Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Quiet Time

Quiet days between Christmas and New year.

Card games for pennies,chocolates, burning pine cones on wood fires, sugared almonds,roast chestnuts, fondue, ginger wine and visiting Narnia.

Paper lanterns in inky skies and catching up


Lingering ice

Cinema, Sherlock Holmes,orange lichen,

Thoughts and ideas for the coming New year.

Heres hoping for a peaceful and happy one for us all.
And remember to look for that little bit of magic in each and every day.

 As Mr Dahl once said...

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sparkly Inside And Out

In the dining room, on top of the piano, there are little birds roosting in a branch. Visitors for Christmas.

  The mistletoe and holly are up and there is an essence of magic about.

Peter Pan is enchanted with sparkles.

 Everything is ready.
Outside snow flakes, hug the branches.
The scene is perfect.

All thats left to do, is wish all of you a Christmas filled with love...


and light

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stone Men And Winter Greenery

There is a chill in the air...
I have taken to wearing my hat and gloves.
At dusk here, the cottage windows glow, warm, welcoming with a twinkle of christmas. The skies have been clear and starry and the chimneys have smoky dragon tails of sweetest woodsmoke.

Shopping in Bath was icy and I felt as cold as the stone figures on Bath Abbey.

In all the rush of Christmas they looked so still and wise and peaceful  gazing down from up high.

I'm always amazed by the detail on Bath Abbey and always have to stop and look. I adore the wooden door and even that looked cold too..

At least I was able to warm up with a mulled wine and lunch. Unlike the poor stone men.

Its been busy here with not much time for making wooden creatures or painting pictures. I've been stocking up on new supplies. Paints, canvas envelopes and other necessary bits and pieces and I had a bit of a rearrange of my desk and printer.
The house has almost finished being decorated. Just the holly, ivy and mistletoe to bring in now.

This holly is off of one of our own dear trees that is covered in berries every year. I picked it several weeks ago and it is in the greenhouse in a bucket of water. If I hadn't of picked it when I did, then I wouldn't have had any for Christmas decorating as the blackbirds and thrushes  have stripped the tree bare now.
The Ivy. Well there is plenty of that in the garden to pick.

The mistletoe. Oh how I would  LOVE to have growing on my apple tree! This beautiful bunch however I bought from the farm shop yesterday when we bought our Christmas tree.

Each year I try to get some mistletoe growing on the branches, but it has yet to work? Our apple tree branches are bare at this time of year. Just lichen.

This green man is keeping an eye on things in the garden, maybe I should get him to weave some magic over my mistletoe berries ;)

Hope everyone elses festive decorating is going well!?

And, I hear we may be in for snow this week!? I hope so!

P.S: Sorry about this large area in between the last picture and the comment place. I've just switched over to the new version of blogger and can't seem to get it? If anyone can tell me why I have this big annoying gap, please do? In the meantime excuse the odd things that may appear here and there while I get used to it! x
(Thankyou CJ It worked! :-) )     

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Bear Part 3

My children used to watch this over and over when they were small.
Here's a little reminder of how beautiful this film is :)
Take some time out and watch it from the very beginning with a cup of hot chocolate, perfect for this cold icy weather we are having.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Winner Plucked From The Palm Of My Hand

Just a quick visit to announce the winner of the giveaway!

All names who commented were written on tiny sized pieces of paper and folded up. Then my daughter did the honours and chose one from my hand.
This is the name she chose.

  Congratulations Jeephpy! you are the winner of this pack of postcards

 Please let me know where to send them by emailing me. You can find my email by going to' my website' link on my blog and go to the contact section.

Thanks everyone for taking part we must have another one soon!  :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Arrival Of Winter And A Little Giveaway

After so so much rain...
And now the sky is clear.
A twilight blue with the brightest of  winter moon.

It has suddenly got ice cold.

Much too cold for some....

There are those who prefer to stay inside in the warm, and are happy to just watch  from the window.
But when the light is like this, me, well I just have to be outside. If only for a moment to steal some of the magic and keep it for myself and share it with you....

I haven't been out much at all lately, still being held prisoner by my cough and cold. But today, I  heard Decembers icy fingers tapping at the door, so I wrapped up, with hat, scarf and gloves. Just for  a short while and to capture these elegant creatures in a pretty shop window.

Winter has arrived.
I'm looking forward to the first sparkles of frost on cobwebs.
Silent snowflakes and iced white sugar mice.....

Snow and  ice were on my mind when I did this little painting....

It was done for the online magazine New Fairytales and you can read the current issue here . They are raising money for Derian House Childrens hospice so please go and take a look.

And now because its December, the month of my birthday and because I have cause to celebrate reaching and passing 100 sales in my Etsy shop and 200 followers here (Thank you all )  I think it is time for a blog giveaway! Just leave me a comment If you would like a chance of  this bundle of 5 postcards with envelopes featuring my painting an Angel In The Woods.

The only rule is, you must be a follower of this blog.
I will pick a winning name out, from all of the comments on Sunday.
Stay warm xx

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wonderings On Sleepless Nights

Its been a strange old week and a bit.
Nights of rain beaten windows, eerie moaning winds, hot cocoa or tea at 3am. No sleep, then 13 hours worth of sleep without stirring. I've been lumbered with the most horrid cold and cough which does not want to go away.
There are advantages of not being able to sleep. A little Christmas shopping done online and the capturing of beautiful light at dawn.

Sitting up in the quiet when the rest of the house are deep in dream land, I've been listening to the wind in the chimmney like a stormy sea and wondering if whales become high spirited when there are big waves, as cats do when its windy ? I 've wondered how birds stay perched so securely roosting in swaying branches?
I've thought about fishermen out on rough seas and  people who have no home and hope they find safe warm shelter on such nights as these.

