Thursday, 31 May 2007

Goodies from Alison

I have just had the most gorgeous parcel of goodies from Alison as a result of her competition! I am totally stunned - there were two parcels, each wrapped in green tissue paper and tied with gold ribbon (very useful!). In one parcel were lots of utterly gorgeous, wonderful hand made cards and in the other parcel were two (yes, two!) lavender hearts - and I LOVE lavender - a beautiful little tin filled with buttons, one of Alisons sweet little stitched jam pot covers complete with jam!, a fantastic felt needle case, a Mrs Beeton bookmark (I always need bookmarks!) and a totally fantastically amazing strawberry pincushion which I had been coveting for a while now. I apologise if I have forgotten to list anything.

Unfortunately I can't show you all the lovely things that Alison has made and sent until my camera comes back mended, but when it does I will get the photos posted on here asap. Until then, here is one of Alison's strawberry pincushions - the photo is from her Etsy shop.

THANK YOU SO MUCH ALISON - I am overwhelmed at your generosity, you are SO kind.x

For those of you who don't know, Alison has a rather nice Etsy shop which you can browse at her blog Foxgloves - I thoroughly recommend this!!!

I'm off to stroke my goodies!

Embroidered Box

While looking through old photos, I found this one of a container I made in the style of Janet Edmonds. Everyone else had made one and I thought it was time I had a go! Not a very crisp photo but I was pleased with the result. Our textile group is having a workshop with Janet on 'caskets' later in the year which should prove interesting. I think Janet has two or three books in print but my piece was inspired by the Beginners Guide to Embroidered Boxes.

Containers created in different textiles and other mediums is something I would like to experiment with when I have time.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Broken Camera = No Pictures

Now that my camera has broken and will be collected tomorrow to be fixed - and will not be back for between '10-15 working days' !!!!, I will have no new pictures. So, I have been trawling through old ones instead!

This stripey cardigan that my daughter is wearing was actually made originally for my son by the lovely Diane at The Sound of One Hand Knitting. Well, he wore it once I think and pronounced it not for him (sheesh - the little Prince that he is) and my daughter adopted it instead, even though it was a tad too short on the arms! Miss L is unconcerned with such trivialities - if she likes it, then that's all there is to it! Incidentally, Miss L's little friend is the much loved 'Pup', an old and very dear hound.

If you haven't visited Diane's blog, you should go on over and say hello - my guess is that she is in bed with a book and eating chocolate! Very sensible.

Monday, 28 May 2007

I Won Goodies!

Can you believe it? I've one some goodies from the lovely Alison over at Foxgloves. Visit her blog if you haven't already, she makes some wonderful things! I am totally thrilled to have won, thank you Alison, I'm looking forward to the postie coming to my door:)

Do you know what's weird though? That's the third time I've won something recently - yes, the third time - and I am the person who never wins anything ever. Spooky huh?

A bit of bad news I'm afraid - my beloved old Kodak digital camera is broken:((( When I switch it on the zoom lens pops out and is ready for action but now it pops out and then pops right back in again - boo hoo! I take pictures every day - how will I manage? Well, am I glad I took out an extended cover now!!

Did I mention I won goodies....?

Sunday, 27 May 2007

This afternoon...

This afternoon, I have mainly been listening to this - turned up LOUD!

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Stirling Sojourn

I had to visit Stirling University today for my final tutorial. All of us went - my other half and the children spent time in the (lovely) grounds while I spent a bewildered hour and a half in a stuffy classroom. As we were in the area, we then visited Stirling Museum, which I first heard about on Carol's blog (thanks Carol!). It was very good and they had an interesting photography exhibition on as well as their permanent exhibits about Stirling's past. Local children had also done an exhibition about the Titanic and they had put a lot of work into it. I relived my past with an enthusiastic response to an old mangle they had there (those were the days...) Lucy and Adam enjoyed doing some brass rubbings and managed to feign mild interest when I pointed out an old record player and tried to explain LPs to them. I'm afraid William Wallace's sword was far more interesting!

The gardens of the Museum were lovely and I took a few photos while wandering...

