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July 2011

West Coast Wonders (part 1)

West Coast Wonders (part 1)

by Clare Mansell
Mallaig harbour
Silver sands of Morar
On the sands at Morar
Near Castle Tioram
Castle Tioram
Mull ferry
Castle Tioram, Scotlan's west coast
Beer in front of the fire
The 'original' Calgary
Calgary bay, Isle Of Mull
Tobermory, Isle Of Mull
Loch Lagan
Ardvasar, Isle Of Skye
Jacobite steam train, Glenfinnan viaduct

It’s no good… I’ve wasted far too much time on photos already today… I’m going to have to do this post in two parts!

You hear it said a lot, that the west coast of Scotland is “stunning” and you don’t think much more of it, but after spending this week rambling over hills, driving round lochs and hopping across islands, I have to tell you it is all of that and more!

If it had been created as part of a virtual world you’d think it too indulgent. Round every corner there is a loch, or a ruined castle or a view that takes your breath away. Of course it is not perfect, we got VERY lucky with the weather this week and we mostly avoided the midges too. Some people come on holiday to Scotland and just get bitten and rained on – we did not.

So photos from top left then…

Mallaig Harbour
The Silver Sands of Morar
The dogs enjoying their holiday
Two views from and of Castle Tioram
The ferry to the Isle Of Mull
Castle Tioram
Fireside evening drink (yes, even in July)
The original Calgary
Calgary Bay
Tobermory, Isle Of Mull
Loch Lagan
Ardvasar, Isle Of Skye
Jacobite Steam train on the Glenfinnan viaduct, made famous by the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter

More photos later in the week. In the meantime, shall I put the kettle on? Are you all now booking flights to come and see Scotland?

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West coast taster

West coast taster

by Clare Mansell
West coast taster

We’re heading back east tomorrow after a truly amazing few days on the west coast. The scenery and the weather has exceeded every expectation we had, and I have tons of photos to sift through and post on the blog tomorrow, before we head off again for another couple of nights in the Cairngorns.

You can have this photo as a teaser though… fresh seafood for lunch today on the shores of Kishorn Loch. Absolute peace and quiet and brilliant sunshine…

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Road trip

Road trip

by Clare Mansell
Road trip

We’re off on a Highland road trip this week. Heading west to the inlets and islands of Northern Scotland. It’s usually the wetter and more midge infested coastline, but judging by the weather forecast this week, we might just get lucky with the sunshine…

I’ve packed the SLR and a digital photography guide which I’m long overdue reading, along with clothing for every weather possible and my medical notes… just in case. Still three weeks to go and first babies are never on time, right?!

I hope to get the chance to post later in the week, until then have a peek at some of the Scottish west coast images that have been inspiring me this week on Flickr and keep your fingers crossed for some blue skies!

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WIP Wednesday (July 20th)

WIP Wednesday (July 20th)

by Clare Mansell
Hopping around the WIP Blogs last week, I have come to the conclusion I am something of a crafting oddity never having more than two quilts on the go, I hope this doesn’t mean I’ll be lead astray…
So this week’s quilt is my Drunkard’s Path. The top is finished and I’ve got as far as the basting, but I am now waiting on the delivery of a free motion presser foot for my sewing machine. In theory my machine (a Pfaff Expression 3.0) does a beautiful stippling, but I’ve always been too much of a coward to try it, however this quilt is small enough to experiment with… I just hope it doesn’t all end in tears…
Drunkard's Path progress
You may recall that the larger baby quilt I made a few weeks ago was supposed to be a play mat? Well that plan’s been scrapped, because as I was sewing this one it evolved into something that looked extremely like a play mat and in fact once I’d actually got the baby gym out of the box (you’d think I’d have done that before I made the first one, right?) I realised that the size and colours match it perfectly…
Drunkard's Path progress 2
So the circle quilt is now going to be a more general cot quilt, which might just leave me free to indulge myself with one final pre-baby quilt. I saw this in a sewing book…
Crib quilt inspiration
And it made me realise I can totally justify a little 20 x 24 inch crib quilt made with Moda’s Sherbet Pips?
And after that, I’m torn between three projects, my choices are…
(1) Join the Summer Sampler Series and hope inspiration strikes me about what to do with all the finished blocks at the end!
(2) Make the Charming Stars quilt from the Moda Bakeshop in a Kingsize and possibly get it longarm quilted?
(3) Use my Robert Kaufmann solid charm packs to make something like this or this. But not actually quite sure for what purpose!
Please leave a comment with your vote, I need all the help I can get!
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Visiting Beagle

Visiting Beagle

by Clare Mansell
We’ve had an extra Beagle in the house today. I’m a sucker for saving a dog from a long day stuck at home alone, so when her owner’s dog walker let her down, I said we’d look after her. The plan was not to walk any of the three dogs until the husband came home from work in the afternoon, but the hounds were having none of that!
So instead I went out in the rain with the bump, and 3 dogs on leads that got continually twisted round each other. Did they come back and then spend the rest of the day quietly resting? Did they heck…
Do not be fooled by those cute puppy dog eyes, after a day of emptied bins, barking at workmen and rearranging our possessions, this dog has made me realise how well trained our two really are!
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