Autumn delights

By The Red Witch on 4:22 PM

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If there is one extra-special thing about Autumn, it's the color palette. Such amazing colors! All shades of orange, brown, beige, and, of course, RED, hehe :-)
All this myriad of colors around you really makes you forget the cold and damp weather, doesn't it?

So I spent the last few days making jewelry (almost)nonstop. I was inspired by the fall season when I made the set of charm bracelet and earrings, pictured here. I called it 'The Colors Of Autumn'-I thought it was a very suitable name:-) You can go and check it out HERE.

Other jewelry pieces I've recently made:

Egyptian Feeling necklace

Purple Haze bracelet

Black Flower brooch

Alligator beaded brooch

Purple Pearls bracelet

If you want to see these beauties in more detail, please click here.

I'm still in a jewelry making frenzy, so more pieces will come soon! :-)

So, that's how Autumn inspires me - I make jewelry using "warm" colors :-)

How does Autumn inspire you? Do you like this season?

*The Red Witch


We all know that in order to make music, the musician needs inspiration, because music is an art form.

But how many of us realize that music itself can serve as inspiration to create other art forms, such as paintings, written works, crafts?

When making jewelry, I have often noticed that certain songs make me feel more relaxed, even more creative, if you wish. 

Certain music styles put me into 'creative mode', whereas other styles which I normally love to listen to just irritate my ear while I'm making jewelry.

So today I thought I'd share some songs from my 'Inspiration playlist' with you :

Featured songs:

David Bowie - 'A Better Future'
David Bowie - 'I'm Deranged'
Roisin Murphy - 'You Know Me Better'
Roisin Murphy - 'Let Me Know'
Moloko - 'Familiar Feeling'
Billy Idol - 'Flesh For Fantasy'
Chemical Brothers - 'Star Guitar'
Astrud Gilberto - 'Who Needs Forever' (Thievery Corporation Remix)
D'Sound - 'Dancing Into The Moonlight'
Goo Goo Dolls - 'Naked'
Big Country - 'In A Big Country'
Iggy Pop - 'Lust For Life'
Muse - 'Map Of The Problematique'
Interpol - 'Pace Is The Trick'
Thin Lizzy - 'The Boys Are Back In Town'
The Stranglers - 'Golden Brown'
The Stranglers - 'Walk On By'
Nouvelle Vague & Julie Delpy - 'LaLaLa'
Blue Oyster Cult - '(Don't Fear) The Reaper'
CC Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis- 'Bleed 2 Feed'
Reflekt - 'Need To Feel Loved'
Noir Désir - 'Le Vent Nous Portera'
Suzanne Vega - 'Tom's Dinner'
Tears For Fears - 'Goodnight Song'
Cher - 'Walking In Memphis'
Sisters Of Mercy - 'Dominion (Mother Russia)'
The Jam - 'The Eton Rifles'
Thunderball - 'This Girl'
Boozoo Bajou - 'Night Over Manaus'
A-ha - 'Summer Moved On'
A-ha - 'Early Morning'
A-ha - 'Solace'
Julian Plenti - 'Girl On The Sporting News'
The Cure - 'The Reasons Why'
Cabaret Voltaire - 'I Want You'
Kings Of Convenience - 'I'd Rather Dance With You'
Underworld - 'Born Slippy'
Montt Mardié - 'Set Sail Tomorrow'
The Farm - 'Groovy Train'
Stereo MC's - 'Running'
The Killers - 'This Is Your Life'
The Editors - 'Bullets'
Saint Etienne - 'Shower Scene'
Kasabian - 'Vlad The Impaler'
Kaizers Orchestra - 'Container'
Franz Ferdinand - 'Walk Away'
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - 'According To Plan'
Erlend Øye - 'Ghost Trains'
The Zombies - 'Time Of The Season'
Ulver - 'Porn Piece Or The Scars Of Cold Kisses'

These are some of the songs that I listen to while I'm making jewelry.

And now I'm curious to know- what songs do you like to listen to while you're writing/painting/crafting? Is there a music style that you only listen to when you create? How does music inspire you?

*The Red Witch

Why I Blog

By The Red Witch on 3:26 PM

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Today Laurie over at Tip Junkie is having a Talk To Me Tuesday and asking  us chick bloggers to answer this seemingly simple question- 'Why do you blog?'

 I've been a fan of Laurie and her seriously awesome site for quite a while, but since I'm the shy type, today I decided to finally participate in a TJ activity ;-)

3 Reasons Why I Blog

Reason #1. It's fun and creative -

Like many bloggers who are just starting out, at the beginning I also thought blogging was for people who are mostly into creative writing. Not so!

