Friday, April 22, 2016

Watching Spring Emerge

Sweet primrose scent has entranced and stolen me away. Sometimes the pull is too strong and I have to just stay. So I sit and watch and breathe the perfume that takes me back. Back to my childhood days, playing in fields and scrambling up primrose banks and railway batters with mud on the knees of my old trousers. My nose in a posy of primroses, cool and soft when brushed against my cheek. One for Mum and one for my Nan, that lived next door.  That sweet delicate smell always steps me back in time.  
And I stay some more and watch the Spring unfold before my eyes.  Bees and brimstone butterflies beneath blue skies. 
I could stay all day, just sitting and watching,  there is always so much to see. But I have painting to do so I bring the outside in with me. 
Back outside for a tea break. I would have missed this beautiful bee fly if I had drank my drink indoors, sat with head in a phone or iPad.  
 From my desk I always get a good view of the latest visitors, normally the feathered type, but sometimes furry ones too.
So things have been a little slower. this month. Taking time to smell the flowers and watch the wonders of Spring emerge. And jobs in the home and garden, digging and seed sowing and giving the house a bit of care and attention.
The parliament is finished. I will miss them hanging here watching, with a knowing look in their painted eyes. But, they have given me an idea for a painting, so they will be back in 2D form.
In between there has been cutting out of more wooden hangers. Below is the Spring Wizard in progress.
And here it is finished.
All of the hangers will be added to my Etsy shop on Monday April 25th at 7.30pm (UK time)
Enjoy your weekend, I have golden beetroot to plant and more digging to do!

P.S...Mrs Thrush now has a nest in the honeysuckle. :) x

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A trip to a Sussex Museum

Houses often have faces. Sometimes they look happy, sometimes sad, occasionally grumpy or even scary. They sometimes also have a feel to them. A good warm feeling or a cold hard one. Maybe the feelings are the echoes and memories of those who have lived in them. All those moments of energy in one place. So many layers of laughter, tears, birth and death. This house doesn't look happy or sad to me, maybe a little unsure or slightly worried? I like this house, the inside had a good warm feeling. It reminds me of the simple houses that children draw. It reminds me also of a children's TV series that I can remember from childhood. I must have been very young as I remember that it scared me a little and it has stayed with me for years. All I could remember of it (until recently) was that it was about a house with someone trapped upstairs. They were trapped upstairs because there was no staircase. It's only recently that I found out what the TV series was, by searching on youtube. 
I came across this house at the Weald and Downland open air museum a couple of weeks ago.  
The Museum is just outside of Chichester in West Sussex. It's home to a number of old buildings that were rescued instead of being demolished from various places in Sussex and the Eastern surrounding counties. I love old buildings so this has been on my list of places to visit for a while now.

“The old house had a thousand doors in it.
All old houses do. You can see them if you know how to look: the noontime shadow of a windowpane crawling with intent across a floor; unmeasured angles of wall meeting wall; fireplaces grown chill with unused years. Archways with unseen contours you can trace with a finger in the cracks as brick grinds against brick in settling walls. Some nights, and some houses are doorways entire, silhouettes against the evening's last light black on black like an opening into a darker sky. You just have to look. An eye-corner glance will do, if you don't turn and stare and explain it away.”
~ Michael Montoure

“It was a mistake to think of houses, old houses, as being empty. They were filled with memories, with the faded echoes of voices. Drops of tears, drops of blood, the ring of laughter, the edge of tempers that had ebbed and flowed between the walls, into the walls, over the years.
Wasn't it, after all, a kind of life?

And there were houses, he knew it, that breathed. They carried in their wood and stone, their brick and mortar a kind of ego that was nearly, very nearly, human.” 
~Nora Roberts  Key of Knowledge

This one below is an old market hall.
Just as beautiful on the inside, as the outside.
As well as houses I also spied a beautiful gaggle of geese. 
And this handsome fella and his friends...
It was a bitterly cold day and the fires lit inside some of the cottages were very appreciated. 
There are many other buildings and things to see, but the tudor style is where my heart lies hence the pictures. It's a lovely place to visit, I would like to return when it is a little warmer though and next time I will hopefully get to look in the little gift shop which sadly had already closed by the time we had finished looking around.  
Back at home amid our local beautiful timber framed buildings, the time had been turned back and a whole street transformed for Shakespeare and his friends. A new tv series about 'Will' the young William Shakespeare. I felt very much at home amid all these props. It was a visual delight.
Wouldn't it be fabulous if it was a permanent fixture, so much better than parked cars don't you think? ;) 

The talisman that I showed in progress in my last post are now finished and in the shop here.  Over half of them have sold already, so make haste my dear friends, if you were hoping to snaffle one up. 
Have a magical week. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring goings on.

