Tag Archives: art

What is the Love in Your Life?

Valentine’s Day always makes me think about the love in my life
So, here it is, everything that means Love to me… 

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What brings you LOVE in your life?

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Vince, Bekah, Dan, and Caitlin © Lisa Shambrook

My instant response to what brings me the most joy and love in my life is easy – my Family. My husband and children have brought me every emotion under the moon, but love overrides it all. My marriage and partnership with my husband is the most important relationship to me as my children came from this union. I’ve written about our love before and it’s blatantly obvious how much my children mean to me. Each one of them is a unique human being and I love how different each relationship is, how much fun and laughter and joy they bring to my life.
This is Love.

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Rusty, Roxy, Raven, and Misty © Lisa Shambrook

Soft fur, purrs (the cats, they can’t help it!), devotion, dependence, twinkling eyes, curling up on your lap (yes, even a sixty pound German Shepherd tries this!), adoration, kneading kitty paws, wagging tail (generally the dog!), wet noses, pricked up ears, padding paws. Rusty, Roxy, Misty and Raven.
This is Love.

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Nature, scriptures, freeagency, and crystals © Lisa Shambrook

I don’t often write about my religious views and my Faith. My faith is vast, ever evolving, and it embraces humanity with a Christ-like vision, but my Christianity intertwines with aspects of nature and Paganism and the peace of Buddhism. I think Spirituality is a vast subject and faith is very personal. My beliefs make sense to me, and no one can challenge what my heart reveals to me.
This is Love.

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Art, worldbuilding, sketches and notes, and dragons © Lisa Shambrook

I need a Creative outlet, without it I’d go quietly mad. I draw, plan, sketch, paint, sculpt, write, design, craft, photograph, and create. I create worlds with words, characters, plots, emotion, and dragons. I share my emotions in every piece I write or make.
This is Love.

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Acorn Cups, Trollbeads, Leather jacket, and Dr Martens Boots © Lisa Shambrook

Most of the things that bring me love are free, family, faith, nature, pets, imagination, but sometimes we have material items that mean something to us. If I wear something ‘til it’s worn out, then it’s been needed and loved. My leather jackets end up worn and torn, as do my beloved boots. I adore gems, I love pretty things, so my bracelet adorned with silver tokens and Murano glass beads means a great deal to me. Each trinket and bead means something, a moment, a place, people, something precious. And as I’m a squirrel, bushy-tailed and anxiously curious I have a thing for acorn cups and hazelnut shells.
This is Love.

What is the Love in your life?

Art by Instagram – Sharing your Artistic Streak with the World: Colours and Seasons

I love images – photographs, paintings, evocative writing,
and art that create the essence of something real, whether abstract or realistic.
I’m an artist of words, pictures, photographs, and sculpture,
and Instagram has been one of the ways I share my creativity with the world.

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I enjoy capturing moments and photography is the easiest way to do that, even easier since the advent of digital cameras, apps, and editing software.  Beautiful images soothe the soul, and I love being able to share them so readily.

Recently, as I scrolled my Instagram feed, I noticed how the seasons rule the colours in my photographs. It’s easy to recognise the season by the colours rippling through the collections of pictures. It’s subtle, but it’s there…

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Spring © Lisa Shambrook

Spring erupts across the pictures in deep bluebell lilacs, pale pinks and white of daisies, and blossom and spring flowers, daffodil yellow and clean greens with new growth and hope.

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Summer © Lisa Shambrook

Summer hails with beaches, blue sky and crashing ocean waves, deep rose pinks, lilacs and summer flowers, and magical rays of sunshine.

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Autumn © Lisa Shambrook

Autumn brings deep berry red, gold, russet, crimson, and brown of crunchy, fallen leaves, warm colours and cosy pets, scarlet apples and night lights, and shimmering silver frost.

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Winter © Lisa Shambrook

Winter arrives with night-sky indigos and blues, glittery frost and gleaming snow, jewel tones and hot chocolates, bare trees and the colours of cold and chill and warm blankets.

