Sunday, 3 March 2013


Normally our beach is beautiful. I walk round by the road, or across the bay, depending on whether the tide is in or out, and I never know what surprise is awaiting me. If the tide is out, I can see the sand stretching into the distance, begging me to walk along it. 

Frequently I find a really beautiful stone. This one had particularly nice markings. There was a circle on the face and underneath, but in different positions. I might find an unusual shell, or a beautiful piece of seaweed, and sometimes, if there has been rough weather, some tangles (a type of seaweed) may have been uprooted at sea and swept to shore. 

Our dog likes investigating the seaweed. It must be the smell!!

Recently, I have never seen the beech covered with so much weed. It was like someone had been trying to build walls and passageways. 

Look how high the tangles are beside the dunes.

Look how small Penny is beside the tangles! 

Notice the stones at the bottom of the dunes. They are flung up there during the storms. On other beaches I have seen them totally covering the dunes, but not on this beach.

Now I have told you before, that, in Orkney, the weather changes very swiftly, sometimes three and four times a day, and it is the same with the beaches. I thought it would take ages for the tide to take away the seaweed, as we were having really nice weather, but a few days later ... 

... it was almost clear... but then the next day...

... it was back again.

Sometimes the seaweed is swept up the beech and then the wind sweeps on top of it, to make it look as if it is growing there right in the middle of the beech. I know i have been rambling...


As well as seaweed, the sea brings in the flotsam and jetsam that people discard without thought.
 A brush...
 and shovel,
 a crate lid,
 one right handed glove,
 one right handed glove,
 loads of litter,
 one left handed glove - a pair, who would have thought,

a creel,
 the dashboard of a car (!!!!) and...
would you believe it, one shoe!! How could you lose one shoe??? In the picture below you can see my husband going to look at a crate. He uses them to keep the plant pots close together, so that they don't blow away!

 We really do need to think what we are doing. Our beaches are not too bad, but I would like you all to look a this trailer of a film coming out later on -


Till next time.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

When I was approached by Fons and Porter to review one of their ebooks, I was jumping up and down. It was really nice to be asked to review anything, but Log Cabin...! They must have known it was one of my favourite patterns
What an ebook!! It is one of the best I have ever seen. It is chock full of pictures, tips and charts, and contributors include Ricky Tims, Shon McMain and Marti Mitchell.
The three main types of Log Cabin are covered - Traditional, Courthouse Steps and Chevron, and there are examples to make of each of these patterns by the above named quilters. There is something here for everyone - big quilts, small quilts, traditional quilts and modern ones too. I love the pictures of the antique quilts in the collection of Sara Miller. There are some absolute beauties!
 In my opinion, the cutting charts included in the ebook are worth downloading alone, but when you consider you have a mini tutorial on bobbin work with trapunto AND a step-by step picture tutorial on binding with piping, it does not get much better. This ebook has loads of tips and eye candy, and the nice people at Fons and Porter are giving you the opportunity to download it for FREE!!!!!!!! How good is that?
So click HERE to get your very own copy. You will not be disappointed! I will leave you with one more picture. Drool!
Till next time.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Hexie Play and Goodbye Tex

I thought I had talked before about making a small hexagon quilt out of some of the scraps left over from my Dear Jane blocks. I had seen one started here done, I think, in Joe Morton materials, but I wanted to use the materials which had been sent to me from all over the world, when I started my Dear Jane. I would be able to think of all those kind ladies, when I looked at my quilt. I will do a tutorial at some point, showing how I sew my hexagons, but I have a few pictures showing a little progress. I use Inklingo or Incompetech for the graph paper. The photo below shows a piece of hexagonal graph paper and on it I have drawn some arrows. This helps me keep my grain line true, when I am sewing the hexagons together.

You will not believe there are approximately 134 hexagons in the picture above, and I have only done two rows!! I am working on other projects in between, so this project is ongoing slowly!

If you read this blog regularly. you will know we live on an island off the north coast of Scotland, and we have a smallholding with a number of animals, including sheep. We started off with caddie lambs, i.e. lambs who have been rejected by their mothers and who are therefore orphaned. My husband bottle fed these lambs, until they were able to fend for themselves. One of these lambs was Tex. He was supposed to be castrated, but somehow it did not work, so he became a prolific Daddy and also a BIG ram. Sadly this year we decided we had to change rams, so we got our neighbour to help us get Tex into the trailer to go to market.

Our neighbour, trying to entice the ram with feed.

 Using a gate to get to Tex.

 Nearly there!

 Husband grabs him.

Get in!!


Doesn't he look sad?



The end of another era. Tex is now in a good home over in Orkney Mainland.
Till next time.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What a Mug (Rug)!

