Check out the link below to read about Lorna's two day course at Blue Sky Mosaics........... Lorna is an amazing talent and she came on a two day course here. Search her blog for her 'Bits and Pieces' account of her course with pictures.

24.03.2019
Lorna
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You might very well ask why this wee dog is looking a trifle worried about my sewing. Last month I read this inspirational blog post by UK crochet designer Tracey Todhunter entitled 'Make It and Mend It'.  Tracey advocates making crochet flowers to revitalise holey woollens. I immediately thought of a much loved and well worn White Stuff  jumper I've owned for several years.  I haven't been wearing it at all recently as it has two holes in the front - possibly caused by a close encounter with my belt buckle. Yet I hadn't thrown the jumper away or consigned it to a textile recycling bin.  Why?  Because I really like it and, deep down, I think I knew I could make it wearable again. Tracey's article about making a 'crochet plaster' made me look at the yarn I had available to match my jumper, both in colour and fabric composition.  This Drops Baby Merino fitted the bill. These yarnlings are leftovers from the crochet Babette Blanket I made in 2013. So I crocheted some flowers in coordinating colours, sewed in all the ends, placed the flowers over the holes and around the design on the sweater front and sewed them on.   I gave the dogs some Frida Kahlo-esque headwear - I'm not sure they approve.   Perhaps Star thinks I'm going to do the same for her! Despite the dog's misgivings, I'm very pleased that a favourite sweater is back in my wardrobe instead of landfill, and I've got a new technique in my mending armoury.  Thanks, Tracey!
11.02.2019
Lorna
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I've been lucky enough to win wool not once, not twice, but three times! The first time was an Instagram giveaway.  Wool shop owner and dyer, Jess, of Edinburgh's Ginger Twist Studio, teamed up with Australian pattern designer Clare from Knit Share Love.  They organised the giveaway to celebrate the launch of Clare's hat and cowl pattern book entitled The Tea Collection.  I've knitted this hat, these mitts, and these socks  from Clare's patterns previously so was already a fan! The lovely prize included a Ginger Twist Studio mug, a selection of tea from Edinburgh purveyors Pekoe Tea, a wee box of beaded stitch markers, a selection of patterns of my choice from Clare and a beautifully soft skein of Ginger Twist Studio Aran Yarn.  I was overjoyed to win and knitted one of the patterns I chose, the Castlelaw Hat, out of the glorious plump British Blue Faced Leicester wool dyed by Jess. My second prize bundle came from a charity raffle to celebrate the first birthday of Lucy Locket Land's yarn shop which is near Sunderland.  I've been following Lucy's adventures in wool on Instagram since her shop opened a couple of years ago and really hope to visit one day.  You can read Lucy's blog post about the causes she was supporting here.   Amongst other prizes, I won a ball of the softest cream yarn which even had a photo of the alpaca from whence it came on the label!  I've knitted it into these fingerless mitts for myself, combined with the green and brown naturally dyed Colonsay Wool and I also made a charcoal and cream pair as a gift. The third prize I was lucky enough to win was also through Instagram.  Another Edinburgh based fibre company, New Leaf Yarns, was celebrating a successful first year of trading last May and I won the lovely prize in their birthday giveaway - two skeins of their very own alpaca grey Shetland blend and a tote bag. After much pleasurable pattern perusing, I decided to purchase two more skeins from Jane at New Leaf and make a Korat Sweater by Irish designer Carol Feller.  I needed three additional colours to team up with the silvery grey alpaca / wool blend and found just what I was after at the J C Rennie stand at Perth Festival of Yarn last September.  You can see I was spoiled for choice! I chose three shades from the J C Rennie Supersoft Lambswool 4ply range - Cumin, Azure and Amaranth.  The sweater begins with a turned hem in Azure which is more straightforward to knit than my plethora of knitting needles might suggest!  There's a stranded colour-work section that required my focus but it's followed by some telly watching stocking stitch as the body progresses from the hem to the underarms.  My knitting was light and airy but so cosy on my knees! All was progressing well - or so I thought - as I neared completion of the shoulder shaping for the back.  It hadn't occurred to me that there might be a variation in the colour of the grey skeins, as they'd all looked the same, but the difference as I changed from the first ball to the second was so marked that I had a clear line across my knitting and had to put this project to one side for a wee while until I could bring myself to rip it out! Thankfully over the Christmas holidays, we watched a fair few movies at home as a family and I was able to take a big breath, pull out my stitches and re-knit the whole of the back from the colour-work section to the neck in the company of Pixar!  I knitted two rows from one ball, then two rows from the other, ensuring the difference in the greys isn't too noticeable and a gently marled effect is achieved instead of a harsh line.   Look how ridiculously happy I am as I try it on even though I've only got one sleeve! I put my own stamp on the design by incorporating all three of the contrasting colours of my J C Rennie lambswool into the sleeve design.  The i-cord cast off was a new technique for me and gives the cuffs a really neat finish. I finished the neckband in the same fashion, picking up with the Cumin shade and casting off in Azure. Here's a peek at the inside of my jumper with its turned hem as I wove in my ends and a glimpse of what stranded colour-work looks like on the wrong side. This is the tah-dah moment when I tried on my new jumper for the first time!  I really love it -especially with my one of my wardrobe staple White Stuff skirts. If you're ever in doubt about entering a woolly giveaway or a yarny raffle - go for it - you never know what you might be lucky enough to win and make with your prize! Oh, and just so you know, I'll be alternating skeins in future projects from now on.  Lesson learnt!
