Have you seen Emily Prentice’s work? If not, you’re truly missing out. Emily makes some of the most beautiful and unique zines I’ve ever seen and her fiber art is on another level. I’m constantly in awe of her creativity so I stoked to see what she would come up with for her What’s in my Bag post. Emily did not disappoint (did you see that illustration?!?) and I’m excited to share this post with you.
What’s in My Bag?? My bag is GIANT and pretty beat up and also constantly dirty. While it isn’t the most picture-perfect choice, I opted for honesty over aesthetics! I’m an object in pretty constant motion, and my bag helps me haul a little bit of home with me where ever I might land. I take medicinal teas and tinctures in the AM/PM whenever I do end up back in my own kitchen, so most of the things I carry with me are for energetic support throughout the day. As an artist, I’m constantly finding inspiration in the natural world. I pick up all sorts of flowers, leaves, and detritus to turn into fiber art, zines, or inks. What finds its way into my bag throughout the course of the day is sometimes more interesting than what I started out with! It’s ever changing and a constant source of inspiration.
1) Moderation is a Memory tincture by Sarah M. Chappell: This alcohol-free tincture is
designed to help support reduced alcohol consumption. Over the past 18 months, I’ve
been doing some major self-work regarding my addiction, boundary, and moderation
issues. I took a reevaluation year where I spent 6 months sober and 6 months drinking
again after, and on the other side of that, I chose to not drink anymore. This particular
remedy has been a lifesaver as I’m working through the ancestral, childhood, and
personal baggage that lead me to these destructive patterns. Sarah is doing some divine
work and the healing she facilitates around recovery is something I can’t say enough
good things about.
PS I still use alcohol-based tinctures and essences and don’t personally feel like that
compromises my sobriety or my sober identity –- This choice is different for everyone! If more
alcohol-free options existed, though, I would almost certainly use them. It’s a privilege that
these don’t trigger any negative emotions or actions in me, and It’s something I’m really
grateful for. Some advice for sober herby folks in the same boat: Move towards energetic
remedies that you can use around your body instead of internally. Switch from tinctures to
teas. Invest in your own education! Take a class or find a mentor or buy great zines (like
Spencre’s!) and learn to make your own medicine.
2) Saturn Return Supplies: I carry Sister Spinster’s Saturn Return essence with me
everywhere. This formula makes me want to ROOT, and I drop some in areas where I
want to a create safe space I can keep returning to (a room, a chair, my shoes, the
bathtub). This is a necessity for an anxiety riddled, Saturn returning, water sign
overloaded person like myself.
The Saturn Return ring by Soleé Darrell is on my body every single day. I joke that it’s the
“source of my power,” but no kidding, it actually is. I feel strong with this ring on.
3) New Moon Potion by Dori Midnight x Modern Women: I think of this as my perpetual
beginner potion. I’m always most interested in the beginnings of things, a generally
positive trait that has a couple downsides, namely losing interested or biting off more
than I can chew. I use this essence to invoke that beginner energy when I’m in the
middle of a task. It keeps me from stagnating. I usually put it on my hands, because I
work with them in my art practice. I also slathered this all over my quilting machine
when I got it. A spell for constant inspiration and experimentation!
4) A Book or Zine: I never leave home without one, and this practice has singlehandedly
stopped me from incessantly scrolling on my phone! Pictured here is the first volume of
Electric Dirt by Queer Appalachia. As a queer Appalachian, I couldn’t pass up the chance
to mention this incredible organization/zine/Instagram/recovery program, and more.
Queer Appalachia elevates diverse narratives around the Appalachian region.
Appalachians tend to get homogenized and stereotyped in a negative/reductive way (a rant for another time!). This is just to say: people with a limited connection to Appalachia – get your hands on this zine and prepare for your mind to be blown.
5) Reusable Everything: I try to carry a stainless steel straw, a cloth napkin, and a reusable
water bottle with me at all times! Coming back to Appalachia for a second: I have very
tangible experience with the ways in which people are sacrificed for commodities. Our
mountains have been decimated for coal. Our water is in jeopardy for the sake of
natural gas pipelines. Our people are often sick, and sometimes they are poor and
addicted. The politics of extraction industries in WV are too complicated to really
unpack in this space, but these patterns all tie together. And because of this, we are all
very aware of the repercussions of our collective comfort. Minimizing my footprint is a
high priority for me, and that translates into my clothes, my food, my transportation,
and my collection of reusable straws.
6) A notebook and pens: you never know when you’re gonna need them.
Emily Prentice (She/Her) is a forever novice, a devotee to beginnings, and the Zine Queen of
Randolph County. Her work focuses on the meeting place of the natural and the supernatural
(the ways in which we are of this earth and beyond it) and it exists in the form of quilts, zines,
drawing, and teaching. Emily’s teaching practice is in her home, in the local quilt shop, and
wherever you are.
All photos belong to Emily