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Sunday, 1 September 2019

time for another Scottish island retreat...

our annual treat has become a family holiday away up to the Scottish islands, this time we were off to Islay, the southernmost island, picking up the ferry at Kennascraig on the mainland, docking at Port Askaig on Islay. Part of the relaxation is the long drive up north, playing Runrig at full volume on the car stereo, knowing that at the end a huge Cal Mac ferry awaits, and we drive on clunking over the ramp, park carefully in the belly of the boat directed by the wo/men in hard hats, and head up to the top deck for a couple of hours of sea watching...nowhere to go and nothing to do!

Tho' it's always an opportunity to take photos and be inspired by the industrial colours and shapes of the ferry, and of course the sea, the endless sea...and the romance of the distant islands...

 
Arriving in the late evening, we drove to the cottage, greeted by a barn owl as we arrived...a good omen for the week ahead! The cottage was just lovely, feeling clean and new and neat, with beautiful tweed curtains and a simple easy style, and everything you would need. And no wifi! More info here if you'd like to stay there...

Through the windows there was just the surrounding moorland, and deer coming close by...lots of birds, we even saw a golden eagle soaring up above the hill, and plenty more as we were very close to the RSPB reserve. The sea is never far away and there were lots of little bays to visit...and no one else for miles around!
The views from the windows were so calming and beautiful, whether in rain and mist or in sunshine. I had taken a sketchbook with pre-prepared pages, so I spent the week doing a drawing or two each day, using my water soluble coloured pencils, and some amazing old watercolours (from my childhood!!) to create some simple interpretations of what I saw. I upcycled some plastic packaging as a water pot!
Wildflowers and wildlife abounds on the island, so much to see and delight in...

and there were even donkeys! As many of you may know we have donkeys at home...and we are always happy to see more...you cannot be uncheered by them, and these were so friendly! Sadly we had no carrots for them...

I think I will show you a few more photos next time...there's plenty more where these came from! We are home once more and I'm back in the studio, getting ready for another set up of our exhibition Sewing the Seeds: we're going to be at The Gather at Ennerdale Bridge, here in Cumbria for a month, setting up tomorrow...so I'd better go and find my boxes and get organised...

Happy 1st September...time for some autumny creating methinks...I'm running Seedheads workshop on 26th September and Mini Landscapes on 17th October if you fancy some fabric and stitch fun! check out my website for details...