I put water in a big jar and placed my ivy inside, with ideas to decorate the house. And to my surprise not only did I have a red berry on the holly but a beautiful ladybird on the leaf. I was amazed to see it and marvelled at it's tiny form, an unexpected guest for Christmas. It was certainly a precious gift. Either way I suspect she was hiding in the ivy which was growing on a stone wall and found her way to my home.
She was photographed and taken to my little ladybird hotel out in the garden. It is all the hollow stems from plants in the garden which I cut to size and put into a plant pot. I must have known we would have some guests because a few minutes later another ladybird appeared as I sorted out some dried seedheads I had collected a while ago and were in the jar I now needed for the ivy.
So she has also gone to the ladybird hotel for Christmas. While I was outside I collected long branches of green ivy from my garden. I always like to decorate with natural plants. It just feels right. Each year I twist the ivy through the old picture frame and add it to the mantle piece and let it dangle amongst the lights. Each year out come my postcards bought from an art gallery I visited on a holiday, together with my collection of favourite cards. A few simple lights, two new white candles and the greenery and I have transformed our living room into a cosy home for our quiet days over the festive time. It is so quiet and peaceful I can hear my finger tapping as I write this.
It is so dark and grey outside, it makes it seem even more cosy and warm. A warm fire as the wood burner glows.
I have been painting on a piece of firewood, I couldn't resist having a go and to see if it would take the acrylic ink. I used this branch of red rosehips.
And I have been painting a holly leaf postcard. I like the connection that this leaf was picked from my garden. I planted this variegated holly bush a few years ago in the garden and I am still waiting for it to grow bigger and be covered in berries. I used a berry I found on the shore.