Monday, 20 December 2010

11th Birthday!

It's been a bit hectic here but have now handed out last of commissions, postal one were sent out a while ago and hopefully will make it in time despite royal mail being so behind.  Still have things to work on though as I have commissions for jewellery needed in January :0)

It's my son's 11th birthday today, time has really flown can't believe he has got to an age where he is old enough to go senior school, my other son was born in July so he started seniors a month after turning 11.  I took him and some of his friends to watch Harry Potter at the cinema yesterday (school today) before coming home for party and cake.  I think they did very well sitting still for 2 and half hours, it's a long film, and quite sad had a tear in my eye.  Need to watch part two now, must find out when it's due to be released.  The grandparents are coming round later for a second cake and family party, must get on with cleaning the house before Granny arrives!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Winter garden and cats

As I'd shown you our tree with it's Autumn colours on I thought I would take a photo of it in it's winter coat.  Pretty but cold.

And some other photos from in our garden, I couldn't believe how much it had snowed in the night, no one our road has moved their cars yet, but then again you you can't tell any difference from the pavement the road and the front gardens.

 The boys thought I had gone out before they woke up and built this pyramid lol, that's just the way the snow fell though.

This is how most of our cat deal with the snowy cold weather, apart from Bramble our oldest who still sleeps all night outside and only occasionally comes in for a cuddle and a stroke, and to be fed of course.

Can you tell which way up she is?

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Snowy Shed

Thats my shed down there where I should be crafting brrr, maybe after a big bowl of porridge and a hot coffee.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Silver and copper spiral Celtic Cross Earrings

I was asked to make some Celtic Cross Earrings, and this is what I did.  The cross is silver with triple spirals, triskele, on the arms and a larger central spiral in the middle.  The spirals have been coloured to give an extra dimension to the piece, and a copper ring placed behind to represent the eternal circle.  I hand forged the earwires as well from silver.

(Hey look the blogger photo thing works, we can put photos other places than just at the top :0), you may already know this but it's new to me)

Anyway relived to find that the lady who asked for them likes them and thinks that the person who they are for will really like them.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Trick and treat

Ment to post this a little while ago.

The maggot heaving decomposing body of Dead Fred and his ghost hovering by it, or that's what I told the kids when they went out searching for the skeletor parts of Billy Bones that had been hidden in the garden to bring back in exchange for a reward of Halloween chocolate (the body and ghost looked better in the dark), oh I also had my oldest son dressed up and hidden ready to jump out at the kids when they got close hehehe...

Monday, 25 October 2010


Still messing with sending to blogger via my phone. This is Boo our girl cat, she does look a lot more little and dainty than the boys, she's still more like kitten sized. We got her just before Halloween a few years ago hence the name, only thing is she is a bit on the timid side so maybe a name that people tend to shout out wasn't such a good idea.

Even though I turned the picture round on the phone first it still sends it the way it was originally taken, so have had to mess around copying the image from blogger and saving and turning around it in pictures on the computer. If anyone knows of a way to turn picutures in blogger please tell me or I will have to remember to take photos that I want to send here landscape instead of portrait or remember to alter them on the computer later.

Our Birch Tree

Thought I'd try blogging from my phone (very tech for me), it seems to have worked as the photo has appeared! Need to remember to send the photos the right way round though as I can't find a way to change them once they are on blogger. I haven't been blogging very regularly as I get put off by having to find the cable to link my phone with the computer and then waiting for photos to upload, so maybe if this works I will do it more often. There may be some strange things posted here until I get used to it.

Why the Birch Tree? I woke up this morning looked out of the window and the Birch leaves were glowing a rich golden colour and set against the really blue sky I thought wow got to try get those colours, my use of photography is not really up to it though, the colours were really vivid, I think the frost this morning helped to bring out the colours. Got to enjoy the Birch whilst the leaves are still on as once they fall and you're having to get the rake out not so enjoyable. I usually throw the fallen leaves on the flower beds telling my self that it feeding the worms and mulching the plants and keeping any stray Hedgehogs warm.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Handfasting and Saining Rituals at the Nine Ladies

These are some of the photos I took of the Handfasting and Saining Ceremonyup at the Nine Ladies during the Derbyshire Pagans Camp at the weekend.

Both rituals were lovely and with lots meaning, the setting of the stone circle made them even more special, and its only 10 minutes walk from where we were all camped. It was great to all gather there and share these special events with friends.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Derbyshire Pagans Camp 2010

Had a wonderful time at Derbyshire Pagans Camp, over with far to quickly. It was at Birchover again very close to the Nine Ladies, we had a Saining and a Handfasting Ceremony there this year. I went up to the Nine Ladies again the next day when it had returned to being quiet and peaceful, love it up there. The Lammas Ritual was held in our main camping field, next year we are to have a change of venue though. The Birchover peacocks seem to have multiplied so they must be happy there too.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Had a lovely day Sunday at Cherill and Simons Handfasting. The ceremony went very well, all there Pagans and none Pagans alike seemed to enjoy it. There was drumming around the fire, story telling and food to share. The vows and words were beautiful.