You don't have to be the next Shakespeare to write a blog, and have loads of fun throughout! Writing is a creative process which unleashes our inner muse, sets our ideas free, shapes them and helps us realize them. This makes us feel good! Also, as part of a blogging community, we also feel the joy of meeting new fellow bloggers, interacting with them, learning from them and getting inspiration from them. It's one of life's little 'social pleasures'.

Reason #2. It allows me to voice my opinion

Being a very strongly opinionated person, I always feel the urge to state my opinion on whatever topic interests me - be it political/ social/ cultural -you name it! Having a blog allows me to state my opinion on a topic, argument it, and debate on it with other people. In this sense, a blog is like a giant stage, and you are performing right in the middle of it!

Reason #3. It allows me to present myself and what I do to the world

Nowadays, all businesses, big and small, have blogs on their web pages. This is so for a reason - letting people know a bit about the person behind the business, a little bit about who you are and how you see the world makes them see the 'human' aspect of your business, no matter how big or small it is. This makes the business interaction more... humane. It's no longer just an exchange of money and goods, it's a social exchange, an exchange of ideas.
 You all know I make and sell jewelry ;) so, for me, and all the other great artisans and designers out there, blogging is a very important part of the process of presenting ourselves and the art that we make. It helps us build more personal relationships with our customers and find new friends.


If you are reading this and you are still toying with the idea of starting a blog- don't think too much about it. 
Just do it. 
What's there to lose anyway?

*The Red Witch

The Red Top 5 :Officially Banned Songs

By The Red Witch on 3:09 AM

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Today we're going to talk about songs. Banned songs, to be more precise. Songs which were banned at the time they came out, either because of their sexually suggestive or politically controversial lyrics, to be even more precise.

We aren't going to talk about music videos, because we want to list the 5 most popular songs which were banned because of their controversial content.

Songs have been denied airplay and banned as early as the 1930s, believe it or not. Such is the case of

#5 Love For Sale - written by Cole Porter, originally performed by Kathryn Crawford, from the musical The New Yorker, which premiered on Broadway on Dec 8th 1930

Why was it banned?

The song was banned from radio play because of its lyrics, considered scandalous at the time - it is written from the viewpoint of a prostitute offering all kinds of "love for sale":

Love for sale,
Appetizing young love for sale.
Love that's fresh and still unspoiled,
Love that's only slightly soiled,
Love for sale.
Who will buy?
Who would like to sample my supply?
Who's prepared to pay the price,
For a trip to paradise?
Love for sale
Let the poets pipe of love
in their childish way,
I know every type of love
Better far than they.
If you want the thrill of love,
I've been through the mill of love;
Old love, new love
Every love but true love
Love for sale.

Nowadays we may feel truly astounded that a song which did not contain neither any F words, or the Sh*** word, nor any politically/religiously controversial text, was actually  banned from air play -even though it does discuss prostitution, it does so in a very tasteful manner, which is something we cannot say about modern-day lyrics on the same topic ...

As it usually happens with banned songs, this one rose to #5 in US Charts in 1930, and #14 in 1931.

#4 Let's Spend The Night Together - The Rolling Stones (written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, released as a single in 1967)

Why was it banned?

"Let's Spend The Night Together" is among the most famous examples of musical censorship. It was denied air play because of its lyrics which were thought to promote promiscuity:

"Let's spend the night together
Now I need you more than ever
Let's spend the night together now"
On the Ed Sullivan Show The Stones were refused permission to play the song, unless they  changed "let's spend the night together" to "let's spend some time together". Mick Jagger agreed, but kept mockingly rolling his eyes at the TV camera every time he sang the altered lyrics.
 Shockingly, for their very first live performance in China, in 2006, the Rolling Stones were asked not to perform the song, due to its "suggestive lyrics".

# 3 Relax - written and performed by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, released as a single in 1983

Why was it banned?

Less than a week after Frankie Goes To Hollywood performed "Relax" at Top Of The Pops(05 Jan 1984), the song reached # 5 in the UK Charts. However, Mike Read, the then BBC Radio 1 disco jockey refused to play the song due to his opinion that the lyrics were sexually explicit. Perhaps he was referring to
"Relax, don't do it, when you want to suck it to it,
Relax, don't do it, when you want to come".

Simultaneously, BBC Radio banned the song from air play, with the exception of a few night-time shows which played it whenever they saw fit.
By 28th January the song had reached # 1 in the UK, despite being denied air play, and banned from Top Of The Pops.
This ban became an embarrassment for BBC Radio, especially given the fact that all commercial radio stations across the country were playing the song. The ban was lifted later in 1984 and featured in the Christmas edition of Top Of The Pops.

