Monthly Archives: February 2012

Curtain day

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What a beautiful day we had today, for a change it seems! We have had so much rain and wind these past months, its so refreshing to have some blue skies and sunshine! It was if a curtain had lifted between the seasons of winter and spring. A fresh breeze, birds chirping, new shoots emerging from ground and twig. Sunshine is good for the heart, and motivation! I had a curtain motivated day today, to suit the weather changes! It was a perfect drying day for the washing, and I had been waiting for a day that wasn’t too windy, or windy at all  (even plain windy here can be too windy!), so that I could wash our new curtains and get them out without causing any damage or having to fish them out of the loch if they blew away. Ruairidh has had a few packs of Ikea’s hem yourself curtains around for a long while, and I had hemmed a pair a few months ago for the guest rooms. Yup, you read correctly, I hemmed one pair, for two bedrooms! They are quite generous curtains, so one per window was fine as a make-do for a while until I managed to get around to doing any more. They took me a wee while to do. I didn’t want to use the iron-on stuff they come with, because, frankly, I think they’re rubbish! What’s the point in going to all the effort of putting them on, when they just fall off, or come off in the wash? I’d much rather just sew them, even if I’m no expert seamstress. I took a while with that first pair, figuring out lengths and how to go about it with my measuring tape, scissors, pins and magic removable pen. It didn’t help that the pair of curtains (note, from the same pack) were both different lengths !?? Ikea! Anyway, I got there in the end, even remembering to add an extra 8cm for shrinkage as per instructions. I think this was before our last communion weekend, and I knew I wouldn’t get to maching sew them in time before guest arrived to stay with us, so I decided to just run a tack, neatly and with plenty of stitches to make sure they stayed-put! I still haven’t got the sewing machine out. But today, I measured and cut and tacked another pair, in a fraction of the time it took previously- I knew the formula. So, one pair up and waiting a wash and shrink;, one pair washed, ready for a quick iron and hanging (unless I risk the machine, but our next communion weekend is coming up next weekend, so I doubt that!). Who will notice the white, clumsy thread on the hem anyway?!

Ruairidh had a busy day today too. Paperwork in the morning, followed up the the continuation of Operation Fireplace for the rest of the day! Operation Fireplace is an epic. Last year (or was it last year and a few months ago?) Ruairidh began the re-vamp of the fireplace in the manse living room. The old one had been cracked and, lets face it ancient, ugly, decrepit, and so on. Instead of getting somebody else do to the work and with the goal of saving some money from the manse funds, Ruairidh decided he could, and would, handle it. It still hasn’t been finished. Some of you may be noticing a pattern here! Not just with Ruairidh and I, but the manse too! Unfinished fireplace, undecorated kitchen, unvarnished doors, unfinished…. On Tuesday I tackled the hand-rail on the wall going up the stairs. Made of standard pine, unvarnished, and… dirty, manky. Unnoticeable in the passing, but when I went to give it a wee clean a while back, ugh I realised that those dark bits were stains, not just the wood! They came off! With lots of Cif cream and elbow grease. Whoop! I love clean things. WHY it hadn’t been varnished in the first place, I don’t know. Anyway, Peigi has now moved in, watch out house. I was having a sanding-and-varnishing couple of days, between finishing the last coat on the living room door and a couple of coats on the wooden surround and mantel for the fireplace, and the handrail was going to get some too! I arms are a bit sore after scrubbing with Cif, sanding and varnishing, but I smile every time I’m on those stairs, and lovingly caress what I know is clean, will be easy to clean, and is so soft and shiny. (Yup, welcome to my world. I have to substitute the studying with something these days!) Remember to appreciate the hand rail the next time you visit, it needs a little love after its previously neglected life.

Yes, this may all seem mundane to some, but all these bits and bobs are keeping me pretty occupied these days. But obviously, I’m not doing enough because there are still things to complete! The fireplace is getting there though! Until last week, it had been in the exact same state, half-way to completion (presentable but unusable), since last February. Yup, one whole year. Anyway, its good that I can give Ruairidh a hand now. Its looking lovelier each day, and I can’t wait to warm my toes by a real fire again. I’ve been getting my fire-fix when I pop *home* to  Newmarket- *I suppose I should technically change to ‘my parent’s house’ now, but that sounds so COLD! It is home, its just that I have another home now too!* We are aiming ot have it in finished by the communions next weekend, it will have to be presentable then anyway! There may be a slight hiccoup if Ruairidh needs to find a specifi tool to do something, but we hope not. It will be such a pleasure to tick this one off the list! Guess what though?! The curtain came back down. The rain curtain that is. The clouds came, the rain splattered, and the wind rose. Just as well I’d taken the curatins off the line! Oh well, the sunshine was nice while it lasted!

+Photo notes:Some shots from outside in the garden today, and Epic Operation Fireplace.

Yes, one of our washing line posts is that squint! It started keeling over (very quickly- I had to run out to grab hold of the sheets to keep them out of the muddy lawn!) when I had some linen on the line mid-winter. Too much rain in the ground and gales!

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Wee Cousin’s Blog

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I would like to share my cousin Cindy’s blog with you. She wrote it during her adventure to Scotland in the summer, when she came over with my Auntie Donna (also her cousin) to join us for our wedding in July. I know some of you may have already visited and enjoyed her tales of epic adventure, from the crowded cities to the empty moors in Lewis, but you might like to return for more reading if you didn’t make it through to the end (which I reccommend) and I thought others might appreciate it too. I love Cindy’s writing (yes, if you’re reading this, I do, truly!) and its lovely to see our world from a different perspective every once in a while. So, hope the link works!

