Trees in Winter are so poetic. So exposed that you can clearly see how delicate they become toward the tips of their branches. It seems natural to highlight this and since I’ve become slightly hooked on making these kaleidoscopic abstracts, I couldn’t think of a better way to do it. So here is ‘Circle of Trees’.
THE memory of my first Christmas in Dubai way back in (ahem) 1996 popped into mind when I’d finished putting these images together.
I remembered buying bags and bags of frankincense and myrrh (plus a little gold trinket) to give as gifts to everyone. It was the first time that I had seen these stunning orange/gold balls of resin and let me tell you, the scent they emit when tossed onto an open fire or onto an oil burner is unbelievably beautiful. To me, they smell of a souk, dusty and musty and heady. Gorgeous.
I got taken back there with these shots, even though they’re images of colourful stones in rock pools, taken on a wonderful beach walk with my family last weekend. I think they’re amongst my favourites. :)
A little time offline can do strange things to a person.
In the two weeks I’ve been away, I’ve reignited a passion that I had all but lost and all because my mum had found a bag of my sketchbooks while she was clearing out her cellar. It felt truly bizarre to be looking through those books, I remembered them vividly yet, at the same time, I felt so disconnected to who that person was. I had forgotten her.
Generally, people say that what you loved doing as a child should act as a guide to your future career or calling and those books reminded me of what I loved most of all in my youth – words. Page after page of those sketchbooks are filled with my very amateurish attempts at calligraphy (so many fonts, so little time!) and fragments of first paragraphs for the book I dreamt of writing. Now, with 47 years of hindsight, I can hear echoes of my love of letters and words throughout my life but, despite so many reminders, I have just let them go.
So, to begin, I’m feeding that need to add a flourish to everything I write and have signed up for an online calligraphy course. I start today!
AVERT EYES if you’re avoiding all things Christmassy!
Just added this lovely range of goodies to my S6 shop based on the ‘Let it Snow’ design that has been a bestseller of mine. I don’t know why these have consistently sold throughout the year (don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining), but I thought it the right time to expand the design. I’m planning new lines and colours over the next couple of days, probably a frosty blue/green and perhaps purple or a black too. Will keep you posted with the finished item.
Here’s my list of Autumnal pleasures:
- Kicking up leaves – who can resist?
- Time to pull on a woolly hat!
- Sit by a real fire.
- Pour yourself a glass of rich-bodied, red wine.
- Frost! And frosty breath fun with your little (or big) one.
- Darker mornings (I know, not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love them!)
- Waking up to the sound of rain pitter-pattering on the window (ditto above, in brackets).
- Conkers! Leaves of every colour! Seeds! Collecting them all!
- Squirrel spotting.
- Damp earth imparting its musty smell. Mushrooms!
- Cinammon and spice-scented candles.
- The light! Golden, magical, warm (occasionally).
- Drinking your first hot chocolate of the colder seasons (made the Italian way, so thick you can stand a spoon in it).
- Front row seats to the show Nature’s been busy planning the whole year long.
- Bed socks (not worn in bed at all, instead worn whilst curled up on the sofa watching Downton Abbey).
“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.” – Siobhan Vivian
Aside from the obvious wonder of its colours, I love the smell of Autumn. Rich and damp and earthy, like potatoes baking in the ashes of a homemade bonfire. Inhale.
It’s a time when we change the smell of our home and switch up the candles. We buy the same ones at this time every year and replace those that have sweetly carried us through summer with some that make us feel like we are walking into a gentleman’s club the morning after a night of cigar smoking and drinking brandy. Delicious tobacco and spicy tea scents are my favourites and somehow make you feel warm even if it’s freezing cold and chucking it down with rain outside.
Do you favour any scents at this time of the year?