2018 Summary

I started 2018 on sabbatical from work and finished the year having resigned, so I haven’t done any paid work all year.  But what I have done is work on my creativity and what a wide range of projects I have done!

So this post is a summary of the things I achieved this year (and some memorable highlights).

Bullet keys

๐Ÿงฆ knitting (unless noted as crochet)   ๐ŸŒ€ spinning   ๐Ÿ’ฆ wet felting   ๐Ÿ—ก needle felting  ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป‍๐Ÿ”ฌ dyeing

๐Ÿ–ผ drawing   ๐Ÿ“ท photography   ๐Ÿ’Ž sea glass

๐Ÿ• camping trip   ๐Ÿก holiday cottage\B&B   ๐ŸŽซ concert   ๐ŸŽŸ  show


๐Ÿงฆ Alpaca lace scarf, poncho and red fingerless mittens

๐Ÿ“ท 3 credits at camera club 

๐Ÿ’Ž sea glass and Pooh bear pendant


๐Ÿงฆ arm knit throw and finger knit cushions (with mahoosive acrylic), Crazy sexy wool hat

๐Ÿ–ผ sketch of Ylva

๐Ÿ“ท Bolivia Audio Visual show


๐Ÿงฆ really warm hat, quick and bulky mittens, Allistar’s alpaca hat, purple fingerless mittens, big wool colour hat for Elaine, 2 x cable headbands, rasta fasta hat, swirly squishy hat,

๐Ÿ“ท came 4th in Annual Mini Comp., 3 acceptances in Annual projected image and 2 acceptances in Annual Print comps and Flamingo on Salar de Uyuni included in Club’s submission in Highland Challenge.

๐Ÿก Isle of Skye holiday cottage and day trip to Raasay

๐Ÿ’Ž sea glass pendants


๐Ÿˆ Dice died aged 16 years and 5 days.

๐Ÿงฆ chunky basket (crochet), cat hats for Merri and friend, drinks cosy and cathedral hat

๐Ÿ’ฆ dusty pink handbag

๐Ÿ’Ž sea glass wind chime

๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘งDad visited

๐ŸŽŸ saw Hamilton musical


๐Ÿ’Ž sea glass pendants

๐Ÿ• Dunnet Bay

๐ŸŒ€ bought spinning wheel, carders, niddy-noddy and fibre stash and acid dyes

๐Ÿงฆ hitchhiker scarf


๐Ÿ• Sango Sands and Clachtoll Beach

๐ŸŒ€ landscape rolags to 2 ply, purple and red scraps

๐Ÿงฆ my 1st socks, ipad cover, business card holder and 2nd hitchhiker, dog poop bag holder

๐Ÿ’ฆ rose and blue circular needle case and soap bars


๐ŸŒ€ Tour de Fleece spinning purple merino and gold bamboo, ethereal ether, some British 56s, perpetual purple

๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ—ก highland cow

๐Ÿงฆ fair isle hat, 3rd hitchhiker, started chimney fire cardigan, alpaca cowl for Allistar, coffee cup cosy

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป‍๐Ÿ”ฌ British 56s wool

๐Ÿก Met up with Elaine in Kinlochleven


๐Ÿ• Orkney camping

๐ŸŽซ ๐Ÿ• Belladrum 3 day concert

๐ŸŒ€ samoyed dog hair, ethereal ether, home dyed British 56s

๐Ÿ’ฆ purple wool and silk scarf

๐Ÿงฆ still knitting cardigan

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป‍๐Ÿ”ฌ cheviot bulky yarn


๐ŸŽซ ๐Ÿ• Jocktoberfest 2 day concert

๐Ÿก Loch Sunart holiday cottage

๐Ÿ’ฆ turquoise wool and silk scarf and tiny purse for sister, rose and blue double pointed needle roll case, attempt at nuno felting

๐Ÿงฆ glasses case, crochet dog poop bag holder and finished Chimney Fire cardigan


