December 08, 2013

Colour and journalling

As I think some of you know I adore colour. It lifts my spirits, it inspires it fills me with joy. I have a few journals I work in and some are just words, some are just colour. There also ones that are a little of both. I haven't blogged much lately but I have still been writing and doodling. I wanted to try and put a little more structure to my art or certainly a little more regular play. Sometimes I think we get sidetracked. Things come up that need doing or we don't get round to it. All easy excuses not to do something, even something you enjoy. I must admit it hasn't just been that. This past couple of months haven't been easy.
My knee is still a big problem despite being a new super titanium model. I haven't had a day free of pain n it since the operation and getting knocked over a couple of months ago didn't help. So I have been referred back to the surgeon.
Add in a bad virus that took some shifting, now add in a second one which I am currently nursing with more antibiotics and it does explain some of the lack of get up and go.
But enough of that, must move on and ignore it:)
Mr Mog had oncology last week and things haven't moved on which is incredibly good. This drug trial had been a god send for us. Every day extra is precious.

So what has this to do with colour and journals? My friend Natalie has started a new club, for fibre and yarn and it is a yarn club with a difference. A colour journal one. It seemed a good idea to me so I have joined. It will inspire me to journal more and what decided me? The first month is rainbows. We all need rainbows in our lives. Don't we?

October 15, 2013

Take 5 pears

Take 5 pears, British conference pears that cost just £1 for 6 at Booths. This BTW was the smallest of the 6.
Add a chunk of freshly grated ginger, some local honey and a little local orange marmalade
Top with a crumble made from flour , butter , barley flakes, dark brown sugar , allspice and a few left over pecan nuts. 
Bake in oven until golden and you see pear juices caramelising on top of crumble.

Serve it with fresh live yoghurt

Delicious taste of Autumn.
I've been chatting to a friend about colour and its effect on  our spirits, especially during the dark half of the year. I mentioned some merino silk I had dyed and how I was trying it out on a spindle. TBH once I started to spin it I realised I wanted to use a wheel not the spindle as it just felt so gorgeous and was so bright. As its getting quite late in the day the full glory of the yellow doesn't show, its almost fluorescent 
As you can see and for some reason this photo has turned sideways. Very weird. The fibre is 70% merino and 30% tussah silk from Adelaide Walker and I dyed it with procion acid dyes.

October 13, 2013

Autumnal magic potions

 Today was magic potion day:)  I always try to make my Nan's recipe for winter, a secret mix of autumn fruits spices and honey. Ideal for coughs, colds, flu and a general tonic through winter.
I had struggled to find elderberries this year. We had found plenty of blackberries and black currants but no elder.  However last night 2 very dear friends arrived with 11 pounds of elderberries so the fun could begin:) They only took part of the forest harvest, leaving plenty for winter feed for the animals and birds. They even prepared them for me so no taking them off the stalks needed.
Here you see the first stage, fruits simmering slowly to release the juices.
Almost ready

 Now the fun, squeezing every bit of juice ready for stage 2. All the fruit remaining will go to the woods for the birds. As will a little bit of juice as a libation for the Goddess and a thank you.
 Stage 2 the spices and secret ingredients added along with my last 2 jars of Blue Witch's marvellous honey and some local honey to make up the total needed.
 Bottled ready for labelling. I ran out of the smaller bottles so had to use the litre ones until I get more supplies
 nothing remaining in the pans
 We had so much the last lot had to go in a honey jar for now. Over 6 litres of autumn magic for friends and family.

The house smelt glorious and I loved being part of the old magic once more.

October 12, 2013

An out

We had an out today to a new event -  Kendal wool gathering. Held in the K shopping village in Kendal(gateway to the lakes)
Free event, free parking and very good for a first event. 
I didn't need anything but saw this yarn and loved it.  It was a new to me dyer Yarn garden
The website is under construction but well worth a visit. This is called Tree Lupin and comprises 70% BFL, 20% silk and 10% cashmere. 100gms 400 metres.
Not a colour I'd have thought of buying or dyeing but I loved it.

 Found this book and at £5 thought it worth buying to  loan to beginners.

there were alpacas, gorgeous creatures and very interested in all the visitors:)
Who were also very interested in the alpacas;)

I had to remind Mr Mog that alpacas were too large for our back garden despite their appeal:)
We were then taken to a rather splendid eatery by the friend we were with and this is my  part eaten lunch before I tackled the rest. Cumin crusted lamb flatbread with salads. Very delicious

 They even had a special teapot for Mr Mog with a black cat on the cosy:)
 A thoroughly good day out with good friends. what more could you ask?

September 27, 2013


Today I decided to paint some shoes. 2 pair were yellow and purchased cheaply in sales. one pair were black and I don't normally do black if I can help it. So the Lumiere paints came out:)

 these were the plain black. i used a pencil with eraser tip to add colour and then trailed glitter around each dot.
 these were yellow, bright yellow and so not me.
 These also were a yellow and again not me so Indigo lumieres to the rescue

Then a picture of them all together, and yes I do seem to have a spotty theme going;)

The thing is that if I get bored I can always repaint. 
Off to a new yarn festival tomorrow. Yarndale in Skipton. Sounds promising and its always good to meet up with friends which is the main reason Mr Mog and I are going.  Just doing the one day as we have other plans for Sunday and TBH  it will be a wee bit strange going as  visitors and not being involved with the interactive area which both Woolfest and Wonderwool have and where we and many friends, fund raise for the air ambulance.

