Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Parti en France......

In my usual fashion, I was winging it by the seat of my pants last night and doing everything at the last minute. The order for the Interceltique Festival has now "gone to France...", being driven over there today by the lovely Philip. It's a bit of an exciting project, part funded by the Scottish Government and Visit Scotland, Philip and his team are representing Scotland at this huge festival, it attracts over 650,000 visitors over 10 days, so fingers crossed his collection of Scottish goods go down a treat.

I was really pleased with the collection that I came up with, the Harris Tweed was just divine to work with, so I'll have to get back on the phone to the weaver in Harris and get some more sent over I think. The fabrics and colours all sat really nicely together and I came up with a nice thistle design to applique onto the lavender pillows, quite contemporary and not too twee. I shall have to make some more for in the studio to sell seeing as we're getting into the "tourist season" up here, everyone that saw them loved them!

I was muttering away to myself about how I leave everything to the last minute and will I ever change while packaging up doorstops etc, Gregg reminded me that it was almost the last of the "big orders" to go out. Hopefully by the end of this month I'll be free to design and make whatever takes my fancy, but more on that another day.

Off to blitz my old workroom as we have a rather important visitor coming tomorrow and the house needs to be worthy of writing about, I have my doubts, as it really is a shack!

L x

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Eating from the garden and our new arrival

Today I have had a good feed from the garden, strawberries for breakfast, and then other than the cream and peas (ours aren't quite ready yet!) tea was all from the veggie patch too. I made myself a courgette & mint frittata, very yummy indeed, even though I am not a big egg eater.

Here's the recipe, you'll need:
a couple of potatoes sliced thinly (ours were freshly dug up from the garden tonight)
1 small courgette thinly sliced with a veggie peeler
a handful of fresh or frozen peas
some mint leaves chopped up (I used basil mint, very yummy)
4 free range eggs (or a goose egg and a hen egg is a good combo)
a dollop of cream (or milk if you want to be healthier)
salt and pepper
grated parmesan
Pop the potatoes into pan of boiling water and cook, add the peas after about 5 minutes. Place a sieve on top of the pan and steam the courgette strips. Meanwhile, beat your eggs and add the cream, mint leaves and some seasoning. Once the potatoes and peas are cooked, drain them through the sieve with the courgettes.
Heat a large frying or omelette pan with a little olive oil in it. Add the egg mixture and then the veggies and evenly distribute them around the pan with a fork.
Cook this over a medium heat for a bout 10 minutes or until the bottom is golden. You should be able to shuggle it about in the pan.
Grate some parmesan over the top and then place under a hot grill to cook the top and brown it off.
I made a little pesto and creme fraiche dip to have with mine tonight, it was really tasty.
On Monday night, we had to do one of the hardest things ever, we had to chose our puppy from a litter of 6. Sorry, did I forget to mention we were getting a black lab pup.......?!!! Oh well, we must be mad but hey ho! So, we halved the problem as we decided to have a girl, the litter was 3 girls and 3 boys.
We went from 3........
to two..........
to one........
The lovely little lady above is coming home with us on 3rd August, we can't wait.
L xxx

Friday, July 11, 2008

The veggie garden in flower

Seeing as I've found my blogging mojo again (yeah!) here are some photos I took earlier this week of the veggie garden. After a few days of rain the weeds will no doubt be appearing pretty quickly again.......

Runner beans.....

Broad beans.....



the first cornflower........

Californian poppies adding a splash of orange.......

It's been a funny week, lots of time spent glued to the computer putting together leaflets on our courses and doing a bit of P.R. At last I spend the whole day out in the workroom today and it was bliss. Some samples are off in the post, winging their way down to London, so fingers crossed they are magazine worthy.......
Right, off to walk the dog and pop in on some friends for a glass of wine. Have a great weekend.
L x

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Courses at Primrose Hill

As I've mentioned before, we're running courses over the summer months here at Mill of Fyall. Never having done this kind of thing before I'm very aware of not biting off more than I chew, something I've been guilty of in the past! So, we're running three courses over the summer, quilting, keeping chickens, and gardening. The dates and details for these are as follows:

19th & 20th July - Quick Quilt in a weekend - with Rachel Simons, award winning quilter and fellow blogger! Great course for anyone wanting to try their hand at quilting, by the end of the weekend you will go home with a lap quilt. 10am - 5pm, £60 per day. Max. of 4 people.