The seasons have their own colours and tones and I love being able to scroll through them…

You can find me on Instagram @lisashambrook and I share more pictures on Flickr.

Which season owns your favourite colours?  

Pottery – Falling in Love with Clay and Time Out for Carers

Those who know me will already know I’ve been attending a pottery class for a couple of months. I’ve learned so much and come to love the medium of clay and sculpting. It’s not only therapeutic but also highly creative and fun.    

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I was really lucky when my friend, Ruth, invited me to a special class, put on by Dorothy Morris of Greenspace Gallery, Carmarthen, to learn pottery. Dorothy received funding for a class for Carers and she also runs a Textile class for Carers on Wednesdays. I’m my father’s main port of call as he suffers from disabling Ataxia and as he cares for my mother who has Alzheimer’s and Cancer, so I qualified, and it’s the best thing that has come out of the heartbreak of elderly parental care.

It’s worth noting that this came at the perfect time for me, having just asked for help to deal with crippling anxiety and depression myself. It came at a time when I was as low as I’ve ever been and unable to cope, and I fought my virulent social anxiety to attend and am so glad I did!

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My sleeping dragon before and after glaze and firing © Lisa Shambrook

Pottery is, as I mentioned, therapeutic, and I get huge peace from working the clay with my fingers, from considering and thinking of ideas, and from learning techniques and skills. Dorothy has a curriculum and we are learning right from the beginning, which is great as most of us are beginners! We began with pinch pots, moulding a ball of clay and pushing your thumb inside to create a pot shape, then smoothing and shaping into a bowl. The following week we made two pinch pots and sealed them together and created something from our imagination – you know my imagination – I made a sleeping dragon!

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Oak Tiles, Clay biscuit fired work, Tree Trunk Vase and some of our work in class © Lisa Shambrook

I sketched it first and began to mould it and this is where learning works, I began to cut out and shape two separate clay wings, to fix onto the sides of my dragon, but Dorothy showed me how to use the clay to sculpt impressions of wings adding ribbing and ridges to show where the wings lay. This worked so well, and I knew I was going to learn a lot.

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Bust and Bowls and other class members’ work  © Lisa Shambrook

We made busts with two pinch pots and another for shoulders, then we moved onto slab work making tiles and my natural inclination took me to acorns and oaks. A tree trunk vase came next, learning to curve and seal the slab into a cylinder. After that we had time to design our own project using both pinch pots and slabs of clay. I designed bookends. One was an acorn, I have a penchant for them, and the other was a reference to my three books: Beneath the Rainbow, Beneath the Old Oak, and Beneath the Distant Star, a rainbow, an oak leaf and a star. Sadly, these bookends blew up in the kiln.

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Acorn and Hope Within Bookends in clay © Lisa Shambrook

Accidents will happen, so it’s best to be prepared for them. Any air inside the clay that hasn’t got a hole to escape from will create a bomb inside the kiln – and any piece could have an air bubble, especially as we are all beginners. There’s no blame, as it could have been my own piece or anyone else’s that caused the explosion, we’ll never know. It did serve to help us be more careful with our rolling out and avoiding air bubbles!

Coil work came next. I had no idea that many, many pots, large and small, are first created with coils then smoothed, but it’s a great way to way to make pots without a potter’s wheel and to vary the shape. My coil work was a little suspect, not very tidy, and it rather frustrated me. But I did learn to use it in a later project.

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Castle Turret Box © Lisa Shambrook

Our next brief was to create a box, or at least a lidded item, using slab, pinch pots and coils. I designed a square castle turret using six tile slabs, scored the edges and used slip (clay and water mixture) to seal the sides to each other, and added the pinch pot to the lid, decorated with tiny coils. I wasn’t sure the coils would work, and worried about how they would look, but in the end they actually looked like roses and I loved them! I put battlements around the lid and a smaller square tile to the base of the lid so it would sit on top and not slip off the box. I pushed air holes into the lid beneath the pinch pot – I didn’t want another explosion! A decorative handle, a door and window, and creeping vines finished it.

