December 31, 2010

Bye Bye 2010

My lovely husband is sick with the flu like most other people in the world so tonight is a quiet affair, no crazy street partying for us old farts.

Instead I thought I'd take a moment to recap my year a bit:

*A year a go today we were flying back from the states so that means it has been a year since I saw my momma :( ...

*I had a horrible job that made me physically sick and gave me nightmares. I was a forensic photographer for the police and had to photograph crime scenes and assault victims. It was horrible seeing murder victims, suicides and the worse was dead babies. I'm not sure how I will recover from such a scarring experience as that but I'm off to a good start. I quit my job at the end of October which was incredibly liberating, but at the same time losing that amazing government salary was really sad. But my health comes first as my incredibly supportive husband often reminds me. And I am happy to say I haven't had a nightmare since I left that place.

*I started my own freelance photography business! Eek that is quite scary and as I am still in the process of getting it going I don't want to jinx it by saying something too optimistic.

*I have sooo many ailments in my life (I am not a hypochondriac, I am just unlucky) here were the top five of 2010:

-I sprained my groin in July at the T in the Park music festival by getting my wellies stuck in the mud while the rest of me carried on and I had to go to the hospital
-I sprained my ankle in Amsterdam
-I have had a chest infection, a ton of migraines, bad acid reflux and nausea.
-Chemicals splashed in my eyes at my forensic job and I had to be taken to the hospital in ambulance and had 3 liters of water poured over my eyes that were pried open by an evil nurse (think the brainwashing scene from A Clockwork Orange).
-I had severe anxiety attacks that felt like I was going to die (yet another perk of my old job).

(This is an honorable mention: I am lactose intolerant and I ran out of pills in Madrid and I had to through a chocolate ice cream cone away without eating it on the hottest day ever)

*Billy and I went to both Madrid and Amsterdam this year.

*At the end of our Madrid trip I was almost mugged. The escalator going down to the subway was broken so we had to walk down carrying all our luggage. Billy was in front of me and I was struggling to get my bag down when I turn quickly to see a 18 year old woman with her hand in my purse. I yank myself away from her while my luggage fell down the escalator (breaking my new boater's hat) and the guy who was with the mugger caught me before I fell down the escalator myself. The girl who tried to mug me did the catholic cross the heart thing because she was afraid and I was in shock and couldn't do anything but stare at her. In that moment I was so confused I couldn't even talk.

Everyone was staring at me and I couldn't say anything (a very rare thing for me). I eventually turned and got down the steps and they scurried off. She didn't get anything from me and hopefully she learned her lesson but I was so horrified that I didn't say anything. I still bothers me to this day. Now when someone walks too close to me I get paranoid.

*I built my first snowman (Phil) this year.

*Our 3 year-old niece made me her best friend. She calls me Auntie Zoo.

*I gained 10 pounds which are about to go bye bye.

*I won Scottish Music Photographer of the year in a competition judged by the iconic photographer Harry Benson.

*I bought a sewing machine and a fold-up bike.

*I made my first dress.

*I watched many World Cup games. Go USA!

*And finally I started this blog.


Next... my resolutions.


December 27, 2010

AFI Top 100 List

Billy and I love to get comfy on our couch and watch a film on a Friday night. Our Love Film queue shows that most of our films are foreign, most star Penelope Cruz and most are independent. So in order to stretch out from our usual subtitled fare, we decided to watch all of the film's on the American Film Institutes' 100 Years, 100 Movies list that came out in 1997. Another list came out in 2007 but it took out Rebel Without a Cause and that caused me not to choose that list.

We are going to blog about the movies and rate them. Billy in not happy about the musicals!

We started yesterday, which is Boxing Day here in the UK and a national holiday and we are going to try and watch them all by next Boxing Day. Billy writes for a living so it isn't really fair to put my malarkey next to his. I got "A's" in all my journalism classes, but I am not a natural writer. It takes work for me and usually I don't have the patience but I think it will be fun.

December 25, 2010

I am enjoying a very stress-free Christmas morning. The monkey bread is in the oven, I am waiting for America to wake-up so I can skype my family and I have the Radio Times in front of me filled with Christmas TV choices. This is going to be a nice day. Merry Christmas everyone!

December 24, 2010

Billy's Birthday

My honey turned 30 yesterday. Thank god. I am so tired of him telling me how old I am (I'm a year and a month older) and how young he is being in his twenties and all. We went bowling and played some pool and air hockey. I finally beat him on the last game we played and I was quite obnoxious about it.

