Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An enjoyable time

Feasting, singing, game playing, walking, reading, painting a ceiling and cinema going, are some of the things I have been enjoying this Christmas week.
We've had a lovely time. But time flies of course, when you are having so much fun, and here we are a whole week later. Jack Frost has been back to visit and old Father time with the the New Year is tapping impatiently at the door.
I've always felt a tinge of sadness saying goodbye to the old year. Knowing that the days have passed and gone, and moments cannot be relived. Thankfully this feeling doesn't last for long. For when the door is opened for the New year to come in, its replaced by wonderings, hopes, expectation and plans.

Whatever your hopes are for 2009,I wish you peace, happiness, love, light and laughter, good health, and many many magical moments!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas !

Well the sun has set on this magical night.
We have decorated a ginger bread house and baked mince pies. The Glastonbury candle has been lit and now its time to relax, roast some chestnuts and watch Scrooge.
I'd like to wish everyone that stops by here a very very Happy Christmas!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Busy with birthdays!

December is always a busy time here, not just Christmas , but we have 5 family members birthdays too!! My smallest hobbits was today, the last one on the list....

The grand age of 11
Where has the time gone?
We had a lovely day and went to the Egg Theatre in Bath to see the Nutcracker.
For any one that wants to see Hattie Naylors adaption of the real darker tale of the Nutcracker it is WONDERFUL! Not overly sweet like the ballet, it tells the tale of what happened before, how the Nutcracker became a Nutcracker as well as the normal land of sweets and sugar. We loved it!
Bath is a convienient 12 minutes on the train, so we were back in good time to decorate the cake that was baked in the early hours last night.
Tonight I think it is early to bed for me!

Monday, December 22, 2008

On the hunt for a yule log

Its the wee small hours of Monday morning, and we have just got back from christmas drinks at a friends house, which was very enjoyable. Thankyou L&P x
However I am wide awake and not at all ready for sleep, so thought I'd show what we did earlier.
I've never had a yule log before, so after reading about them decided it was about time that we did!
Off we went to hunt....

These logs,probably just slightly too big for what we had in mind !

Apparently the traditional yule log was almost this large and had to be dragged home. Fire places were much bigger years ago. And, it did have to burn for twelve days and nights.
We found a small log just right for our own fireplace. Then, brought it home and decorated it with holly, ivy, gold ribbon and a pine cone. Next we sprinkled it with flour and a little tipple of spirit.


Happy Winter solstice !

Saturday, December 20, 2008

All is looking cosy

I was going to wait to winter solstice on Sunday to traditionally deck the house with a smidgen of greenery. But with uneasy imaginings of me lying on the sofa, having picked up one of the latest bugs or colds that are doing the rounds, I decided it might be best to get on and do things while I felt fine and had the time. So, I have brought in holly and Ivy, bay and mistletoe. Unfortunately the mistletoe is not from my garden. I've been trying to grow it for a number of years without success. I love it! Anyone have any tips. I normally try to grow it on our two apple trees or the hawthorn?

School end of term today. My two hobbits both finished early so we decided to celebrate the beginning of the holidays, by sitting cosy by the twinkling light of our tree and watch 'The Lion the witch and the wardrobe.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

And the winner is......

Is it just me, or has this weekend seemed to have blown by in a fleeting moment?...

After coming back from the Christingle service at church this evening, it was time to draw the name from the Father Christmas hat, for my first blog giveaway.
My son did the honours, and this is the name that he picked out...

Congratulations Annette!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A cause for celebration

This week I'm celebrating....

On Tuesday my youngest hobbit found out that she had passed her grade 2 violin exam! Hurrah!!

Yesterday, it was my Birthday! I had a lovely day and was very spoilt! ;)

And today will be my 50th blog post. Another cause for celebration I think!
So........... it must be time for my first blog giveaway!...

Just leave me a comment, then the first name picked out of the Father Christmas hat on Sunday, will receive this Angel print.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Enjoying my slippers

Jack Frost is having so much fun and being a little crafty and naughty too.
This morning as I walked my youngest hobbit down to school I had to take the teeniest of steps so as not to slip and fall.The paths had been transformed into invisible ice glass. We must have looked somewhat strange, me shuffling along and my daughter trying to attempt pirouettes.
Ideas and thoughts are all tangled with ribbon and bows at the moment.
Christmas draws near and I still have presents to buy. I have tried to keep a distance from all the madness that takes over and have been finding time to stand and stare and to tread placidly and have been enjoying simple things that December has to offer.

Sweet woodsmoke,fairylights,our little bird decorations that we collect,tiny toadstools,bookshop browsing, scented candles,frosty mornings, clear starlit skies,owls hooting,cats finding the warmest spots, and my toastie new warm slippers!

And tonight we will enjoy the school Christmas play.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This Morning

Frosted grass underfoot made that noise I love so much this morning. The crisp crunching of ice on leaves. I took my camera along with last nights scraps of tea, snippets for chickens.....and cockerels.

