Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Summer expeditions, rain and felting.

I usually do a wee bloggy post about our holidays, but as our main summer holiday comprised a week of almost constant rain, I don't have great photos to share.

We were in the Borders for a week, staying in a gorgeous cottage near Kirk Yetholm - very rural with a pond right outside.  We went for lots of soggy walks and made excellent use of the washing machine as we returned to the cottage with muddy clothes every evening!  I was very struck by the beauty of the area and would love to return in better weather sometime.

 Our cottage and the view from it - beautiful!

A highlight for me was the ruined abbey in Kelso which has had some amazing restoration work done to some of the the pillars - see how fresh it looks.  It helps you to imagine how these ancient buildings must have looked before they lost their roofs and became exposed to the elements.

Less soggy was a wee bonus holiday that Kirsty and I went on at the end of July.  We stayed a few miles south of Nairn in a lovely b&b.  The rain was never far away, but it came in short, sharp bursts, interspersed with beautiful sunshine.

The beach at Nairn - we sat eating pizza in the glorious evening sunshine whilst watching a storm over on the Black Isle - magical!

Last year we went on a shibori felting course at Diva Designs who have a studio at Logie Steading near Forres, and this year we returned to learn about sculpural felting.  The courses are run by the very experienced and helpful mother and daughter team of Christine and Kirsty who encourage you to be ambitious and try complex ideas out under their expert guidance.

We started with small pots to get the idea...

...and then progressed to more ambitious creations.  This fab purple and red vessel was made by Kirsty.  It's quite a complicated piece to make and getting those slits in the right places was really tricky - I should point out that she's 12 years old and I am a very proud mum!  

Mine didn't turn out as I'd planned but I love its wacky shape!  I had grand ideas of making a vase shape with wild twiddly bits at the top, but the balloon I was moulding it around was blown up too big and the wool kept falling off!  I did get the wild twiddly bits look that I had wanted though.

We had a lovely few days away which included dolphin spotting on the Black Isle, taking a boat trip on Loch Ness and visiting a couple of our favourite galleries,  - just fabulous!


  1. The cottage looks gorgeous, Thats one thing you cant rely on is the scottish weather, we have four seasons in one day most of the time. Im off for two weeks now and it's been ok so far, Went up town (Edinburgh) on saturday to watch some of the festival, and the sun shone all day, But im hoping it's going to be nice next Thursday till the sunday as i'm selling my jewellery at the west-end fair, fingers crossed.

    1. You're absolutely right - we don't take our holidays in Scotland for the weather, we take them here for the beauty, culture and history!
      Hope you have a successful time at the West End 3D2D fair. I usually take a day out to go down to Edinburgh and have a good look around all the stalls, but I'm not sure that I'll manage to get down to see it this year :(

  2. Sounds like you made the most of your soggy sojourn! Those pillars do look stunning!
    Your sculputral felting looks fabulous! Great colour combinations and wonderful sculptural shapes...no wonder you are a very proud mum - Krsty has done an amazing job with her fab fuschia coloured vessel. Love your swirly bright colours too and the wild twiddly bits are soooo cool! I'm so impressed with how organic all your vessels look...well done...will you be sculpting some more I wonder?
    Ali x

  3. Hmmm, love the pic of the abbey!


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