They warned me not to go into the swamp, but there are lights in the dark and a shiver ran down my spine. They're calling to me. "Come play with us!" Pulling on my Wellies, I ignore the warnings. I follow the flares of otherworldly light, flickering firefly lamps dancing in the reeds and marsh grasses. My sense of adventure gets the best of me. I can smell the wet here. Damp earth is mixed with decay. It's the smell of in-between places, where the elements struggle for balance. Earth. Air. Fire. Water. I can hear the hum of insects buzzing around and the throaty calls of frogs. The wind is blowing throw the long-dead trees, making them groan. Even though it's the middle of the night and there are no stars or moon to light the way, the green seems to glow here and in stark contrast, the shadows seem like they're painted black. It'd be easy to say that this is an "ugly" place, but it has a strange beauty full of mystery. My footprints are getting squishy as I make my way deeper into the swamp. Some say that a witch lives here. They say that she's covered in mud and dressed in weeds. They say that if you give her a token, she'll grant you a wish... OR she might curse you, if you're not careful and don't mind your manners. I don't know about all that. I've never been one to listen to what "They" say. Maybe, just maybe, the swamp witch is me? Maybe they've seen me here in a place that people avoid and give wide margins, a place that stories are made up about. Rumors grow like weeds. Taller and TALLER, until the truth is obscured! They say that it is best not to mess with the swamp witch and maybe "They" are right about that!
One of my favorite storytellers is Angela Carter. She has a way of turning fairy tales on their heads, injecting strong women and making the main protagonist misunderstood, a rebel, or a rogue. I like stories that are more complex – where "villains" are nuanced and not all bad, where the heroes are flawed and sometimes questionable. Since we've been on a roll making Halloween-themed kits, I knew that I wanted to make a witch inspired kit. The thing about witches is that they're often times seen as bad. Historically strong women (in particular) or those who lived on the fringes of society or followed their own drum beat were vilified and through this lens were distorted and transfigured into scary, misshapen figures. I didn't want to embrace that stereotype. While it can sometimes be fun to play with iconic image, I wanted to go deeper.
The introduction paragraph and the imagery in it was the inspiration for this kit. I imagined a swampy scene with will-o'-the-wisps and an "unexpected" swamp witch. It made me think of an marshy mix of greens and blacks, with touches of brown and tan.
So, here's how our Challenge Kits work: Participants of the challenge will purchase a kit. The kit is made up of a strand of gray quartz, vintage plastic, rock crystal vintage glass, vintage German ceramic, white jade, Swarovski crystal, vintage seed beads, waxed linen, and a luxury bead blend! The kit will also include a acrylic pendant! Challengers will have a few weeks to make something with the kit. They can use as much or as little of the kit as they like and supplement the kit with beads from their own stash if they so desire.
There is no specific reveal date for this challenge. This challenge celebrates October and pictures can be shared in the dedicated Facebook page.
Now, here's the fine print: There are only 10 Design Kits available! Once we receive your order, we will process your kit and send it out within ten business days. Usually it's faster than that, but we like to make sure that there is plenty of time to make the kits perfect. HURRY! Supplies are limited and are on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis! (Sorry, no exceptions!)
Shipping of the Design Kits can take anywhere from one business day to ten. For international orders, it may take longer! If you know it takes a long time to reach your destination (from Southwestern Pennsylvania) please place your orders early! we will do our best to get your kit out as early as possible, but unfortunately we can't be held responsible if it arrives late due to the postal service. NOTE: Chosing Priority Shipping at checkout will provide for a tracking number, insurance, and faster shipping than First Class Service.
All sales of the Design Kits are final and there are no returns or exchanges.