Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Merry Christmas

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This year I'm not sure I will be hearing the bells on Christmas day as we traditionally always do?  Living in a small village, our traditions in these uncertain times will probably not happen this year.  The Mummers play in the pub on Christmas eve will not take place, the church will be dark and silent for midnight mass. This time last year, who knew we would be where we are now and that the year would be so different to other years... No one ever knows the future and time carries on with its ups and downs, happiness and tragedies, laughter and tears.  For me there have been beautiful, scary and sad times but I am grateful that my family and I are here as we move into 2021.

Creatively, (like many) I have struggled to produce a lot. In situations like these you stop, take stock and assess what is most important in life. New things have been born. Digital downloads (which seem quite popular) and a Youtube channel. Nothing stays the same and everything changes and evolves. 
As I mentioned in a previous post. I will be wrapping this blog up at the end of this year.  I do plan another but I may take a break? It's been 12 years since I began here and there have been various glitches on the site for a while now. I changed the html a long time ago and have forgotten what I changed? Now sites need to be able to cope with phones and tablets adapting to certain sizes, so a new one makes sense. But as soon as I have another one up and running, I will let you know here and share the link. 
In the mean time, I send out a big thank you to all that have stopped by here over the years. For your comments, likes, love, encouragement, shares and constant support of my shop and work. 
I wish you the happiest festive time, filled with love, hope and optimism   
and a peaceful, healthy Christmas and new year.
 I will leave with you my latest video...  Please come and join me on You tube and subscribe if you haven't already! 
Merry Christmas dear folks!
See you in 2021! 
Karen x


Monday, November 30, 2020

Stars for an Old Friend

The eve of December and these beautiful berries on the old tree have pretty much disappeared now. 
All of a sudden when the North wind sends whispers of a frost the birds descend. Blackbird, thrush, pigeon and this year redwing. Maybe that's a sign of a colder winter ahead? I tried to capture them on camera but each time I got near they flew away. They are not as tame as the birds in the garden.  
As usual, we picked our bunch before they all disappeared. The sprigs wait patiently in a bucket of water ready for festive decorating. Unless of course Mr Blackbird discovers where the secret stash is. Having a pane of glass missing in the green house, this could be a real possibility and in fact has happened before. ;-) 
It's been a strange year indeed. I still can't believe that we are heading into December already. I don't have any inspiring pictures to share with you as I haven't been anywhere and have been so busy keeping up with orders.  I don't think a studio mess, piles of boxes, receipts and overflowing waste paper bins would have quite the same kind of vibe, so instead will show you the latest painting. 
It's called 'Stars for an Old Friend' and is painted in acrylics on paper.  I filmed the creation of it in time-lapse and made another film. So if you are interested in watching, click here or see below. It's available in both shops as a print. 
'Stars for an Old Friend'
Don't forget to get your advent calendars out and up ready for tomorrow.
See you in December! 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Mudlarkers Moon and a Good Pumpkin Harvest

With Winter not far off now I thought I'd share two new pieces created.
 The first one is the image below 'The Mudlarkers Moon' 
Some nights when the moon is bright and full and I lay awake unable to sleep, I wish that I was out wandering the land, rivers and streams with the fox. Listening and searching for all the lost treasures of long ago. For their voices are much louder in the quiet of the night.  
The second piece is named "Called by Song'  This image has been in my head for quite a while and after a moment encounter a few weeks back, when I spotted a deer casually walking across the garden I felt the universe was telling me it was probably time to paint it. I like to think that my deer was called by the song of the friendly robins and blackbirds in the garden, but in reality I think it was more after an apple feast with the amount of fallen apples that we have left for the wildlife. 
Both new designs are available as cards and prints in the web shop  and Etsy. This year I have gone with more single cards again. Packs weren't that popular last year and I thought especially in the current climate that many folk prefer to buy just a single card? You can watch a little of this painting being created in a film, if you pop across to my Youtube channel. There is also a bit of cider making in it too. 
I'm enjoying doing the videos, although I do find it quite time consuming. Hopefully I can only improve and get faster.  It's good to try something new though isn't it? 
Our pumpkins grew really well this year and we were very lucky to harvest a good crop.  
Lots of pumpkin soup has already been eaten.  And yesterday it was time to choose a victim to be carved. The chosen one!
I felt like doing something more elaborate, so chose a forest scene. Then quickly kind of regretted it once I began cutting it out, (hehe) but it ended up being quite relaxing. And relaxing is good of course and necessary! so all was fine. ;) 
Ta da!
Wishing you all a cosy Halloween! 
Don't forget to come and join me on Youtube! Here is the latest video! :) x

