Friday, January 30, 2015

Graveyard Quilts

Have you seen the photos of this Graveyard Quilt now in the collection of the Kentucky Historical Society? (Click the link to learn more about the history.) This quilt was stitched in the mid 1840s by Elizabeth Roseberry Mitchell and her daughters Sarah and Elizabeth. The quilt contains a cemetery in the center with coffins of family members around the edges.

When a person died, the paper coffin was moved from the edge to the center section. The border of the cemetery and quilt itself are stitched with a picket fence as well as flowers and a delicate cemetery gate in the cemetery square.

The names of each family member are written on slips of paper attached to the coffins. 

I really like the idea of the quilt as a memento mori. A quilt is comforting by its very nature.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Evermore, I say!

Today is the 170th anniversary of the publishing of The Raven by you know who. In honor of this day, I'm showing you a little project I did to commemorate this poem using some pictures frames I had around the house. It was easy-peasy and you should try it yourself. I just used one stanza in the poem. I choose not to use the word "nevermore" because that will pop into your head anyway.  You won't be able to stop thinking about it all day. If only you could read the entire poem somewhere.....

Oops, just realized I blogged about this before! Sorry, but you might not have seen it?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Codex Seraphinianus

I know I can be a bit behind the times so I apologize if you already know about Codex Seraphinianus. I, however, have just learned about this fascinating book and want to make sure everyone else knows about it too.
The Codex Seraphinianus was published in 1981 and written/designed by Italian architect, industrial designer, and illustrator Luigi Serafini in the mid 1970s. It has been described as an encyclopedia of an imaginary world and is written in an imaginary language. From the images I have seen online, it reminds me of a Medieval treatise on drugs. The Codex is still available and an updated version with new images was published just a few years ago. It's expensive- around $85. I'm intrigued though and am considering purchasing a copy. Perhaps all my questions about life will be answered. If I do purchase it, I'll have to purchase a book stand too. You just can't keep this book sitting on a shelf. The book is available on Amazon, but I think it deserves to be acquired from a dark alley bookshop even if it costs a few more dollars. Don't you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dear Valentine: For Your Consideration

Tipple Tuesday has been interrupted to remind you that Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I know we'd all like to just ignore it, but your co-workers are watching you. Yes, you could just sign up for that new service where fake boyfriend text messages come to your phone all day or you could buy yourself something creepy to display on your desk and shut them all up. What with pay day around the corner and shipping delays I thought I should help you out sooner rather than later.

I would be overjoyed if my husband gave me this heart-shaped box. Unfortunately, it has been sold. Perhaps you can make one yourself? Don't worry, I have more ideas.

Furever Sweethearts Taxidermy Mice by PreciousCreature
Flowers are always nice to receive. What about this amazing bone sculpture? It is made with 100 porcupine quills, a bird skull and weasel vertebrae.
Bone Sculpture Valentine by Forgotten Boneyard
Who doesn't love getting a heart-shaped box of candy? Or eyeballs and zombies?
Zombie Valentine by SheWhoStamps
Chocolate Skulls work for me too.
Chocolate Skulls by Deviant Dame
Sometimes a simple heart with suffice.
Wonky Barbed Wire Heart by TheDustyRaven
These cake toppers would work as paperweights on your desk. Very romantic.
My Valentine Cake Topper by SweetieCakeTopper
This is box could hold dark chocolates or tiny binder clips.
Coffin Box Bittersweet by CreepyChristine
Jewelry is alway an appropriate gift. Nothing says love like a zombie hand necklace.
Zombie Heart Necklace by RedDingoDesigns
Candles! Don't forget candles to set the mood.
Love Monster Valentine Candle by MonsterCandleShop
So now you have the luxury of time. No last minutes gifting this year. Good luck.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Garments for the Grave

Death will always be met with sadness, but the function of this garment, and indeed the intent inherent in the fashioning of Garments for the Grave, aims to gently guide the bereaved through what is one of the most profound and difficult encounters facing us all. The burial garment is the last skin that will be placed upon us, and will literally and symbolically merge with us in our decomposition and dissipation into the earth." Pia Interlandi

Artist and designer Pia Interlandi has come up with an intriguing idea. She questions whether we should be buried in our regular clothing. Interlandi says tailored clothes are very difficult to put on a dead body and perhaps we should be buried in something that is loose fitting. This is sort of an updated shroud idea. For me, the idea that we would be buried in a garment that is only for the dead is interesting. It make our clothing in death as much a right of passage as wearing a wedding gown is for marriage. I like it. It doesn't hurt that the images (from Interlandi's website) are beautiful.

