Sunday, December 28, 2008

wishes do come true

but not necessarily how you hoped they would, remember my post about not seeing my grandchildren, well for Christmas my son sent me some photos of my grandsons,

there is a saying to be careful what you wish for as it may come true, or as Karen says in Out of Africa ‘when the gods want to punish you they answer your prayers’,
my son has also said that I might be able to visit in February……

Saturday, December 27, 2008

good post

I had a lovely surprise package just before Christmas from Julie, a lovely atc ‘magic carpet’ just what I need and the small medallion on the reverse says ‘hope’, Julie has covered the carpet with one of my fav stitches ‘fly stitch’, she also included a lovely little paper atc and a piece of her shibori dyed work, thank you Julie,

the camera lies

well did I get a surprise when I downloaded these photos, not that I am complaining but this is not what I saw with my human eye, I saw an orange ball rising from behind the hill,

the last photo I took I saw a perfect orange ball hovering just above the horizon but this is what my camera saw…..

despite the distinct lack of an orange ball I do like the photos and thought some of you might too,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas I hope you are having a nice time where ever you are, I am behind reading e mails and blogs and as you can see I have not been updating this blog much, I am two photos behind on my photo blog too, I will try to correct this soon, take care all,
best thoughts Frances

Thursday, December 11, 2008

figure drawing, sun and frost

last night was the last figure drawing class this year, we did 3 half hour poses and it was good, yes after recent doubts I enjoyed last nights class, last week we had a single pose and it took me a while to get going but in the end it was ok I kinda enjoyed, I was surprised the next morning as I thought my drawing looked better than I had been thinking the night before, my problem at class was that I was on the darkside of the model and she was wearing black making it even darker, the lighting in the room is horrible for the purposes of drawing of any kind, anyway here’s the result of my dark in dark drawing,

I like the props which were supplied by the model, I wasn’t sure I would have time to put in any background but just managed to quickly add the panel, which does give the pose more finish,

This morning we woke up to a white frosting everywhere which is unusual for the island,

silly but I sometimes miss the look of white mornings on the mainland, I do not however miss the chill factor,

the sky was almost clear, aeroplane polluting vapour trails ugh! I love seeing the sky light up before the sun is visible,

the sunrise was gorgeous wish I could get a good photo of the round circle of sun sitting on the horizon but it is so bright that the pictures come out way overexposed, which is why you only see the sun peeping over the moor,

Monday, December 08, 2008

ufo to wip

I did start some stitching a few weeks ago and now it has stopped again, part of the reason is that I have lots to do in the house re decorating, moving things to other rooms so that rooms that need building work done are ready for the work and finding suitable good workpeople,

I did some machine work and then decided I don’t like it, I then sorted out ufo’s and have told myself I must finish some of them, so I got out the last of this quartet, the first 3 were finished about 4-5 years ago and sent in exchanges, the fourth was meant for me which probably explains why it got side tracked, I have now (almost) finished the hand sewing so now to get the original design for the quilting out and just ‘do it’,

I’ll explain more about the exchange later when I get more of this finished,

Sunday, December 07, 2008

grandchildren and grandparents

as a child I use to long for grandparents but unfortunately 3 of my grandparents had died before I was born, I did though have a grandmother living in south Wales, my fathers mother, she died when I was nine without ever seeing me, I asked even begged my father to take me to see her but he would not go, now I find myself in the same position as my welsh grandmother, I have six grandchildren, two I have never seen, two I have not seen since six years ago and two I had been allowed to see a few days each year but this year I have not seen them and I have just received an e mail from my son to say my wanting to see my grandchildren is adding to his stress, no I have not been nagging him, I only asked once,

