Thursday, 29 December 2011

Still Working

With all the focus on Molly cat you'd think I'd just been staring at a cat for weeks but I have still been working away!

Day 148
One custom order for a set of twin sea glass bangles was made and delivered to a very welcoming lady who showed me her collection of beautiful, atmospheric etchings by Norman Ackroyd.  Really gorgeous.

Day 149
Delivery day was a bit wintery with fierce hail on the sea front as we pulled into buy some lunch.  R was delighted with his burnt rolls, I know the label reads double baked or something but it's just burnt really isn't it?! Pleugh!

Day 150
And a bit more Molly!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Day 143 - 147 Molly meets the Christmas Decorations

Day 135 - 142

135 - Taking photos of R's paintings at Paxton to check if they are straight!

136 - Molly and me.

Day 137 - a frosty walk in the woods and some fabulous giant outdoor Christmas baubles!

Day 138 - Molly. Again.

Day 139 - a most splendid bird from Lynda Taylor, Crown Studio Gallery.  A lovely gift which has been adorning our living room, well out of reach of the cat!  I had a job interview on day 139 and this was a lovely parcel to come home to after being really rather nervous!

Day 140 - headless cat

Day 142 - blurry holly.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

December Begins

Before December ends I'll show you how it began. . .

Day 133 was the first of December and R and I went over to set up our work at the Crossing Borders Gallery in Paxton House, ready for the Christmas Cracker festive fair.  It was very cool to have a whole display cabinet to display my work in and Paxton House looked so beautiful decorated for Christmas.  I have news to do with Paxton but more of that in another post.

On the way home from Paxton we stopped to look over a few bridges; the water was high and like swirling chocolate after the heavy rains.  

Day 134 
Lighting the advent candle for the second time and watching Molly cat's contortions on the hearth.  You can tell she's been on the pilates mat with me, just look at that stretch! Pity she has a determination to lie on the mat every time I work out, always at the exact point where she'd be most in the way! 

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas everyone!

Hope you are all having a lovely holiday time, I'm back in Northern Ireland and it's great catching up with family and friends here.  Today has been a dedicated stay at home and chilling out day so I thought I'd share a few more photos of our life in the borders and try to catch up on project 30.  Here is days 129 - 132.  Day 131 is missing, ahem.

Trying to remember to take a photo every day sometimes results in photos like this - our dinner!  Usually a favourite from Nigel Slater, using red cabbage turned our noodles purple and whether it was the colour or what, the noodles just didn't rock that night.  If you ever want a giggle ask a Northern Irish person to talk about noodles; apparently we sound funny.

A rainbow in Coldstream en route to a beading lesson with the lovely Barbara from Coldstream Gallery.

The excitement of discovering, ordering and receiving an Annie Lennox Christmas album just as November ended ready for the advent period.  Joy!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Day 124 - 128 More Molly and Festivities Begin

My lovely sister came to stay for a few days which was fabulous.  Lynne had to share a room with Molly cat and they got on very well.  By tying a few lengths of wool onto the toy mouse Lynne encouraged Molly to polish her hiding in a box, behind a throw stalking tactics.  Impressive.

A new person in the house meant new shoes to explore and the delight of discovering new laces.  Even Rocket Dog is no match for Molly.

We had a lovely time pottering around, relaxing and visiting places.  A jaunt up the road to Edinburgh was a must and we accidentally went on the day the Christmas lights were turned on.  Beautiful and bizarre to watch a busy street of people stop walking and stare as a huge firework went off. It was the only one as it was too windy for the rest but that didn't detract from our festive joy.
Image from Lynne, ta!
In the midst of perusing potential bridesmaid dresses I took Lynne over to have a look at the Church where R and I will be getting married next year.  

Just before setting off for the airport we went to Haddington, I found the bead shop to stock up for a lesson, we had some lunch and were treated to a pipe band. This was so nearly December and I was with my sister so it was awful hard to resist the festive feeling!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Day 121 - 123

Day 121 took us over to St Abbs for a visit to Number Four Gallery's Christmas exhibition and, as always, there was a wonderful array of beautiful work.

Day 122 and a quick shot of the work bench in the midst of the busy pre-Christmas period.  

Dy 123 started with my attempt to open a tub of wet wipes to clean down my work bench.  Who knew this would end with me nearly and tears and R wielding a pair of mighty tin snips to cut my finger out of the lid.  It's hard to take a photo of your own right hand when you are right handed but just look at the scraped nail and near serrated finger.  It hurt.  So dear reader, learn from me; never use your finger to push through the first wet wipe of a new tub.

