“Whoa there!” I expect you’re thinking, “This is a geek site, not a craft place. WTF is this?” Well stick with me while I explain.
It’s generally accepted cannon in most SF/Fanasty universes that certain, if not all, magic users require a focus to channel or control said magic, right? Some time ago my roleplay group started a game in the Dresden Files universe. Go and check it out, it’s pretty awesome. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Done? Good. Well as you can see every magic user has an affinity with one of the 5 elements. Dresden himself has an affinity with Fire, while his apprentice Molly works with Spirit. Back to my game. I decided I wanted to play an apprentice wizard with an affinity for Earth and my GM said I needed a focus. It could be anything, as long as it was something my character could make, something that could stay on her and was unlikely to come off, and something that represented her affinity. My character was from a rural background so I had her make a bracelet out of natural twine with wooden ornaments.
The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea, and after reading a post by my friend Asheyna, and browsing the local craft shops I decided to make my own.
I partly followed the instructions on Ash’s blog and part from this site. No, it’s not quite what I had in mind, but I’m still pretty happy with how it turned out. The green on the shields fits in, as does the flower, ‘harmony’ and ‘spirit’ written on the dangly bits. It cost me £11 for the hemp and the embellishments (with plenty left over if I want to make another, or 5) and took maybe 20 minutes.
The hardest part was getting the knots consistently right (I did this as I watched TV and kept getting distracted). I think the only thing I would change is the knot at the end; I would put a button or big bead there next time I think, just to make it a bit more secure.
Anyway, this is an easy, quick and fun project whether you need a prop for a game, or a present for someone. Give it a try!