20 April 2018

Birthday cards

Here are a couple of birthday cards I made this year. The first was for my sister-in-law for whom I'd got some Paperchase goodies with cute dogs on, and the other was for a friend who is a plant lover.

17 April 2018

Japanese textiles course

I recently went to a Japanese textiles day course at Edinburgh University. It was interesting and I learned some things that I didn't know. But my favourite bit was looking at all the kimonos and other fabrics and papers she'd brought along!

15 April 2018

Good mail days

One of the aspects I really love about ordering things from independent sellers online, especially on Etsy, is all the little extra touches they add when sending your parcel. Whether it be fancy stamps or stickers, the perfect packaging that matches the item you are receiving, little thank-you notes, free gifts, postcards, or beautifully addressed packaging, it all adds up to make it a much more personal and enjoyable experience than buying from a large company.

I want to say a big thank you to all the zine makers, pin designers, vintage sellers, and everyone else who goes the extra mile to make their customers smile!

12 April 2018

Heriot-Watt revisited

For my birthday this year I decided to indulge in a bit of nostalgia by visiting my old university, Heriot-Watt University on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I'd only been on campus once since graduating in 1995 (that was when I finished my MSc in Human Computer Interation, just in case any of my BSc Chemistry classmates are reading this and thinking I've got my dates wrong!), and that was 15 years ago to the day, when I was there for a meal in the evening, so I didn't see much of the place that time.
Considering that I'd spent a whole year travelling all the way there from Glenrothes each day, it's bizarre that I've then spent decades thinking of it as somewhere that would take a lot of effort to visit! All I needed to do was catch the train at Markinch first thing in the morning, as I used to do, then get off the train at Haymarket after a 40 minute journey, and hop straight on a bus for another 40 minute journey.
The campus itself was my home for 3 of the years that I was at uni, so it was very strange to see how it looks now that the halls of residence and campus flats I lived in have been demolished. It really opens up the area around the loch.
I was really surprised to hear that they are thinking of demolishing what I think of as the "new" students' union building, which opened when I was in second year. Before that we would go drinking in what was known as the TU (Temporary Union), which was little more than a hut!
I really enjoyed walking round the buildings and campus, and even though I spent more than half a day there I didn't see everything I wanted, so I will definitely be going back. I loved seeing the new things, like some of the new sculptures around campus, and the places I felt particularly nostalgic about like the sunken garden and the green doors of the Computer Centre.

09 April 2018

Annual crocus walk 2018

I started taking an annual crocus walk in 2015 and do it every year towards the end of March. This year I was worried that I was running out of photo ideas, and would end up taking the same photos every year, which is probably why I didn't do a blog post about it last year. But then this year I came up with some new ideas! For a start, there was still some snow on the ground and the sun was very low creating long shadows, so that made for different photos, and I tried picking up some flowers that were lying on the ground and taking photos of them. And I’ve even got some ideas for next year, so I will pop a note of them in my diary so I remember to try them!

06 April 2018

Observer's Books

Over the past year or so I've started a collection of Observer's Books. These little hardbacks are something I've been aware of for most of my life, because my mum has the Weather book and the photos in it were always fascinating to look at. I also had a more recent edition of the Wild Flowers book, and as a child I would write in it when I'd seen each of the plants.
I decided sometime last year that I'd like to start a collection of the books, after seeing them used in Instagram photos a lot! I loved the idea that they are stylish objects as well as being full of useful information.
I've started my collection by concentrating on the natural history themed books. I've done well so far at picking them up in second-hand shops and book sales, and I think the most I have paid for one is £2.50.
Now that my collection is growing, I need a way of keeping track of it, so I as usual turned to my bullet journal. It was easy to create four columns for the books, because there are exactly 100 of them! I added illustrations at the top, and for each book I have I'm colouring in the square with the colour of the cover, which will make the pages lovely and colourful!

03 April 2018

100 day project

I'm really excited to be starting a 100 day project today over on Instagram!

My project is called Emma's Paper World, and it will combine hand-cut paper elements with real-world photography to create my own little world full of fun and whimsy. The hashtags I'll be using are #emmaspaperworld and #100daysofemmaspaperworld (oh, how I wish you could have punctuation in hashtags, because leaving out the apostrophe makes me feel really uncomfortable!).

