Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Merry Christmas

I've been neglecting my little journal lately as I've been a little under the weather but wanted to pop in and wish everyone a lovely and very special Christmas and New Year. The making never stops here so will be back soon to share some new lovelies in the New year! love Gracie xx

Sunday, 13 December 2009

My newest butterfly muse...

Adora Bell popped in today for a festive drink and an interesting chat. I have wanted meet this talented lady for a long time and the meeting (as I suspected would) inspired me to make yet another butterfly brooch.

Adora is another eager maker but her speciality is headdresses for maidens to wear on their wedding day. BUT what make's Adora's work stand out is she uses Cloud Roses. Cloud Roses are very rare and can only be picked once every three years and only at a special time (known only by two families - one of which is the Bell's)

Cloud Roses are a pale bluey grey colour but the more happy the wearer or holder becomes; the more they're colour changes to pink (the most beautiful shade of pink imaginable) Hence; Adora is in much demand.I tried to capture these colour changes in this butterfly brooch (which is available to purchase from my little corner of folksy) Gracie xxx

Monday, 7 December 2009

Haunted by Book Ghosts...

This piece is literally haunting me... I can't seem to finish it. It's one of those pieces where I do a small bit then get distracted and wonder off making something else. I think it is because the subject matter is intriguing and horrifying at the same time.

Bluebeard (I'm sure you've heard of him) was not the only serial wife killer. Legend has it that my great great great great aunt had a very lucky escape from the villain in this tale. Well that's what my grandmother would tell me.

Anyway,back to the story. Well there was a wicked prince who lived in a dark and brooding castle which was perched on the edge of a cliff. This prince kept himself to himself but rumours of his spectacular and breathtaking library spread and attracted the attention of many a book loving maiden...(the book thing obviously runs in the family!)

This library was out of this had a huge glass dome over it and wait for it...had a waterfall! As a child I would always point out that books and water don't really mix (and would hastily be shushed)It was heavenly, like a book itself; it was like another world. I have my suspicions it would change to cater to it's visitor's fantasies because this wicked prince attracted fourteen wives. Not all at the same time though!

Well, I'm afraid like my artwork I'm going to have to leave this story unfinished. I promise to tell the rest of the story when I show you the finished piece(which I hope will be very soon) Graciexx

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Feathered Friends

This is my favourite poem about my feathered friends.

The Lark

Pack, clouds, away, and welcome day,
With night we banish sorrow:
Sweet air blow soft, mount lark aloft,
To give my love good-morrow:
Wings from the wind to please her mind,
Notes from the lark I'll borrow:
Bird, prune thy wing, nightingale sing,
To give my love good-morrow,
Notes from them all I'll borrow.

Wake from thy nest, robin red-breast,
Sing, birds, in every furrow:
And from each hill let music shrill.
Give my fair love good-morrow.
Blackbird and thrush in every bush,
Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow,
You pretty elves, amongst yourselves,
Sing my fair love good-morrow.
To give my love good-morrow.
Sing, birds, in every furrow.
(Thomas Heywood)

When my feathered friends stop by I often get a quick sketch and as I get to know each bird I see these sketches as portraits.

When my favourite journeyman gave me some birch plywood; an idea sprung to mind. I set to work cutting the plywood into circles and using them to paint my favourite feathered friend's portraits on.I decorated them with a scalloped felt edge, painted a matching wooden bead and hung them with pretty ribbon.

I hang them everywhere around the cottage...I have several over my bedroom window seat. A selection are available to purchase from my cosy corner of FOLKSY. As long as you don't mind the occasional flapping of wings...Gracie xx

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

My everchanging library

Imagine having a library that magically restocks itself constantly. This I'm sure sounds like a dream come true to many of you and as I enter my snug library (with it's peeling duck egg blue painted walls and comfy gold coloured armchair) I still get a flutter of excitement. For some reason the room smells like jasmine and sandalwood; my grandmother and grandfather always spring to mind.

Of course the library like the rest of the cottage is part of the rich workings of the curse. As a child I would pore over books and swallow they're words as if they were a nutritional need. My mother never discouraged this (now I know she was too worried about if the curse would 'kick in' at the dreaded age of twelve)and so the curse uses this weakness for the written word against me.

