Sunday, 25 April 2010

6 squares on a rainy day

We're paying for all those lovely days with some typical wet misty dreich weather. I don't mind, couldn't llive here if i did & it meant I got to spend some time in the studio & finally the greenhouse. I uncovered my staging, from winter debris, brushed it down (time was it got a good scrub!) & sewed courgettes, cucumbers & spinach in my newly, locally bought compost...which looks like old birds nests! I'm organic, but only once I've got whatever it is into the garden, I can't be chasing about the place for or spending a lot on the really good stuff. I don't use chemicals or pellets & actually the idea of nematodes, if I wished to spend money on them makes me a little squeamish - don't like to think of friendly parasites killing a slug from within. I am able tho to smear greenfly & cut slugs in half when they've eaten my seedlings! I'm a woman of contrasts & ain't nothing gonna change me now  ;)

The first is from a crate of beer (one of many!) that my sister, along with her lovely new husband & my gorgeous 18yr old neice brought up when they joined my parents who were staying in a self-catering cottage 3 houses down from me. The eldest also got a few days away from studying & we had a great but exhausting family time. Next visit hopefully my brother & girlfriend will be able to join us, & my cousin &.....! I tried to have something to do with my hands on the go when we were sitting chatting - made a few cards & also stitched the 2nd square. Middle of the week I was desperate to scrape some paint around, so I did.

I was in a bit of a quandery re the 4th square. My friend Jetta died last weekend after being ill  in hospital for a few weeks, from old age - she was 88 in March. I'd been asked 3 or 4 yrs ago to look after her garden & loved working there until my hands got all nervy & a little arthritic, when Dave kindly took over a year ago. Every week, bar a couple each year, all that time, we would have coffee together, when I came in from the garden & chat about anything & everything & I shall sorely miss that friendship. My worry is showing her face world wide - there was a picture on the order of service that I've used for the square that brought tears to my eyes. But I can imagine her thinking about what at least 3 generations younger than her have done exposing themselves to all & sundry on the www & so I gave her some privacy & put a piece of cloth over her face. I hope that's ok.

The next is a weather forcast for our paying guests & the last some pieces from my papers drawer.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Tuesday, 20 April 2010



I'm joining in the handwriting with Jackie Cardy but I'm not sure how to get this on my side bar, any suggestions?!!!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Last part of the walk!

You must think I've been travelling for miles on this walk - it probably only takes half an hour & I'd be happy to take all those kind people who've commented on what a lovely place I live. (you could always camp on the (small)lawn ;) I do, & I'm looking at it thru new eyes doing this little excercise - I'm so glad people share their walks in blogworld, it's a great record for me, too.

At the Point are some rock pools & of course, more lichen. What fantastic shapes in Nature

Some primroses, of course

A view of part of the village thru those favorite trees of mine, from the other side.

Tam's favorite watering hole.

And finally, on the home stretch. My house is the one nearest the telegraph pole - the actual pole is opposite my neighbors but the wires are in fron of my house along the track. I designed a Christmas card of robins on the wire, love the higledypigldy behavoir of starlings on the wire & am saddened when the swallows gather there in the Autumn, but they aren't even here yet! The odd crow dominates the wire sometimes & the buzzard generally sits on the pole next to the wire.

My six squares (despite the fact that my parents are staying in a cottage down the road!)

My favorite potato packaging, a sorry attempt at rust dying, a piece of rust, the pink & turquoise squares were using bits of my painted papers that I'd made into Christmas decorations last year, but they looked like very expensive labels,so didn't do well - they're cards, now & second from the end, bits from my box.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

To the Point

I'm almost at the Point! These silver birch are some of my favorites.

These are some boulders I need to negotiate, under the trees. The surface is so detailed.

Full of veins of quartz.

extraordinary lichens.

A fence to climb thru but it wouldn't keep out the deer.

the wiew to the right,

The view to the left.

This is the Point, the whole point of the walk. The kids fish here, off the rocks.

 You can feel you're
 in the middle of nowhere.

It's paradise, really, heaven on earth.