๐ŸŒ€ Brit Spin in team ‘more enthusiasm than skill’ Shetland

๐Ÿ‘ซ visit by Annie and Michael

๐Ÿงฆ Allistar’s socks, cheviot 3 set (hat, cowl & mittens), 2 at a time fingerless mittens

๐Ÿ’ฆ green and red wool and silk scarf for Annie

๐ŸŽซ saw Turin Brakes in concert


๐Ÿ’Ž sea glass progress markers

๐Ÿ’ฆ suri alpaca and silk scarf, stripe scarf for dad

๐ŸŒ€ finished camel and silk blend

๐Ÿงฆ started Lintilla and dad’s socks

๐Ÿ—ก autumn sparkle fairy

๐Ÿ“ท came 2nd in annual Portfolio comp


๐ŸŒ€ poppy corriedale fractal, finished Shetland

๐Ÿงฆ finished Dad’s socks, poppy fractal hat for husband, started Void shawl

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป‍๐Ÿ”ฌ dyed BFL fibre, merino/silk blend and Shetland

๐Ÿ—ก Christmas bauble, mouse pictures and Christmas pudding

(I don’t remember which month but I also sewed a project bag.)

Selection of 2018 completed objects

Portland Japanese and Rose Garden

19 June 2014

The Japanese Garden is a bit out of the city centre and so public transport or a car is needed to get there.  As it was summer we took the MAX to Oregon Zoo and then caught a shuttle bus up to the gardens.  Out of season I think the transport changes so it is worth checking their website.  
The plan had been for Allistar to sit in a bar watching England playing football in the World Cup and I was going to head to the gardens, but in the end we both watched the football and both visited the gardens.  
The gardens were smaller than I had expected, but they are lovely to wander around.  We have a couple of Japanese maples at home and it was lovely to see so many different types.  The rose gardens are actually free and are a bit below the Japanese gardens.  It was a baking hot day and there is limited shade in the rose garden but plenty of shade in the Japanese.
The rose garden was free and you get a good view from there across to a Mount Hood.

Portland brewery tours

19 June 2014

Persuading Allistar that Washington and Oregon would be a great roadtrip location really came down to the selling point that Portland has soooo many micro breweries and despite us only staying in Portland a couple of nights, he seemed to really enjoy the tasting trays that the brewery pubs sold. A small selection of the ones we visited are in the collage, plus a few city shots and my ginger ale. I really liked Portland, I could easily have stayed longer and hope that one day I will get an opportunity to return here. The streets were so clean, lovely architecture, a real buzz about the place…probably down to all the beer people consume. I did a Facebook quiz ages ago which asked which City I should live in and it came out as Portland. I know these quizzes aren’t scientific and are just a bit of fun, but I was disappointed that it hadn’t come out saying San Francisco!! I do love San Francisco so much, but Portland comes a close second above New York and Chicago for US cities I like.


Bend to Portland

18 June 2014

The Three Sisters Mountains, Mount Hood, clear rivers, dense forests…I love this sort of scenery.  There is something really special about seeing snow capped mountains and in Oregon there is certainly no shortage of them.  Given that this was a day where we didn’t have anything specific to go and see and it was just a day for getting us from Bend to Portland, it turned out to be an enjoyable day anyway…soaking up the views and stopping to take in the panoramic views.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

17 June 2014

Our interest in volcanoes and volcanic features was sparked during our trip to Hawaii in 2013. There is something so fascinating to me that all these different structures and textures can all be created by the Earth cracking or bursting open.

Exploring the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which covers a huge area (many miles!) gives a great opportunity to see the different ways in which the surface of the land can be changed dramatically by volcanic activity.

The Lava Cast Forest
This is accessed by driving down a very, very long, dusty and bumpy road that seemed to go on forever. When we parked up we were wondering if the long drive was worth what we were about to see. The answer was obviously yes or I wouldn’t bother writing about it ๐Ÿ™‚

You will see from the collage of photos just a snapshot of some of the features, from trees that have grown with twisted bark because they have maybe only one tap root that has managed to get through the lava to find water, so the bark twists to distribute that water. Also in the collage is a ponderosa pine tree which is fire resistant, miles of lava that flooded the area, holes in the ground which look man made but were where trees grew, the lava flow came and the trees burnt away leaving a cast in the ground. There are loads of these holes and they are different sizes and depths.