Each day will have a word associated with it, and it will be a bit of a word game for me because I am trying to choose a word describing each image that can each act as both a noun and a verb, and using these as prompts to have a chat about being creative.
So here's to the start of a new project! I'm actually going to be taking at at a slightly slower pace than most people, posting 2 or 3 times a week, and hoping to finish within a year. Knowing myself I realise that trying to do it every day would make it feel like a chore, and I don't want to feel that way about a fun creative project.

Stay tuned over on my Instagram to find out more about my paper world! Are you joining in with the 100 day project or do you have any other new projects on the go?

01 April 2018

Sea pottery identification

One of my latest hobbies is collecting sea pottery and sea glass, so it was natural that I would come up with some bullet journal pages to help me! I've done one which is just a map of the beaches I've visited around the area, and how good they've been for beachcombing. But this one is for recording some of the pottery designs I've found and managed to identify. I'm finding it much more useful than what I was doing previously, taking screenshots of any information I found on the internet.
I think the realisation that some of the glass and pottery is quite old is part of the reason I find collecting it so fascinating. When I found my first pieces, I just assumed it could've been in the sea for about 10 years, not realising that some of it is from the 1800s!
Trying to identify and date the pottery has been quite difficult. It helps a lot if there is any writing on the piece, but this isn't always the case. Using the writing and image on one piece I was able to identify it as coming from a ginger beer bottle, and I've since found other pieces from similar bottles.

Makers' marks are another good way of identifying pottery. I found one piece with part of a maker's mark on the back, but it was quite difficult to decipher, with just a couple of letters visible, one of which was hard to make out. After searching for various possible versions of what it could say, I eventually found it was made by J & MP Bell & Co of Glasgow - on the other side of Scotland! I even managed to identify exactly what design it was and see what the whole plate would have looked like.
I have started to be able to tell the difference between spongeware, with its bold colourful designs, and transferware which is crisper and more detailed. By looking for photos of ceramics by the local manufacturers I've started to identify some of the designs.
Funnily enough, I've just discovered that the brother of an ancestor of mine worked in the very pottery many of my pottery fragments came from, and, at the age of just 12, he was found guilty of stealing two teacups and saucers from his workplace! It's amazing to think I may be finding pieces of the same designs he stole!
Drawing the pottery pieces in my bullet journal was really easy, because I just drew round them! Then I coloured the designs with fine or brush pens depending on the design.

I can't wait to get out to the beach to find and then identify lots more pottery!

31 March 2018

This month on emuse

This month on the blog there have been quite a few bullet journal related posts:
Plant care
My month in doodles

A number of posts about things that I seem to now be collecting, without really planning it!
Collecting patches
Lifestyle trend books
Recently thrifted

Some of the things I've been doing:
The Long Winter

And it's the birthday season so here's one of the cards I've been making:
Milka card

30 March 2018

This month I have been mostly...

I'm on a huge nostalgia kick at the moment (hence finding these old photos from the 90s at the bottom of a drawer), and decided to head off to my old university, Heriot-Watt, on my birthday. Although it's only 40 minutes on the train then 40 minutes on the bus (those figures are burned into my brain after travelling there from home in my postgrad year), in the 29 years since I left I had only visited once, 15 years ago exactly (it was on my birthday too!).

At the start of the month I was shovelling snow at home and at the local charity shop. And after helping out, I've actually been asked if I would like to become one of the trustees of the shop!

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder was a must-read when in the midst of a three day blizzard when stocks in the shops were running low.

I’m nearing the end of my Chalet School re-read, and feeling quite sad about it. When I reached 10 books to go, and then 8, I really felt like the countdown had started. One that I surprisingly enjoyed more than I remembered was The Chalet School Reunion. I usually prefer ones that are set in the school itself, and Grizel hadn’t been very likeable in other books, but I actually really loved the story of her romance!

The new series of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy started on Radio 4. Even though I’m a massive fan of The Hitchhikers Guide, I have hardly listened to any of the radio series (I think I have only heard some clips before). So I’m really enjoying experiencing it in this format, and I can sometime go back and listen to all the previous series of it.


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