craft and how to

Spell Writing Tips for Beginners

Hello Lovelies!

So you’ve decided to write a spell, great! Everyone has the capacity and capability to write a working spell. This is a list of some beginner tips for new spell writers, or for experienced writers who feel they need to go back to the basics.

1. Don’t be afraid of your own style.

Some spells are super flowery with long words and Shakespearian phrases. Some spells require 18 ingredients and 3 days to cast them. Some spells require specific times to cast them and the perfect astrological conditions. Some spells are simple, consisting of a single phrase.
Don’t be afraid of your own individual style. A spell written by you, for you, should be a personal experience. Just because your spell doesn’t flow a certain way doesn’t mean it’s “wrong” or won’t work. Spell writing is a form of self expression and each spell will be as individual and unique as the person writing it.

2. Don’t think too much.

Spell writing (for me anyway) is more of a spiritual experience than an intellectual one. I usually sit down with my pen and paper. Then I meditate for a minute thinking about what I want to achieve. Then I just let the words flow out onto the paper, without thinking about what it all means. You can always read it after and make adjustments. If you just sit down and let it happen, you may be surprised by what you come up with!

3. Make your own associations.

Don’t feel like you have to research the meaning of every ingredient or color that you use. I may think red is a color for lust while you see it as a color for anger. Both associations are right. If something doesn’t feel right to you, or you personally feel different about something. It’s ok to use an ingredient in a different way than what is “traditional”.

4 Do research on any ingredients you use.

This may seem contradictory to my last tip, but this time I’m talking about physical properties. Will your gemstone dissolve in water? Is that herb you want to use toxic? Could you have an allergy to that essential oil? It’s important to do your research because some of the ingredients used in spell craft can be very potent.

5. Have fun!

If spell writing is stressing you out, try taking a break and coming back to it later. Whatever energy you have while writing your spell is going to show up in the casting of your spell. If you’re angry while writing a healing spell, it probably won’t work as well as you wanted it to. Don’t get frustrated with yourself. You’re new at this it will take some time. Just have patience with yourself.

I hope these tips are helpful for any new spell writers!
Happy writing!
-Liz

Craft vs. Art

I was thinking about @jenroses’s answer about the arbitrary nature of what constitutes the line between fanfiction and original fiction, and I started thinking about how it relates to the supposed differences between craft and art, and also why doing something that’s considered more of a “craft” can sometimes be more creatively freeing than working on “art.”

Given that I do needle arts, this craft vs. art thing is an issue that comes up a lot. Crafts seem to be things that people classify as something to keep your hands busy. The implication is something small in meaning. “Not something that would go in a museum.” Pleasure, not “real work.” Cross-stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, knitting, crochet, quilting, weaving (basket and cloth), beading, but also woodworking and blacksmithing and pottery. These are all things that are seen to require skill to do well, but the end results are only rarely held up as examples of “art,” and are thus not often seen as truly creative endeavors by people outside that crafting community.

If the work isn’t seen as 100% the maker’s original idea, no working from instructions or patterns at any point, is it really art? they ask.

Does it matter? I counter.

When I started writing fic this past June, I hadn’t written fiction of any kind in 16 years. Nor had I drawn or painted. My artistic creativity, as I had been told to define it, had seemed burned out, gone, dead. All I’d been doing in those years (“all”) was extremely complex cross-stitch, temari (a Japanese form of geometric embroidery), and knitting. It was the temari that really grabbed me, so I worked hard enough at it that I started to get some recognition for making original pieces, which, in the temari world, means combining techniques that are centuries old in possibly novel ways, or at least novel colors. And at this point, people started asking me what it was that kept me coming back to temari. Why did I keep doing it, sometimes variations of the same design again and again? The answer I came up with was this:

I like the way temari sets up rigid constraints that you must work within (the geometric divisions, the stitching techniques), but then challenges you to be as creative as possible within those constraints. Sure, I did that particular pattern five times in a row, but each time I varied the colorway, or I explored how changing just one element would affect the overall final look. And that spurred me to greater and greater creativity.

