Monday, 23 July 2012

Puppy power!

We have a new member of our household! May I introduce Keijo the Finnish Lapphund!

Keijo (pronounced Key-yoo, we think) is a 8 weeks old little bundle of fluff, fun and cuteness!
We have wanted a dog for ages and it was a long search finding the right type of dog that we would all be happy with. My partner's Mum had wanted a husky but they would never fit in the smarts!

Little Keijo is quite rare in the UK and I am sure when he gets older I will have this sentence down to a tee.
A spitz type, like a husky but smaller.

This is Keijo 's daddy!
These dogs were breed as reindeer herders in their native country and have beautiful fur to keep them warm in the cold weather. They are a energetic and intelligent breed.

So far Keijo has had fun exploring the garden area and has settled in really well. We was worried he was going to miss his 6 siblings but as long as he has humans to keep him company he seems perfectly happy!
Leon taking photos of the pups.

The breeder, Toni Jackson is the author of the only book about the breed and has many championship winners. We were very lucky to get a pup from such a great breeder. I am sure little Keijo is going to be just as handsome as his papa!

He really is a little poser, which is great as we have a photographer in the family.

Links about the breed Lapphund breeder lapphund club

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Why yes, I do knit.

Recently I have started to learn to knit. At first it was to get my mother to pick up the needles again as she didn't have any hobbies and I remembered she was an avid knitter when I was younger and also because I wanted to learn a new skill.

To begin with I knitted some arm warmers and then a bag for my Druid Animal oracle cards, practising my knit, purl and blanket stitch.

My mother had made a few blankets for people in our family and I decided that a blanket would make a perfect gift for my friends Handfasting so I got set to work on knitting 30x30 squares in greens and purples. My mum helped me out with the knitting and I was able to lay the squares out to make a pattern.

Apologise for the bad quality photo. This was taken on my iPad to get a sense of how big the blanket would be and how I wanted it to look. Here I still needed to knit four light green squares.
Once I had all the squares I was able to start sewing the patches together. This was the most laborious part of making the blanket!
The finished blanket!

A close up of the blanket with silver Pentacle charm and the striped squares knitted by my mum.

I tied the finished blanket up with a cord made using a lucet tool. A two pronged fork that was used in Viking times!
This photo shows the lucet cord in Vandrake's hands.

I really enjoyed making this blanket and  the bride and groom seemed very happy to receive it!
I look forward to sharing more of my knitting endeavours with you in the future.

I am now off to go and cheer on the Olympic torch bearers as it passes through my town.
Until next time!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A Druid Handfasting

On Saturday the 14th I took part I a very important ceremony. My friends and co-founders of the Celtic Moon pagan group, Vandrake and Breaca had their Druid Handfasting.
For those not in the know, a Handfasting is a pagan wedding ceremony where traditionally the bride and groom wed for a year and a day, they have their hands binded together in a ritual cord symbolising the couple binding them selves together, in this world and the next. It is also traditional for the wedded couple to jump over a besom (broom) to complete the transition of leaving one life and starting a new one together.

The ceremony was at The Fighting Cocks pub in Horton Kirby. My other half Leon was the photographer and I was to be part of the circle invoking the quarters.
We arrived at 12 o'clock to help set up the cakes, flowers, napkins and anything else I could find to help with the organisation.
The pub soon got busy as friends and family members of the bride and groom arrived and so did the rain!
It was touch and go if the ceremony would go ahead outside as planned but the decision was made and we ventured ahead and we were lucky that the rain lessen and then stopped during the ritual.
The members of the Celtic Moon circle were all dressed in fleece cloaks with hoods up and when the guests were seated we walked in single file down the aisle to the drum beat provided by the Pentacle Drummers.
Waiting for the go ahead

The Celtic Moon march
Pentacle drummers

We fanned out to make a semi circle besides the gazebo where the altar and the celebrants stood to conduct the service.

The ritual was beautiful. The vows were heartfelt and touching and it was very difficult not to shed a tear.
After the vows and rings were exchanged the couple held hands and were tied together with a handfasting cord.

Here is me in the role of giving thanks to the south quarter. I hope I said the words correctly!
Leaping over the broom.

Celtic Moon <3

The gorgeous cake by Anna of ANe Cakes
The wonderful portrait of the couple painted by he very talented Esther Remmington

Gift giving! Mine was a hand knitted blanket, more about this in my next blog post.

After that there wasn't much else to do but party!

It was a wonderful day and one I will treasure for many years.

Congratulations to Vandrake and Breaca!

