Well that's us been home for two weeks now and this is me only just getting around to sharing some photos from our holiday.
Our children are back to school here in Scotland and I am back in my creative space full time with an endless to-do list to work through.
Let me show you some places of inspiration that we visited this summer in Ireland though. I'm so glad we went on holiday two weeks earlier than we normally do as we went right in the middle of the heat wave back in July and enjoyed the best camping weather ever!
We love camping away out west on the Dingle Peninsula, waking up to the sounds of the sea and going for a wander on the beach whenever we feel like it.
I took the above photo on an early morning beach walk. So peaceful with the mist rising and the sun reflected in the a pool left by the tide.
On the hottest days we drove round the peninsula, along to Coumeenole. This is one of my most favourite places. The towering cliffs behind the beach make it a real suntrap and the sea actually feels warm here. It can be dangerous for swimming but if you're careful and respectful of the sea, it can also be great fun playing in the waves.
The island in the distance is Great Blasket Island and the bit of land on the right is the most westerly part of mainland Europe. I think that's why I love it here so much, you just can't go any further west. It's the edge of the world as we know it, next stop America.
Coumeenole from above on the Slea Head Drive.
We saw a lot of these unusual moths every day. It's a 5 Spot Burnet Moth.
Something that we did this year that we have not done in years past (we've camped here three times before) was to jump into the beautiful clear water from the the little pier. At high tide the water actually came right up over the corner of the pier there. It filled up like a swimming pool and got really deep. Great fun for jumping in!
It was definitely the hot weather that made the water here look much more inviting than in years past.
We went into Dingle town a lot and took a boat trip out to see our old friend Fungi the dolphin. He has lived in Dingle Bay for 30 years now and still delights people of all ages with his antics following boats in and out of the bay.
I've been visiting Dingle on and off for 18 years and met Fungi once under water many years ago. It was an amazing experience. Lovely to see him again this year, even if it was just from a boat.
Before we got to Dingle this year we spent a few days down in Co Cork. I had been there many years ago and it was really nice to visit again.
Kinsale looked beautiful with all it's planters cascading with petunias all around the harbour.
We enjoyed tea and scones a lot during our holiday and although this place in Kinsale wasn't particularly Irish, it was absolutely beautiful with massive fresh hydrangea heads in vases and fresh sweet peas on all the tables. The attention the detail was impeccable even down to the violet flower on the cream. The scone was delicious too!
Tea and scones at The Vintage Tea Room and Gift Shop, Kinsale
Kinsale was lovely for a wander. Lots of surprises up little side streets like this colourful corner. I don't know how the Irish get their hydrangeas and petunias to flower so abundantly. The ones in my garden are certainly not like this!
We liked this cute little pub in Clonakilty as well. It was just as quaint inside.
Back in Dingle we found this new addition to the town since we were last there.
The Dingle Music Shop.
We walked in and were immediately offered free lollipops and my daughter was given a short lesson on how to play the mini accordion. She came away able to play the scale!
They host small concerts in the shop a few evenings a week and sell a variety of instruments as well as CD's etc.
Back out on the peninsula we enjoyed some stunning sunsets.
Sunset from Ballydavid
So all in all we had a wonderful break. Met so many lovely people along the way and gathered lots of inspiration for new work.
Look out for new pictures, brooches, jewellery and trinket boxes coming soon.
My next event is at Birnam House Hotel on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September. I will be there as part of the Exclusively Highlands Art, Craft and Food Fair from 10 - 5 pm each day.
I should have my 2014 Calendar available to buy by then. It has gone to print and I should get it within the next few weeks.
Here is a sneaky peak at June.
'The Shielings' Felt Landscape Picture
My Etsy shop is reasonably well stocked with a new batch of brooches being listed last week including this wee yellow tweed bird and the bright blue leaf.
I have also listed a variety of Pendants and Earrings. I'm planning to make more matching sets in time for the Birnam fair and will make some available online as well.
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