Thursday, 30 December 2010

The penultimate day

and the penultimate month of squares. What will I do with myself on Sunday?!

So the first row or 2 I was away in Oxford - there is a vintage fabric piece from the market, bought quite a long length of it, receipts, tags my dad had saved for me( what a great word, that is), bits from my visit to Heloise (thank you ;) & gallery flyers. It's dark , but next to the heart 3rd row down is from the day I finally, FINALLY free machine embroidered a piece of fabric that I wanted to use to make cuffs. ..without the whole thing either being dragged down the feed dogs or a whole reel worth of cotton ending up on the underside. I stitched, stitched some more & the machine kept going & altho I was thinking where do I go now ? it was just so freeing, WONDERFUL! I will practice of course - it looks like a 2 yr olds stitching but now it's worth me reading the '64 free machine design'  articles! Then I discovered after all this time that I already had a darning foot, read every word of the instuctions (for the first time) turned the dial to 'vibrator'  (!?)  & stitched the flower. Well. My eyes are now open. It was quite a moment for me.

The rest are all the usual suspects, the last piece is slathered in acrylic wax, my substiute for encaustic, well, till the little pot runs out ;)

It's rather old news now but I did love my doormat full of snow, the grubby lumps carefully smoothed out by the youngest when asked. I'll take a rubbing or 2 when it's dried out. We've gone to moist air & grey skys but we did have moon filled starry nights for such a long time.

Hope you all had as wonderful a Christmas or holiday time with family & friends as I did, or just a bit of peace & quiet & that those who had to work make it up to themselves somehow.

Tomorrow may bring December's squares if I can finish pinning them all up in time!

Friday, 24 December 2010

This is what Christmas is all about

Family. & trust.

Our boys snow boarding in the field at the back of the house - how lucky are we?

That's all I need for my Christmas.

Hoping & wishing that you all get what you need. With love x

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Love & Hugs,



Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A snow day off work!

We had a wonderful walk into the Cuillins at the weekend, lots of snow in the hills & just about ok driving to get there. They all had a wonderful time sliding down & trudging up over & over again while I watched, enjoyed my extended family 'playing' together & froze my buns off sitting on the snow ;)  I did make an angel, going back to my own childhood & delighted in laying there watching the tiny clouds in an otherwise clear blue sky....for about 3 minutes, tops.

youngest, middlest, the gf, me, the 'dil', eldest.

It was a strange contrasty light with the end of the Cuillin Ridge between us & the sun.

                                                                   Walking on into the Glen

An ice sculpture

& a helping hand ( he had to be pulled out when walking on a thin bit of ice for heavens sake!)

It was truly a winter wonderland here today. I enjoyed my first snow day off work yesterday - the snow had come around here overnight but the eldest & 'dil' just managed to start & finish their journey back to Edinbro after 2 extra days stuck here. The gf can't get back to near Glasgow tho & my DH bravely tried to get the youngest out of the village (up a steep hill) so he could get a bus to school but it was too slippery. Bring back the wonderful (expensive!) Landrover! So we're still a housefull & I'm trying not to be too distracted! I'm happy to bundle up, enjoy the snow while waiting to see if my last craft fair will be on this Saturday. It's out of our hands so we might as well eat mince pies!

& in the garden

I made a couple of brooches as Christmas presents for the 'dil' & the gf, a bit bigger than the ones I started to make for last years craft fairs.

And finally, a month of squares. I was 2 months behind & now I'm only 1 month behind - these are October's squares. In gathering them together, thinking I had lots to make to catch up, I'd find a little pile on my desk hiding under pieces of paper strewn about, or a small pile of them in a little bag for safe keeping, so I wasn't as behind as I thought. Hopefully I'll come across some  for November, tiny collections of bits & pieces of the day tidied into a little square or a piece of an experiment cut away for adding to my squares pile ready to find at a later date. When I empty my pockets I find papers or plastic stuffed in there - I'm always thinking This could be for a square! but take a little longer to assemble them into one place, ready to photograph. It's taught me such dicipline, making these squares, well, & showing them here in an organised fashion & I'll have such a collection by the end of the year, something to be proud of. I'm thinking already of what to do regularly next year, something like a collage a week, something for the studio. I'd like to work thru all my wonderful books & actually make that collage or hanging that I'm always saying I will get round to one day, giving it my own personal spin, of course.

