I find winter hard. I’ve written on my Instagram about how much I prefer Halloween to Christmas…. although this year does feel easier. My mental health is much better, AND I’ve created the HiberNATION to celebrate the cosy, dark vibes of this time of year. So I’m feeling a lot more chilled out about the Christmas part of winter (you can read about the Christmas I stayed in bed and ate pizza here!), but I’m wondering how we can create some intentional rituals to fight off the post-Christmas blues….
Christmas day comes so close to Solstice; here in the UK it’s bang in the middle of the darkest time. We’re celebrating the returning of the light. But it’s a slooooow return, and still a way to go before hibernation time is over.
Once the decorations come down on Twelfth Night, it can feel kind of bleak, can’t it? We been collecting and doing things that helps us survive the winter and lift our spirits – pretty lights, evergreens, socialising, exchanging gifts, eating comfort food – and then at New Year BAM! We give them all up again, even though there’s a lot of winter left. Astrologically, Solstice marks the START of winter!
I used to work with a lovely lady called Mel, who would countdown to Valentines Day, because from that point she knew she could pretty much always drive home from work at 5.30pm without her headlights on. It’s a nice measure of when the evenings begin to get lighter again.
So, what can we do to look after ourselves and each other as we wait for the light to come back…? Here are some ideas:
- January Decorations! Apparently, the tradition of taking the Christmas decorations down to avoid bad luck is a Pagan one, linked to the evergreens and their foliage – you could deck the halls, but you had to get them back outside by the 6th of January or the tree spirits would start to get antsy. So last year we made sure we got the tree outside, then kept some of the fairy lights, and jiggled around some of the not-to-festive decorations. It definitely helped the house to feel warm and welcoming. Other years, I have purposefully made January decorations to replace the Christmas ones, to brighten the place up and celebrate the New Year.
- Join the HiberNATION. Recognise that it is still winter, all the things that helped us before Christmas ARE STILL ALLOWED! Pyjamas, chocolate, snuggling, catching up with friends, bingeing on box sets, knitting and/or wearing all the warm knitted stuff… keep making time for the cosy things that nurture your heart and soul. This is the best time of year to enjoy this stuff! You don’t have to stop just cos it’s not December any more 🙂
- Look for the beauty. Right now, my garden is a muddy quagmire. Every time the dog comes in, we gain some indoor mud too. Sometimes I have to search out the beauty of this time of year. But it’s there. The resting quiet, like the pause in between breaths. The silhouettes of trees against pastel winter skies. Ice, frost and snow. And then slowly, the tiny signs that start to creep in of returning life and noise, like snowdrops and little shoots of green bursting up from the mud…
- Do some reflecting and look to the future. I’m not one for full-on, high-pressure New Years Resolutions, but there is a ton of advice out there about setting intentions or themes for the year. This year I think I will do a little bit of journalling to reflect back on the previous year, create a list of things to look forward to in the next year, and list some of the qualities I’d like to call in to my life for 2020. (If you need some help, my friend Alice is doing a mini-course that could be just the thing!).
- Allow your feelings. Winter is by nature a darker time, for slowing down, reflecting and planting seeds. You don’t have to be ‘jolly’. It’s ok to feel whatever you feel. I think we can sometimes make things harder for ourselves if we fight what we truly feel. I’m working on welcoming my emotions and seeing what they are here to tell me. And a lot of the time in winter, they’re saying ‘go slow, be gentle, plant seeds.’
And, as ever, allow time for self care 🙂
Happy Badgerween! I hope you had a good one. I sent a toddler to nursery dressed as a dinosaur, then spent the afternoon making badger masks and a music video, before picking up the small dinosaur to come home for a little Badgerween party.
I’m so grateful for all the members of The Badger Sett and everyone who has bought something from the Badgerween collection to support out stripy friends. I’ll be adding up the total soon but in the meantime, there’s a little sale on in the shop to give the badgers a bit more of a booth before I have to put my maths head on! You can shop Badgerween here.
Badgerween is a black and white stripy celebration of Halloween. We celebrate the UK’s wildlife, we fundraise for badgers and we get a little bit spooky. I am joined in my weird little party by the other members of The Badger Sett, a group of creatives making beautiful things to honour Badgerween 🙂
Browse our selection of badger-themed goodies, supporting the Badger Trust through fundraising with every purchase.
