Monday, 17 January 2011

The Icicle-Spoked Wheel of Fire


THE YEAR'S CRANK has been turned again this January. Now it is Two Thousand And Eleven!
But this sun rose for us on the old Celtic New Year: Samhain, the day when the aged knuckles of the Winter Crone knock on our doors for us to let her in. On 1st November we rose before dawn and climbed to the top of a fond hill that overlooks our village and there cooked eggs while the sun came up. It was a beautiful and memorable sight. All below us, a sea of mist, above which poked the tips of trees and hills - our village turned archipelago.


And that ball of red has warmed us into the winter. Gradually as the outdoors grew colder, our indoors became hearth and heart and home and hibernation. And how dear these days are to me. How truly that heart-flame has been ignited. In love and work and life I am blessed indeed, and I have counted these blessings daily as I descended the stone steps into winter, winding my way deeper into the dark bramble-knotted forest, dropping hand-warmed stones one by one into some kind of soul-pouch hanging by my side, and uttering a prayer-word with each.



We welcomed the Dark Crone in, too. Do you remember that mysterious hand opening the mysterious door? Here is Baba Yaga, favourite old Witch-Woman of Russian folklore, painted in watercolour for a book about Baba Yaga in tales and illustration to be published in the US next year. (A Brilliant Thing Indeed say I!) She too has a hand in the sun's turning, which gallops across the sky of her stories in the form of three horsemen: white (for dawn), red (for midday) and black (for midnight).


I spent a good long while on this painting. It's about 9 inches square, and I have enjoyed exploring Slavic folk motifs and decoration. Can you see the Sirins guarding the four corners? And the hut's chicken legs, of course, cannot be done without. But I've left out her mortar and pestle steed this time, and depicted her more as a Baboushka-Yaga - the kind of Baba Yaga you might more likely meet in the bread queue, or find kissing the iconostasis, perhaps.
Some of you may already have glimpsed this Baba Yaga in the making on Terri Windling's excellent On Your Desk series of posts, where these photos below of my workspace and desk were featured amongst many other interesting creative folks' studios and thoughts thereupon.



Here's the final painting, in all its snowy, Slavic, earthen, hairy-chinned glory. And if you'd like a print, there are some here in my shop.

Baba Yaga ~ Watercolour ~ Rima Staines © 2010





That desk corner became the Christmas corner when presents started to accumulate, and our whole house got laced with holly and ivy that Tom and I collected from the woods in the powdery snowy dusk one night before his family came to stay for Christmas.



It really was a most incredibly iced and white-feathered few weeks. For a while we were quite snowed in to the village. Post and deliveries and cars could get neither in or out, and for a few days before serious digging and gritting had happened, a strange new stillness settled over the whole village, but with it came whoops and hollers of children with sledges and everyone milled about in the square in delighted confusion. Four wheel drives became useful.

The cold was bitter, and water solidified everywhere. The river stood still, dogs and people walked on it, and underneath, fish waited.


Every day must have two dog walks in it, which is good for those of us who can get stuck at whatever it is we're doing for many pins-and-needling hours. Some days we take a walk each, one of us seeing the morning and the other the evening. Some days we walk together, my beloved and I, watch the daily turning seasons and lace the way with conversation both deep and ridiculous.


And always bounding and hurtling, snow-furrowing, lurching and stick-chasing is our dear hound Macha. She loves the snow more than I could imagine was possible, and becomes this wild and silly child dog, rolling and burrowing in it until she's encrusted and shivering, but still she'll not stop, on she leaps, hare-like in zig-zags, our ice-wolf with the cold winter light in her fur.

(do click to enlarge the photos above, they are hilarious!)


She's even there when you're trying to take a close up photograph of hoar-frost growing on snow!


In all this winter whiteness, our winter solstice celebrations were decidedly picturesque. An enormous bonfire was built in a friend's field and comrades gathered, wrapped in wool and boots and children and dogs and scarves and good cheer.



