I am very much in love with Sandra Dieckmann’s illustration right now. I’ve been following her blog for a little while, and would like to direct people to her etsy shop and website too. She has such amazing mark making, incorporating the animal world, text, colour and storytelling, to create beautiful imagery which are applied to a varity of products in her shop. Naturally it’s the foxes that really lured me in, but there is so much work in her portfolio there is sure to be something to grab anyone’s attention.
I’ve been a little busy in the holiday season recently, but not to worry, more foxy updates will continue soon!
The winter solstice marks the very middle of winter, and whilst it is the shortest day and the longest night of the year, it is also a symbol of hope, and we are reassured that from now on the days will get longer and lighter and the nights will get shorter. Warm yourself by fires, light candles and create symbols of the growing sunshine to encourage its path. As we step into the spring in the coming months, right now we can appreciate the initial sparks of this exciting time with the waning of the winter season.
Above is a photograph taken during last winter’s snow, when I was working on my altered dolls from my Models from Childhood project.
With the Christmas season upon us, it’s time to deck the halls. It’s been many years since I’ve put up any decorations, because I’m not overly fond of the artificiality of tinsel, plastic baubles and synthetic trees, and I’ve never liked the idea of cutting down a tree for the holiday season. But this year I’ve made an early resolution – all the decorations will be handmade, thus saving our house from a plastic makeover and celebrating the creative coming together of loved ones.
I started this venture by constructing a driftwood Christmas tree, drawing inspiration from a few I’ve been ogling in the past month or so. It took under an hour to actually assemble, but finding and sorting the driftwood took considerably longer. I was lucky enough to have a box of driftwood in the shed, left over from a driftwood mirror project my mother was working on last year. We had spent many months combing British beaches for the materials, beautifully sculpted by the sea and sand, which cut out so much time from the process of making the Christmas tree. I only had to spend an afternoon sorting the wood into size order and then dividing it into two rough piles, so I could make two of the trees. (One for myself, and one as a thank you for using the materials!) After this, it was a simple matter of drilling holes in each piece of wood and threading them on a metal pole. I came across two rather sturdy pieces of curved wood for the bottom branches, which made a stable base, but this was sheer luck, and would recommend further research on the bases of driftwood trees for those who would like to try their hand at making one!
The weather was so perfectly autumnal this weekend I decided to take my bike out and conduct a photo shoot of my newly pressed cotton totes which are for sale on etsy. Even though it was the first weekend of December, the crunchy fallen leaves were more reminiscent of harvest time than approaching mid-winter.
We are lucky enough to have many lovely Cotswold stone buildings and walls built nearby and it would have been foolish to not take advantage of these. The one in the above photograph surrounds a charming little pet graveyard I discovered a few months ago, with small engraved stones dedicated to the beloved animals of past inhabitants. The words on most of the graves have eroded over the years, but on some it was possible to make out a few names, such as “Nipper, 1906-1914”, “Rascal, 1921”, and “Our Beloved Pippa, 1898-1910”. Although some graveyards can have a morbid feel, the idea that these people had cared so deeply for their family pets that they had invested in headstones for their burial is somewhat beautiful. Nearby there is an old graveyard for humans, but whilst it was usually deserted, this weekend brightly clad people were conducting maintenance on overhanging trees and I didn’t want to disturb them with my photography, despite the beautiful stonework contained within.