I was told I could visit one weekend in October when my daughter-in-law was away but I was told this just before the weekend and it was one of the weekends I was due to be in Edinburgh, had I known it was to be that weekend I could see my grandsons or not at all I would have dropped everything and gone, ironically I was free for the nine months before October and am free for the 2 months after October but that is not suitable for them, they could only allow me to see my grandsons one weekend in October,

the son and daughter-in-law that have not got time for me to see my grandsons this year are not a struggling working couple, my daughter-in-law is a full time mum, my grandsons go to school the elder and nursery the younger, my son works 5 days a week nine months a year in the computer games industry and earns a very high salary, this year they had a weeks holiday at February half-term overseas, went to centre-parks for a spring holiday, spent the summer holiday at Disneyworld Florida paid for by the company my son works for, went overseas for the October half-term and will be going to Australia for a month from the middle of December to the middle of January,

I find it really hard that I have three children who are all like my father in relation to their own family, my mothers family think my Dad was great but as an adult I started to realise and say to some of my cousins you wouldn’t find him so great if you were a blood relative and he was ignoring you,

It is not just me they ignore they are the same with my mother their grandmother, I know other people who also have a similar problem and those who walk on eggshells whenever they see their children, then I know others who see a little of their children and a lot of their grandchildren but mostly as unpaid childminders, there seem to be very few people who have a good normally relationship with children and grandchildren,

I do not usually post personal things but the e mail my son sent really cut me to the core, it will be his eldest sons birthday next Sunday and as usual I will not be allowed to visit my grandson for his birthday and 2 days later they leave for a month in oz,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

figure drawing

I am still going to figure drawing class on Wednesday evenings, I missed one when I was in Edinburgh and then they had a half-term week, so only had 2 classes in October,
then the tutor decided to have the model moving which I just cannot draw, I am not very good when the model is still and it felt to me that I was being asked to run before I could walk,
I have difficulty with proportion and the drawing of the head and hands so trying to get these things right when the model was moving just made me give up and feel very stupid,
anyway I phoned her before I went to class last Weds and she said the model was going to be still so I went along, on the first drawing after I had a go at the proportions I decided to concentrate on the hands, there was no time to do any more,

then with the second pose I thought I would add a bit of colour, I do like working with the pastels but the colour range in the boxes they have are very limited so I think I will have to find the ones I have lurking somewhere in the house and take them, as you can see the leg proportions are way to small for the size of the torso, I will keep trying,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I haven't posted anything textile for a while because I haven't done any since I got back 2 weeks ago, that has got to change ~ soon.....

anyhoo these are from some atcs I made to take down to Edinburgh for the Edge agm and guess what I then nearly forgot they were in my bag, my excuse is all the upheavel of the weather and plans not going to plan!!

Friday, November 07, 2008


Tuesday I went down to Leverburgh on Harris, I was on the bus and so did not have long, the weather was nice and sunny, most of these photos were taken through the bus window,

Ardvourlie and Bowglass

the Clisham mountain

the island in this photo is Taransay


Scalpay with the Shiant isles behind, (this is as close as the bus gets)

Loch seaforth, the sun was going down, the days are drawing in,

Sunday, November 02, 2008

delays and overstays

my planned journey was to leave the island Friday for Edinburgh, spend the weekend in Edinburgh and return Monday, the second ferry Friday was cancelled due to the strong winds, if I had planned to travel on the first ferry out both these days I would have been fine, a little delayed but not too much, however I could not travel on the first ferry from the island Friday or any other day because there is no public transport on the island into town for the early ferry, this means that whereas car owners have access to 12 ferries journeys a week non car owners have only six,
so I did not get away Friday and woke Saturday morning to even stronger winds than the previous 2 days, there was no early ferry but the captain decided that he could run a ferry leaving the island at 4 pm. oh good I could at least get to Edinburgh for the Edge agm and the talk by James Hunting, errr….maybe not……now the buses to take me to town had been suspended, so I finally did what I do not like doing I phoned friends to see if anyone could/would take me to get the ferry, strangely the actual crossing was not very rough at all, I got to Inverness at about 9 pm so stayed at the YHA and continued to Edinburgh the next morning, I only missed a few minuets of the agm and really enjoyed James Hunting’s talk, it was lovely to meet more members of the group and to see the people I had met when I was there 2 weeks earlier,

