December 16, 2012

Into the woods for holly & ivy

Oh for a wrapped up warm, wintry wander in the forest.
A favourite treat of ours during these shortest of days.
We loose ourselves in this place, filled with natures magic
amongst the silent & majestic bones of these ancient trees.
 And as we step deeper amongst the branches
the trees twist & turn & take on most mysterious shapes
We wander of the beaten tracks and explore
 glimpses of vivid lichens we spy tucked away here & there.

Yet these are not the things we quietly hunt
We are collecting bright prickly holly & starry leaved ivy
to carry back through the falling dusk, to our wee cottage
for there we "deck the halls" and bring the outside in
to celebrate the  coming of Christmas.
like our ancestors before us.

* Long ago holly was often planted near homes to protect against lightening strikes.
Nowadays scientists have discovered that the spiny parts of the leaf do indeed
conduct the lightening away from the holly bush & surrounding area!

December 04, 2012

Wintry crafts & traditions

Wintry days are upon us, with a chill in the air & frost sprinkled ground.
This is the time we worked towards through the days of Autumn, 
cutting fallen trees in the wood and humphing then into the log shed
I love these cosy nights in, snuggled by the fire, with a book & a cup of tea
I love trying different crafts and have been busy making
candles to burn on those darkest of nights
 and driftwood Christmas trees to decorate with stars.

 Also newly in stock my card " While angels sing", in my shop here
along with my other Christmas card designs too.
My Blessing tree prints are now available in poster/A3+ size prints, 
and folk have been buying them as Christmas presents, yay.
If you are in Dumfries you can now find my work at the lovely
 Art Room within "The old School " a veritable Aladdin's cave of goodies.

 I also just happen to love family traditions
and on the 2nd weekend in December we have one tradition
that always brings the excitement of the beginning of the season for  us.
We all gather at the forestry Kirroughtree visitor centre Christmas tree day,
 where we pick our own trees, eat mince pies & drink hot chocolate.
 and afterwards we all troop back to Mom & Dads for homemade soup & chatter.

I do so love traditions, do you have a special Christmas tradition to share?
* * *
I have also set up a new tradition of my own over on my Facebook page
as i love making & crafting so very much, every Friday I now share a
 "Project for the weekend", different crafts & how to's that I come across
as well as lots of other news & happenings both mine & others.
Do hop over and take a peep here and like my page.

November 23, 2012

Train travel & Glastonbury carnival

I love long train journeys, flying past hedges & houses, fields & forests. 
no distractions, time to think, to sit and read or just watch the world go by. 
Glimpses of inspiration, this time around all shrouded in mist. 
Time spent travelling far away from my quiet country lanes 
down to the bustling south for precious time with my lass. 
Time for catching up, planning Christmas days & get togethers.
We even squeezed in a visit to Glastonbury annual Carnival
 After tea, cake & a wander around the lovely town (with a vow to return)
we waited with 100's of others lining the streets, not knowing what to expect!
What a treat was in store, what sights met our eyes, well worth the wait.
 The largest illuminated parade of its kind in the UK and Europe.
 Entries from local businesses & folk from all around the region,
A spectacular parade of huge illuminated floats & wagons
decked with mechanical moving parts, amazing sets & piping music as they went
 fantastic costumes, mysterious creatures & such enthusastic people on board
  It was bright & bold & noisy & not my usual cup of tea at all.
But I loved it, so much to see & take in & every entry had a different theme.
An awful lot of hours and hard work had gone into everything.
 Themes ranged from Sweeney Todd to the Polar Bear Queen!
But my most favourite of all was  the "Dickens Christmas!

Huge moving characters and wonderful choreography.
Such an amazing effort, very magical & moving too.  
I think over 100 entries in total that took over two hours to pass by.

I had to share my wee video althought the quality is rather poor
I do hope you get a feel of the size of the puppets & the atmosphere created.
Very worth the trip to Glastonbury to see!
(If you click on the images above you can have a closer peep)
ps: A big hello to all my new followers too x 

More images from the parade can be found here 

November 07, 2012

A treasury of winged wonders . . .

A treasury of winged wonders from makers on Etsy

I wish i had wings to fly
such fantastical journeys i would take,
to worlds far away
filled with wonder & magic.

click on each image below to follow the link to the creation

November 06, 2012

Family traditions, bonfire night

I do so love family traditions.
Like our Redden family bonfire night get together.
Every year we all gather together at one or another of our houses
 (as many as of us that can make it, for we are spread far & wide)
 Sharing the warmth of the crackling bonfire & sparkling fireworks
Eating the homemade goodies that everyone brings to munch.
Catching up chatter and laughter and swapping the stories of our days.
There is something very special about the coming together
at this end of the darkening year, sharing warmth & food.

