The Quiraing on the Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye was one of those names that were on my wish list of dream trips. Just the name alone sounds magical to me. When arriving I first had some kind of culture shock, or nature shock really. I knew beforehand that the landscape would be barren. We had visited Wales before and it can be quite barren there as well at some places. But I wasn't quite prepared for this empty land I was about to visit.

It took me a couple of days to feel at home there. But once that was settled, a feeling of magic hit me. This land is truly magical, mysterious, and wonderful.

One of the many days we were so fortunate to spend there, we went on a road trip to the Quiraing. A rocky terrain, with very distinctive features. If you google Isle of Skye, you will probably see more photos like these. It is one of the landmarks of Skye that is a must see for visitors.

Actually we didn't plan on going to the Quiraing. We passed it by accident, because the road that we we wanted to take instead was blocked for road work. But when we saw these stunning views, we were quite happy with this pleasant surprise!

And those sheep... I have a story or two to tell you about them as well. But that's for another time. As is the story about the pottery...

Hugs and sunny smiles,
xx Wen

(Ps: the little home on wheels is not ours, unfortunately...)

Trying some new things

Hello hello, summer holiday is almost over and we're back to normal. How has your summer been? Just before we went on a few weeks trip I had sent out a little package to dear Dorthe. I had been trying new things, expanding my horizon. Like macrame, knitting, and crocheting in thread size mini.

Like the tiny crochet flower above (see the difference with the white flower in a thread size that is commonly used in our days), with an old crochet hook in size mini. My goodness, that's hard! I'm in awe of the ladies of old that made tons of amazingly beautiful projects with hooks like this one...

I finished a fabric and lace booklet that I had been working on some time ago. It has little pockets to hold sweet messages and a tiny notebook.

On pinterest I had found a tutorial by Lia Griffith for macrame, something I had been wanting to try my hands on for a while now. The result is below. It's a tiny macrame, which can be used as a necklace hanger for example, like Lia does in her tutorial.

Also, I tried knitting, with some cotton yarn I had for crocheting. And from my first little test swatch I made a tiny pocket message booklet with an embroidered uplifting message on the inside. This little message can be carried with you in your pocket, or even used as a wrist cuff. The knitting feels so soft, so cuddly. I added a crocheted heart and an embroidered button on the outside.

You are loved. A good reminder I think. It's something we tend to forget, isn't it?

Well, this is it for today, dear friends.

Wishing you a wonderful new week ahead.

xx Wen

Whispers of the soul

listen to the gentle whispers of your soul @ AppleApricot

Do you ever feel like you're stuck? Lost for words? Searching your way through thick mist in your head? Knowing that you have so many ideas and options but just can't find them anymore? You try to grasp one and poof! it's gone...

listen to the gentle whispers of your soul @ AppleApricot

I feel like that for a while now. I know I have tons of inspiration, but it's like all these nice ideas that I have, are like fragile butterflies fluttering around in the mist. I can't catch them. I chase them and they just keep flying away from me.

My mind is misty. It goes blank several times a day.

When I try to read a book or text, the words dance before my eyes and won't stick with me. It's like there is already too much stuff in my brains. I can't focus.

And may be that's where the clue is.
May be I should not try to think for a while.

Just be.
Go outside.

But don't think.
Well, not on purpose anyway.
No analyzing. No making of mental notes.
No judging, no comparing.
No searching.
Not even trying to make sense of it all.

mixed media collage by AppleApricot: Whispers

And may be, after a while, I will be able to hear the gentle, subtle whispers of my soul again and to carefully catch my butterflies.

How about you?
Do you ever feel this way? How do you deal with it?

xx Wen

The inspiring coast of Cornwall

Cornwall coast by AppleApricot Wen

Cornwall had been on my wish list for a long time before we made it there. I grew up in a coastal town myself and really longed to visit the south west end of the UK. And I was not disappointed. Now I really long to go back there again and again.

beachcombing by AppleApricot Wen

It's that's feeling of really being on vacation, that I also always have when we drive to our local coast and pass the sand dunes. On these coasts the trees are lower than inland. There's more bushes than trees, really. You hear the seagulls and smell the salt of the sea in the refreshing breeze. And of course there's the sea. The waves splashing on the beach over and over again.

It's the hours spent beachcombing.
Finding treasures in shells, stones, sea glass and pottery pieces.

textile art embroidery coast study by AppleApricot Wen

It's a place so inspiring, I take loads and loads of photos to bring back home some of the beauty and memories. At home I wish to capture it all, studying in threads, fabrics, paints, and so on.

And I don't mind the weather on coasts like this.
I want to stay outdoors for as long as possible. You really have to drag me home then.

Cornwall coast by AppleApricot Wen

The hills and cliffs, the beaches and sea, they inspired me to experiment with crochet. I used a version of the so called wave stitch, and varied with working in back loop, front loop and both loops, to add some depth to the piece. I also started adding some tiny flowers in embroidery. Where this will lead me, I have no idea, but I'm having a whole lot of fun anyway :)

painting and crochet by AppleApricot Wen

And the colours also inspired me to get some paint going as well, as you can see.

I love paintings worked in detail and abstracts equally. It's just like nature. Nature paints in wild landscapes, flora and fauna, magical small worlds in details, and abstracts and patterns.

Here's an abstract painting by nature:

Cornwall coast textures by AppleApricot Wen

Isn't it just gorgeous? Plant life holding on to ancient coastal rocks, washed by the tidal waves. 
Waves that bring little treasures to the coast: sea glasses, pottery, shells.

beachcombing pottery sea glass and shells by AppleApricot Wen

Found in rock pools and harbours.

Here the ocean has withdrawn. But only for a little while. You have plenty of time to do some beachcombing, but make sure to keep an eye on the tide and go back to dry land in time. I didn't, and got wet feet. Luckily I was close enough to the beach. Others had gone a little further and had to swim back. They had fun though, and got back safely.

Cornwall coast by AppleApricot Wen

I can see why so many artists are inspired by the Cornish coast.
Here are some of my favourite Cornwall inspired artists (in alphabetic order):

Cornwall coast by AppleApricot Wen

The only thing that I regret, is that I didn't shoot more video on this trip.
Oh well, next time!

Is there a particular coast you have fond memories of or which you would love to visit?
Do you love beachcombing?

xx Wen