Times are changing, and everyone, whether they want to admit it or not, feels it.  Don't get left behind.

THE PATH OF THE RUNES, our premier publication, is now available! This self-guided introductory spiritual rune course follows a Western phonetic path from Ansoz to Algiz and Inguz, helping the Western reader to learn to draw the runes and absorb their meanings as quickly as possible. Perfect for the progressive Viking!

Samhain Safety!

It's that time of year again.  The ever-thinning veil is stripped, and BAM we physical forms go trick-or-treating and engage in an age-old ceremony to connect with and appeal to those beyond that veil. 

One of the least expensive but most satisfying tools that I have always purchased for this season is a color-changing LED jack-o-lantern light.  Although these lights are wonderful for jack-o-lanterns, they are also perfect for illuminated art projects such as shadow boxes and doll houses.  They can cast a simple light upon the subject or create a color-changing undersea effect wherever you place them!

What do I get?  I get both of these.  Try them! You'll like 'em!

(Remember to get AAA batteries as well; the lights do not come with them!)

SILENCE IS GOLDEN! ‚ÄčThe more silent we become, the more aware we can be of the energies within ourselves, our own bodies and minds. We can exercise control over ourselves to a great degree. Physically, we can control the quality of fuel that we feed our bodies. Mentally and emotionally, we can enhance our experiences with intellectual endeavors (taking classes, solving puzzles, creating art) and alchemy (turning our internal frowns upside down with visualization and spiritual work). Everyone's experience is truly dependent upon their mental state.

I have felt, recognized, and understood the Tree of Life within my own aging body, and I understand Tiphareth now, along with the precipice that surrounds it. Life is truly beautiful, and I wish for everyone the opportunity to discover and create that beauty for themselves.

Humans cannot live decent lives without challenges. Any intelligent being, when given the opportunity to laze about for forever, will intentionally create conflict in order to have the opportunity to produce a solution. Perhaps by seeing the challenges in our lives as spiritual puzzles, we can scrounge up more joy within ourselves as we reach goals, all along the way, learning the value of the marriage between logic and emotion.  Thank you so much for visiting us at Mermaid Mansion.

Sincerely,

Cindy Rhodes, Owner and Editor, HHP SC ARP AADP ATLC


PORCH ALARM! We just moved to a smaller home (less than 900 sq ft) and I was concerned about being notified of visitors before they press the doorbell.  We got this door mat alarm system and voila, PROBLEM SOLVED! Here's the link!

LINOCUTTING IN A SMALL SPACE

As a university student studying art, I discover new and exciting art forms every day.  Right now, I am learning how to do linocutting with linoleum blocks, and I LOVE it.  At school, we have a huge studio area with multiple places for printing areas, cutting areas, and drying areas.  At home, however, having scaled down from 5500 square feet to just under 900 square feet (YES, we really did that!), my space comes at a premium price.  I had to find a way to create a linoblock area as compactly as possible.  A few things helped me.

First, I decided to keep my linoblock art on a small scale.  I choose 5 x 7 inch blocks to cut, and that means that the inking, printing, and drying areas can be scaled down to that size as well.  Because I'm an "Amazon" woman, I like to get this linoblock (both mounted and unmounted) on Amazon:


 I love my Speedball cutters; the smallest one is the tiniest gouge that I have found so far.  (If I find a smaller one, I'll let you know.)  Fine marks are important to me since I do finer work instead of "blocky" work in linoblock.  Speedball cutters are especially made for linoblock, BUT if you use the pricey tools that are meant for WOOD carving, then you'll get heavy duty cutters that will make the cutting experience feel as if you're cutting butter!  I use the Flexcut brand that is linked here:


Once you have your awesome cutters and your awesome linoleum block, you choose the ink to print your awesome artwork!  I LOVE the water-soluble Speedball inks.  I can mix colors to create custom tints and effects.  However, I only use the water-soluble ink on art that I'm not going to be adding to with watercolors or pencil.  The reason for this is that water-soluble ink, if it comes in contact with any moisture (watercolor paint or human perspiration), then it starts to run and that can damage your art!  Here is the link to the water-soluble ink.  (It mixes divinely!!):


For lino prints that won't run while you're painting or drawing over them, get oil-based printing ink.  This ink comes in the same buttery, mixable colors, PLUS metallic gold.  Once I got down my basic linocutting down pat, I decided to move on to oil-based inks for most projects anyway.  The reason for this is that when I take my prints to outdoor shows, any high humidity in the environment will not soak into my prints and damage them!  Here are the rich, butter oil-based inks that I use:



Once I have my block art cut and have decided on my ink, I have to decide on which paper to use.  Rice paper has become my favorite.  Though it might be on the thin side, it really absorbs the ink deliciously, and the prints turn out very rich-looking.  The two rice papers that I love are shown at the right.  The first one (with the koi on the front) is a little thicker, and the second one is a little more transparent.  Both of them are wonderful; choose the thickness that makes you happy!



The Speedball linoprint kit that I bought when I first began linocutting contains everything I need to get started, except for INK.  It has a cutter with multiple nibs, a bench hook/inking plate, a brayer, and a baren (a flat plastic circle with handle, used for smoothing down and pressing paper to wet ink).  The baren is a nice size.  The cutter is the standard Speedball handle with an interior compartment for storing all the nibs.  The brayer is a nice size for the 5x7 pieces.  You CAN get wider brayers if you decide to go up to larger sizes of linoblock.

I use the bench hook/inking plate as an actual bench hook.  It is the perfect size for 5x7 pieces!  (Instead of using it for an inking plate, I use a regular clear plastic plate!   The link to the kit is here:


For an inking space that you can "store and save" for later, get a paint palette with lid!  The Masterson palettes are perfect for storing wet paint and ink.  Some sizes even accommodate standard-sized glass palettes, and glass is the perfect surface for rolling out ink!  I choose the 12x16 Masterson palette with lid along with a 12x16 piece of palette glass.  Here are those links:










THROWING THE BONES inspects the history, method, and ethics of the ancient art of the sangoma! With more than 20 years of experience as a professional sangoma, the author brings you her techniques and secrets to this beautiful practice.

Current

Publications

Mermaid Mansion Press ... balanced direction in a changing world