Friday, January 6, 2017

The Well Earned Rest Of Plants and Trees

At the end of the old year, my yogi teabag shared with me some words of wisdom to begin the new one. I like these words. Perfect to begin again, letting go of the old that doesn't serve and opening yourself to the whole and the new. 
I don't really have any nuggets of wisdom from myself, but just hope this new year is filled with beautiful times, wonderful skies, happiness, flowers, good health, peace, lots of magic and creativity for all.
***
I have read quite a bit recently, of winters desolation. About the cold and loneliness and how everything has disappeared... It's strange as I don't see winter like this at all. I suppose I am one of the lucky ones that doesn't suffer from the lack of daylight hours. I love winter and savour it like every other season. Here, for me nothing has really disappeared. The blackbird is still pecking at the fallen crab apples that are composting and enriching the mossy ground beneath the branches. The wood pigeons still sit in their favourite places everyday. The blue tits, and finches are chasing each other around at the top of the hawthorn.  The jackdaws are as noisy as ever, sat upon the chimney pots and in and out of next doors roof. The rooks glossy indian ink coats, look glorious against the frosty landscape. And there are three robins in the garden now. At night the air is crisp, clean and clear. The sky is filled with stars and the early January moon is a silver sickle for Jack Frost to cut the frozen air. Venus below, sparkles, as if someone is holding a giant diamond and shining it to attract our attention a thousand years away...
In the early darkness the raspy bark of fox calls across the fields and a tawny owl sounds as if it is sat just outside the bathroom window. Inside I have found wasps sleeping in the folds of curtains and ladybirds in the window frame corners. In the shed there is a tortoiseshell butterfly dreaming of stretching it's wings on the first warm days. Everything is alive!
If you lift the old log, the woodlice are still there and so are the slugs and the snails and earthworms.   The trees and plants are enjoying their well earned rest, but if you are out and about each day you will see that not much else has really changed.
 Even the swans leave the pages of fairytales, just for a moment, to brighten the dark winter river. 
Happy New year!
X

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Just stopping by on Christmas Eve

The light is fading now and the fire is lit. The presents are wrapped and ready beneath a twinkling tree. Soon it will be that time that the old tales tell of, when the birds and beasts talk in human language in the magical hours between Christmas eve night and Christmas day in the morning. That special time. Don't forget to listen... ;)
I had meant to do another longer blog post before Christmas arrived but sadly I didn't find the time as things have been so busy here and now I have caught that cold that has been doing the rounds. So for now I will just wish you dear readers a very Merry Christmas. May it be peaceful and filled with joy and goodwill. Thank you for reading
X

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December Trees and Woodland Decorations

December beauty, away from the tinsel and lights and Christmas tunes that play on a loop in the shops. The apple trees have their own tinsel all year round, silvery bleached greens of lichen, emerald green moss and boozy fermented crab apples that have stayed firm and clung on in the wind. 
I have grown attached to these trees and others in the garden. I have known them now for 18 years. They are friends and I speak to them and tell them they are looking beautiful as the seasons change. I have watched them grow. Some are old and some not so, (the Hazel we grew from a nut) My children have played beneath them, had picnics, camped and climbed the bigger ones and they have grown up with them.  Now they are young adults and the trees are still here watching quietly when they return home, growing their apples, nuts and berries. The wood pigeons have their favourite perch and the blackbird and robin use all. The thrush likes to use the top branches of the cherry tree to sing his evensong. I have told my woody friends about other trees I've met on my travels, about the small twisted oaks in Wistmans Wood with the lichen as long as faerie hair and I'm sure they seemed to have grown their lichen more abundantly since the tale was told?
When I was a child running and playing in woods and jumping streams, we used the language of the field. Our maps were plotted out using the trees, the big beech on the edge of the wood, that my Mum had carved her initials in when she was a child, the huge elm we made a swing on. We knew which nut tree gave the best harvest, whether they were small clusters, fivers, or large cobs, We knew where the walnut tree was and the cherry trees and where the best apples were to scrump and our meeting place was the lightening tree, an old dead tree, bleached like a bone, that had been struck by lightning years before. And a holly tree always held a certain magic to me, a feeling I could never really explain? Now  I am lucky to have three of them in this garden.
December is the only time of year when we bring a tree 'intact' inside our home, to decorate and hang beautiful things on in celebration. It's also the time when trees are revealed again. Their silhouettes return us to the winter landscape once more and their real beauty is uncovered. Winter light and shadows on sleeping trees and icy bare branches. One of my loves of Winter. Everything is framed so perfectly.
Although I love the frost and cold. I'm hoping this year for milder days. Robin Goodfellow my dear feathered friend, I think has mites? He is scratching and losing his feathers which of course is not a good thing to do at this time of year. It is either that or fighting, as I've seen him chasing another Robin off.  Constant replenishing of food will help to keep him warm. I can't help but worry though. He needs a scarf like you see the Robins on Christmas cards wearing... Sadly he doesn't look the picture perfect 'Robin on the card' this year but that's life, I still love him dearly however he looks.  
Inside the house, I have brought the woodland in. Toadstools, birds, fox , squirrel and deer decorate the room.  
Now if only Robin would come in and keep warm like this other one. 
I don't normally have flowers with the Christmas decorations, but it was my Birthday the other day, hence the ones on the table.  :)
The little fir tree sits twinkling in the corner. Just the mistletoe to get now. ..


