Harper & The Faeries

Moving to Wales about 9 months ago was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only is is it a magnificent country with lots to see and do to ignite my imagination but it is steeped in history and faerie Lore. I love anything faerie related so I decided to write a blog each month about the different faerie lores in Wales. This month I’m going to write about Harper & the faeries.

Shon Robert who was a Harper lived in a remote part of Denbigshire called Hafod Elwy. He was a musical soul and was always being invited to parties to play for the singers and dancers. This evening he had been called to a party in Llechwedd Llyfn, in the neighborhood of Cefn Brith. After a lovely evening everyone parted company and he headed home. His path was over the bare mountains which led him past a lake called Llyn-y-dau-ychain and on the verge of it was something that he had never seen before. It was a vividly illuminated grand palace. He however proceeded on his way and to his amazement came right in front of the palace. A faerie footman invited him in. Curious, he accepted the invitation and entered into a a magnificent hall where a grand ball was taking place. Much of the furniture was lavish and made of solid gold. The faeries all drank from gold goblets and a waiter stopped by and offered him a drink from a goblet that was adorned with jewels to which he accepted.

Soon he was surrounded by friendly faeries and to his astonishment addressed him by his name. They asked him to play for them and their guests which he gladly did. And much to his delight a hat was passed around and in it was put many pieces of gold and silver coins.

The magnificent feast and merriment of the guests continued until near dawn and one by one the guests took their leave. Until he was finally alone. Sleep was calling and he found a  a couch and lay down. He was soon fast asleep.  He did not wake until mid day and to his surprise he founds himself lying on a heap of heather. The palace had vanished and the gold and silver he had transferred from the hat and into his bag the night before was changed to withered leaves.

18 Facts About Turquoise Stones

Turquoise

‘ Its powers can be harnessed and utilized for good fortune’

In this blog I am going to look at one of my other favorite stones; turquoise.   It is a beautiful stone and has a hue of  light blue that reminds me of the sky. It’s history is diverse & fascinating. Its powers can be harnessed and utilized to bring you good fortune plus much more.

turquiose-stone

It looks gorgeous worn as jewellery complimenting all complexions and is a stone of wealth. It was worn by Anselmus de Boot, court physician of Emperor Rudolph II. It was wrote in 1609 that Turquoise was so highly regarded by men that no man considered his hand to be well adorned unless he wore a fine Turquoise. [Kunz, 111].

Lets  look at some more interesting facts:

  •  This semi precious stone has been a prized gem for thousands of years. It has been the talisman of kings shamans and warriors.
  • Consists of hydrated phosphate of copper aluminum.
  • It is found in barren & dry regions only.
  • Turquoise derived from the french Pierre Turquoise meaning Turkish stone.
  • Turquoise was mined in Central Asia and the trade routes to get it to Europe went through Turkey.
  • It is a stone of protection whilst traveling and my friend always carries one in his car to aid him a safe passage.
  • It can be used with pets to keep them safe. You can stick one in a name barrel on their collar.
  • It is a good talisman for attracting friends. It has been said he/she who has it will never want a friend.
  • The ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Persians, Aztecs, Incas of South America, Native North Americans saw the stone as being sacred and used it for luck, protection and power.
  • Indian priests wore it in ceremonies when calling upon the gods of the skies.
  • In the orient the ring was worn as a protection amulet to ward off dark forces.
  • Turquoise beads have been found dating back to 5,000 BC in Iraq.
  • It promotes creativity so is the stone of artists/crafters so keep one on your work station. I do and the ideas always keep flowing.
  • It increases success. Wear one when going for interviews or trying to attract prospective clients. My friend has a beautiful elephant carved out of turquoise and always keeps it on her desk. She is an artist and is always inundated with clients.
  • It promotes leadership and enhances communication thus fantastic for businesses that work directly with people and it also aids shy people.
  • It is used to strengthen the meridians and subtle energy fields that surround the body enhancing well-being.
  • It supports mediation and is a good stone to have with you when you are meditating. As I meditate in different places I carry mine in my pocket. They also look beautiful on your alters too.
  • It promotes peace of mind and relaxation so its a lovely stone to keep in your bedroom next to your bed.

