In the House of Mourning we may not be communicating with anyone except each other, but we sure are a couple of productive damn hermits.  Dan and I even figured out a new home improvement project that we didn’t think was possible for many years.  (More will be revealed as we get some details worked out, and I promise you will get pictures.  We saw some neighbors who had solved this exact issue while we were trudging around the other day.)

             For all of you who were curious about the sweatshirt-turned-into-a-purse experiment, here’s how it worked out.  Empress came by today to cheer us up with a Max visit and to trade some food.  I forced her in to modeling it.

              The “closure” is that flapped-over hood.  Now, for an Action Shot, and to show how you get inside, through the hooded opening.

            We put some boxes in there to give it shape, but mostly they just started stretching it out.  I’ll throw it in the washer one more time before we wear it to the State Fair this weekend.  (Yes, EVERYone will be taking a turn with this thing over his/her shoulder.)

            This is a clever trick I learned when I was making tons of quilted tote bags.  To get a nice flat base, after sewing the bottom edges together (or in this case the waistband of the sweatshirt) you use a cardboard template to mark the corners, on both sides, front and back.

           Then you fold the corners out, mostly lining up the marks you made.  This one didn’t quite line up all that great, but it was just a tester and the waistband material kind of stretches.  Didn’t need to be perfect anyway.   (You know our family motto: half-assed is good enough.   And yes, that’s a broken needle, I’ll explain it below.)

             You sew along your marked lines (or ya know, close enough) so that the point sticks out, then you trim off that pointy end.  I went over this one two (or maybe even three) times because our purse is going to get quite a bit of wear and tear on its maiden voyage, and I didn’t want us to lose anything while we were so far from home.

           Here is your end result, inside out.  Once you flip it back around, the base is nice and solid, with sturdy seams, that make it sit up fairly well.  For the straps I just tucked the sleeves one inside of the other and sewed through them, which actually broke a needle (that is sitting in two pieces you can [almost] see in the above shot on the black background, as opposed to the green background photos which were taken on my cutting mat).  Going through all those layers can be difficult, but it worked pretty well in the end.  Made the shoulder strap kind of padded.

            I’ll let you know how the whole thing holds up after many hours of wearing and carrying.  For now, here is the first of the newest rotation on our altar, we’ve begun again with the Animal Totem Cards.  This is a long one, but it’s really good. 

“Raven  ~  Magic.

Throughout time, Raven has carried the medicine of magic.  This has been true in many cultures across the planet.  It is sacred, in the medicine ways, to honor Raven as the bringer of magic.  If the magic is bad medicine, the carrier may be honored out of fear rather than out of respect.  Those who fear Raven may do so because they have been dabbling in areas in which they had no knowledge, and a spell may have backfired on them.  Rather than analyzing the dark side of sorcery, realize that you will fear Raven only if you need to learn about your inner fears or self-created demons.

Raven magic is a powerful medicine that can give you the courage to enter the darkness of the void, which is the home of all that is not yet in form.  The void is called the Great Mystery.  Great Mystery existed before all other things came into being.  Great Spirit lives inside the void and emerged from the Great Mystery.  Raven is the messenger of the void.

If Raven appears to you now, you are about to experience a change in consciousness.  This may involve walking inside the Great Mystery on another path at the edge of time.  It would portend a signal brought by Raven that says, ‘you have earned the right to see and experience a little more of life’s magic.’  Raven’s color is the color of the void – the black hole in space that holds all the energy of the creative source.

In Native teachings the color black means many things, but it does not mean evil.  Black can mean the seeking of answers, the void, or the road of the spiritual or nonphysical.  The blue-black of Raven contains an iridescence that speaks of the magic of darkness, and a changeability of form and shape that brings an awakening in the process.

Upon seeing Raven, know that magic is in the air.  Do not try to figure it out; you cannot.  It is the power of the unknown at work, and something special is about to happen.”

            This was just what we needed right about now, some magic that will lighten our burdens and give us hope.  As all the wonderfully loving messages and comments and e-mails and texts we’ve been receiving lately have done.  Thanks again, to all of you, for reaching out and letting us know that the loss we have suffered is not one we need to go through alone.

           Even though we are still mostly quarantining ourselves here in The (now dog-less) Burrow, and haven’t quite reached the point where we can respond yet, rest assured that we read them ALL and REALLY appreciate you guys showing up here, and having patience with our healing process.

            Here’s one small bit of rejuvenating silliness in our lives, something Daniel got for me (and my still slightly swollen hooves), as we remain joined at the hip and in our self-imposed seclusion.

            He spent close to ten dollars today on these (fabulously tacky and On Sale! Clearance!) shoes.  They absolutely made me smile.  Which, ya know, then makes him smile too. 

            (Tomorrow we are going to the dump!  You already know what I’ll be wearing on my puffy feet.)

12 thoughts on “Blessings: Light and Dark, Small and Large.

  1. That is such a fun idea for a purse. I really like it.

    I can see the infomertial now, ” Can your current purse do this?” Pan to many hours of Sate Fair trudging. In the background you see the ominous and clearly marked masked bandit/pick-pocket trying to figure out how to get into the thing. He finally resorts to the cut purse method only to find his knife has broken in half when trying to cult the strap.

    Honestly I don’t know why I think these things.. they come unbidden and sometimes I’m dumb enough to share. 😉

  2. glad you got some coool shoes! I like Raven; that is Mrs. Denial’s other totem…only she is always after bright shiny objects.

    Enjoy your trip to the State Fair. That is always fun, and the hermits can hang with the kids…

  3. Oooh, great bag.
    I have discovered that you can actually get some very cute variations of crocs so i’m thinking of getting some for summer.
    Good card.

  4. “Do not try to figure it out. You cannot.” yeah. what she said.

    Love the shoes– esp since they seem to match your tat (at least in the picture). Perfect.

  5. We lost power for a few days, because of the hurricane, so I’ve been off-line except for the occasional tweet from my phone. I’m so sorry to hear about Axel! I’m sending my love across the country to you and Dan. I’m glad you have the time just to be together, because you each know what the other needs.

    I went back and read the other posts, and looked at the pictures. You were adorable children, but I’ve got to say, I think you’ve improved with age! A life of love agrees with you. Add more of mine to the mix.


  6. That is a really cute idea for a bag. I’ll have to make one for my daughter some time.

    Still sending love and FGBVs to you both for your loss.

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