Friday, 23 December 2011

Winter Solstice Yule 2011

The Solstice sunrise heralds the lengthening days

and the longest night's clouds scatter

offering, in their passing, a transient window blessing

Many original Yuletide decorations grace our home
Foggy, Jamie and I made this revolving and annually evolving mobile 

and my sister, Sheila made the beaded snowflake

Victor consents to join us for the party!

The holly and the ivy
and Foggy's Christmas candle lights 

 Ficus has a festive dressing

I love this year's mistletoe mobile...

A bit of bling with senti-ments gathered over the years 

we feasted, laughed and drank
raised our glasses to absent friends
ate homemade pizza
played music
told stories
passed a Wassail cup
re-lit last year's Yule log and lit the next
burnt our holly sprigs with all last year's trouble
and crowned the Yule Jester, Bob

What a lovely time of year for parties, family and friends
for remembering and reflecting
 planning and dreaming 

Be your dreams

Solstice blessings to you all

Love and Light


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Tree of Life Painting by Sally and Phillip

A huge beautifully wrapped parcel arrived this week!

A painting, a wonderful work by two amazing artists

How rare to have two artists working on the same canvas, work for The Celtic Year Exhibition at the Garden Cafe way back in 2009.

Come for a quick fly around with me....

I'm so lucky to be the new custodian
Thanks Sally and Phillip!

Love and bright light


Monday, 31 October 2011

Samhain: Celtic New Year 2011: Six Moons over the Bone Garden

Celebrate the Celtic New Year
The Wheel turns
the veil thins
Magic fills the air

Six Moons over the Bone Garden

 and some detail

Spiral moons and bones seemed just the combination for Samhain, if like me you want to see more of Laura's work with forest finds then click your way over here to her fabulous blog for a creepy crawly Halloween post with skulls and bones. 

Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead
Bright Blessings  
Love and Light

River Derwent Samhain 2011

Samhain Salutations all

Sheila has sent this image of the Derwent taken on an autumnal walk from St Bee's to Basenthwaite, the grade 2 rapids inspired her to write!

Ode to the River Derwent

River flowing, flowing onwards
Swiftly onwards towards the Lake.
River rippling, swelling, growing,
Flowing onwards towards the Lake.

Life is like this river,
young and spritely in it's youth,
Leaping, springing, growing wider,
Sometimes calm and often deep.

Maturity brings with it many pleasures.
Over rocks and dancing waves.
Meandering forwards,
Twisting, turning.
Ever forwards to journey's end.


Sunday, 30 October 2011

From Dylan Thomas' Writing Shed: Laugharne

Sunrise and mist over the estuary

Mist rises

For Dylan Thomas

Echoing, tramping, crashing in Dylan’s footsteps
His words scoring rhythm tracks in my mind

The lovers, arm in arm still clutch the grief of ages
Their digital images capture the scene yet lose the truth
That’s sound and wind and rain and thought

Sunlight skitters and slides across the estuary
Invading the bay and stretching fingers through grey cloud to green, rich turf

The spirit of inspiration flies

Blue grey writing shed perched on cliff, hovers neither at base nor peak
His shoes remain as unfilled as his jacket
Casually slung over the cheap wooden chair
Papers screwed and crumpled under the desk,

The mudflat
A dreamscape of ruts and swirls
Chaotic motion
A new puzzle revealed rhythmically by tidal meanderings

His words a challenge to life, to death, to beauty 
A dare
A warning?

Curlew and catcher, jackdaw and crow
The owl’s fluttering warble softening the howl of the wind

 Do not go gently into this good night
Do not retreat like the water which daily acquiesces to the moon’s command

Forge a new path

Fight and rage
Against the dying of the light

Lizbeth Wilson: October 26th 2011

The view from Dylan's Writing Shed 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Coming soon: Samhain 2011/All Hallows Eve/Hallowen

Mainly in these darkening days leading up to Samhain and a New Celtic Year we are (obsessively?) preoccupied with triskelle/triskelion/triskele (apply whichever label grabs you!) and Foggy has produced an amazing range of routed and etched triskelle in various materials. This all in response to my desire for a mould to make a low relief ceramic plaque - which is still to be made! I just had to use this aluminum version on a Samhain moon painting! Here's some detail - I see the dragon!

The triskelle represents many things: the forward motion of life; the unbroken line; land, sea and sky; maiden, mother and crone: the Otherworld, the Mortal World and the Celestial World; life, death and rebirth. 
No surprise then that spirals and triskelle have from the Neolithic to the 21st century been beautifully symbolically powerful!
From doodles on schoolbooks to scribblings on agenda, from the delights of an ammonite or a fern uncurling and the first pinch pot I ever made, even the ring I wear, spirals have been an unconscious and conscious part of my life. 
The triskelle extends and develops, shows continuity and connectivity in this amazing journey through The Wheel of Life.