There was hot mulled cider, there were mince pies and there was Music!
In this lovely photo below, you can see Tom playing clarinet and me on accordion. There was much wonderful and chaotic music, like some kind of impromptu Shtetl, we were gathered in the snow fog to play.
Now, let's see how many friends in these pictures have links.... There's artist and writer Lunar Hine on the right holding baby Ember, her folklorist husband Thomas Hine plucking violin, and runic jeweller Jason of England with the drum. In the other pictures lurk acupuncturist Susie Yorke who took this first photo, martial artist Damien Hackney (on violin too), his jeweller wife Miriam Boy, Jason's wife Ruth Olley and Terri Windling's dramatist husband Howard Gayton (in the two-accordion photo, where we look like a pair of down-and-outs!) Terri was there too but escaped my camera, alas! And of course my writer-storyteller-craftsman love Tom Hirons has a link too :) And he's responsible for all the photos of me um-pahing from various angles, including this to the right, with my "accordion face" on! What a talented and good bunch of friends and neighbours to share the warmth of a bonfire with!



From further down the field as dark approached, all that could be seen of us was an ember beyond the glistening night fog, and the distant sound of polkas.
The whole excellent affair warmed the heart like whisky, and, would you know .. we were home by half past six!


On Christmas day morning we woke to a brilliantine day, all was white and crisp in the sunlight and the sledge tracks on the hill echoed with children's screams of glee.


We all walked up and looked down over it all and marvelled.

(my fabulous hat, a present from Tom, was made by local felt artist Yuli Somme)

And Macha crept through the woods...


Our home was full and warm with good food and gifts and ivy winking with lights and heavy eyelids in the early evening.


Our village has a tradition of all going for a walk together on Christmas, Boxing and New Year's Day. We joined the Boxing Day walk and friends and visiting families trailed along the beautiful frozen riverside, all wrapped in coloured winterwear, figures in the snow: a Brueghel painting come alive.



As our house is tiny, we gave up the sleeping space for our family guests over Christmas, and made cozy camp in our new workshop at night. It's an old granite store, with a tin roof, and decidedly damp. The rent is peanuts, and it has one plug socket. But it gives us space to do work that involves saws and drills and wood and so on. We found a secondhand woodburner and collected bits of fluepipe when we could, only just getting the thing in and the chimbley hat on in time before the heavy snows fell that night. The stovepipe elbows its way up and along and out in a most Heath Robinsonesque way, but the smoke puffed out over the snow-covered roof, the inside grew warm(er) and, oh, it is good to sit by a wood fire again!


In time we'll make it nice, with paint and roof insulation and tool shelves and suchlike, but for now we have fire and sofa and warm floor thanks to felt artist (and workshop neighbour) Yuli who gave us some cast off felt underlay and woven mats and a bag of sheep's wool too to stuff in the draughty cracks!
On Christmas morning we were iced in! The snow melt icicles had dripped off the roof over the chimney and built an ice wedge in front of the door! We had to chisel our way out with the fire poker through a tiny gap! And those icicles! Grown from tiny ice twigs to magnificent spears longer than a man! The air was so cold that when I touched them, they were dry as plastic.



We sat quiet by the fire in the evenings in that workshop over Christmas, with full bellies, frankincense burning, dreaming books and happy and into the next year.


And the snow lay long, prettying the trees' fingers like lace jewellery. The trees sat still, and the land sat still, and the water sat still, and winter whispered to us that life could really be this magical, yes, everything might just be alright.


And we listened as we walked, kicking up the dry powder and forgetting the green beneath.
Though some trees still had their leaves, and dropped them topsy-turvy after the freeze, decorating the snow with back-to-front confetti.


Time had paused on its way this winter, it had got waylaid in an inn, perhaps sat down with a cup of hot wine and got embroiled in a meaty conversation about quantum folding or the sparsity of grit on the roads. Whatever happened, the interim was quiet, and beautiful, and when the thaw eventually came, things moved again. The new new year is most definitely begun. Under the snow the land had become yellow and maroon, but now it pushes upward again, and smells of the thought of spring. Perhaps snows will return before warmer days, but we are now walking down the other side of the see-saw. Daylight is apparently longer, and we look forward with plans and resolution to new projects and a whole year of Maybes. Tom has begun his second term of a degree in acupuncture, which is not very near-by, so two days a week, Macha and I are without him and must bury ourselves in new clocks and paintings and schemes.

There was a wonderful treasure buried in the snow. It had the shape of togetherness, and I shall add it to the other stones in my soul-pouch and count it in, a blessing among blessings.

If I were to imagine a song for this winter, it would sound like this:










Pustono Ludo I Mlado by Kitka from their album Voices on the Eastern Wind
(-I think the title means something like the wilderness of the young and crazy - Bulgarian readers are welcome to correct this!)

Bulgarian gaida and polyphonic gut-wailing to bring home a heart from the top of a mountain, and to hold it warm against you, to bring it into your hut, out of the flying snow, and to hurl it in full joy up into the sky to rise as a New Year's Sun.