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Castle Turret Trinket Boxes © Lisa Shambrook

I’m quite an efficient worker, so with my spare time leading up to Christmas, I made two more boxes. These were circular turrets, one in brown clay and one in white. Curiosity, I suppose, to see how the two clays differ. I rolled ‘snakes’ of clay and coiled them into discs that I then smoothed out, and they became my bases and lids for my castle turret boxes.

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Ruth’s work glazed and fired

I love this class. We meet in a small, cabin studio on a Friday afternoon for three hours. There’s no internet or mobile phone connection and I feel so free and at peace for those hours. I get to chat with my friends and work on being creative; it’s a win-win!

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Greenspace gallery and some of our Carers class…

You can find Dorothy Morris at The Greenspace Gallery and enquire about whether you would qualify for this class, there may be a few places left and we’re keeping going through next year too. She is also putting on an evening class for £10 per lesson working with pottery, textiles and art, so take a look if you’re interested.

I’m truly glad I took up my friend’s invitation – pottery has become a favourite outlet, and I’m thinking of playing and working with airdry clay after Christmas (as I don’t have a kiln!). It’s not something I want to give up!

Have you ever tried pottery or are you a potter?

What’s your favourite creative outlet?

Tell me what you’ve made…

A Visit to the Tate Modern Art Gallery

What constitutes art for you?
Do you prefer the Old Masters or the New Pretenders?

A Visit to the Tate Modern Art Gallery - The Last Krystallos - What is Art to you...

Just last week we visited the Tate Modern Art Gallery in London. I’d very much have liked to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum too, but time was a factor, and when we found ourselves on the South Bank the Tate was right there. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit, though hubby didn’t make it past the first floor of exhibits. He disappeared outside to enjoy the sunshine and the Thames instead, leaving my daughters and me to peruse the gallery.

Magdalena Abakanowicz

Magdalena Abakanowicz. I loved the organic nature of this exhibit. Sacks and material sewn into pebbles. It took up a huge room and I wanted to walk in amid them, be part of them, like walking on a beach…

Now, art is subjective, that’s for sure. I lean toward the classics from Michelangelo and Da Vinci, to the Italian Renaissance and the Impressionists. I very much revel in Degas, Botticelli, Raphael, Rembrandt, Waterhouse (one of my most favourite artists, I adore Ophelia), Monet, Renoir, Turner, Van Gogh (I love his night sky!)and many more, but as we move to Picasso, and the modernists, though I loved his blue period and early work, his Cubism starts to lose me. Mondrian and similar artists don’t do much for me, but I do appreciate their value as art and to the eternally progressing world of art. On another note, though, Salvador Dali is a wonder, and his paintings are totally me!

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter. A group of paintings, each over six feet across. I loved the colours and ambience of water in my mind.

What do you call art?

A fascinating question. My art teacher at school was obsessed by Henry Moore’s sculptures and being a classicist myself I lost interest as she constantly bombarded us with Moore, as an adult I’ve grown into his work, but as a teen he didn’t interest me.

Al Weiei

Al Weiei. The first exhibit in the centre of the entrance level. A tree made up of many trees, bolted together. Organic yet industrial…

So, in London we wandered the Tate, and Caitlin and I shared much conversation. Cait’s about to start her art A-levels and the gallery offered a great look at what constituted modern art. 

Edward Ruscha - Music from the Balconies

Edward Ruscha – Music from the Balconies. Another inspiring piece in the Tate.