Engineered precision meets primitive paint - love the contrast!  

Share your Samhain/Halloween legends, music and activities!
Love and (Moon) Light

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Jungle Lore: Phillip Kingsbury

A juicy jungle jumble
With Jurassic Journeys juxtaposed
In this Java jazzy junction
And juggle jiggle and joust
They joke jest and jabber

Thanks to Phillip for this vibrant jungle scene - I love it and couldn't resist putting together some
J words, read this aloud quickly!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Autumn Equinox: Alban Elued (Light of the Water): Mabon: Harvest Home

As the equinox approaches in this time of equal day and night great flocks of birds fly over my head, migrating, the trees are in their last bloom, the reds and golds light the paths I wander. 
Nature's colours stun me and I have to stop and stare.

I feel the thinning of the veil and remember. 
September, a time of loss, withdrawal, of seasonal activities ending. 
September, a time for planning, thinking, gathering in the harvest.

 And in my garden flowers bloom still

and we just had sweetcorn from the garden for dinner!

The Wheel turns
time now for healing and rest
and staring into log fires!

Wishing you all joy
love and light

Friday, 2 September 2011

Dying on the Vine: Rob Russell

Dying on the Vine

A chemical reaction that some might call attraction
And others term a fire in the mind
Makes me yearn for your embrace
Each time I fail to replace you
And the fruit of my desire starts to die upon the vine

If who you know brings what you get, and who knows you is who you let
Believing in that feeling without waiting for a sign
Then you’re reaping what you sow, as your mind begins to grow
But if you’re tardy with the harvest
Still it dies upon the vine

When stealing to get feeling is a life that feels appealing
And honest feels like weakness and a wankers waste of time
Then divine intervention brings the greater scheme to your attention
And the clarion call of thrilling crime
Slows and dries inside the vine

When the summer stops its flow and the lucky ones get up and go
Leaving others greatly hindered to stay and face the winter
And with nothing left to say to you
There’s nothing left for us to do
But watch the fruits of summer day by day die on the vine

The girl on the train who has occupied my brain
Since she minded the gap and opposite me sat
Walks away and up the stairs with my eyes upon her hair
And is that hint of red, cause for regret?
Is the question that looks on, as the death toll clicks up one

Thanks Rob, the melancholy here certainly reflects the season in the UK with leaves turning to reds and golds, sap withdrawing and the energies shifting into winter rest mode.

Love and changing light 

Monday, 1 August 2011

Celebration of Completion: Purple Rain

Sheila has shared this fantastic hanging, it is a felted wool bat with scrap wool and a bead panel.
A celebration of completion!

I love the rich and radiant colours
Thanks for sharing your Purple Rain celebration Sheila!

Brambles and Rosehips herald Autumn

Helen and Marie were walking their dogs on Saturday and spotted these beautiful signs of Autumn. They're looking forward to harvesting and making blackberry vodka to warm them on the approaching dark cold wintry nights!

Save me some of that delicious vodka please!

Thanks Helen and Marie

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dreaming of Lughnasadh - Lammas - Harvest Home under the Mead Moon

Almost Lughnasadh - Lammas - Harvest Home 
and under the Mead Moon I sat, 
dreamily thinking of this time of year, the turn of the season, the harvest coming, planning ahead and remembering.
That night I dreamt of the shining one's blessings and triskelle, the spiraling circle of life and then 
of the beautiful reflective Moon lighting our nights, our hearts.

Mead Moon Dreaming 2011

Celtic Clans

Celebrate the season
The shining one, the corn mother
The fruitful abundance and energy
Honour those who share their wisdom and experience
Appreciate all in gratitude, with joy
Harvest, store, sing, celebrate successes
Build on these

Be your dreams

and on that topic, sometimes magic happens...I swapped a painting for this

 Emma Hedley's lyric bangle with my chosen words

"seed flower fruit rest
sun moon earth sky
rainbow paints joy peace
love and light
be your dreams"

Loving it - thanks Emma!


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

solstice celebrations

Once again I am lucky enough to be here in Portugal for the solstice. I am staying at OBRAS a centre for artists and scientists. Last night we all gathered at a small hill with a stone that directly aligns to the setting solstice sun.

It was a magical shared moment.

and here are some rainbow pictures from a few days ago...remembered after reading Lindsey's beautiful poem.

you may just be able to make out that it was three rainbows...I've never seen that before.

Hope you had a happy solstice

Sally x

Solstice: Helen Cowans

I'm very excited to introduce a guest blog from Helen, a wonderful textile artist from Northumbria. I love her work and this piece makes my heart sing, having this view at the bottom of her garden must be so inspirational!

