Archive for June, 2009

Free Motions Work Day

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Leah, Shelley and I braved the sweltering heat to do some outdoor dyeing yesterday.  Here’s some pics:

Shelley and Leah mixing dye

Shelley and Leah mixing dye

 

Outdoor set up in Shelley's yard

Outdoor set up in Shelley's yard

 

Leah doing some shibori wrapping-scarves

 Here’s some of my results:

screen overdye

screen overdye

 

One of my dye painting experiments

One of my dye painting experiments

 

another screen overdye

another screen overdye

 

black overdye of boring piece

black overdye of boring piece

Inspirational Artist William Morris-Glass and Bronze

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

I first ran across William  Morris’ work at the Chicago SOFA exhibit.  He has been there every year I have attended and that’s been about 10 years or so.  His pieces are always gorgeous and always sold!

I absolutely love this man’s work.  His pieces reference cave paintings and sacred relics;  a genre that always speaks to me.  Absolutely beautiful!  Enjoy.  Here is his website: http://www.wmorris.com/ Be sure to check out his “selected works” gallery.  I think it includes some of his most beautiful pieces.  

I also ran across a youtube video of one of his exhibits in Bend, Oregon.  This work has a bit more of an “in the woods” feel and less of ancient artifacts.  There’s some really lovely work here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuhQUhsWpCg Enjoy!

Isle of Bute Part 3-St. Blanes Chapel and Mount Stuart

Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Rothesay Castle Moat

Rothesay Castle Moat

 

We never went into Rothesay Castle this trip (where we were married) but I did take some pictures of the moat:

 

Here’s the last of my pictures from Scotland.   I passed by this busty lady in town every day and she never failed to amuse me.  I’m not really sure why, but something about her teensy head and generous chest always brought a smile (yes, I am immature)

Busty Gal

Busty Gal

We took the bus down to Kilcatten Bay and started walking down to St. Blane’s chapel.   This beautiful rock formation is called Hawk’s Nib.  click on it to enlarge (as with all the pictures)

Hawk's Nib

Hawk's Nib

We also passed this lovely lighthouse:

Lighthouse

Lighthouse

I think that’s one of the Cumbrae islands behind.

Beautiful view of Cumbrae

Beautiful view of Cumbrae

 

Ken kept running into and scaring wildlife this trip:

Ken, the Cow Whisperer

Ken, the Cow Whisperer

St. Blane’s is a wonderful ruin of a 12th and 13th century church.  amazingly, quite a bit of it is still standing:

St. Blane's Chapel

St. Blane's Chapel

There are a surprising number of graves still standing.  The upper churchyard was reserved for clergy burial in Medieval times and men later.  The lower section was reserved for commoners in Medieval times and women later.

Here’s another shot:

More Chapel Pics

More Chapel Pics

Clergy section and wall to the commoners section above

Here’s another:

12th Century Section

12th Century Section

This section was reserved for clergy to worship.  The commoners had a separate section that was added later.

Here’s a gravestone from 1767.  It was in the church, so has held up amazingly well:

1767 gravestone

1767 gravestone

 

Another day we went up to Mount Stuart.  It’s the ancestral home of the Marquess of Bute.  The Marquess owns most of the island and has a grand home with amazing gardens.  The current Marquess apparently wants to be more accessible and refers to himself as “Johnny Bute”.  Here’s a little picture of his digs.  We didn’t do the house tour-I’d done it before.  Instead we did the gardens.  Here’s a picture of the outside.  The home is HUGE and I could only get a small bit of it without a wide angle lens.

A Teensy bit of Mount Stuart

A Teensy bit of Mount Stuart

 

Here’s a lovely pond just outside of the house:

Mount Stuart Pond

Mount Stuart Pond

 

Here are some shots of my favorite UK plant, the Gunnera.  It’s some kind of giant rhubarb.  It is really giant, each leaf can span 6 feet!  I wish I could grow it in Chicago, but, alas, it’ too cold here.

