ATS® Flock of Birds Necklace Giveaway

flock_giveawayThe big news this month is I’m having a giveaway to celebrate the lovely customers I have who are American Tribal Style® Bellydancers.  There are a lot of them– you know who you are.  For the past three years I’ve had the honour to be an official ATS® FCBD® Sister Studio, and when I’m not making jewellery, I’m teaching and performing this beautiful style of contemporary, improvised group dance.

Just of few of the beautiful dancers who have sent my photos of them wearing their Flock of Birds necklaces!

Just of few of the beautiful dancers who have sent me photos of them wearing their Flock of Birds necklaces!

I’m giving away two, count ’em, TWO Flock of Birds necklaces on Instagram.  To win, simply post a picture of you dancing in your favourite ATS® formation and tag it @feral_strumpet & #flockofbirds.  Winner will be chosen and announced on Instagram Friday, September 9th via an online randomizer.

My dance discipline has inspired many designs that are popular with dancers– here is a selection of them.  Click on the image to go to the collection:

Designs inspired by ATS® Belly Dance

Designs inspired by ATS® Belly Dance

New Designs in the Shop Every Week!

whatsnew16Did you know that there are new designs in the shop every Friday, and you can find them in one place– The What’s New Collection at Feralstrumpet.co.uk before they get snapped up by anyone else!

And just to say thanks for clicking over to check out the collection, I’m offering 15% off everything in the What’s New Collection for the rest of August– just use coupon code 8NEW16 at checkout.

Just some of the new designs in the What's New Collection.

Just some of the new designs in the What’s New Collection.

A Lammas Lucky Dip

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A Lammas Lucky Dip gift awaits at feralstrumpet.co.uk! Spend £25 and receive a free surprise pair of earrings; spend £30 and up and receive a free surprise necklace or earrings (just specify your preference at checkout). Just write LUCKY in your note at checkout to receive your gift. Pictured here are just a few lovely pieces I’m giving away. Offer good until August 7th 2016, or while supplies last.

Hail The Thunder Moon!

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Tonight is July’s full moon, sometimes called the Thunder moon.  We are definitely waiting for a thunderstorm here at Feral HQ, as summer has come on with a vengeance. I currently type to you in 33 degree centigrade heat, something we are just not used to in the North!

To celebrate we are having a sale in July on all my Tesla Hoops– the gauged threaders fit through tunnels worn in stretched ears.  Just visit the Tesla Hoop Collection at feralstrumpet.co.uk use coupon code THUNDER at checkout.  Offer expires 31/07/2016.

These threaders now come in a rainbow of coil colours for you to choose from!  The coil slips over the hoop to secure it in place– making it both decorative and practical.

These colourful coils come in metal tones as well as brights– perfect for summer or when you need an injection of your personal power colour in your life!
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Here is a short video showing how to put on and take off the hoops:

Happy Birthday, Doctor Dee

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Magical objects said to belong to Dee, now housed together in the British Museum.

Magical objects said to belong to Dee, now housed together in the British Museum.

Today is the birthday of Doctor Dee, court magician and mathemetician to Queen Elizabeth the I.  My ambivalent fascination with Doctor Dee can be traced back to a single object– his scrying mirror in the cabinet of curiousities that is the Enlightenment Hall of the British Museum. During my monthly pilgrimages to the British Museum, I would always pay a visit to this most seductive of objects, desplayed beside a crystal ball and a pair of Enochian tablets– tools to decode the angelic language dee and Edward Kelley thought would be the key to communing with angels.

The Scrying Mirror Ring, made to order in your size at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

The Scrying Mirror Ring, made to order in your size at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

His angelic conversations were always conducted with Christian piety, perhaps sparing him from the witch trials rampant at the time. He had hoped the angels could help heal the very real spiritual rift left from the dissolution of the Catholic church and the new Church of England.

This is an exray of a painting of John Dee performing an experiment in front of Elizabeth I.  The exray reveals a circle of skulls at his feet.

This is an x-ray of a painting of John Dee performing an experiment in front of Elizabeth I. The x-ray reveals a circle of skulls at his feet.

Portrait of John Dee.

Portrait of John Dee.

We are left to wonder just what kind of magician was Dr. Dee? The newly revealed circle of skulls at his feet in the painting above– and that they were once painted over– speaks to this ambivalence. He was perhaps foremost a librarian– his library was the largest in England.  After six years abroad, advising monarchs in Central Europe, Dee returned to London to find his home and library vandalised and ransacked.  He was an imperialist, one of the early architects of the colonisation of America.  Perhaps its no wonder that this power object, his “devil’s mirror” was Aztec obsidian imported to England in the early 1500s. The coloniser and colonised are wedded in the deepest ways, but I digress.

