Friday, 30 January 2015

A cosy cardigan and Minion slippers

I was off work yesterday so I managed to get some pictures in daylight, woohoo!  I may not have managed to dress in a very flattering outfit, but I was super warm even in my always-cold flat.  I got lots done actually, except for buying a replacement phone charger.  Mine has inexplicably went missing.  If you were a phone charger, where would you hide?  When I wasn't shuffling through the snow to Home Bargains for a phone charger that they turned out not to sell, the rest of the day was spent in cosy slippers.  Mine take the form of giant minions.  I pretty much refuse to wear non novelty slippers, it's just no fun.  

As you can probably tell by now, I haven't got much to say for myself today.  Or Netflix is calling my name.  Ahem.  Here's bonus picture of the slippers from when I bought them, and happy Friday!

cardigan - TK Maxx (mens)
dress - Monsoon via charity shop
slippers - Universal Studios California
boots - Pajar via TK Maxx


Thursday, 29 January 2015

A trip to Kelvingrove and some woolly bargains

This past weekend ended up being unintentionally wool themed.  On Saturday we went to the Barras, making the usual pit stop at the Bargain Wool Shop for me to buy a ball of yellow DK to replenish my stash.  No one was more surprised than Tam when I emerged quickly and with only that one ball of wool, except maybe me.  However, after wandering into a part of the market we'd never been to before, I managed to score a lot of Sirdar wool - ten 50g balls for £5.  Well, I couldn't be expected to leave that behind!  Not helping is the fact that I sorted my yarn stash last week and realised I have space for exactly zero more balls.  I think it's time for Plan B - buy more storage.  Luckily I restrained myself on all other fronts and didn't buy another thing besides lunch.

Sunday started slowly, with a rare breakfast in bed and watching Friday Night Dinner on Netflix.  We went back and forth on going outside at all, but the forecasted rain didn't appear and I had a notion to go to Kelvingrove and draw, so off we went.  And learned a valuable lesson in the process.  Kelvingrove is NOT somewhere to go on a Sunday.  The place was rammed with people, most accompanied by young children which surprised us.  I'm not sure it's somewhere I'd take little ones.  Then again, I tend to treat museums like libraries and walk around quietly, taking in the collections and keeping out the way of other people.  Apparently that's not standard museum practice these days!  We managed to get lunch and listen to the organ recital though.  It's the first time I've managed to catch the organ in use and it was lovely, like being in church, but again without the usual accompanying peace and quiet!  

We left quite soon afterwards and wandered up Byers Road to have a nosy in the charity shops, where I scored my second woolly bargain of the weekend.  A pack of Rowan wool had fallen from a window display and was wedged against the glass in one of the first shops.  Out of curiousity, I pulled it out to have a look at the price.  It was £3.  For six balls of pure wool, which normally retail at over £4 EACH.  I was not letting it go again after that!  I may have been met with a 'more wool!' comment from Tam but I could tell he was impressed with my bargain really...

After a few months of the charity shops not being up to much, I seem to be on a lucky streak again.  I fully expect it to disappear at some point but for now I'll just ride it out happily.  And maybe buy those storage drawers...


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Knitting and Reading

This weeks knitting is a vast improvement on last weeks penguin, which was thrown in the bin quite huffily about half way through when I got completely fed up with the awkward pattern.  I could have sat and fixed it myself but I didn't really want the end product that much...  My latest make is going much more smoothly though.  My friend A had requested a teapot cosy and asked 'can you put a mouse in the top, like Alice in Wonderland?  Although if you put a knitted mouse in a teapot it would get stained right?'  Ahem.  After we had a chuckle at her lack of crafty knowledge, I came across a pattern that kind of DID look like there was a mouse in the top - the Cornish Dormouse Tea Cozy pattern.  She went nuts for it and I've been given a teapot to fit it onto.  I've only done one half so far but it's looking promising!

Strangely enough, it was the same friend that loaned me this weeks read - Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.  A used to be a librarian so she's got great taste in books, although we sometimes have slightly different opinions on what is considered 'great'.  I'm loving this so far though, I think partly because I only remember bits of the film, so I'm not constantly comparing them in my head.  She also gave me Persuasion by Jane Austen but I'm not feeling the urge to read that type of book right now...  I think Yes Please by Amy Poehler will have to be next!  (and yes, it totally took me three goes to spell her last name.)