15th August - Patchwork for busy people - Day course exploring time saving techniques in quilting, again run by Rach. 10am - 5pm, £60 for the day. Max. of 4 people.

2nd August & 31st August - Beginners Guide to Keeping Chickens - run by me! A day learning all there is to know about keeping a few chickens in your back garden. You will go home with a half dozen eggs from our flock and hopefully the desire to get your own chickens! 9.30am - 4pm, £45 per day. Maximum of 8 people.

6th September - Herbaceous Gardening - with John Munro, my good friend and gardening guru! John studied at the Royal Botanic gardens in Edinburgh and has lectured at Askham Bryan College in York. He has gardened all over the UK, his last being in Orkney where he had a daily open garden and was in the Yellow book. Now living in Perthshire, he has a wonderful garden that has provided him with many more challenges and again is about to become part of the open gardens scheme in the yellow book. The day course will cover all aspects of herbaceous gardening, both theory and practical. Everything from designing, planning and choosing plants, to division, cuttings, propagation and maintenance. You will go home with plants and also have the oportunity to buy plants. 9.30 for 10am -4pm, £45 for the day.

All of the courses will begin with coffee and scones in the morning, a home made lunch of soup, bread, salad and cheese, and then afternoon tea and cakes.

If anyone is interested in any of the above courses, drop me a line at and I'll send you the information leaflet.

L x

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

3 years on......

On the 8th of July 3 years ago we got the keys to our little shack in the country. We were about to embark on a new journey in our life together. Over the last 3 years there have many ups and downs, lots of hard work and far too much blood, sweat and tears shed! Amusingly, I've heard that Gregg was dragged here kicking and screaming to live the life that I wanted........I know that he kind of likes it here, he tells me pretty much every day! The man does have a voice after all, if he really didn't want to move here, I don't think he would have.......

We have met so many wonderful people over the last 3 years, many of which I know we will be good friends with forever as they are very special folk :)

The menagery of animals has grown over the last few years, we still have our two loyal cats, Bud and Lexie, and we have added Chrissie the dog, 22 chickens, William II the cockerel, our two very friendly geese Florence and Felicity, 10 ducks - 8 of which are our ducklings hatched this summer, and a new arrival is coming to join us next month.................

We are gradually getting on top of the garden, the veggie plot has come into itself this year and we only have a tiny bit of fencing left to be done! Gregg has built me the most wonderful studio and shop, a true labour of love. The house is still a bit of a shack, but plans are in hand to sort that out..........
Anyway, I shall leave with some photos of when we arrived to how it is now, a bit of an improvement I think...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Time is flying by, it's July already and I've been in the studio for a whole month. The divide between work and home is so much better, Sundays are our day off now, and we love it! The house is just about back to normal, although there is still a rather large pile in my old work room to be sorted out.

I had a great excuse to get tidied up at the weekend, this lovely lady was coming to stay. We had such fun catching up with each other and also planning the first of our summer courses. Rach is coming to do a weekend course "Quick quilt in a weekend" on 19th & 20th July, as the title suggests, you'll go home with a gorgeous lap quilt after two days of expert tuition from this award winning lady!

Along with Rachel's courses we're also going to be doing "Beginners guide to Keeping Chickens" and a gardening course on "Herbaceous Gardening". The leaflets will be finished by the end of this week so if anyone is interested drop me a line at

Another project that I am working on is really quite exciting. I have been asked by Visit Scotland to produce a collection of work for them to take to the Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany. I don't really do tartan twee so this has been a bit of a challenge, plus there are only so many things that you can make at trade and still make a decent profit. So, my harris tweed stash has been raided and some sketching of thistles has been done.......

I've decided to go for an earthy-grassy-sea inspired pallete of colours, not my usual bright and breezy stuff, and I'm really enjoying the change. The deadline for the finished work is fairly soon, so I'm going to be burning the midnight oil I think, what's new eh!!!

The pictures are of the fabrics I'm using and of the progress I've made today.