Saturday 24 June 2017

Frame my name - A review and competition.

I was offered the opportunity to review a framed name of my own choice from Frame my Name  and the product really appealed so I said yes please. Frame my name do exactly what the title says, they make beautiful framed names.  They also make height charts, banners, cards and invitations, Christening gifts as well as some suitable for the grown ups in your life

. We have so many styles to choose from, suitable for all occasions, including christenings, baptisms, and new babies. Our personalised baby name gifts can include details of the child’s name, date of birth and special occasion. You can also add your own unique message or quotation – one which could make a lasting and profound impression with the baby as he or she grows.

Once you have chosen your design, you then have the following options;
  • Child’s first name (up to 11 letters) 
  • Wording line 1 (e.g. child's full name, date of birth etc if required) 
  • Wording line 2 (e.g. personal message or quote if required) 
  • Frame colour – choice of stained or white frame.

Having seven grandchildren can make things difficult when offered an item to review but I decided that Ziggy was the best fit for this product as she still has wall space left in her room, the others not so much so.

So having liaised with DD2 as to what she fancied for her we settled on the animal adventures print.

Mia sat with her framed name

with her first two names on, her first name on its own we felt was too short to do the product any justice. We chose to keep in the meaning of her name as we did not want a personal message. For the second line we added her date of birth, there was also another line available to add a special occasion or a message if you wished too but we liked the simplicity of what we chose.

The frames are well made and well finished  and the actual print is covered in perspex which will keep off any grubby fingerprints. They make for a beautiful gift and I am sure would be welcomed by any parent. Personally I was not keen on the italic writing that was on Mia's name but my daughter did like it. I found it difficult to read but that may be an age thing.

it looks great on her wall. 

I have two of these framed names to give away in a competition. To enter the competition just follow the instruction in the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Project 365 week 25


While I was at work the grandchildren came round with a Fathers Day card for Granddad and some home made crispie cakes that they had made unaided in the morning. Minky was really pleased with the card he had made and was very pleased when Granddad put it on the mantle piece, and it is still there.

card and cripies


Hubby did some more preparation work for his shed. Moving slabs to level them up so Lilly helped with the digging.  Her cough has not returned which I am hoping is a good thing. Sadly her appetite is back to normal for Lilly, mega small portions as and when she wants to.

digging under the slab


Sometimes my sewing corner can get rather messy. I had been cutting out another load of purple and white shapes to match last weeks patchwork square. The piles on the windowsill are the piles for each separate square. I was listening to an audio book on my kindle and had a bottle of juice handy as it has been rather warm all week.

messy but organised


The children wanted to come and visit. so DD1 brought them up before nursery.
Bob read a book, Spud fell asleep, Dinky huffed and Minky played nice and stroked Lilly.

Spud,  Dinky and Minky


I have to do a health and safety inspection and write a report on my findings as part of my UNISON training. I have decided to do it on the ergonomics of our Supervisors Office, and do I was printing off the standards that I shall be looking for during my inspection.


The Lilies are looking fabulous at the moment, sadly they have a short life span.


Looking to do something a bit more adventurous with my sewing machine. So I had a conversation with a lovely lady at Toyota who agreed to send me out a few attachments for my machine. A full blog post will follow once I have made something impressive with them. Here I was practising making flowers and just put them in boxes as I had been practising sewing the boxes.

a flower stitch attachment 

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Is organised mess written in your stars?

Organised mess, not two words that would seemingly go together according to their dictionary meanings.

Organised,--- to combine in an organised manner, order, or the like.

Mess,--- a dirty or untidy mass, litter, or jumble.

An example of something or someone who is organised may well look like this, my neat and tidy desk. 

Whereas an example of  something or someone that is a mess could look like this, the wife's sewing table, well actually it is our dining table but she has taken it over and it only sees the light of day now when the youngest grandchild comes to stay.

In the first example that level of organisation  could in no way be described as a mess, and  the second example could in no way be described as organised so this once again leaves us the question - can there be organised mess? Well yes I think there can. The messy table is the wife getting organised to start sewing, but first all the pieces need cutting  and then the correct colours are placed into piles so that when it comes to the sewing all the pieces are in order ready for her to use. Hence all the piles on the windowsill. 