We'll see.

I've shown the top 2 lines already. The 3rd are all the usual suspects except the 'braille' one, not sure if you can see that I've painted a pill packet & highlighted the braille dots. The last 2 strips are the usual again, including a bird stamp used for a Christmas card & the multicolored bear is similar to the sweet 16 birthday card for the youngest. The last 2 squares are the start of my trip to Oxford.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Another craft fair cancelled

due to sheets of ice about the place, but it's beginning to thaw today. I took these yesterday when the stream by us froze over.

I tried to print out some pics of ice to make some photo cards for the craft fair (before it was cancelled) but I'm obviously not using the right paper as they totally loose the wonderful punch you can see on the screen. I've been successful before using Matt heavyweight but not with the ice. Any ideas? Glossy photopaper perhaps?

Ben Sgritheal looking lovely in the sunset.

Not often you see a frozen high tide line.

We've reached the time of year when there's only 1 1/2 hours of sunlight (if it's out at all, of course) in the house & garden. I'm lucky enough to see it across the bay & it only lasts a couple of months or so before it's high enough to peep over the hills at the back mid Januarry, but I'm keen to be here on a sunny day, at lunch time so I can feel what sun there is in my home.This is one of the deer fence posts at the back of the garden (protecting the fields behind the house) showing the level of the sun on the left hand hill at 12.30 pm.

So, I'm up on stock (& down on cash!) due to the cancellations but at least I'll be around on Sat while my eldest & 'dil' are here, getting thru from Edinbro yesterday despite the weather, here for their early Christmas visit. The middlest & youngest are raging at the fact there is no snow here & feet of it everywhere else causing chaos! So, I'm still making one or 2 things as I have the opportunity to keep the table of the last craft fair for a week without haviing to be there. If people can get out of their homes, it should be good.

Some pics of the kind of collage which I started to make last year when I saw  Di Wells on Talking Threads. She used tissue paper, I used thicker paper that I already had with some fine chiffon type fabric. I love stitching thru paper with fabric, you can actually hear it...or maybe that's the poor blunted needle?!  I  like to make my garden work for me too ;) I'm pretty keen on this use what you have ethos, I was already one to use what you're about to throw away, anyway! This year, as last year I have only bought in the silver spray paint for my decorations tree & some inexpensive notebooks. Last year I completely covered them with fabric or paper, very labor intensive, this year I made a square or oblong to attach to the book. (I am still making squares, they're just for sale! )I will search out some more sketchbook like notebooks for next year. These are all stocking filler recession busting prices, something for everyone!

I quite like the reflections, they remind me of digital layers!

Decorations blowing in the breeze

Last but not least, last week I received Lorna's 'everyone's a winner' gift of a day of the dead atc. Scary, but I love it! Thanks so much, you must have had a sewing frenzy!

Monday, 29 November 2010

A winner!

My, but it's Baltic here! I keep photographing Ben Sgritheal, but look at it, & us huddled in the dark under the hill ;)

Interesting ice tracks

The craft fair on Saturday was cancelled due to 'adverse weather' conditions - they might reschedule but I'm booked up! So instead my DH & I went to a print exhibition in the Isle Ornsay Hotel gallery An Talla Gearg. Pam Carter paints beautiful big vibrant pieces, travelling all over the Western Isles but based in Glasgow. She'd invited a jeweller & sculptor friend, a local leather maker & the next door tweed & jumpers shop to show with her & as I went to the opening instead of the fair I was asked if I'd like to add a couple of driftwood mirrors & some cards to the mix. So I did. My first few pieces in the local gallery! Something out of nothing ;)

So, to the winner. I was going to ask my dog but my kind & tolerant DH picked the winner instead as Tam would  surely have eaten the bit of paper.

