Sunday, 27 March 2011

Project smallholder begins

Ever since I can remember, I've loved animals.  I grew up in a house that always had dogs and when I owned my own house I managed to fit a few chickens in the back garden, along with a few cats and dogs, but I never really had the space to have all of the animals I wanted to keep.

When we moved to Orkney we bought a small house with two acres of land.  It has taken until now to fence the area to make it critter proof and we recently decided to start populating.  Earlier in the week, a lovely couple in South Ronaldsay donated 4 beautiful Saxony ducks to out new smallholding.

The first new arrivals

Duckopolis - built by me!

And today, we finally finished Pig Paradise and went to collect our lovely little British Saddleback porkers from Inga and Gary of Newfield Rare Breeds in Orphir.  They're currently 9 weeks old and we'll be keeping them over summer while they fatten up.  They will have a short life, but it will be a very happy one digging up the field they are in!

The journey home

Pig paradise

Feeding time

And now food is sprouting in the garden.  Spring is definitely here at last!

Garlic bed


All of this animal related excitement has meant that I really have neglected my jewellery making.  Normal service may be resumed in a week or so :)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Mothers Day discount special!

So Mothers Day is approaching.  Normally buy flowers?  Why not treat your Mum to something that will last, like a handmade piece of jewellery all the way from the Orkney islands.

Tempted?  Well here's a 10% discount code for use exclusively in my Etsy shop.  Enter coupon code LOVEYOURMOM at the checkout.  Click here to visit the shop.

All jewellery will arrive beautifully boxed and tied with a ribbon.  All you have to do is to give it your Mum!

And of course you don't have to give it your Mum... you can use the discount code for just treating yourself.

Offer expires midnight Sunday 3rd April (Mothers Day!).

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Recently I have been treating myself to some beautiful hand crafted treasures from clever British sellers on Etsy.  I've finally got round to taking some pictures.

Firstly I must tell you about my hares.  I've always had a thing for hares, and you'll find a couple in my jewellery collection.   Rachel Elliott from Edinburgh is a glass sculptor and makes these adorable glass leverets.

I was lucky enough to be her 100th sale and so she sent me some equally cute glass carrots to feed my new babies!

The hares are breeding like rabbits!  I also bought from Rachel some plywood creatures which are a by-product of the glass cutting process.  Perfect for painting!

And what about this lovely little man from Stupidcats?  Isn't he adorable?!  

And I also purchase some other "felted goodness" from her to (to use her own words!)

Michelle also produces fantastic Cat portraits to using "water-resistant crayon, india ink and a little scritchy-scratchy-scrapey-tooly-thingy!"

And just look at these lovely botanical gift tags from Laura at KitzieG!

I'm so happy with my buys.  I have many more items I'll post in the coming days.  Take a look at these lovely sellers shops and follow their latest exploits on Facebook and Twitter.  

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Too good to be true

Yesterday that is.

The day started with my hare brooch being featured on the Found on Folksy blog.  The title of the post was Lions, Lambs and Hares and was in celebration of March.

Here's a couple of the featured items.

The day turned out to be stunningly beautiful with blue skies, no wind and warm.  I decided to take a tour of the island to try and get some nice photos.  I ended up on the most perfect beach about 30 miles away on the tiny interconnected island of Lamb Holm.

Beach at Churchill barrier number 3

I finally made it home after a good few hours sunbathing, touring and shopping.  The post box was bulging with Etsy goodness!  I'll tell you more about these purchases later in the week, but they are good.

At 8 o'clock I read on a local forum that the Northern lights were just starting to be visible.  Now these have been as elusive to me as the puffin.  When I have previously visited places to see the puffin I have been told things like, "they all left last week", or "they should be here, they are late this year"!  Now, fingers crossed I finally live in a place where I should be able to see both the Aurora and Puffins.  

I quickly gathered up my camera & tripod, put on a woolly jumper, stepped out the front door and looked northwards.  There is no light pollution to the north and there was no moon, so the skies were very dark.  There were a mass of stars visible and a feint white/grey glow was forming.  This was the start of my 5 hour marathon "I'll just stand here for a bit and see what happens".  

And they didn't disappoint, although the Aurora, or Merry Dancers as they are known on Orkney, were a little less spectacular with the naked eye than the photos suggest!

Edge of the Aurora with the Seven Sisters constellation to the left