Linking to Ginny's Yarn Along


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A trip to Dunfermline Palace and Abbey

We visited Dunfermline Palace and Abbey on Photo an Hour Day but I wanted to give it its own post, like every other historical place we go.  It's been ages since we've made use of our Historic Scotland passes (I'll blame the weather.  Again.) and I made a point of not looking up the place beforehand because I wanted to wait and see if it was like I imagined.  It...was not.  I figured it would be more of a complete building, with rooms and interiors and maybe even a roof?  Nah.  Think Linlithgow, but on a much smaller scale.  It was still interesting though, and the lady working on site was very informative and even praised our ability to get out of there as a group of rowdy toddlers were going in.  What can I say, it's a gift.

The abbey was a bit more impressive.  For starters, it DID have a roof, and the most beautiful stained glass windows.  The interior was deceptively huge in comparison to how it looked from the outside.  We couldn't find a way to get up to the balcony level but I bet the view from there would have been worth seeing.  

The whole site was pretty quiet compared to the town, a sign that people maybe weren't prepared to go anywhere unnecessary on such a cold day.  This definitely worked in our favour given the size of the place, which I doubt would be pleasant on a busier day.  Imagine more than a couple of people trying to squeeze down that little stairway above!  

Our next trip looks likely to be Mar Lodge Estate, since we're going away for a few days up north and we pass the estate on the way.  Plus I want to see where Winterwatch was filmed!  Although I should probably finish watching it first...


Monday, 26 January 2015

The Big Blog Clothes Swap

You might have seen this around the blogosphere already but I wanted to give it an extra shout out - The Big Blog Clothes Swap, set up by Janet and Steph.  A clothes swap in itself is all well and good, but what if you don't live in a city, or have an average clothing size, or just plain like a bit of an unusual style?  That's where the blog clothes swap comes in.  You fill in your details from the info on Janet's blog and email it to her, where it will all be collected up and you'll be assigned a partner.  You can then consult their blog to get an idea of how they like to dress, or just send any items you already earmarked for the swap and wait to see how they style them up!

The other great thing about this swap is that you don't even need to swap clothes if you don't want to - shoes, bags and accessories are included too!  Only if you're up for that, otherwise just state your preferred garments to receive and you're good to go.  

Go sign up now, and enjoy a new outfit for the cost it takes to send a parcel!


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Blogs I Love - The Can't-Get-Enoughs

It's time for the second installment of my Blogs I Love series!  If you haven't read the first part, with all my old favourites, be sure to check it out too.  This week is all about the bloggers I've found in the past couple of years, the ones that post consistent GOOD STUFF and make me smile whenever their name pops up in my Bloglovin feed.  Once again, we're going alphabetically...

Siobhan is a knitter and photographer, among many other things, and her posts always make me want to go out and play with my camera more!  Her latest series about her newly set up studio is something to look forward to every week, not least for the excuse to nosy at her current knitting projects.

Best post of 2015 so far?  The first Studio Sunday prompted me to sort out all my knitting supplies this week - they're nowhere near as tidy as this but I can dream!

Kate's blog is a dreamy, dusky look at life on a farm down under.  There's plenty to love here - crochet, crafts and a vast array of nature pictures.  Now is the perfect time to become a fan of Foxs Lane because Kate is posting every day in January and it's a daily treat to look at these lovely, summery pictures when it's freezing here!

Best post of 2015 so far?  A tricky one given the amount of choice, but I'll go with Eighteenth, which features a collection of hand made spoons...

A blog with the most perfect knitted and crocheted projects, and the most awesome design I've ever seen - check out that header!  Sara has a real talent for her craft and it shines through with every post.

Best post of 2015 so far?  Tinsel Hedgehogs - I went nuts for these at the time and they're still making me smile.  So much cuteness!

I tend to think of Annie's blog as pretty similar to mine - a mixture of life and crafts and general wanderings, albeit at the other end of the country!  She just seems a bit more organised than me, especially when it comes to creating cool makes...

Best post of 2015 so far?  Made: Needlepoint Stegosaurus <<<  exactly what it sounds like, but in the brightest, best selection of colours.

