Wednesday, 5 February 2014

'Bonie lassie, will ye go to the birks of Aberfeldy' (Robert Burns)

Nothing beats those start of the year blues better than a little holiday to look forward to! We spent the last week in the gorgeous Aberfeldy area of Perthshire. We're big fans of this area of the country, and try and get here at least once a year to enjoy the fantastic walking and cycling, and of course visit our favourite cake and lunch haunts!
The weather was much as to be expected for late January in Scotland, but we got outdoors as much as we could despite the frequent snow and rain, and when the skies were clear the landscape and hills were fantastic.
Looking down the road that goes up to the Ben Lawers car park. This is where we wisely turned around and headed back down again!
View down to Loch Tay. The little pond here was partially frozen over.
The sheep coped with the cold much better than we did!
View across Loch Tay on a less snowy day
Lovely walk back down from Acharn waterfall.
We always find ourselves at The Courtyard in Kenmore for at least tea and cakes, oh and the great views up Loch Tay valley of course! and oh boy this time I had the best flapjack I think I've ever had in my life! It tasted partly like a traditional flapjack, partly like a mince pie, and was also full of tasty nuts and seeds. I solemnly declared it King of all flapjacks (the hot chocolate was quite nice too!) 
Om nom
Also in this picture you'll see the new embroidery I've been working on. I got quite a lot stitched on holiday, but it still has a ways to go and will feature here when it's done! The reason I started a new piece is that I finished my Finish-Along bear! I just need to get some nice pics and he will feature here next week.

I also managed to make a few crafty related purchases while on holiday. If you ever go to Aberfeldy a visit to the amazing independent bookshop The Watermill is a must. Great selection of books (oh and cakes too). I even blogged about it a couple of years ago here! Buying books and eating cakes will never get old, especially not in such lovely surroundings.
Lovely new print and crafty book purchases
As usual, I treated myself to a guilt-free book, and this time I bought Emily Hogarth's 'The Crafter's Guide to Papercutting'. I'm always on the lookout for new crafts to try, and though I'm not sure if I have the patience for paper cutting, I'd love to give it a go as I've always admired Emily's work. In fact, I only discovered and bought this book after we'd already purchased one of her prints from the Watermill's gallery! We've been looking for new art to fill the high walls in the living room in our new house, and both myself and my husband instantly loved this. The theme of 'My heart's in the Highlands' also sits well with us, as we love this area so much!

Crockery heaven
I also purchased these two plates from the lovely homewares shop next door, and was even more chuffed to get them for half price in the sale! I've admired these designs for a while and couldn't resist snapping them up. As if there were a paper-cutting theme to my holiday purchases, these plate designs are by Rob Ryan, another well known paper cutter artist! I've informed the husbandbot that these plates are to be kept for bringing out biscuits and cakes to visitors, but no doubt they'll be found lying around with toast crumbs on in short order.

Alas, the week was soon over and we were back home, but as we've only been in our new house for three months, we were all looking forward to getting home, and our desire for DIY has been refreshed by the break. Next, the exciting work of choosing and buying a shed.


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