Christmas Gifts (Gifted in July)

Toiletry bags sewn for ChristmasIn July, I handed my nieces and nephews their Christmas presents. I made a boxy pouch (using this tutorial) and filled them with toiletries we picked up from the Isle of Arran. I lined them all with a green fabric we had on the tables during our wedding and let them all know that. This was significant because they would soon be witnessing our marriage.

For our future reference, we gave the pirate to the 4th born, owl to the 2nd, camo to the 5th, map to the 3rd and batik to the 1st born.

Toiletry bags sewn for Christmas

Almond Joy Energy Bites

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On Saturday night, I tried these dark chocolate coconut protein balls. They taste like Almond Joys. Most photos I post from now until April will likely be ‘evening’ shots since we have now entered the dark season.
I modified the recipe this way: instead of 1/4 C chia, I used 1/4C mixed chia and flax seeds; used 1Tb cocoa powder and 2Tb carob powder because I ran out of cocoa powder but enjoyed the depth of flavour and varied nutrients that result; unsweetened protein powder (sprouted rice). The balls I made are sweet enough with the honey and I think that using flavoured or sweetened protein powder would just be too much.

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Next time, I’ll make a double batch.

Renewed Jacket for Honey

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Last year’s Honey’s jacket started to show signs of wear. It didn’t seem urgent last year but came to that point recently.

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Over the weekend, Honey and I visited our fabric stash looking for inspiration and she immediately pulled out a floral, paisley black and pink print. I’ve had this fabric in my stash for years (I also have a mumu on the same fabric that my mom made in the late 70s or early 80s) and never quite found the perfect project for it. It caught Honey’s eye and she said that it would look great with the beige. I was inspired by her enthusiasm and set to work. I trimmed the fraying areas, sewed a long patch onto the back and then recreated half of a cuff with the fabric.

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Since she got this jacket just as we began dating, it reminds me of our first fall and winter together and now love it even more with the vintage fabric added!

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Curtains

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A year after bringing these curtains back home from the US, they are hanging in our parlour and bedroom. The hook we needed was impossible to buy in the UK so it took another trip back to the states and my dad’s quick run to the store to pick up what we needed. These curtains are thickly lined, lovely orange, and are the ones that hung in our living room each winter when I was a child. 20141012-184245.jpg

20141012-184310.jpgI am thrilled to have them here in our home.

 

Married

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When Honey and I planned our trip to the US for the summer, we decided that we would get married in the nearby state of New Jersey. There will be equal marriage in Scotland soon and we will be able to exchange our Civil Partnership certificate for marriage, but we wanted legal recognition in the US, directly from the US now that it is a possibility. Two days after we booked our tickets, the announcement of equal marriage came in Pennsylvania, so we knew what our plans would be.

We got married by a judge five minutes from where I grew up, on the third anniversary of our civil partnership. Both of my parents, all of my sisters and 4/5 of my nieces and nephews and 1/2 of my brother in laws were present. It was so wonderful to be able to do our final legal step with my family members who have not been able to help us celebrate at either our legal CP signing or the wedding party. It was also exciting to be the judge’s first same-sex couple to marry!

Married in PA

Although we had a civil ceremony in both countries, there were interesting cultural differences. First of all, the registrar in Scotland was not allowed to use any religious words and had to check our vows and music to ensure that there were no vaguely religious references at all. The judge in the US didn’t check that with us and said God several times in the ceremony. We were fine with that but I can imagine it could bother many.

A procedural difference was that the ceremony was complete in Scotland once we and our witnesses had signed the paperwork and in the US only the judge signed the paper. Apparently, our signatures at the time of application were the official record of our confirmation. We even left with an interim certificate that day, which I promptly used to update my name on my American documents.

The final difference that stands out in my mind is one of social space. In Scotland, the registrar stood behind a table (where the papers would be signed) and legally bound us to one another. In the US, there was no physical barrier between us and the judge and he placed his hand on ours as he legally bound us.

It was so interesting, but most of all it was a relief. I am finally, officially, really, truly, my wife’s wife and we are married. For real.

My Blue Suede Boots are Made for Walkin’

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As my black vegan boots are still out of commission while I figure out how to bring them back to a wearable standard, I have been pondering what to wear with skirts as the weather turns cold. A trip to the charity shop showed me that I just needed to pick up another pair. While they are suede and therefore not a material I would ever encourage the production of, my ¬£8.99 went to a charity and kept the boots out of the landfill. When I almost adopted a pair of my mom’s old leather shoes in the summer, I realised that I am okay with second hand leather (aka ‘meat products’) because the leather industry does not benefit in any way and I keep the item in use. The original sticker was still on the sole and besides the small dirt spot you see prior to treatment, they appear almost new.

second hand blue suede boots second hand blue suede bootsYou should know that I searched high and low online for a Blue Sued Shoes/Boots Are Made For Walking but, sadly, I could not find one.

 

Tiny Table

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We’ve had this table for about six months now, but the organiser and historian in me needs it to be posted! I like the idea of being able to look back over the years and see how we began to build our home together.
Our friends moved to a larger home and had space to fill. We exchanged our large table for their small one. They also passed on four folding chairs and we purchased two more to match. It works great folded up as an ‘altar’ area, unfolded halfway when I work from home or we have a meal for two, or moved away from the wall and open on both sides to seat guests. I love that our chairs fold neatly next to the table as well. Our living room now feels much more spacious.

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