last week was a quiet one for me, it was a time of reflection so I spent my days reading poetry and having a play with my own Blackout Poetry.
So, what is Blackout Poetry? This style of Poetry requires you to have an old book and a marker pen. You then find a page within that book and begin to circle words you like. Once you have picked your words (or small sentences) you blackout the rest of the page, leaving the circled words to form a short poem. This is a beautiful and simple way of introducing someone to poetry, using it in Art sessions and for TEFL teachers who want to make their vocabulary lessons more creative. Marker pens are not the only equipment you can use, you can opt to include Biro pens of different colours, paint, crayon and collage art to Blackout your pages, the ideas are endless.
I was going to buy a book from a charity shop (so that I don’t destroy my own books), but by chance someone had left a few books by the side of the road, (I’m guessing in the hope individuals might pick them up?) and I had seen they left a dogeared copy of “The Witch of Portobello” by Paulo Coelho in this pile of books, I read this novel years ago and loved it, so it was destiny to have this disheveled tome and so I took it home.
Here are a few samples of Blackout Poetry I have created so far. I hope to complete the entire book and perhaps leave it somewhere for someone else to find as a public art piece or as a gift to inspire them to take up Blackout Poetry or do something else with it entirely? What I love about this form of poetry is how nonsensical it is, it really allows you to be playful with the English language and tap into your inner child, it is perhaps a great activity to do with children too.
This is my latest dream catcher I’ve recently created and gifted to my best friend as a celebration for being friends since we were 19. This one is larger than the others and it’s centre holds a vintage Bulgarian doily.
Every piece for everything I make is intuitively chosen, blessed with sage and given Reiki.
It also includes: A clear quartz for good vibes, blue howlite for wisdom & inspiration, angel wings charm (because my best friend has a tattoo of wings on her back) and the main colour is green symbolizing nature, trees and the heart chakra.
Two more are on the way in a similar style, and I hope to be starting up an etsy shop for people to commission me for bespoke pieces.
My life and creative projects are leaning towards a more spiritual & holistic path and I’m really happy with that. It feels right, it feels like I am finally being me. I think as even as a little girl, I’ve had a love of the mystical and would collect twigs, leaves and stones believing they had magical properties, or I’d ‘bless’ them with good vibes.
My intention is to offer individuals the opportunity to have something unique and captivating, to feel like the things I make for them symbolizes love, magic and protection. I would love to find that people feel comforted when they look at their dream catcher as a sacred object that brings peace to a room.
I feel pulled even more to the world of the mystical, to be a bridge between worlds and show others a life of light, truth and healing through art making, yoga, dance and meditation.
My flower crown was recently completed and here it is for you all to see! This headdress is inspired by Balkan and Slavic flower wreath crowns worn by women during Spring festivals and Pagan celebrations. I will be performing wearing this headdress and with in a new costume this Monday and I am so excited! This new performance is slightly funkier than past dances and its in celebration of my new found sassiness. I also wanted a flower crown to represent my current spiritual journey into Paganism, I feel connected to nature and I’ve been enjoying learning about ancient gods and goddesses from around the world and so this new dance piece will also reflect this.
This flower crown has been made with faux flowers, wire and felt and took Laura two days to complete. I wanted this headdress to have an autumnal feel as it is my favourite season and I was born in early October, I just love that time of the year where the leaves are turning orange and red and there is still a soft summery warmth to the air.
I’ll be performing for the event ‘We want Women’ in Liverpool and I’ll be dancing to two songs. One is a solo piece, the other is a collaboration between my best friend and I. Stay tuned for a video and photos of the night!
I am really inspired by nature based spiritual paths at the moment because they are very similar to Buddhism, yoga philosophy and certain sects of Hinduism. As well as this, even though I grew up in a Catholic household, I never truly felt drawn to any form of Christianity. At home I’d collect shells, stones and twigs, I’d talk to the trees and think about how we are all connected to nature. As I got older I thought about nature spirits and wondered if clouds had emotion? I wondered if I have been here before and I’d send prayers out to the universe and not to a “God”. You might say I was Pagan or Buddhist before I knew what those terminologies meant. I’ve had a love of learning about folkloric tales of gods and goddesses all my life and I just feel like this is who I am. I even dedicate my dancing to a higher power, as though I am merely a lightening rod for the blessing or inspiration to come through me so I may act like a bridge between two worlds. It is the same when I practice yoga, I find that my mind can go some place else and I am able to do the pose really well because my body follows my mind.
That being said I have been working with artistic friends to create this new me, or bring this dormant part of myself to the front. This flower crown is one of these creations, made by Laura who is a university student training to become a costume and prop designer for theatres. She jumped at the chance to make this wreath for me. I explained it needs to be big, like traditional Slavic or Balkan floral headdresses, she told me I had come to the right person since she loves all things flamboyant and theatrical. It’s a work in progress but you can see already how beautiful it is. I chose Autumnal colours because it is my favourite season and I was born in October. There is something mystical about Autumn and I do feel as a woman my “Autumn years” will probably be my best years, it will be a time in my life when I am most comfortable and happiest being me. I am in my “early Summer years” right now, meaning I do feel sexier and very busy giving birth to or ripening projects.
With this flower crown, a new costume is being created as well as a new choreography (and tattoos) which will bring about this new me, a slightly edgier, sexier me. A care-free me who doesn’t give a damn and does what she wants. It’s a celebration of my body and my life. It’s embodying those mischievous nature spirits, the cunning mermaids and the rebellious, wayward goddesses of ancient cultures and it feels fantastic to be manifesting this!
I start by wrapping coloured ribbon around the hoop. If the hoop is smaller & thicker I tend to wrap wool around it instead. I then glue parts of it in place to prevent it from unraveling as I continue to wrap the fabric round the hoop.
Once secured, I choose to create a basic web, adding beads as I go or use wool to tie a vintage doily in the centre to give the dream catcher a bohemian, shabby chic look.
So after that, with the glue gun I glue ribbons, string and lace to the bottom of the dream catcher, this is in place of feathers. You can include feathers but for me they get damaged really easily and you can make your own using plastic or cardboard. Charms can also be tied to the bottom with the ribbons to make it personal to the person you are gifting the dream catcher too.
The dream catcher above includes a Bulgarian vintage lace doily and will have less beading tied to it and the dream catcher below is smaller with a thicker hoop and will be very bead heavy. I hope to start up an etsy shop in the new year to take custom orders and eventually develop my style.
This post is a very basic “how to” but I hope to create a step by step guide soon and will be teaching dream catcher workshops alongside yoga sessions for kids, teens & adults! Watch this space!