85 comments:

whitey said...

I always love to visit your magical world.

Aaron-Paul said...

looks like you guys have sooooo much fun, the mutt is adorable and you painting as excellent as ever.

Heather said...

A Happy and Successful New Year to you both. Baba Yaga is beautiful, even if she does have hairs on her chin! I want to come and live in your village - what a lovely way to celebrate the soltice and Christmas. Your wintry photos are magical and I love the dog playing in the snow and your very stylish but cosy hat. Another post full of magic - thankyou.

Joan said...

Oh thank you for sharing your amazing winter. You waken something in my soul that longs for christmas in the cold time..the warmth of hearth and candlelight and friends gathered..the fires and warm food and drawing close. I love where I was born and it is home but my heritage is at odds with the seasons. Our christmas in NZ is in the heat of summer and while we have made it our own..it still does not express the season. Your words are magical and so too your photos.Blessings on you and yours.

herhimnbryn said...

A happy and creative New Year to you Lady R. Oh, how you have made me homesick for the UK!

I thought of you the other day. I was listening to, I think, radio 4 and heard tales of Baba Yaga. It was a strange juxtaposition, hearing wintery tales of her exploits, while wilting in the heat here. But I thought ah, Rima will know about her. So you do!

Love your new hat.

TaraLarsenChang said...

Lovely to see and hear you sounding so good and happy and beautifully productive (as always). Ironic - I am working on a Baba Yaga painting as well (and my Ivan Biliban 'Vasalisa' also featured prominently on my desk :-). Should have my current WIP on my blog tomorrow.

Snippety Giblets said...

O what joy to read of your joys ! Wonderful all. I loved your Samhain & Solstice celebrations, and the wonderful new painting. You have a rare talent for capturing the beauty & wisdom of old age. Very glad to hear of the "deep & ridiculous" conversation :0) Sometimes I think that is what true love is - a never ending conversation between two similar souls, even when there is silence. Many blessings to both of you from all we three xxx

Shelley Noble said...

So nice to have this visit with you, Tom, and Macha, Rima!

I sent Paul the excerpts from this post so he could be blessed with your poetry too.

Mollamari said...

Thank you for letting us visit in your magical world with tales, logfires, friends and misty snowy forests. I love your writings so much, I feel like I am there with you. Your village sounds so friendly and inviting.

The Happy Peasant said...

As always, a reminder that beauty, the magical and treasures are to be found in the simple...and yet you excel at making the simple into what is rich. Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing.

Jenny said...

Fabulous, thank you. Beautiful images, stories and music.

Vivien said...

You bring wonderful images to us in this season of darkness. May the months to come bring light, laughter and love to you.Reading your words has warmed a grey, damp, West London day.

Owen said...

An epic, epic voyage, taking us from one year to another, via a solstice, eastern european legends, the icy wastes of arctic dog walks, back to the fireside, via your fascinating workshop, to the sounds of accordeons and clarinets and drums, no doubt with fine wines and ales, hearty winter dinners, a dog by the side... what more could we wish for in our vicarious journeys with you ?

lori diane said...

a wonderful watercolor illustration you've created for the upcoming book! you are so talented! Look forward to more if you post them! And your snow filled pictures are magical...wish I could have heard the accordian and violin music ~ it must have been like a dream to have music like that in a winter wonderland.

William said...

Such wonderful writings mixed with fantastic snaps that bring imagination to the forefront.
So lovely!

Lunaea Weatherstone said...

Your life is a poem, Rima dear... Thank for sharing it with us!

Valerianna said...

I'm traveling to the land of ancestors with the music....
thanks!

Lrc said...

The photos of your lovely dog and the wintry wonder and musical friends paints such a cozy and magical atmosphere to live in!

AnnaLynn said...

Though I am oceans away, you bring inspiration and the need to create back to my busy life.Thank you for sharing.

Shelley said...

Rima, I never comment on your beautiful blog, but I enjoy your stories and the images that you share. Blessings to you this new year.

I love the Baba Yaga. I imagine the grandmother version of her as well, so really connected to your image of her. She's beautiful.

Have you ever made a picture-story book? I'd love to share something you created with my children - other than the pictures themselves which inspire my son's stories - his take on them. If you haven't, I'm sure I'm not the first to suggest that you write and illustrate a book for children. It would be lovely.

Best to you,
Shelley
xo

Oya's Daughter said...