So if your looking for a beautiful stone that not only enhances your beauty but provides an abundance of good fortune, success and well being then turquoise is a superb choice. And one that will give you an abundance of pleasure whether it is worn as jewellery or used as part of your decor.

What is your favorite stone?

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Faerie lore – Llyn Y fan Fach

I have a fascination for all things to do with faeries and faerie lore is no exception. So where did it all begin? I was brought up by a mum who would often take me for picnics and walks in beautiful woods and surrounding countryside. Each walk would be magical and we would go bird watching, tree hugging and looking for the faeries hence my passion for them now.

Moving to a rural part of Wales in June 2016 opened up this magical realm once again for me because the place is steeped in legends and wonderful history. In this blog I am going to look at one of the lakes called Llyn Y Fan Fach in Brecon Beacons.in the western border of the Black mountain.  Llyn Y Fan Fach  is thought to be a bottomless lake  and is associated with Faeries and I’m going to tell you about the famous faerie legend there.

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One day whilst a farmer was tending to his herd he spotted a beautiful faerie woman emerging from the lake whom he instantly fell in love with. He offered her three types of bread to win her over. The first bread was hand baked to which she refused. The second was dough and again she refused. But the third which was lightly baked bread was more to her liking and she accepted his proposal.

She immediately disappeared back into the lake and returned moments later with her father and her identical sister. The father of the faerie set up a test to see if the farmer was worthy of his daughter. He asked them to differentiate between his two daughters. Thankfully the farmer was successful as he recognized his love from the way she tied her sandles. And he was allowed to have her hand in marriage.

The faerie realm gifted them with more cattle, as many as they could count in one breath. The father told the farmer that he must treat his daughter well and must never strike her more than three times otherwise she would disappear altogether and return to the faerie realm.

They had a successful and happy marriage and had 3 sons. However the farmer unwittingly struck her more than three times and on the fourth occasion she disappeared back into the lake with all of the faerie cattle that had been gifted to them.

It is said that the faerie wife returned occasionally to teach her sons the art of healing and herb lore. This was passed down the family line for centuries and the family became well known as the physicians of Myddfai.

The Llyn Y Fan Fach lake is located in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is in a very remote location and the best way to get there is on foot consulting an appropriate ordnance survey map.

Do you know of any faerie legends in Wales? If you do please share on the comments section and I may just publish it.

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Chapter 4 – The Earth Faeries Tales

It was Christmas eve in faerie land. Huge snow flakes had covered the roof tops and the villagers had been busy clearing the snow from their drive ways. Decorations illuminated the valleys and there were celebrations both in the houses and on the streets.

Lots of faeries had given up their time to become Santas helpers. It was the only time of year  that faeries, elves and pixies all worked together on one common goal and that was to pack the presents for all of the human children around the world.

There was a gentle hum – a mixture of fluttering wings and singing of faerie folk. There was an excitable air all around faerie land as there was every day as all magical folk lived Christmas spirit all year round.

However Princess Pearl was too far away to hear it. She had spent every year doing her royal duties  – packing presents and putting them on the conveyer belt which led them straight into a vortex. This was the same vortex that had delivered them to Santa Claus’s house in the north pole for the past thousand years.

One year, herself, ruby Star Light and Crystal Moon Wand had spent the entire Christmas at Santa Claus’s house and had even got to meet Santas wife ‘Mother Xmas’ as the elves called her. Like most women she was the brains behind the whole operation and often took her own sleigh or these days her helicopter to help deliver the presents. Although together they made a fantastic team!

It had been a holiday to remember. They were all barely out of faerie school and it was the first time any of them had been so far away from their own country and parents. They’d built mini snow men, rode on Santas’ sledge and had even roasted chestnuts on mother Christmases log fire. The chestnuts had been huge..like boulders and far too heavy to pick up and put on the log fire. So they had worked their magic to shrink them and had ate them with sprouts and lashings of cranberry sauce.

It had been the first time they had met an elf. Elves and fairies hadn’t mixed for a long time.It was because of  a bad deed that a young elf had done and the older generation of faeries had never forgiven him. It was nice that for the holiday season that they had called a truce.

