Hello and welcome to my blog. I am a new student, starting a distance learning degree through the Open College of Arts, and I am going to blog about what I have learnt and my work. You may be visiting this blog expecting to see work for sale, however I am now concentrating on being a student and loving it! Come and join me for the ride.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Thursday challenge - Natalie Aird Glass Artist

My chosen artist for this week is Natalie Aird, a glass artist based just outside of Grantown-on-Spey. Her work is made using a kiln to create striking pieces of glassware inspired by local landscapes.

Ship's Ribs Turquoise and Black

Loch Calder

Natalie also makes a range of tea light holders as shown below, they come in a large range of colours to suit any colour scheme. They cause the light to spill out in gorgeous patterns.

Email : glass@natalieaird.com Web : www.natalieaird.com

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Thursday failure aagghh!

I can only say sorry for the lack of posts of Thursday. My excuse is that I was out with friends viewing the new Harry Potter film, and it was brilliant. I have been a closet Potter lover ever since I was handed the Philosophers Stone by my Mum, to wean me away from the famous five and other Enid Blyton delights. I do admit to being disappointed when there are differences in the films from the books, but they are still fab!

So here is a delayed Thursday challenge post......Fifi Loves. Fi is a graduate from the NCAD in Dublin and now works at Glasstorm in Tain. She creates unique and fun fused glass jewellery, capturing pictures between two layers of glass, or using traditional fusing techniques, with a twist!

Fi is available to take commissions for the centre of the pieces, making them a gorgeous, personal gift, for friends, or simply yourself. I have already commissioned two pieces myself! Her work ranges from necklaces to cufflinks, suitable for male and female.

Fi's work is available at Glasstorm Contemporary Gallery in Tain, and at http://fifiloves.bttradespace.com

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Christmas disappointment

A few days ago I experienced such a great amount of disappointment. As many of my friends have also admitted to, we gauge when it is ok to accept the Christmas bug, on the viewing of the Coca-cola advert. You know, the one with the line of trucks all lit up with that jolly Father Christmas on the side. For years it has been a good gauge, it seemed strong enough not to bow to pressure and start earlier and earlier each year. So, I was devastated to see it last week. It's not that I don't like Christmas, I love it, the tree, the cake, and the music. However, I do feel that if the whole world left it well alone until December, then I wouldn't be that little bit bored of it come the actual day! And, it seems that now the advert gauge cannot be used I need to find a new one. Any ideas anyone??

Now I can admit to posting a festive themed post on this very blog already. But, as a crafter you find yourself preparing months in advance, and the onslaught of Christmas fairs inevitable. However, I am going to resist in adding the Christmas decorations to my Folksy shop until December. I am also working on an array of vintage stamp themed pressies, so keep a look out this weekend.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Thursday Challenge - Irisue yarn crafts

Today I share with you, Irisue Yarn Crafts. A mother and daughter duo who knit and felt by hand beautiful bags and woolen vases.

Here are two examples of the gorgeous vases or bowls. They are hand knitted and then felted in a hand turned washing machine, imagine the arm ache!!! The colours vary from bowl to bowl depending on the yarn used. You can find a bowl to suit every room in your house, I did. They just make you want to pick them up and hold them, as I did for most of the day.

The bags are made using the same method, hand knit and then felted. No two bags are the same, finished of with different fastenings. The bags are all lined internally and are incredibly strong due to the felting process.

There was also a jolly array of hats on sale, all hand knitted again with different fairisle patterns. They are incredibly warm, tested out while walking the dogs on a wintery day this week.

They will be at Eden court Christmas fair on the 3rd-5th December to stock up on some unique christmas presents.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Thursday challenge - Crooked Crafts

This week I am going to introduce you to Crooked Crafts. A Father and Son duo, based in the Highlands of Scotland. They make and sell bird boxes from found or recycled materials, and because they are made from re-used timber no two are the same!

The style and varieties are simply gorgeous, taking the humble bird box to fantastic new levels. Wiggly roofs, heart shaped boxes and the new sail house box would look fabulous inside and out of your home.

I am particularly in love with the blue heart shaped box pictured above!

They have also created a box suitable for the discerning golfer, a recycled club becoming a comfy perch for the birds.

Smaller wooden items such as these lovely coasters are also available, alongside hand turned mushrooms and jewelery.

You can visit their website at www.crookedcrafts.co.uk or see them at various fairs in the Highlands.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Fabulous weekend

I have had a lovely weekend at Strathpeffer on my stall. Unfortunately no major sales, a few decorations went though. So i'm looking at the positives of meeting lots of lovely people. These events are brilliant opportunities to meet fellow crafts people and artists, and there were plenty to meet. I have picked up plenty of business cards and website addresses which will all be going onto the blog soon. I have also begun some christmas browsing, there were so many things I liked that it was hard to find things I would want to give away! I resisted parting with my cash, only to save the moment for the fairs at Eden court in Inverness, coming up soon.

