Friday, 27 September 2013

Flowers, Fungi and (F)Photos ...LOTS!!!!

I recently had changes to my jaw medication, and had a bad reaction - hence no blogging!
I was a bit concerned that our flowers were dying back in the garden, at the end of last month. I took a walk along the road verge in front of the bay, to see what I could find. These are the photos. There are a lot, but go and get a cup of tea and enjoy!



Hope you enjoyed the show.
Till next time

Monday, 16 September 2013

Giveaway Results

I'll bet you thought I had forgotten about the Giveaway. Actually we have had a really busy week/weekend, and my feet are only now touching the floor. 

I had great fun with this Giveaway, and I would like to thank Fons & Porter for asking me to do this on Daily Craft TV. I would also like to thank SewCalGal for allowing me to advertise the giveaway on her blog, the two ladies who helped me when I ran into trouble with posting, the participants of the giveaway and, finally, my husband who selected the winner from the pile of names in the bowl!! He was really excited, as he likes to read my blog, and he listens when I tell him what my friends are up to all over the world. He knows some of the ladies by name, and even looks at some of the pictures on their blog, when I stick my laptop under his nose. He wouldn't even let me read the winning ticket, until he had read it himself!!

So.... to the moment of truth..... Who won???????


LYNN from Nebraska Views

She has a great website, which I visit frequently, so well done, Lynn. Sorry the rest of you could not win, but maybe next time.
Till next time

Friday, 13 September 2013


It's been a really busy week. We had a dance on Saturday night, with a great band that played both Scottish and modern music. We then had one of the Orkney 'YES' ambassadors come over to visit us (this was about the vote for Scottish Independence), and then I had to go and see the specialist yet again in hospital about my jaw. This is also the last Soulka weekend for the year, so there are lots of talks and activities going on, but I was tired tonight, so we stayed home.
I also had an order for some scarves. I did not know what kind was required, so I quickly wove one, using all different types of fibre (see top picture), and then I dyed some silk ones.

 This is a bundle of the dyed silk scarves waiting to be processed. They are rough and have excess dye, needing to be washed.
 These two pictures show them processed and ready for wear.
 The last four photos show the pebbling effect on the scarves. I never know what effect this will have, and I just love seeing how they turn out.

Must go to bed. I am sleepy. Remember my giveaway ceases at 12 midnight GMT tomorrow night(Saturday). See the last two post for details of entering, and if you haven't entered yet..... why not?
Till next time.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Giveaway and Relaxation

Giveaway - just a quick note on the Giveaway I posted about last time. My friend, Cyn, emailed me to tell me that she was having trouble posting, so I have extended the time limit for you to have a go at winning a free video class on quilting from Daily Craft TV. The extension date is 14th September 12 midnight GMT. Read how to enter here.
Thanks to all my bloggie friends who helped me out with this, by testing my blog and blogging about the Giveaway. You know who you are. An enormous thanks!!

Orkney weather can be really unpredictable. When we moved here, I laughed when someone said you can have four different types of weather in the same day - hot sun, rain, high winds and cold - but it is true! As a result we have learned to take advantage of the weather, when it is good. My husband will down tools, without any warning, and take me a walk along a deserted beach, or we will have a picnic and then go paddling. These times are what lasting memories are made of. He is a sweetie!

After our last visitor went home, we decided to explore Cata Sands, the next bay to us. The sea fills and empties the bay twice a day, just like ours, but it is much larger, and, again like ours, the North Sea is on the other side of the dunes. There is a very expensive house way out on the dunes, and although we passed it, I felt I should respect their privacy and did not take any pictures. 

Why not come with me and enjoy the journey? Get yourself comfy in the back of the Trouper. We will do a little walking, but mainly just enjoy the scenery. Are you ready? Let's go.

The picture at the top of the page shows the bay and the dunes on the left hand side. A few years ago one of the biggest dunes disappeared during one of our famous gales. When it blows here, it really does damage!!

 Where the Trouper entered the bay.

To give you some idea of the size of the bay.

 Where we are heading.

 The way we came.
 Wildflowers everywhere...
 ...especially the thistle.
 The dunes on the left hand side.

 The dunes and gaps were covered in sea rocket. It smelled glorious.

 Over the dunes was the North Sea in all its glory.

Hope you had an enjoyable journey. It was nice having you along.

What a wonderful day.
What a wonderful memory!!
Till next time.

Saturday, 31 August 2013


I was tickled pink when the Online Media Coordinator from Fons & Porter got in touch, to offer me a free video tutorial from their new video class site at Daily Craft TV. There is so much to see there, and I was to get a free quilting class video. I spent ages looking at all the classes and all the well known quilting teachers. I could not believe how reasonable the classes were - from $4.99 to $9.99, and there was so much choice! I kept on changing my mind, but eventually I decided on the above class. I think it was the description below that made up my mind -

This quilting class will give you creative ideas for new projects. These tips and fun quilting techniques will enhance your quilting experience. Here is a complete list of the instruction included in this class:
  • Wool Appliqué by Paula Stoddard
  • Mitered Borders with Sherri Driver
  • Creative Piecing with Strips by Carolyn Beam
  • Fun, Fabulous Lutrador with Heather Thomas
  • Every Quilt Has Two Sides: Different Ways to Approach Quilting
  • Making Charm Square Totes with Sue Marsh
  • Using Dynamic Direct Compliments with Heather Thomas
Prerequisites: No Prerequisites Required.
Class Runtime: 1 hr. 28 min.
Length : 1:28:00

Boy was I going to have fun. It was really easy to access the
video, and it was so nice being able to stop it and start it, go back to segments I wanted to see again and knowing I have a lifetime access. I am going to give you a rundown on this video, but please keep reading to the end of the post, or you will miss out on a fabulous Giveaway!!

I loved the segment on wool applique. Paula Stoddard has the most fabulous patterns, which I drool over. This segment was no exception. She shows a lot of quilt examples, with woolly applique. She gives lots of tips to do wool applique on wool, cotton and flannel. She also tells you loads of info about wool and how to deal with it. I really like the demo on how to press the wool and how to use paper-backed fusible web to make a pretty quilt block.

The fool-proof demo on mitred borders by Sherri Driver is inspirational. Sherri's instructions are so precise and easy to understand, and she talks you through the whole process. She shows you exactly how and where to mark the quilt, how to pin it and where to sew it. She also talks about the 'Magic X', where the seams cross and how to sew this, so that you get exact points. Great demonstration. 

The demo, 'Creative Piecing with Strips', shows you how to use up that overflowing box of scraps that everyone accrues, if they are quilters.Carolyn Beam cuts her scraps into strips and then skews her strips, to make a nine inch block and then adds patches to make a bigger block. She then goes on to make a different looking block, with the strips being horizontal instead of vertical. She demonstrates the construction of the blocks in detail and also shows ways to use strips in traditional blocks. Definitely a good way to use up your scraps.

I bought some Lutrador the last time I was over on the Scottish Mainland, but I was not too sure how to use it, so I was really pleased that Heather Thomas went into great detail of different techniques to use on this material. She painted it, sewed it, printed photos on it and thread painted it,made lace from it, using a heat gun to melt it and generally showed how flexible this material is.

'Every Quilt has Two Sides' has Laura Roberts and Joli Sayasane, Assistant editors from McCall's and Quilters Newsletter respectively,talking about how they approach different situations related to quilting e.g.what about shop hops, giving away material, favourite prints etc. This was like having a coffee with two friends, who discussed their different views.

Sue Marsh's demo on 'Making Charm Square Totes' made me want to dig out some charm squares, sit in front of the sewing machine and get going. She made it look so easy, and she explained each stage so well, so well in fact that I am going to put this on the list of 'To Do. I loved her tip on assembly line sewing. I always get my blocks mixed up and have to rip them out. This will stop if I use this tip.

The final, short segment was by Heather Thomas again on 'Using Dynamic Direct Compliments'. She showed how to use a colour wheel to choose complimentary colours to make the your designs more interesting. A lot of quilters have problems choosing colours, but using this method gives you dynamic, vibrant quilts.

I had a fabulous afternoon, watching this video. It was like being at a quilting class with loads of top-notch teachers, only I could stop the video if someone came to visit (which happened) or if the phone went. I thoroughly recommend you go and have a look, and to make it even sweeter.......
Giveaway, Giveaway, Giveaway, Giveaway

Fons and Porter have enabled me  to let one of my blog readers have free access to a quilting video of their choice on the Daily Craft TV site. All you have to do to enter this giveaway is -
1. Become a follower of this blog and leave me a comment telling me you are a follower.
2. Go to the Daily Craft TV site and decide which quilting video you would like to see, if you win. Leave me another comment, telling me which one you have chosen.
If you do this, you will have TWO chances of winning. I will let Fons & Porter know who has won, they will send me the access code to pass on to you. Easy!! The closing date for this giveaway is Saturday 14th September at 12 midnight GMT. I will be in touch thereafter.
Good luck!!
Till next time

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

For The Love of Hand Embroidery

I have to grovel (yet again!) to Jane of Jane's Fabric and Quilts, as this post was supposed to be up as of last Monday!! Life, as usual got in the way! We had a friend visiting, whom we hadn't seen for nearly twenty years. It was really great to see him again. And then I had to go back to see the Specialist about my jaw. I had just finished a course of 168 antibiotics and was feeling free. Unfortunately I have to take another course, so that was a bummer!

But to get onto the above exciting news!Jane has gathered together a group of ladies who enjoy embroidery, and every week you will be able to see what the ladies have embroidered with Presencia Finca Perle Cotton Thread, which Jane sells in her shop, here. You can see the programme of events, by clicking here, or on the link below the picture above.

Jane has already posted a beautiful embroidered door hanger for a child's room here, and Kris embroidered a beautiful pincushion! I can't wait to see all the creations. Hop over and have a look.
Till next time