Thursday, 29 August 2013

As August Ends

As August comes to an end we have been enjoying an influx of butterflies to the garden with an especially large number of Peacock's on the buddleia. They often fly into the house and I rescued this one from behind a curtain and then it just sat on hand for ages!

We've also had some stunning sunsets this week. Snapped this shot from the back garden but really should have jumped in the car and driven to the top of the hill as it would have been amazing from up there.

In the creativity department, I have been starting to build up my stock for my next event which is at Birnam House Hotel on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September

I'll be exhibiting as part of the Exclusively Highlands Arts, Crafts and Food Show.
10-5 pm each day.

So first of all lots of new felt had to be made!
Here is a sneaky peak at some purple and turquoise merino and silk with some angelina fibre thrown into the mix. The clematis just happened to match.

Brooch production has started in earnest. Here are some leaf shapes and I also have birds and ivy leaves in the making.

A variety of brooches are already available in my Etsy shop here

Leaf Brooches £12

Some new felt jewellery pieces include these felt heart pendants and earrings.
This set is available now at £30

More pendants and earrings will be available individually or as sets soon.

It has definitely started to turn a little Autumnal here with rose hips and rowan berries abundant and the harvest being taken in.
This is the view from one of our kitchen windows. I have been enjoying the contrast of the shades of pink in the wildfire and honeysuckle against the gold of the barley fields. I think I'll use that in a felt picture sometime soon.

Exciting news about my 2014 Calendar is that all the Artwork for it is finished and a copy is on it's way for me to proof. I will have a few new felt pictures for sale as soon as they have been mounted including this piece called 'The Shielings' which will be June for the Calendar.

'The Shielings'

£195 Framed 
£145 Mounted/Unframed

I will post details of how to buy the Calendar and the original pictures once I have the Calendars in stock and the pictures back from the Framers.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Our Visit to Ireland, July 2013

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.

Brooches £12
Available here

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.

Pendants £22
Earrings £18
Available here 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my Blog. All comments are much appreciated and if you have any questions regarding my work, please feel free to get in touch with me at

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Back From The Beach and Open For Business

Just a quick note to say that we are back from our holidays and after a week of no phone or internet at home, everything is up and running again.

We had a wonderful holiday revisiting our favourite camping spot on The Dingle Peninsula in the west of Ireland.

Thankfully we picked the right time to go and were there during that wonderful heatwave in July. 

Days were spent at the beach and evenings listening to excellent music in the pubs.

We went out to see our old friend Fungi the Dolphin who has now lived in Dingle Bay for 30 years!

More about our adventures later.

My Etsy shop is open again with a few new additions.
More pendants and earrings will be added this week and I am working on some new felt pictures as well.

For daily updates on what's new, feel free to join me on Facebook here
If you have any questions regarding anything you see here on my blog, please don't hesitate to get in touch. I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible

All contributed content © Aileen Clarke