Fleeting thought #1 {Hag stones, short stories, folklore & feelings}

Hello my friends, 

Bear with me, I thought I’d try something a little different this week!!

I kinda feel I should maybe do a few more ‘written’ posts, expressing my feelings/thoughts not just loads of pretty(-ish) photographs and my art. I used to keep a journal and I even wrote a few short stories…but on my blog I’ve never really felt confident enough to post that kinda thing.

So here goes…I’ve come up with Fleeting Thought which I’m hoping will become wordy posts, sometimes containing stories or poetry or maybe just getting my feelings out there (and hopefully someone will read it) but they might also be a place were I can put all different groups of photos that wouldn’t get a full post on there own.

Back at the beginning of the month I mentioned that I recently moved house – which in and of itself is probably one of the stressful things I’ve ever done in life! But that’s not the point of this post. I happened to move from a city landscape to a picturesque one which is awesome, and in my new garden I found a Hag Stone! It’s small enough to sit on the palm of my hand, and is such an amazing shape…I think its made of flint.

Now, I’ve written a 200 word super short story (I think they call it a double drabble) about my hag stone! I haven’t written a story for ages!

But first a little bit of folklore,

A Hag stone is a perfectly ordinary stone (but better!) they have for unknown reasons perfect holes running through them (actually the reason for the holes is often caused by something called a Piddock, which is a sort of shellfish burrowing through them) why the Piddock’s chose the stones they do is the unknown bit.

They’re better than your average rocks because they were (and sometimes still are) believed to have magical properties, not limited to but including the ability to heal snake bites and to see through the disguise of a witch by looking through the hole! Or being able to protect farm animals especially pigs from sickness. I’d also like to add ‘looking really cool’ to that list.

So onto the story…

This hag stone was created a millennia ago when the ocean was clearest blue, a piddock took a liking to it as a larvae and decided to make it home by gently burrowing into its surface. Over the centuries and with the changing of the seas the little rock ended up on dry land and was found by a berry gathering caveman. While he should have created many small, sharp flint things with it he didn’t, instead he kept it with care and the little rock passed through the generations, changing hands with the changing of the times.

Eventually the stone passed to a farmer who, fearing witches hung the stone above the door of his home to keep the terrible hags at bay! Never once looking through the stone to glimpse the world of the fairies.

As the wheels of time gently turned, the old house, left to ruin was reclaimed by nature, until a small village was built and the stone was once more found by a woman who, having no need to fear witches, refused to condemn such a beautiful thing to hang above a door and chose instead to look through it in search of fairies.

Ummm yeah, that’s out there now!

As a little bit of useless info this is my new view taken on a slightly gloomy day, even in the cold and wet its beautiful and there are so many birds here – I had until now never seen a chaffinch or a song thrush before but they are so happy here, eating from the feeders that I’ve put up. Now that I’ve sorted my camera out I can’t wait to try and photograph them especially seeing as this weekend is the RSPB BigGardenBirdWatch!!

So that’s about it for this weeks post…I really hope you enjoyed it! Have you ever found a Hag stone? Did you like my little story? Next week I’m hoping to post something art related. 

As always thank you so much for reading my friends, and have a lovely week!

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Magnificent Swan {One frame}

Hello my friends!

I hope life has treated you well this week.

Last year I that I realised that I had taken quite a lot of of photographs of wild birds – particularly mute swans (I even did a long post on them) but I’ve recently been through all the images on my camera in an attempt to clear some space on my memory card and found this one. 

Mute swans are actually very friendly and the wild ones I’ve photographed always seem so chilled out about the camera. I always assumed this was because I normally fed them, but I liked the idea of being a swan whisperer!

There’s something truly magical about swans and this one is almost looking directly into the camera. I love the way its sort of quizzically leaning, as if its sizing me up! Unfortunately the pristine whiteness of the swan shows just how dirty the river water is, but somehow that makes the swan all the more beautiful.

It’s a shame that as a country we’ve let our waterways become so polluted.

Well that’s it for this week, one lovely swan photographed for this post. I hope you like it. Do you have a favourite wild bird? They are wonderful creatures and I love watching them – and always try to keep the bird feeders full at home…I might even do a few posts on them this year. As always thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

ps. Next week I’m thinking of trying something a little bit different!!

Winter Texture {Photography collection}

Hello my friends!

Nature is magical isn’t it?!

There are so many different textures to be found. So this week I wanted to share some snaps I’ve taken recently. I wanted these photos to have a slightly ‘silver’ theme, seeing as its winter and there aren’t loads of brightly coloured daisies and the like. I wanted to take you with me into a wintery world of texture.

