Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A good time was had by all....

What an absolutely packed weekend! We had our re-scheduled Edinburgh weekend after both getting evil flu at the end of January, so headed off to visit the Chisholm family on Friday afternoon.

Saturday's plan was to walk from their place along the Water of Leith to the Gallery of Modern Art to see the Peploe exhibition, the girls making their way by bicycle.  Little did we realise how far it really was, with a fair amount of discussion and the checking of iPhones to work out the way!  In the end it was probably about 3 - 3.5mi, and the girls did really well even if they had to be bribed with sweets and chocolate in the end.  I've never walked along that section of the Water of Leith and it was interesting to see all the different architecture of the city from that viewpoint, a bonus that we had blue skies and no rain.

Check out the hedges on these allotments!

The Peploe exhibition was really interesting  I knew nothing about the Scottish Colourists so it was an eye opener.  The development of Peploe's styles of painting and experimentation were highlighted well in the exhibition and even managed to keep the interest of the girls.  My favourites were his still life studies of tulips - I love the colours used, and the sharp lines.

We were all knackered after the walk and the wandering around the Gallery, so we cheated and got a taxi back - even managed to get the girls bikes in as well (fortunately they're only little!).  Then some quality flumping with tea and chocolate brownies.  I don't know how it happened but my confession about a hankering for fishfingers turned into a "let's have fishfingers for tea", so we did.  With sweet potato mash and peas, followed by apple and raspberry strudel. It was super yummy!

Sunday was a lazy start - apart from A going for a run, and we had pancakes with streaky bacon and maple syrup.  Then off to the beach at Yellowcraig for some sandcastle building, kite flying and frizbee action. Another top weather day, really didn't feel like Edinburgh in February - although a little more wind would have helped with the kite.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Well we were lucky yesterday.  I'd committed to going riding with some of the MBNW lot around Llyn Brenig and Alwen as a way to ease ourselves back into the mountain biking.  Given the weather forecast for the day I'd expected us to get soaked so was fully prepared with waterproofs, mudguards and a complete change of clothes for the finish.  However the weather God shined on us - literally! I think we must have been in the only bit of North Wales that didn't rain.  Didn't stop the trail being muddy though - the link section to the north between the two lakes, doesn't ever dry out.

Sunday was a different story - I was hoping we'd get something done in the garden, but the rain started again.  I didn't let that get me down though - off to the polytunnel to get wet by washing down the inside of the plastic, getting rid of the dead bugs and as much greenery (mold) as possible.  We did quite a good job, but it was difficult to get to the bits where the sides roll up so I think we'll have to try that again from the outside.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Upcycle experiment

I scavenged a pair of trousers that Mal was chucking out and decided to experiment with them - trying to create a tote bag. 

First I cut the legs off just below the crotch, then unpicked the inside seam and laid them flat.  I pinned the waist band, marked out and cut a vaguely square shape -

The base width ended up being about 23', with the height about 16' so I cut out two rectangles from the lining fabric of this size. In the end this was a bit big, especially around the waist band and I had to put pin-tucks in so I might try just using the outer bag as a template the next time.

On the outer I sewed around the sides and a long the bottom, then on the bottom corners to create a base I matched the side and bottom seam and the sewed across the corner (about 4'). I did the same when making the liner.

From the legs I cut 4' strips and joined them to make the bag straps - I did a diagonal join as I think it looks neater.

I think it looks quite good, and it's huge! I can fit loads of books in and with the two wide straps it shouldn't kill my shoulder too much.  As it's from a pair of trousers there are loads of pockets as well.