Mysteries for Molly

 Since arriving, Molly has done a lot of snoozing on the hearth as shown above, however, on the morning of day 119 the warm had disappeared and there was much puzzlement.

The lack of heat coupled with the wind causing some spectacular howling down the chimney made for a very inquisitive cat who, without human intervention, may have climbed on up the chimney!  

I've arrived back in Northern Ireland and am trying to catch up on project 30 so I'm not bringing you festive frolics in January!  Hope you are enjoying the build up to Christmas.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

New Tool

Day 117
I ordered a new tool and when it arrived I got quite a shock to open the box and find what looked like a recently removed organ wrapped in layers of blood filled plastic.  Many on facebook thought the same!

Day 118
Despite the grim appearance and red oiled hands which resulted from unwrapping it my new disc cutter is great.  This is a fairly cheap model but I've been really impressed with it so far and had made cutting circles of metal so much swifter!  

Day 120
The first in for a penny necklace featuring hand stamped faith, hope and love copper discs on sterling silver chain.  I have loads of ideas for these and am really pleased customers are wanting personal stamps on their necklaces; initials or names of loved ones being the most popular.  These will be available online in the new year.

Day 115 and 116 Molly and Mouse

Day 115 and Molly receives her first visitors who were deemed acceptable as they were friendly, brought treats and a mouse.

Day 116 sees mouse get the first of many a hiding.  As I'm typing this all I can see of Molly cat is her back legs protruding from underneath the futon accompanied by some frantic scrabbling noises.  I think I know where mouse is.  

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Gymnasium Open Exhibition

Day 114 

We went over to Berwick to have a look round the annual Open Exhibition at the Gymnasium Gallery, where Rich, Mr J and our friend Caroline Underhill had pieces on show.
Somebody forgot to note the artist but I loved this piece.

Once again there was an interesting mix of work from local artists and I heard yesterday that Caroline was awarded 3rd place with her Highland Cow pastel painting!  Many congratulations!

Lavinia takes a little sip of tea and, apologies again, I have forgotten the name of the artist

Detail from Self Portrait with Migraine by Gill Walton
 Just while I'm making fleeting reference to Gill Walton's work you may be interested in her latest venture in conjunction with Oliver Reed - Allanbank Arts.  Dubbed "the space to create" Allanbank Arts is a beautiful venue in the Scottish Borders, near Allanton, where Gill and Oliver will be running a range of creative courses and artist mentoring.  Definitely worth checking out whether you are local to the Borders (Scottish Borders Council employees get 10% off!) or are planning a creative holiday in the area.

Lastly, R made us pasties for tea and they were splendid.  Can you tell Hugh F-W has been on the tv?!  Thyme, goats cheese and spinach, yum.  

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Florals and Fluff

Day 110 and we finally put up some curtains in our bedroom!  Another vital getting ready for chilly winter step and so pretty and floral - thanks Mrs J!

Day 112 and the cat just keeps looking fluffy

Day 113 suggests Molly cat has fully settled in and, despite having been to the vets for injections, had a thermometer up her bum and stuff squeezed in her eyes she seemed quite happy to just loll about in front of the fire when we got back.


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

First Frost and Fluffy Trousers

Day 109 brought the first frost that I've seen so far this season.  I'm sure there has been some earlier while I was fast asleep and dreaming but this was the first I've been up and out in it.

With the crisp air and low winter sun it was a lovely morning for Molly's first exploration of the garden.  Under all that fluff she is quite slight and it really looks like she's donned a pair of furry trousers suitable for frosty striding.

Twenty minutes or so of sniffing and leaping out in the cold world brought Molly back inside for a lounge on the sunny windowsill.  Such a contented little cat who is clearly used to living in a home and made our job of helping her settle in very easy indeed.  It is so lovely having a wee beast around the house!

Meet Fluffy

On day 106 R and I went over to B.A.R.K to have a look at some cats.  We met the lady on duty who showed us up and down the kennels and we had the awful feeling of turning down lots of animals.  Two little kittens came and played with us and we were just deciding which to have when we were told they had to be rehomed together so we had another walk up and down and went outside to see a cat called Muffy.  A friendly, purring fluffball who had a good curious poke through the fence to see who we were.

We left the kennels to have a think and do the shopping and called in again on the way home to say we would visit again the following week and that we liked Muffy.  Then, after a chorus of 'Muffy's lovely, have Muffy' we went home.

With Muffy.
Day 106 A cat once called Muffy.

Day 107 and the name debate continues; Daisy was a contender, 'cept I kept calling her Daisy Renton and, if you've read 'An Inspector Calls', you'll understand why we changed our minds.

Day 108 and the little raggy doll of a cat has settled in splendidly, adopted all cushions as her own and is now called . . .


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