The Obsidian Flow
Okay so I don’t know whether it is because I am a lover of glass but I found the obsidian flow captivating. As we climbed part of the flow the sun came out and it was as if we were walking on a hill made of black glass. There was even a section that was in the shape of a love heart.


Lava Butte
This is another feature that we stopped at. I find it really interesting the different colours and the different textures that spew from the ground and this lava butte had really red/russet tones.


Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

16-17 June 2014


I first heard of Crater Lake National Park when I was reading ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed. She was walking the Pacific Crest Trail on her own and the trail runs past the lake. It sounded pretty amazing from her description, so I googled it and started reading up about it. With Allistar and I already now being really interested in anything volcano related, following our trip to Hawaii, it got me thinking…’how can we tie in a visit to Crater Lake and do the Pacific Coast Highway in one holiday. After a few weeks, or maybe months, of planning I had our circular route defined. I am posting these entries out of sync so I will post another entry with our route.

Back to Crater Lake….wow!!! The size, the colour, the snow ledges, the mountain views in the distance are all just amazing. The colour of the lake when the sunshines doesn’t look like your typical blue. I have seen Lake Taupo in New Zealand which is also a filled in volcano but because Crater Lake doesn’t have any rivers or streams that feed it and it has just been filled with melted ice and snow it is very clean and clear. Unfortunately we were too early in the season to be able to do a boat trip, which was disappointing but we did manage to upgrade to a room at the Lodge with a lake view. We had been booked in a cabin in Mazama Village, at the time of booking Crater Lake Lodge was fully booked. However, we stopped and asked if there were any cancellations and we were lucky that there was. We had to pay for the room and then they returned our money for our original booking to our credit card later.

There are walks you can take and if open you can drive around the rim. The northern most part of the rim drive was closed but we did all the road we could and kept stopping to take photos. I took sooooo many photos it is crazy but it is just so amazing to see.

In the Lodge, we listened to one of the Rangers give a talk about the building of the Lodge. He was very enthusiastic and told us that many years ago they put fish in the lake and now they are trying to get rid of them, so they allow fishing without a permit so long as you take your catch with you or you use artificial bait. We drank cocktails and had a nice dinner in the restaurant in the evening. When we woke up there was very fine snow falling but later the sun came out again. This was a real treat and made a nice change from the motels that we have been staying at. Not cheap but worth it for a great night/couple of days.

I have included in the collage of photos one of the panoramic shots that has 2 shots of Allistar plus a third image of his head.

Note added later: Cheryl’s book ‘Wild’ is now a movie and I was lucky enough to see an advanced screening at the Inverness Film Festival a few months before general release. There are a few scenes where you can see Reese Witherspoon sitting looking out across Crater Lake and I felt like shouting “I’ve been there” lo

Sun dog and wrong turn to a site we didn’t see!

14-15 June 2014


As we pulled into a petrol station we saw people staring up at the sky, it was a bit like a sci-fi movie and I think we part expected to see a UFO. Instead we saw a Sun dog, something we had never seen or even heard of before. We bought an ice cream and starred in wonder with our hands covering the sun but a good view of the ring.

Another natural wonder we saw was a river so clear and an extraordinary colour, I can’t remember exactly where it was but we were heading inland having stayed the night before in Crescent City.


We stopped at tourist information near the turning for the Oregon Caves National Monument. After some debate we decided not to make the long drive to the caves, as they were going to be really cold and we hadn’t booked a slot. Now I don’t know what happened but somehow we managed to go the wrong way and we did in fact end up driving the many miles down the dead end road to the monument. When we got there we decided we still didn’t want to go into the caves and so we did one of the hiking trails up to the viewpoint and it was worth the climb for the view from the top. It really felt like we were on top of the world!



