Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Having a break

After over 6 years of posting most weeks I feel the need for a break from my blog.  I'm fine, just having a rest.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Three on a walk on Thursday

Joining Mary Lou with a trio of photos with a theme - this week my theme is simply that I took them all on the same walk - which was between vibrant yellow fields so they all feature yellow too

It was a very overcast day so the yellow was a welcome contrast to the foggy grey sky

This dog kept looking back as if to check on my whereabouts - her name is Bella although she paid no attention each time her man called her

Monday, May 1, 2017

Memorandum Monday bursting with creativity

A big wave to you all as we welcome in the month of May. 

I've had a lovely creative time this weekend - actually since Thursday - at the Edinburgh Knitting and Stitching show.  Our crochet, knit, chat, eat cake group was asked to be part of the Creativity in Action (CIA !!!) section where each stall had people doing their craft and ready to chat and answer questions.  In exchange we got a free pass to the show.  So I spent a lot of the time, over 4 days here

doing easy bits of crochet and talking all things crochet and knitting to lots of people.  I was delighted to hear how many people go to a social crochet and knitting group and how many of those groups do some charity work.

I also went to some workshops - not that I have time for any new crafts but I do enjoy trying new things. 

I loved the wet felting and sculpting of a flower - we used a process which has a fine silk layer under the wool which means the fabric you make can be very thin and fine - and it is also easy and quick to do. The green in my flower is the silk.

I bought some of the silk used and my sister already has some felting wool so we will be making more of these.

I was intrigued by a workshop for stick weaving - I've tried many types of weaving but never heard of this - I was relieved to discover the sticks are the loom, not the material being woven.  It is a very old and practical way to weave

you wind the wool around the two sticks - and then slide it down onto attached yarn and create a long woven strip - which you can then sew into something - we spiraled ours to make a mat

It its a very relaxing process once you get started and I will do some more, trying out using different yarns and fabric strips. I think it will be a great way to make handles for the bag I'm planning to crochet (I bought some t-shirt yarn at the show for this project - I'll report as it takes shape).

The show was a great mix of shops and displays - lots of lovely quilts and embroidery and yarn items to admire and try to work out how they were done and note down ideas to try at home. One of the displays was garments knitted using Kaffe Fassett designs - he was the big think in knitting in the late 1970s / early 1980s and I still have his books.  He does wonderful things with colour and creating intricate designs that are easy to work.  On the last day I wore a jacket I made over 20 years ago from a pattern in his first book - and of course I had to have a photo of me in the midst of the display.

Back to crocheting by myself today but still feeling full of creative buzz and ideas.

Hope you all have a good week and time for some creativity,

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Three on Thursday - quick on the draw with the camera

I'm joining Mary Lou is sharing 3 photos on a theme. 

At this time of year the swans on the river seem to fly about a lot - just a short way up and down the river - and I can never resist whipping out my phone to try to capture a shot.  It really does remind me of the quick draw scenes in traditional western movies. 

Often I don't get my camera active in time, and sometimes I manage a photo but the swan is not in focus.  This week I've been concentrating on capturing them landing and here are 3 that I managed

Monday, April 24, 2017

Memo Monday is blooming

A big wave to you all on a blue sky morning

but don't be deceived into thinking it is warm - weather forecast says we will not make it up to 10C today.  But the blue and all the bloom on the trees and the new leaves do make for a lovely walk whichever direction I go.

I was surprised to notice that I also have some bloom inside - I think my geranium plants enjoyed 6 weeks without central heating while I was on holiday as they seem much healthier this year and one has flowers - this one has citrus smelling leaves

And something new I learnt this weekend?  7 minutes in the microwave renders a whole aubergine soft and cooked and ready to use in a dip - saved putting on the oven for just an aubergine.

Hope you all have a good week with some sunshine

Thursday, April 20, 2017

3 Faces on Thursday

When I was wandering in London on Saturday I had my eyes open for a theme to use in joining Mary Lou in her Thursday invite to share 3 photos with a theme.

I was drawn to the faces on all of the lampposts along the walkway by the river

and as I wandered along I saw a crowd watching people on one of the small areas of sand beside the river - they were creating sculptures in the sand, including this amazing face

and in the Tate Modern gallery I was intrigued by this knitted two faced piece by Louise Bourgeois

Monday, April 17, 2017

Memo Monday - the Tate and a green field

A big wave to you all on a chilly spring morning

An unusual weekend for me.  On Saturday I had 5 hours in London before boarding a train back to Scotland.  I had no plans so decided to stroll along beside the river and then visit an art gallery and food market.

I went to Tate Modern and walked through the 'sculpture' galleries which have a wide range of pieces, including one that you could walk on

and another you walked through

I really enjoyed this installation - a circular concrete area outside the building - periodically a fine mist was sprayed out - like really thick fog in places.  It provided fabulous light for photos and as the ground became wet wonderful reflections too.  I was lucky to see it as it is only there for 2 weeks.

The Borough food market was full of people and  lovely food.  I enjoyed a duck wrap, piece of banana bread and fruit punch and bought some bakery for the train and some hot cross buns to take home

The reason that I was in London on the way to the train was that I had been down to attend my uncle's funeral.  He had chosen to be buried at a green field site - a beautiful area with trees and a pond and lots of wildlife which will become a nature reserve.  Caskets are woven from willow and markers are trees and flat plaques. There is a lovely glass pavilion where the humanist celebrant spoke and where we came back for food after the burial.  This is the first time I've been to a burial rather than cremation or memorial.  Another first for me - there was an official photographer there taking photos of all the people.

It was a beautiful setting and felt totally appropriate for my uncle.  Good to see all of my cousins - a shame that it takes a funeral to bring us all together.

Wishing you all a good week.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Memo Monday - what is the collective noun for sloths?

A big wave to you all as I sit in a nice patch of sun having just put my washing out on the line to dry - a sure sign of spring.

This weekend I did something not exactly new but I last did it in 1981 - met up with 2 school friends and we worked out that was the last time the 3 of us were together - we had each seen each other in pairs since.  Anyone eavesdropping as we chatted and joked would have thought we last saw each other last month - seems a pattern of friendly chat created through 5 years or more of seeing each other everyday at school is easily reignited 30+ years on. 

Saturday morning before I met them, I was at my regular crochet, cake and chat group and showing off my latest make

cute finger sloths.

One of the ladies in our group is planning a craft stall to raise money for charity and I agreed to make her plenty of sloths to sell - which led us to wonder what is the collective noun for sloths.  Google didn't have an answer - we thought a snooze would be appropriate - or to be contrary an excitement.  Anyone know the answer?

Wishing you all a good week

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday memo - birthday sushi

A big wave to you all on an April morning with a nice blue sky and sun shining on all the flowers in my garden.

Something new this weekend was learning to make sushi - my sister's Japanese friend brought all the stuff we need and cooked up the rice so that we could all make lots of delicious sushi to celebrate my Mum's birthday.  Lots of fun learning and making together and, of course, eating it all afterwards.

And an app recommendation - photoscan - as the name suggests it scans a photo and does it really well and is easy to use.  Very handy for taking a photo quality copy of an old photo or any image that you want to have digitally - and it is free.

wishing you all a good week

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Three on Thursday calm waters

Thursday morning means I'm joining Mary-Lou in her Thursday meme taking three photos with a common theme.  My theme this week is loosely that all were taken on the same walk - on Monday - but also they are all examples of me loving how the windless day and sun and fog over the land on the horizon were combining to give a lovely almost abstract  look and good reflections

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday mail memo

A big sunny wave to you all on a blue sky Monday morning. 

The local yarn bombers have been busy with a lovely display of flower panels for Mother's Day and they have added some new pieces to the ones they displayed last year

lovely to see lots of people stopping to look at them and take photos.

