I haven't posted much about workshops recently, mainly because I've postponed most of them! The weather has been far too good for people to want to spend time indoors. However over the last two weeks half a dozen ladies have been making lampshades.
Click on the galleries to enlarge the images
Lampshades in the making. The painting was done during the first week and then this week all the detailling gets added. One student tried free-hand embroidery for the first time and got such an adrenaline rush that she described it as being "like white water rafting but better" and, presumably, drier!
Flat pieces ready for rolling
I hadn't been having a very good week this week, and it got worse when I realised, just as I was explaining how the lampshades went together, that I had forgotten to pack the double sided sticky tape .... and you cannot make lampshades round without it .... I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me. There was nothing I could do, no-one I could call, nothing I could invent. A really ghastly moment. As I started to explain what we would/should have been doing, one of the ladies from Oban remembered that she had brought a present for the other one as a thank you for driving, a lampshade kit! There was tape in that box and they were able to make their shades round before they went home! The two in the pictures at the top in the gallery above. The others were kind enough to meet me today to finish off theirs and we were able to set them on lamp bases to see how they looked lit up.
I think you'll agree that they are all really super. Everyone was rightfully very proud of themselves and carried off their shades destined for pride of place in their homes.
More again soon
PS If you should be in the Bellanoch area of Argyll during the week of 29 July - 3 August then do pop in to see us, Homestyle Argyll, in our pop up shop there.
Comraich Chickens Part I
The red wattle of the elder statesman, jowl-like and pendulous,
wobbles and shudders as he stiffly stalks past.
Fluffy undergarments on show, tiny pink combs
perched just so, the young girls trip ahead.
Matrons, bosomy and usually bustling, sit and doze
dazed by the afternoon’s heat.
Yellow pollen pannier’d bees buzz busily
in and out of blooms
Birds twitter, an ant scurries across a stick
A weathered white whelk shell spirals out
From between the rocks on which I sit.
Comraich Chickens Part II
From within the acid yellow bright ragwort,
The frothy cream of meadow sweet,
Amongst the cool green swirl and furl of ferns
Comes a chattering chirp, a gentle chunter,
Drying grasses rustle and part.
The regal rooster and his hareem appear
From the shadows into the sun.
Full of purpose, bright eyes sharply peer
Seeking out the next seed, ant, or fly.
A bluetit watches as they pass by,
Perched high in the leaves of a lime,
Then he too about his business goes.
Have just entered a couple of short pieces to the Tarbert Book Festival ... eek! It's the first time I've entered a competition & I won't hear for a while so I'm not going to hold my breath!
There's a track near us that runs along the side of Loch Sween called 'Glean a Gealbhan' pronounced 'Gleneealavan'. It's easy walking, ducking under branches, and there's not often anyone else there so the dogs can roam free. Over the years I have walked along here dozens and dozens of times with different dogs. It's a great spot for gathering rowan berries. It's also, for some reason, where I write storis in my head! The plot for 'my novel' and it's follow up came to me when I was walking along here.
With the loch to one side of the path on the other is steeply sloping hillside, the trees grow tall and straight, towering over the path, bracket fungus and Old Mans Beard lichen adorn trunks and branches.
Waterfall of rocks, moss covered and topped with rushes and bilberry bushes. The path is edged with the swirl and curl of ferns, alongside Argyll’s yellow flags, wild iris, sharp yellow amongst the emerald greens.
Grasses have put on their firework display of seed heads, knee high & starred by umbellifer.
At the far end the path opens to a small clearing with access to the shore - for dogs anyway - although the way back up was a bit steeper than someone thought!
More again soon
Hot, Hot, HOT and Hot Dogs sums up the GWCT Scottish Game Fair weekend earlier this month. Too hot for comfort and really too hot for sales. No-one could be bothered to make a decision, unless it was whether to have an ice cream! However, it was great for dog watching and the stall two down from us did a roaring trade in cool jackets for dogs, and they had a paddling pool especially for dogs, we did, briefly, consider going to stand in it too!
The Homestyle Argyll marquee looked very elegant, and we received many compliments for the wonderful display of cushions, lamp shades, animal heads, seascapes and pretty tinkling glass in the faint breeze we managed to conjure up by opening up the sides of the tent, but mostly I was about the dogs.
All ages and sizes and breeds from Scottish deerhounds to dachshunds and everything in between. Wirehaired German pointers; English and Douglas setters; every type of spaniel; a Rhodesian ridgeback; whippets and greyhounds; Vizslas – smooth, wire haired, and long haired; retriever's – golden, flat & curly coat; Labradors by the barrel load; a pack of nine Irish water spaniel's; Collies; a pug; Jack Russell’s; a couple Fox terriers and several Borders; a standard poodle or two; a Bloodhound, a great Dane; even a wirehaired pointing griffon, and lots more besides. Given just how many there were I was initially astonished at how incredibly quiet it was, until it was pointed out to me that gun dogs are trained to be quiet! And there wasn't a fight to be seen, thankfully. I manged to get to see a wee bit of the Agility trials in the main ring which was great, and as we were situated next to the Scurry we saw lots of retrieving going on (& some not retrieving but having fun anyway!)
We moved some of our stock out into the sunshine on Sunday in order to attract a few more visitors to the marquee. Everyone was happy to wonder around just looking at things in the sunshine. It was far too hot to be carrying handful of shopping bags.
I did do some lampshades and lanterns with the Game show especially in mind, the fishing ones were popular. Huntin' Shootin' Fishin' lampshades
Highland Homewares Catherine & I were staying with B’s cousins nearby which was lovely. We were able to sit in the garden until 9:30pm without midge’s only going in when the last of the sun had left the garden. There wasn’t anything else I felt I should be doing, no dialysis, no washing to process, or dog walking to do, or just feeling like I should be doing something other than sitting doing nothing! It was simply perfect, a super weekend and even hough I was 'working' it felt like bit of a break.
The drive back west to home on Sunday evening was beautiful, even after I realised I’d missed my turning and ended up going home via the very scenic route, which took an additional hour and a half! Ugh! Towing a fully laden trailer meant I wasn’t going much above 40 miles an hour. It was a looong drive, eventually arriving home at 20 to 1 I collapsed into bed!
Now it's back to work, some more sorting out of my cabin going on, concentrating on my sewing room this time as I’ve discovered that my lovely old school drawers were absolutely riddled with woodworm and needed to be thrown out. Yet more organising, rearranging, and consolidating of stuff has been going on this week.
Coming up … there’s a make your own lampshade workshop this month on the 18th and 27th of July. Due to demand I've been asked to do an extra SWI Fabric Collage weekend workshop one will be in September and another in October.
Then I’m out and about with lampshades again with the Homestyle Argyll girls locally this time as we are having a week-long pop up ‘Summer House’ shop in Bellanoch at Smithy House, a bit like the Christmas one, only in the summer and for a week. That’s from Sunday 29th July to the 3rd of August. I was delighted to have been invited to judge the Homecrafts section at the Mid Argyll Show this year, that’s on the 11th of August, then it will be Artmap Open Studios weekend before I know it. It's all go and there seems no time to relax, so it's back on with the sorting then I can get on with the making of some new shades & lamps, and I must also remember to finish off writing my fourth sewing booklet which was promised sometime last year…!
More again soon
Author - Me!
I am a ‘Creative’ - designer/maker/teacher/writer, Art/Homewares/Creativitea Craft Kits/The Needlesmith.