Blog: Homemade Natural Firelighters

It feels about time to share another of the seasonal crafts I’ve been trying, with the natural treasures I collected over the autumn months. This one is a particularly cosy, wintery craft: creating natural firelighters out of everyday materials! These are really easy to make yourself, and the finished product can be used at home, or gifted to friends and family. Read on below!

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Blog: Winter Ornaments for Sale

It’s been just over a month since I launched my own little shop, ‘Handmade by Nellie’, over on Facebook. As well as hand-painted greetings cards, canvases, and bookmarks, I have also been putting hand-crafted winter ornaments and gifts up for sale. These include the wreaths I wrote about in a previous blog, as well as some new goods inspired by nature. Explore these goods below, and head over to Handmade by Nellie (or send me a message on the ‘Contact’ page above) to order!

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Folkdays: Apple Lore

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

Summer comes to a close with the autumn equinox. Falling on or around 22 September, the days and nights are of equal length, before the balance tips towards steadily increasing hours of darkness.

Known as Mabon in the Wheel of the Year calendar, this would traditionally be a time for collecting in the last fruits of summer, foraging for the autumnal abundances of berries and nuts, and celebrating with a harvest festival or feast. One symbol or association of Mabon is the apple. This humble fruit is as abundant in its folklore as it is in its yield: let’s explore more, below.

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Blog: Autumnal Crafts

It has surprised me that even during this topsy-turvy year, the turning of the seasons still brings the same kind of shift in energy. As the summer ends, I no longer feel like I have the attention span for research; when my poetry teaching begins again this month, I will also lack the time. But instead, I find myself to have lots of inspiration and creative energy. So, perhaps there will be fewer Folkdays, and more Blogs — and that’s just fine. Here are some of the autumnal crafts I’ve been creating most recently!

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Folkdays: Silbury Hill

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The Avebury World Heritage Site is a prehistoric landscape which boasts stone circles, henges, burial mounds and barrows. It has been considered a site of pilgrimage since the Neolithic and Bronze age period in which these monuments were built, and continues to draw in visitors today. It’s a place rich with mystery and fascination, and much work has gone in to piecing together the lives of those who built it.

Yet unlike the barrows, built for burials, and the henges creating enclosures for large gatherings, the purpose of nearby Silbury Hill remains one of the most enduring mysteries. In this week’s Folkdays post, I’m going to explore this mystery a little.

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Blog: Lammas Breads

Happy Lammas! I’ve tried out my recipe for Lammas Breads a couple of times in the recent weeks, and thought it would be nice to share it here. These little loafs are somewhere between bread and cake: they are crusty, but also soft-centred and sweet. They are also gluten free! Read more about the traditions of Lammas, and follow the recipe, below.

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Folkdays: Taylor Swift’s ‘folklore’

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On Thursday 23 July, American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift unexpectedly released a new studio album. This is not the kind of content I’d usually cover on this blog, least of all on a Folkdays post. Yet the album’s title – folklore – suggests something worth a closer look here.

I’m not a music critic: this post is not going to review Swift’s new songs, or even take a look into the lyrics. What I want to focus on is the introductory note posted by the musician, explaining the inspirations behind folklore. Taking a closer look, we’ll see that this note reveals Swift to have a deeper understanding of folklore than some might expect.

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Folkdays will be back next week.

For personal reasons, I have not had the time to devote to researching and writing a Folkdays post for today. Posts will resume next Friday as usual.

At a time where I feel a bit uprooted, I like to remind myself of this Welsh phrase

dod yn ôl at fy nghoed

meaning to come back to one’s senses, but which literally translates as ‘to return to my trees’.

I love it, and I thought you might too. Nellie x