Saturday, 30 December 2017

Midwinter trees

There is a stark beauty about the view from my window at this time of year. Grey clouds scud across the sky and the branches of the trees in the field opposite are dark silhouettes. The big old oak looks impressive now it’s bare, and I can once again see ‘Old Spikey’ the tree spirit, picked out in twigs against the December sky. 

Every autumn I look forward to his reappearance. All through the summer he has hidden away, whispering to the varied wildlife the oak attracts. But as the leaves fall, he is revealed once more. I always wonder if a storm will have changed his expression, but his dear old face hasn’t altered much over the many years I’ve known him. He's made of stern stuff!

There’s a wonderful symmetry in some of the branches, quite ‘art nouveau’ in appearance and as the emerging sun’s rays light up the raindrops on the twigs I’m inspired to make a quick sketch. My first project for 2018 is born.

Time to be glad for all the pleasures of 2017 and wish you love and light for the new year!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

A ramble down the sloe lane

It seems to have been a good year for sloes, we saw lots of them in the hedgerow on a recent nature ramble on one of the last sunny days. A few happy days with the macramé board followed, as I created a necklace inspired by the colours we had seen.

When I’d finished that I decided I would finally get to grips with bead tube crochet. This is something I’ve never mastered. I’ve had several attempts over the years but the technique has eluded me. The aim is to take thread and seed beads to make a beautifully neat tube. The beads sit on the outside and the thread ‘core’ makes a rope with a lovely flexible drape. Every time I’ve tried it I’ve ended up hot and flustered with a birds nest of thread and a tiny tangle of beads that look like a bunch of grapes. It annoys me – because I can happily manage eight kumihimo bobbins, or a whole swathe of macramé threads. So I bought myself an instructional DVD and took myself in hand. 

A whole six hours later and I finally had it mastered. Turned out it was like learning to ride a bike and something suddenly just ‘clicked’. It doesn’t look much for six hours work does it – but there’s definitely a glass of wine with my name on it this evening with ‘Strictly’.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Mabon Magic

The autumn equinox arrived with a beautiful sunny day. This is when the nights start becoming longer than the days. On the Wiccan wheel of the year this time is known as Mabon (the next one is Samhain followed by Yule). I love this time of the year, with all it’s bounty and wonderful colours. 

I began the day by changing the background on my computer screen to one with autumn leaves in glorious orange shades. I do this every time the season changes - it may sound mundane, but it's a nice techy way to start things off! Then we set off to the usual Friday grocery shopping. I wanted to pop in to the local charity shop on the way, to see if I could find some autumn inspired trinket to mark the season. My eyes were drawn immediately to this pretty carved box. Beautfully made, the two carved stripes of foliage on top seemed to represent the equal lengths of day and night so well.

Anyway, it came home with me to be treasured and will hold some beady bits and bobs on my workdesk. I also found some cute handmade glass toadstools in the same shop - and will make two lots of earrings with them. The universe sometimes hands you some special little gifts - along with the odd curve ball! 

I’m planning to make something in autumn shades next, which will be in contrast to the pinks and blues in the macramé necklace I’ve just completed. 

Putting a splash of lime green in this was a good choice I think, as it makes a pleasing contrast with the other colours. More pictures on my Folksy shop listing at