Fanfiction is very much the same for me. Exploring how to be as creative as possible in a few areas while operating within a set of constraints is oddly freeing. I can experiment with changing just one aspect of canon and explore how that would change the overall dynamic of the established world, or I can push everything into an AU setting and work to keep the character dynamics recognizable even with everything else changed. And if creativity within constraint is what’s inspiring me to actually write/draw/stitch, I’m not going to look down on that.

Nor should anyone.

Blur that line in your mind. It’s all art. It’s the value judgements that are fake.

Cleaning Candle Holders

Cleaning candle holders is probably one of my least favorite things to do, but recently I’ve started collecting left over wax to use in other projects (a post for a much later day) and I was entrusted with a few extra candle holders to clean so what better use of chore than to make a blog post about how I get it done.

There are A LOT of ways to clean candles. This is just the way that I like doing it and I prefer to do things in batches anyways because I’m all about saving some time. 

-SUPPLIES-

  • candle holders that need cleaning
  • a large pot or bowl
  • a knife (or something you can poke wax out with)
  • paper towel/something to wipe the candle holders down with
  • hot water (I boiled my water in my tea kettle and poured it into my bowl)

-INSTRUCTIONS-

  1. Use a knife to cut slashes into the wax still in the candle holder
  2. Place candle holders in a large pot and pour hot water into candle holders and around them. Leave sitting for about 15 minutes.
  3. Leftover wax will either float to the top or be soft and cool enough to pull out with a knife
  4. You can either soak them in a fresh batch of warm water or you can wipe off the excess wax with a paper towel (I used the paper bags we save from last minute store runs)
  5. You can set aside the wax for a future project or toss it!
youtube

The new bat video!

Catbus Pet Costume Tutorial

You asked for it so here it is! An easy No Sewing required lightweight pet costume. This build should take 1-2 hours at most.

For Supplies you will need Sheets of Felt in colors that match your pet (Our build ended up using 7 total but we bought 5 of each color), Scissors, Glue (We used Hot Glue for our build but almost any will work as long as you are willing to wait on it drying), and 2 cardboard Soda boxes from the recycling, and a Pen.

Cut the bottom off one of the soda boxes and then gently unfold it. Trim it to fit your pets size as needed if a long 12 pack box. Then trim the inner corner area’s like so ^. So that when you assemble it later your Catbus will have a rounded top. Also plan to have the brown side facing out so that the soda decorations on the box don’t show up behind the felt.

Draw the windows in just under the crease of the box and then cut them out. For uniformity you can trace the cut outs on the other side. But remember that Catbus is fluid in the size, shape, and total number of windows. (Usually it’s 6-7 but can be more or less)

Of you have a razor blade it can speed up the process but scissors are all you really need.

Break down your other soda box and create “legs” by patterning and cutting out a similar shape as shown. We did them between 4-5 inches because of our pets size. Don’t go too short. You can always trim later if you feel you made them too long.

Take a couple pieces of felt and layer the legs on them with plenty of room in between them. I would suggest no more than 6 legs per piece as the more felt you have on the edges the easier it is to roll them for a smooth look.

Cut out each leg with plenty of felt on the edges. Then trim that with triangles similar to this. That will allow for easy fold/gluing.

Fold and glue each leg and set aside to dry.

Remember that the Catbus is usually at least 2 tones and pick which colors you want where. There is no wrong way to make your Catbus. Take your cardboard base and trace out the top to the fold, and mark smaller squares inside the windows.


(this is so you can fold the fabric and glue after attaching the felt)

Glue the piece on with the top matching up near the fold and the holes matching the center of the windows.If the top goes a little high you can always trim later. Then cut from the center holes of the felt in the windows out to the edge of the windows in order to fold and glue.

Fold and glue inwards.

Once you’ve finished each window, cut a strip of your other color of felt and glue below the passenger area.

Trim 2 other pieces of felt  and glue them in between the passenger windows (and meet at the halfway point of the cabin) so that they dangle downwards on the front and back. It’s at this point that you take the flaps and re-glue or tape them back together to reform the box shape.

