Friday, September 23, 2016

The Alchemy of Autumn

 I sit on the stone ledge by the front door. A place I often sit in all seasons. The place to take my cup of tea or coffee and look at the garden. It is the afternoon and I have come outside to take a break and feel the last warmth of the early Autumn sun. Sunlight catches a cobweb, it's almost invisible thread stretches  from the rusted doorbell to the valerian plant below. A home connected to a home. 
A dragonfly darts about the garden, a shining fairy in disguise and the ivy flowers on the old shed are singing with a choir of honeybees. Sharing this feast are red admirals. Six of them. The red and white on their wings contrast against the bluest of sky, jewels of the garden, small treasures from heaven.

The Alchemy of Autumn has begun. It is visible of course all around us, but it is also a feeling felt in the stillness, the slowing down and in the bird song. A sensing of different energy and magic in the air, which to me is felt most strongly from now through to Winter.
The Autumn Equinox has passed and now the days begin to get shorter. It's time to get and do, what I call the the 'cosy things' or the hip or trendy term now seems to be 'hygge'  ;-)  Cosy socks, woolly tights, spiced tea, hot chocolate and soup. Time to light the fire inside or out, dig your hat and scarf out of the cupboard for long walks to look for mushrooms and toadstools. Time to light more candles now the evenings are darker and retrieve that half finished crochet that you begun last year. 
It's a time to gather and harvest and brew potions and wine, jams and jellies.  
 Have your ingredients ready, in this case blackberries. The other items are to help the spell. A magic wand comes in very handy if you are not so good at making Jam. Mine is made by a very talented young friend of mine and it's relatively new, so I wanted to test it and check it worked. ;-) (You can see more of her beautiful wands here)
Say the magic words and wave the wand.
Then.....'ta- dah'!  Blackberry Jam! ;-)
All there is to do now, is make a pretty label and pop it in your cupboard. 
'Alchemist: A person who transforms or creates something through a seemingly magical process'

On my desk a little Alchemy has been taking place.
Tiny paintings, treasures of Nature. I have used real gold to symbolise treasure and show that their importance is of equal value in the grand scheme of life. After all gold is 'nature's' treasure too, but we put so much more value on it than a flower or an animal and even water. (which I find scary sometimes)
                                                                'Between the Space of Golden Light
'Midnight's Treasure'
'I see the Golden Light that Surrounds You'
'In the Beginning' #2
'In the Beginning'#1
'Born of Gold'

"Here is all of life, all into one
 In moments such as this, all that lives and breathes under the sun is part of Heaven's kiss"
Crimson Skies. The Cinematic Orchestra

More gold on this Hare, this time not the real kind though, just paint. 
'Summer Gold'
'Night and her Magic'
'Night's Treasures'
'Hills of Home'
'Tor and Thorn'
'Tamarisk and Sea Holly'
'Sea Holly'
'Sea Holly Small'
'Magnificent Bee' (Pendants  #1 and #2)
After rather a lot of fiddly small painting I am having an urge to paint something bigger now. :-)
All of the above items will be added to my Etsy shop next Tuesday 27th September at 19.00 (7pm) UK time. 
Enjoy your weekend and fingers crossed the sun stays out for walks and gardening and whatever you are up to. 

Thanks for reading! x

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Hello September

Memories of early summer flower days lie in a seashell on my table. How fleeting they seem now that September has arrived with her hedgerows heavy with blackberries, the early morning mists, rosy ripe apples and hips and haws.  
August was sunny and busy, and I never did get around to doing a blog post. And then I caught a horrid cough and my voice almost disappeared and I didn't feel like doing anything for a while.
It's always hard to try and cram all things into a post when you haven't done one in a while, so instead of doing that I thought I'd share some of the magical moments that I've had since I was last on here.
There was a trip to Brownsea island
Where I chatted with a peacock
And while we sat there on the beach for a while with our simple picnic of sandwiches and flask of tea, something magical and beautiful happened. Out of nowhere it seemed she appeared, a deer walking towards us on the waters edge.
Not a care for humans having picnics, but searching it seemed for something or someone? She walked past us, stopping, then wading out to deeper waters, looking, then carried on. 
It was one of those moments when you are just there and are not expecting anything at all, then something wonderful and quite extraordinary happens. :)

