Preparing Shop Orders & More Snow

 

Back Yard
Henry among the snow

And it’s back.  A foot of snow, freezing temperatures… the chickens refuse to leave the coop and boots full of snow.  We can at least take heart that it is technically *spring* and this won’t last.  But for now, my nose is running and my feet are damp.  I feel like watching The Ken Burn’s documentary about the Civil War and not leaving the couch… eating brownies and drinking peppermint tea. But first, before I succumb to these whims, I thought I would be somewhat productive and share some photos I took the other day while I was preparing for Etsy shipments.

This week, I prepared the folkloric Lopapeysa, A Fairisle pull over  and some hand-pressed cards.  I have been feeling SO lethargic and just “blah” this past week (I think a combination of the blizzard and monthly times), such little drive to do anything at all.  Last week, I baked like 5 different types of bread (2 loaves of french bread, 2 loaves of whole grain, 2 peasant loaves, 12 buns and some naan bread!) and was just on a wild spree of being a productive human being.  I even read one of my favourite books, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and picked out some new books to pick up at the library.  I felt SO good and happy and this week has just been the exact opposite.  I have just been down in the pits or as my girl Anne says, in the depths of despair.  Winter melancholia.

But alas, it is sunny and sometimes, it’s so difficult to feel anything but hope and happiness when you are basking in the sun.

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Folding the Fairisle

P R E P A R I N G

To get out of a funk, I enjoy the creative process of simply packaging up orders.  I wanted to share a couple photos with you since I am much better at that than descriptive writing!

I make wrapping paper for the cards, using hand-carved stamps.  Last weekend, I bought some red ink for a different look (what do you think?).  I really enjoy wrapping up cards and tying them up with string. Simple pleasures that I hope bring a wee bit of happiness to the person that receives them! I stamp the brown paper based on what type of artwork has been purchased, for instance if it is a botanical or fungi print, I make sure it is plant based wrapping paper.

E T S Y   O R D E R S

Wrapping
Pressed Paper for wrapping cards! I just bought some red ink and love it!
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Cards to be shipped out!
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Farewell
Snow on March 24th
The view from my workspace  – snow and wind (and some flies that have taken refuge)
Ways of Wood Folk
Choosing a tag
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Wrapped up with a handmade card
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Details of a sweater – lettlopi wool
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Bound up with some extra wool for any potential mending and a hand-pressed card
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a tag with some wool

 

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Envelopes
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Snooow!!!
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Saturday Hike with Henry and Jamie to Strathgartney, PEI
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Beautiful Pine tree, one of my favourite trees ❤
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Snowy Woodland at Strathgartney

N A T U R A L   W O R L D

Jamie and I went on a really beautiful walk in Strathgertney Provincial Park yesterday.  Luckily, there was a path to follow made by snow shoes rather than us struggling in our winter boots in the snow.  The park is beautiful, with a range of different woodlands, walks along the West River.  We only met two other people and were free deep in the woods from the sounds of cars on the nearby highway.  I can not wait for the snow to melt and the mud to dry up so we can freely walk in the different beautiful spots on this island.

A  NEW  WEEK

This week, I am hopeful that the temperatures will rise, that the sun will come out, that we will be free of blizzards and impending storms. My Mom has graciously agreed to come stay with me for the week since Jamie will be going to Ontario for work and I would love company living out in the country during my bluest time of year.  For some reason, the “Winter Blues” descends upon me in the beginning of “spring” rather than the winter.  I feel very alive and happy in the winter months but March often sees me down.

I see the light though, because April, April is next Saturday!  Praise the Gods!

I hope you all enjoy your last week of M A R C H! Bye Legions!

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Bye Friends!  I’ll be out here for the week (Song of the Sea, 2015)

 

Links to our Shops:

KNIT WEAR ETSY SHOP : Ways of Wood Folk

ART WORK ETSY SHOP : Wood Folk Prints

 

 

Carving Botanical Stamps

Carving away
Carving Away with the Fairies

Goodmorning Earthlings!

This March morning, the sun is shining and the birds are singing in the trees!  I went out to feed the chickens in my pajamas and a touque, trusting that the bright sun would warm me despite the dusting of snow on the ground.  It was glorious and I can’t wait to get out there today! But first, I wanted to share with you something I worked on this week, carving stamps.

