Monday, February 28, 2011

A Cathedral A Fox And A Birthday Giveaway

Out and about this past week. Over the border into the county of Hampshire, we paid a visit to Winchester the old capital of Wessex and England.
Our feet trod the same ground as Kings had done. The same streets and stone that rang with cries of the black death.
In the cathedral my footsteps echoed the ghosts of footsteps, almost a 1,000 years worth of them. Did I stand in the same spot and glance at the same piece of ornate carving as Queen Mary Tudor might have done when she married Prince Philip of Spain here back in 1554?

 A hushed but sleepy presence filled the cold silence.

I wonder about these sleeping Bishops and am curious of who they were. Did they enjoy strolling through meadows filled with wild flowers. What did they eat for breakfast? What colour were their eyes? I wonder about the  simple things. 

And I wonder will they be still here in another 1,000 years?

If I could be granted a super power it would probably be the gift of flight? However it would be a hard decision to make as oh how I would I love to be able to go back in time! Which would you choose?

In the garden outside the cathedral we found  a sleeping stone fox.

I'm not sure what his story is?
Winchester is a lovely place to browse around  if you get the opportunity. I hope to go back soon as I haven't seen everything that I'd like to yet.

My sleeping fox has it's own story this week as I've been busy making these pendants out of my odds and ends  and scraps of wood.
 Small prints have been securely glued then several layers of varnish applied. Threaded with hemp string and a bead.
I will be giving one of these away to celebrate my blogs 3rd birthday which happens to be about now. The 29th Feb to be precise, but we'll have to do with the 28th  because it isn't a leap year. ;)
So, if you would like to win one of these packages that contain a postcard and pendant...

 Just leave me a comment and I'll  pick a winner and announce it the next time I do a blog post.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As Above So Below

As I sit at my desk everyday darkness falls that little bit later.

Each day shows a new sign of Spring.
This last week and abit I've had my fingerless mitts on, and I've been spending time in the shed cutting out wooden bits and pieces. It's been mighty chilly too. I'm not sure why but these last few days I've felt colder than I did when we had the snow and ice back in December?
At night when the house is silent and all except me are asleep I immerse myself in water. Physically and mentally. (Yes, I confess to being a bath time reader.) I'm just reaching the last few chapters of Roger Deakin's wonderful book 'Waterlog' I love the way he writes and I always finish a chapter with a wholesome feeling or an appetite for simple food such as cherries and a jug of milk. The type of food Enid Blyton's characters used to take on picnics to secret islands. And of course a desire to be swimming in clear fish filled waters and catching a flash of irridescence of a dragon or damselfly. That will have to wait until summer and in the meantime I'll meander through the woods, in the other book that I have beneath my pillow.

Connection between ourselves and nature, is as the book I've been reading,  also the theme of my latest painting as much of my work is.

                                                                                        'As Above So below'

I have named it 'As Above, So Below'  This painting is about how we are all interconnected on the planet by  a  magic or lifespark that entwines us.
I called it this, as these words 'as above so below'came into my head as the painting took shape.  It was quite strange really as it almost felt like something was telling me to call it this?  The phrase seemed familiar to me and I had probably read it and locked it away in my store cupboard of a mind which I'm afraid I'm always losing the keys to. Anyway you well read folks probably know all about the origins of this phrase but I had to google it after it popped into my mind. And so I was quite taken aback when there it was saying the same as I was trying to portray  just a of glimpse in my picture..

"The significance of this phrase is that it is believed to hold the key to all mysteries. All systems of magic are claimed to function by this formula. "'That which is above is the same as that which is below'...Macrocosmos is the same as microcosmos. The universe is the same as God, God is the same as man, man is the same as the cell, the cell is the same as the atom, the atom is the same as...and so on, ad infinitum." 
You can read more here
 Be warned, you will lose yourself along corridors of dusty doorways  leading to a maze of ancient secrets and an emerald stone tablet that reveals the magical secrets of the universe. Wonderful!

Talking of doorways, I don't think I've shared this piece of work before? 

 It's a fair few years old now, but along with this one (which I know I showed you before)

 They will both be available to buy as prints in my Etsy shop  later and the new picture will follow shortly.

PS: Please forgive the different font sizes here and there. Blogger is behaving naughty. ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Very Sweet Things

Today I have probably made the most sweet sickly biscuits ever? ;)  It all began with glitter you see. Edible glitter that I had my eye on getting for a while now. A wonderful idea drifted around in my head. Sugary starlight heart and moon biscuits for Valentines day covered in constellations and the deepest indigo icing sounded wonderful.
So this morning with oven on I proceeded to begin.

All seemed to be running smoothly...

Until it was time to ice them.
Where was the icing sugar? Just a dusting remained in the bottom of the box. How silly of me, I had forgotton that yesterday afternoon my littlest also had the same idea and made biscuits covered in pink icing. So down to our village shop I walked on this beautiful Spring morning and bought the only box they had. Natural sugar that turned a golden colour rather than the icy white that I needed for my moons and stars!

Carrying on I mixed the colour. Plenty of blue colouring but the black that I thought we had left over from Halloween a couple of years ago had disappeared? So, no indigo but peacock blue it seemed. And the silver tiny balls? Oh, there weren't any of those left either.
Hmmm... As you can probably guess they didn't turn out 'quite' as I'd imagined.....

But I'm sure they will get eaten regardless?
Hope your Valentines day is sweet too.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pinch, Punch, Rabbits! And Some Hares

 'Pinch and a punch first day of the month!  
Do you ever say this to each other on the first of every month? We often do.
Apparently it originates from when people believed that witches existed. It was thought that salt would make a witch weak, so the pinch part is pinching of the salt. The punch part was to banish the witch. The witch would be weak from the salt, so the punch was to banish her.
How many times do we say things and not really know the fascinating story that is behind them?
Must go and research what the 'rabbits' mean now! ;)

I can scarcely believe it's February already. January seemed to whizz past in a blur. I've been busy with some wooden things.
With Valentine's coming up, I felt the desire to use some red.

How could I not make some 'love' inspired hangers.

And hearts...
Outside I can hear Spring in the birds song. Yesterday I glanced up from my work and saw the most beautiful green woodpecker swoop past the window. Birds are indeed looking busier out there. I must remember to get some of my hair out of my hairbrush and begin putting it on the hedge. It's a magical feeling to think that the hair would be used by birds for their nests.
In the garden the snowdrops are up and I was inspired to make a 'Snowdrop Hare'

In my little book 'The Language of flowers' it says Snowdrops symbolize 'Hope'


With the hope of the new year and Spring  fresh in my mind. Like many people I am hoping too that our goverment will change their minds on the decision to sell off our publicly owned woods and forests.

 On Wednesday ( tommorow)  there is going to be a vote in parliament regarding this. If you haven't already done so, please sign this petition and let them know that we want to keep the small amount of public forest and woodland we have left, public for future generations. You can sign here. And go to the 'Save Our Woods' Website here.

I will be listing the hangers in my Etsy shop today, so if you are interested in any of them, keep your eye on it. :)

Finally, I would just like to thank every body for all the kind, generous and encouraging comments that they leave here I really do appreciate them and read them all. I don't always get chance to answer, but am so grateful for all of them and that also goes to everyone that follows too. Thankyou!

See you soon!