To most folk this shed  would appear to be a total mess as described in the dictionary but not to me,  this is completely organised and the proof of this is the fact that I can lay my hands on any item no matter how large or small instantly. Have to say a new cupboard or two from F@W Office Chairs would not go amiss. 

We were sent an infographic titled "Organised Mess" all about the organisational characteristics of the star signs in the Zodiac it made for very interesting reading. 

Funnily enough both the wife and I come under the signs of Constructive chaos. I agree I drive my wife up the wall I am true to my sign of Scorpio and am a hoarder. The loft, like the shed, is full of anything and everything that one day may come in handy. The wife on the other hand is the opposite of what her sign says and would happily throw anything in the bucket we have not needed in the last twenty eight days. Before you ask yes everything is organised logically in my mind and I can find anything I want pretty quickly. The wife on the other hand would have no idea where to start looking for things and so just sends me up when she needs something that she would happily have chucked away years ago. I have to say I take great pleasure in saying this to her when I produce things from the loft. 

So there I give it to you, some messes can be organised (organised mess) just as something organised can be a mess (also organised mess) so the two words can seemingly go together whether it be a shed, a sewing table or an office desk each can be either or indeed both an organised mess.

This is a collaborative post written by my husband, Mr fun as a gran

Saturday 17 June 2017

Project 365 week 24


A slow short stroll round one of the ponds this evening. She still likes to sniff and dig so while she is still capable we will let her.

Lilly standing nice


I am looking to do different things with my sewing machine. Cannot justify buying a new machine so decided to accessorise the one I have.  So when I spotted this lot in a charity shop I picked them up, they will do great to practice with and if need be waste.

various colours of thread. 


Spotted these in the shop and so had to try them. Also googled what they were all about abnd good grief some people are labelling them racist as they are all white.  Drawback is I don't like the blackcurrant ones and can't tell till after they are in your mouth which is which.

speaks for itself 


Hubby out playing with one of his toys.


Phoned back to the vet school and they informed us Lilly has two different infections in her lungs. They are prescribing an antibiotic that she needs to take for four weeks. We will then get another appointment and they will repeat the CT scan to see if things have changed. Unless her cough comes back or she goes down hill in which case they will see us straight away.

Watching the four youngest while DD1 takes Fifi to an appointment save her taking them all. Plan had been to go the park but there was enough rain water running down the street to go canoeing in so we didn't bother. We read books instead.

Spud and Minky eating tea


Following on from our phone call yesterday I picked up tablets for Lilly from our vet today. Much easier than driving to Glasgow for them. Here is hoping they do some good.
Ziggy came for a short visit as DD2 was in the area.
Review and competition up in the next few days.

Ziggy with her first blogging gift. 


Got three more applique to make for people and none of them needed desperately so I decided to do some patchwork for a change. Forget how long it takes to cut them all out. Got them to this stage but all the seams need ironing out before I go any further.

first of many squares 

Friday 16 June 2017

A couple of hours on the beach

We have had some lovely weather her in the last few weeks. So when my daughter said she was going to go out somewhere with the four youngest I volunteered to go with them. So as she was going to have some help she suggested the beach park and then the beach.

Laugh when I go with my daughter, she drives a mini bus, too many children for a seven seater plus all that needs trailing with her and often an extra person. So she parks it in the bus park at the beach.

Firstly we went and played at the beach park.

Mimky loves to play on this and manages to push himself quite well. 

Spud doing some crawling

all playing nicely in the sand pit

looking like a little thug

the two of them, not quite coordinated by giggling none the less

drizzling sand through her hands 

having a strop

Then we headed down onto the beach for a short while before we headed home. Minky would go in holding onto my hand but Dinky was for none of it. We did try to follow Bob all the way out to where he was but Minky changed his mind.

looks like something from Baywatch 

hands in the water

picking up shells

Minky did venture in

Dinky making patterns in the sand

Country Kids

Monday 12 June 2017

The making of a unique wedding present.

I have become rather addicted to my sewing machine this year, looking for new ways to use it and playing with various ideas. At the moment I have been doing a fair amount of applique as I am selling them for charity. You can see some of my creations on my #cashforkids page.