# 2 God Save The Queen - written and performed by The Sex Pistols, first released during Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee in 1977

If I was asked to mention 1 banned song, the first one that springs to mind, is this one. It is also the only song in this Red Top 5, which was not banned because of sexually suggestive/explicit lyrics.

Why was it banned?

The song was banned by the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority which regulated Independent Local Radio, effectively denying it any media exposure. It was also not stocked by some shops.

The song  was banned for being anti-monarchist, for its equation of the Queen with a "fascist regime", and for the claim that England had "no future":

"God save the Queen
Her facist regime
They made you a moron
Potential h-bomb

God save the Queen
She ain't no human being
There's no future
In England's dreaming

Don't be told what you want
Don't be told what you need
There's no future, no future
No future for you..."

read the rest of the lyrics here

The band have denied all accusations that they have purposefully issued the single "God Save The Queen" during Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee and claim that it was mere coincidence.

On June 7, 1977 - the Jubilee holiday itself - the Sex Pistols attempted to play the song from a boat on the river Thames, outside the Palace of Westminster. After a scuffle, eleven people were arrested when the boat docked, including several members of the band's entourage.

The phrase "no future" became emblematic for the punk rock movement.
The song peaked at #2 in the official UK Singles Chart(used by the BBC), behind Rod Stewart's "I don't want to talk about it", and was kept off #1 for fear that it might cause offense.
However, the song did hit number 1 on the unofficial NME singles chart.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked "God Save the Queen" number 173 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

# 1 Je t' non plus[I love you...Me neither] - written by Serge Gainsbourg, performed by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin

Today's #1 is by far the most discussed officially banned song! Serge Gainsbourg's explicit erotic lyrics together with Jane Birkin's erotic whispering caused a great scandal when the song was released as a single in 1969.

Why was it banned?

Because the lyrics are in French, with much effort I managed to find a decent English translation. Here are the first couple of verses:
"I love you I love you Oh yes I love you

Nor do I

Oh my love

Like the wave Irresolute

I go I go and I come Inside you my love I go and I come Inside you my love And then I hold on

I love you I love you Oh Yes I love you

Nor do I

You are the wave And I the naked island You go you go and you come you go and you come inside me my love and then we are one

I love you I love you Oh yes I love you Nor do I

Oh my love

Like the wave irresolute

I go i go and I come Inside you my love I go and I come Inside you my love And then I hold on

(simulated orgasm sounds)

I love I love you my love Inside me my love I love you my love Deep inside me my love And then we are one

... "
By now, I guess you can imagine why this song was banned, haha. Too explicit even for me :-)
Serge Gainsbourg originally recorded it in 1968 with his then girlfriend Brigitte Bardot, who, consequently begged him not to release the recording, as she was married at the time to German businessman Gunter Sachs. Gainsbourg agreed and re-recorded it later that year with his new lover, English actress Jane Birkin.

The song was released in early 1969 and, because of its lyrics, promoting the pleasure of physical love, was immediately banned in radio stations in Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK. The Vatican issued a special statement, declaring the song immoral.
Despite all that, the song was a commercial success throughout Europe.
The song has an English version, performed by Nick Cave and Anita Lane.

Serge Gainsbourg about the song:

"I love women as an object, the beautiful women, the mannequins, the models. This is the inner painter in me. I never tell them I love them. Je t'aime... moi non plus (I love you... me neither) expresses erotism overcoming sentimentalism… So many songs about romantic and sentimental love, encounters, discoveries, jealousy, illusions, desillusions, betrayals, remorses, hatred, etc... Then why not devote a song to a sort of love much more current these days: physical love? "Je t'aime" isn't an obscene song, it's very reasonable to me, and fills this gap. Its explanation is that girls say "I love you" during sex, and the man with their ridiculous virility doesn't believe them. They think the girls only say it as a result of enjoyment, of pleasure. I guess I believe the girls, or maybe that's a result of my fear. But that's also an aesthetic step, a search of absoluteness"

Well, this is it for this issue of The Red Top 5!
I have many other ideas for this column, including "top 5 girlie movies", "top 5 weird smells that I kinda like", "top 5 really bad guys in literature" and so many others! They keep popping in my mind, and I do my best to always keep my notebook close, so I can write them all down! If you have any suggestions about this chart, why not contact me or write them in the comment section below?

Oh yeah, and keep listening to banned songs. They usually rock.

