Sunday, May 29

new goodies to play with

i've been following deborah's blog, feltersjourney, for a wee while now, and you may remember that she was recently a featured maker here.

anyway, i thought i would pop over to her folksy shop when i was online a wee while ago to have a look-see and, even though i really don't need any new fibres or have the time to really be experimenting with anything new, i just couldn't resist the sari fibres (first pic) or banana silk fibres (second pic).

i haven't used these fibres before so i'm really looking forward to having some fun with them.

if you've used these fibres before and have any tips or photos to share, i'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, May 28

beach finds

i did try to be restrained while we were away but i visited so many beaches with such tempting shells and pebbles that i did bring home a few mementos. i tried to pick only a few from each beach because, after all, if everyone who visited took away a pocketful, there would be none left after a while (ok, it might take quite a while but you know what i'm getting at).

i mean, who could resist such colourful temptations ...

so, here's a selection of my favourites which i'll soon turn into a mobile as a lovely souvenir of my trip. wish i was back on the beaches now ...

Friday, May 27

hols - durness

last stop on the holiday saw us back at the campsite at durness, where i spent my favourite day of the holiday at the beach, pottering in the sun, pootling about in rockpools with a bit of birdwatching and then a picnic :)

'bob' the friendly campsite gull

fantastic view from the tent

the water wasn't quite as inviting as it looked, in fact it was flipping freezing!

while m got progressively frustrated that the kite wouldn't stay up, i was quite happy poking about in the rock pools

yes, this really is a sign warning of pigs, piglets, lambs and sheep on the road ...

25% gradient on the hilliest road in scotland on the way to drumbeg, glad i wasn't the one cycling!

lovely sheep inspired pottery at the gorgeous drumbeg craft shop and tea garden

Thursday, May 26

lawn or grass?

so, this is our front grass ... ... and something we get a lot of hassle about from our neighbours with their bowling-green-type lawns, where no blade of grass must be allowed to exceed 1.5cm!

goodness, really? now, i don't like their lawn (plus it's not very good for plant or animal diversity) but do i feel the need to make a comment to them about it, every time i see them? no, i don't! because i respect their right to have their stupid grass how they like it.

do you know, i was in the front garden the other day and two folk walking past were tutting and making disparaging remarks about how i should be cutting my grass, the only thing i could do was stare in utter disbelief!

i'm thinking of making a sign that says something along the lines of not to criticise us for the length of our grass but to appreciate the variety of flowers and insects it supports as they walk past.

ahem, rant over, normal service will be resumed by the next post :)

Wednesday, May 25

Sunday, May 22

hols - handa island

on the way to our campsite in durness we stopped off to take the boat trip to handa island which is a fantastic place managed by scottish natural heritage as a bird reserve. we saw fulmar, guillemot, razorbill (nesting precariously on the cliffs), puffin, red grouse, jack snipe, great skua, wheatear, curlew and lot of bunnies!

this face says i'm on a tiny boat, about to go out to sea and i'm a little terrified

Saturday, May 21

beetroot dye bath

digging in the front patch to pop in some new plants the other day, i discovered a few beetroots from last year! we did try cooking with them but they were very tough and didn't taste too nice either.

so, as i'm having a bit of a dyeing experiment phase, into the dye bath they went. i've read conflicting reports about success with dyeing using beets but it looked quite promising given the colour it turned the water.

and, did it work ... ? you'll have to wait to find out, i'm off to find some nettles for the next dye bath :)

Friday, May 20

hols - lewis

and then on to lewis, where i used to live. this was the first time i'd been back since leaving five years ago and it felt quite strange to be a tourist passing through a place that had been really important to me.

unfortunately, i didn't have time to catch up with old friends so i'm planning a longer trip for that. i didn't realise, until i got back, just quite how much i missed the landscape, the light, the huge skies, the beaches ...

the road to the campsite

how about this for a campsite?

first barbecue of the year

stornoway town

callanish stones, i spent so many hours at the stones when i lived here, each stone is a work of art in itself and the site is breathtaking

castle grounds woodland centre, fab coffee shop!

with lovely tulips

by good chance, the museum had an exhibit of some of the lewis chessmen! don't think i was allowed to take pics inside but i did really like their wall tiles :)

the butt of lewis lighthouse, where m finishes his cycle of the western isles

fulmars were nesting on the cliffs at the butt ... take a picture he says, they're really close, take a picture ... and then stands where?!

one of the things i love about the landscape here is the rock formations (i know, i know, i'm a geek!)

might not look much from outside, but this is the best hostel i have ever stayed in

queuing for the ferry back to the mainland :(

ferry crossing to ullapool, where i finally saw dolphins! i have done this crossing countless times and never seen so much as a fin before