Monday, 28 April 2014

Open Studios North Fife, 3rd, 4th and 5th May 2014

My biggest event of the year is finally upon us! Although I have been working towards this since the beginning of January, I feel like I have put it all together in the last couple of weeks. I will have my full range on display including Felt Pictures, Textile Trinket Boxes, Felt Jewellery, Textile and Resin Jewellery and Printed items.

I have made five larger felt pictures especially for the event along with a selection of smaller pieces.
Crofter's Cottage above is pictured next to one of my 12 x 12 cm pieces in a standard 25 cm box frame. It gives you an idea of the scale I've been working on and the quality of the larger frames.

Below is 'Iona Waters' which is slightly bigger.

I've been adding to my range of Textile Trinket Boxes as well and hope to sneak a few more makes in before the end of the week.

New jewellery pieces include these Felt Heart Pendants with large metal focal hearts.

More rings too!

Some new Textile Cuff Bracelets have also made it off the work table. I really enjoyed making these as I haven't had time to make any for about a year!
These ones are a mix of sari silk, velvet scraps and merino fibre.

 I have a good stock of printed items as well including the new Mouse Mats, Mugs, Notebooks and Cards.

 I took my mugs up the Quiraing on Skye for a photo shoot. It was very windy and bit showery but I got these quick shots.

I did a quick count when I was packing my brooches into a box and I have made over 100 this year! New to the range are these Donegal Tweed Leaf's in lovely soft colours.

I have also made quite a lot of my Textile and Resin jewellery in different designs. Mostly in my favourite purples and turquoises but there are a few other colours in the mix also.

These are just a few snapshots of what I have been up to. My favourite thing about Open Studios is having two whole rooms to display my work in instead of a six foot table at shows. I also really enjoy welcoming everyone along and giving you all an insight into some of the processes involved in making my work.

And I am delighted to say that I now accept card payments at all my events! This is a fantastic little device which I have used lots already this month. It's quick and secure and very convenient.

So come along and see me at 
Venue 31,
64 Commercial Road, 
KY15 7JS

I'm having a preview night on Friday 2nd May 7 - 9 pm and will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 10 - 6 pm.
Free refreshments are available and we have a comfy couch and rest room facilities for weary travelers (and a daily newspaper and lots of cake for less interested husbands!)

You can find directions and details about all the other participants taking part on our website here

Friday, 25 April 2014

An April Afternoon on Raasay

Following on from my last post about our quick trip to Skye, we made an even quicker trip to the Isle of Raasay on the day we were heading home.
We went as foot passengers so didn't see very much of the island but the views back to Skye from the ferry were just stunning.

I had a handy supply of Isle of Skye Bakery lemon and poppy seed shortbread with me. SO delicious!

I think the Skye looks even more amazing from a boat. So many parts of the island are inaccessible by car so you are seeing a different perspective altogether. 

One of the reasons I wanted to nip across to Raasay was to visit this tiny little shop.
The Silver Grasshopper is run by Fiona Gillies, a jewellery designer living and working on the island.

Fiona's shop is run from the old telephone exchange and is just the cutest little building!

Alongside her own silver jewellery, Fiona stocks Isle of Skye Candles, Caurnie Handmade Soap and Isle of Raasay Chalk Boards other Raasay gifts.

 Fiona with her faithful companion Saba.

I bought some lovely Washi Tape.

And oh look! What's that in a basket on the window ledge? A selection of 
Aileen Clarke Crafts cards! heh heh. It was actually because I had sent a batch of my cards here last month that I knew this little gem of a shop existed. Fiona had found my work on and placed a wholesale order.

It is Fiona's mission to stay on the island as so many young people have to move away for work. She tells me she'd like to expand and create jobs for other young people as time goes on and I wish her all the best with it.

So we didn't see much more of the island, just took a wander along to Inverarish and back. I really would have loved to traverse the length of the island to Arnish and seen Calum's Road having heard the story and listened to a radio drama all about it. If you don't know the story, there's a book available and you can read the blurb here.

