Monday, May 27, 2013

Lost Friends...

This was a tough weekend. Sorry if this post is a little convoluted. I had a goal to speak about my recent trip to Waverly Hills Sanitorium, which I will do in a following post this one I would like to dedicate to lost friends...of which I am sad to say are gaining in number.

 I thought about writing the Waverly post yesterday, but I couldn't bring myself to open the computer at all, which is strange, this is my lifeline to my friends and family back home. I had a bad feeling all day Sun. I called and texted and left messages with various family members, talked to others on the phone cross country. They were ok or getting check ups. Still the feeling didn't go away and honestly I was afraid to open a tab for facebook.

I had a dream Sat nigh,t I was running around with San Francisco Bay Area with friends. I was dreaming of a blonde, screwball and funny,and a red head egging us on in our antics. We were goofing off pretending to be up to no good when our hubbies caught up to us. I remember it being a dream full of fun and laughter and left me with a homesick feeling.

 I thought since I was doing some reading about Old Hollywood that I was crossing over some things in my brain from my reading and that folks I knew in this day and time were the stand ins. Sarah aka Sparkly Devil, a performer I knew from San Francisco was Carole Lombard, my friend Elissa was Tallulah Bankhead and myself, hopefully as Dolores Del Rio. These folks I was dreaming about I haven't seen since my move to Kentucky but through the wonders of the internet, we kept up with each others lives sharing photos on Instagram of Sarah's athletic feats in weightlifting and marathon running , Elissa and I starting an online group for handmade curios. I'd been so enraptured with learning and posting about my new home that to be homesick for San Francisco doesn't happen to often.

This morning I went to find my phone which after I returned from the store left in my bag, its battery dead. It was with some trepidation I plugged it in, having a feeling there was bad news in there. I listened to my messages returned from my family members that have had health issues and relieved that they were visiting a doctor. But another call from a fellow performer friend, asking if I had seen the announcement on facebook.

The very girl I had been dreaming about had passed in a car accident that very night, her husband Bones in critical condition in a coma. Upon hearing the news I cried thinking of her co-producer of their World Famous Burlesque Show, Jim Sweeney,  must have a hole the size of the San Francisco Bay in his heart. After all, we all had just lost his co-host and my old friend and  co worker, Eric, just a a couple years before. I cried for all my city friends and the pain they must feel , losing such a dynamic personality and inspiring friend. I remembered all our moments backstage, the jokes we shared and the costume and choreography tips.

I had been having talks with my husband about the amount of friends in our artistic and creative community  that we have lost in the last few years on Sat. afternoon. He met me when I was recovering when I lost my best friend Heather Oswald, my brother Rory a year later, and held me when I lost my roommate Sunny Perkins aka Mia More in another car crash a couple years after that. We all had plans to move into together, cut short by death. All these car crashes... He reminded me just this Sat. about how important it is to remember the friends we do have left.

Take care of your loved ones and friends. Stay safe and hugs and blessing to all of you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Ugly Shyla: Dark Beauty with a Message

"Mother of Sorrows", my ultimate favourite piece so far!

I met Ugly Shyla over the internet some years ago through mySpace. I had seen her pictures of her & her work featured in photos in a Gallery Showing by Artist John Santerineross at Stormy Leather Store in the Soma District of San Francisco when I was Art Gallery Curator and he had a showing. Being a model myself that didn’t fit the modeling mold, it was exciting to see other people who also looked “outside the norm” being photographed and a new movement of Alternative models was born in the late 90’s early ‘00’s. What attracted me to her was that she, like me started modeling to bring attention to her Art, much as I was doing with my music. When I found out more about her inspirations and what she was expressing, I felt a kindred spirit in her. We were both not afraid to be characters of ourselves, or “ugly”. That being said this Cajun girl from the swamps is one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out.
real blood tears

A long time ago I had this Misfits Doll from Jem and the Holograms that had long blue hair that I put Barbie hair straightener in. When I met Shyla it was like that Doll came to life, a Doll Maker whose art addresses the things about children that need attention, such as child abuse and mortality. It is often through these people that I see the Justice of the Universe working. Often the people you would be afraid of because of their looks are actually doing Sacred work. They are calling attention to things we should be preventing.
Ugly Shyla Plushy commissioned by fan

A champion of the welfare of children, her art calls attention to their mistreatment.

Our work continues often through our progeny and Shyla is no exception, although her protégé is a most unique student/child that is because she is a handicapped Squirrel rescued from her other pet cats mouth. Wink the squirrel, inherited the big heart of her human mommy and has grown quite famous of her own accord by donating proceeds from her art work to help other animals in need. 

Personally, they both came to my aid when my own progeny, my daughter, had to undergo rounds of testing for a birth defect of which the costs cut into our ability to pay rent. Through the kindness of Shyla, Wink and my Musician community lead by Wire Graffiti’s Katherine Sawyer and Castles In Spain’s Biachi , their networking through the internet and call outs to friends, we were able to survive the ordeal and have peace of mind while undergoing the testing knowing we would not lose our home. My heart is forever grateful.
Often replicated, Ugly Shyla was one of the innovators of techniques of doll work that some find totally terrifying & fascinating.

