Friday, December 15, 2017

Karma's Kreatures

All I know is that it's coming soon. Artist Renee Lawter has created a character named Karma. According to Lawter, "Karma's Kreatures is a story about a little inspiring kick a$$ girl whose health is connected to the deterioration of the environment." Karma goes on a journey with her mother and meets all kinds of interesting kreatures that only she can see. I don't know whether this will be a book or a movie, but it sounds -and looks- interesting. You can find these prints at KarmasKreatures.

Making It Rain 
The Fantastic Filters
Karma Planting the Seeds
The Great Gumball Incident
From Above: A Miyazaki Tribute
The Bunny Hugger

I'm not sure that all these illustrations are from Karma's Kreatures, but they're all so charming I wanted to add the all!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Claw Your Way Out

You need to be prepared for when the really big snow arrives. I suggest a pair of claw gloves. You never know when you'll need to claw your way out of a snowbank. Claw gloves could also help to show pushy shoppers that you won't be messed with. That fingerling is yours. (By the way, I have no idea what a fingerling is, but I noticed lots of parents are looking for them. I thought everyone was getting excited about potatoes.)

Crochet Monster Gloves from MaryOriginals
Upcycled Brown Monster Paws from KendallMade
Gloves with Claws from SnippetFairy
Fleece Yoda Gloves from BlueVapor
Dragon Fingerless Mittens from HotScones
Furry Cat Gloves from ThePrincessKittyCo
Any of these fancy mittens would be fun for a holiday glove exchange or Secret Santa gift.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Otherworldly Dolls

The darkness of winter brings its own kind of magic, and the dolls created by Emilie seem to belong to another world that may just open its doors during the winter nights and let us in. It's a world I wouldn't mind filling my dreams. The shop is called LightLeafStudio.

Noël Christmas Fantasy
Dragon and Fairy
Troll Ornament
Myla Witch
Maylyn Half Dragon- Half Elfe
Matilda Dia de los Muertos Ornament
Magical Mouse Carie
I think I can feel a spark of magic just looking at these dolls!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Ring for Every Finger

I like Greg Wojdak's story about becoming a jewelry designer. As it goes, he couldn't quite find a design for a ring that he wanted and drew a sketch for a goldsmith. After friends started requesting his rings, the goldsmith taught him the art of jewelry making and he eventually opened his own shop. That's my condensed version (you can read the actual story in his bio), but it shows you that you never know where life will take you. Isn't that a heartwarming Christmas story? Where is the Christmas part of that story, you ask? Well, now you're supposed to buy a ring to give to someone as a gift. Your move. His shop is called CustomRingsPL.

Bronze Small Skull Ring
Bronze Sugar Skull Ring
Bronze Armageddon Skull Ring
Serpent Skull Ring
Badass Skull Ring
Tripple Hiroshima Skull Band

There are over 40 different rings in the shop along with pendants, bracelets and earrings made from bronze, silver, and gold. Maybe you need to buy one to fill your own stocking?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Something Rotten for Christmas

I'm hoping for something Rotten for Christmas. That's MarthaRotten, of course. I've featured this wonderful jewelry shop in the past, but as the gift-giving holidays approach I want to make sure you don't forget about Francine and Pete Yorko's jewelry for the darker souls on your list.

Skull with Antlers Ornament
Skull Snowflake Ornament
Planchette Bangle
Jackalope with Gardener's Skull Necklace
Skull Hair Pins
Skulls with Crystals Bracelet
Kitten Skull Ring
All the MarthaRotten pieces are hand crafted from lead-free pewter. The details are lovely and there are many different designs available. I'm confident that there is something you'll love in this shop.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Lizzie Borden Revisited

Yep, I've just finished reading another book about Lizzie Borden and the murder of her father and stepmother. Published in August of this year, See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt, is a fast-moving, fictional account of the days surrounding the murders. I know what you're thinking because I said it myself: "Really? Another book about Lizzie Borden? What is there new to say?"  The novel sat on my nightstand for several days because I just couldn't get up the energy to go through it all again. But then I decided to read just the first page. After that I couldn't put it down.

I liked this book very much. Each chapter is relayed through the viewpoint of either Lizzie, her sister Emma, the servant Bridgett, or Benjamin - a fictional character that adds a twist to the story. Benjamin is used to explore one of the existing but little discussed theories of the murders that they were orchestrated by Lizzie's Uncle John. We know in fact that Uncle John arrived unexpectedly the day before the murders with no luggage and was away during the the time of the murders, but his actions afterwards have always raised questions in my mind.

