Thursday, October 30, 2014

fabric shopping



I've just been buying some fabric for Christmas crafting.  These are destined to become a giraffe and a teeny tiny mouse dress for two of the special little people in my life.  By that I mean children, just to be clear!  I did try to get these from my local craft shop and had fun perusing all their fabric (and looking at the staff's amazing handmade Halloween costumes!) but they didn't have quite what I was looking for, so I resorted to eBay for these.  

I have so many things to make for Christmas.  I really need to get started soon, but there's plenty to be made for Halloween and Dulcie's birthday first.  Talking of which, I should go and dig out my sewing machine...

Chri-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-istmas!  Sorry, couldn't resist adding that :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

reading challenge

My sister has persuaded me to take part in the latest Semi-Charmed Book Challenge.  I wasn't sure at first because I don't like being involved in anything that prescribes/restricts my reading choices (I ain't joining no book group!) but then I started thinking about what I might choose for the categories and realised I could read pretty much anything I wanted and that taking part might encourage me to read a wider variety of books and get through some titles that have been languishing patiently on my shelves for years.  In that spirit, I decided to scour my existing book collection for possible candidates first.  I was surprised to find so many suitable books there, many of them that I'm really excited to finally get round to reading.  And I was pleased to have the excuse to treat myself to a couple of new (new-to-me) titles :)

Here's what I plan to read for each category, with links to their Godreads entries.

5 points: Freebie!
(I'm going to save this category in case I stumble across something I really can't wait to read.)

10 points: Read a book written by an author who has published at least 10 books.  

10 points: Read a book of short stories. 

10 points: Read a book with a food in the title. 

15 points: Read the first book in a series that is new to you. 

15 points: Read a book that was originally written in a language that is not your native language.  

15 points: Read a book written by a local author. 

20 points: Read a "bookish book."  

20 points: Read a book with a direction in the title.  

25 points: Read a book from a genre you don't usually read.  

25 points: Read a book with a song lyric in the title.  
FREEDOM (Jonathan Franzen - 576 pages) (i.e. Freedom by George Michael)

30 points: Read two books with a different meal in each title. 

The challenge starts on November 1st, so you've still got time to sign up if you fancy taking part yourself.  I wish I hadn't just started another book - I'm going to be playing catch-up from the get-go!

time-travelling tuesday (part 24)

27 of J [picture of a pig]
I am Laura Donald. I wrote a song.
[The first two a's in this have been made to look like pigs too.  I think the song was Chugga Chugga Choo Choo.  The first verse went like this...

I like going to the beach by train
Dad says it's better to go by plane
Chugga chugga choo choo
Chugga chugga choo choo
Chugga chugga choo choo
Choo choo!]

28th June 1988
Netball Tournoment.

29th June 1988
Today it was the day of the concert.  Garry N was coughing to death.  And in the big ones concert he had to go off in the middle of it because he started coughing again and he was crying.  Today it was the swimming gala.  Kennemont won the cup.

30th June 1988
Brownies. At brownies we were playing games.

1st July 1988
Last day of school.

2nd July 1988
Went on treasure hunt.

3rd July 1988
Prize giving at Sunday school.

Friday, October 24, 2014

reading modern classics

These are the last two books I read and they were so good!  I'd meant to read them both for years, being the kind of books you feel you probably should have read.  The Go-Between was exactly what I'd imagined it would be - dark, gripping, slow-burning and fantastic - and Cold Comfort Farm was exactly the opposite of what I'd imagined and all the better for it - an absolute romp and really smart and funny and modern.

I don't know that I've got much else to say on the subject, I just get excited when I hit upon a good reading vein.  I'm thinking Lucky Jim next?  Kingsley Amis is another void in my reading history.

So far my attempt to read more in 2014 has been going well.  I still wish I could squeeze a few more books in, but it's already my most well-read year since becoming a mother and it's only October.

