Last week was the beginning of February and with it Imbolc and with that comes my visit to my tree. She hasn’t changed significantly since Winter Solstice but I know know she is a red oak. She is one of few trees in the park still holding onto leaves (except for evergreens of course).
This years project is based around the life cycle of butterflies; eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies.
Different species spend winter in different forms but I am starting my project with the egg. If you’ve not seen butterfly eggs then you’re missing out! They are absolutely tiny but they have spectacular structures:
An initial look at the different types of eggs
My pinterest board for the project
The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland by Jeremy Thomas and Richard Lewington has beautiful, detailed pictures of the different stages of the butterflies that are native to the country.
There are so many butterflies that I wanted to narrow things down a bit so I’m focusing on those which are seen in Yorkshire. More specifically, for the egg part, I am looking at the wonderfully named Purple Hairstreak. I’m not yet sure where I’m going with it but I’m researching and learning and thinking.
The final part of my trees project was using clay which I hadn’t done in many many years.
I was really pleased with how they turned out!
I used air drying clay which my carer rolled out then I pressed the leaves, seeds and twigs into the clay. I was worried that when we removed them, bits of tree would stick or the clay would pull but no. After five days they were dry and I painted them with gesso. Then I used brown ink to bring out the details. Another light layer of gesso, removing any that caught in the imprints with a baby wipe. And finishing them off with varnish.
I really enjoyed having a year long project and this year I am looking at the life cycle of butterflies!
My word/phrase for 2017 is everyday magic.
“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”
– Charles de Lint
I don’t really have any Christmas traditions. Last year I had care in the morning as usual, went to the pub at lunch time then chilled out with nice chocolates and the latest season of criminal minds. This year it will depend a lot on the weather but if possible I’ll go to the pub again and I have nice chocolates and the latest season of criminal minds. So I guess my tradition in the making could be nice food and dvds and magazines.
Many many years ago I did gcse textile design. My parents are sorting out their attic so my coursework has been given to me to sort out. It’s been nice looking through it although it does make me sad I can no longer sew (due to hand pain).
We made felt by hand which was fun! We then had to make an African inspired bag and wall-hanging. My work went off on a tour of gcse work and sadly the wall-hanging went missing… Being pre digital cameras I don’t even have a decent photo of it but I do have a sample and the prep work.
We had to make an item of clothing using recycled materials…
Our final project was making something inspired by aboriginal art. I made a poncho.