Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Some Colour To Brighten Up These Dull Days

It's the height of summer and yet could it be any darker in my kitchen?
It's north facing and doesn't get much sun at the best of times but there are south facing windows on the other side of the room and yet it is still so dark.
Grey skies, continuous rain, cool temperatures, it all adds up to too much time spent indoors so I put up some bunting to cheer us all up.

I have been working on lots of colourful wrist cuffs for my stall at The Big Tent Festival and they are cheering me up enormously.

These are great fun to make. For some I have used denim from old jeans as the base fabric and recycled sari silk ribbon for the coloured strip. The leaf motif is made from my own handmade felt. I have lots of different colour combinations going on so it never gets boring making these. It's also good fun getting all the buttons out and choosing just the right one for each cuff.


I fancied a frayed edge on a few of the denim cuffs and found it very satisfying tearing the jeans into strips. Rrrrrrrrip! I hope that doesn't reveal anything peculiar about me through psycho analysis!

Another blog that I enjoy reading is Heather's Woollove- Functional Fiberart blog.
Heather recently attended a felt makers workshop in Portugal which looked absolutely fantastic. You can see lots of photos from her trip on her blog. Not just of the felt projects but of the place, the food and the people she met.
I liked Heather's photo of a bowl of hard boiled eggs garnished with pink geranium flowers and it inspired me to make stuffed eggs for some visitors we had at the weekend.

It's such a simple recipe.
Hard boil some free range eggs and let them cool in cold water.
To get the yolks in the centre of the egg rather than at the side, gently turn the eggs regularly during boiling.
Cut them in half length ways and scoop the yolks into a bowl taking care not to damage the whites.
Mash up the yolks with a little mayonnaise or salad cream, a wee bit of grated cheese, salt, pepper and paprika.
Spoon the mixture back into the egg whites and arrange on a bed of shredded lettuce.
Garnish with parsley, basil, geraniums or whatever you want really.
Nasturtiums would be pretty too.

Excuse my old chipped bowl but it was gift from a friend when we were at college. It came from a shop called Ware On Earth and I love it.

The tutor on Heather's Portugal Workshop was Nicola Brown from Ireland. I have been a fan of Nicola's work since I first 'met' her through Flicker back in 2009. As she was taking part in a Masterclass Workshop here in Scotland last week at Big Cat Textiles in Newburgh, she invited my friend Kirsty and I along to say hello one evening. It's always so nice to meet people you have known through the Internet in person plus we had the added bonus of meeting in such an incredibly inspirational place!
Take a look round Big Cat Textiles here
And visit Nicola's blog here


  1. Aileen--Thanks so much for the sweet 'shout out'!! :)
    Your stuffed eggs look every bit as scrumptious as Fernanda's did in Portugal!
    I just love your mixed-textile cuffs...and I know what you mean about the sensation of ripping fabric along a grain line! Why is that so satisfying, I wonder?!?! If it's an aberration, then I guess it's one we share!! Grin.

    1. Thanks Heather. I can keep my daughter amused for ages by giving her a whole heap of fabric to rip. Must be a genetic thing!

  2. Those eggs look so yummy! I might have to make them soon, I love stuffed eggs!!

    I wish you could send us some of that rain here, and we could send you some sunshine, we have aplenty!

    Those cuffs are amazing, so colourful!!

    1. Thank you Pili. Be great if we could post weather to each other lol. I try and share positivity through my work by using colours that appeal to people's happy side : )

  3. i still wear the beutiful pink cuff you made me! people often make nice comments when i wear it out.

    yes... the rain is driving me mad too but i hear september shall roast toast! here's hoping, hang onto your bunting ;D Tx

    1. Hi Tanya. Glad you are still getting wear out of your cuff. I use the paper circle and heart garland you sent me to deter the swallows from flying in the back door on the rare days we do have sun. It's so pretty fluttering in the breeze : )

  4. Hey Aileen, it was lovely to finally meet you 'in the flesh' and have a chat with you and Kirsty at 'Big Cat Textiles'. Next time I'd love to stay a day or two longer then I'd get a chance for a longer visit and maybe a walk or two in the beautiful surroundings!!! Talking about your beautiful work, I still love the ring I ordered from you online sometime in the distant past!

    1. Thank you Nicola : ) Yes it would be great if you could stay longer next time. I know quite a few felt makers in the area that would love to meet you and we could show you some great places.

  5. your cuffs are gorgeous! i love the colours that you use in your work, so vibrant and cheery :)

    bunting is a great idea for the kitchen, ours faces north too, maybe i should make some! x

    1. You would make beautiful bunting! I think everyone should have it up somewhere in the house. I might add fairy lights to mine.

  6. Aileen, your works are amazing. I particularly love the landscapes, the little houses and the sheep. Always admire your work. I was also honour to join Nicola's workshop in Portugal with Heather. Can feel the pleasure to meet friends in real.

    1. Thank you Terrie! How wonderful that you got to the workshop in Portugal as well. It's funny how the Internet links us all up : )


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