Sunday, 20 January 2019

So old school

Can you guess what this is?

It is part of a slide rule.  Remember briefly being taught about them in school, but was never all that interested.  Maths was certainly not my thing!  Wasn't much good at science either.  Slide rules were used for calculating ... things.

Could never get the hang of using the slide rule - far too complicated for my brain - even looks complicated, doesn't it?  Thank goodness for modern calculators!  Were you good at maths?

Love, Liz

Saturday, 19 January 2019

They took me a year!

At last some completed knitting projects!  Both, I'm ashamed to say, were started in January 2018 and both were just finished yesterday - a whole year later!

First my pink, grey and black scarf which I started last January to go with a lovely pink winter jacket which had been my Christmas present.  I had hardly done any of it before I abandoned it to the work bag.  However, taking it up again started my renewed pleasure in knitting and I'm glad I got around to finishing it.

The second abandoned project which I found in my knitting bag was half a tea cosy!  Lots of shades of green to used to make this.  Didn't take long to complete the other half.  Have you spotted that it does not yet have a pom-pom?  I've misplaced my pom-pom maker, so may have to go back to the old fashioned way of making pom-poms - two circles cut out of cardboard - remember doing that?

It is very satisfying to complete projects, especially when they have been waiting around for ages to be finished.  Have you got any unfinished work that has been languishing for a while?

Love, Liz

Friday, 18 January 2019

Reading and listening

I decided at the start of the year that I would read more fiction.  I usually enjoy non-fiction books more - especially anything to do with history.  A trawl of the charity shops in search of something I would want to read yielded no results, so drastic action was called for!

Dear reader - I went to the local library!!!!!  It is ages since I was in the library and I wasn't even sure if my card would still work.  But it did and I was, of course, spoiled for choice when it came to reading material - and all for free!  I had noted down the names of a few authors because I had read reviews of their books on other blogs.  Thank you Julie from Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal for recommending Barbara Erskine.  I chose "River of Destiny" and wasn't disappointed - I could hardly put this book down it was so good.

It is set in three different time periods, but it is easy to follow because there is a little picture before each change in time - Anglo Saxon (sword), Victorian (horseshoe) and present day (boat).  It is the story of a place over time and the people who lived there - very atmospheric and exciting.  I loved this book.

I also decided that every now and again I would "rescue" a CD (remember them?) from the back of the cupboard and listen again to the whole thing to remind myself why I purchased it.  My first choice was Beth Neilsen Chapman's "Deeper Still".  Oh gosh!  I had forgotten just how lovely some of the tracks were on this.  My favourite is "Every December Sky".  Some words from this -

How heavy the empty heart
How light the heart that's full

Isn't that so true?  It has been so relaxing listening to this CD while I've been knitting or sewing.

I've another library book to read this weekend and I'm off to raid the cupboard for another CD to rediscover.  Happy reading and listening!  Don't forget your local LIBRARY!

Love, Liz

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Royal Winton cross stitch

Here's the result of my efforts in duplicating the pattern on my Royal Winton bowl.

I'm quite happy with it except for the yellows - should have chosen more contrasting shades. 

I wonder if I chose the colours again, perhaps in summer, would I chose the same ones?  It really might depend on the light.  It was a dull day when I picked these threads.

Hubby is making one or two little amendments to the pattern, and then I'll put it on this blog if anyone would like to use it.  Think I might make it into a little scented sachet which can then sit inside the bowl.

Second cross stitch finish of 2019 - hope I can keep this up!

Love, Liz

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

So much stuff!

There is going to be a big change at Shortbread House next week - we're getting a new kitchen!  The little bunnies who live in the Welsh dresser and saying goodbye to their old home - they don't look very happy!

We've had our kitchen for about 20 years and, as much as I love it, it is getting a bit shabby and tired.
The workmen are starting on Monday, so I've been emptying cupboards and drawers to get ready.  This has really been helped by putting on an Amazon Music playlist - 70s Hits to Make You Happy!  I've been bopping around the house and clearing out hasn't been such a chore!

What a load of "stuff" I've collected over the years!  I don't mean my vintage china - that is "treasure" and has been carefully packed in boxes to keep it safe.  I'm taking about all the other bits and pieces that seem to be essential at the time.  My cutlery drawer, apart from the usual well ... cutlery, was full of ... rubbish!  Old blunt bread knives and strange utensils some of which I can't even imagine what they were for!

Glasses - how many do two people need?  Two dozen wine glasses - crazy!  They take up so much space too!

Not going to have as much cupboard space in new kitchen so really need to weed out the rubbish.  So there are now bags and boxes all over!  Stuff for charity shop, stuff for tip and stuff for recycling!  
Having a wee rest and a cuppa now before I get on with more clearing out!

Love, Liz

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Our Lego Room

How's this for a playroom - our very own Lego Room!

When Hubby retired last year he needed a wee project.  So he decided to turn the spare bedroom into a playroom for our two grandsons (although I think there was a more selfish reason!).

He got units to fit around an alcove in the room for storage and a place where the boys could sit and make up Lego.  Some cute lights made it a bit brighter.