See ya soon,

*The Red Witch

Book Review: When children pay for the sins of adults

By The Red Witch on 1:53 AM

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Children are punished for their parents’ sins – this, to me, is the main idea behind the novel ‘Shadow’ by Karin Alvtegen.
The notorious Swedish writer, author of several other detective novels, and winner of the Glass Key Award(in 2001) and the Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, namely for her novel “Shadow”(in 2007), has already received fame and recognition for her detective stories and this one serves as yet another proof of her remarkable skill for storytelling.
“Shadow” is not an exception from the whodunit genre, but it completes it, and improves it exceptionally by going beyond the borders of the genre and into the psychological thriller genre.
Before you continue reading this review though, lets get one thing straight: if you are looking for a novel full of drama and suspense, “Shadow” is all of this, and more. But if you are more into whodunits ala Agatha Christie, I suggest that you find something else to read. By this, I mean that “Shadow” is more than just another whodunit.  Although initially plotted as one, it deals more with the moral choices which each of us faces at any given moment in our lives, and the consequences of these choices –consequences which outlive us and are passed onto our children, our sins which live on in our offspring.
“Shadow” tells the story of a disrupted family from the writing circles. The father – Axel Ragnerfeld, is a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature for his novel “Shadow”, and founder of numerous foundations and charities.  In the beginning of the story he is at a clinic where he waits for his death, as he is very old and very ill. In charge of his legacy is his son Jan-Erik – a failed writer and an alcoholic, who, through alcohol, numerous affairs and constant trips is trying to escape the boredom and coldness of his unsuccessful marriage.
 When the body of the family’s maid of over 50 years – Gerda- is discovered,  Social Services also find in her freezer some of Axel Ragnerfeld’s novels, signed by him. Social Services employee Marian Folkeson then contacts the Ragnerfeld family hoping that they would help her to organize Gerda’s funeral, since she had no living relatives.
From this moment on all the dusty secrets that were lying dormant in the Ragnerfeld family begin to surface – all the things left unsaid, all the sins that were fast asleep for decades now begin to awaken and prepare to shift their burden onto the sinners’ offspring.
Being a huge fan of whodunits, I have to say that I was very nicely surprised by “Shadow”. What impressed me the most were the lively, realistic and multilayered portraits of all the characters.
 They are all ordinary people who are put into unusual situations, disappointed people who are forced to maintain the façade of being happy and prosperous, people who are too proud to reveal their unhappiness, people who scream voicelessly for attention
 Another important topic that the book heavily discusses is the publishing business - the complicated and very often uneasy relationship between authors, agents and publishing houses and the pressure that the publishing houses sometimes exercise on authors to bring them good, readable, valuable content before a certain deadline. If the author is pressured in such a way, usually the effect is quite the opposite of what the publishing house wants to achieve- the author’s inspiration disappears.
What happens when you lose your inspiration? How do you get it back? How can you live according to the high expectations of everyone around you without breaking down? How do you compromise between the topics you want to write about, and the ones which are en vogue and likable by the large masses? To what extent does a novel belong to its author and to what extent does it belong to the people who helped him write it? Is it possible to make the love of your life come back to you if you dedicate an entire novel to her? What is the price of literary fame? Why do our children have to pay for our mistakes?
Reading the novel “Shadow” won’t give you answers to any these questions. No, instead it will show you which way to go, in order to find them yourself.

Grand Opening!

By The Red Witch on 5:20 AM

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Hey y'all!

Now, I know I haven't been around for a while, but it was only because I have been a busy, busy bee!

I spent most of my summer on holiday in Hungary, and most of September setting up my jewelry business.

Yes, it has finally come to that, and I am so happy I finally decided to put my jewelry pieces out there for the world to see!

Speaking of which, I have some really, really BIG news! My first website is finally complete! It's called Red Witch Crafts Handmade Jewelry  and you can go to to check it out! It also has a store which is fully functional and features all of my latest jewelry pieces!
I also finally managed to complete my store at A double celebration!

To mark this very special occasion, I have decided to throw my own,very first GIVEAWAY!
Yes, you heard me. Giveaway!
I will be running it from October 5th till October 12th.


1.Anyone can enter the giveaway.
2.Just go to my Store, take a look at my charm bracelets,
3. then leave a comment under this entry, or on the blog at my website,
4. in your comment, tell me which of the charm bracelets you saw at the store is your favorite, and what do you like about it!
5.Submit your comment!
6. The winner will  be drawn at random from all submitted comments on October 13th and announced on the same day HERE and on my website.
7. And if you are the winner, you will win your very own Red Witch Crafts custom-made charm bracelet!
8. You don't have to buy anything from my Store to enter the giveaway!

