cross stitch

Current Project

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Currently working on another Cincinnati-based piece, which if you’re at all familiar with the city, you’ll know instantly what it is. And if you’re not, then stay tuned for the finish!

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cross stitch

Cincinnati Music Hall

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A recent completed piece – Cincinnati Music Hall. I designed and stitched this in summer, 2018.

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This image, taken from Wikipedia, is one of the reference points I used. I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out.

Travel

Round-Up

A short and sweet round up of our trip – it feels like it lasted for months, in the very best way. We ate so many great things, so many awesome things, sweated A LOT, spent too much money, drove over a thousand miles across Kentucky, went to a drive-thru ATM more than once just for the lolz, and best of all, spent the most time we could with that pair of goofballs. All the heart eyes forever. Next trip cannot come soon enough.

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Indie Design, Travel

Fleas

If there is one thing America knows how to do right, it’s a flea market. I’ve been to a couple in my time, but this time I made it to not one, not two, but THREE. My cousin Anne loves antiqueing, and we both have a ruthless policy of strategising our approach to both looking and purchasing, with me being the haggler, so we make a good team.

This trip, we made it up to Springfield for their twice-yearly outdoor extravaganza at the county fairgrounds. I think the cannibal hotdog was my favourite spot. SO many pieces of industrial furniture I could have brought home, and most of it so cheap – next time, I should book a container ship.

The other type of flea market is the City Flea, Cincinnati’s premier independent designer/maker monthly event. It’s held in Washington Park in the Over The Rhine district, which is full of cool art, shops, restaurants and stuff.  I’ve been a couple of times and I think it must have been the first one we went to that I first saw the work of James Billiter, the smiley guy pictured above.I finally got to meet him this time properly and as well as being super-talented at the artwork game, he’s super nice and also a bit of a sneak, as he and Lee cooked up between them to send me an absolutely beautiful piece of art for Christmas – look how excited I was to open it!

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Can’t wait to get that framed and on the wall. Hooray for fleas.

Travel

#BEDM 10. Wishlist

The theme today is wishlist and when I think of things that I wish I could do, they are invariably related to travel. There are so many places I wish I could visit, and if I stop to think about it too much, I get a little panicked that I’ll never fit it all in (realistically, I will never fit it all in, but let’s not dwell on that).

Part of the problem with fitting it in is that some of the places I’ve already been to, I really want to go back to, so it’s a fine balancing act of exploring the new and revisiting the familiar. I should never have started my San Francisco Pinterest board, let’s face it.

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Of course, the one place I do keep returning to is Cincinnati, Ohio. My cousin and her husband are there and are just the best company and so generous to host us so often. We always have a great time, we tend to save all our shopping up until we’re there, so the time always passes in a whirlwind of shopping, eating, drinking and general merriment.

Even though we’ve visited loads of times now, there is still so much we haven’t done yet. Cincinnati is situated in such a handy location that it’s within easy striking distance of loads of places – we’ve taken the Megabus to Chicago, driven to Nashville, Cleveland, Louisville, stopped off in New York on our way home, not to mention taking in a large part of the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky – Lee’s a big bourbon fan and collector.

I decided to use this post to update my wishlist for our next trip:

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This donut tour of Cincinnati looks awesome, although it’s a crime that Busken’s is not on the list. I’ve never tasted a donut quite like a Busken’s – so light and airy and delicious. SO GOOD.

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Yeah, another food post but check out some of the things on this list – I’ve not even done half of them yet. I’ve never been to Tom + Chee, but check this donut sandwich – my arteries are clogging just looking at it.

front roomThe American Sign Museum has been on my to-see list for a few years now, but we’ve never gotten round to it. Definitely has to be done next time!

This little @rookwoodpottery owl flew into our new home today, a gift from my beautiful cousins in #cincinnati. A little piece of our second home, here with us in Scotland. Such a lovely piece, so finely crafted. Love it ❤️

A visit to the Rookwood Pottery factory, where this little guy is from. I’ve seen lots of it in the wild, but I’d love to see behind the scenes.

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To be honest, most of the things I want to do are food-based. What can I say, I’m a trougher. I’ve never been to Montgomery Inn, a Cincinnati institution. Lee has, and never tires of telling me how much I’ve missed out! Definitely going next time.

The Florence water tower is my favourite thing to see when I’m there (though it’s technically in Kentucky).

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There’s loads more stuff on the list, of course. Check out my Cincinnati Pinterest board for more stuff. Cincinnati is such a dynamic city – always new businesses, shops, restaurants, bars etc opening to try out. I heartily recommend it!

