|Every snow queen deserves her own ice palace.|
If you have been following my work for some years you will be aware that the dark season is my favourite time of year. I love autumn and winter; these magical seasons that glow and gleam in turn, then fade into early darkness and twinkling black skies.
As a child I used to wish I could find a way to make winter last longer, to make the amber tones of autumn linger on. As an adult I found that I could use my home to achieve this, to give me the lasting essence of the dark season, all year round. If you saw the At Home shoot I did with Spirit&Destiny a while ago you will have noticed that I have a thing for decorative trees and leaves - the kind designed to hold candles and tealights. I suppose part of me just wants to live in the middle of a forest, like witches do in fairytales, and I have brought that vision to life in my home decor with the accessories I own.
Recently though I've been wanting to crank up the wintry aspects of my indoor enchanted woodland. I want to bring in the shimmering light of a snowy day and the silver frost of a winter forest. So I've been collecting things over the past few months - soft furnishings, trinkets, ornaments etc - keeping them all to one side until I have everything I need to make the transformation. Yesterday I went shopping for a few more bits and I am almost ready to bring the spirit of winter into my home, to sit alongside the iron trees and leaf men of autumn that already live here.
I bought some lovely cream voile panels that have silver metallic trees on them; new cream faux suede curtains; and crystal drop tie backs that look like ice. These will really brighten the windows and make the whole room look different. I also got new scatter cushions, cream with a silvery winter tree design. To go with these I got a soft silver faux fur throw, that looks similar to wolf fur and it just reminded me of Winterfell in Game of Thrones, so I had to have that.
My main purchases yesterday were a couple of very special things; first of all I added to my winter tree collection - I already have a 5ft tree candle stand, a large tree wall sconce and a 3-fold silver leaf screen - yesterday I bought a silver branch wall sconce, that 'grows' out sideways. You can see trees that grow horizontally up on the Yorkshire Moors due to the high winds, and Emily Bronte makes reference to them in her novel, so whenever I see a horizontal tree it always makes me think of Wuthering Heights and my home county. This silver branch has six cups to hold tealights and fixes to a wall. It's very pretty and sparkly and goes well with the other trees.
The last big item I bought was a huge picture of a silver-birch forest in winter. It is all silver and frosted and it has silver thread woven through the canvas, so it glimmers like sunlight on snow, which is exactly what I wanted. It looks stunning against the cream wall -wintry but not cold and I am delighted with it. I can't stop looking at it, it's just so pretty and unusual. It's like a magical winter forest has been framed and preserved and now lives in my house! So my little woodland is growing and expanding and I love it!
To add to the winter enchantment I have also been collecting silver stags on my visits to Scotland and I got some as gifts for Christmas too. I have them in all sizes, dotted around the room and they lend a sense of Celtic magic. Stags are the power animal of the pagan horned god Cernnunos or Herne the Hunter; they remind me of my time in the Highlands and the real live stags I have befriended there, so I wanted to have a lovely collection of pretty silver stags, sparkling around my home, to honor that connection.
This weekend was all about shopping for the final bits and pieces; next weekend is when I plan to complete the transformation and hang the curtains and picture, put out all the soft furnishings and arrange the silver stags. It is going to look like a whimsical winter wonderland, like Narnia, and I really cannot wait to get it all done so I can enjoy my very own silver winter forest, all year round. It is going to be beautiful - an Ice Palace for an Ice Maiden.
Yes...Winter is coming...