The Butterfly House: Chrysalis

HortusButterflies1In my favourite role-playing background, Changeling: The Dreaming, a Chrysalis is the point where the fae soul that has been lying dormant in a human is awakened. There are glimpses of the hidden world, the veil blown aside a bit by the winds that change ever so often, bits of glamour revealed.

HortusButterflies4After these sneak peeks into the world behind the world, the one that only the enchanted can see, there follows the dream dance, a swirling, manic, intense experience. It’s frightening to go through this alone and many refuse the call to their truest self, go crazy, get lost in the maelstrom of wonder, monsters, feelings. But those who don’t, those who either get found in time, rescued, those who somehow make it by themselves, those who embrace who they really are, enter a whole new world-behind-worlds where (almost) everything makes sense, all of a sudden.

HortusButterflies8When a larva grows it sheds its skin, more than once. We, too, try on skins in the shape of subcultures, styles, personality traits. Once the caterpillar encases itself and turns into a pupa, it turns liquid. Whether that pupa is in a soft cocoon or in a hard, shiny chrysalis doesn’t matter, the progress is the same. Self-digestion might not be an option for humanoids – it sounds incredibly unhealthy – let’s see it as a metaphor, an analysis of oneself, a quiet retreat inside our own mind.

HortusButterflies5Just like it’s the case with the larva that turns liquid we still keep some parts of ourself. I call these parts our essence, the very thing that makes you you and that makes me me. The very parts that are still there after you discover the world-behind-worlds, that are still you even when you made it through the Dream Dance.

HortusButterflies9I’m entirely fascinated by the progress, the one of the butterfly metamorphosis as well as the Chrysalis of a Changeling. I know that the journey of finding myself will never end but I think having a liquid state – a time where I just decide to dissolve and keep only the most essential parts of myself, maybe in meditation, maybe getting lost in something else – a creative process, swimming, dancing, music – might be exactly what I need. What all of us that are weird and sometimes strangers in our human forms that seem* to live in a world cold and devoid of magic, always searching for something – others like us, our true selves, our true meaning – need from time to time.

HortusButterflies11* because I know that there is magic, it’s just not always easy to spot!

HortusButterflies2So I make a cocoon for myself, or a chrysalis, and I turn into a hedge-goo, a pool of energy and essence, and you can decide for yourself if that’s just in my mind or if I actually dissolve into a slime on my bed.
My cocoon is my bedroom, a spot that is mine alone, soft and good for falling asleep to wake up with another bit of the veil behind me, on my way to waking up to myself, all my memories, all my skills and things.
A Changeling rarely has all of the memories of their former incarnations, and I see regaining them as a mini-metamorphosis of its own.

HortusButterflies7I’m sorry if this post strangely and randomly switched between casual biology, RPC nerdery, storytelling and esoteric, witchy self-care. What can I say, it’s how the mind works (at least this one).

HortusButterflies6All these pictures were taken in De Hortus‘ butterfly greenhouse, a magical place where you can watch the pupae of the species that live there real close, marvelling at the beautiful textures.

HortusButterflies10My most magical experience at the botanical garden though I kept for the end: I was blessed enough to see this beauty wiggle itself part of the way out of its pupa and into its imago stage. I don’t think I have ever seen something so strange and magical at the same time and I hope it will never fade from my memory.

HortusButterflies3Have a lovely start into the week!

Liked this? Read my other posts about De Hortus in Amsterdam! Part 1 | Part 2

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Taking a Sick Day

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Okay, not really new content today even though I announced it yesterday. It seems all my sniffling wasn’t but an allergic reaction after all because now I’m properly down with a cold. Headache, sore throat, sinuses working overtime in terms of snot production, the works.
The worst thing about being sick is the boredom because you can’t really do anything lest your head hurts or you move with the speed and grace of a zombie sloth (which is what I do. I move very slowly, hunched and I make complainy groaning noises from time to time). I couldn’t sleep, either, except for a short nap on the living room floor which for some reason worked better than my bed. By now I have retreated to my usual I’m-not-well resort which is YouTube videos, mostly hauls or chatty vlogs because I don’t have to follow a story line and of course Netflix chose today of all days to act up anyway.