How is a huge, yellow, scalene triangle hung on the wall a piece of art? It doesn’t appear to take a lot of talent or even time to create a large piece in yellow. Vince and Cait asked how it was art. It wasn’t something that appealed to me, not my thing at all, but it is art. I didn’t take a picture of it and I can’t find a link, but you can imagine it. And, there it is – imagination – that’s the answer. Vince stared at it, and that was when he pretty much gave up and went outside to enjoy the sun instead, and I caught the irony. I said it was about imagination, about how the piece made you feel, and what you saw. There was no explanation for this piece. But to me it was sunshine, or lemons – I could taste lemons just looking at the colour, or happiness, or a sail of a yacht – or whatever you saw or felt. 

Behold - Sheela Gowda

Sheela Gowda – Behold. Weirdly fascinating and labout intensive.

There were pieces that didn’t get me, though I appreciated the work that went into them. One room was full of what looked like wool, set up across the ceiling and room like huge spider webs, but it was in actual fact, black human hair, donated by local Indian Temples, and woven together, and if you looked closely you could see the plaits and weaves that artist had spent hundreds of hours on, incredibly labour intensive. Sheela Gowda‘s piece showed vulnerability and control but it was weirdly wonderfully odd!

Some modern art, I’ll never understand. Some of it just exists to poke fun at or rebel against classical art, or against politics, or ethics etc, but some is really beautiful despite having a very different form to classical art. I like to analyse, and if the artist can show me what they were thinking when they made it, then I’ll welcome it as art. The exhibits that frustrated me most were those where the artists said there was no thought process, no meaning, then I struggle to see it as art. Art needs meaning to be art to me!

Another exhibit, I didn’t photograph was African and looked politically charged, but the artist had no explanation or reason behind it, and that’s when you lose me. I like things to have meaning.

David Alfaro Siquerios - Cosmos and Disaster

David Alfaro Siquerios – Cosmos and Disaster. I loved this piece and could have gazed at its despair and pain for a long time.

I totally loved David Alfaro Siquerios – Cosmos and Disaster. It was about the Spanish Civil War, but spoke about the sadness and futility of war, any war, to me. I loved the raw quality and the depiction of barbed wire across the paint. It spoke of desolation.

Hamed Abdalla - Defeat

Hamed Abdalla – Defeat. Fascinating in its mixed media and silver aluminium and burnt tar.

I also loved Hamed Abdalla – Defeat. The mixed media, and the subject pulled me in. silver leaf aluminium and burning with a blow torch, the photo doesn’t do it justice, but it truly made me feel defeat, loss and abandonment.

Matta - Black Virtue Triptych

Matta – Black Virtue Triptych. I only photographed the central canvas of the triptych as it was the one that spoke to me. Read what you want into that!

I tend to go for the dark side in art, and that also showed in the art that fascinated me, they were the pieces that made me stop and consider.

Tsuyashi Maekawa - Two Junctions

Tsuyashi Maekawa – Two Junctions. Another fascinating mixed media piece that kept my attention.

The Tate, however, offered some art that I did not understand, did not like, or just wasn’t my thing, but it also offered a lot of works that inspired me, thrilled me and fascinated me. Some I loved and some I slipped right into. I’ve peppered my favourites amongst this post.

Art is anything to me that is expression, emotion, surreal, classic, beautiful, strange – anything that is emotive or expressive…

What do you think? What constitutes art to you?

And which do you prefer, classic or modern,
or do you love to appreciate all art?

Where is Your Happy Place?

When life is throwing shards of ice at you, your head is ready to explode,
or you are just in a dark, bottomless pit (figuratively – otherwise you’re not going anywhere…), where do you go? Where’s your happy place?

Where is your Happy Place - Lisa Shambrook - The Last Krystallos
Last week I blogged about water – it’s my happy place. Where’s yours?

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Feet in the water © Lisa Shambrook

I am happiest when I have my feet in water, down at the beach, letting waves ebb and flow as I splash through the ocean. This is where I am in my element. It revitalises me, lifts me, and energises me. It calms me, relaxes me, and soothes my spirit. Sometimes, if I can’t get to the sea, I can sit by or dabble my feet in a river, and the rush of water will still my senses. The sound, the movement, the texture of water all affect me, and without doubt it’s where I am happiest.