We went to a wedding at the end of last month and my husband was the best man.  We wondered what do you buy the happy couple who are in their fifties,  already live together and a year ago amalgamated their two houses into one? So I decided I would make them a unique gift, something I hoped they would love and that would remind them of not only the day itself but also the day they first met.

R and T met when hubby went with R to a beach clean up one day in Irvine. They had toyed with either going fishing or out to play with their cameras but fate had obviously decided for them they should go to the beach clean up. R and T along with hubby and a few others had volunteered to go over in a small rowing boat to clean up one of the peninsulas. R and T got talking and exchanged numbers before they went their separate ways that day and then arranged to meet up a few days later and the rest as they say is history.

When they had decided to set a date they came and asked my hubby if he would be there best man, to which I said yes if they got married on Arran as I had never been and it would give us an excuse to go. So they booked the wedding in Arran and then informed us of the date time and place.

I had originally thought about making a cushion with a silhouette of Arran on with a sunset sky made from various red and orange colours with the sky reflected in the sea. But I could not come up with a design that was simple enough that still looked good so I had to come up with another idea.

I decided on two cushions for them, one to commemorate the day they met and the other the wedding day itself.

My starting point was a picture of them in the boat on the day they met, which I adapted in my own interpretation

hubby  (far left) T (thumb up 3rd from left) and R ( on back of boat) 

and a picture of the pilot house, the setting for the event, which I made a pattern of.

and make them into a picture, which I edged in tartan,added and date and made it into a cushion.

The second cushion was to be a memory of the wedding day itself. So I printed off an outline of the Isle of Arran, and then used the print out to draw round and cut out a tartan Arran. I then crossed stitch some  of the town names on and two dolphins. Lastly I added the date of the wedding before edging it in tartan to match the first one.

The happy couple loved the finished results. A truly unique gift.

Saturday 10 June 2017

Project 365 week 23

Not been a good week at all. Poor little Lilly has had a really really rough deal.


Still on holiday from work, so had a long lie, a lazy day, and took Lilly for a walk, She did seem to enjoy her walk and spent ages digging at the rocks which hubby kept moving for her. But had to end up carrying her part of the way home as she was struggling at the end of the street.

there is something under here and I want at it.


Took Bob to gymnastics, sat in the library and did some sewing, had no notion to go for a walk despite the fact it was dry.
Lilly has always been a bad eater, picking at small portions, and we throw away more food that she eats. but for this last week there is no filling her. She would eat ten meals a day at the moment if I put them down to her, I'm not she is getting three but it worries me as to why all of a sudden she is a little grubber that will eat anything and everything.
A strange rainbow tonight along with a red sky at sunset. Quite a grainy picture but was taken at dusk with a cheap point and shoot.

rainbow and red sky


Took Lilly to the Glasgow vet school to see what they could offer us to do for her. The agreed to do a swallow test as she had never been a good eater and struggles to swallow, they took some blood teats and we decided to leave her with them overnight ready for a CT scan on Wednesday morning. We would have had to hang around for four or five hours and  she would have had less than twelve hours at home before we had to take her back so one abandonment seemed better that two.

the consultation room


Lilly had her CT scan, they took five needle samples from the mass in her left lungs to see if they could identify it. They also took a fluid test to look for infection as well. The mass fills her whole left lung and there is no oxygen getting in there at all. She also has some small nodules growing in her right lung. The vet showed us a video she has taken of the mass, looks like a cream coloured round shiny marble. She admits she has never seen anything like it before.
Poor Lilly  has a bald patch on her side, a shaved patch on each side of her neck and baldy bits on three of her legs. Was nearly 9pm time we got home.

I sat and did some sewing. during the day to take my mind off of things.

a baldy patch and a green bandage on her back leg


Hubby and I went and did our bit and voted and then went and sat with the three youngest so that DD1 could go and place her cross. Not that it did much good. Sadly the samples they took from Lillys lung were inconclusive and so we are no further forward into knowing what the mass is. though the vet is convinced it is cancerous. We have pet insurance but this whole carry on is SO expensive, we have used nearly 1/3 of are annual payout to so far find out nothing constructive. Worried we will use the whole amount just finding out what it is and then have none left to treat it with. Need to wait on the results of the infection test before we can do anything else now.
Lilly has been shaking her head for a while but the vet school would not look at them while she was there so I took her to our own vet tonight. She has an ear infection so she now has drops to get in them both for five days.

ear drops


Took Lilly for a short walk round the pond at the fishery tonight. She does not do much running around but still enjoys a slow stroll. This was the sewing I did yesterday.

turned out good.


