Monday, May 31, 2010

Apple Cobbler!

I'm doing a giveaway this week!
This is the last day to comment here and on the past few posts for entries.
More info here.


Once a week I bake something new. Often it doesn't turn out perfect (or even that good), like my attempt at making pop tarts, but other times, like today, it turns out yummy.

Apple Cobbler

Apple Cobbler with Oatmeal.

The recipe was easy, which I always appreciate.

If you want an excuse to bake once a week please join me on the Lets Cook group over on Ravelry. And you don't have have to worry about feeling intimidated, because for the past two weeks I've been the only one on there baking ;)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 17 of Hadrian's Wall Walk

I'm doing a giveaway this week! Comment here and on the post for the past few days for an entry.
More info here.

ps Thanks for all your comments!

Yesterday was our 17th and final day!! of our Hadrian's Wall Walk.

We started in March of last year, while we were still living in Newcastle (where the wall started), and every so often had gotten on a bus or train to take the trail alongside the wall (though more often we were walking alongside where the wall once stood) that the Roman emperor Hadrian had built in AD 122.

I took a lot of pictures of flowers that day, for inspiration for my felted creations, here's two of my favorite!

Interesting flower


I'm a city girl, and I'm fascinated by wildlife, so I take a lot a lot of pictures of cows. Here's the first ones we saw that day.


It might not surprise you that I loooove taking pictures of sheep.


Here we are, about to cross a very long stretch of road (a causeway, but fortunately we arrived during low tide), ready to face two miles of cows.

Cows for two miles

White Cow

Our first view of Solway Firth! Solway Firth is water that forms part of the border between England and Scotland.
Solway Firth


We got closer ...
Solway Firth

Solway Firth

And we made it!
Hadrian's Wall plaque

Here we are! Probably the most unsuitably dressed hikers, and a bit ragged and tired from 10 miles of walking, but very happy!
We finished the walk!!

And the last view of Solway Firth before we headed back.
Solway Firth

The End.

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Projects - knits and felts

I'm doing a giveaway this week! Comment here and on yesterday's post for an entry.
More info here.


I've made two new little hats for the Innocent Drink charity sale.

I think this one looks a little like a sultan's hat.
This one is a bit more normal but still puffy.
I've also made two new things for my etsy store. This is Larry, the albino mole. I normally don't name my creations, but this somehow seemed to suit him.
Do you think it's weird when you see named things on etsy?And because I named the mole I named this one Nina.

My next project is a mini knitted version of myself for Stitch London's new project. Stay tuned for that :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A walk around town

I'm doing a giveaway this week! Comment here and on yesterday's post for an entry.
More info here.


A week and a half ago J and I went on a Saturday walk. Well last weekend, armed with the "24 great walks in Edinburgh" book we went walking around town again.

Saturday we went on walk #10.

It started off at the Greyfriars Bobby statue.
The story is when Bobby's master passed away he accompanied the funeral procession, and then keept a 14-year vigil at the graveside.

So the dog now has a statue, and is in just about every tourist booklet about Edinburgh.

Then we went into Greyfriars Kirk, where Bobby's master, among other people, is buried. It's an old graveyard and many of gravestones were from the 1700s, not to mention pretty creepy.
Scary Grave

It was thankfully a warm day, and not only did I walk around without my coat (gasp) but I also had sunglasses on (woot). And we took a photo to commemorate the occasion.
Sun and shade

On Sunday we took walk #2, which went along the Royal Mile (called that because the palace is located at one end).

In 1861 a building suddenly collapsed. As rescuers were searching the ruble they heard a faint voice say "Heave awa lads, I'm not dead yet". The boy was saved, and the building now holds a carving of him and his words.

The next picture is an old wellhead (though I think it's been fixed extensively), where the people used draw water. Since it was so important to daily life people also used this as a meeting point.
Behind the wellhead is one of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh, part of it is from the 16th century. It's believed that it's survived this long because it was (possibly) John Knox's house.

We didn't get to see a the reproduction of a 17th century gardens because hooligans were hanging out there, but we did see this plaque saying that the garden was sponsored by the mushroom society.
Mushroom plaque

Here is a clock that I particularly like.
And from another angle, not too long after (notice the change in the sky color).

And, just out of pure luck, at the end of our walk we ran (haha) into the Edinburgh marathon (these were the stragglers).
Edinburgh marathon

And then it was off for a Full Breakfast (essentially an English Breakfast, but we're in Scotland), and then back home for a rest.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blogiversary Giveaway!!

I've never hosted a giveaway here before, but this month marks my 5 year blogiversary!!

So of course I had to.

I'm giving away:

1. A skein of hand-dyed Belle Epoque yarn which I bought specifically for the giveaway from my Local Yarn Store (yay LYSs!). It was hand-dyed in Scotland and made of wool from Shetland sheep.

2. A hedgehog much like this little guy from my etsy shop.

Littlest Hedgehog

To enter leave a comment on any of the posts I make starting with today's and ending with next Monday's. Only one comment per day please, however for more entries you may comment on multiple days this week.

The giveaway will run until Tuesday, June 1st at 9:00 am BST (British Summer Time). Shortly thereafter I'll draw two winners -- one for the yarn and one for hedgehog. If you have a preference, please state 1 or 2.

I'll contact the winners via their blog, or email. So if you do not link to your blog, please include your email in the comment.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Etsy shop opening!!

I've opened an etsy shop!!

I have a few needle felted and wet felted things right now, and tomorrow will be adding some nuno scarves and other accessories.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A few of my favorite tutorials

Recently I participated in a crafty tutorial swap over on swap-bot. We had to share five of our favorite crafty tutorials with five different people.

