Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lacemaking the Natural Way

Requirements: some brassicas and several cabbage white butterflies.
Outcome: a week or two later . . . natural green lace.

Husband, looking at these, wails, "Oh my poor cabbages!" (purple sprouting broccoli in fact). And didn't I knock the caterpillars off? Well, no, actually, they seemed quite happy. But now with a bit of technological wizardry the broccoli looks even more interesting. Though I'm not sure I'd want to eat it. May be time though to get the fabric out, and perhaps the heat gun calls.

Many thanks to Jenny, fellow blogger, for collaging these pics for me with her software.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Grand Family Gathering

So we're back from a magnificent week in an Edwardian shooting and fishing lodge in Scotland, about half way between Inverness and Aviemore. It was a bit cold, which I put down to altitude, but most of the rest of the country wasn't that hot either apparently. We saw dolphins, salmon leaping, red squirrels (had a conversation with one on a branch 10 feet above my head), golden eagles, deer, wolves, reindeer, a wildcat and bison (have to say the last 4 were at the Highland Wildlife Centre), but no monsters, even in Loch Ness (see awful photo below). Rosebay willow herb in great swathes at the roadside, heather giving a pinkish tinge to hillsides, like those old tinted photos, wild blueberries, and on the hill slopes around the house, masses of juniper bushes, like those in the foreground with the River Findhorn in the view down the valley from our bedroom.
Silver birches are everywhere. The ones round the house were short, twisty trees, looking very old, but these are in a forestry plantation at Rogie Falls.
The grandchildren managed to dig sand and get wet and have a great time on the beach of Loch Morlich in spite of the lack of summer temperatures. I like the contrasting strips in this pic, and the shapes made by the children.

Back to stitching again, didn't get any done while away, but I did make small books with the kids, and helped them thread necklaces.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

We're Taking the High Road . . .

Time for a quick note before we go off early tomorrow for a week in Scotland, just south of Inverness. Its a Grand Family Gathering, in a big house, near Loch Ness. 4 daughters and husbands/partners/children (6), and sister-in-law, DH and me. The first time all the cousins have met since 2 of them were babies. They are all very excited. I hope they won't behave like monsters, or we won't need to go looking for the one in the Loch! Won't get much stitching done, though I can't go away without some.

This pic is the top strip, pictured unstitched on a previous post. It is up and down buttonhole with 2 bullions. I do like the way you can cover the ground and make it all spikey by varying the direction to the next stitch. There is also some feather stitch, and some alternating barred chain.
Back in a week, och aye the noo, which I am told no one actually says in Scotland.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Stitches are Clever but Flowers are Cleverer

I've still not mastered the art of arranging photos in the order I want, but there is nearly a nice colour gradation here with this series of pics from our garden at the moment.
Last year we had nasturtiums everywhere, unbelievable variations of yellow, orange and red. The only snag was they strangled other plants we wanted alive!
Day lilies come in similar colour variations. I think I'll have to collect a few more.
And we do have the common, light orange version of this crocosmia but they aren't out yet

This one should have come at the end of my sequence, introducing a bit more blue to the pink and magenta.

I just can't believe the intensity of colour in petunias sometimes.

Look at the enlarged version of this rosebay willow herb. Its so beautiful. Why is this a weed? We let a whole bank of it grow every year, down next to the canal. Makes a change for it from waste ground. (Now no rude remarks about our garden please!)