Scottish Grand Tour

I’m sorry for not posting last week but the Scottish schools were on October Half Term and so we attempted our own version of a grand tour.

One sunny saturday morning we (1x stressed husband, 1x bored 11 year old girl, 2x excited toddlers and me) piled into the car and headed north. The plan was to drive between Glasgow (home) along the scenic roads to Fort William, then along Loch Ness to Inverness, then wind down through Banffshire to Dundee and then home again.

We can only attempt such an outing because we have recently upgraded our car. We now drive an extremely un-eco friendly diesel guzzling american tank – a Chrysler Grand Voyager with 7 seats and more space than our current kitchen.  We love it, the toddlers love it because they have so much room and can’t touch each other no matter how hard they try, and the 11 year old adores it because she has her own sound system, storage areas and is relieved of having to attend to her sisters bad behaviour. We would never have tried to drive 500 miles with the three girls sitting side-by-side in the previous car.

So, out and north along the “bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond…” We stopped for some lunch at the village of Luss at The Coach House, our favourite lunch stop within an hour of home. Even the bored 11 year old cheered up at the idea of warm food and maybe some cake.

By evening we had arrived at Fort William, which is rather beautifully situated with Ben Nevis in the background. The road takes you through Glen Coe, but sadly the mist and rain had caught up with us so we just photographed from the safety and comfort of the car. Our travelodge was just opened and were modern – the dvd player we had brought from home would not plug into the too new technology and so we were forced to talk to each other… This was the view from the hotel, across Loch Linnhe to Camusnagaul. The toddlers fancied taking the ferry but mean Daddy said we had to start driving towards Inverness.

We explored Fort George, a historical site I highly recommend for a visit. It seemed the perfect all family entertainment from grumpy husbands to excited toddlers and then picniced on the beach. In October. 

All in all a very nice road trip with some quite nice weather (remembering that this is Scotland in late Autumn.) We may have to do some more of this driving stuff now our children do not need threatened with eviction from the car for bad behaviour.  I shall tell you about our drive south and home on another blog.

Now back to more regular business. The October Giveaway was won by Anna F – and I’ve already been in contact to send her the lovely Onyx Bracelet. I’ll try and run another giveaway before christmas.

I have been making some jewellery since we returned, mostly earrings for the many many craft fairs I have booked for the next few weeks. I may need another holiday by the time christmas is over… I’ll get the new pieces photographed and post them here during the week.

So, enjoy your October Break – I know that lots of the English schools are on holiday this week, and enjoy the last days of Autumn. Here in Scotland it feels like winter is coming very very fast.  I’m heading to Handmade Harbour to try and get some crafting tips. x

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The most productive and/or creative day of the year…

Wow. Today has been a good day.

Yesterday I spent my morning (the only precious hours I get when the house is empty and I can work in peace) reading blogs, following people on pinterest, writing twitter comments and generally wasted away my time. It was great, and I made some lovely new friends, but today I had to work seriously hard to catch up with my self inflicted deadlines.

So, I ignored the dirty washing, the breakfast dishes are still (at 5pm) sitting in the sink, and when the toddlers returned from nursery told them to go play but not disturb me. I should really be brave and go and see what kind of bomb has exploded in the girls room. But later, just now I wish to share my completed projects and bask in your collective “ahhh’s”.

I made four necklaces today. (Not from complete scratch, that would be impossible – the pendants I make all at one time when I can access a friends metal working shed.)  But not to distract from my achievement, FOUR necklaces. In ONE DAY !!!  So, I present for your approval….

Number 1 – Purple turquoise and lapis lazuli necklace.

Number 2 – Red Jasper Pendant with pearls and red coral necklace.

Number 3 – Amethyst Pendant Necklace.

Number 4 – Unakite Pendant with carnelian and adventurine necklace.

Of course there is still the same matter of naming, photographing in detail, listing on folksy or etsy and spread-sheeting the costs. That will take some hours, later tonight when I have coffee to keep me going.

I feel very clever. Now heading off to find the toddlers and rescue our eldest daughter. I think she is somewhere under the mess.  Joanna x

Breathe, hold and relax

Today is day five in my reclaimed life.

The toddlers (aged 4 and 3) are happily playing at nursery, where they will be every weekday until lunchtime. I adore them, and our elder daughter too of course, but together they make so much noise and mess. Indulgent tasks like writing a blog or designing and making some new jewellery were out of the question. As I write this I have scalding hot coffee on the table beside me. I would not have brave enough to attempt hot coffee and own task with the monsters beside me.

Anyway, so I am MyTuruqoiseQueen. I’ve been designing gemstone jewellery for a few years but am self taught. I’ve spent the first few mornings tidying up my folksy and etsy pages. I’m going to photograph and list all the existing pieces in my collection and then start on some new creations.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Joanna x