Tuesday, 7 July 2015


So this morning at physio I was allowed to hop and, wait for it...JOG ON A TINY TRAMPOLINE!!! This is a pretty big step (no pun intended) for me considering I haven't been allowed to do any high impact exercise since breaking my ankle in February...

Anyhoo, I feel I have a lot to say to update you on what's been happening since my last post.
I'm still working away at the forge three days a week and attending a special ankle group twice a week with a fantastic physiotherapist who is unfortunately leaving next week because she got a lovely new job at another hospital...
I'm very happy for her but can't help feeling a little sad that she's leaving.

I'll tell you all about what I've been up to at work, but for now I want to share some other news.

I have had an amazing weekend up in Inverness where I saw Karine Polwart (a fantastic and highly praised Scottish singer/songwriter) performing a solo set which was absolutely beautiful. She usually performs in a trio but it was really interesting to hear her singing and playing on her own. After the performance I had the chance to chat with her and then found out there was a short songwriting course the next morning. Of course I thought it was full, but ended up checking anyway and found there were still tickets available, so after a long, long, long time of consideration (I'm very nervous about things like this) I bought a ticket and then didn't get much sleep because I was too excited...
On the Saturday morning I went along and it was amazing. I came away with a lot of tips on how to be a bit more confident and how to collect ideas and information to create songs. I think the best quote which has stuck with me is 'Pursue the ideas that make you care'. I really liked that and since the weekend I feel re-inspired to start (and more importantly for me, finish) writing my own songs.
I think my problem is that I begin an idea and then get disheartened and feel it isn't good enough and I give up. I store it away unfinished and somewhere at the back of my mind it's just waiting there...another unfinished project amongst hundreds. So my goal is to start sorting through all of my notes and finish at least two songs by the end of the month.
I feel this is pretty reasonable although since Saturday I've already written down three new ideas which consist of about three lines and moved on to a fourth...but I'm hopeful I now have the right motivation to finish them!
If you have the time, check out Karine's website here.

So...on to what's been happening at the forge.
I did a couple of pretty small projects recently which were nice and simple. This is a tool for stretching canvases which basically involved a little bit of welding and I got some practice at using the tig welder (which I don't use very often).

The next project was a little wall mounted bracket for a chandelier. It involved tiny forging and for the wrap I used a length of tig wire which turned out very nicely.

I also made a hand rail which was pretty hard to do with a sore ankle. I didn't realise how much pressure goes through your ankle when using your arms to create a simple square twist...
For now I only have some pictures of the scroll ends.

Next are a few pictures of a butterfly and feathers for one of the bigger projects I helped with. This is now finished and will hopefully be installed in Motherwell tomorrow (so fingers crossed for some sunshine please!!). I will add some photographs of the finished pieces in the next post.

The butterfly was pretty difficult to photograph after it was in place, but hopefully the last two photographs give you an idea of where it's sitting. Here are a few photographs of the work in progress...

This is the lecturn which will hold a book of memories for a dimentia garden in Motherwell. It was all designed by Jim and I made the leaves, feather and forged the wings for the butterfly. I'll add more photographs of the finished piece in the next post so you can see it after it's been galvanised, painted and installed. We were also commissioned to make a bird bath so I'll get photographs of that as well.

We're currently working together on some pieces for the Boarders Council and Jim's been finishing off some gates which will be installed after we both get back from a wee Summer holiday. (I'm away to the Isle of Lewis to work at the Hebridean Celtic Festival which will be a first for me! I've been many times but never been behind the stage!!)

So...I have a lot more to say but I'll leave that for the next post. For now, I'm feeling more positive than I have done in months and actually feel like I'm making progress!
Thank you and take care of yourself!