Friday, 23 September 2016

Friday Smiles - Falkirk, The Kelpies and The Wheel

Hi Everyone,

Warning! A photo heavy post follows.

I hope you having a lovely Friday and that there's been a lot to smile about in the week. Last week, on my post for Annie's Friday Smiles, I mentioned that we were off to Falkirk to celebrate my husband's birthday. Needless to say, we had a fabulous time, found plenty to smile about, and the weather was kind too. I took a ton of photos so I thought I'd show some, in the form of montages otherwise you'd be here all day.

Falkirk is a town that sits in the very heart of Scotland, midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow.


The town has some very attractive buildings, this is just a few. Click on the montage to see it enlarged.


Falkirk Trinity Church, also known as The Faw Kirk, with it's ancient graveyard, is sited in the centre of the town. It contains important historical memorials from the time of William Wallace, the Battle of Falkirk (1298) and a later second Battle in 1746. The carvings are in the wall surrounding the churchyard.


All around the town on pavements and walls are engraved quotations, including part of William Wallace's famous cry for Freedom.


The magnificent Kelpies, designed by sculptor Andy Scott, are situated in the The Helix - a recreational park with visitor attractions that include a lagoon, wetlands, splash play area, trails and other outdoor events. The Kelpies, standing 30 metres high, are the world's largest equine sculptures. The name, The Kelpies, reflects the mythological water horses that are part of Scottish folklore. It is said that these water kelpies are shape-shifting creatures that occupy our lochs and rivers, much of their bodies being underwater and that they posses the strength and endurance of 10 horses.


Each Kelpie has a name, Duke and Baron, and a descriptive 'Head Down' and 'Head Up'.


They each have a quotation of their own too. Falkirk folk clearly love their quotations.


The Saturday we were there coincided with a National Addiction Recovery Walk, organised by the Scottish Recovery Consortium. Those that attended were each given a red rose which was ceremonially thrown into the Forth & Clyde canal that is located just behind The Kelpies.


After the Kelpies we went on to visit the Falkirk Wheel - another amazing feat of engineering. The Wheel is the world's only rotating boat lift. It's breathtaking. For even better photos do click the link, it is worth it!


And it seems we can't get away from the Kelpies, not that we would want to, because there's another set of 1:10 scale maquettes on display at the base of the Wheel.


And finally, we had a bit of a giggle when Alan decided he had to take his cap off while one of the security men obliged by taking our photo.

Apologies for the length of this post but there really is a lot to see in Falkirk. We didn't manage the half of it so will have to return, perhaps next year, to visit the places we missed this time.

Hope you enjoyed my Friday Smiles and if you would like to see more do pop over to A Stitch In Time so see more reasons to smile at Annie's.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 381 - and Nuvo Crystal Drops

Hello Everyone,

So sorry to be so late joining in the fun, and sharing my desk, at Julia's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday but the weather has been warm and sunny today so I spent much of it working away in the garden. My excuse! It's the equinox tomorrow which probably means that there will be fewer and fewer lovely hours to spend pottering among the flowers. Oh, and, of course, it's raining now!

Well, a bit of change on my desk today. The bits and bobs have been put away, for now, because I'm planning a little sewing project.


I need a knitting bag. Not for knitting, I don't knit, but for crochet. A bag will be perfect for carrying some yarn and a hook to the craft club I go to on Thursday afternoons. And much classier than the bag-for-life I've been using up till now. The fabric I've chosen has great retro sewing images on it - sort of appropriate. The postcard above the navy fabric is of The Kelpies at The Helix, in Falkirk where we spent the weekend, all lit up at night. Under it is the paper bag it was wrapped in beautifully illustrated with a drawing of the Kelpies - too nice to throw though I have no idea what I'll do with it. Maybe it will appear on a scrapbook page some time in the future. Finally, that's a new flower-patterned mug, bought by the EM to replace the one he dropped on the kitchen floor ... it's a hard floor so it much didn't stand a chance!!!


In last week's WOYWW post I mentioned these Nuvo Crystal Drops (a Tonic product) I had sitting on my desk and said that if any of you were interested I'd do a wee post on how I got on with them. During the weeks and months that was my blogging break much of my rest and recuperation was taken up with watching YouTube videos - well, it's crafting, sort of . At the time it seemed that millions of scrappers, okay, I exaggerate but it was a lot, were raving about them as a very suitable, and cheaper, alternative to enamel dots. So, of course, I just had to order a few bottles to try for myself. The colours are, from left to right, Wedgewood Blue, Red Berry, Navy Blue, Bubblegum Blush.

The way to use the crystal drops is to squeeze drops out on to a non-stick surface and leave to dry for 24 hours when they will have dried to a hard dot. I squeezed different amounts to get different sizes of dots.


They are similar in a way to Liquid Pearls, however, the one advantage with the crystal drops is that they don't drop to a point so no need to tap the back to create a rounded shape. I believe it is possible to squeeze the drops directly on to a project but I wouldn't trust myself to get them uniform enough to even attempt it.


Here are my first attempts, dried and ready to use. Although all four colours were called Crystal Drops only two, Wedgewood Blue and Navy Blue had an opalescent finish. The Berry Red and Bubbegum Blush were a solid colour but no less lovely for that.


And here they are dried and ready to use.

To see how I used some of them pop back to my Sunday Snippets post - I've used them as embellishments on three of the cards featured. I think they look rather nice too.

They are a bit fiddly to use so they may not be for everyone but I liked the finished dots and, yes, they do make a great substitute for enamel dots. I may even have to acquire a few lot more colours very soon.

I hope I've managed to clarify what Nuvo Crystal Drops are for those of you who had never heard of them.

Belated Happy WOYWW to you,

Monday, 19 September 2016

In A Vase On Monday - Nasturtiums


My vase today is a very simple arrangement of nasturtium flowers. The set of four small white vases makes it easy to to plonk lots of short-stemmed flowers like these and they still look lovely.


I love the colours, so autumnal.

A very brief post today - well, there's not much more to say about nasturtiums. I'll be joining in with Cathy's meme, In A Vase On Monday where I'm sure to find many much more advanced arrangements than this one.

Happy Monday,