Saturday, 19 December 2015

Happy Christmas & a wonderful New Year

Wishing you all Happy Christmas & a Wonderful New Year

aconite & nasturtium
I don't normally commit to  weekly make but thought I'd join Kate Bridger in Made on Monday when she saw my work on the Textile Arts fb group. A necessary incentive to keep working ;) 5" x 5"
 not too difficult........

nasurtium, foxglove & geranium


fennel seed head

The last 3 were the result of some printing I did for cards, the day before my last craft fair end of November, which went ok...

A walk I went on when my sister in law visited in September to the Fairy Glen. Very popular with the summer visitors & I hadn't been before.  The weather then was similar to now, altho it's probably warmer this month!

 you either love or hate these little 'statues'

 This little gap was quite tricky for me, one to get thru (I'm only a size 14) but as you can see from the 1st pic of the fairy castle it's quite high up & what you can't see is the massive drop to the right of the pic. A good challenge for me to go up there (for all of 3 seconds & I didn't look down) for someone with a bit of vertigo. Why would I let that stop me? You should have heard my heart beating!

I had a go at the DMTV 3m challenge, a 'diary sketchbook' took me right back to my 'square a day' from 2010. I certainly didn't fill a page a day but I enjoyed what I did & will probably just carry on.

I probably wouldn't use a recycled book for a sketchbook again tho as it put me off 'having' to white out pages or stick down my sketch, not good for a procrastinator like me  tho I do love a recycled book - maybe I should just have one already prepared laying around.

The feathers above  is probably the page I'll enter for the competition they are running.

So NOBODY tried to guess what I was making with the knitted 'patches' !!They've made up my first handmade by me pair of knitted legwarmers - the last leg warmers I wore were for ballet & were a pretty pink in my very early teens ;) I so love these, exactly how I envisioned them. You should have seen me with my tongue hanging out with consentration relearning how to attach 2 sides with crochet on the internet.

The first warmer had enough capacity for 2 legs so I took a strip off, knitted some more & made some hand warmers, before I saw the ones on the DMTV blog! Just a bit of fun stuff....for me! I will try some 'twiddlemits' in the new year if someone shows me locally how to knit neatly (the link is to my fb page but it could disappear in a sea of 'Christmas' so do google it ;)....... worthy knitting I think. They are for people with dementia & the little attachments give the person something to fiddle with.

Beautiful day last week before the wind & rain came back & washed it all away. How lucky am I to live here?

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!