Asparagus Wand

The Asparagus Wand was created for Sukie’s “Fairy Wand Exchange,” in July 2001. I made four of them to add to the wands already being sent by my daughter, Applefaerie, and me.

The Asparagus Wand is shown below.

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It started in Michael’s Arts & Crafts store, when my daughter and I were wandering the aisles for ideas.

When I saw the plastic asparagus, it struck me funny. It also made me think… jewel-encrusted asparagus in the hand of an elegant faerie…

Hmm…

It also reminded me of one of our favorite–but retired–Disney World attractions, Kitchen Kabaret, which used to be downstairs at EPCOT’s attraction, The Land. (We still have moments of singing, “Veggie, veggie, fruit-fruit!”)

So, when Applefaerie’s schedule prevented her from completing all six of her wands for the exchange, I had a good excuse to embellish the asparagus.

The completed wands are rather simple, with just a few beads emerging from between the petals on the stalk. Most petals are embellished.

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Close-up: Beads and pearls in the asparagus petals

The beads are all an irridescent peach color, with golden and greenish highlights. The pearls are freshwater, peach-colored pearls, as well as some white fake pearls. Each wand is slightly different, with 20-gauge gold-toned wire at the top, holding a star bead and one or two other beads in place with a curled-wire top.

My vision included fresh asparagus stalks in the fields in spring, with their jewels just beginning to peek out between the petals.

By harvest, these wands would be heavy with opulent jewels as if from the Tower of London exhibit.

However, in the lighter, just-starting-to-grow phase, these asparagus are perfect for the faeries to use as magick wands.

Capolan exchange: Relic Room Assemblage

This is an Altoid tin shrine created for a 2000 Capolan exchange, and titled the Relic Room Assemblage.

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The outside of the box:
Altoid tin, secured with an antique button, and hemp twine with beads.

Preparing the Altoid tin:

First, I hammered it to age it. Then I sprayed it with a cream-colored epoxy paint, intended for use on large appliances. Finally, I sprayed the tin with copper and gold spray paints, to create a spattered effect.

The closure: I hammered two holes in the cover with an awl, and tied an antique button to the top. The button is used to hold the tin closed. The tin is secured with hemp twine, on which I strung wooden beads, glass beads, and a semi-precious stone.

Inside the tin: (Numbers are keyed to the illustration.)

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1. On the bottom inside of the tin, I glued text from an old snake oil (patent medicine) magazine.

2. Inside the lid, I glued red paper, plus (real) antique stamps. I rubber stamped it, too. The hemp twine which secures the antique button on top, is tied inside the tin, so the knot shows here.

3. A card describing the owner of the tin, with his photo. The 19th-century photo actually shows one of my Irish ancestors, James “Jamie” Cronin.

The card says:

    This box and its contents were found in the jacket pocket of Dr. James Cronin, late of Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Ireland.altoidcardDr. Cronin was an amateur anthropologist and student of the Tuathai. He had formed a unique thesis regarding the juxtaposition of Christian and metaphysical icons, in relation to miracles.

    Dr. Cronin’s next destination was Hy-Breasail, where he planned to test his theory about the number five representing perfect stasis and change in the Tarot.

4. Each box contains a small brass monkey. It’s a reference to the golden era of “adventure” fiction, including Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and so on.

5. Part of a playing card from a fortune-telling deck. It’s aged (sandpaper and folding), smudged with gold leaf, and punched with the number 5, using an antique check-writing punch.

6. Each box has at least one actual bit of currency from an exotic country.

7. Matchbox, covered with reproduction newspaper from Harper’s Weekly during the Civil War. It’s stamped with the number 5 from a clock stamp set. I aged the paper with coffee.

8. Each box has a slightly different content, but each one contains an antique strip of paper on which I stamped “I will grant you three wishes.” The boxes also contain fetish items, including (sometimes) an animal figurine of wood or quartz, and/or a small golden ring.

9. On fabric, I transferred the image of St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes. The miracles of St. Jude are tremendous. On the reverse side, I transferred a cryptic mix of images, including a dark photo of Disney’s Haunted Mansion being struck by lightning, plus a scan of a Tarot card, The Tower, from a deck called The Vision Tarot.

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I made a total of four of these tins for the Capolan/Relic Room exchange, in July 2000. (I made a fifth one, for myself.)