Another blog from down under (which means more pictures of beautiful warm sunshine, grr!), Jules has the most colourful crochet projects I've ever seen.  Her pictures make the world a bit brighter, and there's always something I want to add to my crochet list.

Best post of 2015 so far?  Last Week... has rainbow crochet and rainbow birds!

I first came across Lori's blog when she was about to embark on a knitting holiday to Shetland, and I was instantly hooked.  The photography is so wonderful that even my love of nosing at other people's knitting takes a back seat for a change.  Not that there isn't plenty of that too...

Best post of 2015 so far?  There's only one, but it's typically lovely - Favourite Things

Christina's blog is a great peek into her life - her weekly posts are filled with pictures of food and adventures and cats.  Brighton is somewhere I really want to visit and reading Christina's blog is not helping my desire to get there soon!

Best post of 2015 so far?  Photos of the Week #1 featuring a cat in a sleeping bag...

I discovered Jenny's blog last year and fell right in love with it.  She makes the cutest crochet creations and knits, and there's some great free patterns on there too.  It's just my style of crafty.

Best post of 2015 so far?  It was a hard choice but... free pattern for a knitted owl hat!  

Bryony's life on the Isle of Wight makes for another covetable read.  There's many gorgeous outdoor pictures and lovely writing about simple living.  This year she's following an alphabet list of ways to make life better and it's pretty inspired.

Best post of 2015 so far? Alphabet 15 - the aforementioned list!

Suzy has the best writing style and the most amazing artwork.  I love her stories about life with her husband and baby son and the way she just gets on with life and manages to make it sound hilarious in the process.  Also, Canada in the winter?  You have my deepest respect for surviving that, Suzy.

Best post of 2015 so far?  The comments section of an Imogen Heap video - a look at the things people write under videos on'll be smothering giggles the whole way through.


Friday, 23 January 2015

Snow Day

^^^Take one dog and a whole bunch of snow and what do you get?  A super happy dog.

We went a walk in Callander on Sunday with Tam's family, on what turned out to be a lovely day.  Cold, but gorgeously bright.  I was all up for this plan solely on the basis that I got to visit the best bakery ever, Mhor Bread.  Screw eating healthily, I can do that next week.  Or maybe next year.  Two cakes, one walnut loaf and a packet of shortbread later (um, purchased that is, I'm not that quick at eating it!), we set off for a path through the fields outside the town, where Parsnip had a great time catching snowballs and making friends with other dogs.  He was a bit surprised when he actually caught some snow and it turned out to be cold and crumbly, but it didn't put him off.

It continues to be frosty and icy and headache inducingly cold here in Glasgow.  Yes, I can hear you Canadians scoffing from here, but we're not used to such inconveniences!  I've been wearing my snow boots and chunky jumpers to work every day since our heating system takes as long as I do to get going in the morning.  I've mostly been housebound otherwise, although I did manage to drag myself to the supermarket on Tuesday and the gym Wednesday (first time this year, woohoo!).  Here's hoping the weekend turns mild and frost free...  Well, I can dream can't I?


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Knitting and Reading

I've admired Ginny's Yarn Along idea for a while now.  A few bloggers I follow have been joining in and, considering it's a post about two of my favourite things, I wanted in on the action.  Above we have one of my current knitting projects, the Save the Children penguin (pdf) which I'm making in 4ply wool.  I hesitate to link to it because I've had to change almost every line of the pattern on the body section, so if anyone wants to make it send me an email and I'll give you my revised version.

I'm just about to start this book after failing to get into my last read, Mark Kermode's 'It's only a movie'.  I loved his book about multiplexes (not least because it started 'Once upon a time, the projectionist was the most important person in the cinema.'  It sure felt like it when I was running the show!) but I just couldn't focus on this one.  Maybe I'll come back to it.  The blurb of 'The view on the way down' started out by telling us that 'this novel will open your eyes and break your heart' and that's enough reason for me to pick up a book!  Also present is my favourite bookmark.  Tam and I share a love of puffins and he found this on our holiday last summer.  It always makes me smile.


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A Photo an Hour (more or less)

On Saturday I took part in the Photo an Hour challenge that was sweeping Twitter (and I think Instagram?  I'm still resisting signing up, although I said that about Twitter and then look what happened...)  Louisa kindly reminded us about it the night before, which was a great jump start for my selective memory.  Finally, I got to join in!  We ended up having a pretty busy day, as you're about to see...

