Year of the Rat Fabrics!

Paisley Power

The Year of The Rat 2020 is continuing to be a good year for sales of the Paisley Rats fabrics. The design was created by Patrick Moriarty in 2015. He drew the whole design by hand on paper, scanned the artwork and then completed the design using Adobe Photoshop. He was inspired by the punk rock band The Stranglers who used a rat silhouette as their logo in the 1970’s. Their debut album was called « Rattus Norvegicus » (the common rat). At the age of 12 in 1977, this album was a big influence on Patrick Moriarty, not just the songs but the rat imagery on the album cover. Patrick was also inspired by his travels to India. He surrounded the rat sihouettes by an intricate paisley pattern. Paisley patterns originate in the Kashmir region of India. In this post Patrick provides information about his range of Paisley Rats fabrics.

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Kingfisher with Minnow Sculpture

rambling ratz

Regular readers will be familiar with my photographs of the Bulmers Woodpecker sculpture captured in a variety of different weather situations.

Fifty years since creating this iconic Herefordshire artwork sculptor Walenty Pytel has graced our landscape with a new piece; Kingfisher with Minnow.Photo of kingfisher sculpture

It was commissioned by the Cider Museum and stands between the museum and Sainsburys’ fuel station.Photo of kingfisher sculpture

Walenty Pytel was born in Poland in 1941 and moved to the UK at the age of five. He studied graphic design at Hereford College of Arts and has become a renowned artist specialising in metal sculptures inspired by nature. You can see more of his work here.Photo of kingfisher sculpture

Bulmers commissioned The Woodpecker to celebrate their eponymous brand of cider, presumably the Kingfisher is a nod to the cider apple orchards that grow alongside the River Wye where kingfishers reside.Photo of kingfisher sculptureI have to say that it is easier to spot and…

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Tawny Owl

Don’t miss this amazing article from my friend 🙂

rambling ratz

At the end of last summer we became aware that there was a female tawny owl  Strix aluco, in the vicinity. We often heard her distinctive « keewik » call in the early hours of the morning. It is more of a shriek whereas the male tawny owls make the more familiar hooting of owl in winter trees

I thought it odd that a woodland owl should be hanging around suburbia, although we do have some mature trees in our garden the rest of the neighbourhood seem to enjoy taking chainsaws to theirs.  There is also a new housing estate being built behind us. We do live near to the Bulmers’ cider factory so perhaps that provided a plentiful supply of of tawny owl in tree

To my surprise one winter morning while taking flash photos of the bare tree branches (I was trying to get a spookily atmospheric photo) I noticed a large shape swoop into the tree…

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When Fashion And Food Collide – We Are What We Eat

Blank Instagram Post (6)One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, so why can’t so called « junk food » give us something that we can really chew on…like fashion? If you’ll notice, all of the things that are generally unhealthy to put inside your body – animal fats, fatty oils, cholesterol – are actually GREAT to put on the body. (Natural soap is nothing but animal fat, fatty oils make the best lotions and cholesterol is good for the hair.) Whether you should use these products or not isn’t the topic of today’s blog post.
My focus for this news update is when fashion and food collide. The same ornate culinary salesmanship that entices you to buy that sorbet pancake wrap or the whip cream pastry provides some beautiful templates for seasonal ensembles. From heartburn to eat your heart out – fast food can become quite elegant when used as a fashion inspiration. Sometimes…


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Squirrel Feeder

rambling ratz

I recently had some rare good fortune and won a squirrel feeder through one of @SoarMillSeeds regular competitions on Twitter. This is what I won: Wildlife World Squirrel Feeder. It arrived the next day, but I waited until the seemingly never ending gales did actually end before putting it up. It has one hole at the top, but I replaced one of the hinge screws with a longer one so that I could fix it to a tree with two screws. The squirrels seem to like playing on this tree and it was away from the bird feeders.squirrel feeder on tree

The squirrels ignored it for nearly a week. Gradually they started to approach it. I had put some loose peanuts on the top of it which they ate, but then ignored the squirrel food (also provided as part of my win) inside it.Squirrel on squirrel feeder

I had propped open the lid by placing…

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When Fashion and Nature Collide – The Creativity Issue

I present the theme of our March edition, creativity, through 24 of my favorite outfits styled for When Fashion and Nature Collide (WFNC). Our March issue also represents the anniversary of the original collaboration between myself, Lisa and Darren – the « Happy Trio » that recently launched the Threadless store Fashioned by Nature.
Plant This Story (15)Photography of 3C Style by Marie-Claude Viola –– Balloons & Hearts Design by Lisa Lawrence, LismorePaper –– Photo collage & Stylist: Dominique Nancy, 3C Style –– Dress and shoes from ERA Vintage Wear
Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a year already. This collaboration brings so much joy and inspiration. Although it represents relentless hours each month to think, organise, create, rethink and shoot the looks, I only see the positive energy from our project. We are ready to take you for another ride and I can’t wait to see where our 2019 adventure takes us. We…

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Interview with Willow Croft, Author of “Salted Earth”

Mt. Misery Press

The following is an interview with Willow Croft, author of the short story « Salted Earth, » which appears in Neon Druid: An Anthology of Urban Celtic Fantasy (available now on Amazon in digital and paperback).

1) What inspired you to write your Neon Druid story, “Salted Earth”?

I’ve worked in animal rescue and wildlife rescue for years, both as a volunteer and as a paid employee. I even had the opportunity to become involved in a hoarding case investigation, and wrote an affidavit for a court case involving neglected cats. The cats were relocated to a new, no-kill cat shelter that had been formed to house them (which is still in operation today). So, the cause of animal rights is still close to my heart, even though I haven’t had the opportunity to get involved in the cause in my new location. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what would…

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