The Woodlife Way

Handmade in the Highlands - Woodcrafts and B&B

Month: June 2015

A busy day

A late custom button order last night which we needed to finish making the oak toggles for, needed drilling and waxing this morning, Steve was doing guest breakfasts. We had two Parisian guests last night (very lovely girls we spent a very nice evening with them). Then Steve to post office with the order, update the computer, guests away, beds stripped, laundry on, and then our breakfast. (which makes for a very happy Steve) then over to the croft.

and so it begins.. where to start?? at the beginning? yes lets… the entrance

beginning to clear up the entrance, bailer wrap and twine.

beginning to clear up the entrance, bailer wrap and twine.

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old stock fencing grown into ground

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some very useful telegraph poles, just not right here

So all of this is now clear and the beautiful little frog which was carefully looked after by Bruiser survived the whole activity.

A bit of drystone walling repair, mainly because it is the only dry path down one section of the croft at the moment.

Three loads of washing done and on the line to dry! grass cut front and back (Steve even mowed around the buttercups!)

. Some more buttons cut from a Horse chestnut tree which had come down in the storms earlier this year at Tongue.

Lunch/dinner which Steve decided to photograph…. an amazing 5 cheese salad  (thanking our wonderful neighbours for the cheese gift from their recent travels) with homemade bread and freshly made coleslaw!

5 cheese salad

5 cheese salad

Then washing in from line and put away and back over to the croft for a wildflower study, dog walk and bunny count by bruiser in the sand dunes. Hundreds of Orchids every where we stepped, absolutely stunned by the sheer amount.

Orchids

Orchids

Orchids

Orchids

Beautiful fragrant Orchid

Beautiful fragrant Orchid

Our view from the croft of Orkney was amazingly clear this evening, and so many shades of blue too.

Orkney and shades of blue

Orkney and shades of blue

Beautiful blue skies

Beautiful blues in the skies

bog cotton blowing in the breeze

bog cotton blowing in the breeze

Finally a shower and then a last photo of Ben loyal as the light was stunning this evening.

 

mountain

 

 

Now with the time at 23.24 Bruiser is excitedly awaiting the appearance of the deer on the Moine – he is like a Kid the night before Christmas – he keeps going to lie down only to get back up a minute or two later to see if they’ve arrived yet! No doubt he will wake us up and tell us when they do…

Our first event with our products

We have been invited to “take a table” at a local fundraising event here in Melness. It will be our first outing to both meet our neighbours and show who we are and what we do.

The fundraiser is in aid of our local community care unit, which is a vital means of support for local residents and families. In our opinion a worthy cause which we are very happy to learn more about and support if we can.

From the information gathered so far it sounds as though there will be a variety of stalls offering everything from homemade bread and cakes to local crafts. Well worth a visit if you are within travelling distance. I am just trying to find out if it is a low key locals event or expandable…….

Will add info as We receive it.

Butterfly Orchids are starting to appear

We have been checking everyday for our favourite wild Orchids to make an appearance, they had been in full flower for a couple of weeks by this time last year. The longest day is almost upon us and so many plants have yet to show. Yesterday we spotted our first Northern marsh Orchid starting to bud and today hooray for our first Butterfly Orchid sighting. Also Sring Squill is popping up all over and something resembling Devils bit Scabious but white? We have just had notification of true identification as Catsfoot, Mountain everlasting. Fantastic. Thank you Barbara very much for your email.

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Butterfly Orchid, in Bud

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Spring Squill

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Catsfoot, Mountain Everlasting.

Linet

Linnet

We have also had a linnet visiting our garden, and got a great photo of our beautiful Hooded crow taking off from the garden wall.

Hooded crow

Hooded Crow

Finally on the spotting side, we spotted 9 Red Deer from the bedroom window last night.

Lovely.

We have been busy with guests this week on the B&B front, we’ve had folk from all over the globe – Germany, USA, and 2 couples from Australia – it’s a fascinating experience learning about the cultures, wildlife and homes of our guests – and sometimes you meet people who make an impression that you’ll never forget – like our last guests – also crofters but Australian style, we had some great conversations, they had a great sense of humour, were very funny, interesting and a genuinely lovely couple.
We also had the delivery of new linen! This is a very exciting event for us, especially after the amount of research put in on this – it’s nice to see the products in the flesh…. And they’re lovely, you can’t beat good quality bed linen! We currently have a rare vacant guest room for this evening. Hence catching up on our online appearance.

We are trying to start an Etsy team (Handmade in the Highlands) for crafters in the Northern Highlands of Scotland, as we find all the events are so far from us that we cannot attend. It would be nice to meet some local crafters who may be interested in skill sharing and networking maybe workshopping? all in the fledgling stage at the moment but trying to work out how the teams work.

Hope on Hope

Today we fully geared up Waterproofs and all! (6th June), and headed over toward Ben Hope and found our way up onto a great vantage point overlooking Ben Hope and Loch Hope, the clouds were moving pretty quick and it got pretty exciting up on the top of the hill.

Ben Hope and Loch Hope. 6th June

Ben Hope and Loch Hope. 6th June

We came across a shed antler which may be up-cycled, jury is still out on antler buttons and “Deer Charms”

We now know this beautiful little flower is a Bog Bean.

Bog Bean

Bog Bean

Just another couple of photos of skies clouds sea beach and happy puppy  from this week.

ahhh

ahhh

ahhh

ahh

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ahhh

ahhh

ahhh

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ahhh

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and finally ahhh

They’re not rain clouds they’re an opportunity!

Sunny days with blue skies are all well and good but nothing quite captures the true Highland experience like the clouds, they bring a texture and drama that clear skies don’t have. With their ever shifting shapes casting shadows on the landscape they add depth to the scenery and create shafts of light that highlight different aspects and areas that you may have never seen and give you an ever changing spectrum of colours and textures. It really is a privilege to live here, it’s so easy to enthuse with our guests and stare out of the window, pointing out the areas that capture our attention and delighting in the wonders of the view, the small TV we brought with us is all but redundant .

The buttons and tree charms are very exciting at the moment, it’s hard to keep up and keep track of the interest and sales – all excellent stuff!
Our guests this week stayed on for a few hours in the morning and joined Lea in an impromptu tree charm workshop, it’s a real pleasure to see people suddenly see all the things we see in the wood and share our enthusiasm! The differences  of not only every wood but each button and charm are a marvel when you really start to look at them, every single piece of wood is individual, unique, always beautiful and has its own depth and character. We are so glad that others also share in our passion and craft, it makes it all worth while.

There is so much going on now in the flora dept I won’t be able to include everything so I will mention just a few.

Talmine Harbour 2nd June 11am

Talmine Harbour 2nd June 11am

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Clouds have swallowed Ben Loyal, couldn’t resist this shot though

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Thrift

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Trees starting to grow absolutely everywhere – wonder if these will make it to the button stage?

 

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Bog cotton

This is a HatBand we made for a custom order which we think are liking very much and are happy to make to your required button and backing combination preference.

 

P1170050

Hatband

Vetch

Vetch

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold

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