Thursday, 8 October 2015

A trip to Blairgowrie

book sign paper cut out

secondhand fishing books bridge of cally

vintage gate sign shillings

airlie garage old building

alyth river town

photo display interactive museum

So, we went on another holiday.  Sort of.  Apparently Tam and I just can't stay home for long these days!  This one was a mini break up the country thanks to a voucher Tam received for his birthday, which got us a couple of nights stay, breakfast and dinner at the Bridge of Cally Hotel near Blairgowrie.  It was one of the nicest hotels we've stayed in, with its remote location, cosy lounge bar and lovely staff.  We didn't even eat there the second night but still went back for dessert and whisky after our meal out.  The apple and blackberry pie is to die for, and that's coming from someone who'd rather go hungry than eat fruit.

On the drive up we stopped at Perth and had what was most likely our last outside meal of the year, as well as a nosy in the charity shops.  Of course we did.  Standard Elise/Tam holiday behaviour right there.

plants flowers

signpost wooden forest blairgowrie

conkers brown inside

conkers in shell

bridge blairgowrie falls river wooden forest

tree trunk logs forest wood

Another half hour of driving and we were in Blairgowrie.  Aside from a very brief stop there on the way to Loch Rannoch last year (We got lost.  Also pretty standard.) we'd never explored here before, so the next day involved a wander round town and a brisk walk through the woods.  I got distracted by a cluster of trees that were literally dropping conkers at my feet as I walked below them.  The soft thunking sound of them falling on the bed of leaves amused me somewhat.  We had a merry time prising (ok, stomping) them open to see who could find the biggest one.  I don't remember who won that but we got through a fair few of them anyway...

Somehow we also fit in a drive to Alyth, a small town with a cool museum - they have an exhibition on right now showing photographs from a local studio that operated from the 1930s to 1990s.  There's a fun interactive machine that has themed selections.  We've been doing something similar with films at work so it was interesting to see the comparison!

On the way home we found what I suspect was the world's biggest car boot sale between Dundee and Perth.  Two hours we were there!  I kinda want to go back this week...


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Yarn Along - October plans

knitted booties rainbow collection

This is about to become a very busy crafting month... I have many projects demanding my attention in October.  At the moment I'm knitting up booties to sell at the craft fair that Mother and I have a stall at next month, although I've actually finished the knitting part with them.  There's just a few pairs waiting to be sewn up then I'll have many, many pompoms to make and sew onto the toes.  That little rainbow of baby shoes makes me happy though.

knitted duck yarn wool

I also want to make up some knitted ducks and a few crochet ornaments with the bangle stash.  I made this duck for the farm shop Mother works in - her boss loved it so she suggested I make some for the fair.  That wee face is pretty cute, right enough...  Then there's a couple of other projects to be completed - a girl I used to be neighbours with asked if I could crochet a hat for her baby, which should be an easy make but I'll likely have to make time to really get my tension right, since a lot of my crochet projects turn out on the small side.  And, you know, I can't really expect the baby to squish its head down to size...

Lastly, I have a tea cosy pattern to try out, sent to me by the awesome Susan at Tea Cosy Folk.  I'll keep you all in suspense for now over which one I chose, but be sure to check out the vast range of patterns on her site.  I had the hardest time picking out a favourite!

rogues book hardback library george rr martin game of thrones

As for what I've been reading lately, I just finished Rogues, a collection of short stories by various (mainly fantasy) authors, which includes a prequel tale of the Targaryen clan from George RR Martin's Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series.  I say finished, but what actually happened was that I read a handful of stories and skipped over most of the ones that were heavily fantasy-based.  It always takes me a few chapters to get settled into a book so adding a quickfire plot to a make believe world is more than my brain can cope with.  I really liked Gillian Flynn's offering since it had one of her mad, trademark plot twists, and Lisa Tuttle's story with a male/female Sherlock and Watson was an interesting mystery, although it reminded me a lot of an episode of Criminal Minds...

What's everyone's plans for autumn crafting?  Has anyone read more of this book than me?  Which wouldn't be hard, let's face it.

Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along.

(p.s. apologies for the odd lighting in the pictures - apparently when I was messing with the camera settings a few weeks ago I hit something that makes them look dreadful and I can't quite figure out what I've done!  More messing is clearly needed to fix it.)


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Buyer's Archive - September

Last year, I started keeping a note of the clothes I was buying.  My spending habits had decreased in recent times and I was craving more space and less stuff.  Being mindful about what my money went on with regards to non-necessities seemed like the logical place to start.  I had an idea to compare my purchases from this time last year to the ones I've made this year and see if there's any change, and if I wasted my money on stuff that didn't last, or that I changed my mind about.

