Monday, 6 July 2009

Back from the Unfrozen North

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments and emails about the books. I'm so glad that you all like them. I think Lynda and Carol have a smash hit - everyone is saying that their book is quite unique.

I can't tell you what a great time I had in Scotland - right up near the top, beyond in Inverness. It was hot, too. The scenery was breathtaking and I've got lots of panaramas to stitch together) both photographically and with a needle). The verges of the roads were lovely, as you can see.


It was amazing how late the sunset was, that far north. It didn't really get dark at all - more like a deep twilight around midnight. This sunset was taken at 10.30 on our last evening.


But it was the people who made the greatest impression as they were so lovely and welcoming. We were taken to see all the sights, fed wonderful meals and generally made to feel special. I was in competition with a pipe band for part of the talk, which gave a very Scottish flavour. Good things were made in the workshop, too - a talented bunch. They all kept going with a will and made lovely things; Andrea learned to free-machine and took to it like a natural. Here's a foiling sample from Sally.


And a potential bookcover from Dee.


In the church next door to our workshop venue was this amazing Pictish stone.


We had a call at Inverness airport for our hold case to be examined. Must stop taking things with wiggly pipe-cleaners that look like bombs. Our arrival back at Gatwick was not uneventful, either. In their wisdom the authorities now make you queue when you get off the plane so they can take a photo. This is for an INTERNAL flight. They gave us a piece of paper explaining why. I was cross, so screwed mine up and chucked it in a bin. After walking for miles they made us wait again and then demanded the piece of paper. I had to go back to find my rubbish bin and rummage through the old banana skins and coffee drips to find it. GRRR.
Clive, meanwhile was waiting at baggage reclaim for one last case. Along with lots of other folk from our flight we waited for ages and then discovered that it wasn't a circular belt and that an unhelpful man had taken the cases off and they were all thrown anyhow on the floor.
This (plus extreme hunger) drove us to have an exceedingly naughty fish and chip supper which was lovely. It was very good to be home, especially as there were some excellent review books waiting for us


Heather said...

Glad your trip to Scotland was so enjoyable - the scenery is so beautiful and the patterns on that Pictish stone are wonderful. I love the work your students did and am sure they all had a great time. Hope the fish and chip supper made up for the frustrations at the airport! Now I've had a proper chance to read the books more thoroughly, I haven't changed my initial opinion - if anything it has been magnified.

Aussie Jo said...

I have just been off to Wikipedia to read about the Picts and their Pictish stones. I had not heard of them before. My ancestry is Irish. Theit motifs would make interesting textiles, or would that be sacrilegious??
Airports can be so extremely frustrating!!!
Still waiting to receive my books, patiently!

Digitalgran said...

Oh Maggie, I just can't see you getting cross and throwing the paper in the bin :) I can just see you searching the bin though, we're all used to looking in the bargains bins for fabric.

Unknown said...

I've didn't receive it yet in Holland, I am so curious!! I want to know what everyone is talking about:-)

Ann Christy said...

Sorry to laugh at your experience at the airports Maggie but it does make amusing reading - I really laughed out loud.
Scotland is a beautiful country. We have been going up to the Cairngorms each Easter for the past few years and just love it up there.
Glad to hear that the books are going well.

Doreen G said...

My book has arrived this morning--lots to look at-lots to do.
Thanks for the ribbon that was included.

Lorraine said...

The new book arrived today. Fast service getting across the pond to western Washington! Can't wait to start playing. Thanks for the silk ribbon, Maggie.

Linda Stokes said...

My books arrived Monday - less than a week to Australia - amazing!
I've enjoyed spending too much time having a good read & I think they're both great. Lots of new things to try & thanks for the little extras!
Looking forward to your w/s in WA.

gwyn said...

Have got onto blog! Glad we were able to share this beautiful area with you both, Maggie, and keep dipping into books. Our inspiration level is at 'very high' at present, so will send pics of results.
Aussie Jo, we live at the centre of Pictish stone carving and research, so have loads of info. The stone is the Nigg cross slab, and is amazing. No it can't be sacriligeous to use them, just jolly hard, as they are so detailed and complicated.
Can see me getting hooked on this blogging too, but must make up beds, Maggie ! Thanks for a most memorable weekend.

Paddy's Daughter said...

Dear Maggie, I received my two books this morning and have just spent an hour looking at them, sitting in the sun on my veranda - they are wonderful and full of inspirational ideas and techniques, I can't wait to try some. I was delighted to receive one of the postcards made by Lynda, and then even more so when I was able to identify my comment left on your blog, in your piece called "Binary Humanity". Thank you all so much. Sue McB

Wabbit said...

"Exceedingly naughty" what yummy-sounding words! If you can describe something that way, then I think you MUST do it! At the end of the day, isn't it the exceedingly naughty fun things we recall with relish and not the prosaic goodness of NOT doing it?

My books arrived today, with un-bunged corners despite the condition of the package. A lovely surprise was inside from Lynda. Thank you so much! Now I'm off to read them!

Penny said...

Maggie my books have arrived and they look fabulous, thank you and for the bit of fun with them

Karen Hurrell said...

Belated thanks for sending the books out so quickly last week and especially for the 'extra'.

maybird said...

I have just been to visit an ailing relative in Essex and your gorgeuose book was waiting to cheer me up on my return.It is fabulous and I love all the embellisher bits and I am lucky enough to have recieved one of your postcards too,(it's the one on top of the pile in your D4Daisy pic)I love it,thankyou so much.I have to go now as the cows are eating their way through the hedge and into the garden!

Julie said...

I too have recently been up to the far north of Scotland. We went to Wick by train (long, but scenic!) where we hired a car and explored the north and north east coast. The weather was beautiful and the scenery truly stunning. Hopefully will be inspired to produce some embroidery based on what I saw there.