Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Soul's Kin

For those who may be curious, I have always had a great love of foxes. I have adored them since I too small to walk, and often times felt that they were a part of me...though I never knew how. Fast forward to the day I set out to find my spirit guide.

I was sitting beneath my patron tree, a Weeping Willow, in some nearby woods. After meditating for a few hours in the sunshine, and mentally calling for her...she came. I felt her presence before I opened my eyes to see her, but I knew she was meant for me. There, sitting on a rock directly in front of me, no more than 50 feet away, was a female fox. Her eyes were intense, but calm, and they seemed to look through me....or into me. I physically felt a jolt run through me, and before she gracefully departed, I bowed my head to her. She looked over her shoulder at me, and I swear I saw a nod returned, before she slipped off into the shadows of the trees.

"Red Fox" by Jay Mudaliar

That day, I found my spirit guide, and she found me. I was lucky enough to have a fox as my guardian animal, to help see me through life, teach me and aid me, and protect me in times of need. I felt complete for the first time in a long some void in my heart had been filled. It may sound rather silly, and even weird to those who don't know the experience themselves. I've been told it's akin to finding your religious path, such as embracing Christianity and being baptized, or becoming a new mother and embracing your child for the first time.... something that fills a void you might not even know you had.

But perhaps a bit of history and understanding are needed to better understand why this animal means so much to me. Foxes are seen as power animals, spirit guides, and totems throughout the world. The Chinese believed foxes could take human form. In Egypt the fox brought favor from the gods. Foxes aid the dead get to the next life in Persia. The Cherokees, Hopi and various other Native American Indian tribes believed in its healing power, and the Apache credited the fox with giving man fire.

The fox is amongst the most uniquely skilled and ingenious animals of nature. Being a night creature, the fox is often imbued with supernatural powers. Foxes are usually seen at dawn and dusk. Dusk starts off their day, and the dawn is its ending. This is the time, in many Pagan ideologies when the world of magic and our every day realities cross paths. Foxes live on the edges of forests and open lands, the border areas. Since the fox is an animal of the between times and places, it can be a guide into the faerie realm. The fox has a long past of magic and cunning associated with it. It can move in and out of circumstance restoring order or causing confusion, depending on the occasion.

There are various species of fox, but they all share the extreme cleverness and cunning that paved the way for the expression, "sly as a fox." The fox urges me to develop the art of camouflage, invisibility, and 'shape-shifting'. To be able to conform to any situation that I may be put into, and to survive it. They are agile, skilled, and unpredictable.

The fox's power lies in not being able to outrun the hounds, but to know in advance when they will be out hunting. They then use their ability to camouflage. I have learned to detach from my surroundings, and to use all my senses to be observant. If I do that, I will also be able to anticipate and create the future. A fox being followed by hounds will run across the tops of walls, cross streams diagonally, double back on its trail, run in circles - in short, do anything to break the trail of its scent. The fox has the amazing ability to outwit both predators and prey. She shows me how to slip out of unpleasant situations quietly and unnoticed...something I have become quite adept at! Just ask anyone who has lost me at a party, lol.

Those with fox as a spirit guide are frequently smart and witty, but must remember to keep their crafty and clever demeanor balanced or it could backfire. The fox can also show you that your actions may be too obvious, and the need to learn to be more discreet. She is a wise, potent, teacher for those who choose to live conscious and deliberate lives.

Due to their ability to blend into their surroundings, foxes are generally viewed as sly and cunning beings. Interestingly, the word cunning, originates in the Old English word, kenning, which means to know, especially as applied to seeing something which isn't visible straight away. This can be related to the fox's superb sight and their ability to anticipate. 

"Fox Totem" by Susan Williams

She can show us the skills necessary when it comes to handling people, something we all need to work on at one time or another. Being pretty anti-social in large groups, and having anxiety issues, she teaches me how to best handle myself so that I won't have a panic attack.

She teaches me the ability to camouflage, which can be deduced as being able to take a step back and view an interpersonal situation with detachment. This includes opening up the less obvious senses, such as intuition. Often the underlying basis of a situation may seem obvious, but instead of making a quick judgment, I've learned to listen closely to the outer and inner senses. Then you may perhaps get a completely different picture of what is going on. When the outer situation and the inner senses don't match it is wise to handle like a fox, to trust ones intuition/instinct/inner voice, and to lay low.

