craftacular,

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    ANDREA LOVE’S STOP-MOTION animated video “Cooking With Wool: Breakfast,” opens with a miniature kitchen made entirely of felt. A human hand enters the frame to turn on a felted electric stove, and a coil of wool slowly changes from black to red as the burner heats up. Pats of felted butter appear to melt in a felted frying pan, into which teensy felted eggs are cracked. As they cook, coffee is prepared from a felted tea kettle, which pours felted hot water into a wee pour-over coffee filter, releasing a bit of fibrous steam.

    The video was introduced on Love’s Instagram page in November 2019 and went mega-viral; it was viewed almost three million times. Together with other videos it helped the 34-year-old Love garner over a million Insta followers. “I did a whole series of personal Instagram projects a few years ago, and it was just a way for me to experiment with my technique and see what people respond to,” she says. Still, even a 15-second video is a major undertaking: it can take a whole day to create the felted items, a few days to shoot the animation, and then a few more to edit and add sound. But Love’s efforts paid off. “Once I built my [Instagram] audience I was able to get representation, and that has opened the door for me for more commercial work.”

    1OcS7E1I cdac7Baskets of wool fiber ready for felting

    The popularity of her Instagram account has led to work in other ways, too. Zooey Deschanelis a follower and recommended Love to singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson when the two were looking for someone to create a video for their song, “Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.”The beautifully crafted video, released in 2021, features an adorable bunny couple (designed by illustrator Phoebe Wahl) who live in a cottage in the woods and celebrate the holiday with other cute forest creatures. It’s the second project that Love collaborated on with Wahl, their first being Tulip, an animated short based on the story of Thumbelina, which continues to be screened at film festivals around the world.

    67DNVdbE 0c299The set for the "Cooking with Wool" series

    Although she studied film in college, Love is a self-taught animator. As a result, she was willing to do whatever it took to get the experience she needed. “I got my start working for local businesses, and they don’t have big budgets but also I didn’t have the skills yet, so I just kind of looked at it like graduate school, getting paid a little bit to learn and experiment,” she says.

    wJNqZ1IM fb28fNeedle-felting a goblet

    Love only discovered needle-felting after she’d already been dabbling in animation, but it quickly became an obsession. However, the idea to create a career from her two interests took a while to gel. “There was a moment in 2016 where I was working on my first fully felted animated piece, called ‘Revolution’—it’s all about hand spinning—that made me realize there was something really special there, and that’s what I wanted my niche to be,” she explains. “I love just looking at the world through the lens of felt, and it lends itself so well to what’s called particle animation—fire, water, smoke. All of those things just look really delicious made in felt.”

    Glc7LC8g 41147Felted characters from Tulip

    Wcmv4WC8 ea290Love's stop-motion animation studio in action

    Based in Port Townsend, WA, Love does all of her work—felting, animating, and editing—from home. “I started working in my bedroom, graduated to a closet, and then bought a house in 2015 and moved into the basement, not realizing what a great space this was going to be for me,” she explains. “I’m amazed [that] I can make my sets in a little basement, and it just looks like a huge world.” –Debbie Stoller

    This article originally appeared in BUST's Spring 2022 print edition. Subscribe today!

    photos: SARA WRIGHT

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    1. Kenyan AA Whole Bean Coffee by Ajiri Tea, $17.00

    Ajiri: To Employ

    In the city that never sleeps, coffee becomes our best friend, and there’s no better way to begin a good day than with the perfect cup of Kenyan Coffee. Ajiri Tea offers whole bean Kenyan Coffee, perfectly paired with subtle citrus and berry flavors to begin a morning in good taste! Ajiri Tealives up to the translation of their name: this company donates 100% of their profits to orphan education, their coffee and tea is cultivated in Kenya and every label is individually hand-designed by Western Kenyan women on dried banana leaves. Help support the effort to create an independent, self-sustainable community that isn’t functioning on unreliable international sponsorship. Ajiri now fully sponsor 29 orphans – so give the gift of giving this holiday, and help this company support even more kids! 

     

    2. Run For Office Necklace by Activated NYC, $38.00

    This bracelet speaks for itself (literally) and its message is most important in today’s age. Remind your loved ones that their voices must be heard, and that it’s time to wake up and resist! Gift awareness and motivation to those important to you. Activated NYC specializes in feminist jewelry, creating pieces to spread solidarity with this uplifting accessory for every outfit. Whether you’re resisting the policies of “Not My President” or just generally supporting women (as you should), show your voice in style.

