Lost in the Woods - Halloween blog party 2012

Welcome to everyone who has popped over from Vanessa's blog for my contribution to the Halloween blog party this year, if you missed last years spooky story you will find it HERE

And now for my tale.......

When walking in the woods one should not stray from the path, 
for who knows what may be lurking behind the next fallen tree or bramble bush.
 Alice was just such a young woman, 
curious to know what new treasures may be hiding out of sight.

  She had been wandering for some time since leaving the path, 
and she knew it must be growing late in the afternoon by now, 
she certainly didn't with to be lost in here after dark....

Every way she turned she new paths appeared,
 she had no way of telling which would lead her out,
 and which would lead her deeper into the woods.

The trees seemed to change and take strange shapes,
 twisting and turning, creating living cages, 
waiting patiently for her to come closer, waiting for the opportune moment...

Alice stood still confused and frightened, not knowing where to go next, 
when from behind her there was the  sound of branches creaking as though straining to reach her.
 As she looked back over her shoulder she saw a huge old tree, 
twisted and overgrown with ivy.

As she looked upwards into the tree's canopy a voice began to speak,
 seeming to come from the heart of the trunk itself.
 "Do not be afraid child, you are far from home I dare say, 
you should not be wandering in here alone,
 there are many in here who have become resentful and cruel, 
they would find you to be a fine toy to play with."

"I will tell you the way out of here, listen to and remember my instructions carefully, 
and follow them exactly. 
There is a pathway behind me follow this until you find brother Toad, then......"
Alice listened carefully to the tree spirit's instructions,
 and after thanking it began following the path.

  After a time she looked down and at her feet was her guide, 
"you must be brother Toad" she whispered,
and she began to follow him as the tree had instructed, 
until she came upon the entrance to the deepest part of woods. 

 Here she was to go on alone, even Toad would not venture into here, 
it is told there are barrows in here where the Trow live, 
a bad place to be caught unawares.

"Follow the trails of toadstools", the tree had said, "they will lead you along a safe path"

Alice walked on through the woods, over mossy fallen logs and winding streams,
 the patches of toadstools always in sight of one another so that she never lost the trail.


She was getting very tired now, and the grassy hollows looked so invitingly soft,
 maybe she could stop for a brief nap before moving further. 
But she remembered just how late it was getting and carried on going.

  Past fairy rings she went, wondering if she would see sprites dancing if she came here after dark...

till she came upon a line of mushrooms leading right up to the gate of the abandoned millers home.

This was a place she had heard spoken of only in whispers
 as no one came to this part of the woods anymore, 
it is said the miller and his family just disappeared one night, no one knew their fate.

Alice entered into the old mill and looked around, it was dark in here,
 but her eyes soon adjusted to the gloom, and she saw that the building was bare.

The only signs of life being the birds who obviously roosted and nested here. 
Alice wondered about the stories about this place......

Some say the miller went crazy and led his family into the forest one night, 
others say the Trows came and took them, 
the only thing for certain was that the forest had claimed them in some way.

As she wandered around she found some stairs leading down to a lower floor in the mill 
and walked down them as she had been told.

It was lighter down here and she followed the light till she found a door leading to outside....

This was the door she must take into the rear grounds of the mill......

She walked to the rear of the garden, passing the standing stone in the center....

Till she came upon the entrance to the caves.
 Looking around she thought, "surely I can just follow the fields now till I reach a nearby road", 
but the tree's instructions were specific, and who knew what was hiding out here.

So down she descended into the caves beneath her......

Through a series of passageways and caverns
 following the path towards a distant source of dim light....

Finally she came upon what seemed like a door 
from where the light appeared to be just around the corner. 
Alice stepped through the doorway and turned to look down the passageway....

She found herself in a rocky gorge, and at the end could see daylight and water,
 she quickly hurried ahead. 
Blinking from the bright light she climbed up at the mouth of the gorge and looked out to sea....

She looked out at the setting sun and realised she knew this place, 
she wasn't far from home, and she had made it to safety before dark. 
Sitting watching the sun go down she vowed to be much more careful to keep her curiosity in check, 
and not go wandering off into dark hidden places,
 at least..... not until tomorrow......

