Monday 28 January 2019

A tumble of tea cosies

I don't know what the collective noun for tea cosies is, but tumble seemed appropriate in this case!

I emptied out my work bag to see what else was needing to be completed from last year and all of these tea cosy pieces fell out!  I can't believe I put them away without sewing them up.  (Actually I hate sewing up the bits and pieces I've knitted or crocheted.)

So, that will be my job for the rest of the afternoon - putting these blinking things together!  I can't believe that there are even a couple of pom poms in there.

The completed grey and pink tea cosy is one I knit last week while staying at my Son's flat in Glasgow.  It just needs a pom pom and it is complete, at least it is sewn up.

Ah well, once they are done I can start a new project.
Love, Liz

Sunday 27 January 2019

My temporary kitchen

So, this is my former dining room - now my temporary kitchen.  Dining room table with tea essentials - can't do without my cuppa!  Last Monday work started on my kitchen refit.  Everything was pulled out! 

I have to admit, dear reader, that I "escaped" last Sunday and went to stay with my younger son in Glasgow for the week, leaving Hubby with a freezer full of microwave meals and having to cope with a house full of workmen and deliveries of materials.  He's quite enjoyed himself (probably because I wasn't there).  Not sure how my Son feels, but I had a lovely time with him.  He was out at work all day, so I had his flat to myself and spent some time in Glasgow, as he's just a short bus journey from the city centre.  I even cooked for him - he asked me to make two of his favourite meals while I was there.  It was strange cooking with gas - my cooker is electric.  But I managed fine!

This is how the kitchen looks today.  There's been no water in kitchen for a week - washing machine, fridge, cooker and dishwasher are all in the dining room.  Only the fridge is working.  (The blue is just a protective cover on the units.)

My vintage treasures are all safely packed away and the bunnies have found temporary accommodation in the dining room among the pine cones!

I thought this whole process would be very traumatic and stressful - especially as I am participating in Dry January!!!!!!  But in actual fact, when there is nothing you can do about the situation, it is just a case of getting on and making the best of it!  Of course it helps when you get away for part of it!  Thanks for putting up with me, Son!

Love, Liz

Thursday 24 January 2019

Scotland on TV

Many films and TV shows have been filmed in Scotland and there's a great locations guide which has been produced by Visit Scotland.

This  Visit Scotland booklet gives lots of information about TV programmes, both past and present, and their Scottish locations.  Again you can get all the information here from the Visit Scotland website.

Recently some scenes from the brilliant BBC crime drama series Shetland (staring the gorgeous Douglas Henshall) were filmed in Greenock.  I really enjoy this series and the gorgeous Scottish scenery is just stunning!

The Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots are two major films which have recently been released, both about aspects of Scotland's history and many scenes from them were filmed in Scotland.  Click on the links to find out more about their history,

Outlander, the Starz TV series, has been credited with increasing tourism to Scotland with Outlander fans wishing to visit the places they have seen in the series.  I picked up this fabulous A2 poster from the Visit Scotland tourist information shop in Perth (iCentre, Perth),  It gives a detailed map and lots of information about places where Outlander was filmed with lots of lovely photographs.  

You can download one for yourself from the Visit Scotland site (just click on the link).

Historic Scotland also has a great website where you can find out more about the historic places used in many great films and TV series.

If you are planning a short break or holiday in Scotland, both of these websites can give you lots of other information to help plan your trip.  Are you interested in all things Scottish?

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Tunstall cross stitch?

I was looking for another cross stitch project when I remembered that I had more than one vintage china plate with a cross stitch pattern on it.

It is this lovely H & K Tunstall Old English Needlepoint plate which I blogged about way back in 2012!  (Really??? How can it be so long ago!!!)

I'll get Hubby to work on making me a pattern from this lovely vintage plate.

It will be quite different with all the blue lines which make up the bowl in the design.  Think I'll surround it with this lovely border.  Looking forward to getting started on this.

Love, Liz

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