A touch of the Thistle about us!

Silver heavy court wedding ring with thistle motif
Silver heavy court wedding ring with thistle motif

It’s not often we get to spend time helping the wedding party to get ready – but just occasionally we’re allowed a wee peek behind the scenes!  This is a photo of the groom’s ring having had it’s final polish before going to the ceremony tomorrow ….  I’m sure it’s going to make it in time.

This lovely silver thistle ring is available in a full range of sizes – if you would like this for your own wedding, please allow approximately 7-10 working days for manufacture, hallmarking and delivery.

I love competitions

Do you enter competitions?  I don’t do it often enough but nowadays, with the ease of access of the internet, it can be great fun and there’s always a possibility that you will win the prize!

Calmac Competitoin
Win a Trip to Arran and Islay

Caledonian MacBrayne (Calmac) competition for August is a trip to Arran and Islay for two plus car with a couple of nights accommodation on each island – and I think that’s a great way to get a taster of the Scottish islands.

I really would love to win this myself but, hey, I’d also love to see Scotland buzzing with visitors, especially if they’ve managed to win a prize from Calmac!

Keep an eye on this page – I’ll be adding more Scottish holiday competitions when I find them online!  Good luck 🙂

The perfect system?

I had it all set up – the perfect place to take photographs of products as I add them on to our site. The pictures were easy to edit to make the mugs, leather goods, etc, stand out against a white background. It’s taken me years to find something which really suited the way I work. I even use my iPhone for the photography because it has inbuilt features that let me edit it easily and quickly before it transfers to my pc.

I have been using a second-hand jewellery display cabinet as my light box because it came already fitted with sparkly white LED lights and cool-white fluorescent tubes diffused behind a white acrylic filter.  The whole thing worked really well until the transformer for the LED lights stopped working and one of the cool white fluorescent tubes started strobing.  Aaaargh – now I’m going to have to spend some time finding the spare parts because it looks as if it was a custom design and getting the bits and pieces isn’t going to be easy.  It’s definitely going to be worth it to find them, though, because, as I say, it was the perfect system!

Enjoying our semi-retirement

Well, it’s only a few weeks since we retired from the shop but we seem to be settling into semi-retirement very well. It’s quite reassuring to know that we’ve still got the option of top-up income by selling online and we’re grateful to our existing suppliers that we can still sell their products.

It's a Dog's Life 2016 Calendar
Alex Clark2016 Calendar,
It’s a Dog’s Life

Since we left the shop, we’ve done more driving round the UK than we’d been able to do for ages. For instance, we visited Derby to help a family member with some work – before, we wouldn’t have been able to just up sticks and go to help within 24 hours! We’ve also been to a family wedding in Stonehaven, met up with more family for a Sunday lunch in Callander and enjoyed a night out to see the Bard in the Botanics in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. OK, I confess, I’ve always got itchy feet and, while we’re both fit enough to travel, I think we’re going to enjoy every minute of it.

That means that the rest of our time, we have to concentrate on making the internet work for us! Ok, what I really mean is that I sometimes have to drag myself screaming to the computer to list inventory and perhaps take some product photos. The reward of doing that, though, is that we’re getting through the ends of lines we didn’t sell in our last few days and we’re taking the opportunity to assess what is easy to sell and post as well as deciding on potential new ranges of products to sell on the internet.

Glamis Castle Gardens

Glamis Castle, birthplace of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
Glamis Castle

It’s been about five years since we last visited Glamis Castle;  it was a chill November day and we had got lost trying to find Broughty Ferry (don’t ask!) and so we ended up at Glamis instead.  It turned out to be a fortuitous mistake as we just loved our tour of the Castle and our lunch in their coffee shop.  Scottish November days, though, get dark very early and we didn’t have time to visit the gardens.

We had the chance to visit the castle recently;  because time was short, we decided just to explore the gardens – we were so glad that we did because we discovered just how amazing and accessible they are.  The walks are well organised and flat, so if you’re not very fit, they are a great way to get some exercise.  We explored the walled garden, the pinetum, the Italian garden and some of the magnificent lawned areas;  all very impressive.

Hopefully we’ll be back soon to explore some more of this historical castle.

 

Semi-retirement!

It’s official – we’ve retired from the shop in Helensburgh – best wishes to Bill, Christine and family who are now running Argyll Chandlers Ltd from our former premises at 89 West Clyde Street.  It’s been a blast, being in business in the town for 26 years but we’re taking the foot off the gas a little bit and starting to enjoy our retirement.

So, I hear you ask, why did you mention semi-retirement??

Well, we’re still selling online on the internet – it would have been too much of a shock to stop work altogether – and that will allow us to do some work most days while giving us the freedom to have days out, work in the garden and catch up on friends and family – but not necessarily in that order.

Here’s to keeping in touch with our online friends and family!