All of them Witches!

Ugly Shyla

How would you describe what you do?
 I make morbid fine art dolls and also dabble in other artistic mediums from jewelry to tattoos.

How do you receive your inspirations?
Usually from my dreams and sometimes I get sort of flashes of visions in my head.

When did you first notice your connection to the Spirit World?
I'm from southern Louisiana so there is really nothing for us to "notice", because you grow up with it ingrained in your culture. I saw, hear, and felt spirits constantly as a child. I had to learn how to block some of it out because it was so overwhelming. Thankfully as I got older I got it more under control.

If you feel comfortable, can you share your faith or path with us?
I'm a voodoo practitioner I also mix Santeria in my practices.

How does this faith/path express itself through your art?
I think all of my art is related to my faith even if I don't realize it. And some of it is obviously voodoo related like the doll I did of The Baron.

How can you be contacted about your work from interested collectors?
(Website or contact info)
My email is

Anything  you would like to add that perhaps I forgot?
You KNOW I'm going to have to talk about the squirrel. LOL.
I have a little gift the Gods gave me. I rescued a little squirrel from a cat's mouth. They say sometimes the God's send you a animal to see how you treat it and will bless you if you right by the little animal. So I must have done something right because my squirrel Winkelhimer Smith taught herself to paint and became famous for it, she was all over the all the major news stations ect. We auction her art off and give the profits to animals or people in need. Her website is

This is but a small sampling of her work! 

Modeling one of her porcelain doll heads necklaces featured in my music video called "The Doll Dance" by The Wazzoo Sound. On the inside is inscribed: "Undertaker, Please Drive Slow" 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dream a Little Dream of Haunted Houses?

So my dear friends, while I wait on other Artists to get back to me , I will take a breather from the Artist Spotlights to talk about dreams and dream work. I actually started this posting some time ago and saved it as a draft and it got lost during the frantic holiday season. I started a couple personal posts and wanted to insert a little of my self back in my blog and a little bit of the supernatural happenings that despite me writing about others, has not slowed down an iota!

My dreams have been off the hook lately! Even more so since moving. So vivid and clear and clearly helping me work out something. Sometimes they involved other people or online friends who I hope don't mind that I have to plug up their  inbox with my latest cooky night-time adventure.

 I have reoccurring dreams of clearing haunted houses, motels and theatres, and I mean like the Amityville bleeding walls type, with doors a banging  and windows flying open. Haunted hotels with screechy demons and things flying about. I am never scared but uncomfortable, I have a job to do, I have to clear this house. Over and over I recite the Lord's prayer , even when they try to trip me up and make me forget it. I think that it is really helpful they had us do the rosary in school so much, it actually helped me feel safer in the dream world. And even when I was feeling doubtful or skeptical the entitystill seem to respond to the prayer. (Perhaps next time to test my lucid dreaming , I will bring a rosary just to help with the remembering of the prayer in case they try to throw me off again)

Most recently in a dream I was in a beautiful home , with winding stair cases (as an aside the friend of mine who has the dream page posted a photo of a stair case that looked very much like the one in my dream-I haven't told her the weird connection yet but she will trip when she reads this!) and that I was there to clear the house. My sister friend Tsering (my aforementioned Buddhist best friend/Sister )was there and we were in a dorm all there for our powers I guess..I went to do a clearing and a huge ball of energy , like an orb, flew into the room, it was beautiful, opalescent lavender and pink and it flew to me and landed in my hand lighting up my wedding ring and making the stone it is glow like it did. I then knew that my job was done and that I wasn't supposed to clear what was there. It had somehow blessed me and I remember gathering my stuff and leaving.

The next morning Tsering called me and I told her about the dream of the beautiful house. She then related her dream of a Buddhist Monastery where she was a Nun taking refuge till she healed and told me about the Orb she saw that visited which was the Dalai Lama and described what she saw was so similar to my own dream! I was happy to share a healing moment with her and we often have dreams for each other.

She had a recent dream that had me as a Voodou healer where I cleansed her and channeled the colour pink and blue and she heard the name Ochun. Ochun is the Yorubian goddess of love and beauty and Ezurlie Freda is the Vodou counterpart, some would say. Although I study and have been initiated into the Yorubian traditions of Lukumi or Ocha de Regala (Santeria to some) I often have Voodou dreams for reasons I am still trying to learn, perhaps this is my Astral self's work. She, not having much focused knowledge of the Vodou traditions, which Lwa prefers which colour,I was excited about the her recall of the dream as I could , in my limited knowledge know what she was dreaming about. 

She had another Voodoo dream and in this one she was undergoing a healing, and I was present. She said we were working in a secretive place where some Priestess was buried who was helping with the healing. She described the Ancestor as having lighter toned caramel skin and longer hair. I jolted knowing that I had just learned that Voodoo Queen Marie Laveaux was actually buried in a secret location and not the tomb that most folks visit her at just the day before she related this dream and her description matched Madame Laveau.