Just like the wolf, the fox partner's for life, and is very devoted to its young. Many of its clever hunting techniques are keyed to acquire food for the helpless young and the nursing vixen. This is am important element of the foxes power. Similarly, our own awareness, and flexibility can be used to greater ends, not just to serve ourselves.

The fox's wisdom includes: Shape shifting, cleverness, observational skills, cunning, stealth, camouflage, feminine, courage, invisibility, ability to observe unseen, persistence, gentleness, swiftness, wisdom, reliable friend, magic, shape shifting, invisibility. 

With a fox as my spirit guide, learning to be invisible is very important in my life. I have always avoided large crowds, feeling too open and unprotected within them. As such, my anxiety attacks often come when I am asked to speak before a group, or make myself the center of attention for something. I have learned to picture myself blending in with my surroundings, becoming part of everything. Be extremely still and quiet. With practice and patience, I am now able to go unnoticed even, at a party or in a crowd.

If fox is your power animal, pay attention to the way it moves and follow its lead. This is a powerful guide to have and those that have it to should learn to use its skills for the benefit of all, including themselves.

I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into my soul.

Love and Lightning Bugs,

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Party Planning Made Easy with Birthday Express, and the Pitch List

Don't you just love when you're going about your day, trying to get everything done that needs to be done, and it suddenly hits you that you have a birthday party plan...which is only two weeks away. Sure, you could run out to the local party supply store, and gather up a hodge-podge of random cups, plates, tablecloths, and other assorted items. But would they match? Is there even a theme? If you're planning a party for a child, does it have their favorite characters on the items, or is it just a plain color?

Why even go through all the trouble of spending hours running around looking for all the supplies you need, when you could spend 20 minutes on Birthday Express, and just have it all delivered to your door?

Image taken from

That's right, you can have all your plates, napkins, cups, silverware and tablecloths delivered right to you, all with a fabulous and coordinating theme. Not to mention, all your decorations and party favors too! But while you're there, why stop at just the party supplies, why not look at getting some of the gifts you need there too? One stop shopping at it's finest!

Thanks to the always amazing Pitch List, I was able to review a couple of items of my choosing from Birthday Express. However, all the important birthdays were either in September or in December. So, I decided to do look at some of their great games and activities instead! I found a super cute Gnome Garden, and since I'm always using glitter in my craft projects, I picked up a multi-pack of that too. Yes ladies, they even have the glitter you need to really make a party fun!

I was surprised to see a free sample of Tom's Toothpaste in my package as well, but since I love trying new products, I was happy to get it!

The shipping to my home was really quick, and very well packaged. And you can bet I tore into the package to get to the goodies! The glitter was set aside for later protects, but I began working on the Gnome Garden right away. The kit included:

  • 1 large, flat, pot
  • 1 large bag of potting soil
  • 1 packet of grass seeds
  • 2 white styrafoam mushrooms
  • 1 little wooden house
  • 1 packet of thick paper leaves
  • 1 bag of black stones
  • 1 bag of faux moss covered stones
  • 3 small ceramic gnomes
  • 3 small ceramic ladybugs
  • 1 ceramic leaf shaped 'tub'
  • 1 bag containing the assorted paints, a paintbrush, and the spray bottle for water
That box was crammed full of fun things, and my imagination ran wild. Not being a lover of Gnome's, I decided to make this tiny garden a place for my house fairies instead, and threw in a few of my own items as well. 

I painted the mushrooms, and a fairy protection rune over the door of the little house, and on the side of the pot itself. No one wants bad fairies moving in! Then I glued on the paper leaves, and a few of my own glitter covered fall leaves. I laid the 'walkway' using the black stones from the kit, and I also put in some Celtic Sea Glass, for a touch of color. It still looked a bit bare to me, so I went ahead and made a wire tree using copper and silver wire, and placed a fairy charm in the branches. After all that, all that was left was to plant the grass seeds.

This was a super fun kit, and a gift someone of any any age would love! Birthday Express has tons of kits and activities just like this one, that would make any party a hit.

But it gets even better, now you can enter to win a party pack full of plates, cups, napkins, and other supplies that you need for a great party!  In fact, 5 winners get a $30 party pack! Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love and Lightning Bugs,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Making Holidays Memorable With Gift Baskets Plus

With the holidays around the corner, you know what that means...families getting together, big dinners, gifts being exchanged, and that ever elusive search for a present to give to the one person that you have no idea of what they will want or use. That last task is my least favorite part of the holiday season.