      

    3. Purple Peacock Polymer Clay Feather Pendant by Artifacts Everyday, $65.00

    Celebrate and share the story of Aztec Goddess Xochiquetzal with this handmade clay necklace! Boston-based Artifacts Everyday creates beautiful pieces from polymer clay.  Whether it's a wave choker or a Cleopatra headpiece, designer Elle Marrone's pieces are sure to catch attention and start conversations.

    4. Dominican Republic Dark Chocolate by Dalloway, $9.00

    Share and savor the flavors of currant and sour cherry in this chocolate bar hailing from the Dominican Republic! Dalloway Chocolate is a Brooklyn-based company that swears by the power of cacao and the love it spreads. This is the first coffee company that's owned by a queer couple with a passion and mission for "building love and community with chocolate." Help spread the deliciousness of the message of love while supporting the LGBTQ community and gift these tasty chocolate bars this year.

    5. "Witches Against Hate" Button byChloe L Wilkinson$3.00

    Help witchy feminists fight against all types of hate with this pin. Adorned with sage and the moon, every focal equalist can show racists and prejudicists what's really going on without speaking a word.Chloe L Wilkinson is a New York-based artist who uses Surrealism and Victorian influences to design art prints, pins, and patches. Herphotographyis stunning and focuses on the true wonders of nature.

    6. Busy Bitches Candle by SugarBush Babes$15.00

    Show your girl you support her nonstop hustle bustle with this "Busy Bitches" candle. SugarBush Babes offers this hand-poured vegan soy wax candle. This candle offers enticing scents of green tea and lemongrass to offer a relaxing solace to the go-getter bitches. True bosses never slow down or care enough to stop, and this is a message SugarBushBabes supports and promotes.Creator Dianna Pena, a previous Motorcycle Company apparel buyer, is all about strong women who flourish in their freedom, confidence, and style. Plus: all NYC biker babes, come check out her bike garage in Ridgewood! There's storage, shopping, and a technician to assist with repairs.

    7. Nectar Fire Tonic by Hany's Fire Tonic, $15.00

    Give the gift of good health available fromHany's Fire Tonicwith this Nectar Fire Tonic.  Apple Cider Vinegar is known for its health benefits, and owner Hany has created the perfect recipe infusing this into recipes perfect for all taste preferences and lifestyles.Hany's Fire Tonic has four delectable flavors to choose from that have been handcrafted in Brooklyn. You can check out their blog to learn even more about all their tonics and learn which one is perfect for you!

    8. Designer Pussy Tee by Geneva Diva$25.00

    Help your girls let all suitors know what they're really dealingwith this shirt! This silkscreen shirt is handmade and is one of the outspoken pieces available from Geneva Diva. Whether you're in search of keychains, spunky thongs, hoodies, or crop tops, don't hesitate to scroll through theirInstagram to see what other badass products are available.

    9. Long Black Gloves by LamiaDesign, $101.00

    These open-fingered gloves from Lamia Designsare showstoppers to step up any outfit to the next level. Show off your sassy manicure or new ring collection with these, all eyes are sure to be drawn right to it! Lamia Designs has worked for years in the fashion world, and is open to your own ideas for different design ideas or material choices to make your dream gloves your own reality. Check out her blog here to see all the different styles she's mastered!

    10.Awaken the Scorpion Ring byMERCURY HOUR, $110.00

    This breath-taking ring is sure to startle some, but let it be a forewarning to foes of your true strength within. Mercury Hour incorporates the strength of power and rebirth into this ring, and have been incorporating all that scorpions stand for into their masterpieces since 2014. This ring holds a story itself, and there's little better gift than an incomplete story to partake on a journey. Plus, labradorite, the stone of transformation, is embedded in the center, making sure to guide and protect your friend to holding their consciousnesses strong. See all the stunning work done by Scarlett C. Dancer in her lookbook!

    11.The Dark Amethyst Crown byJudy & Madeleine, $44.99

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    Become the literal feminist goddess that you are with these magical and mystical crowns from Judy and Madeleine. These handcrafted headpieces are inspired by infamous paintings, films and books and every piece is made-to-order. This means that you can be the envy of everybody and anybody while wearing your unique headpiece as you strut down the runway of the city streets and smash the patriarchy with every step. 

     

     

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    1. Coil Vessel by Paperclip Pottery,$150.00

     

    This coil vase’s unique design and structure was inspired by 3D-printed art. Paperclip Potteryis owned by Mia Rose Schachter, an artist with a background in theatre and music. She focuses on the beauty of “intimate moments over elaborate stories,” and this is something you are sure to see in her work. Even better, Paperclip Pottery donates a portion of profits to NY Abortion Access Fund, allowing women easier access to healthcare. Mia also designs what she calls shagware, a range of beautiful, sculptural sex toys!

