Saturday, 4 April 2020

April 2020

                                     


It is a very strange time we are all living through. it is hard to write about so Let me  write my post and hope that everyone reading this finds a little bit of pleasure from what I write and show you from my little place in this world. 
Nature is and always has been a big part of my life. so  I will share some beautiful nature that is making me happy and occupied during this time.
My garden started to show lots of signs that Spring is finally arriving.  daffodils and the amazing Snakehead Fritillary flowers.  Those of you who  know my blog will already know how much I love these flowers and how I add more each year at the bottom of my garden.

each day I wander down to see them, spent time looking at them and usually pick a few favourites to bring into the house to draw. I have used my own homemade Blackberry ink and a fine nib in a dip in pen. It keeps my mind focused and it is a slow time carefully drawing as I concentrate on the flowers and the  patterns slowly appear.






My eyes are not as good as when I was younger but Starting to draw I guess I can also use my memory  of past drawings and my style of drawing appears to replicate the flowers.

And something lovely appears on the blank page. can you see how very beautiful these flowers are,  so delicate and  elegant. They really are a  special sight as they appear now year after year and even more special because I planted each tiny white bulb.




The birds are singing each morning,  hopping around the garden all day long.  We were talking about how they seem so safe here, they know we feed them and I even left a pile or two of nesting materials for them when I did some gardening and collected dry stems.  How delighted we were to spot the blackbird going into the privet hedge,  the same place she made a nest last year. Quietly I had  a gentle peep and there it was.
A beautiful new nest with two blue eggs. it melts your heart.



And  then my husband watched a Robin flying out of the ivy. Guess what,  another nest.  We have been respectful, kept away at a safe distance from both nests but will be delighted to see the young birds  later on in the year hopefully  hopping around in the garden from both of the nests. 


It makes my heart sing  to know they chose my garden  to build in and that I am doing something right living along side nature and caring for it. I hope they are the same family returning.



Sunday, 16 February 2020

After the Storms.

the view from my garden of the high tide.

I guess it is not news to you all that we have been battered by two different storms during the past two weekends.  It has caused flooding.  So sad for all of the people who have had their homes flooded and damaged by the rising rivers breaking their banks and  all the heart break and upset it causes. I am sat listening to the wind roaring and watching as yet another high tide is on the way to cover our seashore. 

The  railway line is a few feet away from being flooded.
  I feel very grateful to be warm and safe. As the sea rushes into the estuary you see the force of the water with the wind behind it. Last weekend all the trains were cancelled because of the danger.  Day after day we have had such tides and the land and fields are waterlogged.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon drawing by the window looking out onto the grey gloomy weather.
my drawing of the found piece of china from the shore by Eileen Postlethwaite 
I am recording some of the blue and white china pieces that were found on my shore walks.
After such storms the rough sea water batters and erodes the sand bankings and reveals forgotten and hidden remains from a past life. I have collected so many and yet each time I find a new piece it gives me such joy.  The little pieces always have such interesting patterns and it really feels like I have a box of treasure.  The most exciting part for me in this drawing is that this is my own handmade ink made from flowers,  a secret for the moment.  I  was amazed  to make a blue ink and  thrilled to be able to draw my found china with it.
my tools along with the blue ink I made by Eileen Postlethwate 
I carefully sketched the china piece with a pencil and then used the dip- in pen with a fine nib and painted with an equally fine paint brush.  My own Blue ink. The Perfect Colour for the china.
Nearly completed hand drawn with my own ink  by Eileen Postlethwaite
I have recorded lots of lovely pieces  but it is still a work in progress.  My Project started with my  homemade book with drawings in my own inks.  All made from natural plants and objects found by me.
 It has been a slow process drawing but I am really happy how its looking and growing into a great project. It is almost a year since I started by making the handmade book, the inks and drawing my finds.  It is definitely a labour of  Love and so rewarding to think I did it all.  My eyes do not always thank me with the slow detailed work dip by dip and today I have stained blue fingers.

So a feast for the eyes is seeing the snowdrops and daffodils flowering.

 I have two blue glass vases each growing a beautiful blue scented hyacinth that greets you each morning.  A bulb teased into growing as its roots drink up the water in the jar and  they remind me of a jelly fish with the long white roots dangling.  I can see so many new spring shoots and signs of more colour in the garden as old and  new bulbs put down their roots.
A new find  By Eileen Postlethwaite
A new piece of china found on our recent walk. When we saw some blue sky and sunshine!
  It is good to walk and feel the cool breeze and blow away the cobwebs.
leave your foot prints in the sloppy sand.  
Wander home after a lovely walk as the sun goes down.




