Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Cairn O'Mount

If you've ever heard the Radio Scotland travel reports during the winter months, you'll be familiar with the phrase, "The B974 Banchory to Fettercairn road is closed due to snow"!

Yesterday, however, the sun was shining when I drove over this stunning route.  
Locally, this old military road is better known as the Cairn o'Mount.

  It is a fantastic drive which rises through forest to the bleak, rolling hill tops, peaking at 454 metres above sea level,  before descending down into Fettercairn.

I've driven past this ruin many times, but this time I stopped to take a few photos of the building and the burn that runs close by.

This photo was taken from the viewpoint where the road starts to descend - you can just about make out the sea in the distance.

 Heading back down the hillside, I had hoped to stop at a second ruined building to take some photos but unfortunately some eejit was driving far too close behind me, and I missed my chance to park.  
Instead I pulled in to the car park at the restaurant beside the Clatterin' Brig to take a few snaps.

You can just make out the second ruin on the skyline.

And here it is with my camera on full zoom.

Adorable calves galloping around a field (do cows gallop or is it just horses?!).

Nearly at the end of the road and back into arable farming country.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Great Tapestry of Scotland part 3

During my most recent stint of working on the pane my focus was on getting the apron finished but, as it's a very, very repetitive part, I kept my sanity by spending a few hours on that and then switching to the washing line, which was much more fun to do!

Here are some close ups - string vest,


and the all important bloomers!

The night before I was due to hand over to Gail I was stitching like a dervish to get the apron finished.  To break up this very large expanse of one colour, I added a couple of patches.  After all, Jessie's a hard working woman without much money, and she was maybe looking a bit too glamorous!

I also felt it was time she had a face so she could see what's going on!

I haven't shown you the fab stockings that Gail stitched when she last had charge of Jessie.  
They are fantastic, especially the wee ladder!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Sewing for Dad

I know I'm biased, but my dad is a truly lovely man.  He'll always go out of his way to do anything for anybody, and I haven't a scooby as to how many DIY related favours he's done for me over the years, so when he recently asked me to do a favour for him of course I said 'yes'!

He can turn his hand to most things, but sewing's not his forte.

After enjoying 40+ years of my mum's excellent culinary skills, Dad has recently had to learn to cook for himself.  It's not easy learning any new skill later in life, and I'm really proud of him.  

He has just started a 'Cooking for One' evening class and realised that his apron had seen better days and wasn't really fit to be seen in public!

This apron was a gift to Dad from his grandmother, sometime before he met Mum (in 1965) and had become completely threadbare.  I bought him a new one a couple of Christmasses ago, but he's very attached to this one!

The only option was to patch it.

I looked through my fabric stash and concluded that everything I had was far too girly to be used on a man apron, and I'd have to somehow design my own patch.

Then I had a light bulb moment!  I knew I had an old photo of Dad wearing the apron, so I scanned it into the computer and printed it onto a piece of cotton.  This photo was taken in 1973!

I ironed it on to the apron using Bondaweb...

.. and then stitched it securely.

It wasn't quite big enough to cover the entire threadbare area so I had to add a wee piece of not-too-girly patterned fabric at the bottom.

Ta da... here he is tucking into the fishcakes he made at his evening class last week!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Great Tapestry of Scotland part 2

Jessie, our washer woman at the Steamie, is coming along very nicely indeed.  Gail has done an absolutely fantastic job with the washing in her basket which has added some great colour and texture to our panel.

Yesterday I went to a Great Tapestry of Scotland meeting in Newport on Tay.  
It was great to meet other stitchers and see their panels in various states of completion.  
I was especially pleased (and very reassured) that our panel received lots of lovely compliments and delighted to hear that she is now widely known as 

Dorie Wilkie, the head stitcher, was on hand to give advice to each group/ individual.  
Here she is demonstrating heavy chain stitch, which is to be used for all the borders on the tapestry.

Andrew Crummy, the tapestry artist, was also there.  
We'd been invited to suggest ideas as to what should go in the borders of our panel.  
Gail had found some images of washing powder of the period, and I'd roughly sketched these on to a photocopy of our design along with a washing line and soapy bucket.

Here's Andrew drawing the washing line and a couple of boxes onto our linen.  
We're going to do some research into the famous steamies that were in each of Scotland's cities and maybe add their names on as well.

This is the Balmoral panel which is absolutely stunning.  
There's an amazing amount of detail, and I particularly love the way the group have made each tree different.

The lace detail on Queen Victoria's bonnet is lovely too.

I forget the name of this panel (sorry) but it contains a quote, "Oh tell me fit was on yer road, ye roarin norland wind," from Violet Jacob's poem, The Norland Wind, also known as The Wild Geese. 

This panel is being stitched by a group of eight ladies and conveniently it has eight hands depicted on it, so everyone gets to stitch their own hand!

This panel depicts the Battle of Dunichen in 685AD, when the Picts defeated the Angles.  
This battle is explained fully at the Pictavia visitor centre just outside Brechin.

This shows a section of the panel depicting Captain Scott's ship, HMS Discovery, setting sail from Dundee.

The crew's sealskin gloves are brilliant!  
They are stitched as tightly packed loops which are then trimmed to give the sealskin effect.

This panel depicting the three Js of Dundee - jam, jute & journalism - has only just been started.

We have until June to complete our panel, which sounds a long way away, but as Gail pointed out, it's only five more two week sessions each.  Eeek!