So glad to hear what you've been up to and congrats on the book cover commission! I think I'm going to save up some dosh for that print, it's gorgeous.

Emerald Window said...

May the peace and simplicity of Winter wrap you in cozy arms. I was very drawn to your picture of Baba Yaga. My grandmother was Russian and I can picture her in this story.
Did you remove your Tea Tips Donation gizmo? I looked for it, so I could make an offering for a very good read. Couldn't find it.
Thank You for your beautiful tales.
Cenya

Anne said...

Beautiful.........:)

I love to see photos from the other side of the world.
Those pictures of the icicles are amazing.

Happy New Year Rima..:)

Threadspider said...

Your words are like mulled wine for the soul, So happy for you and Tom.

gz said...

Greetings to you and yours, Rima.
Reading your words this morning has energised my day. It was good to see you with friends and hear of your village.
The weight of Winter is slowly lifting, more work being done and pots created.
Yesterday the garlic peeked out through the earth.

Martin H. said...

Your posts are often few and far between but, like the seasons, always worth waiting for. I've just placed an order for a Baba Yaga print. I'm also listening to Kitka, online, and the album is stunning.

Rosie said...

Wonderful collection of posts. I wish I had been there. It's like stepping into a Breughal Painting and then I saw that's how you described it too. Magical stuff.

ruthie said...

Dearest Rima, you cast your story telling magical net so perfectly & i am caught in its spell. thank you. It warms my heart to read your words, there are smiles & laughter & loveliness there, so very well deserved. ruthie x x

Della said...

The Baba Yaga is like a fairy tale, I will look more closely at it later and lose myself in its gnarled branches, symbols and richness of color. You are blessed to have shared these winter festivities with other, like-minded friends, it's so promising to come here and see this when the bombardment of the other world is too much. Dear Rima, I wish you a wonderful new year full of health, warmth and equaled creativity!

Ent said...

Cheers Rima - You are a good friend - I am honored to have shared some of this winter with you and Tom.

Good fun to have a little recap.

It was good to wassail to the strains of a Slavic national anthem as well!

mama p said...

The Baba Yaga is incredibly gorgeous!! I love the border, the lines in her face, the details of her headscarf. And I love that there is so much joy in your life. May it continue a long, long time :) Thank you for bringing it to us!

mythopolis said...

You show and tell how heart-warming the icy winter can be. Thank you. I needed that reminder.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Dear Rima,
I have just read over your lovely post again this morning I can't tell you how beautifully you write! I read some of it aloud to my husband and we were magically transported from our small home in a Northern town to stand transfixed amongst the snowy branches beside the river!

You truly are an magical artist and a blessed weaver of words!

Sending hugs to you and a garland of blessings,
Jane

mythopolis said...

PS. I loved looking at your parents' site. Their work. Their lives. Gave me even a bigger sense of you, too.

Anonymous said...

A gorgeous post as always. And a nifty tifter too.

Andy Letcher said...

Listening to the exquisite gaida track made me think you might like this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiOecU-WWpk&feature=player_embedded

A x

bea said...

Happy new year and thank you very much for your nices words, musics,drawings,paintings, photos...

nina said...

oh, rima - such a LOVELY long post with descriptions of your world and photographs - thank you for taking so much time to share with all of us your beautiful world. i couldn't be happier for you, friend - so many wonderful things have found their way to you, and all is good!! your home is beautiful - i love the art corner where you work - and the studio promises to be just as welcoming. and tom!!!!! i don't need to say any more. your lovely snow-loving pup (cousin to walter, in that regard!), the woods, the bonfire, your friends, the music, your craggy old winter woman artwork, you. beautiful you. i wish i were there to give you a hug for real, but this will have to do for now. xoxoxo

Jessie said...

It looks to me like an idyllic christmas time. Thanks Rima so much for sharing it here. I'm going to have to come back here and experience it all again! xx

Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space said...

Your desk with all your bits and paintings of perfection make me filled with joy and the sillies and I want to grab baba by the hand and dance 'til she cracks the widest grin and shakes her finger at me with mild scolding! Your art hangs where I can see it every day and it softens all the world, with those two, misty elves... Thanks for the joy dear. Congratulations on a safe and joyous holiday!

Astral Cat said...

Pure magic :) Happy New Year and blessings on all your Maybes.

Xovika said...

Dear Rima , I love your weblog!
Beautiful photos and whimsical artworks! Thanks for sharing.

pixie said...

