It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

December 16, 2012

I'm so happy that the posters I ordered from Australia have arrived! I fell in love with these babies  from Paulo and Lulu the moment I saw them and just knew that I wanted to display one in the hall, a quick trip to IKEA for a frame and I was sorted. The other thing I wanted to do was cover some cans in vintage labels so I could fill them with holly and berries. We don't use a lot of canned food and the ones I collected weren't big enough so I asked the catering manager at work if I could have some of their empty large catering size cans, he's so sweet; I now have enough empty cans to keep me busy for a very long time to come...Next I searched for some vintage food labels and then altered the label and added text to say "may your days be merry and bright'. The 50's reindeer I downloaded from the Graphics fairy blog which is an incredible resource of vintage images for projects. I put it together with some digital paper and brushes from Anna Aspnes and again added text, last thing was the addition of a sweet little Robin my mother bought me last year perched on a branch – yes, it's finally starting to look a little like Christmas around here...

Be Bold

October 14, 2012

Can't remember where I picked this up from, it's been lying on my desktop for a while - love it!

Where have you been?

October 13, 2012

I haven't blogged since April, I just fell out of love with my little blog. It happens... I'm back now for a little while and for the folks who have been asking what I've been doing for the past few months, here are some of the edited highlights.

A couple of long holiday weekends in May so we stayed at our friend Helen's house in St Monans which is usually a sleepy little fishing village but the weekend we visited it was invaded by a crew filming the Railway Man with Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. We watched a scene at the harbour but then decided it was too boring for words, I mean just how many times does Colin Firth have to walk up to Nicole before it's a take - sheesh! Pittenweem, which is the next village to St Monans has built it's own skiff and Helen is the 'rowing co-ordinator' which has impressed me no end, when did my pal turn into an outdoor rowing type person - WTG Helen! Mr K and I offered our support by watching one of the rowing practices but both declined the offer of a shot, it was much better fun criticising the rowing technique of the crew, don't you find that sport looks so much easier when you're not actually taking part... Photography exhibition in Scotland street school took up one Saturday and of course it was Mr K's birthday in May, another year closer to his bus pass...                                                                      

The highlight in June had to be the Jubilee. Mr K was sailing so I visited Victoria and Rob in London to enjoy the celebrations, I mean it's not like there was anything going on in Scotland! london was certainly festooned from top to bottom with union jack bunting, I also provided bunting courtesy of Marks and Spencer to hang up on Victoria's balcony so we could get into the swing of things too. Jubilee cakes from Selfridges and a bit of bunting, you just can't go wrong! Victoria noticed that Choccywoccydoohdah were having a jubilee party so we decided to go visit and have a look at their cakes. It was fun, they were filming for their reality programme but it developed into a bit of a scrum when they cut the Jubilee cake - proud to say my girl fought her way in to get a couple of pieces so we could sample the cake! There was a swish street party in Primrose Hill; that's where I got the photograph of the cute dog. The day of the water pageant it was soooo cold and wet, VERY wet, we went for breakfast to Islington then decided to go back home and watch it all on TV!                                                                 

July was ALL about birthdays! Victoria had a milestone birthday, she turned thirty; not sure that I feel old enough to have a child who is 30 but I guess it must be true. Happily her actual birthday fell on a Saturday, perfect for celebrating, and boy - did we celebrate! While the birthday girl started her day with her customary Bikram yoga, Sara, Rob and Craig decorated the flat with birthday balloons and got the presents ready for her return, we arrived from the hotel in time for the presents and brilliant bacon rolls and coffee. Her actual Party was in the garden at the Pembroke in Primrose Hill which we decorated with posters, bunting and cushions decorated with fabric pictures of Victoria; the cake from Choccywoccydoodah was a great success, the wine flowed, the chat was good, although I'm sure there were times when the English guests couldn't understand the Scottish accents, we should come with subtitles as the chat speeds up after a few glasses of wine, regardless of language challenges it was definitely a great birthday party! Sara's birthday was next, sedate in comparison to the London celebrations, but still a special day for our  baby girl. Last was Auntie Maureen, Sara and Craig organised the birthday celebrations in their flat complete with cool birthday cake!                                                                                                      
Back to work in August but not before another week in Fife and a visit to the Pittenweem Arts Festival, then it was time for my lovely mother's birthday. The weather was kind, we had a barbecue and the birthday cake was a pavlova - perfect way to celebrate eighty seven years!

