I was introduced to Hannah Longmuir’s beautiful designs at Perth Festival of Yarn when lovely Kuku of Kukufrakak showed me a card she’d bought in Edinburgh…….. it was the foxglove illustration shown here (one of my favourite plants and hers too – kukufrakak is basque for foxglove). I remember being so eager to find out more about Hannah’s work eagerly scrolling through her website when I got home.

Hannah describes herself as ‘a countryside artist based in the Scottish Borders…… Her work captures a moment in time and conveys the sense of stillness and peace she feels when she is in the countryside’. She certainly captures a countryside that I recognise and feel at home in.

Weeds – photo by Hannah Longmuir

All Hannah’s cards are printed on FSC approved cardstock (here in Scotland) and she is moving to biodegradable cellophane sleeves.

Under This Old-Tree – photo by Hannah Longmuir

For this first time, I have chosen a few of my favourite card designs – it was hard to pick (you may not be surprised to see that there’s quite a few tree designs included)!  All the cards are blank inside and the only design which has a specific purpose is the ‘Bees – Thank You” cards (I always find it handy to have a thank you card or two to hand).

Ancient Woodland – photo by Hannah Longmuir

It must be almost a year since I first came across Bec’s wonderful soap and skincare. I can honestly say that I love using her products – as a very headache and migraine prone person I find many scented products difficult to use, but I have been absolutely fine with these essential oil fragrances.  The soaps feel like such a treat to use, the salves work beautifully and the bath salts are incredibly relaxing.

In Bec’s words she creates ‘100% natural soap and skincare, Inspired by nature, Handcrafted in Scotland’.  One of the things I love is that some of Bec’s work overlaps with mine – for instance the orange colouring in the ‘Sweet Orange with Cedarwood & Clary Sage Soap’ comes from annatto seeds – which I also use in natural dyeing to create a similar orange shade!

Sweet Orange with Cedarwood & Clary Sage Soap – photo by Nurturing Soul

All Nurturing Soul skin care products are 100% natural and free from sls, synthetic fragrances, parabens and never tested on animals. All the soaps are cold processed, free from palm oil, vegan and made with the finest plant based botanicals.

Soothed by Nature Body Balm – photo by Nurturing Soul

I have selected some of my favourite products and included a couple of very gentle soaps which, as well as the lip balm and body balm, should be suited to even very sensitive skin.

Wild Flower Himalayan Bath Salts – photo by Nurturing Soul

I had a custom order before Christmas for a yarn set to knit the Indigo Sea Shawl by Carrie Bostick Hoge – it is a lovely shawl which uses 50g each of three shades of 4ply.  I dyed the set in heathery shades on Bluefaced Leicester Suri Alpaca 4 ply, over the Natural Silver shade (naturally dyed with logwood, lac and iron). While I was dyeing the order I created another 3 x 50g set (165m/50g x 3 =  495m/150m) and several 5 x 50g sets (165m/50g x 5 = 825m/250g) which fully exhausted the dye bath.

The three shade set would make a lovely Indigo Sea Shawl as per the original custom order, and there will be many other options I’m sure.  For the five shade sets I had a quick search on Ravelry and found some really stunning designs that I think would work well (this is just a tiny snippet, have a look here for more ideas) ……..

Designs, clockwise from top left – Winterlight by Meg Gadsbey, Miso by Ambah O’Brien, Indigo Sea Shawl by Carrie Bostick Hoge, Honey Honey Honey by Lisa Hannan, ADVENTurer Scarf & Wrap by Ambah O’Brien, Bark Lines by Joji Locatelli and Colourblind by Jana Huck (all design photos by designer)

Of course, it would also be possible to combine one of these sets with a full 100g skein or two of BFL Suri in Natural Cream or Silver for a beautiful light-weight drapey colourwork or striped cardigan or jumper.