Bluest clear skies, tiny glitter sparkles, fairy diamonds in the sunlight.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The first door is opened

As December said hello with an icy breath this morning, many children and adults would have been opening the first tiny door on their advent calendars as my son and daughter did.

As a child I found these little calendars a magical part of the run up to Christmas. I especially loved them if they had glitter on and if each little door was thoughtfully positioned in places that would really open, such as a window, door, basket lid or box.
My parents always kept each years calendars so when the box of decorations was carefully lifted down from the attic, my two sisters and I loved to ponder over the old ones reopening them and enjoying seeing the pictures again.
I have carried this tradition on keeping all of my children's calendars.

Each year it seems to get even more difficult to find traditional picture Advent Calendars. The high street shops are swamped with the chocolate variety usually bearing a picture that has no significance to Christmas at all. I feel it is a little sad that children are not satisfied with the simplicity of a picture and have to have a chocolate instead. I am not the cruel mother one might hear of in fairy tales denying my children a chocolate one. In fact a couple of times we have had them, but on both occasions, they admitted that they had missed the little pictures.

Many many moons back, I had the opportunity of illustrating two advent calendars.
I thought I would share them with you:

The one below was published large, but also made into a greeting card calendar. This one is my 'special'copy.My sister found it on sale in Harrods!

What did you open this morning, Chocolate or picture? :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Its finished!....I think?

I am going to say the painting is finished.
I have fiddled around with it today, adding things then removing them because they were not quite right. Its strange how all of a sudden you reach a final point. I shall put the picture away for a while, then, I might add something later? Probably not though, as I think I have achieved the feeling in the picture that I wanted.

Changing the subject, look what treasure I found on the shelf of a charity shop the other day!

A candle with a leaf from the 'Glastonbury thorn' just waiting for me to buy it, only £1.25
I shall light this on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wishing for Dragons, Golden Geese and white bees

Down in the village there was talk of a north wind bringing snow this week.
A tingle of excitement shivered my bones as I stood in the post office, and heard this. I love frosty cold weather and especially snow. Each day I have been closely watching the skies with a beady eye for any hint of white bees swarming.

There have been some beautiful moments of light to capture.

The bird painting has been a little neglected this week. Time had to be given to other things.
There is still lots to do to pull it all together. But its getting there, snails pace.

In between odds and ends and snippets of time, I scratched and scribbled in my sketch book, with an idea I had for Illustration Friday 'Pretend'.
I didn't manage to get it done in time to participate this week , but thought I'd show it anyhow.

Dragons and Golden geese really do exist. Who said anything about pretending!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A little bit more progress

What a dark,damp,drizzle of a day. Gentle rain falls so fine it could almost be mistaken for sea mist. As the south coast is about seventy miles away sadly it isn't.
Its rain, and its the type that makes my hair go excessively curly.
The birds in the garden seem to be enjoying it as they are all singing a merrie olde tune this grey morning.

My birds are coming along slowly....

Lots more still to do on all areas!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Work in Process

More birds, but this time they will be two dimensional.
It feels good to be painting a picture on canvas again. This one was a sketch I did a couple of months back, and has been sitting patiently waiting to be turned into colour.Could it be symbolizing myself, surrounded by birds? Canvas is quite new to me, as I have always worked on watercolour paper. I feel it forces me to work bigger and doesn't let me get obsessive with tiny details, which I sometimes do.

Lots more work to do yet....

and........................ November Magic.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Good Morning Mr Magpie

Are you superstitious?.....

Do you 'touch wood' for reassurance, just to be on the safe side? (sometimes)
Do you make sure 'not to place your newly bought shoes on a table'? ( my Mum stuck by this one)
Do you cover mirrors in a thunderstorm?( my Nan used to)
Do you let the other person come down the stairs first before you go up, so that you don't' 'cross' on the stairs? ( my children don't)
Do you open the front and back doors on December 31st, to let the new year in and the old one out?( we always do)

And.... if you see a magpie, do you tip your hat and greet him with:

"Good morning Mr Magpie!"

I consider myself to have a few magpie tendencies. No, I am not a thief, but have a bit of a liking for silvery sparkly things. Not the expensive diamond ring sparkly things, thats not me. Items such as craft glitter, a shell with a silvery sheen, the odd christmas decoration, my old crystals, glittering starlight, fairylights, icicles and hoar frost covered cobwebs.

I am fascinated with the tale of magpies being attracted to shiny things and would love to peep into a nest to see how much of the tale is true?

As you can see, I've been busy with another hanger, my own Mr Magpie.
He is complete with his own sparkly treasures and is roosting over at my Etsy shop.
I do hope he doesn't steal anything whilst he's there?
And now I MUST get back to doing some painting ( the paper and canvas kind)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Inspired by the sea

Inspired by the sea, here is my latest hanger offering .....

This magical whale is available to buy now over in my Etsy shop!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blowing The Cobwebs Away

A few days spent in rainy Penzance staying with my sister, helped to blow away some of the Autumn cobwebs in my mind.
And of course, lots of fun was had with cousins!

Now back home and its Halloween.
Few braved our long dark garden path to the sweet treats that were waiting.