My feet have been recharged in the wild Atlantic's Cornish rock pools .
Beneath the water they have heard the sea weed whispers and the crackles and pops of the limpet and mussel.
And through their soles they've soaked up the salty song of the sea.  I think they may even have heard a Selkie too?
And I swam and played in the wild waves like the seals that we saw. My selkie skin took the useful form of a wet suit. 
Dreams and sleep beneath stars and the milky way, cut off from the mainland on an island.
Where a giants heart lies in stone.
  Golden magic from the top of a castle.
And a phoenix in the sky...
Perseid meteor shower gazing in the garden can be added to the moments ( did you see them?) and the rescue of a weasel behind the sofa! :-) I hope you, dear readers whatever you have been doing, also saw a little magic in August.
Now September is here and the sweet peas are still blooming. Mr Robin Good fellow has come out from hiding in the bushes during his annual feather moult and is very pleased with his new set.
I have been working on some hangers which I'll be back to share soon. In the meantime, will leave you with my new 2017 Calendar which is available now to buy in my shop here.
Happy September! X

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A July filled with Flowers.

With July almost over it had to be time to pop in and say hello to this rather neglected blog.
I've been having a sort of semi creative break for a while, so haven't got anything totally finished in the way of art to share... but I have flowers, so many flowers.  My July has been a July filled with flowers.
Flowers are I believe, a good way to balance the negative news that seems to be happening in the world almost on a daily basis these days...
Lets begin with a walk in Gloucestershire. The Slad valley, home to Laurie Lee. Cider with Rosie country.  A warm but overcast day, quiet except the gentle hum of bees and summer soothing sounds of cricket and grasshopper. Marbled white butterflies flitted from one knapweed bloom to another.  Fields of wildflowers, scabious, clover, orchids, yellow rattle dotted the fields.
We passed an orchard with the prettiest white cows and apple trees laden with mistletoe. 
Through a wood where a faerie had been busy making a home  
And a holloway,  silent yet so full with the whisperings of ghost horses and travellers.
“Bees blew like cake-crumbs through the golden air, white butterflies like sugared wafers"
~Laurie Lee Cider with Rosie

Take my hand, follow me to the purple scented fields of lavender...Somerset Lavender
Now if I had brought with me a discreet blanket and soft pillow then I would have been quite happy just to have laid myself down between these rows and spent a whole day and night here, breathing in this wonderful heavenly scent and soaking in it's energy.  Do you think anyone would have noticed me? ;-) No doubt the bees would have and maybe the hare that has been spotted in the fields on occasion I hear. 

This was my first ever visit to a lavender farm and now I would like to have my own. So I bought two little plants of the favourite variety to start me off on a small scale. :-) 
After browsing the shop filled with all things lavender, I bought some essential oil and then we sat for a while on this bench soaking up the surroundings and eating lavender ice-cream. 
Such a lovely place, if you are in the area then you must definitely pay them a visit. 
There were other  flowers at the farm too. The sweet peas were a joy to behold. The scent took me straight back to working many years ago in a local hotel. The smell of beeswax on old wood, and picking the sweet pea posies for the freshly cleaned cottage rooms. I always loved that simple task of putting a posy of flowers in a guests room to welcome them.  
More memories are stirred seeing  marigolds. Bright and cheerful and the smell and sticky, sappy marigold scent of childhood summers.
“I must have flowers, always, and always.”   
~Claude Monet

And now to home and to the little patch of Earth that I lovingly tend to. Such magic that comes from a tiny seed scattered on bare earth.
“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” 
~ Iris Murdoch
I am not normally someone that is into bedding type plants or hanging baskets but this year I couldn't resist this petunia which I have just planted on the edge of the border. It is surely made of velvet! The purple black reminds me of a Queen's gown or cloak in a fairytale Or the Queen of the night from the Magic Flute? How wonderful it would be to design a fairytale garden.. . Now there's a thought.  
My rather delicate Tolkien inspired structure that I shared earlier, has survived so far and has sweet peas blooming now and is doing it's job rather well.  

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in--what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”
~Victor Hugo -Les Miserables
Flowers give so much pleasure and scent can really lift your mood. So if you are feeling  sad with the world or lonely or just want to lift your spirits, take the time to go out and smell the flowers and if you haven't any nearby then go on, treat yourself and buy a bunch. We need the return of flower power! 
“Find gratitude in the little things and your well of gratitude will never run dry.” 
~ Antonia Montoya

I shall leave you with this little angel that flew inside the other day. A plume moth. Plume moth caterpillars feed on bind weed so please please remember to leave some in your garden for this sweet soul.  Its all in the little things...