Into the Forest? Let’s Go!

A Tutorial, All Hallows Eve, That's ONE Crooked Hen!, The 'Little' Folk

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” ~ John Muir

I love the above quote and one rainy evening when my imagination was captured by the idea of an Irish elf with his rickety barrow selling his magickal notions and potions in a forest clearing – I just had to create this scene in 12th scale for the All Hallows Hamlet!

As I’ve always the odd piece of wood stashed away for those ‘just in case’ projects – I found a nice piece of plywood which had already been transformed into an unusual shape.

And with a collection of Twisted Willow I had harvested during one of my many visits to York Cemetery as the Graveyard Squirrel and with masking tape, assorted wire, a borrowed wood saw and pliers – I was ready to begin.

Any sensible artist with patience and planning would have worked out where to plant the pieces of willow and mark them up accordingly until they were happy with the layout – however, as I am neither sensible or patient, I dived straight in with the first piece of willow which I had to attach with a strong glue before securing it with electrical wire.

Having arranged the wire to give the appearance of tree ‘roots’, I used a strong-lasting masking tape to secure both willow and roots to the ply base.

But when I shudder at the memory of that HUGE dry-build house crashing about my ears having secured it with cheap, short-life masking tape – I vowed never to be thrifty again!

And with one willow planted and many more to go – I continued using the same method:

Measure the willow to the desired height, saw to create a straight line and sand if necessary.

Attach with glue/wire and secure with masking tape.

When happy with the willow design, I began to raise the ground level using strips of newspaper.

And as a daily reader of a newspaper I was able to do a little recycling as I tore up the strips to pack the tree roots and no, I won’t tell you which newspaper as I get enough grief about it from my spouse!

Using the newspaper in this way not only creates interesting ‘mounds’ and ‘burrows’ but will make it easier to apply the papier-mâché.

And with everything safely in place, this is where the fun really began as I coated the newspaper tree roots and the surrounding area with lashings of papier-mâché.

Papier-mâché has been used for thousands of years in a HUGE variety of ways and there is more than one recipe for making it, however, I prefer to use a bag of pulp to which you simply add water and mix well.

Having tried a number of papier-mâché ready mixes over the years, my favourite is the ‘Creation Station Instant Papier Mâché’ available on Amazon as is not as dusty as some of the others on the market.

I always try to do my papier-mâché sculpting outside as it can be really messy and I usually end up with the stuff on the floor, my clothes and even in my hair!

However, with patience, time and preferably a sunny day, it really is a fabulous medium to work with!

And in a later post, I’ll show you how I created the landscaping but I think that it’s time for a nice mug of tea!

Top O’ the Morning to You!

All Hallows Eve, That's ONE Crooked Hen!, The 'Little' Folk, The Crooked Hen Gift Shop

“The earliest truth that we’re taught is that there is a world alongside this world, with spirits, not mortals, an enchanted universe of fairies, wizards, leprechauns and trolls. They are all around us. One has only to open his eyes.”

~ William Holman Hunt

After a weekend of an awful weather here in York, I pottered off into the garden on Monday morning to see the chickens and enjoy a little of the sunshine AND look at WHO I happened to stumble across!

With a feather in his cap and a distinctive pipe to hand, it was none other than Seamus Quinn; a cheeky, little Irish elf along with his rickety barrow of unique notions and potions inspired by his Gaelic heritage on display.

Besides the snow and ice, Saturday had also been the day for the celebration of ALL things Irish but as I watched Seamus bask in the morning sunshine as he waited for the first customer of the day, I did wonder if he might have had a little more ‘luck’ with his sales had he made an appearance on St Patrick’s Day?

Whatever his reasons for hiding away at the weekend, their loss is OUR gain as some of his exclusive array of notions and potions are now available for sale in the Crooked Hen Gift Shop

On offer and measuring just 2.5 cm or smaller, this collection of miniature vials have been personally created by that wise little elf and ALL are guaranteed to lace life with a little of that Leprechaun magick!

And even though the day of wearing green and sporting a Shamrock corsage may be over for some;  it’s never too late to enjoy a little of that Irish charm with a drop of this unique ‘Leprechaun Nectar’ or perhaps a spoonful of ‘Living in Clover’ might be more to your taste?