Here are some piccies of my stall from this weekend.

I have decided to set myself a challenge, a new post about a different crafts person, photographer or artist a week. My chosen day is going to be Thursday, starting tomorrow, so watch this space......

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Strathpeffer fair

On Saturday and Sunday I will be holding a stall at Strathpeffer food and art fair. There will be lots of stalls showing off wonderful handmade jewellery and crafts. I'm looking forward to meeting some new, lovely people and gaining some contacts for the future. I must try not to spend more than I earn. Hope to see you there if you are in the area.

On my stall I will have all my original artwork for sale, and my handmade canvas xmas decorations. They are hand-painted and decorated with vintage buttons form my Nana's button box. Take a look, I'm feeling slightly festive.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


I hope everyone is having a good week so far, it's not long until the weekend. I don't know what the weather has been like near you, but up here in Moray the Autumn sun has been simply amazing. A pain to drive in, but divine for photography. The shot of the rainbow was taken on my way to work this morning, leaning out of my Landrover window. I was pulled over, don't worry. It's days like today when I'm glad I grabbed my camera. I am dying to go walking in the woods this weekend to get some snaps of the fallen leaves, I just cannot get over the varied colours. I have been picking up colourful leaves to press and use on cards, capturing the jewel like colours.

Sometimes a photo can look disappointing at first glance, as the one above did. However I always try to see a positive, and I really like how the violent purple stands out in this photo of heather. Below are some more stunning sunsets, I cannot get enough of them.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Back painting again

I have finally been and replaced my paint box. To fill you in, while moving house I lost a box, the box full of my acrylic paints. I was devastated when I realised. One year on and it was time to reverse the situation. You may wonder why it took me so long? Two reasons, I really wanted to give my pastels a fair chance, and I know myself too well, shopping for paint would be expensive!! And so, I set off with credit card in hand and I have not looked back.

It was expensive, but, I am very happy and I do have some fairs coming up soon to get some reaation. Here are my first offerings, I've been experimenting with more abstract ideas.

Beach Swirl No1

Beach Swirl No2

Golden escape

All these painting will be for sale in mt Filksy shop very soon, and available to look at on my stall at the following events :-
Strathpeffer Pavillion - 6th and 7th November
Victorian Fair, Brodie Castle - 27th and 28th November
Bishops Palace, Eden Court, Inverness - 4th and 5th December

Monday, 4 October 2010

Dark room dreams

I have recently started an evening course in film photography at Moray College. So far I have taken a 24 exposure film and developed it. My first photo was an oops moment, I was in digital mode and just snapped away without any settings adjusted, so we will see how successful that was, or wasn't! Our theme for the course is reflections and shadows, but unfortunately the weather in sunny Scotland hasn't been so sunny of late. So I was forced inside for my photos, I decided to concentrate on kitchen items and a very shiny pair of comedy sunglasses. Tomorrow is printing night, and I am so excited to see how successful I have been, or if it has been a disaster! I will scan in some photos when I get home.

For the course we also have to research photography masters and one of my favourites so far has been the works of Shomei Tomatsu. He is one of the only Japanese photographers to have documented the aftermath of the nuclear attack on the city of Nagasaki in 1945. His photographs are horrifying and eye opening in the same breath. Here are some examples of his work.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Bonbi Forest treats

Here is my Bonbi Forest journey in pictures. I have been eyeing up Lee May Foster's work and jewelery for a while now, and as soon as pay day arrived I decided to treat myself. I was so excited when the parcel arrived, but I didn't expect the amazing packaging that was inside. It was so much fun un-wrapping the necklace, the box was so intricate and gorgeous. I loved the little arrows showing me the way in. A truly fabulous way to package somthing, professional and fun. You can buy your own bit of fun at www.bonbiforest.com

And here is the gem inside the origami box, a stunningly made necklace. I've not taken it off since it arrived, its perfect for dressing up a simple white tee. Love it, more treats will be winging their way to sunny Scotland I think.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

'Red sky at night...'

Here is my newest piece of original work, 'Red sky at night...'. It is a chalk pastel drawing that is professinally mounted using white board. The drawing will soon be available to buy in my Folksy shop. If you would like the drawing to be framed I can do that for you, but the delivery time will be longer.
I have tried to capture the vivid colours I have seen in the many stunning Morayshire sunsets. This drawing is from memory, not a photograph. Hope you like it. Comments and opinions appreciated.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Visit to Findhorn

Yesterday as we walked along the pebble beach at Findhorn there wasn't much sun. But, the blue of the sky was stunning. There was a weather front coming in from the west that you can see to the left of the photo, it seemed to be chasing the smaller, whispier clouds away. I couldn't resist taking a few snaps.

This is a photo of a plant I saw along the banks of the River Findhorn today while visiting Cawdor castle. It was almost luck rather than judgement that I caught the fly in the photo, I was trying but quite a few snaps were empty. I'm very chuffed I did catch him though.