Saturday 28 March 2015

Rising to the challenge

Recently, Katy at The Littlest Thistle has been challenging us all to get to grips with our cameras. Having supposedly mastered the Landscape, Portrait and Sports settings we were then challenged with something called the triangle of light (No, I had no idea what she was talking about either!)

To get to grips with this scary sounding triangle we first had to get our heads around the aperture settings. Now, as it happens I usually use the aperture setting on my camera, so most of what Katy said about the challenge almost made sense:) In a later post mathematical equations were being banded about and they definitely made no sense whatsoever!

We took a photo of a line of objects, focusing on the front object and increasing the aperture with each photo. So, the above photo was taken with the aperture set to f5.6 and the focus on the front reel. The front reel is in focus but the rest are not

Same photo at f8

At f11 the second and third reels are now in focus but the lettering on the last two reels is indecipherable

At f22 you can read the lettering on the brown spool

At f29 you can read all of the lettering on the spools.

We then had to repeat the exercise focusing this time on the centre object

So, this time at f5.6 the green spool is in focus but the spools either side are not

At f11 only the front and back spools are indistinct

At f29 the variation in the front thread is now discernable.

And just in case you thought that all this information was going in one ear and out the other (it has been known!)

On our sporting trip to Murrayfield last weekend I was able to catch the flamethrower using the Sports mode

and the sequence of a lineout, which unfortunately was about the only piece of action that happened directly in front of us. By this stage, my Irish husband, was too tense to utter anything more than the odd syllable so it was maybe just as well. His heart rate only recovered when the fact of Ireland's winning of the Six Nations Championship sank in around 10.00p.m that evening :) Sadly for me, Scotland could only gain the Wooden Spoon, so our prospects for the World Cup later this year seem rather dismal :(

Throw - in


This month's challenge is to get to grips with the shutter speed, so I am off to find some fast moving objects :) There weren't many of them to be found amongst the Ireland fans on Sunday morning in Edinburgh I can tell you :)

Thursday 26 March 2015

In Bruges

To celebrate my husband's birthday recently the whole family headed off on the Eurostar for a weekend in Bruges. Now, if like me you had never been to Bruges before, I can only say that you should definitely be adding it to your list!

The city is small but perfectly formed

with beautiful canals and

stunning buildings. This is the Provincial Government Building on the main Market Square,

and this is the Chancellery, which dates back to the first half of the 16th Century.

The small street you can see, which separates the Town Hall from the Chancellery, is named the "Street of the Blind Ass", I have no idea why :)

Our favourite building though was the Belfort

and if you are a fan of the film In Bruges with Colin Farrell and Brendon Gleeson, you will recognise this building straight away! Being big fans of said film our sons had to climb the 366 steps to the top, their mum, however, opted to stay on the ground and enjoy another Belgian speciality instead :)

Waffles aren't the only foodie treat on offer, though, there was plenty of opportunity to indulge in a couple of other Belgian specialities


and Beer! With over 500 varieties to sample, the males in the family were in heaven :)

As well as specialities of the edible variety, Bruges is also famous for its' lace, of which there were plenty of examples around.

Lace curtains

and even a lace fence!

Needless to say there might have been some handmade lace in my suitcase on the return journey (and maybe some chocolate too!).

Have I sold Bruges to you yet??

Wednesday 25 March 2015

New to Me in March

Welcome to another round up of those activities that you have tried for the first time this month.

It seems to me like these monthly Link Parties come around quicker every month, but that might just be a sign of advancing age :)

New to Me activities have been thin on the ground this month, but I have managed to sign up for my first ever IG swap.

Here's my mosaic to prove it!

The #outlandercraftswap is for fans of the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon, and was open to crafters of all varieties, so it is already proving to be great fun. The TV series of the first book, which seems to have already been shown everywhere except the UK, is due to air on Amazon Prime tomorrow (Thursday 26th) so that will be another first for me too. The first 8 hours of the series will be shown on Thursday, apparently, and then the subsequent episodes aired weekly thereafter. An 8 hour TV stint would be another first, but I think that is a step too far no matter how good the adaptation is said to be  :)

My second New to Me activity couldn't have been more different, as we ticked off another New to Me destination earlier this month, when the family travelled to Bruges for the weekend to celebrate my husband's birthday.

The city was beautiful and we all had a wonderful time, but I will tell you all about that in another post :)

So, that's my New to Me activities this month, now it is your turn to share yours. As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Check out the other links too and, maybe, leave an encouraging comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on March 31st, so you have some time to try something new and link up and join the party :)

Don't forget there is still time too, to link up to this month's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party over at Wonky Patchwork

There is 1m of this lovely fabric up for grabs for one lucky Ho,Ho, Ho-er 

courtesy of the lovely Alexie at Patchwork Elephant

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Zipping again!

