Monday, 18 September 2017

Colour

Hello, did you stop in for a quick peek? I'm just having a cup of tea and stopped for a chat.  Do you get days when all you can think about is a particular colour? you want to wear it, eat it, do your home decor in it and then paint it?  well today's one of those days and for me it was orange....
There's a lot of orange around here, Amber the cat... who has just finished a spectacular moult and has a nice new coat, all white and stripey underneath and very much like a pumpkin up top.


I do love pumpkins, not just for halloween, they make such pretty decorations for Autumn. 


Flowers in my garden tubs, smiley faced pansies


and one of my favourites, nasturtium, which has climbed through bushes, over fences and along borders.


The creeper is turning red now, a sure sign Summer is over.


Just a few minutes to spare with my paintbox.  There is so much orange and brown around the woods and garden...




I am very rusty so a bit of doodling was fun today, I didn't get it finished but maybe will finish it another time.  There are a lot of conkers out in the woods, I have collected quite a few to deter spiders around the house.


I visited charity shops this morning and found the perfect length of beads for a holiday kaftan that was waiting to be dressed up... the beads are new, about 2 feet long and can be worn as a belt or a necklace... £2.40.




and a little chiffon scarf, have been looking out for one for ages £3.00




nb: I am a bit careful with things that are pre-loved so both have been soaked in sterilising solution and then washed.

p.s. I was at the recycling centre today and as I drove up a workman came up and said 'what are you smiling so much about' .. I honestly didn't know I was, but told him  'it's a new day, a clear sky, the World is still turning,   - doesn't that make you feel like smiling?'


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Flowers around town

Hi folks, thank you all so much for your beautiful comments on my last post, I wrote it for me really, so was surprised you enjoyed it and that it stirred your own memories, ...  Over the last few days I have been remembering so much more about Ivy and how she influenced my life.  I dug out some very old pictures I am caretaking for my brothers and found there are others in memory lane that are crowding in and asking to be remembered so I might do a few more posts.






snapped on a quick walk through a park in town on a short cut; I collected conkers along with the early morning school children.  Our local authority plant these displays for us and they change with the Season, it occurred to me that bloggers in very hot countries may not have displays like this as their climate won't allow, so these are for you.




*** ***The following pictures are from our local town website and newspaper and show blooms around town.




Source



There is a annual competition in town for best allotment, garden, etc.  Below is the winning garden entry this year - I wish I could get mine looking this good!


 Source


Source
town centre
We also have an amateur photographer competition (results later this month).


town allotment


We grew our own veg this year, however, the tomatos have taken ages to ripen due to the North facing garden.


These are a few corners of my own little garden, the nasturtiums have climbed up the fence (and scrambled into the neighbours garden, where they have a better display than me now!).

The hanging basket out front has just died off and I am planting
up for Autumn now with some new colours.


I think Autumn is my favourite season, in the woods the leaves around here are gold, russet and brown, I wish I could wear a coat of them! I can feel a little creativity seeping in with all this colour and beautiful light is around to inspire me, back soon with a few pics of what's happening out in the woods.


Thank you for following my blog, stopping by and leaving a comment if you have time, it's much appreciated and I look forward to visiting you too.



Monday, 4 September 2017

Ivy



She lived on Porlock Hill, Somerset; a tiny village at the very edge of Exmoor (Lorna Doone country) in a cottage half way up on the bend (which is known for its incredibly steep 1:4 gradient) a very hard climb on old legs to the land of heather and deer.  She knew the deer well, they would, when very hungry, stray down the hill when the cottage was snowed in during a bitter Winter, looking for food in gardens, foraging in the apple orchard that overlooked the back of the cottage and even venture into the village on the odd early morning when all was quiet, mist hung in the air and the ground was hard.   


source: Rightmove, granny's cottage, left of the hedge

In those days there was a blacksmith, grocery store that always had fresh clotted cream in stock, a post office that sold local honey and a sheepskin clothing store where only tourists shopped.  Everyone knew everyone - they all knew Ivy but she wasn't very approachable, so they made up their own ideas about her.

 source
She was eccentric;  only ever  wore purple, believed in fairies and talked to them out in her garden, came to the church sometimes but refused to participate, sitting at the back, walking out in the middle of the sermon.  She made some folk uneasy as she had her own beliefs.  She painted crows on silk with chinese black ink and local landscapes in oils, sometimes they were sold at the art gallery in a nearby town.

The cottage was dark at the back because the land behind sloped upwards into the orchard, there was no television or telephone, no fridge, no modern appliances at all in fact other than a radio and a rayburn oven that heated the water and kept the cottage warm and had an oven and a hob for cooking.  There were coal fires downstairs but no heating at all upstairs.  She welcomed unlikely residents; mice nesting in cupboards and very large spiders in every room, and a small girl who stayed a fortnight of every Season and then all Summer long.  They drank tea with tinned milk and made shadow figures on walls, read books to each other (The Water Babies, Lorna Doone, Heidi) and painted what they saw in the woods.



