The World Turns To Ice

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Restocking the Etsy Shop

Letting your little creations loose upon the big wide world is always daunting. A Craft Fair needs a beautifully eye catching display, lovely packaging and efficient organisation (of which I'm sorely lacking). Craft Fairs are also exhausting and costly, so costly that it is hard to keep an expression of desperation off your face when an unsuspecting potential customer comes to view your stall. It is not acceptable to beg! Setting up an online shop seems to be an exciting and more anonymous option. It also cuts out the vehicle loading and unloading, setting up and taking down and finding somewhere to put everything again when you get back home - albeit a few items lighter with any luck.   In addition, being a bit of a 'shrinking violet' on such occasions it eliminates that overpowering desire to hide under the table when someone comes to look at your wares.

Etsy is an online department store extraordinaire where anything that can be handmade is available in abundance and I can spend many a happy hour in wonderment as I explore the beautiful creations of Crafty folk. This then is the route for me but oh the fear is still there. I have to get over the Technology Gremlin that hovers over me when I try to set up. I always assume that I must be doing it wrong and everything is bound to go pear shaped. I have selected a few items to put on there just as soon as I come out from under the computer table where I am still hiding. It really isn't very different from trying to sell face-to-face. When you make something yourself its not just a 'product'. Its a wee bit of your own imagination and skill and what if no one likes it? Oh dear me, the shame!

So, just as soon as I become rather less like Dorothy's lion and find my own courage I shall be re-opening my Etsy shop.  However, if anyone knows some really efficient wizards out there who can wave their magic wands and fill me with confidence and techy savviness I would much appreciate it. Thank you.

PS  Any comments on the photos above would be greatly appreciated. Please be gentle!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Wild January

It seems like weeks since the winds and the rain came roaring in. We are being battered, blown and drenched to the core. A time to stay indoors and imagine the weather as it whistles through cracks and fights to enter. Here is a poem by Ted Hughes which is just right for reading in front of the fire:


This house has been far out at sea all night,
The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,
Winds stampeding the fields under the window
Floundering black astride and blinding wet
Till day rose; then under an orange sky
The hills had new places, and wind wielded
Blade-light, luminous black and emerald,
Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.
At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as
The coal-house door. Once I looked up -
Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes
The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,
The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,
At any second to bang and vanish with a flap;
The wind flung a magpie away and a black-
Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The house
Rang like some fine green goblet in the note
That any second would shatter it. Now deep
In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip
Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought,
Or each other. We watch the fire blazing,
And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on,
Seeing the window tremble to come in,
Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons.

Ted Hughes

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Time to read Tolkein again?

Every two or three years or so I am drawn to reach down my copies of 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of The Rings' from the bookshelf. As the days are lengthening and the sun is warming I am getting that feeling again, that longing to sit outside on Summer evenings until it is almost too dark to read about hobbits, elves, dwarves and wizards. I may lose myself again in Rivendell and walk with Galadriel in the forests or sing with Tom Bombadil and the River Maiden until the sun sinks down in the West.

Roads Go Ever On

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star.
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen,
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green,
And trees and hills they long have known.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone.
Let others follow, if they can!
Let them a journety new begin.
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Still 'round the corner there may wait
A new road or secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.
J.R.R. Tolkein

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

May Eve, the coming of Summer

'The evening being May Eve I ought to have put some birch and wittan (mountain ash) over the door to keep out the 'old witch'. But I was too lazy to go out and get it. Let us hope the old witch will not come in during the night.  The young witches are welcome'.

Kilvert, i.119-20, Saturday, [1870]

Divinations on May Eve in Ireland

'If a young woman wishes to know who is to be her future spouse, she goes, late on May Eve, to a black sally-tree, and plucks therefrom nine sprigs, the last of which she throws over her right stocking. She then, on her knees, reads the third verse of the 17th chapter of Job; and on going to bed she places the stocking, with its contents, under her head. These rites duly performed, and her faith being strong, she will, in a dream during the night, be treated to a sight of her future husband'.

W.R.Wilde, 53 (1852)

To the Celts the winter sun Grianon reigned from sunset on 31st October (Samhain) to sunrise on the first of May (Beltane), and today his daughter Cailleach Bheur (Scots Gaelic) or Cally Berry (Ulster) or Caillagh my Groamagh (Manx- The Old Woman of Gloominess), the goddess of winter, turns to stone. The two great fire festivals of the Celts, Samhain and Beltane, in honour of the sun, are thus six months apart.

                                                          Unite, unite, let us all unite,
                                                          For Summer is a-come unto day
                                                          And whither we are going, we will all unite
                                                          On the merry morning of May.

                                                          Padstow Night Song - Trad. Cornish

Rise before dawn and wash your face in the dew tomorrow to receive the blessings of the season.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Signs of Spring

Yesterday I saw snow on the mountains, two major rivers, beautiful lakes, forests and a herd of deer, landscape so stunning that it took my breath away and I went no further than twenty miles from my house. All this and sunshine too. Lovely.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Waiting for The Plough

A Wolf, a Badger and a Fox

The fifth of March, the feast day of Saint Ciaran known as 'the first-born of the saints of Ireland. It is told that Saint Ciaran founded the monastery of Saighir which became the burial place of the Kings of Ossary.

Saint Ciaran did not have to build his monastery alone, he had help from the animals of the forest. Legend tells that he had assistance from a wolf, a badger and a fox. However, the fox succumbed to temptation and stole the Saint's shoes. The wolf and the badger sought out the miscreant fox and brought him back to Ciaran to be scolded and shriven.