24 July 2017

Test tubes card

Continuing the chemistry theme from Dad's birthday card, here's the one I made him for Fathers' Day, with three test tubes full of bubbling liquids! I used the same technique as on the gin card I made for Mum's birthday - outlining the glass vessels in grey card seems to work quite well! I used a retro colour scheme inspired by this chemistry notebook I have.

21 July 2017

Decorated notebooks

I had started a couple of new Moleskine Cahiers to take notes on a couple of subjects, and I always like to decorate them with coloured pencils so that I can tell them apart.

I had started a re-read of the Chalet School books a few months ago, because my collection is almost complete, so I started a notebook to help me remember which book comes next (there are about 60 in the series), and to keep track of the characters and major events. I based my drawing on the original cover of the book Jo Returns to the Chalet School, which shows the school, lake, and mountains. Unfortunately my hardback copy is missing the front of its dustcover, so I had to turn to the internet for reference!
The other notebook is for everything to do with my current medical issues - I've just been diagnosed with fibroids and will be having a hysterectomy later in the year. This will be my first time in hospital, and it's a major operation, so I've got lots of lists to make of what I need to take with me, and my exercise and eating plans to get me back to full health! The cover of this notebook features a character I doodled on a post-it note one day, Phyllis the Fiendish Fibroid!
If you'd like some more ideas for decorating your Moleskine covers (or any other notebooks), I have some here.

18 July 2017

Glenrothes Comic Con

Last month I went to my first ever comic con! I didn't really know what to expect, but it was just down at the town centre and it only cost £1, so I had nothing to lose by going along and finding out what it was all about!
Although I like comics, I would never describe them as one of my greatest obsessions, which is why I'd never gone to a comic con before. But it turns out that there is so much more on offer than just comics - sci-fi, zines, books, pins, independent artists, people in interesting outfits, and tasty snacks - all of which are things that I'm a bit more obsessed with!

Although there were a lot of people dressed in great outfits, I didn't actually get round to photographing any of them. I prefer to take candid photos rather than posed ones, and at a comic con you have to get people's permission to photograph them, which tends to lead to more posed photos.
I didn't have anything cosplay-ish to wear myself, so I contented myself with wearing my Disney t-shirt which is in a comic style, and added my Miffy bag and some matching yellow nails, with dots on them which were inspired by Roy Lichtenstein's art. And it just so happened my colour scheme matched the flyer and wristband perfectly too!
My first stop was the stall of Neil Slorance, whose work I follow online, having met him once at a zine making workshop run by my friend Marceline. Of course, one of my purchases from him had to be the ghost zine that had its beginnings at that very workshop!
One of the main things I was looking forward to purchasing was the Manatea pin by Super Cute Awesome Stuff, to add to my tea themed pin collection. And, because I'd just been diagnosed with fibroids a few days earlier, I got a Cuterus badge!
The Flimsy the kitten zine by Rachael Smith was really cute, so I had to get that, and I got a free Flimsy badge with it too! The Mighty Women of Science Alphabet Book was a must-have, combining my loves of science and illustration, and a bit of feminism too! And I also got a Totoro headband and some Gandalf's Ginger Fudge!

After the comic con there was plenty of time to look round the shops, then I headed home for a relaxing afternoon reading my zines and tucking in to the fudge. And I saw a Harley Quinn waiting at the bus stop at the end of my street!

16 July 2017

Sunday self-portraits: The Instagram edition

I thought it would be fun to show you some of the self-portraits I've taken using my phone in recent months, most of which were for use on Instagram. I hope it gives you a bit of inspiration for taking fun and interesting selfies.

The one above was after my young nephew complimented my hair in my graduation photo - I decided to replicate the hairstyle!