However, when I think of how my son and his friends were celebrating St Patrick’s Day with glass after glass of Guinness, maybe a sip or several of Seamus Quinn’s ‘Hangover Cure’ may have been more appreciated the morning after!

Silver, Herb, Seed, Root or Werewolf Fur?

That's ONE Crooked Hen!, The 'Little' Folk, The Crooked Hen Gift Shop

You’ve probably read somewhere or seen it on television that the best way to be free of a vampyre would be to arm oneself with a crucifix and a large bottle of Holy Water or if you are of a very brave disposition; you could get rid of this fiend by driving a stake through it’s rotten heart before chopping off the head and then having a nice bonfire with what remains.

But did you know that there are many different ways of seeing off a vampyre?

On offer and measuring just 2.5 cm or smaller is a collection of miniature vials now available exclusively on the Crooked Hen Gift Shop.

Available for sale individually and from the shelves of the ‘Monsignor Suárez Vampyre Slayer Emporium’ in the All Hallows Hamlet, these are exclusive remedies created by the Monsignor himself AND guaranteed to see off the most determined of Vampyres!

With a pinch of ‘Silver, Herb, Seed, Root and Werewolf Fur’ suspended in resin, labelled in parchment and finished with paper tied with jute, raffia or silver wire- these little vials will add a perfect finishing touch to YOUR fantastical miniature world… OR could YOU discover another use for it?

Whatever your plans for this miniature; a unique vial of will find it’s way to you beautifully packaged with a collectible ‘Thank you’ card and a poster from the ‘Monsignor Suárez Vampyre Slayer Emporium’.

This is a collectible miniature and as such is NOT intended as a toy OR suitable for children.

And so why not indulge in a ‘little’ retail therapy as you browse the shelves of a magikcal emporium nestled somewhere in the All Hallows Hamlet and linger over the intoxicating array of exclusive notions and potions designed to entice your imagination AND your wallet…

Stirring Up Some More Trouble?

That's ONE Crooked Hen!, The 'Little' Folk, The Crooked Hen Gift Shop

Why not indulge in a ‘little’ retail therapy as you browse the shelves of a magikcal emporium nestled somewhere in the All Hallows Hamlet and linger over the intoxicating array of exclusive notions and potions designed to entice your imagination AND your wallet.

On offer and measuring just 2.5 cm or smaller is a collection of miniature vials now available exclusively on the Crooked Hen Gift Shop.

Available for sale individually and from the shelves of the ‘Harum Scarum Notions & Potions Emporium’ in the All Hallows Hamlet, each vial is an exclusive (and a somewhat sinister!) remedy ALL freshly brewed from the ancient recipe book belonging to one Claire Eno.

With a pinch of ‘This and That’ suspended in resin, labelled in parchment and finished with paper tied with jute, raffia or silver wire- these little vials will add a perfect finishing touch to YOUR fantastical miniature world…

OR could YOU discover another use for it?

Whatever your plans for this miniature; a unique vial of will find it’s way to you beautifully packaged with a collectible ‘Thank you’ card and a poster from the ‘Harum Scarum Notions & Potions Emporium’.

This is a collectible miniature and as such is NOT intended as a toy OR suitable for children.

‘Cause It’s Witchcraft, Unkind Witchcraft

All Hallows Eve, Little Big Cat!, That's ONE Crooked Hen!, The 'Little' Folk

“When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween.” ~ Anon

As the sun disappears on this All Hallows Eve, the folk from the All Hallows Hamlet are excitedly polishing shoes and dusting their finest hats as they dress to impress to celebrate the Festival of Samhain BUT not everyone wants to enjoy this special evening!

 

Sadly, there is no fabulous frock to wear or a sumptuous banquet to enjoy for Claire Eno this All Hallows Eve as this reclusive and unfriendly crone is busy pottering about and cooking up some rather unusual elixr from inside the Harum Scarum Emporium which is carefully shielded by the prickliest thorn bushes and whispering trees in this bleakest part of the hamlet.

There are no visitors here and Claire’s only friend is the ancient book that has been in her family for as long as anyone can remember

And it is from within the dusty pages of this HUGE recipe book that she concocts a vast array of nasty potions from the beautiful flowers, nourishing berries and healing plants that she gathers every day at dusk and even though they all gather dust on the cobwebby shelves waiting for the customers who never arrive – Claire is unable to stop weaving her unkind magick.

BUT could a surprise visit from that Little Big Cat change everything?