Friday, 16 April 2010

More of the walk

Carrying on with my walk round to the point & back, here are some of those blood red rocks - what a color mixed with the lime green of the seaweed, my next collage combination.

Looking across the Sound to the mainland left of Ben Sgritheal
(Screel) is the Sandaig Lighthouse, Gavin Maxwell writer of Ring of Brightwater lived there but there's not a trace of his ruined house left.

Our dog makes a walk even more worth while. He just loves the water, couldn't keep him out if you tried! The houses behind are on the opposite side of the bay to us. It's lovely looking out at night seeing all the lights, even tho we are remote here we're not alone!

Walking a litle further there are these wonderfully seaweed draped rocks, looking quite surreal. I look at them & immediately see a textile piece - I'd possibly use artistic licence & add in the lime green & blood red. 

Looking further into the water are more colors. Tam & I walked thru here so I waited a minute listening to the curlew (we only ever see one) & the oyster catchers who certainly make their presence felt. I like the bubbles, anyway.

Next time I might even get to the Point!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A walk out

First my squares - a little bit of wax resist (& too much ink!) Aileens gift of scrumptious shiny fabric, testing out how much a stamp pad ink bleeds (this is a popular card, I need more), layers, bits & pieces from my box, the detritus of work.

I went for a walk today & as has been done before, I recorded it. I was inspired by Aileen's post, too - what a beautiful place I live in! Across a track in front of our house is the beach, rocks, shells & at low tide, sand. A path to draw you in & a patient dog.

Some rocks jutting out of the sand, this is specially for Aileen ;)

Some land art by some kids staying in the self catering cottage near by - you can just see, a third of the way in from the right, just under one of the rocks, a Ringed Plover. I tried to get closer but it woud run away, so fast it had me in stitches.

There used to be an oyster farm run by the local estate. Now there are just the oyster cages left laying on the beach, rusting, gradually dissapearing. I had an idea to make an arch for the garden, getting a welder to simply bend it in the middle & stick it in the ground either side of a path. Too complicated, they are huge & I'd have had to ask the factor.

Worm casts in the sand.

And shells, of course, tho strangely no oyster shells just here.

It seems a long way to Ben Sgrtheall, that special hill on the mainland across the Sound, (that hill that I walked up last year) When the tide is so far out there is such distance all around. Those trees against the sky are some of my favorites. I love their bare branches & will miss the burgundy haze when the buds break. But then I will start to enjoy that delicous lime green & I will move into the next season. I'll walk some more soon.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Virtual into reality

Had a wonderful visit from Aileen at Aileen Clarke Crafts (on my blog roll) & her family on Thursday. I don't suppose I thought I'd ever meet anybody from this wonderful blog world I dip into with great regularity & it was like we'd known each other for ages.

We talked about lots of things & it was all over too soon, but she was v helpful about promoting myself more by joining various groups on Flikr (it looks scary but I'll give it a go!) & linking to my website. She made me realise that I can't go on for much longer on my ancient sewing machine,   I owe it to myself & my work to use the best tools I can. She gave me a wonderful bag of shining bits & pieces & I've already made a square for that day from them....might even stretch to a collage!

Can't believe I didn't take a pic of us but her lovely other half did, I think & she might let me have a copy for the blog archives. I look forward to reading all about her visit to Skye when she gets home.

No other pics today, either as my D & youngest have gone on a walk to the Point of Sleat on this beautiful day. With the camera & the dog. As it's such a lovely day there probably won't be any customers in the studio, they'll be scrambling up hills, so I basically have the day to myself, til the middlest needs picking up from work (poor thing, working in a hotel kitchen - good lad) this late afternoon.

I do, however, have to remember to put the chicken in to roast this afternoon....!

Decided to add this pic of old. Doesn't the center bit of background grass really pop out at you? An intersting optical illusion.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

April squares

6 April squares for 6 April showers - I'm sure there have been more than 6 showers, we had a real hoolie on Monday, raging wind & rain, a perfect day to be inside working. A complete contrast to Easter weekend when we were out in the garden in brilliant sunshine. Lots of visitors about, things are looking good.

