Friday, October 30, 2015

The Female Grim Reaper ( La Muerte)

 Nuestra Senora de la Santa Muerte ( Spanish for HOly Death) is a folk saint from Mexico and A southwestern U.S. She is associtated with healing , protection and safe transport to the afterlife.
                              The costume is magnificent.  The skeletal face  reminds people of their mortality. Her robes can be any colour, but traditionally a lace mantilla with corseted top and skit of tafetta and roses. A combination of Mesoamerican and Spanish Catholic beliefs, Death was always shown in Aztec and other cultures in the form of humans with half their skin missing. Charming.
 La Muerte is alwo known as  "La flaquita " ( skinny lady), and "La hesuda" ( Bony lady), to name a few.  She protects against violent death, and in folklore carries the scales of justice, hourglass, owls and scythe.
                              Start with a clean face. Use the cheapest face paints, with eye makeup                                                        combined to achieve the skeletal face structure.
                                      Eye makeup makes the lines stand out bold and strong.
                                      Fill in face with the white face paint.
                                             Leave large eye sockets.
                   Draw with eyeliner around eyes.
                                Fill in with jumbo eye pencil.
                                       Draw swirls and coils .
                                       Remember the red red red lipstick.
             After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, the worship of death literally died down a bit. The actual rituals surrounding Day of the Dead remained hidden until the middle of the last century. The skeletons used in the ceremonies were dressed in fancy dresses, long braids, and images.  Of course, these celebrations were never recognized by the Catholic Church.
                          Draw lines through the lips with lip liner.
                                    Spiderweb on the forehead.
                           Outline the nose with liner as well,
                               Then fill in.
                         Image taken through a window from opposite ends  to create a mystic image.
                    Some believe Santa Muerte to be an archangel.Others do not believe her to be a saint.
                                       Maybe a fallen angle trying to win back God's favour.
                                  To complete the face, fill in eyes, scroll around eyes.
                                     Bars on neck.
                                              Add jewels to bring sparkle.
                                                      And your La Muerte is done.
                  The items that Muerte would carry symbolize jutice, patience, peace, and intelligence and spirit, to light the way through darkness and doubt.
                                               Not such a shady character when it all comes down to it.
                                     She is the only female "saint" in the Americas.
                           An adaptation of the Grim Reaper, if you like....who, at the moment of death, cuts life like a silver thread.............

Monday, October 26, 2015

Giving Back

                            Almost Halloween. That means it's almost time for Christmas.
                                   When days are shorter and the sog and bog of
                                        November chills everyone .
                                         I'm rather prolific when it comes to making stuff.
                                               I  just can't help it.
                                               Can't just make one thing. Have to make a zillion of them.
                                           And this is the year I really took a fancy to  LED candles.
                               So proceeded to repurpose old clear glass candle holders.
                         They were just going to be given away.
                                  After some figuring out, learned how to smother the glass
                            with glue then grind glitter and coarse ground sand on the outside.
                       Takes a couple of days to harden.  It was a hoot to make these.
                                              Like being a little kid at craft time.
                                         Makes swell LED votive holders.
                                     I got so enamoured of the LED lights, that I bought several.
                              Well,  I found such a deal on Amazon , I bought more than several.
                                                               Just couldn't help myself. There's even a remote control.
                              Got to be that everyone coming over just had to try turning  on the candles
                                     by pushing the buttons.
                                                 So as soon as it's sunset......
                                            And everything settles down outside.
                                             And the cats have all gone home.......
                                               Those candles   start flickering away.

                                      I also started making rustic snowflakes this year.
                                  They have no real use, but they can be used as tags, or ornaments , or cat toys....
                                              They were a scream to do. Such an old fashioned thing to make.
                                                Hand crocheted.
                                            Again, couldn't do just a few. Too fun.
                                            Dunked  in glue then sand and glitter then scrunched to be crunchy.                                                         Once dry,  they are rock solid. Glitter. Glitter.
                                         Spencer liked them as well.
                                          After snowflakes  ( or maybe during....all a blur) worked on hats.

                                           Little bags. And hats. I liked the hats best. More useful.
                                               So I made as many as I could with different shades.
                                       Found a pattern, then changed it  to make it more simple.
                                    Double crochet, on the round. Same with the little bags.        
                                     Double crochet in the round and split chain to  make handles.
                                           A few will be gifts, the rest given away.
                                            Whatever is left  I might split between
                                         Angel Tree , or  the Women's  shelter. Not sure yet.
                                                But nothing wasted. Something for everyone.
                                             And for some of those people in need will be used.

                    "Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies my expression of aliveness." (Erich Fromm)