Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Jewellery display board

I got this lovely, but slightly worn piece of macrame work from a friend who was clearing out her Mum's house. I immediately thought of using it as an earring display board so I went searching in second hand shops and eventually found this frame that was going cheap as it had no back and no glass, ideal for my purposes. I soaked the macrame in a warm solution of salt and baking soda to remove the slight yellowness. I then cut a piece of contrasting red cardboard to fit behind the macrame and here you are, an eye-catching earring display board! The earrings themselves are notable too, as they're made from recycled plastic and they look very nice, but are too lightweight to wear on a windy day! The only problem with this type of earring display board is the earrings are liable to get more dusty than if they're kept in a jewellery box, which is where they've been so far. So I'm not sure whether to use this for earrings or find an alternative use for it.... (Suggestions for alternative uses welcome.....).

A season of change

buds bursting into bloom
birds coming out of hiding to sing
and lay eggs that hatch into chicks

Mixing and matching
things that are discarded
to make something new

a cycle continues.

for NaPoWriMo

Meanwhile I've added another digital photo download to the new nature photography section of the Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tree watching - larch update

The garlic mustard is coming into bloom under the larch tree, which I'm studying for Tree Following.

If you look carefully in the photo below you can see the long tailed tits' nest, a lovely hanging basket woven from lichen, spiders webs and other such delicate materials. We didn't see the birds yesterday, hopefully they're hiding in the nest, sitting on eggs.

Further upstream, it was lovely to see several harts-tongue ferns just starting to uncurl.

while some are slightly further out.

and the orange ladybirds (Halyzia 16-guttata) are still hibernating in the iron railings!

Today's poem for NaPoWriMo is over on my Shapeshifting Green blog.


And a reminder that the pdf of an updated version of my chapbook Bougainvillea Dancing is now available to buy in the Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop. 10% of proceeds from the sale of this book go to VSO for their work in Malawi and other parts of southern Africa.

I've also set up a photography section of the Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop where you can buy downloads of some of my nature photos. The first photo available is the larch flowers.

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.

Monday, 21 April 2014

In an Edinburgh Garden

Under sun speckled pond weed
water writhes with tadpoles.

Suddenly a frog emerges, 
head draped in weed 


in Crafty Green Boyfriend's Mum's garden, yesterday

Sunday, 20 April 2014

By the River Almond

Walking to Edinburgh Airport may not sound like the most appealing of Easter walks, but if you choose the River Almond Walkway to get there, it really is a wonderful walk. Specially at this time of year.

The river is beautiful and surrounded by lots of trees, opening out to fields further upstream. 

 The spring flowers are blooming everywhere, lots of wood anemone as in the photo below.
 The photo below shows bluebells, wild leeks and a celandine.
The birds were singing everywhere too, including blackcaps, chiffchaffs, robins and wrens in the woodland and skylarks above the fields. The sand martins were flying about above the river near their colony of  holes in a sandbank and we had a wonderful view of a kingfisher as it flew past us downstream. We were delighted to see two brown hares, distant views of just their ears sticking out above the grass, but still, lovely to see them at Easter! Plus there were a lot of butterflies about. Crafty Green Boyfriend took this photo of two peacocks

and this of a small tortoiseshell

though we didn't manage to get any photos of the orange tip butterflies, which weren't as numerous as they normally are on this walk.

heat haze -
a swallow dips down
to the river.

for NaPoWriMo

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Ivy Shadows

Ivy has a shadowy side, although birds love it as a place to build their nests in spring and to roost in the winter, it can damage trees, though I recently read that the effect isn't as bad as we had been lead to believe in the past. These cherry blossom trees look slightly uncomfortable though.

for Shadow Shot Sunday.

choked by ivy -
the cherry trees

for NaPoWriMo.

Friday, 18 April 2014


I was captivated by this moss which I noticed earlier this week growing on a fallen tree trunk in Colinton Dell by the Water of Leith. Look at the delicate white fruiting bodies. If you know what species it is, please leave a comment!

and I love the contrast betweeh the two species of moss in the photo below. 

Moss growing on the trunk of a fallen tree -
it must seem like a forest to this passing bee
or the beetle clambering its way
through the green, entirely unaware of me.

today's prompt at NaPoWriMo was to write a ruba'i  - a Persian form, of four lines with the rhyme sequence AABA.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Poetry pamphlet Bougainvillea Dancing now available to download!

I taught sciences in Malawi between 1990 - 1992 as a VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) volunteer. My first poetry pamphlet Bougainvillea Dancing, published 2002, raised money for charities working in Malawi. The original pamphlet is sold out now, but I was delighted that Chris Crittenden  reviewed it recently on Owl Who Laughs.

Most of the poems in Bougainvillea Dancing focussed on Africa, but many of them were unrelated to that continent. I've just put together an updated version of the pamphlet, removing all the poems unrelated to Africa and adding in more poems on African topics, plus a couple of prose pieces and some photos. This is now available as a pdf to download from the Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop.

(If you don't want to shop via Etsy but are happy to use Paypal then let me know.If you don't have a Paypal account then please contact me for alternative payment methods.)

10% of proceeds from this publication will go to VSO for their work in Africa

VSO’s programme in Malawi concentrates on HIV and AIDS, health and social wellbeing, secure livelihoods (food security) and education in seven rural and remote districts. The districts were chosen due to their excessive poverty levels, high prevalence of HIV and AIDS, and low involvement of other international charities.

I'm hoping that editing a poetry pamphlet can count as the equivalent of writing a poem for NaPoWriMo.