                                      A glance back to where you were as the sun sets


 Hope this finds every one safe and well. thank you for your comments  I Would  love to hear 
what are you drawing or making at this time of year.     Bye for now. x. Milly 
See you soon.

 Eileen Postlethwaite .all photographs and drawings by Eileen Postlethwaite.
Please be respectful. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year


Today brings a new year. 
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year filled with peace and kindness.

A few weeks ago I walked past this lovely old oak tree.  Then last month when the leaves were brown and falling I found a single acorn on the ground, I picked it up and looked at it, your coming home with me I said. Unable to resist I climbed the wooden gate and dropped down into the wood.  It is like entering another world, leaves crunch and twigs send out loud cracks as you walk through the wood.  Whilst my acorn is held softly in my hands so not to harm it.  I had a special place where I wanted to draw it.  My handmade book I created to draw and record my home made inks.

First page of my book of drawings from my own homemade inks
Eileen Postlethwaite
I  like small things, they surprise you, as size means nothing when you know the potential and power that little acorn has.  As  I  look up into the spreading branches of the oak and know this tree started life as a tiny  acorn.
I once  planted an acorn and now it grows behind my house,  last year was the first time it had acorns and this year the first time it had oak galls but each year it gets stronger and grows some more.


I made ink from the oak Galls  and used it to draw oaks.
Eileen Postlethwaite

I decided to draw acorns and oak leaves,and  because of my love of brown inks make my own.  This picture above shows my drawings using my own ink made using some oak galls I found.  A dip in pen and my ink records oak finds......... a little piece of magic as my natural ink  records nature. All found in my own village.
As I have slowly watched my book fill up, a little at a time.  I have used plants and flowers and berries and seeds to make different colours to draw with.  Just as nature takes its time,  I have to wait patiently until things are ready, each season brings something new.   During 2019  it has been  so exciting finding different colours from nature.

New Years Eve....the sky at sunset.
Eileen Postlethwaite
Nature constantly surprises us with  colours. To end the year this was the sunset from my bedroom window.  What a way to end the year.....better than any firework display.


Snakehead Fritillary flowers in my garden,  looking forward to seeing them again soon.
Eileen Postlethwaite

And I have just planted some more tiny creamy coloured bulbs to grow and add to the  snakehead frillary flowers already in my garden.  Small things have such  potential to make beautiful things happen.  I often see my drawings and realise in my own little way I can send and share my love of nature to so many people and  make a difference. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.  Perhaps we could all spread some peace and kindness for 2020. 


Thursday, 4 July 2019

Sunshine and flowers


Hello.  It is beautiful weather here and we  are enjoying being outside and  going for walks around the village. The verges and  hedgerows are full of wild flowers, it is so lovely to see so many wild flowers thriving in this changeable weather we have experienced over the last few months. It is hot and we are not used to it!   Then  it can turn so cool and oh dear, can it rain here in the English  Lake district!  So as it is now officially Summer,  it is lovely to have some sunshine.

eco printing with flowers from my garden  by Eileen Postlethwaite
I have been capturing colours with different flowers  from my garden.  I did this last year and experimented with different coloured flowers.  It was trial and error, as I sat and rubbed different flower heads and squeezed the colours to create an image.

Lace capped primula  on paper by Eileen Postlethwaite
 I tried whatever flowers were in my garden, some worked beautifully and others not so well. I used a pebble to roll across the flowers,  and I  become more aware of  what techniques worked.  How much  pressure to apply and more aware of the different types of  paper to use to  create a better image. First I used a watercolour paper then tried  other various papers, the best way is to just experiment and play to discover what you can use.