 Now mind you, my friend describes these rituals in great detail not knowing what it is she describing and hoping it makes sense to me. She describes places I know of, such as an island that a friend of mine had invited us for an Oggun ritual near NOLA a few years back. I mention that and she says "that is the name I heard, Oggun. There was use of quartz crystal points in which a priestess blew breath into  them and thus rang the bells of Native American traditions and Medicine in my mind.Historically these traditions had been known to have enfolded and enhanced one another and became the practical basis of the practices known hoodoo. She then describes people who are friends of a friend, that I know I haven't discussed with her or spoke of since the trip fell through. 

We , as a group and this Ancestor pulled at areas of her body and removed a "demon"  or something residing in her that made her ill, removing it and some of the damage it has caused. I find this all so fascinating, this is the second dream where I participated or worked on healing her in this fashion.  Also interesting is the areas we are working on are the area's "governed" so to speak by my ruling Orisha Ochun.  For some reason in the dreams these energies overlap and names are used for one another. Something that we wouldn't do in the waking world. Perhaps it is a way for giving us clues? 

There was also a message from these Lwa on being more vegetarian and them being so as well, as a part of this healing, which is something she and I discuss at length in our personal journeys as Spiritual workers with each other in our different paths.

If you would like more info on I highly suggest Louis Martinie's Book "Talking to God with Food-Questioning Animal Sacrifice" which is  has been a great comfort to me for many reasons. I do not have the initiation of the knife, which is needed for properly feeding the Orisha's these types of ebbo's or offerings (usually only needed for dire cases) and my own personal feeling that I have taken part in enough animal death. I understand its purpose and that the meat feed the congregation, something in Haiti or Africa is much harder to come by then in America, and a boon for a congregation needing the sustenance . I personally have taken many containers of well cooked and seasoned Blessed food and fed many homeless in San Francisco in the past in Dolores Park after our Ocha ceremonies (where someone becomes a Santero or Santera, a priest)  but because of circumstance of moving far away from my Ile (place of congregation) and the diet my body feels happiest at , we my Orisha's and I had to make some changes.

Something in my heart and soul is evolving and I have had talk with my Orisha's that the ebbos and offerings for their help and guidance in my life will be different then before, that is for this time being, no blood for them and things have been going smoother and better with them then previously. This has been accepted so far.

She and I  figure these shared dreams is our close connection or some sort of Astral work. We have a strong feeling that these dreams are very important, but not being formally initiated into Voodou, I can only look through the lens of what my initiated Mambo friend's  have shared and my own initiations in Ocha.  What do they mean?  Could an Elder enlighten us? 
In any case I am glad to be a part of healing a friend! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Whitney Hall Rawls: Explorer of the Subconcious!

The internet can be a magical doorway to communion with like souls that otherwise you may have never met. For some of us now in new towns it is a godsend for meeting like minds. Such is the case with this installment of Artist Spotlight.  Whitney Hall Rawls is a self- employed artist out of Georgia. Her jewelry pieces I had drooled over on posts I got on the internet before finding out who made the fanciful Day of the Dead frames and my personal fave, a skull necklace with garnet and blue goldstone.

 Not only does she craft beautiful jewelry pieces and frames you can grace your Ancestor altar with but also rarer and practical: tobacciana pipes. I am a long ceased smoker but I can sure appreciate the uses of a beautifully crafted piece of practical art. I deem things that you can use in everyday situations as “practical”. It reminds me of being a teen when I would put together and decorate ceremonial and decorative Native American pipes.

Besides working with some of my favourite motifs like skulls and bones, Whitney’s etsy page is a feast for the eyes of a rock n mineral lover. Today being “Old Rock Day” this is the perfect day to post where you can find a wonderfully crafted quartz point collar or bracelet. Her use of garnet and coral, two great blood enhancers and love drawer the spiritual and magical possibilities of her pieces should be noted.

Without further ado, let us get to the words of our subject,
Introducing Whitney Hall Rawls:

“My art is inspired by whimsy, folk culture, and the illusive muse. As art is a passion that has many forms of expression, I find myself driven to try every form and mode of artistic endeavor, whether it be in the form of handcrafted gemstone jewelry, tobacciana, or three dimensional nichos and figures. I want to try everything.

How do I receive my inspirations? Well, I have always been stimulated by the unfamiliar. I need as much scope for the imagination as possible. I crave it; the exploration of sub cultures, ancient art, and the subconscious desire to breathe life into seemingly inanimate materials.

I come from a long line of sturdy Irish stock. It seems as though the women in my family are extraordinarily sensitive to the supernatural. We hear things no one else hears, and we see thing that no one else sees. The concept of the existence of a veil that separates the physical world and the spirit world seems more probable when I recount a lifetime of bizarre experiences.

When I create a piece of art, in whatever form I choose, I literally feel as though I am putting part of myself in the object. Whomever purchases my creations, will carry a little piece of me with them.
At the present time I have an Etsy page I named Moontang13. I can be contacted through that site, or by email at”