Food & Seasonal, Out & About

Festivities

Yesterday, I visited my second-home city of Edinburgh AKA ‘The Capital’ to divulge deep into the seasonal festivities of Christmas markets and shopping, topped off with a glass of mulled wine (or two).

So pretty.

My favourite hotspot and a must-see: The Dome

Happy Festivities!

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Out & About

Country Living Christmas Fair

It’s an annual tradition of mine to attend the Country Living Christmas Fair at the SECC in Glasgow. Each year I divulge into the Christmas spirit by checking out all of the beautiful decorations and gifts that are on offer, amongst the numerous and creatively thought-out stands. Here were some of my favourites:

Cari & Co.

This stand was full of quirky fashion and home accessories from scarves, cuffs, bolsters and cushions. Cari & Co is an award-winning Aberdeen-based company, where all items are made in Scotland with fine quality fabrics. Workshops are also available for those wishing to improve their craft and dressmaking skills.

Get in touch:

W: http://www.cariandco.com

E: cari@cariandco.com

T: 07729 508 007

Kathleen McAuliffe

Award winning Irish designer, Kathleen McAuliffe has a unique hats and accessories shop in Dingle, Ireland. Her stand was full of beautiful, vintage-style designs – as you can see I had a favourite!

Get in touch:

W: http://www.kathleenmcauliffe.com

E: info@kathleenmcauliffe.com

T: 0669 150 644

Visit Kathleen on Facebook

Horny Beasts

Horny Beasts is a home accessories and soft furnishings company based in the West of Scotland. They specialise in contemporary mounted antler decorations which I just love! If you are stag crazy at the moment (like me) then it is definitely worth taking a look.

Get in touch:

W: http://www.hornybeasts.co.uk

E: info@hornybeasts.co.uk

T: 07779 661474

Bears by Sue Quinn

Sue presented her adorable ‘Hedgehog Corner’ within her stand, full of delightful little hand-made hedgehog characters, complete with various costumes and accessories. Sue uses top quality fabrics such as mohair, alpaca, silk and wool for her hedgehogs and bears, and also carries out a repair service for any damaged teddies.

Get in touch:

W: http://www.bearsbysuequinn.co.uk

E: sue@bearsbysuequinn.co.uk

T: 0141 887 9916

Alphabet Photography

Alphabet Photography is an on-line Canadian company who search for un-staged objects that resemble letters of the English alphabet, creating individual words and a unique piece of art for everyone.

Get in touch:

W: http://www.alphabetphotography.co.uk

E: michael@alphabetphotography.co.uk

T: 07877 413506

Visit Alphabet Photography on Facebook and Twitter.

Leah Halliday

This colourful stand was full of quirky handmade gifts and vintage homewares. Based in the South West of Scotland, Leah finds her inspiration from fabrics, vintage bits and pieces, nostalgic images, ribbons and trims, and many of her gifts are one-off pieces, limited editions or made to order.

Get in touch:

W: http://www.leahhalliday.co.uk

E: hello@leahhalliday.co.uk

T: 07762 138 713

Visit Leah on Facebook and Twitter.

Amanda Mercer

Amanda Mercer

One of my favourite stands at the exhibition, Amanda creates ceramic and porcelain gifts inspired by memories and nostalgia. A graduate in BA Hons Contemporary Applied Arts, Amanda incorporates anything from vintage buttons, scraps of lace, black and white photographs to stamps and letters within her designs, creating unique and beautiful girly gifts.

Get in touch:

W: http://www.amanda-mercer.co.uk

E: info@amanda-mercer.co.uk

T: 07963 781 125

Visit Amanda on Facebook

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Out & About

The Enchanted Castle

The Enchanted Castle is definitely enchanting and worth a visit. Crathes Castle, near Banchory was transformed last night into a magical wonderland, surrounded by atmospheric colours and a stunning sound show, placing you in a dream-like world.

Amongst the weirdly wonderful landscape was the castles’ very own ghost – the Green Lady, as well as a flame-thrower and tour guides dressed up in what I would call, creepy couture.

The show is only on until the end of this month so snap up your tickets quick!

For more information on the Enchanted Castle and to purchase tickets CLICK HERE

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Out & About

Spiritual Reading

sky

I had my first ever spiritual reading at the weekend, which beforehand I had been very apprehensive about for obvious reasons. At first I did ponder on the thought of this lady being some sort of con artist, where after half an hour I would leave feeling unsatisfied and £35 down. On the other hand, I was nervous for what she was perhaps about to tell me, as I do believe in angels and ghosts after all.

As I walked into the hotel where she currently rents an office, I felt a flutter of butterflies in my stomach – I really didn’t know what to expect.  A fairly small, middle-aged woman with short hair and a surprisingly fashionable dress sense approached me, “My youngest sensed you would be slim with fair hair. It’s a shame you don’t have your leather jacket on!”

Speechless for a brief moment, I smiled and eventually asked, “How does she know I have a leather jacket?”