We followed rainbows home back through all the beautiful scenery that was mostly shrouded in low cloud on the way up.
This is the Nevis Range from Spean Bridge.

I have lots to share in my next post about new makes for Open Studios North Fife which starts next weekend.
I'm having a preview night on Friday 2nd May from 7-9pm

Here's a sneaky peek at some new prints cards, the originals of which will be on display.

Cards £2.50 each

Find me at 64 Commercial Road, Ladybank, KY15 7TY
On the corner of the main street through Ladybank and Church Street.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Quick Trip to The Isle of Skye!

Our school holidays were quite early this year, first two weeks in April and since I spent the first week working really hard to get stock made for the Makers Market on the 5th, we decided to take the children up to Skye for most of the second week.

 It takes us about 5 hours to drive straight there but we stopped a few times on the way as the scenery between Fife and Skye is just stunning.
Eilean Donan Castle above is always a welcome sight. You know you are close to Skye when you see this iconic castle.

It's been three years since we were on Skye and it was really great to see all the sights again. Here is the Old Man of Stor taken on my phone as we drove up the Trotternish peninsula. Not a great photo but it's not easy to stop at the side of the road here.

We were making our way up to The Quiraing, a fantastic geological feature in the north part of the island, and we just had to make a stop at Mealt Waterfall and Kilt Rock.

The Quiraing was looking resplendent in the Spring sunshine.

David took the photo above on our 'big' camera and I took the one below on my phone. Life looks a lot greener in my world! hahaha
That's my son being a 'Quirangatang'. 

I always think that photos taken looking back along the ridge look really impressive like you have hiked all the way up here but really it's a very easy walk. You can drive up to the top of the pass and park then walk along the foot of the cliffs on a relatively easy path!

The last time we walked The Quiraing we went from the top all the way to the bottom then got a lift back up for the car. This time we just walked to the middle and explored the main features. Below is known as 'The Prison'.

Another walk that we enjoyed was up to the Fairy Pools in Glenbrittle. We had been here before as well and just loved it. The water flowing from the Cuillin hills is such an unusual shade of turquoise and all the little water falls are so enchanting.

We must go back in the summer time and go for a dip! My daughter stuck her toe in and assures me that it was absolutely freezing. Well it would be as there was still snow on the hills!

We stayed at the Skyewalker Hostel at Portnalong again. I blogged about this great hostel 3 years ago and it is still just as good if not better! You can read that post here 

There are a few oddities around the place to keep you amused.

We got mixed weather on this trip, mostly good. The thing about Skye though is that the weather can make the scenery look even more dramatic.
Below are the Cuillin brooding beneath a dark cloud. I'll be using this as inspiration for a picture for next years calendar, without me in it of course.

I love this little crofters house below.

We did get one rainy day and spent it going round galleries and cafes etc.
I was delighted to bump into my friend Emma at Skyeworks Gallery above The Isle of Skye Bakery in Portree. I had no idea she'd be there and found her running a workshop on how to make a textile wall hanging. 
Here is Emma with some of the pieces produced during the workshop.

Emma and her husband have a beautiful studio in the south part of Skye. You can read a full post about it here

As the rain was just not letting up this day, we decided to put on our boots and coats and walk to Talisker Bay and just get really wet.
It was worth it. The bay looked very dramatic with it's black sand, big black boulders and rugged stack standing our against the grey sky.
You'd think I'd taken this photo in black and white!

The next day was lovely and sunny again and we took a little trip over to Raasay but I'll write that up in the next post.

Really busy getting ready for Open Studios which is in TWO WEEKS! Read all about it over on our website here

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Morningside Makers Market Saturday 5th April

Come along and see me at The Morningside Makers Market this Saturday in Edinburgh! 
As well as my full range of textile art and craft I will also have plenty of Open Studios brochures with me.

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