Linda Stokes is the winner!

So, there we go. I won't be sending the leaves of course as I don't want to break any laws or get the package fumigated! Thanks for all the wonderful input, I really enjoyed my anniversary party & reading every one's ideas.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

A giveaway.

To celebrate 100 posts & one whole year, on Monday, I thought I'd join the giveaway movement. I am always amazed by people's generosity, what a kind lot you are, but I was thinking well, I can't give too much away, I need to use all my stash that I've carefully saved for well, maybe up to 14 or so years, for all the trillions of collage/hangings cushions & cuffs that I plan to make to earn my living, for, well, pretty much the rest of my life looking at the amount of stuff I've got! So, I do have a bit to share, after all.

There's some new fabric, a little bit of my painted fabric some new & recycled (carefully washed if a little crumpled) fabric & organza, a selection of found papers (the date on the Chinese paper is 1999, just before we left the metropolis of, well, anywhere but here really! Some of my papers, some yarn, a foot of inches, hemp & a bit of rust & eucalyptus leaves if you fancy a tiny bit of eco dyeing. There's a gift of one of my brooches which I hope you enjoy wearing or pinning up somewhere you can see it occaisonally.

I shall hopefully draw the winner on Monday 29th, at about noon, shortly before I go to work. Please leave a comment here just giving me an idea of what you would do with one of these things & if you're a follower I'll put you in twice. 

A whole year of chatting to the wide world; I've loved every minute of it!

I had a go a moon photography, I'll keep practicing ;) ! It's been amazing on the water these past few clear starry nights.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

A short post today

as I'm in recovery after the first of 4 Christmas Craft Fairs. It was a fabulous bright sunny day, if a little baltic. I wasn't in the outdoor marquee but I was in the little hallway which leads into the main room, & along with 2 other tables, in a howling gale of a draft which froze my right ear off! The fireplace which normally has a warm Christmassy real fire had recently been converted to gas & was no longer working. Never mind, we had carols sung from the garlanded staircase, just lovely & I could sing along disturbing nobody ;) I felt a sense of Christmas peace, especially having made a few sales, after rather last minute frenetic  preperation.

Some decorations; my painted papers stuck to recycled mount board & my painted fabric (from last year) stitched into a pretty odd shape. I added some creative mess this year but it didn't seem to make ay difference to sales. I haven't cracked the decorations market yet. I'll try some fabric circles with bits hanging off next. Does anybody else out there make decorations?

and some brooches

My cuffs did well so I need to make some more for next weekend, craft fair no 2.

I've abandoned my garden recently & as it was another beautiful day ( ;)  )I was able, as part of my 'recovery' (they're enjoyable if a bit draining these craft fairs) to do a bit of catch up weeding & listen to the garden birds who've returned from wherever they were blown to last week. The sun has just become so low in the sky it only peeps over the first hill at the back of the house at about 12.30 & by 2pm it's gone behind the second hill.  I can see the sun elsewhere  in  the village (if it's out of course!) but it becomes rather precious in the garden at this time of year. It gets high enough again mid January, I think. 

I came across this bouy rusting away on a gravel bed in the garden so as it's falling apart I think I'll wrap some fabric around it & try some more rust dyeing. I should have treated it when we found it to preserve it for longer but there's nothing like a bit of organic decay, things naturally moving on. It's that time of year.

Monday, 15 November 2010

My first mosaic! (with a little/lot of help from my DH!)

Altho of course they seem to be called tiles, why do we call them mosaics (a prettier word I guess)? Thanks for the Photoscape tip Linda & one day I will get to Flikr, thanks Heloise.

Talking of Heloise, I haven't yet mentioned her kind invitation to her home when I suggested we meet up when down in Oxford visiting my parents. It's lovely reading her posts as when she takes us on a 'walk' she sometimes covers my old stomping ground & I can reminisce all the way from up here. I was a little early so I took these.