All those stories and imaginings; how could anyone not be inspired. For a girl with book obsession it's not really a hardship...just tiring.

I read,then I paint what I see (what I have swallowed and absorbed) To use this artwork I have created art bookmarks which have a print of my painting on one side and on the underside a rescued page from a discarded book (makes me shudder to think who would would do such a thing!)

And it wouldn't be a Gracie Make if I didn't use some ribbon and lace to finish it off. A selection of the bookmarks will be available to purchase from my little corner of FOLKSY very soon. Keep watching out....Gracie xx

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Glorious gifts

I have embraced technology and of course this is is how I am speaking to you now and spreading the word about my story. As well as selling my wares at my twilight bazaars I have made my makes available via an online Bazaar:FOLKSY. This is a place where gifted folk gather and sell their gorgeous hand crafted wares. As the festive season draws near some of these folk decided to create and secretly give each other Christmas gifts...SECRET SANTA.

This morning I received my gift and I'm afraid to say I could not wait until Christmas and opened it! Inside were two beautiful lavender birds, two Christmas cards, a lavender Christmas decoration and wait for it; chocolate!

As you can see from the photos; the lavender birds are gorgeous and the floral detail makes them extra special. I love lavender and it makes me think of summer evenings in the garden.

The cards are wonderfully simplistic but pretty. One has jewelled buttons on and the other has cinnamon and jewelled wire on it.
My festive decoration is already hanging up and you can guess it; I have eaten the chocolates!

The generous sender tried to keep her identity secret but her style and talent gave her away; it is PANTS AND PAPER
Visit her beautifully stocked corner of Folksy!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Moon Maiden

Last night as I gazed up at the Moon I started thinking of Niekia and her sad story. Niekia was the daughter of the Moon. She was pursued by the Sun's son Peivalke but her true love was Nainas, of the Northern Lights. Nainas and his brothers would leave Niekia as soon as the first flush of dawn spread across the sky. Across the ocean they would battle in the skies and would return as it grew dark.

Niekia came up with a plan to keep her lover at home; she made a quilt of reindeer hide and embroidered on it the stars and the Milky Way and hung it above Nainas' bed. Nainas slept as normal that night but when he woke up as dawn approached he saw the Milky Way above him and fell back to sleep.

Later on Niekia crept outside and left the door slightly open. Nainas awoke immediately and the Sun saw him and sent down a shaft of fire that pinned him to the ground. Niekia realising what she had done threw herself infront of her lover. Nainas flew off to safety as the Sun grabbed Niekia. Niekia still protested and rejected Peivalke so in anger the Sun threw Niekia up into the arms of her mother the Moon; where she still is.

I always feel disappointed in Nainas; I expected him to save Niekia...maybe that's just me.

I painted Niekia's portrait on canvas stretched within an embroidery hoop(which I stained and wrote text about Niekia on) and finished it off with a velvet Gracie xx

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Lady Mallory's butterfly

For every maiden that crosses my path; I have to make a butterfly.I spent most of my childhood trying to catch the strange ghostly butterflies that always lived in my great grandmother's garden.I now know they are part of the enchantment and take comfort in their presence.

Yesterday I met Lady Mallory - a very tall and elegant woman with a secret life. She had a secret lover and wrote her love letters on sheets of crystal with liquid gold.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Welcome to my small but beautifully cosy corner of this world. My name is Gracie and I live under the most curious curse - I cannot stop making things! (I hear the sniggers) so what, I hear you shout. But REMEMBER this is a curse - I have no choice in the matter. Everyone I meet, everything I see, everything I hear inspires me...I have to make something - express what I feel.

I fall asleep scribbling and drawing. Sheets or blankets have often substituted canvas or paper. I do not sleep long; as soon as the first bird sings my body stirs. My mind is spinning, my fingers starts all over again, the day's making begins.

I am not a princess, a beautiful downtrodden maiden or the daughter of the moon. I inherited this affliction from my great grandmother. (I will save her story for a much colder and darker night, maybe as Christmas nears)

BUT why am I telling you this? My only hope of the curse being lifted is in the hands of one of you. When that special someone purchases a Gracie Make everything will change. I am not allowed to reveal the details but a certain chain of events must take place....