Sunday, 30 November 2008

Oh to be a Scot

I thought as it's Saint Andrew's Day today, I would do a little reflecting on what it means to me to be Scottish. It means a lot to me to be able to say that I come from such a beautiful little country. I often wish (due to the fact that I am, and remain, fiercely Scottish, and never feel especially 'British') that I could put 'Scottish' as my nationality, however, I was dismayed to discover that my passport says I am from 'Great Britain.' I also sometimes feel that because of having to put 'UK' as the 'country' I live in (though strictly speaking - if I'm going to be pedantic - I suppose it is, in actuality, a group of countries), that I have been stripped of being able to say that I'm in, or from, Scotland.

[edit: I would also like to add that Scotland is often classed as a 'region' in the UK or 'Great Britain' and that frankly, this is a bit of an insult!]

Still, today is about celebrating my heritage, not negativity. The things I love about Scotland are far too numerous to list completely, but here are a few: wonderful scenery, nessie, lochs, skiing, bens, celtic art, the history, knitwear, tartan, the wildlife, heiland coos, haggis, red cheddar, shortbread, tunnocks teacakes, raspberries, crannachan, the beano, the broons, oor wullie, wonderful soft Scottish water, tattie scones, fudge, tablet, toffee, hogmanay, burns night, smoked salmon, Aberdeen angus beef, men in kilts, Gaelic, the Scots language - and the people too, with their cheeky banter :) oh, yes: last but certainly never least: the magic hangover-curing rocket fuel that is irn-bru! And lucky us, we have two flags to choose from - the Lion Rampant and the Saltire, or St. Andrew's Cross. I love both, because of the decorative quality of the lion, and the fact that nobody can ever quite agree on the exact shade of 'sky blue' your Saltire should be!

As a child, I lived abroad for a while, and in some ways, it made me feel more Scottish than ever... When not in our home country, we hold onto what makes us Scots. It was things like celebrating Hogmanay in our usual style complete with fireworks, lovely shortbread and (if we were really lucky, and had actually managed to track some down!) maybe some irn-bru, which were important traditions that reminded us of home.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Well hello there!

Yup, I am still blogging... (and reading other people's blogs too!)

I'm currently in the process of recovering - read restocking - from the craft market I did in Glasgow last Sunday. It was my first Glasgow outing for WildCat Designs, a nice little adventure punctuated with sales! As well that, I'm knitting like there's no tomorrow in preparation for my next outing with the Glasgow Craft Mafia on Thursday 4th December.

December! I can't believe it's nearly time to put up an advent calendar, dust off last year's (hopefully still intact) decorations and look out a good recipe for gingerbread. This year really has flown by.

During my online 'travels' I recently came across a fab little etsy shop, roadkill - not as bad as it sounds! Roadkill makes some really gorgeous coats and little capes from beautiful woollen tweeds. Unfortunately, they only ship these to Canada and America. (Probably because of the weight I presume) Must give my relatives a wee shout! ;) There's also a wonderful website: where you'll also find some rather lovely tote bags (see right for cuuute deer bag) and jewellery too.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

A Quick Update

This is today's handywork...a few more fun space invader badges! They resulted from an überfelted scarf disaster, which I decided I had to reclaim somehow. I cut around the individual little motifs and they naturally seemed to suggest 'badge' to me, so I've sewed a brooch back onto some felt backing.

These funky brooches and other knitted, felted goodies can be found at my WildCat Designs stall, which will be at the Wardie Primary School Christmas Fair on Tuesday 18th November from 7-9pm, Granton Road, Edinburgh.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Remember, remember...

...the fifth of November! I do so love bonfire night. We had fun setting off fireworks and twirling sparklers in the back garden, whilst munching my home-made crispy cakes and drinking yummy cider. I just wish I'd remembered to take some pictures! (Mind you, fireworks aren't exactly the easiest things to capture on film.)

I was excited this week to discover an email informing me that one of my creations has been featured on a Poppytalk curated DaWanda pinboard which pops up on the DaWanda front page now and then on rotation! Poppytalk is "a Canadian design blog collecting inspiration and promoting emerging design talent." See the blog here (where there also happens to be a little pic of my grey and maroon skinny striped scarf! - see the entry dated the 7th of November)

P.S. If you like the scarf, it's listed on my DaWanda, etsy and folksy shops!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Humbling news

I heard an amazing story today...

My name is Owen and on August 1st 2007 I purchased a red and black skinny lambswool scarf from you. I absolutely loved that scarf. I let a friend borrow it for a month or so but finally asked for it back. Now I dont really believe in fate or anything but the next day I was standing at a train station, waiting to go home right after a long day at work since I worked overtime.

Anyways, a fight broke out because one man owed the other man some money. The man who owed the other man some money was stabbed, almost all the way into his lungs - the man armed with the knife fled the scene. I grabbed the injured man and sat him down against a nearby wall, his cousin who was closeby was screaming in terror and I gave him my cellphone to call 911. I used the scarf that you sold me to wrap up the injured man's wound. Blood was everywhere and I could hear air coming from the wound. I applied pressure to the wound and kept him calm until an emergency crew arrived and took him away. His cousin and I had to be taken to the police station to give statements.

The next day I visited that man in the hospital as his cousin had given me his name and room number. He told me that if I had not wrapped his wound with the scarf and applied pressure that he would have died. He wept and thanked me and we briefly spoke, I held back tears until I left the room.

So like I said, I dont believe in fate. Yet you sold me the scarf, I got it back from my friend the day before, I worked overtime and somehow just managed to be there for him when it counted. So I guess I just wanted to say thanks. Make a scarf or two more and maybe you can save some more lives.


This story just blew me away - I never thought something I had made would, or could, save somebody's life one day.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Winter Markets in Glasgow

Yes, winter most definitely is here. Brrr!

So as a knitwear designer-maker, I'm pretty busy right now, as you can imagine! But not so busy I can't make time to share a little news: WildCat Designs will be at a couple of the above Glasgow Craft Mafia Markets, namely Sunday 23rd November at Mono, King's Court, and also Thursday 4th December at Qudos in the QMU. It will be a great opporchancity to get your hands on some gorgeous winter woollies :)