Gunnera

Gunnera

More Gunnera:

Gunnera Seed Pod Thingie

Gunnera Seed Pod Thingie

and some great shadows on this one:

Gunnera Shadows

Gunnera Shadows

Leave it to me to find animals!  There were a few of these cute burros:

Burros!

Burros!

and a beautiful Beech tree:

beech

 

I am going to try to get some actaul art work done today.  I WILL post art pictures again!

Circumnavigation of the Isle of Bute-Holiday Adventures with Ken

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

As I have posted about before, my husband, Ken does not feel it’s a good holiday until he has physically conquered something.    He goes from a completely sedentary job to biking 50 miles or hiking up 4000 feet while hardly breathing heavily.  I spend most of the day lagging behind and panting and  pretty tired.  If you put him in Scotland, he gets even nuttier about this because his brother is exactly the same way.  They get together and come up with outlandishly tiring plans.  There is usually a pint and a good meal afterwards, which makes up for most of it.  This year was fairly tame; they just decided we should bike around the island.  I did better than usual-25 miles without passing out  and remaining relatively cheery.  Ken and his brother Alan, decided that wasn’t enough and tacked on another 10 miles after that; I’m sure traveling at warp speed.  Here’s the family  at the beginning of the journey at Rothesay Pier.  Notice how all of the crazy Stewart men look happy about this trip and my brother in-law’s wife, Joyce’s look says,”Here we go again.”

Our band of happy travelers at the beginning of the trip

Our band of happy travelers at the beginning of the trip

I did stop for these cows because they seemed to be posing for me:

The cows pose for their close-up

The cows pose for their close-up

There are tons of cows on Bute-and sheep!

Rothesay

Rothesay

This was the view just biking out of Rothesay.  It’s truly beautiful on the whole island.

More gorgeous views

More gorgeous views

I forget what this is a view of.  The foreground is Bute, but I think the back landmass might be another island like Inchmarnock or Arran.

Calmac Ferry

Calmac Ferry

 

Here is the ever present ferry.  Mainland Scotland is the landmass behind it.  Bute is a really short crossing; about 30 minutes.  I took a bunch of pictures at Mount Stuart Gardens and St. Blane’s chapel.  I’ll put those up over the next few days.

Isle of Bute, Scotland Pictures-Part One

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Here’s some pictures of our fabulous trip to Scotland.  We stayed on the Isle of Bute (in the Inner Hebrides) for the trip, except for a few jaunts to the Glasgow suburbs to see family.   Bute had it’s heyday in Victorian times, were thousands of people would go to escape the grimy industrialism of Glasgow.  Many of the buildings still stand. 

I have always wondered what this pretty little building’s function was.  Apparently, it is too process poop!  Those Victorians sure made pretty municipal buildings:-)

Victorian Poop Hut

Victorian Poop Hut

Rothesay (the main town on the island) has a promenade walk by the seaside; complete with putting greens and palm trees:

Rothesay Putting Greens

Rothesay Putting Greens

Bute benefits from the Gulf stream which allows it to grow palms, etc.

Here’s Rothesay pier and the Calmac ferry which takes you on and off the island:

Calmac Ferry

Calmac Ferry

Lots of boats, too:

Rothesay Boats

Rothesay Boats

  Ken and I stayed in a fabulous B&B called the Munro House with the loveliest hosts, Joan and Andy Walters.  The B&B was owned by someone else 10 years ago.  We had our wedding reception there and decided to stay there for sentimental reasons.  We couldn’t have picked a nicer spot.  Joan and Andy were delightful.  Here’s the view from the terrace.  I don’t have a wide angle lens, so you can’t really appreciate how vast the view really is.  We spent quite a few evenings drinking wine on the terrace.

Terrace at the Munro House B&B-What a view!

Terrace at the Munro House B&B-What a view!

More later!

Miraculous Scottish Weather Prevents Blog Posting

Monday, June 1st, 2009

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here in Scotland, so I taken full advantage and spent my time hiking and biking aound the Isle of Bute.  We are walking part of the West Island Way tomorrow and going to see  the  ruins of St Blane’s Chapel. I will post pictures when the rain returns!