Friday, April 20, 2018

Forgetmenots And Daisies. Primroses And Dreams of Imaginary Sea Creatures

What a difference since my last post. Spring is well and truly here now in all her sweet perfumed glory. My old friends the forgetmenots have returned and the gentle daisies  are saying hello upon the lawn with the heavenly primroses.
Such a perfect colour the blue of a forgetmenot don't you think? 
The lawn is coming on nicely not being a lawn. Now our children have grown up we don't need the space for ball games and driving little pedal cars or bikes around, so there is really no need for such a large area.  Each year we have been letting nature paint her masterpiece a little more instead. This year will be the same and we will cut it back accordingly to whats coming up. We have some shorter areas up near the house where we put chairs and such, but the rest of the space the bees and butterflies and all other insects need it more than we do, so I just can't justify a blank green cut space for no purpose. Wasted in my opinion when you can have a much prettier beneficial space such as this. I will share the lawn progress at later stages so you can see what comes up and keep a list this year of everything that grows. I haven't planted anything except, fritillaries years ago and some crocus. Whatever else comes up just seeds itself or has been there hiding all along. Our lawn has always had a lot of moss and not much grass which I've always loved and is good as it seems to give the plants more of a chance and less competition having to compete with tough grass?
Easter came and went in a flash. There was feasting and family and then they were gone again. My chestnut and chocolate meringue sort of collapsed, but was quickly eaten by all. :) 
With the newness of Spring I bought myself a few fresh supplies.  
And after all the cold weather and the long winter I have found myself dreaming of the sea and sand and shells and the magical imaginary creatures that inhabit those salty turquoise waters...
Sea hare: An extremely rare and shy creature that if you are lucky enough to spot will  almost certainly be hiding in empty shells.
Sea Unicorn: You didn't really suppose that all the unicorns had disappeared did you? 
It was lots of fun doing these, so there maybe more creatures in the pipeline? I've made these into greeting cards. Pink! now you don't often see pink in my designs. Maybe it's my age? Maybe as I get older I will become one of those sweet old ladies that wear pink hand knitted cardigans? ;-) Although I don't use it much, I do actually like it and think it is gentle and pretty. 
At the same time I made a couple of my older sea themed designs into cards too. The Selkie and Narwhals designs.
And I also turned the recent notebook designs into cards too, and added another one to the designs. 
All of the cards are available in my shop now in various sets.

Until next time...
Enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Snow Tales of March

With March now almost over, I thought it time to look back on it's moments.
Like most of the country we got some snow! Which of course I was extremely pleased about, as we never really get much here in the west. The Beast from the East' they named it. My little ginger beast enjoyed it too, unlike his sister who I think much  prefers to be stretched out on a warm path in the sunshine. If you look closely at the picture you can just make her out underneath the holly tree at the top of the path. Her brother is getting ready to chase her in the bottom of the picture. The snow bringing out the kitten in him even though he is ten now.
It was important during this cold spell to make sure that the birds had plenty of food, so they were given extra top ups several times a day. I was so happy to see not just one, but five robins visiting. I like to think that my 'robin good fellow' when he was around, told the local robin community that in times of possible lack of food, this garden was the place to come. How I still miss him...
A snow day was of course a day of capturing winters magic before it said it's goodbyes.  The wind caused the snow to drift quite spectacularly in places. The garden path had turned into Narnia once more. 

I did feel sorry for the little newborn lambs out in the cold. At night we can here them bleating as they are in the field next to the garden. I'm sure they were tucked up with their Mothers though and kept warm. Although this one looks a little forlorn, they were actually skipping around as lambs do and didn't seem bothered by the cold white stuff carpeting the ground.
As the sun returned and the snow began to melt, it was as if winter really wanted to show off its talent and beauty and gifted me with these amazing icicles.
The ivy had turned into a chandelier. So beautiful.
Then I heard the sun tell winter it really was time to bid it's farewell...
The little ice hare in the garden was hoping to gaze at the moon just once in a starlit sky. But, it was not to be, alas the earth called him too soon. He was needed deep down below. Softly he melted and each drop of him replenished the new life that was waiting for Spring.
New in the shop.
March has brought some new notebook sets to the shop.  'Little notebooks for those who believe in magic' 
These are a set of two. 'Believe' and 'Be Wise'
And with Spring upon us I wanted to turn some of my spring paintings into notebooks too, so this pack is a set of three. 'Little notebooks for nature lovers'  'For hare lovers', 'for love & magic' and 'for nature notes' 
All are A6 pocket size again, with 36 pages and recycled 300gsm paper printed covers.
With Easter weekend just around the corner, I hope to get out and about and there is a painting on my desk to finish too. Hopefully the sun will shine as bright as the primroses.
Happy Spring! x