Then of course there was this:


What can I say - it was more than I thought possible; inspirational, moving, truly uplifting, a wonderful life changing experience for sure, we will be eternally grateful to Victoria for getting us tickets for the paralympics - what a weekend!


April 21, 2012

When I was growing up and at that awkward thirteen to fifteen age, all life revolved around the Jackie comic. There was silence on the school bus the day Jackie came out as we all poured over the comic strips soaking in the sheer romance of it all; fabulous mini skirted beauties and long haired handsome guys.  Always a happy ending, even if occasionally there was a tragic motorbike accident, another handsome guy would always pop up to console the grieving girlfriend and we just knew that they would fall in love and everything would turn out perfectly, what else could happen?
I loved my Jackie comics so much that I tore out my favourite stories to keep forever, I mean there was obviously going to be a time in life when I would need to revisit the Jackie Beauty Box for advice on greasy skin and hair or the Cathy and Claire problem page! These pages have been in the attic yellowing nicely and becoming bit fragile with age, as paper does after 40+ years. I suggested to Sara that I could scan a page and turn it into a poster for their kitchen; I've added some colour to the dress and have mocked up the size I'm thinking of getting printed using an older photograph from their first flat. Of course, I'll let Sara and Craig choose which story they want - there are so many to choose from...

Monday thought

April 16, 2012

From Simon Wild Illustration

Vintage wedding

April 15, 2012

Wedding research has started so Sara, Craig's mum Lynn and I spent an enjoyable morning having coffee before visiting a vintage wedding fair in the Hillhead bookclub. I loved all the different stalls especially the one with the gorgeous crockery courtesy of Butler & Taylor; I now wish I had rescued all the old tea sets from my Granny and Great Aunts when I had the chance – hindsight' s a great thing... sigh! The wedding cake is from Three Sisters Bake – isn't it just beautiful! Jewellery is from the talented Euan McWhirter, who is just back from a trip to New York and feeling a tad jet lagged poor lad; I can see how his designs are so popular with the movers and shakers of the fashion world though – they've definitely got that WOW factor. The venue was just perfect and everyone was genuinely nice, apart from one of the florists who came over a bit snooty to the bride to be, still, I guess there's always one...

Sock it to them...

April 13, 2012

I've been knitting socks lately – no idea why, given that we are looking forward to the summer months where sandals not socks will be the requisite footwear. I bought this wool in a closing down sale during a visit to St Andrews and the sock pattern got thrown in for free; I love when that happens. It also happened during our London trip when I was seduced by John Lewis to spend a ridiculous amount on Rowan wool and the pattern book also got thrown in for free – a beautiful book full of cute toddler knits, can't wait to start a lovely little cardigan but not until I've finished the second lot of socks on the pins. The next babies are blues and neutrals not like these rainbow tootsies at all. I was looking through my stash of vintage knitting patterns recently and came across a small pattern book called Gloves, Stockings and Socks from the forties I think. There are various patterns for lace, lattice and herringbone stitch stockings, who knew? I do suspect that Mr K will think I've gone completely loopy if I get out the three ply and start to knit myself a pair of stockings – then again – maybe not...

Easter Days

April 11, 2012

The K family spent Easter in London this year, we all travelled south, Sara and Craig to hotel hop and Mr K and I to stay at Victoria and Rob's flat. It was a relaxing visit just enjoying spending time together, no visit to the Tate to see Damien Hirst  for us - do you think we are the only family not to go? I reckon we saw some great art in Meat Liquor instead!

Victoria persuaded her Dad to join her at Bikram Yoga - he wasn't smiling like that after the third session!

Brunch for Craig and Sara in Mishkins, which as you can see from the photographs was deserted apart from us! Can't comment on the food as we were fed at Maison Primrose Hill so we just had coffee which wasn't the kind of coffee porn that Sara and Victoria love so not worthy of a photograph...

Early evening there was some Koninck beer at the Lowlander in Drury lane where we were joined by John en route to a work function, hence the sharp suit and cufflinks, so unlike the casual weekend guy we know and love, but I guess that's working in the city for you! Can't tell you what John does but it's the kind of job which involves signing the Official Secrets Act... Anyway, in case I've blown his MI6 cover I'll move on. John bought champagne to toast the engaged couple which was a lovely surprise, this engagement celebration just keeps on going and going, which is just great for Sara and Craig and everyone else who gets to share the champagne. More Champagne was on offer from Victoria and Rob the next day as well, I think we could all get used to this lifestyle!

