DIY Oracle: step 2, play and experiment

So in step 1 we brainstormed and thought about what our oracle would look like and what type of oracle we want. Which brings us to the next part: gathering resources and experimenting! This is of course the time to go all out. Try different things, use unusual materials, just play and see what works for you!

First I went through the stacks of magazines that we still had laying around. I was lucky, I had gotten an entire stack of photography magazines from my sister, which gave me a whole bunch of beautiful nature photos. As well as old photoshop magazines for a few more modern or artsy pieces. I now have a bunch of images to work with, but I still have a folder on my phone and computer as well, that if I come across something that might work, I can save the images.

For me I already knew I wanted black cardstock and minimalistic images. So first I grabbed two scraps of black cardstock, some inks and a masking stencil.

So first I tried Distress Oxide Black Soot. White very pretty, this was in no way glossy, so not what I had envisioned. Next!

Test nr. 2: Distress Shimmer Spray in black. Shimmer! Yay! However, I wasn’t a fan of the droplets and grungy effect. At least, not for this project. So… Next!

For the next one I didn’t have any scraps left, so I needed to cut a bigger sheet into smaller pieces. A perfect time to decide how big I wanted the cards to be! I dove into my oracle decks and pulled out different cards. I held them in my hand and tried to find the size that worked best for me to hold and shuffle, but was also big enough to show larger photographs. I decided on my Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan for a base, but then just slightly wider. For me that was four inch by three inch, which also made it easy to cut with my paper cutter. I have a corner punch, but was afraid it was too small, but as you can see it works perfectly!

I spoke to my craft guru (my mother) and told her about the effect of what I wanted to achieve. She said clear embossing powder and I slapped my own forehead because why didn’t I think of that?! So this is stamped with the Penny Black Butterfly Charmer and then embossed with clear embossing powder. Love it! The only “problem” is that this stamp is not clear, and quite bulky so I always have some issues to get the full image stamped, as can be seen at the top of the card. Still, I do like it. But, we’re experimenting, so… Next!

Same technique, different stamp. This is the Prima Marketing Wave Background. However in black it’s more tigerstripes than waves. And since I have a strong dislike for animal prints…. Next!

I don’t even have a photo of this next one. I stamped the Kaisercraft Hexagon, which I normally love, it’s one of my favourites. However, on this size card, it looked like someone had run then over with a car… yeah, no… Next!

This is Viva Decor Brick&Wood (the wood part, obviously). I kind of like this, but felt it didn’t look enough like bark for me to love it.

So the butterflies are by far my favourite! so that is the one it’s going to be! I’ll have to figure something out (read, probably buy a thing) to make sure that the stamp will cover everywhere and will be in the same place on every card. But, I love it! So, next up: the front!

This actually went pretty quickly. I had a magazine from our time in the zoo last year and it had a bit about the windmill parks at see. So I took a bit with the least windmill (since it’s a test anyway) and went through my paperstash for a matching paper for the bottom. Black glitter tape and a small piece of scrap paper for the word, hastily written in paint pen.

So now I know what materials I need, what the end result will look like (at least a little) and how it will all come together! Join me next time when I show you the way to (hopefully) get all the cards cut in the same size!

Art Journal: Elen of the Ways

Sometimes the divine speak to – and through – you in unexpected ways. This was supposed to be a practice of painting fantasy faces. But when the redhead was done it felt like something missing. I painted the branches/antlers and there she was, Elen of the Ways.

I was still missing something so I grabbed my golden paintmarker and simply started writing, the words flowing with such ease. They aren’t my words, they are Hers.

Come join me, oh wild one
running free through the woods
I will guide you on your path
show you the way to go
follow my Way; the sound of pounding drums
the sound of your own heartbeat
hear the song of your soul
and happily find out where it takes you
know that wherever you are
no matter what path you are on
you are not alone, oh wild one
for I am in the ground under your feet
the birds soaring above you in the sky
the stars lighting your way
I am right here besides you
walking next to you

Elen of the Ways

Grimoire cover

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I’ve talked about my spiritual path here before, but to be honest, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus when it comes to witchcraft and paganism. I talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk so to speak. Since being home for a few weeks {pro tip: don’t fall down stairs… it sucks} I’ve had time to reflect. As you do, sitting on a couch with nothing to do all day, right? And what I found is that while my worldview and my beliefs have changed over the years, I do miss it. I miss the witchy feeling and the peace and confidence it brought me. So I’m back! Basically starting from scratch and trying to figure out which bits and pieces within the pagan and witch paths do fit me and which don’t.

Creativity, crafting and art have always been a big part of my life {my site is not called Marjolijn MAKES for nothing} so it makes sense that it also becomes a big part of my spiritual practice and pagan path. Something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now is make a beautiful Book of Shadows or Gimoire that’s filled with art and knowledge about a bunch of different subjects. But I’ve always been afraid to start. There are so many beautiful examples out there, how could I ever compare, right? So this was step one, making a journal fit to become a Grimoire.

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I took a blank sketchbook and went all out. Using different mixed media techniques I finally made a book I absolutely adored. Since I made the book at night {bad idea…} I had to tweak it a little bit in the days following. Because it was bright BRIGHT metallic purple with a few silver streaks, not the dark and mysterious book I wanted it to be. I added some matte black paint, some darker purple and gold. Now I absolutely love it!

