Mature Monday #2: It’s all about the bone

Since last week’s Mature Monday was all about the woman bits, I decided that it’s only fair to celebrate the oddity of the male bone this time. And by bone I really mean bone, the baculum to be precise. I once again headed back to Etsy to find some of the best bones out there!

Here are some of my favorites:

This set of raccoon penis bones (found at ChristinesCache) are capped with 22 shell casings, given a verdigris finish, and made into earrings! They can be found here.

 

There are many raccoon baculum earrings and pendants on Etsy, but I feel like the next one really gets the point across:

 

The item description is as follows:

“A different take on the traditional “phallic symbol,” this necklace embodies the idea of fertility. The center piece is a real raccoon baculum (the baculum is the penis bone, many mammals have them!)

The testis are represented by a pair of hazy pink rose quartz crystals. Rose quartz itself is a symbol of fertility and of love. Fertility doesn’t necessarily have to mean lots of children. It can also be extrapolated to things like wanting a fertile garden or field, or even a fertile imagination if you happen to be an artist.”

You can find this gem along with other oddities at Zooophagous. 

There is also, of course, bone carving to be found on Etsy:

 

this charm found at JewelerintheWoods.

There are also cast bones:

Like this silver fox baculum by BirdsnBonesJewelry. Perhaps the perfect gift for the silver fox in your life??

 

You can also find jewelry made from otter baculum:

 

Mink penis bones:

 

And coyote boy bits:

 

But my winners for most creative use of baculum go to PinkOddities for their Mermaid Baculum Boquet

 

 

 

and TheGeekyFreaky for a Raccoon Baculum Headdress.

 

And with that I’ll leave, content with the knowledge that you’ve all boned up on baculum. ;)

Life, Art, Etc…

In which I cover health, the state of me, art projects, and places to make art.

I keep meaning to get back to nice, logical, progressive posts about my Arts and Sciences entries, but I’ve been finding myself low on spoons a lot lately. About ten weeks ago I got my first set of botox injections from migraines, and they actually did a LOT to help me. But they wore off a few weeks ago and since then it’s been migraine city around here. So this blog post is basically going to be an picture dump of what I’ve been up to in the last couple of day. Think of it as a glimpse into the life of a Vandy on a medium day (not the worst, not the best).

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Today was a all day in pajamas day. Which meant I wasn’t feeling amazing, but I also managed to get some stuff done, which is the important thing! Notice that I am, as usual, surrounded by furry little helpers.

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Adooorable little helpers who just make me want to cuddle instead of work. :)

I’ve been working on trying to finish up Ian’s kaftan, since his birthday is this week. It’s been a huge project. I started it for Christmas a year and a half ago, but I’m going all out on it: printing cloth, hand sewing, special buttons, silk tablet woven trim.

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In addition to working on Ian’s kaftan, I managed to put up etsy listings for the constructed silver buttons (make on demand),

and for temple rings like those I entered in A&S (also make on demand).

 

In addition to finally putting up a few extra things on Etsy, I’ve been reorganizing around the house, trying to make some better work spaces and places for tools and supplies to live. Some things about having a small house are nice, but now that someone is living with me, not having a separate studio space all my own makes things challenging. So I’ve been trying to carve out some little specific work niches.

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This is my space for encaustic and other painting!

 

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I set up my felting machine and some storage, and hope to move my sewing machine and supplies here as well.

 

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And Tamra came over a couple of days ago and we started setting up a dedicated place on the deck, under cover, that we can use for dyeing!

I also noticed that the county has been spraying on our road again. The last time they did this, it looked like they managed to kill one of my trees, but I got lucky and it’s coming back this spring. But since we have bees and gardens, and pick blackberries near the road, I finally got off my butt and made some no spray signs. I also made them *nice* and inoffensive, so hopefully they do the job! I have four more to finish up too, which should cover the entire area along the road of both my parents’ property and my property.

