Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Just a quick one ...

This really is a quick one today, mainly to say that I have finally got my head around doing a Newsletter (and, I think, without blowing up the internet) - if you'd like to sign up for it, you can do so here.

Synergy, at the Spa Hotel in Saltburn on the 6th October, was lovely.  It's wonderful to be part of such a friendly group of people, and Dragonrat will definitely be at the next one in the spring.  We were right next to an open window, looking out over the beach and headland - all very distracting!  I'll leave you with a couple of photos from the day.

Our stall

The top room, where all the cool people were.

The main room - absolutely swimming with people.

The view out of our window - from the surrounding countryside ...

... to the people on the beach.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Losing the Plot

When I first started Dragonrat, I had in mind that I'd be doing more specialized items around Pagan, Wiccan and Gothic themes.  One of the things I wanted to stock was cards.  Having the artistic ability of a brick, I knew I couldn't produce these myself, so I found a supplier of lovely New Age and fantasy cards.  I'm still with them, and today I had a small delivery of some new designs.  Many of the cards cross categories.  The Three Hares, shown above, is one of two new designs by the artist Dashinvaine.  Hares abound in Celic mythology, and are associated with the Celtic goddess Eostre.  One of Eostre's bailiwicks was  the moon, and the hare is often depicted gazing at the moon.  The way the hares are arranged on the card also fits with the Pagan/Wiccan Wheel of the Year, showing the eternal progression from one season to another.

 Anyway, back to cards.  The problem with getting deliveries of these cards is the packaging.  It drives me up the wall.  Each card is packaged in its own cellophane sleeve, and a batch of the same cards are then packed into another, slightly larger, cellophane sleeve.  Both types have seals, which are basically sticky strips.  I'm sure you know what I mean.  New cards tend to be especially annoying, as the envelope is invariably inserted in a way that it covers whatever is written inside, and always at the far end of the sleeve.  I then descend into a time of despair, as I try to see what's inside each one without breaking the sleeve or sticking an open sleeve to the card itself.

If it was a case of once this was done that was it, and the only time they had to be touched again was when someone bought some, I could probably cope.  But the cards come with me to most of the Fairs I do, and have to be unpacked to go into the card spinner, and then returned to their packages at the end of the day.  I gave up on that rather quickly, and got some grip-seal envelopes that fit most of them.  It's still very fiddly, but at least I haven't got bags sticking to sleeves sticking to cards.

I tend to stick (no pun intended) to a few specific artists.  My favourite is the fantasy artist Anne Stokes.  Her art is so believable that it feels like it has been drawn from a live subject - hard to do when many of your subjects are dragons, unicorns, angels and faeries.  Linda Ravenscroft is another.  My favourite of hers is Emerald Heart, a faery card with definite Art Deco overtones.  Then there's Briar, and his mainly mythological themes.  Probably my favourite of all my cards are the dragon Yule cards, by Anne Stokes.  I can't say what it would have meant to find a dragon in my stocking.