Scotland at the weekend.

September 15, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  16 Comments

Saturday was a beautiful, warm and sunny day with us so we decided to take a drive.
We stopped first in Stirling where I took some photos of a dahlia garden that I had seen a couple of weeks ago………

We had morning coffee in Stirling…………

….but not at the castle.

We then moved onto Callander…………

…..which is a popular place with tourists. It was busy on Saturday with it being a warm day and holiday weekend.

We then drove out of Callander past Loch Lubnaig and onto Lochearnhead where we stopped and had a walk………………

This little wagtail followed us around for a while. We left there and moved onto Killin where we stopped at the Falls of Dochart………..

It was a lovely day that reminded me of how easy it is to find beautiful countryside without going too far from home.

I’m currently on annual leave for a couple of days and after I see the physio again this afternoon I’m tackling a major reorganisation of all my crafting bits and pieces before I have a new unit delivered tomorrow. The bunny in my last post now has his head – although if Rosa had anything to do with it he would lose it again very quickly……

I had to quickly rescue “Wilbur” before she ran off with him.

I’ll leave you with a photo of both Poppy and Rosa relaxing last week. Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a comment.

PS It’s a momentous week for Scotland which culminates on Thursday with the historic independence vote. I don’t want to use my blog to state any political views but I feel that I have to say that I am proud to be British.

This and That………..Here and There.

August 30, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  11 Comments

Once again time has flown by in the last month or so. June at Butterfly Wings was just mentioning that this year has been so quick and I agree with her whole heartedly.

I’ve not done a single stitch since my last blog entry and have not knitted or crocheted much either. This is due to a combination of time constraints and to neck and shoulder issues once more.
I’m currently seeing a physiotherapist once a week to see if we can settle things down a little so that I can do a little more crafting.

Last week I was on annual leave and we took a little time to get out and about when the weather was dry.
One of the things I wanted to do was visit the Kelpies which is a recent visitor attraction very close to where I live. We’ve passed it frequently on the motorway when we drive to Stirling but hadn’t taken time to stop and walk round.

I’ve still been trying to knit some little bunnies and I’ve also made a start on a scarf using a lovely new yarn made of fine merino wool, cashmere and royal alpaca. It should be very soft to wear. I’m using black all the way through and doing blocks of colour starting with the red.

Which pattern will I choose next?

The small amount of crochet I have done is this very simple lap blanket. It’s very relaxing to sit for a short time and do part of a row. I do enjoy a little crochet but knitting is most definitely my comfort zone.

It’s a lovely day here with us and I popped out to my front garden to take this photo………..

…………….and to the back to take this photo……………

Back to back and no nonsense.

We drove to Perth one day recently and I snapped these shots from the car.

It’s a lovely city to visit. We’re very lucky in that we live within easy drive of four cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Perth. Edinburgh is the closest and also my favourite.

I’ll leave you today with a couple of photos that I’ve just taken of Poppy …. she often joins me when I’m here at my desk.

I hope all is well in your part of the world, thanks for stopping by. Take care.

Meet Mabel.

July 14, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  15 Comments

Well the summer is well under way and we’ve had some really nice weather here in Scotland. It’s raining today but I’m not complaining as it was dry all morning when I was in Edinburgh………

St Andrew’s Square

Just recently, trams started to run in the centre of Edinburgh – it was a long process from the outset with lots of political arguing back and forth and the budget rising all the while.

I’ve not ridden on them and don’t really see myself doing so as we tend to take the car into the city or I can easily take the train as well. We have a station close by which runs directly into the city centre.

I think they will be very popular with visitors and as it will soon be the international festival I’m sure it will make getting around the city easier.

I’ve been posted missing for a variety of reasons since my last blog entry. It’s been a mix of looking after my mum and her increasing needs, I was unwell and had to go into hospital for a repeat procedure under anaesthetic and we’ve been off on holiday in Wales.

I like the blues in the photo above and the greens in the photo below………

Wales is a lovely country to visit, it’s quite a contrast going from the traditional seaside to the rugged mountains and lakes.

On this visit we made time to stop at a church we always pass – it’s called Bodelwyddan Marble church and it has a great gothic spire.

The stained glass work is amazing…………………………..

I took quite a lot of photos of the windows and they came out surprisingly well.

I eventually finished Mabel, Fred’s sister:-)

Here’s the two of them together………

I’ve done the tiniest amount of stitching – I still want to buy new stash and yet I can’t seem to settle myself to sit down and stitch.

I’m currently knitting another rabbit and I’ve also started a new doll pattern that was just released by Susan over at Mary Jane’s Tearoom.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time improving my crochet skills (if you could call them that) – although I’m still a beginner, I feel as though I’m getting more acquainted with the basics.

I’ll leave you today with a reflective photo of Poppy. She and Rosa are still causing chaos and Brandy stands by quietly watching – I think he secretly enjoys their antics.

Thanks for stopping by to visit, take care wherever you are.