Apparently, two of her four children also have ‘the gift’, and from that I also found out she has two dogs and lives in the suburbs. I of course tried not to give anything away about myself, as the key to this experience is obviously not to provide these people with clues to feed from. I therefore grasped this experience with a cynical approach in order to prevent myself from getting carried away with the hype of it all.

There are various types of spiritual readings you can go for. Palm reading is one, a clairvoyant who tells you your future is another, but in this case, the ‘reader’ uses angels as their information source. She told me this is called ‘Reiki with angels’ – in other words, using the work of angels to receive guidance and assistance from the angelic realm. Set around her room were also crystal stones, I suppose used to set the mood, as well as what looked like packs of tarot cards.

The first spooky insight she hit me with was that she knew the colour of my dogs eyes (he is an Australia Blue Merle Collie and so has wolf-like eyes) and that he was scared of water as a pup. I took this with a pinch of salt as I have a picture of my dog as my Facebook cover page, and although my page is private, this picture is still visible to see. OK, I thought, let’s see what else you’ve got up your sleeve!

“She’s very proud of you you know, your guardian angel is here, your Great Grandma.” This slightly knocked me off my cynical perch, as my mother often tells me that my Great Grandma is my guardian angel. Nobody would have known that. “There are also two other grandparents in the room.” Ha! Got you! “All my grandparents are alive” I said. But without hesitance she told me, “No, these are from your partner’s mother’s side of the family. They say they are proud of the path that their grandson is on. He is very work-orientated and should expect a positive career change in March next year.”

Hmm this is good I thought, I actually have some information I can use as a measurement, and so I note this down on a spare bit paper. Let’s see if this career change actually happens. She advises me to write everything she says down in case I am unsure of something and can refer back later. Throughout the allotted half an hour she told me the following:

  • I will get a house within the next 12 to 14 months but be engaged beforehand (yay!).
  • My little brother will be in the police force.
  • I’m a daddy’s girl and that it is his birthday in the next 6 weeks (which it is!).
  • She could hear the sound of kids from my partner’s mother’s house (she backs onto a playground) and said that she really needs to go to the dentist (random I thought, but nevertheless I shall pass the message on).
  • She knew that I was recently in Dyce (which I told her ‘yes for an interview’) and she said I would have a new job by mid December.
  • She asked who ‘J’ in my family was and I automatically said my mum ‘Jacqueline’ (but really it could have also been my granddad, brother or uncle). She told me to take a leaf out of my mother’s book as she doesn’t like to disappoint people but will always do what is best for her. She also told me my gut instinct is very strong and that I should follow it.
  • I am also going to visit Australia in 2 years time for a 2-3 week holiday – sounds good to me!

Well I guess it’s just a waiting game now to see if any of this is true. However, it was this last insight that gave me chills. As the half hour approached its end, she asked me if I could pass a message on to my partner’s mother from her parents. This I have decided to keep private. All I can say is that once the half hour was up, I did end up leaving her ‘room of angels’ feeling satisfied and slightly on a high, excited to tell my partner and family about my reading. Although a lot of her ramblings were about my partners side of the family, I got a good feeling from her and knew that both my partner and his mother would appreciate what she had to say.

Verdict – I recommend visiting one for yourself. Be careful though, as although most are advised only tell you good things, my friends mother refused to tell her about her reading due to something which obviously spooked her. My advice is that you only see someone who has personally been recommended to you by a friend. Even if most of the information turns out to be meaningless, I still left the room with a good feeling and the belief that my Great Grandma may have been in that same room with me.

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Out & About

Every Last Detail

Every Last Detail, an events and gifts company based in Fife, celebrate their 1st birthday tomorrow. Looking back on the year, I interview Laura Poole, director and founder, to find out what it is that inspires her.

Hi Laura, in your own words, can you explain to me what it is that Every Last Detail do?

We are involved in event planning and marketing for various occasions from general to retail events. We can plan and cater for the following:

General Birthday, New Baby, Christening, Engagement, Stag/Hen Party, Wedding, Fundraiser Event, New Store Opening, Dinner/Cocktail Party or Night Club VIP.

Depending on requirements, we will organise the venue, decorations, performers, catering, games, transportation and invitations. As well as event planning we also sell handmade gifts and decorations to fit any occasion; wedding, new baby, and so on. 

That sounds like a lot of planning! What inspired you to start-up Every Last Detail?

I’ve always been quite crafty but I started by making the props for the visual displays in Officers Club where I work part-time, and it just grew from there really!

Describe a typical day in the office?

First thing I check my emails and Facebook for comments and orders. Then I go through the order book to see which orders are next in line, make a start on them, then do a bit of research which usually takes me to lunch time. Lunch for me usually consists of chips, cheese & curry sauce and numerous cups of coffee! If I’m working in Officers Club then everything has to wait until 6pm, which means a late night for me. Throughout the day I’m also checking Facebook, blogs and Pinterest for inspiration and ideas!

