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!

Continue reading “Blog: Winter Ornaments for Sale”

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!

Continue reading “Blog: Autumnal Crafts”

Folkdays: Silbury Hill

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

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.

Continue reading “Folkdays: Silbury Hill”

Folkdays: Goldfinches

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

One of the things I feel I really miss out on when I live in the city are the birds.

The skies above are mostly the domain of urban gulls and wood pigeons. Sometimes there will be the chattering of a magpie in the early hours, or the warbling song of a blackbird at dawn or dusk. Very occasionally, I’ve seen blue tits and even a great tit in the little courtyard outside my flat, which has a few bushes and trees.

The other morning, I heard a little twittering song I don’t usually hear, and was delighted to see two goldfinches flitting about the courtyard. Their beautiful colours brightened my morning, and inspired me to research their folklore for today’s Folkdays post.

Continue reading “Folkdays: Goldfinches”

Folkdays: Reviewing The Hedgewitch Botanical Oracle

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

My very first Folkdays post was a review, of Shakespeare and the Folktale by Charlotte Artese. This was a book I had read, aside from simply for my own enjoyment, as preparation for my MA dissertation. Well, that dissertation is now underway, and so I have not had much time to dedicate to writing a Folkdays post this week!

I have wanted to do another review ever since that first post. This week seems as good a time as any to write down my thoughts on The Hedgewitch Botanical Oracle, by Siolo Thompson. Read about it below!

Continue reading “Folkdays: Reviewing The Hedgewitch Botanical Oracle”

Blog: Rose Petal Pigment


To brighten my small flat during lockdown, my parents brought me over some beautiful bouquets of flowers. I noticed, when the stamens of the lilies began to fall, how they stained any surface they touched a deep russet. I decided then to collect them, and try to use their powder as a natural pigment to paint with. Along with the lilies were so many beautiful roses of different colours: when they began to wilt, I laid their petals out to dry in the sun. I’ve since ground them and experimented in painting with them — read more about it below!

Continue reading “Blog: Rose Petal Pigment”

Folkdays: Bluebells

FOR MORE FOLKDAYS CONTENT, SEE MY BLOG.

I am blessed to have grown up in an area where bluebell woods abound. At this time of year, the Clent and Walton Hills, Uffmoor and Hagley Woods, and Wychbury Hillfort are carpeted with swathes of this beautiful flower. Though I cannot walk through these indigo seas this year, I found a much-desired stand-in this spring at the Key Hill Cemetery, close to where I live in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Sitting amongst these stunning blooms, even if only for a little while, I really felt at peace. I decided to write about bluebells for this week’s Folkdays post, and share some facts, folklore, and photos of this, the country’s favourite flower.

Continue reading “Folkdays: Bluebells”