But this year she wasn’t involved in the Christmas celebrations – she was thousands of miles away and on a mission. A mission to return her beloved pet Loomies’ essence back to full power. But first she had to find her. She had been gone for weeks and was missing her quirky ways.

Night had descended on them and they had set up camp on the tree tops. They were wrapped in the leaves from the ever green trees that protected them from the bitter cold winds that howled through the branches. Huge snow flakes descended on the valley and the air was crisp clean and sharp.

Tomorrow they would be entering the dark zone – a never ending forest full of goblins, trolls and other swamp monsters and she wished that she had Loomies powers to help her navigate her way through. It was a land that magic had forgot and unable to use her magic powers her and her sisters would have to brave it on foot.

A gust of wind shook the branches of the tree and the leaf she was laying on trembled beneath her. Curling up into her sleeping sisters she  closed her eyes and attempted to get to sleep…..

Crystal Moonwand entered the forest where the faerie counsel dwelled. Dawn was breaking and golden streams of light seeped through the tree tops and onto the forest floor.

She flew through many entwining branches until she came to a clearance where the trees had been partially cut down and only one huge fully formed tree was left standing. This was the entrance to faerie head quarters.

Sensing her presence the sleeping tree stirred from its slumber and one eye popped open and then another.

“Who goes there?”

“Princess Crystal Moon wand sir. I am here to see the faerie counsel.”

“Do you have an appointment?” the tree asked.

She shook her head “No there isn’t time. Its very important.”

The tree chuckled “If I let everyone in who said that who had  no appointment we would be over run and we would get nothing done.”

“There will be no counsel to do anything ever again if you don’t let me in sir” and then proceeded to tell him what the Gothic faeries intentions were. When the tree looked still undecided  she quickly went on “She has already taken over the north of the country and it will be your fault if you don’t act on what I’m telling you. You wouldn’t want to have your branches removed would you Sir?”

The tree sighed and the next minute its tiny arch door at the base of the bark screeched open. She found herself in a dimly lit stair way with hundreds of tiny steps leading into a series of winding corridors that were clearly sign posted.

The corridors were empty and there was no sign of Christmas spirit inside of them. The place looked as if it hadn’t had a lick of paint in thousands of years. Some of the counsel faeries were rumored to be over a 1,000 years old. They had lost their magic due to their narrow mindedness and reluctance to move with the times.  Lots of the faerie folk had lost faith in them and were looking to themselves to keep Christmas spirit alive in faerie land.

She knocked on the solid oak door and it creaked open. All heads turned at her presence and the sight before her left her mouth agape and eyes wide with wonder…….

Ruby star light leaned against the balcony of her penthouse suite in New York. She had flown out to spend time with her partner who had clients in the city. The plan was for him to have a quarter of the day working on one of his clients projects and tying up loose ends and then come back for late lunch. And then go out to a friends Christmas party they had both been invited to in the evening.

However she had long ago given up on that plan as 8 o’clock had come and gone. With no sign of him she kicked off her heels and sat down on the chair. She looked at the cat that was perched on the ledge and despite being at a great height was looking carefree and relaxed. That was how she used to be when she had been in faerie form. It appeared most humans had forgotten how to do that and it was nice to see that her feline friends hadn’t. Although she could never understand how animals had lost their voice in this world and wondered how things had come to be so.

A couple of weeks ago she had bought a crystal ball from a little curiosity shop in London. Much to her partners frustration she had spent many a day trying to contact Hanvel the eagle whom she knew traveled between worlds with ease. Finally he had emerged through the swirling mist inside of the ball. Communication hadn’t been great and she wasn’t too sure he had heard her request – to fly to the Gothic faerie and trade the biggest and last ruby she owned for her safe passage home and returning her into faerie form.

Brought back to the present by the bolt of lightening she surveyed the starless sky. There was no sign of the eagle and with a heavy heart she paced back into the penthouse just in time to see her partner striding through the door. The presents he was carrying were stacked so high she couldn’t see his top half only hear him humming a Christmas song.

She watched as he laid them under the Christmas tree and quickly strode towards her his arms outstretched. “I’m so sorry I’m late, Please forgive me”He kissed her quivering lips and stopped as he seen the tears in her eyes “Hey why so glum?”

She didn’t answer and give him a weak smile. He didn’t have to ask why twice as he knew straight away what the matter was. He knew he had to humor her at least until he could get an appointment with his therapist after Christmas. This faerie thing had been dragging on too long and he couldn’t believe that he had nearly bought the story.

“No sign of the eagle then?” He asked

She shook her head “I’m not sure if he got my message.”

He wanted to shake her back to her senses but he had promised to be gentle with her and play along with it “Was that because the crystal ball wasn’t working properly?”

She shrugged ” Who knows I’ve never used a human one before but I believe that they are they are not as powerful as our ones back home.”

“Well I guess he’s out partying with friends and family at this time of year so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from him.”

“No actually, I’ve been flying all day and night to find the opening between the two worlds so I can come and see Princess Ruby.” came a deep male voice from the direction of the balcony.

Rubies face lit up and she peered around the patio door to see the eagle perched on the ledge. “Hanvel you came!”

“Indeed I did princess Ruby. I promised your parents I would look after you but you seemed to disappear off the radar and now I know why. Thank goodness I found you. “The bird flew onto her arm. “And I have what you asked for in my satchel.”

Her partner stood in the door way eyes wide. He was pointing at the bird, mouth agape but with no words coming out. His client had given him a shot of cognac and he wondered just how big a shot it had been.

Rubies fingers curled around the tiny glowing bottle inside of the birds satchel. She put it against her heart and smiled. The magic dust was pulsating against her palm. “It’s faerie dust darling. I have a way back home.”

Taking her lovers hand she placed the bottle in his hand “Did you hear me. I have a way back home and if you want to come with me you can as there is plenty of magic dust here.”

He looked at the glowing material in the bottle and then back at the talking eagle. Finally finding his voice “My god, you were telling me the truth. All this time I thought…

“That I’d lost my marbles as you humans say…I know. Shh” She put her fingers on his lips “It’s okay. You don’t have to explain. Listen, I love you. I forgive you for not believing me but we don’t have much time. I have to go soon before the magic dust loses its power. And I’m giving you the chance to come with me.” she seen the conflicting emotion on his face “but I understand if you can’t.”

“Princess, we must go quickly. The dust is starting to diminish.” said Hanvel

Her lover was silent for a moment then a grin appeared on his face “Will I have wings like you.”

She smiled and nodded

he sounded like a child “And powers.”

“Many”

His eye brow raised. “And will I finally get to meet your parents that you’ve been hiding from me for years?”

“Princess..the dust..

“Okay Hanvel. I’m coming.”

The dust that had looked liked streams of sunlight captured in the bottle was starting to dim. Knowing its powers were only active for a short period of time on the human realm she knew she had to act fast.  She popped open the cork and watched as the dust ascended into the sky then swarmed back down coming to hover like a cloud over both of their heads.

“Will you come with me?” she asked again

She seen him shake his head and her face fell. Then he grinned. It was the same cheeky grin  he had wore on his face the first time she had met him. The same grin that had softened her heart and  made her fall in love with him.

“Try & stop me Rube.”

She flung her arms around and hugged him. Then stepping back with her arms out stretched she said out loud:

Homeward bound and in faerie form

In faerie dust we trust

Take us both to faerie land

And this is a must!

” Close your eyes” she whispered into her lovers ear. “We are going to a very magical place. You’ll love it! ”

He did as he was told and felt a gust of wind ruffle his hair. The room seemed to spin for a couple of moments and he bent his knees to steady himself. “Can I open them yet?”

There was silence

“Ruby can I open them yet? His voice echoed.

His eyes flew open. He was in a magical place but it looked very familiar. He was still stood on the balcony of his penthouse suite. Except there was no sign of Ruby or the eagle.

The only thing remaining was an empty bottle and a tiny spec of what looked like sand on the floor that he realized with dismay had once been faerie dust……

Who is Lean Green Father Christmas?

In this article I’m going to look at the fascinating history of Father Christmas, and how the father Christmas we know and have to come love has changed over the centuries.