Hubby spotted this while we were on holiday, so we just had to buy it.

how very true. 

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Glasgow Kiltwalk 2017 - The Big Day

Auntie H again! For those of you who haven't read part one of my Kiltwalk experience you can catch up on it here

So it was finally here..Sunday 30th April - The Glasgow Kiltwalk 2017!!
A very early start to the morning, the alarm went off at 5am and (despite my brain's protests) up I got to wake M and get ready to head to Glasgow Green, where I would start the day off. I'm sure M can't wait for the day I can drive, he really is a champ at getting me to where I need to be if public transport doesn't suit. We left at 5.30am as I had to be there for 6.30am (Chieftan's have to arrive half an hour earlier than their teams) and we weren't overly sure of the route to get there. Thank goodness for satellite navigation, it certainly makes life easier!

I had a good chance to wake up and get excited on the drive up, so by the time we arrived I was raring to go. I said goodbye to M whom was heading home to go back to bed, and found my way down to the tent where everyone was meeting. There were quite a few people there already, I believe the Kiltwalk Staff had been there for at least an hour or two before the rest of us were scheduled for. We milled about for a bit, getting badges, water, emergency contact numbers and listening to our final safety briefing. We then separated off to do what we needed to to be ready for our teams arriving. T headed off up the road with N to meet most of the Carnival Kilties at a prearranged point. I waited at the registration tent for the rest. Once everyone had arrived we cracked open our facepainting supplies and various bits and bobs of costumes for the day. We had a blast painting each other, trying on funny hats/wigs and playing with the random noise makers etc we had brought. By the time we were ready we looked like quite the troop!

carnival kilties
Carnival Kilties ready to rock and roll!
We split into two different teams, as although we were all to start off the Mighty Striders (23 mile walkers) at Glasgow Green, we would split up later. One team would stay until all of the Mighty Stride walkers had left and the other team would be redeployed to Clydebank to start off the Big Strollers (15 mile walkers) Team 1 (T's team) would then head off to Balloch for the Wee Wander (6 mile) start and then both teams would be redeployed at various points along the route, wherever motivation was needed the most at the time.

The first walkers started arriving and we headed off to our first point in the queue. We got lots of smiles and cheers from the walkers, all of whom looked great and were excited to get going. There were people of all ages and plenty of four legged walkers too, we figured 23 miles should be enough to tire out a dog, boy were we wrong! lol Our job at the start was to keep people amused and excited whilst they were waiting to reach the warm up point. As there were thousands of walkers they were released in batches to help with congestion on the roads etc

Once most of the Mighty Striders had gone, Team 2 (my team) headed off to Clydebank to meet the Big Strollers. We were escorted by 2 lovely gentlemen who chatted away and told us about their Kiltwalk experiences over the last few years. They ended up being our pickup team for most of the day which was great as it meant we got to know them even better. Once we got to Clydebank we started mingling with the walkers, taking photos, making lots of noise and dancing around like crazy. I saw lots of people I knew and got some photos with them which was cool. It wasn't long until they all set off, full of energy and ready to stroll the streets.

After they had all left we headed round to Pitstop 3 which was nearby, to get some soup and a roll whilst awaiting our next redeployment. A lot of the Mighty Striders had started arriving when we got there, and it was nice to see them still in high spirits. We had fun shouting encouragement and telling them all we'd see them again soon. A lot of them commented on how fast we had got there, and we said it was much easier on 4 wheels, to which they all laughed.

carnival kilties
Carnival Kiltie Team 2 with our drivers who were fab!

We were redeployed to a stretch of road outside Dumbarton Academy and this was where we knew we could make a difference. The walkers were beginning to hit the wall by this point, having walked around half (Big Strollers) or 2 thirds (Mighty Striders) of their distance. We handed out some treats, shouted how far they'd come, how well they were doing, keep going! and danced to some music from our phones. It was great to see them brighten a little as they passed, before getting their heads down to push through. There were teams who had a member struggling and it was amazing how they all pulled together to push them forward, refusing to leave people behind. The residents in the surrounding area kept popping their heads outside to see what on earth was going on, and it was nice to see them smiling and clapping for the walkers. The only downside to our position was that there were no facilities nearby and so after about an hour and a half we had to call for a pickup.

