Tuesday, March 22, 2016


This is to be a year of consolidation

Each year since we've been here we have started new projects.

With generous, energetic and expert help from our friends we have renewed, repurposed and reimagined the place.

Looking back, the transformation is amazing!

But there remains a lot of 'finishing off', from the slating of the roof to painting the windows of the felt studio (and re painting the first doors we put in!)

The great spell of weather has enabled us to tackle the front garden.

A real Sleeping Beauty when we found it, completely overgrown

overgrown from road to house - 45 feet of foliage!

We spent the first Autumn cutting and clearing, got back to open space, and waited to see what grew.

Here's the first post about it back in 2010:

However, when we took the roof off the house, this was the inevitable result:

a deluge of timber, slate, stone and birds nests!
Well, after a happy week in the outdoors, we're back to where we were:

clear paths and a flower bed

a little panorama shot, we've got about half way there!
So, a few more days and we'll have the front garden where we want it; clear of invasive species and mowable.

A Treat of a Seat

One of the bits of detritus to be cleared was one of the roof purlins.
It is a massive 4.1 meter piece of pitch pine, at least 100 years old.

You can see it in situ in this picture from 2013:

on the left the big purlin timber
Here it is on the ground, out of the garden:

We've always wanted a simple wooden bench in the garden looking down past the trees to the Mournes.

This was the perfect piece of timber!

Here's  how we made it today:

beautiful pitch pine, 100 years old, in the elements for 3 years,
8 months of which lying on the ground, still rings like a bell
mock up

our mini wood henge!

halving joints: first time with a chainsaw

the plan

quite neat actually!

dead henge!
 We put it under the blackthorn hedge, sheltered from the North, open to the valley and the view

and finally in place - beautiful!
 Just Perfect.
and, of course, the view

Monday, March 14, 2016

Looking Forward to Spring

This Thursday, on St Patrick's Day we're delighted to be hosting the Wedding Lunch for Lisa and David. We're really looking forward to it!

High pressure presides over our weather, and a wonderful calm sunny spell of weather is in progress.

We're enjoying the beginnings of new life that Spring heralds.

This was just the day for getting the garden looking good, mowing the lawn for the first time this year.

Here's some pictures of the garden, the views, and a close look at the budding new life

looking up across the greening fields to Slievenaboley
and down to the majestic Mournes, across the newly mown grass

Alder catkins 
This Alder tree is full of catkins

Flowering currant a real splash of colour this time of year

beautiful primroses

lesser celandine

goat willow
the winding path down the hill
hawthorn in bud, and lichens
glorious lichens
hawthorn in the new hedge
cherry plums flowering very early in the fruit garden
currants in bud
bursting with energy, the rowans
currant in leaf

It's heartening to see the year turning green! I'll post an update in a while.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Helping Hands

A big, much belated thank you to our champion work team, Caroline, Georgie and Paul, who last month came and gave us the final shove to get the terrace, from Gallery to Felt studio finished.

Their hard work has made such a difference - we're ready for Spring now!

I had the good fortune to be working upon the roof today (yes folks, it may even be completed this year!) and the birds eye view was stunning:

The terrace from above
The workers:
measuring, moving, laying

Charlie - helpful as ever!

making a pathway from Gallery to Studio

and to think one year ago - it was like this!

mounds of rubble and rubbish - from the house

like a post-blitz experience
Without their help, it would probably still be like that - rather than this:

the terrace today - imagined without the mobile home!
towards the Mournes

a glorious sunset tonight

tête à tête in the water tank
We are lucky, and grateful -  thank you!

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Felting Studio - Part 4: To Work!

We left the story with all the major 'structural' work complete, walls taken down, new ones built, windows and roof fitted and joining doorway complete.

After a spot of painting, it was time to tidy up the walls and put in the services.

T & G cladding for the walls

nice new shelving to gather all our yarns together

ceiling cladding - MDF whiteboard and weathered roof laths

cupboards and worktop - studding and insulation

studding out - with lath mainly

first fix electrics

look at all those lovely colours!

John on the roof making the hole for the flue
the first fire!

assembling work for Elaine's Show

you can see the lovely neatness of the stud wall and toungue & groove

Ladies from Moira are the first felters in the new studio

with fantastic results
this space is big enough to undertake big projects - like this full length coat

plenty of modern lighting, but we've kept as much of the lovely timber work as possible
you need plenty of flat surface, as pre-felting, everything is extra large

taking shape Kay!
So, after a long haul, and a great deal of 'mission creep', we have a beautiful space that enables us to create wonderful things, with our friends. All thanks to the gift of some windows. 

Thank you Tracy & Jimmy we hope you'll love what we've done when you come back from Florida!