Thursday, 27 November 2008

Bookwraps at Wolverhampton

I wanted to show you some of the beautiful work produced at the workshop in Wolverhampton last Saturday.
It was a super day with lots of laughter , the ideas fairly buzzed around and I felt privileged to be there .

I love how a simple idea can be picked up. . . . . grow . . . . and be passed around in so many different ways. . . . ..

I think we were all exhausted at the end of the day, in a good way.
I for one, was thrilled with the work that these very talented ladies produced.
I had taken more pictures but they were a bit fuzzy so my apologies for not being able to show you more.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Short winter days. . . .

I love these days, where the wheel turns more slowly, night comes earlier each day and a sense of quiet anticipation whispers in my ear.

Dark, wet days when I need to stay in my nest . . . . and rare, dry, bright days when I love to roam.

The river Avon flows nearby and the riverbanks are some of Rowans favourite playgrounds.

I like to get home before night draws in and sit with a cup of tea, by the fire watching the sky darken.

The Solstice preparations will begin soon, small gifts to make, baking and all manner of magic everywhere. . .

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Fairy Shoes Pattern

This post is an unashamed piece of personal advertising. . . . . . . ... I have been very fortunate to receive many enquiries about the pattern for my Fairy Shoes
So . . . . I decided to open an Etsy Shop where I can sell the pattern.
It has taken me all day, a headache and several minor nervous breakdowns to set it up, but I've done it!
Only trouble is I must have taken an extra stupid pill this morning, because I can't put the link advertisement for Etsy on my blog. . . .
Update..... thanks for your help Anna and Acornmoon, sorted at last!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Warrior Soup and Twelve Golden Birds

I'd like to thank the dear people who left such kind comments on my last post. I admit , I was a little concerned that I had revealed a little too much!

Today was bright and sunny and I had a day to myself at home. Bliss.
Trouble is I always have unrealistic expectations of what I can achieve in a day. . .

I made some soup, I just love the 'chopping vegetable meditation'. This was Minestrone with rice.
When my children were young and needing to be encouraged to eat vegetables, particularly my son,I would often make this soup.
I used to call it Warrior soup, telling them it was perfect food for young warriors, that it had everything needed for growing big strong muscles. Ho ho.
It's still called Warrior soup and they still love it.
After finishing various menial tasks I went for a walk with Rowan, through the orchards and along the river bank. We had the world to ourselves, apart from a small flock of Yellow Hammers and the odd Field Fare.

Back home I started to get my things together for a workshop I'm teaching in Wolverhampton , on Saturday. This always takes ages as I'm paranoid that I'll forget
something vital. Looking forward to this , they're a really nice group.
I then had a bit of time to do some work on my latest wall hanging. It's not finished yet and doesn't have a title?..?
Above, a detail of said hanging.
The colours are all paints made with these pigments from the Clearwell caves in the Forest of Dean. (To be honest, I did titivate the purple bits with a pot of twinkling h2 o)
You can buy these little pots of natural ochres when you visit the caves.

My inspiration for the hanging came from the lovely church of St. Peter at Rowlstone in Herefordshire.
It's such a pretty place , up a leafy lane from Pontrilas. We're almost in Wales here.
There is much to see, but in particular the candelabra.
There are two, one each side of the nave.
Twelve golden birds, six swans and six cocks with little fleur de lis in between.

These beauties were made by the local blacksmith in the fifteenth century and I think that they are my favourite amongst many treasures I have seen whilst loitering in churches. . . .
They still light the church even though a note in the porch says that the congregation has dwindled to nine people.

Now, before I go to bed, I must just make a start on the 24 little gifts to go in Phoebe's Advent Calendar. Or perhaps I'll do some knitting instead.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Playing Tag

I've been Tagged twice in the last few days, by acornmoon and by Deb at art4sol
Do have a look at these blogs, they are beautiful and interesting in different ways.

So after much thought, panic and deliberation, here are 7 unusual things about me -

  1. I have a good capacity for remembering completely useless information, but can't for the life of me remember the important stuff, like the security code at work or my phone number.
  2. I'm fascinated by Ley Lines, or Dragon Paths as they're sometimes called. I look out for signs that I might be on one wherever I go.
  3. When I was little, I would rather eat Marmite sandwiches than roast turkey, or anything else for that matter.
  4. I love the smell of new books, magazines and sketchbooks.
  5. I believe that there is a veil between this world and the 'otherworld', in places this veil is very thin. Glastonbury is one such place but they are everywhere if you look.That's where the magic is.
  6. I would like to cultivate my eccentricities to the point where I can go and live in a small cottage (It will be white) on the side of a hill in mid Wales. There will be geese in the field and I will live without wearing shoes or makeup.
  7. I smell things in colour.

