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


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.

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.

New chairs and cake

I’ve needed new dining chairs for a long time now, but having decided that I was only going to buy real wood, it’s taken me sometime to save. I fell in love with Ercol furniture  when I was a child and my Aunt and Uncle had a few pieces. I thought long and hard and finally went for a  simple retro kitchen  style.  Then I realised that what they needed where seat pads, and  I felt the fabric needed to be vintage from roughly the same era.

I found this fabric in a vintage/junk shop on Byres Road in Glasgow. There are 2 panels and I think they were probably caravan curtains and there is just enough for 4 seat pads. Just got to make them now.

Fiona made this cake for her birthday a couple of weeks ago and very nice it was too.

If you’ve followed some of my other posts you’ll know I don’t eat wheat so it was lovely to get these little jems as a present from our friends Deirdre and Dave from a local food fair.

I’m usually anti the nasty cup cakes on sale at food fairs and markets that taste of nothing but sugar and food colouring, but these were great. All have a different flavoured topping, including ginger, mint and my favourite lavender, which was a revelation.

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.

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

My new shed

A while ago I read a blog by modflower` on shed envy. I’ve have been coveting  other people sheds for years, but had to make do with the children’s old play house until the end of last year when the felting blow off in a strong wind. The poor old thing limped on until this spring with some old compost bags used to patch the holes. Today with the help of my son and a lot of hammering we put it out of it’s  misery.

This is  my new olive stained shed. I plan to grow climbers over it to soften the edges.

After a week of sunshine all the flowers have blossomed and even in my small garden there it lots happening.

My favourite place to knit

I was just thinking about all the unusual  locations I’ve knitted in over the years. The majority of my knitting is done in  winter under a quilt while watching old black and white films, The 39 Steps (1935 version) is a favourite.

Then I got to thinking about one place in the world I would love to sit and knit  would be on the veranda of The Tree House on Cranberry Lake just outside Kingston in Ontario. Here are some pictures, see if you agree?

It’s much hotter in Canada in the summer than here, more like Spain and very humid. On the day these photos were taken it was 30 c.

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