Last week I recharged my batteries in the Scottish Highlands. This mostly involved drinking, eating (oh so much eating), idyllic walks, not being able to go outside without seeing about three sea eagles, and playing with my new toy; a Fuji Instax Mini 8 camera. The results are below.
The Mini 8 is marketed mostly as a selfie capturing camera, and I can't wait to use it for portraits/fashion shoots I have planned, as it wasn't great at capturing the landscape. I also took two rolls of 35mm film, one with my Nikon SLR and one with my Lomography Fisheye. It was fun to shoot film again after just using my phone for so long, and I plan to continue doing so.
As much as I do love London, occasionally I need to escape it for a little while. I've been feeling a little disenchanted recently; I think from constantly working so hard on projects, from the long summer which I've been failing to fill effectively, and from spending too much time staring at screens (she says, staring at one!)
So a two week rest cure at my parents' house in the North West Highlands was just what the doctor ordered. I brought my current project, Big Teeth, along with me (and got a surprising amount sewn on the train!) My aim for the holiday was to sit and sew and look out at the sea.
First of all, here are some holiday snaps:
|An old friend adorning a stone shed on the walk down to the beach (painted by a family friend).|
|Giant daisies growing against the shed in my parents' garden.|
|The first bushel of gooseberries grown in the garden; there's almost enough for a crumble!|
|An entirely unintentional shot of me wandering around in the garden in a lovely dress.|
Of course, most of my time has been given over to sewing, and this current project isn't an easy one (but then I'm always one to bite off more than I can chew!)
Someone else who hasn't been finding my sewing easy is our dog, Rosie. A few days ago, the phone started ringing whilst I was mid-stitch; thinking it might be my boyfriend, I got up in a rush, thrusting the embroidery aside. It landed on the dog.
My reading material for the holiday has been fairly light; I desperately wanted to read The Little White Horse, but couldn't find it at home or at my Grannie's (hers is the house next door to my parents'). Instead, Grannie lent me Linnets and Valerians, also by Elizabeth Goudge. I must admit, so far I haven't touched it; I've been too engrossed in Issue Five of Magpie Magazine, which, as well as being full of beautiful photographs and articles, has quite a number of the best poems I've read in recent years. They've inspired me to write some of my own (not quite ready to share yet, though). My final "reading material" is my previous artist's book, On Being Soft, which is sob-inducingly superior to my current efforts, but acts as a good source of inspiration nonetheless.
And on to those poor efforts! I think my real problem is that the story/poem that runs through the book is rather text-heavy, and my pages are rather tiny!
The first few pages are charmingly off-kilter, but the last couple are so dense the text is almost illegible! The second to last page in particular is just not gelling for me; I think the blanket stitch around the text is too bright. I may unpick it and start again. Also, the last line of the first page is missing and I can't for the life of me find where it's gone! Typical me!
I do like the soft tones of the scanned and cloth-printed Polaroids against the clumsy blanket stitch and the hand sewn text, though, and I am (more or less) happy with every page other than that pesky second to last one. Perhaps I should have stuck to using the same fabric for each page, as I did with On Being Soft. Oh well, I'm sure the contents of the Polaroid pockets will be more impressive. And speaking of, I'd better crack on with them. No rest for the wicked!
No, not the product of a boozy stitchery sesh I'm afraid, rather my Highland frolics in pictures (although I am currently working on a slightly ambitious piece which will be revealed in the near future... or whenever I finish it, it is quite labour intensive and I start my new internship on Wednesday!)
J.G. Mallard came with us and caught some rays by the pond (it was so hot I even incurred some sunburn!)
So, last Sunday Pip arrived and we did things such as climb the local mountain and swim in the (not particularly warm) river, which was filled with young trout.
|Atop Ben Hiant|
|Look at his widdle face... you'd never think he was the author of controversial dystopian literature.|
Sans duck, we took a trip to Tobermory, scene of faintly unsettling British childrens' television program Balamory, ate posh chips, and discovered an honesty shop which was filled to the rafters with Mills & Boons. This proved to be most convenient, as the photograph below demonstrates:
The final night was spent sippin' homemade alcoholic concoctions... sloe gin for me, potent French apple brandy for Pip. I indulged in some sneaky stitchery of the aforementioned soon-to-be-revealed piece, too.
In fact, we managed to get through a nigh-on obscene amount of booze during our three weeks in Branault... in the two weeks before Pip arrived, my parents and I seemingly drank seventeen bottles of wine... definitely time to switch into life post-uni, methinks!