At this point we were taken to the finishing line, where we had the chance to get some snacks before heading down to the last stretch of the walk for everyone. It was literally 2 minutes away from the finishing line, but at the bottom of a long relatively steep hill which was the last hurdle. We screamed/clapped/cheered and danced like mad to give the walkers one last boost. We told them just how close they were to finishing, 'just up that one wee hill. Hill? I wouldn't even call it a hill, it's a gentle slope, barely even a blip on the hill scale' which got a few laughs and a lot of aw man's. After a bit the rest of my team had to head home so I recruited some Kilties from further up to help me out, and T joined me once her team had finished their duties elsewhere. We had a great time together, I'm really looking forward to seeing her again at the Edinburgh Kiltwalk.

We called it a day at half past 6, the majority of the large groups of walkers had made it in and so we left the other Kilties and headed up to call in the end of our shift and get some food if we wanted it. I left T to enjoy herself and get a well earned drink and headed off to see if I could get a place on a bus back down to Glasgow Green. I did and it was a bonus when they announced they were stopping at Argylle Street, as this made it easier for me to get to the train station. I had just under an hour to kill when I got there so I got some chips, a hot chocolate and a relatively comfortable seat.
My ever wonderful other half M came to get me when I got back to Ayr, we ran a quick errand to my sister's house (DD1 as you know her) and then headed home. I got everything ready for work the next day, grabbed a quick shower, iced my foot (amazing feeling after what I had put it through all day haha) and then it was finally bedtime. I checked my watch, which measures distance walked, step count etc and I had walked more than 9 miles over the course of the day!

All in all it was an absolutely fantastic experience, I am really looking forward to Edinburgh in September, and I'm seriously considering doing all 4 next year! I'll leave you with a final picture of the Carnival Kilties getting ready, selfie style taken by T:

carnival kilties

Saturday 3 June 2017

Project 365 week 22

Was a busy but fun week. Have seen Arran most days for the last twenty odd years and never been before, well this week that was rectified.


DD1 was going shopping so we had the children out the back door playing and having fun and then we went the park. DD2 came down from Oban with Ziggy to watch Lilly for us while we were away. After her tea we also went to the park. She enjoyed the mirror more than anything else.

Ziggy in the mirror


The weather here has been dry, hot and sunny for weeks, today it decides to rain. Typical as we were heading off on holiday. Booked into our digs, found out where the happy couple were staying and then did a bit of exploring. Back to the happy couples cottage for a Chinese and a meet up with some of the other guests who also came over today. Loved the bus stop in Whiting Bay.

a Whiting Bay bus stop


The wedding day. Dawned dry but cloudy. We went and sussed out where the registry office is as I was playing taxi from the cottage to there. We then went and had a drive round parts of the island before picking up the groom who was getting changed at our bit. The ceremony went well,the sun had come out time they wanted photographs taking. Back to a hotel for  a nice meal, after a few drinks and the cutting of the cake we ran the newly weds back to get changed.Then a  bit more island exploring for us. Went to pick up a few caches but after the first one I was being eaten alive by the midges so back to the digs it was.

The happy couple exchanging rings 


Decided to take a drive round the island, just stopping off anywhere that looked interesting and picking up some geocaches while we were at it. We did the top end of the island which included Lochranza.

Lochranza Castle 


Dawned dull and overcast, we nipped to the shop for a few bits and pieces, and by then it was raining. So hubby decided he did not fancy going and getting wet so I put on my waterproofs and went up to Glenashdale waterfall and to see the giants caves. Was a steep walk and have to say had the sun been out the views would have been stunning, but they weren't. But despite the rain I passed a steady stream of people doing the same as me. You really need the volume on with this to get the full effect.

Back to the digs to dry off. We then picked up the happy couple and went for a drink and they had a couple of games of pool.


Home again on an early ferry as DD2 was going home when we got back. Bye bye Arran. Nice to get away but nice to get home. Got a lovely welcome from Lilly.


Hubby was the best man at the wedding. This was his pressie for doing his best man duties.

a present to keep for ever