So what do you do when nothing in the stores seems like a good present for that person? You look outside the box!

Gift Baskets Plus is the perfect place to find a great gift, that everyone will love.

They have amazing gift baskets for every occasion, including EasterThanksgiving, and Father's Day. Not to mention, the awesome variety of baskets, filled with meat and cheeses, fruit, candy, and cookies. But there is way more than any normal gift basket company I have ever seen.

Do you have a beer or wine lover on your list? You're in luck! Gift Baskets Plus has an awesome array of wine and beer baskets. Do you know someone who has a special food need, like Kosher or Organic? Well Gift Baskets Plus has those baskets too! There is such a great selection of baskets, big and small, for almost every person and occasion you can think of.

Even better, right now they have a coupon code active only for my readers! Want 15% off any basket? Then please use this code at checkout: 15OFF

Using Gift Baskets Plus, you can make any holiday memorable!

Love and Lightning Bugs,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

From Frumpy, to Fabulous!

We all have those boring, baggy, old tee-shirts we don't really wear anymore...and we all either donate them, turn them into rags, or simply throw them away. But...why should be so ready to give up on something, just for being a little ugly? Why not turn something frump, into something fabulous!

This super cute shirt was made in less than 5 minutes, with no sewing required, and all from one of those ugly throw away shirts. Isn't it amazing what a bit if imagination, and some scissors can do? To make this shirt you'll need:

  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 1 spool of grosgrain ribbon
  • 1 peice of chalk
  • 1 bottle of fabric glue
  • 1 ugly ass tee-shirt, in a color you like

Look at the diagram below, and get your piece of chalk ready!

1st: Lightly sketch out where you want your neckline to be. I would suggest only taking off the collar in the back, and not going any lower...otherwise you're tee will become an off the shoulder number.

2nd: Sketch out the lines for the ribbon. You need to have 4 lines, with the inner two right below the middle of your tata's, and the outer two about 4 inches from the inner line.

3rd: Cut the collar, and the ribbon lines.

4th:  Now, take your ribbon, and cut it into 4 pieces...with each piece being 10-14 inches. It depends on how long you want the ties to be.

5th: Put one end of the ribbon inside one of the cuts on the chest, and glue it to the t-shirt. Make sure you use glue that will hold through being washed and dried! If you prefer, you can always handsew the ribbons into place, which will only take about 10 minutes.

6th: When the glue is completely dry, you can put the tee-shirt on, and make your two knots. Tie the inner ribbons into a knot, and then the outer ribbons into a pretty bow.

Voila! Now you have a super cute new shirt!

Love and Lightning Bugs,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Something Delicious For Your Eyes

Take a look at the picture below, and just savor it for a moment. 

Look at that sticky rice, topped with a delicious shrimp. A little wasabi, or soy sauce, and this would be perfection! Just one piece, the last piece, remains on the plate. Can't you just taste it?

Well, you probably shouldn't be putting that piece of sushi in your mouth, because it's not quite what it's a zip drive!

That's right, this yummy looking piece of deliciousness is a 4 GB zip drive, that will store your files, and make all your friends envious at the same time! Thanks to Fake Food Japan, you too can have something that looks as good as this, while still being a functional item you'll use everyday.

Started in 2012, Fake Food Japan has made it their mission to, "give people spanning the globe the opportunity to own and enjoy for themselves this Japanese time-honored craft of producing the most authentic looking fake food known to man."

They have a ton of amazing products offered for sale, including USB drives, mint cases, business card cases, key-chains, full size food replicas, and cell phone charms. Not to mention their custom order service! You can actually have a certain food of your choice perfectly recreated. Now that is pretty awesome. 

The craftsmanship of these pieces is really exquisite when you look at them as well. Not only do they look delicious, they look strikingly real. Please note the tiny imperfections, and almost invisible black specs on this piece. The creators of these beautiful pieces have so perfectly replicated the shrimp, that they even put on the black specs sometimes left over after cleaning the shrimp. 

Many of the items at Fake Food Japan would make perfect gifts or souvenirs for that person who loves to travel, or who loves anything Japanese. Not to mention perfect stocking stuffers for that person who's so hard to find a gift for. I could see the full size replicas being perfect for teachers, or chefs, who want a teaching aid.

