April 3, 2020

Plague Journal 2

Crafting project notes!

The big project is collecting vintage linen table cloths and napkins, for the purposes of dyeing and then block printing on them. I bought... lots. Also some bandanas to put anti-plague sigils on, to use as face masks.

So now I have tubs, dyes, soda ash, lots of fabric, and have been working on carving the blocks I want to use. But haven't started dyeing yet, because I'm going to be doing that in the ritual room, and I want to finish rearranging it first.

golden/saffron yellow
royal violet
Aegean blue
moss green

For most of them, I'll be putting a Hekate's Strophalos on the yellow, a pentacle on the purple, antlers or hoof prints on the green, and skulls on the black, but I'll also probably mix it up some. I forget what I'm putting on the blue.

I'm also doing table cloths and napkins for use as those things for my mother, a blue table cloth and mismatched napkins for the big table in the dining room, and a green table cloth and mismatched napkins for the breakfast nook, all with dragonflies, green ones for the blue and vice versa.

One table cloth has a jacquard woven Greek key and floral pattern, and I mean to dye that yellow and use it as a ritual himation, in honor of Hekate. Unfortunately, it was incorrectly listed as linen, and now I don't know what the fiber content is or how well it will take fiber reactive dyes. Ah, well. We'll find out. Another has a cross-stitched key pattern, and I'll dye that one black, for my working altar. Don't know what I'll print on it yet.

Some of the napkins, I'll be sending to SJ Tucker for her to use as online concert tip rewards. I don't know yet what I'll do with the rest of it, although a couple of other things are intended for specific people. Maybe I'll sell them privately.

Another, smaller, project I'm picking up pieces for is a stone and bone windchime-like apparatus to honor the Monsters. Something for me to click-clack when I come in, like spinning a prayer wheel. Something to get their attention with. To that end, I have already ordered hag stones and hemp cord, and will be ordering bones next week. Vertebrae, is the plan, so that they have holes already. The ring everything is suspended from I mean to make out of bramble, once it starts putting out thin flexible suckers.

Really, I got the idea of a stone and bone windchime from T Kingfisher's The Twisted One, a really terrific horror novel with some rather cockeyed humor. The character keeps finding weird, possibly-sculptural but definitely made... things... in the woods outside her grandmother's old house, all hung with holey stones and small bones that clack in the wind. No wind in my ritual space, but maybe some day I'll have an outdoor shrine for them.

I ordered a set of ten hag stones off Etsy (which feels like cheating, but I don't have a good place to hunt for them right now). That's one more than I need for the chimes, and I found a set with one that looked like a good seeing-stone, so I snagged that. I mean to put it into a wandering wire pendant. Maybe with a nazar and a key charm.

I was talking to someone who was using origami butterflies as part of a spell for change in/organizing at her workplace, folding one every day she works. It made me think of the whole thousand cranes thing. And then I thought of those simple little paper stars, and the Orphic Starry nature, and now I have pretty paper strips on the way to start folding those. For now, each one will have a prayer written on the back of the strip. Maybe I'll work out some kind of spell using it later, and maybe not, but I'll get a pretty jar to keep them in as I fold them.

Oh, and in non-craft projects, I've been learning to play a small tank drum (aka steel tongue drum). I've learned Sooj's "Kash Kash", "Do Re Mi" from Sound of Music, and have started on the traditional tune "Down to the River to Pray" (which I tend to use ritually myself). I'm improving. The hope is that I'll eventually get good enough to justify buying a larger, nicer one, and also preferably learn to improvise, like so:

I'd love, eventually, to move on to a hand pan, but those are super expensive, and I'll probably never be good enough to warrant it.