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And the back needed to be fancy as well of course! Now if you’re still reading and thinking: what the hell is a grimoire or a book of shadows? Sorry, I should have explained earlier. Both are books used within witchcraft and within the pagan path. They are magic journals. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably, sometimes a book of shadows is seen more as a magical diary, where you note the divinations, spells, rituals and prayers you used and what their effects were, where a grimoire is more a compendium of knowledge with pages filled with information and correspondences.

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I’ve already made a couple of pages about moon magic, which I’ll share with you over the coming weeks. It’s been so much fun to work in this way and I’m hoping I can fill my artsy grimoire with lots of colour and lots of different techniques. For those who want to see more, I have a pinterest board filled with beautiful examples of other people’s grimoires, and I have a witchy sideblog on Tumblr called Baduhenna’s Raven, where I also talk about grimoires and am starting a bit of a series on how to make an artsy grimoire like mine. {Though I might also start it here… If people are interested?} So check those out and tell me what you do with your BoS/Grimoire!

D&D Birthday card

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And we’re back from hiatus! YAY! As you may know by now I play a lot of Tabletop RPGs. And I do mean a lot… We have a Pathfinder game every wednesday, Starfinder once a month and then a D&D 5th edition one-shot every once in a while. You can easily say I’m a bit addicted {especially when you see my dice collection…shh!}

We usually play with the same group of friends, although the parties depend on who is the GM and which players can make it. So when one of my party member’s birthday came up, I knew I needed to make a D&D-themed birthday card!

I used the adorable BB Magical Dragons stamp by My Favorite Things and used a bunch of stamps and stencils to make the mixed media background. The D20 dice and drew and inked myself! It’s so sparkly!

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I hand lettered the “Roll for birthday fun!” quote and added a bunch of tiny accents with white and black posca fineliners. This card was so much fun to make and he absolutely loved it! I know what I can make for my other party members {make ALL the colours!} and I might even add them to the shop if there are people out there who are interested. But for now: yay for cute D&D dragon cards!

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Whimsical Girl

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Last Saturday me and my mum went to an amazing workshop where we would try and make a mixed media painting with a ‘Whimsical Girl’. The workshop was led by the awesome Miranda van den Bosch {seriously, check out her website and Facebook page!} and was held at Doe@ding {a.k.a. one of the best craft-shops in the Netherlands}.

It was such an amazing and fun-filled day. I learned a lot from Miranda about portrait drawing and shadowing, which was exactly why I wanted to follow this workshop. I also got to work with materials I’d never worked with before, like the Distress Crayons. All in all, it was a fun mother-and-daughter-day and I walked out of there with a new addiction… Expect more of these paintings really soon! But first, some W.I.P. pictures:

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General sketch and added tissue paper to the background

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Filled in the background with Distress Crayons and Gesso

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Finished her face! Now all she needs is hair and eyebrows….

Mixed Media: Flowers and Secrets

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So in last weeks post I promised you guys that I’d show you something else you can do with your colouring pages. Well, here she is! A mixed media painting using you colouring page as a beautiful centre.

This picture is again from Jasmine Becket-Griffith‘s amazing Fantasy Art Coloring book. Her name is Flora! First I coloured her with Spectrum Noir markers, specifically the Pastel set. I added a bit of sparkle to her belt with the Spectrum Noir Sparkle set – Metallics.

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Next I took some really tiny scissors and cut out the figure from the colouring page. Then I grabbed a canvas, painted on some colours that I liked with my page and had some fun with stencils! Next step: Mod Podge. I glued my cut out colouring page onto the canvas and waited for it to dry. Already looking good!

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Last but not least I painted the borders with black acrylics, contoured my colouring page with black Posca marker and added the handlettered text. It was still missing something, so I took my white Posca marker and added the scribbles and the border. And there you go! A pretty mixed media painting using colouring pages!

I’m totally hooked now, and already working on the next one. These are just so much fun to make! So tell me, what fun ways of using colouring pages have you found?

Mixed Media: Rust

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The absolute best thing of working in a craftshop is hearing: “We’ve got a new product, will you make something with it so people can see what it does?” I get to craft and get paid for it, which is of course the dream! This time we got a new Rust Effect spray by Edding and it worked like a charm.

First I took one of the wooden book-boxes we have in our collection and started sticking things on it I thought would look nice together. Don’t bother looking at the colours, go for texture! I added a layer of what we call ‘spiderweb paper’ {the closest thing I could find in English is fiber paper, but spiderweb is even more open} and a lace ribbon. After that I started adding flowers, buttons, crocheted flowers and rhinestones until I got the composition that I wanted.

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Then it was spraying time! I must say, I was amazed by how easy this was to work with. It covered everything in one easy coat and within a few minutes it was touch dry. It took longer for the glue to dry than the paint… Covering was good and it gives the entire piece a little bit of texture and shine, just like something completely rusted over. Love, love, love the effect!

The only thing left to do was drybrush a bit of bright turquoise acrylic paint to strengthen the aging/rust effect and tadaa: easy peasy awesome rust book-box. I totally fell in love with this product and can’t wait to use it for other stuff…. Like D&D or Warhammer terrain… {which I will of course show you guys when I’ve made them!}