We all love him! That jolly man who fly’s around the world delivering fantastic presents to all of the children. I remember being in my grandmother’s house, huddled underneath the bed clothes as it was snowing outside and determined to stay awake so I could catch a glimpse of Father Christmas. And although I didn’t see him I heard the sledges bells outside and I was out of bed in a split second peering through the curtains, my 7 year old face pressed against the window pain. I did see reindeer’s flying in the sky but no father Christmas or was that an over active child’s imagination? Who knows but it was a lovely memory that I like to hold onto.

I must of sat at the window for about an hour and finally sleepy eyed I returned to my bed and was fast asleep. Needless to say I never saw him coming into my room to put the presents at the end of my bed and a stocking full of nuts, tangerines and other goodies. But I remember smiling to myself the next day as I checked the mince pies and the glass of whisky we had left him which had been ate and drank. I always wondered though how he got down the chimney from consuming all those lovely gifts everyone always leaves him but my mum could never answer that.

We know him as Santa Claus, Kris Cringle, St Nicholas. We associate him as a kind cheerful large man with white hair and beard plus red and white clothing. Although the Santas in American stores are not always depicted that way. However, did you realize the original father Christmas was dressed in green, had pagan roots and represented nature and good health. Earlier pictures depict him as lean.  Fast forward and we are presented with a man who has changed his coloring of his clothes to red and too many mince pies and drink has caused his waste line to expand and as far removed as health as can be. How on earth could this happen?

In the 1920’s a certain American soft drink company whose products are ladled with sugar decided Santa should be dressed in red as part of a marketing campaign that has stuck. It makes you realize how powerful marketing can be when it can literally rewrite history and not necessarily for the better.

The healthier green lean Father Christmas represented spring and wore a green hooded cloak and a wreath of holly, ivy or mistletoe and had the ability to make people happier during winter months.

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It appears that Father Christmas and Santa were two different people. To learn more about the history and how things came to be read more

Read more here

I much prefer the green Santa as he fits in with what myself and my company stand for..being more eco friendly and looking after myself so I have the health and energy to build this new venture. I’m not perfect (I do love mince pies and as they say everything in moderation) but I am always striving to be better and like to surround myself with great role models. Who do you prefer the red Father Christmas or the green one?

Main image as featured by the BBC

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Faerie Legends in Rhiwlars Wales

The Golden Chair

 

There was a beautiful girl. She was the daughter of hard working parents who had a farm on the side of their hill in Rhiwlars Wales. She took care of her parents sheep. When looking after the sheep she always had her knitting needles with her and would be engrossed in knitting her stockings.

One day when she was far from home, up in the mountains tending to the sheep she found a beautiful big golden chair that had been left for her by the faeries. They had noticed her good qualities and knew that her parents were struggling so they had sent her some riches. She understood the faerie law and knew that the chair had been meant for her. She also knew that according to faerie law if she did not take the gift immediately it would disappear. But the chair was very heavy and would not move.

Being a resourceful girl she immediately attached her yarn to the chair and began to pull it but soon it ran out. The only thing left was the yarn that she had been using to knit her stockings so she decided to use that but again it ran out.

She was almost home and could see her house in the not so distance and called to her parents. There was no answer so quickly tying the chair to a bolder with a little left over yarn  she ran home and immediately proceeded to tell her parents what had happened.  Excited  by her good fortune they followed her back to where she had left the chair but it was nowhere to be seen. The yarn and bolder had also been taken.

People believe the chair is hidden away in the welsh mountains and will be given to someone else who needs it.

 

 

World Soil Day

Here at the Earth faeries head quarters (my home) in Wales we like to give nature a helping hand.   I thought I’d dedicate this blog to raising awareness of world soil day and what this wonderful creation does for us.

Let’s be honest -how many of you give soil a second thought? It’s rough and course when dry and squishy and quite slimy when wet and it may not look like the most attractive feature in the garden. It may not be the most interesting subject for some and its been here for so long its easy to take it for granted. I never used to to give it a second thought. That was was until I moved into my new home – a massive cottage farm house with a huge garden.  I fell in love with it all..including the soil as I realized it provided me with the foundation to grow all of my own gorgeous home produce which gives me the energy to function, to live and to craft.  I had some lovely cherries, apples and plum this year from my trees and lovely tomatoes, carrots and lettuces thanks to the lovely soil. Plus I use wood to make lots of my products from sustainable forests and before the seed is planted there needs to be soil! So your getting the picture of how important this resource is!

