Monday, 9 November 2015

Late Autumn

Even tho the leaves are almost gone from the trees, especially after last night's hoolie, I have fond memories still of my 3 day break on Mull.


 coffee at a pavement cafe

 pier walk (great fish & chips!)

 Eas Falls, just near my B&B

 quite high above the Highland cows on the road

I've wanted to visit Lip na Cloich Garden & B&B for years,

 no point in going out of season so I took advantage of a long booking at our B&B so I wouldn't leave the DH in the lurch while I went off gallivanting !

 I had one wet day & 2 sunny, not bad at all

 very comfy, friendly, visually stunning in the garden & surroundings. So peaceful....for me. (visitors always say that at our B&B, it's great when I can get a turn!)

 secret spaces to think by the burn

delicious color combinations, I've forgotten the name of the unusual pink plant

my second favorite place on Mull......  Calgary Art in the Garden

a wonderful tea room, gallery of local work (no textiles, sadly) & a beautiful thoughtful woodland walk down to Calgary bay. Sweet little birds, oyster catchers, I think.

 the sand of the bay itself

 a sketch of the shapes (must press harder!)

 a sketch from my peaceful seat

6 months ago the Skye Quilters were offered a workshop in Beauly, near Inverness, by Alysn Midgelow Marsden & I jumped at the chance having followed her for years & I saw on fb that she had managed to raise most of the funding for an exhibition of work of New Zealand artists at the Knitting & Stitching Shows - a lot of organizing, so glad she fitted some workshops in, too. We didn't do 'show & tell' at ours but there are write ups of other really interesting looking workshops on her blog (see link).

 Our workshop was based on the beautiful book 'This Lustr'ed Cloth' (see link 'in print') applying metals to fabric (I've fallen in love again with the inside of tomato paste tubes, remember those? Tin cans? No, too hard, only broke one needle tho) gradually making the hard line disappear to integrate & look what happens if you used metal mesh & stitch on velvet (bottom right) Being a recycler, I wasn't sure about buying mesh but then I saw across the room the  'pile' thing happening & then I folded & crumpled it, oh, joy! Bottom left above is a reverse applique leaf , lovely technique, with a bit of embossing.

 Above, Alysn's samples, I mean you could just eat them!

Silky fabrics that I brought with me & the ladies in Beauly kindly had a 'help yourself' box. Peeking out at the bottom of the pic above is the book for one of Alysn's exhibitions 'the continuous thread of revelation' probably the best 'handout' I've ever been given, so generous. Alysn has a very accessible method of teaching but also brings to it a depth of knowledge & pure excitement about the possibilities of combining metal & cloth with flames (!) & paint. Looking at work from her other workshops, too, (on her blog, see link) what a wonderful varierty of them! I would happily do them all.....

My piece started the next day - reverse  applique in the middle - velvet, silk & metals with embossing & I'd love the top & bottom bits to one day resemble, if even slightly, the beautiful pink piece, full of deliciousness, in her pic of samples, above!

 the snippets from the cutting 

 a swatch for my sketchbook & a flower shape ;), a really fabulous couple of days.

 I had a mixed media & mono printing day with Jenny at my studio (in return for that wonderful dyeing day we had together (see here) but we were so excitied we only managed a couple of pics!

Finally, I'm doing just one craft fair this Christmas, 1 mile away ( my shoulders can cope with the strain of that I think!) & the baking table proceeds always go to a good cause, a community effort, really. The 28th November at Talla Dearg,  Hotel Eilean Iarmain in Isle Ornsay. Hearts & birds, oh & some cards to be added to the work below!

Well, I think I've gone on long enoug! My knitting samples croched together below (that was a learning curve, I don't make it easy for myslf!) any ideas what they will be?

Saturday, 26 September 2015

End of the Summer

Autumn is in the air but I had to pick a last bunch of flowers before the garden is finally over. Things started later this year so it stands to reason they lasted longer, except for the blackberries. I ate 6 pretty sour berries today & the rest are green & almost all the rest have gone mushy round where I live, such a waste of lovely growth.

I love the vase of flowers above but I quite like the 'framed' look of the still life, too.

 I'm following along with Design Matters TV daily sketchbook work - it reminds me of the square a day I did 5 years ago, except I've whited out only a few pages in the gardening book I've purloined ready for sketching & sticking & only started the 'front' pages & one entry on the 18th of this month so far. Maybe with the end of the season nigh I'll be able to do some work just for myself, playing, disappearing into the pages with color or fine lines for a bit of peace.