September 25, 2013


Autumn is well on its way. The dusk and dawn hold promise of winter on their breath. a chill in the air after the heat of this years long hot summer. Leaves are changing, some already falling making circular carpets around the base of the trees.
A confetti for the Old Ones, but also a reminder of the turn of the wheel. Days go by faster now, not just because sunset is over and done with before 9pm. But the daylight hours seem to have been fast forwarded. A speedy way of looking at things.
A time to get done what we have to outside before darkness takes over and says "enough".
I love this time of the year, I love the colours in the landscape. I love the evening skies, the splendour of each sunset fleeting though it may be.
We have had a fabulous crop of tomatoes from our hanging baskets of tumblers. Hundreds of sweet red fruits which have now been eaten or roasted in the oven with garlic and onions then made into soups for the freezer.
The alpine strawberries have also done well in this their first year. The intensity of the perfume and the taste an explosion in the mouth each time you eat one. I have used them in simple recipes so the flavour wasn't lost. Warmed gently with a teaspoon of local honey to release the juices then folded into a fool made with quark, fromage frais and yoghurt. Bliss and a sweetness all its own. I also added them to a blackberry crumble as it goes into the oven. So amongst the tart  fruit a gem of red sweetness twinkling in the  dark juices.
Several mixed in the crumble topping also as a surprise mouthful.
I notice the crab apples in the avenue are ripening and wonder if to pick a few or not? The house across from us has elderberries turning purple and she never uses them. I wonder if she would allow me to harvest them? I would like to make Elder Rob for winter colds and maybe a little wine to bubble gently in the hearth.
I must ask her. She also has an abundance of apples that she leaves to drop. occasionally she puts some on the wall for passers by.

September 22, 2013

Mabon blessings

Autumns change this year is proving to be quite hard for me. The Equinox tides are strong inside and have made me feel very emotional.

 I am not sure why this turn of the wheel is so hard, but it is.
 Is it the sudden change  from golden summer to autumns chill and damp?
 I have had a real longing  for Glastonbury, a real urge to go down and visit old haunts. But my sensible side reminds me that long journeys are still too painful for my new knee.
 Every journey hurts at the moment, even a short trip to the next county does it. So how a trip of 4 to 5 hours would be I have no idea. But I can guess.
 I have also had a need to be in amongst trees and ever changing colours, well it is autumn equinox after all.
 Yesterday was going to be that day but continual rain put paid to it. I am a little fair weather woods woman at the moment.
 I don't mind damp or very cold but rain takes the edge of it for me at the minute. Possibly the aching knee has something to do with that.
 As i sat in bed this morning doing my morning pages I could see sunlight so "to the woods" was the cry. I didn't know which woods or where but woods it had to be.
 I wanted to smell the leaf mold, and to taste the years turn on the back of my throat as I breathed deeply.
 I wanted to feel the leaves as the first ones dropped gently on to my upturned face.
 I wanted to sit against the trunk of a tree and still my breath to a slow,slow inhale then exhale and just be.
 No dashing, no anything but stillness amongst the trees. I may see the green man or I may see the goddess out the corner of my eye as she dances in her cloak of reds and golds.
 If I do I will feel truly blessed, but if I don't I will still feel blessed to be a part of natures turning glory.
 A true delight to have marked the Equinox and the turn of the wheel in a simple meaningful ceremony.

I will come home and feast on apples bright red ,from my daughters tree, baked into a golden crumble with oats local honey, nuts and spices. I made her and my grandsons some apple strudel and an apple crumble for their freezer last week as part payment. I have promised another pudding in due course.
 Well I did most of that:) and as you can see collected some of Gaia's bounty to return home with.
 over 2.5 kg of blackberries that are now resting in the freezer until needed.
I have also prepared another large carrier bag of apples,they have been peeled ,baked in the oven with local honey and now are frozen in bags for later in the winter to remind me of the Equinox day we have just had. I've two more large carrier bags of apples to do over the next few days and a friend has also dropped off a large bag of plums from his tree. I swapped him those for a plum crumble and a beef and beetroot curry for his tea.

A fair exchange  for both of us.
So how did you celebrate the Equinox?

August 11, 2013

Little altars everywhere

I read a book with the above title many moons ago .The book did nothing for me but the title obviously stuck:)
We have been having an autumnal clear out and move round and after doing this the above phrase came into mind. I hadn't realised how many little altars there were around the house.

 All hold things of meaning to me or us. The amethyst in here given by a friend who passed away a few years ago and the goddess pendant from the same person. The bowl was from a craft exchange some years ago and holds affirmation cards from another friend.
 The goddess in here lost her arms in accidents a long time ago but is no less dear to me. Mr Mog needle felted the sheep for me.
 The shrines were made by me a long while ago and the goddess came from a charity shop and I painted her. The pledge stick was made for me by Mr Mog.
 Hares are special to me and I love this set of oracle cards from Hannah Willow
 Some of my  tarot packs.
 I made this nest from some of my hand dyed and unspun fibres, it was going to be a bowl but when I added the magpie card it became a nest.
 gifts and wheels, what more could you want:)
 I purchased this last year at Mogfest from a very creative friend.
 Yet more birds watching over the Buddha figure
 this altar holds my card a day and items made for me in the main by Mr Mog or gifted by friends
 Wood I love
 This is our incense cupboard that the Buddha guards, full of oils and ingredients for making incense. open the doors and the smell is out of this world
 Transformation butterfly

Colour lifts my spirits.

Not all were set up as altars but as I looked around I realised that they were because they reflect us both  spiritually and  creatively .

Poetry for Brigid Imbolc

  The Lake Isle of Innisfree BY  WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay a...