Saturday, 31 December 2011


Wonder what 2012 will have in store? Lots of fun and creative energy, I hope! For all my readers  - I hope you have a fulfilling New Year, with lots of health, wealth and happiness!
till next time

Saturday, 24 December 2011


Happy Merry Christmas Glitter Graphics Greeting animated glitter graphic, picture, image for Myspace comments, Orkut, Friendster, Hi5.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a joyous New Year!!
Hope Santa is good to you all.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Digital Photography Class

I have got a good digital camera, but I must admit that, most of the time, I point and shoot, keeping my fingers crossed that the pictures turn out. Most of the time I am lucky, but sometimes I could wish for more. When I heard that there was to be a photography class held in the Community school, I signed up and just hoped I would not make too much of a fool of myself. 

There are five of us in the class. Two members (plus the teacher) have, what I would call, professional cameras, I am in the middle, and the two others have reasonable, but slightly older digital cameras. Our first assignment for the class was -'juxtaposition of circles and lines'. Phew!! I wandered round the school looking for lines and circles, and it was really amazing how many I found. I deleted loads, but was quite happy with these remaining photos.
 Window blind cord.

 Door handle and lock




Drawing pin

I enjoyed doing this, but still like my landscapes better. Guess I am not arty enough.
Till next time.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Tana Lawn

 I have definitely lost the impetus to blog regularly. It is not that I have little to share, but that the time just seems to get away from me too easily. Anyway, I am on today!

You will remember, perhaps, that I was given a lot of scraps of Tana Lawn a long time ago - years in fact!
I decided I was going to make a log cabin with foundation piecing, drew out a block I liked and photocopied lots of this design. I only had scraps of the lawn, albeit some of them were a reasonable size. I really enjoyed puttering away at this, and laying out lots of permutations of the log cabin on the floor.
I sewed four of the smaller blocks to make bigger blocks and eventually got this -
Next I had to decide what kind of border I wanted. If I put on ordinary cotton, it would have been too heavy and eventually have made the lawn tear or wear badly. I decided on a piano key design, using the material I had -

The photo below, with my husband's feet sticking out, shows the top completed. It still has the papers behind the border, and these will not be taken out until I get round to sandwiching it, prior to quilting.
I have still got quite a lot of scraps left, so I might make another top in a different design - later!!
Till next time.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Summer's End

I can't believe it has been a month since I last blogged, but the time has just flown. Our weather has changed radically since this time last month. Our grandchildren were here and having fun on the beach in August.

The dog was on its lead, because the previous day she had taken off over the dunes after a rabbit and disappeared for two hours!! She came home on her own, happy but exhausted!!

Since then the weather has deteriorated. Last weekend we had our first gales, which is really early in the season. We had a weather warning out from the Saturday night, with high winds and torrential rain until late Monday. We woke up on the Sunday morning to no electricity. It was off from 7.30am till 6.20pm. No ferries or planes could get out, as the weather was too rough, so the repairmen had to wait until it calmed down a bit, before they could get out to repair the break. Only ten houses were affected, but we thought it was the whole island. We had just hatched quail from the incubator and had one new one chick, so the woodburner was on high the whole day to keep them warm, whilst my husband and I went round in t-shirts, trying to cool down! The winds were between 55-60mph, so that was not bad. The wild geese are back early and eating the grain, which has still to be harvested. It is going to be a long winter!

Whilst the girls were here, we had our yearly horticultural show. They entered the visitors' section as usual, and the elder girl got three prizes for-
1. Making something from articles found on the beach (she thought the dried seaweed looked like reindeer antlers.)
2. Shellcraft

 3. Painting/drawing of a Sanday view. (The Wetlands)
Unfortunately the younger girl did not get anything. There were a large number of visitors this year, so the competition was fierce.

Hopefully we will get an Indian Summer later on in the year, but for now I am going to read, as it has been raining on and off all day!
Till next time,

Friday, 5 August 2011

House Name

House names can be quite personal, but when we moved here a few years ago, we liked our house name. The only thing was, there was a bit of a mix up with it. The locals called it one thing and the incomers another. The sign on the gate did not help as it was neither one nor the other, as it was not spelled correctly. The sign was very tatty, and I wanted to repaint it, but did not know which version to use.
I rather liked the local version of the name, but when we put it on the computer to order something, we didn't exist! When we looked up the deeds for the house going back to the 1700s, we found the name was not the local version, but the English one, so that settled it. My husband took down the old sign and sanded a bit of wood for me.
I told you  that I had been speaking to Prof. Michael Barnes about Viking Runes at one of the Soulka Weekends, but he told me about the Pictish Ogam alphabet, and very kindly sent me a copy of it - thanks Michael!. (the Picts were here before the Vikings) 
I decided to paint the original name in large letters, the ogam symbols above the letters and to include the local name in small letters underneath. That way I covered all bases. I also tried to design a Pictish looking symbol. I am really pleased with the results. My husband has to sand the edges and varnish it, and then it can go on display.
Till next time.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Felt Workshop

As you know I have been using good old Orkney fleece and Kool Aid to dye some wool for felting. My daughter has been running story workshops, with the children making the characters out of felt. I am going to send her down some samples of fleece to play with - these are the latest to come out of the crock pot -
The weather has not been very good the last few days, so the girls and I thought we would take part in a felt workshop. I was really looking forward to it. I had bought the sponge and the felting needles from Ebay, and the sponge was sent in a nice box.The needle were sent in corrugated cardboard, because they are so sharp, and I think this is a good way of storing them. (sorry about the picture - I was rushing!!)
The nice thing about it was we did not have to leave home, because the teacher was staying with me. You've guessed it - it was my eldest granddaughter, who is eight. She had had a lot of felting lessons, so she taught me how to make a 3D toadstool, and my other granddaughter, who is six, made one as well.
It was great fun and she was a very positive teacher, giving lots of praise to both of us. Here are the end results. Mine is at the back. They all have stems on them, but I wasn't taking good pictures today.

As I said previously, the weather is cold and wet today, so I have been looking at the pictures from last week and sighing -

And just to give you a laugh - we are being careful with our ponies, keeping them off the grass, in case they get laminitis, so they are either in the stable or the field shelter. What a long-suffering look on the the pony's face, but he still let the hen stay!
Till next time.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Indigo Dyeing (Photo Heavy)

I promised last time I would tell you about the indigo dyeing session we had at the house of one of the Sanday Spinners. It has taken me some time to post it, as we have our granddaughters up for a holiday, so very little time is left for sewing. 

One of the ladies bought an indigo dye kit years ago, and it was decided we would all be able to dye something, as the kit allowed for 2-3 kg to be dyed. The link for the dyeing instructions are here, and if you scroll down the page you will see how we proceeded. 

We met for a short time the night before the session, to make up the stock solution and used a yoghurt flask to maintain the temperature.

The next morning the stock solution was mixed with water and spectralite in a large plastic tub, whilst the fibre was soaked in water, prior to dyeing.

The yarn was tied to a pole, slowly lowered into the mix and very gently agitated. Prevention of oxidization of the water was paramount, so someone had to raise the yarn out the mix, whilst the yarn was squeezed under the liquid, to prevent oxidized drips going back into the tub. This sounds really complicated, but it worked well. We had plenty of opportunities to have tea and cake, when we had to wait to go onto the next stage

I decided I did not want to dye spun yarn as such, so I washed and carded some fleece and borrowed a dizz, so that I could make some pencil roving. I also brought some commercial thread, silk hankies for spinning, silk throwers waste and a carrier rod. You can also see the rest of the fibre the other ladies dyed, below.  

Hope you enjoyed this.
Till next time