Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Mudlarkers Moon and a Good Pumpkin Harvest

With Winter not far off now I thought I'd share two new pieces created.
 The first one is the image below 'The Mudlarkers Moon' 
Some nights when the moon is bright and full and I lay awake unable to sleep, I wish that I was out wandering the land, rivers and streams with the fox. Listening and searching for all the lost treasures of long ago. For their voices are much louder in the quiet of the night.  
The second piece is named "Called by Song'  This image has been in my head for quite a while and after a moment encounter a few weeks back, when I spotted a deer casually walking across the garden I felt the universe was telling me it was probably time to paint it. I like to think that my deer was called by the song of the friendly robins and blackbirds in the garden, but in reality I think it was more after an apple feast with the amount of fallen apples that we have left for the wildlife. 
Both new designs are available as cards and prints in the web shop  and Etsy. This year I have gone with more single cards again. Packs weren't that popular last year and I thought especially in the current climate that many folk prefer to buy just a single card? You can watch a little of this painting being created in a film, if you pop across to my Youtube channel. There is also a bit of cider making in it too. 
I'm enjoying doing the videos, although I do find it quite time consuming. Hopefully I can only improve and get faster.  It's good to try something new though isn't it? 
Our pumpkins grew really well this year and we were very lucky to harvest a good crop.  
Lots of pumpkin soup has already been eaten.  And yesterday it was time to choose a victim to be carved. The chosen one!
I felt like doing something more elaborate, so chose a forest scene. Then quickly kind of regretted it once I began cutting it out, (hehe) but it ended up being quite relaxing. And relaxing is good of course and necessary! so all was fine. ;) 
Ta da!
Wishing you all a cosy Halloween! 
Don't forget to come and join me on Youtube! Here is the latest video! :) x

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Changes and New Things

 September has arrived and with it some new downloads in the shop. Gentle Journal sheet and a couple of writing paper pages too. S

The new calendar has also arrived. I'm not sure how time went so fast, but here we are already thinking about another year. Well we certainly won't be forgetting 2020 that's for sure. So if you are in a hurry to say goodbye to it, then maybe you may be interested in the calendar to plan for the new one? Both the web shop and Etsy are now open again for international orders. There are still delays and I can't say for sure how long items will take as it's still a changing situation of course worldwide. But I have offered a shipping upgrade at checkout if people want a faster service. 
I was quiet in August and didn't manage a blog post. We escaped to Cornwall for a week which was lovely to get away for a break. I'm not sure I will blog about that, but there may be a little video of some clips in the making which I will share when it's made.  This year has brought about some mixed feelings about what I'm doing and how I'm spending my time which I'm sure it has for many folk. I have loved doing this blog and enjoyed it, but the time is nearing I feel to bring this one to a close at the end of the year. It's been over 10 years and a change is needed. This one is not working properly as the template was edited 9 years ago and it won't let me update to the new add ons that are available and the preview feature is now not working since Blogger updated.  So it definitely needs to update anyway. I may get another blog, but will probably have a bit of a break and maybe concentrate on my little youtube channel, filming snippets of nature and art? A different format brings new challenges, possibilities and excitement.
We shall see... 
Take care
Karen x

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hold Fast to Dreams

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken- winged bird
that cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
~Langston Hughes

It's so important for us all to hold tight to our dreams however large or small they maybe. 
Dreams seem even more precious in these fragile times. 
We need them. They nourish our soul and give us something to strive for, to believe in and keep us going on this winding, rocky path of life.
My son's fiancé had a dream to be a violinist from an early age. Here she is playing Eric Whitacre's magical seal lullaby below. After finally seeing them for the first time since the beginning of March, I really enjoyed watching them creating this film at the river the other day. :)
Like many others, they are both talented young people trying to follow their paths and break into the world of music.
In January Taisia was offered a scholarship (tuition fees) to the Royal College of Music in London, to study a Masters Degree in historical performance. With her dream almost in reach she began to save for the remaining fees that are needed to study. Because she is from Moldova which is not in the EU, a study visa is required. To obtain this you have to prove that you have a certain amount of money to show that you are able to support yourself, otherwise the Visa will not be given.  In normal circumstances busking, concert performances, sponsorship and part time jobs would have been enough but the pandemic has affected all in so many ways and the fund raising routes haven't happened. So, as a last resort, she has set up a 'Go Fund Me' page.
If you love music or would like to help a young person achieve their dreams, then please do watch the videos and consider making a donation. Even the smallest amount during these uncertain times would be received with huge gratitude. And if you can't afford anything, then even just a share would be wonderful. 