I made him chicken katsu curry (my specialty) with edamame and a cupcake for dessert and we watch episodes of the office (us version) that we downloaded. It was quite a nice day though I woke up with a c shape seared into my skin after burning my hand on dinner and the whole flat smells of curry.

I can finally reveal the secret of my Christmas bunting which changes to say "Happy Birthday." Its quite nice that Merry and Happy have the same amount of letters. I added an "!" to fill the space after birthday. Billy really hates when I decorate for birthdays and holidays (except Christmas) so I thought this would be a simple way to celebrate his day.

December 20, 2010

A Christmas Story...

I'm really excited. I am about to start reading "A Christmas Story." You know the movie that is played 24 hours on TBS Christmas Day, well that started out as a story by Jean Shepherd. I saw this in Barnes and Noble when I was home last Christmas and knowing that I'd be away from my family this year, I was determined to get a copy and read it. I hope it is better than the movie!

December 19, 2010

Knitting Project #7

It is snowing AGAIN! Edinburgh is getting hit pretty hard right now and my poor husband is out in it. Being nice and warm inside I decided to finish up a project. I needed to make my husband a new stocking as the one I made him two years ago was horrible. It was before I had ever knitted a sock so I didn't understand the heel.

This new one isn't perfect. I would have liked more red in the foot but I ran out. I will probably make him another again in a few years. By the time we retire he will have a ton of stockings!!

The pattern was easy enough but I did not like how the heel was turned because you didn't actually turn it. I don't think the finished product looked nice and I ended up sewing the seams. It will do for now.

December 17, 2010

My guilty pleasure...

I have always been an avid reader and growing up in the late 80's and early 90's the Babysitter's Club was my favorite. I joined they Babysitter's Club Club and I got a book every month and details on how to start my own Babysitter's Club.

I guess I really like the BSC books because I really wanted to have friends like that. I however had friends that liked me when it was convenient for them and they always seemed to know I was different than them no matter how hard I tried to pretend I wasn't. Its okay though because they are all probably still in the same town and I have a wonderful life.

Anyways I think this explains why, every year, I still watch the Babysitter's Club Christmas Special. I got the vhs as part of the club and I think I wore it out.

So this is my guilty pleasure, except I don't feel so guilty.

December 16, 2010

Baked Project #11

Okay, yes marshmallows aren't baked but that's okay. I guess they are boiled and whisked but that makes for a bad section title. I made these bad boys a few days ago and they are all gone. Billy ended up taking half of them to work to save us from a sugar coma. I would categorize these as not so easy. It took me FOREVER to get them off the baking paper. So next year I think I will make up some hot chocolate and give out that with the marshmallows for a nice pressie.

We actually don't give out many presents because our first year married I had only been in the country for a month and a half, the second year we went to Florida and this year we are skint. Boo. And The Gap is having a %50 off sale and I am so sad. Billy and I are only doing stockings this year. I have his all done but I can't write about it because he is my most devoted reader.

His birthday is the 23rd so he usually gets the "Oh this is for your birthday and Christmas." I however am big on birthdays and even if we can't afford much I try and make the day all about him.

December 11, 2010

Sewing Project #11

I am actually quite proud of this bunting because I came up with the idea all by myself. I always save the spare buttons that come with store bought clothes and I've been wanting to do something with them for a while. I also did applique for the first time ever! I thought it came out quite well considering I was using super cheap felt.

We are renters, so we are very limited to what we are allowed to put on our walls I have to think of things that will leave the least amount of damage. I think if I were going to change anything about it, I would have used interfacing on the back but I had a different plan for it originally.

December 10, 2010

Robert Ryan

I know I should be working right now but I am really, super tired and I really can't get motivated. So instead I'm going to write a post about this artist whose work I love. Robert Ryan is a London-based paper cutting genius. I have drooled over his Etsy site since visiting his shoppe in La La La London. But the best is that he created a lot of very cool stuff for John Lewis. I want this vase! The prices aren't too bad considering it is JL but I still can't afford any. Stupid being skint.

December 9, 2010

Almost Legal...