Dinner at Meat Liquor after the Lowlander, which started with a 20 minute queue to get in. It's like eating in a night club, dark and with VERY loud music which is perfectly OK if you just want to eat and not talk to anyone, maybe not ideal for a first date or catching up on friend's news or maybe I'm just too damn old for night clubs!
The burgers were great though and fabulous value; food comes on a tray with a kitchen roll, no plates and the drinks are served in jars. Victoria ordered Chilli cheese fries, onion rings and extra fries with our burgers and I was convinced that a mound of food would be left, but no... all hoovered up. Give it a try, I adored the decor and maybe the music isn't as loud at lunch time...

No visit to London is complete without a quick turn round Camden market. We didn't buy anything although were intrigued by the idea of deep fried oreos - thought it was only the Scots who deep fried sweet stuff...obviously not!

Victoria noticed this piece of graffiti on the railway bridge, maybe Craig has taken up art?

Highlights of our trip? Everything! Fabulous cooking from our hosts, lots of laughs, even when Rob managed to burn out the base of Victoria's mixing bowl. Red wine in the rain, walks round Regent's Park, spending far too much money on delicious wool in John Lewis, cuddles on the sofa, yummy easter cakes, hot cross buns and coffee ( Oh! Victoria - Rob ate yours didn't he...) Mr K's Bikram Yoga sessions, Meat Liquor burgers ... I could go on and on but the real thing that made this so special is just being with people you love!

London visits are tiring though – aren't they?

Island of Bute

April 03, 2012

Spent last weekend on the Island of Bute for a mini break; I haven't been to Rothesay since I was ten years old, and that's a very long time ago I can tell you! The only thing I remember about that trip was that I was bought a charm bracelet from a little gift shop on the front and my Dad took soooo long trying to take a photograph of my mother and me that I burst into tears of frustration – I still come from the school of thought that you should just snap away quickly and by the law of averages, one will turn out!

We stayed at Chandlers Hotel, a nine bed hotel that overlooks Ascog Bay and is owned by a refreshingly  friendly couple called Alison and Andrew, it's nice to be able to say that about a hotel, that the owners are welcoming and friendly rather than the usual impersonal greeting from the larger establishments. Food was great as well so we ate there both nights rather than make the trip back into Rothesay which I have to say, looked a bit sad and run down, a far cry from the heady "doon the watter" days.

The weather started off fine on Sunday so we visited Kilchatten Bay and took a stroll to the lighthouse on
Rubh an Eun. As usual we weren't really dressed for the terrain and Mr K was praying that we wouldn't bump into any serious walkers who would look aghast at my orange pumps, I think the sign post with the two boot grade key might have been a hint but hey, we did it anyway - these pumps are made for walking LOL! If you are interested in the Kilchattan bay Circular walk and have the right gear then the description is here. Sadly the rain appeared in the afternoon so we explored the Island further by car and had coffee at the Mount Stuart visitor centre. I would definitely come back to do some of the walks round the estate, maybe in the Autumn when there are no midges!


March 05, 2012

That's what my mum used to say with a gleeful smile when presented with cream cakes - Ooooh - fattners!!
I'm in love with these posters from One Little Bird Studios – typographic fattners LOL!!

It's a YES!

March 04, 2012

Sara has been in San Francisco on business and on Thursday Craig flew out to join her for a short holiday. The BIG secret was that he was also going to propose to her during the holiday - Craig did everything perfectly, even taking Mr K for an after work drink so he could ask for his permission to ask Sara to marry him. The poor guy had a nightmare journey to get to San Francisco after the BA connection to London was late and he missed his flight by 3 minutes, that meant waiting a few hours then a flight to Washington then a further flight to SF - took forever! - the course of true love and all that...
This is the facetime call we got yesterday morning to tell us that they are now officially engaged, that's a very happy young lady!

Saltires and sea

February 14, 2012

It's been a bit challenging recently at work and I have a feeling that it may get even more so in the future; but I guess that's education for you in these times of painful cut backs and efficiences. We had our mid term break this weekend so Mr K and I escaped to St Monans to stay at our friend Helen's holiday house right on the harbour. Helen has been working hard to get the house ready for holiday lets and she kindly allowed us to stay even although she hasn't quite finished everything yet. It was perfect for us, I loved the rustic charm and couldn't wait to light the log fire and settle down with a glass of red, who could resist that view out the sitting room window? We walked miles along the coast and tired ourselves out so were in bed at 9pm most nights. I'm not sure it's entirely sensible to start a fitness regime with a 7 mile walk but we did stop one of the days at the Ship Inn at Elie for some delicious mackerel pate and homemade oatcakes to help us on our way. Got to love the knitted Pimm's tea pot covers! On the walk to Anstruther we found a welly boot tree in a garden and only in Scotland do you get the thrill of seeing our national flag, the saltire represented beautifully in the sky courtesy of two jet planes.

