Wild Woodland Wedding Invitations

Towards to end of last year a friend on Facebook, Meryl of Black Cat Floral Designs, suggested that I create some wedding invitations with woodland, wildlife or Goddess themes. It’s taken me some time to work out quite what’s required as there seem to be so many variations out there, I’m a bit in the dark about the whole subject.

Anyway, I’ve created some designs and had a few samples printed to see how they look.

Woodland Wedding Invitations

Woodland Wedding Invitations

They include Woodland Wildlife – with rabbits;

Woodland Wildlife Wedding Invitation

Woodland Wildlife Wedding Invitation

A springtime leafy one;

Spring Woodland Wedding Invitationn

Spring Woodland Wedding Invitationn

A ‘Goddess’ one;

Goddess Wedding invitation

Goddess Wedding invitation

and Two Deer one which might work best for an autumn wedding;

Two Deer Wedding Invitation

Two Deer Wedding Invitation

They are currently simple and unfolded on stiff white card but I plan to make some ivory ones on folded card.

Based in Chester, Meryl creates wonderful things with flowers for any occasion. See below and check out the galleries on her website.

Black Cat Floral Creation

Black Cat Floral Designs bridal creation.

Black Cat Floral Designs

Black Cat Floral Designs bridal creation.

I’m hoping to create a page on this website with more details and options soon. In the meantime if you’re interested, contact me here.

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City Gardens and the Dawn Chorus

For the March issue of Brighton’s Preston Pages magazine my piece, Dawn Chorus in the City was featured along with the illustration below:

Dawn Chorus

Dawn Chorus

Dawn Chorus in the City Article

Dawn Chorus in the City – article in the Preston Pages

The Preston Pages’ Dawn Chorus in the City was a shorter version of a piece that was originally published on the City Creatures blog and which I’ve now added to my other nature writing website, From the Fields and Woods. I wrote the piece last year and there have since been changes to the garden my flat looks down on.

In January our next door neighbour had some of our trees cut because she wants more light in her garden. i felt very sad about this and requested that as little as possible be cut so the garden was still a wildlife haven. Below you can see photos of before the cut and after. I’m used to it now but the trend in cutting down city trees saddens me whether they are in the street or in peoples’ gardens. I’m all in favour of a bit of wilful neglect so wildlife can flourish in peace – and I mean birds, foxes, badgers or whatever (I draw the line at rats).

View from my balcony

View from my balcony in winter

Garden after tree cutting

Garden after tree cutting

It’s not so bad!

Anyway, I’d like to create a Dawn Chorus artwork beyond an illustration. So far I’ve created a candle lantern:

Dawn Chorus Lantern

Dawn Chorus Lantern

Here is an MP3 recording of the dawn chorus from my balcony:

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Fox Wood Altered Book

I still have a thing about foxes and have been watching them wandering around the gardens next door in the snow. I hope they find enough to eat.

Last year I took photos of the fox family sunbathing in the garden next door. One of the photos was taken in January, it must have been warm.

Fox in the Garden

Fox in the Garden

Two Sleeping Foxes

These are the inspiration for my fox ‘altered books’ except I draw them in a woodland clearing. I have yet to do an urban fox.

I’ve just created a pocket ‘altered’ notebook, Fox Wood, featuring a fox among some ivy covered trees and a couple of rabbits hidden in the pages. It’s now for sale in my Etsy shop

Fox Wood Altered Book

For another ‘Fox’ post see here.

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Tawny Owl Art

There’s an owl theme going on at the moment. First I’ve been out looking for urban owls recently to write about for my book. So far, no luck, but I’ll keep trying.

Then I discovered a lovely post about my altered books on the website My Owl Barn and was very pleased to sell my Owl Altered book on Etsy:

Owl Altered Book

Owl Altered Book (click on image to enlarge).

Yesterday I completed a commissioned Owl at Dusk Box Frame, similar to the one featured below:

Owl at Dusk Boxframe

Owl at Dusk Boxframe

With the box frame I decided to hide a poem, Nature by Mary Oliver, written on parchment paper at the back of the box frame behind the final picture. I like the idea of hiding messages and hidden art for anyone who can’t resist opening up the back of the picture.

Below are some images of the box frame process including the back page of the box frame. From the front all you can see of this layer is a bit of sky and moon, but it’s a complete picture that features more trees and a badger.

Owl Box Frame in Process

Owl Box Frame in Process

Nature Poem by Mary Oliver

Nature Poem by Mary Oliver

Back Picture of Boxframe

Back Picture of Boxframe

Here is another tawny owl picture that I might make into a card:

Owl Mixed Media

Owl Mixed Media

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A Song at Dusk

Pearlescent and moon-painted, dusk is falling. In a corner of the park a male blackbird perches in the naked branches of a sycamore tree, yellow bill, eye a ring of gold. He flicks his tail and starts to sing an enquiring, fluty song. Listen…

Preston Pages - A Song at Dusk

Preston Pages – A Song at Dusk

I’m very pleased to have a second piece of writing, A Song at Dusk, along with a picture in February’s issue of Preston Pages, one of Brighton’s free magazines :)

Blackbirds at Dusk

Blackbirds at Dusk

The original A4 illustration above is available to buy, unmounted, mounted, framed or unframed. Contact me if you’re interested.

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Dusk Night Dawn T-Shirt

At the beginning of the year I decided to design some new t-shirts. Finally I’m getting round to it.

My first new design is Dusk Night Dawn. I’m always drawing deer and this time I thought I’d add the words Dusk Night Dawn (the title of my book!), as I really like these times of day.

Dusk Night Dawn T-shirt

Dusk Night Dawn T-shirt

Dusk Night Dawn T-Shirt

Dusk Night Dawn T-Shirt

I wanted to reflect the moon in the shape of the silhouetted deer and trees. It’s now up in my Teemill online shop here.