I have no information about this, but it is lovely isn't it?

These little wooden seats were so comfortable. That 'path' they are on is actually in the shape of a long leaf (you can make out the central vein) and it has the 'bottoms' of different coloured bottles set into it randomly (you can see them if you click on the photo), it was really lovely. The shape of the seats reminds me of the Moomin Trolls.

This was great - when you jumped on the end of a plank it played a note! Fantastic fun. Must be a system of bellows or something else clever.

I was thinking a teddy bear's picnic would be good here. Unfortunately, we didn't have any teddies with us, or any picnic either.

There were lots of really pretty flowers. It was quite a 'wild' garden, which are the kind I love best.

There was a little path with various mosaics set into it. Carol showed some of these on her blog so I've shown a different one here. I love the colours in this one.

I would recommend the Museum if you are ever in the area. Even if it's not your cup of tea, there is a cafe and admission is free!

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Garden Visitor & Bunting

I have not been doing much blogging of any interest lately as I've been revising for my exam in June - well, trying to revise anyway. I am the worst at procrastinating - maybe I should take an exam in that, I'd pass with flying colours. My stress levels are through the roof so I'm trying out 'Kalms' tablets to see if they help any. Valium would obviously be better but I don't have any of that! I can't wait for that exam to be over, then I can start being a proper mummy again and stop neglecting my children so much :( Here are a couple of photos for you;

We had this little visitor in garden at the weekend much to the delight of the children, who took this picture. I just love the colours!

Here is a rather poor photo of some rather gorgeous bunting I got from the lovely Sarah. She had a little competition and I was the lucky winner. Anyway, it's just lovely and I've got it hung up in my dining/craft room. Thank you Sarah!!!!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Happy Birthday To You!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JO! Yes, it's the lovely Jo's birthday today. You can see her great blog here. I hope you have a wonderful, fantastic day with lots of cake and pressies and everything your heart desires!

Sunday, 20 May 2007

87 Years Young

Here is the lovely Doreen, 87 years young! She had a lovely day, all her family around her and lots of lovely gifts to open. She is quite a character, my Nana, and once met is never forgotten! I love her to bits.

Here is her birthday cake. Hearts were requested but I didn't have any small heart cutters, so it was flowers to the rescue. My mum put big '8' and '7' candles on it and some long thin ones that were supposed to 'sparkle' but didn't! There was enough left over for Nana to take to some of her friends so she was a happy bunny.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Happy Birthday Nana!

It's absolutely horrid outside here today - wind, rain, and big grey clouds. It's my gran's 87th Birthday today - Happy Birthday Nana!! We are having a little party for her at my mums this afternoon, so I've been up early baking a cake and while it was in the oven I took the opportunity to finish Lucy's new gym bag that I started yesterday (all fabrics hand dyed!). It's not too bad but there are mistakes everywhere - not huge mistakes, but the kind that annoy you cos' you know you 'could do better'. You know that kind of day where nothing is going 'right'? Well, that was my day yesterday. My hands weren't working, my foot was too heavy on the foot pedal and so on... Never mind though, Miss L loves it and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Panic Over, Ponderings, & Patchwork

Thank goodness! I've finally finished my essay for the OU. Finished, popped in an envelope and dashed to the Post Office in the nick of time before it shut. That was definitely the closest one to the deadline I've done yet. And, thankfully, the last essay of 7. Just the exam revision to do now. Phew, nearly there.
It's been a strange week. Had to attend a funeral yesterday and it was lovely. The minister summed the person up perfectly, the service uplifting and the day was gorgeous. At the Hotel afterwards, the soup was pretty nice too! It was so perfect, a fitting tribute indeed. The thing about funerals (apart from the bagpipes playing which always makes me cry) is that they make you think of your lost loved ones, the fragility of life and so on. It kind of throws you off centre for a day or two I think and hopefully makes you appreciate your family and friends all the more. Well, I certainly appreciate mine, I wouldn't get through life without them.
I had to search through lots of old photos tonight to find one of a quilt my daughter made when she was 6. She needs to take the photos and the quilt to 'show and tell' tomorrow - nothing like leaving it all to the last minute! (wonder who she gets that from). Anyway, just so you have a picture or two to look at, here she is at the sewing machine...

