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sparkle craft: peace owl amulets

In this week's By Thistle By Thimble story, “Sister's Sword,” a blacksmith and his son take in a young girl whose father was lost in a recent battle for their king. Adopted as sister and daughter, the girl soon learns to make hilts for the quick-to-make, but mediocre swords that the smith and his son must churn out for their war-mongering king.

Longing for a more creative use of their skills, the two children secretly collaborate to make a special sword — one with a beautiful owl on the hilt. When the boy is lost in battle, the girl sets out with the sword to find him, and, in doing so, brings wisdom and light to the entire kingdom.

As students of Greek mythology will know, owls are one of the symbols of the goddess Athena. While Athena was a warrior goddess, in stories she generally went about that duty in a peaceful way. She preferred diplomacy and strategy over fighting. She averted wars more often than not. I've always suspected that, like the blacksmith and his children in this story, she liked her other spheres best. Athena was also a goddess of wisdom, domestic crafts, and law—all things that flourish best in times of peace.

These peace owl amulets combine owls and handicrafts, and a bit of light and wisdom, too. Think of them as a little reminder that you can slip in your pocket and rub between your fingers when you're tempted to jump to fighting without considering a more wise or peaceful strategy first.

peace owl amulets 1|| by thistle by thimble

Even if you think you're not very good at drawing, don't despair. If you have little kids, you may want to draw the basic outline for them, but—as detailed in the instructions below—these are just a series of simple shapes put together.

Unless you have a very steady hand with a paint brush, I do recommend using paint markers because they make the paint easier to apply. In a pinch—if your stones are light-colored and rough, rather than dark and shiny—you can use regular markers, but it will ruin the tips so don't use a brand new set.

Peace Owl Amulets

peace owl amulets 2 || by thistle by thimble


Flat rocks or pebbles (one for each owl you wish to make)

Paint markers (or paint with detail brushes or an old set of washable markers)


Wash and dry the rocks well, particularly if you've collected them outside. peace owl amulets 5 || by thistle by thimble

On the flattest side of each rock, use a neutral colored paint marker to outline an owl. I found it was easiest to start with the eyes (two big circles), add the beak (a little triangle in between the circles), and then do the mask (two big “C” shapes or a heart around the eyes and connecting at the beak). From there, the body is just two “V” shapes to make the wings and a little curved line to connect them at the bottom. There, see, that wasn't so bad!

peace owl amulets 4 || by thistle by thimble

Once you have a basic owl outline, fill in the shapes with patterns and colors. Don't get hung up on making them “perfect” — each one will be unique and that's part of the fun.

peace owl amulets 6 || by thistle by thimble

Last, let your little owls fly out into the world. Whether slipped in a pocket or lunchbox, or left on a park bench for a stranger to find, they'll spread light and a smile—and yes, maybe even a bit of wisdom, too.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, here are others you might like:

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About the Author

Meryl Carver-Allmond
Sparkle Kitchen & Craft Blogger

The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.

Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.

When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.

About Thistle By Thimble

Find magic in nooks and crooks, in baskets and burrows, and on seemingly ordinary back roads and side streets. Listen to the quiet whisperings of the heart. Attend to what nature teaches. Discover the secrets sung on the wind. This weekly series of original adventure tales will open your eyes to new places and characters from around the world and times gone by.