Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Season of the Witch and Fairy Ways!
It is the end of October and it's the "Season of the Witch". Halloween is really the witches and fairies time of year... On the last day of October, the darkness of night drapes the sky like a black shroud and the crisp air is sweet with the scent of damp fallen leaves and burning woodfires. 

This is the night when the shadow realm beckons. The veil that seperates the world of the living from the world of the dead becomes thin. The witches, ghosts and fairies all come out to play...

It's a time of endings and new beginnings. A time to celebrate the end of the summer and the beginning of winter. This is Halloween! 
Known by the Celts as Samhain and also by other names such as, Shadowfest, All Hallow's Eve, Old Hallowsmas and Festival of the Dead. Halloween is such an ancient Pagan tradition that is celebrated all over the world every year... I'm sure a lot of people today don't know where Halloween originated from and the Pagan tradition.
The Celts celebrated Samhain, 'All Hallowtide'- 'the Feast of the Dead' when the dead revisited the mortal world. It is also believed that fairies are drawn together in large numbers on Halloween night, so the usual light pranks may turn into even more mischief on Samhain. There is however another belief, that good fairies gather to protect people from other malevolent creatures such as goblins, bad spirits and witches.
In the old days in Ireland and Scotland, the ancients thought that all the hobgoblins, evil spirits and fairies roamed around the country in gangs! 
The Irish families protected themselves from them by sprinkling holy water around the home and on animals, food offerings were left outside the house, oatmeal and salt were put on the heads of children, bells or iron was placed in a babies cradle, to be sure the child was not stolen and replaced by a changeling child, a fairy child.
Halloween, Firework Night and Christmas! 
It is interesting, that when you go into the shops these days at this time of year, there is a mixture of Halloween, fireworks and Christmas items for sale!
We are getting ready for Christmas earlier now and people are buying their gifts in September!
I have been thinking about different ways to gift wrap my jewellery. I have stocked a few earrings in Etsy for Christmas and last week I made some squirrel earrings, I showed them on Facebook... These are a few customer orders that are packed and ready to go to Australia, New Jersey and New York... Thank you Jeanette from Nette's Quilting Nook and Alina from The Purple Caravan for buying some earrings. Do stop by their blogs and say hello!
Facebook seems to have a lot of Hare and Squirrel fans. There are only two pairs of brass earrings left in Etsy. I have started printing my own labels too with butterflies to go with my fairy business cards, and I like using the velvet ribbon to decorate the packages. I'm very pleased with the result of the printed gift tags and I'm thinking of selling a few packs in the shop.
Have a wonderful Halloween everyone and watch out for those wicked witches, goblins and fairies! xx
Acknowledgements:
From Pinterest: A woodland photo in autumn. The ghost lady, Hiroshi Nonami: The Element of Chance. Witches Calender Wheel.
Paintings: By Evelyn De Morgan, 'Love Potion'. - By John Anester Fitzgerald: 'Fairy Hordes Attacking a Bat'. 'Fairies Looking through an open Window'.'Titania and the Changeling Child' A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1832-1906).
Writing reference. Irish Halloween traditions. ireland-information.com  

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