A busy day then, how many of you are on the Every Last Detail team? Or are you a one-man band?

It’s just myself, if I’m unwell or away on holiday then my mum looks after the Facebook page for me and occasionally my boyfriend gets roped into doing some proof reading and framing.

I’m sure he enjoys that! What are the best and worst parts of the job?

The best is working with different people every day and seeing the finished product. The worst is the late nights! Having Rhys, my 4 year old can be tiring as he’s a ball of fire!

Who or what is your main source of inspiration for your products and event ideas? 

A lot of my products are trial and error! If I’m at a friend’s house I’m constantly checking out their decor. I also visit markets, high street shops, charity shops or even IKEA. I’ll see something and my mind will go off on one thinking about how I could create something similar or work on it to make it better.

Where do you see Every Last Detail in 5 years time? 

I’m currently looking into leasing a unit so I can hopefully open a store of my own, meaning I can leave my part-time job and work for myself. Hopefully in 5 years I will have a good-sized shop and a hard-working team who share my passion and enthusiasm for this type of job.

What advice would you give to someone else hoping to start-up on their own?

Go in with an open mind, always be professional but with personality and learn to take criticism. Also, as soon as you stop enjoying it that’s when you know it’s not for you.

At the moment, Laura works from home but has provided some product examples below:

Event Material

Word Clouds

Cards

*New baby & cute as a button cards £3.50 each or 2 for £5. Xmas cards start at £2 each or 6 for £10

Record Frames

*Single record £20 or album record £25

Scrabble Frames

4

*price varies depending on number of names

Personalised Pillows

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*£20 for 30cm x 30cm, or £27 for 40cm x 40cm

Fancy hosting an Every Last Detail party?

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For more information on these products, please contact Every Last Detail directly on:

Email: everylastdetailfife@hotmail.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/everylast.detail.7

Telephone: 07881 309 366

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Out & About

Country & vintage finds

One not so sunny afternoon in Aberdeen’s bustling city centre, my chum Mhairi and I decided to try out a couple of country and vintage markets. It’s fair to say both of us were pleasantly surprised to find what was on offer.

The first stop for us was the Aberdeen Country Fair on Belmont Street which is held every last Saturday of the month, as well as the first 3 Saturdays in December. It’s full of country crafts and tasty seasonal food and drink.

My favourite stands were…

Almondine

Handmade macarons

almondineThese delicious macarons come in all various colours and sizes. I recommend the white chocolate and salted caramel!

If you would like to try these out on your taste buds then check out http://www.almondine.co.uk or contact 07565 101 936 for more information.

Miss IntegriTea

Hand-blended herbal teas

teaAll kinds of tea are on the menu here including; Clear Skin Tea, Sleep Tea, Mint & Liquorice and Immune Tea.

Interested? Follow ‘Miss IntergiTea‘ on Facebook and Twitter or visit http://www.missintegritea.com for more flavours and information.

The next stop for us was the March Hare Craft & Vintage Market held monthly on Crimmon Place.

My favourites here were…

Peapod

Vintage clothes, homeware & gifts

peapod

The teacups were my favourite find on this stand, but sadly they had already been sold! These can however be picked up from the Peadpod shop for £40 for a set of 4.

Visit the shop on Rosemont Place, Aberdeen where you will be welcomed with a lovely smile and great customer service. Here you will find everything from crockery to clothing!

Follow ‘Peapod Aberdeen‘ on Facebook and Twitter or call the shop directly on 01224 635710 for information on stock and pricing.

The Alabaster Box

Bespoke furniture, homewares & furnishings 

alabasterboxAshley Drain is a BA Hons Design graduate and clearly has an eye for these bespoke pieces. I love this floral chair!

For more information follow ‘The Alabaster Box UK‘ on Instagram and Facebook or contact Ashley directly on 07835 556 221.

Curious Furnishings

Home accessories & gifts

curious furnishingsThese little cute treats could be the perfect gift this Christmas. I particularly like the colourful wooden pegs, also handy for decoratively clipping up your Christmas cards.

Visit http://www.curiousfurnishings.co.uk to shop for more ideas or follow ‘Curious Furnishings‘ on Facebook or @kateofcurious on Twitter.

Ginger Pickle

Handmade jewellery, accessories, homeware & stationary

gingerpickleThese little goodies are also great for those of you still searching for the perfect gift. Ginger pickle has an online boutique where you can search through all of the designs at http://www.gingerpickle.co.uk

Follow ‘Ginger Pickle1‘ on Facebook or @_gingerpickle_ on Twitter.

mydecorideas

Original household items & furniture

mydecorideasHere I found the perfect homeware pieces with a country twist!

Visit http://www.mydecorideas.co.uk for various driftwood, retro and linen furnishings or follow ‘mydecorideas‘ on Facebook.

So as you can see Mhairi and I had a busy but inspiring weekend, and the good news is we get to see it all again in a month’s time. Maybe catch you there!

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