You can see more of Taisia performing here...
As well as YouTube, you can follow Taisia on her instagram and  Facebook too. Please do give her a follow and share with any music loving friends or with anyone who you think may be interested.
Thanks so much!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Shop Update Preview and Quiet Moments of Lockdown

There will be a small shop update in the 'website' shop (*not Etsy) of 10 wooden items on Tuesday at 8pm. The shop is currently still only shipping to UK though due to the delays because of Covid19. Apologies for this. 
Below are photos of what's to be added.
'Borage and Bee~Hedgerow Hare'
 'Clover, Herb Robert and Bee ~ Green Hedgerow Hare'
Spring Swallow ~Hedgerow Hare
Spring Meadow Hawthorn ~ Hedgerow Hare
Hawthorn and Bee ~ Hedgerow Hare 
Talisman 1 
Talisman 2
Talisman 3
Talisman 4
Talisman 5
I made a little film of some moments from Lockdown. I hope you enjoy.
If you like it, give it a thumbs up on Youtube and subscribe to my channel. I enjoy making films, but they do take me quite a long time. Hopefully I will get faster with more practice? 


Silence the birds,
Let the hollyhocks bow their heads,
And the daisies close. 
The scented breeze still and the sun hide behind a cloud.
For our little prince has gone.
Shadow, companion, lap sitter, king of purrs, special friend, and dearest one.
You were quite simply, perfect.
Until we meet again beautiful boy. 
Play to your hearts content amid the starlight gardens.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Every Tree has a Tale to Tell

Standing beneath a large tree I am always in awe. Not just from the magnificence of sheer size and beauty, but often of the age. I like to look at the size of the tree trunk and try to guess when it may have taken root. What style of dress were people wearing when the sapling began to reach for the light? Who sat on the throne or ruled the kingdom? Whose feet trod nearby? And as it grew and grew and became a young tree, who sat and rested beneath it, weary from travelling, injured from battle, or could there be buried near its roots a precious trinket carefully wrapped in calico or leather, or a pot of coins? I wonder if someone climbed it to hide from danger, many years ago, or to laugh and play? What plans or dreams were thought of beneath its boughs?
Every tree has a story to tell, from the storms it has weathered, birds that have sang out from its high canopy, all the new life that has been raised in the nests among the branches, and tiny creatures that live in its crevices or nibble on its leaves. If only trees could talk our language and tell us their stories and the things they have seen. What a tale that would be.
Last Autumn when the ripe berries decorated the fading hedgerows we travelled to Wraysbury near Windsor to visit one of the most ancient trees in England. The Ankerwyke yew.
It stands on ancient water meadows of the river Thames close to the ruins of a benedictine 12th century priory and is believed to be up to 2,500 years old. This old tree is surrounded in history. Popular belief tells of King Henry VIII courting Anne Boleyn beneath it and some say that he proposed to her in the shadows of it. Just over the river Thames close by, is Runnymede where the Magna Carta was signed and sealed. There are those that argue that the signing took place over the other side of the river, perhaps beneath, or in sight of the Ankerwyke yew. A thousand year or more old tree would have been large and significant enough for King John to choose such a place in 1215 I like to believe?

AT Runnymede, at Runnymede
What say the reeds at Runnymede?
The lissom reeds that give and take,
That bend so far, but never break,
They keep the sleepy Thames awake
With tales of John at Runnymede.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede:--
"You mustn't sell, delay, deny,
A freeman's right or liberty.
It makes the stubborn Englishry,
We saw 'em roused at Runnymede!

"When through our ranks the Barons came,
With little thought of praise or blame,
But resolute to play the game,
They lumbered up to Runnymede;
And there they launched in solid time 
The first attack on Right Divine--
The curt, uncompromising 'Sign!'
That settled John at Runnymede.

"At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Your rights were won at Runnymede!
No freeman shall be fined or bound,
Or dispossessed of freehold ground,
Except by lawful judgment found 
And passed upon him by his peers.
Forget not, after all these years,
The Charter Signed at Runnymede."

And still when Mob or Monarch lays
Too rude a hand on English ways,
The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
Across the reeds at Runnymede.
And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
And crowds and priests and suchlike things,
Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
Their warning down from Runnymede!
The Reeds of Runneymede ~ By Rudyard Kipling

Among the broken hollows  an offering sat. Left by a stranger, a silver ring. 
All the while we were there, a robin perched nearby. But seemed a little elusive whenever my camera tried to capture him. 
After visiting, ideas sat in my sketchbook for a while.
Then during the lockdown in April I began to paint.
Until complete...
'Tell me Tales of Magic and Old Kings'

Before we left, I took a couple of old snippets of branch that lie scattered beneath and whittled two little keepsakes back at home, to remember our visit.
It's well worth a visit and is often overlooked when visitors visit Runnymede. But this was first on the list for us. I would rather feel the history of a place through something that was living in the time, than look at all the more modern commemoration statues. Although they are definitely worth a visit too and a cup of tea and slice of cake at the National Trust Magna Carta tea rooms. :)  
If you are interested in buying a print of this new painting, then it's available in the Web shop *here*
The shop has reopened now for physical items, but I shall only be posting out once a week to keep trips to the post office to a bare minimum.  Currently it's only for UK only customers, as international postage seems to be experiencing quite a few delays which I don't want to be dealing with at the moment. Hopefully this will change soon? As soon as it does I will add international again. Downloads are still available to all.