Triple Zip pouches are officially addictive, if you are making one you might as well make two! Maybe that is just me though :)

Once I had made this one 

Triple Zip Freya

I just kept going and made this one too!

Triple Zip irons

They are such a great way of using up scraps too, as the accent pieces are only 8" x 1.25".

My stock of zips is rapidly diminishing but I have my eye on these gloriously bright zips from Zipit, they would be just perfect for a host of Triple Zip pouches!

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Zipping along to Christmas!

What! We have only just survived St. Patrick's Day and here I am mentioning Christmas????

Well, as my fellow Ho, Ho, Ho'ers will tell you it is never too early to start thinking about Christmas. As regular readers know, we are on a mission to work on Christmas and Holiday projects throughout the year so that by December we are so cool, calm and collected that we can actually enjoy the season!

To help you become cool, calm and collected by December we have gathered together a great bunch of bloggers to inspire you by providing tutorials throughout the year for gift and home decor projects. Check out all of the tutorials here

This month's guest host is Sally, who blogs at the delightfully named Wonky Patchwork, where she shares lovely photos of her stunning surroundings and her gorgeously, quirky craft makes. Do drop by and her check out her Starry, Starry Night mini quilt it is beautiful!

Of course, it wouldn't be Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party without a giveaway and this month's prize, 1m of this great Scandinavian knitwear inspired cotton, has been generously donated by the lovely Alexie who owns the brilliantly named

 Alexie stocks a delightful range of fabrics and the most adorable buttons, the Scottie Dog buttons are definitely on my wish list :)

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need do is link up your Christmas makes over at Wonky Patchwork where one lucky winner will be randomly drawn when the Link Party closes at 23.59 GMT on March 31st.

Last month's winner of the Christmas Ribbons from Crafty Trimmings was Sally!

For my own Christmas make this month I have turned to one of my tried and trusted patterns,the Triple Zip pouch from Debbie at a Quilter's Table.

Triple Zip Freya

I found this cute fabric lurking in my stash and decided that it would be ideal for a pouch for my grandniece. All little girls need to have somewhere special for their treasures and, hopefully, this will fit the bill perfectly!

So, now it is over to you, head on over to Wonky Patchwork and share your Christmas and Holiday makes this month.

As ever, I would like to thank all of our generous sponsors who make the monthly giveaway prizes possible!

Crafty Trimmings

Logo Sew Hot

Plush Addict Logo

Quilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter Shop

Thursday 12 March 2015

Introducing Crafty Trimmings

As several of the lovely sponsors of the Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew giveaway prizes are probably New to You businesses, I thought that it would be nice to give them an opportunity to introduce themselves.

This month's introduction is from Sarah, who gets to play with all sorts of wonderful haberdashery through her delightful online store, Crafty Trimmings

Crafty Trimmings 

 As well as the fun variegated bobble trim used on my Infinity Scarf last month, Sarah stocks a great range of ribbons, lace, trims and embellishments. 

1 Metre Grosgrain Polka Dot Spotty Ribbon 10mm - 35 COLOURS 

From spots

1 Metre Sparkly Double Circle Sequin Trim - 9mm - 4 COLOURS

To Sequins, Sarah has it covered! 

Red & White Pom Pom 5mm Ric Rac - per metre 

And if you can't decide between Ric-Rac or Pompom, why not have both in one trim :)

Enough of the eye-candy, here's how Sarah came to be running Crafty Trimmings.

"I'm a lover of all things crafty and have been crafting for as long as I can remember. I was taught to knit by my granny at a very young age and learnt to sew from my mum who is a professional dressmaker. I can remember designing and making dolls clothes on one of those tiny Singer manual sewing machines which I still have!  

 When I can find the time I enjoy sewing, bag making, patchwork, crazy quilting, knitting, felting, cross stitch, jewellery making, silk and glass painting.  And of course my new full time hobby – sourcing and buying fabulous trimmings and embellishments for my business Crafty Trimmings which I started in 2011 when I decided to clear out my sewing room and sell the surplus on eBay. 

 I enjoyed selling so much I opened an eBay shop and turned my sewing room into a stock room!  In 2014 I decided to launch my own website which stocks a lovely selection of lace trim and motifs, fancy trimmings and braids, ribbons, bias binding and embellishments. 

 Shipping is free on all orders over £10 and I also run a loyalty scheme to reward repeat customers."

Standard Pom Pom Bobble Fringe - 12 COLOURS - per metre

So, there you have it, next time someone questions your stash, just tell them you are building up stock :)
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