News / Trees

  • 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 –...

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  • Stumpwork Willow Branch

    I know I seem to always say this, but I’m really pleased with the way this one turned out. When I had decided on the construction I thought that as it was going to be so simple, it might not be so effective. I also wasn’t sure about how the detached woven picots would behave as willow leaves, and whether they would give that twirly, tendril-like appearance. They are in fact infinitely poseable. I wanted to achieve with this piece that soft, falling, almost ethereal quality that white willows have in the spring. And I’m also really happy that it...

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  • Willow – Herb Lore

    And so to Willow. A very magical tree indeed. I’m mainly concerned with White willow – Salix alba, AKA Pussy Willow, Saille, Tree of Enchantment, The Witch’s Tree. Willow is also one of the “nine sacred trees” mentioned in Wicca and witchcraft, with several magical uses. In the Celtic calendar the Willow Moon corresponds to April. I was born in April, and this is why I have a tattoo of a willow branch on my foot. True facts. Willows are all about water, so they’re all about the moon and the feminine too.  For example, Hecate the powerful Greek goddess...

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  • Making the Birch Forest

    I’m very pleased with this, but it also feels a bit ‘un-me’ in a weird way. The whole thing seems very elegant and contemporary and somehow a bit of a departure from my normal style? I dunno. What do you think? Now, the photos are as usual crappy, but I have a good excuse this time, as it’s because the embroidery is so pretty that the photos came out so shit. Because I used super fine super shiny silk thread, silver – naturally – this one in fact: The silver one on the right and the ivory one on the...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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