Friday, November 25, 2016

Shooting Stars of Paint and Wood and a Lacewing as an Assistant.

After lots of rain, the leaves on the ground are beginning to dry a little again. Yesterday the wind was whipping them up, the small gusts encouraged them to dance on my way to the post office. Garden wind chimes hanging in trees came alive with the brisk breeze, they sang in their sweet fae voice and told the birds to hurry, hurry. The  birds seemed somehow excited, flying from tree to tree feeding hastily on the abundance of berries. The village streets smelled of  wind and woodsmoke and sweet coffee, coming from the pub. A large crow sat on its roof looking down at me as I walked past. For a moment I thought I was in a Harry Potter film. Really I think it was enjoying the smell of coffee too? 
This leaf has said its goodbyes to the branch now, most have. Looking at the bare branches of the garden and lack of places to hide I can't help but worry about my little feathered friend. There is lots of ivy though, so I  hope he will find shelter on cold windy days.
 This was last week before all the heavy rain and wind. 
Since my last post I've been extremely busy creating new work  for the next shop update which will be next Tuesday 29th November at 8pm (uk time)
The little lacewing below was my personal assistant for a short while, until I decided he may be hungry and set him free outside. 
Anyway... the new work, there is rather a lot to share so I shall stop waffling on and just share the images. All are acrylic paintings on wood with words if they have them, by me. 

'Imagine if each shooting star that fell was a new soul coming to Earth to spread magic'
~*~
 'Imagine if each star that fell, had a message of magic from the heavens to tell...'
~*~
'A star to break the spell. To wake the dreaming hearts of those who sleep'
'All the birds of the forest and hills brought gifts for those who had forgotten'
I returned to the Finland theme here similar to the painting and pendants that I completed earlier in the year
And back to an older design, the toadstool again.  There are three at the moment but I am still working on two more so if they are finished in time and photographed then I shall add them too. 

Now to get to on with draft listing them all to the shop. I shall need copious amounts of tea to accompany the job. ;)
Have a super weekend!

Karen 
X

Monday, October 31, 2016

Old Autumn



“I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn; --

Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.” 

~Thomas Hood
I've seen him too in the misty morn. He was by the hawthorn tree, talking with a magpie. Around his waist twisted a belt of old mans beard to keep his coat of leaves from falling too soon. His coronet was not of corn,  but moss and toadstool, lichen and crab apple and his old beard was woven with thistle down, sticky burrs and seeds like an old vixens tail. Around his neck strung conkers and acorns, and his eyes were ancient amber...


 
I thought I'd stop by and share a little more of Autumn with you before it's slipped by once more. After a misty start the sun is shining gloriously here and the sky is blue as a robins egg. 
There are a few more of the homemade cards appearing in the shop as I make them in spare moments while paint is drying. Some are old repeat design, others images that have yet to appear as cards.
I'm busy creating some wooden pieces for my next shop update (yet to be confirmed)  Will probably be the end of November? In the meantime, enjoy this last day of October how ever which way you celebrate. Happy Halloween, All Hallows Eve  and Samhain blessings.  ;) x