27 November 2016

sleepy sheep eye mask diy

sheep sleep eye mask diy

Years ago I have to admit I was a little disorientated by just how dark the night's were here by comparison to our previous urban location. When the punks were little we installed night lights so we could all find our way around after dark. It is something that we still have in our bathroom today, but our bedroom now has to be as dark as possible for this monkey-mind to get a good night's rest. And so it was that I recently started to have some new sleep issues when some exterior lighting was installed nearby.

My solution? An excuse to get crafty + make myself a fun new eye mask - my freebie airline one was no longer doing it for me!

Looking for a fun diy to follow I was really surprised that no one seemed to have created a sleepy sheep eye mask, and though I looked at all sorts of other creative designs it was clear that a sheep-themed mask was what I had to make. With a certain gift-giving holiday not far away, this might be something you may also like to make for a favourite friend or loved one. I made mine in less than a day (photo time included) following the outline below.

To create your own sleepy sheep eye mask, you will need:

printed copy of original pattern* - download here // assorted colours of acrylic/wool blend craft felt // piece of wool felt or similar for padding // assorted embroidery threads // length of 1 cm wide elastic // cotton thread // fabric scissors // pins // pencil/tailor's chalk // sewing needles // tape measure

*Although you can use the pattern straight off the printer, I always like to transfer it by hand to tracing paper as it is more flexible than regular printer paper, especially for those smaller, fiddly detail pieces.

sheep sleep eye mask diysheep sleep eye mask diysheep sleep eye mask diy

One: Begin by cutting out all your pattern pieces from your chosen felt. I was using what I had to hand, so my face + backing pieces were from two shades of grey felt, while the padding piece was from some thicker 100% wool felt I have.

Two: Cut along curve of stitch marks for each eye on the pattern + fold open. Align the pattern over one of the felt pieces that will become the face of your eye mask + trace the curves with pencil to mark where to sew features. Draw in remaining stitch lines by hand.

Three: Using a back-stitch embroider eyes + nose onto face. Position hair + cheeks onto face side + pin in place before stitching with coordinating embroidery thread.

sheep sleep eye mask diysheep sleep eye mask diysheep sleep eye mask diy

Four: Measure the circumference of your noggin, holding the tape in the position you are eventually going to wear the mask (eg. around the back of your hairline, over your ears + across your eyebrows). To calculate the length of elastic you will need, subtract the width of the mask (18 cm) from your head circumference. Pin each end of your elastic in place just under the 'ears' of your back eye mask piece before stitching securely with cotton thread.

Five: Stack all the layers together - backing piece (with stitched elastic), padding + completed face piece - and pin together.

Six: Finally, blanket stitch the three layers together all the way around the mask, starting along the bottom edge nearest one end of the elastic. Give the sleep mask a light press on the reverse before wearing for the first time.

sheep sleep eye mask diysheep sleep eye mask diy

Sheep dreams!

:: BEKA ::

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20 November 2016

of hare

snowshoe harecanadian snowshoe hare in winter colours, Tony Beck // via The Beauty of Wildlife




quick thinking




lunar cycle




quick footed

:: BEKA ::

// further reading //
Animal Spirit Guides, by Stephen Farmer
Hare Totem, by Orly Niran Yahalom

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13 November 2016

11 good reasons to instagram

iphonographygirl captures the Basilica of St. Peter + Paul, Prague // Gabriela Kucerova

To coin a phrase, it is probably no secret by now to you, but I am a huge fan of the Instagram and have been enthusiastically diving into the platform, learning all I can and working to build my account there.

It took me a long time to get why and how to integrate it into my network, but knowing that it was an ideal fit for my goals I made the commitment to clear the space and get to grips with it. I have been having a hoot ever since!

Instagram is awesome!

One of my main sticky points for not venturing into its realm sooner was the foundational question of WHY I even wanted to use it. While it's great to test the waters and play with these new tools, unless you really understand what you want to get out of them, they kind of lose their charm rather quickly and you move on.

In reframing the question I had to go beyond the surface of the "get more followers; get more buyers; glory + fame" mentality to build an Instagram that was going to be authentically rooted in alignment with my personality and philosophy.

Why do you instagram?

:: at last count, Instagram had 300 million active daily users
:: over 80% of users live outside the US
:: 83% of users are under 50yrs; of which 55% are under 30yrs
:: an average of 36,000 photos are shared every minute
:: engagement (likes +/ comments) is 10x higher than on Facebook

iphonographyyoung woman holding iphone in leather case // Viktor Hanacek

While they are exciting to look at and even to tap into, the stats really only give you part of the story though. To be swayed by them kind of works on the idea that you should do it because, look! 'everyone' is and you too should not miss out. My problem with this is that if everyone is doing something then that something is going to eventually reach critical mass and will lose its effectiveness.

