Thursday, 22 March 2018

Spring Forward

I've had a fabulous few months, busy of course, getting ready for my second go at having a stand at The Creative Craft & Scottish Quilting Show (used to be called Creative Stitches) at the SECC in Glasgow.

 If you remember last year I bludgened them into sponsoring me with a demonstrators stand - I just felt that the time had come, it was a step in the right direction, as I myself had been inspired by people like Lynda Monk, Kim Thitichai & Wendy Dolan, who were there last year but missed them this year - I think the same show was at the NEC the following w/e. Val Hughes was there tho along with Helen McKenna & Bex Raven, a great selection of textile peeps, also so many beautiful quilts but guess who was too busy talking about their own work to take any pics?

Sorry! If I'm invited back next year I will take some, I promise ;)

'A Summer Meadow' above,  was finished just in time, on the stand of course ;) I made over 90 flowers, it turns out, just while relaxing with some tv over the last few months - lots of them were made chatting with  the family over Christmas in Ireland & the Youngest said he couldn't go anywhere without a flower being attached to him somehow!

At last year's show I was given at the last minute a corner stand, open on 2 sides  with a metal pole in the corner - it meant I lost a wall but had more 'people passing' space, but i had to do something with that pole! I made bunting of course, above, a 1/4 poles worth for each of the 4 days, just gathering bits of fabric together & stitching away.

I enjoyed looking at it over the summer but by the end of the year I decided it needed to move on so it became 15 kinda crazy cards - they did well, I'm glad to say.

I'd been watching on fb lots of beautiful examples of snow dyeing on Maggie Grey's Workshop on the Web Group page but was quite envious simply because we had no snow up here, well, a smattering ages ago, see my lovely snowdrops below.

I didn't dare go to the actual course page (for those who are members ) as I had soooo much prep to do & I might have been just a little distracted. On arrival at the SECC in Glasgow, tho, I spied piles of deep unmelted snow (just there on the middle left by the white canopy)

& inspired by my textiley friend Jenny visiting me, I said that if i could find some Procion Dye at the show, I'd give it a go in my hotel room. GillianCooper Studio did not let me down.

Jenny, who very sensibly had gloves & I shoved some snow into the (ex display) basket & into a bag. It didn't leak in the lift, thankfully

& it all washed out of the bath in the morning

It was a bit 'peeley wally' as the Scots say up here but the fun this time was in the process.

earlier  in the year, when we actually did have a tiny bit of snow, the Knit (stitch) & Natter group got together a few lengths of knitting & fabric

& it somehow made it's way ont o the posts outside the cafe at our wondeful community building to greet the customers when it reopend in January - graffitti knitting in Camuscross! they've now been made into scarves to keep lucky peeps nice & warm in this chilly March.

I was delighted to be asked to run a couple of classes at the local college, the first was an afternoon of monoprinting - the best comment I heard was 'how have I managed to get this far in life without monoprinting' We did a bit of a comparison between a glycerine & gelatine plate made by me a la Linda Germaine  who I've been following for years & the bought Gelli Plate -both are very generous in sharing fabulous clips, mesmarising to watch & learn.

Not bad for 3 hours work - I had only 3 ferns in my garden & they gave some beautiful results along with lots of other bits & pieces I had fun finding in my studio for the class. I provided cloths for mopping up & one student really took the value of these precious cloths to heart, below. The next pic is a piece of lace from a blind, so guite strong,  piece of art in its self.

The next couple of classes I gave was based on my meadow piece - there were 5 but one got away. Great fun making lots of flowers from recycled ribbon, straight stich & 'ruched' against a knot, so satisfying & my favorite, simple straight stich in a circle in a square or 2 of recycled fabric, pulled against the knot & it becomes a flower, magic. Lovely work.

So that's the end of my quiet winter, B&B season starts next week! I have the great excitement tho next month, of visiting my grandson for his first birthday, Deacon is one already, unbelievable......I just can't wait.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

a bright new year's day

Happy new year! What a lovely bright day to wake up to.

a little walk behind our house

puting up a small flock of ringed plovers in front of the house

which flew under the rainbow

We went away for a family Christmas to our house in Ireland, a generous legacy from my uncle in law

a huge local tree (it only looked this tidy for the photo!)

but I do love the 'natural' tree in front of our home on new year's day - click & you can see the sunshine in all the droplets.

We've worked on the Irish house, a bungalow really, getting it ready to rent out  this Spring as  a weekly holiday home

It was a 'working holiday' but it was also a rest from arranging a local Christmas fair in that fabulous new building I was telling you about earlier this year, (above)  An Crùbh - our shop (I've been selling a little work from the arty crafty corner of the shop!), cafe (delicious coffee & cake with a regular get together to knit (stitch) & natter) & huge hall (where I had an exhibition in June, below & organised 19 artists to get together for Made in Sleat in July) 

my exhibition

So, did I mention I was a Grandmother?! The eldest, who called me 'Granny Em' & his lovely wife delighted us with the birth of Deacon James in April, & nothing can really prepare you for the emotions brought on by being given a grandchild.

 I'm going backwards here (well, that's just me) as above, we had a lovely visit here on Skye in October (instead of Christmas) - Deacon's first flight!