I had planned on staying with a friend so did see her Sunday night thinking this would only delay my return by about 7 hours, if I had left immediately after the agm for Inverness I would have been in Inverness for the early bus to the first ferry from Ullapool which ran and I would have arrived home Monday afternoon, my penalty for seeing my friend was that the second ferry did not return to Ullapool and there were no ferries Tuesday due to a ‘swell’ on the Minch (sea we have to cross), so I was stuck in Ullapool 2 nights and eventually got home Wednesday afternoon, I have been travelling this ferry often in winter for 9 years and have not known the weather so bad before,

some photos,
when I travelled between Inverness and Edinburgh on the Sunday morning there was very little snow but coming back Monday morning it had snow quite a bit during that 24 hours, not just on the mountains but road too, these were taken through the bus window,
Road from Perth to Inverness,
the sun was shining in Inverness Monday so we could hardly believe it when the bus driver said the ferry had been cancelled, this was the sun as we left Inverness on the road to Ullapool,

but as we approached Ullapool the sun gave way to wind and snow,

all these next photos were taken early Tuesday morning in Ullapool, it had snowed a little overnight but the air was calm and peaceful, so I was very hopeful that the ferry would be going, no and by nine o’clock the wind was up and the rest of the day was horrendous,

Wednesday morning when I walked down to the ferry terminal as I approach you can see over a wall to the car park for boarding vehicles and I could see a line of juggernauts and hear their engines running, I would never before have thought that a line of juggernauts with engines purring could be sooooo poetic and magical … bliss,

Monday, October 20, 2008

more from Edinburgh

at the bottom of Calton hill I saw this sign and door and could not resist a photo as it amused me, it looks like the door to the park is locked,

then I walked up part of Salisbury crags and took a photo looking back at Calton hill with the parliament building in the foreground,

2 views of Holyrood House

and I just like these windows on the back of the parliament,

Sunday, October 19, 2008

on top of Calton hill

I was in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago and took these photos from the top of Calton hill, the first three are looking across the Firth of Forth towards Fife and the last one is looking at Salisbury crags with (I believe) Arthur’s seat behind.

Friday, October 17, 2008

EDGE @ Out of the Blue

Right now for a shameless bit of promoting……
If you are or will be in Edinburgh during the next week then go to the Out of the Blue gallery in Dalmeny street and see some wonderful textile art and have some good food, Edge Textile Artists Scotland have got an exhibition there, there is some super work from members and a great variety so you should see something you like, the OotB have a cafĂ© that sells delicious food so what more could you want…

I joined Edge last year after a year of waiting for the new committee to get organised, this is my first active participation in the group, I wanted to get to know other members but found most of the members leave all the work to the committee, who work very hard on behalf of the group, (I was very surprised and disappointed by this as I really believed in my innocence that there would be more active members of the group) still the committee members I worked with were all super people and the 2 other members who came to help, so that was where I was…..

now for shameless bragging, one of the 2 quilts I submitted was accepted for the exhibition, wow it is the first time I have work displayed in Scotland (apart from my home and the craft things I make) and it is in Scotland’s capital……I’m thrilled so forgive me…

This is the quilt Allium

and a close up detail so you can see some of the machine quilting and beading,

the quilt is squared up (it’s the photo that is off angle) I am a better quilter than photographer,
no I did not paint it, it was printed on my trusty Epson, a year before I made it I was in an internet group who played with a design project each month, an idea was put forward for us to work on, one month we had to do something with a photo with a shadow, I had just the photo taken a year or two earlier, I had a dry allium seed head in a vase when late evening sun caught it and produced a wonderful clear shadow on the wall behind, I had not long had a digital camera and it was so great to snap away and then see the piccies,
during the month of design I discovered hue and saturation in photoshop elements and I played and played and played, when I came to make the quilt I became more systematic in how much I changed the colours, I printed on silk as it produces a much more vibrant colour than cotton, I quilted this using the quilt as you go method, so much easier than trying to fight with a big quilt on a small domestic sewing machine, I enjoyed making this,
oh boy it's a while since I used blogger,

have a nice weekend

Friday, January 04, 2008

new blog

I have just started a photo blog with the aim of taking a photo everyday, here's a link and there is one in my side bar,