I seriously love my USB drive, and I have received so many compliments about it from my college classmates.

As you as in love with these fun and quirky items as much as I am? Then enter below using the rafflecopter form to win any item under $55.00!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love and Lightning Bugs,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

To Hunt, To Howl, To Make Movies

Many years ago, when I was just a "cub", I found myself wandering through a very dilapidated section of my local library. There were dusty books with the bindings missing, books missing whole sections of pages, and a bin filled with torn and crumpled comic books. Being the ever-curious child I was, I headed for the plethora of comics, and laid my hands upon a very abused copy of ElfQuest...and I was never the same after.

The Wolfriders, the main cast of the ElfQuest comics.

I was often mocked and ridiculed as a child, be it for my large glasses, my hand-me-down clothing, or for not typically fitting in. So growing up, often my closest friends where the characters in my books. As silly as it sounds, I became a part of the world of Two Moons whenever I read those books. I connected with the characters (huntress Nightfall the most), I learned to hunt and howl, to stand up for and be myself, to always try and find the best solution to my problems, and to love and be ever loyal to my "pack" they furry or of my same flesh.

However, with the comic being over 30 years old, you can imagine my dismay when the closest friends I had as a cub simply stopped, trapped in time where they were. I went all through my late middle school, and high school, years without any new stories from them...though my love for them never dimmed. I drew them, wrote stories about the adventures they could be having in their "holt", and even cosplayed a few in my older years.

During my first two College years, my friends and their quests stayed mostly in the back of my mind, as I was working and studying to be an Animal Science major. However, one very fateful day, I was again browsing a library, though it was the one at my new four-year University...and there on a pile of books to be thrown away, was the same issue of ElfQuest I had stumbled upon as a child.

After that, I found there was a website online, which had every copy of the ElfQuest comics! I read for days it seemed, reliving all the adventures, peril, bloodshed, and love. It was like the years had never happened, and I was beyond thrilled to see new adventures, new stories that I had never known. But something even better was about to happen...

The creators of the comic series, Richard and Wendy Pini had been trying for countless years to get their ink creations to come to life in a movie. Though the plans had been bounced around a few times, no major studio had ever fulfilled the project. So, Wendy and Richard handed the project over to two very talented Indie film-makers: Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes.

These film-makers have put out one ElfQuest themed movie, months before the Wendy Pini made this announcement: "With their deep love and understanding of the property, they represent a new direction for 'ElfQuest. New creative energy and new connections in the larger media." You can see their movie below.

My eyes see with joy at this latest announcement, and I couldn't be happier to know that the characters I love so dearly will finally come into their own, and make it to the big screen. Did I mention Wendy is writing and drawing the chapters of the Final Quest? With new pages being published online every Monday? Shade and Sweet Water!

Love and Lightning Bugs,

** For clarification:
For those of you who don't know, or understand, the words I threw in this post here's the explanations.

  • Cub - The Wolfrider tribe of elves call their children cubs.
  • Pack - The Wolfriders are call such because they live with and ride wolves. They call their tribe a pack, and their children cubs because of this.
  • Holt - The Holt is the home of the Wolfriders. It usually comprises a very large tree with many dens in the trunk of that tree. Most often located in a cool and damp forest.

All rights for images and videos belong to their respective owners, Wendy and Richard Pini, as well as Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Customize Your Space With Vinyl Disorder

If you've known me longer than five minutes, you know I have an undying love and obsession for what I consider my souls kin: foxes. I have fox fur (harvested from animals who have died naturally), toy foxes, fox jewelry, a vase that my High School art teacher made me (which is a fox), fox calenders, the signature on my blog has a fox...and I could go on for pretty much ever. 

So of course, when I was given the opportunity to review an item from Vinyl Disorder, as part of another awesome Pitch List opportunity, what did I pick? A 9 inch, metallic silver, Fox. It took me about 10 seconds to decide to put it on my laptop.

I can not even begin to tell you how much I love this vinyl! It's very professional looking, with fantastic cutting and patterns. Not to mention super easy to apply! It only took five minutes out of my day to prep my laptop, and apply the image to it. Even better? They supplied the only tool I needed: a small credit card sized 'scraper' used to remove air bubbles, and transfer the design from paper to my laptop.

Vinyl Disorder has literally hundreds of different vinyl stickers available on their site, which can be used on cars, walls, windows, mirrors, laptops, and more! The stickers are very affordable, and are long lasting wherever you place them. The image comes sandwiched between adhesive paper, and wax paper, making this a very fast and easy apply process.