08:15 - I woke up relatively early and jumped up to get my camera and take my first picture!  The room was pretty dark though, and there's no chance Tam would appreciate the curtains being opened, but he kindly pulled one back so I could snap the cacti on the window sill.  At this point it became apparent how dodgy my camera is, and proceeded to be throughout the day.  The ISO setting quite often refuses to work, so I'm going back to the manual and giving it a thorough read this time.

09:11 - I dozed a bit, kept company by one of the minions and the human hot water bottle that is Tam.

09:54 - Tam sleeps on but I'm awake and checking my emails.  This turned into a slight mistake after I realised Deramores had restocked their sale wool, so a few many balls of chunky & DK fell into my shopping basket.  Oops...  (On the bright side, 23 balls of wool for less than thirty pounds is not to be sniffed at.)

11:52 - Look, I'm upright!  And dressed!  We decided to go a run up to Dunfermline since the football had been postponed, and at this time of year I'm not one to underestimate how cold it would likely be, so I started with thermal tights, socks and long sleeved top, and built onto it with leggings (Long Tall Sally of course), a Mango tunic (charity shop, naturally), a hoodie, thermal snow boots and the cosiest outerwear I own (including my favourite hat!).  It...sort of worked.  As Tam says, 'there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad preparation'.  Except I was still freezing.

12:16 - We're on our way and crossing the Forth bridge.  Tam mentions our plan to walk over it one day, I gaze out the window doubtfully...

13:28 - We arrived at Dunfermline and headed for the palace, which was closed for lunch...  Charity shops were the excellent back up plan though!  For a change, I didn't find anything, but I did get some good architecture pictures.  An old cinema, what else.  Dunfermline reminded me a bit of Dundee, a mixture of run down and pretty.

14:11 - Lunch at Dumfermline's oldest building, Abbot House, followed by a wander around.  Lunch was pretty meh but the building was lovely, if a bit too...redecorated for my taste.  (It's sort of hard to explain what I mean, but I could tell lots of refurbishments and decorating had been done to make it look like what it would have originally, it just wasn't executed especially well.)  This staircase was a highlight though.

14:58 - Time to get a walk around the palace and abbey.  I'm sure I'll have a more comprehensive post up about them soon since, surprise surprise, I took a great deal of pictures there.  The abbey nave was stunning inside and out, such a vast space.  The pillars even dwarfed Tam!

16:01 - After a good wander about, we came home to warm our cold bodies.  I've spent a lot of time hibernating over the past couple of months that I was rather weary after all the walking!  In a good way though.  I've missed our weekend wanderings.  They've been put to the side thanks to the horrible weather, but even though the cold wasn't totally pleasant, it was a darn sight better than rain/hail/gales.  (Oh, this is Tam's bookshelf.  Bonus points to whoever spots the skeleton!)

17:37 - Having some sofa time.  I demolished almost a whole packet of Kettle Chips with my cup of tea while Tam behaved with an apple.  Tam's mum is watching Downton for the first time and she's almost caught up, so we watched that for a while.  Parsnip came to hang out, and I decided to see if he was up for another selfie.  He was not. 

18:05 - It was around this time that I realised if our Saturday night sang to the same tune as usual (trashy TV, knitting, tea and biscuit - all conducted from the sofa) then this challenge would get pretty boring pretty quickly.  So I snapped a picture of Tam's brother's Christmas pressie - a globe shaped bar.  He still hasn't taken it home and I must admit I have my eye on it...

19:08 - The last refuge of the desperate - a food picture.  Tam made our dinner of lentil curry, and I ate about half before deciding I wasn't fussed on eating a whole bowl.  This happens a lot, my tastes change shockingly quickly.  It's still better than me cooking anything though...

After dinner, the evening went exactly as usual.  Take Me Out is back, yay!  We got into this show last year and I love how completely dreadful it is, in a sort of entertaining way, so on it went.  We didn't go as far as to watch the follow up show (this week anyway *cough*), but we did start watching Bridget Jones Diary before I realised how bad in a not entertaining way it is.  That's when Downton Abbey went back on...

Did anyone else do the photo challenge on Saturday?

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