Umpqua River Lighthouse

13 June 2014

I don’t know the correct way of pronouncing Umpqua, but I can’t help but think of the rhyme ‘umpa, umpa, stick it up your jumper’…random I know!!!


The Umpqua River Lighthouse was interesting for two reasons…1) it is a river, rather than sea lighthouse and 2) there are red lenses, not just clear ones!

The lens is worth the climb up the steps, even if you aren’t keen on heights.

Seal Rock

11 June 2014

We thought we would stop at Seal Rock to have a walk along the beach and look at the alien sea life we found!!!

Cannon Beach to Yachats

10-12 June 2014

We checked out after a lovely evening at Schooners Cove in Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach is a lovely town to browse the galleries, jewellers and gift shops. We spent the morning wandering around and saw some lovely art and jewellery made from sea glass. ย A stop for a photo of Oswald West (not in collage), then stopped at Rockaway Beach where friendly squirrels were living in the rocks between the beach and carpark!

We stopped at Tillamook Cheese Factory for a quick self guided tour then lunch including yummy ice cream (3 scoops each!!). ย Plenty of cheese samples on offer as well, so by the time we left we were stuffed. ย After leaving there we got lost trying to find Nestucca National Wildlife Reserve, I am not sure how we got so muddled but it did give me an opportunity to stop at Bob Straub beach for a quick panoramic shot (after scaling a huge sand dune).

Finally we found Nestucca just at the point we had given up looking. ย On the drive up to the higher car park we saw some deer, the photos are not good enough to include in the collage. ย After we had parked at the upper car park we then walked up the footpath to the viewing station and what a view!

Cannon Beach to Yachats 1

Driving further south down Highway 101 we stopped at Cape Foulweather, Devil’s Punchbowl and it was a bit windy!!

We finally arrived at the Fireside Motel. We stayed here for 2 nights and in hindsight we would rather have stayed 2 nights at Cannon Beach instead. The Fireside has a great location and offered free breakfast cereal or muffins etc. but there was something that we felt was lacking…I suspect if we had just stayed one night we would have been fine with it. We weren’t too close to the sea but had a sea view and it was pretty noisy.

We had dinner at the the Drif Inn both nights!

Cannon Beach to Yachats 2

On our day off from driving south, we walked along the coastal footpath into Yachats and had a drink and cake in the Green Salmon Cafe, we then walked back to the motel and drove to Newport and visited the Rogue Brewing Company and did some shopping. A nice relaxing day and a walk along the coast is refreshing and makes a lovely change from being in the car so much.


Lake Quinault to Cannon Beach

9-10 June 2014

A second visit to Quinault Mercantile for another Yogi Bearie Crunch was the perfect start to our day. ย On our way south down the Pacific Coast Highway 101 we stopped for a quick wander around Raymond and Willapa lovely area with dozens of sculptures along the sides of the road, in every direction. ย  It makes the town attractive and gives a traveller a walm welcome.

We stopped for lunch in Long Beach which says it has the World’s Longest Beach! But put that in Google and there are others that seem to actually be longer. ย However it is very, very long and worth a glimpse as you are passing.

As you leave Washington State and enter Oregon, you are on the World’s largest single truss bridge, I haven’t Googled this fact to test it…I don’t want to shatter all these facts we took in.

Lake Quinault to Cannon Beach

We had a wander around Astoria but didn’t stay long and we were relieved to have taken advice from TripAdvisor forums that said don’t bother staying there, instead we drove on to Cannon Beach and stayed atย http://www.schoonerscove.com. We were I ย room 25 and had a balcony and a perfect view of the sun setting, watching people strolling along the beach. ย There is a supermarket close by and so we bought snacks and nibbles and had a buffet on the balcony…pure bliss!

In the collage of photos taken on Cannon Beach you can see a man carrying some driftwood that he then put down and watched the sunset!

Cannon Beach Views