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© Lisa Shambrook

Woodlands and forests have a similar effect. The magic of trees, bluebells, wild anemones, winding tracks and pathways offer me another place of happiness and retreat. Listening to the wind whisper, fae glancing through flowers, and even trickling streams take me away from the troubles outside and stresses decrease.

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High on a Mountain Top © Lisa Shambrook

My oldest daughter loves mountain tops, the rugged landscape and the freedom of the wind and the air. I, too, feel alive when I stand upon mountains and hillsides!

Where are my other happy places? How do I cope when I can’t get out and throw myself headlong into nature?

My dog and my cats are another safe zone. They have the added bonus of interacting with you too. I’d never known complete unconditional love, until I owned a dog. Her dependence on me is total and she gives me everything. Deep chocolate brown eyes and loyalty that’s unheard of in most creatures, including humans. If things are bad, she knows and she’ll sit beside me with her head on my knees.  She also gets me out, dog walking, and into nature every day! She is my happy place.

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Misty, Raven and Roxy © Lisa Shambrook

My cats, though more conditional with their love, are also there for me. Run your fingers through soft fur and listen to a cat’s purr, and you can’t fail to feel better. One reason why it’s proven that the older generation live longer and happier when they own a pet, is that they give you love and a reason to go on.

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Writing and Art © Lisa Shambrook

My other releases are writingnothing takes me away from stress and trouble than losing myself in another world, in words and places that don’t exist outside my head – and creativity. Making things, stories, or art, or craft, take me to happy places.

All these things, all these happy places can be solitary, or with my family. My family are always welcome in all my happy places – they make my happy places even better!

Where are you happy places?

Where do you go when it’s all too much?

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Chocolate © Lisa Shambrook

PS. We probably shouldn’t forget chocolate…that’s always a happy place!

Tell me about your Happy Place…

Christmas Gifts Amaranth Alchemy Offer…

As Christmas arrives…and it will, take advantage of our new offer at Amaranth Alchemy. Use coupon code: CHRISTMAS15 and get 25% off everything until 5th December 2015…

19. Christmas Collection Amaranth Alchemy Nov 2014It’s worth it! If you’re overseas it will help offset the shipping costs, and all our products are priced within £2 and £20. You’ll find original gifts for the book lover and reader in your family, and a plethora of stocking fillers.

 

6. CHRISTMAS Etsy 25 off 2015 JPEGMake your bibliophile happy with a bookmark, or print. Decorate with our Christmas plaques and tree ornaments, and tag your parcels with our beautiful gift tags.

amaranth alchemy winter gifts, etsy shop christmas, christmas shopping, stocking fillers, the last krystallos,Fix your notes upon your fridge with our pegs, and wear one of our stunning Scrabble style necklaces.

amaranth alchemy winter gifts, etsy shop christmas, the last krystallos,Pop over and see what you’d love…0. Logo Complete Rectangle

The Blessings of being an Observer

‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’
Henry David Thoreau.

the-blessings-of-being-an-observer-the-last-krystallosI’m one of life’s observers. Details are my thing, right from when I was young and experimenting with art and writing. I had a penchant for precision, clarity and aesthetic beauty – and a deep need to put what I saw into a creative context.

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My love of art and detail began from a young age…’Storm’ at age eleven, hands, Dali, cliffs and self-portrait during teens, and drawing my sister and her horse, fairy and a steampunk bumblebee as an adult… © Lisa Shambrook

I see things – all the time. I see everything. I’m an HSP Highly Sensitive Person – (and I’ll write a post on that another day) – but it accounts for my ability to see so much around me. Sometimes it’s a difficult thing: that fluff on the carpet needs to be moved, the white glaring book spine on the shelf cannot be placed with dark spines, and tiny movements in the corner of my eye distract me to the point of tears at times, but most of the time being an observer is a blessing.

