of wearing exclusively handmade ones.

And, of course, there are times when I make something quick, thinking that I might wear it, and then I get the distinct impression that Someone likes it so much that I’ll end up just leaving it on Their altar…

Laufeynecklace

 

…as is the case here.

The beading cord is recycled hemp, which I’m not familiar working with, and thus the attachment point for this toggle clasp is probably not sturdy enough for wearing for any length of time anyway.

But I have come up with other ideas to expand upon this design, as I really love the earth-toned color scheme.

 

*Loki seems to appreciate that I have been wearing an ankle bracelet which has a design/color scheme that honors Him and His families.

~~~

I’ve also been working on an embroidery project that features all the Futhark runes.

When it is finished, I will be sure to post a picture of it, as it has taken me a while.  Certain runes seem to be a lot more difficult for me to stitch than others, and my perfectionist tendencies aren’t serving me so well in that department.

But as it is with beading, I find embroidery a very satisfying and meditative devotional activity.  I am guessing that there might not be too many people in this world who enjoy embroidering their altar cloths as much as I do, but I enjoy it very much.

I probably should switch out my altar cloths more often, or likewise, create more layers on the altars to showcase the ones I have finished.

I usually have one to three unfinished cloths at any given time, so I definitely have an altar cloth embroidery addiction, at the very least.  Ahem.

~~~

And finally, drawing.

I was puttering around DeviantArt the other day, and I realized that it has now been 3 years that I have had an account there, and yet I have never submitted any artwork.  Still.

(Still, a year or more after saying that I would.)

So, I was having a conversation – no, more like an argument, honestly – with an artist friend of mine yesterday.  In the course of our heated discussion, my artist-friend gave me all kinds of grief in regards to my obvious procrastination/aversion towards actually posting artwork, which led to his calling me out in his frustration, in a very Loki-esque manner:

You know what, Heathir?  

You need to stop talking about doing, and…f***ing DO.  

You need to either shit or get off the pot.

And it was a small thing, such a small thing, my not posting any artwork, you know.

I don’t know what I have been waiting for these past three years.  I’ve never had any excuse whatsoever not to post artwork…but I kept hemming and hawing, anyway.

And there was absolutely no reason to be afraid.

So, as soon as I got off the phone with him, I went to DeviantArt, scanned, and finally posted some artwork.

And the more that I scanned, the more that I wished that I’d keep my artwork in one place in a more organized fashion.

I scanned six pages from my sketch-book.  I started to wonder where I’d put some of the other sketches that I had done last summer.  I began looking through my notebooks, looking specifically for my vulture sketches, and all those face and figure studies that I did last month.

I couldn’t find a lot of what I was thinking to post on DeviantArt because I have been so disorganized in storing my artwork.  *sigh*

But, there’s actually artwork there now.

(There should be more, but I learned that my scanner doesn’t pick up my graphite sketches as well as I would have liked.  I’ll take that as a sign that I need to draw more confidently, ie; press down a little harder with the pencils, so the scanner will pick up the lines.)

 

In related news, I did a few more face studies, and one figure study yesterday in preparation for a t-shirt silkscreen project that I have been putting together:

Figure study 1

 

(Figure study #1: I am pleased with the leanness of the body, but I’m not as pleased with the face as much.  The eyes are fair to good (right eye is clear, left is not because of erasures), and I like the slightly raised eyebrow, but the mouth, nose, and facial hair need work.  And I realize that the hair on the head is all wrong.)

Face Study 1

(Face study #1: I love the hair, and even though it’s shorter than intended, I like the flow.  I like the left eye; too many erasures are muddying up the right eye, but the eye placement looks good to me.  The nose seems wrong somehow, and the mouth seems a bit too wide/too stiff of an expression.  Overall, He looks older than I intended, as well.)

Face Study 2

(Face Study #2: Facial feature placement seems good, but He still looks older than I intended.  Nose is better, and mouth is better.  Tried to keep the raised eyebrow.)

Face Study 3

(Face Study #3: Most of the time, I look at several photos of actual people and study their faces, and practice drawing the parts of the face several times before incorporating the details of several faces while I’m drawing one face.  This was a total freehand in that this face came together all at once, rather than incorporating the various details of several faces from studying photos.  This is the last, and oddly enough, the most simple face of the three that I drew.  I know that this one still needs work, but I really like that He doesn’t look so…middle-aged as He did in the other ones. )

 

Hail Loki, Fair of Face ❤

~~~