Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Gold Hearts in My Studio and Autumn Reflections. 
I'm a bit late with a blog post this month, November is a busy time of year leading up to Christmas with wrapping parcels that will travel to new homes, near and far. While I was packing the other day, the low autumn sunlight was vibrant as it shone through my studio window onto my coffee cup... 
The gold painted hearts reflected onto my desk. I was also designing new jewellery pieces for the shop and trying to draw a self-portrait, which I'm finding quite difficult to start painting at the moment. I have tried quite a few times over the years to create a picture of myself, but have failed. So this time, I thought about the animals that I love and added them into the picture as well, of course I had to draw Zigsa and really had to look closely at his markings, on his spotty fur coat. I also added the red birthmark on my cheek which is in the shape of a heart.
Frida Kahlo did some fabulous paintings of herself with her pets and she has inspired me to be more creative when doing a self-portrait. The owl in my sketch is not a pet, but is the tawny owl that I saw in my garden last year, I felt a strong connection when I saw it close up and managed to take a photo just before it flew away....

My drawing is a piece of work in progress and there is still much to do. I feel it is one of the hardest things, drawing an image of yourself, because you have to really look at who you are and capture your spirit as well as a likeness... I'm not sure if I have acheived this yet, like Frida has in the painting called, 'Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird'.
I will show the illustration as it develops in future posts. I might even make a copy of it and sell a print in Etsy, if it's good enough!
New Jewellery Ideas and a Christmas Giveaway on Facebook.
At the moment I'm into crystal jewellery. On Halloween I visited Avebury where I bought a few clear quartz stones from the crystal shop. I love clear quartz and the way the light shines through them. I'm really enjoying making pendants with the pieces that I have found. Two necklaces with pearls have already sold from Etsy and are on their way to Australia.
Here are another couple of necklaces that have just been listed HERE!
They are, one small ceramic owl with fairy silk ribbon and a jade bead. The other pendant is clear quartz which is wrapped in gold sari silk, held in place with a large bronze beadcap.
If you are looking for gift ideas there is still time to buy from #Etsy
Finally, I have decided to have a Christmas giveaway again on Facebook. If you are interested in taking part in the draw, please stop by MY PAGE. The draw is 4 posts down from the top!
You can win a pair of these Red Bear Earrings. I will anounce the winner on MONDAY, 24th November, it was going to be on Sunday but I think we need to give a little more time for more likes and comments.
Do look and maybe share the Bears. See you soon! xx 

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
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.  

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...