Monday, February 29, 2016

Eight Years Old and Song to the Sun's return

Today this blog is eight years old! Or should I say two? It was created on this day, the 29th February,  which of course only comes around every four years.
Back in 2008 I began it as a sort of visual diary really, just to record my creativity, places I visited and other bits and pieces along the way. I have never really been any good at keeping a diary, but the ability to upload pictures appealed to me and the journey began. I named it Moonlight and Hares because they were just two things that I loved and included in my paintings regularly. Back then my two hobbits were children and now they are both young adults. Time is so very precious isn't it. Time has changed the way we interact online. Many blogs that I used to read no longer exist and Facebook and Instagram have replaced some. But there is something strange and therapeutic and satisfying about keeping a blog. It is still my preferred social media, even if I don't post that often.
To celebrate the eight years I thought it would be nice to do a giveaway.

I've recently completed this painting. 'Song to the Sun's return' inspired by my January trip to Lapland.  
 I wanted to do this painting a little differently so the shape and some of the symbols are inspired by S├ími shaman drums. I have painted the sun symbol with real shell gold and to try and get the same effect, hand highlighted the prints in my shop with gold paint. 

If you would like the chance of winning a copy of this print, just follow and comment below. I will choose one winner next week sometime and announce it the next time I put up a blog post. Only comments published on this blog will be counted, as this give-away is to celebrate the blogs Birthday.
Good luck and thank you for reading! :-)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Patterns in Ice

A frosted morning,  clear sky,  noisy rooks. I took the long way home from the post office across the fields. The river had burst it's banks earlier in the week and the fields had turned to lakes. From my window I had imagined I was in Avalon. Now the water had receded leaving shallow still pools.  The sun shone a sparkling path of light across to the other side. 
The surface of the pools were frozen into beautiful patterns. Etched windows to a transient watery world beneath.

 A labyrinth of tiny frozen pathways. Fused shards of water crystal, welded, woven between grass.
Lace, stitched of water glass.
So beautiful.
I imagined what might have happened before. 

'The temperature dropped to below freezing so suddenly, just after the sun set. In the darkness, hidden in shadows, with only Orion for her lamp. The Snow Queen reached into her frozen pocket and retrieved a silver needle. When I was warm and deep in sleep and dreaming, she stitched.  By the distant bark of fox she thread the most beautiful  blanket to cover the Earth. And when the sun rose and the Robin began his song, it sparkled just as precious as any of Earths jewels. A gift to a new day'

Every day

I see or hear
that more or less
kills me
with delight, 
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen, 
to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over
in joy, 
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional, 
the fearful, the dreadful, 
the very extravagant - 
but of the ordinary, 
the common, the very drab, 
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar, 
I say to myself, 
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light
of the world, 
the ocean's shine, 
the prayers that are made
out of grass.

Mindful ~ Mary Oliver

Friday, February 5, 2016

January you disappeared so soon

So January has gone for another year...
We've said goodbye to early morning tiny frosted fingers on stems and branches. Not that we had many this year at all, with it being so mild.  The month whizzed by and for me (after my wonderful adventure) has been filled with restocking my shop with prints and cards. Re-ordering bits and pieces, doing my tax return, having a sort out, tidying up, with quite a few trips to the charity shop to drop unwanted items off and hibernating  somewhat.
The garden is green and snowdrops are blooming. Even the bluebell leaves are quite advanced and some primroses are in flower. This is good news for any bees that are awake of course. I did see a bee on a snowdrop the other day...
On Sunday I participated in the 'Big Garden Bird Watch' You've probably heard of it. Each year it is run by the RSPB over a weekend and people sit for an hour and record the bird sightings then add them to the database. It's a great help to the RSPB for finding out how our bird numbers are doing and of course is a pleasurable hour spent just sitting quietly watching these beautiful creatures.
My recordings were as follows:
x 2 Robin x 3 Blackbird x 2 Collared Dove x 2 Dunnock x 3 Blue tit x 2 Coal tit x2 Jackdaw x 2 Wood pigeon x 3 Great tit x 1 Long tailed tit x 2 Chaffinch x 1 Magpie x 1 Songthrush.

This picture below was taken on another day. It seems I have a new friend that has figured out that Robin was getting special treatment on the tree stump. I decided to give the mistletoe berries to Mr or Mrs Song thrush  in the hope that Mistletoe berry + Song thrush = bird poo + berry seed = Mistletoe  
Not sure it will work, but all the berries were eaten...
Robin still comes to my hand occasionally but prefers the tree stump most often these days.
Like last year, he has begun to stay further away as he has paired up ready for Spring. Here they are together. 
Mr Blackbird is never far away. 
The kitchen is scented with hyacinth and is a great reminder that Spring is on the way. I'm always so glad that I took the time to plant these back in Autumn, when they finally come into flower.
Some of the new postcards, now in my Etsy shop...
I also managed to finally finish this painting that I began before Christmas, after my visit to Wistmans wood. I have named it  'Journey through Wistmans'  
It will be available as a print, as soon as I get a good scan of it, the next time I go into town. 
I hope your January was a good one?