This is actually a close up of some old straw, I really love this image and how sone of the straw still has the wheat on the ends – it looks a little dirty, but I think it would make a great painting!

These little cut up sticks are actually in the garden of my new house, even in the winter Cornish light is something I truly love when it comes to creating art or taking photographs!

This picture kinda reminds me of a sunrise, with the shorter sticks at the bottom being the ground and the colours of the long sections are the sky.

These cracked rocks are part of the cliffs at Perranporth Beach, I think they’re slate of some sort – mainly I love the colours and wear that has ingrained into them by the harsh costal weather. 

As a useless bit of info about the area it is considered Poldark country after the books written by Winston Graham and recently re-made for tv on the BBC!

There are some wicked rock pools on the beaches here – occasionally you even see fish in them! And some of them are super deep! But they are often much deeper than they look. I like to think that the scratches on these rocks were left by mermaids carving their names in the stone.

This is my favourite image from the day, I love how the tree is almost trying to hide the old ruins…it reminds me of something from Game Of Thrones.

I love the naturally muted tones of this shoot, its a little quite effective.

So that’s it for this week. Next week I’m thinking maybe some art or perhaps another recent One Frame…meanwhile I really hope you enjoyed these textured photos. Did you have a favourite picture? Now it’s beginning to get and stay lighter for longer, I’m hoping to be able to get out and explore my new surrounds of countryside and beaches – apparently there are even some standing stones nearby which I can’t wait to visit…as soon as it stops raining.

And as ever thanks you so much for reading and I wish you a happy and prosperous week ahead!

150 Subscribers Celebration!!! (& a Winter Sunset {One frame})

Hello Friends!

Who-hoo! We’re at 150 followers, everyone!!!

Can you believe it?!

*cue bang-free fireworks and hand cut eco confetti*

Okay, actually, its 153 to be exact! I hit 150 just before the festive week, but decided to wait until afterward to share the exciting news!

Anyway, A SUPERSIZED THANK YOU to everyone who’s subscribed and liked my posts! I wouldn’t be where I’m at without you and I truly appreciate it more than you can possibly imagine!

Also, I’ve got a new landscape shot to share this week as I’ve had some major things happen in life.

This photo was taken near to where I live – I actually posted a one frame last year in the same place, only during the day while on holiday and just before Christmas I had the opportunity to move to my favourite place the world. Actually moving house was the reason I didn’t post as often as I wanted to at the end of last year – there was just so much to do!

But its exciting to start life in a new (well its actually an old) house, I’m still up to my eyebrows in cardboard boxes and I cant wait to put my own stamp on the place.

Standing in this particular spot I always feel super at peace with the world and for being in England the view is something you’d expect on a tropical island. The sunset was so incredibly beautiful and the colours where amazing, as it sank down behind the little palms. I definitely think if this was in a movie the whole ‘green flash’ thing would totally happen!!

So yeah, that’s it for this week, I hope you like the sunset from my little piece of paradise…next week I’m hoping to post a collection of shots about textures. Thank you so much for reading this post, and I wish you a prosperous week ahead!

ps. If you want to see the shot of this view in the day its HERE!

psps. Also I just want to say THANK YOU again!

Photography Recap 2022

Hello my friends, 

I hope you had a good Christmas!

This week as it’s the last Friday of the year I thought that I’d create a little recap post with some of my favourite photographs taken in 2022.

So enjoy some black and white photography including ladybirds, butterflies and bumble bees.

In June I actually got some decent shots of a Holly Blue butterfly – I’d never seen one of these before – it had such stripy antennae! 

Letting the garden re-wild in the summer for #nomowmay was fun and it didn’t take long for insects to move in, there were so many ladybird beetles, I especially loved photographing them in the early morning.

I even grew my own wildflower ‘mini-meadow’ to encourage bees and really enjoyed watching them in the summer.

Continue reading “Photography Recap 2022”

Winter World Turtle {Art}

Hello my friends!!

I said I’d started this painting and here it is!

This weeks post is as the name suggests a Winter World Turtle – and the third World Turtle illustration.

As this one is winter themed I wanted the colours to reflect the time of year – the snow is painted using white ink and acrylic with a very pale ice blue watercolour. There are even some tiny icicles hanging from the turtles’ shell.

I wanted the trees to reflect the time of year so I made a few of them flop to the side – as if they’re weighed down by heavy snow! Its funny we don’t really get ‘proper’ snow where I live, if we’re lucky winter may grace the area with a very light dusting, but that’s it and its always such a disappointment!!