What a rich post...mmm. Your Macha's tucking and leaping is one of my favorite all time sights. I could stand for hours watching a hound "jick about" as we say about our own. Baba is calling to me to take the forest lane until it winds and becomes dark and thickly wooded and my own hairs stand up on end. Music by the bonfire! Your desk! That old shop! What an inspiring share. blessxx

xavia said...

Lovely post, dear Rima.Thank you for sharing our long forgotten but indeed beautiful folklor with the others.The translation of the title of the bulgarian song is " Oh, that young and reckless". Cheers from the Balkans :))

mermaiden said...

You weave such enchantment. And your solstice celebration seemed the stuffs of Legend.

Nancy said...

Your pictures remind me of a book by Greer Ilene Gilman called Moonwise.
What a lovely Solstice you had!

fairiemoon said...

You look so happy and sound so happy. I am glad.

Delightful post from beginning to end.

Lynn said...

Beautiful as always, your pictures and words. And some enchanting music to boot.

Your Baba Yaga is a treat. I'm going to have to make my way to your etsy shop once again...

crafts@home said...

What a beautiful post as usual, there really is an accordion face! isn't there. The print I bought from you went down tremendously well at Christmas :)

Julia said...

Such a lovely post, and very nostalgic for me as I'm about to leave these beautiful shores for my homeland, Australia. Brings to mind this song done by Laura Marling:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt1dmt-Zqyc

Terri Windling said...

Cheers from my side of the village, Rima. I really love the silly pictures of Macha.

WOL said...

Well, I've fallen hopelessly in love with your house, your village, your friends, your art, and now with Kitka. While I was listening to the song by of Kitka, my white cat with the wonderful long white fur, alerted to the bagpipes and sat in the doorway swiveling his ears about trying to figure out what and where and whether to run away and hide. Now and again he would look over his shoulder at me with his amber eyes that a trick of the light made into black holes in his white face giving him an eerie owlish look

I've bookmarked the Kitka website. The CD about the Rusalka, and the one the song you posted came from are on my buy ASAP list. Now I am going to have to see what I can discover about Rusalkas, because I think I feel one materializing out of the white and black forests of winter. . . perhaps she will whisper her story to me. . . or sing it to me.

A mermaid in the attic said...

Oh what joy! I love getting lost in your story-tale blog posts, with all the wonderful photos and paintings...and wonderful music too, I love Eastern European music, the voices are amazing! Sitting here in the middle of summer, it is such a delight to be able to escape into the snowy white magic of winter in your little village.

Ent said...

Hello Rima - I am starting a little blog of daydreams - http://abasketofleaves.blogspot.com/

Thought as you had linked to my other folklore blog above you might not mind if I posted a link to this one in this comments section!

Love to you both (and Macha)

Thomas x

Jenny Crouch said...

Dear Rima, I had always thought of myself as a lurker and secret reader of beautiful blogs such as yours but having followed your travels for many moons, and now seeing how you've settling into your moorland home I felt such a joy for you! You have opened the door to the very welcome guests of love and community and the joy which they have brought with them is enough to fill a heart many times over. May happiness always be a welcome guest at your door! and may I always be allowed to peep in at your blogland window!
Merry Winter Blessings

Jill said...

Your blog is a magical gift to us, your followers Rima. Delightful and heartwarming in every way. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, photos, life and art with us all.

olive said...

I was totally lost in your words and pictures...... reminds me of when I was a child living in the Lake District..... I wish!!! Thanks so much, it was pure joy being with you for a few moments. Hugs xx

Toti said...

Hapy new year, Rima!
And thanks for sharing other year into the Hermitage!

Fioleta said...

Thank you for sharing the magic of winter.

Vickie said...

above all, your smile ..!

Shveta Thakrar said...

So, so splendid, all of this!

And your rendition of Baba Yaga took my breath away. I will definitely be ordering a print. Just perfect.

Robyn A said...

Dear Rima, what a beautiful post and to think I was at the other end of the world in Australia where it was hot and humid and raining (and raining and raining). Loved your new hat. Amazing coincidence - if there is such a thing - I am doing a workshop with Jude Hill and one of my little cloths had a small area of interwoven cloth which somehow made me think of Baba Yaga's house, so it grew chicken legs and wings! It was only after checking that I found it didn't have wings but they seemed right, this house should be able to fly. Your drawings were so beautiful, the book will be wonderful.

CIELO said...