Anyone can carve their own stamps, it’s fun and really rewarding!  If you wanted, you could even make a template with a leaf or a dried flower, there are so many options!  The only material you need is a linoleum cutter  and whatever block you choose to carve (I am using the rubber from Speedball – available at most craft stores and extremely easy to work with). I started this week, knowing that I wanted to make a very simple dandelion stamp for my tinctures (in my previous post!).  That small stamp, launched me into a morning obsession.  I decided to make a series of three of my favourite flowers that bloomed here on this land last year: marigold, tulips and poppies.

I am forever and ever inspired by the medieval woodcuts of plants.  I can’t explain why, I simply love the blocky, linear designs (Perhaps, I’ll do a whole post on woodcuts someday – or a series of them).  I hope my work will help shed some light on why I love this style so much and perhaps inspire you to look into the botanists and printmakers of the past ;).

I also made a small set of cards, available on my Art Etsy Shop: Wood Folk Prints

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy the pictures of my process and work.

Merry March Saturday!

Julia

Inspiration
Collecting information about dandelion – I am inspired ❤ The small book with the beautiful red block print is Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners by Maureen and Bridget Boland, featuring block prints from Gerard’s 1597 Herball. One of my favourite collections of plant illustrations (completely available on archive.org)

 

Mushrooms!
Shortcut to what? MUSHROOMS!
Small Stamp
A small Flower head based on these dried flowers
Starting!
Looking back at some of my old drawings as well for inspiration – this poppy illustration was based on a 16th century German drawing (I found it in a library book and can’t remember any other details!)
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completed! Pressed with black ink
Marigold
Starting a marigold cuts – using a drawing from last year
Marigold
Taking shape
Studio Companion <3 Oh Pangur!
Studio Companion ❤ Oh Pangur!
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A print!
plant inspiration
Inspiration for my last carving of the week ❤ I was torn between a tulip or a peony – peonies next!
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Van Gogh Inspired Tulips ❤
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Making Cards!
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Using Red Ink – little remnants of the black in there
Poppy
The Poppy is now a resident of my inspiration wall!
Stamps
The stamps 🙂
Botanical Cards!
Botanical hand pressed cards!

 

 

 

 

Homespun and Winter Walks

So much snow fell on us yesterday.  Our windows were covered by 3 pm, our world grey and dark.  We have been having unseasonably cold temperatures, it feels more like we’ve been plunged in the depths of January and early February.  I talk a lot about the weather… my journal since I was a teenage is half discussing the temperature, the rain or snow, the wind or how the trees bowed and danced.  I love Mother Nature and simply observing her moods.  When I write I think I focus on the weather first as though to clear my mind for what exactly it is I want to say, so please bear with me 😉

This morning, I went out to see the chickens (who refused to leave the coop when they spotted the snow), lit a fire and finally sat down to draw.  My studio/work room had been overrun with my Christmas cards and packaging things up for orders.  This morning, I shipped the last of my orders so my mind has cleared for new projects.  I always have some kind of “Ode to…” brewing in my mind and this morning I worked out an Ode to working with the earth and with my hands. An ode to tradition bound up with the animals, insects and herbs that make a comfortable home. A home that goes so far beyond our front doors.

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Preliminary sketch and my magic fox stamp
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Letting the life come through a little more detailed
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Beginning of the end – I used an old drawing I did based on a Grimms Fiary Tale
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Indian Ink, a beautiful pitch black

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Developing my altar art work

The sheep is at the center, providing us with wool that keeps our hands busy, our minds active and our bodies so warm (as well as countless other things – I’m currently contemplating insulating my chicken coop with wool and birch).  The spindle – representative of transformation – spins the rough wool to the versatile material that we love.  The quilt block is a marker of the home, of ancestors and narratives (to me personally, it is a symbol of love and comfort). The plants are dandelion, sage, lavender and Calendula – all magical, useful and healthful entities.  I included oak leaves for wisdom, the boundary between worlds and for the love of the steadfast tree. Everything ties together to allude to traditional folk lives – working with animals and plants.

I developed it a little further by adding a home, emerging from the quilt.

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A home
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Finished calendula and twisting wool
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A Giver of life and the phases of the moon
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One more thing…
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Homespun – Finished

And there she is!  Homespun – an ode to a working kinship with the earth.  I’m hoping to make some prints on rag paper.  If anyone is interested, please let me know!

To leave you – some pictures from our walk through farmers’ fields today – in a foot of snow.

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Walking along the fields
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To see the remaining Canadian Geese
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The sky changes so quickly
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Interested in the Geese, she is 😉
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To sit and knit with fire and fairy lights during the long evening