But you know what? Other than the symptoms above and the ennui of not being able to do anything mildly interesting I’m fine. I managed to sew a cover for our sofa on Sunday so now I can lounge about on velvety, golden beauty. I’ve got a Changeling character to write. It’s Tuesday, not Monday, so the boyfriend is actually at home making dinner and hot lemon with honey for me and telling me that I’m adorable when I’m covered in blankets and grumpy and snotty. I have not one, but two hot water bottles. Life could be so much worse.

Finished Things Saturday: Pink Lancer Dice Bag

Finished Things Saturday (or FTS for short) is the (usually) bi-weekly counterpart to my UFO Fridays. While there I show you what I’m working on FTS is about small finished projects that I didn’t think worthy of a separate post for some time but now just put in this feature. They deserve it! For more FTSs, look here.
Pink Lancer Dice Bag | HedgefairyOne of the things I do when it’s not my turn during Pathfinder sessions is crafting. I usually just work on bigger projects that happen to be up at the moment but that one partictular week I had the urge to do something about the scrap box.
Pink Lancer Dice Bag | HedgefairyMy old dice bag had long been inactive: At my old place I just kept my dice in a bowl because I think they are pretty. I also keep my D20 (for all my non-gaming readers: ikosaeder or 20-sided die) in an extra tie-string bag (that I had since childhood and didn’t make myself) for better organisation (Pathfinder works on a D20 basis). This was just too much for my tiny old bag to hold so I decided that I needed a new one.
Pink Lancer Dice Bag | HedgefairyThis one has ample space for all my dice, a small pencil, map markers… all the little things that are definitely necessary. It’s made out of the leftovers of Noio’s dress, the lining of my Mother Quilt and some bias tape from a dismanteled place mat – and all fabrics were thrifted in the first place.
I have taken up a jousting lance as a personal symbol lately, and I think I should do more embroidery again – I really like it.

What scrap busters have you sewn lately? Or did you manage to reduce you stash somehow else? Let me know in the comments!

10 Things I ♥ in May

10 Things I love in May 2017

  1. Lost in Austen. My historical dancing club is having a costume-if-you-want-to dance to commemorate Jane Austen’s 200th death’s anniversary and I needed some inspiration which is why I finally got around watching this Pride and Prejudice, eh, adaption. It’s an adorable four-part miniseries, with unexpected depth for all characters and my much-beloved “fish out of temporal water” trope. Now I want a George Wickham spin-off (because he’s the best character in the whole thing). And I also decided that Regency garb just isn’t my cup of tea.
  2. Azalea Doll’s Pretty Pixie dress-up. I mean, look at those adorable outfit options!
  3. Yuri on Ice. I’m not exactly on the hype train, but I just don’t get hypes, anyway. I however found it cute enough to watch and include in this list here! The anime makes me regret not going skating this winter! Although I was always more of an ice hockey person I loved watching figure skating with my grandparents when I was little and this reminded me of those days, too.
  4. Leyla Acaroglu’s Paper beats Plastic? TED talk. She’s witty, she’s funny and she’s so right with her design rant. I still prefer paper to plastic, though, just for the feeling and look (and also the renewable resources, although cutting down forests isn’t really necessary…).
  5. Grüne Soße, a traditional dish made of a defined set of herbs and greens mixed with dairy products, mustard and boiled eggs. A must-eat around eastertide in Germany (and so yummy).
  6. Playing at the Wunderkammer Chronicles. It feels so good to GM again even if it’s “only” via forum. Watching a self-spun world come alive is such a magical feeling.
  7. We finally have potted herbs for sale at work. They’re so pretty and smell so nice and I always hope they thrive and grow in their new homes when I sell them.
  8. Our new Pathfinder campaign. So far it’s a lovely slice of live adventure with some supernatural occurrences thrown in but I’m sure it’ll go wild soon enough. I love the character dynamics, too. Grohm is a no-nonsense medic from humble origins who hates it when people sing or hum and is suddenly confronted with the reality of having hidden magical powers while Allouèt is an extremely genki bard and history nerd with a crush on a long-dead revolutionary and basically a Disney princess (complete with a tame thrush and random singing, much to Grohm’s chagrin), always going out of her way to brighten someone’s life. Throw in Scoundrel’s diverse and partially adorable cast of NPCs and plot-writing obsession. Done.
  9. Magpieb0nes on DeviantArt. They make the most beautiful animal masks, and they do it especially for LARP purposes, too. I’m especially enamoured with the hare (left), of course but this taur is really impressive, too (there are so few well-done partly animal characters at LARP) and I love the treeface masks!
  10. This Sweather-Wearing Ferret pin in white | brown by Oh Jessica Jessica on Etsy. It’s just so vintagely adorable.