Black Cats and Spooky Parties

Can you believe we are already in the last full week of October,
 even the clocks go back on saturday meaning it
 will be dark here well before 6pm,winter is fast approaching !
With Halloween only next week the seasonal decorations have been 
changed around yet again. Mantles are covered with black and orange candles, 
dried seed heads and fir cones cover even more surfaces than usual, 
and pumpkins, real and crafted, are multiplying like rabbits!
One of my new items for this year is these cushion covers 
 made out of stuff from the stash. 
Some old crushed velvet, a few odd buttons, 
a scrap end of yarn and voila, black cat covers !!

Oh ! Also, if you look in my right-hand bar you will see a blog button 
linking to an annual Halloween party I am taking part in on Saturday, 
can't wait, you can find more details at: A Fanciful Twist

When I am a Granny I shall wear Purple

Why is that when you haven't blogged in a while, it seems such a hard thing to write a blog post?
Whilst the boys were here I didn't use the computer much, and I haven't really got back into a routine with it since.
What I have been doing is, various crafting, harvesting and preserving, baking Christmas cakes etc
It seems like there are never enough hours in the day when you live the way we do, and I feel as though I am always playing catch-up. Today for example, I only have around 3 hours left before John comes home and I still need to, bring in the dry potatos from the rack outside, wash the pots (yet again), blog, clean and swap over the dining tables, make dumplings for the braised beef, put the fire on, and try to find time to card fleece!! Also I'm thinking I may need to start a blanket using the rest of the wool left over from making this granny square cushion, I think I need a time turner !!

How much fun can you have with a box of wax ??

 One of the craft based thing we have tried this week is an idea I have seen all over pinterest lately, the 'crayon & sandpaper' t-shirt, which involves drawing a design on fine sandpaper heavily in crayon, then turning over and laying it face down onto the chosen t-shirt.
It was half way through doing my 'rainbow bright' inspired design that I remembered the advice I had told the boys, about the design printing in reverse, and that my star would be at the wrong end of the rainbow, hmmm.
After laying your design on to your chosen t-shirt, you use a hot iron to press and transfer it to the fabric :)
 When you peel off the sandpaper you will be left with your design :) Only two points to note first make sure you lay a news paper inside the t-shirt so the design doesn't go through.
 Second, make sure to wash the item separately from other clothes the first time you wash it.

Beach Babes

Well we made it back safely from a whirl wind four day round trip to fetch the boys up from their dad's house in Southampton, very exhausting and still recovering form lack of sleep but glad to be back on the island.

And now we are here and enjoying good weather when we can, with trips to the beach and barbecues in the garden, and poor weather doing crafts and going to the cinema to see the new movie Brave, which BTW was fab :)
Beach trips seem to revolve around the boys throwing rocks about, John sleeping, and me wishing I wasn't the only one who prefers sandy beaches to rocky ones, followed by me twisting my angle on the way off the beach (sandy beaches are better when you are clumsy) :)

I'm not really here

That's right by now I should be the other end of the UK entirely, infact if I went any further south I would have to catch another ferry :)
I haven't been watching the Olympics, but I have heard the updates on the morning radio news, and although I am not a sports fan, I just want to say well done to all the athletes taking part. The above photo was taken last summer when the torch was doing the tour, we just happened to be in Kirkwall on the day :)
Just sharing a few piccy I dug up from last summer of us out for the day visiting the standing stones of Stenness, which is around half a mile from the Ring of Brodgar. You cant move for archaeology up here !
We had picked a gorgeous day for it, although they seemed to think the wind was chilly, hmm seems me and John have acclimatised to the cold up here :)
We also went to Gerrie's ice cream parlour which I forgot to take pics of and hope to remedy soon :)
Also a few pics visiting St Magnus cathedral in Kirkwall.
It rained but we still had ice creams :)
Connor posing beside the tomb of the Arctic explorer Dr John Rae.
And Brandon beside the wall where the bones of St Magnus are encased.
A terrible photo of a beautiful building, very similar in design to Durham cathedral where I visited a lot whilst at college in Durham. More about St Magnus cathedral here.


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