I only had the full picture after my handy man gave me a stack of gardening books that would keep me busy for years  which furthered my knowledge. I also soon realized the important role that soil plays  in our Eco system.  So what exactly does soil do? It reduces the impact of climate change and plays an important role in food security. Here at the Earth faeries  my little magical helpers and I always try to show mother nature we are grateful for her treasures and assist her in any way that we can. Here’s how:

  • We have a rain garden. They are easy to make and involve having a shallow depression in the yard or garden that the rainwater can flow into. This helps reduce soul erosion.
  • You can reduce patios and drive ways as water flowing from them builds up. momentum and causes soil erosion. Consider having paving stones so rain water can flow downward into soil. Although we don’t have paving stones yet we have kept the patio to a minimum. We have only been here 6 months and the patio was already in so our garden is a work in progress.
  • Have a water barrel and collect rain off the roof. We do this and water the garden with it.

If you would like to learn more about world soil day and find out how you can help the earth then please click this link http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/world-soil-day/wsd2016/en/

Do you have any other tips that can help prevent soil erosion in your garden? If so please share.

The Power Of Carnelian

I have always had a fascination with quartz crystals. My collection of them speaks for itself. They are gorgeous. I keep one as an ornament on my shelf, one for laying on my chakra another I keep in my pocket and the other I wear as jewellery.

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carnelian

I made these recently for two of my customers and myself and they always give me the energy to go forward with my own goals. I recently went on a quartz crystal course so I could use them in my own personal transformation and also to help my customers choose the correct quartz crystals for them.

Lots of us own a carnelian as they are not very expensive to buy and they look beautiful adorned on the body. But how many of you know of the history and other interesting facts about them. In this article I thought I would give you some interesting facts about this beautiful gem.

Facts About Carnelian

  • Carnelian is a Latin name and means flesh
  • It is classed as a variety of Chalcedony
  • It is a mineral of the quartz family.
  • Ancient warriors used to wear the stone around their necks for courage and physical strength
  • In Egypt the stone was worn by master architects to show their rank as builders
  • It is associated with fertile goddess Isis and has been used to increase fertility
  • It has been said that it helps public speakers become eloquent and bold
  • It is a talisman for success in any money making ventures
  • It attracts prosperity good fortune, new resources and good luck.
  • It is a crystal that attracts success and helps you feel more motivated and ambitious
  • It stimulate the sacral chakra and can be used on that part of body to increase energy flow to that particular chakra
  • It is the birth stone for people born in and between Sept 23  Oct 21
  • It is said in Feng shui that you should put a carnelian in a room that needs energy
  • They are great for helping you re-tune your energy vibration to help you grow and facilitate change
  • It is also as a stone for protection
  • Need some inspiration then carnelians energy helps you foster creativity
  • It stimulates appetite
  • Promotes confidence
  • Rekindles passion
  • They are the talisman of the scientists, adventurers, wanderers, explorers, students, teachers and anyone who desires expansion
  • Orange stones are called carnelian and red stones are classed as sards

Carnelian is my favorite of the quartz family. What is yours?

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A day In The Life Of A Crafter

I thought I’d give you a day in the life of my new crafting venture. It has only been up and running for about six months and was a hobby that I started in my early twenties. Many moons later..twenty years to be precise I finally decided to turn it into an enterprise. And it has expanded really quickly surprisingly enough. I have even serviced the locals here in Wales and have had people come to my house to collect their products which I’m most appreciative of.

I normally start the day early.  I sit in front of the log burner with either a nice fresh orange juice or cup of chocolate and tucking into either a piece of toast or a  porridge made with soya milk which is my favorite.

After a mindful breakfast my thoughts turn towards my schedule. My mind is normally on the project I’m going to be creating that day or visualizing my next one. It’s certainly not hard finding inspiration considering I can see the Welsh hills outside of my window. I’ve only been living here for 6 months and the impressive views through my windows  has helped me feel more creative, have lots of ideas (I think it’s all the fresh air) and become more productive.