Old Bean

January 30, 2012

I was at a meeting on Friday about work stuff and one of the college representatives arrived late, I didn't take much notice of him but after the meeting was finished he came up behind me and said something like "you're pretty gorgeous so I'll give you my business card"...I looked at him in shock thinking that either he had some kind of visual impairment or he was a lunatic masquerading as a lecturer...then I laughed because I recognised him as Alan – Alan who was in my class at Art School many moons ago. We haven't seen each other in years and his grey hair threw me for a second, I need to remember that guys don't do the hair colour thing. We spent some time chatting about the usual "who are you still in touch with?" Alan reminded me that it will be 40 years next September since we were those young students embarking on 4 years of study... and partying, I did a fair bit of partying it has to be said. I used to think I was a wild child but those were the days when the pubs shut at 10 pm so with hindsight we couldn't have been that wild compared to today's students!

Alan told me that he is putting together a website to commemorate the 40th anniversary, going to have lots of memorabilia and photographs; the class of "72" now and then. He asked if I still had any of his drawings? "Are you kidding" I said "of course I still have some drawings" Alan was the guy who drew cartoons all the time and was in great demand for tickets and birthday cards; this is the card he drew for my 21st birthday (rescued from my memory box in the attic) I've scanned the front and middle so you can see the whole thing. That's me on the front - check out the seventies flairs and the BIG eyelashes! I wondered what the tan fixer was about in his illustration, then remembered that I had been my first ever holiday abroad just before my birthday and I was very proud of my Spanish tan LOL!!!


January 13, 2012

My life recently has been about mountains – mountains of paperwork and clothes. I decided to have a wardrobe clear out before I went back to work so hauled everything out from drawers and wardrobes and ruthlessly decided to get rid of all those clothes which lurk around waiting for me to drop a dress size or three; to return to those heady days when I actually had a waist! I figure that if that actually happens then I'll be so ecstatic that I'll reward myself with some new gear rather than recycling the old stuff. If anyone is wondering what the lime green piece of fabric is, it's a summer dress I bought one day when I was obviously having a delusional moment, thinking thin with sun kissed brown skin skipping along a beach. Reality is that it looks beyond hideous on me, I look like a big lump of phlegm, which is never a good look, and I've never actually worn it. Out went piles of clothes to the charity shop although I did retain some favourites which I still have hopes of fitting in and sadly I didn't get rid of the dress, phlegm colour might be in next year!

Clothes are dealt with. Shame I'm not having the same success with the paperwork mountain...sigh!

Rain and Gales

January 05, 2012

The weather has been truly appalling for what feels like the whole of the Christmas/New Year holiday; recently it's been lashing rain and gales and bits of buildings flying about and trees uprooting and throwing themselves across roads and train tracks like demented ents (that won't mean a thing unless you've read lord of the Rings...or seen the film) I have been looking at our photographs from last December with nostalgia, this was much more like Christmas should be in my book; cold and frosty - with NO rain! This year there are no photographs of lovely coastal walks, too much danger of being blown into the sea, so I'm just going to revisit last years memories.

The day before 12th night

January 04, 2012

I've spent the morning taking down the Christmas decorations, I know it's supposed to be bad luck if you  leave your decorations after 12th night, which could either be the 5th or the 6th of January, it's all a bit confusing. Disaster could rain down upon your household if any bit of greenery is left, something about tree spirits, but who knows? - not sure if an artificial tree counts but I better not take any chances, I wouldn't want to get the blame for a years worth of doom and gloom. This is the second year of our artificial tree and it seems to be getting fatter! I just don't seem to be able to cram it into it's box and it's looking improbable at the moment that we are going to be able to shove the box through the small hatch and into the attic, ironic really as I bought it in the first place as it was supposed to make life easier; still Mr K might be able to do something with a bit of brute force. Packing everything up has definitely reinforced my mantra for this year - simplify! There's going to be a lot of chucking out in the next couple of months, watch this space.

I thought it only right that I end Christmas with a pic of decorations as that's where I began with the drag fairy post. You can tell we definitely have eclectic taste in decorations; look at this little lady resplendent in her red sparkly dress, if toys come to life then Santa looks like he's in for a good time...


January 01, 2012

First day of twenty twelve and a pic of two hungover souls on St Andrew's beach – WTG Sara and Craig!

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