Tartan Scottie

greyfriars logo

This wonderful tartan Scottie came down from Scotland recently.

ScottieYou can own one too. They are made by Grayfriars Tartan, a charity based in Edinburgh. They have other lovely gifts including, dog coats, ties and cushions. All profits from Greyfriars Tartan go into the Grassmarket Community Project providing community for disadvantaged people in Edinburgh. Click here to buy

This is the lovely Sandy wearing a very  fetching tartan jacket.

Sandy in Coat 2


Christmas Cards

Here are some of the cards I made this year.

IMG_4511 IMG_4512

For this card I using a stencil from Imagination Crafts with their Sparkle Medium.  It was really easy to use and gives a

lovely effect.





This card uses a flower template given to me by Angela Cutting. Take a look at her card making blog for more ideas.IMG_4514IMG_4484This card uses the free stamp from December’s  Craft Stamper magazine.

This is a lovely stamp by Andy Skinner which I really enjoyed using and not just for Christmas.

IMG_4482This was the card I made to go in the post using  a stamp by Hero Arts.  Really easy and quick to make.

What is Textiles? Exhibition in Edinburgh

Interested in textiles in the widest possible sense? Then head to kalopsia’s WHAT IS TEXTILES? 1-year anniversary exhibition  at

Gallery Seventeen in Edinburgh

A show that sees Textiles as a distinct artistic practice, that opens up the debate on “What is Textiles”.

kalopsia Exhibition

The exhibition will take place at Gallery Seventeen, 17th -23rd October,  10am-5pm.


Kal 4

Gallery Seventeen

17 Dundas St



Kalopsia’s KickStarter Campaign

Take a look at this project set up by four textile graduates who want to take exhibitions on the road.

Kalopsia’s KickStarter Campaign just went live! We are looking to fund our travelling, open submission exhibitions. So, be the first to support us, and get Kalopsia on the road.

Oh yeah and of course get some awesome rewards as well.

Cards and scrapbooking

I’ve put it off for a long time, but I’ve just had my first go at scrapbooking and I think I’m hooked. I realised you can use up at those things that are too big for making cards and actually used some  of the 100’s of photographs I’ve got stored. Many thanks to Angela for giving 3 of us a private scrapbooking  lesson. Have a look at Angela’s blog for some  lovely examples.


Here are some cards I made on the WEA’s March advanced card making course and a few more  based on ideas from the Craft Stamper magazine and Angela.




This  diamond topped cards  uses my new Darkroom Door stamp.


This uses beading embellishments.


This card uses a pigment ink background.




IMG_2567I got the idea for this brooch using an old drinks can from an article in Craft Stamper magazine by Elaine Levett. It was really easy, has a foam back and the edges aren’t sharp at all.


IMG_1979 IMG_1980


 Over the last few weeks Fiona and I have made two cakes. The first was a Christmas cake based on an idea in Delicious magazine using fine piping and gold roses. We were pleased with the result and it tasted good too. I made a wheat free fruit cake and my own marzipan which was worlds away from the bought stuff.

The second cake for to celebrate a 90th Birthday, but not for your average 90-year-old. This was for a man who practices yoga with the WEA and swims twice a week. He’s an inspiration to us all. Fiona had  a go at a fondant figure  for the first time and it looked amazing like the 90-year-old in question, but judge for yourself. Interested in joining a yoga class in Leicester click here

IMG_2043 IMG_2047  IMG_2049

Keith the goat

This is Keith, don’t ask. He come from Sweden  last January, spent the summer in Norwich and then moved to Edinburgh in the Autumn. He finally arrived in Leicester in time for Christmas having had lots of adventures. We have our version of a  traditional Swedish Christmas Eve with baked ham, Jansson’s temptation (potatoes) and beetroot and new this year spiced tangerines.



Click here to read about the origins of the Swedish  yule goat.  This is what they do to the goat in Gavle Sweden. 

We’re not going to burn Keith, he’s part of the family now.

Holiday in Scotland Part 1

Some of the places we liked  from our holiday in Scotland.

