Sunday, 31 May 2009

Dream Days

We are feeling very blessed, with long days of sun, and yet another trip to a beach. The wide-open skies, the songs of the oystercatcher and skylark, and the heady scent of coconut from the golden gorse all make for a healing, restful balm for the soul.

Colour abounds, from the windbreak to the kite against the deepest blue of the sky, and from the sometimes ill-advised and startling beachwear of the British at leisure. Anything goes...

The boys and their Papa dig, splash and paint. I snatch a few cherished moments in solitude to walk the long length of sparsely occupied sand, feet in the water at the warmer fringes of the North Sea.

The beach tunic is finshed and well worn today, roomy and soft.

It was made from an old sheet and a few scraps left over from a quilt, with a bit of embroidery and appliqué to cover some ancient rust marks. My sister gave me the pattern from a magazine, so it was a good thrifty make for summer.

Also finished, the blackbird mosaic, just looking for a comfy place to nest in the garden.

Ah, dream days indeed, to be savoured.

And tomorrow, first thing, I will be announcing the winner of my Giveaway! But don't forget, there is a second chance to win a surprise goodie bag by sending me a postcard so do join in!

Hope you're having some dream days of your own...

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Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Perfect Antidote

After nearly a week of illness my boys perked up a bit (and thank you for your kind get well comments, they cheered me up!). The sun came out too, so a bit of fresh air and change of scenery was definitely called for. So picnic and buckets were thrown in the car and we headed north to a lovely peaceful beach at Portmahomack.

I can't tell you how soothing I find the sound of sea and the calling of oystercatchers. And it was a perfect day. The kind that maybe only happens a couple of times a year in Scotland. Hot, hot sun, a gentle breeze and time to enjoy it all.

The boys dug in the sand and paddled, we hunted for treasure - and so much of it on this beach! But I was happy just to sit on my favourite Guatemalan patchwork blanket and soak it up.

I was happy to have found a sunhat I made for my oldest a few years back, which still fits the youngest, not that it stays on his head for long...


Portmahomack is a wee fishing village with an old stone harbour, where lobster and crab are landed. A perfect place to sit and eat our ice cream...

There's all sorts of interesting old houses with little surprises to be found.

And today, we had another day at a different but also wonderful beach. I didn't take my camera, but I did optimistically pack some sewing, and managed to get a summer tunic finished with a little embroidery - suns, sand and..sewing! My idea of a good day out! And to finish...

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

May Giveaway Day Update

Wow, what a week it's been! My two poor boys have had some kind of evil bug that has had us running around with well-placed buckets - I'll say no more, you get the picture! So inbetween brow mopping, tummy rubbing, carpet cleaning (oh joy!) and copious laundry it has been SUCH a pleasure to see the massive response to my Giveaway Day (see previous post). How very cheering to get all your encouraging and kind comments from all over the world. So, for all of you, that have posted and are posting comments, a few flowers...My youngest loves to pick anything/everything that pops up in the garden and sweetly present them to me, hence our table of tiny arrangements.

Now then, the postcard request seems to have proved a big hit with many of you, so it gave me another idea (as I was awake a fair bit last night...) for another Giveaway! Just to give you a second chance of winning something nice from Featherglen.
To enter, you need to send me a postcard! For my contact details either leave a comment with your email address (and if you have done so already, I will reply) or email me at:
Please mark 'Postcard' in the subject box. The competition will be open until the end of June, and basically the postcard I like the best will win! And if I can't decide I'll ask the boys to choose. Please be sure to write your name and address on the card, oh and maybe what crafts you enjoy, your favourite colours etc. The winner will get another Featherglen mystery goodie bag, filled with crafty items and wee treats - I'll try and choose stuff that you'll like, plus some Scottish things. And I will send a reply postcard to the next 10 coolest cards.
Let the fun commence!
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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

May Giveaway Day and Other Excitement

Here are three things I'm very excited about:

1. An early and totally wonderful birthday present from my sister - a quilt handmade by her, called 'The Rich Tapestry of Life' and filled with fabrics that relate to places I have lived or things I've done in my lifetime so far. How fabulous is that? It's going to live in my sewing room, which can get a bit chilly and will be just perfect on my chair, when I need a bit of something to cosy under.

2 . Our wee raised bed is doing really well! Or rather the plants in it are...and today we cut the first leaves for a homegrown salad. A small thing, I know, but it was deeply satisfying.

