Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry christmas & a Happy New Year!

I had a wonderful commission this year to make the wedding invitations for my Eldest & his beautiful fiancee's wedding

 carved lino block starfish, variety of grounds using direct printing 
& gelatine plate mono printing

There's a 'living by the sea' theme, his from Skye, hers from the coast around Seaford & they've chosen to get married in Hastings, just down the road from there.

 'sandy beach' ground samples & sketchbook

 Of course they could have gotten married in Fiji as that's where they met on a diving course & altho I'd love to have gone to a wedding in Fiji it's a little easier to get to the south coast of England! So there's a tropical theme along side the beach theme, hence the blue starfish ;)

 samples of cards with a variety of mounting papers & a bit of hand drawn seaweed curled round the fish

The chosen design in it's completed form, crooked sorry! & winter lighting but you can see the metallic blue dots picked up on the left. That was a lot of dots! 40 invites in all including a couple of spares. I hope I get one!

(oh so bluury, sorry!)

I fitted in a few Christmas cards too for the second fair I did which was a lot better than the first

adapting my cat by putting a Christmas scarf on her, inspired by Hilary Beattie. I  so enjoy her wonderful book 'Make it Personal' which I bought really as a companion to the printmaking course I took in January. This is Book 1 & Hilary covers stamps, mainly hand carved/made, stencils, rubbings, monoprints, screenprints & 'putting it all together'. There's a chapter on using thickened dye (dye frightens me) but it's like having a conversation with her & she just tells you in simple steps, what to do with it all.

Some more mono printing using a gelatine plate & direct printing & the cards for the fair below

 so I took my dads advice & produced another coffee pot warmer along with a 'range' of goodies using the red & blue fabric. He was delighted to be told that it sold. Maybe if I call it a 'creative coffee pot warmer'?!

See you in the New Year for more creativity! Lots of Love!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A Winter Hello

It's been a while but I'm still here!

 One more craft fair to go this Saturday! There was a good turnout of tables selling lots of wonderful things at the fair last Saturday, but sadly, not enough of a crowd spending. We'll see how it goes this coming Saturday ;) chin up!

 Going back a bit to mid September, I had the honor of a visit from Julie of Mixed Media & her lovely husband Stewart, staying in our B&B for a couple of days before their week in a cottage down the road from here. It's amazing, you chat to someone thru blogs for 4 years & when you finally meet them in person, they're exactly as you thought they'd be; warm, kind & great to get to know more about. It was a lovely visit.

 She very generously brought me a notebook covered by her fair hands, beautiful fabrics

 reminiscent of her wonderful Horizons quilt, I thought & now I have my own mini version! I've been
using it for notes & sketching.

 In return, I gave her a cuff & an earring to match - I did offer to make an as near as I could matching earring as a pair but now we are twins in our single earring wearing ;)

 When my sister in law visited the following week, there was one day available around work/guests arriving that we could  go off & explore. We chose to visit Sandaig, where the DH had been before with the kids, but in 14 years living here & looking at the Sandaig Light every night from our house, I'd never been. I was looking forward to going over to where Gavin Maxwell (of Ring of Bright Water fame) lived & looking back to my home on Skye.

 I wasn't sure I would be as sure footed as the DH on the 'bridge', specially as I was carrying the small pack at the time... So sil & I went along the path thru the person high bracken instead...which enabled me to collect 5 tick bites, 3 of which reacted with a red circle large enough for the Doc to give me antibiotics for 2 weeks to prevent Lymes Disease. 1 in 20 ticks carry it apparently so I had a 1 in 4 chance & the fall out if you don't have the anti B's is awful apparently. Next time I'll cross the river!

 In the middle of the pic above is a small byre & to the left of that was where Gavin Maxwel's house was, just behind the grassy mound. It was knocked down, what was left after a fire & buried to prevent visitors collecting souvenirs I think.

 & the above is a small part of what he would have seen. Skye is behind the rocks on the top right the coast of the mainland, left.

Such space

 a blocked up window in the byre

looking up from the grass thru GM's boat, well, there had to be rust

& one of the many rock mark pics I took ;)

Here is the actual lighthouse removed from the rocks by Sandaig, when replaced by a modern 'light' (I do find it comforting to watch tho, day in & day out altho at the moment it's invisible in the mist & stormy waves!)  renovated & saved for a tiny information point by the Glenelg to Kylereah ferry crossing, lovely to step right inside a lighthouse.

October was meant to be used for a production line towards the November craft fairs. I didn't want to leave lots of things to make for when I got back from my flying visit to meet my daughter in law to be's parents, & my family. Well, I made a start...

I also put 4 CD sized pieces into Inchmore Gallery, selected & cropped from a pile of monoprints in a wip pile. They've got to live somewhere, haven't they? They'll look good mounted up with a few inches of white around them when they come back.

I made up some hearts from the fabric I was making way back in September at my exhibition & stitched up a couple of books too. Then I got on with some red & blue reconstructed fabric, oh so many tiny pieces to stitch - I may go bigger next time. I took it away with me to hand stitch during moments of inactivity, marking out on the back  the things I wanted to make as I went along.


 Back home I started to cut & free motion stitch a purse, a book cover, a button & a card & a couple of cuffs, with a coffee warmer (I know), a coupe of hearts, a couple of glasses cases, earrings, more buttons, a needle case, maybe even some bits & pieces left over for some tags, inspired by a beautiful one that Sue sent me attached to a Brother bobbin. Oh yes, I bought myself a little Brother, the basic computerized one - frightens the life out of me every time I turn it on as it chirps hello!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

just a few things

Well, I survived the second exhibition of the year, more importantly, we survived the taking of our last child up to university or rather, down to Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh. Which shall I talk about first?

 Lets talk about the above pic first. What is it?!! do you know?

Above is a pic of one of my favorite paintings in the Lochalsh Art Fair which I was involved in again. A wonderful show as usual. I put 3 pieces in; my 3 fish, the monoprinted & rusted hanging & one of the Curlews. They fitted in well but no sales this time. 

 This was Eilean Donan Castle when we came out of Dornie Hall after the opening. What a sight.

 I was involved in another exhibition down in a room turned into a temporary gallery in Sleat. It featured beautiful pieces by Heather Macdermott who is a jeweller but also paints evocative images of the trees left behind by the felling of commercial forests, a subject that is also close to the heart of my arty buddy Janet Soutar. Above is inspiration by Heather

 & above here are Heather's pieces, below x 2 are samples from a 2 hour workshop that Heather ran before the exhibition using inspiration from the forest where the wood was cut.

 This is my piece; 2 hours of fun, chat, playing with wood & wire - I found the rust in the garage next door, they said they had more if I wanted it ;) - & just making something for the sake of making. Can you see I'm using the same color pallet?

 Another guess the image, above. Something to do with our Middlest celebrating his 21st at sea. He came back for a couple of weeks, went of on a visit to Spain, came back for a weekend festival & has gone back to sea again for about 6 weeks this time. We didn't get to see much of him then, so it really is empty nest now (well, a few more weeks of B&B to keep us busy!)

He brought these back for me specially, saw Flamingo feathers, thought of Mum, just lovely!

 Parliament in Edinburgh. I'd like to hear the reasoning behind these bars all over the building. Is it to keep the masses out or the decision makers in do you think?

 As a sop to me, to keep me from crying about the removal of my apron strings from the Youngest, we went to have a look at the beautiful embroideries that happened to be hanging in Parliament for 3 weeks, just when we were visiting! It was a very quick visit & didn't do them justice at all, grabbing quick record shots of a few of the 160 panels but we had to get back for B&B guests.....

 This below is Kyleakin by the South Skye Stitchers, I had the honor of seeing it just before it was sent off, such lovely detail.

 Not sure if I got the panel that the words below belong to but they were interesting anyway....I was a little stressed & emotional ;(

 Above is the Battle of the Braes, in the North of Skye - we stayed there for many wonderful holidays, just look at those women fighting for their men! I think this was the one done by Skye Quilters - I somehow missed hearing about either of these stitching events going on, so I really must become a member of both groups so I can join in next time ;)

I had a lovely visit from Anne of Chocolatefrog
who was up here on holiday. She said some lovely things about my work so my ego was wonderfully stroked, thanks Anne!

She gave me a beautiful package wrapped up in delicious sari silk ribbon & I gave her an envelope of 'inspiration bits & pieces' including a bit of rust & 'coral' from the place she was staying; coals to Newcastle! In the package was this beautiful book mark which as you can see I used immediately, so lovely & such detail. You can still see the fern clinging on to the walls around here. I love it!

This a piece of fabric I made at the exhibition, I'll show you next time what I made out of it & who I gave part of it to.......