Edinburgh Blogger Conference outfit

Outfit for an afternoon at my old primary school

 And an evening there

Taking advantage of the neighbours' flowers

80s nostalgia

Showing off my Chemistry Set necklace by iamacrylic

Race for Life at my work

My blog's 10th anniversary

07 July 2017


Last month I took part in a great challenge on Instagram, called #colourmyeveryday. This was the idea of Adventures and Tea Parties, and it was all about discovering and appreciating colour.
I just decided to take part in the challenge at the last minute, after a few of my Instagram friends mentioned it, and I'm really glad I did, because it really did bring colour to my day, and helped me to find lots of new and interesting people to follow on Instagram.
I really enjoyed thinking of ideas for each day's theme, and it was a real challenge to think of ways that I could photograph them to fit my Instagram look and feel. Sometimes I found myself running outside last thing at night in my slippers to catch the fading daylight and get a particular photo! I wrote the prompts on my monthly blog planner, and taped this beside my bed so that first thing each morning I could check what the prompt was.

My absolute favourite day of the challenge was day 26: Door. I'm fascinated with taking photos of colourful doors, or those where the paint is peeling, so I particularly loved looking at all the photos that day. It was hard to choose what photo to post that day, but I chose one that I took in the Cinque Terre in Italy, and it made it into the daily roundup, along with three other amazing photos of doors. I also later in the day posted a picture of my shed door which was inspired by the one in the Cinque Terre.

One of my most popular photos on the challenge was this one for My View, of a new mural that's just been painted on the underpass at the end of my street!

A wonderful side-effect of taking part in this challenge was making connections with so many interesting and creative people. I'd started last month by reaching 200 Instagram followers, and I expected it would be a few months more before I got to 250, but I actually managed it by the end of the month. And they are real followers rather than those annoying follow-unfollow people you get from some other hashtags. 

04 July 2017

Edinburgh Blogger Conference

One Saturday last month I headed off to Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Blogger Conference, and had a great time there meeting other bloggers and picking up lots of tips!
I'm not usually much of a people person, and the word "networking" strikes fear into my heart, but I actually found that meeting and chatting to like-minded people was one of the best things about the conference. I was really delighted when I found out that Chrissie of The Dunfermline Tea Party Society was going to be there - we have become friends over the past few months on Instagram, and share a love of the shop Flying Tiger, and of tea. And she lives right next door to my Gran and Grandad's old house! It was great to meet her at last, and it felt like we had known each other for years! And I also met Hollie of Hello It's Hollie, and many others.
The conference was held in Whitespace (Norloch House) which is just behind St Cuthbert's Church. Since I got there early and it was a lovely day, I had a little wander around the lovely churchyard there first. Although Norloch House is Victorian, the inside is ultra modern. On arrival, we were all given goodie bags and directed to an area with tea and coffee making facilities - and all through the day we were able to help ourselves to coffee, various flavours of tea, Tunnock's Tea Cakes and Caramel Wafers, croissants, fruit, popcorn, and candy floss! Lunch was catered for by Nandos, and there were some lovely nibbles at the end of the day too.
The day consisted of various talks, panels and workshops. I was a little unsure when I heard the first was to be a motivational speaker who works in schools, Gavin Oattes, but it turned out that he was really fun and interesting, more like a stand-up comedian, and I actually picked up some tips (on being enthusiastic and enjoying what you do, and how that can affect those around you) that will come in handy in my day job (in a school), as well as when I'm blogging!
The workshop on vlogging was quite a practical one, with a worksheet to fill in. We were able to think about the reasons we might have against doing it, and mine was that I don't like speaking on camera. But the solution to that was that I could do craft tutorials that are purely visual with background music!
I found the panels really interesting. In the morning there was one with Andrew Girdwood, Ruth MacGilp, Stuart Fenwick, Hannah Taylor, and Gordon J Millar, and the afternoon was one with Simon Burrell, Shaun Alexander, Erin Doogan, Sarah Stenhouse, and Scott Dalgleish. Each speaker spoke for a short while about what they do, and there was a chance to ask questions.

Afterwards I headed out in the sunshine along Princes Street with Chrissie and Hollie, and did a little shopping with Chrissie. And then it was the train home (which was unfortunately unbearably hot and full of very loud people!).
I really enjoyed the day, and it's actually made me think of maybe taking a trip down to Blogtacular sometime in the future - I used to think that there would be no point in going to things like that unless I was a full-time blogger!

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