Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Painting Toadstools And Jack O Lanterns

October offerings.  
I've decorated my wind fall birds nest with colour, to brighten up the fading days.
On the previous blog post, I had an urge to paint toadstools. I've seen quite a few out and about and some in the garden but sadly not any fly agaric which I was hoping to spot. 
So instead I painted some...
It's good to step away from whatever you are doing sometimes, just to be indulgent and fill the creative urge. I added a robin for a finishing touch, just because... ;)
Sunday's walk lead me to this magical Briony plant twining among the hedgerows. There were some fallen berries, so I popped a couple in my pocket and planted them in a pot when I got home. This would look so beautiful in the garden and would hopefully spread in the wild hedgerows nearby too. Fingers crossed they germinate? Does anyone know if they are easy to grow? 
This evening the little pumpkin tea light holder was lit. It's the first year I think that I haven't got around to doing a real one. I was going to today, but decided to use the time on painting instead.
As a child, pumpkins were never as popular like they are now.
Instead we made Jack o lanterns out of ‘mangel wurzels’ These if you don’t know, are sort of like a turnip or swede. A couple of nights before Halloween us naughty children from our estate would go to the local farmers field and pull our lantern out of the ground. Running home with them in the dark, like a scene from Harry Potter, they looked like stolen mandrakes covered in mud. Once home we would leave them by the back door until Halloween, then we scooped them out, carved a face added a candle inside and threaded string to the lid to carry around. They normally lasted until Bonfire night.
🎃Happy Halloween 🎃 Happy Samhain✨ May your pumpkins and jack o lanterns burn bright tonight! x 


  1. Loved the post - thanks for telling the story of the mangel wurzels, something quite new to me here in the US. The painting is lovely, and how I love the music playing on the blog. Magic abounds!
    Hope the briony germinates for you!

    1. It's all pumpkins here now Mary. You don't often see the mangel wurzels anymore, a shame really... Glad you like the music. The first track playing at the moment ( Northern pastures, is by my Son who's just finished his BMUS at University and is beginning on his journey as a composer :) I will let you know if the briony is successful. Have a great week x

  2. how beautiful atmospheric...i love visiting your blog. My partner is 8 years older than me and often tells me about the traditions they did down here in Devon. He also said he had a turnip lantern and was sent out in a bin bag with holes put in the sides for his arms~ thats the costume as they didnt have shops selling costumes in his little town~ I remember my dad putting coal on our face to decorate them and a bit of mums eye liner and dad got some white bin bags so we could look like ghosts me and my twin. Actually we didnt buy pumpkins when I was young~ It something I have done with my daughter though. I love the robin and the toadstools such magical art x

    1. Thank you Country Rabbit! It's lovely to hear the stories of Halloween past. I also remember children using bin bags with holes for arms where I lived too :)

  3. Lovely photos and painting. The robin is a great finishing touch. I like your pumpkin tea light holder. Thanks for sharing about mangel wurzels, sounds like a lot of fun :)


    1. Thank you :) I got the tea light holder years ago can't remember from where though? Its ceramic, I used to have a pair but sadly smashed one.

  4. I've always wanted to try carving a turnip. I saw a photo of watermelon jack-o-lanterns that, being all red and wet inside, looked very creepy.
    Always enjoy your posts, photos, art, and music, it's a pleasure to visit. thanks

    1. A watermelon. Wow that's a new one, I bet it did look rather creepy being so red in side.
      I think next year I will definitely do a lantern turnip or similar or maybe I can find a proper mangel wurzel somewhere to carve? So glad you enjoy your visits :) x


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