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Changes and New Things

 September has arrived and with it some new downloads in the shop. Gentle Journal sheet and a couple of writing paper pages too. S

The new calendar has also arrived. I'm not sure how time went so fast, but here we are already thinking about another year. Well we certainly won't be forgetting 2020 that's for sure. So if you are in a hurry to say goodbye to it, then maybe you may be interested in the calendar to plan for the new one? Both the web shop and Etsy are now open again for international orders. There are still delays and I can't say for sure how long items will take as it's still a changing situation of course worldwide. But I have offered a shipping upgrade at checkout if people want a faster service. 
I was quiet in August and didn't manage a blog post. We escaped to Cornwall for a week which was lovely to get away for a break. I'm not sure I will blog about that, but there may be a little video of some clips in the making which I will share when it's made.  This year has brought about some mixed feelings about what I'm doing and how I'm spending my time which I'm sure it has for many folk. I have loved doing this blog and enjoyed it, but the time is nearing I feel to bring this one to a close at the end of the year. It's been over 10 years and a change is needed. This one is not working properly as the template was edited 9 years ago and it won't let me update to the new add ons that are available and the preview feature is now not working since Blogger updated.  So it definitely needs to update anyway. I may get another blog, but will probably have a bit of a break and maybe concentrate on my little youtube channel, filming snippets of nature and art? A different format brings new challenges, possibilities and excitement.
We shall see... 
Take care
Karen x

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hold Fast to Dreams

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken- winged bird
that cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
~Langston Hughes

It's so important for us all to hold tight to our dreams however large or small they maybe. 
Dreams seem even more precious in these fragile times. 
We need them. They nourish our soul and give us something to strive for, to believe in and keep us going on this winding, rocky path of life.
My son's fiancé had a dream to be a violinist from an early age. Here she is playing Eric Whitacre's magical seal lullaby below. After finally seeing them for the first time since the beginning of March, I really enjoyed watching them creating this film at the river the other day. :)
Like many others, they are both talented young people trying to follow their paths and break into the world of music.
In January Taisia was offered a scholarship (tuition fees) to the Royal College of Music in London, to study a Masters Degree in historical performance. With her dream almost in reach she began to save for the remaining fees that are needed to study. Because she is from Moldova which is not in the EU, a study visa is required. To obtain this you have to prove that you have a certain amount of money to show that you are able to support yourself, otherwise the Visa will not be given.  In normal circumstances busking, concert performances, sponsorship and part time jobs would have been enough but the pandemic has affected all in so many ways and the fund raising routes haven't happened. So, as a last resort, she has set up a 'Go Fund Me' page.
If you love music or would like to help a young person achieve their dreams, then please do watch the videos and consider making a donation. Even the smallest amount during these uncertain times would be received with huge gratitude. And if you can't afford anything, then even just a share would be wonderful. 

You can see more of Taisia performing here...
As well as YouTube, you can follow Taisia on her instagram and  Facebook too. Please do give her a follow and share with any music loving friends or with anyone who you think may be interested.
Thanks so much!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Shop Update Preview and Quiet Moments of Lockdown

There will be a small shop update in the 'website' shop (*not Etsy) of 10 wooden items on Tuesday at 8pm. The shop is currently still only shipping to UK though due to the delays because of Covid19. Apologies for this. 
Below are photos of what's to be added.
'Borage and Bee~Hedgerow Hare'
 'Clover, Herb Robert and Bee ~ Green Hedgerow Hare'
Spring Swallow ~Hedgerow Hare
Spring Meadow Hawthorn ~ Hedgerow Hare
Hawthorn and Bee ~ Hedgerow Hare 
Talisman 1 
Talisman 2
Talisman 3
Talisman 4
Talisman 5
I made a little film of some moments from Lockdown. I hope you enjoy.
If you like it, give it a thumbs up on Youtube and subscribe to my channel. I enjoy making films, but they do take me quite a long time. Hopefully I will get faster with more practice? 


Silence the birds,
Let the hollyhocks bow their heads,
And the daisies close. 
The scented breeze still and the sun hide behind a cloud.
For our little prince has gone.
Shadow, companion, lap sitter, king of purrs, special friend, and dearest one.
You were quite simply, perfect.
Until we meet again beautiful boy. 
Play to your hearts content amid the starlight gardens.