This piece of work “Solstice” was created around a photograph I took 2 years ago just at the back of my garden. I used the picture for Solstice greeting cards that year.
I love being able to incorporate my photographs into my textiles (using treated fabrics and archival inks) and I love using silks and velvets as I’ve used in this piece. I love the textures and the rich, deep colours.

I’ve always loved nature (I studied Biology at University) and I love to follow the seasons. I’ve long had an interest in monuments such as Stonehenge and Avebury and have spent many hours hunting for stone circles in obscure places and walking to hillforts.

More recently I’ve been incorporating Mother Goddess and Rock Art images ( into my work – and there are more of these to come; Goddesses as the seasons, both in 3D and as wall pieces and more abstract art based on ancient monuments. So far I have the sketches and need to get them created. They’ll be exhibited at the Loch Lomond Quilt Show in 2012 (

For me the solstice times are very special. Though I feel more empathy with the Winter Solstice – as this is the time when the light and sun returns. The Summer solstice is not such a happy time for me as it means we are heading back into darker days and the wheel of the year is turning, ultimately, toward Winter.

I’ve been working in textiles for 10 years now; I went to college one day a week to learn C&G embroidery when my son was a year old and its taken over! I now teach and lecture and have my first solo exhibition this month at Paxton House near Berwick upon Tweed.
If, like me, you can't wait to see more of Helen's work her web site is and her blog is

Thanks Helen

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Summer Solstice or The Dance between the Earth and Sun

                     in their dance 
                        Earth and Sun breed
                          innocent play in light
                              wild magics by night

                                     spiral light waves
                                           through Honey Moon
                                               whispering be your dreams
                                                   now in Light of the Shore
                                                       sky painted rainbows appear

love and light

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Summer Solstice Suddenly Suprises - 9 days to go!

Tree of Life

Hot from the kiln! I made this as the leaves came into full bloom and thinking of the long summer days yet to come. Then there were Bank Holidays, celebrations and exhibitions to prepare for so just collected this from the Pottery Group kiln last Thursday night. My heart leaped as I saw it, just as I had pictured it would be. Fresh and full with the bark glowing and the light dancing. The frame is an unused wooden cheeseboard, I love re-using such things, please don't throw yours away, save them for me!
As I stood thinking about this piece, late last night, I realised the Solstice is only 10 days away, the season of lengthening days is passing, harvest time soon approaching.
I wonder how you all will celebrate the Solstice, The Wheel of Life and Nature's bountiful beauty?

This is my meditation before I paint or play with clay, puts my head and heart into the right place.

Follow me!

Share your Solstice creativity in words, pictures, music... by e-mail here.

love and light


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Beltane Blessings from Celestial Elf

Much more beautiful info here

Thanks for sharing Celestial Elf


Monday, 2 May 2011

Beltane 2011. Tansley Wood Bluebells

Bluebells: Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Bluebells can be found in damp shady fields, hedgerows and woods throughout Britain.

A woodland carpet of bluebells is most spectacular and the grand finale that Spring offers. Bluebell flowers are sweetly scented but the plant, particularly the seed and the fresh bulb, is poisonous. If eaten the result can be vomiting, abdominal pains and a weak slow pulse from which recovery can be slow. The sap can cause dermatitis. The plant is also poisonous for some animals.

In flower language it is a symbol of constancy, regret, and solitude.

Whilst, in Celtic legend, the bluebell is known as the faerie flower and has a dangerous sinister side.

If a child wanders in a wood alone and picks a bluebell she/he will never be seen again.

If an adult wanders alone in a bluebell wood and picks a flower he/she will be led around by a pixie for ever unless somebody rescues him/her.

Apparently Merlin and King Arthur are still sleeping in a cave in Britain after being tricked into drinking a potion containing bluebell seeds and they will only to be wakened when Britain needs them, so beware!



Very interesting, thanks Marie - I always thought bluebells look better from a distance!

Having safely crossed the bridge (any trolls or pixies about) and you want to see more photos click  here


Monday, 25 April 2011

Beltane Approaches


A lovely multi-media image from Sheila reminding us that summer is a comin' in and to get your Beltane fires ready. She says:

I think of bonfires when I look at it. This seems to fit in with the 'bright fire' derivation of the common Celtic *belo-te(p)niâ. The colours are also very fire-like.

It is a piece of natural calico with painted Bondaweb© 'tree' trunks, there is also a bit of foiling in there, although it's not very clear on the photo. Small strips of green fabric give highlights to the trees and the button is a piece of driftwood that a friend's husband makes into these beautiful button creations. The melon seeds are coffee dyed - a result of my latest dying experiment.


I love this beautiful collaboration and mixing of media - definitely making me think of bonfires too, thanks!

Can't wait to see what other works are inspired by this festival "Fires of Bel/Beltane" on the cusp of seasons' change. Share through

Joy, inspiration, love and light to you all