Wednesday, 31 October 2018

My Favourite Time of year. Autumn and Halloween are here!

I think Autumn and Halloween are the most magical times of year with the red and gold leaves scattered everywhere. The sun is low which creates a golden light through the trees. The apples are really red this year because of the very hot summer. We have had a great harvest, apples are all over the ground in the woodland garden. I have left some for the foxes, hedgehogs, squirrels and birds to feast on. I also gave loads away to friends who like to make apple crumble and pickle...

Zig loves rustling around in the coppery Beach leaves. He was looking for woodland mice but he never catches anything!

This spooky Jack-o'-lantern is ready to ward off evil spirits in Avebury. Carving turnip faces was originally an Irish Celtic tradition that has become very popular in America who started to make the pumpkin lanterns.
I also found some blood red skeleton type leaves in the garden. They are a wonderful colour and pattern. 
I have been making the most of my National Trust membership and visiting as many grand houses and gardens as I can before winter. 
The gardens in Avebury had a sculpture exhibition. Bronze and Resin head by Kay Singla. Stone sculpture by Martin Cash...

The places I seem to visit the most are Lacock, Avebury, Buscot Park and Kelmscot Manner.They have beautiful grounds for autumn walks. I always collect the leaves and take them home to press them in heavy old books. Here is an autumn leaf fan made from maple leaves.

There is always a creative project on the go during autumn. Usually I'm crocheting something like a waistcoat, scarves, hats or a Ziggy jumper. He loves wearing his jumpers when he goes out on frosty walks around the garden. 
Some people think that animals should not wear clothes but some animals love the extra warmth. Zig does because he's really an indoor cat and only goes for walks with us. 
Here is Ziggy modelling one of his colourful autumn jumpers... 
Badger Cards for the Wiltshire Wildlife Charity...
My blog posts have been very late because I have been busy working on several creative projects. One project is a secret that will be revealed in the future and the other bits of work have been creating stock for my online Fox Shop, and also designing greeting cards for the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital 
I first contacted them to ask their advice about an injured fox that was visiting my garden. We have a night camera set up so we can film the night-time wildlife. Fortunately the fox was fine in the end. The charity were very helpful and gave us some good advice, so I asked if they would like me to illustrate some cards of one of their badgers that they rescued. Oreo the badger is quite famous on Facebook. The cards are still available in the Weird Fox Shop. Some money is donated when cards are sold.
Happy Halloween Everyone. We hope you have Spooky Time! xx

Sunday, 5 August 2018

July to August are passing by so quickly!
I don't know where the time has gone! Summer has been a haze of sunshine and it is still very warm here in the West country. It has been too hot to do blog posts and I was busy having a birthday at the end of June. We went to the seaside. Holidaying in beautiful Dorset. The Jurassic Coast at Durdle Door.
I found a magical dog stone on the beach at Lulworth Cove which is walking distance to Durdle Door. The stone is all natural but it does look like somebody has painted a dog's head. 
Lulworth Cove which is also stunning, reminds me of Cornwall and the light is very similar as well. It was busy there although my photos do not show many people on the beaches.
I was annoyed to find that people leave so much rubbish around along the walkways. We all need to look after these places of natural beauty and should always make sure to take our rubbish home after visiting.
We will be going back towards the end of summer when it is less busy. I'm looking forward to a more peaceful visit.
I Have a Weird Shop! 
I have a newish shop that I opened late last year called Weird Fox I decided to move away from Etsy and try out Bigcartel instead. It was a lot easier to set up and is less complicated than Etsy with it's layout. I have been busy making new stock ready for Christmas although progress is slow at the moment what with the heat and holidays. I've already sold out of these velvet cushions and dream pillows that have my designs printed on them. Some of the cards and Zigsa cat jewellery pieces have sold as well. 

Zigsa and Ollie cat @myleftfang are on Twitter. The cats have been an inspiration for my new designs. Ollie is Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon's beautiful cat. 
They have an Ollie velvet cushion, an original illustration, and cards too. Cards and postcards have been popular with customers. They send me photos of them framed and they put them up on their walls to decorate their homes which is really great to see.
These Ziggy earrings are listed in the shop at the moment and there is a matching necklace too. Also available are some mixed cards. Weird Fox Shop
We hope you are all enjoying the summer. It is best to make the most of it because it will be Winter soon. If you are on Twitter, feel free to follow me CLICK HERE and I will follow back!

Thursday, 31 May 2018

An end of May blog post. I have been away far too long! 
Time has flown by so fast and May has been wonderful in the Uk with an abundant of Spring flowers. We have had a Spring heatwave! 
Spring sunshine through the Daffodils.
I have been enjoying lying in a hammock under the Apple Trees. 
I remember when I did my very first blog post, way back in 2008. I have dipped in and out of blogging over the years and I've had different blog names, such as Joanne May Illustration, Willow Treefox, and Ghost Lily Design.
The banner from an old blog.
So much has changed and these days it seems people have less time to blog and write long posts. Many people I used to follow on Blogger have moved away!
Discovering new Relations on my family tree.
My name has changed yet again to Joanne Potter after discovering that I'm related to Beatrix Potter, who I greatly admire. 
A young Beatrix Potter with her dog Spot.
I had most of her beautiful books when I was a little girl and her illustrations have always inspired me. Beatrix did some amazing conservation work for the National Trust and I'm also a member of the National Trust, I have been for many years. 
The Foxy Whiskered Gentleman is one of my favourite Characters. 
After researching my family tree I discovered that I have much in common with Beatrix, apart from being an illustrator as well, I love nature and feel passionate about wildlife conservation. It is so important to preserve the wildlife for future generations. We can all do our bit to help the insects, birds, and animals. 
I planted a Buddleja Bush. Also known as a Butterfly Bush.
Lavender is great for encouraging Bees into the garden.
We finally bought a house in 2013 after years of moving around and renting. One of the first things I wanted to do was to landscape the garden, it is now a woodland garden. I planted Japanese Maple trees and flowers that would encourage wildlife. 
Zigsa cat loves the woodland garden too. You can also find him on his Twitter page, @ZigsaCat
In my next blog post I will show some of the work I have been doing over the past few years and discuss more about wildlife and how it influences my art.