Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A Rose by any other name........

Today dawned dreich and dismal, a stark contrast to the frosted glory of yesterday. The boys went back to school amid sunshine and breath, and while they were leaving I spotted this rose, one of the last of the season. The icy crystals clinging to the leaves and petals would be the ruin of it, but what a beautiful way to go.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with roses. There is an early memory of bending to inhale the fragrance of a full blown cabbage rose, so heavy that it had begun to trail on the ground, only to be confronted with a wicked looking earwig *shudder* How could anything so alluring harbour something so menacing? I didn't encounter cultivated cut flowers until much later in life so developed a habit of shaking the heads of all that came in to the house to dislodge any unwelcome visitors. No, it doesn't do much for the rose but I can't begin to tell you what it does for my peace of mind.

Felt roses

Many youthful Summer months were spent with friends trying to distill the rose's heady scent. Soft, silky petals were mercilessly jammed into jars filled with water and pounded with whatever came to hand in an attempt to encourage them to release their coveted aroma. Unfortunately the results were more often than not a brown, foul smelling sludge that did little to enamour me. Where was Patrick Suskind when I needed him?

Knitted roses with folded fabric leaves.....
..... and crystal dew drops

Their fragile grace and sweet smell were to elude me until I let nature take its course and allowed roses free reign in my own garden. But even that was not without it's pitfalls. While I would be able to appreciate their delicate beauty unfurling on a daily basis I would also have to participate in a routine of dead-heading, pruning, spraying and the inevitable blood spilling. What price to pay for perfume!

Ribbon roses

So now I content myself with rambling roses. They require little attention but reward me with a stunning summer display and release their subtle fragrance on the evening breeze (they also make a great security hedge!). For the rest of the year I settle for rose inspired  brooches, made from whatever comes to hand, stored in boxes scented with rose oil. Not a patch on the real thing I know, but it keeps me going until next year. 

Friday, 15 October 2010

Kinda like Marmite

Town mouse or Country mouse? That was the question that sprang to mind when I overheard a conversation between my boys and their cousin (he is staying with us for a few days during the holidays). They were discussing the merits of being able to leave school at lunch time which their cousin can't do.
"We can do that because Moffat is such a small, safe place " my sons said. 
"Yeah, but Glasgow is more exciting" their cousin replied.

And there it is, the basic trade we make when choosing where to live. 

The view from my old studio, looking towards the Devils Beef Tub

Do you give up all night shopping and accept the fact that when you run out of milk after 10 p.m. you're just gonna have to drink your tea black until morning, that the midnight munchies need to be planned for in advance, that even if there were any shops open the chances of getting anything more exotic than soy sauce are slim? In return you get a corner shop whose staff can tell you what your boys bought on their street lunch day, a butcher that knows you (and your dog !) by name and will happily share cooking tips, and a shoe shop where she doesn't even need to ask 'What size'.    

The floor of the Annan Water valley

Do you give up night clubs, wine bars, restaurants with Michelin stars and make do with home cooked dinner parties? Do you miss out on premieres, plays and star performances choosing instead to support the local am. dram. society, never quite being able to look at your doctor or solicitor in quite the same light again. 
Can den building in the woods and dam building in the streams be as character building as having access to museums, galleries and libraries?

Riverside walk, Annan Water

I live in Moffat, a small town in south west Scotland (population about 2500). It's probably just like any number of other little towns across the length and breadth of the country. It's not perfect but for every fault it has there is an advantage, you just have to be in the right frame of mind to look for them. I suppose it just comes down to what kind of mouse you are.

At the top of 'The Tub'

So yes, small town living is a lot like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. Personally I love living in one, but then I'm quite partial to marmite..... and broccoli.... and a Brussels sprout or two!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Something wicked this way comes.....

Sometimes I feel the need to be naughty.

I want to put aside motherly things and remember that once I used to wear short skirts and tight tops ( not just jeans and a jumper) That my high heeled sashay was a lethal weapon ( and not because I risked a dislocated hip ) and my midriff was as taught, toned and tanned as the rest of them ( not stretched, saggy and sallow due to non exposure to sunlight!) I want to remember I'm a woman.

Fortunately I've found just the thing for a bit of feminine reinforcement and grown up fun......

Impossibly pretty pasties by Sex on a Stitch

or tassels if you prefer

These wonderful crochet creations by a very talented Canadian can be found at www.sexonastitch.com or at Sex-on-a-Stitch on facebook

with beautiful butterflies

or sparkly stars

Aren't they just fabulous ? Not only do they tempt the wanton in me they appeal to the crafter too. Who would have thought amigurumi could be so sexy? I think the pasties are my favourite,I doubt I could get the tassels to twirl! 

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Bag Making Bible

It's finally arrived! After weeks of waiting  the postman delivered my copy of the much anticipated Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam on Friday morning and I have been engrossed in it all weekend.(Serves me right for buying through Amazon, along with half the bag making population. They kept running out and sending me delay notices while they ordered more stock, great news for Lisa but I'm not sure my tenterhooks will ever be the same!)
The long awaited book

I've bought quite a few bag making books over the last couple of years. Some for basic techniques, well we all have to start somewhere don't we, others for inspiration and new ideas. Sort of like cookbooks for the crafty. And, as with my cookbooks, I have my tried and trusted favourites, ones that have broken spines, bent covers and dog ears through constant use (but without the gravy stains and grease marks....)

Well, I'm sorry to say that my nice new book isn't going to stay that way for long. Within minutes of opening it I knew it was going to be one that I would be constantly reaching for and will be well worn in no time. I could rave about this book for ages, about how it ticks all the boxes for beginner and accomplished bag maker alike, about the traceable patterns.. to scale, about the easy way it's written, but I'm not going to. Instead I'm going to encourage you to buy the book and find all of that out for yourself. 

Lisa Lam, talented author, bag maker and owner of u-handbags

And once the bag making bug bites make sure you stop off at u-handbag for all of your bag making needs. Just try and order a number of things at a time or the drumsticks will take their toll!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Angel v's Fairy

I found myself in a bit of a dilemma at the weekend, a quandary brought about by a new Christmas decoration I had made for a local craft fair.  
This is the culprit.

Yes, she's cute, yes, she's sweet and yes, she's pretty, but what is she?I hadn't really thought about it until I had to make a label for her and her companions. Is she an angel or a fairy? How can you tell the difference?
I looked to the dictionary for guidance.

fairy |ˈfe(ə)rē|
noun ( pl. fairies)
1 a small imaginary being of human form that has magical powers, esp. a female one.

angel |ˈānjəl|
1 a spiritual being believed to act as an attendant, agent, or messenger of God, conventionally represented in human form with wings and a long robe

Hmm... no real help there then, those definitions could equally apply. What about her purpose, as a Christmas decoration would she be more likely to be a celestial being or a seasonal sprite? I felt a straw poll coming on. Leaving her label blank for the moment I consulted those attending the event at Hightae, sure of obtaining an answer by the end of the day. Unfortunately it wasn't to be, both angels and fairies can be found at the top of a Christmas tree, no particular preference given to either.

So for the moment she is without a label, uncategorised, refusing to be pigeonholed, free to be whatever she wants to be. Who would have thought a vintage doily and some lace could produce something so liberated?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...