We started off in Glasgow which is a great city, which  isn’t like other tourist cities. Glasgow is a take us as you find us city, which is very refreshing.  Most of the galleries and museums are free and visited by the locals. Another interesting thing is that it has an enormous number  of parks and green spaces. have a look at a map and check it out.

We started off the week visiting Holmwood House a National Trust for Scotland property just a few miles from the centre.

Build by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, who interestingly never when to Greece.

The next  day we headed into the centre to the Merchant City. We had great expectations of the Italian centre and I have visions of little coffee shops and maybe some Italian art, but we where sadly disappointed,  just the same old chains and some old fashioned Restaurants. The buildings were amazing and we did find lovely coffee in The Tinderbox.

The Museum of Modern Art is worth a visit.

This statue of Wellington shows how down to earth and fun loving the people of Glasgow are and I think sums up the essence of the City. The story goes that over the years going back to the early 80’s a traffic cone has been placed on the statue by the locals and every time it was removed they put it back. The local radio station Clyde 1 asked listeners how they wanted to mark the success of  the Scottish Olympic team and the vote was for a gold traffic cone.

Lots of cone based merchandise in the museum shop.

Visual Clock App and Butterfly Cake

All over the world parents of school leavers and graduates are in a state of  anxiety  as their offspring search for work with little or no success. In Spain the unemployment rate for under 25s is running at 53%.  After 3/4 years of study  they are told they have no experience. So I thought I’d give mine a bit of a hand and spread the word on their wonderful creativity.

Adam has spend months working with his friend Alex Hawes on the development of a visual clock app , that you can download onto your smart phone and is a snip at 50p. He needs to sell thousands to make any money so give it a go and make a mother very happy.

Fiona has spend a lot of her time this summer making cakes and after the success of her owl cake she  made a retirement cake for one of my colleagues. Not bad considering she only had a a few hours. It looked good and tasted good too and went down really well.

Trip to Norwich

Two weeks ago we went to Norwich for our sons graduation. Adam has been studying textiles and we spent the first afternoon touring the Degree show  looking at his and his friends work, in fact I ended up buying two pieces of art by, Grace Johnson  and Rupert Smissen who both studied illustration.

Adam surrounded by girls as usual

Adam with his sister Fiona

I thought you might like to see the graduation owl cake Fiona made which when down very well.

This brings me to the other reason we love visiting Norwich, the abundance of good places to eat and drink.  One of our favourite cafes is  Mustard which is located  in the original  Colmans mustard shop and is well, very mustard.

They sells a wide range of artwork  and ceramics by art students from the local uni  including their own  mugs designed by Grace Johnson. They are very proud of  their own  brand of coffee, Mustard Art Coffee which is roasted in house and you can buy to  take home. Try the Huevos rancheros or baked chilli eggs for breakfast and don’t miss the chocolate meringues, which are too die for.

We found a  great new place for a celebratory meal called The Reindeer,  just 2 minutes walk from Adam’s house on Dereham Road.It’s a great place if you like real ale and cider which we do, but also serves wonderful British food. We had a selection of bar snacks to start including Hot buttered asparagus and chicken lollipops. For the main course I had Lamb Shanks with beetroot and elderflower which was the best lamb shank I’d  ever had and the other 3 had Beer battered fish which was unlike any fish and chips we’d ever had before. Only Fiona could manage a desert and she went for Chocolate brownie with ice cream, but she needed some help to finish it. The staff were great, very helpful and low key,  just as we like it

Through The Eyes Of A Quilter

Musings by Ami Simms

Hermine's Place

A creative way to express myself


101 your friendly learning centre

Get Knitting

knitting and much, much more

WEA Payroll and Pension Matters

because, Payroll and Pensions matter....

WEA tutors

A blog for East Midlands based WEA tutors

Fructose Free Me

Cooking great food for fructose malabsorption, gluten-free, and low-FODMAP diets


Real Gardening in my Real Garden

The Manic Stamper

Make & take craft creations

florence and freddie

Florence Langley - The House of Chairs

Cakes, Bakes and More...

Cake baker and huge sports fan!

Loughborough WEA

Learning for everyone

Knitted Notes

knitting and blogging in Italy in times of economic crisis

%d bloggers like this: