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Week 1: #the100dayproject

I thought I’d show you my progress on the 100 day project the I mentioned in my last post. So far I’m enjoying the challenge of creating different circles every day although, as I work irregular hours, it can be … Continue reading

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The 100 day project

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Almost late to the party but thanks to the wonder of Twitter I’ve heard about this project just before it starts. The idea is to get your creative juices flowing but working on a project every day for 100 days. … Continue reading

Say It Ain’t Sew

  
As part of 2016: the year of fun I went to another fab Yelp night. This time we popped into the MAKlab to get a sewing lesson from Iona.

Iona’s philosophy is simple, anyone can sew and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact you can pop into her Say It Ain’t Sew workshops on Tuesday evenings and it’s completely FREE!   

Tonight, as part of the Yelp event, we had the choice of making a felt cupcake, doughnut or cake slice. Iona provided all the material, equipment and templates, all we needed a bit of imagination and the ability to thread a needle:-)

Iona was on hand to help with any stitching questions and give us quick tutorials which really helped as quite a few folk hadn’t stitched since school days.

Over the space of a few hours, through a lot of chatter, laughter and serious faces (the placing of sequins is serious business, haha) we all succeeded in creating our own felt cakes.

 
I’ve been to Iona’s regular Say It Ain’t Sew class(*) a few times and made everything from finger puppets to dinosaurs. She holds them in relaxed venues where you can grab a bite to eat or get some liquid refreshment😉 I can really recommend trying it especially if you’ve a hectic life as sewing makes you slow down and relax. Making something just for the fun of it is also good fun.

Say It Ain’t Sew is on every Tuesday evening from 6.30pm in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Get in touch with them via Twitter handle @SewScotland.

 PS To keep it free she sells these lovely kits through ETSY for £5. It would make a lovely present for children as well as adults. I fancy the tenement building…or maybe the dinosaur…hmmm.

Go on, give it a try.

Step out of your comfort zone

 This is a tale of how a Yelper (me) stepped out of her comfort zone & had a night of pizza & fun.

As some of you might know I’ve suffered from periods of depression which has left me with social anxiety. Often I have to force myself to go out even if it’s something I want to do. I want to melt into crowds and feel more comfortable talking to small groups. I get so nervous before social events that I often feel physically sick but have tried to hide it. Ever felt like that?

The thing is, I’m a sociable person & don’t want to sit at home every night. So when the chance to be a judge for a Yelp pizza battle came up I knew I had to step out my comfort zone.

  

Along with 30 other hungry Yelpers I went to La Favorita on Gibson St, Glasgow and headed downstairs.

I was really nervous (almost chickened out of going) but our hosts, Briony and Lainey, immediately put me at ease and I was seated beside two lovely, chatty Yelpers. After feeling awkward for about 5 minutes I started to relax and had a fun night.

I won’t go on about the pizzas – you’ll only get jealous & hungry – but five local pizza makers worked hard while we sipped on Menabrea and blind tasted their creations.

Here are some of my dreamy pictures of the contenders:
  
  
  
  

And who won? Well there was a surprise with La Favorita (pic 3) and Paesano (pic 1) tying joint first. Bloc, Firebird and Mora all came second though to be honest, I’d recommend all of them as they were all tasty making judging difficult.

The other winner was me as I had a fab night, had a laugh with some fun folk and can take pride in knowing I didn’t let into my demons.

So the next time you want to hide under your duvet don’t! Book yourself onto that embroidery course, join that book group and start Yelping.

PS what do you mean that you don’t know what Yelp is? Have a look here  —-> http://www.yelp.co.uk

February Fun

The days are getting longing and lighter which always makes me smile and awakens my creativity which has been hibernating over winter.

As I mentioned in my last post 2016 is all about fun and this month I ignored the fact I lost my voice (nasty chest infection), sucked on yucky cough sweets and got out there.   

 No your eyes do not device you, that is Richard Gere in Glasgow for an event I attended. He was talking after showing his latest film Time Out Of Mind which is an honest portrayal of a homeless man in New York.

I got lucky and every film I chose during Glasgow Film Festival ticked all the boxes for me from strong characters, beautiful cinematography and great scores it was one of the best film festivals I’ve attended. Some personal highlights were

 
Remember I mentioned fun didn’t have to be expensive? Well, in February BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra put on two free concerts which I was lucky to be able to attend. Both concerts featured contemporary composers and pieces I’d never heard before so demanded my full attention which in turn has sparked ideas for embroidery designs.

I know some of you might be turning your nose up at this, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. If you’ve never experienced a full orchestra live put it on your bucket list. The trick is to find a piece of music you like in their season brochure, go to that concert (watch the Proms or do some digging on (*)YouTube to see the different pieces) and take it from there. 