    2. Eyes on You Print by Cotton Candy Machine, $80.00

    Eyes on You Print CottonCandyMachine 259f3

    This beautiful painting was printed giclee-style on velvet rag paper, and is signed and numbered by the artist, Tara Mcpherson. Tara is a co-owner of Cotton Candy Machine, working with Sean Anderson to provide artwork from numerous artists of all styles. Whether you’re looking for prints, cards, bookmarks, or apparel, there is something sure to catch your eye! Cotton Candy Machine works numerous events to bring art to all who are interested, be sure to check out their Instagram to see where they’re headed.

    3.Butterfly Silhouette Needlepoint Kit by Jenny Henry Designs, $85.00

    Some art is meant to be done with your own hands, and what better way to dive into creativity than with stitching? Jenny Henry Designsoffers this pillow cover that's intended for beginner/intermediate level users, and is a great introductory into the stitching community. Their blog is a wonderful way to learn about the culture, techniques, and even find inspirational blogs Jenny uses to learn more from. Jenny has been designing these kits for over ten years, so she knows a thing or two about creating unique artworks.

    4. Sunset Travel Mug by Heartmoss Pottery, $32.00

     Start your day in calm tranquility with this sunset mug. Heartmoss Potteryis inspired by the breathtaking Appalachian mountains and the farming beauty in these regions. Designed in Virginia, these pieces of work are functional, beautiful, and sure to help you relax before the rush of the holiday season takes over.

    5.Whiskey Flask by Wrong World Ceramics, $31.00

     “Too much of anything is bad but too much whiskey is barely enough.”

    Mark Twain hit the nail on the head with this quote, and Wrong World Ceramics is here to ensure that you can carry your whiskey in handmade fashion. This hand-crafted clay flask is coated with a green celadon glaze and adorned with red lettering. Wrong World Ceramics work is dishwasher safe, and this Philadelphia-based studio's designs also include a quilted flask with matching shooters. Cheers!

    6. The Old Crown Inn Print by FaithWaites, $20.00

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    This black and white print is one of only 25 that is numbered and signed, and the adorable drawing is sure to encourage your vacation daydreams. Faithwaites designs books, prints, and cards, focusing on the beauty that is found in both old and new. Two N.Y.C. artists work together to provide these pieces, and you can read their interviews and posts about drawings on their blog.

    7. Morning Puzzle by Night Sculpture

    In a time of body self-examination and insecurities, our bodies are typically scrutinized instead of explored. Night Sculpture works to eliminate that fear of ourselves by creating sculptures of people in their purest forms. Drawing inspiration from growing up playing with lasers and having a brother who is a physicist, Lisa Niedermeyer uses 3D technology to work with people who wouldn’t do a nude photoshoot. The image is then used to create sculptures.

    8. Bud Vase by Wah Ceramics, $20.00

    Some art work speaks for itself, and that’s what you can find with Wah Ceramics! Offering plates, bowls, cups, and vases, these individual designs painted with earthy colors are sure to warm your heart and household.

    9.Ryan's Freedom Deluxe by Bicycle Painting$150.00

    This screenprint is perfect for those who have a passion for biking, just like artist Taliah Lempert. Taliah is an avid cyclist: she raced at the Kissena Velodrome 8 years in a row and created Bicycle Painting to bring her experience of almost 20 years painting together with her favorite pastime. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, and the bikes she’s painted have been famous as well, she even painted Connie Carpenter’s road bike from her 1984 Olympic win.

    All these artists (and more) will be at the BUST Holiday Craftacular in Brooklyn on 9 and 10 September. The Craftacular will also feature classes and talks as part of the BUST School of Creative Living, where you can learn arts and craft skills yourself. Find out more here.

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    Calling all podcast fans! At this year’s BUST Craftacular—N.Y.C.’s longest-running indie craft fair, December 7th and 8th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Industry City (Factory Floor, 268 36th St., Brooklyn, NY 11232)—there’s going to be a great double header of audio-related entertainment! First, on Saturday 12/7 at 3:15 p.m. there will be a LIVE taping of BUST’s Poptartspodcast with special guest Kara Loewentheil. Loewentheil is a Master Certified Life Coach with a B.A. from Yale and J.D. from Harvard Law. In the last three years, since leaving her legal career behind, Kara has grown her life coaching business from 0 to 7 figures. She’s the host of the iTunes top-rated self-help podcast Unf*ck Your Brainwhich has been downloaded over 5M times, and she has been featured in outlets like Marie Claire, Mind Body Green, MSN.com, and The Huffington Post.

    And after an hour of Loewentheil deeply unf*cking our brains, Team Poptarts (hosts Callie Watts and Emily Rems, audio engineer Logan del Fuego, and producer Jessy Caron) will be teaching a Podcasting 101 class, that will walk attendees through all the buys and bolts of how we get the show from our mind grapes to your earholes!