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And that’s at least a bit of what I’ve been up to.

 

 

“Mature” (or possibly immature) Monday

***NOTICE*** My “Mature Monday” posts are possibly NFSW. They often contain explicit imagery in craft format. Use your best judgement on where you view these! Thanks!

 

Vigantic Felt Monday!

Every once and a while I get a wild hair and decide to look up moss pasties or glitter merkins, or other fun and interesting things on etsy or pinterest. I’ve decided to start a new blog category, Mature Mondays, where I share the most notable of these gems with you. In the wake of the science march and various womens’ marches I decided to check out etsy’s felted vulva offerings. Not terribly surprisingly, there were more entries under vagina than vulva, and several interesting variations. And I’m here to show you the uh… cream of the crop… so you don’t have to go searching for yourself! (BTW, I totally had Peaches’ song”Vaginoplasty” running through my head while doing this post! That one you do have to google for yourself. :)

I found notable creations in several areas: jewelry, ornaments, wall art, plushies, and ring holders. Yup, ring holders!!!

So lets start with the largest category, jewelry:

A classic pink and pearl offering from Woolloom:

The shop, “Woolloom” brings us: “Needle felted vaginas, feminist gifts, smiling cakes and dolls :-)” and is the course of most of my favorite brooches and ring holders. The artist, Aleksandra Melnik, is from the Ukraine and this is her story as from her etsy site :

The idea to have a small shop grow up from my hobby. I was studying and
working as an artist and in the free time my passion was to felt some
strange animals and dolls out of wool.

Maybe it would never get any bigger, if not the one particular case.
Once we had a lecture at the academy. My drawing professor was talking
another very important thing and drifted to some misogynist statements
about nasty women, calling our genitals dirty, menstruation and birth -
“the curse of the Eve’s daughters”. I started to argue with him(I’m a
feminist by the way) and got very angry..

Tonight after that I tried to calm down and was turning some wool in my
hands as usual. Suddenly I got a desperate wish to make a vagina. And I
made it so beautiful as I see it and mean it to be. Next day I went to
my lectures with a vagina brooch . (It was a clear statement which drives
my professor nuts ) The same day one of my mates asked to make such a
vagina for her to support me. After a month we got our small vagina gang! My feminist friends was asking to make brooches for them and their
friends, presented them as a gift, gave recommendations for me like a
like-minded person. I made a lot of presents and plainly run out of
resources for doing new things. So I first tried to sell some of my
pieces to buy new materials and then decided to open up a small shop.

I really appreciate any item going out! Your reviews are so important
for me, cause I see it as a :support for what I stand for!

I get some supportive messages from different people on Etsy. It makes
me feel such a fulfillment! It means, that what I am doing is not in vain!
Thank u so much for it!

Who could not love such passion and commitment! Also, WTF with that professor? Anyone who draws should love the complex folds and beauty of the female flower!

Here are a few more of my favorite examples of her work:

Pomegranate-like appearance complete with decorative droplet:

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend:  

A pussy with a piercing gaze:

And some locks of luv:

 

 

As well as her brooch and magnet offerings, Woolloom also brings us rings holders like this unique model:

And, of course, smiling cakes!

 

*****

Moving on, the other large category of felted vulvae and vaginas on etsy are ornaments! Because what better counteracts the phallic x-mas tree than some vaginaments???

Both, iFeltVaginas, and, feltmelons, bring us some stunning examples of the felted vulva ornament.

By iFeltVaginas:

A rosy outlook:

 

And the crowning flower to our tree:

 

iFeltVaginas is run by Rayne Grant, from Colorado, USA. Her etsy statement says:

iFelt Vaginas has been serving the Four Corners region and is now available online.
In an attempt to bring light to the Divine Feminine and to celebrate the goddess, ™iFelt Vaginas was born out of a dream. After working with making felt puppets (as she is also a puppeteer) and playing around with making felt patches, the creative juices began to flow, so to speak.

