Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A Visit to Elderberry Hedge

It's been a long while since I shared with you
some of my visits to Elderberry Hedge.

All the hedge folk are doing well!

Zella's General Store is carrying on as expected, supplying all the necessary items 
to help everyone get through the Winter happily and in good health...

Bonny's bakery continues to fill the air with wafting scents of delicious baked goods.
On cold, snowy days these scents wrap around passersby like warm hugs, 
leading them into Bonny's shop for a steaming mug of hot cocoa
and a bigger than big cinnamon roll...

The Crow's Nest did very well over the holidays, delivering twinkles 
and sparkle to many of the village homes. Edward is continuing to add 
brightness to the wintry days by hosting jewelry design classes for all ages.

Mr. MacKinnley's class has had much fun and frivolity during this blustery season of snow
as they study frost patterns formed on the schoolhouse windows and make snow sculptures
in the school yard on sunny days. They calculate the snowfall and chart their findings on one 
of the large chalkboards. On warmer days the class studies the clouds and make predictions as 
to the approaching weather.  After a recent snowfall, which his class correctly predicted, the 
beloved teacher took his class around the village, helping older residents with shoveling and sweeping
out their doorways and sidewalks. Upon finishing Mr. MacKinnley was seen proudly leading his 
rosy-cheeked students, back to the schoolhouse. Their faces may have been chilled but their tummies 
were filled with hot chocolate and cookies, happily supplied by grateful residents.

Nicholas, proprietor of 'Antiquities and Things Found', has discovered some new (to him) books
and has been found sitting on an old steam trunk, amidst his many collectibles and unique curiosities, deeply engrossed in a classic tale found within the covers of one of these books.  On another day one may find him curled up like a little mousling amongst his many scrolls and maps in his Map Room reading some classic adventure like The Arabian Nights or Gulliver's Travels. Nicholas loves books! Winter snow does not allow for much travel or perusing for new finds, so this is the season when Nicholas will happily indulge his love of reading... A morning walk, under the ruse of daily exercise, usually takes him to 'The Bonny Baker' where he usually selects a lovely plump currant scone, which he carefully carries back to his shop. Whilst humming a happy little tune Nicholas will brew a big pot of tea and soon settle into a cozy spot with his scone and a good book!

Do you remember Newt and her stationery shop? Well, she is busy turning all her Autumn and early Winter leaf and fibre finds into beautiful papers that will be ready just in time for Spring parties and baby showers!  Makes you want to plan a party just so you can use some of her invitations!

When I visited Elderberry Hedge a while back I discovered 
some sweet little birds that I had never seen before.
High up in a nearby conifer was the home of a pair of  Ruby-Crowned Kinglets!

I quickly realized that these diminutive birds are so constant in motion that asking them to sit 
for a painting was something near impossible, so with many quick notes and relying 
heavily on memory I did some sketch studies...


 One afternoon I was blessed with the opportunity to take a quick sketch of this pair that made
Elderberry Hedge their home, but a quick sketch was all they had time for! They are so busy going
from one task to another I could learn a lesson from them in how to use my time wisely!!

Here's the quick preliminary sketch:

 And here is their "official" portrait:

 "Pip & Ruby"
Ruby-Crowned Kinglets
(watercolour, approx. 6" x 6")

I have yet to sit and visit with Pip or Ruby, but maybe one day soon I will have opportunity
to go along with them for a day and then be able to tell something more of their story.
So until then...

If you happen to see a flash of olive green out of the corner of your eye it's likely 
one of those tiny ruby-crowned kinglets flitting off to the next task on their to-do list!!

  ♥ Cath-   



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