Here's my purchases from last September, all neat looking in a fancy collage.  As Michael Scott says, keep it simple, stupid.

sweaters jumpers wool goofy handknit disney la redoute tunic dress charity shop thrifted

Chunky handknit sweater - charity shop - £3.49
This was a semi-practical impulse buy from a charity shop in Moffat, the weekend of our last camping trip of the year.  It was pretty cold when we woke up that morning and I just wanted something cosy to wear - no idea why I hadn't packed something cosy, since I'm usually a pretty overprepared camper.  Anyway, we found a charity shop open on the Sunday and had a good old rummage around, and I emerged wearing this jumper.  It fulfills the desire for cosiness perfectly but I don't really suit the high neckline, so it wasn't worn an awful lot, but I like it a lot anyway and I'm thinking it might be time to dig it out of storage...

Wool sweater - Edinburgh Woolen Mill via charity shop - £3.95
One of two Blackpool charity shop purchases, this jumper got a lot of outings last winter.  I'm not really sure why I put it away for the summer months because I've been wearing my other knits non-stop this year, but safe to say it'll be on my body again soon.

Goofy jumper - Topman via charity shop - £3.50
My other Blackpool purchase, and one I wore a few times before I felt a bit uncomfortable in it.  I feel like I just got to the point where I didn't feel right wearing cartoon clothes!  I still like the design but it's now in the eBay pile.

Jersey tunic dress - La Redoute via charity shop - £3.29
I love this so much!  I wear it over leggings year round and it's great for layering up.  I noticed a tiny hole in the hem the other day that needs to be mended but other than that, it should be in rotation for a long time to come.  Gotta love those versatile pieces that you can reach for when 'proper' clothes just feel like too much effort.  I also got this on the Blackpool trip, although it was found the day we went along to Fleetwood - those charity shops were fantastic (plentiful and reasonably priced) so I'm surprised that was the only purchase made there.

Total spend for last September was... £14.23.  Not a bad month, considering the amount of new charity shops we visited!  I like that it was all secondhand purchases too.

On to this September's buys...

M&S blouse pattern black white people print red sebago loafers deck shoes meriden kiltie

People print blouse - M&S via charity shop - £2
Once again, all my clothes this month were from charity shops we found on holiday - I guess I have a typical September shopping pattern!  I don't remember this blouse from when M&S stocked it but if I'd seen it then, it would have been in my wardrobe a lot earlier.  As with a lot of my purchases, it's far too big but I couldn't resist it.  I may have lost my chance to wear it this year since it's definitely knitwear season now, but maybe I'll find an excuse yet.

Red loafers - Sebago via TK Maxx - £44.99
These shoes were bought out of necessity in London, since my favourite loafers burst on the inside back and were scraping my heel.  TK Maxx has been kind to me with shoes lately so I headed in there to find a replacement pair.  I really didn't need any more additions to the footwear shelves, and I was annoyed at my unpreparedness, but these shoes might have been worth every penny.  They're so soft!  Like, slipper soft.  They were also comfortable from the minute I put them on to taking them off hours later, which is unheard of where my feet are concerned.  I'd not heard of the brand before but a quick search of Sebago loafers on Google images later revealed far too many beautiful styles.  I need them all.  Damn.  (Mine seem to be on sale in various colours here, which is awfully tempting.)

aztec check plaid tartan vintage dress charity shop thrifted

Aztec dress - St Michael via charity shop - £2
We passed a charity shop in Brighton one night that was advertising a clothes sale - all items were £2.   That's just my kind of deal, so you better believe I was in there early the next morning!  I found these two dresses after a quick rummage through the rails.  The aztec one isn't my usual style but there was just something I liked about it.  I'm planning to take it in at the side seams and shorten it slightly so it can be worn in the winter.  I can't be the only one who makes long dresses look frumpy with tights, right?  The fabric is fairly thin but I have a few slips that'll work underneath, and there's no need to mention my knitwear again...

Handmade tartan dress - charity shop - £2
I've been loving the check dresses I keep seeing online lately, and this one is all kinds of perfect.  My favourite colour, great length and pockets.  Pockets!  Oddly enough, I suit it better with the lower neckline to the front, which seems to have been the back originally, judging by the pocket positioning, so it's also on the mending pile (which explains the wrinkles, sorry!) so they can be moved around slightly.

This September's spend was a slightly-larger-than-planned £50.99.  On one hand, I'm annoyed I travelled light enough to have to replace my back up shoes, but on the other hand, these new ones are so excellent that I really can't begrudge the spend.  I'll definitely be poking around TK Maxx for more Sebagos in future.  The dresses should be altered this month at some point since I'm planning a day off to get some sewing done, and they'll be top of the list. 

Janet joined in again this month - she got the most swoon-worthy ankle boots so be sure to go admire them!

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