One of these days…………………

May 14, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  13 Comments

At last our garden is full of colour, April was such a disappointing month with nothing blossoming at all. Suddenly our garden is a riot of colour.

My title today reflects the fact that I still haven’t managed to do a single stitch. I’ve knitted a couple of things and read up on some techniques for beading.
I’d like to get back to doing a little jewellery making again – I saw a beautiful necklace last weekend and it gave me a notion of getting back to trying out some ideas.

I knitted this acorn pincushion and think it came out reasonably well for a first attempt. I didn’t knit it in the round as stated in the pattern and I knitted the cap separately so I had some sewing up to do.

I also knitted this little fellow……………..


Fred is Mabel’s brother………………….who is Mabel you ask. Well, perhaps she might put in an appearance in my next post:-)

A few weeks ago I received a lovely gift in the post – all the way from Canada. Melissa from Words and Blooms sent me this beautiful pin pillow after I had admired it on her blog.

It is beautifully finished with lovely fabric and trim.

I’ll sign off today with a photo of Rosa who has lots of nicknames and one of them is Rabbity Legs as her back legs are very gangly and long and often stick out when she is sitting down. One of her other nicknames is Pigtail as her tail sometimes curls round like the tail of a pig.

Thanks for stopping by today and thanks too for the lovely comments left last time. Take care wherever you are.

May Day

May 1, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  13 Comments

Is it really the beginning of May? I had hoped to post once in April but my time has been largely taken up with caring for my mum. I’ve not been spending as much time sitting in front of the computer as normal – perhaps this isn’t a bad thing!

I am reluctant to admit that, in the whole of April, I didn’t pick up a needle and thread. Instead, I’ve been knitting a few bits and pieces. It’s the usual story of trial and error – if I just stuck to what works for me then I wouldn’t waste so much time but I’m always trying new ideas. This pair are the first that I’ve knitted in a long time that don’t have a home to go to – I generally sell them for charity or give them as gifts.


Sweet Pea

“Gal Pals”

Even though we had a mild winter, Spring blossom was very late in appearing in our garden. The cherry eventually blossomed, alongside two of our magnolias…………….

……………….another two didn’t flower at all, I think they need more time to become established as we only planted them last year……………..

The garden has been busy with birds lately and this little fellow spent a few days enjoying a treat……….

……..we also had a live one of these visiting a couple of nights ago. (I think this one would make a good pincushion).

Quite a while ago Melissa asked me about the cat run that my husband built for Poppy and Rosa. I’ve been meaning to post a photo of it and took time this week to take a few.

They really enjoy going out in it when it’s warm enough and especially when the sun is shining – yes we do occasionally see the sun:-)

Thanks for stopping by today and for your recent comments, I do enjoy reading them. Take care.

Crocus Time

March 31, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  15 Comments

I was determined to fit in a post before March reached an end – this month has been a bit of a blur for me as I’ve spent most of it going backwards and forwards to hospital to visit my mum.
She fell at the start of the month and has been in hospital for four weeks. She’s getting home today so things should hopefully get back to being a bit more normal.

Stitching progress has been virtually non existent………….

…….and knitting progress, not much better…………….

I’m sorry I’ve not been visiting or commenting on blogs either and I must say I’ve missed it.
I mentioned in my last post about a sampler I had ordered from Australia. I tried to take a photo of the chart cover but it’s not a good image so I took a close up of part of it instead.
I’m not planning on stitching the whole thing, just parts of it.

I’ll keep this short today as I have to rush off to collect my mum from hospital. I’ll leave you with a few photos of Poppy as well as a ladybird which I had great difficulty in photographing.

…….after so much naughtiness, I need to relax…….

Thanks for stopping by and take care wherever you are.

Garden visitor.

February 24, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  20 Comments

I love dramatic flowers with deep rich colours and these ticked the box for me.

I’m still enjoying my new camera lens but haven’t taken the time to read either of the books I bought to help.

I’ve been knitting and stitching steadily of late and must say I’m enjoying it. I’m coping with the stitching as long as I don’t overdo things. Lets just say, I’m trying to be sensible so that my shoulder doesn’t get too irritated again.

This Lizzie Kate piece is a fun design to work on and I’ve made a little progress on it. I’ve been tempted by a couple of the new market releases, I’ll post pics of them when they arrive from America along with another sampler design that I ordered from Australia.

I finished putting this pair together at the weekend. I always put off doing the head and face to last as it’s so fiddly. It’s not easy to get the expressions just right and I can end up having several attempts before I’m happy.

The mouse didn’t quite end up the way it should have. I started the chosen pattern and wasn’t happy at all so made some changes to the shaping and finishing.

The title of today’s post was in reference to this little one who has been visiting today. I’m not really a fan of the grey squirrel but they do have a little of the cute factor and this one decided to pose happily for his/her photo shoot.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope all is well in your part of the world. Take care.