The turtle is painted using as many ‘cold’ colours as possible and in my opinion he looks a little fed up..and slightly like a Christmas pudding!

Like my other World turtle illustrations its A3 sized and is painted with Arteza watercolours and  brush pens, with all the outlines in Windsor & Newton Black Indian ink.

Yeah, so that’s it for this week…I’m thinking that the spring one might have a circle of standing stones…or maybe a glamping pod! What do you think of him? I definitely think this one’s a boy.

Thanks for checking out this art post and as always I wish you a wonderful week and a merry festive month!

Festive hand lettering {Art}

Hello friends,

Happy December!

As we’ve finally entered the festive month I though I’d share some Christmas Carol themed calligraphy art!

Something I’m trying to do is create a collection of festive themed art – I have a lot of art up around the house and have decided it might be fun to create winter pieces to go in each frame for the holiday season.

Two of my most favourite carols are O come all ye faithful and The Holly and the Ivy, which I’ve turned into A4 sized pieces in traditional festive colours. 

I love Christmas music – not necessarily the pop stuff, but the old school carols and folk stuff and having it on in the background while I’m making last minute gifts or decorations is always lovely, ideally I really like to have festive music playing in the background as soon as it hits December 1st.

Anyway that it for this week! I hope you like my festive hand lettering. I’m thinking of maybe trying some tutorials for calligraphy next year. Would anyone be interested in that?

And as always thanks for reading and happy December.

Old Forest Bench {One frame}

Hello friends!

Seeing as its the last Friday before the festive month I thought I’d post a little autumn forest one frame this week, I love this old wooden bench and how its slowly being reclaimed by the nature and I wanted to share it with you. 

When I took this photo it was wet, it was muddy and this old bench still sat there, beautiful as ever waiting for passers by to sit on it, surrounded by a sea of fallen leaves. Really rather poetic when you think about it.

So, that’s it for this week! I always think part of the fun of these one frame posts is really focusing on narrowing it down to a single image. As always thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Autumn World Turtle {Art}

Hello friends! 

A couple of weeks have slipped by without me posting – they flashed pass so quickly its unreal (I don’t know how some weeks can disappear in the blink of an eye and yet some days can last a lifetime)

This week I wanted to share a new painting. Back in July I posted the finished watercolour painting of ‘A World Turtle’ and thought, why not do a turtle for each season!

As its autumn I wanted the colours of the foliage to reflect the time of year – November here is a bit nippy but the trees are beautiful as they change colour. I’ve even tried to include little piles of leaves that have been swept together – even if they look like bushes!

The first World Turtle had a sun deck and I thought that this one being Autumn should have a start gazing platform.

And I wanted the actual turtle to incorporate my favourite autumn colours. Its A3 sized, the whole image is drawn free-hand, first with pencil and then ‘properly’ using a calligraphy ink quill and Windsor & Newton Black Indian ink and is painted with Arteza watercolour brush pens – which have so many uses and the pigments are wickedly vibrant.

I prefer to use a quill over pens because it feels more oldy-woldy and I always think black pens need to be gone over two or three times to achieve the same effect and colour depth as ink. Another handy thing about the ink is that its water proof!

Yeah, so that’s it for this week…What do you think? I’d love some feedback on this piece. I modelled the castle on an old fairy tale chateau and really love the warmth of the pinks and oranges against the evergreen trees.

Thanks for checking out this art post and as always I wish you a wonderful week and a merry festive month! 

ps. I’ve already started a winter version!!

Embroidered Gatekeeper butterfly {Art}

Hello my friends!!

This week I thought I’d post a new embroidery that I’ve been working on.

Looking back at the Gatekeeper butterfly photographs (that I posted last week!) I decided to embroider one similar to my other needlework butterflies – I’m developing quite a collection of needlework bugs/insects.

As always I started by roughly drawing four wing and body shapes onto calico and then filled them in with the closest coloured threads I had. I like to block colour first using two stands of embroidery floss and then blend using a single strand (on the smallest needle imaginable – its like a hair!)

Continue reading “Embroidered Gatekeeper butterfly {Art}”

Gatekeeper Butterfly {Photography collection}

Hello my friends!

Nature is magical isn’t it?!

This weeks post is a new butterfly centred photography collection. Its all about the Pyronia tithonus butterfly or Gatekeeper and over a couple of (very) early mornings it was most courteous and posed for a few pictures. I love insects and I wanted to take you with me into the early morning world of butterflies!

