The sloth, not a family totem, but too cute not to post a photo of him.
Several months ago I wanted to create totems to photograph for shop products and eventually give as gifts to my family. After some internet research I decided to work with polymer clay that can safely and easily be cooked in the stove for very small projects…as was this.
I read a bit on totem meanings and chose specific animals for each family member. When I started I knew I wasn’t aiming for a completely realistic version, but more an organic, simple interpretation. I brought up photographs of the animals online and used those images as I worked with the clay. Once cured properly, following the instructions that came with the clay, I painted them with acrylic paints and applied a glaze.
On New Year’s Eve we had Kadee’s pizza and big colorful salads, I placed the totems at the place settings with a strip of paper listing some of the wisdom for that particular animal spirit. An animal spirit is there to guide one to further self-discovery, help one to understand the past and see what may be ahead. It was so wonderful to see each totem in the hands of the person it belonged to.
Also, we each chose one word for the new year, something new for us. We wrote inspirational notes to ourselves, using the word in the writing, for each month of 2014. They are tucked into envelopes only to be read on the first of each month. The idea is to continue to revisit the one word and hopefully it is a word that accompanies each of us throughout the year and helps us to do the things we want to accomplish and be our very best selves.
2014 snuck up on me, having a miserable cold during the holiday wasn’t great and waking up this morning with conjunctivitis in one eye stinks, but then again there is an abundance of things to be grateful for all around me. Earlier I watched the 365 Grateful Project video, and suddenly I noticed and appreciated the layers of pinks and yellows in the morning sky as the sun rose up while looking at it through my puffy, gunky eye.