They had days out together on the little green country bus to the beach or walking through the woods and across fields to Porlock Weir where they would sit on the stone wall all day watching the birds feeding off the dried muscle shells littering the pebble beach until the same bus jerked into life and ambled back through the winding, country roads to the foot of the hill.  It was the closest stop to home unless they could wave down the occasional tourist bus that just might take them halfway up the hill (that would depend on goodwill and whether anyone felt it worth running a bus out to Exmoor.  Beyond was the pretty seaside town of Lynmouth with a cable lift up the cliff face to tiny Lynton village at the top for those who fancied a bit of excitement).



Dunster

Once a fortnight she spent the day at Dunster by the castle tending her husband's grave, ate a packed lunch there and talked to him.

She often walked in the woods with the small girl that visited. They  observed nature a great deal;  her favorite flower was the wild violet.  She shared her knowledge of how plants could be used for ailments and which ones were poisonous. Foxgloves were not to be touched without gloves in case they entered our skin and slowed our heartbeat, cotton gloves were always kept in pockets just in case .  Toadstools were not to be disturbed either as their poisonous spores could be inhaled, although giant puffballs were considered safe and they would both jump on them and watch them explode in a big cloud of white powder.  Every walk was different, there could be a carpet of red, yellow and brown leaves, the sighting of a red squirrel, a carpet of bluebells,  a ball of buzzing bees nesting high up in a tree,  the chance to hold a bright blue birds egg, throbbing with life, warm and alive, but always returning it to the nest.  She was always on the look out for adder snakes that basked in the late morning sun in the woods, finding one could mean a long detour as they were not to be disturbed.

source

This is the view from the apple orchards behind the cottage, she would help herself  and add blackberries from the woods to make fruit crumble with custard.

Shadows were very real to her - they had presence and could mean someone departed was passing by; best not to acknowledge them or they may linger.  Superstitions were  complicated and plentiful, crossed knives were a huge worry for her (a fight with someone), looking over her shoulder into a mirror very bad luck, if she put clothing on inside out she would have to wear it that way all day as it was lucky, but put it on back to front and she wasn't going anywhere that day as it was bad luck.  Tea leaves were read with great interest for signs of what the future held.




There were standing stones near the village, a small circle of them dating back to a time when people lived by the sun, moon and stsrs for guidance, made by a God they had yet to know.  Nobody ever went there except her...  and the small girl, a quiet place where you could wish for things to happen, and they would, if they were good things and you wished hard enough.   The girl wished for gossamer wings glinting gold and green like a dragonfly .  Ivy gave the girl her own secret name there, a magical name that nobody else knew, and she was given a circle of power that would stay around her and protect her forever.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porlock_Stone_Circle
Late neolithic 2350 to 701 bc

Ivy was my Granny and I expect you can guess the small girl was me.  The happiest times of my childhood were spent with her (although I missed my brothers a lot as they were never invited).  I was put on a coach that took half a day, Granny would meet me 'The Other End' (which I thought was a place for many years).  She taught me to paint, to see magic in everything in nature and assured me I was a fairy, I never stopped believing.


Source:
This beautiful fairy is a woolly aphid, (I hope I am notbreaching any copyright)

Sunday, 13 August 2017

worthy


after a little random visit to Mumblings blog I realised from her post 'Why do you blog?' that I should blog more about the things that interest me and stop trying to please/conform.



What does a wood fairy blog about? nature, wildlife on her doorstep? well I do genuinly live next to the woods and have got a very real wand made specially for me, I grew up believing I was a fairy and have never let anyone stop me believing.



But I do have worldly interests too, I would never blog about politics and have ceased with religion as I realised that some followers might be disappointed to learn that after 15 years in a very close church community (twice a week within a housegroup, with my children in a youth group that became too controlling), I no longer go to church, that doesn't mean I don't have faith - I do - and I still have a connection with that church, drop in socially ocassionally and have remained in contact with some of my friends; but I don't share all of their beliefs, don't conform and don't want a label any more thank you. 






















I don't silk paint any more,, it got boring, expensive and I felt I didn't always do well enough so it wasn't worthy to put on my blog so I just stopped all that and feel much better, I gave my inks to a friend who will have a lot of fun discovering what they can do.


I like painting, being spiritual and going to Brighton beach, I also like material things like shopping, holidays, home decor... I want to be creative but it comes in stops and starts - sewing this week maybe, watercolour occasionally, gardening, decorating my house, who knows.



me being me (and not holding my tummy in!)
Like you, I am just me, being me and my blog dwindled a bit because I couldn't keep up the posts that I felt fulfilled what followers wanted - I had run dry.  I now realise it really doesn't matter - follow me if you will, leave me (and some have) if you're bored - the reason I blog is to connect with  people in far flung places - I find your part of the World very, very interesting, dear follower.  I use my blog to express myself and to keep a sort of online diary of my life for posterity.  That's it - nothing more.


