Places I have visited.
You may be surprised to learn that Scuffed Granny is not my real name.
It is, in fact, Rachel and I currently live in Malmesbury, England, having just moved here from Ottawa, Canada. For those of you not in the know, Malmesbury is a beautiful town with an abbey of historical significance perched on a hill and dominating the town’s vista. I have only lived here for a couple of months, after having lived in Canada for seven and a bit wonderful mountain-, bear- and snow-filled years.
Before Ottawa, I lived in Calgary, Montréal and before that, Perth, Western Australia. I am British, more specifically Welsh but I haven’t lived in Britain since 2012, so coming home is a departure for us (excuse the pun). My amazing husband and I have dragged our two boys with us on this worldly adventure, not always willingly although I like to think that they are reasonably well-adapted and certainly well-travelled.
As a result of all this global gallivanting, I gave up my job as an English teacher and became a stay-at-home mum, which in some ways is far more challenging than teaching Shakespeare to a class full of 30 teenagers. Tiny tyrants that you have created yourself can prove to be demanding too, it would appear but also ultimately and fortunately, awesome.
Living this life has allowed me to travel extensively, something about which I am passionate: seeing new places, experiencing new things, exploring this world. It also means that I have the most fabulous friends in lots of different places – I am very lucky.
Being an English teacher (you never really stop being a teacher) means that I like words: using them to express myself as well as reading those of others, whether fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose, song lyrics or plays. Here, you will find reviews, analysis, maybe even stories and poems that I have written and want to share.
Being at home a lot, albeit lots of different homes, has also meant that my dwelling has become my own creative studio and I have taken full advantage of this to indulge in my passion for making stuff: knitting, painting, sewing, reupholstering, upcycling, baking- you name it and I’ll give it a go. Check out my Etsy shop to see the things that I have made and that you can purchase.
I am passionate about things being given a good life and as a result, like to reuse and revamp. Take the chair with the “Hug” cushion:
- Both items were found in a thrift store. The chair had some horrid covering on it that looked like it was from some smoky English pub with the wear and indent of many bums on it to boot. I could almost see it trembling with shame.
- It was stripped bare to restain the legs and restuff the seat.
- I then covered it with a damask pattern to give it a bit of timeless class.
- The cushion was made from a tapestry which had been completed by its original maker so all the hard work was done. And they did a fabulous job. (I have since discovered that it is designed by emilypeacockdesigns and costs a lot more than the price I paid for a kit – what a find!) I stumbled across it in a thrift store and its bright colours and circus letters drew me in. I could not resist its charms.
- I hand stitched a white backing to it and a zip and voila! It is no longer languishing in a shop next to yarn bundles and old zips, waiting to be discovered but on proud display in the boudoir of a world traveller, perched on a delightful chair! How the lowly have risen! Hurrah!
Check back regularly to see what I’m working on! Below is my most recent project, a hand painted Welsh flag, drawn and coloured by my good self for our shed.