23 September 2017

Scaramanga

I recently popped along to Cupar to have a look at a place called Scaramanga, which I'd found out about when googling local places that sell vintage and antique items, and it's actually quite topical at the moment because a lot of their items have been used in the film Victoria and Abdul which is out at the moment.
Scaramanga is in a unit on an industrial estate, and at first I ended up going into the wrong industrial estate as there are two right next to each other! But it didn't take me long to get to the right place.
On going into Scaramanga, there is an area with all sorts of little items, and I was particularly interested in the wooden stamps. There were some in floral and heart designs, and some letter stamps. I decided to get a set of five small stamps for £6, which came with a little handmade bag (you could choose which stamps and bag you wanted). I also got a heart shaped one, and a keyring with a satchel-shaped purse on it. They do leather bags as well.
While I was browsing, I was asked if I wanted to have a look through in the warehouse. This is stacked high with all sorts of things - wooden trunks and cabinets, mirrors, wooden printers' trays, signs, etc. The owner goes across to India each year and sources everything there. Through this side things didn't all seem to have prices on them, but I later discovered that you can find all the prices on their website. There is some stuff that is way too expensive for my budget, but there are smaller things that are more affordable.




20 September 2017

Living room makeover complete

I promised some photos of my living room once I had added the finishing touches, and I've now finally got round to taking some photos of it in its finished state! 
I had ordered a single sofa-bed-chair to replace the futon that I had before. I realised that if I had visitors they could sleep in the double bed upstairs and I could use the sofa bed! This was ordered from Made.com, and I liked the style of it which fitted well with the mid-century look of some of my other furniture. There was a bit of a problem with the delivery, since I'd paid extra for a Sunday delivery, but when the delivery company got in touch they said they do not do that in my area (which is not exactly remote!). I was a bit annoyed about this, and almost cancelled the order altogether because of it, but my dad house-sat so it all worked out OK!
I've also added the book frames on the wall, and changed the throws around a bit - the grey throw is almost exactly the same shade as the chair, and it disguises the black back of it.

I'm really loving having this chair, rather than the futon which made a fantastic bed but was not at a good height for sitting on. The chair now tends to be my seat of choice whenever I arrive home.


17 September 2017

Butterflies at the botanic garden

I recently wanted to look at a shop in Cupar, and, since I was going there, thought I may as well go to St Andrews as well. When I arrived in St Andrews I saw a sign for the Butterfly Experience exhibit at the botanic garden, so, after a look round the shops, I went there for a look.

Since this was an unplanned visit, I hadn't even brought my good camera with me, but luckily I was able to get some great photos with my phone.
When I walked into the butterfly house I think I stood in one spot for about five minutes without moving! There was so much to see even from that one position!
video
The blue morphos were the biggest and brightest butterflies there, but they were so difficult to take photos of, because they were always on the go, and, when they did rarely stop, their wings would close hiding the beautiful iridescent blue.

Visiting the butterflies is one of the best spontaneous decisions I've ever made, and I'm going to see if I can fit in another visit with my good camera before the exhibit finishes at the end of the month.

15 September 2017

Embroidered hankie


I haven't done any embroidery for many years, so it was a fun little challenge to try making an embroidered hankie for my sister-in-law to give to her friend for her wedding. I've blurred the writing to protect her personal details.
I was given the married name and date to embroider, and it was to be done in blue, but other than that I could come up with my own ideas. I added flowers in blue, with yellow centres, and some green leaves and blue berries.
I drew the writing on before I embroidered it, but I did the flowers completely by eye.

And here is is alongside one of my earliest pieces of embroidery, that I did when I was young, a lavender bag.


12 September 2017

Falkland Hill


I'd seen some lovely photos of heather this Autumn, so, one day after work I headed up East Lomond, better known locally as Falkland Hill, to have a look for myself.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and the hill has amazing views over Glenrothes where I live. It also happens to be within the largest remaining area of heather moorland in Fife, so it was the perfect place to have a look at this Autumn's spectacular heather bloom.










10 September 2017

Crafting with my nephew

My brother and sister-in-law and my two nephews visited recently, and one day I was asked if I could bring some craft materials along to my mum and dad's house so that my older nephew could make some cards for the staff at his nursery (since he was leaving to start school). I filled a box with some coloured card, card blanks, glue, punches, stamps and ink pads, and took them along with me.
It was great fun crafting with my nephew. He loved using the stamps and ink pads, and sticking on the punched shapes. I actually think he has a really good eye for placing things in a pleasing and balanced way! And he came up with the idea all by himself of using two inks at the same time on the stamp.
I think if I was to do this again I'd put some newspaper over the table to help with cleaning up, and I'd only bring one stamp pad as the colours can get a bit mixed.

He also enjoyed some spiral and zigzag shapes I cut from the card, which became a family of snakes and a crocodile's mouth!
 

08 September 2017

Book frames

One of the final parts of my living room makeover was making these book frames. I had an area of wall that used to be hidden behind a Japanese screen, and it really felt like it needed something. Then I saw a picture by someone I'd just started following on Instagram, of books in frames, and this was the perfect solution for this space. She's @tulipbooks, and you just have to check out her photos of her bookish wedding!
One of the things I've tried to do when decorating my craft room, bedroom, and living room, is to have display areas that I can easily change around. I have so many lovely things that all deserve to be made the focus of attention some of the time.
Luckily I had some square Ikea Ribba frames in my cupboard that were no longer being used. I was pleased that the glass was easy to remove from these, because I had visions of attacking them with a hammer!

After removing the glass, I gave the backing boards a few coats of white paint to match the wall. When hanging the frames I added some sticky pads to the backs of them to make sure the frames didn't move about. The frames can hold small books that are not too thick.

I had just bought a French book about mushrooms, so it was the first that I placed in one of the frames. Then I added a couple of other books on a natural history theme. Because there is no glass in the front, it takes moments to change the display of books!

And I feel that these frames continue a theme of white squares that can be seen all around the room, with the square shelving, the dining table, and a little white tray I have on a side table.


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