Now its time to try the process on fabric by Eileen Postlethwaite
    After a lot of  different coloured flowers and many skills learnt I  felt like I was capable of moving on to fabric and chose a cotton handkerchief which was new and unused.  I placed the cotton between two sheets of paper and decided to use a metal soup spoon to rub these delicate flower heads.

peeling back the top layer of paper was really exciting, by Eileen Postlethwaite
    It was a slow careful process as I rubbed a single flower at a time, sitting at the table. I had to be careful not to move or brush across the flower heads.  It actually took about four hours to complete but the moment I peeled back the paper was really exciting.  These were all done last summer so I had to try again this year.  I  decided to go bigger and not just small flowers but try the whole plant, so here we go.  A hammer was used to carefully bash the stalks and leaves and flowers, a small headed hammer and the same techniques.  It all takes time and patience to achieve a good result.  It is exciting to try diffrerent plants and discover what works well.  Have a go and see.


eco printing by Eileen Postlethwaite 
  I really love using nature for creative work. I have also been making natural dyes and  my own nature inks to draw with.  I am drawing with my home made inks and again it so exciting to discover colours using my own garden plants,  hedgerow  berries and seeds.

elderberry dyed fabric by Eileen Postlethwaite

The dyed fabrics will be made into something.  Do you remember my little miniature quilt from Elderberries? sadly it faded to a paler version, as many natural dyes do.  I  still enjoy dyeing and discovering colours and sewing them.  My lovely hare drawing on the pincushion,  watching me as I sew. 


using my own homemade inks to draw with by Eileen Postlethwaite
  I am using my own  homemade inks and have been working  on some new  drawings using only my new colours of  ink.   It  feels so me,  using my local colours,  from picking berries, making inks and  using them recording natural objects  I have found on my walks. In this fast world it is good to slow down and use a dip pen and  quietly work at my drawings,  slowly and carefully, no rush just take my time recording my found objects. 
 Can you imagine the feeling of  using your own inks to draw with?  Here I used my Elderberry, and Walnut made in 2016,  the sycamore is from an elderberry made back in 2015.  I am always  full of ideas and inspired by where I live.  When a peacock butterfly appears on your curtain one morning.


a visitor delighted us with her beauty on the living room curtain.  Eileen Postlethwaite
Last Friday evening we walked on  the shore and my daughter took this photograph just before the sun went down. I think it speaks for itself.  We have had such beautiful sunsets.  It is nice to share.  

photograph  by my daughter Jane Postlethwaite 30 June 2019 
  

I hope you enjoy seeing what I have been doing.  Let me know what your project is and if you have been creative, I would love to hear.  
Bye for now  Milly.x
Eileen Postlethwaite



Saturday, 1 June 2019

Spring

So happy to be writing a post . I hope you enjoy reading it.
  Hello.  I walked to the bottom of my garden to see what was growing and I was delighted to find my foxgloves flowering. I have scattered wild flower seeds and Woodland plants and letting it become even  more of a wild garden. This is going to be an exciting year watching what happens and seeing how many different varieties grow. The garden has been full of butterflies on sunny days. the birds sing each morning and it is so lovely to know we have birds nesting in our garden, two blackbird nests with eggs all safely hatched and playing in the shrubs and hedges.  Our bird box has also attracted a great tit nesting and raising a family,  We were delighted after hanging the box  three years ago, we have seen the two adults busy feeding the young.  One day as I was hanging the washing out I saw a little head peep out !

natural colours from my eco dyeing. Eileen Postlethwaite
My washing line has also been used to hang up my experiments with natural dyeing. These are some of the lovely colours from plants hanging out to dry, from last summer.  I have also been using lots of different  berries and plants to make my homemade inks. 




One of my favourites Blackberry.Eileen Postlethwaite
I really love working like this, collecting the berries and making the ink and then drawing with my homemade colours.  It is so exciting drawing blackberries with ink made from my own village hedgerows.  I will share some other colours and drawings using my inks over the year. 

 
found acorns in ink and dip in pen. Eileen Postlethwaite
During the last few months I have been recording some of my finds.  I have been drawing leaves and acorns and my favourite Magpie moth. the moth was painted on a recycled box, our porridge box which has lovely parchment coloured card once you turn it inside out!  I can't think of a better way to recycle than use it to paint a beautiful Magpie Moth. 







Some of my finds...A recycled box adorned with My favourite Magpie Moth. Eileen Postlethwaite


Last year I contributed to a wonderful project by printing over a hundred Moths for the " Moth Migration Project" by  Hilary Lorenz , you can read about it HERE  .I carved and printed my designs and posted them to the USA .  We  received a certificate and personal thank you from Hilary Lorenz from the USA, who is exhibiting over 20,000 Moths.  I was just one person along with so many others from around the world who contributed,  so pleased I did.

collecting shells at the beach .  Eileen Postlethwaite
Walks on the beaches have been blustery and cold during the winter months.  Just the thought of going to the sea inspires me.   I always find so many natural objects, then I arrive back home and  get out my big box of coloured pencils to record the pretty pastel shades.  A rainbow of colours on a winters day. they are tiny simple shells but I love collecting them and drawing them.  Of course I never  stop at shells....feathers, seaweed, mermaids purses, oak leaves, pieces of blue china, sea glass......all sit in dishes waiting! 

