Saturday, March 25, 2006

If anyone has any questions about Celtic mythology, knotwork, symbolism or traditions, feel free to ask in the comment section. I'll post the questions and answers in the blog.
Fado- Gaeilge for "once upon a time",
Irish worry stone- a small stone kept secret, that one hides in a pocket, and is rubbed with a thumb for luck. If anyone is told of it, the stone loses all power. Although it's ancient origins are now obscured, the belief of stones of power is tied to standing stones, healing stones, portal stones, and other sacred stones of the Druids. Stones are of the Earth, one of the five elements, and as such hold potent earth energy; strength, fertility, and increase. Though some of these sacred stones remain as they have been for thousands of years, many of these were carved with Christian symbols in the monastic period of Ireland . Other stone magic includes a stone with a natural hole in it. It was said to give the gift of the second sight to the owner as it was a convergence of opposite states of being and therefore held great power.
- Peggy von Burkleo


Fado - A faerie tale blog of the California Coast part 2

A few updates: Beltain, my main shop, is having a sale! 20% off selected items, just click on the banner. I've included t-shirts with my Celtic grail design, it's a symbol of rebirth and inspiration, a perfect symbol for spring! There's a really lovely design of zoomorphic birds and salmon and spiral work, all in glowing blue on t-shirts, mugs and more! There's also a selection of t-shirts from my Names of Ireland line, and an illuminated manuscript print with knotwork and spiral work! Each of it's capitol letters alone is enough to be a finished work of art. (in my humble Irish opinion.) If you haven't seen yet, then please stop in. I'll put the kettle on, we'll have tea and scones, and I'll show you what I've been drawing lately!

I'm on the lookout for inde Celtic musicians- Send me demo and I'll post a review of it here!Also, there's a local radio station here, and I'll see if I can get you some air-time.(put contact info in the comment section, all contact info will be held confidential unless you say otherwise. No worries about marketing lists, spam or other evils.)

Weather, health and car permitting, I will be attending the Mendocino Folk Music festival this spring. (I'll post the site address soon, I just don't have it with me right now.) Again I will be reviewing the musicians, artist, and the general scene, so look for updates !

Fado - A faerie tale blog of the California Coast part 2

So, A couple of days after that, the wind had blown through and pushed the clouds away enough for the sun to shine through, and I was off at my favorite log beach scrounging. (I'm not going to say which one 'cause then everyone will want to go there, and all the best pickings will be gone. Once again, the beach was full of dead birds. Not seagulls this time, but something smaller, though defiantly not sand pipers. Every hundred feet or so there one would be, caught up in the drift wood and sea weed. The crows were having a feast. I walked down the sand, filling my bag with broken shells, feathers, false jade, and driftwood. I had been walking down the strand for about an hour. The sun was warm on my face, a pleasant contrast to the sharp winter wind. Even as bundled up against the elements as I was, I could tell it would not be long before I gave in and went home to sort my treasures over a cup of coco. Still I wanted to press on a little further. I've always been the kind of person who is never satisfied until they see what is around the next bend. In fact, I was just coming around the out cropping sand dune, when I nearly bumped into that woman. You know, the one in the rags, who had been standing in the rain. She was wearing a long black dress over her bulky frame and a black shawl hung over her bent back. She wore a necklace of black stones that might have been obsidian and ravens feathers twined together with hemp. Turning to face me, she abruptly demanded "what IS it that you want?"
At first, taken aback, I could think of nothing to say. But her yellow eyes so pierced me that I felt I had to answer.
"Are you alright now?" I asked, referring to the previous evening.
"Is there any thing that you need?"
"Is there anything that YOU need?" she said in a disapproving tone, that made it clear that I was somehow missing the point.
"I'm ok" I stuttered back.
"Well then, be off with you!" she said, raising her voice, and took a swing at me with her stick! Really! She could of hit me.
So with an "All right then." I turned around and went back at a fast pace all the way back to the car. The strange thing was, though, I felt as if she knew me. At least she sure sounded like she did.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fado – A faerie tale blog of the California Coast, part one.

This is a work of fiction inspired by half true places, half true people, but of course all true faeries.
I am creating it as I go, so if there are any signifcant revivions, I will advise of them.

Fado – A faerie tale blog of the California Coast part one "it was a dark and stormy night..."

