Strange times everyone says.

Strange times everyone says.

It is warm and very windy outside today, July is often a strange month of weather here in Shetland.  Today I should have had a group of visitors to my art studio and garden, for a tour. However this is not possible due to the risk of catching a troublesome virus. Our country came to a standstill for a while, picking up again now. ‘Strange times’ is a phrase I have heard a lot!  Each persons experience of lockdown is very individual depending on circumstances, some almost unaffected, some lost their lives.

Personally I had to adjust to homeschooling my son, and survive a massive financial loss from 2 businesses. Luckily it was not the only income to my home so I see myself as very fortunate on the whole. Determined to use any ‘free time’ in a positive way, I was able to look at improvements that could be made to both businesses. My Art/garden business and also our accommodation business and found loads of things that could be worked on, given this new time! To make 2021 better than ever, not just from a financial point of view, but for customer experience.  The garden has never had so much attention, finishing off areas that have just been skimmed over previously, and is looking better than ever, my 9 year old son can change his  own bed and cook! Things we would never have spent time on before! I have been in the sea!, something I have always wanted to try but never had a spare second to attempt. I am now planning to start on a new body of artwork, inspired by under the sea.  There is still a possibility that the local Arts & crafts fair may go ahead during November? Maybe see some of you there.

What new thing have you done during lockdown?

Grotie Buckies!

Grotie Buckies!

I’m always working on new designs and looking to nature for inspiration, and my latest design uses cowrie shells.

I’ve used small box frames (12.5cm square) to house a painted acrylic landscape, finished off with a cowrie shell.

Cowries – or Jenny Wrens as I knew them growing up (perhaps this is a Whalsay name. Let me know if you called them this too!) – are increasingly popular in jewellery making in Shetland. Several local artists have used casts of the tiny shell, so I thought I would have a go at using them in a different way.

I have however exhausted my supply, and slightly underestimated how rare they are to find! I think this might call for a special limited edition art piece.