But beyond just the stats there has to be an underlying strong foundation. A foundation built on something other. Here then are 11 possible reasons that I considered for why you might want to use Instagram as part of your online strategy:

Creative Expression

:: with photos at the center of activities + a philosophy of inclusion it is a brilliant way for all types of photographer to share their work
:: what you want to share is better shown in pictures rather than told in word + for you it is all about the images
:: it is a safe + forgiving medium in which to practice your photographic +/ styling skills
:: you like the idea of having a daily creative practice in a fun, low stress environment
:: you love exploring new avenues + formats through which to express + practice your creativity

iphonographygirl shooting with iphone in winter // Viktor Hanacek


:: you thrive on the energy of a lively, active community
:: you know that your people +/ potential tribe are already there
:: you love networking with like-minds + want to connect with a new +/ wider community than your existing platforms

Brand Presence

:: you enjoy the challenge of growing your network + testing out new practices
:: you'd like to put a friendly face to your business-brand + be more personal than on other platforms
:: you like the idea of curating the best of your brand in a simple, one-stop venue that is quick yet powerful to use on the go

Whether or not you are yet on Instagram, I think this exploration is really important to create a sustainable and long-lasting strategy that grows success on your terms. Otherwise you are just following a formula that marches to someone else's tune and that ultimately may take you in a direction you do not want.

Smitten with Instagram and want to get your game on?

Join me for a 30-day series of bite-sized, actionable steps to build the Instagram game that works for you. Instagram in 30 is a self-paced series built around four key areas that make this platform work.

Enrolment includes access to a private student community + booster group, weekly Q+As, downloadable class notes, multiple bonuses + additional resources.


// related //

My most favourite tools for Instagram
Learn with me: Instagram in 30
Getting my Instagram game on

:: BEKA ::

// sources //
Instagram Today: 500 Million Windows to the World | Instagram Company Statistics, Statistic Brain | Instagram is the King of Social Engagement, Forrester | Instagram Demographics, Pew Research Center | free stock photography c/o FancyCrave + PicJumbo

06 November 2016

a wild unknown animal spirit oracle

the wild unknown kim krans

A little preamble...

I obtained my first tarot deck from The Wild Unknown a little over three years ago, its arrival rejuvenating my decades old love affair with cartomancy. Since that time I have worked exclusively with these cards, building an amazing rapport and powerful dialog that has resulted in many a potent reading.

Then earlier this year came the release of Kim Krans’ next deck offering: Animal Spirit – 63 beautifully hand-drawn cards full of creatures that traverse the earth, air, water and spirit realms. My favourites of which from the initial photos released were Peacock and Moth. At the time though I admired them, I was not so immediately enamoured with the idea of adding them to my collection.

Lovely as they were, did I really want another deck by the same artist? Did I not want to expand my range? And for a while I sincerely considered the addition of a different deck that would compliment The Wild Unknown Tarot. In the end though I did not feel drawn enough to them and so I put the idea to one side while I focused on other things, allowing my subconscious to process things unhindered...

the wild unknown kim kransa spread of cards from The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit by Kim Krans

The elements of Animal Spirit

It wasn’t until very recently then that the urgency to add this new Wild Unknown deck to my collection suddenly came forward once more. This time I listened and I am very pleased that I did, for the Animal Spirit cards are truly wonderful - and I am not being biased here!

Presented in a sturdy, silver-scaled iridescent box with grey satin pullout ribbon, the cards of Kim Krans’ Animal Spirit deck are grouped into the five alchemical elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Ether. A fold-out introductory sheet with suggestions for starting spreads and notations on each card accompanies the deck and is backed by a randomly selected Animal Spirit poster, such as Zebra or Dragon. A separate guidebook is also available, but like The Wild Unknown Tarot I chose not to include it at this time preferring instead to intuit the medicine independently.

Illustrated predominantly in black and white as The Wild Unknown Tarot before it, the cards have splashes of vibrantly coloured watercolour that reflect their individual medicine rather than the element under which they are grouped. Heavy-stock with a smooth, gliding feel for easy movement in the hand, the cards are backed with the same iridescent silver pattern as the box. In addition to the featured animals, each card includes the alchemical symbol of its assigned grouping, the circle of Ether delightfully being the only one to be highlighted in reflective silver.

the wild unknown kim kransdetail of Dragon, from The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck

With a focus on the influences, feelings and emotions the creatures of this deck evoke, Kim Krans' intention is for us to reconnect with the natural world and see ourselves reflected in it. With the additional layer of awareness of the 'food web' between the creatures, one can also draw upon the interactions between predator and prey and their inter-relatedness that all is in balance and needed for survival.

As you might imagine, this is a deck with many subtle layers to explore for insight. From the elemental to the earthly and beyond to the intuitive, this menagerie of creatures of earth, sea and sky come together to offer guidance that is both inspirational and practical. I am truly excited to incorporate this fabulous deck and animal wisdom into my repertoire and extend this also to you!

:: BEKA ::

// related //
Tarot of The Wild Unknown
Exploring the Light + Dark of Tarot
Decks of Interest
Wild Readings by Ginger*Urchin

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