The shoulder diagrams? Yes,  I finally got my lovely GP to get me a scan of my shoulders - I think he did it for my peace of mind. Well, I have a near full thickness tear in the rotator cuff, calcium deposits, erosion at the top of the arm bone - humerous? they call it spinosis, like a hedgehog, well you can imagine the prickly pain, can't you ? & all that causes the Impingement Syndrome which makes me just a little butter fingered & I can't alwys feel or grip a needle..... I'm off to the shoulder surgeon so this book might be quite cathartic ;)

What do you imagine these knitted pieces will be? Bet you can't guess! I've been using 'Norwegian knitting' showed to me by a Norwegian who could never understand why we laboriously (well, it is when I do it!) wrap the needle with our right hand when we can just pick up the thread from our left index finger.....look up European knitting - I ain't no knitter but I'm enjoying these bits & pieces.

Went for a lovely walk a few weeks ago to celebrate 28 years married (!)

 The Storr - you can just see the 'Old Man of Storr' 1/3 of the way in, beautifully highlighted by the sun.There were about 100 cars parked along the roadside - we saw 5 other people where we walked down on the shore below.

 Quite stunning really.

The reason for a good walk? Lunch in Skye Pie, the most mouth watering pie I've ever had, but I probably drooled more in the beautiful gallery next to the cafe area. The work is by various talented people but the big piece I know is by Jan Kilpatric, near Ullapool.

I really must get my India Flint book out for another look see!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Made in Sleat Exhibition

Another month gone by but this time I've had an excuse as I've been cobbling together all my bits & pieces to make 2 wall hangings & 4 small framed collages (I only achieved 3 but that's fine.....)

for this event starting today! the official opening is in a couple of hours - it'll be good to see them all together. Best of all I'm in the 'Artists' section on the website (at the bottom but I'm used to that & deLIGHTED!) & no I don't think that being a maker is second best coz I'm one of those, too ;)

a sneak peak of the 2 hangings about 3 1/2 ' x 1 1/2'  - edit, forgot to say this series is called "between the tides" hope it will last me the rest of my life! Did you see how well the kind gift of the screen from Linda Stokes represents my interpretation of the little hills of wiggly sand left by sand worms? (3 'spirals' on the sandy colored linen, below) Couldn't have been more apt ;) Thanks again, Linda!

 What else have I been doing?

 a visit to Mallaig
a fathers day card, meant to be a silver birch but it's a little stiff! I like the feel of it tho. My mum wanted one for her birthday so I drew a Scots pine, can't find a pic tho... 

Went to the Fairy Pools to see what all the hype was about - see above pic borrowed from Google. Suddenly our guests all had this lovely place on their list - it was featured a while ago as one of the top wild swimming placesI knew I'd been there about 20 years ago & I was sure I would have remembered if I'd been to the 'Blue Lagoon'!

the Youngest & I went to have a look. I've kept the person in, above, for scale -you can see it's a great bowl of space with a thin river coming down from the hill

 I'd heard about this arch just under the water & had considered swimming under it to embrace 55, with one of the kids pulling me thru with a rope. I gave myself nightmares imagining myself or the kids getting stuck under water in the 'tunnel' Well, it's a foot wide, about a meter under the surface, just unde the white of the water'fall' in the middle of the pic. I looked at it & didn't feel the need any more (the 'anxiety' nightmares stopped, too!)

 It's a beautiful place, but it's just a small place

 turned into a motorway with toilet stops visible along the way, a lot of men in wet boxers (no, really not my fantasy!) & in the pic below you can see how all the edges are eroded away.

In fact the GF of the Youngest was going to do her dissertation on the purity of water at the top & the pollution of it at the bottom once it had passed thru all of the chemicals on the skin of the lovely visitors swimming about in it. The DH was quoting the Eagles "call it Paradise & kiss it good bye"

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE our visitors, they keep the Island open, but I don't like hype.  I know I wasn't in the middle of the water with a wide angle lense, but it's a little deceptive isn't it, the hype?

 Very exciting to see Pilot Whales on the way back down the Island, my VERY FIRST! Sadly, they were a little far in the loch for comfort, apparently, with the possibility of getting stuck but they managed to get out into the deeper water later.

I was even excited about this beautiful moth!

& joy of joys, whwwn I started sorting out the pics for this post this was happening outside the window - 2 chicks at the top with stubby tails & a resting parent below them.

 They were very careful in feeding first one then the other

blurry but I love it!