Thursday, 10 September 2015

ATC Season 7, Favourite

Although I still consider myself to be new to this game, I know I've been at it for longer than I think when seasons come marching around, as seasons do. And so it is with the Artist Trading Swap (ATC swap) organised by Ali from veryberryhandmade. I admired Season 5 from afar, I participated and learnt a lot Season 6, and, Season 7 I hoped would be my year. I had even guest posted for Ali with my experiences on "how not to make an ATC", an anti tutorial so to speak.

Ali had chosen the theme "Favourite". And this is my ATC.

 I have lots and lots of favourites, but by chance that weekend we happened to be in Whitehead for a walk on the Country Antrim coast. Whitehead is a small town right up on the headland. It has several attractions, my brother and sister in law live there, it has a steam train and a lovely row of painted town houses along the front. The main highlight though is the coastal path underneath the cliff and Blackhead Lighthouse, we're on a theme here with the local names.

Blackhead Lighthouse
 The walk along the coast is ok, but the path up to the Lighthouse itself isn't for the fainthearted. Very steep and definitely for the good weather. One Saturday afternoon I joked that my husband must have increased the life insurance.

But the new attraction has the unusual name of The Gobbins.

The Gobbins Cliff Path
 That in itself piques the curiosity. The Gobbins is a stretch of cliff walk along the coastline that was engineered in 1902 by Berkeley Dean Wise  just for the fun of it. A Victorian tourist attraction.

 This had long become derelict and dangerous, but you know what? N Ireland is on the tourist trail now and the Gobbins has been reconstructed. I couldn't wait to visit but it involves a very steep ladder up the side of the cliff, over 150 steps. Not recommended for the elderly, infirm, asthmatics or those with cardiac conditions. I'm not elderly, inform nor have a cardiac condition but I do get a little short of puff, so maybe not for me. I can however imagine myself telling visitors or future generations about it so assuredly it will almost as if I had climbed it myself, by proxy. If you're young, fit, of brave heart and can breathe unassisted, do go the next time you are in Whitehead. And tell me how you get on. Those Victorian tourists must have been made of strong stuff.

My love of lighthouses is not just confined to my homeland, Blackhead, Cranfield, Donaghadee all feature, but I love lighthouses the world over. The lighthouses of New England are particularly well remembered and loved.

Anyhow enough of me, having sent my lighthouse to Helen in England, I received this gorgeous ATC from Deborah. By chance Deborah and I already "know" each other. We follow each other in instagram, Deborah is @debgar58. And Deborah was the lucky recipient of my ATC season 6, my first ever. So, I was delighted when I opened the envelope and saw Deborah's name.

And her ATC is simply awesome. It is the Ring of Brodgar on Mainland Orkney, her favourite place.

Deborah's ATC

It is beautifully appliqued, embroidered and beaded. Really, really nice. I have never been to Orkney, but it is on my list of places to go. We usually go to Scotland by ferry, and turn right towards the Lake District or Oxford. We have on occasions flown to Glasgow or Edinburgh and spent a weekend drinking whiskey. It would be nice to drive off the ferry and turn left and head towards the Highlands and Islands, Orkney in particular. I would especially like to go on a distillery tour of the Islands. And now I have somewhere to visit. Thank you Deborah.

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney

Helen x


  1. Great ATC produced by you and Deborah. Have you been to Rathlin....I think there are three lighthouses there. I love the idea of the Gobbins path but like you I don't think I have enough ooomph to walk it.

  2. Great ATC produced by you and Deborah. Have you been to Rathlin....I think there are three lighthouses there. I love the idea of the Gobbins path but like you I don't think I have enough ooomph to walk it.

  3. Beautiful projects Helen by you and Deborah and it's lovely to read how you were inspired...(I love lighthouses too :-) )
    Hope you have a lovely weekend!
    Susan x

  4. I was thinking the Gobbins would be a good outing but don't like the sound of that ladder!

  5. You are introducing me to some new terms and activities: ATC for one! The Gobbins for another. Going drinking whiskey for a weekend in Scotland. All most intriguing. :-) I love lighthouses too, and I'm so happy there are a few in my area of Canada on the Great Lakes. Also love standing stones. Like passionately. I know of Orkney from some books I've read but also from Loreena McKennitt's song, "Standing Stones".

  6. Your lighthouse is adorable. What a fun project!


Thank you so much for your comment, I try very hard to reply to them all.