I never see ladybirds up here so couldn't resist the one hiding in the rust. (yes, my lens needs a clean ;)

We chatted like we'd known each other for ages & altho I had my camera it didn't occur to me to 'document' our meeting, we were busy being friends having a coffee. At first I thought that might seem a little insulting & then I thought sometimes privacy needs to be respected. Having said that I love that I think whenI I'm out & about 'is this blogworthy?' We can choose to show & tell.... or not. She gave me a lovely package of bits & pieces, even some Latin text - now where have my old Latin textbooks gone....!

I still feel refreshed after my holiday & yes we had a pumpkin, only because members of my family came to visit that day. My Mum asked me to carve it & my Dad & I went for a lovely walk locally to gather foliage to add to it. I know it's mid November by now but I never was a punctual person!

So, I went to the Inchmore Gallery opening, to see myself hung! It was a beutifully presented exhibition, pieces of similar color put together, which gave it a lovely feel.

Mine are the bottom 2 of the pic above (I know, ignore the flash)

All the names of the artists are on the Inchmore Gallery website, a wonderful selection of work. So, our first mosaic tiles, a little tweeking needed but, I'm proud!

Fabulous & frosty this morning, beautiful & Baltic! Couldn't resist the little Wren ;)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Been doing some filing

& my wrist is nearly falling off! I do try & sort my photos as I go but the buid up is getting silly now. Then I thought I'd try a mosaic for my photos of Art in Woodstock - I got involved in changing a 50's type photo of a womans face into a mosaic using cat pics...interesting...but not what I wanted. Did some kind soul point me in the right direction of how to make a photo mosaic? I'm sorry, I've lost it in emails or comments.At the risk of loosing the use of my other wrist would you mind telling me again? Thanks!

A beautiful day in Woodstock, also a favorite place of my mother's so she didn't mind being worn out again. I was taken to meet a lovely, artisitc friend of hers then we visited 3 or 4 venues showing various artworks.

These beautiful ceramic mixed media pieces in the Woodstock Bookshop by Debbie Howard; she loves swallows on the wire too! Love that ceramic text.

I would have had any of these pieces in my garden. There were all over the Woodstock Museum's lovely  garden

as was the above by Rachel Ducker & Paul Mortimer, inspired by the work of Breast Cancer care. Amazing to feel the yearning coming off the figrue straining out of the ground. The pink ribbons were memorials.

 A little secret garden by St mary Magdalene

which was showing these beautiful hands by Sioux Blair-Jordan, woodcuts by Diana Johnson & paper sculpture by Kate Bufton. I was itching to draw hands & fold paper!

Hmmm, the flash isn't great but it's a record. These were for course work (sorry forgotten where for) by Laura Ralph in Hope House B&B. Lovely fabrics & mixed media. I hope I credited everyone correctly - I've got the brochure in front of me!

I came away from these wonderful displays inspired & feeling very much part of the art world. I used to drive my friend Lesley mad when trailing round exhibitions like this by saying "I could do that" to which her reply was, when she'd had enough "well, do it then!" So I did/am doing/will do!

Which leads me nicely on to delivering my work to Inchmore Gallery. I took 5 pieces & cards.

The first 3 are part of a series i started almost a year & a 1/2 ago, inspired by Ro Bruhn who I found while trawling the www & wanted to do a class with her, not realising she was all the way down under - inspiring, wonderful work. & Alisa Burke, another prolific & passionate woman & Cloth Paper Scissors (they're easy to find!) It started to come together thanks to all thse people. The top pink one was done specially as was the textile,  (you've seen the hearts before) I struggle with naming my pieces & as this was the first I've framed as opposed to sticking/stitching to bits of driftwood. it 's called Landscape 1. It could be 'from my window' There's a tiny bit of rock pool, Julie! I feel there are more of these to come - Jackie says we have shelves full of ideas in our mnds; we will pull some off.- & they are thanks to pouring over Quilting Arts mag & Workshop on the Web & the generosity of  this wonderful bog world.