Often times you will have overlays of felt. Once everything is dry. Trim these so that the edges meet up.

Take 3 pieces of felt that match the cabin area and trim them to the width of the build then glue them on below the bar on both sides. Its at this time you should cut the Windows in the front and back of the bus and glue the back side down. Leave the front unglued for now

Take your legs and space them out on the felt at whatever length they need to be at to emulate legs on your Cat(Or Dog) turned Catbus. Then glue them down, cut the felt between them, and then glue the cut felt to the edges as you roll it to grip and hold the fake legs solidly. Decorate your legs with the opposite color felt however you wish. We did stripes, the original did pointy ovals.

Now for the attaching part. Cut a big “ U ” the size of your pets neck out of a piece of felt. Hold it up to your pet and make quick note how thin their chest is for trimming it inwards. Towards the end of the felt let it come back to form an upside down “ T “. Glue extensions on the “ T “ so that they will reach back up into the costume. Then glue the 2 parts of the “ U “ in to the edge of the front of the box. Then take that top flap you left unglued before and trim it before gluing it over those 2 straps and Rolling the excess fabric inside and gluing it firmly. (Alternately you can take 2 thin straps and form an “ X “ that will fit across your pets chest between it’s front legs)

If you have Velcro attach one side to each of the “ T “s edges then place the other side on top with a protective surface still on. Slip the U over your pets head and pull the T straps below their legs and slip each T cross inside of the Box and attach the Velcro in a comfortable fit for your pet’s chest.

Congrats! You’ve Made an easy to make Costume of the Catbus for your Pet! Feel free to add more details like the sign above the front windows!  Print out any characters you would like to see riding the bus, cut them out and glue them in the windows! Get Creative.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Want your own Skam jar/mug?

Some people has expressed interest in the SKAM inspired jars I’ve been making, someone even said they wished they could be mass produced.

It would only be small scale, but if people are genuinely interested in these jars, I would definitely be willing to make/sell something similar to fellow Skam fans.

What I could offer would be the following:

A JAR or MUG for aprox £30 (to cover material/glaze cost) + shipping.

Fully customized for you!

You get to choose 1 image and/or 1 text relief from my previous designs (if you have another idea, hit me up, I’m fairly flexible). Anything more elaborate; a more complicated design, if you want a handle on the mug, or a lid, will cost a bit more due to the extra work it demands.

I would likely not be able to ship them out before new years, because it takes time to mold them, and work on them + I need to fire them twice (and also preferably fill the kiln for when I do).

Also payment would have to be in advanced.

But then again you’d get a fully customized handmade Skam pottery item to use as a coffee/tea cup, or as a jar to keep stuff in. :)

Is this something anyone is interested in??

instagram

I finally made some successful butter slime!! (I think lol) it feels lighter and more rubbery than I expected, but it’s still super soft and fun to mess with! I took two videos: this one, and one spreading it with a knife! (When I post the other one I’ll link it here ^^)

(Feel free to delete the caption for aesthetics)

youtube

DIY Lip Balm - Liquid Lava, Galaxy Glitter & Orbeez

More fun DIYs at Kimspireddiy



(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhFj4jXNXjU)

shorts

they were meant to be longer

and his entire ass is out 

this is why u make prototypes

also this

Cot Blanket

Handknit cot blanket, made on 2.25mm needles and knitted in cotton embroidery thread.

Okay, this just BLEW my mind!  Knitting with embroidery thread!?  That’s crazy, BUT amazing all at once! And how effective is this?  SO good!  Made by    Spellstone and found on Flickr.

To get started on something like this, here’s a simple pattern for a knitted triangle:

Directions

Cast on 2 sts.
Row 1 (RS): K1, yo, k1.
Row 2: K1, yo, k2.
Row 3: K1, yo, knit to end.

Knit until the triangle is the desired size you want and then repeat. (This is the basic pattern I make when making a quick and easy triangle shawl.  I love garter stitch and yarn overs!)