20 August 2010

Illustration friday - by the skin of my teeth

copyright Caroline Soer 2010

Oh my gosh, think I'm scraping in by two seconds here for this week's word -' Stargazing'. I've been under the weather all week with a nasty cold and am only managing my sketchbook page as I couldn't decide on which theme to go with. Please click to enlarge the image.

Here you have them all in rough - star/moongazing hare, Stargazer Lily and Star Gazey Pie. Ever heard of Star Gazey Pie? This pie originates from the small fishing village of Mousehole (pronounced Mouzel) in Cornwall, in the southwest of England. As legend has it, for many days one winter, the seas were too rough to bring in the catch and the village had little to eat. However, eventually, one fisherman called Tom Bawcock, braved the storms and went out fishing. Against all odds he managed to bring back enough fish to feed the starving villagers and for ever more, December the 23rd has been called Tom Bawcock's Eve. To make the small catch go further, the fish were baked in a pastry case with the fishes' heads poking out up at the stars, hence Star Gazey Pie. The man was revered for saving the inhabitants' lives and his festival is an annual attraction in Mousehole complete with illuminations and depictions of Star Gazy Pie in lights.

I visited the Mouzel a few years ago and bought a copy of Antonia Barber's delighful tale The Mousehole Cat, illustrated by Nicola Bayley which tells the story of this legend. The illustrations are delightful!


  1. the fish in the pie, caroline: it carried me somewhere i didn't know before. it carries all my senses.

    i hope you are feeling better, dear friend. marianne brought me presents from asia and i thought of you. we're a huge world made small, and the magic trick is friendship.

    plus, we share the same stars...


  2. Like the rabbit! The thumbnails have a nice charm.

  3. Your art always thrills me- I love your brain and how it gets put so nicely on paper! Mousehole and Bawcock- makes me laugh as well as "star gazey pie" - So sorry you have been feeling less than perfect. I hope the sniffles and aches are not long lived! Your art is healthy!

  4. I hope you are feeling better now Caroline. The legend of the fish pie is interesting. When I eat fish I don't like to have the fish looking back at me though.

  5. What a wonderful journal page and story about the pie!! I adore Nicola bayley's work. I had a book by her that featured that same cat...kind if like Tia ;)

    I hope you're on the mend dear friend ♥

    P.S. I know you said it was nice to see a pic of me, but OMG that was the absolute worst one. I really look a bit better :P
    I was just being a good sport.

  6. Whimsically wonderful, Caroline! I visited Mousehole a few years ago,just for the morning and lunch. It's one of the many little fishing villages that stands out in my memory.

  7. I visited Mousehole a few years ago too Caroline and I loved taking a picture of Tom's actual cottage which Nicola Bayley used for the illustration. I absolutely love that story and the illustrations are gorgeous. What an evocative name - Star Gazey Pie.


Thank you for passing by. I love to read your comments!


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