When people ask me what my hobbies are, I immediately say patchwork, then beading and finally spinning/dyeing. Recently my granddaughter asked me for some pictures of our sheep for a school project, and I realised just how involved I am with them.
This is the first lamb born last year. The ewe had twins, but she rejected the second lamb, which was very weak, so my husband bottle-fed it.
Our ram was also hand-reared by my husband. The sheep are really friendly, and always come over to see what you are doing.
I got given this fleece by one of the islanders. It is a Jacob/Suffolk cross. In the picture above part of the fleece has been washed and then it is carded on a drum
The carded wool feels so soft, after it is taken off the drum carder. It can be spun on the spinning wheel. or felted.
This is actually a felted bag shape (below), but I did not like it, so I cut a bit off, so that I can make a clutch bag out of it. I intend to embroider the flap.
I also made some felted balls. One of them is embroidered and another has various types of material and thread embedded in it. I want to experiment more with these.
Remember last year I experimented a lot with Kool Aid and a crock pot and got some interesting results.?
My granddaughters using a diz, so that it is nice and easy to spin.
A variety of colours for selling.
This year I have started experimenting with natural dyes, and I have organised a dyeing workshop to take place in June, with the tutor coming from another island. It should be great fun.
I am amazed just how involved I have become with wool. Now I will just have to learn how to feed the sheep and it will be a full circle (and also please my husband no end!)
This is the last update from last year (thank goodness I hear!)
My husband and I go to a Lunch Club for over fifties once a fortnight in the Community School. Once a month we get a speaker after the lunch, and at Christmas we have a slap up Christmas meal and a party. For the last couple of years I have written a sketch and my friends Irene and Jim help my husband and I 'perform' (if you can call it that!) This year Irene was given two saris from a lady, who was seriously ill. We based the skit on the poem 'The Green Eye of the Yellow God' and generally had a right carry on. We did not get pictures on the day, but dressed up again, so that we could send the pictures to the lady who was ill. You can see my daft husband dressed up as the Major. Unfortunately the 'Colonel' could not come.
I told you in this post about my adventures at the Burns night on the island, at the end of January. I got my picture taken and here it is in the paper -
Well, I think I have blethered long enough. The wind has risen again, but the dog needs a walk before I go to bed. Think I will have a read, before I tackle the elements.
You can tell I was really taken with the Raspbery Rabbit BOM that I talked about in my last post. I got all the pieces cut out of the lovely wool my nice friend sent from Canada. I do not usually follow a pattern exactly, and this project was no exception. I buttonhole stitched the pieces down, using my Bernina, embroidered a whipped backstitch for the arms and made sure I stitched crookedly on his nose - whoever heard of a snowman with a straight carrot nose? I added red beads to the French knots for the Holly, more red beads on top of the snowman's heart and bright blue french knots for my rabbits. I really enjoyed this block.
We have had a couple of really nice days, quite cool, but the sun is shining!! I went for a walk yesterday along the track to another beach. Here is what I saw, when I got to the top of the dunes -
Usually this beach does not have any seaweed on it (or people). There must have been a storm out at sea. Till next time. tich
I have often said how wonderful the worldwide blogging community is. I have made such wonderful friends, loving supportive and funny. Look what I got from two such lovely friends, one in Canada and the other in America -
These are pieces of wool to help me make the first block of the BOM from the Raspberry Rabbits It is a really cute block and I can't wait to get going.
My next parcel contained this little beauty with a card about friendship (it is up on my mantelpiece, so no picture!)
Isn't this absolutely gorgeous!! The crochet is so neat, and the colour is just right for my lounge. It is too nice to be hidden under a mug, so it is on proud display, where everyone will see it, along with another one I received a wee while ago. I am really blessed to have two such nice friends. They are always there.
We had torrential rain,yesterday, but I mustn't complain, because the rest of Britain is under inches of snow. The sun is actually shining, between the showers. The picture below was taken two days ago. I rushed out to get it, as we seem to have had rain for months, with the island having flooding in places never flooded before.
Sunrise on the Peedie Sea - tide out.
I am away to cut out a block . Till next time. tich
I still have a bit of catching up to do from my blog break.
In December we always have a Christmas Sale here on the island. It is supposed to be for things that are made in Sanday, so we have handmade chocolates, knitted items, baking, freshly butchered meat and lots and lots of crafts. I decided I was going to take part for the first time since we moved here. I have always taken part in Craft shows, wherever I have lived, so I knew what it entailed. I wanted to make a lot of shopping bags and back packs with a fancy embroidery sign on it and the name of our island and some other miscellaneous crafts.