This is such an amazing and inspiring post... full of life and joy. And your soul so clear, so down to everything of the earth and what's good. I'm so happy for you, for your happiness shared here with us, and I wish you many many more days filled with light and love... and oh btw, you look lovely in your red coat and new hat!

Hugs from my little world to yours

Cielo

Gen said...

Your tales have become something I so look forward to. I always make a pipping hot cup of tea and delve in. Many thanks,
Genevieve

MakingSpace said...

How completely beautiful. Your writings, your art, and your photography remind me that life can be magical just by itself. Thank you.

kunstzinnigdagboek said...

Lovely long post....
And thanks for those images of your work place. I'm about to move and create a new work place for myself...more than ever it's inspring to see where other artists work!

Ciara said...

Oh, how magical and wonderful and so very heart-warming. This post makes me almost sad, for how my life has taken such a busy road that I find it hard to see the magic most days. Thank you for your ever inspiring posts, and your joy and your happiness. You are an inspiration, dear one. C x

Katie said...

I had a dream a few weeks ago rima in which you appeared as the wise sage on a stage encouraging me to accept my true sometimes wild self.It worked a treat.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful post.
It comes to me like a fairy tale, like a magical poem because of your style of story telling. While reading, I forget about the world around me and dive into another...

Thanks a lot.

Kay said...

what a fantastic post....thank you for a glimpse into your world...xx

Miss Mouse said...

I love seeing the world through your eyes. Thank you for sharing it.

Nanita said...

Ohh, I've just discovered your blog, your work is enchanting! I love your Baba Yaga, I know her quite well you know, since I spent a year dwelling in Russia and its forests... What a blissful discovery this is!
Wishing you all the best from Belgium
xxx
Nanita

~*~Birdie~*~ said...

I like your latest painting, especially the border. Odd to like the border so much but maybe because I don't often see them done up by other artist.
Cheers to a bright new year. And thank you for taking the time to blog.

Eric said...

Oh such a wonderful post! You descriptions carry me away to your world instantly and I become lost in such an enchanting life! And I love the painting of Baba Yaga and have become much interested in her in the few short things I have read about this spirit! I am going to find a fairy tale that features her and add it to my collection :D

Inspiring! Thank you so much!

Zvenit said...

Rima! Your "Баба Яга" is the most real Баба Яга which is only possible to imajine! Adorable!!!!! Thank you and warm wishes from Russia.=)

Tatyana

Amanda said...

Tell me more about this Baba Yaga book to be released in the U.S. Must run out and buy it as soon as it hits shelves.

Tricks said...

Hello Rima, Your world is amazing, seeing it through your eyes is pure magic.
Truly inspirational.
Most of all I love your symbolism.
You take your inspiration from so many sources and yet made them all your own.
How do you do it. Truly I marvel. Thank you. Tricia x

Sigrid Stallard said...

So, so lovely - the new watercolour, the dog, the new workshop, the way you got warmth out of a very cold winter. I am so glad I am allowed to read this. It is balm to my dry and flaking mind. :)

xxx

Pippa said...

o Rima... such magic dusted winter wonder... spellbinding Baba Yaga painting and Christmas music treasure... hundreds and thousands of moonglitter to ye today, hope your spirit is fireside toasting and blissful <3 x x x x x x x

Kristine said...

Rima, I will have to scrape together my pennies to buy a print of Baba Yaga... she is wonderful!

I have read several of her stories with my children, and they love her in a shivery way. We talk about how sometimes wise old women are labeled as mean witches, and how sometimes they are very helpful even if they are a bit scary.

Andy Letcher said...

Dartmoor looking wonderful. Is your village actually real?

Wondering how the bagpipes are coming along and whether you're ready for lesson 2...? xxx

Breenee said...

Oh, Rima...

you lead such a magical life! Thank you for sharing, as always, it made a great difference in my day to take a peek into your wintery adventures!

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Dear Rima
loved to see you and your people celebrating the Solstice, in such a joyous way!
Your art always makes my heart flutter a little, which is a great feeling!
Blessings for the new year!

bishoptook said...

lovely lovely Rima, you are just what we needed after the whirlwind that whipped through our lives has subsided.... we finally have our first weekend off working, proboably since we last saw you! and your blog has made us feel lovely and relaxed and like we were there with you, love your accordian face, Ash's is not quite as attractive as yours! hope you both are well and we see you soon. Ash, Sarah, Lewis & Tilly xx

Three Stones Studio said...

Simply beautiful artwork.