Monday, 31 December 2012

My 2012

My 2012
Clan Witney atop The Cairngorm Mountain 

So, as per usual, its been a while since my last blog. My blog is something I really want to try and keep going  again into I will try my hardest to keep on top of it better throughout 2013 :o)

Its been a funny old year....generally good I hasten to add....but very speedy with some funny areas. Now where shall I start? Family stuff I reckon!

Family Stuff

The biggest news being the addition of not one but two doggies into our family!!! Asha, a Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer, came to live with us in mid July. I had been wanting a dog for many years but the timing hadn't been right. I have grown up with German Shorthaired Pointers all my life, so had always wanted another Pointer, ideally a German Weirhaired Pointer....I had never heard of the Slovaks before but within a week of uttering those words we had found one (or she found us) and she came for a trial weekend on my birthday and hasn't left ;o) We'd met Hattie when we'd been to see Asha for the first time but she was only a few weeks old.....and I had no plans to have a Pointer (English) let alone two dogs....although Hattie stood out of the litter for me with her 'hat' spot right in the middle of her head. But we went home with Asha and onto settling her in. Asha settled in with us well....but was really missing being part of a pack (she'd lived in a multi dog household all her life) So after a couple of months we decided it would be best for Asha to get another dog and low and behold Hattie was still that sealed the deal ;o) But as Hattie was still so young, 4 months old, it wasn't wise to take her to Scotland with us. So she came to stay for a week, went back to Sue (her breeder) and then moved in with us after then!
Asha and I at the top of The Cairngorm Mountain
Hattie 4 months old
So the main photo of this blog was taken in our beloved Scotland. It had been an 18 month wait for us to get back there. I began to realise as October loomed that the reason my summer had been a bit emotionally odd for me was I hadn't had my High/Soul-land fix. I'm so lucky that we manage to get up here be honest if we didn't I'm not sure how I'd cope :o/

We decided to try a different area this time to our normal West Highlands. Seeing as we always head over to The Cairngorms to see the Reindeer, we thought we'd give that area a go. We booked a beautiful cottage just outside Aviemore...up a secluded private road that headed past the house and up the side of a mountain and woodland. As you can imagine Asha hated that walk everyday ;o) Badgers, Red Squirrels, Red Deer and masses of other wildlife right on our doorstep!

We visited the reindeer, a golden sanded Loch, Lily Loch, climbed The Cairngorm Mountian, heard the Red Stag rutting around our cottage, walked along the beautiful Findhorn Bay, honoured the ancestors at Clava Cairns and one of the most memorable parts for me....Seeing the Northern Lights!!!! AMAZING!!!!!
Our Cottage in the Cairngorms
Fynlay at Clava Cairns
Moody 'otherside' of Loch Ness

I've had the wonderful pleasure to run two Elen Retreats this year, firstly 'Immerse in Elen' in June and then the Clan Gathering 'Elen's Equinox Reunion' at Mabon in September. Plus I had the blessing to run a 'Sacred Scars' Workshop with the wonderful Suzi Goose!!!

I'm so blessed to be able to run these wonderful workshops and meet/gather such fantastic groups of folk! Junes 'Immerse in Elen' is a wonderful gathering, a time to bond with other like minded souls who journey or are starting to journey along Elen's Antlered Road. Time spent in meditation, ritual, crafting and out on the land....sleeping in Tipi's and sharing deeply!

Grandfather Oak

Releasing the Old


The wonderful gathering of the Clan that is 'Elen's Equinox Reunion' is a time when the previous attendees of the 'Immerse' Workshops are invited to gather as a deep connection and community. Not so organised and more about spending time together and partaking in some wonderfully facilitated workshops. This year we had the wonderful Blacksmith Nick bring along his Forge for us to create wonderful Copper loveliness and Herbwise Emma who led us on a herb walk within the local land and took us on a deep journey with Elder. 

Working at The Forge
Out on the Herb Walk

And here's a pic of the lovely Sacred Scars Girls 
Sacred Scars Girls


Its been a strange old year for me and my artwork. I had got to a point with taking my artwork to shows and festivals, where I wasn't enjoying it. Prices for pitches had raised and I felt I was putting too much pressure on covering costs and this took some of the pleasure out of it for me. I made the decision at the beginning of 2012 to not do so many shows and give myself a break. This worked positively in some ways but not in others ;o) I booked one show, Leaping Hare in Colchester, which was an AMAZING success....probably one of the best shows I've ever done in every-way shape and form! New work was debuted, commissions taken and generally spent time with amazing people and a huge part of the Elen Clan were there too! FAB DAY.

Aurora Hare debuted in March

I was SO blown away by how well 'Aurora Hare' was received. The Aurora Series is strictly Limited Edition to 15 and the first purchase was bought as a wedding gift for the lady's daughter. So grateful my work goes to such wonderful homes! I was FULL to the bring with gratitude  positivity and inspiration! But the downfall of not booking shows and festivals and taking a break from all that. Lead to complacency and lethargy ...I had all these ideas buzzing but no reason to do I didn't  It wasn't a great summer for my artwork :o( But, luckily, I got accepted onto The Maldon Art Trail this year....which took place in October...this gave me the much need kick up the arse I needed!!! The feedback was fantastic!!! The venue I was given couldn't have been better and it fired me up again!!! Off the back of the Art Trail success, plus another kick up the bum from a friend of mine, I booked my Open Studio event. I had never thought to open my 'studio/house' up before and so with four weeks preparation time, it was booked and I started advertising! The local paper gave me the most fantastic story and so many friends old and new came along!!! It also made me realise that I need DEADLINES I work so much better under pressure and with dates looming! Five new pieces were birthed within that four week time period.....all pieces had been on my 'to do' list this year but I hadn't had a reason to do them! So Aurora Hare, Reindeer, Polar Bears, Reindeers, Spirit of the Woods and the copper guild-ed 'Luna Fox' came into metal being. Once set up for the Open Studio I had such a proud moment....a realisation....I love what I do, sharing my art and Elen work with those that feel the same way! This is one of the main lessons I shall carry fourth into 2013......seeds are planted and most need their own story/blog. So as they fruit I will share! Especially the Temple of wouldn't do it justice to quickly add I will devote a blog to it soon!
Not a great picture....But Aurora Hare, Reindeer's and Polar Bears
Born into slate Reindeer

Born into slate Luna Hare

So I think for now I shall end this particular blog post.....thank you if your still reading! More than anything I wanted this post to get me back into the swing of things.....I want to tell you about Yule/Time spent at sunrise with my wonderful friends and my Gratitude Jar. My plans for 2013 and the Temple of Elen.....but there's probably at least two or three blog post there so it'd be a shame to squeeze it all in now wouldn't it ;o)

I'm not making a big deal out of New Years Eve....I'm working till 10pm but have a good one whatever your up too! My 'New Year' starts on the 7th January when the kids go back to school and we start getting back into a routine! So bye for now xxx