    At only $15 each, these events are filling up fast, so nab your tickets todayat craftacular.bust.com and unf*ck your brain with us!

     

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    Before the dawn of parabens and sulfates, plants and herbs were the foundation of one’s grooming and medicinal rituals. The ancient Greeks achieved the perfect cheek and lip stains by mashing up berries or beets. It’s rumored that Cleopatra moisturized with hemp seed oil and Marie Antoinette kept her hands soft by sleeping in gloves containing a mixture of rose water, wax, and sweet almond oil. And aside from being the first civilization to provide mandatory education for all children, the ancient Aztecs also practiced medicine using many plants and herbs, known for their healing properties. But as science progressed, so did the ingredients in your moisturizer. And while we owe it to science for now knowing that rubbing lead all over your face will kill you (shout out to Queen Elizabeth I), do we really need that many preservatives and synthetics if we want our bodies to feel and smell good?

    More and more people are finding this not to be the case. Many people are trading in their synthetic staples and returning to a more natural approach. Additionally, ideas of beauty and self-care have become more spiritual and meditative, as opposed to solely cosmetic. And companies are responding to people’s desire for a more personalized approach to beauty, that is catered specifically to one’s intimate self-care needs for their interior and exterior well-being instead of for the gaze of others.

    Heart Grown Wild is one of those brands with the intent “to bring that connection to the outside world into your daily self-care routines.” We spoke with the all-natural, plant-based beauty brand’s founder, creator, herbalist and alchemist, SantaLena Groves, about Heart Grown Wild’s synthesis of nature and beauty as well as how she implements her creativity with alchemy. Plus, she gives some invaluable advice when it comes to achieving your goals. You can shop Heart Grown Wild’s luscious serums and herbal products at BUST’s Holiday Craftacular, at the Brooklyn Expo Center on December 8 and 9, and take two workshops taught by Groves: Plant Extraction 101 and Brains + Beauty: Plant Synergy Of CBD And Green Beauty.

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    What inspired you to start Heart Grown Wild?

    My story started during my previous career as a social worker. My background is predominately in mental health social work, specializing in trauma. I was very passionate about helping those I worked with access tunnels of light in the dark through trauma informed practices—most specifically, grounding. At the most basic level, grounding involves the five senses—taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. This is one of the many reasons that nature can be therapeutic. If you picture a landscape in nature, and place yourself there—you can imagine how many of the senses can be engaged. For me, I was inspired to take a really nourishing beauty product, like luscious massage oil, or a face mask—and transform it into a portal to a landscape in nature. My intention was for each bottle to evoke a lush forest, or a field of flowers to help others feel at home within their body through the magic of plants and places that resonate for people in nature. This realization came especially when I used to live in a predominately urban environment, finding solace in evergreen oil, made me feel like I could escape the concrete jungle to the place where I felt most at peace-on a forest path, in the trees. I also recognized that there are many toxic//trendy ingredients in formulations oversaturated with unsustainable doses of essential oils. I wanted to create a line that not only evoked beautiful landscapes in nature, but was a formulated effectively in a smart, sustainable and synergistic way. I am a total bookworm, so everything I do—although mostly intuitive—has to answer all my “whys" as a measure of quality assurance. I can be a bit obsessive about knowing all the details.

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    What’s your self-care routine after you wake up and before you go to bed?

    In the morning, I wake up at 5am before my husband heads to work and he brings me coffee—it’s a sacred time that has become a sweet daily ritual despite the early hour. Once he leaves, I start my morning skincare ritual by cleansing with Azul CBD Serum, removing it with a warm washcloth, and following up with Prism of the Sun toner with a daily serum right over top. If I feel particularly tired or sluggish, I start the morning with one of our face steams and a honey mask, while I get my house/apothecary space in order. Next, I light candles, make a quiet breakfast, burn cedar, and get to work. It varies—sometimes I get to start the day with movement outside, but being a boss typically means I have to get right to it. I think it’s important to acknowledge that we may have to negotiate time for ourselves—we can’t always wake up with the perfect morning routine. If your day rolls out with a bang, carve out a few minutes and then plan for a serious wind-down that night.

    My ideal nighttime routine usually involves a bath. Baths are a serious ritual for me—it’s all about setting the stage. I make sure the room is clean, create a little altar of fresh flowers and pieces of nature from a sunset woods walk, light candles, and have a warm cup of tea or a glass of wine. I use that time to send intentions out into the world starting inward and working outward. I also use this time to release patterns or habits that weigh on me. On a heavy day, I will follow up my bath with In the Trees CBD Massage Oil, or Prism of the Sun CBD Massage Oil. The whole plant infusion of the evergreens containing the terpene limonene alongside the high quality source of Elmore Mountain Therapeutics CBD that we add helps the stress melt away. Limonene is anti-inflammatory which can help with pain in the body and stress relief—it’s the best bedtime routine.

