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.

According to the Urban Dictionary, the top definition of the word 'haul' is shopping spree and there's nothing quite like a yarn festival for indulging in a spot of retail therapy if you're as fond of yarn as I am. So here's my haul from last year's Perth Festival of Yarn - but what has become of this pile of wonderful wool, crafty kits and knitterly notions, one year on? Let's start with the Adventures In Yarn mini notebook and pencil from Popcorn and Crocodiles.  These were a present for a local knitting friend who wasn't able to make it to Perth last September.  She was very happy with her gift! Emily (left) is the lady behind Popcorn and Crocodiles - Katherine (right) provides support and endless smiles! I'm happy too, surrounded by all this fibre.  Here's me smiling as I clutch three jewel-toned balls of lambswool I bought at the J C Rennie stand at PYF.  And here's an even happier me in the Korat sweater I knitted from Carol Feller's pattern with them in January.  I wrote a blog post about this jumper here. I bought four skeins from Northern Ireland's Giddy Aunt Yarns of multicoloured BFL sport weight wool.  These became the Islay cardigan by Gudrun Johnston over the course of several week's knitting in May and June.  My chosen colourway of Giddy Aunt's beautiful hand dyed yarn is 'Woodstock'and I love it!   It's not had much wear over the summer but yesterday in Aberdeenshire felt decidedly autumnal and I was glad of my new woolly cardy with its wooden heart buttons. A further purchase was a needle felting kit from Little Gem Felts for a glasses case.  I made a start on this over the summer but it's still a work in progress (and possibly the subject of a future blog post!)   I have yet to decide what to do with my treasured skein of yarn from Stranded Dyeworks.  This was the special colourway dyed by Amy of Stranded for Perth Festival of Yarn 2018 and I'm happy to wait for the right project, and perhaps the right accompanying yarn, to inspire me.  Meanwhile, I like pairing it up with possible companions in the craft room. Finally, Helen of Dundee based Giddy Yarns (not to be confused with the aforementioned Giddy Aunt Yarns from over the Irish Sea) gave me a stitch marker when we were chatting at the festival.  It's helpfully keeping my place for me as I work on my current crochet shawl. Reviewing the goodies from the haul I brought home from Perth has reminded me what a fun day out I enjoyed a year ago just now.  It's also reminded me of the enjoyment my purchases have brought me, and others, over the past 12 months, as well as the future joy I'll derive from wearing my hand-knits. I hope you'll have a great time too if you're attending Perth Festival of Yarn 2019 on 7th and 8th September - Little Gem Felts, Giddy Yarns and Giddy Aunt Yarns will be vending again this year.   Let's hope you return home with a great haul too!
18.08.2019
Lorna
No comments
We've kept chickens in the garden of our rural property for around 18 years, on and off.  More on than off it would appear. In 1980, when I was 17, I spent the long summer between school and university in Hertfordshire as a mother's help caring for two toddlers and a new baby, assisting with housework and gardening, and tending a large flock of bantam hens. Though I loved the children, my heart was lost to the speckled Hamburg and the light Sussex and I hoped one day to have chooks of my own.  So when my girls were young, we got four bovans nera chickens, excellent hybrids for beginner poultry keepers like us.  Oh, the joy of our very own fresh eggs! We've owned many hens since - some young chickens like these pullets who arrived at point of lay (around 20 weeks old) and very old chickens like this black Orpington who was blind and came to us after being bullied at her previous home.  We've housed rescue hens like Mrs Beaky who've recovered with us and thrived and we've had fancy-dancy breeds like Welsummers and Bluebells who were just too, well, fancy-dancy to lay many eggs! Yes, over the years we've shared our garden with lots of chickens! Look closer and you'll see an unusual grey hen in each of these pictures.  She came to us in 2008 we think - but no one's actually sure.  She was hatched by a broody belonging to my friend Anna who called her 'Fast Hen' because she was so hard to catch.  Neither of us can remember why she came to live with us in the first place. This is Yoda - and a more bad tempered, flighty, screechy biddy it would be hard to find.  I LOVED her!  Reticent to feed from my hand, she would frequently sneak in the back door and help herself to the cat's food behind my back.  Pecking order's a real thing - the dog (and the dog before her) knew to give her a wide berth. She made it her life's mission to hide all her eggs from me.  Having araucana somewhere in her genetics meant she laid a pale blue egg so it was apparent if she was laying in the nesting box or not.  Usually it was 'or not' and I'd eventually find a clutch of her eggs hidden away in the bushes or even in the outdoor cat house on more than one occasion! Yoda was also part silkie which accounted for her frequent spells of broodiness and made her even more screechy and bad tempered than ever.  We don't keep a cockerel so she'd sit on her sterile eggs for weeks and weeks, only leaving the nest briefly each day to feed and produce one enormous, and extremely offensive, poop!  In 2009, whilst broody, we obtained six hatching eggs for her and built a nursery pen.  (Hatching eggs come from breeders who keep cockerels and hens together deliberately for rearing purposes.) Four of the eggs hatched and Yoda proved to be an excellent mum, tolerating the chicks antics, keeping her brood under her wing and caring for them until they were as big as herself!  But what she will be most remembered for is appearing at the kitchen window for a treat. After living with us for over 11 years, I noticed she was under the weather a week ago.  I moved her to 'hen hospital' and took her outside with me to enjoy the sun with my morning cuppa. But sadly today she slipped away.  Rest in peace Yoda, you feistiest of all chickens, the force was strong with you.
