Wednesday, 15 October 2014

October Beauty in Rich Colour... 
October seems to be the month where the colours orange and black are everywhere, as we head into autumn. It is one of my favourite times of year and I love the colours changing into warm golds and reds. 
When I go to Avebury gardens in late September and early October, the last of the black and orange butterflies are visiting a few remaining flowers and there are ripe pumpkins ready for Halloween. 
A variety of wild mushrooms are appearing in my garden near the woods and last night I saw a hedghog quietly strolling across the lawn, heading towards the apple trees!
The trees have nearly dropped all of their apples now and the leaves will soon fall to make a beautiful carpet of colour. 

The autumn season is vibrant with colour, but also dark as we think about Halloween and it's traditions. When the ghosts and witches fly and cause mischief, which I will talk more about in my next post!
It is now, that I always think about artists such as Arthur Rackham, because he was one of the illustrators who best captured the dark side of fairy tales. His owls and black cats look very similar with a menacing stare. I think if I had seen the witch piture in a children's book when I was young, I would have been terrified of her hooked nose and claw hand!
Buying and Selling from Etsy...
If you follow my Facebook page, you will know that I have bought a cat jumper for Zigsa! 
He is not really much of an outdoor type of cat, but I have noticed that every winter when he goes outside in the cold, he looks freezing and not very happy at all. He loves going out when it's warmer weather, patrolling the garden and looking out for other cats, but winter is not his time of year. So last month I bought Ziggy an Icelandic sweater to keep him warm. I'm really not into dressing cats up in pet fashions, but I think this jumper is lovely, made from 100% pure Icelandic light wool. 
Anna, is from Iceland and makes all kinds of wonderful knitwear. Here is a link to her shop, where you can get your winter knits HERE.
As you can see, Zigsa was happy to model and pose for the camera!

Creature Jewellery. 
Also, I have been making some other creature brooches. The faces are ceramic with fake fur attached. I decided to keep the owl, not long after it was listed in etsy, but the Foxy Lady sold quite quickly and the Owl Moon face with wings, shown in the last photo is available in my shop.

This winter, I'm very much influenced by tribal art, totem figures and the Inuit traditions. They believe that the spirit of their ancestors can live on in creative objects that can protect and heal the family, which I think is a lovely idea. The little girl is adorable in this old photo.
The gold and red deer antler pendant has also sold, but the silver one with green sari silk will be listed soon and the new butterfly man pendant has already been listed in Etsy. Please do contact me if you have any questions about my work...

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

All About Ghost Lily.
First of all, I would just like to say a big thank you for the wonderful comments and welcome back messages. Everyone has been so kind and it makes me realise how much I have missed my blog friends!

Blogging does get me thinking about what to write, and I do enjoy writing posts now, more than I did before. I don't write that many posts a month, but I have more time to plan what I want to say because my mind is not worrying about my home and moving... I have only just got back into the swing of things with my shop as well.
Some of you know that I've had an Etsy for quite a few years now, but I have not been very good at keeping up with listing items because it does take quite a bit of time to create and list my work. I have only just added the information about myself on the Etsy about page, but I don't think many people see or read it!
Here are a few pictures from the page and this is what I wrote, if you would like to have a read...

Ghost Lily Design and Jo May...
My artwork is inspired by nature, the woods, folklore, music, fairy tales of old and Arthur Rackham's illustrations, which captures my imagination. 
My grandfather often told me when I was little that we were related to Beatrix Potter and I read most of her books when I was a child. Beatrix created such magical watercolours that inspired me too. Her animal paintings have a gentleness that I want to recreate in my own work.
 My love of ceramics started at junior school when I made a little hedgehog in a pottery class. The teacher was really encouraging and his kind words stayed in my mind when I later made the choice to go to Bath Art College. I studied ceramics and illustration in my final year. 

I have travelled around a lot over the years and have lived abroad. I always tried to find homes near the sea or woods because I believe that living close to nature is important for creativity. 
We have now finally settled in England again, in beautiful Wiltshire which is surrounded by rolling hills, with chalk white horses and ancient standing stones.

I have exhibited paintings and have artworks in private collections within the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. 
I like all kinds of design and my Etsy has a mixture of artworks. 
Some of the materials are recycled and have been found from antique markets. 
I find it hard to focus in just one creative area, so Ghost Lily Design is where I can bring all my creative ideas together in one shop! 

The photos are of me wearing my owl ring, painting with gold onto a few of my illustration prints that are for sale in Etsy, and the tawny owl was in the back garden near the woods at the last house we rented. He was happily sitting on the fence watching us in the laundry room, we very quickly got the camera and took the photo looking through the glass window. We were lucky to get a picture in time before he flew away! 
The owl inspired me to change my company to Ghost Lily Design and I use the Ghost Owl illustration as my logo. I love owls and they often appear in my work.
Whats New in Etsy this Week...
This week I have been busy doing commissions and painting on ceramic discs to make creature pendants. Each one is unique and there is only one of each creature available.

The Giveaway Winner...
Last Wednesday, I announced the winner of the giveaway draw on Facebook.
Vicky Bearley won the Fairy and Owl brooch... She was so pleased to have won the pin and Vix has a lovely blog if you would like to follow her, called Vintage Vixen.
It's such a good name for a blog and she collects all sorts of beautiful vintage clothing and sells them at Kinky Melons Retro Boutique.

By the way, I will be making another brooch like this one with a different owl, it will be listed and for sale next week!
Like Vicky, I collect all sorts of antique items such as old buttons and children's books, which I will share sometime in another post. Have a happy week and weekend blog friends and I will visit you soon! xx

Thursday, 11 September 2014

A New Autumn Blog and a Giveaway on Facebook...
It has been such a long time since I've blogged. I have really missed the friends here, but I have had very little time to do posts because we moved house yet again last year and life has been crazy for months, getting settled and organising my work. 
At last we have bought our own home after years of struggling to save to buy a property. Ziggy is much happier too, he was getting stressed out with all the moving around. Although, he does look a little serious in the photo! :-)
We are enjoying our first autumn in our new surroundings and we have a harvest of apples on four apple trees. I enjoy picking the apples and gardening. 
The illustration in the corner of this group of photos is the Norse Goddess, 'Freyja Under the Apple Tree' by Arthur Rackham. I think she was under our trees the other morning creating a rainbow with her cats...
I have been inspired to create again and I'm really into art and design. I have now changed my blog name from Willow Treefox to Ghost Lily Design. I was thinking it was time for a new look, with simpler and shorter posts because I feel that people may be too busy to read my long write ups that I used to do... Simple posts with inspiring images is what I want to show here.
This is what I have been making recently, woodland animal jewellery for Etsy and a small design company in London. The ceramic beads are all handmade by me and are signed on the back. Each piece of jewellery is unique. The Happy Bear and Grumpy Hare are now available in Etsy and so are all the pendants which will be listed very soon.
My shop has been changed around too, with a different look. It is steadily being stocked up with jewellery and jewellery findings for people to make their own magical pieces. This week I have been working on some pendants and ceramic figures.
I'm really enjoying working in 3D and mixed media, it makes a nice change from illustrating on paper.
The red deer antler pieces are from Scotland. They are wrapped in silk fabric, with antique silver and bronze bead caps with matching chains.
If you would like to join in the giveaway, please visit may Facebook page HERE. Just Like and leave a small comment under the post, also share if you want to. You can win a Fairy and Owl Brooch. I will announce the winner next Wednesday 17th September on Facebook. Good Luck! xx