The first two squares are bits from my box & chocolate wrappers from  a friend; (she didn't share it with me!) denim for a cuff - I was trying to make some cuffs with the denim - I have more than 10 pairs of jeans the kids have grown out of - but I need to invest in a denim needle, methinks! Easter sacrifice, the underside of a ripped label with paper that was wrapped round packets of fags. Being an 18 year ex smoker I object to using anything to do with cigarets but how could I resist that color! I might make an anti smoking statement collage using all the lovely papers I come across at work!

The last is flower doodles - I got the last 2 mied up as I doodled in a brief idle moment on Monday, then on Tuesday I had a wonderful day of yoga before going to work Tues pm. A friend I take classes with arranged it as our yoga teacher goes away for about 5 months over the winter & we sorely miss her. She just got back in time to join us which was lovely, changing from teacher to pupil. My friend is training to be a yoga teacher & I'm hoping she'll teach thru next winter. The day was fabulous & as well as stretching, chatting, relaxing & eating we went a little into the chakra (sp!) which I know so little about, they are within us in certain areas & each represent everthing from joy to intelligence to creativity & the point of sayig all this is the symbol of each chakra is a lotus flower, the petal count & color varying depending on where they are. I didn't know this & altho I don't know how to draw a lotus flower I drew my little flowers the day before the class &  just felt a little bit of a connection...I'm rambling, but isn't that what a blog is for?!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Easter weekend

Yesterday was a better day. Our B&B guest went out at 6.30am to take pics of dawn. I decided I might as well crawl out at 7.15 but I didn't go far at that ungodly hour!

I've left the sunrise image slightly skew as I couldn't see a thing thru the camera! I'd only had one cofffe too ;)

This is the weekend when the island explodes into life & so far we've had one visitor to the studio. There is hope yet for the rst of the weekend, but anyway, I won't give up as there is always hope & it doesn't stop me being in there enjoying my lovly, newly created quite organised space. Just need to sort a few more bits & pieces!

Here are my squares for March. I see blue & gold as a recurring theme. I do love blue & gold.

Have a Happy Easter!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

A mixed day for April Fools

The last 6 squares of this month - a sketch of a birch branch, well, if I keep practicing...!, a bright color wrapped bit of dowel I was going to throw away, more slow cloth, the colors of Easter bits of rubbish I found at work in the supermarket, & corrugated cardboard food packaging from work (it does have advantages being there as I do love corrugated cardboard!)

I could "see blue sky thru the tears in my eyes" this morning, lovely. It got me out into the garden to fill in a trench helpfully dug by the youngest with lovingly mixed bought compost, homemade compost, loam from keeping turfs from stripping the beds of grass & a bag of 6m old weeds, composted down back to earth. Wonderful stuff, nothing goes to waste here - the neighbors call me the Compost Queen & others a 'shite hawk! Even tho we (well, great builders) built this house 9 years ago in the middle of a 1/4 acre field it's taken a while to dig over the flower/veg beds. & there's no point in putting in a plant bigger than 18" because of the wind.  We're doing it slowly but surley. The shelterl belt, willow, native broadleaf( & I had to have a Eucalyptus), is doing well, so now we're starting to plant more inside it. I've learnt so much from this damp & exposed garden, right plant right place etc, well, in theory. My first garden in Buckinghamshire was the complete opposite. I've got to sort out the greenhouse & get some seeds going, I'm a little late but hopefully things will catch up if I get on with it!

My lovely little daffs are finally out. I plan to have the place covered in them one day. The taller ones are on their way, but they blow over too easily up here, so I won't plant any more of those.

This rather gloomy pic shows how low the snow is, down to about 1,000 feet, but nothing round us.

I got one fool today, the youngest got up to see the whale in the bay; I love it! Well, he 'gets' me loads of times, pay back time :) We've had otters, seals, dolphins & porpoise in the bay so it wasn't impossible that a Minkey whale or basking shark might have swum in from the Sound.