Living

#BEDM 1. Intro

Blog Every Day in May badge

I did the Blog Every Day In May challenge last time around (or was it two times ago? I can’t remember) and quite enjoyed it, so I signed up again this year. Of course, I’ve had a pretty busy week since I decided to do so, so haven’t gotten round to even starting it until now. So I’m blogging retrospectively every day in May for a bit.

The first set topic is to introduce yourself, so for anyone who hasn’t been reading this for years, firstly, you’ve really missed out (ho ho, not) and secondly, here’s some fascinating facts you might not know about me already.

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1. My day job is in television – it sounds exciting but it’s really not anything than a relentless endurance test of the soul, mind and body. I work in Access Services which is providing subtitles, audio description and sign language translation for most of the UK’s broadcasting companies (everything except ITV and Channel 5, basically). I used to be a live and pre-recorded subtitler but I’m now a duty manager, planning who does what and then making sure it all happens. It’s all the stress of live television but none of the glamour.It’s long hours, stressful at times but you do get to watch a lot of telly. Sometimes, I remember that we’re providing a magical service to some people who would be lost without it and that makes me happy. I’m really great in a crisis though, as a result of my job. It’s the one thing I can blow my own trumpet about without cringing – bring me a problem and I can think of 5 ways to creatively tackle it quickly. It’s why I think I am pretty awesome at my job.

2. I’ve been running my own business for over 10 years. Some aspects of it I really like, some I don’t. Some days, I have an overwhelming urge to pack it all in and never think of it again and others I want to drop everything and immerse myself in it. Lately, I’ve been enjoying not worrying much about it and taking time to create things for myself or friends. It’s made me remember that it can be fun and relaxing to cross stitch!

3. After vowing never to buy another house, I recently did. Other things I’ve vowed never to do include: get married (11 years this year), sell on Etsy again (considering a return for the VATMOSS headache for my patterns), go in a hot air balloon (so far, so good).

4. My brother lives in Siberia. I was hoping that he’d blog/instagram more when he moved there, but so far, all he’s done is talk about the weather and ask us to post him gravy granules. It’s not as cold as you’d think it is there but it is apparently a lot harder to make a stew than you’d guess.

5. My husband and my dog are both Welsh. I’m outnumbered by Welsh males in our house. We sort of rescued our dog, Max. He was taken in by a 93 year-old lady in the Lake District after his original owners had to give him up the day they were moving house. He’s a big Labrador, and quite active, so he soon proved too much for even a sprightly almost-centenarian. We were starting to think about getting a puppy when my friend Sarah suggested that we drive down and meet Max. We agreed, on the understanding that we were not taking him home with us that day. A few hours later, we were driving back with him in the back because he was just adorable. He’s really a massive part of the family and I can’t imagine life without him. I’m forever grateful to Sarah’s parents living next door to the old lady who took him in.

6. I really like giving things to people, gifts, unwanted possessions, etc. I am always the one who brings cakes into work. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I am forever giving things away. I just like making people happy in small ways.The joy of gift-giving is something I’ll never tire of. I like helping people find great gifts for people that are really well-suited to them.

7. I really like driving. I only passed my test a few years ago, later in life, and since then, I’ve become quite a confident driver. However, the past month or so, I’ve had a string of incidents where I’ve been completely abiding by the rules of the road and other drivers (all male, all white BMW/Audi/van drivers) have cut me up and then verbally abused me rather rigorously, which has knocked my confidence a bit. I’ve started driving different routes to work to mix it up a bit, but it’s really stuck with me and I hope my stupid brain lets me forget it soon or it will be sad that I’ve let them fuck my mojo up.

8. I do all my best thinking in water. I can spend hours in the bath, or in a pool, and a lot of my best ideas have come from wallowing in water. I’d love to swim more but I don’t often get the time. I’m a Pisces, of course.

9. I’d love to live in America one day. My family in Cincinnati really want us to go out there, too, but we’ve been unable to secure jobs/visas so far. I firmly believe that it will happen one day though. Until then, we’ll just make do with frequent trips there. Next time, I might even pluck up the courage to try driving on the wrong side of the road.

10. I really like horses. I enjoy a trip to the baseball. I love the beach. I’m addicted to Coca Cola. I lived in Thailand for a bit a few years back. I have an irrational hatred of lollipop ladies. I could happily eat soup for breakfast and toast for dinner. I’m a bit addicted to Netflix, too.I don’t eat fish or seafood of any kind because ewww, it’s been in the sea and I’ve peed in there. I just want everyone to get along and have a quiet life, really.

FIN.