The project I have been working on this week is two beautiful robin mobiles. It has taken me about 3 and half hours to make each one. I use up cycled wooden curtain hoops (thanks to my friends) which are then sanded down so the paint will stick properly to them. I used to use sanding paper to sand the backs but then I discovered my sanding head on my new drill and I’ve never looked back. Not only does it take less time it gives a much smoother and neater finish.

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The wooden hoops were drilled so I could attach the robins.  Then I choose the colours of my acrylic paint. For the first project  I chose a traditional green because my customer said she wanted it for her children and required it to be Christmasy. And the second one which was for my mum I chose blues, greys and silver glitter. The robins are baked for half an hour in my oven.

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I did about 5 coats of acrylic for each robin to give it density and then finally mixed gold Glitter with the paint and coated it. Finally they were laid out on the piece of newspaper and lacquered to make sure they are waterproof and durable.

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(I’m still in the middle of painting this one)

I work with modelling clay and the clay I use has to be strong so I chose fimo which is a polymer clay.  Although the one that I bought is a lot softer than the older clays I used to work with it still requires time to knead it to become malleable. It takes about 15 minutes to get it soft enough to work with.

I’d washed the silicone mould the night before so could begin the project straight away. I made about 20 robins as have other projects to do as have a Christmas craft stall next week.  It takes me about five minutes with the large moulds to insert the fimo in. Then I use a rolling pin to roll over the back of the fimo to smooth it out. It is then popped out and put it into my oven for half an hour.  While it is baking I went out into the garden and began raking up the leaves. They are all different hues; gold and oranges and make the garden look ever so pretty and like a canvas. I normally leave a lot of the leaves on the ground as they become homes for the hedge hogs and other animals. I love the fresh air and all of the seasons. But I do miss the summer as I normally craft outside in my garden.

I went and sat in my summer house today and read a gardening magazine, scribbled some more designs for projects and had a mindful walk back to my cottage.

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It’s a huge garden full of trees (it has it’s own little woods) so there’s a lot of ground to cover to get back to the house. My garden used to belong to the field next door which is home to beautiful fluffy sheep. There is something beautiful about standing there at midnight looking up at the stars, listening to the owls hooting and hearing their wing span as they fly over head. It is a beautiful sound hearing the cows and sheep in the next field. It’s the place I always wanted to grow my business in and live in so I’m so happy that my good dream came true for me.

I walk into my kitchen just in time to switch the cooker off and take the clay from the oven. The timer is bleeping and seems to echo around the house. The clay needs about half an hour to cool before I can paint them.

I check my email and discover I have just received another 5 orders for my faerie jars so whilst the robins are cooling – out comes the glitters, jars and pearls and Swarovski crystals, pen, and for the next hour I sit happily contented at my living room table filling the jars, hanging the pearls, platting the cord around neck of jar and choosing the correct colored tissues paper to go into the boxes. Finally I colour the paper with a tea bag for an old authentic look and write a poem in the scroll.  It’s a pleasurable hour and I work with a smile on my face.

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(some of my orders heading to America)

An hour later  with the clay cooled I finally begin work on the robin project. I sand the backs to get rid  of any marks and to give a professional finish. Each robin has about 5 coats of acrylics which I find very therapeutic to paint. It is one of my favorite parts. Between each coat I will make the beads, bake them and then drill them. I make lots of beads to save time and put them all in the oven together.

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(a mar belling effect)

Once cooked and cooled I will drill them so can thread them. The pink and gold beads are two separate coloured fimo clays which are combined together using a specialized technique called marbling. The fun thing about this is to beads are never the same. Each one will always have its own unique characteristics.

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(A drilled bead before its been sanded)

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(hand made beads ready to string)

The tiger tail is measured, threaded through the robins and hung. The robins are lacquered and hung on the hoops. Finally the gold and silver cord is platted and hung from a screw so the mobiles can be hung up.

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(The finished products)

My family came in to admire my handy work and shared some more ideas for different future projects. I do feel blessed to live in a house hold full of other creative people as it makes life so easier. I have a light bulb moment about another product I’d like to create.  I immediately text a supplier who is stocking my faerie mobiles and ask is the new idea something she would be interested in stocking in her shop to which she replied yes. It seems I’m in flow which is a nice place to be. So I sit behind my computer looking for the materials I need and spend about half an hour looking for them online and then costing them up.