Here she is beside her little quilt at my quilting group's annual exhibition in 2004. (Sorry 'Bay Patchers', I haven't been for months). Miss L was very proud of her quilt and so was I!

Here is a pic of one I made, hanging at the same exhibition. The one with the squares. I had lots of squares of 'fossil ferns' fabrics which I still love and rather than hide them away, I made a quilt from them (which is now hidden away under the bed... oh well).

These pictures show the lovely fabric a bit better I think.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Getting There

I need to write my essay and post it on Wednesday. Until now, nothing has 'fallen' into place. Yesterday I realised that due to other commitments I needed to have the essay finished by Monday evening. Panic ensued. I now have about 360 words typed and several more scribbled down on bits of paper. I am 'getting there' at last. I hate and love this process of panic and excitement as I finally and inevitably realise I must have remembered something from all my reading and manage to eventually get the thing finished and posted off to my tutor! Anyway, thanks to everyone who has left messages on my blog and I hope I have managed to reply to you all. Fingers crossed I will get this essay out of the way and I can have a leisurely catch up session with all my favourite bloggers!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Tagged by a Gallus Besom!

Some gallus besom (Jo) has tagged me. Seven weird things about moi? Pah! can't think of one. Okay then...

1. According to 'everyone' (apart from my sister cos' she feels the same way) I am weird because listening to Leonard Cohen songs cheers me up whereas it apparently turns others to thoughts of suicide. I just don't get that - some folks are weird.

2. I think chocolate should NEVER be combined with fruit of any kind - no chocolate fondue with strawberries, no violet creams - nothing!! I'm not even happy with a chocolate orange. Ugh, it makes me nauseous to think of it - it's just WRONG people!

3. My lovely niece Briony is my third weird thing about me. She thinks bunting is something to do with cheese(?). She says she is my 'tree' and I am her 'grower' and when I give her a cuddle, I am then obviously a 'tree hugger'! She sometimes calls me 'Goth Mother' (I like black, it's not a crime!). I should point out here that she is 13. Nuff said.

4. I bribe myself. I do, really, and it sometimes works. For example, I will have a nice conversation with myself going something like 'right Susan, if you do two hours of studying now, then you will get to watch 'Doctors' this afternoon' or, if that's not working I might amend it to 'well Susan, one hour of studying is pretty good isn't it, especially if it's quality studying. Yes, so one hour of study, an hour of 'Loose Women', then lunch, then perhaps some quality highlighting of text book and then 'Doctors' on telly. Excellent!' It's a bit good cop/bad cop really isn't it?

5. When I was little I stuck scrambled eggs up my nose and swung on the front gate in just my vest. Not at the same time I might add.

6. I HATE having sticky hands. I'm talking jam here by the way (sheesh!). Yes, jam, golden syrup, anything like that - I just can't bear it. Have to eat my cake with a fork too - just in case.

7. I really quite fancy Peter Kay - especially when he does that 'walking to the dance floor' dance. Yup, it's true.

So there you go. Neither very weird nor interesting! So now I have to tag four people (mwahaahaaaa). I hereby tag Diane, Alis, Susan, and David to post 7 weird things about themselves - or not - there's no pressure here!

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

I Won Bunting!!!

I won bunting!! No really, I did. The lovely Sarah set a little competition on her blogsite and, quite miraculously, I won! WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!! Thanks Sarah, can't wait for my bunting to arrive! Sorry, did I mention I won bunting?

Monday, 7 May 2007

I Did It!