You can knit a pair of legwarmers with this lovely pattern from The Crimson Rabbit, and then dance like a badger in the moonlight…
Keep your knitting needles safe in a Hand Made by Jayney double-pointed needle (DPN) case.
If you’re not a knitter yourself, you can still keep cosy in this stripy hat and wrist warmer set from The Badgerfly.
You’ll look very Tim Burton-esque (my inner goth girl loves these!).
You can find them in the Badgerfly shop here.
Find a selection of Halloween decor and beautiful badger art for your walls in the Sam Draws Things shop. I’ll be adding more prints and creations throughout the month, and following the drawing prompts for Drawlloween over on my Instagram.
The UK’s badgers need us. These stripy creatures belong in our woods and fields. After a long history of persecution, they were granted legal protection. But then they were made scapegoats for Bovine Tuberculosis and now are being unnecessarily culled.
According to the Badger Trust: “Currently, culling badgers costs the taxpayer approximately £1,100 to cage trap and kill a single badger. On the other hand, vaccination only costs an average of £200 to cage trap, vaccinate and release a single badger.”
I want a landscape full of badgers, and other wild creatures, all wandering free and safe. Not an empty world, haunted by the ghosts of trees and spirits of wronged animals…
Welcome to Badgerween
Everything sold for Badgerween throughout October donates a percentage to the Badger Trust, to support their hard work protecting our black and white friends and keeping our fields wild.
We’ll keep sharing more badger-inspired treats, getting spooky and raising funds.
- If you’re a maker, why not join in?
- If you love badgers too, support us with a purchase or a donation to the Badger Trust
I could see her so clearly, my little inner witch. 🧙♀️ It was in a dream. She’s about 8” tall, and towers tinily over her sacred fire. She’s sort of a miniature version of me, but with a wider, more elfin face, huge deep eyes and even more hair. She bustles with a magnetic energy, not concerned with her stature at all and completely comfortable in her own power… so I had to draw her. And add some flames for her to conjure with 🔥
My witchy self portrait over on Instagram really resonated with people. I had a lovely reaction to sharing this part of myself, and quite a few requests for me to draw other people.
Sooo, I have a few spots for commissions of YOUR inner witch.
So far I’ve drawn the magical Mishelle:
And the stunning Sara:
If you would like a portrait of your inner witch, you can message me on Instagram, find them in my online shop here, or drop me an email.
Here’s how it works:
⭐️ drop me a message and send me some pics of yourself or a link to your Instagram with some selfies
⭐️ I will create a customised witch drawing for you
⭐️ for £40 you will get a little video with animated flames and pretty bits, to share on your social media
⭐️ for £50 you’ll get that plus an A5 print of the drawing
I am having so much fun creating these magical portraits, and adding in cute animal familiars.
The Badger Sett has a really lovely new collection of badger-inspired crafts and goodies that make perfect gifts for Christmas. We also all donate a percentage from these sales to the Badger Trust’s badger vaccination project – a positive alternative to the badger cull.
The brilliantly talented Amanda of Maysie Daydreams has some very special Christmas decorations:
And some beautiful brock textile art pieces that are just adorable!
MAD Scientist Yarns still have their gorgeous Trufflehunter colourway, as well as two new festive badgers too…
This special Badgermas colourway can also be ordered with an exclusive print from me!
The Crimson Rabbit is busy writing up a pattern for some leg warmers, which look just stunning in the Trufflehunter yarn. Do follow Debbie on Instagram for news of when the pattern is released.
And I am really excited to add some new things to the Sam Draws Things shop!
The Yarn Badger very kindly donated 5 Goose Eye hat kits in different colours (with a name like that, they had to get involved). 100% of the sale price of each kit is going to the badgers! They include yarn and instructions, and are selling quick, so do order soon if you want one. You can find them here.
My lovely and talented friend Jane Brumwell made beautiful Stirling silver and copper progress keepers. They are each rolled with the impression of a skeleton leaf, and are so delicate. Each one is unique! You can find them in the shop here.
And there are also badger prints and Christmas cards 🙂 You can see the whole collection here.
Huge thanks to all the super creative members of the Sett, and to everyone who has bought something so far. It’s so wonderful how the craft-y community gets together for good causes.
