Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Nature's treasures

It's the last day of June already. In fact as I sit here writing this post there is only thirty minutes left of it. Tomorrow will be July, and shortly I am off to far off places for a while.I have a long flight to Zimbabwe, to visit my in laws. I shall be closing my Etsy shop for a while, but will reopen when I get back. It's winter there at the moment, so it won't be too hot which I'm quite happy about being more of a colder climate loving person. ;)  Don't get me wrong I love to have hot days in summer, but only for so long. I've been trying to get on with a painting I have on the go, but find it hard to concentrate when you know that you are preparing to travel, pack and get things ready. So I have no work to show you, but I will share with you some of the treasures that nature has shared with me.
I found a tiny baby slow worm on the path, sunbathing. In the grass I picked up a magpie's feather and between the moon daisies (sadly) a dead scarlet tiger moth.
I rescued a mole from feline clutches and released him or her, beneath the bramble patch far away from gardens.

On the hedge, I encountered a fairy angel. Or if you want to be scientific, a pterophorus pentadactyla, white plume moth.
I promised to feature him again in another painting before he flew off.
During a trip to  Dyrham park. I saw some fallow deer.
And a pond plant that looked like fairy sized trees, or those little ones that decorate Christmas cakes, with snow on. I love those cake decorations.
The pond looked so inviting on a hot day. All I  needed was some Gilly weed and I'm sure that I would have met Mer folk here? ;)                                        
Yesterday I saw more slow worm in the compost heap, a grass snake, and this amazing ants nest behind an old roof tile rested up against the chicken hut. (I did put it back carefully after looking)
And lastly, yesterday, what made my day, was seeing another Scarlet tiger moth. And this time it was alive! <3
Now as I come to the end of this post it's July, sixty one minutes into the new month to be precise.
I wish you a hot July, that brings a few cooling showers, apricots to eat, (or strawberries if you prefer) and many many flowers.
See you soon! x

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer days

Warm summer days. Fields of sunshine, with buttercups,  rivers edged with  cream lace of hog weed and hemlock, meadow sweet in bud, blue cranes bill , ragged robin  and the darting of damsel flies, precious  jewels in the golden light of evening.   Scent of  elder flower, honeysuckle and freshly cut hay. And in the garden, honeysuckle again, mock orange and sweet williams. Oh how I love sweet williams.
Elder flowers freshly picked in the sun, insects shaken off and ready to be turned into cordial.  The strong smell of elder takes me back to childhood, not the delicate sweet perfume of the blooms, but the leaves and stems.  Breaking off an elder stick to use as a play bow and arrow  and stripping the bark back.
Lemon zest added.
Then soaked overnight. The kitchen smelled delicious.

The next morning I finished it off, straining, adding sugar, simmering, cooling etc. Now there is a large bottle of thirst quenching 'hedgerow delight' in the fridge for sunny days.
This little prince has been hanging around quite a lot this past week. I'm sure he could tell you a thing or two about Elder? Don't worry I haven't stolen all his future Autumn berries, there are plenty to go around this year. 
Some bits and pieces to show that I've been working on. The pendant, a gift for someone.
Coyote and moth.
I'm having a bit of a break from wooden hangers now and will be concentrating on some paintings. I love doing the hangers, but I have to keep a balance, otherwise the muse gets somewhat grumpy. ;) This is what I've been up to, playing with ink, and pencil in my sketchbook.  
Initial idea then painted onto a piece of wood that I was going to discard because it had a crack in, but I decided that the crack could be incorporated into the picture. A crack in the universe somehow.
                                                                      'Nights Portal'
'There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in' ~Leonard Cohen
This evening, the eve of the summer solstice, we sat out in front of a fire, listening to the song thrush sing it's goodnight song. Enjoying the outdoors at the middle of the year, we watched the clouds gently move away and the sky cleared for the stars to appear. On the window frame there were two Buff Ermine moths in love. Aren't they perfectly beautiful!

Wishing you all a wonderful Midsummer solstice. x

I shall leave you with some Coldplay that I've been listening to all week whilst painting my own sky of stars. I love this and it makes me want to dance around the garden beneath the stars whenever I hear it. I might just do that later today? :) 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

In the garden

Early morning, the beginning of June. Sunlight catches delicate sparkling trails of cobweb. Soon they will dry off and retreat into their almost invisible world again.
A snatch of a glimpse, into the faerie realm?

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. ~Eleonora Duse

I've been busy in the garden. Lots of cutting back, transplanting , digging weeding and I still have more to do. I must remember though, not to stress about all the things that need 'doing' and just enjoy the jobs in hand. Being outdoors in the fresh air, in a beautiful setting is enough in itself. A garden is never a finished thing. It evolves and changes over the seasons and the years. I'm just helping it along by giving some plants more space, more light to thrive and adding a few things here and there that I would like to see, or what the bees and butterflies might want.
In the greenhouse I'm amazed at my crop of rocket that initially self seeded, survived all winter and is still going strong.  Next to it there is lettuce, cucumber, parsley, (flat leaf and curly) another self seeded new patch of more rocket, some coriander and radishes. The opposite side which you can't see has tomato plants.  On the bench at the far end is my runner beans that I haven't planted outside yet. A must job for this weekend!
I made a small space for some sweet peas beside the path.  The path, hmm yes that's another job that needs doing.
                                                                              ~ *~
Over the bank holiday weekend, the end of last month we stopped by during the open weekend at Secret World wildlife rescue. It's the second time I've visited now. They do a fantastic job rescuing wildlife and took in many of the injured badgers last year, during the senseless cull.
So here's some of the beauties we met.
And this gorgeous girl. 
Such wise eyes.
It's foxes that I've been working on since my last post. They are finished now and will be added to my shop tomorrow evening Friday 6th June at 8pm again. (uk time)
Have a wonderful weekend whatever you are doing.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Etsy shop update

Hello... I'm back again and  just a day since my previous post. Why so soon I hear you say?Well, last night I realised that not everyone who follow on here has Facebook. Yes, there are still some lucky folks that haven't been caught up in the facebook net and taken across to the dark side.I consider them the lucky ones. ;) Anyway I  wouldn't want them to  miss out on a preview of  the new hares that I will be adding to my shop this Thursday (May 22nd at 8pm UK time)  So, I'm back again to share all 22. If you've already seen them on Facebook, then I promise to forgive you, if you don't hang around. 
                                                                      'Wiltshire hills'
                                                                          'Fox hare'
'Dandelion and moon'
'By the hawthorn'
Moth and heather
Hare,moon and snowdrop
Moth and bramble
'Woodland creatures'
'Dog rose'
 Moth and bramble (small)
'Speedwell and bee'
Speedwell and bee (white)
'Wild strawberry and bee'
'Vetch and forgetmenot'
'Forgetmenot and bee'
'Clover and bee'

That's it, all done!  
I shall be back soon. x