Sometimes I wonder if there isn’t a little gypsy somewhere in the family. I’ve moved more times than I can think, but somehow I always end up near the water. But the sea is like that It gets into your blood, and stays there. Anchor Point, California is my latest haunt. It has a pleasant mix of rednecks and hippies, retired boomers and a thriving artist community to please the tourists in summer.
So I moved here in the winter, and managed to unpack before the big storms hit. Out on the coast like this there isn’t much to stop the rains. Or the wind.. It’s a quiet coastal village here. It’s the kind where everyone seems to know everyone else and on sunny days, dogs sleep in the street. I managed to drive all the way here from Puget Sound in my beat up 30 year old SUV. It’s from a time before SUV’s were SUV’s- steel all the way down to the dents and rust holes with moss growing out of them. Man it can guzzle gas but it’s big enough to haul around my junk in. Did I mention? I’m an artist- I do installations of found objects. Flotsam, jetsam, logs and driftwood, the occasional bone or bird skeleton. Up in Puget Sound they’re a rarity, unless you can find a beach near an eagles nest. That was what was so strange. Ever since I moved here, I’ve been finding bird skeletons on the beach. Usually you only find one or two a year, but here… well lets just say that I’ll never want for wishbones.
With the storms we’ve been hit with, grocery shopping has been an arduous undertaking. My gravel driveway has turned to mire and just getting out to the truck gets me soaked through. Fortunately the great beast has a working heater. With the weight if the iron chasse and my Darth Vader tires I don’t have to worry too much about hydroplaning. This is good thing, considering that the two roads in and out of here are both prone to flooding. Of course the Mountain Ridge road is on higher ground, but with the wind downing trees and branches on power lines and blocking traffic, I opt for the Coast road every time. Still I manage brave the elements singing along to Ray Charles on my “vintage” tape deck.
The other day, as I was driving the twenty miles back home from the store, the strangest thing happened . I was just driving past the hamlet of Arena Bay. The rain, which had been bucketing down started to turn to hail. The road was pretty slick with ice, and I was obliged to drive about twenty on the twists and turns. I was just reaching the turn off to Mac Isaacs’ road when an enormous white buck stepped out in front of me. Damn lucky thing I was going so slow, or else I’d have fishtailed my way right off the cliffs. As it was, I was able to stop in time. And this buck! When he was right in front of the truck, he just stopped and looked at me. And not at the truck either. No, he looked me straight in the eye, and for a long time. It was like a frozen moment, heavy and silent. Then, turning his head he calmly continued on his way. As I drove away, I had a feeling like waking out of a deep sleep. It was only after I crossed the bridge, and past the Haynes farm that I became aware that the tape deck was still playing. What was stranger, though, was the old woman walking though town on that stormy evening, wrapped in dark rags and all hunched over like that. Boney pale hands clutching a walking stick, slick wet grey hair plastered to her wrinkled face. I saw her on the corner, just across from the burrito place. Just standing out in the rain, not looking for shelter, not even looking around. And the burrito place, right across the street from her, has a covered patio! Too weird. She didn’t even seem to notice the weather. I rolled down the window and asked if she needed any help. She replied in a brogue ,saying “ You already have all the work you can handle. Off with you!”
Too weird.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

The blue forget-me-nots are in bloom, as are the wild iris', bursting out of the verdant grass like miniature fireworks. Today the winds of March blew through, clearing skies and sending empty trash cans skittering down the street. I took a walk in the sun for an hour, and came home with a pleasant sunburn, just enough to let me know I'd seen the sun. Warm sun on my back, cool wind in my hair, I came home determined to start a spring cleaning, and found the sun had evaporated my ambition. Maybe tomorrow... maybe.
Funny though, I've been working on a picture for about a week now, of a woman standing in sunlight, the wind dancing in her hair. I had decided to call it "Grania" which translates usually as "Grace" but is derived from "grian" meaning sunlight in gaelige. I'm at a point of indecision now, however, on how to treat the background. Either I'll paint in an Irish country setting or a Celtic spiral disk behind her. Or overlay the Celtic spiral on top of the Irish country background. Or put a standing stone with Ogham writting on it behind her, and maybe the celtic spiral overlaid on that. I can't decide. Any suggestions would be very welcome. I'll send out an autographed proof to the best suggestion.
A note on updating the potato soup- which is THE best potato soup I've ever had, by the way.
Follow the instructions about the onions and butter part, then stop there and put it in a blender with only 1 can of broth and puree it. Add it to a large pot of mashed potatoes, with more salt and pepper than you might think. Lock the front door and eat with it with a large spoon, because you won't want to share.
Well, I've had another dream about html, which is very strange as I'm dyslexic, yet the code is easier in my sleep... I wonder what Jung would say about that. I've been working on modifying my main shop at . It's set up as a gallery display and I'm still trying to insert a " find by product" code. But the thing is, see, I'm really an artist, so code makes me dizzy, I need more tangible things to work with. Lately I've been listening to Loreena McKennitt as I code away to reward myself. Her beautiful lyrics and rich layers of melodies carry me off, some where far distant from computer scripts. Such a beautiful voice too!