I think there is something magical about this orchestra. They have a way of stimulating all your senses at once and even at the back of the hall you can feel their passion for the music they play. Go & see them (other orchestras are available in your local area 😀).  It’s been a while since I was able to attend a Knit For Unity session so it was wonderful to get back and catch up with everyone over the clack of the needles.

You should see how many lovely pieces have been knitted or crocheted for those who need them. People have been so generous and I know the hats, scarves, blankets etc will be gratefully received.

If you’re free and fancy knitting (novices are warmly welcomed) pop along to Maryhill Integration Network’s offices, Mondays between 12 & 3pm. As it’s a leap year I managed to squeeze in an extra day of fun. This time I went to the opening of Glasgow School of Art’s Y2 Fine Art Potography exhibition which runs until 4th March.

Having friends on the course I’ve been watching their progress with interest. It was fun to see who’s been influenced by more established artists and refreshing to note that they have maintained their individuality.

Hope your February was as much fun. Now, let’s see what March holds…

(*) yup, this is the piece of music Siouxsie and the Banshees used to come on stage to.

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2016: the year of fun

Don’t  know about you but when I look back at 2015 it seemed a tad meh and not enough yeehar. So this year I’m going to try to balance out the work with fun. January started well, I worked hard but … Continue reading

Laura Ashley gets crafty

Last Sunday I was invited to a crafty afternoon by Laura Ashley (get me!) and the JoeBlogs team. The event was held in the relaxed upstairs room of the Tea Rooms on Bath Street and yes there was tea and cake – woohoo!  

I hadn’t realised that along with clothing and household lines Laura Ashley had started selling various crafting kits.

The first kit we tried was decoupage. It comes with the letters spelling HOME and a big love heart as well as all the bits n bobs you’d need to do it eg lots of lovely paper, brushes, glue and instructions. Would look fab on a mantelpiece or bookshelf.

I’d recommend putting on your favourite chill out music and relaxing into it. Oh and only do one side at a time as you need to let it dry (it does dry pretty quickly if you don’t use too much glue) before starting the other side. I really enjoyed it and think it would be a lovely present for the crafty person in your life who’s doing up their home or maybe as a wee minding for someone getting married.

  
   
Then it was time for cake and a chance to find out more about some of the other bloggers attending the event. Red velvet cake = yum!  

The second kit we tried was needle felting. Now this does take a bit more time to get the hang of but if you’ve had a stressful day the stabbing motion of the barbed needles will definitely help relieve the tension. Thankfully for us The Crafty Hen team were on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment.

Again the kit has everything you need from the brush, needles, fleece (lots of lovely warm colours) and instructions. The only thing you need is some imagination. On Sunday the items made ranged from Santas to Christmas puddings and teddy bears to mermaids but you could make wee decorations, brooches or even a pendant. I’ve a lovely cardigan that has a few holes in it so think I’m going to get creative with the needle felting and get my visible mending on.   

   
It was a really fun day & the kits are a fab way to try something new without laying out too much money. In fact if you ask Santa nicely they might notice that all kits are currently on sale.

Knit For Unity

 
There’s a new knitting group in Glasgow which aims to bring together women from across the globe to make practical items whilst having a good old banter.   

   
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to attend the first two meetings and had such a fun time. As winter had set in – thanks Storm Abigail – we’re currently making scarves, cowls and hats with the recipients still to be decided. Ashley has created a beanie style hat she’s called the Hope Hat. It’s easy to knit so even if you can’t make the meetings I’ll pop a link into this post and if you make one for yourself why not make a second and send it to us? I’ll ask Ashley for an address to send it to.
  Knit For Unity meets every Monday between 12pm and 3pm at Maryhill Integration Network’s office within Maryhill Community Cenue on Avenuepark Street, Glasgow. Currently they have no funding for a crèche but as you can see from the photos the children attending enjoyed learning how to knit. 

The pattern for the Hope Hat can be found here on Ravelry  or on Ashley’s blog Make It Glasgow.

Streetart inspired by the Turner Prize

A few weeks ago I was going past Tramway, which is currently hosting the Turner Prize exhibition when I noticed some strange behaviour.

Two men were having a good look at the demolished building across the road. With them were several ladders tied to a homemade bike, a generator and some tools.

Today, as I went past again, I was able to enjoy the fruits of their labour.   

   
     
 

*** UPDATE ***

I’ve just found out that this work was a collaboration between Baxendale and Recoat.

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Up #Periscope then save to #katch

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As you know I like my social media & can be found lurking on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter bumbling along, sharing things that I hope are sometimes of interest to you. Recently I heard of Periscope which is a relatively … Continue reading