A short Changeling PSA

Remember the Wunderkammer Chronicles I wrote about here?
It’s alive. And kicking. And sprinkling fairy dust. Badass fairy dust.

What I want it to become is a lifestyle community for like-minded individuals, not only roleplayers.
You identify with the whole Changeling concept, feeling like half of you belongs to this world and the other half to another? Come join us.
You like faeries, fairy tales, urban fantasy or dressing like a storybook character (Dolly, Strega, Lolita, Neo-Victorian, Punk, Steampunk, all alternatives are welcome! You’re also welcome if you don’t dress weirdly.)? Come join us.
You love making do, crafting, reviving traditions, witchcraft and a picturesque, mori-ish lifestyle? Come join us.
You’re into pastels, magical girls, over-sugared cupcakes and glitter? Come join us.
You want to play Changeling: The Dreaming in a forum with others who enjoy it? Come f*cking join us.

I want this to be a place for us who are always in another world with at least one foot, I want this to be a place where we can be ourselves and play pretend. I want this to be a balefire that keeps banality at bay.

Come join us. We’re there, and we’re waiting for you.
Bring your friends.

The Wunderkammer Chronicles.

Inktober Days 11-20

The second third of Inktober was when it finally clicked, I think. I started experimenting more and became more comfortable with ink.

Inktober 2016, Day 11Day 11: This is the last drawing I made while visiting Marburg, some rather random hanging talisman. Note that I ran out of ink, too…
Inktober 2016, Day 12Day 12: Nothing much spectacular, but tea is one of my recurring motives overall, I think.
Inktober 2016, Day 13Day 13: I revisited the idea of botany and architecture I already worked with in week one, this time with a tower and the rowans I can see from my window.
Inktober 2016, Day 14
Inktober 2016, Day 16Days 14 & 16: I had to put these two together for obvious reasons. I love pumpkins outside October, too, and drawing jack-o-lanterns for a more seasonal motif was great fun.
Inktober 2016, Day 15Day 15: Dreamspoke is one of the chronicles over at The Wunderkammer Chronicles, my Changeling RPG forum (go, sign up!). Maybe it will start after Kingworm Tales at some point, we do not know, but just in case I made a cover for it. I’m highly impatient when it comes to drawing but after this one I managed to let the ink dry most of the time.
Inktober 2016, Day 17Day 17: A portrait of Mai Magi of tumblr. I realised I hadn’t done anything for Inktober that day when I watched a video of hers so this portrait happened while I watched on.
Inktober 2016, Day 18Day 18: What can I say, I like feathers and something quill-like just seemed appropriate for Inktober. :)
Inktober 2016, Day 19Day 19: This is a ram’s horn I actually own and I think it might be one of my favourite Inktober pieces this year, especially with the pencil sketch still visible.
Inktober 2016, Day 20

Day 20: All October I had a flyer with the picture of a lucky cat on my sill and had the idea to draw it more than once but after a few sketches I realised that what I actually wanted to draw was a cat in a ruff.

If you are curious, Part 1 is here.