A Month of Drawings – #Inktober 2019

A Month of Drawings – #Inktober 2019

Inktober is now finished, and I almost made it to the end of the month.

I say “almost”, because I kind of fell off the wagon during the last week, having a lot of things to deal with at home beside enjoying Samhain Tide as much as I could. I planned and did so much magic and rituals and cooking and fun pumpkin carving this year that I don’t mind having ended Inktober a little bit sooner. This Witch feels that it was worth it.

I can’t really complain anyway, since I managed to respect the end-of-challenge goal that I set for myself: finishing up with a huge piece of pine wood featuring a Flock of Ravens, silently fluttering in the moonlight sky like an Ancient Omen.

Raven Wood Ornament

I can tell you that this piece actually means a great deal to me, and I can tell you why. It’s kind of a secret still, but hidden things are unveiled at Samhain, and I feel ready to whisper this one. This illustration is meant to play a part in a future Oracle Deck that I have in mind and have the desire to create in the future.

Don’t jump on conclusions too quickly though. This is still a vague project. I mean, I already pictured about 50 cards that will make their way into the deck, but that’s it for now. Most of it is only living in my head, I haven’t start any drawings, except for a couple of drafts here and there. So this won’t happen soon.

Also, may I remind you that I have a Lenormand Deck to publish first! 😉

All right, back to Inktober. If you’ve been with me on Instagram, then you know that I used the opportunity to introduce and highlight several tarot and oracle creators. And there was even more that I wish I had featured on my account, but I genuinely couldn’t manage to fit them all in such a short length of time.

Basically, I picked one card from a different deck of my collection each day to inspire me and create a little square card myself. One small walnut ink painting every day – plus a few extras wooden amulets – and soon it turned out to be a very pleasing collection of earthly monochrome designs.

#Inktober2019

And now I got to do something with it! So I figured, regarding the original drawings themselves, I’m going to add them to the next orders placed on the shop, as a cute little token of gratitude before the closing day. I might add a couple of Wooden Amulets as well. Who knows, maybe you will be the lucky one to get one of those.

Besides these improvised gifts, I’m thinking of burning a few of these designs on wood in the future. I already have my favorites that I absolutely want to create, but please, let me know what are yours so I can be able to make them too.

Hibernation mode

Hibernation mode

Winter is coming, and with it, the hibernation of my sweet little shop.

I already told you about the unfortunate change of visa that I’m going to experience next month and the consequences that come with it – aka an extended period of forced vacations for me and my husband. So far, no other changes to declare, all that I said last week is still valid.

So, first things first, I will close the shop on November 17, and the last orders will be sent the following Monday.

Closing the shop at this time means that there won’t be any end-of-the-year sales. So, just as I was saying in my last post, if you’re planning to get some Yule or Christmas presents from my shop, the sooner the better. The same goes for custom orders: you still have a few weeks to work with me, then I won’t be able to create anything more for you until the reopening (which annoys me deeply, despite it not being my call).

Now for those of you who asked me about the publishing of my Wildera Lenormand, don’t worry, I still have it in my mind. My initial schedule obviously doesn’t stand anymore, but I still intend to have it printed and released as soon as I can. I had planned to get pre-orders on the shop by mid November; instead we are going to have a Spring Launch – sounds exciting to me!

I’ll keep posting news about my very first deck here and on my social media platforms, but I’m also aware that some of you don’t use them and would like something else instead. As a solution, I will get back on creating and writing regular Newsletters in the future. This way, you’re going to be able to know where and how to order Wildera Lenormand when the time comes.

So if you’re inclined to it, please go and subscribe here, and I will take care of the rest 🙂

Having the shop in hibernation during the Cold Months doesn’t necessary mean that I will be dormant too (even if my Hermit Bear side finds it really tempting some days).

There’s a few weeks in December / January where I’m going to go back to France and enjoy the holidays with family while waiting for the new visa to be approved. Then, back to our home in Washington State, I’m going to use the rest of my free time to work on different Personal Projects that I kept pushing aside during last Summer.

