Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Days of Roses and Honeysuckle and Small Offerings of Light

It was a little budding rose,
Round like a fairy globe,
And shyly did its leaves unclose
Hid in their mossy robe,
But sweet was the slight and spicy smell
It breathed from its heart invisible.
~ Emily Bronte
June is the month for roses. I've been enjoying the ones I'm lucky to have in this garden and stop to smell their heavenly scent each time I walk past. How can you not, when their time is so short? I treated the garden to a new addition when visiting the local garden centre recently. It's a rose that for years I have had my eye on but never got around to ever buying. So the other day when I saw it, I gave in and it came home with me.
 It's a repeat flowering one so I'm looking forward to smelling the roses for a little longer. It also has the most vivid colour petals which I've saved each time that they have dropped, for drying.
This month I've been finding it really hard to concentrate and my mind has been all over the place so  recharging for longer each day outside has been important. Watching the flowers emerge from seeds that have been tended and nurtured, soaking up the scents really help to clear a busy mind.
There are always so many wonders to see! The hornet in the picture below, lost it's way the other day and came in through the window.  We caught it in a beer glass and admired it for a few moments before releasing back outside and on its way. The caterpillars were having a feast on the mullein and one of the roses. The top right hand one is a mullein moth and the bottom impressive green one I'm hoping (fingers crossed) is a humming bird hawk moth? 
In the green house was a stunning tiger moth. Such beauty! 
  Moon daisies (ox eye) are in abundance and the grass snake is back in the compost heap.
With so many distractions it's a wonder I get any work done at all this time of year! Some how I do though. Here are a set of small paintings 'Midnight in the wood' series that I've made into new designs for cards.    
The cards are available here to buy as a pack of four.  The photo of the originals above look much bluer in colour than they are. In reality they are more like the cards below.  It's hard to pick up the colours correctly with a camera sometimes though.
I've also had a little play about with some pendants. The ones that I added to the shop have already sold, but I will be adding more shortly.
Another painting recently done. 'Small Offerings of Light'
Inspired by the photograph that I took not so long ago, of my owl hangers all hanging together.  Here are just a couple of pictures at the moment, as I'm having some camera problems. It will be made available as a print once scanned and ready. 
I hope you all made the most of the longest day if you are this side of the world like myself.  Or the shortest one if you are not. :) It's hard to believe that the Summer Solstice has been and gone now, this year seems to speed up with each day that passes. 
My evening was spent quietly in the garden with a small fire waiting for the beautiful full moon to rise.  It was peaceful and filled with bird evensong and the smell of woodsmoke woven between honeysuckle. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Return to Tintagel

In my last post I mentioned that I had recently taken a short trip to Cornwall.  So here I am back again to share some of the pictures...
We started off driving down via the north coast as I wanted to visit a favourite spot. Tintagel  The last trip was in 2011,  so it was definitely time to say hello again to this mythical, magical old rugged place.
It's always a good time to visit, but May has it's advantages. The wild and jutted jagged edges are  softened by bluebells, yellow tom thumb, purple thrift, sea campion and other coastal cliff flowers.
I picked a sprig of thrift to dry and keep. I shall keep it with my dried clover flower that I picked on top of the Tor, at Glastonbury.
High on top stands the new sculpture 'Gallos' by Rubin Eynon.  It means power in Cornish. An 8ft bronze sculpture inspired by the legend of King Arthur. I believe that some people are not happy about new additions here and feel that it is making Tintagel too commercial... I personally really liked it and thought it was a beautiful thing. Standing tall with the wild winds and stormy skies around him he looked so at home. I loved the way he faced inland. looking back home to his lands. I also love the way the artist has left parts of him as just gaps, as if he is only partially here. A ghost you can see through. Arthur stepping through the veil.
Another angle.
Carrying on the Arthurian theme, we crossed Bodmin moor and passed Dozmary Pool.
Dozmary Pool is a fresh water natural lake. In local legend, it is believed to be the final resting place of Excalibur and the home to the Lady of the lake.  After Arthur was mortally wounded at the battle of Camlann, Sir Bedevere threw Excalibur into the lake, returning it to the Lady. 