I can't wait to read your comments! Wow, this is so exciting!

* The Red Witch

P.S. I'm also still running Indie Friday - my column on indie music. So, if you have any suggestions about indie artists I should introduce here, why don't you leave your suggestions here? ;-)

The Red Top 5: The silliest magazines for women*

By The Red Witch on 8:07 PM

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Yesterday I first tried myself at macramé and I didn't have time for an Indie Friday entry. But to make up for that, I have something really special coming up for next week's Indie Friday!
Well today is the day I'm finally writing the first entry from The Red Top 5 column! In short, it's an improvised, unpretentious chart on various topics, reflecting only my personal opinion(So if you don't like it, just don't comment. Haters aren't welcome here.)

For the topic of my first Red Top 5 Chart I chose something which really annoys me. It's one of those tiny, eeky, annoying little bugs existing in the life of every woman coming from an advanced, civilized society.It's staring at you from the TV, from the newsstand, begging you to buy it(because then, and only then will you get a "unique" handbag as gift!).It's the archenemy of every woman's self-esteem. It's...a magazine for women.

Have you ever noticed the pictures of gorgeous women in men's magazines? Yes, well, it's kinda natural, isn't it... But the pictures of even more gorgeous women in women's magazines? Or the "shopping" columns? (Please, get over yourselves, sisters! "Shopping" is NOT an existing word in Bulgarian language! It's just plain stupid to use it instead of the Bulgarian word. No, it's not trendy, it's stupid.)

Several trees have been sacrificed for the making of about 40 glossy pages, whose content is roughly divided in : 50% ads, 20% gossip, 25% "shopping advice", 5% "articles" on fashion, dieting, broken heart...oh yes, and let's not forget the horoscope, and the various kinds of fortune telling: from coffee residue, tea leaves, tarot cards, chopsticks, runes(?!) it seems like all these magazines have hired pro fortune tellers!

Well I think I made it pretty clear why I don't read women's magazines.

Without further ado, here is The Red Top 5 Of Silliest Magazines For Women:

#5 "Kosa i Krasota [In English: Hair And Beauty]"

This magazine is at the bottom of the chart because it occasionally publishes articles which are well written, and not about fashion, style, cosmetics etc. So it has deserved the prestigious #5 position.

#4 EVA

If you're lucky, except from the regular gossip, beauty and shopping columns you may find something worth reading (not a big chance for that though).


Defining itself as a magazine which focuses mainly on fashion and style, ELLE is completely incompetent and superficial about all other topics it writes about. In the new Bulgarian issue: Should we wear a bra or not?
Read at your own risk! :р

#2 "The Woman Today"

On the unfortunate second place in our little contest today is a magazine which is a total classic in the genre of Bulgarian women's magazines- "The Woman Today" [Bulgarian: "Jenata Dnes"]. "The oldest Bulgarian magazine", as it proudly proclaims itself to be, is, indeed really old. Too old to be interesting to any one any more. You can't expect anything else than the "regular" columns( health, beauty, shopping guide, gossip, etc).

#1 "Cosmopolitan"

The absolute winner of the first Red Top 5 Chart is the Bulgarian issue of the magazine, famous for being written for women who cannot think for themselves - Cosmopolitan.

Looking through the pages of its issues, one gets the feeling that this magazine is written for women who, apparently,
-can't dress well (don't worry, ladies, Cosmo shopping guide comes to the rescue!);
-can't do a blow-job;
-don't know what a blow-job is;
-don't know how to satisfy their partner(s) in bed;
-don't know how to find and keep a guy;
-don't know what to do when they get a stomachache;
-still can't get over their small breasts;
-like to look at pictures of pretty models(done with professional equipment,make-up and lightning and then edited and retouched in Photoshop) and feel sorry for themselves for not looking like them;
-are looking for a wallpaper of a half naked guy for their desktop;
-are looking for a place to spend over a 1000$ for a pair of tights and a belt(Cosmo helps best here!);
-are searching for yet another diet, that will weaken their body and make them hate it even more;
-have some time to kill while waiting in line at the beauty salon/the plastic surgeon's office.

Fortunately, I don't fit into any of the above mentioned categories:), but I am sincerely very sorry for all the lost female souls who spend their money to read this..crap.

But I don't want this entry to have a pessimistic ending, so here's what: for all of you ladies out there, here is a real, divinely talented woman (who doesn't look at all like a Cosmopolitan cover girl and that doesn't make her any less unique and amazing):

Meet PJ Harvey.

*The Red Witch

* This article deals entirely with women's magazines, published and circulating in Bulgaria.

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