I’ve got a long list for this, plenty of choice to keep me busy and share different facets of my spiritual and creative life with you. For instance, I still need to organize the inside of Mildred Payne’s Secret Treasure Box to be able to find the Magic Trinkets that I keep in there more easily.

I also want to work on the wood storage chests that I use in the Atelier. The idea came to me right in the beginning of my installation here, that they needed to be decorated to reflect the creations that I keep in. I have this picture in my head of what it’s going to look like; now I just have to make it happen. Besides of all this, I need to finish some wall decor for my Atelier too, and a couple of my Witchy Books and Grimoires are waiting for some updates and new pages.

I’m starting to find the positive side of these forced vacations. So many things to create, and plenty of time to focus on it!

Expatriate update: changing visa and the consequences

Expatriate update: changing visa and the consequences

It’s funny how it’s easy to forget about the technicalities of your residential status when you’ve settled in a foreign country for a while. Once you’ve dealt with all the challenges of the beginning, you start to build your new life and your routines, and soon you forget that you’re here on a visa that is meant to be temporary. At least I did.

But things always end up changing, right? The wind turns, the moon disappears from view, the ocean tides withdraw, the trees let go of their dying leaves… and I happened to learn that my visa will have to go too in a few weeks.

I so easily forgot about me being an expatriate, and it’s now hitting me right in the face. As home as I feel here in this magical spot in the Pacific Northwest, I’m still bound by a piece of paper on my passport and my life here is only permitted by the US immigration laws.

I’ll spare you the boring details about why and how my status will have to be adjusted, but here’s what you need to know, because – of course – this unfortunate news will affect the shop.

Should everything go according to plan (let’s have a bit of hope here), I will get a new type of visa and be allowed to stay in this country. No big international move at the horizon for now, which is really great! But getting the new visa will take some time and (let’s go for the bad bits now) it won’t be one that allows me to work. At least not by its own. I’ll have to get an additional work authorization, and that too, won’t be done in a day.

At this point you’ve probably already understood what it means for the shop. Since I won’t be allowed to work here for a certain length of time, I’ll have no other choice but to close it, and take advantage of these forced vacations to “work” on something else (like getting to the point where patience is my best quality) (or maybe a new Oracle? hmh, just saying).

Last but not least, let’s talk timing and delays. How long will this whole process take?

Please be aware that I cannot guaranty anything, that this is just an estimation, and that… yeah, things change. But for now, here’s what I’m being told: my current visa will be canceled the last day of November, then there’s approximately a two months wait to get the new visa, and after that, another couple of months for me to have a work authorization.

What do you need to remember from all this? Essentially, that the shop will be closed by the end of November (I will be able to confirm the date soon), so if you had the intention to get Christmas presents from my shop this year, I can only apologize and suggest that you place your orders sooner than later. I’ll still be happy to have them ready for you and your loved ones ♥

TL;DR: My current visa is being canceled, I will get a new one and be allowed to stay in the US, but I will have to wait before having the authorization to work here again. As a consequence, I unfortunately will have to close the shop for an extended period of time (approx. 4 months), beginning at the end of November.

It’s that time of the year! #Inktober 2019

It’s that time of the year! #Inktober 2019

Isn’t October the most magical month of all? With all of the Fall delicacies, the yummy pumpkins and squash everywhere, the earthly scents of fallen leaves released by the touch of a light rain, the misty mornings that are getting chillier as the Sun rises later and, of course – of course! – the delightful perspective of Samhain and Halloween festivities at the end of the month.

But there’s another event that adds to the overall enchantment and magic, at least for me and, I suppose, for a whole lot of artists that participate all around the world. Yep, you got it, it’s the #Inktober challenge!

