Saturday 24 December 2016

A simple Country Christmas

Wishing you all A Very Happy Christmas Time.

The mantelpiece has been decorated with Ivy collected from my garden. The hyacinths are putting down roots into the water and the green shoots are growing well. The holly was picked but no berries to see but I can add some in my drawing. I did find a few red berries left by the hungry birds as they have feasted each day on the cotoneaster bushes. I popped them into the glass lanterns to decorate the white candles. A few favourite little decorations and my lovely angel cards, collected from past years and brought together for this little celebration of Christmas. The twinkling lights make it all feel magical and cosy and it feels like my home.
Nature features, seedheads of white Honesty, growing bulbs and green branches, a fir cone and the holly and Ivy. And a bowl full of brightly coloured glossy red apples.
I made some little stars with twigs and a red wreath with woven twigs I twisted into a circle. This is how Christmas feels for me, simple,honest, homemade and using nature just as my mum did. I remembered how she placed holly over pictures and it all looked so pretty and special and how we all helped decorate the real tree.
I painted a holly leaf, looking at the shape and glossy greens and thinking of times gone by. I know where there is red berried holly in the hedgerows but I will enjoy seeing it as I wander though the lanes. I love the red berries in the hedgerows, one of my favourite subjects to draw.
I won't have to wait much longer to smell the sweet hyacinths, such a welcome flower to remind us of the joy of growing and the pleasure we are given with the perfume that fills a room and greets us in the morning.
Simple pleasures, I try to remind myself how grateful I am to live in the countryside and know the joys and beauty that surround me. It seems my pictures do not want to be displayed so I will leave you with just words, my words and thoughts for now. And a promise I will post soon.
It does not seem long now until Spring will arrive, the snowdrops are already pushing up green shoots. I have planted so many pots of spring bulbs and feel excited waiting for them to appear. Almost a hundred new fritillary bulbs and how beautiful they will be when they grow and flower along with all the others in the garden. I shall once again sit and marvel at their beauty, intricate patterns on those elegant flowers heads as they grace my garden. And I shall fall in love with them all over again.
The log burner keeps the room so warm and cosy despite the stormy weather outside, the rain lashing against the windows and wind howling. I feel safe and warm, hot drinks and a mince pie warmed on the top of the hot burner enjoyed with visitors. Sitting quietly writing this post to wish you all a very Happy Christmas time wherever you are and whatever you do.
Wishing you all a peaceful Milly

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Lost and Found

I have never lost my interest or appreciation of nature. Every single day I wake up and pull back the curtains and see where I live I am so full of wonder and happy and grateful that I live in this beautiful place.

I picked the violets and primroses from my garden the day I left to travel to see my friends and knew they would be gone by the time I returned home. The idea came into my head to press them and then they would be here. As a child I loved to press flowers but I don't do it very often theses days. I opened a book, carefully arranged them on the page just as I would have done all those years ago.


I found them as I opened that book and I knew it gave me so much joy. Yes joy, I knew it would. So I decided to promise myself, to do all the things that give me joy.


I have been away to both London and Edinburgh. In London I visited art galleries, saw the live butterflies at the Natural History museumn and saw many beautiful shops such as Liberty. If I was to pick my favourite thing it would be that day in the haberdashery department full of fabrics, like swimming through a sea of fabrics and I found myself inspired, my head was filled with lots of ideas. I promised myself I would come home and finish off that quilt that has been going on for many years, made from Liberty fabrics. I did make something for a present, for a special birthday and the reason the four of us made this trip. And yes I used some Liberty fabric. And sent it with a handmade tag of course.

In Edinburgh I had a special person to spend time with. My beautiful daughter Jane who made me feel very proud of her achievements, as she had her own show at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. Her solo show "Made in Cumbria", which she wrote and performed each day and had a five star review.

As for me I walked miles, got lost wandering and discovering secret places, art galleries, craft shops and street entertainers around the city. I laughed at shows, smiled along with everyone else at this lovely exciting and fun filled place with such a friendly atmosphere. I sat in the park, browsed the craft stalls and watched more entertainers. The sun shone all week and we ate outside the healthy cafe each day watching all The people in this busy city. It rained and it poured on my last day but it didn't dampened my enthusiasm and I came home feeling very inspired.


One of my souvenirs from Edinburgh, a lovely Scottish lambs wool rug. Already needed it on these chilly nights. I bought a necklace made from a piece of blue and white China, I chose a piece with a ship on it.

Back home I am walking along the beach at the next village to me. Last week with a China blue sky above me and I am on a mission to find some.

It felt so strange to have this place to ourselves, all this space after being in two busy cities, both full of people. So quiet, so calm and so, so beautiful. After all the excitement of visiting other places it feels good to return to my own world and gentle pace of life.

