Saturday, 31 December 2011

Out with the old...

So, this is the last day of 2011 and my first blog post in over 2 months. I'm still swithering over whether to continue the blog in 2012, I think for the moment I'll just blog when I feel like it and have time, rather than feeling beholden to it. Maybe once I graduate I might have time again to do it properly, my first job being to invest in a new camera! Part of me wants to go back and retake the horrible (in my eyes at least) photos from the past, but then part of me appreciates that they're part of the evolution of a blog, as you learn about the process. It's like anything really, no one is born perfect and looking back on those flaws makes you appreciate how far you've come.

This time of year is the traditional time to look back on your life and reflect and evaluate on where you are and where you're going. In many respects I'm very happy with my life, but in other ways I'm unsatisfied. 2012 may be the year to correct a lot of those issues - graduating (touch wood!), getting a job, having some money and some time to indulge the personal life things I've been feeling have been missing over the past 8 years while I've been a student. Moving house somewhere with a garden, getting a dog and some chickens, having more time to craft and visit friends and's going to be lovely. I'm going to be glad to be done with vet school.


Andrew and I at a wedding this year - I'm in a full hand-made outfit (minus pants and shoes obviously)

I'm not really making proper resolutions this year, they always fail and make me feel quilty guilty (though quilty is an awesome word and will be adopted in 2012). One unoffical one that may well stick though is to craft more for me. I'm still going to be crafting as presents - I have 4 babies and my Mum's birthday present already planned - but I definitely want to make time to finish my Coraline cardigan and knit myself an owl sweater.

In the meantime, I'm having a quiet Hogmanay with my folks and spending the 1st and 2nd of January with Vicky. I hope you all have a lovely festive time!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Break from blogging...

Hello all! Apologies for another long hiatus from the blogosphere, I'm finding it hard to find time to blog at the moment. Uni is taking up a lot of time and when I'm not studying, I'm finding my motivation to blog is dropping right off. I love the process of reading blogs and crafting and sharing my creations with everyone, but when it becomes a chore I guess that's the time to call it quits.

I've not quite decided whether now is the time to close up the blog, I still enjoy it after all, but final year has made me realise that I'm probably not going to be able to make blogging a long-term thing in the future. Uni is more like a proper job now, I'm out from 8am until 6pm and when I get home the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer. In the past I've had the odd afternoon off during the week to take photos or write blog posts but now I don't have them I find my free time is taken up with studying, relaxing, or getting those boring chores done that you don't get the chance to do during the week. I imagine this is how next year is going to be when I (touch wood) have a job, so I'm thinking that I might be better off closing down the blog now and focusing on passing my finals.

Source: None via Second on Pinterest

I can always reopen it again in the future, I'm not going to remove it altogether, and I'll still be doing my Etsy shop when I get the chance. I'll still be reading blogs too, but I'll be able to enjoy blogs for what they are, rather than feeling guilty for not getting my own one sorted. I've always felt like I'm not doing my best with the blog anyway, my photos are pretty rubbish and my content and frequency of posting aren't as good as some of the more well-established blogs. There's part of me that's OK with that but then the perfectionist part of me hates not being able to do it to the best of my ability. I'm still going to craft but my priority is vet school and once I graduate my priorities will be work, hobbies, Andrew, pets, friends and family (in no particular order!). Blogging just won't be high enough in that priority list to justify keeping it going.

So for the moment dear people, goodbye. I might still update from time to time, but I think the next few months will be a good test of whether the blog is worth keeping in the future. Now that I've announced my feelings officially I feel relieved and less guilty already. I'll still be reading all of you though, so keep those posts comin'!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Chunky woolen wristies

I was given a knitting kit for Christmas from my gran, from Wool Fish in St Abbs, Scotland. It was a pretty simple kit, with wool, needles and instuctions to make a pair of fingerless gloves. I don't really like long gloves, since they make your jumper bunch up, so I shortened them and made two pair of wristies instead.


I'm considering threading some ribbon through the bottom holes of one pair, to make them a little bit different. They're perfect for typing at my computer, since my fingers get cold in the winter, or for reading in bed now it's starting to get chilly!


Monday, 3 October 2011

Vintage floral cotton fat quarters

A few more new additions to the shop, this time some vintage cotton floral fat quarter bundles. I love making these up, there's something so satisfying about all the cutting, ironing, folding and bundling, especially seeing them all sitting side-by-side at the end. These three are the only ones that have string at the moment (mental note: must buy more twine) so I've got another six bundles to list in the shop.







