Saturday, 29 October 2011

Hawthorn Brandy pt2

Infused for 2 weeks, strained and bottled. I placed muslin round the top of the jar so I could strain it into a jug. This is easier than putting the muslin over the jug, less chance of spilling. Then I poured the strained liquid into a sterilised bottle. Don't forget to label it!

Now all you need is somewhere warm to drink it....

Happy Autumn!

Monday, 17 October 2011

from my workshop....

I'm working on some new ideas at the moment and getting ready for a couple of fairs I'm doing in November. Its difficult to get a quantity of stock together when the majority of your pieces are one offs, but although most of the pendants I make are all individual, I still find I can do several at a time. It is, however, by no means a production line.

Latest work

Silver feathers - I have a couple of these on the go at the moment but they are quite time consuming so I'm not sure how many I'll get done. I use naturally molted feathers so I'm always on the lookout when I go for a walk. Its not as easy as you might think to find the right one....

Gingko leaves - I collected these on my walk round Regents Park. I love the shape of them and their gently ribbed, textured surface. They translate beautifully into silver.

Commissions - Recently a friend asked me to turn this celtic hare design, from his company website, into a pendant for his wife's birthday. It turned out really well and as a result I am working on some more celtic designs of my own. I love the depth and freeflowing spiral designs of celtic artwork so it should be fun. 

I love this process, coming up with new ideas and designs and making them reality. The problem I have is restricting myself to one idea at a time. But then again, where's the fun in that... 

Monday, 10 October 2011

pink yarrow & pink hair

well the weather has changed again and it now officially feels like autumn. There's a chill in the air and it doesn't feel wrong to go out wearing a scarf. After a week of very little sleep (4am starts most days, thanks to my daughter) I felt the need to have some me time so I headed up to London for a mooch round Camden Lock market and then joined a herbalist I know who had organised a walk round regents park, to see what is still around at this time of year.

As you can see it was quite a grey day but was nice to be at the market as it opened. Not many people about apart from the stall holders, eating their bacon sandwiches and discussing the day before the hordes of tourists arrive. The smells of fresh coffee and ethnic food filled the air and people huddled round radios and tiny tvs, checking up the on the rugby. We lost, 'nuf said. There are some fantastic characters in Camden, one in particular who caused quite a stir as she motored down the main street at top speed!

On our walk we discovered most plants have gone over by now, but we found the usual plantain, nettles, elder and hawthorn, and mugwort, which even though it has long finished flowering the smell from the drying flower heads is still incredible! We found some beautiful deep pink yarrow and an abundance of sage, rosemary and lavender in one of the large flower beds. Everything is slowing down for approaching winter, putting all the goodness and energy down into its roots for next season. Its a great time to collect roots such as dandelion and plantain. The berries are now passed here too but there is still time to collect them if you can find them. Thanks to Klara for an informative (if a bit chilly!) stroll.

Its important that we mark the passing seasons and take stock of what is happening in nature. We have had some very strange seasons this year and as the climate changes dramatically so do the seasons, the weather and the way nature reacts to them. It is all too easy these days to complain about the cold, the rain and the apparent lack of sun but we should appreciate these things and their roll in the cycle of life. After all if things didn't happen this way we would be in a very different situation. Take the opportunity to stop and look at the trees and plants around you and notice what they are doing to prepare for the coming season, where they are directing their energies. We could learn valuable lessons from them.

Didn't get much done on Sunday as my daughter decided to wake me at 3.30am again but at least we got to watch the sunrise. And she did, with Daddy's help, buy me some gorgeous flowers to say sorry.....

Monday, 3 October 2011

indian summer

This last week or so we have experienced the most amazing heat wave in the UK, it's felt like summer all over again. Not that we had a summer really, the seasons have been all over the place this year; a lovely warm spring, a damp, rainy and cold summer and now a sunny and hot wonder the plants and animals are confused. And they're saying it may snow towards the end of October!

We had planned to go to the east coast of Yorkshire to visit family over a month ago and we couldn't have arranged better weather if we'd booked it specially.

Nice to have a bit of sun and some blue sky to lift the spirits, it's been a while.

Thornwick Bay

A beautiful place to be remembered....

North Landing