Friday, 22 May 2009

Random pics, rambling thoughts...

This blog doesn't have any particular theme - it's just somewhere for me to record some of today's random thoughts and pics.
I am constantly having conversations with myself - random, disjointed, involuntary, insignifcant thoughts, that are seldom shared - not because I am poor me - but because they are in my head and usually only there when there's no-one around to distract them. Most people have random musings, don't they?!

Before heading off this morning I took some pics of flowers in my garden.

I didn't make it to any bluebell woods this year so have to make do with my tiny group of "pink"bells - where they came from I have no idea!

Here is a pic of my beautiful white Azalea, which if not photographed for another day or so, would probably not look as good, as most of the flowers are already out and any time now they will begin to turn brown at the edges and fall off.

Lovely as they are, Azaleas are too short lived for my liking!

And here is some Borage. The flowers are also star shaped and a beautiful vibrant blue. Borage self seeds quite freely and you either love it as a plant or hate it. I like it's straggly appearance and if supported well can look really nice. The seeds are also very easy to harvest.

And finally, my growing herb seedlings ready for transplanting.

This morning my day started a bit later than normal. It was a lovely crisp, dry and sunny morning and as I walked along the road, I knew I wanted to be heading anywhere but to work.

I quite happily walk the same road each morning - the sights and sounds are similar at the same time each day, so much so that I hardly notice. But this morning as I leisurely made my way along this well worn path I was aware that there was less traffic. I decided that the drivers and passengers had obviously got to where they needed to be by that time or perhaps were even on holiday as part of the bank holiday weekend. Fewer people were around on foot - perhaps the children were already at their school desks, or school was also on holiday because of the bank holiday weekend. However, with fewer distractions, I was much more aware of the moment as I made my way. Aware of the two pretty but quite different gardens sitting side by side, separated only by a small hedge - one pretty unkempt and interesting and the other beautifully manicured and coiffed; the hum of the bees in the bushes; the twittering of the birds as they called to each other; the stillness of the clouds in the blue sky and the sound of my footsteps - and my increasing awareness of the flapping left foot I seem to have developed! This flapping foot is obvious to no-one but me, and has been around for a couple of years or so. In fact it rarely registers with me - until I am open to the sound of it and then, once I am aware of it, it is all that I hear. It takes over! No matter how I try to disguise it, speed up or slow down my steps - it is there - and all hitherto sights and sounds of loveliness are drowned out and my moment of being lost in my thoughts are flapped away, as I am brought back to reality, and find myself on the platform, awaiting my train to work, to continue my day as normal.

It was pretty good day actually - hope yours was too!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

TLC - Tagging.. Linking.. Crafting

I have been tagged by Lynne (MyBaboo), linked by Caireen (thepatchworkdress) and Rebecca (POLKADoT Farm), and encouraged by Suzanne (FiELDy), who originally suggested I should start my own blog, and it is our enthusiasm for all things handmade that links us together.

Until relatively recently I was the least likely person to get involved with crafting (anyone who knows me knows this to be true!) - although I have always appreciated handmade things and admire the skills of those who produce them. I mentioned in my first blog that I have always enjoyed letter writing and nice stationery, and so it was, just over eight years ago, after purchasing a really nice hand made card from a little gallery in Glasgow no longer in business unfortunately, that I had the notion that maybe I could give card making a try (get me!).

After much trial and error, plus weeks and months spent researching, sourcing materials and deciding which ones were for me, I became good enough at card making to be asked by family for cards to send to their friends; then their friends asked for cards to send to their family and friends, and so it went on until I gathered enough confidence to start attending craft fairs. The first one I attended was a very small fair but I did very well (I couldn't believe it!). At the next one I did even better, and so attending craft fairs became the thing for me. But as anyone who crafts and has attended craft fairs knows, there are times when you can do so well that it is hard to believe and then there others when you wonder why you even bothered turning up! Unfortunately, there are people who sometimes confuse craft fairs with jumble sales and can be quite rude and there are others who... well, they just get it.