I love imagining all the lovely projects people will be making with my fat quarters...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Assissnation of JFK

Remember last week I mentioned some vintage newspapers I'd picked up for the Etsy shop? Well, I've listed one of them, it's from 4 days after the asssissnation of JFK.


It's not in the best condition, as you can see from the photos, but I couldn't resist all the same, it's so exciting to have a piece of world history in your hand! It's a Scottish newspaper as well, which I really like because it fits in with the Scottish slant of my shop.


I had some trouble with the photographs, the weather here in Edinburgh has suddenly turned very autumnal, it's pouring down with rain and yesterday was foggy so the light isn't the best. I'm still having trouble getting Andrew's camera to focus properly as well, everything comes out slightly out of focus, it's very frustrating.


There's something a bit morbid about selling this newspaper I think, like I'm profiting off someone else's death. I thought about just keeping it, it's a really interesting thing just to have, but I bought it for the shop and so into the shop it goes.


I figured in some ways, it wouldn't be fair for me to keep it anyway, I'm not American, I wasn't alive at the time of the assissination, I'm not especially interested in history (beyond the occasional documentary on TV and a love of Philippa Gregory books) and so I'm sure there are people out there to whom this newspaper will hold so much more meaning.


You can check it out in the shop over here.

Saturday, 24 September 2011


It's been a while since I've added anything new to the Etsy shop. Time for some thrifting I feel!


I found these amazing little photographs at a car boot sale last week, the people from Unicorn Antiques had a stall and I bought these photos, 3 antique newspapers and a funny old 'bond and disposition in security' paper. I've yet to work out what the last one is, but it's heading for the shop once I do.


I'm swithering on whether to list the newspapers or not, one is from the assissination of JFK, one is the day before the second world war officially broke out and one dates to 1900. I want to keep them really, but the whole point of buying them was for the shop so we'll see which side wins, the pack rat side or the sensible side!


Anyway, you can check out the listing for the photographs over here.


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Second Fiddle front page!

Nothing more to be said other than...



I know I should be acting all cool and nonchalant but this is awesome! See that grey vintage wool cardigan on the bottom right there? That's this little guy!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Work in progress Wednesday

It's been a while since my last Work in Progress Wednesday, but I'm pleased with how quickly this jumper is knitting up so I thought I'd share it with y'all.


It's the Kate Davies o w l s design that I blogged about over here and once you get going, it's surprisingly easy (albeit I haven't got to the yoke yet). It's lovely yarn to work with ('Thistle' by Louisa Harding in case anyone is interested), I'm looking forward to knitting myself one, probably in New Lanark wool!

Check out these stonking great waist shaping stitches, I'm hoping they'll look less scary and obvious once it's been blocked...


Thanks to Tami's Amis for hosting the 59th Work in Progress Wednesday!


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

New purchases. GASP!

Remember way back when, The Great Wardrobe Sort of 2010? I know it wasn't the most exciting of posts, but it definitely helped me gain a hold on what was quickly becoming a ridiculous mess of a wardrobe and helped pull me away from the I-dress-entirely-from-charity-shop-clothes-that-don't-suit-or-fit-me look. Which, as we can all agree, not the sexiest of looks.

From Dune

Well, in a break from my normal crafting, thrifting chat, I'd like to briefly mention some things I've bought new recently. GASP! That's right, NEW. I feel guilty, don't get me wrong, and I have no intentions of dropping my second-hand/handmade/refashioned clothes campaign, but since starting back at uni, the time has come for a slightly more attractive, work-based, less scruffy look to emerge. And I have to say, I'm enjoying it.


From Zara

It's really nice putting on shoes in the morning that fit. Actually fit. Because I bought them in a real shop, not online where I had to take a guess as to the size. I can walk around in them all day without them pinching my toes. This is AWESOME. They're exactly the look I want, they suit me, not some idealistic imagined version of myself that I carry around in my head. I feel fashionable, but still myself. It's amazing.

Also from Dune. There was a girl in this shop carrying a chihuahua. In a shop! Madness.

Of course, being me and therefore an obsessive planner, I'm already thinking in my head the things I want to make or buy to go with these fabulous new purchases. But for once, I'm going to relax and not make plans for the future of my wardrobe. Because really, it's not important. And if I've learned one thing since making that first post about sorting my wardrobe, it's that my style is still constantly evolving and there's no point making plans, I'll only end up deviating from them. I'm enjoying this newfound confidence in myself and my body and my style.