27.01.2019
Lorna
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You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.  Maya Angelou I think I've established on my blog that I love to be creative - so I get pretty excited when I hear about new creative spaces.  Glasgow based Vanilla Ink Studios expanded to open the doors to The Smiddy, last Autumn in the coastal town of Banff, re-establishing a link with Scottish silver dating back to the 14th Century.  Here's a silver teapot made in Banff in 1715.   Not only will Vanilla Ink The Smiddy create beautiful new pieces, but the studio, in a previously derelict blacksmiths, will educate a new generation in silversmithing and provide workshop space for new graduates and local jewellery makers alike.  Their mission is to educate, inspire and empower. I was highly delighted when my husband gave me a taster session at Vanilla Ink for Christmas.  Banff is only 40 minutes drive north and the session allowed me to make a silver ring. The studio walls are inscribed with inspiring quotes about making, and the rafters are hung with nets of fairy lights to soften the industrial appearance of the workshop's interior.  Authors Maya Angelou and Neil Gaiman sit comfortably together on the library bookshelves where I work but at Vanilla Ink their quotes sit equally comfortably together on the walls.   There are individual work stations down one side and a large central workbench where I met my fellow ring makers and enjoyed a welcoming coffee provided by Megan, our tutor for the day.  There was a vast array of equipment and tools around the studio - an eclectic mix of traditional leather and wood with high-tech precision metals.   The first task was to find the size of ring I was going to make.  Megan then calculated in millimetres how much silver I'd need to cut.  She demonstrated the saw with its tiny toothed blade and ensured we all worked safely. After measuring and cutting, the ends of my ring-to-be are filed to make sure they're smooth.  My silver band was then shaped around a mandrel and the circle closed as near as possible using special pliers. The piece of solder needed to fix the join is so small it has its own name - a pallion, so called as the tiny pieces might flutter away as they're cut and the derivative word papillon is French for butterfly!  Mine is hard to see but it's sitting on top of the join in my ring   You can see them in the dish below prior to some soldering action with the hand torch. The ring then goes into the pickling pot.  No fruit, sugar and vinegar here!  The pickling process removes the oxidised surfaces and flux after soldering. Whilst the ring was being pickled, I had time to look at the textures obtained by using the different hammers. And to try them out on a piece of scrap copper. After a wee rinse to get rid of the pickling solution, my ring was filed again to smooth the soldered join, hammered into shape using a soft mallet and then textured using my chosen hammer. I love the textured surface achieved. I was also keen for my ring to look frosted so I chose to use the right hand side of the polisher. After a quick polish to shine up the inside, my ring was ready to show off to my fellow students - a lovely, supportive group who kindly allowed me to share these pictures. Top left is Bob's pinkie ring which he thoughtfully sized so it would fit his wife as well.  Beside Bob's is the bespoke ring Susan created as a surprise gift for her husband, made even more special as he's a native of Banff.  Bottom left is Franzie's beautiful ring which has both a shiny and a frosted half specially designed to replace a much loved piece of jewellery she'd lost - and then all four of our rings are pictured together. Huge thanks to Megan Falconer, the studio's guiding presence who knowledgeably and patiently helped me to make my first ever piece of silver jewellery.  I'm proud of my ring and I love it. The last word goes to Neil Gaiman whose words resonated throughout  my afternoon at Vanilla Ink: The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.

Here you will find a range of our beautiful hand made mosaics. All our pieces are made onsite at our local studio where you can visit us and even take part in a class. The process of creating your own mosiac is very thereputic and will give you new skills whilst you enjoy good company in a beautiful setting.

 

We use the highest quality stained glass, and have an extensive stock of crockery to create pique assiette pieces. If you'd like to know more about any of our work or classes then please feel free to contact us.

Contact

Blue Sky Mosaics
Newhouse

South Cottown 

Kintore

Inverurie

AB51 0XR


t: 01467641617

m: 07908838747

e: wilann@btinternet.com

 

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