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.


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


Embroidery doodles

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Sometimes just doodling with embroidery, not really knowing where it’s going to go can be fun. Here are some of my most recent doodles.


Inspired by Hannah Frank

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Hannah Frank (1908-2008) was a Scottish artist who just hasn’t had the recognition she deserves. Luckily that is hopefully going to change as Rebecca Scott is organising an art exhibition with works inspired by Hannah Frank and her work. Hannah … Continue reading


embroidery on @BBCSSO brochure

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After my recent adventures backstage at various museums I’m back embroidering again. You might have seen this on my Instagram feed recently but I thought I’d give you a close up. Over the last couple of years BBC Scottish Symphony … Continue reading

Inside a pipe organ and Riverside Museum

In my last post I mentioned that as well as getting into Kelvin Hall to see how the building is progressing we also went to Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and Riverside Museum.

The purpose was to create copyright free media for Wikimedia Commons and was organised by Sara Thomas who is Scottish Museums Wikimedian in Residence. It was really fun and although my camera didn’t like the low lighting inside the pipe organ (yes I really did get inside it) I managed some ok photos.

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There are 4 levels within the pipes all accessed by ladders like the ones shown. It’s tuned monthly and is literally powered by the wind being sucked in. Other photographers on the workshop got some cracking photos of the inner workings so check out their Wikimedia Commons page as I’m sure they’ll be uploading them very shortly.

If you’ve not seen it from the outside here’s a wee look at it. It was built in 1927 and is the largest working pipe organ in the world not in a church. The wood is walnut and the pipes are fake (sorry) but they do look good. Grab a sandwich and listen to the organ recital which happens daily at 1pm.

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Our day ended with a trip to Riverside Museum which people often call a transport museum. True, there are loads of different modes of transport on display but with 8 different exhibitions every year it’s so much more. For those wondering the walls are painted either pistachio or lime :-)

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I love the Glasgow street which even has its own weather system, cat & pigeon.

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Of course the outside is also beautiful and we were lucky to see a bit of a Bollywood film being shot as well. The zig-zag design is a lovely nod to the ship building past on the River Clyde and the roofs of the shipyards that once dominated it.

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Oh! While you’re at the Riverside Museum do go on the Tall Ship at the back which is free so please give a wee donation on your way off.

I’ll put more pics up on Flickr and you can get more info here

Sneak preview inside Kelvin Hall

Do you remember going to Kelvin Hall for the shows? Or when the Transport Museum was there? Or maybe even playing badminton or basketball there? Built in 1927 it started to show its age by the time it closed but luckily it wasn’t sold for private use but kept for an ambitious redevelopment.

On Friday I was lucky enough to get a space on a photography trip to see inside Kelvin Hall during its construction as part of a project by Scottish Museums Wikimedian in Residence, Sara Thomas. We also went to Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and Riverside Museum butg more about them in my next post. The aim of the day was to create more copyright free media about various museums in Glasgow that anyone can use.

Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language. It acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, but you do not need to belong to one of those projects to use media hosted here. The repository is created and maintained not by paid archivists, but by volunteers. The scope of Commons is set out on the project scope pages.

The redevelopment is being completed in stages and we looked at stage one which will not only house public exhibition areas, a Glasgow Club gym and dance studio but space for Scottish Screen, The Hunterian, National Library of Scotland and Glasgow Museums.

Remember the stairs to the side of the building? Well this is what they currently look like. They will create an indoor street with exhibition space & I know they are in touch with the show(*) community to get old images from carnivals past. Yes, those trick mirrors will be back and at the end of the avanue thery are constructing a huge screen for archive footage to be displayed on it.

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Some parts still look like they could be part of a horror movie but I was pleased to see they are keeping as many original features in the building as possible. Windows have been taken out, repaired and replaced while brickwork / supporting beams have been supported during the reconstitution and will be very carefully released at the end.

I should also say that most of the stairs have been created by hand. Due to the nature of the building they couldn’t bring in pre-made staircases. Each one took about a fortnight to create and of course they still have to be finished and made suitable for the public.

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The new top floor, which didn’t previously exist, is going to be stunning. It has a glass roof and will house offices for either Scottish Screen or National Library of Scotland, storage rooms for The Hunterian and a huge public dance studio.

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Sadly we’re going to have to wait until autumn 2016 to see the finished building but already it is looking amazing. I’ll put more photos on my Flickr stream so you can get a better idea of how it looks.

You can find out more info here

(*) “shows” is a local term for fun fairs and carnivals. There is a strong tradition in Scotland of the shows being run by the travelling community.


embroidered buttons

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   Earlier this month one of my friends, Elizabeth Devine, who makes exquisite wedding and bridesmaid dresses, asked if I would make some buttons to go on the sash of a bridal dress. Naturally I couldn’t resist the challenge. We … Continue reading