Amazing sunsets, evening sky in the  Duddon Estuary, 

Waiting and dreaming of Springtime and the thought of my beautiful Snakehead Fritillaries filling the garden.  And once again the snowdrops push through, then the daffodils and primroses and violets.
violets in my path make me smile
 And then they arrive, fragile and so beautiful, hundreds of tiny chequered heads, the Snake head Fritillaries,   everyone planted over the years from tiny white bulbs. I wander down just to sit and look at them and then choose one to draw.

my beautiful fritillary garden
  A study of one of the flowers,  each one seems to have different patterns.  I had pink shades and lots of white ones too and even some with double heads.  I love their elegant shapes and the way they droop their heads and the leaves create movement.

drawings by Eileen Postlethwaite


beautiful patterns on my favourite flower

Time seems to pass so quickly,  but gladly it seems a slower pace here in our little village.  The  other weekend we were reminded of a different time when things were slower and handsome steam powered trains travelled along the railway lines and passed through villages and people waved at the train and the passengers waved back with smiles from one to another. I think everyone would agree for a few moments we captured the spirit of  that age, as I also captured some photographs to share with you. I  hope my blog makes you smile and you find the time to send a little message back, it would be lovely to hear from you wherever you are.


The Steam train approaching our village station. they always pull the hooter and spit out the steam to delight us all.



Train whistle blowing. 

And I will leave you with another beautiful sky...the colours of my pink foxgloves.



Have a wonderful weekend.
see you soon

Milly x

Eileen Postlethwaite 


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Nature delights as she starts a New and Wonderful year.

Each day I wander down to the bottom of my garden to see the snowdrops.   From the muddy leaf covered ground once again they appear, peeping green shoots.  In no time  the clumps of white buds open their petals and show their pretty flowers.  I wonder if they know just how pleased we are to see them.  I picked a handful and placed them in the kitchen window, each time I wash the dishes I marvel at their clean white petals.   It is magical how they appeared  again on time, when we so needed to see some sign that spring is on the way.  Today I felt so happy to see all my bulbs growing, the first yellow daffodils flowering,  blue and white crocus starting to open.   I planted lots of new bulbs last Autumn and feel like a child waiting for them to flower.


 My fritillary are coming on well and I even noticed one has got off to a fast start showing a bud already.   I have been sitting drawing in front of the window so each  time I look up I can see the view across the shore to the Lakeland hills.  Our lovely view, always changing, always so inspiring whatever the season.  Rainbows and sunsets and blue sky,   as I need to remind myself of the promise of more  colour in these gloomy grey days of winter.



 
There is always a pot of gold  here, natures treasures to find.


Beautiful sunsets to end the day.


The blackbirds are pulling out moss from the lawn and flying off into the Ivy with  their beak full of moss and grass.  A nest is being build!  The birds are singing.


The primroses are coming too along with all my memories of childhood collecting them along the hedgerows.  Now I only pick them from my own garden and enjoy seeing them on my walks because sadly they are no longer as plentiful and common as when I was a child and they grew in huge clusters and nobody minded you picking a bunch or two.


This is one of my favourite views, I always stop and stand  and look down across the estuary leaning on the wooden gate.  This place is so special,  I have spent my life here and I am so lucky to have been born in such a beautiful environment.   Just as the snowdrops  grow like a miracle each new year,  I am hoping there will be another.

There is a sadness that it may be blighted by huge, well no giant metal pylons to carry electricity to the national grid from a proposed nuclear power station up the coast.  They have proposed to build the route around the estuary and across the village and along this side of the estuary. On New Year's Eve I made a banner  which I painted, " NO PYLONS  .  SAVE OUR BEAUTIFUL DUDDON ESTUARY.   NO PYLONS ".   We placed it on the shore between two fence posts .  It was a day when people came together to make their feelings heard and walked from two villages to  gather here.   I wrote a letter with my feelings,  along with many others, it would certainly have a great effect on our lives and on our well being if it is allowed to happen.