Spring has arrived. The past few days has been all sunshine and birdsong. I hadn't meant to leave this blog post so long, (almost a month! oops) especially with it being a giveaway one, but things get in the way sometimes and time ticks on and there seems to be a never ending of 'things to do' this time of year.
So, ......drumroll.....I put the names in my old fallen birds nest, as it was a manageable amount to count this time.
 And the lucky name that was pulled out was...
                                  'Emma Elliott'
Congratulations Emma! Please private message me your address and I will get the print off to you. :)
Thank you so much,  to all of you that took the time to comment and for all of your kind words about this blog. They are much appreciated. Xxx

The garden is filled with wonderful distractions. Each year the primroses spread even more. Soon I will have a primrose lawn. What a wonderful thought. 
This little one below, has become very brave and perches within 12 inches from me to have daily treats upon the wood stump. Mr blackbird is not very happy about this and often chases her off. I'm calling her a 'her',  but in all honesty she could be a 'he' as with song thrushes both sexes like robins, are similar I believe?
Mr handsome here doesn't mind sharing at all, but Mrs Thrush often chases him off. Mr Blackbird always shares with Robin, so I think that he is chasing Mrs Thrush away because she doesn't share nicely with his buddy Robin? Watching them everyday you really do get to see their personalities coming through. It's a little like a little ornithology soap opera. ;-D 
The other day I did a bit of a Simon King/Chris Packham impersonation and hid behind a low hanging tree using it as my wildlife hide. It was interesting and I found out that there are more visitors to the tree stump than previously thought! 
I do love the ice blue eyes of jackdaws. Such magical looking birds. 
Talking of ice, I didn't get around to showing you the other icy art work that I completed a while ago. Again inspiration from Lapland. The title is 'Each breath a Star' and it is available in my shop as a print here.
I am currently working on new wooden items now. Below are some talisman lucky charms in progress. 
I think the Lapland inspiration will stay with me for a little while longer yet. ;)
I have lots of cutting out of wood to be done and gardening this weekend. What are you up to? 
Whatever it is, I hope the sun shines for you.  
Wishing you a magical Spring and Easter time.
From myself and my feathered friends.  X

Monday, February 29, 2016

Eight Years Old and Song to the Sun's return

Today this blog is eight years old! Or should I say two? It was created on this day, the 29th February,  which of course only comes around every four years.
Back in 2008 I began it as a sort of visual diary really, just to record my creativity, places I visited and other bits and pieces along the way. I have never really been any good at keeping a diary, but the ability to upload pictures appealed to me and the journey began. I named it Moonlight and Hares because they were just two things that I loved and included in my paintings regularly. Back then my two hobbits were children and now they are both young adults. Time is so very precious isn't it. Time has changed the way we interact online. Many blogs that I used to read no longer exist and Facebook and Instagram have replaced some. But there is something strange and therapeutic and satisfying about keeping a blog. It is still my preferred social media, even if I don't post that often.
To celebrate the eight years I thought it would be nice to do a giveaway.

I've recently completed this painting. 'Song to the Sun's return' inspired by my January trip to Lapland.  
 I wanted to do this painting a little differently so the shape and some of the symbols are inspired by S├ími shaman drums. I have painted the sun symbol with real shell gold and to try and get the same effect, hand highlighted the prints in my shop with gold paint. 

If you would like the chance of winning a copy of this print, just follow and comment below. I will choose one winner next week sometime and announce it the next time I put up a blog post. Only comments published on this blog will be counted, as this give-away is to celebrate the blogs Birthday.
Good luck and thank you for reading! :-)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Patterns in Ice

A frosted morning,  clear sky,  noisy rooks. I took the long way home from the post office across the fields. The river had burst it's banks earlier in the week and the fields had turned to lakes. From my window I had imagined I was in Avalon. Now the water had receded leaving shallow still pools.  The sun shone a sparkling path of light across to the other side. 
The surface of the pools were frozen into beautiful patterns. Etched windows to a transient watery world beneath.

 A labyrinth of tiny frozen pathways. Fused shards of water crystal, welded, woven between grass.
Lace, stitched of water glass.
So beautiful.
I imagined what might have happened before. 

'The temperature dropped to below freezing so suddenly, just after the sun set. In the darkness, hidden in shadows, with only Orion for her lamp. The Snow Queen reached into her frozen pocket and retrieved a silver needle. When I was warm and deep in sleep and dreaming, she stitched.  By the distant bark of fox she thread the most beautiful  blanket to cover the Earth. And when the sun rose and the Robin began his song, it sparkled just as precious as any of Earths jewels. A gift to a new day'

Every day

I see or hear
that more or less
kills me
with delight, 
that leaves me
like a needle
in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen, 
to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over
in joy, 
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional, 
the fearful, the dreadful, 
the very extravagant - 
but of the ordinary, 
the common, the very drab, 
the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar, 
I say to myself, 
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light
of the world, 
the ocean's shine, 
the prayers that are made
out of grass.

Mindful ~ Mary Oliver