I sent out my application today for my "Indefinite Leave to Remain" visa. Basically it means I can stay in the UK permanently but I have no recourse for public funds. I've been in Scotland for just over two years and my current spousal visa is about to expire. I think this is how they deter people from becoming residents because you have to pay 900 pounds for the sucker (on top of the 500 pounds I had to pay to get my first visa).

In three more years I'll be eligible to get citizenship. I can't wait to have a British passport because then I can live and work in any country in the European Union. I'd love to move to Paris or Madrid.

But there is something terrible scary about sending my two passports (the one with my visa expired so I have to carry around two), Billy's passport, our marriage certificate and all of our financial information out in the mail. Eek. And to top that off, the postal service here is backed up because of the weather.

Anyways, here are the ID photos we took. For some reason they keep Billy's photo on file as well. In the end we had to go to one of the booths because the photos I took at home kept printing weird. We're not allowed to smile and we both had hat hair. I think Billy looks like a bible salesman in his tie.

December 8, 2010

Knitting Project #6

Okay, so I don't usually put up more than one project in a day, but I am really trying to catch up with all finished stuff. These are constellation fingerless gloves from Lion Brand. I love the cabled ones in Gap but I wanted ones that didn't go over individual fingers so that I can wear my leather gloves underneath. I used two skeins to make the wool chunkier and they are really super warm. They fill in the gap where my gloves end and my sleeve begins.

Sewing Project #10

I have to send out my momma's presents tomorrow so I photographed the gardening apron I sewed last week. My mom is the greatest person ever and she deserves much more, but I'm skint this year so instead I made something using leftover material.

She, being a mother and all, always loves home made gifts the most. Momma spends most of her time in her garden in Florida and since she started it she has stopped feel arthritic, lost weight and is happy. I made this apron using the basic dimensions from this tutorial, but I figured the rest out my self.

PS It is really hard to take a photo of yourself wearing an apron when you're too lazy to dig out your tripod. Its not the best photo, but you get the idea.

December 6, 2010

Knitting Project #5 & Sewing Project #9

This is the dress that I made in my sewing class with Lubi. I finished it about a month ago but I've been too busy (or lazy) to put up my studio lights and take a proper photo. Well tonight we had to set up the lights to take id photos for my visa so I thought I'd tick something off my long list of things to do.

This is based on a New Look pattern, but we really didn't keep to it that much. We changed the front and we just used some maths to figure out the skirt. I don't really like dresses with these sleeves, but I wanted to do the hardest ones in class so that other sleeves with be easy for me on my one. I want to make either one with three-quarter sleeves or sleeve-less with a boat neck. I really think it would look great in a tweed and quite fitting as I'm in Scotland.

This scarf is a quickie I whipped up when my husband needed to keep warm. It really is too short but I only had a little bit of man acceptable colors available to me. I tried to convince him to wear a cowl but that was a bit much for him. I really like the pattern for a guy and I think I will make it in gray when I can afford more wool.

I still have fingerless gloves and a gardening apron to photograph and put up. I really should keep up on these things better.

Oh and I found a shop in Edinburgh that sells my favorite winter tea! Yay.

December 4, 2010

Knitting Project #4 & Sewing Project #8

Billy and I trekked through the 2 feet deep snow today and happened upon a Christmas tree seller. We were going to go for a fake tree as we thought we couldn't afford a real one this year, but they were selling four feet tall trees which are really just the tops of bigger trees. So we bought one with a stump to put it on and they delivered it to us tonight. I love this tree. I think it is my favorite that I've ever had. I can't really explain it but all the ornaments on it were either made by us or had some significance.

I have been knitting little stockings since October. I think someone saw one and thought I might have been 'expecting' but the only thing I was expecting was a tree! I used super cheap yarn I bought my first Christmas here from Pound Stretcher, similar to a dollar store.

While waiting for our tree Billy and I made our ornaments from book pages. I sewed and he cut them out from an old book. He was quite pleased to cut up the Dan Brown book and I wasn't sorry to see it go. I saved the rest for future projects so books purists shouldn't worry.

Our star was made our first year we lived in Scotland together. We were super poor and couldn't afford a proper star. We made it out of tin foil and cardboard and we will probably keep it for the next forty years. We like it so much that we made one for my mom's tree last year when we were in Florida for Xmas. Though that one was spiced up with some amazing glitter glue!