01.08.2019
Lorna
No comments
You know you're in the company of a good friend when she comes for the weekend and brings an excessive volume of craft supplies for you to be creative together. Lesley is a gifted painter and textile artist from the Borders, a chemistry teacher by day, who I've been fortunate enough to call a friend for over 20 years.  I blogged here about last year's visit to her studio in Peebles.  Lesley's family were visiting for an enduro mountain bike racing competition being staged in Aberdeenshire.  Husband Pete, and their teenage boys, left early in the morning leaving us free to spend the day felting, punctuated by walking both our dogs and a steady supply of refreshments outside in the sun!  Did someone say 'walk'? Star (left) is my rescue dog and Clova is Lesley's labrador Felting is just one of the artistic areas in which Lesley excels and her confidence boosted mine. Inspired by Lesley's fabulous work which was featured in The Scotsman magazine a few years ago, I decided I'd make myself a felted tea cosy. Lesley set to work creating a piece of wall art for a forthcoming exhibition.  Both of us were wet felting, a craft in which colourful merino wool is made into a sturdy decorative fabric using soapy water, agitation and elbow grease.  Lesley was inspired to make a picture of Bennachie and she liked this photo I'd taken in May with the oil seed rape in full bloom. Her picture was soon taking shape. Meanwhile, I was drawn to the bright colours in my Julie Dumbarton calendar and was guided gently by Lesley working alongside me. My piece was two sided so was formed around a resist, or piece of material which withstands the felting process by not allowing the woolly fibres to stick to it.  Flexible packaging material works a treat.  After cutting out a shape, I covered it in white merino tufts and rubbed the wet soapy wool till it stuck together, then repeated the process on the other side.  Here's the fun part - creating a design using all the colours!  First one side... ...which then gets wet, rubbed with soapy water under a light cloth to keep the fibres in place, then flipped over to apply a design to the other side. More wetting and rubbing - must have the cleanest hands ever! Time to take stock, enjoy a summery cocktail and chat about what still needs to be added.  Lesley has included the tiniest wisp of turquoise to her stormy sky - really brings it to life. I incorporated trees into my designs and blame the delicious gin cocktail for not taking any photos at this stage!  Both our pieces were thoroughly rinsed in cold water. Not all my fibres were sticking so the soapy process was repeated and I used Lesley's felting roller to encourage a bit more adhesion.  Final cold water rinsing gets rid of the suds and the wool is 'shocked' by having several kettles of boiling water poured over it.  Felting is brutal! The cooled felt gets wrapped in a raffia mat (or bamboo window blind for Lesley's picture) surrounded with an old bath towel and rolled over and over in both directions to encourage the felt to shrink.  The resist has to be flexible to be able to accommodate this shrinkage.  Only then can the bottom edge of the tea cosy be cut and the resist removed.  Time for an overnight stint in the airing cupboard to dry off both our pieces. Here's each side of my dry tea cosy.  They're a bit wrinkly and the lower edge is a bit wobbly.  Lesley irons her work at this point but I opted for the natural look. We both used a felting needle to add detail and definition.  I trimmed my wobbly bottom (ooh err), edged it with magenta blanket stitch and embroidered a few rocks and grasses into the woodland foreground. The finishing touch was a felted wool bobble.  Ooh - which colour to choose? 💚 Too pretty to be confined to a drawer, my tea cosy is on display in the kitchen to remind me of our friendship and a very happy weekend of felting and chat - few topics were off limits.  I'm really pleased with my work and know I've never felted like this before!  Having an experienced artist at my side really enabled me to produce a unique piece rather than simply copying someone else's work. Lesley's creations can be seen in Ross Dougal Fish Merchant, 32 High Street, Peebles from 23rd to 31st August 2019 and you can keep up with her latest art exploits here.

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

 

Our Mosaics

<< New text box >>

Pricing

Mosaics start from £35 however comissions can be negotiated depending on time and materials to suit your needs.

Products for sale can be paid by cheque or Bank Transfer.. Please contact me for more details. Price of larger items are negotiable. 

Courses

Print Print | Sitemap
© Blue Sky Mosaics