And what am I doing blogging at 5am?  I spent yesterday having a horrible time in hospital (a very simple procedure made much more complicated than it should have been because of my pesky heart) and went to bed super early to recover from the ordeal (I am now recovered...physically, at least! ha!) which meant I couldn't get back to sleep after Dulcie woke me up at 3.30am.  Oh well, it was a good opportunity to finish reading Cold Comfort Farm with a cup of tea and a blanket :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

what's in our drawers?

 The most exciting feature in our new bedroom is a work-in-progress.  Graham found these drawers lying in a lane near his work and managed to persuade one of the delivery drivers to pick them up in the van then persuaded one of his customers to deliver them to our house.  He sanded them down and oiled them up and got glass cut to replace the missing fronts.  I loved the drawers but wasn't sure they'd look that great once all our pants and socks were visible inside, so Graham recycled an unused wardrobe backing and cut it up to make these little dividers to hide the drawers' contents.  What a guy, huh?!  I've been lining the drawers with lovely green wallpaper that we got in the sale section of John Lewis and covering the dividers with insanely glittery gold wrapping paper from Paperchase.  I've just got five glittery bits still to attach - slowly, slowly catchy monkey.  We've both been collecting small items to put in the drawer fronts for decoration.
 This photo is a bit rubbish, but it gives you an idea of the drawers in their entirety.  Excuse the surrounding mess too.  I'm not sure all the items in the drawer fronts so far will be staying, I've just been trying a few things out, mostly stuff that's been in the house for years just looking for the perfect home.  I think this will be my favourite piece of furniture once it's finished, it's going to be smashing and fun to look at and use.  What more could you ask for from storage for your pants and socks?!
Not wanting to be left out of the family project, Dulcie has been creating her own displays in the drawers too.  She was very proud when she presented these dirty socks and sellotape to us :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

harvest "festival"

 You might remember I blogged about our vegetable "garden" a while back.  Well, we've harvested!
 And this is our harvest.  Our ENTIRE harvest.  Behold, the most expensive four carrots (I'm not sure why one came out yellow) known to man!
 And here they are next to my freakishly small hand for scale.  Hmmm.
I think Dulcie's look here says it all!

Actually, she was pretty impressed, as was I.  We motherfreakin' grew these from seeds!  Wow!  But I suppose the garden overall couldn't be called a great success.  We hardly spent any time out there either, I guess it just didn't fit in with our busy lives really.  And (now, this is so typical of me/us) we ended up not managing to eat the carrots before they went rubbery and ended up in the bin.  Boo hiss!  Honestly, you wouldn't think it would be that hard to find time to pull up and nibble some carrots, but that is how we roll.  Still, I think Dulcie certainly got SOMETHING from the experience.  

What remains of our garden now looks a real mess.  I need to find the time to pack it all up.  I'm not sure whether we'll repeat the experiment next year or call an end to our gardening foray.  I'm loathe to admit defeat, but I'm not sure the experiences of this year have really got me in the gardening zone.  We'll see how we feel in 2015.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

time-travelling tuesday (part 23)

Stoats and shrews, it was a week of nature spotting for me.  I think this was the only time I've ever seen a stoat and it was standing up just like the one in this picture.  Shrews, however, were ten a penny, but I was still always pleased to see them and their ridiculous noses.  There were definite upsides to growing up in the country.  Dulcie's version of nature consists of pigeons, magpies, lowly grey squirrels and maybe the odd fox or rat if she's lucky.  Mind you, what Glasgow lacks in wildlife, it makes up for with cinemas, swimming pools, parks, libraries, soft play...  Plus my parents' new garden is a haven of frogs and hedgehogs.  Yeah, she'll be fine :)

20th May June 1988
Went to Finlays house.  I saw a shrew running into its hole.  I've decided to start a band.

21st May June 1988
Today it was Gartly sports.

22nd May June 1988
Played with Callum and James.

23rd June 1988
Ballet exams today.  The policeman came to stamp the bikes.

24th JUNE 1988
Today I was sick.  It is very very very very very very very very very very very hot.

25TH JUNE 1988

26th June 1988
I saw a stote.