I wasn't disappointed, little pieces of China with worn smooth edges from years of being washed and worn by the sea as the tides come in and out day after day, year after year. All those little treasures waiting for me to find them, as every time you turn that white shape over and discover the blue and white pattern, it makes me smile. We sat down on the sand and ate our sandwiches and fruit, with sand of course!

Looking out to sea as the tide is coming in, just as we are leaving.


The view towards home. It was a lovely walk and I couldn't wait to get home and empty my bag.


Here I am sorting it out into sea glass and China and my beautiful feathers I collected along the way. Lots to choose from and add to a drawing.


Lost and found, where they lost, well I definitely found them.



And my mind was telling me I must go and collect some blackberries along the hedgerows and so the very next day I was up and off first thing and this is what I found. Four pounds of blackberries, found, picked , washed and made into jam when I got home.


Four jars of blackberry jam, well three and a bit now. Now to me, that is such a nice feeling nice to know you made it, it tastes so good and as it came from the hedgerows in my own village. JOY indeed, on toast, in scones and I even poured some on ice cream.

After finding some fallen Lords and Ladies, drawing subjects, I added them to my book.


I have been working on a little creative project. After a night out at the pictures, watching the wonderful BFG film. I was so inspired, it was a magical film. I was entranced with the dream jars as I had seen some of the large jars in London. But, I couldn't get the image of one of the huge Giants holding the tiny patchwork quilt in his massive hands out of my mind. I had the idea to make one, a tiny quilt, so I did.



I hand printed it with a tiny triangle and then hand quilted it. I finished the border a few days ago. Yes it made my happy to make this pretty little quilt.

I love making things, completely hand made, hand printed, hand stitched and using an old white sheet, recycled. It feels like me. I loved the finished quilt.




I started a new little project and made a new needle case and pincushion with some left over pieces from my new cushions. It is lovely to see my drawings on things I have made and I thought it would make a nice matching pair with my egg and feather I did for peony and sage.

My new little Feather pincushion and egg needle case, trimmed with some of my blackberries and bees, ready for the next sewing project.

So what shall I make next? Something that brings me Joy!

Maybe a slice of toast and blackberry

And go and sit on my front step and enjoy the view.


See you soon, hope everyone has enjoyed their summer and looking forward to Autumn. Millyx

The view as Summer ........... turns to Autumn.





Monday 2 May 2016

May has arrived


May has arrived. April was full of surprises as the weather had us all perplexed, one day sunshine and warm and then the next hailstones and endless rain and the grand finale was snow. I thought I would share some of the moments of April. The moon was amazing, A big moon brings big tides.

I always feel the pull to go and wander and see what the tide brought to our shore. I wandered down onto a wet soggy and slippery place but it didn't matter. I felt excited and the air was fresh and the drizzle made my cheeks glow. I found my way to the place I know so well. I had it all to myself.

It is such a special place, so quiet and peaceful. All alone with my thoughts.


I collected some objects to draw, loved the crab but he stayed there. I did bring the leaf which appears on my page and a whole bag full of finds but only so many are going to fit on my page!


I noticed the changes, the bank collapsing more and more, but then it is life, everything changes.

The beginning of a new page sketched out.

I have had several walks along the shore, it might look grey and dull but it never feels like that to me, I feel excited and alive as I search and find treasures. I love this environment, it is real and honest. It was so wet as the sloppy and slippery mud seemed to get everywhere, so if mud on your clothes is measured in contentment I scored pretty high.

There has been beautiful bright days and I have given my time to recording the fritillary. One day I sat on my step and used sepia ink to record details of a flower. I thought they would surely be over with some of the bad stormy days and so I wanted to draw as many as I could to catch them before they were gone.


Each day I wandered into the garden just to admire them. They have surprised me with how resilient they are, they look so fragile and delicate to withstand hail and frost, but they somehow did.


So elegant and beautiful and I love it when the sun lights them up .


I liked playing with shadows. And I like capturing them with pen and ink. I have to work so slowly so it all takes time but time well spent looking and seeing these wonderfully patterned flowers.


Red ink and red stained fingers. Which didn't wash off for days.


And one for my square book.


I have seen many colours during April. I saw my first and only ladybird, she crawled up and down my middle and ring fingers. I rested her on the leaf near to where I found her.



Beautiful coloured evening skies.


Stormy days with big grey clouds but then the sun shines through.



A little snow on the top of Blackcombe, but white mountains in the distance, just a few days ago.

And blue bright warm days to warm your soul.
And a two headed flower. They give me so much pleasure.

I planted them all, each one with my own hands. They have self seeded and grown in numbers over the years.

I could tell you about the day I rescued a toad but that's a whole different story for another day. I will leave you with the majestic steam train as it whistled through the village railway station on Friday.

I believe that's what you have to capture in life, the moments, just like the train they gone in a flash of smoke!



I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my April moments. Thank you so much for the lovely comments, I always appreciate each one and enjoy reading them. I hope you are all well and would love to hear what you are up to. Sending you all my Best wishes...... Millyx