It’s lunch time and my daughter makes me a lovely home made soup of carrot and coriander in the soup maker with lovely chunky bread.  Life has not always been this way and you can really taste the difference between the natural soups and the tin varieties. It is nice to sit and enjoy her company. She is self employed too so like me she appreciates that we have such a lovely place to work in and she often gives me tips on how to expand my venture which seems to be working.

I check my emails to discover an order for a pearl necklace has come in so I get the materials out of my craft box and lay them out ready to begin. I feel like a child in a candy shop being able to work with such such beautiful things. It is a necklace that I have on here on my portfolio page so it has already been designed so that takes less times as its just the task of stringing it.

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After I have finished the pearl and pink Swarovski necklace I put it in the gift box and put them and the other boxes in my back back. It is time for my afternoon hike so I decide to go down to the post office which is in the the nearest village to post them. Its only about 6 mile hike there and back and I do it virtually every day so an now getting used to it.  The way down is easy but considering I live high up in the hills the ascent back up can be quite challenging. Although not everyone would agree with this. There are 70 year old men riding bicycles all the way up so that made me really determined to walk it without gasping for breath.

Six months later I can say I’m there.  Even before I wasn’t the views are all worth it though; rolling hills, valleys, forests and grazing land full of cows sheep and horses. I stop to pet the horses who are sniffing my pockets looking for treats. And it gives me an idea for a future project. It’s surprising where you can get inspiration from.

The post office is a lovely traditional one; it has a cafe in and a trinket shop. It is nice to see that this village has retained it charm.  The post office man is really friendly and he weighs my packages and I pay for the postage. . I silently wish the packages good speed and that they arrive safely before I decide to have a lovely hot chocolate in his joining cafe.

I decided to sit in the conservatory because the views are stunning and there are a good choice of books on the shelves so I can read if I choose.  The whole little village is surrounded by hills with forests on them and Johns cafe has amazing views of it all.  You can even take a walk in his lovely little garden that is full of big sea shells.  I often take our Labrador puppy in there as pets are welcome which makes life easier.  Its easy to see why this place is a popular tourism resort in Wales. I’ve been asked to bring some of my hand crafted faerie magnets in there and if they like them they said they will stock them. I’m thinking of doing a Welsh faerie in the colours of the Welsh flag. I thought that would make a nice keep sake for tourists and I feel honored he’s considering stocking them in his shop.

After indulging myself with a scrumptious hot chocolate and scone with home made jam on I head back up the hill. It takes me 40 minutes to get down and about hour and half to get back. Its so much easier in the car but walking is my other passion. I often get locals in other farm houses and cottages around where I live asking me do I want a lift. And this day is no exception. But on this occasion I thank them and decline as I’m really enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. Plus watching the wild bunny rabbets darting across the road is a sight to behold.

When I get back I do the finishing touches to my customers mobile, grab the camera and have a fun half an hour in the garden taking products shots so I can send her a picture over. You really do have to diversify when running this kind of venture. I have set up a spread sheet too just in case I need to track orders as it saves time. I’ve just got my second international order so it is a good system to have.

I check my emails again and I have just received a large order for hanging mobiles so off to work I go again. Although it doesn’t feel like work most of the time and I’m thinking to myself why didn’t I decide to live my passion sooner.  Oh well better late than never.

Later on in the evening I curl up with a crafting magazine in front of the log fire and end up falling asleep.  I awake much later to find the logs are nearly burnt and I trudge out into the car port to get some more logs. Bitterly November winds are rampant (the hills like mountains have their own micro climate) and it gets especially cold in the winter. This is my first winter here so it’s something I’ve just discovered but the extraordinary beauty of the place is well worth it.  I grab the logs from the bag and run into the house, throw them on the fire and snuggle back up. I can smell wonderful smells from the kitchen and my name is called so I venture into the kitchen just in time to see my dinner being served.

I smile to myself as I tuck into my lovely meal. Its been a wonderful relaxing and productive day and now lovely food and nice company. What more could a girl ask for?

What has been enjoyable about your day?

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