Saturday, April 30, 2011

To celebrate Beltane:.... flower themed picks from the ♥team♥

Beltane is a very special and magical Celtic festival. It marks the start of Summer and is a really beautiful time of the year...with longer hours of sunshine, warmer weather, an abundance of new life (especially baby rabbits... soooooo cute!). Loveliest of all is the blooming of the hawthorn (May) and countless wild flowers. Traditionally hawthorn  boughs and posies of wild flowers were gathered and used to decorate homes. I always think of lovely posies of wild-flowers when I think of Beltane and this is what has inspired these very pretty flower themed picks from the ♥team♥


floral crown

watercolour floral dress

violet night victorian romantic lace earrings

recycled vintage crochet lace cape with liberty flowers

vintage 1930s apron with flowers and beads

Lady of Wildflowers

These are just a few of the very beautiful flower-themed items in  ♥Folk Reveries♥ members' shops.

ps: if anyone is interested in finding out more about ♥Beltane♥ I have more detailed info on my blog http://woodlanddiary.blogspot.com_beltane-festival-of-fire-and-flowers

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New and exciting changes to Team Treasury Challenge

I am copying over Chy's inspirational post from the forum:

Hear ye, Hear ye! Important News about our Team Treasury Challenge:

The Leaders have decided to change the weekly treasury challenge to a bi-weekly treasury challenge.
Starting a new challenge every 2 weeks will allow more time for more team members to participate and give everyone ample time to vote.
Voting will be posted on the thread of each challenge and we ask that even if you do not have time to make a treasury, please at least vote on the treasuries made.
Everyone will be allowed 2 votes, but please correspond #1 with your first choice and #2 for your second choice.
I know that seems obvious, but I want to make certain we don't tally the votes wrong.
Also, donated prizes will be announced and given to the 1st place winner, but the 2nd place winner will also receive a little something.
We would love to see everyone create just one treasury for each challenge, but , we also know that people are very busy in their daily lives.
I would suggest that you at least take a gander at each treasury posted, it helps with clicks (and you know on Etsy it is all about clicks) and the more clicks & comments, the more likely a treasury is to hit the front page! And that is awesome exposure for any team!!

So, to re-iterate the treasuries already posted by the lovely Mathyld, for you to vote on, I will relist them here and remember to keep it to just 2 votes ~pretty please? ;}

The voting for this will be closed on Saturday, April 30th and a new treasury challenge will commence on Monday, May 2. -a new thread will be posted.

Good Luck to all!

.......Also.......  as you know the the winner gets featured in all of the next week's treasuries......I am going to interview the runner-up and feature their shop on the team blog as a runner-up prize.

All the more reasons to join in the fun


here is the link so you can vote: 


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter interview with SomethingHorse

I can't think a better way to celebrate easter than by spending time with Sammi of SomethingHorse. She is a new-ish leader on our Folk Reveries team and has been such a help and a unifying force on our team already. I just love following her Woodland Diary, and want to live in the magical landscapes she creates. I'm treating myself to one of Sammi's adorable bunny scuptures today too ... :)

Here are my questions and her answers...

What is your background?

Joe and I both grew up in Southern Africa. Joe grew up in Zambia and I grew up on a sheep farm in a semi-desert area of South Africa called the little Karoo. Joe and I met because he was my painting lecturer at Art college. Because of our opposition to Apartheid it became dangerous for us to live in South Africa, so soon after we met we moved to Ireland where we spent 12 years before moving to London about 9 years ago.

How long have you been working in clay and on paper?

I only began working with clay 4 or 5 years ago, so it is still very new to me, but I have been making drawings and paintings on paper since I was a child. I have been officially working as a painter and illustrator for about 20 years.

Do you work in any other media?

My other favourite medium, which also involves paper, is collage. I also love working with wood, taking photographs and creating collections of found objects.

How does your observance of nature influence your work?

The world of nature is a great source of inspiration for me. I think that the organic shapes, forms, textures and colours that I see find their way into my work. I also love animals and my experiences of watching wild and tame animals has created the basis for many of the animal characters I paint or make out of clay. I also love looking at films, documentaries and artwork which capture the beauty of nature.

Nature is not just a visual source of imagery for me... in a very real way I think that the energy I need in order to create is replenished and renewed through my contact with nature. I could not really keep going without it.

What is the connection with paganism in your life and work?

I connect to Pagan myths and festivals because of the reverence for nature and the close connection with the rhythms and seasons of the earth throughout the year. This is something I try to hold on to and remain aware of.

What is a typical day like for you?

