Saturday, 25 August 2012


Well, who knows what we're up to today - I've written this in advance of posting it so you have something to look at while we're away (not that I think you can't live without my amazing words of wisdom - or incoherent babblings...)
This is the preliminary drawing for the painting below - Sparrowgirl. It was painted over Springtime, hence the Hawthorn leaves and flowers. I have a real soft spot for Hawthorn. Its gnarly but delicate bark, its tiny, pretty flowers, the berries (said to be good for the heart and for digestion - but don't go nibbling any old berries - I'm only going on what I've heard, not hard evidence!) and the history and folklore of the plant,also known as Mayblossom.
I remember a story that I heard a few years ago, when I was living in Lampeter,Wales. It involved the chopping down of an ancient Hawthorn tree to make room for a road. Not long after the road was built, and the tree disposed of, a huge crack opened up in the Earth in the area where the tree had stood. No matter how people attempted to fill in the hole and make the road useable again, the same thing kept on happening. Eventally, the road was abandoned and no more efforts to build one were made. They say it was because the faeries had been angered by the destruction of their sacred tree.
I love those stories!

Sparrowgirl will be for sale in the shop in September :)

Thank you for reading!


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Prince Elwyn

"Prince Elwyn" Watercolour on Paper (approx. 3" x 4")

I'm so in love with Prince Elwyn! He studies the stars and dreams of elves.

For sale in the shop at the beginning of September.


Monday, 20 August 2012

Princess Gretchen

"Princess Gretchen" Watercolour on paper. (approx 3" x 4")

Gretchen. She dislikes being indoors and being told what to do. Unfortunately, much of life at court involves both of those. Whenever she can, she runs out to the forest to spend time with the wild things.

Friday, 17 August 2012

King Brion and Queen Mehlika

"The King and Queen" (approx 2.5" x 4)

King Brion is kindly and cultured - he loves travel and adventure. It was on one of his adventures to the lands of the East that he met Princess Mehlika, whom he brought back to be his Queen. She adores stringed instruments and spends every spare moment playing and composing new tunes.

For sale in the shop at the beginning of September.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

August Florals

I'm hoping the garden will survive while we're away. With all the rain earlier on in the year, the roots should be nice and deep, so I think we'll be OK :)
This photo really makes me laugh - it's as though the different flowers and stalks somehow have their own personalities! Can you see that, or is it just me? :/

Alelia says she would like a spring-themed bedroom, so I'll be printing out a few of our own flower photos to frame and hang on her walls.
More pics on our return!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Broad Bean Hummous of the Gods

I adore this summer lunch!


500g of unpodded broad beans
1 clove of garlic
Quarter lemon's worth of juice
1 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
Large pinch of salt
Around 5 small sprigs of mint

First, pod your beans. The inside of these things is amazing! Reminds me of a faerie's cosy bed.
In fact, imagine making a human version. I've always liked the idea of pod beds...Anyway...
When you've podded your beans, boil them for 5 mins to soften them up, then take the very green insides of each bean out of its jacket. This is a bit fiddley, but just split the now-loose bean jacket down one side with a fingernail then squeeze it from the other side. Pop!
Next, to use your mortar and pestle (or blender if you prefer). I threw in the garlic and sea salt first and ponded it until it became mush, then added the podded beans.
It's getting exciting now! Pound it together until you get a creamy consistency, but no need to be too perfect about it - lumpy bits are yummy too :)
Next, chop some spearmint. About that much ^ and mix it in, along with your lemon juice and olive oil.
Toast a little bread and drizzle more olive oil on it.
Spread (or dollop, as I do) your bean hummous on there and finish with a tiny bit more olive oil and another sprig of mint!
The mint and lemon reminds me of Greek and Cypriot foods and this is truly a dish from the Gods ;)



Thursday, 9 August 2012


So this is the result if my pom pom sewing effort which I began showing you a few posts back. Woohoo! I've wanted a summery, but ladylike and fun skirt for ages, and somehow only just got around to it. I'm quite happy with the results. Thank you to Popmango for the skirt. With those shoes, it's all gone 30's garden party, with a silly twist.

Now, where's my cucumber sandwiches? Pimms? Oh don't mind if I do...

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Sampler Giveaway!


Just in case you aren't aware of the giveaway yet..there is one! It only runs until this Friday 10th August, but now you're reading this, you have time to enter if you woud like to win a sampler pack from Castle On The Hill :)
You will reciee a lovely and completely random selection of goodies and I'm making them as fun as possible, with the possibilioty of recieving magnets, mirrors, necklaces, praints, postcards, bookmarks, greeting cards.

I love surprises and I hope you do too!

All you need do is recommend something that you love. It could be a book; a travel destination; a movie; an album; a favourite dish; a blog...anything!

Just either post your recommendation here or on the Facebook page by the end of Friday and I'll put you into the random number generator yay!

NB. After the 10th, the shop will be closed for a couple of weeks as we're planning on getting a few jobs done and maybe going away. I wish it didn't have to close, but as I'm (so far!) the only one running it, I need a few days to rest my head and get refreshed and inspired for the Halloween and then Christmas (aaargh!) rush :)


Friday, 3 August 2012

Questions In A World Of Blue.

This morning, I watched an episode of The History Of Art In Three Colours and remembered a project I begun about this time last year, and never somehow gathered the momentum to see it through...until now.

I'm sure anyone would fall for this colour. I've been working on this piece, then hanging it on the wall, taking it down again and working on it, then hanging it again. There's something almost otherworldy about it, which causes you, every time you walk in the room, to be sucked right into it, like a blue void, like you need to fly up into it.

Maybe I've been listening to too much poetry recently.

That smooth blue is so elusive. Getting the hue of the edges to match that of the main canvas is not as easy as it looks.

At this rate, it may even be finished by the end of today!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Put A PomPom On It!

(Thank you Martha for inspiring the title!)

Last night, I begun a little project I've had in mind for a few months.

 The plan goes like this:

a) See a gorgeous skirt.
b) Realise you really can't afford it.
c) Customise your own, using the closest materials available.

So, I found a really cool skirt online

 (this one, from the cutest ladies clothing Etsy shop POPMANGO). Now, don't get me wrong - I LOVED it how it was and I don't want to take anything away from the original designer, but it just didn't quite seem like me. Quite. It was too grown-up and, at least in my mind, I'm not a grown-up yet and will probably never be. So anyway, to fun it up, I'm adding pom poms.

This is a pretty close second to the skirt which inspired me (from my favourite shoe peeps Irregular Choice). Unfortunately, I can't find the original anywhere now - it was gorgeous felty grey, with MULTICOLOURED pom poms. Ahh! ...and where do you find those pom poms? I've only sourced one-colour strips of the stuff. Do I really have to cut up the fringing and stick them together myself? Maybe one day ;)

I'll post more when it's finished!


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Ribbit Bibbit (the English gentleman frog)

I love frogs! Can you spot him in the new paintings? (It isn't difficult to be honest!)