Monday, August 8, 2011

The London Hippodrome

Now there's an interesting looking building. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me so I asked my daughters to take a few shots for me. The building dates from 1900 and was originally used for a circus and variety performances. It then became a music-hall and variety theater. In 1958 the inside was demolished and turned into a cabaret restaurant. It is currently undergoing more renovation.

"Hello down there, why not come up and join us !!!"

We also passed  Ripley's on our mammoth walkabout. A visit inside will have to wait for another jaunt across the "big puddle". Piccadily Circus has changed somewhat since the days my mother worked there at Drummonds Bank, and unfortunately looks even more "signage tacky" since I lived in London.

I feel like I've been busy the past few weeks with a lot of traveling - college visits for daughter #3, volunteer work, a visit to Ohio to do some house painting for my mother-in-law, shopping trips to help daughter #1 get ready for her mission in California, woodwork project in our house, and a bunch of other stuff locally. We are currently dogs/house sitting.
It's been way too hot and humid for me to sew much, (though I have been helping my daughter with hers,)  so I've been doing a lot of productive genealogy research related to my great-uncle and one of my cousins. (That internet travel has taken me to New Jersey, Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, England, Scotland and India !)
School starts back up at the end of this week for my two youngest. Summer break has felt really short this year. Daughter #2 is flying in for a short visit in a couple of weeks and hopefully we will get together when hubby and I are doing an overnight layover in Utah in September.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Scots Corner - Camera Obscura

After a visit to Edinburgh Castle we decided to try out the Camera Obscura which is located just outside the castle. It was built specifically as a tourist attraction in the 1850's by Marie Theresa Short. We had a whooole lot of fun in the "World of Illusions" exhibit, most of which is hands on. The short Vortex Tunnel at the end took me a wee while to stop feeling like tipping over :)
The Camera is at the very top of the building, about 5 flights up with no other access, and we were fortunate to see through it on a lovely day. (When it rains hard or is foggy there is not much to see.) There is a walkway outside on the roof that gives great views over the rooftops of old Edinburgh.
We opted to start at the top and work our way down. We all enjoyed ourselves, though it took me a wee while to regain my balance once we were done :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scots Corner - Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Plan on spending at least a day at this wonderful, free to the public, museum in Glasgow. After all the wonderful exhibits we saw, my favorite part of the building was the Central Hall of all places. The pipe organ was played at lunchtime which made for a nice ambiance as we ate and wandered round.

And then there's the "Hanging Heads." On their own, amongst the light fixtures, they look somewhat out of place but in context with the rest of the exhibit they make more sense. The expressions are hilarious.
Once we got to Glasgow we took the underground to Kelvingrove and then a short walk to the museum. There's lots of other sites to see in the area but we opted to spend the day inside this impressive building. Definitely a must see again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Being Creative- July-Summer

A while ago I mentioned that Julia Crossland has a fun activity, Being Creative, going on at her blog. She currently has some lovely crocheting happening.

The theme for July is "Summer" and I realized that I already have a number of "in progress"pieces of art work/textiles that would fit that theme. I've picked out my sunflower and butterfly vase mat to work on. I want to add beading to it but have not worked out what and where yet.

The themes for the rest of the year are -
August : Travel
September : Autumn
October : Party
November : Fire
December : Winter

Friday, July 15, 2011

Colourful Friday - Triangles

"Triangles" is the theme for this Friday and I opted not to do my "one photo" personal challenge so I could share more photographs from our recent trip.
1. St. Paul's Cathedral, London
2. Old meets new, River Thames, London
3. Part of the optical illusion hands on exhibit at the Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
4. Tile inlay floor at Glasgow Cathedral
5. Christmas place mat and mug

Next time the theme is leaves :) Hop on over to Robyn's blog to see what inspires some of the other participants

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scots Corner - some photographs from our trip.

Looking toward Holyrude Church from the graveyard.

Stirling Castle - A room with a view looking toward the Wallace Monument.

Life size workers in the castle kitchens looking like they are covered in flour.

Dunblane Cathedral tower. When the tower was extended the workers removed the parapet, added in the lighter sections and put the parapet section back on.

Inside the Cathedral showing the two roof lines. The tour guide was a friend of my brother's. 

The world famous Hamish who ignored us but "worked" for the camera when a larger group of people visited just after us :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Creating an office area

You might have noticed that there has been a distinct lack of quilting/sewing updates. We've been busy creating a new "office" area in our family room, de-junking areas of the house, and doing a lot of work in the garden.

Before I left for Scotland we worked out a design for the new "office" area, decided on cabinets etc. and John set to work. The back wall had to be removed temporarily to put in new wiring/outlets. A friend helped with suggestions for the "floating" tabletop/work surface.We still have some doors to stain, some spots to touch up and some repainting of the wall to do. We are pleased with how it's all coming along.

We are "trying out" the area at the moment to make sure it works for us. So far so good. My "station" will be by the door and I'll have all my genealogy stored above me. It's currently taking up space in our sewing room/spare bedroom.
John has the area by the window for all his "bits and pieces" (there's a lot) :) The two open areas at each end of the small wall cabinets are for speakers.
We should have been finished by now but "life" has had other plans. What can I say - school is out, it's getting humid and my allergies/headaches have kicked in big time :)

Our work area in the garage. We are using a mahogany combo stain/poly finish which we really like. While it says to use two coats we have found that three coats is looking better.

Before the staining started. We opted to stain the cabinet carcases and table top in situ and the doors & trim pieces in the garage.

Himself attaching the shaped legs for the worktop.

Measuring slowly and carefully before making some final cuts.  Don't you just love our "workbench"!!! It's actually quite solid and works well.

"The Boss" supervising her minions :)
Once this area is finished and everything put away we can start the project at the other end of the room round the fireplace.