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Fairy wing anemone, papery blackberry flowers, clouds of soft cow parlsey, delicate nigella, the perfect rose and pink peony © Lisa Shambrook

I see the dew drop in the rose, the tiny green spider weaving a home amongst the stems, patterns in the frost, the sparkle of ice in winter, the heron standing as still as a statue, the dust-coated papery wings of a moth or the light behind petals that turn them into fairy wings…

Wasp nest growth over eight weeks © Lisa Shambrook

Wasp nest growth over eight weeks © Lisa Shambrook

I notice the small things. I hear the whisper in the forest and differentiate the clouds in the sky. I watch the swallows dive and the bats flit over our heads. I feel the sunbeams on my skin and see the shimmer of moonlight in my hair. I breathe in jasmine and honeysuckle and notice the hairs on bumblebees’ legs. I recently watched wasps build a nest in my Dad’s garage – the precision and care was amazing.

And it’s not just what you see it’s what you feel too. Feel the mood change as the clouds gather and the wild feeling of passion as storms swell. Enjoy the sensation of a soft fall of snow and wonder at the design of each individual flake. Feel the sprinkle of cold water from the waterfall. Smell the freshness of rain and the fragrance of petrichor, and the waft of delicate perfume. Think of the taste of chocolate melting on your tongue, a kiss beneath the stars, and the warmth of a hug…

Waterfall showers © Lisa Shambrook

Waterfall showers, rainbows, curtains of water, the sprinkle of cool, a cascade © Lisa Shambrook

Imagine, for a moment, life without seeing these things… If you can see them you’re rich, in every way!

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Delicate web, frosted leaves, hidden gallows, furry ice, bird print on sand and lichen © Lisa Shambrook

And there’s the blessing of humanity. We see so much harm, but do we notice the youth who holds the door open for his elder? We should notice the small works that are done every day to help, to serve and to love. See the love in a mother’s eyes as she gazes at her child, the protective hand on a shoulder from a father, and the simple gesture of holding hands.

Sometimes life gets busy, sometimes it gets us down, and when it does that’s the time to start looking. That’s the time to search for the little things, to see the small things and drink them in. Stand by the ocean and watch the waves, breathe in the salty air and listen to the pebbles turn beneath the shore. Let the wind whisper in your hair. Wander through the woods and notice the flowers, the tiny wild violets, or simple daisies. Let the sun dance upon your face, close your eyes and feel it. Gaze up at the stars and wonder at the Milky Way as it arcs in a mass of constellations right over your head.

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Rainy sunset, shaft of light across clouds, sparkling water, light on cow parsley, sunbeams on horses and wispy clouds © Lisa Shambrook

I take these moments into my soul. I let them charge my emotions and I use my recollections as I write. Description flows and colour pervades the page, and the world comes alive in the stories I tell.

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Moss wrapped stone, Jack Frost, puppy’s eye, wire wrap jewels, regal peacock feathers and mystic oaks © Lisa Shambrook

It’s a blessing to be an observer and anyone can be one. Just take a moment to see. Take a moment to look, really look and see what you can see…

Let the beauty around us, the huge grandeur and the tiny blessings of nature and humanity, fill your soul.

Tell me, what observations make your day?

What do you see that makes you happy?

Amaranth Alchemy: The Gift of Words

Amaranth Alchemy Winter/Spring Collection

Amaranth Alchemy Winter/Spring Collection

In a few weeks Amaranth Alchemy will have been trading for five months, we’ve had fun and unexpected success and we offer much gratitude to everyone who has supported us! It’s been a delight to share wordy and bookish crafts and rescue books at the same time.

Old, worn and torn books, destined for the county tip, have come into our lives and we’ve been able to use them to enrich and create. Another offer of thanks go to all those who own a piece of our work, especially over Christmas, we hope you love it!

