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16 October 2014

Island Threads - February 2008

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gift from the storm

I hope no one is hurt or suffered serious damage during this storm, my mind ‘boggles’ at the thought of the men rescuing the crew off the fishing boat near St Kilda, I can see glimpses of the white water on the Atlantic and it is not a time to be on it,

I was rudely awakened around 1.30 a.m. by loud, very loud rumblings (no not my tummy) it sounded like the roof or rather a lack of, when I sat up I realised the noise was coming from the direction of the kitchen not above, phew! I went to investigate and found the wind/storm had delivered an unwelcome gift through the window in the porch door, glass every where, no light in the porch, so I did what we british do in an emergency I made a pot of tea, after waking up a bit more I reason that there was very little I could do so went back to bed but not to sleep, after a while I got up and dressed and took the torch to take a better look, tried a few ideas to make a quick cover, nothing worked, I was by now feeling very hungry had more tea this time with bickies, went back to bed for a few hours sleep before day light,

Now what to do, I really didn’t like the idea of fighting my way down to the shed to sort out a piece of wood, wondering from room to room to see if there was anything, ‘light bulb moment’ the unplanned wood shelves my fabric boxes sit on, YES just the right length, so four nailed boards later and having been up most if the night I was now very hungry and fancied egg and beans with a cuppa char, I’ll worry about getting it done proper later,

And this is the ‘culprit’ (I mean gift),

comment that I left last night (monday) and has not yet shown,
Yes it was scary but the relief in knowing I still had a roof countered some of it, I am not sure what it is, no it isn’t the mat it is on the mat but very similar in colour, it is a V shaped piece of metal, flattened it would be about 8 inch square, there is a hole in it which looked as if it had burned, so I think it is one of those things people put on their chimneys to stop the wind going down, if anyone on island can recommend a good glazier please leave a message on my photo blog as you can’t here, thanks, mjc the beans are of the 57 variety but the egg is a supper dupper fresh, free range local egg from Lionel, Ness,
I think I might start answering comments in the post, I know some bloggers do this, IT

Posted on Island Threads at 14:22

snowy lewis

this morning was calm, no wind but lots of snow, I’ve not seen this much snow for a long time,

it decorated my trees,

I had to go to stornoway, I had put off going the last 2 days owing to the stormy weather, I took the camera and liked the monotone of these, the camera was on colour,

Back home this afternoon the clouds separated and the sun shone on ness,

Just off to emporio alanjohn in lionel for a Tilley lamp (3 power cuts in less than 24 hours) and free Ambre Solaire,

Frozen IT! ~ Fisherwife! ~ Herring Girl statue, sorry I don’t have the name of the Artist, if you want to see all of her without snow she’s here, there is another and I plan taking a photo of her too, I’m not driving FC, no car so on the bus, the coast road was a bit snowy from Ness to Barvas but over the moor the road was clear and coming back the road was clear all the way, I was going Thursday but due to the wind thought I’d leave it till Friday but the wind was worse so left it till Saturday and could not delay going any more, thanks Jill,
Posted on Island Threads at 18:11


Costing the Earth last week started on a Shetland wind factory that produces electric for the people of Shetland, it was said it produces between 8 – 18 % of Shetlands electric, the fact that this was a local wind factory producing electric for local people interested me but unfortunately the programme then went on to other things it came back to Shetland at the end as Shetland wants to build a 150 turbine wind factory to provide electricity for Shetlanders and sell any extra to the national grid, (if any of this is wrong I apologise but this was how I heard it)

Viking Energy the company that will be building and owning the new wind factory and owns the current one of 5 turbines is community owned, if anyone can offer further info I would love to hear, if you want to know more follow the link to Viking Energy,

Now why couldn’t/can’t the Comhairle here on Lewis do something community owned for the people of Lewis instead of wanting to sell out to big business??? (no I don’t expect an answer),

Posted on Island Threads at 16:29

puzzle postcards

I finally finished the cards I started last autumn, as they were going to members of a group instead of cutting straight lines I cut them out as puzzle pieces so if we should ever get together as a group then we can make the whole which as a group we are,
I talked about the first stages here, as I said then it needed something and I realized it was because the edges were a bit bare, so I did some more collage, paint and sprinkled glitter on the edges,
before cutting,

after cutting,

now the back,
I was going to leave the back white, then I thought I’d just paint some texture in a light coloured paint, then one day when I was clearing out the backroom where all my stuff was (it is now in the front while I hope to get the backroom sorted out) I found some newspaper that had been under some fabric I had painted and I like the colour too much to just chuck it out, also the paper is the local rag, I then remembered some extra collagraph prints done on newsprint, because I had used all the paper I had with me at the time and I loved the colour and thought they would be good to play with, so I thought ~ local rag + slice of island landscape = a more appropriate backing for the postcards, sorry I forgot to take photos before I cut the papers up and stuck them on the back,

the group initial is ad so I cut an AD stamp from strong card and printed it on each piece, the dark blob is a ‘F’ seal I put on each (my initial),

the stamp,

the is the first time I have really used it, a group I belonged to when I lived in Bath had an 'auction' of things donated by members to raise funds, a couple who's surname began with F brought the seal set along and as the sealing wax is purple I decided to buy it, as the only other person in the group with an F in their initial I was the only bidder, I have never seen purple sealing wax before and had previously thought it only came in red, doing the sealing wax was ‘fun’ I found you had to actually set light to it before it would melt and drip!! I managed not burn myself or catch the house on fire….