I actually received an interesting package in the mail this week

a lego like set with a  base tile that can stick to the wall and clever pieces designed to allow you to construct hooks and a small shelf and also to make pictures - as shown on the packaging.  I backed this on Kickstarter as it looks both fun and useful

Hope you all have a great week with some blue skies

Thursday, March 23, 2017

3 yellow on Thursday

I'm  joining Mary-Lou with her meme choosing three pictures with a theme.  I've noticed on my walks how yellow is the dominant colour for flowers at the moment: daffodils, gorse and the crop of rapeseed in the fields

Thanks to Mary-Lou for the prompt to keep my eyes open during the week so I can share 3 on Thursday

Monday, March 20, 2017

Memo Monday - empty benches

A big wave to you all on the spring equinox - for the next six months we have more hours of  light than dark each day - sounds good to me.

I enjoyed a full afternoon of rugby on Saturday - 3 test matches in a row with plenty of drama.  End of the 6 nations for this year so now I have to wait a few months for more test matches but I will not be totally deprived as I've discovered that many of the super rugby games from NZ are available on YouTube within a few days of being played - there really seems to be no end to the treasures available there.

Over the weekend I was looking through my photos from my NZ trip, deciding on 6 to print big for my wall.  These are 2 that I chose - I do like to take photos of empty benches with a view

both are North Island beaches with fabulous soft sand.

Wishing you all a great week.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Memorandum Monday spring is sprung

A big spring wave to you all.  On a lovely Sunday walk I was pleased to see so many signs of spring growth (and a picturesque remnant of last year) and I've noticed that the geese and swan couples on the river are staking out their nesting spaces.  Definitely feels like spring

During the week I finished the two crafting projects that I shared last Monday

a collection of flowers made with my 3D pen (it extrudes plastic that sets fast) - I just need to decide how to display them

and my crochet dragon

I'm very pleased with how the variegated yarn worked for this project.

I also made something for the first time with the tiny 1.5mm hook that Santa gave me - and 4ply cotton yarn.  I was inspired by this decorative piece as I browsed through my new magazine and made it that afternoon

that is a button in the centre - good bit of stash bashing.

Wishing you all a good week - plenty more crochet projects jostling for my attention and the weather forecast promises dry weather so I should be able to find more signs of spring.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Memoranum Monday gets crafty

An extra big wave to everyone after all those weeks away.  My sleeping patterns are back to normal although I always find my digestive system takes longer to adjust to the 12 hour time difference.

I was pleased to open up the box where I had packed away all my crafting projects before I went off - and very pleased that I had taken the time to note where I was at on the pattern for each item.  Nice to sit on the sofa in some sunshine and work on my crochet dragon

I also had a play with my 3D pen working on an idea I'd had to make a batch of basic flowers - pleased that the basic idea works and working on refinements and deciding what I'll do with them

the stone and button are there because I used them to help create the depth when I made the petals

Wishing you all a good week with time for creative endeavours

Saturday, March 4, 2017


Home again and caught up on sleep and unpacked. 

My last stop was to Hobart in Tasmania - the only Australian state I had not previously visited.  Pleased to see and smell  some familiar Australian gum trees (that smell evokes Australia for me)

The two things that I associate with Tasmania are fabulous produce and a sorry convict history and I sampled both in my short stay.

Sunday morning Hobart hosts a fabulous farmers' market where everything really is sold by the producers - I bought cherries fresh from the trees and had some local honey to take home and several tasty baked items.  I passed on the freshly bbqed octopus tentacles

I visited the site of the women convict 'factory' (what they called the places the convicts were held and put to work).  Half of all of the women convicts sent to Australia were sent to Tasmania.  The site shows the size of the yards and cells and has a growing collection of related items.  The stark walls were in total contrast to the beautiful setting and blue sky

An interesting city and very easy to navigate with its lovely harbour and grid layout.  Every day I of my visit there was a different massive cruise ship in the harbour - I've been interested on my travels to see so many cruise ships in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney and Hobart - clearly a boom industry.

and a fitting end to my travels - another wonderful sunset.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Eagles and ferries

Flying out of Wellington airport I had one last Middle Earth treat
Smaug is behind you when you drop your bags and eagles soar over the cafe / waiting area
Just 48 hours in Sydney and I decided to take to the ferries for my full day there. I have visited several times before and been to the key attractions. For me the harbour setting is what makes Sydney unique and I like being on a boat. A day of public transport is capped at A$15 so a bargain day of enjoying the city without getting worn out.  

One more stop before I head home.