We had a wonderful holiday, despite a very poor cottage, and the dreaded midges, who thought my insect repellent was delicious! Despite that, the weather was beautiful, the scenery stunning and the wildlife spectacular. I still haven't seen an otter but we actually had a Pine Marten who came to the bird table, and whom I then cunningly enticed every evening with jam sandwiches.
I saw this once on one of David Attenborough's programmes and it worked a treat! We couldn't take pics as it was very timid, but it was a real thrill. We saw loads of birds, small mammals, grey seals and a fantastic sighting of a herd of young red deer stags. Just wonderful. We were 9 miles from the nearest main road, over a beautiful mountain pass, and 25 miles from the nearest small town (so no popping to the shops for folks up there!) We took the summer ferry to Skye about 4 times, which was as beautiful as I remembered.
On the way home we stopped at lovely Dumfries and Galloway, in the Machars, to visit my friend Lisa and her husband Alan. She took the plunge a few years ago to give up work and become a full time artist and printmaker, and she's doing brilliantly, I'm delighted to say. We stayed at the best B&B ever while we stopped over! Fantastic huge and beautiful room, super king size bed, own private sitting room, incredible food and wonderful hospitality. If you're ever in Wigtown, try Barbara and David at Arduaine.
I went into a mad fenzy of crafting when I got back and at long last, she's finished!
May I present Hetty Pegler, the End of Summer Witch!
Hetty is a hedge witch or wisewoman, she's past her first flush of youth, but she has her own style, which I'd call eclectic! She thinks she's glamorous (but her clothes comprise mostly of hand me downs and cast off's, and if there were charity shops where she's from, she'd be in there like a shot!) She knows that witches are supposed to have warts, so she's made a concession with her gold coloured pearl ( far more stylish!) She's very proud of her lacy stockings and takes every opportunity to hitch up her skirts to show them off! Hetty decided I should dress her in those greens and golds that are prevalent at the end of the summer, before the autumn comes, but with just a hint of what's to come...
Now, during her creation, Hetty and I did not see eye to eye, and she very nearly got a new head, however, because I had to leave her for a while, I changed my mind, and I'm very glad I did. Because I started her in a class, she's the first doll where I've had to decide who she was going to be instead of letting her evolve. Still, in the end she became her own person as they all do. I've used a lot of recycled clothes to make her (including old, fancy but never worn! knickers)
which seems to be becoming the theme for my dolls, I quite like the idea of using what's available and seeing what you can make of it.
Her name came to me right at the outset. Hetty Pegler was actually Hester Pegler, a 17th century lady who owned a field in Gloucestershire where there is a well known neolithic long barrow, which was nicknamed Hetty Pegler's Tump! I've always thought this is a great name and it seemed perfect. Oh, by the way, I have a new creative director for my girls! My beloved decided to intervene whilst I was taking her press shots, and did a far better job than I ever could of posing her. I've told him he can do them all from now on.
Now it's on to the next new doll, except my sewing machine has decided to fall sick, but fortunately with one week left on the guarantee, so it will have to be taken to A&E, and hopefully get sorted out quickly. Hey ho, I'll just have to get on with my embroidery this week instead. Meanwhile, here's a few pics of Scotland to enjoy.