November 29, 2010

{A} Gap Cowl Scarf, {B} A Kanken Classic, {C} Gap socks, {D} Interchangable Knitting Needles, {E} Gap ribbed tights, {F} Old Navy Beaded Cardigan, {G} Old Navy Cardigan in Silverback, {H} Old Navy Cardigan in Cocoa

My mom usually requires our Christmas lists by Thanksgiving, but since I'm so far away she gives me a little leeway. My birthday is in November and she bought me every single thing I put on my birthday list and all were for my freelance photography business. What can I say, I have the best momma ever! She always spoils me rotten.

So this year Billy and I didn't want anything for Christmas excepts contributions towards my visa that we have to renew in January. But of course momma wouldn't have that. She says she doesn't care if she gets anything because the fun for her is in the giving.

But I am a bit stuck. I have been on all my favorite sites... Anthropologie, Gap, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters... but there haven't been many things that struck my fancy. Grr. So the list above was the best I can do. I have a lot of cardigans on there because it is one of the few things I can wear year round in Edinburgh. Usually there are hundreds of things that I want and as I am just starting out freelancing funds are not that abundant for Billy and me. Billy had his list done well before me. But his birthday is on Dec. 23rd so his was a combo list.

For my mom this year, I want to make her a few things. I know its getting late in the game but I haven't had time to think about this. I think I will make her this makeup brush bag or something else sewn. I embroidered her this months ago and I have a skirt I bought in Madrid and tulip bulbs in a naff porcelain clog from Amsterdam. But I can never have enough stuff for my momma. She loves to garden so I guess maybe a gardening apron like this.

So much to do.

November 27, 2010


We celebrated our Thanksgiving on the day after the actual turkey day as it is not a holiday in the UK. Boo. They are still mad we got away from them! But Billy got to learn all about US history when Ted (Edinburgh via San Francisco) and his 9 year-old daughter Keara joined us for the meal.

Which president made it an official holiday? Abraham Lincoln! See you're learning too. But this year I decided to try and make a few things that I usually get shipped over from scratch.

First was the all important pumpkin pie. I wrote the recipe down without bookmarking it so I'm not sure which one it was. But I bought a pumpkin, roasted it for an hour, peeled it and pureed it. I made the dough from scratch too. It came out a bit too jiggly but it tasted amazing. Definitely much better than using the canned stuff. The taste was more authentic.

The crescent roll are a must on my Thanksgiving table. At one point in my life I remember having a sliver of turkey, a small heap of mashed potatoes and corn and about 6 crescent rolls! I love it so much that I eat the raw dough straight out of the pack. I know its gross but mm so good.

Well my first batch of dough decided it didn't want to rise. So my lovely husband stepped in and used his bread making magic (he makes us pizza from scratch on a regular basis) and made the perfect crescent roll. It was much bigger than the store bought kind and oh so good. Everyone should try and make it themselves. Billy had to switch around the recipe a bit as it came out too wet when I made it.

And to top it all off it started snowing just before Ted and Keara had to leave. It was a perfect Thanksgiving. The only thing that would have made it better is if my momma was there to enjoy it with us. You can see the rest of my photos from the night on my flickr account.

November 14, 2010

Birthday and Incompleted Items...

Friday was my birthday. 31 is a very very scary number especially when your husband is still 29 (for another month anyway). But I got two huge boxes shipped over from my momma in the states and as always she thoroughly spoiled me rotten. My darling husband baked me lasagna and cupcakes mmm.

But I feel bad because I haven't added much to this blog lately. I feel guilty crafting when I should be a) trying to get freelance jobs and b) studying for my "Life in the UK" test that I have to take in December in order to get my Visa renewed. Boo. But I have done some things.

I finished my first dress in class on Thursday but I need to photograph it still. I have made three mini stockings for my Christmas tree (I know I'm starting early but it will take me ages to make the 12 I want to complete). I am working on fingerless gloves and I completed one sock for my husband. The first one was for our anniversary and I'll make the second for Christmas or his birthday (its Dec 23rd).

So hopefully I'll have photographs to add soon. But for now I'll just have a photo of my birthday cupcake.

November 3, 2010

My new job!

Well, this is my first official week of freelancing. So far I've spent hours at my computer sending out emails to pr companies. I love pr people because, gasp, they actually reply to my emails! I've gotten quite a few replies and they are all really positive. I'm used to sending stuff to press people who rarely bother to reply.

So I am registered as Su Anderson Photography with Her Majestsy's Revenue and Customs. I have public liability insurance and I even had a meeting with a guy about advertising. So business like!