I've done  a little work on some wooden hearts and robins...

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half- light,

An excerpt from the poem by William Butler Yeats 'He wishes for the cloths of heaven'  (which I adore) surrounds the edge of this heart...

And this one has my own words on.....

I dream in indigo.
Velvet skies embroidered with starlight.
A moon whisper song is my lullaby.
Listen with your heart.

These will reach the Etsy shop soon, so keep peeping in if you are interested in them.
I also now have got a facebook fan page. So, if anyone would like to come along and join, you will be more than welcome :)
Right, I think thats it for today.......... I'm off to make myself a hot lemon and honey drink.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sting - If On A Winter's Night

I'm going to treat myself to this sometime this week.
A good on to sit by the fire and listen to with a mug of hot spiced wine....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This Day Three Years Ago

On this day three years ago life changed here forever.
 Mother,Wife, Nanny, my Mum, left this life and moved on.

Time has passed so quickly, but it only seems like yesterday sometimes.
On darker days I think of all the little things which have happened  that she has missed, but know that she would have liked to know...

"Your grandson is taller than you were now.
Your grand daughter 'little butterfly' as you used to call her, has started secondary school.
They have both passed piano and violin exams.
We have chickens.
Louie passed away and we have two new Cats.
The Vicar of Dibley got married.
Pavarotti died.
There is to be a follow on, to the Phantom of the Opera.
We got to be on the TV.
I got a blog."

Other days I feel she knows all these things anyway.
I love the song sung by Hayley Westenra. from the film The New World.
If you keep the music playing on my blog, then you have probably heard it already.(If not, I have moved the track to the first song that plays.) Whenever I hear the words I always think that these would be Mum's words....

Listen to the Wind

Time is a river that flows endlessly
And a life is a whisper, a kiss in a dream

Shadows dance behind the firelight
And all the spirits of the night remind us:
We are not alone

Tomorrow: a sun soon rising
And yesterday is there beside us
And it's never far away

If you listen to the wind you can hear me again
Even when I'm gone you can still hear the song
High up in the trees as it moves through the leaves
Listen to the wind, there's no end to my...

Love is forever a circle unbroken
The seasons keep changing; it always remains

Spring will melt the snows of winter
And the summer gives us days of light
So long till autumn makes them fade

Remember the sound of laughter
We ran together through the meadows
Still we thought our hearts could break

If you listen to the wind, you can hear me again
Even when I'm gone you can still hear the song
High up in the trees as it moves through the leaves
Listen to the wind and I'll send you my love

Listen to the wind where the sky meets the land
I'm not really gone I've been here all along
High up in the trees in the sound of the leaves
Listen to the wind there's no end to my...

Time is a river that flows to the sea
And a life is a whisper, a kiss in a dream.

I'm sure Mum would have got a blog of her own. She used to love letter writing and poetry  and verse and had many pen pals over the years. Blogging would have suited her perfectly.
 I would like to share this poem that she wrote which is appropriate on such a stormy night.

The Gipsy In My Soul

When all around me are fast asleep
And moonlight through my window creeps
Like an echo in my head
I feel it calls me from my bed

To the window opened wide
To stand and gaze at all outside.
"Come outside" It seems to say..
"Come out in the milky way!"

When all around are fast asleep
And rain upon my window beats 
Though pillows soft around my head
It seems to draw me from my bed
To the window fastened tight
To stand and gaze into the night.
It calls me to its dark embrace
"Come let the raindrops wash your face"

When all around are fast asleep
And gales blow strong and windows creak
Though chilled the night and earth is cold
I feel a stirring in my soul
To run, to climb the highest peak
To feel the grass beneath bare feet!
To stretch my arms, to drink the air
To feel the wind blow through my hair.

No sleep for me, no peaceful night
Till feelings fade with soft daylight
Why is it that I feel this way?
Do I descend from men of night, not day?
A highway man who rode the hills and lanes?
Who's spirit still lives on within my veins?
Do I relive his longing to unroll?
Or is it just the Gipsy in my soul?

Margaret Davis
1937 -2006

I will listen to the wind Mum and will keep watching for shooting stars.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sea Creatures And November Skies

I am a magnet. Drawn to tales that in the olden days were told around drift wood fires on starry nights. Passed down through time, travellers tales of strange beasts, mythical creatures, the loch ness monster, bigfoot. Legends of sailors encountering mermaids, selkies and sea monsters.
What it is that attracts me, I cannot say for sure?The unknown? Maybe just the romance of a tale embroidered into something that is missing in our world today. The picture maker in me, or the magic of a 'something more' which I feel exists?
Human beings like to be in control and think they have all the answers, but very often they are wrong. Giant creatures big enough to eat a sailing ship were scoffed at as exaggerations and the tallest of stories. Until the other day that is, when my ears homed in on a story on the news. ...

The fossil of a Giant sea monster found on the Dorset coast at Charmouth, with a steel strong jaw large enough to bite a car in half or eat a T rex for breakfast. You can read more about it here and here..... Amazing!
Maybe long ago sailors caught a glimpse of something similar left, forgotton about, in the depths of the briny sea. Maybe there are still others?.......

I've been creating my own sea creature related hangers......

Magical narwhals.....

And a few other bits and bobs.....

All to be listed in the Etsy shop very shortly.

November here has been what I imagine November to be. Misty, damp grey days smelling of sweet leaves and woodsmoke. Quiet but the sound of the noisy rooks that inhabit the big trees nearby. Darkness comes early and the smell and smokiness of fireworks mix with the recipe of November.
Guy fawkes night, we went to a local bonfire display.....

And gazed up into the skies....

our attention focused for 20 minutes, on just glittery explosions...