Monday, December 30, 2013

Frozen Beauty

I can't quite believe that again, we have arrived at the end of a year. A week ago, in the wild and stormy night, we lost a tree. It was an old elder that had died, but was host to a huge tangle of ivy. There had been nests over the years within it's sprawling greenery. A blackbird raised it's young, a pigeon sadly lost it's mate to a bird of prey and sparrows liked to meet up and chatter there. Now there is a space and the light is shining in. The old has gone and a new opportunity for something else to grow has occurred.  A little like a new year.
Yesterday morning, all began frozen.
 I restocked the bird table, then went for a wander.

The old year shone bright and filled with sparkle.
As the sun burned through to melt the ice, a glimpse of Spring was snatched. A blue clear sky glowed new and fresh with promise.

Now as I sit here finishing this post, the frosted day of yesterday is just a memory. It's just before dawn and outside the wind has returned. It growls in the chimney and rattles the tree bones again. The wind chimes are no longer hanging gently from a holly branch, they are high on a ships mast,  being battered on a stormy sea. Is it the old year furiously trying to hang on, or the new one telling the old it's time is up? The stirring up and clearing out of the dead wood to let the new emerge. Later today there will be kindling galore to collect.
I hope that you all had a wonderful festive time this last week. Thank you all for your comments of merry wishes. :)
May the new year bring peace and light to all.

'Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world'
                                                                                                           - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

All ready for Christmas

I have just finished delivering my Christmas cards and am now almost ready for Christmas. I have a glass of cider by my side, mince pies to make and a few more presents to wrap, but I thought I'd take the time to share some images of my village all ready for Christmas on it's eve, because the doors and windows always look so pretty.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!  x

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December days

  Early morning of mist and sky of silver.
Out on a walk the other day to see the annual Christmas tree festival at the Abbey, I saw roses in bloom. I love this pink against the colour of stone.
The carvings stand out even more so in Winter. When the garden is quite bare, how wonderful it would be, to have stone sculptures and to enjoy the colour and pattern as the stone ages and lichens make their home upon it.
 The apple tree looked very festive. 
Our home is also looking very festive now. The tree is up and most of my Christmas shopping is almost done. I still have to bring the holly and Ivy in, but I always do that on the 21st.
Over on the Facebook page there are only a few more days of the advent post left now. Here's a few of the latest pictures.
December 12th was a sketch that came about when I was listening to music and just doodling really. At the time I was listening to a song called 'Staralfur' by Sigur ros. In Icelandic I believe it means 'Staring Elf' although I think he may be more gnome-ish? I love how music can make a story appear on paper.  You can listen to the song here if you like. :)
December 14th was an older sketch which you may have already seen on here? I'm not sure if I shared it before? Anyway here it is again with a little extra magic added.
And today's picture was a small painting that I did yesterday, just playing around with one of the previous sketches.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The year of the toadstool

The festive decorating has begun. Beginning with the little twiggy branch that stays all year on the piano. Over the years it has held snowflakes, icicles, birds and various sparkly bits. This year it is the year of the toadstool. Woo!
The toadstools normally go on the Christmas tree in the other room, but I bought a few extra this year, so felt their time had come to play starring role on the piano.  The birds have flown to the fireplace and the snowflakes will be happy settling on the tree this year.  (All except the robin, who was quite adamant he wanted to stay in the twiggy tree, thank you very much. ;))
The holly is picked and waiting in a bucket in the greenhouse. Meanwhile the holly tree has now been stripped of all remaining berries by hungry blackbirds and thrushes.
Plan for the weekend  is to buy the tree. :)
The winter sun has been a welcome visitor dancing merrie light on walls and doors.
   Looking outside it could almost be mistaken for late summer in this picture.
More sketches from the advent calendar on facebook. 
                                                 'Do you hear what I hear'
And a white hare.
A few Christmas's back, this was on television.

It was fabulous and just the thing to get you in the yuletide spirit. I came across it again whilst browsing you tube. If you missed it last time I highly recommend it, or if you did see it, then go on,  take a break and watch it again! Or like I've done, have it on in the background whilst doing something else.
See you soon

Friday, December 6, 2013

For now I am Winter

One of the beautiful things about Winter is the fiery skies.You can almost smell them smouldering as you breathe out what looks like accompanying smoke into the frosted air. You have to be quick to catch them as they pass so fast and all too soon darkness has descended.  I tried to time it perfectly this evening and went out, but came back in as I realised I had in fact a better view from the window. 
Over on my Facebook page I have been posting something up everyday. A face book advent calendar type thing. You may have seen these, if you haven't here's a sample..Sketches and photo's and such like. I will share here the sketches as the photo's you may have seen before? 
This last one 'The journey north' I hope to work on as a painting very soon.
I don't have an advent calendar, but my teenagers do. This year it is a chocolate one. We normally alternate the years with picture/chocolate. Which one do you have? ...
To celebrate the beginning of Winter I had an early birthday present yesterday and went to see Olafur Arnalds perform at St Georges in Bristol. He is coming to the end of his 'For now I am Winter' tour. It was just beautiful and perfect for my beginning of Winter. :) 
I think I will be rummaging in the cupboard to find the Christmas decorations this weekend..
I will leave you with the title track of Olafur Arnalds album.  Have a magical weekend. x