News / Inspiration

  • The Moon, the Elephant and the Atlas.

    Hi everyone! Remember me? I’m still here, and I’ve not been idle. What I’m sharing with you today is some backgorund info on some amazing and beautiful creatures that I have the good fortune of having the pleasure to embroider for a lovely private commission I’ve landed. I am creating a framed piece depicting 3 of the most beautiful moths in nature. It’s funny – when I decided to start accepting commissions I was very clear I didn’t want to be an ‘embroiderer for hire’ and would only accept work on the basis that it inspired me; as such I...

    Read more →
  • Crabapple – Herb Lore

    So I chose the Crab Apple tree for the next one. In actual fact much (if not all) of the folklore for ordinary apples apply here – which is a lot – but I specify Crabapple as it is the original and only indigenous ancient apple tree of Britain, the wild ancestor from which all cultivated apple species come from. So that seems appropriate to my type o’ thang. Also other cool things about Crabapple is that it is a thorn bearing tree unlike modern apples, and produces beautiful blossoms that smell like honeysuckle. It doesn’t grow very big –...

    Read more →
  • Birch – Herb Lore

    The Birch tree is a truly beautiful and very magical tree indeed. One of it’s folk names is ‘Lady of the Woods’, and it’s not much of a struggle to see that being silvery in appearance, it has lunar, and therefore feminine associations. In Tarot Birch corresponds to the Star, and also to Venus in planetary realms. Birch is a tree of strong Druidic Ogham associations and indeed it represents beginnings, and is the first Moon of the Celtic year (24th December – January 21st). It is one of the nine sacred woods of the beltane fire, and one of...

    Read more →
  • Mandrake – Herb Lore

    This was probably my funniest moment of all Harry Potter films. When they pull the Mandrake out for repotting. Ooo! Mandrake! Squeel! Everyone seems really excited for me to make this one. Whenever I’ve mentioned it on Facebook or to my friends they’re all like ‘Gasp! Madrake! Yea Cool!’ and stuff like that. Atropa mandragora, or Mandragora officinale. Some of my fave folk names include Brain Thief, Hexenmannchen (German: Witches’ Mannildn), Zauberwurzel (Sorcerors Root), Raccoon Berry, Satan’s Apple and Herb of Circe. It has soooo much lore around it. Holla! Mandrake belongs to the Nightshade family and contains deliriant hallucinogenic...

    Read more →
  • Oak – Herb Lore

    The mighty Oak tree. Quercus alba. The King of Trees (one of them at least), with a long history of folklore throughout Europe. Sacred to Jupiter, Thor, Zeus – all the big guns of the pantheon, and with powers of protection, healing, prosperity, fertility fortune. Traditionally there have been four main uses of oak, and this usefulness reveals why the oak would become so important and sacred. The most prominent use is as a timber tree. Oak was a highly prized timber and was particularly used in ship building in the days of wooden ships, buildings, for furniture etc. The...

    Read more →
  • Hawthorn – Herb Lore

    To kick off with my first new embroidery project of 2013 I thought I ‘d start a new series of posts exploring some of my favourite folklore and facts about the magical and poisonous plants that are inspiring me at the moment. One of the things about my upbringing that I am most grateful for is that I was taught to recognise trees and birds. This grounding grew into a love for nature and a desire to recognise common British plants, trees and animals. I was surprised when I met my husband that he didn’t know what an Oak tree...

    Read more →
  • Creative Conundrums and Poisonous Plants

    It’s 2013 and we’re all still here! This feels like a special year. This is the first year I have ever begun where Mother Eagle is the business I want it to be, with no fear or anxiety that it’s not quite me, not quite right. For a while now I have been gripped with the desire to create a series of embroidered jewellery designs based on magical and poisonous (sometimes both) plants and trees. Mother Eagle would have these in her garden, and in the woods around her, know them well and use them wisely. Many years ago I...

    Read more →
  • Warning: This Cake May Give You Nightmares.

    Inspired by our trip last week to Highgate Cemetary, and as part of our usual annual festivities, we decided instead of boring old cupcakes, I’d make a whole cake this year. I did have a flash of inspiration watching the Great British Bake Off to make a Haunted Gingerbread House, but decided against something quite so ambitious as a first attempt, uninitiated as we are in the art of gingerbread architecture. Alway up for a challenge and hungry to show off (there I said it, it’s sad but true – we’re all about the Facebook thumbs up) we decided to...

    Read more →
  • My Autumn Expedition To The Great Beyond.

    I’m posting later than I usually do this week because I went to London at the weekend for something I had to do for my alter-ego as a clinical aromatherapist. While I was there my husband and I had time to go to Highgate Cemetary for a little walk around. It is quite a famous place and I’ve wanted to visit for ages. There are over 53,000 graves. It was the most perfect day for it. Very mild, not at all cold, and a heavy mist hanging around everywhere. And all the flaming colours of October everywhere. I really like...

    Read more →
  • Hanging Around Graveyards

    Inspiration strikes in the oddest of places… Click to enlarge! I’ve lived in my house, an 1860s terrace for nearly 5 years, but I’ve never explored the awesome gothicness of the overgrown church yard at the bottom of my street. On an innapropriately hot and sunny day the other weekend (I even wore SHORTS) me and mister went for a look. It was very lovely. Really. This was one of the oldest graves I think – 1700s. I liked how almost all the grave stones were engraved (beautifully) at the top, leaving a lot of space for when the rest...

    Read more →