I was delighted to have be asked by them to make the floral circlet, the Chalice and the Handfasting rings. Cherill had chosen the colours yellow, green and ivory for the day, which I worked into the circlet with flowers, ivy and a few beads to match her gown and Simon's shirt. The silver rings had their bind rune engraved on to them, Simon had worked out the bind runes, I engraved them on after making the rings. I also hand engraved their bind rune onto the chalice which they used for the ritual, the runes were engraved inside an ivy and oak pentacle.

Met some new folk and of course joined again with old friends. Looking forward now to the Derbyshire Pagan's Camp this weekend.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Triple Moon & Hare Mirror

I'd got a circular mirror, it's about 20 cm diameter, and decided to give engraving a on a mirror a go, which is ok apart from the problem of either looking at yourself while your doing the engraving or trying to look at it from the side and getting a sort of double image going on. Had the same problem with photographing it (and I thought taking photos of glasses was bad enough), unless your right over the top to take the photo, (and then of course you get the camera and everything in there as well) you get a double image showing so the photo looks blurred, have to try to work something out to solve this. Other than that was quite pleased with my first attempt. As you can see it is Pentacle Triple Moon with a spiral hare running beneath jumping over a grassy mound. On one side ivy is trailing down and on the other tall grass reaching up.

If you would like something similar please let me know either by leaving a comment on here or on my web contact page while you're there you could also have a look round my other items;0)

Monday, 28 June 2010

Bakewell Day of Dance 2010

Had a lovely but nerve wracking time Saturday. It was Bakewell's Day of Dance, dance groups from all over gather together to experience different dance styles and show what they have learnt, and I had agreed to go too, not really good at performing in public I normally go on the back row in class! I was with Akhawaat Al Maryam, which Mary our teacher says means Mary's sisters as she had brought three of her groups together for the day. It was a gloriously sunny day and fun to watch the other dancers and do a bit of shopping around Bakewell. The Black Pigs, a sort of morris dance group but louder and more colourful were fun to watch and I already know some of the people involved in it but had never seen them perform before. There was another group of belly dancers there The 400 Roses (their costumes looked fab) but there form of belly dance was entirely different to ours, it was sort of mixed with morris dance, unique. I also went along to the Bollywood workshop and learnt an entire dance in an hour! Good teacher.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Hasfest 2010

Well the much anticipated Hasfest 2010 has come and gone (the Chesterfield Pagans summer event). The weather was lovely the people more so and the drumming went on well into the night. We even had belly dancers this year, I chickened out on the excuse that I had to mind the stall. The Burning Man went up really well and kept us warm all night, his counter part the Green Lady looked very voluptuous all kited out in fresh foliage and the labyrinth was decorated with yellow dandelion heads, it all made for a very pretty setting.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Valentine's Day origins

Well I''ve not blogged for a while, erm well, since before Yule really. We had a lovely time, all together, and the snow was very festive but went on a bit long though! Imbolc has been celebrated, and although it is still very very cold there are signs of new life peeking through the soil and my Hazel tree has catkins on.

Anyway after missing blogging about all that I'd thought I would find out a bit more on the origins of Valentines Day as it's always seemed a bit of an odd celebration to me and I've wondered in past years why is a saint in charge of love and stuff, this is what I found:

There are a few different variations on how Valentine's Day began, but the most common one seems to be that the term St Valentine's Day originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop who was beaten and beheaded around AD 270 by Emperor Claudius for secretly marrying couples and refusing to give up his Christian faith.

The date of his death (February 14th), funnily enough coincided with a holiday to honor Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses, she was also known as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia the Roman Spring festival, held in honor of the gods Pan and Juno. This was one of the most important festivals in the Roman calendar, a festival to the gods of fertility and a celebration of sensual pleasure, a time to meet and court a prospective mate and had been going on for around eight hundred years prior to the the establishment of St Valentines Day.

As Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors of the early Christian church in Rome appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feast.

The young Roman boys and girls at that time lived separate lives however, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of the girls were written on slips of paper and placed into a box. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the box and they would then be partners for the duration of the festival, sometimes the pairing of the couple lasted for the year.

Pope Gelasius tried to change this lottery to something deemed more morally suitable, instead of the names of young women being placed in the box, it would contain the names of saints. Men and women were allowed to draw from the box and then try to emulate the saint chosen for the rest of the year. Many of the young men were not keen on the change!

The pagan festival died out, but instead of the people trying to live the lives of saints they instead latched onto the more romantic aspect of Saint Valentine's life to replace the pagan deity Lupercus. While not immediately as popular as the more passionate pagan festival, eventually the concept of celebrating true love became known as Valentine's Day and eventually Valentine became the Patron Saint of Lovers.

Although the lottery for women had been banned by the church, the mid-February holiday in commemoration of St. Valentine was still used by Roman men to seek the affection of women. It became a tradition for the men to give the ones they admired handwritten messages of affection, containing Valentine's name.

As to why Valentine was executed: Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius believed that married men tended to be poor soldiers as they were reluctant to leave their loves and families. As a result, Claudius canceled all marriages and engagements in Rome in the hope of building up his army again, but Valentine would secretly marry young couples that came to him. Claudius had him put to death for defying him. During the days that Valentine was imprisoned, he fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. Before he was taken to his death, he signed a farewell message to her, "From your Valentine" a phrase that has lasted through the centuries.

Cupid, another symbol of the holiday, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty.