Monday, 28 June 2010

London Weekend

I have just spent a fabulous weekend in London with my husband. It's our wedding anniversary in a couple of days and for the last few years we have been really lucky to able to get away on our own to mark the event.
Martin was working in London during the week so I flew down on Friday morning to meet him at City Airport. You can't go to London without taking a photograph of The Houses of Parliament !!! This one was taken from the water. We were on one of these at the time.
London Duck tours are a great way to see the city. We lived near London for a long time and both of us worked in the city at some time but you tend to miss things like this when the city is where you go to work. So we had a bit of a tourist day. The 'ducks' are amphibious vehicles, first built for the D-Day landings in the 2nd World War. Now put to good use showing off the sights of London and other cities with waterways. We did a similar tour in Boston last year. The tour took us around the city of Westminster, then onto the Thames to see everything from a different angle.
We stayed at a hotel in Docklands, an area which has undergone a massive regeneration in the last ten years.

This was the view across the Thames basin from our hotel. The old industrial crane things(?) make an interesting feature beside the new luxury riverside apartments. In the background you can just about see the O2 arena.

This is where we went on Saturday night for the hi- light of our trip.

Woo hoo.... Bon Jovi live at the O2. We had the best tickets.. just 4 rows from the stage !!!
The concert was amazing. They played for three whole hours and were just  brilliant.
Can't quite believe I got such a good clear picture. ( there are quite a few rubbish ones with the heads of strangers in the way but at least one good one.)
Fabulous weekend all round and back to normal now.
Fiona x

Thursday, 24 June 2010

My Throw of Many Colours...

It's My Creative Space Thursday again and it's already Friday where most of the participants are but it's still Thursday here so here is what I have been working on today..... I have been working on it for a bit more than one day obviously, but it's nearly finished today.

Does anybody out there love Dolly Parton ?

My daughter is leaving home to go to University in September and I offered to make her a special granny throw to take with her. It seemed like a good idea to me so I was really pleased that she thought so to. Maybe it will become a family tradition to make 'Going to Uni Blankets'. Maybe one day Megan will give it to her daughter. Maybe Megan's daughter will give it to her daughter....
Maybe not, but it's a nice thought.
So, to explain a little bit more. I love a Dolly Parton song called Coat of Many Colours.
It's about how her mum made her a coat out of lots patches of many colours, and about how much love her mum put into it. Sadly, for poor wee Dolly everybody laughed at her home made coat. Must have been before recycling, upcycling and restyling became so fashionable as it is now.
Just imagine, a quilted, patchwork, multicoloured coat.... Gorgeous.

Well the Throw of Many Colours is nearly finished. It's 5ft square with just another round in blue to crochet and a few ends to sew in and it will be all done and ready to go to Aberdeen in September.
I did offer to tell Megan stories 'from the bible' (if you know the song) while I was working which she declined but we have had a few good chats along the way.
I'll sign off now before I get all sentimental.
See more creativity HERE

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Angel smiles...

We are enjoying some lovely summer weather.
Poor Angel doesn't know what to do with herself. She sits the sun smiling till she can't take it anymore then comes in the house and collapses in front of me.
I've just been out to put sun block on her wee white snout. Poor girl got a bit of sunburn the last time it was this warm and her nose peeled. I don't think you get special dog sun block and mine obviously tastes gorgeous because no sooner had  I put it on than she had licked it off again.
At least her tongue won't get burned...

There should be some lovely meadow flowers where Angel is lying. I'm not a big gardener but I spent ages digging out a horrible prickly bush from this spot in the garden. Angel helped digging out the roots and chewed the branches to save having to compost everything. I then seeded a selection of meadow flowers, watered them and waited...... Then Angel decided that she wanted the area for sunbathing and flattened the lot. I really should be firmer with her but then she smiles and I haven't the heart to tell her off.

Not a lot of work being done around here today.
Too hot !!!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

My Creative Space.

I'm running a wee bit late today. I thought I might be heading towards My Creative Yesterday but I'm back on track just in time. Firstly, let me introduce you to my new favourite book.
My lovely friend Mel gave me this for my birthday a couple of weeks ago and I have been dying to try out some of the projects. There are so many great hints and tips that I have been spoiled for choice.
Today I decided to try out some bead work.

I have a few ideas that I would like to try out with these little flowers which I will show as they progress.

I had to check on the progress of my candles this morning. They need topping up a bit but I'm reasonably pleased so far. Being a big tea drinker I love the idea of using china cups for scented candles.
What could be better than a Strawberry scented candle in it's own china cup and saucer ?
My friend suggested tea flavours for the scents, and I'm still pondering that one. Maybe some of the herbal teas will provide some inspiration. Any suggestions.....?

Pop over HERE to see lots of Creative Spaces every Thursday.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Perthshire Open Studios

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we are taking part in Perthshire Open Studios in September this year. The organisers have just started a facebook page so if you want to pop over for a look or join or like or become a fan, click on the link above.
I imagine that as we get closer to the event there will be lots of interesting reading.
This may be my shortest post yet....
Fiona x

Sunday, 13 June 2010

First 99 of the summer

                 Excuse the slightly dodgy expression on my face ( I think it might be brain freeze)
We went for a drive yesterday. One of those drives where the passenger knows where he wants to go but keeps the driver (ME) guessing. Turn right at the end of the road.... keep going past the Den... keep going I'll tell you when you need to turn.... yep, over the bridge... No not yet... Pitlochry... good guess but No..
Makes for an interesting day. Bit of a mystery tour but normally the driver is the one who knows the destination.
Anyway, after about an hour we ended up in Braemar, having stopped at the Glenshee Pottery along the way. Braemar is beautiful. Proper Scottish Highland scenery.

We had a lovely walk around town and stopped off for some lunch then walked around a bit more. There was maybe just a wee bit too much tartan but I'm sure the visitors love it. Heading back to the car we spotted the ice cream sign and my day was complete.
 Yummy 99 cone, then back to the twisty, turny rural roads and home in time for tea.
Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.
Fiona x

Thursday, 10 June 2010

My Creative Space

I am attempting to be more organised in My Creative Space so today is all about finishing things off. Does this mean no more WIPS or UFO'S ? Mmmm no, I don't think so but I hope it will mean that things are a bit less messy around here. First job of the day was sewing buttons on to this.

This is my baby jacket version of the granny shrug which has been popping up all over blogland, thanks to Kirsty ay Kootoyoo. This is basically the same as the grown up version on finer yarn, smaller hook and with a couple of extra rounds of trebles on the sleeves and with an edging and collar added.

Next I finished off the catches on this.

Very simple little necklace which I started a few days ago for a customer.

The rest of my morning will be spent delving into this box.....

... and finishing off some button necklaces and bracelets, sewing catches onto some crocheted bracelets, and finally deciding what to do with some gorgeous turquoise and silver beads that have been eluding me for a couple of weeks.

I'm looking forward to a much tidier space very soon.
Then again I may just get distracted by all the lovely creative people at kootoyoo
Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

To be, or not to be.....

Today I have a sore hooking hoo..  I think I may have been overdoing the crochet recently. In amongst my growing collection of crochet and craft related books I saw an article about exercises you can do to relieve the effects of over indulgent crafting. I'm going to have to go and look for that and hope that I don't get distracted by any new projects I may come across along the way.
So while I am resting my dodgy digits I got to thinking about stuff. When I was about 10 years old there was a series on telly about a forensic scientist who solved crimes for the police. Kind of early CSI without all the high tech gizmos of today. For a long time I wanted to be forensic scientist, until I discovered I had no real affinity with science. Then I wanted to be lawyer. Again, I was inspired by a television programme. This time about a group of law students. Realising that I would need 5 A's in my highers soon changed my mind about that. I wanted to be journalist, but was too self conscious to let anyone read what I wrote. I wanted to study English at Uni but can't stand Shakespeare or Thomas Hardy, and some of the old poets just put me to sleep. I studied Publishing at Uni but then I ended up as a restaurant manager.
I don't think I ever considered being a crotcheting jewellery maker. And I know I never imagined having my own shop. I was talking to an old friend from school recently who I hadn't seen or spoken to for nearly 30 years ( ah facebook can be fun). He was rather surprised at how my life has turned out and suggested my job title should be ' artisan business owner'. I certainly never thought of that as a career choice !!!
So the question... if you would like to answer... is... What did you want to be ? Did you become what you wanted to be ?  Or are you still waiting To Be ?

Thursday, 3 June 2010

My Creative Space.

I've been feeling a wee bit sentimental in my creative space this week. And surprise, surprise I have actually been working on jewellery. Crochet has also featured but I will have to show that later when I get some more photos.
As well as making jewellery to my own designs I often get special orders for particular colours, matching sets to outfits for special occasions. I am currently on the search for small red beads to match this...

The feather is left over from an arrangement on a wedding hat and my task is to make a matching necklace to finish off the whole outfit.

Another customer likes to wear yellow in the summer and would like something fun and funky to go with her summer wardrobe.

I love these beads. They make me think of daisies. Not sure yet how I will put them together but hopefully inspiration will strike some time soon.

Another service that we offer here is to repair jewellery.
So many people have costume jewellery that they really love, but when the catch breaks or the thread snaps they are left with lovely bits and pieces that they can no longer wear.
Most pieces that I fix or re-string have mostly sentimental value but it's lovely to be able to bring new life to an old favourite.
These poor old pearls just needed re-stringing for one of my customers but I love the story behind them.
"They're no' real pearls", she said when she brought them to me. They were however a First Wedding Anniversary present from her husband 51 years ago !!!
How amazing is that ?
She just thought it would be nice for her husband to see her wearing them again.
So here they are. Re-threaded onto tiger tail and fitted with a magnetic fastener.

And that's about it for now.
Thursdays are great for seeing what other makers are making in their own Creative Spaces
Pop over for a look and be amazed.
Fiona x

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Bank Holiday Blues... and pinks and reds.

Although Monday was a Bank Holiday here, I decided to open the shop. The sun came out and lots of people, local and visitors, were out and about enjoying the weather.
I was really happy that Mary decided to take a drive down from Aberdeen to restock her wonderful selection of silk flower arrangements.

 I would love to be able to name all the flowers but am very vague about flower names. I know Poppies and Daisies and Roses... oh, and Carnations. But after that I simply think of them as 'the red ones' or 'the pink ones'. Not very technical but it works for me.

Mary has been creating fabulous arrangements for a good few years now and I love that we have them in Buy Design. They are really popular with customers but they also make the shop look to lovely and colourful
Just a few close-ups here.
The arrangements are really unique. Imagine anything you wouldn't consider putting flowers in and you may just get the idea.
It was lovely to see Mary and to catch up on what's been happening over the last month or so.