This year we even had an extra visitor,
Amy noticed the fire monster, see top left!

October 04, 2012

A magical silver hare . . .

If you have been readers of my blog for a wee while
you may recall how much of a fan I am of the book "Masquerade"
and the sumptuous golden hare created by artist Kit William
(you can read all about the book & artist on the original post here
 Well, can you possibly imagine my delight & amazement
when I discovered this birthday present (below) awaiting me
from my lovely eldest lass Hannah and her partner Daniel.
My very own stunning silver version of that magical hare,
so beautiful, such attention to detail, even the tiny bells ring!
 Oh, they know me so well, my precious family!
 Dear Dan had spent many long hours here & there
secretly hand crafting every piece of this treasure.
I really am quite simply lost for words!
Dan is hoping to do more silver smithing Im glad to say!

October 01, 2012

A faerie birthday party . . .

Last week I had an extra special, most magical treat
for not only was it my birthday but unbeknown to me
my amazing family had secretly been planning a surprise.
The most perfect woodland faerie party, oh they know me so well!
 When I arrived home so unsuspecting I found a troop of
fabulous faeries with delicate wings & intricate makeup,
several long eared wizardy folk and a little cheeky elf.
 Marquees had appeared in our garden & garlands of twinkly lights,
  pretty paper butterflies & paper streamers hung with tiny stars
old gnarly logs lit with candles & dotted with sea shells galore, 
 Ivy was twined everywhere even around the throne they made for me
and I was given a faerie crown, a wand & my own butterfly wings!
& 2 cakes! A chocolate one with 50 star & faerie candles and
 a sponge one with fae folk & woodland things painted all around.

As evening fell on this perfect & sunshiny blue sky day,
by lantern, candle & moonlight we had a delicious feast & barbeque
I was surprised and bought to tears again and again
as my dearest friends & family kept arriving to share the evening.
And then finally, as if by magic and specially ordered so my Sister says,
a huge most incredible meteor sparkled right over head.
A magical & perfect day planned to mark my big 50th birthday!
( I number i was so pleased to celebrate as life just keeps getting lovelier )
I just had to share as I'm so amazed at all the hard work and imagination
my precious family put into making my day one I will never forget.

September 11, 2012

Autumn loveliness & an artists palette

I do love Autumn, the colours most of all & it is a stirring
It was this delicious season i was born into many moons ago
and maybe why it is always my most favourite time of the year.
The time i feel most at home, the season that sings to my soul.
Nestling into the days, i reminisce over summers cherished moments
and look forward to the richness of treasures in this new fall.
I have been working on this Autumn painting for ever and a day
trying to capture on paper the very essence of the emotions it stirs.
I wanted to share the feeling of the peace I find on quiet forest paths,
the pleasure of foraging for the ripest fruits amongst the brambles.
The joy of seeing mother natures rich palette tinting every leaf,
as the forest begins to take on fall hues of ochre, russett red and orange.
Colours to which I am called again & again when i dip my brushes
Now at last it is finished my "Autum's Bounty" painting
my  "Am Foghar" ~ Autumn in gaelic.
It is available as prints in my etsy & folksy shops
(Such a pet hate i have ~ trying to photograph my paintings, 
as i use gold ink & paint, they reflect, not easy to capture.)

Hidden in amongst this painting are 10 wee faerie folk to discover.
When we were small & out walking in the woods my Grandad always told us
to  " keep an eye out for wee folk", my hidden faeries are for Grandad x
The original is also for sale, though I might find it hard to part with this piece
for  it is filled with the very essence of so many things that I love.
 Autumn always brings back golden happy memories
of my childhood & that of my own children.
The shine on a brand new conker newly strung onto twine,
the smoky smell of dear Grandads garden bonfires,
the feel of crunchy leaves kicked up by tiny booted feet,
 the sound of wise old owls hooting in the darkening evenings.

Do you love Autumn to? What does it bring back for you?

More info on how to spot the early signs of Autumn from the BBC  here 

*        *        *

Autumn bowed to place a beautiful crown on the Queen of Morning,
and her velvet robes sway merrily in the chilly breeze.
~Terri Guillemets