Now I just need to actually get work. Fingers crossed.

October 18, 2010

Baked Project #11

We had a fruit basket full of apples that weren't going to be eaten, so before they rotted I decided to make an apple crisp (my husband calls it an apple crumble). The recipe was perfect. We both really liked it. The only thing I did differently than the recipe was to toss the apple slices in a bit of white sugar and cinnamon as I remember my mom doing that for apple pie.

I made it again on Sunday because baking is something I do to relax and stop thinking about bad things. I found out my co-worker was struck by a lorrie while walking home on Saturday night and well I was real sad. The second apple crisp didn't come out great because my heart wasn't really in it.

But now Billy is eatting the leftover and he is quite happy and that's all that matters.

October 5, 2010


So thus far thus blog has been a place for me to talk about the stuff I have made. Today I made something important though I don't have a photo to show it. I (along with my ever supportive and perfect husband) made the decision I should resign from my job. So I did it today. I handed in my resignation and now I have to wait out the four weeks until I am truly free of that place.

It has been a year and a half of misery working there. From office politics to the fact that I am too sensitive for certain subjects (who knew), and the hour and a half commute, it was not the easiest of jobs. The money was good so there was a plus and it allowed me to slowly purchase all the gear I need to go freelance (which is what I am doing).

I am so incredibly excited at the prospect of ending this part of my life (and it really took over my life for awhile) and entering a new phase. Yay!!

October 3, 2010

Baked Project #10

Victory at last!! I have attempted making Yorkshire Puddings so many times and each time ending with us throwing away a burnt eggy mess. I was told that in order to make Yorkshires, the oil in the cupcake tray had to be smoking and that I need to let the mixture sit for at least half an hour before using it.

God bless Delia because she says the oil needs not be smoking nor that you have to let the stuff sit. So finally my Yorkshires came out perfect! I also tried baking one big one in a tray and that came out perfect too! Yay to success.

So now I have to wait for my husband to finish the rest of the Sunday roast so we can eat them. For anyone not in the UK, Yorkshire Puddings are a crispy bread-like roll that has an indent in the middle for gravy.

My husband's granny used to make a roast every single Sunday and he started not to appreciate them. Now we have them occasionally and on Christmas so its a bit of a treat. MMM roast potatoes, roast parsnips (the best root veg ever!) and Yorkshires. The actual roast beef is my least favorite part of the meal funny enough. But the gravy that comes from it is amazing. I am in fact hungry while writing this so hence the major food love.

I am working on non baking things at the moment too. I haven't been to a sewing class in a month due to my and my sewing teacher's time conflicts but I'm due to go to class on Wednesday with people I haven't met yet. And for my cotton anniversary (which was on Monday) I am knitting my hubby a pair of socks. I'm at the heel on the first one so I've got ages to go.

But most of my spare time has been spent on redesigning my actual website! Every time I think I'm done something goes terribly wrong. Boo. Anyways that is a long-winded blog post. Hurry up dinner!!

September 22, 2010

Baked Project #9

So I am sick yet again and today I was craving something nice and kind of healthy. I baked Banana Nut muffins but they came out more like blah-nana muffins. This recipe was so tasteless! I usually use a different recipe to make banana loaves but I thought I'd try something new. Big mistake. I will stick with my old recipe.

September 13, 2010

Knitting Project #3

This wasn't the hat that I was going to make, but after having no luck finding double pointed needles US 10 in the UK, I decided to try something else. I usually shy away from things that are just purl or knit because I don't find them very challenging but I have to admit I really love this hat. It took no time at all and was a very relaxing project, which is what I need right now.

It's called the Republic hat and it was a free ravelry pattern. I actually knitted a bit more than I needed to because I was someone was visiting and I was knitting and talking at the same time (a bad combination for me!!). But it fits me perfectly. I used Big Softie yarn from Sirdar and I love it because its soft and its cheap!!

September 11, 2010

Baked Project #8

I finished another week off work by baking some cookies to keep my sanity. The recipe says the last chocolate chip cookie you'll ever make. I'm not convinced. It is not a bad recipe by any means but it is not the best. I've made it twice, the first time using the chocolate called for. It was far to bitter and I ended up throwing away the whole batch.