Once that was done, then of course the Lego had to be sorted into colour co-ordinated drawers.  Then began the huge task of making up all the Lego our sons had left at home.  I don't for one minute believe this was a task Hubby was dreading - he spent hours up there making up lots of the models.  Fortunately right from our very first Lego purchase, sometime in the 1980s, we had kept all the instruction leaflets which are now in folders.

The railway track was set out and Lego Town was born.

We kept it a secret until our grandsons (aged 5 and 2)came to visit, we only see them a couple of times a year as they live down south, so this was an added bonus.  They were delighted, as was our son!  Granda, Dad and the boys got started on the pieces that had not yet been made up.  The youngest just played with the cars.

After they left, Hubby spent as much time back up in the room "fixing" the "amendments" that had been made to the various models. All the toys and books left behind by our sons are in that room, so it is a great "rainy day" place when the grandsons come to visit.

Love, Liz

Friday, 11 January 2019

Fair City of Perth

It was a lovely day on Wednesday so we took a wee trip to the lovely city of Perth.  It is in my opinion one of the loveliest places in Scotland (apart from Greenock!) and is beautifully situated on the River Tay.

There are lots of wonderful old buildings in Perth, with incredible architectural details.  It doesn't really feel like a city compared to Glasgow or Edinburgh, it is more like a large market town.  It is the perfect place for a day out or as a base for exploring the beautiful Perthshire countryside.

Perth city centre itself has the usual mix of shops on its High Street, but also some nice little unusual shops on the many side streets.  It is a great place to wander around - you never know what you are going to come across.

Scott Street, off the High Street is the place to go if you love charity shopping!  There are lots of different charity shops here.  I was good - I didn't go in to any of them, because I knew temptation would grip me!  You won't just find charity shops here, there are plenty all over the city.

Where I did go was a lovely little shop called The Peacock & The Tortoise  in George Street as I needed some cross stitch fabric.  Ended up with some 16 count ivory Aida fabric and these amazing ribbons. 

Loved the tartan one with the stag heads - very unusual isn't it?

Loved the colours in this one - light blue and brown.  These were a bit of an added extra - have no idea what I am going to do with them - but I'm sure they will come in handy - one day!

St John's Place right in the centre of Perth is the place to go to find somewhere to eat.  There are lots of bars and restaurants here beside the beautiful church of St John the Baptist.  There are plenty of other bars and restaurants around the city too.  There is so much choice!

We had a great day out helped by the wonderful sunny weather.
Love, Liz

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Little lady finished at last!

I was tempted to look back at my blog to find out when I started this wee project.  It must have been early last year or even 2017!  I just finished it this morning.

There was hardly anything left to do, just going around the outside with dark thread.  But it is finished now.

This lovely little lady is from Cross Country Stitching magazine (Volume 6, number 3, summer 1994).

Cross Country Stitching was my favourite cross stitch magazine and I used to get sent from the United States.  I completed lots of the (smaller) projects from the magazines.

But now I'm ready to start my latest cross stitch which I blogged about yesterday.

Love, Liz

Monday, 7 January 2019

Choosing thread colours

I've been choosing thread colours for a new project.

Hubby has very kindly agreed to make a cross stitch pattern from a small part of the Royal Winton bowl I blogged about recently.  So I've been picking out colours to match.

A wee cup of tea and a slice of cake were needed for concentration purposes, of course!  The boxes in the background are where I store my threads.

All I have to do now is print off the pattern and try it out. 

Will get on with it once I've finished a little project which is in the hoop at the moment.  I've decided that I will not start projects till I've finished one.  (Hope I can keep to that!)

Will keep you up to date with progress.

Love, Liz
PS - Thanks to those who answered the question about the missing words on the maker's mark on the dish I showed in yesterday's blog post.  They were "Burgess & Leigh".

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Charity shop find

Isn't this a pretty little dish!  Simple, but lovely colours.

It is Burleigh Ware made in Burselm, England.  Burleigh were established in 1851 and I love the little logo on the reverse of the dish.  Does anyone have any idea what the words under Burleigh Ware might read?

I found it in a charity shop and just had to rescue it!

Have a lovely, relaxing Sunday.

Love, Liz

Friday, 4 January 2019

Old kitchen friends

These kitchen appliances were given to me as wedding presents way back in the (late) 1970s.  They have only recently broken down, but I've been loath to part with them.  Somehow they are part of the fabric of my family life.  They have been well used and gave great service.

My mixer - wonder how many cakes and desserts this has helped to make?

Moulinex Blender - used to have a little tub thingy for grinding things - really useful and well used.  Check out the trendy orange trim!

Electric knife - remember them?  Also a Moulinex in cream and orange.  Great for cutting joints of meat.  Somehow I manage with an ordinary knife now!

These old friends, now 40 years old, are off to the tip.  Funnily enough, as I was taking these photographs the song that was playing on the radio was "I'll stand by you" by the Pretenders.  Dear reader, I will admit that I had a wee tear in my eye - what an appropriate song!

Wonder if my replacements will last 40 years?  (I'll never know!)  What's your oldest kitchen appliance?
See if you can spot them in this photograph of my "show of presents" which I blogged about here!