I loved watching the different flowers appear during #nomowmay (I even got up one morning to a huge patch of Ox Eye daisies) that I thought ‘that was fun, let’s let the unwanted plants do their own thing*.’

Continue reading “Gatekeeper Butterfly {Photography collection}”

Glastonbury Abbey {Photography collection}

Hello friends!

This week I wanted to share some recent snaps from a day spent at Glastonbury Abbey and I wanted to take you with me – I don’t usually take many shots of buildings and things but it made a really nice change! The abbey holds mythical status as the earliest Christian church in Britain and is the possible burial place of King Arthur.

The abbey itself is dog friendly, has multitude of events held within it and can even hold weddings!

Continue reading “Glastonbury Abbey {Photography collection}”

Ladybird beetle {One frame}

Hello my friends!

I hope life has treated you well this week.

I thought I’d share a new one frame this week as I’ve been going through my recent Ladybird beetle snaps, and can’t quite believe I have taken so many photos of them!

This one is a two spot ladybird up close and personal on a leaf. I love how the colours are so vibrant and I can’t believe how shiny the little bug is! Even the veins and patterns on the leaf look good. I really love how the left hand side of the leaf is slightly less defined with all focus on the ladybird and the leaf in front of it.

There are about 5,000 different species of ladybirds in the world. These much little beauties are also known as lady beetles or ladybugs because as suggested they’re beetles not bugs.

The natural light was so good that this image taken with my Nikon in macro mode, needed no post production.

Well that’s it, one ladybird photo for this post. I hope you like it. Do you have a favourite bug? They are wonderful little creatures that run our world and make no fuss whatsoever. As always thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Embroidered ladybird beetles {Art}

Hello friends!

This week I thought I’d post about some new needlework pieces that I’ve been creating on. Last year I fell so in love with bumble bees that I embroidered one (in fact I posted a new bumble bee embroidery only a few weeks ago!) and thought that as I’ve been captivated by the ladybird beetles why not sew one and add it to my ever expanding collection of insect needlework (in the end I created two!)

Usually I start all my needlework pieces the same way – by roughly drawing onto the calico and then its all sewn free hand using a single strand of coloured floss at a time onto a hoop and then sewn in teeny tiny little stitches. I’ve tried to sew them to look as round as possible.

I’m really pleased with these little ladybirds each piece is about an inch across so they’re very small, due to their size each one only took about 30 minutes to create from start to finish and its quite nice to have a quick and easy craft on hand for when the nights begin to get longer.

Up close the beetles are tiny – needlework is so soothing and I find its a really good stress/anxiety reliever.

Continue reading “Embroidered ladybird beetles {Art}”

Ladybird beetle {Photography collection}

Hello friends!

This week I wanted to share some recent snaps of my new obsession -Ladybird beetles!! I’ve spent a few days outside watching these bugs and I wanted to take you with me.

Ladybird beetles, one of those little creatures that just gets on with life and never makes any fuss. I noticed a lot more them this year, which is always nice. Obviously they are a great aphid eater which helps the garden no end but they’re also incredibly beautiful.

Enjoy some warm and happy summer colours and plenty of ladybirds…

I let the garden re-wild a little bit for #nomowmay – it didn’t take long for nettles to overtake and the ladybirds were so abundant I ended up buying a feeder to make sure the little guys had enough to eat.

Continue reading “Ladybird beetle {Photography collection}”

Another Embroidered bumble bee {Art}

Hello my friends!!

I hope the week treated you well!

This week I thought I’d post a new embroidery that I’ve been working on. Looking back at the bumble bee photographs (that I posted last week!) I decided to embroider one similar to my the needlework bee (that I posted last year).

A short but delicate art post this week…I’ve embroidered a new bumblebee! Very much like the one I created last year but the wings are in a different position.

As always I started by drawing the shapes onto calico and then filled them in with the closest coloured threads I had. For the bee I like to start in the centre of the body and work out in layers, using one stand of embroidery floss (on the smallest needle imaginable – its like a hair!).

For this bee the ‘body’ thready are waxed while the wings aren’t – meaning the wings stay slightly more shiny. As a first go with this idea I really liked the effect, but you have to be careful not to over wax the threads or it just doesn’t flow as well.

The hoop it’s in is six inches in diameter and sewn with the tiniest of stitches using eco friendly cotton floss, I love the fact that the wings can be made to look  a little more realistic just by sewing the threads in different directions. The bumblebees this year have been extra fluffy and its been lovely studying the bees again! What do you think? I’d love some feedback.

