A week ago we went back to the West Coast of Clare, Ireland. You may remember my posts about last years trip, where I experienced wonderful weather and an inspirational week on the shores of Galway Bay.
Going back to somewhere in the expectation of a similar experience can often result in disappointment, but Ireland worked its magic and I came back with a head full of beauty and a heart full of peace. Perhaps I could share some of the beauty with you by posting lots of pictures?
The wild sea on a very windy beach, also near Kinvarra. Can you see the kitesurfer?
I went for two long walks with my friend who came with us for half the time, as my husband was busy at his concertina class...thats why we went. At the end of this road there is a tower.
This the Burren Art School. What a place to study.
Now, shortly after this we met two students on the road, who were looking for a dead fox they had heard about. They asked if we'd seen it, they wanted to take it back to the studio and draw it.
Well, later, we found it. I don't know how it died, but it was in superb condition, and very beautiful.
So we drove back to the college to tell them about it. They weren't there, but their friend kindly collected it for them and we took her back to the college with it.
We met them in the Whisky bar that night and they thanked us and the girl said 'I dabble in taxidermy too', so the beauty of the fox will be preserved if she's a good dabbler.
We had a bit of a close shave with the very sweet girl in the picture, who got out of the car without looking, on a quiet but nevertheless main road.(..it doesn't bear thinking about what might have happened if the driver of the car overtaking us at the time had blinked, or looked away.)
Last year we saw a dead badger on our walk. What next year? Deer, elephant?
In the woods we saw this footprint. I'm sure its a badger, very much alive.
I've seen black ivy berries before but never yellow.
The flora was a little more advanced than last year so the wood had a few new shoots.
The hazel catkins in the many hazel coppices were longer and fuller.
And things have started to shoot in the gaps in the limestone.
While I was there I bought a beautiful book of photographs of natural surfaces of Clare. (There will be a picture tomorrow) and I took quite a few of my own close ups of limestone and lichen.
Yu can see the tiny fossils of the creatures that formed the stone.
They are considerably larger in this Liscannor Stone.
Lovely spotty lichen below.
Tiny underwater beauty here.
As we travelled around the little roads on a small peninsula we came across this
Good morning to the 'blog tourists' from Quilting Arts. For those not on 'the tour' I'll explain later.
This little hand sized silk purse is one of many I have been making for about 13 years.
I was invited, all that long time ago, to exhibit in the showcases of The Pendle Art Gallery when the main event was an Exhibition by the renowned photographer Fay Godwin. I had to devise some small embroidered items that would fit in some glass showcases so that's where these purses, and other things, were born. Since then I've had them in Galleries and shops in Lancashire and Yorkshire and even Cumbria, but have stopped making them to sell now and started teaching people how to make them.
So last week I had great fun making more of them as samples for a workshop I had been invited to teach a long long way from home, over the border in Yorkshire.
They are made from silk dupion with the grain going 'the wrong way' so that they fall nicely.
There are several different styles and there's scope for beading fun, as well as cord and tassel making.
Here are some I made earlier which have appeared here before.
So last Saturday with my car boot stuffed, I made an uncharacteristically early start and set off towards the East. It was cloudy at first so I couldn't watch the sunrise (but I'd probably missed it anyway..it wasn't that early) and two hours later ended up in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and approached the village of Snape.
This is the beautiful lane down to the Village, lined with tall trees growing from banks of snowdrops and aconite, with daffodils starting to appear.
Past the castle
and the raised beds
and strange things
Do you know what this is?
Its a rhubarb forcer. Yorkshire is famous for rhubarb and under this cloche there will soon be delicate palest pink stems with yellow leaves.
The welcome I received at The Snape Textile Group was as good as last time. They are very organised and extremely talented. I was more interested in some of their own work than what I was supposed to be teaching.
I remembered from my last visit that they provide lunch.
What a lunch. Last time it was vegetable korma with rice, nan bread and chutneys. This time it was vegetable pasta bake, salad, garlic bread, followed by apple and ginger trifle. But it didn't stop there! At four o'clock out came the home made blueberry muffins and tea.
Then we had a look at the work the group had done.
They had all made good progress and they promised they would finish them at home!
One of the members even had an outing planned for hers.
If any of the Snape textile group are reading, thank you so much for a really superb day.
This is a sort of publicity tour I am delighted to take part in. Each day one of the people featured in the magazine writes a post and links to the next person who is taking part. So if you want to join in the tour, or if you are already on it, your next port of call , Tomorrow, 3rd March, will be the blog of Deb Bates.
If you want to go back to the start of the tour, then visit the tour guide and editor of QA, Pokey Bolton. A most delightful and encouraging person!
If you pop in on the blog tour please leave a calling card so I know you were here.
EDIT:I have had so many requests for a tutorial for these little purses that I have decided to make one and have it available in my ETSY shop. Please give me about two weeks as I am having a little break and will do it as soon as I get back. I'll blog about it when its ready.