Just a quick addendum to the previous post for today - I have finally managed to get my photos to enlarge when clicked on - Yay! I can't tell you how frustrating it has been trying to figure out the problem. Anyway, all the pics on todays post below should now work this way. And a big THANKS to all the people who helped me with advice and suggestions. xx

May Day Madness & Forgotten Journals

Today there was a May Day event at Rejects Department Store in Kirkcaldy (not too far from us), they had all kind of things going on including things for the children to do, so my mum kindly offered to take us. I have to say that Rejects is a wonderful place because it has so much 'stuff' - in fact it is a veritable Aladdin's Cave! It has many and varied departments including fabric, haberdashery, craft, garden, kitchen, curtain and furnishing fabrics... and so on. And, most importantly, a cafe for a well needed cup of tea and a sit down! Most of our time was spent searching for clues for a treasure hunt, waiting in very long queues for face painting and balloon modelling, and desperately trying to locate a seat in the aforementioned cafe!! Mum did however manage to get a few things for her handbag project. Here are the results of the experience...

A slightly smudged Adam (fell asleep on way home - aaahhhh) complete with alien hat and balloon scythe - bit of a grim reaper theme going on here!

And a loveable tiger faced Lucy with her balloon extravaganza! Being fired with energy after his sleep in the car, Adam decided it was time to get out his 'horrible experiments' kit and made this horrible green stuff - it's called 'super snot' apparently!

Whilst browsing Purple Missus' blog regarding Journal making, I was reminded of all the ones I had made and taken part in recent years. Last year I started an Art Journal which was fun and I also took part in some Circle Journals with some other ladies, and some were more like a cross between an album and journal, like one I made for Christmas 2005. Here is a photo of some lined up on the bookshelf (some needing some spine decoration still!).

Here are some of them displayed so you can see the fronts of them. The one with all the little squares on the front is the Art Journal, unfortunately the camera flash has blanked out some of the little pics. Looking through them just makes me want to get into them again and do some more - isn't that always the way? I guess I will just have to wait until I have more time and then, who knows...

Friday, 4 May 2007

Jo's Bookmark and Cake Making Marathon

At long last here is the photo of the lovely bookmark made for me by Jo. Don't you just love the colours and the dangly beads? And not only a bookmark, but an interesting looking book to put it in! Thank you so much Jo, I just love them. I really enjoyed the swap - making the bookmarks was fun and getting those little packages through the post was even better. Thanks again to all of you who took part:)

Well, today was my daughter's 9th Birthday and I spent most of the day making this cake. Well, it would have been most of the day had I not locked myself out of the house in the morning when taking the children to school - again. Not only that but I had to borrow a mobile phone to call my brother in law to drive me too my mum's to get my spare key (again). I was not a happy bunny - all my carefully laid cake making plans were dissolving before my eyes. Never mind, after a coffee and a 'putting the world to rights' chat at mums, I got home and started on the cake. Usually a reasonably simple task for me - I am reasonably confident with cake making and decorating as a rule. Today was different. My baking was fine, but my decorating? Ha! The first time I tried to apply the fondant icing it was too thin and split. I made some more icing. On the second attempt the icing was thick enough but a bit fell off and left a huge gap. Everything that could have gone wrong was! By this time I was cursing like a trooper I can tell you! Eventually I managed to patch things together Frankenstein style and (to cut a very long and boring story short) by the time I had finished sticking the little stars on (helped by my other half making the green ones) I was reasonably pleased with it. I might also add that I had to change my clothes and mop the kitchen floor - twice! Everything was made alright again when my daughter got home from school, took one look at her cake and said 'wow, I love it Mum!' - that just made it all worthwhile - know what I mean?

The Birthday party went well, all the children had fun and were nice and tired by the end of two hours running around, eating and dancing! Here are the birthday girl and her brother - before the tiredness set in!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

I'll Be Back!

Just a quick post to say Thank You! to Jo for the lovely bookmark and book - gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I do love beady, dangly things (you must have sensed it oh mystical one!). I will post a pic of said items as soon as possible. I am trying to be really good you see and get on with my essay - I say that as if I have actually written something - I haven't - and that, of course, is the problem. So, if any of you know anything about 'how socially marginal figures in Shakespeare's Henry V and Aphra Behn's The Rover are represented', then please forward all anwers in a legible manner to myself (preferably with an introduction, middle bit, conclusion and in 1500 words, thank you). I will credit you in the bibliography and be your best friend for ever! Tomorrow I will study and write things down!!! So, just remember, in the words of The Terminator - I'll be back! xx