PS All my photos are clickable and if you want to follow my blog all you need to do is click the link (little dot with two lines radiating from it) at the top right hand side of the main page.

Saturday and shopping.

February 1, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  17 Comments

Saturday for me is a day for fun shopping. Not grocery or everyday items but fun things like books and crafts and sometimes clothes. I’ve always gone shopping on a Saturday morning, for me it’s almost a ritual and this morning was no different.
We headed into Edinburgh where I had fun spending time in my favourite wool shop McArees. I’m fortunate to be able to shop in either their Edinburgh or their Stirling store where they have a lovely selection of wools and books.

This is where I bought the wool for Hamish, I finished putting him together last night.


This morning I bought the wool to knit this cute mouse……………..

I’m going to knit him as a gift for a little one in our family. I love finding a pattern, choosing the wool and anticipating sitting down to begin.
The pattern is in a book that is written in German but fortunately the patterns are mostly in chart form. If you knit at all you’ll know how useful Ravelry is for finding almost anything you want to know in the knitting and crochet world. This is where I found this mouse featured on another knitter’s finished items.

I’ve managed to make a small start on the Lizzie Kate piece Living With Charm and also I’ve restarted The Flock by Sam Sarah. I have changed my fabric choice to cream but I’m going to keep to my original thread choices.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Poppy trying to stay awake this afternoon.

Thanks for popping in today, I hope the weather in your part of the world is being kind. I know that some places have had a tough time with extremes of weather this winter.

Teddy Bear Love

January 11, 2014  |  Featured Posts  |  14 Comments

Happy 2014 to everyone, this year has got off to a stormy start here in the UK and I feel so sorry for the thousands of people who are struggling with flooding.
It’s good to be starting afresh in a new year,though, and I feel the same way about crafting – it’s a new year and some new starts.

I’m still knitting little animals and finished “Minerva” last week. She’s looks fine but didn’t come out quite the way I had hoped. Knitting toys is a hit or a miss for me at times.

I’ve picked out two projects that I want to start in cross stitch.
The first one is number one of the Little Sheep Virtues – I know I’m a year late in starting but I just took a notion.
The next piece is one that I’ve had sitting for a long, long time and I’m considering stitching it as part of a wedding gift.

It’s the LK “Living with Charm” series but I call it “Words To Live By”.
It’s always appealed to me and now seems the time to have a go. Although it’s quite long, there’s not really a lot of stitching involved in each part (that’s my theory anyway).

I was lucky enough to win a book about Elizabethan Embroidery on the Scarlet Letter Challenge site. I’ve always loved the bold colours and designs used by the Elizabethans so was delighted to win this book.

I’ve always loved teddy bears (doesn’t everyone) but I can’t seem to find a knitting pattern for a teddy bear that appeals to me so I’ve decided to have a go at sewing one instead.
I’m not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination but I picked a beginners kit designed by a UK bear artist. It looks fairly straightforward but there’s no guarantees when it comes to sewing and me!

I’m off to choose some fabric for both of my new starts. I have the threads already but choosing fabric is always hard for me and I often end up starting a project several times before I’m happy.
I’ll leave you with a couple of photos of a blackbird that came to visit this week.

Thanks for stopping by today, take care.

Great Tapestry of Scotland.

December 17, 2013  |  Featured Posts  |  15 Comments

I’ve recently bought a new macro lens for my camera and I’m trying to get to grips with it with varying degrees of success.

It seems to be a hit or a miss at the moment, I need time to sit and do some reading on the subject but that never seems to happen these days.
Am I alone in thinking that Christmas is racing towards us at high speed?

I’ve not stitched at all these last few weeks but mainly because of time constraints caused by having too much to do.
I have done some knitting as it’s so easy to pick up and put down. I finished Fred the Fox but wouldn’t knit another one using the same pattern.

Our weather has been very mixed of late, we’ve had a lot of stormy weather with extremely high winds. They’re due to return this week again – at least it’s not snow. We have quite a mix of birds visiting our garden at the moment and I spotted this lovely pair of collared doves at the weekend. They always come to visit together.

In case you’re wondering about my title choice for today. You may have read about The Great Tapestry of Scotland which was initiated by the author Alexander McCall Smith. It’s now complete and is one of the largest tapestries in the world. It hung in the Scottish Parliament to begin with and is now touring various venues – I think the intention is for it to travel abroad to various other countries.

I’ve not seen the tapestry itself but when I was shopping in Stirling on Saturday I noticed two books on the subject. The one above shows all the panels which were stitched by ladies all over Scotland. It also details the history behind each panel so it’s, in part, a history book too. The other one I bought gives the background to the tapestry.

I was recently lucky enough to win this book………..

………….it was offered in a giveaway on Nicola’s Scarlet Letter blog. I enjoy anything related to Bargello so I was delighted to be a winner.

I’ll leave you today with Poppy and Rosa “squirrel watching” this afternoon.

Thanks for popping in to visit, take care.