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A week of contrasts....

They say a change is as good as a rest......

Monday started with me doing a lot of design work at the computer.   I love this part but since "upgrading" to Windows 10 a couple of weeks ago, Photoshop has been playing up and making life difficult.  I don't need it for the design part - but I do need it for creating images to show my clients to give them an idea of how the finished piece will look.

Tuesday I was off for a funeral, but worked from home in between times making our lovely Celtic hearts and tartan hearts.
On Wednesday I sort of took a day off - I was at the studio, but working on a personal project. My younger granddaughter Lauren is off to Glasgow to live with her boyfriend. He might have been prepared to live in a flat without curtains, but Lauren had other ideas...... So last weekend we had bought curtain fabric and on Wednesday I cleared the decks to make the curtains - big ones for a bay window of a traditional tenament flat. This is where my cutting table and my big, height-adjustable tables really come into their own as I could really spread things out.  Even so, if I were going to do curtain making as a regular thing, I would want at least twice as much space!  Lauren is into monochrome - plain dark grey curtains with a thick interlining, so quite boring and very heavy and bulky to work with. The family are off today to get her settled in so I look forward to seeing photographs of the curtains in place very soon.
Meanwhile, Mary was working with colour - by the bucket load. A rather stunning outfit that combines Royal Stewart tartan with rainbow satin. Definitely a combination to cheer you up on these cold winter days.  It's for a special event that her client is performing at so can't show any photographs of the full outfit just yet.

On Thursday we started the day with a "staff meeting". We have a lot of planning to do for a trade event we will be at in January so we spent best part of the morning working out what we need to make for this and who will do what - and then we just "got on with it" - embroidery machines and sewing machines will be hard at work for the foreseeable future.
By Friday Mary and Rachel had had enough! They took the day off to help Lauren with her packing, while I was hard at work finishing an order of priests' stoles for Iona Abbey
and embroidering two more stoles for other orders.
This morning I am at home just now - just helped my husband install the new stained glass window I had made for his little chapel in the garden.  It went in without incident - though I did have to take a file to a little blob of solder on the bottom edge that had got overlooked  when I was making it.   And now I am heading out to The Workshop - what will I be working on today.....?


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I am Ruth Black - a textile artist working along with my daughter and granddaughter in the Highlands of Scotland.  "The Workshop"  is an old wooden building in the village of Inchmore, just 6 miles from Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland and dating from the mid 19th Century.  Originally it served as a joinery workshop but now it is home to a three-generation family team working with a variety of textile processes, fibres, fabrics, yarns and threads. When we first took up occupancy of The Workshop in 2011 the main focus was to carry on our family business, Anna Macneil. Anna Macneil (aka Barbara Morrison, 1929 - 2017) started making hats using Harris Tweed from her home on the Isle of Lewis when she moved there in the 1980s.   She was joined in this venture by me, her daughter, in the 1990s but she continued making hats until a combination of poor health and failing eyesight made it no longer possible. However, the business is still carried on by me with help f