Well that’s it for this week…eventually I may even start selling them, ya never know! What do you think? Would you buy it? I’d love some feedback on this piece. Thank you so much for reading this post, and I wish you a joyous week ahead!

Bumble bees 2022 {Photography collection}

Hello wonderful friends!

I’ve spent a few days outside watching these bugs and generally being at one with nature and I wanted to take you with me, so for this weeks post I’ve put together a little collection of bumble bee related photographs that I’ve taken this summer.

Bees have always been super special to me  – I try my hardest to take care of them and grow as many flowers as possible. They are so very clever and do so much good for our planet, that we really should be doing more to create spaces for them.

In a bid to do more for nature I decided to try and grow my own wildflower ‘meadow’ along the garden fence. I mixed all different seeds together and liberally sprinkled them into the trench – there were a lot of cornflowers (which are my favourite) that were multicoloured as well as nasturtiums, marigolds, californian poppies and various herbs like lavender, sage and rosemary.

As a lot of these plants are annuals I think I might try to strategically plant them next year as the corn flowers are so abundant that they’re cutting off the light to some of the smaller plants at the bottom.

Continue reading “Bumble bees 2022 {Photography collection}”

Home is Behind {Art}

Hello my friends!

This week I thought as I’ve not posted any calligraphy art for a while I thought I’d share this one. I very much consider Middle Earth to be my happy place and the works of Tolkien have long been one of my favourite things!

So the actual song Tolkien wrote isn’t actually sung in The Lord of the Rings, part of its last verse is sung in The Return of the King, by Pippin. On the soundtrack of the film, this track is named Edge of Night and Billy Boyd sings it beautifully.

Home is behind
The world ahead
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadow
To the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight

Mist and shadow
Cloud and shade
All shall fade
All shall
Fade

I love working with water colours to try and bring as much nature into my art as possible and combining it with my love of all things green with my love of calligraphy and quotes, they don’t take long to do, but look really effective against a white wall – my funny little brain likes to pretend its alchemy!

Well that’s it for this week…I hope you like it! I really suggest everyone should have a go at hand lettering, even if you don’t think your hand writing is up to much as its one of the most relaxing crafts ever!! I really hope you enjoyed this weeks post. I might try and do some hand lettering tutorials (maybe) anyway thank you so much for reading and I wish you a prosperous week ahead!

Embroidered Large white butterfly {Art}

Hello friends! I hope you had a good week!

I’ve got a new butterfly embroidery to share this week. I’m really happy with the Large White photograph (that I posted last week!) I particularly love this type of butterfly – they’re so beautiful but because the caterpillars eat cabbages humans consider them a pest.

So I decided to embroider one similar to my Holly Blue.

After I roughly draw the four wings and body shapes onto the piece of calico I then filled them in with the closest coloured threads I had. I like to block colour first using two stands of embroidery floss and then blend using a single strand (on the tiny needle) and created a backing canvas with the butterflies name in a hoop with plain calico – in my best handwriting.

This one is a little bigger than the Holly blue butterfly that I posted a couple of weeks ago and is about 4 1/2 inches across, the stitches are so tiny! The Large white is a little different to the holly blueing so far as the body of the butterfly has a crocodile clip sewn on so that I can attach them to plants around the house!

Well that’s it for this week…I’ve got a few more of these on the way and am thinking of putting them on my etsy…maybe. My idea at the moment is to create needlework butterflies of all the real ones I see!

What do you think? Should they be bigger? I’d love some feedback on this piece. Thank you so much for reading this post, and I wish you a prosperous week ahead!

ps. if you want to check out the Holly Blue butterfly embroidery its HERE

Large White Butterfly {One frame}

Hello my friends!

I hope life has treated you well this week.

Well, its been four or five weeks since my last one frame post, and I thought I’d share this image – I was sitting in a grassy field recently when this little beauty landed near me! I’m pretty sure its a Large White (Pieris brassicae), it landed on a fox tail for maybe a minute before flying away!

When it comes to photography, I don’t use any special lenses or have a particularly high tech camera – I use a Nikon Coolpix L340 its a good little point and click camera (which I’ve had for ages) and although I’ve been threatening to upgrade to a DSLR for sometime, I like my L340 and know how to work it!

I was really glad to capture this image with quite a soft background and how the colours compliment the butterfly.

Well that’s it for this week, one butterfly photo. I hope you like it. Do you have a favourite bug? As ever I want to thank you for reading and wish you a wonderful week!