Badgerween is a black and white stripy celebration of Halloween from the Badger Sett – a group of compassionate creatives fundraising for the Badger Trust. We are supporting their badger vaccination project, a positive alternative to the cull which is being increasingly rolled out across the UK.
How gorgeous are these textile are badgers from Maysie Daydreams?
The badgers are available in Amanda’s online shop here.
And you can pre-order some of this scrummy Truffle Hunter Yarn from Mad Scientist Yarns:
You can get your hands on some Trufflehunter yarn here.
And there will be lots more coming soon, including project bags from Annie at Busy Pottering, who has found the cutest fabric!
I’m also still busy drawing things,and have been following some of the prompts for #mabsdrawlloweenclub on Instagram. I wanted to draw something that touched on why the Badger Sett exists – so drew some ghost badgers, a haunted badger cage and a laboratory…
and I’ve added some colour to my mushroom badgers and they’re now available as a print:
You can find my Badgerween collection here.
The Badger Sett are celebrating a black and white stripy Halloween this year, fundraising for the Badger Trust.
We are a collective of creatives making things to support the badger vaccination project and help end the badger cull, and the first few items for sale have just gone live.
There’s a little and growing collection of black and white and badgery things in the Samdrawsthings online shop…
Tim Burton-esque black and white Halloween bunting
Wildlife Halloween bunting featuring badgers, owls, spiders and bats
Black cat and badger print, from one of my Badgerween drawings
And I am really excited to announce that MAD Scientist Yarns have just launched a Badgerween colourway!
This beautiful hand-dyed yarn is Trufflehunter, and it’s available for pre-order now:
Other members of the Sett are busy developing ideas for Badgerween (and Badgermas!) so I’ll keep you posted as more creations are unveiled.
I’m also attempting to keep up with the drawing prompts for Mab’s Drawlloween club over on Instagram, adding a badger theme to each prompt, and will be developing these into prints and things…
Happy Badgerween! 🙂
A recent commission from a friend has lead to a new product line in my shop that I am really excited about: baby name prints! I’m growing my nursery art collection as babies LOVE my work – the high contrast and black and white I use basically hypnotises small people, making it quite a handy distraction tool for a grouchy or distracted baby.
My son Tristan spent a long time gazing at my work around the house, and as he’s growing and recognising the animals he’s still getting a lot out of it.
Little Percy was the recipient of my first baby name print. He was born in June and has one of the best birth stories I have ever heard – he was caught by his mum’s best friend in the kitchen!
Each letter on the name prints is a different animal, and there’s the option of adding the date of birth underneath. I think they make lovely birthday presents for older little ones too.
I’ve found someone making really nice frames in the UK that are purple, which coordinates really nicely with the colours in the print, and you can add one on as an option when you order.
You can order your print in my online shop here.
You can include a message with the name and date of birth, or I’ll get in touch with you to check the details. I’ll send you a preview of the print before popping it in the post to you. I offer gift wrapping and can also post straight to someone else if you are buying it as a gift.
Wow. September is here. At the same time as feeling like it’s been a really long summer this year, I also can’t quite believer we are now heading into autumn. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I’ve been a bit of a mess as my little boy starts a new preschool (he’s absolutely fine of course).
We are also into month 9 of the lovely Flower Power Fund, and onto our 12th flower already!
Every month, new indie dyers and makers create lovely things for cratfers on a flower theme, with a % of all sales going to Marie Curie. This month, it’s all about Love-in-a-Mist, with a beautiful new yarn from Eden Cottage Yarns , a bag from Betsy Makes (both of which have sold out already!) and a new print from me:
You can find the print and everything Flower Power Fund related in my online shop here.
Woah, this year feels like it’s going really fast! We are just over half way through the wonderful Flower Power Fund project (which looks like it’s going to happen again next year) and there have already been 9 lovely flower-inspired yarns, created by talented independent yarn dyers from all over the UK.
It’s been a gorgeous way to practice my own take on botanical illustration as I’ve created matching prints for each month. Here they are so far:
This month feels like a really special one, as it’s the turn of Jane from Hedgerow Yarns. Jane and I have been friends for a long time and had some lovely adventures together, and it was doing her branding that lead me into the wonderful wooly world that I’m now part of!
Jane’s yarn is STUNNING. Inspired by pretty country garden lupins, it’s just so subtle and beautiful. You can find the Lupin yarn in her Etsy shop here, and my matching print here.