Rayne Grant is a mother, a farmer, an artist, a musician, an independent documentary film maker, and a dreamer.

™iFelt Vaginas is just keeping it real. It allows me to zen out while creating something that I feel is in the realm of honoring the Divine Feminine in a fun and fabulous way! Female energy needs not be suppressed….it needs to be expressed.

A % of proceeds goes toward cervical cancer awareness, women’s rights, and the likes.”

Yay for Divine Feminine Fun! :)

—–

Feltmelons is the other great purveyor of felted vulva ornaments on etsy. The store is owned by Suzanna McAleenan, from Burlington, ON, Canada, and here “about” section reads:

“Let’s see: I’m a mother to two tow-headed wee girls, and a dog named Haggis.
I’m married to a Scottish fellow: he’s very calm, I’m very excitable, there’s a good balance going on. We met round the local pub :)
We live downtown Burlington, Ontario, Canada, where we can walk to the lake, shops, pub, the kids’ school, cafes…it’s idyllic. I was born and raised here, and hope never to leave.
My main shop on etsy is 
vaginament.etsy.com, and I actively opened feltmelons in January of 2015 as a place to sell other handmade goods.
I also bake gluten-free vegan treats for the locals at www.sweetsillyyak.com.
These hands of mine are best kept busy :)”

Additionally, the cleaver tagline to her store is, OMG the Viginament! Where the LadyBits are Felt! Get it? Felt! Ha!

We love a vulva that doesn’t take itself too seriously! :)

Some of my particular favorite vaginaments:

Classic Christmas Viginament, snowy but not frigid, sure to get your jingle on!

 

Oooh shiny! The double pierced vaginament!

*****

Next on the agenda are vulva wall hangings. Some of these aren’t actually felt, but they are still fiber and too fun not to include.

Sara Lederach of StudioLederach brings us a series of, “Womanly rope rugs,” of which this is my favorite:

—–

A slightly different twist on the vulva wall hanging, Shelby and Miale of TribedBebe, from Chorpus Christie TX, bring us the vulva dream catcher! I’m not certain if this is supposed to encourage or discourage those “interesting” dreams, but it is certainly evocative. 

Inspired by national women’s day, this piece is all Lady, with the delicately band wrapped ring and net, a hand made plush vagina lays across to honor the magic of Woman✨dripping beautiful ribbons and a hand braided felt this piece also literally shows the sign of Woman ♀️ and wrapped rose quartz so ignite all the love we create and share. we are strong we are beautiful we are magic. We are woman ✊”

*****

Last, but certainly not least, we have the category of naught plushies / stuffed animals:

Most notably, naughty pussy, as brought to us by Furburger, owned by Christa May from Manhattan New York.

 

 “Where do baby plush animals come from?” She’ll show you.
Handcrafted and hand sewn vagina on an up-cycled, manufactured plush animal. One-of-a-kind item created by artist Christa May www.christamay.com”

*****

Well, I think I have fully tapped the subject of felted vulvas on etsy, but perhaps I’ll have to revisit the subject in other media in an additional Mature Monday! Enjoy your Monday friends, and I hope it is vigantastic!

Experiments in Dyeing with Lichens

I’ve been collecting wind fall lichens around my yard and on hikes for several years now, so I finally decided to get off my butt and try dyeing with some. I’ve done chlorine tests on a few with mixed results, and eventually figured what the heck, I’ll just try some with the ammonia fermentation method of dye extraction and see what I get.

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I took several glass gallon jars and loosely filled them about 4/5 of the way with lichen. One is Evernia prunastri, also known as oak moss lichen. I believe the other two are variants of shattered shield lichens. One bunch is from fruit trees in my yard, and the other are wind falls from douglas fir forests that I picked up from forest paths while hiking.

 

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I added enough water and ammonia to fill each jar to around the shoulder level, leaving plenty of space at the top so I can shake it and aerate it. I used 1 part ammonia to 2 parts water.

