The Cherish the Earth cards highlight environmental issues around the world, with quotations specially written by His Holiness Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa and head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism (https://kagyuoffice.org/). Half of the profits from card sales are donated to environmental projects chosen by the Karmapa, a passionate advocate for environmental protection. This year we were able to make a donation of £1000 to Trees for Life, a registered charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest and its unique wildlife to the Scottish Highlands (https://treesforlife.org.uk/). My wife and I volunteered for Trees for Life back in the 1990s, planting trees in Glen Affric. In view of the climate emergency and public concern about environmental issues, it is great to be able to make a contribution to Trees for Life this year and to support their fantastic work in the northern highlands.
Yesterday I attended another very helpful half-day course in Hexham, run by Business Northumberland (https://www.businessnorthumberland.co.uk/). This time the subject was selling with social media such as instagram and facebook, and the tutor was Katherine Briggs. There were 16 businesses attending, some of whom were even newer to the social media world than I am, so for the first time, I felt as if I have moved slightly up the ladder of digital marketing knowledge! So in the months ahead there will be some more changes and development to this website, with new products becoming available – mainly new greeting card and designs, and prints.
The lovely autumn colours of 2018 are beginning to fade, as the leaves continue to fall. This is one of my favourite times of the year. The last week of October and the first week of November see the climax of the autumn in Northumberland before the days become ever shorter and the landscape changes into the more subdued colours of winter. This view looks across the North Tyne valley near Bellingham, towards Callerhues Crags, with the Hesleyside woods in the foreground, and is in the 2019 Seasons of Northumberland calendar. I’ve heard rumours of a cold winter ahead and am looking forward to some fine frosty days after this very mild autumn. This weekend I’ll be at the Christmas Fair at The Sill on Hadrian’s Wall, the National Landscape Discovery Centre – hope to see you there!
A new range of greeting cards has just been published, with images from Wset Penwith in Cornwall, Harris in the Outer Hebrides, and the Summer Isles in Ross-shire (north west highlands, Scotland).
They depict the moods of the sea, from gentle waves, to crashing surf, granite cliffs, and light glistening on a calm sea. The locations include spectacular Cornish beaches at Pednvounder and Portchapel, and beautiful Hebridean beaches such as Luskentyre. The cards are 160mm square, blank inside,and are available to order from this website.
A recent BBC report stated that “A study of pictures of Earth by night has revealed that artificial light is growing brighter and more extensive every year. Between 2012 and 2016, the planet’s artificially lit outdoor area grew by more than 2% per year. Scientists say a “loss of night” in many countries is having negative consequences for “flora, fauna, and human well-being”.
Many people never see the stars properly, or even at all, due to the amount of light pollution in towns and cities across the world. There has also been a surge of interest in the night sky, and this is reflected by the huge popularity of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, the largest area of protected night sky in Europe, covering 572 square miles (1,483 square kilometres). The area was awarded gold status designation in 2013 by the International Dark Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona, the world authority on light pollution. This status means that controls are now in place to prevent light pollution and to protect the night sky.
This greeting card in the Cherish the Earth series shows the stars over Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland National Park, with an accompanying quotation by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage and one of the most eminent figures in Tibetan Buddhism: “When we can appreciate beauty, and feel awe and wonder at nature, we have the basis to dedicate ourselves to environmental protection.” The Karmapa is well known for his interest and commitment to environmental issues, as well as social justice for all. He frequently highlights the issues in his teachings and life’s work.
There are twelve cards in the series, ranging from honeybees to Himalayan mountains, wildlife to oceans, and there has been a wonderful response since publication. They are also available from the shops at Kagyu Samye Ling, near Eskdalemuir, Scotland, and Kagyu Samye Dzong London.
There has been so much publicity recently about plastics and pollution that there has been a massive increase in public awareness of the global environmental impact of the unrestrained use of plastics. In the sea, plastic pollution is mostly invisible until it washes up on the shoreline, yet the ‘invisible’ aspect is more disturbing – microscopic particles of plastic are now found throughout the marine environment and food chain. This card in the Cherish the Earth series shows a crashing wave in Cornwall, with an accompanying quotation by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage and one of the most eminent figures in Tibetan Buddhism: “Environmental degradation is far more complex than anything we alone can tackle, but if we can all contribute a single drop of clean water, those drops will accumulate into a clear stream and eventually a vast pure ocean. This is my aspiration.” The Karmapa is well known for his interest and commitment to environmental issues, as well as social justice for all. He frequently highlights the issues in his teachings and life’s work.
Well it’s not really a ‘new’ site – much of the content is the same, though some superfluous content has been removed, and some new content will be added in the weeks ahead. The aim is to make the site as easy to use as possible so that buying a card or a calendar will not be a complicated and frustrating ordeal trying to work out the next step! And also to try and make an attractive website that is a pleasure to use and interesting for the viewer, whilst keeping it simple and uncluttered. There will soon be some new products beyond Northumberland, such as new greeting cards based on the sea, and on India. Meanwhile, all the regular products are available: Seasons of Northumberland calendars, Northumberland greetings cards, Northbumberland Winter christmas cards, Mindful Moments, Cherish the Earth, Earth Light and Time cards, and the notelet cards of Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland National Park, nature, Northumberland Coast and Hexham Abbey.
As always Terry Walsh (twda.co.uk) has been really helpful in giving advice and doing all the technical bits and making it all look so easy. Thanks Terry!
Mindful Moments: reflections on mindfulness and nature.
Single greeting card with envelope, cellophane wrapped, 148 x 105 mm, blank inside for your own message.
A waterfall reflecting gold and blue light from the autumn colours and blue sky above.
Photographed at Hareshaw Dene, Northumberland National Park, England.
Text © Gwennie Fraser (www.mindfulnessinlife.co.uk)
Greeting cards for everyday use, depicting Northumberland through the seasons of the year, are available from shops across the region, and also from this website. The images include many of the popular landmarks across Northumberland, such as Bamburgh Castle, Dunstanburgh Castle, Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Farne Islands, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland National Park, Cheviot Hills, Simonside Hills, Hadrian’s Wall, Sycamore Gap, Housesteads Crags, Crag Lough, Caw Gap, Milecastle 39, Hexham, Kielder, Hareshaw Linn, North Tyne valley, and wildlife such as puffins and red squirrels.
Single greeting card with envelope, cellophane wrapped, 210 x 148mm, blank inside for your own message.
North Sea surf pounds the beach at Embleton Bay, below the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. This is the largest castle in Northumberland, dating from the early fourteenth century.