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/weecousins/1/1298489876/tpod.html.

Pinterest, travels and projects

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I discovered the site ‘Pinterest’ a couple of months ago. As soon as I figured out its purpose and what it actually enables you to do, I wish I had discovered it a year before! It would have been incredibly handy for researching wedding ideas, and for organising all my bookmarks, screenshots and tabs. Yes, I confess, I am one of those people who have countless tabs {when you have more than one internet page open in the one window, they are called ‘tabs’ or ‘a tab’} open at the same time, and a few windows on top of that! I get told off by various siblings, butI find it so convenient, its hard to stop! Of course, I should convert a number of them into bookmarks, but that takes time (more time than just leaving them open) and a lot of the time I don’t want them to become permanent bookmarks. To be honest, my bad habit of taking a long time to get around to doing or finishing things is to blame. For example, I have had the Stornoway Gazette website open for a couple of days now, waiting for me to get around to sending them our wedding photo for the paper. But, hey, its one step closer to completion now that it is no longer just a written scrawl on my to-do list. The other day (well, last month) I was researching activities we could do at this summer’s youth camp, and yes, these are all open tabs in 2 windows. I have minimised them out of the way of daily e-mail checking and such like, but I think firefox is struggling, it hasn’t been quiting very well recently. I have a couple of tabs with some items I’m considering buying open just now as well- still undecided, so still open. It wouldn’t make any sense (to me!) to bookmark them. I would have to spring clean my bookmarks every couple of weeks! That is a task of mine that is long overdue, and maybe if I had more organised bookmarks and bookmark folders, I would be more inclined to use and create them.

Anyway, back to Pinterest. In the months leading up to the wedding, you can well imagine the numerous tabs I had open, with inspirational ideas, things I had to do, and websites others had shared with me. I also got into the hait of taking screenshots of, lets say, flower ideas, and saving them in a folder for later reference and inspiration. Now, if I had known of Pinterest then, it would have made things so much easier and handier. You see, Pinterest is an online pinboard. If you find things of inspiration, special things to remember, recipes, special photos, in the ‘real’ material world, you would add them to a noticeboard, a pinboard, your wall, the fridge, a folder, etc… Pinterest provides a means of recording and organising things you find online, with the added benefit of maintaining creator rights and providing a direct link to the source. I could have added the photos and ideas for flower bouquets that I found online onto a Pinterest board, just for me to see, or to share. With the board, entitled wedding flowers, they would have all been in the same place, pretty and organised! And I could have had another board for dresses, bridesmaid dresses, cakes… the list goes on. Clicking on the image would have taken me directly to the sight for further information. Pinterest also enables you to see what other people are ‘pinning’, providing a fount of inspiration in all areas of life!

I have since shared the world of Pinterest with others, perfect timing for Colin and Nma who are planning their wedding just now; and Mairianne finds it a great resource for youth activity ideas. I have boards focusing on specific things I want to make (crafts etc), inspiration for the arty things I want to create, gardening ideas for when the weather changes, interior decor,  food I want to make and gobble, photo shots that I find that I think are paricularly lovely, one for things I see that I like or would like to get… and more. I have even started a board for doors. Yup, doors. Ever since being in Spain, I love doors. Special doors. Old doors. Coloured doors. Photos of doors. They are so captivating and inviting; pieces of artwork leading to who knows where, surrounded by an aura of mystery. Just look to ‘The Secret Garden’ for an example of how enticing a door can be! There’s another topic for a board, books to read, and share. So much of Pinterest is about sharing. It is so easy to get caught up in looking at what others have pinned, I forget to make my contribution in return. Such a delightful world has been opened for us in Pinterest. Have you discovered it yet? What do you like about it? Do you have any bugs about it?

I have been finding so many things I would love to create and do, but getting around to doing them is another matter! I was inspired on a blog I visit (The Mom Creative) to create a ‘Completed Pins’ board for projects I actually take all the way. Needless to say its still empty! I’ve also found the advice of making boards as narrow is scope as possible helpful, otherwise you will never find anything! And it defeats the purpose. I haven’t had much creative opportunity recently. Well, maybe I haven’t made enough of an effort. I will though- new day, new week, and all that! I’ll take a leaf out of Anne’s (of Green Gables) book, [haha! unintentional pun!] each day is new with no mistakes in it. We had a lovely Anne movie watching night the other week at Diana’s. Of course, we only watched the first dvd, and enjoyed it very much! It had been so long since I last watched it, I had forgotten some bits. We had a lovely girls night in Vatisker anyway, thank you Diana!

There has been a lot of toing and froing during this first month of 2012. Ruairidh is away this week for the third spell this month, and I just came back on Saturday from a trip to Glasgow. Myself and Mairianne left on Wednesday to join Nma and Ruth (her other bridesmaid) for dress shopping in Glasgow. Yes, we had a successful time! How exciting to be able to support and help Nma (and Colin, I suppose) with their upcoming EVENT. So, there has been a lot of coming and going recently, and I haven’t made much progress with any of the projects and ideas I have in my head, or that are glaring me in the face, every day. But as I finish this rambling nonsense blog, it is a new day, of a new month, motivation I hope that will spurr me on to bring these things to fruition. Hopefully you’ll hear about something in the next blog!