 

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Now I get to shake the jars once a day, and hopefully I’ll see some color changes over the next several weeks. I’ll be letting them ferment for around three months before attempting to dye anything.

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Crossing my fingers… and I’ll try to post when I start to see changes!

Goats! Time for plucking and shearing

 

It’s is officially the beginning of spring, and time to help my goats off with their winter coats. I have two goats right now, Sigma, a white Angora goat, and Marzipan, red and almond Cashmere goat. Angora goats, like Sigma, have long curly locks, and get sheared twice a year. Cashmere goats, however, grow a fluffy undercoat of really fine and fluffy cashmere that lasts over the winter and then starts to “break” (come out) in the spring. Marzipan can do a certain amount of work helping his cashmere undercoat come out by scratching himself with his horns and rubbing against things, but I can tell it gets a bit itchy. Different people have different ways of harvesting the cashmere, such as using combs or brushes, but I prefer the plucking method. It is easy to control, and he doesn’t seem to mind it – in fact I think he appreciates it taking care of some of the itchiness of the coat coming out.

 

Here is a video of the goats this past winter, in their full coats:

 

 

Just because it is adorable, here is another video I took the same day of Sigma, practicing some tricks that we hadn’t worked on since the summer (he’s the white Angora goat):

 

 

 

You can see that both Sig and Marzipan have very long and fluffy coats during the winter!

A few weeks ago I noticed that Marzipan’s winter coat was starting to come out, and I’ve just been waiting for a good day when it’s not raining and I have a little time to start plucking it.

Here is an image from a few weeks ago:

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As you can see, his fluffy winter coat is starting to look a little ratty on his back and haunches. (Note, the duct tape on his horns is a stick my dad put there so Marzipan would stop getting his head stuck through the fence! lol)

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This image is from earlier today, and you can see marzipan is starting to loose quite a bit of cashmere on the one side (the other side isn’t going so quickly), and it’s getting a little matted too.

My technique for plucking him was to lock Sigma in the goat house (which is why you will hear piteous bleating in the video I post, Sigma HATES to be left out of anything, especially anything involving treats), and hook Marzipan’s collar up to the fence. Then I alternate feeding him treats and plucking, an arrangement that seems to work pretty well for both of us.

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While Angora goats are some of the most efficient brush to fiber animals in the world, cashmere goats only create a very small amount of cashmere every year. You notice that I’m putting it into a regular sized sandwich baggy.

 

My parents came out, and took a few images and this little video. As mentioned before, Sigma was NOT happy to be left out of the fun, so he kept up a running commentary in the background about how unfair it all was.

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The chickens also decided that they needed to be in on the fun (and any dropped treats, so it started getting a bit crowded!

 

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I didn’t try to get all of Marzipan’s coat at once, it will loosen over a period of a couple of weeks and be easy to pluck. But this is what he looked like after the partial plucking today. A bit like a molting chicken, but happy to be free of some of the annoying extra itchy weight!

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And I made sure to give Sigma a little attention too, since he felt so left out. Don’t worry, his shearing is next! He’s got plenty of coat (the goal for Angoras is at least 4″ of curls), and he’s pretty smelly after the mucky winter. It’s always fun to watch him frolic around after shearing because he feels so light!

 

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This is what we ended up with after today’s plucking – super fine cashmere, that needs some gaurd hairs picked out, enough to pack full a regular sandwich bag. It’s actually recommended that I keep it in a larger bag and try to line up the fibers, but I will do that after I’m done picking out guard hairs and dealing with any clumps that formed before it was plucked.

For my first experience plucking marzipan, it went pretty well, and everyone but Sigma seemed pretty happy with it. It definitely brings home why Cashmere is such a luxury fiber. I enjoy having both kinds of goats for various reasons, and am happy to have the opportunity to work with both of these sweet boys (well whethers. :).