Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Challenge 27 - Reading someone else's story...

Challenge 27 - Read a biography.
I'm really storming on with the challenge list this month!  Or maybe I just happen to be doing things that work in with the list - summer seems to be the best time for getting out and about and getting things done I think.  Now this book says it's an autobiography, but a technicality that small can be overlooked right?  I really like Michael Caine as an actor and I've been wanting to read his book for a while.  I almost never read biography style books - I just prefer the style of fiction writing or learning interesting random info from the non fiction section, but I really enjoyed his story.  He's very opinionated and 'tells it like it is', and it was fun to hear about his early career - the best part of any famous person's story is hearing how and where it started, I always think.  I haven't read his first book (published in 1992) but he does point out that it covers some of the same ground, so I guess if you've read that there's not much here you couldn't learn from Wikepedia, but I'd recommend it for an easy, interesting read.

Has anyone else read it?  Share your thoughts!

(see the full challenge list here!)


Monday, 29 July 2013

My knitting wishlist...

February Scarf - Soumak Scarf Wrap - Stockholm Scarf
I've been perusing knitting stuff on Pinterest lately and getting all inspired.  There's so much I want to create!  Mostly stuff I absolutely don't need, but that looks pretty and would be useful in helping me practise new skills (I'm still not sure about knitting on the round - 20+ years of knitting later!).  Maybe I'll finally learn cable knitting by making up the gorgeous February Scarf, or maybe I'll go with the more likely option of the Stockholm Scarf...  The Soumak Scarf is more of a dream make but my goodness it's lovely!
I <3 Me Sweater - Silken Straw Summer Sweater
I've been wanting to make this jumper since I found it on Ravelry before Christmas - it looks like an easy way to practise knitting on the round while making something that would be long enough to team with leggings (I justified that rather well, didn't I? ;))  The t-shirt is more of a light spring piece, which is a bit unusual for me since I mostly associate knitting with cold weather...  Most likely it'll be a next-year item though.
Seed Stitch Wrap - Beekeeper's Quilt
I'm still working on the Seed Stitch Wrap and the Beekeeper's Quilt (I think I'll be working on the quilt until the end of time...) - I'm loving both patterns so I'm in no rush to finish, they're good for picking up and putting down at my leisure with no need to refer to any complicated instructions, just my type of knitting!

What's everyone else got on their needles?


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Embracing Camping...

Last weekend I went camping.  Probably not such a big deal to most people, but I did it once before for Scout leader training last year and had the most miserable time.  I'm quite a 'let's give it a go' person though, so even if I think I hate something, I know it might take a few goes to really form my opinion, hence trying camping again.  And actually, it wasn't too terrible.  I think I know myself quite well and I guessed I would have problems with the sleeping-among-noise-and-the-elements part, but the rest was pretty fun.  The weather at the weekend was gorgeous, a huge factor in making the whole thing more bearable, and as you can see, the location was stunning.

skimming stones

We went to Loch Doon and set up camp right on the water banks (high enough to be out the way of getting wet obviously!).  The guys in the dingy were camping across from us and were very drunk the entire time - awful when you're trying to sleep but hilarious when you're watching them try to paddle against the current and drink beer at the same time.

We have fire!

This also crosses another challenge off the list - I'm positively flying through them now!

Challenge 26 - Try something you think you're going to hate.
So on second attempt, I didn't hate camping.  Sure there were parts of it I'd be happier not dealing with (lack of toilets wasn't even top of the list) but I'm glad to know it's something I can do now and again and feel adventurous in the process.

Has anyone else been camping?  Got any tips for me?


Friday, 26 July 2013

A scary creative crafty insane challenge...

At the end of May Leanne and I were having a conversation about board games and I asked her if there was such a thing as Friends Trivial Pursuit (which we would both kick way better ass at than the real thing btw).  Turns out there isn't.  We also mourned the lack of Friends Monopoly, which sparked an idea in my head.  A pretty stupid but awesome one, as it turned out.  'What if,' I thought, 'there really WAS a Friends Monopoly?  I could make that right?  Can't be that hard...'  Ahem.  Famous last words...

Challenge 25 - Make something outside your cooking/crafting comfort zone
I'll start by pointing out that as a kid, I was super creative.  I drew constantly, wrote random nonsense stories, saved magazine clippings (still do that actually), painted - you name it, I probably dabbled with it.  The art supplies I owned were endless.  So really it's not surprising I was filled with confidence over making a Monopoly game.  I found a set in a charity shop (from the year of Leanne's birth, a nice coincidence), bought some card and drawing pens and set to work.  And man, was it a tedious process.  BUT.  It was totally worth it cause she loved it, woohoo!
I bought a couple of packs of card from Tesco to cover the existing properties and remake them into 'Friends' themed ones - Monica and Rachel's place being the highest priced, Treeger's Workshop being the lowest (yeah there's some real random ones in there...)  I switched out the stations for ones featured in the episodes, including 'The Station with Joey's VD Poster', and the other properties became Ralph Lauren and Bloomingdales.  My personal favourite was changing Jail to 'The Little Jail Between The Doors' - I was rather smug about thinking that up!
The Community Chest and Chance cards changed to Chick and Duck cards, and the instructions on them took on a Friends theme ('The duck swallowed your grandmothers engagement ring.  Pay vets bills of £100.' etc).  The Go spot changed to the Coffee House.  Most of the playing pieces worked with the theme but I switched out a couple and replaced them with a coffee mug charm and a guitar one.  It's worth pointing out that I glued all the cards down with regular stick glue because I intended to cover the board with a clear, book cover type plastic, but I didn't like the way it looked so hopefully the bits will stay put for a while on their own!