I'm not going to wax lyrical for too long, it's boring for everyone else reading it, but I'm embracing my new-found purchases and not letting myself feel too guilty for their environmental and social impact. Of course, I'm going to have to alter one of the jumpers waiting in my stash this weekend, just to counteract this break from the norm...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Cartoon moles

Once again, let me preface this with an apology for the crap photos, it was another rush-at-the-last-minute, finish-it-and-straightaway-wrap-it affair and since it was 8 o'clock at night when I finished it, it's rubbish flash photos for the blog! Photobucket I made this little purse using a great tutorial from Sew Happy Geek, it's a great blog with loads of useful resources and tutorials! I used the Simple Cosmetic Bag tutorial and just shrunk it down a little to make a wee purse instead. Photobucket I wrapped it in some old wallpaper I've had in my stash for a while, I like the look of wallpaper as wrapping paper but sellotape doesn't stick to it very well! Photobucket I recently swapped for the fabric for this project over on Thriftstore and I got some adorable animal print fabric as well, plus some awesome dinosaurs cotton! Check out this print though, how cute is that! Photobucket

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Globe drinks cabinet

You might remember a few weeks back me alluding to a thrift find that Andrew's Dad found for him at a car boot sale?


Well, here it is, in all its (questionable) glory! A globe-shaped drinks cabinet. Andrew has wanted one for years now, in his quest for a gentleman's reading room (complete with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, brown leather chesterfields and green reading lamps). He already has the green reading lamp and I was hoping that the brown leather chesterfield might be the next but sadly the globe drinks cabinet arrived first.

Personally, I can't decide whether I like this thing or not. Apparently it costs hundreds of pounds new, which baffles me to be honest, but for £8 from a car boot sale, you can't complain there. It's functional, which I like, but there's something about it that I think looks tacky. The two glass decanters were from Rod and Viv, I really like them and can't wait to put port in them at Christmas!


Still, given the huge amounts of fabric and wool that reside in various nooks and crannies in the flat, I'm happy to cohabit with this drinks cabinet if Andrew wants it. I'm not going to promise that it won't 'accidentally' fall down 3 flights of stairs when we move house next year though...

P.S. Again, apologies for the rubbish photos, I'm using Andrew's camera at the moment because mine has died a little and I can't seem to get to grips with it, all my photos come out either grainy or blurry. Believe it or not, these were the best of about 20 I took and given that I have other things to do today than blog, I decided to throw in the towel and just go with these ones. Ah, to be able to afford a new camera!

Saturday, 10 September 2011


I made this string of bunting for Jessica's birthday and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Apologies for the awful photos, as usual I was rushing to the last minute to finish them so had to take pictures in a hurry!


She mentioned to me a while back that she wanted green bunting, so I searched my stash for appropriate fabrics. In retrospect, I think I should have put the flags closer together and had more of them, definitely something to bear in mind for next time. There's 4 metres of bunting though, so I guess you could double up. It was a really simple project and has left me wanting to make loads more!


Friday, 2 September 2011

Inspiration part 6

My study chair cushions have been pinched by a certain somebody and since it's a hard Ikea wood affair, I'm needing some comfy cushions to caress my backside, especially since I spend a ridiculous amount of my free time sat there studying.

Source: via Second on Pinterest

At the moment I'm sitting on some cotton fabric that's awaiting being made into fat quarters for the Etsy shop, but as soon as I get a spare moment (ha!) I'm going to whip up some lovely cushions, I have the inners all ready and waiting.

Source: via Second on Pinterest

These ones I found through Etsy and have given me plenty of inspiration to get my sewing machine out and running again, it's been a month since my last sewing adventure!

Source: via Second on Pinterest

Monday, 29 August 2011

Exploring the Lothians

A little gardening-related post today folks, just for something different. I tried disasterously to garden last year (see the Triffid-sized weeds encroaching menacingly on my little veg beds over here? Well, they are so large now that you can barely see the vegs beds at all, I've given up on the garden and barely escaped with my life...) and so now restrict my botanical adventures to the original and best Windowsill Farm, the one actually on my windowsill.

However, the gardening bug still remains and I dream of the day when I can have a little patch of land to call my own. In the meantime though, look what I came across on a recent jaunt to Linlithgow!


It's food! Growing in the street! And there's no litter or vandalism or poop in it! That's how you know Linlithgow is fancy, there's no animal (or human) poop in the fancy pavement veg bed.


I love this idea though, it was literally right on the pavement and you could have walked past it thinking it was just a flower bed if you weren't more observant. I love the oil drums with the not-so-subtle political message and I love the reclaim-the-streets vibe about the whole thing. It's run by Transition Linlithgow who stand for 'bulding a resiliant and sustainable future.' Two thumbs up to that I say!