    There are so many chemicals in a lot of cosmetics that are currently on the market. Would you say more people are thinking about the active ingredients in their products and what they’re doing to their skin and hair?

    I think some people are all in, and some people are comfortable making healthy swaps for things that they use on a more regular basis. The trend is definitely growing, and I think women in particular are paying close attention. Chemicals, preservatives, and fragrances disrupt our endocrine system, resulting in an increase in women having difficulty with hormones and fertility. Our skin is the largest organ on our body, so what we put on it matters. The beauty industry is one of the least regulated, and unfortunately companies have not been held accountable to safe practices. As a consumer, seeing the words Natural/Organic matters. It’s important that a consumer is educated to read their labels though— despite a company branding itself as "clean," that may not be the case. For anyone interested in a cleaner product, reading labels and knowing your source is key. The more informed you are as a consumer, the better you can make a decision.

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    Speaking of ingredients, there are so many wonderful plants and herbs listed in your products. For those of us that are new to plant and herbal skincare, is there a basic guide you would recommend for learning what plant/herb does what?

    There is so much information available. My go-to books are The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook by James Green and Body into Balance by Marie Noel Groves. If you really want to take a deep dive into plant benefits, look at their terpene composition. Terpenes are a big part of what gives plants therapeutic properties, and it’s rarely talked about. I think it’s especially important to pay attention to terpenes as the CBD in the green beauty industry continues to grow. When you start pulling up literature on terpenes like limonene, linalool, a-bisaboolol and see plants that contain these compounds, be prepared for your mind to be blown. Paying close attention to this has changed my entire outlook and reaffirmed that our formulations over the past few years are synergistically aligned.

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    Some of your products, like the facial steams, offer spiritual benefits in addition to skincare. Do you consider self-care and grooming to be a spiritual practice?

    Personally, I do. Part of my intention was to weave the practice of ritual into self-care routines we come into contact with almost every day. Access is really important for most people, and trying to schedule a yoga class or even a massage can feel daunting—despite this being the first thing that comes to mind, these aren’t the only gateways to a spiritual practice of self-care. Spirituality/self care really starts with you and your relationship with yourself—that way we can best show up in the world. Taking time to slow down, engage our senses and ground into our body is a great place to start. Adding plants into the equation creates a co-regulative space—plants are healing all on their own for so many reasons.

    Producing hair and skincare products sounds like it would be very procedural and scientific. How do you find ways to make it creative?

    My process, although scientific, comes from a place of creativity. Each formula was inspired by a personal connection to a landscape or a plant- so that memory translates to every batch I make. It’s a ritual all on its own, and my measuring bowls are like modern day cauldrons. I mix them and watch the alchemy of things blend together, whispering intentions into each vessel. From start to finish it is a ritual—from setting the stage, building my altar for the day, marveling at the alchemy of the distillation process, to shaking each infusion. It’s all energy going towards creating something magical. Process for me, although meticulous, feels very in tune with the magic of creation happening all around us.

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    What advice do you have for people when it comes to setting and achieving goals?

    Keep going and don’t knock the hustle. If it’s a goal that’s really important to you, don’t let spiritual bypassing get in the way of the work that is necessary. Often we see "success" marketed through a scope of privilege—it can look pretty and perfectly balanced. In reality, privilege isn’t accessible to all of us, and working towards what you want can look disheveled at times. That’s okay. Be prepared to push past your comfort zones, and be willing to give it your all. When I start to feel burned out or tired, I always come back to the same question: “Am I going to regret not putting everything into this”? If the answer is yes, I know what I need to do. Break things down into small, digestible bites if things get overwhelming and you feel like you bit off more than you can chew. Each task completed, no matter how small, will keep you going in the right direction. One of my favorite quotes that help me stick to goals is by Adrienne Maree Brown: “What you pay attention to grows." The work we put in is like tending to a garden: the more we tend to it, the more the garden will flourish—and you have to get your hands dirty. Pay attention to the things that are pushing you in the right direction, and try not to get stuck on the challenges that come along the way. Just keep going.

    Tell us about what you’ll be doing at the Craftacular.

    At the Craftacular, I will be covering two of my passions that go hand in hand with what I create: Plant extractions, and CBD and terpenes. It is my vision to grow my business to help inspire/share with others more sustainable methods of creating green beauty products and also inspire people to become knowledgeable versus following trends.