The whole thing took much longer than I expected but it was nice to make something that stretched my creative muscles a bit.  Also Leanne is one of the biggest Friends fans ever to exist so it was also nice to give her 'merchandise' that she didn't already own!

Has anyone else made their own board game?


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Stripes and spots...

cardigan - H&M
vest - Topshop (here)
jeans - Long Tall Sally (here - on sale!)
shoes - M&S (here - other colours on sale!)
I'm not sure what possessed me to wear a cardigan the other day, however light.  It's still all muggy and hot here - not that I'm complaining (yet).  I'm not usually a fan of the heat but this winter just seemed never ending, amaright?  So for now I'm embracing the warm feeling in my bones.

I'm at Mother's for a couple of days this week.  Things are starting to let up slightly on the busy front so I'm looking forward to having more time to myself for crafting and other such relaxing pursuits.  I've booked a week off work in August and I'm already filling it with stuff I want to do - most of it close to home and cost effective obviously, I want to have fun but still chill out!  Any ideas?


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Random Happenings...

I think this collage sums up summer just perfectly right now - warm and dreamy and outdoorsy and filled with people.  I went to Newcastle last week to a regional quiz through work - some of the questions were completely ridiculous so we did not win, but it was a good day out anyway.  We distracted ourselves on the seat-less, air-con-less journey home by playing the actor/movie game (each player starts with three lives.  One starts the game by naming a movie or actor, then the next player names a movie or actor relating to the first and so on.  If you pass you lose a life.  Being cinema employees we're pretty competitive about it!) then I got off at Edinburgh to hang out for a while.

Last weekend I went camping.  Outside!  In tents!  Without toilets!  It was a big step for me ;)  I also got creative with a friends birthday pressie and burned myself when I forgot to extend the sun cream to my hands.  Lesson learned...

Hope everyone's enjoying the lovely weather!

(p.s. I've got a new email address for the blog - find it on my Contact Me page.  I'm also faffing with the About Me page - if anyone can think of anything I should add let me know!)


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A day at the beach...

After last week's lovely weather I was looking forward to a day at the beach on Saturday.  Annoyingly the clouds and wind stayed in the vicinity but it wasn't too cold - I even had a dip in the sea, most unlike me! (and I mean properly in there, bikini completely wet and everything!)  It cooled down considerably at night but at least we had a great day in the warmth first.  That's the thing about Scotland, you must seize every opportunity for being outside without a coat!
I'm wearing charity shopped shirt and shorts and a bikini from Target.  It's the first time it saw daylight in ages!


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Challenge 23 & 24

this picture has no relevance to the post other than it was taken the same weekend and I wanted to share the prettiness :)

Challenge 23 - Try a new restaurant.
I was in Falkirk a couple of weeks ago and went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner.  To say it was freaking amazing would be an understatement.  To say I'm someone who doesn't like taking food pictures in public would also be right, so you'll just have to trust my judgement on this one.  I had vegetable sushi and chicken katsu curry, and also sampled a noodle thing and a tofu thing.  All were completely delicious and I'd eat there every night if I could.  My mouth is watering right now...  Moving on!

Challenge 24 - Play a board game.
On the same weekend as the amazing food I was also roped into playing a board game.  I don't really play games.  My brother and I had every one going as kids but now I just find them a bit boring.  (Put a Sega Mega Drive controller in my hand and it's another story however...)  Anyway, we played Trivial Pursuit and I did not win - I sailed through all the movie related questions and almost none of the other ones, so I was never going to be in with a chance, but I did rather enjoy myself anyway.  I also have no pictures of that because I had a drink in one hand and a giant bag of crisps in the other...that's life.


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Friends and Food...

The weather in Scotland finally picked up this week, so we wasted no time in putting a barbecue together for Friday night.  We lay in Moffat's garden and ate burgers, crisps and the most amazing pasta salad, and drank some beer and a cheeky whiskey.  It was lovely. 
Hope everyone had a fab weekend!

(I want to get back to blogging more - I feel like I have loads to share with you guys but hardly a minute to myself lately.  Who knows why life suddenly got more busy but I'm working less next week and I can't wait to get some time to myself to be all creative and productive and bloggy again.  Watch this space!)


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

This Week I...

...ate yummy food and drank a cocktail in a can.  It was predictably gross but definitely improved with added Sprite :)
dress - Matalan
leggings - Topshop Tall
Converse - gift
 ...dressed like it was winter again, wtf?!
...saw the inside of a flooded projector.  Yeah, work was fun this week...

I also watched multiple episodes of Friends and 90210, created a cool picture for someone fabby using my new drawing pens and ate lots of pizza.  Then took pictures of it for Three Coasts obviously.  I also seemed to be chasing my tail a lot, this week was not long enough!  Plan for next week - Get Organised.


Monday, 1 July 2013

Challenge 20, 21 & 22

Challenge 20 - Visit a local interest spot.
This one I did ages ago and forgot to tick off.  I live near the heart of Burns country so it wasn't hard to find a local interest spot...  Although I'd also like to count all the various places Moffat and I manage to explore!
Challenge 21 - Read a newspaper.
Yeah, I read about the news like, never...  I know, I'm a terrible human being.  I was handed this paper for free in WH Smith the other day so I gave it a quick read.  There was basically nothing in there that interested me except the Sudoku pull-out, I'll just stick to my books in future.
Challenge 22 - Have a picnic.
I wasn't sure this would happen thanks to the weather but we managed a wee picnic in the woods two weeks ago.  It wasn't sunny but it didn't rain and we had good food, that's pretty good going for an attempt at eating outside in Scotland...

I've actually done a few more but just need to find time to blog about them!  Don't worry, most are more interesting than the newspaper one ;)

(See here for the full list and an explanation!)

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