The burial garments (prototypes at the moment) are made of simple, natural materials. As of today, you can't purchase these garments, but Interlandi has a Garments for the Grave website with a "coming soon" shop. Keep your fingers crossed. She also has an upcoming collaboration project with illustration Tegan Carter to that will interpret "body becomes landscape." There are some sneak-peek images on the website. You should take advantage and peek. They are lovely.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Vodou Drapo

Last night, while browsing through the internet I came upon Haitian Vodou (Voodoo) ceremonial flags. Vodou is a religion in Haiti that is practiced by 90% of the people -mostly the poor working class. The religion is a mixture of Catholicism and old African religions and is still practiced today. For an interesting history of the religion and flags read the Sequin Flags of Haiti article at Ridge Art (don't just look at the pretty pictures). The flags or drapos are colorful sequin and bead depictions of spirits/saints. There are ceremonial flags and art flags. The art flags are usually smaller and are sold to help finance congregations.

Keep in mind that Vodou/Voodoo is not the practice you see in the movies. Like any other religion it has it's mystical elements and attempts to make sense of the good and evil in the world. I'm fascinated by all religions and am happy to share what I learn with you. Now, you can enjoy the pretty pictures.

Of course, I'm only going to show you the more spooky versions, but hey, that's what I do.

Tete san Corps (Head without Body)
Baron La Croix
Papa Ghede
Dancing Ghede

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Iban Barrenetxea

Oh my gosh, I am charmed by the work of illustrator Iban Barrenetxea. He is Spanish and most everything you'll find online about him is in Spanish. Grrrrrrrrrr. I don't read Spanish. From what I can gather, he was minding his own business doodling some pictures (my words, not his) when there was an internet swell of support and he was offered a book deal. From there it was a whirlwind of activity for him. That's every artist's dream. He mostly illustrates children's books. You can find some of them available on Amazon.

The illustrations that first caught my eye are from Brujarella. This is a story about a threat to the future of witchcraft with the Coven of Terragris must solve. Take a peak at these. More images can be found on the blog Cizgili Masallar.

To date, Barrenetxea has illustrated eight books. I think I'll have to search them all out. Here are a few more illustrations to entice you to become a fan as well.

We must demand these books at our local bookseller. You can read a recent interview in English with Barrenetxea here at DrawFolio.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Esther McManus

I've recently come across two illustrators that I really like. Today, I'm featuring Esther McManus. (You'll have to wait till tomorrow for the other one.) McManus describes herself as a printmaker that draws comics. The enchanting illustrations look like scenes from folk tales or ghost stories.  These images can all be found in McManus' Etsy shop. I can't decide which I love the most, though I am partial to the sceance. Why hasn't anyone asked her to publish a book? Keep an eye on her. She is going places.

Witch's Hat Zine
Little Witches Screenprint

Seance Risograph
Meat a Ritual (one of three)
Pondering Witch
As the Sickle Moon Rises

Esther McManus also has a blog of her work called Celebrated Sons.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tipple Tuesday: White Witch

Is it Tuesday already? Lucky us. Today I'm featuring the delicious White Witch cocktail I found on Kleinworth and Co. This will definitely be on this evenings menu in our house. Imagine yourself drinking this by a warm fire. No, don't go there. You're not being burned at the stake. You're a white witch, remember?

White Witch Cocktail
1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream
1 oz Vodka
1 oz white Creme de Cacao
1/4 cup of ice

Put ingredients in a blender and whirl away on high for 10-15 seconds.
Drink up.

I think I'm going to try this with the Toasted Almond Talenti Gelato I already have in the freezer. Yum.
If you're collecting Witch barware, I have a few things to show you, but the pickings are slim out there for chic products. I wonder why? Every witch I know is an avid drinker. 
J&J Custom Creations
Payntstar -If you swing towards bad
Jack Brady Studios
Gerts Vintage Goods
You should, at the very least, wear black when you drink a White Witch cocktail.