There is another deer t-shirt in my collection, Deer Tree t-shirt:

Deer Heart Tree

Deer Heart Tree T-Shirt Design

Other t-shirts in my shop include a special Great Crested Newt T-shirt favoured by ecologists.

I’ve been told there is free shipping this weekend…just in case you’re tempted :)

If you have design requests, just drop me a note and I’ll see what I can come up with.

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An Interesting Street Find

People often leave furniture and bits and bobs in our street so one evening late last year I went out in search of some wood to make a shelter for the pigeon that had adopted us. The pigeon, who we named Beaky, had been sitting day and night in the corner of our balcony getting very wet.

Beaky

Beaky at the window in summer.

I didn’t find anything suitable for Beaky but I did find a small bureau standing in front of a house with a notice on it saying “Free. Please Take.”

I phoned Kevin who came up with the car and we took it home. Here it is:

New Bureau

New Bureau

Now I have a new space to write and draw in among the plants. It’s become a special corner of the living room where I keep my wildlife treasures – feathers, eggshells etc, my art and writing bits and pieces all lit by a little paper star light my sister gave me for Christmas :)

My Creative Corner

My creative corner among the plants.

It’s amazing what you can find in the street!

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Papercut Sepia Cards

I’ve been making papercut cards. There have been a few birthdays this month so it’s been good to make cards instead of buying them or using one of my printed cards.

First I made some of my greetings card images sepia in photoshop and printed them out, two of each.

Sepia Printouts

Sepia Printouts

I cut out the images and stuck them on to a folded pieces of white card, one outside and the other inside.

Sepia Campfire Card Uncut

Sepia Campfire Card Uncut

On the campfire card I cut out areas between the trees on the top layer creating a layered sepia card of a woodland campfire.

Sepia Campfire Papercut Card

Sepia Campfire Papercut Card

I played around with some of my other designs.

Star Goddess Sepia Card

Star Goddess Sepia Card – a composite of Star Goddess and Anteater Dreaming.

The glued image can snag a bit when cutting which doesn’t happen when I cut my altered books and box frames which may be because this card is quite thin. I’ll find a way of clean cutting them and try a few other things out soon.

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Beautiful Letters and Gifts to Strangers

i’ve recently received a lovely long letter from a friend and it’s made me think of letters. I like anything to do with letters – apart from bills of course. I love writing and receiving them. I’ve kept many letters from the distant past including a brief handwritten one from Sir David Attenborough and an official one from Buckingham Palace! (This was a reply to a letter I wrote to the Queen when I was about twelve.) But letter writing has as good as died out – or so I thought. More on that later.

A year ago I was fascinated to hear about some 17th century letters discovered at Knole Park in Sevenoaks. You can read the story here on the National Trust website.

Knole Park Letter

17th century letter found at Knole Park.

In the Netherlands a trunk of 17th century undelivered letters was rediscovered in 2015. Apparently the trunk belonged to a postmaster and postmistress who were central in the international communications of the time. None of the letters were ever delivered and were still sealed. In the 17th century the recipient paid the postage so if they were uninterested, dead or away the letters would remain unposted. The website about the project has some lovely photos that include the ones below.

Chest of Undelivered Letters

Chest of Undelivered 17th Century Letters

There’s something sad and romantic about them – unrequited love, words lost in time, words never heard until now, coversations from times gone by. They are beautiful to look at too – pink, cream, handwritten with seals, sometimes with drawings and folded so carefully; someone went to a lot of trouble. They hide secrets and those secrets are now being revealed.

Embossed Letter Seal

Embossed Letter Seal – I love embossed paper, watermarks and seals. I love paper – but then paper comes from trees and I love trees.

Undelivered 17th Century Letter

Undelivered 17th Century Letter

Sometimes when I write letters I like to insert leaves, feathers, pressed flowers, cuttings, photos or drawings in with them. I think – and hope – the recipients appreciate this. But my letter writing opportunities are very few these days. I remember when I travelled through Africa in my twenties, before email, mobiles and the like, I looked forward to the next poste restante where I could pick up my mail. It was all out of date but so special to receive it didn’t matter.

I have a few interesting wabi sabi letters that a friend, who buys old stuff from auctions, gave to me. They’re written in an Indian script, possibly Tamil or Kannada as there’s a Mysore letterhead. I’d love to know what they’re about.

Old Indian Letter

Old Indian Letter

Old Indian Letter

Old Indian Letter

I like the idea of doing a letter writing project that would involve leaving a letter or poem inside a library book or hidden in a crevice somewhere in Brighton for someone to find.

Rain Poem

Rain Poem – I love beautiful writing paper, a nib pen and spending an evening in candlelight dreaming up what to write….days long gone. (I think I belong in another century sometimes.)

Leaving something behind, a trace, a message from what will one day be the past appeals to me, like messages carved on beech trees or chalk cliffs, like ghost signs on buildings…remnants….

Rain Poem on Tree

I would also like to leave one beneath the floorboards in my flat for any future occupants to find. A sort of treasure.

I was pleased to find a letter writing organsation, More Love Letters, which arranges for letter writers to send letters to people who would appreciate a kind note, a wish or a letter at a difficult time in their lives. When I get around to writing one I shall include a Memory Tree book and one of my cards. Which makes me think, if you know anyone having a difficult time who would appreciate a card – and perhaps one of my little books – from a stranger do get in touch. x

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My New Writing Blog

As I do both drawing and writing these days, I’ve decided to create a new blog for my writing – pieces that have mainly been published elsewhere online (a few in print too) along with anything nature inspired.

The new blog is called From the Fields and Woods.

From the Fields and Woods Homepage

From the Fields and Woods Homepage

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