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

First Bee of Spring, Hares, and a Birthday

Now that the seasons are changing, primroses are in flower much earlier than they ever were. The climate is warmer which means bees and other insects wake up and are active earlier. I saw my first huge bumble bee this year around the beginning of February. Luckily there were lots of primrose, snowdrop and crocus around for this beautiful queen to feast upon. I'm sure she was a queen  because she was huge. To honour her wonderful majesty, I created a little painting.
This painting will be available in my next shop update. (tbc)
 We have been  enjoying the February sunlight and warmth through the glass.
Although the weather has turned chilly here today and we have even had some flakes of snow fall.
It was definitely a thermal trousers kind of day.
On my desk this month, I've been playing about designing some new shapes for the hares this Spring.
And with lots of tea to keep me going, creating some with the older regular shape too.
All of these hares will be leaping off to an exhibition at the Masham Gallery in Yorkshire  'Race The Wind' The exhibition begins on March 9th and continues until 23rd April.
Many of my customers are from the Yorkshire area, so do stop and take a look and say a little hello to my hares if you live nearby. Or maybe even go and buy one there. Don't forget it's Mothers Day on the 11th March so you may want to treat someone special or even yourself.  ;-)

Can you believe it!? This blog is 10 years old! Well officially on the 29th February, but as there isn't one this year, then I'm going to wish it a Happy Birthday now.
So a big thank you to anyone that visits, reads, comments etc... I hope you enjoy this little place of gentle things.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Another Journey Begins

My sleepy winter self is stirring now the days are getting lighter.  I hope you dear readers had a wonderful Christmas time and I wish you all a rather belated Happy New Year!
I will begin by sharing with you a painting that I did in the last quiet days of December.
                                                    'Another Journey begins'
It's a beginning and an ending. As 2017 drew to a close I thought about what the year had brought and wanted to do a little picture to honour my dear feathered friend who I lost that year. 

I've been quietly recharging on these January days. Wandering beneath the apple trees looking for the wind fallen oak moss and collecting kindling to lay the fire at night. Sitting beneath the golden tails of hazel catkins with a mug of hot spiced berry juice and delighting in the snowdrops return. This has been my 2018 so far.
 My sleepy hibernating self is reflected in this recent work.
'The Quiet Sleep Of Stars'
Although quiet I've been quite busy spending some time designing new cards. I re-designed the bee card that I previously used to sell as a hand made card edged with glitter. Now it comes all printed, including the glitter effect.    
The next card, was using the small image Moth Spell that I created last summer.
'Stay wild and enchanted'
And lastly my heart images have also been added to cards in the shop ready for Valentines day.
I finished a little donation piece for the 2018 Twitter art exhibition which this year takes place in Australia. This year all money raised will go to a riding for the disabled charity. in Canberra.

With the beginnings of a brand new year, my little white hare decided it was time for him to dust off his magical wooden staff and prepare himself for an adventure. The mountains are calling and he longs to see the silver lakes again and to head for the wild wood once more.

"Then something Tookish woke up inside of him and he wished to go and see the great mountains and hear the pine trees and the waterfalls and explore the caves and wear a sword instead of a walking stick."~ JRR Tolkien
Well this hare doesn't need sword, as his walking stick is rather special ;-)
The picture evolved from playing with ink. Once dry I could see a landscape. Forests and distant mountains, silvery lakes in the soft swirls and watery marks. And so the map was born and the continued travels in a Tolkien inspired landscape.
Where he is heading? Well that my dear readers we shall have to wait to find to out?

 'No half heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly'~JRRTolkien