 I am a member of a small group of seven ladies (including me) on the Net. We live all over the world, but usually someone emails something each day. We swap patterns, jokes, stories and encourage each other when our sewing is in the doldrums. These ladies are wonderful. This Christmas it was decided we would make a mug rug for each other, and we could use a pattern of our own choice. Now we had plenty time, as this was decided way, way back in 2012, but as usual, life got in the way, and I was rushing to get the mug rugs done towards the end of the year. As you know, my sewing machine is the love of my life, so I decided to make an embroidered mug rug using my machine and quilt on it as well. I bought fancy initial designs for each person and got started. I was going great guns until I received my first mug rug from abroad. My mug rugs were way too small, so I had to start again!

Here are the five mug rugs I received -

Aren't they gorgeous? Each one is so individual and also meticulously done. I love each and every one of them. I decided I was going to use them, when my friends on the island came in for a cuppie. What a reaction they have got! Everybody picks them up to have a closer look at them and they have had so many compliments!

I have learned so much from this project! 

  • Find out the proper dimensions of the project - you can see below one of the mug rugs I made initially, that was too small. I will be able to use it, as the initial is appropriate, but you will notice that I have not bound it yet. After sewing on six bindings in a very short time span, I decided it could be a UFO for a while. By the way, I used the tutorial from this blog to help me bind the rugs.

  • And when I do a project, I usually have a major learning experience. This was mine below!! My iron broke down, but fortunately I had another one. I ironed this rug and thought the stitching looked a bit funny. The second iron must have been a hotter one, as it cooked the thread (Isacord)! The design turned into a shiny, hard bob, which you can't really see from the picture. It was back to the sewing machine, yet again.

Despite all the moans and groans, I did enjoy making the rugs, but I enjoyed receiving the ones back even more so! Thanks, dear friends for all your hard work!
Till next time.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

Here it is February and I still have not caught up with 2012. I have not been wasting time, but trying to catch up with some WIPs and some UFOs. On top of that Blogger decided it did not want to upload the pictures from my computer, so I decided to wait till it was mended.

The photograph above shows part of my table at the Christmas Fayre. I make a variety of crafts, and this part of the table has earrings, dyed and carded wool, embroidered bags (folded) and two woven scarves. The reddish woven scarf has a story attached. My husband was fascinated by my weaving loom. He watched me weaving some scarves and wanted to have a go, but thought it would take too long to make a big scarf. I had bought some special material for weaving fancy fibres, so I cut the fibres for him, showed him what to do and away he went. It was gorgeous!! The scarf was so successful that his sold even before the sale was officially open. I made some more in different colours.

Below is the next part of the table with dyed silk scarves, embroidered lace coasters, wine glass coasters, scissor keepers, flower hair clips, bangles and notebooks.

The end of the table has more silk scarves, jewelry kits, aromatherapy crackers, beads and findings. The willow branches behind are from the next stall.

These are some of the embroidered bags and backpacks I make. 

My husband always helps me with the sales and eggs me on to do greater things. We had great fun at the sale, and it was nice catching up with islanders we had not seen for a while. Hopefully this ends 2012,and I can now post about 2013!!
Till next time

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Trifle Recipe

I can't upload any photos, as Blogger has an ongoing fault. I will upload them as soon as possible!! 
Still having great problems with blogger, but after a lot of trouble, managed to get these up.


Birthdays, Christmas and New Year, we always have trifle. My grandmother made it and so did my mother, the same way. When we got married, my husband said, 'That's not a real trifle. It hasn't got cream on top of it!' But he had a bowl of it and then another. I did offer to make a 'proper' trifle after that, but funnily enough, I was told to make it just like my mother did.

To make the trifle, you will need-

Harvey's Bristol Cream
2 Jam Swiss Rolls (no cream)
Tin of sliced peaches
Custard powder
Tin of evaporated milk
Raspberry jelly

  • Drain the juice from the peaches.
  • Fill a large whisky glass almost two thirds full of sherry, then add a small amount of juice from tinned fruit. (have a small glass of sherry for yourself, just to check it tastes good!)
  • Chop up the Swiss rolls and pour over the sherry mixture. Mash to mix well in.
  • Make custard, using the evaporated milk, instead of ordinary milk (don't add any water). Make it slightly thicker than normal and pour over sponge/sherry mixture. Arrange the peaches  on top of the custard. Leave to cool completely.
  • Make the jelly, but instead of making it up to 20 fl. oz. (1 pint), make it to 17 fl. oz, with the water and the rest of the fruit juice. 
  • Carefully pour jelly over the custard and peaches. Leave to set.
  • Serve with cream or ice cream. 
  • Stay in or you will be breathalised!
Till next time