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!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

A Summer Hello Part One

It's been a lovely long summer, busy with the season tho & we've still got just over a month to go before it all quietens down.

I've been continuing with my weekly squares, quite a collection now but I need to keep up with the the mounting & framing...


 Primrose & Forget me not

 Sail in the Sound


Tulips (sold to a lovely B&B guest)
this is half way thru the challenge of Made on Monday, making a 5x5" piece for one year

Before the season really started  we were able to enjoy the proud moment of The Middlest at his Passing Out Parade at Dartmouth. Lots of photos in my fb album ;) If you remember he is a Marine Engineer, Officer of the Watch but in working for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary they have to train so they are able to work alongide the Royal Navy in times of conflict. I prefer to think of him in his mucky boiler suit at the bottom of the ship, but that's just being a Mum ..... He's lost the beard & looks 10 years younger!

Been working hard over on the Isle of Raasay where I was commissioned to help with a 14 x 5' wall hanging for their community hall. We are progressing tho, slowly but surely.

 the parts of the Community that have no fear

 their work, love the rhododendron shrubs!

 mint green of the hills

 inevitable wall & a bit of rust
 a natural collage
 inside of a boat
certain spring - I do get carried away with the surrounding area when I go 'on location'

I took time out to go to a peg Loom Workshop, run thru the fabulous wool shop down the road from me Handspinner Having Fun led by Sarah of Wood Ewe

delighted with my square rug, good for under my feet on the concrete floor in the studio

 we got a few wonderfully misty mornings & yes, it's not the lens it's inside my little point 7 shoot ;( I will invest in a quality point 7 shoot with Macro, so exciting!

So meet Dizzy, yes she came with that delightful name ;) A couple sent their grandson to the vet to put her down & when she leaped out of the basket in rude health he refused & decided to rehome her.  We were quite upset when we lost Willow last November - we'd been told she was 4 yeas old when we rehomed her 3 years previously & suddenly it turned out she must have been 14 plus when she got liver & kidney failure & diabetes all at once. So sad. So we wanted more of a provenance for the next cat & altho dizzy is 9 years old & only accepts affection on her terms (she's much more used to us now after a few months) we thought there was no point in scouring Scotland for a 2 year old when there was a lovely cat that needed a home just down the road.

 a little tart when she wants to be
 with sweet stubby little legs
 loves the stair game but you need a very long bit of paper to avoid those claws!
instantly at home in the fabrics in the studio. Great to have a cat in the house again - she now walks calmly past Tam & he generally keeps his head well down, knowing she's in charge ;)