This time I used milk chocolate with a bar of white chocolate thrown in and it came out much better. I grew up making chocolate chip cookies based on an old aunt's (that I never met) recipe that was sneakily similar to the one on the back of the nestle tollhouse chocolate chip bag! To be fair to the aunt her small changes do make a big difference.

Anyways, I live in Scotland and I can't get nestle tollhouse here. And if by chance I do find it, it is usually in places like Harvey Nicks where you have to mortgage your place to buy anything. So I used Sainsbury brand chocolate and its just not the same.

So I think I will continue looking for a chocolate chip (or chunk like this recipe is) recipe.

September 4, 2010

Baked Project #7

I made cheesecake!! It was my first ever attempt at the cheesy goodness and it was really successful. I didn't even like cheesecake until I got married and then my husband extolled its greatness upon me.

It is made with strawberries in it and with a strawberry syrup on top. It was supposed to be raspberry but the shop didn't have any today. I am going to try it again with raspberries or maybe blackberries next time.

I haven't had much time lately to make anything due to a redesign of my website that is taking ages. But I did start a sewing class and am making my first dress! I have been to two classes thus far and I already have most of the bodice made. I bought gorgeous Liberty fabric and I want to wear it on my anniversary on the 27th. We are going to Amsterdam and I think the dress will be perfect for a night out.

August 21, 2010

Baked Project #6

Billy and I decided to make a three course meal tonight. Billy made the appetizer and the main (which were amazing) and I made the dessert. I opted for a shortcake with cream cheese frosting and fruit topping. I was going to make a blueberry pie but the timing for the main course and the pie wouldn't have worked out very well. And well we are in Scotland and shortcake is quintessentially Scottish.

I made the tarts in normal size cupcake tins which only made twelve. I had so much frosting left over it was such a waste. But overall it was a really nice recipe.

Embroidery Projects #1 & 2

I have spent the last week laying on the couch with a viral infection that made me nauseated every time I moved. So to fight the boredom I embroidered two projects from Sublime Stitching. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with them. The butterfly is for my mom and the rose will probably go on my wall somewhere. I really don't like leaving them in the hoop permanently as I think its a bit wasteful but it may just have to stay put.

August 13, 2010

Knitting Project #2

So this hat will look great on a 8 year-old. On me it looks like a small ski cap. But I really do like the pattern. I used US 9 double-pointed needles for the whole project. I will be making this hat again for me in the gauge recommended. I could see this hat in several colors so I might make many for the dark days of winter.

It is a super easy pattern to make. I used a cable needle instead of the stitch holder I have always used. Wow the difference is incredible! It is so much easier to knit straight off the cable needle. Why oh why did I not try this before?

August 9, 2010

Baked Project #5

I love blueberry muffins!! But what I love more is when there is a sugary crumble top and a soft and moist bottom. Enter the perfect recipe. The top bit is a cinnamon crumble that compliments the blueberries amazingly. I have never made muffins from scratch before and I am super pleased with the results. Best yet, my husband loved them and said he was impressed. Coming from him that was a great achievement for me!

August 4, 2010

Baked Project #4

One of my favorite baked good ever is Zucchini Bread (or courgette bread if you're British). My mom's coworker used to make one for me every time she did a batch. I didn't used to like zucchinis though I didn't like ANYTHING when I was a kid. I wouldn't eat anything that I didn't know but somehow this treat snuck through my tasteless barrier. And thank goodness for that. I know eat EVERYTHING! Well maybe not everything. I won't eat Lamb because they are cute or bunny rabbits.

Anyways, I love this bread and I have made it with several different recipes trying to get it right. I'm not in love with the recipe I used as the mix was quite dry and I had to add milk to it. I also was low on ground cinnamon so it wasn't as tasty as it usually is. I think I will continue on my quest to find the perfect zucchini bread recipe.

August 2, 2010

Knitting Project #1

So, I know it is summer time and the last thing I should be doing is knitting a winter hat, but after a long hiatus with my needles I found myself really wanting to make something. I don't like supper slouchy berets because they make my head look weird, so I found this tutorial on the Purl Bee website.

My hat is a bit different because I only had one skein of wool to use. Last year for our anniversary, Billy and I went to the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland. There I found the most remote knitting shop I had ever seen. We drove for miles on single track roads stopping for the highland coos (cows) and finally came to Shilasdair. I could only afford one skein as it was a bit pricey and well my husband was there so I couldn't sneak a few more. So this hat is my remote isle anniversary hat!