My days tend to vary quite a lot as I am more creative at some times of the month than others - I find that the time before and after the full moon is my most creative time. I often work quite late into the night, so usually I get up quite late, make a to-do list for the day and get to work. Often the early part of the day is spent on loading the kiln, taking photographs, checking mail etc. An hour or so before sunset Joe and I will always take a walk to the wood, forest or fields. This is the most important and most enjoyable part of my day. After cooking dinner I usually get to work on colouring and glazing, or making new pieces out of clay. At the moment I am doing some collage which is a lovely change. I don't paint as much as I used to, but sometimes I will paint or write. I also have to try to squeeze in some time online working on my blog or Etsy shop. Always too much to do and not enough hours to fit it all in!! We always end the day with watching a nice film or documentary or listening to an audio book.

Can you tell us more about your creative partnership?

When Joe and I work together he tends to make things on a large scale and I produce the teeny details. We are working on a gnome house at the moment, it is made in a section of a hollow oak log. Joe has carved stairs and a fireplace and is busy installing the upper storey. I am going to make the gnome family and gnome crockery etc out of clay. He will make some wooden furniture as well.

We are also writing a children's book about a family of beetles. Joe has done most of the illustrations and I have done most of the writing, but we worked out the story together.

We love to work together in this way, but also have our own individual projects... sometimes we need to give one another a lot of space, at other times we offer one another advice and encouragement.

What are your hopes and goals for the future of your creative work?

I have been thinking about learning to crochet so that I can make clothes for my little clay figures... I am waiting till I am less busy, but this is a little dream I really hope to realise one day.

I want to finish the many children's books I have begun writing and illustrating.

And finally in the very near future Joe and I are determined that we are finally going to use the enamels and enamelling equipment we bought a few years ago and make some enamelled jewellery in our kiln.

Thanks so much, Sammi, for sharing your world with us <3 We're so lucky to have you as a team leader!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Treasury Challenge : something new

I thought I'd give a heads-up to those who, just like me, are too lazy to go and check the team discussions on Etsy.
ChYMiera had a super generous idea to motivate the troops !

Here's what she wrote

I am starting this thread to help the lovely Drucilla. I hope is this week is better for you, love!
That being said, please use this thread to post your treasury challenge for this week.
Since there was not enough participants for the last challenge, no winner was declared.
So, we are starting fresh!

And to get you all motivated- I will donate a $10 gift certificate to my shop to the Treasury Challenge winner. How do you like them apples? Other donations would be great!

All of the rules for making a treasury for this challenge can be found here:

To include your treasury in this week's challenge and to make it easily findable for all team mates, you will need to post your treasury link in this thread.

Good luck to all !!

Isn't that incredibly generous of her ?
I think that the least we could do is to
include one of her items to all
this week treasuries ...

And there are many more where these beauties come from !

Good luck, everyone !

x x x


Saturday, April 16, 2011

An Interview with Lauren Small (gingerkellydesigns)

I have been really amazed by the depth of visual imagery in your work. It really feels like walking into a magical dreamworld and it is so obvious how much your imagination is steeped in folklore, myth and fairy tale. I was wondering if you have any particular favourite books, myths, fairy-stories or folk-tales. ….. Also, is there any one particular story or book you remember reading as a child that first drew you into this enchanted world? 

Oh, where to begin? I LOVE books. Over the past few years I became really hooked on the fantasy novels of Cecilia Dart Thornton, particularly The Bitterbynde Trilogy. Her stories are filled with references to traditional folklore from all over the world and the descriptions of characters and places seem to match my imagination exactly... I always have the most vivid dreams after reading these books. My love of fantasy stories began when I was very young after reading 'Faeries' by Brian Froud and Alan Lee. It wasn’t until last year that I actually bought myself a copy and I fell in love all over again with the amazing illustrations and the slightly creepy stories about water nymphs and kelpies.  

Another influence which is very obvious in your work is a strong connection with nature........ What is your favourite wild place or landscape? … and what are the qualities and feature you love about it most? 

Do I have to choose just one place? The first place that immediately springs to mind is Ireland. I went on a solo backpacking trip around Ireland (without the backpack) about 4 years ago. I was wandering around in the forests of Glendalough and Killarney in autumn... absolutely the most magical places I've ever seen. The thick forest trees, beautiful streams, waterfalls and the plush carpet of moss on everything was so inspiring, For some reason it’s the smell of those places that is the clearest memory for me. The wet earth and the gentle sound of the rain filtering through the branches above before it plops onto the ground.  
As I'm writing this it’s raining here at home and the sound is making me very nostalgic...I would go back to Ireland in a heartbeat. 

As your home is in Australia, this landscape may be very different from the Northern hemisphere landscapes which  surround many of the myths and fairy-stories which inspire your work. Do you ever feel that you are bridging two sides of the earth that are experiencing opposite seasons... do you feel there is harmony or conflict in this? 

Yes. I always feel that I'm partway between two continents, two seasons. Part of me is very much attached to my home in Australia, the other part is trying to stretch itself across the ocean... My head and heart want to go on adventures, while my bottom doesn't want to leave my comfy home ;)  
There's a little conflict... and there's a little part of me waiting to see what will happen when the stronger part wins. 

and talking about the seasons... it may be Spring here, but in Australia you have just celebrated the Autumnal Equinox... going into the darker side of the year. What does Autumn feel like for you and what sort of changes to you notice in the natural environment around you at this time of year? 

Autumn is my favourite time of year here in Australia. I live in a very wet region where it’s fairly green all year round but autumn is usually drier and it brings out a complete change in the feel of the air and the smell of the earth. The sound of Currawongs (native birds that are a bit like magpies crossed with crows) is the first thing that I notice when the season changes. Then there's the wind in the evening... I love standing out under the stars when it’s a windy night. There's something in the air... I can’t explain it.

In what ways do you feel that living in Australia has shaped and contributed to the very special qualities of your work? 

This is a difficult question... I'm not sure if it’s something that can really be defined because my experience of Australia is likely to be very different from the way many people imagine Australia to be. When you think of Australia do you think of red dirt & kangaroos? I think of the silver smooth bark of blue gums, round river stones and playing in the creek when it floods... the bright feathers of kingfishers and satin bowerbirds and the soft grey fuzzy fur of the orphaned baby wallabies that my grandmother hand raises. My childhood was very free, close to nature and I spent most of my time playing outside, or escaping into my own imagination at times when I had to go to school (I hated school).... So I think it’s more the feeling and the 'spirit' of the way I grew up that inspires the artwork I create. 

I am so interested in your creative process..... how you go about creating your digital pieces...... the way your ideas and inspirations are worked out..... what your experience of this process is like and how it fits in with the rest of your life.....  

Usually an artwork starts off in a dream or daydream. If I cannot immediately sit down and start creating the scene I've imagined then I do a really quick sketch or write a few notes in my sketchbook for later on. Most of the time I simply abandon what I was doing when I get a new idea in my head and then get lost in my imagination for a few hours until daily needs start calling... I have gone through an entire day of painting before realising that its 6pm and I haven’t even had breakfast yet! That’s not a good way to treat my body so I now try to eat something and maybe do a few daily chores before my creative side gets carried away...

How does being an artist fit into your life?...... As a child, did you know you were going to be an artist when you grew up? Have you ever considered another career in life? And do you have other interests, work, hobbies or commitments that also play an important part in your life? 

As a child I had no idea of what I wanted to do when I was older. I was completely absorbed with what I was doing at that precise moment. And I am still quite a bit like that today... absorbed in today and not really thinking about tomorrow. There was a time when I was forced to think about what I wanted to do/be when I 'grew up'. When I finished school, aged 17, I decided to go to uni and learn more about caring for and training horses as I've owned and ridden horses since I was a toddler. I'd always wanted to have more knowledge for myself, regardless of whether there was a career in it. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I really didn’t want to do any more formal education so I finished my first year then went travelling around Australia, drawing and painting every day while I travelled and realised that this is what I wanted to do. Art. I'd always loved drawing and my family and friends seemed to think I was good at it, so I kept teaching myself by experimenting and constantly practicing. I did end up finishing my university course but I did the final two years by distance education so that I could study at my own pace and do the things I really wanted to do each day... which was ride horses and paint ~ though not at the same time. Easels and paintbrushes are a little unwieldy on the back of a horse I can tell you.

It was incredibly dificult to choose just a few of Lauren's paintings and drawings to include with this interview.... to see more visit her shop at and her extremely magical website at

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

the swan princess lives on

for last week's team challenge challenge, we couldn't help but choose this amazing treasury by one of our new members, renee of poppywomen:

the swan princess

i love that this treasury isn't just visually compelling, but it's also based on russian folk tales that inspired the ballet "swan lake," as well as the black swan and many other interpretations. it's interesting that so much of the imagery and concepts expressed by our team members in their art have such long histories and deep resonances.

for this week, remember to use one of renee's listings to inspire our treasuries. show us your treasuries by posting links on the thread on the team forum here.

beautiful job renee, congrats!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spirit Birds

What is your Spirit Animal?
This is a question I had never really thought about before.... and when I did, I first went through my favourite animals, the ones that inspire my work or that I find particularly beautiful....

Rabbits, hares, horses.....  tigers, elephants......
But I knew it was none of these... it was.... a bird
At first I did not know which one...
only that it was a secret ghostly presence in the night that I had only been aware of in my dreams....
like an owl... but gentler and even more strange..... eventually it came to me...
it was a nightjar... not quite sure why... they just make me feel all shivery!

I love all birds anyway, they are so inspiratory, symbolic,  magical, shy and otherworldly. These are some of the amazing birds I have found in other team members' shops





Bleu - Hand Sculpted Ceramic Vase 








Our fabulous team Captain, Dru has started a discussion on the team forum and suggested that we all create a piece of work representing our spirit animal. Perhaps they could all be featured in a blog post or treasury?... a pretty inspiring idea, I think... I'm off to make my nightjar!! Here's a link to the discussion