     

    Learn more about SantaLena and Heart Grown Wild at heartgrownwild.com

    Join us at the BUST Craftacular and the School For Creative Living 11a.m.-7p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 at Brooklyn Expo center. Admission is free; learn more and purchase class tickets here.

    Photos courtesy SantaLena Groves

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    We’re highlighting a bunch of our favorite artists, healers, and other luminaries who will be teaching workshops at the BUST School for Creative Living at the BUST Holiday Craftacular on December 8 and 9 at Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York. One of the teachers is Jordan Catherine Pagán, a Brooklyn-based healer, medicine maker, and expert in all things Reiki, herbal medicine, and Tarot. We caught up with Jordan to chat about her career, the roles that nature and Tarot can play in the healing process, and the classes she’ll be teaching at the Craftacular. We hope to see you all there! 

    Tell us a little bit about your work.

    I am the healer and medicine maker of Ostara Apothecary, based in Brooklyn, NY. I create plant and stone medicine to heal on multidimensional levels, drawing upon my Yaqui heritage and connection with the natural world. I have a range of handcrafted Tarot- and goddess-inspired herbal elixirs, seasonal remedies, and flower essences. I am a Reiki Master, 13th Octave LaHoChi Master, and I also practice Pranayama Breathwork and Tarot as tools for soul transformation. A follower of the flowers, I find a way to incorporate them into every one of my sessions, using fresh flowers and my flower essences. I lead monthly Breathwork healing circles and herbal medicine classes around NYC and online, and maintain a private practice. 

    What inspired you to start your career in healing?

    My own healing journey of 10+ years! I was suffering from PTSD and chronic pain and the traditional, conventional ways of healing (talk therapy, physical therapy, medication, etc.) weren't working. Out of desperation, I turned to more "out there" ways of healing—breathwork, reiki, Tarot, flower essences and herbalism—and to my great surprise, it started working. But I never thought I would become a healer myself, until friends started asking for readings and what reiki was like. But I wasn't convinced until one of my teachers suggested I get attuned to reiki. Once I did, everything changed. I felt like I had a superpower shooting out from my hands. Still, I had to be nudged pretty hard by the Universe to put myself out there and do this for real. I have a Master's in Art History, and never in a million years thought I would be working with plants, flowers, angels, ancestors, and Tarot for a living. But it's been the best thing ever. It hasn't been easy at times, especially in the beginning, but I've grown and expanded in ways I never thought possible. And I have found that a lot of what I studied in school prepared me for what I do now, especially with the Tarot. And finding ways for all my passions and modalities to complement and work together is a thrill, and the greatest surprise. And I'm so grateful that it resonates with people.

    What is your creative process like?

    I get inspired by everything—my clients, the people I meet, the plants that present themselves to me, no matter how ordinary. The Universe is always speaking to us and we just have to listen and be aware. I jot down notes in my phone and day planner on the go—I always think I'll remember but I'm so busy it'll get pushed to the back of my mind otherwise. And I make the most of my time doing ordinary things. For example, like most people in the city, I have commutes that range from 30-90 minutes, and I use that time to meditate. It doesn't matter if the train car is packed and I have people pressing up against me. I put in my headphones and get into higher vibrations using visualizations and sometimes mantras. It takes some practice, but it is more than possible! When I'm in that mindful state, I can receive inspirations for new medicines, offerings, workshops, and writing. You can also walk and meditate, which I sometimes do as well. I make sure to get out in nature as much as possible.

    What advice do you have for people who are pursuing a career in healing?

    Take the time to really master your healing modality (at least a year) and learn how you work with it and experience it on a personal level. Any healing modality takes time to really understand and integrate into one’s life and personal practice. One must build a personal relationship with the work. People seek healing for very real, heavy issues, and it’s a great responsibility to help them through it. Make sure you have the foundation and knowledge base to truly serve them. That said, when it's time to take the leap into doing this full-time, you may never feel truly ready—at a certain point, you'll just have to go for it. 

    Tell us about what you’ll be doing at Craftacular.

    I will be offering two Tarot classes: Tarot 101 and Unlocking the Secrets of the Tarot: Decoding the Signs and Symbols (a deep dive into the Tarot for moderate and advanced readers). I will also have a booth at the event, offering my handcrafted small-batch plant elixirs, flower essences, and seasonal remedies.

    What else should our readers know about you and your business? 

    My work, whether that's a plant elixir or healing session, is about expansion and clarity. It's about bringing the spiritual into the physical, because that's where we live. My medicines and healing modalities are practical and easy to incorporate into real, daily life. Spirit is in everything we do, no matter how routine or mundane. There is no separation, and our job as humans is to remember that we are powerful and come from love. This is the work I am committed to doing, and while there is no easy fix, shortcut or magic cure, it is possible.

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    For more information about Jordan and Ostara Apothecary, you can visit her website at ostaraapothecary.com.

    Join us at the BUST Craftacular and the School For Creative Living 11a.m.-7p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 at Brooklyn Expo center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Admission is free; learn more and purchase class tickets here.

    Photos courtesy of Jordan Catherine Pagán

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    This weekend, artists, healers, and teachers will be heading to the BUST School for Creative Living at the BUST Holiday Craftacular in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to lead workshops and lectures and teach you the basics of everything from reiki to rolling joints. One of these experts will be Shauna Cummins, a hypnotherapist who can help you learn how to manifest your own dreams through hypnosis, and through music. We chatted with Shauna about her inspirations, her goals, and—of course—what she’ll be doing December 8 and 9 at the Brooklyn Expo Center. Check it out!

    Tell us a bit about what you do.

    I'm a Hypnosis Artist, and have held a private hypnotherapy practice in New York City since 2012. I specialize in teaching people how to use self-hypnosis to increase confidence, creativity, and courage. I like to call hypnosis “the medicine of the imagination” and although it's not at all like it's portrayed in the movies, it still is pretty magical, and the best part of it is it's a natural ability and a practice that is available to everyone. As an artist, I've been fortunate to travel internationally, creating immersive hypnosis inspired sound experiences and performances. In January, I'll be performing with Danish artist Joachim Koester at The National Gallery of Denmark, interpreting altered states and ritual experiences through the performance of a hypnotic trance.   

    What inspired you to start a career in hypnosis? 

    I was feeling very burnt out by my life in the city and was in a process of transformation and healing. Hypnosis helped me almost immediately, and it became one of those before and after moments: my life before hypnosis and my life after. It resonated and helped me turn the voice in my head into a collaborator as opposed to a nemesis (for the most part) and that changed everything for me. At that point I dedicated myself to learning as much as I could about it, and became a hypnotist in the process.

    What inspires your creative process?

    My clients are the biggest inspiration to me – witnessing how much they grow and change and dedicate themselves inspires me to push my creative boundaries and potential.  

    What advice do you have for people who are pursuing a career in your field?

    Look for a good mentor and follow your heart.

    Tell us about what you’ll be doing at Craftacular.

    On both Saturday and Sunday, I'll be leading a Hypnosis Sound Journey with the very talented musician and reiki practitioner Erika Spring. I'll also be teaching a lecture and workshop on The Divine Feminine School of Hypnosis and a Wishcraft workshop, teaching self-hypnosis for manifestation. 

    What else should our readers know about you and your business? 

    I just opened the Divine Feminine School of Hypnosis, which offers a comprehensive certification course in Hypnosis, education on the art and science of Hypnosis from its origins as an ancient matriarchal healing art, and the intersection of Hypnosis with modern neuroscience. The next course will begin in the Spring – if you're interested in learning more about hypnosis, reach out!

    Learn more about Shauna’s work at shaunacummins.com.

    Join us at the BUST Craftacular and the School For Creative Living 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 at Brooklyn Expo center. Admission is free; learn more and purchase class tickets here. 

    Top photo via Shauna's website 

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    Devin Person is an expert in meditation, hypnosis, and—oh, did we mention he’s a wizard? For over a decade, Person has been a practitioner of all kinds of magic, which means he’s mastered everything from Jungian psychology and neurolinguistic programming to ritual magic and the occult. We’re so excited to share that Person will be bringing both his enchanting energy (and yes, his robes) to the BUST School for Creative Living at our Holiday Craftacular.

    Though Person has an impressive background and knowledge of philosophy and psychology, he makes humor and accessibility a trademark of his magic, firmly believing that mixing fun wizard shenanigans with ideas about magic and control makes for successful results. He jokes, “Please come to my lectures and workshops – I’ll be dressed as a wizard so, at the very least, you can get a good wizard selfie!”

    At the event, Person will be leading two workshops: This Workshop Is a Ritual and Introduction to Erotic Hypnosis. His first class will teach how to tap into your inner magic and create your own rituals; the second will cover the essentials of consensual erotic hypnosis, including “on-demand orgasms” and “rich sensory fantasies.” He will also be leading a talk called “What, Me Wizard?” on Saturday, about the wizard as a cultural icon—and the lessons we can learn today from wizardry and pop culture magic.

    Learn more about Person’s practice on his website, and we hope to see you at the Craftacular!

    Join us at the BUST Craftacular and the School For Creative Living 11a.m.-7p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 at Brooklyn Expo center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Admission is free; learn more and purchase class tickets here. 

    Top photo via Devin Person's website

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    Add some magic to your favorite photos by getting a little knotty.

    The often feared but oh-so-fabulous French knot is easier to ace than you might imagine. It’s also the perfect embroidery stitch to transform your fabric-printed photos into wall-ready works of art. Have a yearbook photo that needs a makeover? A group portrait you want to add some extra joy to? Thoughtful placement of a few French knots can highlight trim on an outfit, punctuate the center of a flower, or fill the air with confetti. En masse, they can create new hairdos, fill borders and backgrounds, or even reimagine the family photo album with a little magical realism.

    Materials

    Photo image on fabric
    Embroidery hoop
    6-strand embroidery floss in your chosen colors
    Embroidery needle
    Scissors

    Instructions

    1. Select a favorite personal photograph or public domain image that can be used without permissions or restrictions, like from The New York Public Library (digitalcollections.nypl.org, check the “public domain materials” box) or the British Library (flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary). Crisp, clear, black-and-white photographs work best, and will provide an eye-popping contrast with colorful embroidery floss.

    2. There are two ways to transfer an image to fabric. Using an inkjet printer, you can print your image yourself onto paper-backed cotton fabric sheets (Jacquard Cotton Inkjet Fabric Sheets, $18.99 for a pack of 10, joann.com)

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    For a higher-quality result, upload your image to a fabric print-on-demand service, like spoonflower.com (I recommend choosing “linen cotton canvas”), and wait for your fabric-printed photo to arrive. It’s best to scale your imagery to no smaller than 4" x 6".

    3. Before you begin, consider your overall composition by printing a practice photo on paper and sketching the general placement of your stitches.

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    If you’re concerned about “ruining” your image, know this: you can practice on scrap fabric until you feel more confident and any rogue knots can be pulled out, allowing you to start again!

    4. Load your fabric into your embroidery hoop so the surface is smooth and taut. Cut a 12" to 16" length of embroidery floss, and split off three strands. Knot one end and thread the other through your embroidery needle leaving a 2" tail. Determine the location of your first French knot and push your threaded needle through the fabric, entering from the underside and pulling the floss through until the knot catches on the back.

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    5. Set your hooped fabric down on your work surface. Hold your needle in your dominant hand and then take the 2" to 3" of the floss closest to your knot, hold it taut with your non-dominant hand, and don’t let go. There’s no need to pull hard, you just want to create a straight line of the floss with gentle tension.

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    6. Bring the needle towards your body and hold it parallel to the fabric; wrap the taut part of the floss around the needle three times.

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    Position the tip of the needle right next to where the floss initially came up through the surface and then pierce the fabric again—but don’t push the needle all of the way through.

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    Now gently pull the floss with your non-dominant hand and watch the wrapped knot slide down the needle to the surface of the fabric.

    7. Next, slowly push the needle through the fabric, releasing the floss and lifting the hoop up off your work surface, allowing you to pull the floss all the way through.

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    The end result is a neat, three-dimensional knot that sits on the surface of your fabric.

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    8. Create as many French knots as you’d like with your length of floss, but leave yourself at least 3" at the end. After completing your final French knot, separate the strands on the underside of the fabric, knot together, and trim.

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    By Robert Mahar
    Visit robert-mahar.com for more embroidery and diy tutorials.

    Top photo by Kat Borchart
    Crafting photos by Robert Mahar

    This article originally appeared in the Fall 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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    These may be days of rage for women’s rights activists burning it all down in the age of Trump, Weinstein, and #MeToo. But here at BUST, we also know that feminism can be super fun, and we’ve got a bunch of great activist-inspired workshops at this year’s BUST Holiday Craftacular—Dec. 9 & 10, Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St.—that prove exactly that.

    First up, we have amazing talks featuring Lindy West, Amber Tamblyn, and Kristen Sollee

    Then, we've got amazing classes going on all day. Gather your girl gang together and try out a workshop onAncestral Memory and Body Decolonization. Or get grounded with a tutorial on#MeToo Tools & Active Meditationthat will help transform your relationship to power.

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    And for those who want to get crafty, our ‘Zine Makingclass and Patches for Revolution demo will help you channel your inner riot grrrl.

     

    You’d be hard pressed to find such a diverse and expansive lineup of interactive programming anywhere else, especially at this price. Tickets for individual workshops are only $15. But if you want to workshop-hop all day long, a day pass is $40 and a weekend-long pass is $75. These passes also get you into all music performances and talks from feminist luminaries including Lindy West, Amber Tamblyn, and Liz Winstead! So gather up your posse and prepare for a fantastic feminist weekend of good vibes and skill sharing at the BUST Craftacular!

    Special thanks to our art supply vendor Artists and Craftsman Supply.