For those of you not familiar with this little satellite of Edinburgh, Linlithgow is a Royal Burgh, complete with its own palace and history stretching back hundreds of years, with links to almost all the Scottish Kings and Queens. It was the past birth place of Mary, Queen of Scots and the future birth place of Montgomery Scott or 'Scotty' from Star Trek, both of whom have exhibits in the lovely little Annet House museum.

I miss Star Trek. They should show that on TV more often.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Back from the Highlands

I'm back from 2 weeks in the Highlands on placement with a horse vet. It was amazing, I got to see and do loads of things and the people up there are all lovely. The countryside is amazing as well, it's nice to be a passenger in a car for once and get to enjoy the views!

Anyway, just a quick one since my folks are arriving for a week any second now. I might not get to blog much this week but normal service should resume next week so watch this space...

In the meantime, here are some thrifty finds from Inverness. I bought this fabric (plus some secret baby things for Baby Maciver!) from a community centre thrift sale, all this for £1, bargain! So much for the one-in-one-out pledge when it comes to my fabric stash, I just can't say no to a thrifty find!


Here's a sneak preview of an Andrew find, I'm not sure if I like it that much just yet but given the amount of rubbish we have in the house that belongs to me, I could hardly say no. Still, it may yet grow on me. More photos to come once it's assembled and in its rightful place (which sadly is not the bin downstairs...not the attitude Amy...)


Saturday, 6 August 2011

Karen's housewarming blanket

Just a quick one folks, since I'm off up the road to Inverness to start a 2 week placement this afternoon! I'll be able to carry on blogging while I'm there, but posts might be a bit sporadic.

Anyway, here's a finally finished crochet blanket! Remember I showed you a sneak preview of it back here? Well, I started it at Easter and just finished it now, effeciency at its best!


It's for my friend Karen, as a belated housewarming present after she moved to Wales. I got a very sweet homemade thank you card in the post this morning, so I'm finally able to put it on the blog, knowing I'm not spoiling the surprise!


Happy Housewarming Karen! ♥

Friday, 5 August 2011

A sewing disaster

I'm here today to share a cautionary tale with you all. I'm sure for a lot of you the following words will be a 'no dur' moment, but I find I have to learn by my own stupid, silly, I-wish-I'd-thought-of-that-beforehand mistakes. Otherwise it just goes in one ear and out the other, sigh.

Here's what happens when you make a sideboard cover out of material that is cotton on one side and random, thick, calico stuff on the other. It didn't seem to occur to me at the time that I might want to wash the cover in the event of, say, my rose regularly leaking water, causing the cover to go mouldy and decompose in an attractive circular pattern that exactly matches the terracota water catcher it sits in. Nooo, that would be far too sensible.

The mouldy hole, in the process of being fixed:


Patch-up job:


So I decided to wash it and repair the hole, good as new. Sadly not. What actually happened is the random, thick, calico stuff shrunk in the wash, while the cotton stayed the same size, meaning the cover is now much smaller than it used to be (and so doesn't cover the top of the sideboard any more) and the cotton side is all puckered and wrinkly with all the excess fabric. Since I'm about to leave the flat for 2 weeks, I don't have time to fix it properly (i.e. throw it out and start again) so instead I patched the hole to protect the sideboard while we're away and I'll have to make a new one when we get back. And I don't even like the sideboard very much!

It's not the clearest photo, but you can see that the cover doesn't actually cover the sideboard, and look how much extra material there is on the cotton side!


Learn from my mistakes folks!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

New summer skirt!

Remember the skirt kit I got for my birthday? Well, I made it up!

I was really pleased with how quick and easy this was, especially given my mental block with following sewing instructions, I finished the whole thing in about 2 hours whilst listening to Radio 6.


I wore it out yesterday and am planning on wearing it out again today! I was going to cycle in it (with cycle shorts underneath of course, can't be flashing my bright pink pants to the world) but Andrew persuaded me otherwise because it's raining and I'll get all muddy. Sad face. I'm taking it with me though, to change into when I get there!


Things I learned whilst making this skirt:

- Not drinking wine whilst sewing makes a huge difference to the professionalism of the outcome
- Not watching TV whilst sewing makes a huge difference to the straightness of my hems
- Listening to the radio is infinitely better than watching TV whilst sewing
- Measure twice, cut once = GENIUS!

Apologies for the cars in the backgrounds of the photos, the whole point of taking them on the Meadows is to avoid distractions like that in the background but apparently my photographer (who shall remain nameless...) has the mental capacity of a small fish and needs reminding of this every time.