I would have been happy to carry on visiting Arthurian sites, but there were other plans on the list too, so that will have to wait to another day. Instead we drove across to the southern coast and met a sea mist in Polperro.
Polperro was one place I had never been in Cornwall, so a visit was long overdue. It didn't disappoint and looked even more atmospheric in the grey and mist. 
For those of you that like me have never been. It is a place of winding narrow streets, white washed cottages and is filled with quirky corners 
The Shell House...
We browsed in the lovely little shops, visited the museum, in between dodging the rain showers and were enticed into cosy cafes by tempting treats. 
The next day the sun came out so we went in search of the wild and rugged places once more and walked some of the coastal path.
A lovely walk was had. 
We finished our short trip by returning via the northern side again and back to the more magical .  Many years back I visited the famous Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle.  After so many years I  thought it about time to make a re visit. Such an interesting museum filled to the brim with so many things to look at. Spells and talismans and all manner of magical tools and information about magic and witchcraft through the ages.  
It was a perfect end to a short break. :-)  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Listening to the Hedgerow

Old hedgerow share your story,
Your tales and songs and spells
of morning misted dew drops, on petals of blue Speedwell.
Whisper me the wild and woven ways of forever, as I walk the winding lanes.
Teach me the secrets of bedstraw, sorrel, celandine and stitchwort;
Bryony, archangel, pimpernel and violet;
Stitch and bind the leaves and sap with woodbine into each strand of my hair.
Wrap me up in hawthorn blossom and let the birds build nests upon my heart.
Fill my bones with the scent of bluebell, lest I should ever forget.

~Karen Davis 
In May it's as though time stops. Steps are taken back in time and a remembering becomes more prominent. A remembering of the old ways of hedgerow and home. If I sit in among the greening then I can almost disappear. Away from the modern ways of car and telephone.
If it wasn't so chilly then I would probably take up residence on the soft moss, beneath the apple tree whilst it blooms. Just so that I can inhale as much apple blossom scent as I possibly can.  It's one of my most favourite smells in the world, especially when it has the morning dew or raindrops on.
The apple blossom is almost finished blooming now and it's the hawthorn's turn. After a poor year of blossom last year it has certainly made up for it this year. It's absolutely covered in flowers and is literally vibrating and humming with the sound of bees.
It is over a month since I last posted on here. I have felt the need again to step back from social media. No reason really, just a little weary of all the chatter.
There have been lots of jobs to do in the garden and not enough hours in the day. I made a rather rickety structure for the sweet peas to climb this year. I'm not sure how it will stand up to strong winds?
There have been walks to the bluebell woods and a short trip to Cornwall, which I will put in the next post. In between I have been quietly working away painting. The next shop update will be Tuesday 31st May at 7.00pm UK time. This will be 8 hedgerow hares and whatever else is finished and ready.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend. :-)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Watching Spring Emerge

Sweet primrose scent has entranced and stolen me away. Sometimes the pull is too strong and I have to just stay. So I sit and watch and breathe the perfume that takes me back. Back to my childhood days, playing in fields and scrambling up primrose banks and railway batters with mud on the knees of my old trousers. My nose in a posy of primroses, cool and soft when brushed against my cheek. One for Mum and one for my Nan, that lived next door.  That sweet delicate smell always steps me back in time.  
And I stay some more and watch the Spring unfold before my eyes.  Bees and brimstone butterflies beneath blue skies. 
I could stay all day, just sitting and watching,  there is always so much to see. But I have painting to do so I bring the outside in with me. 
Back outside for a tea break. I would have missed this beautiful bee fly if I had drank my drink indoors, sat with head in a phone or iPad.  
 From my desk I always get a good view of the latest visitors, normally the feathered type, but sometimes furry ones too.
So things have been a little slower. this month. Taking time to smell the flowers and watch the wonders of Spring emerge. And jobs in the home and garden, digging and seed sowing and giving the house a bit of care and attention.
The parliament is finished. I will miss them hanging here watching, with a knowing look in their painted eyes. But, they have given me an idea for a painting, so they will be back in 2D form.
In between there has been cutting out of more wooden hangers. Below is the Spring Wizard in progress.
And here it is finished.
All of the hangers will be added to my Etsy shop on Monday April 25th at 7.30pm (UK time)
Enjoy your weekend, I have golden beetroot to plant and more digging to do!

P.S...Mrs Thrush now has a nest in the honeysuckle. :) x