Posted on Island Threads at 21:43

monday morning

sun and cloud

Posted on Island Threads at 09:41

ness art group

the last 2 weeks at the ness art group I had a go at painting, acrylics, from a photo, I keep pushing on and I feel quiet pleased as for me I think it is not too bad, for me you understand, there are others who can do much, much better,

these photos are of a sunset over Tarbert Harris one summer evening in 2000/01 as that is when I lived on Scalpay and this was the view from my house, fantastic isn’t it I have never lived anywhere before with such amazing fantastic views, the first one is the one I used as a source for the painting,

now the painting, ofcourse with my limited knowledge and lack of great numbers of paints I didn’t have the right yellow, I needed a Yellow Ochre, so this is how it looked when I came home from the meeting last week,

this is later in the week and this is as far as I could go without the yellow ochre,

I got a tube at the Colour Factory Friday, the last one phew, this is with the right yellow now and it is as far as I am going with the painting, no Turner I know but for me it is better than I think I can do so I am happy,

Now I am going to have another go to try some ‘bleeding’ I’ve been told I should let the colours ‘bleed’

And sorry not to have posted any textile stuff, I have done some, done my jan journal, I have been playing with Tyvek, never used it before but this melting can become a bit compulsive!!!! must take photos and write about it,

Posted on Island Threads at 21:51


as I had said in an earlier post I wanted to try some of the many techniques out there that I have so far not had a play with and that I was going to start with the ones mentioned in a book I have: Surfaces to Stitch by Gwen Hedley,

the first material Gwen describes is Tyvek, now all I know about tyvek is that it is a manmade material that melts when heat is applied and in the usa they often use it to make envelopes, I have been told a much heavier version is used in the building trade but that is not what I am using here, Quilts inc. were kind enough to return my 2006 JQ’s in a tyvek envelope and SAQA sent out some info in a tyvek envelope too so I had 2 envelopes to play with,

first I slapped some paint on that was hanging around, these are experiments just to see how tyvek shrinks, when you apply heat it bubbles so depending on which side you apply the heat you get concave or convex bubbles, oh, just thought some may be wondering how I heated it, with my iron on a medium setting and you place the tyvek between 2 sheets of baking parchment or you will have a very messy iron, here are my first two,

the minuet I saw the convex piece I had an idea for my January Journal Quilt (JQ),

you can stitch on the tyvek so I did some machine stitching on the next couple of pieces, (sorry the stitching does not show much), I cut each of these in half and Iron one on the front and one on the back to see the difference, the top one is straight horizontal stitching and the bottom is wavy horizontal stitching,

I was surprised that the stitching didn’t seem to alter the way it bubbled at all,

Then I stitched another 2 pieces this time the top one has had straight crisscross lines and the lower one free motion machine (fm) circles,

I decided I like the unstitched best,

Posted on Island Threads at 11:40

seashell shore

as I said in the previous post the convex piece of tyvek gave me an idea for my jan JQ, the other contributor to my idea is an embroidery I did over 23 years ago when I was studying City and Guilds Creative studies Embroidery, the tutor gave us all a paper cut out shell shape with just a few detail lines, we could interpret it any way we liked free embroidery by hand (not canvaswork, blackwork, etc.) the only other rule was we had to keep the exact size, in other words what she gave us was a shell pattern,

when I got home and sorted through my fabrics (in those days my inspiration always started with my fabrics), I had some pink and white tie dyed satin that looked shell like to me and at the time I was very into scrim, hessian and nets, so I layered a background of hessian overlaid with nets, I wanted my shell to standout so I did an applied trapunto (stuffed it ~ put some wadding behind it so it was raised), when I had tie dyed the fabric I had thrown in some threads too, always useful, I outlined the shell and picked out the detail lines with the thread, then I embroidered and beaded over some lace for sea foam around the shell and finished with some embroidery and beading over the sea and sand, I didn’t cover the surfaces with stitch as I liked to just create slight effects and ideas yet leave the sense of the fabric, (if you can understand),

so now I had my inspirations,

Posted on Island Threads at 21:03

pebble shore

now to interpret the inspiration in a 21st century style, I use the machine a lot more now than I did 20 years ago, so this piece would include machine stitching, I wanted to use net layers but did not want a hessian base fabric, instead painted a piece of pelmet vilene a sandy sorta colour, painted the tyvek with the same blue paint and some metallic paint,
laying the tyvek over the pelmet vilene,

laying in the net and first machine stitches,

more net, machine stitching then adding hand stitching and beads,

Posted on Island Threads at 19:37

BT’s catch 22

Wednesday evening I discovered my phone is not receiving incoming calls so I reported the fault to bt, to arrange for an engineer to call the engineer HAS to have a phone number to contact you on, errr it is because I am not receiving in coming calls that I need an engineer to repair my phone line, ~ but the engineer needs to contact you……to….tell….you….he is on his way!!!!!! but but but my phone line is NOT receiving incoming calls and WHY does he need to tell me he is on his way,

I was told Wednesday evening that an engineer would call Thursday afternoon, he didn’t, when I phoned Thursday evening to ask ‘why’ I am told there was no appointment for Thursday but he will be calling Friday afternoon and can I give them a phone number as the engineer needs to contact me to tell me ‘he is on his way’ no I can’t because there is a fault on my phone line which is not allowing incoming calls through, which is why I need it repaired!!!!!

I have been told a note has been made that I do not receive incoming calls and that an engineer will be calling this afternoon, I wait in anticipation and will be amazed if anyone actually turns up,

Posted on Island Threads at 12:57

sunny stornoway

I got the early bus to town this morning and the boats were in,

Posted on Island Threads at 14:10


Posted on Island Threads at 20:08

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