You simply peel back the adhesive side, slowly and carefully  making sure that every part of the image stays on the wax paper. After you've done this, you  hold the image above the area you want to apply it to, line it up, and carefully begin to put it on the surface. Using the provided scraper, make sure the image is firmly attached to the surface, and get out all those pesky air bubbles! Then you just remove the wax paper. Voila! The image is crisp and clean, leaving no junk behind from the papers used to transfer the image over.

If you like what you're seeing and reading, then why not enter below for your chance to win? The Rafflecopter opens at Midnight tonight, so make sure to come back!

Please enter the rafflecopter below, then feel free to visit the other blogs in the linky! I love looking at the different ways that others used their graphics!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love and Lightning Bugs,


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sister In All But Blood

Today was a great day. It wasn't because I did anything really awesome, or went somewhere new, or made a cool new graphic or toy, or anything like that. It's because I got to Skype with my other half, my soul's sister in all but blood. And if you've ever read Elfquest, you'll get the reference.

Annie has been one of my dearest friends ever since our High School days. I was super shy, like 'I'm going to have a fucking panic attack if anyone talks to me' shy. Which in fact, happened way more than once, but that's another story for another time. I never talked to new people, I never tried to stand out, and for the most part, I kept to myself. And then this big ball of energy and noise came into my life, and I was never the same.

Because Annie is not a quiet woman, and she won't take your shit either. She is outgoing, and strong, and over the top, and I would not be who I am today without her. Because of her friendship, I don't take shit from anyone either, and I'm a stronger woman. She brought me out of my shell, and encouraged me to be more like myself...and I blossomed in her awesomeness. 

This was taken our Junior year in High School, by gym class. I titled it "True American Hero".

When I moved away for college, it did suck...a lot. But what was worse, was the fact that Annie was diagnosed with cancer. But did she let it get her down. FUCK NO. Annie fought like the most motherfucking badass bitch you've ever met, and she beat it. She didn't beat it once, oh no...she let it come back again, and beat its ass into the ground so that it would remember not to fuck with her again.

Bald, bitchy, and beautiful! 

That was a few years ago, and she's still in remission. Her beautiful hair is growing back, and she's as feisty as ever. Nothing can hold this amazing, special, badass chica down. And today was great, because no matter how far we may be apart, or how long since we last's like we were hanging out yesterday.

So thanks Annie...for being awesome, and for being one of the most important people in my life. I'd never be the same without you. <3

Love and Lightning Bugs,

Friday, November 2, 2012

A New Me, and Death Photography

I was looking through my blog last night, and after reading through quite a few posts, I realized something....I couldn't even recognize myself in my own writing! None of my sarcasm, none of the creepy/geeky/weird humor that I love...nothing. it was like someone else had written my you know what...fuck it!

I'm going to starting writing for me, about things I'm interested in. I'm thinking a one-month trial run, where I cover the topics and craziness that I love, where I write like I talk, and where I can be sure to see myself in my own blog. So stick with me for a while, and get ready to seem some awesome, if not disturbing on some level, content. Well hell, why not start now?

I have a fascination with all things Victorian, as well as quite the interest in most things people consider you can see why I would be so interested in Memento Mori's, otherwise known as Postmortem photography. In these photographs, you'll see a dead person, simple as that. The person has either been staged to resemble a situation or moment in life, or has been left to look peaceful on a soft couch or in a crib.

With childhood mortality rates so high during the Victorian era, most Memento Mori's are of children and infants. Often they are posed in a bed or crib, with a favorite toy or blanket. In many cases, the Memento was the only image of a child lost too early.

Sometimes the child was posed on a couch, on seated in a chair, holding flowers. They usually were photographed wearing their best clothes.

Originally photographed alone, it soon became common for parents to pose with their children, often holding them or cradling them in their arms. The solemn looks on their faces is what really gets me. I could not be that composed in the same situation.

And then we get to the adult portraits. If a loved one was not willing to pose with the deceased, they were most times posed in what the photographer considered "lifelike"...I consider it creepy as fuck. The individual portraits are the only ones that have ever creeped me out...and you can see why.

Since when is a child corpse bride "lifelike"? No...just no. Stop it you silly Victorians...just stop it.

Love and Lightning Bugs,