The Scrying Mirror Chandelier Earrings at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

The Scrying Mirror Chandelier Earrings at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

Was the mirror even Dee’s? We only have Horace Walpole’s word on this. Fiction is often closer to the truth, and the stories we have inherited have already given shape to a shifting past.  In the iconic portrait of Dr. Dee, he seems to be contained in a round wonder cabinet, his black cap resembling his “devil’s mirror”, a black nimbus framing his head. His pointed beard, like the finger of a planchette aimed into the dark, asks us to decipher some secret at his heart.

Terry Pratchett, that true bard of the English soul, got it right– here we have a wizard of the Unseen University– and I a Granny Weatherwax wanna be, staring into the dark glass.

The Scrying Mirror Neckalce at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

The Scrying Mirror Neckalce at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

 

 

What the Dwarfs Taught Me

Sudri, the Chrysoprase pendant from the Sindri's Forge collection at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

Sudri, the Chrysoprase pendant from the Sindri’s Forge collection at Feralstrumpet.co.uk

Dwarfs get a bad rap– chthonic whistling hoarders, pathologically sneezing, sleeping or grumpy, these homunculi have never been able to compete with the glamour of elves.  But what if I told you they really were elves?

Moss Agate Pendant from the Sindri's Forge collection

Moss Agate Pendant from the Sindri’s Forge collection

Hot Dwarf or Dark Elf? It's semantics--my point is made. Aidan Turner as a Kili the Dwarf from the Hobbit.

Hot dwarf or dark elf? It’s semantics–my point is made. Aidan Turner as a Kili the Dwarf from the Hobbit.

When I first started cold forging, it was a magical process.  As I have become more masterful, something else guides my hands, something older and wiser than myself, but who or what is helping me?

 by Arthur Rackham

by Arthur Rackham

rose_quartz_pendant-4According to Norse myth, dwarfs were born from the maggots swarming the dead body of Ymir, the primordial giant birthed from melting ice in the great void.  Their beginnings were less than auspicious, it’s true. Dwarves have made some of the most powerful artifacts of Norse legend– Thor’s hammer, Freya’s necklace, the magic ring Draupir, the fetter to bind the apocalytpic wolf Fenrir and Odin’s spear as well as the replacement for Siv’s golden hair.

Nordi.  Rutilated Quartz pendant from the Sindri's Forge Collectiom

Nordi. Rutilated Quartz pendant from the Sindri’s Forge Collectiom

GOALS.  Total aside, but what of the Dwarf women? Read this wonderful post on male-bias gender neutrality and dwafs up at Lady Geek Girl.

GOALS. Total aside, but what of the Dwarf women? Read this wonderful post on male-bias gender neutrality and dwarfs up at Lady Geek Girl.

The delicacy of my wire work, the fluidity of the copper and vine-like qualities of the metal come from hands that have begun to ache with arthritis, that are cut and calloused.  It is a common theme in mythology that the smiths that create great beauty are wounded, misshapen, as if their bodies are a foil to their creations. I’m no different.

But in the words of the Völva in the Völuspá, what of the elves?

In Norse mythology, dwarfs live in Nidvallir, or Dark Fields, which is also called Svartalhiem or dark-elf-land. Dwarfs are dark elves.  I have named my recent collection after their ancestor Sindri.  Adornment was a powerful force in Norse myth, and beauty forged of metal and stone was an essential part of Old Norse life.  The power to make such things was seen as magical, something which originated with the beginnings of the universe.  When the gods made their first temples they also made forges alongside them. They smelted ore and created tongs and tools for smithing before even creating human beings. The dark elves are the keepers of these first secrets, and they have shared them with me.

My alter-ego.  Jewellery vendor dwarf from the Hobbit film.

My alter-ego. Jewellery vendor dwarf from the Hobbit film.

This One is For My Dance Sisters…

brigantesMany of my shop supporters and customers are fellow belly dancers.  I thought you might be interested in this epic post I’ve written for my American Tribal Style® Belly Dance Blog all about costuming for Tribal Belly Dance. I wrote it primarily for my beginner students who are coming up to their first performances this summer, but it might be of use to anyone who dances in the Tribal Style, or anyone who is curious what goes into the elaborate costume!