Behind the Box is a monthly series in which we dive into the previous month’s box and I share my thoughts on process and design of select items, theme etc. I hope these will serve as an inspiring look behind the scenes!
Welcome back to the monthly “Behind the Box” series! Today, let’s take a look at the ‘Witchy Women’ themed box from March 2019. One of my favorites so far! I tried to include a variety of witchy things without making it too dark. There are many kinds of witches, and being a witch means different things to different people.
I personally align more with being a green witch. To me that means being aware of and using natural energies with conscious intent. But there is a wide spectrum of women who have shouldered the label ‘witch’ and often times it unfortunately comes with a negative connotation. From Ursula wreaking havoc in the watery depths to Glinda waving her sparkling wand. From Hogwarts’ smartest witch of her age to Circe crafting potions on her lonesome island (Circe is an amazing book btw). There are so many images that might come to mind when one hears that word. Plus all the ones in between or those who defy labels entirely.
Regardless of the many stereotypes that have been ingrained in society for hundreds of years, this box is about and for women who embrace their own magic.
Pastel photos by @read_by_a.cave
Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith is such a beautiful book both cover and the story inside. I was immediately intrigued by the protagonist, Princess Aurelia, who sees ghosts and is humming with magic, but banned from using her blood-magic. She is also heir to the crown but not the people’s first choice. After an assassination attempt she flees and disguises herself as a commoner. Check out the synopsis on goodreads. It is beautifully told, full of mystery, witchy things (which inspired the Witchy Women theme), and throughout the adventure, it also asks a lot of very big rhetorical questions. Aurelia ultimately has to ask herself, what do you want, and what are you willing to sacrifice for it?
It’s awesome. Go read it if you have’t yet! There are still two or three copies left in the goodies shop if you missed the March box. I also love that the author signed her bookplates in purple sharpie. Yes, please. And I was able to get a really cool map poster from the publisher for this one, always a great addition.
Oh what fun this box was! Though there were some shipping delays with customs, I am so happy with the items that came together for this one! It was a dream of mine to be able to include a tarot deck in a box eventually, a unicorn tarot deck preferably. Not an easy feat. But everything aligned to be able to include the Crystal Unicorn Tarot deck. Check out the recent interview with creator Pamela Chen if you haven’t read it yet.
These cards are GORGEOUS and it not only fulfilled the monthly “unicorn item” but also went with the theme.
I could’t do a Witchy Women theme without including something from Practical Magic (aka one of my favorite movies of all time – I haven’t read the book yet, I know I need to!). I’d been wanting to work with the talented Paris of Ink & Wonder on a project and finally our schedules aligned to make this happen. I had a vision of a vial of belladonna to be printed on these messenger bags, and she drew it perfectly with little belladonna blossoms and leaves too!
I think Mrs. Weasley would be fond of this next one! Can’t you just see this on a hook by the stove at the burrow? A pot holder was on my list of items I wanted to include for a while, and when I saw the watercolor illustrations by Alyona Shiokova I reached out to her and asked if she could create a few custom ones so that we’d have enough to fill the design with images inspired by several of the girls and women in the Harry Potter universe. I think everything except the 9 3/4 sign fits that but I just had to include it, too.
We’ve got the wands of Hermione (with patronus), Ginny, Luna, and Fleur. Hermione’s time turner, Luna’s glasses and earrings, Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, Professor McGonagall in her cat form, Professor Trelawney’s crystal ball, Mrs. Weasley’s howler, Bellatrix Lestrange’s wanted poster, Dolores Umbridge’s pink bow, Rita Skeeter’s quick-quotes quill, a cauldron and the sorting hat (which many of them use), and a bottle of Amortentia. Oh, and a few feathers, of course.
I’ve had quite a bit of feedback saying that people love the idea of bath bombs but that not everyone has a bath. Understood! This time I worked with the lovely Fairy Tale Bath Co, to create a shower bomb so that all can enjoy! This one is inspired by the Swan sisters from The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw. A fabulous YA witchy book, by the way! And after reading this book, with creepy watery things … you’ll probably be glad this is a shower steamer and not a bath bomb …
The book is a strange tale of three sisters (last name Swan). At one point (back in time) they run a perfumery and the following scents are mentioned there: rosewater, honey, myrrh, lemongrass, gardenia, tansy. I selected rosewater and we paired it with lemon to lift the scent a bit. Hope you love it!
Another nod to Practical Magic, I couldn’t resist! “There’s a little witch in all of us” is one of my favorite quotes. I designed this one with a simple yet somewhat 16th century reminiscent serif font and a barely there background of tree tops in the crescent moonlight.
The Common Poisonous Plants booklet was such a fun inclusion. I worked with Style24 Designs and she created a custom spread of six poisonous plants an exclusive cover for this project. These are slightly altered for this but stem from her Book of Shadows Grimoire printable pages she sells in her Etsy shop. Definitely take a look if you love hers style. There are dozens more herbal grimoire pages where these came from. She also just added some minerals and crystals pages!
Lastly there was a bookmark by That Bookie Bookmarks. Featuring Manon Blackbeak from the Throne of Glass series. Because there are witches of many different kinds!
March boxes are sold out, but there are still a few leftover goodies available individually in the shop! I’d love to know what your favorite item was from this box. Happy reading, – Naomi