For book lovers

There's a magical book store, Scrivener's, to be discovered in Buxton. You could get lost in the five floors of maze-like book goodness. Almost feels like a treasured museum... Well worth a visit!

Opera house

Isn't Buxton Opera House wonderfully grandiose? A delicious golden cream cake...

Today's winged acquintance

A wise stare in the bird sanctuary. Such majestic creatures.

Returning to the beginning

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When I originally began to send crystal amulets out into the world, it was under the title Spirit Carrier (there’s a story about where the name came from, can’t remember if I’ve told it anywhere). The decision to return to that origin had been brewing in my mind for quite a few months. So at the new year’s first new moon, this new visual mark became the title of my website. There has also been some subtle tweaks in the usability of the website, so that those of you browsing on mobiles (or ‘cell phones’ if you’re in the US) will hopefully have a more pleasant experience. As always, I’m ever so grateful to my husband for making all of this happen. Now just trying to keep up with the work in the studio! More crystal amulets on the way every 7-10 days… 

Some of the crystal amulets from 2014

With the year change, it’s always good to glance back with gratitude before heading on to new adventures. So I thought it would be fun to see some of the Spirit Carrier amulets in one post - not in any particular order, and certainly missing many of my own favourites too… so many crystal spirits found their new keepers this year. Now I need to get working in my ‘crystal cave’ again, as there are several gorgeous gems eager to be made wearable and carrying on with their journeys… Sending a huge, heartfelt *Thank You* to all my unbelievably wonderful customers - each one of you is so very uniquely *Special*!

Muddy boots welcome

One lucky November weekend (weather-wise) took us to the wonderful scenery of Peak District in Derbyshire. Climbed far and high, but also ventured deep into the caves below. Muddy it was, but we didn’t have to go hungry because of it.

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We were also lucky with  accommodation - how’s this for an affordable youth hostel!

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With the most picturesque morning view I’ve ever seen…

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There are glorious caves to explore, either by foot or by boat! This one with a massive vein of the rare Fluorite “Blue John”:

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Looking forward to returning to this scenery soon again.

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New resident in the Spirit Carrier studio

The queue of crystals waiting for their turn to be made wearable is ever growing on my studio table. Seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day. For a while already I’ve been thinking about taking on a studio assistant, and recently a serendipitous brainwave of a moment made it happen - almost “just like that”, or as in “meant to be”. Thus, a week ago my crystal cave welcomed an exceptionally bright young lady to assist me in the completion of various daily tasks, among other things helping to make the jewellery pouches in which all the crystal amulets get sent to their new keepers. It makes such a difference to have an extra pair of hands in the studio!

 

New treasures for talismans to be… From top left: Ruby, Lodolite,...



New treasures for talismans to be… From top left: Ruby, Lodolite, Blue Kyanite, Aegerine, Zincite, Slate, Spirit Quartz & Hiddenite - so many crystals, so little time! But I’ll be working on these slowly, one by one…

Flint stones from my studio(miailluzia.com)



Flint stones from my studio
(miailluzia.com)

Annual retreat

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Every summer I return to my soul scenery, the archipelago of Western Finland. It is always a transformative time, filled with a combination of peaceful silence… 

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…and lively reconnections with loved ones, wonderful discussions with dear friends and, like this summer, reuniting with some old friends from decades ago!

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There’s always time for a spot of shaman drumming and crystal healing too.

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The sunsets are simply beyond glorious…

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…and rowing into them in the silence of the night recharges one’s inner batteries like nothing else. Although in August there are no longer such ‘nightless nights’ as in the end of June, it still stays light like this around 11pm. 

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I always enjoy working on a few malas, stone talismans and crystal amulets while in this scenery. The huge coastal rocks dating back to ice age seem to emit their own solid sense of peace that’s nice to think will infuse the stones I work with while there.

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In addition I enjoy the creative play of eco-dyeing here, collecting local windfallen plants to see what different tones and marks they leave on silk… We had some fun results!

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Occasionally we drive away from the island into the nearby town where I was born. There’s a fascinating sculpture park in the forest, it’s called “Edvin’s Path”, with dozens and dozens of large scale sculptures made by one man, Edvin Hevonkoski, out of recycled and upcycled materials, metal, as well as some beautiful wood carvings.

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The most difficult thing every year is leaving.

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But there’s always the next summer to look forward to.

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Thank you, Finland!

~*~

Thought to show you original stone where the name ‘Spirit...



Thought to show you original stone where the name ‘Spirit Carrier’ came from (for the crystal amulets I make & sell). This is a holey Flint, a hagstone, a great old sage that told me when I asked what it is. Flints have been among my favourite stones ever since.

Keeping me quiet company in my art studio while I work…



Keeping me quiet company in my art studio while I work…

Solstice drumming

On my ever expanding ‘to-do-list’ is a blog post about creating my Shaman Drum. Hopefully I’ll get around to it. It was a long and interesting process, completing it just in time for Summer Solstice. Magnificent sound!

Little cygnets enjoying a sunny swim on River Cam.



Little cygnets enjoying a sunny swim on River Cam.

Whether a creepy crawly or a soft cuddly...

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While I might have a few personal reservations about holding a Tiger Hissing Cockroach, our kids embrace these creatures all as equally lovely and cute…!

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Solstice

Keep drumming...

Sunny Anglesey Abbey

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This lovely heritage site is relatively close to us, a lovely place to go for a walk on a sunny weekend. Anglesey Abbey is a country house, formerly a priory, and with extensive gardens. A peaceful environment to do a bit of sketching or planning for next week’s crystal projects.

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Seeing beauty

Mysterious coins

Hiking in the Peak District, along the path here and there were fallen trees and chopped tree trunks. Nearly all of them were most peculiarly ‘decorated’… Something I can’t remember personally having come across before. Is this perhaps some sort of ‘good luck’ thing to do, like when people throw a coin into a fountain and make a wish? I assume so. The tree trunks were full of coins. Firmly stuck, most bent, making quite extraordinary art works in fact. I didn’t participate in this strange habit, but I enjoyed photographing them!

Hiking in the Peak District

Having a brief change of scenery is always welcome. And in just a couple of hours’ drive can make quite a difference. I love walking in this peaceful landscape. Wearing good shoes.

Half way up the hill, some way to go to reach the highest peak…
Eventually we made it:

It was extremely windy, although it looks peaceful. But there was still more to explore…

A stream, many caves, fun stepping stones…

Always nice to be lucky with the weather too, which is never a given in this country…! No doubt we’ll be back in this scenery soon again.

Chilly beach

Couldn’t wait any longer, had to visit the sea shore, at least pretending that summer is a little bit closer… Oh how chilly it was, the wind blowing sand along the empty stretch of the beach. Reminded me of the beginnings of a sandstorm in desert - yet the temperature told the truth. Still, breathing in the sea air after such a long time again, and the subtle shades of the sunset made it all worthwhile.

No waste, just colour

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When husband decided to do a big spring clean in the garden, I was quick in his footsteps… collecting the off-cuts… onto some organic cotton. (Sprinkling on a few onion skins…) That could be called helping out, no?

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Spring!

Every year it is just as wonderful when it finally arrives. Every year I have to take the same photos of the fresh spring wonderfulness. I’ve been keeping an eye, annually, when the magnolias burst in full bloom. Last year it was very late, almost four weeks later than the year before. I’m glad to say this year has not let me down. It is the spring equinox today, it’s sunny, warm-ish, and life is good.

More treasures to work with

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This is how our daughter portrayed me after I had returned from a day’s adventurous hunting at a gem show. I reckon she has captured my expression rather accurately! Now, it is just to find the time to work with all these goodies…

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