Friday, 28 September 2012

Historical Revisits!

Well the weather has certainly been "interesting" over the last few days but despite this, I have managed to visit a couple of places that I haven't seen since childhood; in fact, it was a bit of a trip down memory lane!!

On Tuesday my mum's cousin and the cousin's daughter came up to Edinburgh from the Midlands, where my mum is originally from.  We hadn't seen these relatives in about fifteen years so it was lovely to catch up; we felt as if the years had just fallen away, it was as though we had only just seen them yesterday! After a lovely lunch at
the Scottish Cafe at the National Gallery (the visitors had to sample the local haggis, of course!!), we trekked up to the Castle, a place that I visited many a time in my childhood, but never in the intervening years.  It was mobbed with visitors and the weather was very blustery (it was hold-onto-your-hair time!), but we had a good wander round.  I couldn't remember a lot of it from before, although I did have a weird flashback in one of the rooms; I vividly recalled being there as a schoolgirl and being told a particular story about the castle's history. It spooked me a little!

On the castle ramparts there were lots of big guns: 

And I found the wee burial ground for soldier's dogs particularly poignant:

As was the war memorial building:

A lot of the castle buildings are extremely old:

Unfortunately we didn't get to go down into the dungeons but we did have a nice cup of coffee in the cafe and a lovely natter with the rellies! It was a shame their visit was so fleeting but I'm glad I went along to see them, it might be another fifteen years before we see them again!!

The next trip down memory lane was on Wednesday when Himself and I decided to head across to Dunfermline's Pittencrieff Park and the adjoining Abbey.  My last visit here was as a sulky teen so I was hoping to be a bit more appreciative of the trip than I was back then!!

The weather was really kind - blue skies and sunshine - but there was a distinct "moistness" lingering from the previous downpours.  We made our way towards the Abbey via a mossy, grotto-filled walkway by the full-to-bursting stream:

The abbey itself looked very impressive in the sunshine and, again, a very old building with lots of turbulent history:

We had a lovely walk through the park itself and even came across the mysterious St Margaret's Cave, which was located in a car park! A bit of wandering in the shopping precinct, a lazy coffee and then it was time to come home!

So two enjoyable days out in one week! I feel very fortunate! But now it's time to get down to some hard-core crafting!!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Birthdays Rock!

It's always nice to have a couple of days off (in this case it was my birthday so it was definitely justified!!) but there's always so much catching up to do afterwards! Not that I'm complaining.  It's great to find myself with orders coming in from both my online shops and various commissioned cards to create! Sometimes I just don't know what I'd do if I didn't have my crafting!

Said birthday was very enjoyable in the main.  I received some lovely gifts and cards, and Himself took me for a yummy meal (which may have involved wine, ahem!).  My parents responded to my plea for furry, microwaveable slippers (I wasn't dropping hints - honest!!), so now my evenings are made cosier with these...

And thanks to a voucher for Hotel Chocolat I can look forward to scoffing a pile of these:

Everyone has been so kind that I may well be having to send out quite a lot of these:


Monday, 17 September 2012

Scrap Levels Critical!!

As you know, I am always looking for ways to use up the unhealthy amount of paper scraps that I amass from day to day. The levels were starting to become critical so when a friend recently asked me to make her some notecards I was determined that this project should contribute to my scrap-usage quota.

I had difficulty coming up with a design but a quick browse online allowed me to put together these cards, inspired by various others I'd seen...

If I make loads of these, my scraps levels should diminish drastically!!

And for someone who doesn't really "do" Halloween, I couldn't resist creating these owl gift tags!

Hope you all had a good weekend.  Himself and I overindulged food-wise on Saturday night (a tortilla made with feta, sweet potato and mushrooms - yum! - followed by carrot cake - smlurmp!) so we had to go on a six-mile hike the next morning to burn it off! 

Happy crafting, see you soon!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Shop Til You Drop!

The other day I took my wares along to a friend's, who has regular "shopping parties" in her lovely home. She turns her lounge into an Aladdin's cave of scarves, handbags, jewellery and little gifty nick-nacks, and lots of ladies come round for home baking, coffee, wine and the chance to do some relaxed browsing (and buying!!) I try to take along items that make nice wee "mindings", or the sort of thing one can give as a small, inexpensive gift.  My tealight gift packs have always proved popular:

and I recently found this fab tutorial for making tissue boxes - I think these might go down well too!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Childcare?? Arggh!

Another week has just flown by?? I don't believe it!!! 

Himself and I had to babysit his nephews for a little while at the weekend; it wasn't really planned, so we were a bit nervous as we don't have much experience with looking after babies and toddlers, but we took them for a walk and to a local cafe for a cupcake, and H even got to grips with the changing-of-the-nappy, although I steered clear of that one, hee hee!  The boys were extremely well-behaved, for which we will be eternally grateful; the baby only cried a little bit in the cafe and was soon placated, phew! And the toddler is wise beyond his years so was able to keep us right! I don't know many three-year-olds who come out with the word Pistachio when talking about ice cream flavours!!

Talking of babies, I completed an order for two cards that are to be given to little girls who are a few months old, rather than new-born.  

I just need to come up with a little boy version now! Any suggestions of animals/themes that little boys like? As I said, I'm not very up on anything to do with children!!

I also completed a set of notecards for the same order:

It was nice to use these fresh, bright colours as the last days of summer slip by!

Have a good week, I've a busy one ahead!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Fireworky Fabulousness!

What has been going on in Mushroom World since I saw you last? Well, I've been making truffles:

Himself and I have been eating Chinese food at The Imperial Palace, where we had some relatively normal dishes (just take a look at some of the food available on their Traditional Chinese menu -erk! It's enough to turn you vegetarian! Oh, I am one already - phew!!) My veg chow mein was very tasty and the leftovers were even more delish next day!

We've been visiting the Botanic Gardens where I took some pics to capture some late summer colour:

The sky looks ominous here, but two seconds later it was like this:

And we coffee'd at the new Earthy restaurant/shop...

...before heading in the evening to a hill on the golf course where Himself plays, to watch the end-of-festival fireworks bursting from Edinburgh Castle.  No photos of this, unfortunately, but we did have A) the place to ourselves B)our very own bench to sit on, C) friendly bats circling overhead - I love bats! and D) a lovely full moon to light the way back!  What we were lacking was A) a cosy blanket for the old knees B) a flask of coffee and C) gloves and hat - it was a tad chilly, brrr! 

All in all, a very pleasant weekend!!

And I've been working on cards featuring my new bunny 'n bear characters:

I'll be able to show the finished cards very soon!