You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2010.

Starfish Studio is closed on Mondays and I always try to make the most of the day by going out somewhere.  Yesterday was my last Monday off before the school holidays start, so I was determined to have some decent ‘me’ time!

I had arranged to collect some stock from a new supplier in Finzean (pronounced Fingen but you don’t say the ‘g’) near Banchory/ Aboyne so I had a lovely drive up into the hills in glorious sunshine.  Having collected candles made of rolled beeswax and scented with organic essential oils, my car smelled divine!

I took a wee trip to the Butterworth Gallery and had a lovely chat with the very friendly lady there – we’re doing a leaflet swap to help promote each other’s businesses.

Then I headed to the Finzean Farm Shop for lunch.  I had heard that it was good, but it exceeded my expectations. 

Finzean Farm Shop

It’s owned by the Finzean Estate and sells a lot of home produced food – particularly venison and beef, if that’s your kind of thing ( it’s certainly not mine!).  My lunch was beautifully presented and very yummy.  There’s a gift shop with top quality stuff, not handmade unfortunately but nice nonetheless, and there’s artwork on the walls.  It’s in a beautiful setting and the views from the patio towards the hills are lovely.

I was puzzled to see a small area of the carpark cordoned off.  It was on the gravel and I couldn’t imagine that anything could have been planted there.

Cordoned off area - spot the Starfishmobile!

So I went over for a closer look and this is what I saw!!

So where’s the nest?

 No oystercatchers in sight.    I was about to walk away when something caught my eye – did you spot them?!   

Two eggs

So that was my last peaceful Monday for several weeks, and it was fab 🙂


I have to tell you about the new range that just arrived.   gOOglie-eye is a range of adorable owls, birds and fish all made from recycled materials by Catherine Redgate, a student at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. 

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this young lady!  She has set up a wee business, has a part time job and is a Brownie leader – all whilst still a student.

Her professionalism is excellent – everything from her initial approach to me as a potential stockist to the finishing touches on her work show that she is serious about making a success of her venture.  She has had fabric labels made to stitch into the owls, and bright, attractive labels printed on to good quality card to accompany the badges and keyrings.

A selection of Catherine’s work.

gOOglie-eye owls are now roosting in Starfish Studio – come and see them before they all fly away!

I feel like I’ve spent all week staring at the computer screen.  I’m working on a brand new website for Starfish Studio which will have an online shop as well as the info about the bricks & mortar shop that’s already on the existing site.  I’m aiming to make it live sometime during July… watch this space!

During the course of last week all the members of South Aberdeenshire Abstracts took their work along to Cowden Studios so by the opening on Saturday my paintings didn’t look so lonely any more!

We had a fantastic turn out at the private viewing on Saturday evening. 

On Monday I visited the Gray’s School of Art degree show and was well impressed.  I bought a small, one off, highly textured print by Audrey Jane Dargie and it got me thinking (again) about whether Starfish is big enough to host exhibitions by other artists.  Hmmm… jury’s still out on that one, but any thoughts or suggestions would be gratefully received.

'Lagoon' by Audrey Jane Dargie

Yesterday I hung six of my paintings as part of the first exhibition by the newly formed South Aberdeenshire Abstracts group (SABAB).

The venue is Martin Nelson’s fabulous gallery space at Cowden Farm near Drumlithie.   He has converted an old, stone barn into the most fantastic workshop/ studio space and gallery.  Windows set into the roof fill the space with natural light – it’s worth coming along just to see the building!

These are the six I've put in to the exhibition.

I am extremely envious of how much studio space Martin has – my working studio space in Starfish amounts to about 1 square metre!!  However, I am fortunate to have recently been able to dedicate an attic room to be a permanent sewing space – more about that in a future blog…

They look a wee bit lonely at the moment but these walls will soon be a riot of colour!

The opposite wall is a bit more interesting!

In the above photo you can see artwork on the wall by Angela Arnold and Pauline Murray.

The exhibition will be open at the following times:

  • Sat19th & Sun 20th June, 11am – 6pm
  • Fri 25th June, 6-9pm
  • Sat 26th & Sun 27th June, 11am – 6pm

Martin is making some strong, sturdy signs to guide visitors to the venue.  The road to the farm is a bit bumpy in places but it’s absolutely fine if you keep your speed down!

After a lot of deliberation I’ve decided to give blogging a go.  I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing yet, so please bear with me!

I’m very fortunate to live a stone’s throw from a beautiful, rocky shoreline.  Having grown up on a busy main road, I am very envious of my children’s opportunities to play, explore and learn from the natural environment so close to home.  Walks along the shore generally don’t require any planning – if the sun’s shining and we’re not busy then we can nip down to the water’s edge.

My daughters and I enjoy creating temporary beach art.  If we make it above the high tide line, sometimes it’s still there weeks later.  Here are some recent examples.

A house and tree.

Simple but effective!

Kirsty, who is cheese mad, drew this with a piece of charred wood left over from somebody's beach fire.

And of course, despite the freezing water, the girls just have to go in!!

They just can't resist!

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