25 September 2017

Tassel earrings

Tassel earrings are big at the moment - in both meanings of the word! I'd always loved those worn by interior designer Sophie Robinson, and, after also seeing them crop up lots of other places, I finally decided to make my own large tassel earrings. And the great thing is that you can make a pair to match any outfit, at short notice! Or make them to match your nail varnishes, like I have done!
I had previously made earrings using small tassels, made by winding thread around a fork, but larger tassels require a different technique. Luckily I had just been watching Craft it Yourself, where they showed how you can make them from a skein of embroidery thread, so I adapted this technique to make a pair of earrings from a skein.
It's handy if you have two skeins of the same colour, because you can start straight away without taking any off to use as winding thread. Or you can use a contrasting colour like I did with the silver thread.

1. Pull the paper wrappings towards the centre of the skein, and put a large jump ring at each end. You can make your own jump rings from wire if you don't have any large enough.

2. Wind a piece of thread around each end, making sure that you cover up the end of the thread. Once you have enough, secure the other end using a needle.

3. Now the fun part - cut the thread at the middle of the skein, then take off the paper!
4. If you like, you can use a needle to separate the threads. This makes the tassel look fuller.
5. Add an earring wire to each tassel, and your earrings are complete!



23 September 2017

Scaramanga

I recently popped along to Cupar to have a look at a place called Scaramanga, which I'd found out about when googling local places that sell vintage and antique items, and it's actually quite topical at the moment because a lot of their items have been used in the film Victoria and Abdul which is out at the moment.
Scaramanga is in a unit on an industrial estate, and at first I ended up going into the wrong industrial estate as there are two right next to each other! But it didn't take me long to get to the right place.
On going into Scaramanga, there is an area with all sorts of little items, and I was particularly interested in the wooden stamps. There were some in floral and heart designs, and some letter stamps. I decided to get a set of five small stamps for £6, which came with a little handmade bag (you could choose which stamps and bag you wanted). I also got a heart shaped one, and a keyring with a satchel-shaped purse on it. They do leather bags as well.
While I was browsing, I was asked if I wanted to have a look through in the warehouse. This is stacked high with all sorts of things - wooden trunks and cabinets, mirrors, wooden printers' trays, signs, etc. The owner goes across to India each year and sources everything there. Through this side things didn't all seem to have prices on them, but I later discovered that you can find all the prices on their website. There is some stuff that is way too expensive for my budget, but there are smaller things that are more affordable.




20 September 2017

Living room makeover complete

I promised some photos of my living room once I had added the finishing touches, and I've now finally got round to taking some photos of it in its finished state! 
I had ordered a single sofa-bed-chair to replace the futon that I had before. I realised that if I had visitors they could sleep in the double bed upstairs and I could use the sofa bed! This was ordered from Made.com, and I liked the style of it which fitted well with the mid-century look of some of my other furniture. There was a bit of a problem with the delivery, since I'd paid extra for a Sunday delivery, but when the delivery company got in touch they said they do not do that in my area (which is not exactly remote!). I was a bit annoyed about this, and almost cancelled the order altogether because of it, but my dad house-sat so it all worked out OK!
I've also added the book frames on the wall, and changed the throws around a bit - the grey throw is almost exactly the same shade as the chair, and it disguises the black back of it.

I'm really loving having this chair, rather than the futon which made a fantastic bed but was not at a good height for sitting on. The chair now tends to be my seat of choice whenever I arrive home.


17 September 2017

Butterflies at the botanic garden

I recently wanted to look at a shop in Cupar, and, since I was going there, thought I may as well go to St Andrews as well. When I arrived in St Andrews I saw a sign for the Butterfly Experience exhibit at the botanic garden, so, after a look round the shops, I went there for a look.

Since this was an unplanned visit, I hadn't even brought my good camera with me, but luckily I was able to get some great photos with my phone.
When I walked into the butterfly house I think I stood in one spot for about five minutes without moving! There was so much to see even from that one position!
video
The blue morphos were the biggest and brightest butterflies there, but they were so difficult to take photos of, because they were always on the go, and, when they did rarely stop, their wings would close hiding the beautiful iridescent blue.

Visiting the butterflies is one of the best spontaneous decisions I've ever made, and I'm going to see if I can fit in another visit with my good camera before the exhibit finishes at the end of the month.

15 September 2017

Embroidered hankie


I haven't done any embroidery for many years, so it was a fun little challenge to try making an embroidered hankie for my sister-in-law to give to her friend for her wedding. I've blurred the writing to protect her personal details.
I was given the married name and date to embroider, and it was to be done in blue, but other than that I could come up with my own ideas. I added flowers in blue, with yellow centres, and some green leaves and blue berries.
I drew the writing on before I embroidered it, but I did the flowers completely by eye.

And here is is alongside one of my earliest pieces of embroidery, that I did when I was young, a lavender bag.


12 September 2017

Falkland Hill


I'd seen some lovely photos of heather this Autumn, so, one day after work I headed up East Lomond, better known locally as Falkland Hill, to have a look for myself.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and the hill has amazing views over Glenrothes where I live. It also happens to be within the largest remaining area of heather moorland in Fife, so it was the perfect place to have a look at this Autumn's spectacular heather bloom.










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