These are my two tables, before I started setting up in the Community Hall. There were a lot of stall holders.
I did not get a chance to take a photo of the stall, before the sale started, because people started asking to buy things, as I was getting them on the stall. All these photos have been taken about half way through the sale, when the initial rush had died down. You can see my husband having a rest. He always helps me out with my sales. He is great!!
I not only made lots of bags, but I dyed silk scarves, knitted beadie bags, made wire jewellery, loads of earrings, aromatherapy material crackers, dyed wool packs, embroidered coasters (thanks!) and Christmas tree ornaments.
I sold a lot of things and had great fun.
I was very quiet last week. I was asked to address the haggis at the Burns Supper. We usually have a meal and a dance, but this year we had a funeral on the day of the dance, so the supper was put forward a week, with no dance afterwards. I thought I would read the poem, but my husband persuaded me to learn it off by heart! I have real problems learning anything by rote, so I downloaded the free software, Audacity, to help me. You can record things easily using this software. I used to record the course material for the different exam subjects and export them as mp3s, when I was still working. The pupils could then revise their subjects using their Ipods. Much cooler than studying from a book! I used this software to record the individual verses of the poem, and gradually learned all eight verses. I practised in front of the mirror, and my husband kept on thinking we had unexpected guests, when he heard me talking to myself! I was really nervous on the night, but when I got to my feet, and saw the lovely haggis 'fillin' the groanin' trencher', I just let rip and had a good time. I have a West Coast accent, and as Burns was born on the West Coast, I had no problems with the pronunciation. I love Burns. He was such a perceptive poet, and had a naughty sense of humour! No wonder the lassies loved him!
On the tables, someone had thoughtfully provided a napkin with a translation of good old Scots words. They are not so old, as I was brought up with these words! Perhaps they were provided because there were so many English in the hall !
Here they are, with pronunciation in the brackets-
scunner (scun-ner) - feeling of disgust or loathing
canny (can-y) -thrifty, wise
drookit (droo-kit) - drenched, soaked through
glaikit (glai-kit) - foolish, not very bright
fouter (foo-tir) - dither, to not get on with
mauchit (maw-kit) - dirty, filthy
haiver (hay-ver) - to talk rubbish
dreich (dreech) - dull, bleak, miserable
gallus (ga-luss) - bold, cocky, cheeky
Anyway, I think I have haivered enough! It is a right dreich night, enough to make you scunnered. I have got a drouth, so I will go and make a cup of tea and stop bletherin', in case I make you crabbit!
My New Year resolution of trying to blog more often has not been too successful. Trouble is I am a born procrastinator, so I have decided to take Marianna's (of Craftluver Marianna) pledge. Now it took me ages to make up my mind to pledge, and even longer to blog about it, but I am getting there . So far I have-
cut out material for a Dear Jane block,
made templates for another one,
made two cushions,
have two more cut out
experimented with baking with quail's eggs
soaked postage stamps from paper and dried them for my husband's stamp collection.
I now have to think of -
unpacking some more boxes from the shed,
finishing the cushions
blogging more regularly
learning a poem!
sewing a cushion for a friend!
dyeing wool with natural dyes.
This list could go on and on, but I don't want to put myself completely off. If I could get two off the list I would be happy.
I love baking, but never usually find time to make a Christmas cake. This year I found a really quick recipe. I used some of the mix to make individual little cakes. I cut out the marzipan and the royal icing and put them on with apricot jam, but stepped them, so that you could see both.
The individual cakes were finished off with a cherry, and they looked really cute and tasted great. I used the rest of the mix in two x 2lb loaf tins, to make two rectangular cakes, which were decorated with marzipan and royal icing and then sliced. The recipe is below. I did not use currants, but divided the fruit between raisins and sultanas and used ground almonds instead of whole ones. Next time, I would add cherries as well, but it is yummy as it is. This recipe is from the UKTV site.
1. Turn the oven onto 140C/gas mark 1 and put a shelf onto the centre runner.
2. Grease 10 x 10cm tins using a little of the butter and line with baking parchment.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, sieve in the flour with the spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt and add the beaten eggs, treacle, apple and orange rind.
4. Add the fruit and almonds to the bowl, mix together.
5. Finally add in the brandy and mix together thoroughly.
6. Spoon the mixture evenly between the tins and press down gently with the back of a spoon to even it out.
7. Bake for around 1 hour or until cooked. Check if it's cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre - if the skewer comes out gooey then leave the cake in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
This cake can be enjoyed anytime, not just at Christmas! Enjoy! Till next time. tich