I am going to make it again with red wool that I have a ton of. I had to cut so many rounds out of my Shilasdair hat that it doesn't really resemble the tutorial hat. It was super easy and a nice relaxing project.

Sewing Project #7

Saturday was the 30th birthday of my husband's best mate who is a drummer in Belfast. I decided to make him a roll-up case for his drumsticks using this tutorial.

It was pretty straight forward. The only thing is that I would add a handle to the top so that when its open it can be hung from a drum. I used two different fabrics from Ikea that were the manliest I could find (it really isn't easy to find cool fabric for guys!).

I think I'm going to make one for my knitting needles.

July 24, 2010

Baked Project #3

Billy and I went to Cairnie Mega Maze in Fife today to pick strawberries and raspberries. We did venture into the Maize Maze and it was fun (though the fuddy duddy didn't think so). I even got to go on a huge trampoline!!

We came back with a ton of fruit and my first attempt to use them up came in the form of Strawberry Bread. It is very similar to Zucchini Bread but the strawberries basically melt. It was an interesting attempt and tasty but I'm just not sure how long the cake will last.

There are more photos of our day on my Flickr site.

July 21, 2010

Baked Project #2

I had to make something to go into the toiletry bag to give as a present so I made brownies!! I love brownies!! And I do make pretty darn good ones if you ask me. It's an old recipe and I think it has the perfect amount of gooeyness. mmm

Sewing Project #6

I worked with oil cloth for the first time and it was a bit troublesome with my presser foot. Once I put on some masking tape it worked much better. I used the tutorial from Prudent Baby. It didn't seem to come out the same as in the tutorial pictures so I think I must have miscalculated somewhere, but I'm happy with the outcome as it is a birthday present for someone.

July 19, 2010

Baked Project #1

Today is my niece's 19th birthday. Though she lives in America I decided to celebrate her birth with some cupcakes that I think she would have loved to eat if she were in Scotland. I'll just have to tell her how good they were!

They are yellow cupcakes with chocolate icing from this recipe. I love the Joy of Baking website. The cake bit wasn't as moist as I would like though I'm not sure if its because the sour cream is different in this country.

They were still good.

July 17, 2010

Sewing Projects #3,4,5

After several longs stints of staring at my clothes in the wardrobe I have found a serious lack of skirts amongst the lot. So I have been determined to fill in the blanks with skirts that I made myself! I have made skirts before when I was a teenager, but nothing more than a simple A-Line pattern.

My first skirt was a puffy skirt sew-along. I think this was a bit ambitious for my first attempt as it wasn't from a store-bought pattern and it had a shirred back!! I nearly broke my machine trying to do the shirring. I had to take it back to the shop and they severely 'tsk tsked' me. But in the end it took me four days to make the three day skirt. Its a bit too small around the waist as I have to put it on over my head.

My second skirt is my favorite thus far. I really wanted a denim skirt like one I had seen in the gap for 50 pounds (my computer doesn't have a pound sign as it is American). I used McCall's 5430. It wasn't exactly like the gap skirt but close enough, though it does not agree with the roaring Scottish wind.

My third skirt is New Look 6872. It was really easy to make and I love the fabric. I just bought some Liberty fabric so I think I will make another one from this pattern.

I think my wardrobe is going to be 80% skirts soon!

June 25, 2010

Sewing Projects #1 & 2

My first project with my brand new machine!! I made this tote bag from this tutorial. Its perfect for all my work stuff but not too big to use as a normal purse. It was my first time with gussets and I was surprised at how easy they were to work with. It was a great first project.

I also made a small bag for my IPod stuff using the steps from this tutorial, though the material I used wasn't really right for that kind of bag. I will be remaking it with stronger fabric. Yay to completing something 24 hours after buying my machine!


I am "a girl named su" and after a lot of thought I have decided to start a blog. Eek! This is a bit intimidating!

I have been looking at a lot of craft sites lately (and I mean a ton) and I really like the way bloggers have created such a friendly community. There are so many truly talented people out there and I would like to be a part of this creative culture.

I just bought a sewing machine and though its not my first, this one was bought with serious intentions of becoming some-what skilled at sewing. I am a keen baker and knitter but my husband is tired of sweets in the house and I am a bit burnt out with my needles so this is my attempt to create a new outlet.

This blog will be my tiny way of contributing to the craftosphere. I will use it to write about random things too because without the randomness what good is life eh?