3. And taaa-daaa! Today is May Giveaway Day!! I'm going to be giving away a goodie bag of crafty yumminess - mainly fabric, including some Scottish Tweed, as well as ribbon, buttons and all sorts of things you might use to whip up a sweet something with. I will also be adding 4 Featherglen postcards to the bag, and maybe some other little treats too..

It's my surprise to you, whoever you are and wherever you are in the world. My only request is - please send me back a postcard from wherever you live.

So, to win my goodie bag, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post by May 31st - I'll be choosing a winner by bedtime GMT. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

You can also visit Sew, Mama, Sew! to check out all the other giveaways all over the world! So have fun, and thanks for dropping by to visit me.

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Sunday, 24 May 2009

A Giveaway Coming Up...

I stumbled across a very nice idea in blogland the other day - a big massive day of giveaways from lots of other crafty blogs, organised by the creative types over at Sew,Mama,Sew! So watch out for a Featherglen Giveaway coming up this Wednesday 27th May. What will it be....? You'll have to come back then and see! And you will also be able to access lots of other yummy craft giveaways from all over the world. Doesn't it sound like a great way to spend an evening?

So a little something will be coming out of my wee creative space - maybe for you! Here it is unusually tidy (my big sister is coming up for a few days, ahem, out with the hoover!)

Do you remember the nice old tablecloth I bought recently? It ended up covering a long cushion and bringing a bit of early summer into the living room! There's a piece leftover, and I'm hoping to put them into a quilt soon. However, in the meantime, I'm looking forward to bit of sewing and lots of chatting with my sister.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Branching Out

There's always a number of creative projects on the go here at Featherglen, but the one that is particularly attracting the boys attention is an ambitious extension of their treehouse.

I hasten to add, this is not really my department. This is definitely the territory of my beloved. I can draw up ideas, but he is the poor soul who has to make them work, and who understands what it takes to build something that won't fall down.

So, every spare evening, he is out there sawing and chipping away at big piles of wood. Thank heavens for the unexpected arrival of a Canadian pal at the weekend (because, obviously, all Canadians are lumberjacks). That got the ladder done.

Our neighbour is nearing the end of a big building project and has donated a big pile of tree-house construction goodies to the cause. Probably because her children will be spending an awful lot of time up there too...

I climbed up to have a good look ( and no, the ladder did not break, thank you very much) at how things were coming along. Here is the view from on high...I wonder if there might be room for a deckchair up there...

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Monday, 18 May 2009


You aren't ever going to see many photos of me on this blog, but just occasionally, I might let myself come the other side of the camera, for special times maybe. So, what's up?

Hurray, hurray, hurray, I finally finished this first ever cardi for myself. It's only taken a year! Well, I started it last May, but there's been a lot of other things happening, like moving house, for instance. Knitting it wasn't too bad, but sewing it up...that was an entirely different story! Grrr...And I like sewing. Usually.

Anyway, now it's done, I'm jolly pleased with myself. It's perfect for this spring weather. The wool is a nice speckled aran and the pattern is from this book . Now that it's finished, I can get on with a bit more of this:

And baking a few more of these:

And trying to get enthusiastic about finishing the biggest pair of curtains in the world. So they seem to me...
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Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Work in Progress

Every two weeks or so I go to this amazing craft group in Inverness, which provides a brilliant creche for tiny ones and the opportunity for people, mainly mums, to get together, make stuff, see some lovely people and get a cuppa with a slice of homemade cake! Could it be any better? And it's wonderful because I have learnt so much, had help with my novice knitting, started painting with acrylics, and got into doing mosaic. Sometimes I just take whatever I'm working on at home, other times I go and try out whatever I'm in the mood for. And today was definitely a mosaic day.
I have a plan to make some to cheer up the garden in the non-flowering times of the year..we'll see how far I get, but here's the start. And the weather was so nice later that I was able to carry on outdoors while the boys paddled and played alongside.
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Sunday, 10 May 2009

A Woodland Rainbow

After a week of sun and showers and rainbows in the skies, colour is everywhere. A Sunday afternoon stroll in the woods had me on hands and knees, wanting to get up close, so not to miss a drop of it.

Violet...tiny and fragrant

Blue... "A true blue dream of a day"

Green...everywhere, and in every hue and texture

Yellow...coconut scented, way too exotic for the Highlands...Mmm

Orange...the peat tinted waters of the burn this cheating? The real thing was obviously having his afternoon nap....

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