Saturday, 28 September 2013

Doagh Island, Donegal.

                     This is Doagh Island on Inishowen. The sky was grey last Sunday morning.

We were here earlier this year and it was springtime.

The water is clear and flowing fast. I'm looking over to the Five Finger Strand.

"Flying, Daddy, we're flying!"

  My daredevil son drove on the beach all the way round to Ballyliffin.
I wouldn't recommend it......

A group of swimmers were in the water.


   On the way home we stopped at a stone circle. It wasn't old, my son said it was made for a film set.
        The weather was getting better. I love the Donegal landscape and its ever-changing light.

  I came home with quite a pile of shells - already thinking of our 2014 craft group exhibition,
 'The World Is Your Oyster.'

  What could I do with these, I wonder?

Monday, 23 September 2013

Derry/ Londonderry and the Artists' Garden.

We were at Ebrington Square. Which way should we go? So much to see. We were going to St. Columb's Park with the grandchildren.
Maybe we'll just go and look at the Guildhall first.

We walked over the Peace Bridge to get to it.

        The Guildhall has just been re-opened after major restoration in 2012 and it's looking good.

The kids love the water fountains!
Back over the Peace Bridge and we were heading for the 'Artists' Garden', a project
at a former military building.

The Cunningham building.

 This is a temporary art instillation at Ebrington and the facade of the building has been covered with germinated grass seed on a clay base.

I liked this and would have been tempted to cut in to it... a door knob, curtains etc. It was a bit flat.
I think it will get more interesting as it dies and the colour changes.
Anyway, the boys were getting restless to get on over to the park and play on horizontal grass.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Autumn Fair.

I LOVE THIS!  The Autumn Fair in Botanic Gardens.
Today there was a bonus because we got to walk through the lower level of the Tropical Ravine.
Instead of looking down on the plants I was looking up through the canopy.

I was able to walk along the winding paths, it was like I was in the jungle.

It was mostly greenery but this was blooming...

....and there was this plant with nicely patterned leaves.

It's always been a kind of secret place.


 This lady made me up a wild boar burger, I could have had a crocodile burger. How exotic.

In the show tent there were exhibits of enormous vegetables & fruit, prize blooms, bonsai, alpines, honey, cakes, biscuits, scones, confectionary, wines & liqueurs, handicrafts - so much to look at.

Huge onions!

Pumpkins so big they were splitting.

Creamy cauliflowers.

Perfect Dahlias.


This was an exhibit in the Flower Arranging section.
I thought it looked like the background was made of woven leaves.
Of all the things I saw today, this impressed me the most. I could see the amount of work and thought that had gone in to making it. It was lovely, like something I could transfer to stitch.

This is the whole piece.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Lords - and - Ladies.

Arum maculatum to be precise.
Down on the Lagan tow path and I've been keeping an eye on the the Lords - and - Ladies waiting for their poisonous red berries to appear.

I  knew where they were growing and I was hoping to get a 'group' photograph.
I was too late as most of them had flopped - sure you know how hard it is to get everyone together for a family photograph! 

Never mind,  I saw this lovely heron on my way home.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Birds at Castle Espie.

No, not the real birds. There's plenty of those flying about at Castle Espie but I was there to see an exhibition, 'FLYING SOLO' by Emma Hall.

I was interested in the little blue tit I'd seen on the card advertising Emma's exhibition as I had also made a blue tit recently.

Emma's was a lovely little needle-felted blue tit and so realistic, I was very impressed with the feet and claws on all her birds.


There was a brilliant display of stitched toadstools on the mantelpiece. 

This owl had a coat made with scraps of fabric and stitching and a lacy tummy!

Aren't they gorgeous? The nicest thing was a hedgehog curled up in some hay - and this owl was so cute with that fluffy tummy.

There were other needle-felted birds and animals, some paintings and embroidery.
It was a really lovely exhibition, I came away inspired to do better!


From Castle Espie we headed off round Strangford to Downpatrick.

We stopped off at the Down County Museum and Historic Gaol.

This exhibition is on and there was a lot of jewellery on display, I would have needed ages to look at it all properly!
Too much stuff and I get confused but it is great for anyone with an interest in jewellery.


On to Newcastle and a walk along the promenade.

If you look through the gap in this spire you see the top of Slieve Donard.

Turn around and you're looking towards the Slieve Donard Hotel.

Turn again and it's out to sea. 

                                               Then across the road and fish and chips for tea!