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Winnie the Pooh, Alice and Adventure – Amaranth Alchemy

Right now, we’re preparing for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day and Easter won’t be too far behind. February sees lovers sharing hearts and flowers, and if I have anything to do with it, chocolate too, then 15th March celebrates Mothering Sunday in the UK…in the US I am reliably informed by my ‘the bright side’ diary that May 10th is ‘Mother’s Day (not the UK)’.

We have gifts for both him and her and would love you to take a peek

Gifts for Him and Her

Gifts for Him and Her – Amaranth Alchemy

Aragorn_loved_arwen_LOTR_B&W_scrabble_pendant_necklace_amaranth_alchemy_2015

Aragorn Loved Arwen – Amaranth Alchemy

We cater for fans of all variety…so if The Lord of the Rings is your beloved’s passion, then fall in love with Arwen and Aragorn

Winnie the Pooh delights all ages, especially mothers on Mother’s Day…

Winnie the Pooh - Amaranth Alchemy

Winnie the Pooh – Amaranth Alchemy

Sun and Moon Dictionary Necklaces - Amaranth Alchemy

Sun and Moon Dictionary Necklaces – Amaranth Alchemy

You can even find something for the Game of Thrones couple – My sun and stars… and, The moon of my life…

Poetry in motion with Dictionary Scrabble tile style necklaces…choose one of our premade pendants, or contact us and see if we have your special word and tile letter. We have some very happy commission customers!

Love, Star, Elvish Runes and Raven - Amaranth Alchemy

Love, Star, Elvish Runes and Raven Dictionary Necklaces – Amaranth Alchemy

It’s also highly likely that when we reach our six month mark, we may celebrate with a giveaway…don’t miss out, like our Facebook page and you’ll be ready!

Love Dictionary Necklace - Amaranth Alchemy

Love Dictionary Necklace – Amaranth Alchemy

Valentine’s Day is on its way! But don’t forget Mother’s Day too!

Little Women Bookmarks and Quote Plaques - Amaranth Alchemy

Little Women Bookmarks and Quote Plaques – Amaranth Alchemy

*All the photographs on this post belong to Amaranth Alchemy, but feel free to share them, especially on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter etc!

Fandom Character List Prints - Amaranth Alchemy

Fandom Character List Prints – Amaranth Alchemy

Beneath the Old Oak: Cover Reveal

Great oaks from little acorns grow…
(14th Century English Proverb)

I’ve been working with Blue Harvest Creative and we’re just about ready to unfurl the brand new cover of my soon-to-be-released follow up to ‘Beneath the Rainbow’…

I wanted a cover in line with ‘Beneath the Rainbow’, but didn’t realise that my own concept which was so similar, was not what I’d ultimately go with. Joni and Vern came up with a new twist to the cover which hints at the deeper story inside! The colours work wonderfully with a story of a young girl desperate to escape her history. The sepia tones surrounding the colour crop make her story even more poignant.

2. Beneath the Old Oak BHC Sample Cover 1

I fell in love with this cover as soon as I saw it, and it looks amazing next to its sister ‘Beneath the Rainbow’!

Blurb:
Meg thinks her mother is broken. Is she broken too?
Meg’s life spirals out of control, and when she mirrors her Mum’s erratic behaviour, she’s terrified she’ll inherit her mother’s sins.
Seeking refuge and escape, she finds solace beneath a huge, old oak. Life is as transient as leaves upon the tree and with the changing seasons, the timeworn tree shares its memories with her and she begins to learn and grow.
Amid the turmoil, Meg wants to run away, but a traumatic turn of events changes everything.
As a storm descends, can Meg survive devastating losses? Will she learn from the tree’s precious memories, and will she discover how to become as strong as the old oak?

Design Credits: 
Cover Photograph: Lisa Shambrook

Cover Concept: Lisa Shambrook and Blue Harvest Creative

Cover Design: Blue Harvest Creative

Interior Design and eBook Design: Blue Harvest Creative

Also ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ is currently on Special Offer over at Amazon. 

AUTUMN SALE£1.35 for the eBook on Amazon UK or $2.25 in the US…until the 15th October…don’t miss it! 