Oh dear, that's bound to mean a few more people are convinced I'm potty. . . . ..

My last task is to tag 7 more blogs , here goes.-



notes from the rookery





I hope you enjoy looking at these fascinating places!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Pale green skin with brown spots.

Thought I'd better just say that the title of this post refers to a sick dragon, not me, although , there are those who would say 'And the difference is?'
Anyway, I asked Maud and she said it would be fine for us to have a peep in her book of Dragon Lore. . . . .

Maud also said to be sure to put the book back in it's hiding place when we've finished. . . .


Changing the subject completely, Today was grey, wet and well, Novembery.
My lovely Mum caught the bus over to see me. She lives in Malvern, about 25 miles from here. Now my Mum is nearly 80 years old but she doesn't know, or perhaps I should say, she doesn't act like it. She is hilarious and keeps us all well amused and entertained.
Wherever she goes she has adventures, mostly caused by her 'hearing problem' (never suggest that she might be a bit deaf, unless you can run fast ). She will admit to being in 'early middle age' but definitely not elderly or heaven forbid OLD.
Mum lives life to the full, walks miles, swims regularly , cooks like a dream and we all love her to pieces.
I just wanted to shout out loud 'I LOVE YOU MUM!'
I feel better now.
I drove mum home, late afternoon and took Rowan for a walk across the fields nearby.
Everything was grey and sodden, the rain was that fine misty drizzle that makes you cold inside and out , the fields were completely waterlogged, with little streams running down the hill.
Rowan loved it and so did I. She ran around with 'mad legs', charging up and down the streams splashing and skidding, finding imaginary mice in the grass and huge sticks in the hedges, joy!
All around the old oak trees were having a final flourish of colour before the next winds take their leaves and the rooks , about 30 of them were holding their parliament, noisily in the highest branches.I loved it all.
It was growing dark as I got back to Mum's, there she was in the doorway smiling at me. (well I did have wellies, waterproof trousers, old wax jacket and Mikes fishing hat on. . .)

So, if I was making a gratitude list, My lovely Mum would be right there, at the top.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Legend of the Mordiford Dragon

Mordiford church, Herefordshire.

Would you like a story?

It's a wet Sunday afternoon, the wind's blowing against the window pane and it's growing dark.

Come on, pull a chair up closer to the fire, I'll put another log on to keep us warm. . . . . .

Long ago and years since, there was a dragon lived, up there . . . . in Haugh woods, high above Mordiford and the river Wye.

Deep in the wood, where the bluebells bloom ,there, in a dark cave lived the fearsome beast.

The dragon would sleep for many years, but when he awoke . . . . the air would be filled with the terrible stench of Dragonbreath and the people would run and hide.

Hungry and thirsty, the dragon would come crashing down through the wood,

down Serpents Lane,

through the cider orchards, . . . to drink from the river and hunt for food, be that cattle or small people....

One day, the poor villagers decided to try to stop the dragon.

They enlisted the help of Maud, a fairy from the woods, who was the keeper of the Dragon Lore. Like her mother and her mother before her, she knew all there was to know about Dragons and how to enchant them.

The plan was this. . . .

Next time the dragon awoke , Maud would lead the other fairies in a dance to enchant him.

Then . . . under the influence of the fairies magic, they would lead him down through the woods

. .down Serpents Lane

. .through the cider orchards

. .to the river meadows.

There one of the young men from the village would hide in a cider barrel and shoot him, with an arrow through the heart.

Did the plan work?

I don't know, but no one in Mordiford has seen a dragon from that day to this . . . . however here, hidden within the covers of this book, are some magical dancing shoes and a book of Dragon Lore . . . . . . . just in case.

The pictures were taken 'on location' in herefordshire.
(Apologies for slightly 'tweeking' the story!)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Winter Nights

I've been working on a wall hanging, using some of the techniques in Angie Hughes' book (see last post).
I've called it 'Winter Nights' and there's a quote from a poem by John Haines.
Do you recognise the owl?
It's the little cutie that I found at St. Veeps' church in Cornwall.

As my mind does it's usual 'butterfly thing' and flits around, finding tenuous connections....
I looked back at my pictures of Cornwall and found these, all from the delightful church at Lanteglos by Fowey.

Above, the Mohun girls, in brass circa 1508.

Carved wonders on Oak bench ends .(15th. century)

If you could picture this little church, down a winding lane, near the sea . . . go back to the 15th. century . . . . and it's full of craftsmen, working and talking, laughing perhaps as they fashion these weird and wonderful things.

I wonder, what would they make of our world?