Most of the novel takes place the day before and the day of the murders. Schmidt stays close to the facts but adds the heightened tension and instability in the household through each of the characters thoughts. I was definitely on edge while reading Lizzie's almost psychotic thoughts, Emma's feelings of entrapment and suspicion of Lizzie, and Bridgett's fear of the family and her longing to leave the household. Benjamin is also a troubled character and his thoughts provide us with motive and an outsider's view of the family.

Will this be the novel to end all future novels of the Borden murders? Absolutely not. Does it wrap everything up nicely?  Well, no, but would you really want it to? What I find satisfying in any novel is when it raises questions that keep me thinking for days. This is one of those novels. It also makes me want to go back and read through the court transcripts. I just can't stop wondering.

If you want to read other posts about Lizzie Borden just type "Borden" into the search box on the right. I visited her house this summer and have revisited the murders several times over the last few years.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hand Carved Witches

A hand-carved witch would make a great gift for any witch in your life and Kelley Stadelman has been making them for several years. Though she mostly carves Christmas themes (she has published books with instructions for wood carvers on making elves, Christmas decorations, and angels that you can find on Amazon) her witches are also sought after.  Stadelman's pieces are all original and her witches are cheerful and full of good magic.  You can find them at CarvingfromtheHeart.

Witch, Corn and Crow
Pumpkin Patch Witch
Fall Hag with Pumpkinini Purse
Witch with Striped Socks
Witch's Cauldron
Witch and Friends
These are the kind of witches everyone needs in their life. There are more available in the shop. Take a look around.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Hauntingly Beautiful Ornaments

Is your Christmas tree filled with ornaments from the darker side of Christmas? Then, I think you'll like some of the creations from Ken Fedoruk. His 2017 ornament collection has both one of a kind pieces and limited edition replicas, and some of them are spooky. Sandwiched between the jolly Santas and the carolers are Christmas ghosts and witches and a few creepy characters. You know about the Italian Christmas witch La Bafana who gives out presents to children, right?

Fedoruk's work is definitely heirloom quality. You can find the collection in his shop KenFolks.

Jacob Marley Ghost
Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Future Sculpture
La Bafana Christmas Witch
Zombie Elf
Dracula Ornament
If you're an ornament collector, you'll want to grab one of these before the 2017 collection is gone. Check out the shop for more lovely ornaments.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Naughty? It's Krampusnacht

Tonight is THE NIGHT! It's December 5th and we can expect the Krampus to be making his rounds to collect all the bad children this evening.  Do you think the Krampus bases being a child on actual age or just if you sometimes act like one? I'm asking for a friend.

I'm sure you know about the Krampus by now, but in case I need to catch you up quick, the Krampus arrives to take away (and eat?) all the naughty children on December 5th- the night before Saint Nicholas arrives to reward all the good children on December 6th. Got it?

In several countries there are festivals where the Krampus runs wild in the streets trying to capture the children known as Krampusnacht. Sounds fun! I'm not expecting to see that in my town so I've come up with some interesting way to celebrate tonight:

  • Feed the cats extra treats - they're the closest thing in our house to the Krampus
  • Drink a bitter cocktail (I don't think I can find the traditional Krampuslauf drink at my local liquor store.)
  • Watch the 2015 film Krampus. (Have to admit I haven't seen it yet)
I also want to make this Krampus crescent roll recipe  by Jen Fujikawa that I found at Nerdist.

It seems to me that maybe we should turn off all the lights so that the Krampus doesn't know we're home and maybe leave a treat for him on the front porch or something. This is a work in progress. Good luck tonight. Try to do something good before he arrives.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Reindeer Games

I like the unexpected hint of the macabre in my Christmas decorations and today I'm featuring a few reindeer skeleton items. I think reindeer are just as adorable as skeletons as they are with flesh.  Just sayin.

Reindeer Skeleton Glass Ornament from WykedWyllow
Reindeer Skeleton Print from VanessaLynnShop
Skeleton Reindeer Mini Tree Topper from CurioPsychosis
Skeleton Reindeer Wreath Ornament from CurioPsychosis
Boney Reindeer Ornament from PressonthePrairie
Sewn Two-Headed Deer Skull from Floozey
I don't think most traditional Christmas decorators would even look twice at any of these skeletons. They're so beautifully done that they'll fit right in.