Photographs courtesy of LJS Digital photography:

More information on Handfasting can be found here:

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Important day

Today is a very important day! It is my Friends and circle priest and Priestess Handfasting!
I will blog about it after today and go in to more detail about what a Handfasting entails. I can't wait as I know I will be spending the day with some wonderful friends.

Also last night I went to a shamanic drumming circle, which I will also blog about at some point. Right now I have to get ready!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Cornwall holiday

Gosh I can't believe we are in July already!
Last month was very busy for me as I had a 2 week break in beautiful Cornwall. I feel that it is the home of my soul and I love visiting and we try to go there every year. This year me and my other half decided to make a long break of it and left on 11th of June and didn't come back till the 21st!
We camped on Bodmin moor and the weather got a bit hairy on more then one occasion. One night our tent started leaking so we had to visit a camping store for some waterproofing spray.
My main aim for this holiday was to visit some of the many ancient sites that can be found in the landscape. We managed some but there are many left to find next year!
Now on to photos:
Yes, all that did come out of that Smart car!

 The camp site kitties who made themselves at home in out tent.

This is the standing stone just a short distance from our camp site, the day of this photo we had done a lovely walk around the farm through some lovely wooded areas with a lovely clear running river.

We found The Stone circles called the hurlers and up from them the Cheesewring, a natural formation of the granite.
While we were here we walked to an amazing disused quarry. I didn't take any photos here but if any one visits the Hurlers then I recommend walking across to the quarry. The deep turquoise water and the sense of calm I felt here was amazing.  While were walking back to the car I realised that my phone was no longer in my pocket. I panicked and couldn't remember if I had my phone with me or not so we drove all the way back to the camp site to see if it was there, finding it wasn't we woke early next morning to find it. It was a foggy wet morning but luckily we found my phone who was no worse off from the cold night alone.

We also visited Mevagissey which is a lovely coastal town with an amazing alternative pagan shop called Lavender Pillow (see links at the end of post) and a great pirate shop too.

A beautiful area we found near St Agnes called the Blue Hills.

Scratch the Smart car enjoying the view

Saturday was 3 Wishes Faery fest day! I had a really great time and I was sad that we only went for the one day instead of all 3 but I managed to do a lot in that time. Here is the inspirational Brian and Wendy Froud speaking about their new projects. The lovely Troll in the middle is Mother Leap.

The Lovely faerie artist Linda Ravenscroft had a drawing workshop which I participated in. She told us to look around and be inspired by the things we find in nature. We each picked up a few objects to use as reference for a drawing. I found a tiny little conker, a lichen covered stick and a spiky conker casing. This is what I came up with:

All dressed up to take part in the word record attempt of largest gathering of faeries in one place. Requirement: Wings, a wand and a Tutu.
World record participators. We smashed the record with over 200 tutu clad faeries!
Evening entertainment provided by Frenchy and the Punk.
And The Dolmen!

On the Sunday we headed to Falmouth to see what the Sea Shanty Festival was all about. groups singing sea shanties, lovely ;)

On Monday we visited Padstow, where our friends Esther and Martin were camping for the week. we walked along the beach and came across some strange standing stones...
and balanced stones
On the next day we all went to Tintagel to see if you could not find the infamous labrinths carved near the rocky road on the route between Tintagel and Boscastle. Armed with a map and a book about ancient historical spots in Cornwall we set off and...

We found them!!

From there we made our way to the beautiful and magical St Nectan's Glen.

Cloutie tree

Our last full day in Cornwall had us seeking out Trevethy Quoit. A beautiful portal dolmen.

From the Quoit we saw signs on the map to Golitha falls so we decided to pop and have a look and I am so glad we did because it was the most beautiful area I have been too.

Only thing while we were there I got something in my eye and I wouldn't stop rubbing it and as a result I ended up get conjunctivitis in my right eye so my walk through the myriad of twisting paths was rather ruined. A trip to the harbour town of Looe and seeing the pharmacist meant I had to take eye drops every 2 hours. We ended the evening in Port Isaac and had a lovely meal in The Golden Lion Pub.

Thursday morning was the 21st and the Summer solstice. I woke up just before sunrise but the moor was coved in a thick mist, so after sorting out my gunky eye I went back to bed.
We managed to get a cooked breakfast before it started raining but we had to pack the tent away in the wet.

By then I was in serious withdrawl of a sturdy roof and a mattress!

More photos of the holiday on my Facebook: 
3 wishes photos:

Links to places we visited/ Shops
Camp site: Our 3rd year camping here and it gets better all the time. Actual camp fires allowed! (No Caravans)
Lavender pillow shop:
Vintage/ retro clothing: amazing shop in Truro. Lots of vintage finds from as little as £10!
Willow Moon pagan shop in Tintagel: