Thursday, 22 April 2010

Inspired by The Isle of Skye

Along side the madness of trying to get stock ready for the Open Studios weekend as well as new work to send out to my stockists, I have been making a couple of things with my new yarn that I bought on Skye.

'The Peat Bog Cottage'

These little 'Peat Bog' pieces incorporate the rich golds, greens and burgundy shades.

'The Peat Bog Croft'

This cuff also includes some of the green and gold sections of the yarn.

While this daisy necklace, cuff and earrings set include the purple and blue sections.

The earrings are a new idea. I just used beads that I had in the box but I think they would really suit being teamed up with silver foiled glass beads. Might have to nip into Bead Crazy in Perth this weekend!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Meet Emma Siedle-Collins

One of the things I love about going on holiday is meeting new people. Imagine my delight when mentioning the Isle of Skye on my Blog back in March, I had a nice comment from a fellow blogger and mixed media artist living on the Island! I said we would seek out her studio when we revisited the Island earlier this month and we did!

Meet Emma Siedle-Collins in her beautiful Heaven's Ocean Studio.

Emma and her husband David run this beautiful studio by the sea at Camuscross looking out to Isle Ornsay and the mainland beyond.
It is a stunning location and a perfect backdrop for David's fabulous watercolours and Emma's driftwood mirrors and mixed media work.

Look at that view! Emma and David also run a B&B in their lovely home next to the studio and keep a gorgeous garden as well.

We really enjoyed our visit here and were made to feel incredibly welcome. Emma and I could have chatted for a week and still found more to say. We have a similar love of colour and the same desire to try new things. We both love working with lots of texture and hoard bits and pieces, gaining inspiration from our stash as well as the sea and surrounding landscape.

I just loved this corner with it's colourful wall hanging next to the natural colours of the drift wood and wicker chair.

This combination of bright colour against the natural raffia and cork floats also caught my eye.

As I said, Emma likes to try her hand at new things and has been making these gorgeous cuffs and brooches recently. Again, I really like the backdrop of natural wood for the bright colours.
The cuffs are an intricate mixture of texture and stitch, each one different from the other.

Emma makes stunning pieces of drift wood wall art as well as mixed media collages.

It's great meeting creative people online to share ideas with but even better to meet them in real life. It's hard to gauge what a person is really like online but I found Emma to be friendly, warm, good fun and unpretentious.
We swapped a few bits and pieces too and I look forward to using her painted papers in a future project.
As we love Skye so much I'm sure we will be back before long and I hope next time we visit we can stay a while longer and really explore this lovely area.
Visit Emma's blog here.
And her website here.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Wonderful Colours of Skye

I find the colours of the landscape and the sea around Skye so inspiring and find the same colours are encapsulated in these amazing seaweeds and shells.

I took the photos above at Claigan Coral Beach near Dunvegan. There are no sandy beaches on Skye due to the geology but this coral beach is just beautiful. It was a wild and wet day when we visited so no fabulous photos but these close ups capture the beautiful colours and textures to be found on the shore.

I bought these yarns from The Handspinner Having Fun in Broadford. That's the shop I blogged about last year and Theo very kindly gave me a little freebie for mentioning his shop online.

I chose these colours as they include all the shades of sky, sea, grass, heather, hills and seaweed.
Can't wait to get started with them.

I also picked up this great Italian scarf in the charity shop in Portree. Doesn't it just look like rippling waves. I wonder if I can bring myself to cut it up!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Such a Great Time

Well I feel like I've been away for a month not just eight days.
Five days on Skye and three at Glenfarg Folk Feast and I am just full to the brim with new ideas and stories to tell.
What a great time we had on Skye. Stunning weather the day we arrived with fabulous views over to the mainland with it's snow capped peaks.

We did get a couple of days of wind and rain but I didn't mind at all especially as we had not taken the tent and could listen to the howling gale from the comfort of the hostel.
It's always a good laugh staying in a hostel. I like the sociable aspect of it and enjoy meeting people from all over the world. Many a game of cards was played and the children felt totally at home and were exceptionally well behaved.

We took the opportunity to walk the Quiraing this year.
We parked at the top car park and walked all the way down through this spectacular scenery.

The path was easy going and mostly down hill. We met a few people coming at it the other way and they were pretty peched out. I'm glad we took the easier option. Our wee one got a shoulder high from Daddy most of the way (pretty impressive as he was also carrying the back pack!) and my son had to be goaded a bit here and there to carry on. They loved the little lochs on the downwards track though and spent ages throwing stones in while we spoke to a nice photographer chap.

The Quiraing itself is an amazing geological feature where the land has slipped and left a towering cliff faced ridge that runs for miles down this peninsula. Climbers and experienced hikers do all sorts of mad things up here to get on top of the ridge but we were happy to just wander through it taking in some of the best views that Skye has to offer.

The other great thing about Skye are all the fantastic galleries, studios and museums there are to visit. No matter what the weather there is something interesting to do.

The Museum at Staffin

This little museum is run by a local crofter who we had the pleasure of meeting the day we visited. The museum displays a marvelous selection of dinosaur fossils found locally here at Staffin. It's a fascinating area with a tremendous history.

One of the places I was very excited to visit was Shilasdair, The Skye Yarn company.
They dye all their own wool here with plants from Skye and around the world. There wasn't any dying going on while we were there but it was still worth the visit. The shop and workshops are situated on the Waternish peninsula which is to the north west of the Island. The area really reminded me of the Dingle peninsula in the west of Ireland with rugged headlands and open views out to sea.

Rainbow Yarns at Shilasdair

These beautiful cashmeres really caught my attention especially that gorgeous sea green one.

Sheepskin Rugs and Throws at Skye Skyns

Just down the road from Shilasdair was Skye Skyns. I'll have to write a separate blog post about here as we really enjoyed our visit. Look at that stunning view from the showroom though!

Ian Williams Ceramics

Next door to Skye Skyns is the lovely Brae Fasach Studio. We met artist and ceramist Ian Williams here and enjoyed chatting with him about his work and the area.

Heaven's Ocean Studio

One of the highlights of our visit to Skye was visiting fellow Mixed Media artist and blogger Emma Siedle-Collins at her fantastic Heaven's Ocean Studio. Again we had such a lovely time that I'll write a separate post about our visit there.

So as the sun is shining and Spring seems to finally be here I must go and tackle the gigantic laundry pile and get some of it hung out to dry. Then I might get a chance to start on some of the new ideas that are brewing after all this great inspiration.
All contributed content © Aileen Clarke