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The sky’s the limit

Over winter people had mentioned the dreaded summer fog that covers the island for days, no planes in or out and no sight of any sky. As we are coming towards the end of August and summer I was wondering if it really was such a common occurrence, as we hadn’t seen it at all.

But this week the fog was showed up and was here to stay. Unfortunately Olly was working on the Mainland at the time, and was unable to to get back. If it cleared a little here, it was too foggy in Kirkwall to take off and vice versa. Eventually there was a short window and he made it back, but the fog lingered for much of the week. It was really low lying and it was oddly difficult (for me anyway) to get a handle on how distant things were in the landscape. Very trippy! I was happy to see the sky again after 4 days of living in a cloud.

The sky and sun returned - a walk to the wildflowers

There’s a small strip in a field near our house that must have had some wild flower seed sown because it really stands out from the rest in terms of colour and diversity. It’s beautiful enough to warrant a visit to see it, so when the sky returned Olly and I walked down to see what flowers we could find. I picked a couple of nice specimens for pressing. It’s really important to me to leave as many as possible for the bees and other invertebrates to forage on, and for the flowering heads to then set seed so there are more lovely flowers next year.

Loss of wildlife and biodiversity has been affected by the loss of traditional farming methods and earlier silage cutting. It is pretty easy to see when from one day to the next the islands fields are stripped bare of any flowers - poor bees! But at least this lovely patch is still here.


While in a craft-y mood after pressing flowers I decided to (finally) grout a mosaic that I had done 2 years ago. I was a bit apprehensive about the grouting stage, worried about messing up the lovely mosaic I had spent hours designing, cutting and sticking down glass for. Earlier this month my Mum had sent me a gorgeous quilt that I hung immediately in our living room. It would be perfectly complimented by my mosaic, so it was about time I finished it.

It was very messy, and as soon as I started I wished I had taken the article’s advice of doing it outside! But there was nothing for it but to crack on. It was very therapeutic rubbing in the messy black grout into all the cracks between the pieces of glass, going over and over it with my gloved hands. Once I was happy it was in every nook and cranny, I wiped away the excess to reveal my sparkling mosaic underneath. Was a beauty! The coarse grout had rubbed away all the dried on glue that was stuck on the outside, smudging up the glass. The pieces of mirror shone and reflected the light.

The piece was based on an image that I found on a postcard when I visited Iceland. The land of fire and ice. I did the cool ocean waters using pieces of mirror, sometimes the ocean looks like a mirror, reflecting the skies above. The ocean in the photo below, taken at Westness, reminded me of liquid mercury - an iridescent silvery-white,

To continue my artistic flow I went for a walk at Westness and picked up a few pieces for seaweed. My plan was to trying pressing it. To get it looking like it was still sloating in the ocean I filled a roasting tray with water with the seaweed in. I then submerged some watercolour card and floated the seaweed on top, waving it around until it was in a posiiton I liked. I’m excited to see what it comes out like once it’s dried!

Panorama at Westness

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