Keep a look out for the launch of ‘Beneath the Old Oak’…COMING SOON!

Amaranth Alchemy: breathing new life into old pages…

When you grow up losing yourself in books you can’t help but have an affinity to the written word that will last a life time.  Amaranth Alchemy’s brand of creativity involves rescuing old, unwanted and damaged books breathing new life into their pages.

Amaranth Alchemy products...

Amaranth Alchemy products…

My daughter, Bekah, and I recently embarked on a new adventure and created Amaranth Alchemy and we’d love to introduce you to our work!

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Winnie the Pooh necklace, Dream necklace and Alice bookmark…

Both of us spent our childhoods engrossed within the adventures laid down on pages; words that took us away and threw us into other worlds, other lives and allowed us to escape and experience so much more than our own small worlds could let us! I was the proverbial bookworm, never happier than when I was curled up with a good book. I loved searching my local independent bookstore for second hand books I could spend my pocket money on. The shop owner helpfully rescued tattered copies of The Famous Five and each of The Silver Brumby books so I could immerse myself amongst my favourite things!

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The Lord of the Rings products…

My book collection grew and I was always saddened when my beloved books began to fall apart, spine glue disintegrating, pages slipping out, accidents, a book left out in the rain, pages torn, and general wearing out. I kept a lot of my books, reluctant to release them, and unable to throw them away, despite having bought a better condition copy! Over the years my old books vanished to charity, or final acceptance of the dreaded bin, sacrilegious!

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This is the average state of the books we use before rescue…

These days charity shops are overrun with books, too many to sell or recycle and many are pulped. Those that don’t make charity are often thrown away to rot in landfill.

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Marvels of Nature, Oliver Twist and Dracula bookmarks, and Winnie the Pooh wall art…

Bekah and I decided to do something about these lost and abandoned books and created a rescue service!

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Alice wall art, The Story of English Literature bookmark, Birdcage quote plaque and Winnie the Pooh necklace… (clockwise)

Our choice of name epitomises our ethic…unfading creation
Amaranth: a purple flower whose name derives from the Greek ἀμάραντος (amarantos) which means ‘unfading’ and is what books are, unfading stories, and Alchemy: a magical process of creation, turning old books into new.

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Dictionary word necklaces…

The vintage book pages we use in our craft are currently sourced from the Healthy Planet (a charity that gives away donated books preventing them going to landfill or being pulped) or from books lost within the dusty back rooms of charity shops or donated to us. Each item we make breathes new life into old pages.

We promise never to take pages from new books unless they are irrevocably damaged!

GIVEWAY: you can own Mrs Tiggy Winkle! Go to our FB page to take part!

GIVEWAY: you can own Mrs Tiggy Winkle! Go to our FB page to take part!

You can have a chance to win the necklace above! It’s our very first giveaway and all you need to do is pop over to Facebook and ‘like’ our page Amaranth Alchemy, like and comment on the Giveaway photo…very easy and Mrs Tiggy Winkle is waiting for a lovely new home…could it be yours? 

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15% Etsy voucher…

Even if you don’t win…you can have 15% off in our Etsy shop until the 15th October 2014...use the code above when you go through to pay for your purchases. Go and take a look and end up with a beautiful package delivered to your door!

Amaranth Alchemy's first packages all packed up pretty before posting...

Amaranth Alchemy’s first packages all packed up pretty before posting…

Amaranth Alchemy is a mother and daughter team who adore words and art of every kind.

Lisa is an author, photographer and an all-round artsy dreamer. Her first novel ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ is available to critical acclaim. When she’s not writing her second and third novels she can be found tinkering with other arty projects.

Bekah is an artist and designer by trade, spending time as a Make-Up Artist out on photo shoots, and designing websites, logos and all manner of arty things. She can be discovered at Masterpiece Artistry.

Lisa and Bekah have an eye for all things of natural beauty and a talent for putting creative arts together.