 The above 2 are June - I went South for a family wedding & managed a visit too, of course (you've got to grab the chance when they live 650 miles away!) & was so glad to be able to have a photo of 4 generations (my Dad is in his Home & can't really travel far)

 Proud grandparents in April - he's so tiny here compared to his 6 months in October pic!

I flew back from the June trip up to my Youngest's graduation, a First in Cell and Molecular Biology from Herriot Watt in Edinburgh.......a son of mine!!!!

Just thought I'd slip this one in - my birthday flowers & a June!

I've not being doing much new work - I could blame recovery from the shoulder op a year ago (it's 99% good as new now) or that I did one year of a weekly square & just stopped or that as my Dad got better in the Home (but not enough to come home) & watched my Mom go steadily downhill, living alone at home & despite morning carers coming in to check she wasn't in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the stairs  (she did insist in going down in the middle of the night with just a small torch.....) a weekly visit from my brother & aunt & 3 pop ins from her most helpful cleaner. I have managed to visit almost every 2 months since my Dad got ill 2 years ago - I don't resent it al all but it does take time. My last visit was November & it became very clear that I couldn't possibly leave her at home on her own anymore, I wouldn't have been a responsible daughter, so we got her ready to 'move back in with Dad' not that she wanted to & she promptly went into heart failure. So now she is 'convalesing' in the residential bit of my Dad's home recovering & settling in slowly. back together, with care & safety (with only one night in hospital thanks to the fabulous NHS!) The relief is enormous. I'm down again next month to sort the house out.......

I did make these small strips above when there was a challenge on the  Sketchbooks & Experiments for Textiles fb group - we swapped fabrics & paper & I got the exact colors I love working in!

I also made this piece above based both on the tiny 'meadow' I sewed in front of our lovely community building - below

where the community hanging now resides in it's rightful place, in the wood burning stove nook in the cafe, below

& on flowers from my garden. I don't think I'll ever get tired of the inspiration I find in my garden.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

A Podcast & the Stitching Show, Glasgow

After a while absent, it's good to be back here, especially when I can tell you I've just been interviewed on my first podcast! The lovely Tania Ashton Jones of TJ Frog  makes beautiful Dorset buttons - I remember when I took her workshop last year I thought I'd never be able to make anything quite so neat, but  I did, thanks to her guidance every step of the way. I'll let you know when she's gone 'live'. In fact it's that which spurred me on with writing this post (which of course has been in the making for a very long time)

EDIT here's the link - if I sound a little over annunciated well, I am, I was terrified I wouldn't be able to speak (not like me at all!)

 Bluebells in the Wood

The other thing that encuraged me to get on with it is the fact that this time next week I will be setting up my stand ZE12 (with the help of my lovley DH) at the Stitching, Sewing & Scottish Quilting Show  at the SECC, Glasgow. I felt, over a year ago, that havng been to the show for many years to stock up on supplies & be inpired by the lovely group of textile artist there, it was about time I had a go myself so was invited to show & demonstrate my work. What an exciting opportunity (& I get to go to the show as well!)


During the Podcast we talked about lots of things - I was terrified & excited all at once as I DO NOT like speaking in public (I did put a pretty top on & some lippy to give me confidence ;) If I sound like I'm over annunciating, well, I am, just in case I stumbled all over the place.


We talked about my own squares, see all pics above

 & below.

The ones I was making each week for a year, just finishing in time in the middle of November.

We also talked about the community project I was invited to help run at the beginning of last year on the Isle of Raasay which I'm delighted to say was beautifully unveiled & even got me a small pic in the local (well, Highland) paper.

 There's me in the corner under the 14x5' hanging.

Another community project I've been involved in has been for our own new building at the top of the 2 villages here called An Crubh (ann crewve) which means hub of a wheel, literally, but it will become the hub of the community & officiallly opens on March 23rd with a shop & post office, a cafe & a huge community hall.



 The project has been, of course, squares, & there have been quite a few small workshops of people gathering together to make squares in lots of different styles. It's a small fundraiser but instead of raffling it off (having received a contribution per square) it was decided to hang it on the building as a reminder of the fun we all had making it. I'll post a pic when it's finally stitched up, but here are 3 of the 40 below!

I coulnd't resist, I just had to go to the very first Yoga class there despite it only being a few weeks after my shoulder op. I only used 3/4 of my body & oh my goodness, you could tell I hadn't been doing much! Proof that I need to get back to it as soon as I safely can. This pic was the second class, there were 18 in my class! I plan to try my first headstand post op by Midsummer's Day - the surgeon did say it could take 6 months & altho he's signed me off the physio therapist has kept me on 'assisted exercises' for a further 5 weeks ...... At least I can drive now, doing the gears very gently.


Prior to the op I was working madly on textile pieces, some reconstructed fabric below destined for a book cover, a purse or 2, a cuff & a heart or 2 - nothing like a production line when you're on a time limit!

then, so that I could sign all my wall pieces before my op (I thought I'd be really strapped up & not able to write, but I was on the stretching before I even left hospital!) this happened!

I was mounting away & altho I was careful not to put too much pressure on the shoulder holding the ruler, I left my finger hangingover the edge .....Only because I was having an op in the not too distant future (infection risk!) did I end up going to A&E for 3 stitches but it healed up beautifully ;)

My first lot of creativity of 2017, birthday cards, the first one being on the 6th, a special person who gets the prototype & for the first time I was late but I did manage a very slow stitch.

If you've got this far, thans for reading!