Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Serene Loch Duich

Last weekend our kayak club had a trip planned to Loch Duich near Kintail, West of Scotland, a 4-hour drive from our house. It's a long way for just two days but it was worth it as we couldn't have had any better weather. High pressure, freezing, wall to wall sunshine and no wind on the Saturday. Kintail Outdoor Centre was our base for the weekend.

Map of our kayak route on Loch Duich ©Fenfolio2017

We launched our kayaks at the bridge of Dornie, just around the corner from iconic Eilean Donan castle. From the moment we arrived, most of us were more involved in taking photos of the stunning scenery in golden light than preparing all our equipment!

Eilean Donan Castle at dawn ©Fenfolio2017

Eilean Donan Castle at dawn ©Fenfolio2017

Eilean Donan Castle at dawn ©Fenfolio2017

Getting ready to launch ©Fenfolio2017

A perfect start of the day! ©Fenfolio2017
It was actually more of a photography trip on the water than a kayak trip. Well, at least for me! I had to pinch myself regularly because it was as if we were paddling in a fantasy world.

Paddling towards Eilean Donan castle ©Fenfolio2017

Dornie bridge ©Fenfolio2017

Inspecting Eilean Donan Castle from Loch Duich ©Fenfolio2017

Is this for real? ©Fenfolio2017

Loch Duich and the five sisters of Kintail ©Fenfolio2017

Splendid scenery from Loch Duich ©Fenfolio2017

Approaching Heaven ©Fenfolio2017

The tops of the 5 sisters of Kintail can been seen in the background

Synchronicity ©Fenfolio2017

Happy paddlers on Loch Duich ©Fenfolio2017

The perfect reflection ©Fenfolio2017

Pure bliss! ©Fenfolio2017

The 5 sisters of Kintail ©Fenfolio2017

Paddlers in Paradise ©Fenfolio2017

Breaking the thin layer of ice was fun and noisy! ©Fenfolio2017

Ice layer ©Fenfolio2017

On our way back again ©Fenfolio2017

View of Eilean Donan castle from other side of Loch Duich ©Fenfolio2017

Paddling underneath bridge that leads to castle ©Fenfolio2017

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Another year has flown past again. You can read a summary of what I have been up to in my latest newsletter. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuous support. I look forward to keeping you informed about my artistic explorations and outdoor activities in 2017.

Christmas card with paper wreath ©Fenfolio2016

Friday, 16 December 2016

Art & Craft workshops

It has been a busy month with various workshops I organised  for children and adults at the Woodend Barn.

Printmaking with children 
Using foam sheets, some plastic drawing tools, printmaking ink, coloured paper and scraps of fabric the kids created some wonderful prints. It was fun, but really, really messy! Some kids were worried their hands were still blue the next morning when they had to go to school, haha. Luckily it's all waterbased!

The printing station before the kids came ©Fenfolio2016

Drawing their design ©Fenfolio2016

The kids were very creative and productive ©Fenfolio2016

Inking up the foam sheet ©Fenfolio2016

Concentration! ©Fenfolio2016

Printmaking is a very, very messy job! ©Fenfolio2016

Cool designs printed on coloured paper and fabric

Making your own fabric and paper wreath 
In preparation for Christmas I decided to organise my first ever craft workshop. We made wreaths from scraps of fabric tied around a wired ring. The paper wreath was made by curling various strips of gift wrap paper, coloured paper and double-sided paper and pinned down onto a polystyrene ring. They loved it and thought it was very therapeutic.

Cutting strips of fabric ©Fenfolio2016

They could choose to make a fabric or a paper wreath

Making piles of strips of fabric ©Fenfolio2016

Pinning down curled strips of papers ©Fenfolio2016

Tying the strips around the wired ring ©Fenfolio2016

Lots of different patterns ©Fenfolio2016

Curled wrapping paper ready to be pinned

Beautiful combination of colours and textures

Even old jeans were being used! ©Fenfolio2016

A beautiful paper wreath ©Fenfolio2016

Another beautiful paper wreath ©Fenfolio2016

Proud of their creations ©Fenfolio2016

My friend Dorothy found a different use for her
unfinished wreath!

 Making Christmas baubles from fabric
Local art and crafts group Third Stage invited me to organise something Christmassy for them. I decided to have them create their own Christmas baubles from scraps of fabric. Almost every woman has some (or lots) scraps at home. It was great to see what they brought along. Just before the workshop I visited a few local charity shops and was very lucky to find some sparkly fabric that I added to our collection.

Once they measured the parts on the polystyrene ball, they cut out their pattern and the peices of fabric. With a scalpel sections were cut into and with  a palette knife the pieces of fabric were pushed into the cuts. The baubles were then finished off with some ribbon and sequins. Easy, fun and beautiful results!
First the sections were drawn on the ball ©Fenfolio2016

Then fabric was cut out with the use of a simple pattern

Everyone hard at work ©Fenfolio2016

Stunning handmade Christmas baubles in just 2 hours!