Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's Good Medicine

A long time ago, I had a student named Jennifer.  Dispute our age differences, we got to be great friends.  However, Jen traveled up North to live, got married, and our communication dwindled to Samhain cards every year.

A year or so ago, Jennifer returned, a free woman once again.  Coming out from under an oppressive marriage, she started re-finding herself and her friends.  On and off, she's been staying with me, much to the delight of Rufus.

One of Jen's many skills is creating spectacular medicine bags. I asked if she would craft one for me, and she agreed. I bought the needed supplies, she brought over an additional collection of fur, beads, etc and the work began.  I was in the den, doing my insurance thing, when it occurred to me I should be getting pictures of the process. She had the bag hand sewn, the fur attached, and the fringe cut before I shown up with my Polaroid. I was around to catch the next steps, however.

Jen had already started to bead. She added glass beads, bone beads, silver money, wonderful amethyst "coins" that we bought at a local stone and gift store called "Cha-Cha's" (there was a full bag of them for $20.00 and they are exceptional!) There were goddess beads and crystals on the fur flap, as well as a bone pentagram.

This shot and the next gives you a closer view of the bead work on the fringe.

The next step was to add jingle cones. I had bought a package of 100...and Jen tied on every single one!

All this was pretty backbreaking work, considering she had to sit on the living room floor to get everything done. (She also had to fight off Rufus, who would periodically run over and steal a bead or two.  His favorite "Mine, mine, mine!" was her lump of bee's wax, which she used to coat her sinew.  I guess it smelled sweet. He also managed to take a huge bite out of the turkey feathers she added later in the process!)
The bag was really starting to take shape.

Jen was finally ready to add the side feathers, peacock (which I bought) and turkey.

For a final touch, she cut a piece of Rufus's tail hair, beaded it and added to the pouch.  After 3 days of constant work, the bag was complete!

We have now decided to consign tarot bags, smudge fans and smaller, similar pouches with Earth Spirit in Red Bank, NJ.  If anyone out there would like a hand crafted bag personalized, drop us a line at: and Jen will work out design and cost with you.

Meanwhile, my pouch isn't the only good medicine this week. Jen and I traveled out to the wilds of Langhorne on Friday to see my surgeon.  He called my ankle "beautiful" and deemed I am now ready to be cast for a CRO walker. (You folks remember my CRO from entries past.)  Once it's made, and I get accustomed to walking in it, I can return to my office.  If the stress there doesn't kill me, I will be fitted with a shoe and brace in 6 months. Then, somewhere around Dec 2012, I should be good as new in time for the end of the world. I like when there is a plan in place, ya know?

There are a few wonderful trips in the planning stages: Frenchtown NJ for a visit to the shop owned by Elizabeth Gilbert ("Eat,Pray,Love") and her partner, Amish Country for a material run (need to be near people who still hand sew), Salem when its NOT Samhain, and the Long Island Witch Festival in the Fall. It feels so good to discuss getting out and going places..doing things.  I have been truly blessed to still have my foot, thanks to the skill of my doctors and the love/support of family and friends.

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