Me Time with Spring Flowers

This afternoon, Chris Hammacott and myself headed to the Ness Carers’ group, run by Alzheimer Scotland to offer a Spring Flower arranging session.

The feedback from this group is that things requiring time at home to complete simply don’t work and everyone much prefers projects which can be completed in the session time and taken home with pride. Me Time, for this group, is simply the time spent together in the group and guidance from a workshop leader is much appreciated.

There were some new faces this time and some trepidation at the idea that we might all create arrangements worthy of the dining or hall table that Chris spoke of. The ladies who had attended before were keen and eager to dive in.

Chris gave us some instruction on how to make a pincushion arrangement.

I think we all did rather well, even though mine was nothing like a pincushion and it had antlers 🙂 I thought the Easter chick additions were sweet and playful, they raised a few laughs. I made some curiously addictive pink peppercorn biscuits and Chris M made a lovely banana cake.

One of the ladies who attends regularly was sadly in hospital and there was a funeral in the town. Two of the arrangements went off to cheer people up after these events.  The rest went home with their makers, a cheery injection of sunshine against the grey day.

Tuesday Ceilidh

Today, 11 of us gathered on Erisort Ward to enjoy some cream cake, rhubarb pie and stories from Back in the Day.

Some family members brought a gorgeous Retriever in to the other side of the partition wall and that started conversation flowing early on.

We spoke about where we were all from and how far we had travelled for a little while and then as most people were from Stornoway, she settled on Back in the Day from the hospital resource pile to read.

There was a hilarious article about Lewis men from the 1950s writing about their quest for a wife. Beautiful Bragar Belles were mentioned, along with a Bragar man who was bald at 41, and wondering whether to find himself a wife, or, alternatively, go to Uist to buy a horse. One can only wonder what his wife’s life might have looked like if he did marry… maybe she would have needed to carry many heavy loads and plough the field?

4 visitors dropped by and it was lovely to see them joining in.

Ellie from Alzheimer Scotland spent time talking with everyone and had many interesting stories to note down at the end.

The daffodils were enjoyed by all and I left them with a lady who had expressed her love of them.

Harris House on Monday 26th March

The session at Harris House on Monday was a wonderful mixture of silk painting cushion fronts in glorious Springtime themes, Pug cuddling and character puppet sleeve testing.

I captured some of the conversation below but not all conversation is verbal – sometimes it is in a smile, the way a face lights up in recognition, a hand squeeze or pat, the way a fabric or colour is touched or held and in silent, engrossed painting, absorbed in the task.

‘I love doing this, I could do it all day’
‘I’ve really enjoyed mixing the colours’
‘I like the way it swooshes to the edge’
‘It’s so lovely to have a chance to try something new’
‘look at him shaking his tail feathers’
‘little red hen, I think she laid an egg’

The puppet sleeve was an instant hit with the lady who ‘bonded’ with her. There was a great deal of texture and interest sewn into the little smiley face and the ‘fleece’ was so soft and strokable. Inside, tweeds, tassels, buttons and a bow on top added to the experience of having a pet sat in the lap and we will experiment with weight, warmth and other experiences in time.

Thanks to Chris Hammacott for the gorgeous variety of experiences, to Andrew for Pug minding, and driving, and to Maria and Cathy, our wonderful volunteers.

We will deliver the finished cushions next week, when we go to have a session around Dawn Susan’s baskets.


Scalpay craft session

On Monday 26th March, we headed to Scalpay to the Community Hall to share Chris Hammacott and Mhairi Law’s expertise in textiles and cyanotypes.

This time, Mhairi had created some liquid chemical kits to share with gorgeous art prints on top. I printed my fabric with feathers before making myself a lovely pin book and cushion from the scallop shells and fabrics that Chris had brought along.

Chris also brought some inspirational pieces to share with everyone, in advance of the Craft Fayre on Weds 25th April. There was a bag and a cushion, some doorstop characters, an apron and the scallop shell pin cushion task.

Mhairi inspired us with attempting to paint the chemicals on to the scallop shells and demonstrating how to use sunlight instead of her wonderful uv light box for exposing the coated papers and fabrics.

Nine of us enjoyed Monday’s session (ten if we could Pixie the Pug!) and we had a home made lunch of cakes and soup.

There is just one more session on Monday 9th April before the craft fayre on April 25th. The 9th April session is 10am-1pm and Dawn Susan will becoming to teach us all how to weave with beachcombed rope, a very timely craft with so much marine plastic washing up on our shores. Please collect and wash some rope in advance of this session. Pop it in an old pillowcase and wash in the washing machine. The pillowcase will only really be good for washing future stashes of collected rope and not so much as a pillowcase, afterwards, so be warned!




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