Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where My Footsteps Have Been And A Little Giveaway.

Footsteps on ancient  land. Wiltshire my birth place and home county.

Land of magic, standing stones, Avebury, Stonehenge, Silbury hill, crop circles, chalk hill horses and Moonrakers. Where the landscape is strong with the smell of cut corn, hay and farms.

If you stop, be still and really listen, there are voices, memories and secrets blowing on the wind with the whispering sea of grass.

And when you look closely between the grass, there are jewels to be found.

And when you look above it there are the friendliest of faces.

Today I left my home land for a trip across the border into Gloucestershire, to another equally magical place.
My feet walked pathways that Romans, JRR Tolkien and Dr Who had trod. An enchanted forest.
Follow me and tread the path of Puzzlewood.

Have we have wandered straight into the pages of Middle Earth? All is quiet, the wind is gentle on the leaves but the trees creak. Could they be Ents and will they start moving their rooted feet?..                                          
 Everything is clothed in a cloak of moss. Rocks, cold stone, frozen in time.
  A Greening place.
  Mysterious, magical, A fairy tale land.

The air is clear and the branches are decorated.

 A labyrinth of secret passageways. I was careful not to stray from the path.

 Do the ferns and spiders webs hide an entrance somewhere to an elven home? 

Is it this way?
Or across here?

 A storyland of pathways, I could have stayed all day. My photographs do not do this place justice. It is truly another world. You can read more about it here and I found two wonderful film clips on You Tube which capture the essence of the place if you are interested in seeing more.

Now it's time for a little celebration. Lately I've noticed that the numbers of followers have been steadily going up, so to show my appreciation, I think it's time for a little giveaway!
Not wanting to waste anything, recently I've begun using the small scraps of wood and turning them into necklace pendants. This one is forest inspired and will be the giveaway prize.

 All you have to do is be a follower and leave a comment. The lucky one picked out on Monday 2nd August will win the necklace.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sitting On A Doorstep Feeling Bunny Tails

This week I have been mostly painting wooden hangers to restock my Etsy shop. The week has flown by in a blur, it really is frightening how the time seems to pass so quickly. I really do need a real time turner, or a tardis or something?
Here are a few pictures of hangers that are already or if not, will be listed in the next few days...

I'm waiting for some new varnish, then I will have more to list including some original paintings, so watch this space. :)
It's been tree whispering weather. Blowy, breezy with gentle tinkle of windchime and bell. I'm sure many an  angel has recieved wings these past few days.

Some things I've enjoyed this week...

Working late and watching the moths tap tapping at my window. Their eyes shine copper in the light from my desk lamp.
Smelling  purple buddleia.
Eating raspberries straight off the bush.
Flower petals
I planted this hollyhock from seed a couple of years ago. This year is the first year it has flowered and I'm really pleased with the colour.
And remember a few months back when I planted bunny tails? Well here they are. Every time I sit on the door step with a cup of tea I have been enjoying feeling and fondling the bunny tails. Yes, I probably look rather strange doing this, but they are so soft, it is hard to resist. :-)
I'll definitely be growing them again next year.

I've also been enjoying music. I always do of course, but sometimes you find a special piece that you just have to keep playing again and again to satisfy your soul. This is that piece for me at the moment. I don't know who it is by and it's only short. It accompanies this beautiful film footage. I hope you enjoy it too. x

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Fairytale Tale of Snake And Toad

As a child like most children I read and re-read fairytales and loved them. As I grew a little older I accepted that in real life if Red Riding Hood's Grandma had been eaten by a wolf then it was very unlikely that the wood cutter would have rescued her still alive from the belly of the slain wolf.

 Illustration by Gustave Dore

The same goes for the seven little kid goats (except the clever one hidden in the grandfather clock that is ) saved, alive, bleating and replaced with stones in the stomach of another big bad wolf. I soon realised this too was beyond belief.
Illustrator unknown?

Recently however I had such an obscure encounter of my own it surely seems to have stepped off the very pages of a fairytale. Sadly there are no photographs as I didn't have my camera with me at the time. Oh how I wish I had....
It happened a few weeks ago on the day that our Mother hen had hatched her two eggs. She had to be moved to a safe pen with her newborn chicks. The pen was moved to a new position and it was as we brushed the old sawdust out that a rather long grass snake appeared. It headed straight across to the vegetable bed and quickly became entangled in the strawberry netting that we use as fencing to protect the plants  from scratching hens. I soon realised this strawberry netting is lethal to small creatures such as a snake.

I had never held a snake before, but did as I've watched on numerous occasions on television and  held it by the back of it's head whilst it lashed about frantically. Poor thing, the more it moved the more it became embedded in the net. My daughter quickly ran to get scissors and we carefully cut the net away from it's scales and thankfully managed to free it. It began to slither away slowly, then stopped and proceeded to regurgitate its lunch, a brown slime covered lump. Not a pretty sight....
The snake then slipped under cover to safety, beneath  the blackberry brambles and we had a closer inspection of the brown slime covered lump which we noticed now was moving slightly. Yes, moving! With the aid of a small watering can of water the slime was washed away and low and behold there sat a toad still alive! Once we cleaned him or her off it began to walk slowly. We picked it up and carried he or she in a flower pot to the other side of the land away from the grass snake and set it free.
This is a memory I will now keep with me forever. It was just so surreal...
And before you ask.... No, I didn't kiss the toad.
So who knows, maybe if the wolf had been a giant snake then Grandma and the six baby goats would have  survived after all?

I do apologise if I have given you the shivers with this story. My posts don't often contain talk of snakes,slime and Grandmas being eaten. For those of you that don't know, a grass snake is a totally harmless snake and a protected species in this country.And for those of you that use the lethal strawberry netting, please be sure to watch out for wildlife getting caught.

To calm things down now ;)  Here is something relaxing to finish with. A little birdsong in my garden.