Here are my favorite from my swap partners:
Iron-on decals from plastic bags.

Valentine lightbulb

Paper bag album.

Bluebird Card

Purse made from a book

And these are the ones I sent to them:
Wet-felted Beads.

A tutorial for a shrinky dink ring (the tutorial part is half way
down the page).

These sock blockers have been on my craft to-do list for a long time.

I'm still waiting for my sewing skills to be good enough to make
this shirt (someday).

I made this little apron a few months ago, and it makes washing
dishes a whole lot more amusing.

And a bonus one:

I'd love to hear what your favorite tutorials are.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Remember the internet is public" Day

Something happened recently that made me remember that the internet isn't private, that everything that's posted online can potentially be accessed until the end of time. Ok, so I guess that last bit was melodramatic, but really, one in five employers reject a candidate based on info they found online. And that study was done nearly two years ago, it's probably higher now.

And it's not just employers, you know that blog you started in 2005, when your son was 11, and where you posted really embarrassing stories about him with funny but unflattering pictures and referred to him by his full name. Well, that kid's 16 now, and his classmates and potential girlfriend will find it.

So I'm declaring today as "Remember the Internet is Public" Day.

A few things you can do to protect yourself:
  • Set your facebook to the highest possible privacy settings. 
  • If someone tags you with a picture that you wouldn't want your employer/potential spouse/mother to find, ask them to delete it, or at least ask them to change their privacy settings to "friends only".
  • Go through your blog and delete things that could affect someone negatively in the future, ie cause yourself or your spouse/family to get fired/never hired, in trouble with the law (ok, so that's pretty extreme, but ...), etc. 
  • Don't post stuff on twitter something that could cause you or your spouse/family to get fired/never hired, etc.
  • When you post on twitter, remember that it can now be googled. To stop this from happening, you might want to use abbreviations or misspellings instead. For instance, you can tweet about A. in Wunderland.
  • When you post on twitter, remember that tweets are now being preserved by the Library of Congress.
Yes self-censorship sucks, but consider the consequences.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to dye wool and yarn with tea

Lately I've been needle felting hedgehogs. But before I even started the project I had a problem. I only had white wool in the house and I needed something darker for the snout. The easy solution: dyeing with tea.

This tea dyeing only works on natural fibers like wool and cotton.

Step 1:
Soak the wool/yarn in cold water with a little bit of soap for half an hour or so. Rinse the wool/yarn.
Step 1

Step 2:
Heat up tea bags in a saucepan to a simmer. Here I've heated two fresh ones, with three that had been used half an hour before. They are the cheapest tea bags I could find. Generally speaking, the more wool you have, and the darker you want the dye to be, the longer it should brew and the more tea bags you should use.
Step 2

Step 3:
After 5 or so minutes you should have a nice brown. But you can brew it for much longer than 5 minutes if you want a darker shade.
Step 3

Step 4:
Pour the dye into a large pot, and add enough water so that the wool won't be too crowded, or it might dye unevenly. Place the already rinsed wool/yarn (still wet) into the large pot. Let it soak a bit. Don't swash the wool around a lot, especially if the dye is warm. If you jostle the wool a lot, you might end up felting it.
Step 4

Step 5:
Take the wool out. The wet wool will looker darker than the final dry product. I rinse the wool, but you don't have to. The wool will get lighter if you rinse it. Pat the wool/yarn dry, then leave it to dry completely on a towel.
Step 5

Step 6:
Admire your creation!
Step 6

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A late Mother's Day present

Got an email from mom, her Mother's Day present (technically I did send it before Mother's Day) arrived. She reads the blog Hi mom so I couldn't show it to you until now. I sent a candy bar (because they have some interesting ones over here) and this little guy:
Felted hedgehog

It was kind of sad putting him in the package though, he looked a little uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable hedgehog

I'm not sure if you can tell in these photos, but the snout part is slightly darker, and was dyed with tea (I'll write up a tutorial soon).

I had initially made a shawl for her, but she had specific size requirements, and I accidentally left it in the dryer for too long, so it's actually now a small scarf that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with.
Nuno scarf

I'm considering opening an etsy shop, our apartment is kind of too small for all the stuff I want to make ...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A little Saturday walk

This morning we went to the farmers market and bought some goodies.
Edinburgh Farmers Market

Tomatoes, super friggin expensive asparagus, and
Fruit and vegies

a leek so big it doesn't fit in our little fridge.

We walked around the castle hill,

to the front of the castle (no idea what the bleachers are for)

and started our walk. We've had the book "24 great walks in Edinburgh" since we moved here, but our Camond Island walk was the only time we used it. And this nice, sunny (mostly) day was perfect for another walk.

We followed walk 1 of the book, which went past the castle, through little alleyways,

and past Deacon's House, which was where we had lunch, and down the Royal Mile.


Deacon's House was once the workshop of the William Brodie, a respected cabinet maker who secretly copied the keys of his wealthy clients, and then at night burgled their houses. He was eventually found out, fled to Amsterdam, was captured and then hanged by the gallows which it's been said he helped to design.

Deacon House

Sadly the food in the cafe was mediocre (we didn't find out until after we had ordered that they served a drink of hot chocolate mixed with whiskey, so we might give the cafe another try). It did however have a few comical statues out front, and inside there was plenty to read about the history of the place and walls painted with scenes from Brodie's life.


And ...
When we came back home I finished off another finger of the glove! Woohoo. Only one more finger, and the thumb to go!

Halfway glove