I should add that blogging has given me some long term fabulous penpals (thank you Nana and Pompom), a real life meet up (thank you Elizabethd) fun swaps  (remember secret postman?), the confidence to buy and wear vintage, second hand and non high street fashion clothing (thank you Vix), emails from blogging friends who give advice and help and lot of inspiration for being creative and adventurous (amongst many others Julie, Catherine, Nancy) .   All really good reasons to continue blogging.  So thank you to those that follow and those that post and long may it continue!


I will leave you with a picture of a rescue dog I used to walk, who knew life was short, for living and
totally enjoyed every moment of his weekly escapism - I hope to be more like him as time goes on.

Thursday, 10 August 2017



I won an EBay bid for another Karisa skirt (reversible, wrap,made from vintage sari silks), this one is mid length and was mine for a fiver!  It's very swishy, ideal for holiday packing as lightweight and versatile and when washed dries within an hour if I do lots of smoothing on the floor when its damp it almost can miss the iron... perfect for our trip to Costa Rica later this year.




I am aiming to take very little in my suitcase as we will be moving around a lot starting with the Cloud Forest and ending at the beach.  Swimwear doubles as undies and beach kaftans are wearable into the evening with a pair of leggings and a little vest.  You can never have too many sarongs in my opinion, the more sparkly the better too - so I am currently keeping my eyes open in the charity shops.

I haven't been able to pick elderberry this year due to the very wet weather and not having an escort available to get to the remote places where I find them.  The UK weather is cool and we have had torrential downpours here so no woodland walks.  My 'escorts' are busy - oldest graduated (YAY!!!) but doesn't allow me to post his pictures here ... both boys are working at the airport until year end saving up for travel, there is much shift work and people arriving and leaving at 4am so we are all adjusting to being woken at odd times, no hot water and the 'wrong' food (curry for breakfast?!).

I noticed on Susan Branch's blog she has 'my' Beatrix Potter book as a giveaway.  I treasure mine - given to me by my penpal Nana.



  It looks like BPs very own scrapbook with letters and pictures and in the back is her tiny black and white first edition book which I colour in sometimes.  Like me, Susan loves all things Beatrix and appreciates what an important impact she made in her lifetime and with her legacy of land left to The National Trust.  I hope to visit Hilltop and see Beatrix's garden and little house one day.






Our house is in need of the feminine touch methinks, we have all been busy working and I have neglected home making for some time.  The only picture/decor is a huge map of Vietnam on the wall - a long distance travel plan - it's really fun to plan a trip and watch it grow, researching places to go, train timetables, etc.  very fun!  Travel is all anyone talks about in this house in fact!    My son's army burgen bag has become enviable and may get stolen soon, I now trawl the internet for sensible walking boots instead of fashion shoes and lie in the gym sauna imagining myself on a beach, in the shower I am in a tropical rain forest and in the garden I am hacking my way through the jungle when I clear the borders back!  Imagination is a wonderful thing (often crushed as children grow but luckily my mother thoroughly embraced and nurtured it, which is why I am, of course, a fully grown wood fairy).




I would like to live in here.  One day I will go back to claim this, if it's still there.  Such a pretty little mouse house, I regret not buying it years ago.


I'm off now to read Meadowland again, it was very good last time round so think it deserves reading again.  .... have a lovely August, I will .. doing lots of Augusty things that I can look back on in the Winter months, despite the rain it's a month full of outdoor opportunities don't you think?














Saturday, 22 July 2017

Hello blogland, hope you have been enjoying Summery days out.  I have been in the woods walking with my friend next door and also with hubby ...


Cob nuts are out although the squirrels always get there first! and blackberries will be ready to pick in a couple of weeks.  The elderberry are beginnging to form and should be ready for picking mid-August so I am checking progress in the hope of making more of this...










I have also been in Brighton often this month, taking the fast train it's only a 30 minute journey and the best part of the day can be spent exploring The Lanes and sunbathing on the beach...


 I am always coming across new graffiti/art..



The beach was fairly empty as it was very windy...




I didn't dare venture in for a paddle  as there were red flags up.




I love seeing the little houses in the mews off The Lanes, a combination ofo neglected, tatty rentals with the odd gem of gardening determination - it must be hard to get things to grow well in the salty sea air...


I mostly browsed charity shops although this is a pretty place, Waiste - they sell vintage clothing and also have a whole floor devoted to plants  The combination works well ... this is a picture from their own website as my camera couldn't do them justice.

http://www.vintagebrighton.com/2017/06/waiste-vintage-brighton-popup-shop/

I particularly liked their current window display plants which were suspended moss balls like this
and am interested in giving it a try. Not sure how they are watered without a big mess on the floor though!

Source Google images

This is my tiny front garden, it attracts a lot of bees (we have been honoured to be chosen for a nest site on the garage, they swarmed a few weeks ago - wish I had seen it!).



I felt  bit like Ambercat after stuffing myself with delicious fudge from my blogging buddy, Nana
this huge and very heavy package of best quality Scottish fudge tablets arrived in the post as a surprise (thank you Nana)  .... with this pretty card.


I don't feel guilty at all for eating so much of it because
hubby and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary on Monday, I just started
celebrating early!