In case you don’t know already about the concept of it, it’s really simple: pick your favorite ink-related medium (or anything else really) and draw something each day for the entire month of October. There’s a list of prompts provided to get you started and inspire you with some ideas. I must admit though that I don’t usually follow it, and this edition won’t make the exception.

For this year’s Inktober, I want to include some of my favorite Tarot and Oracle decks to the challenge. I possess quite a number of them now and, if you didn’t know, I already use them regularly as a source of inspiration in my Creative Work. So I figured, I might as well do the same for this particular exercise, right?

Inktober Challenge

Anyway, as I’m writing and posting this, it’s October 3rd, and the Inktober challenge has already begun on my Instagram, so feel free to join me there at any time to see what is up. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be posting a new walnut ink drawing each day, plus a few surprises along the way – because I honestly don’t think I can stay away from my wood-burning tools for that long.

Mildred Payne’s Secret Treasure Box

Mildred Payne’s Secret Treasure Box

As you probably know by now, I’m an avid Tarot and Oracle consumer, always looking for the next Artistic Gem to add to my collection of decks. I’m also very mindful about the new ones that I want to bring home with me as once they are here, I tend to care for them passionately.

I mean it, each one of them end up being nested comfortably in some sort of Personal Home, be it a bag, a box, or a dedicated shelf / altar of their own. As for today, most of them have their own beautiful unique custom made little bags, swapped with a skilled friend of mine who – unlike me – knows her way around a sewing machine. And some others have their own personalized Wooden Box.

Today I’d like to share one of these with you, partly because I’m quite proud of the work I’ve done on it, but also as a sort of tribute to the Artist who inspired it in the first place. Deviant Moon Tarot, Trionfi della Luna, Mildred Payne’s Pocket and Black Enchantment Oracles… Patrick Valenza’s decks hold a special place in my collection, so I had to create something really special, at least for two of them.

Mildred Payne's Oracles - Wooden Box

A few months ago, inspired by the thrilling storytelling built around the character of Mildred Payne, I started to imagine a Secret Treasure Box in which her decks of cards could rest. A precious wooden box, that could have been smuggled by little Mildred herself on her way to the Asylum. A box that would keep her Dark Secrets safe, hidden from the insanity of the world outside.

So I just started on a whim, as I usually do when an idea of mine becomes quite obsessive, and I ended up spending a lot of hours on this project. A lot more than I first expected… as I usually do when an idea becomes really obsessive! Because of the gold. Lots and lots of gold.

Mildred Payne's Oracles - Custom Wood Box

As you can see here on the top of the box, a good portion of the Eye Symbol – aka the back design of Mildred Payne’s Oracle of Black Enchantment, which I love so very much – is filled with gold leaf. Technically speaking, and only for this part of the work, I am talking about 6 or 7 hours bent on my table.

Absorbed by my creative journey with this box, I completely forgot to count how long I spent on the pyrography, the walnut ink staining, and the black and white painting besides the gilding. I bet it easily doubles the count of hours though.

But oh boy, was it worth it!

Oracle of Black Enchantment - Gilded Wooden Box

In the daylight, you probably won’t really notice the gold if you just pass by and don’t consciously pay attention. But when the Dark Veil of the night falls and you light a couple of candles beside it, you will find a whole different story there.

The gold starts to glow, becomes brighter, unveiling its secret magnificence in the shadows, reflecting the Dance of the Flames in its core, silently revealing what’s hidden in the layers of darkness.

Having to find out what is waiting for you underneath, you can’t resist to open the lid and you suddenly find yourself facing this Devil figure flying in the Night Sky. A reminder that even in the Realm of Shadows, forgotten gems are lying there, waiting to be revealed by the soft light of the Moon to burst like the Stars.

Oracle of Black Enchantment - Custom Wood Box

Creativity is born and can only arises from the deep black soil of the unconscious mind, and in her own twisted way, poor little Mildred probably knows it better than anyone else. And I bet his Creator knows it to, because he did a fantastic job with these decks, giving a voice and a staring eye to the darkest layers of the human psyche.