Around 18 months ago I was invited by Jaqui to become involved in the Wee Green Market.
The WGM is a monthly market held in the lovely wee village of Killearn, which regularly has some really nice craft stalls amongst other things.

I plan to do a blog about the WGM another time so will load some more photographs soon.

In the meantime I have been "tagged" (new terminology to the novice blogger that I am) by Lynne, who I met through the WGM, so I will endeavour to respond!
Below are her questions and my answers.
What are your current obsessions:
Card and gift making - and if I'm not careful, blogging.

What are you currently reading:
Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama.

Where do you plan to travel to next:
I plan to visit Switzerland in three weeks time; first to Luzern and then Zurich, plus hopefully some parts in between.

What's the best thing you ate or drank lately:
A large glass of freshley squeezed orange juice with loads of bits and a freshly baked scone - hot - with butter and strawberry jam - yum!

What is your dream career:
My dream would be to open a really nice wee tea room-cum gift shop, selling only homemade fare and carefully sourced handmade cards and gifts. The tea would be served fresh in its own teapot every time, made from water freshly boiled from a kettle (none of this squishing water with a metallic taste, that has been boiled too many times, from one of those urns that I detest!). It would be a lovely wee place that people would be prepared to travel to and recommend to others (oh and there would be someone in the background ensuring that my mortgage and all my bills are taken care of!)

What is your favourite film ever:

First one that comes to mind is "Bridges of Madison County".

Care to share some wisdom:

Try to be content with enough.

Where would you rather be right now:

Welcoming lots of visitors to Bella Bheag's runaway successful tearoom and gift shop - but in reality - in my kitchen making cards!

What is your desert island disc:

Not sure but maybe a compilation, which would have to include The Blue Nile, Ray LaMontagne, instrumentals and some dance music.

If you could be any animal other than a human, what would you be:
A bird I think, as they are able to take off and land where and when the mood takes them. The serenity of being able to glide across the sky with not a care in the world would be wonderful - but only on good days - when there are clear blue skies! Not keen on the cold and 'drookit' (Scottish word) look on 'dreich' (another Scottish word) days like those we have been having all week.

So now, if I have understood correctly, I have to replace one question with another. My question is:
If you could have a wee bolt hole somewhere away from home, where would it be and what would it look like? (That's two questions but just treat as one!)
My bolt hole would be on a little island with few inhabitants on the west coast of Scotland, not far from Oban, and within walking distance of water and stunning views. The property would be a traditional shepherd's cottage renovated to a habitable standard and be traditionally furnished - an open fire being an essential - bliss!

My question will probably remain unanswered as unfortunately, because as I am new to blogging I don't know many bloggers, therefore I am unable to tag anyone that I know well enough. Of those that I do know, Lynne
is one, and she has already tagged the three the others that I would have! Ah well!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Architecture for the head

Since I started using pocket digital cameras I have taken hundreds of random photographs which, unlike those I used to take with my SLR cameras, remain on my memory cards or on my computer, undeveloped and rarely seen by anyone. From time to time I plan to put a selection of those photographs on my blog, some taken over the last couple of years or more but nevertheless still worth a look I think.

I visited The Collins Gallery in Glasgow in March this year to see an exhibition by the International Feltmakers' Association

"One exhibition is of felt headgear by association members, Crowning Glory: Architecture For The Head. Among its 34 hats - some pretty exotic - from Britain, the USA, Finland, Norway, Japan and Russia are pieces by Scotland's Liz Brown, Jeanette Sendler, Jennie Loudon and Eva Kuniczak."

"The other is a selection of 76 items from Mary Burkett's own collection of historic and contemporary feltmaking. It includes 14 pieces by Cowern, and also work from many parts of the world: A spiral wall hanging from Kazakhstan; a panel of two camels and a rider from Mongolia; prayer mat from Turkey; figures in traditional costume from Poland; peacock rug from India; orchids from Russia; a piece from Korea entitled Spirals."

Some of the exibits that were on display:


There's another felt show coming up in the autumn in the Collins Gallery if you're interested and you can get there Suzanne and Lynne.