Monday, December 14, 2009

Tree Time

Thought I'd take a break from trying to fix the stupid washing machine, which is leaking through the drawer and whilst reading up on washing machine problems, discovered that liquid instead of powder, along with washing at low temperatures seems to contribute to a lot of the problems, as the bleach in powder (along with really hot water) seems to stop them from gunking up.

.. anyways, onto the real reason for this post (as I am sure no one really wants to hear my laundry woes)...

We got the Christmas tree on Saturday. It's a real cracker and almost hits the ceiling. Here's a little piccie:
It's a lot brighter in real life - 300 lights on it.

Here's a little arty dot photo...

...and little close-up too.
Still got Christmas cards to do as well. Must, must, must do them tomorrow.

Started reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Not my normal read, but I always used to make a point of reading the Booker Prize winner, along with most of the shortlist and thought it would be a good habit to revisit.

Although it's not my normal genre (rarely read historical fiction), it's good so far and the author has a good writing style. Might join Good Reads to keep track of what I think of the books I read.

Sure I'll have more to update soon.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Don't Faint

But I've actually got around to making some Christmas cards this year!!

Justify Full
In the interests of recycling, I've done a design with a re-usable gift tag (ok, the person may have to change the ribbon, but they can definitely use the tag again, and if they glue it on, they can cover the glue on the back of the ribbon {hope that makes sense}). The last one in line looks a bit wonky, but I think that is due to squishing them together in my little portable studio thing, combined with my pretty crappy (lazy) photography skills.

Here's a little close-up some of the tags.

I'm going to do the design in other colourways as well - already have made some blue tags, with snowmen, penguins and snowflakes and have some lovely pink, black and grey Christmas papers I would like to use as well and quite a few other Christmas dies I haven't yet used this year (actually probably never used if I'm being honest).

I also made another batch of Christmas chutney when I got home tonight, and a batch of chilli jam last night - need to label the jam and take a pic tomorrow.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Box of Tricks

My long-time readers may remember me posting this as a work in progress a few months ago. It sat almost finished for ages (just needed the feet put on) and I finally finished it last night.
We're going to give it to Stewart's Nan as part of her Christmas present (in fact Stu is right now heading over to his folks' to deliver presents for people we won't see on Christmas Day).

Finally, a couple of little detail pics.

I am also almost finished a different design for Stewart's sis. I relally love making things to put in with people's presents.

Thanks for looking. Off to start making some Christmas cards shortly.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Christmas is Coming

Gosh, I can't believe it's been so long since I've updated - I have been doing stuff (honestly!!).

Trying to get into the Christmas spirit, as I felt it was lacking a bit last year after all the wedding excitement. Think I'll get my tree on Saturday, let it settle overnight and decorate it on Sunday. Off out on Saturday with a ton of friends to Arisaig in Glasgow -because there's 26 of us, I think we are going to get the whole of the balcony level to ourselves. After dinner, we're off to Maggie May's.

Made Christmas chutney last night - my first attempt at doing anything like this. Had a little teaspoon taste to see if it was nice; it was yummy scrummy. Made plenty for the family, but will probably end up making more for friends as well. Didn't have jars, so ended up buying half a dozen Asda value lemon curds (not exactly a Nigella moment, spooning lemon curd down the toilet dressed in jammies with eyelliner rubbed over my face - so definitely no pic of that).

Here's the finished article - need to go to a fabric shop to get something Christmassy to put over the lid.

It contains cranberries, apples, dates, ground cloves, ginger & cinnamon, with some cayenne pepper for kick.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hello Strangers

OMG where does the time go. Can't believe it's been about 6 weeks until I updated.
I haven't fallen off the face of the earth (or even been struck down with H1N1), but I also haven't made much (apart from a mess).
I'm working on some polymer clay beads, which I hope will work out ok. Have a head full of ideas and don't seem to get a chance to bring them to fruition - perhaps they're rubbish ideas and that's why!
Promise will update with stuff soon.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Crystal & Pearls

I made this from a pattern in Laura McCabe's book. The pattern was amazingly easy to follow (much less complicated than it looks). I changed a couple of the sizes/styles in the and shortened the drops quite a bit.

I used 20mm Swarovski rivolis in siam, pearls in powder almond and delicas in apricot gold. I also used siam and sand opal bicones, size 15 seed beads in gold & bronze and size 11 seed beads in gold and red. I also used crystal fireline to keep the whole thing together.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Inky Fingers

After a couple of weeks of doing nothing but working and trying to find my mojo, I'm back in the land of blogging - sometimes I really don't know where the time goes, although it has to be said I can be a bit of a faffer even at the best of times.

Anyway, I have a few projects on the go at the moment. Still loving using polymer clay and made these beads.

I used gold foil and alcohol inks in pesto, wild plum, lettuce and stream (and maybe eggplant too - can't remember) on black Fimo Classic. I then used this to cover beads made from scrap clay. Next time I'm going to try wearing gloves with the ink, as my fingers looked really mucky afterwards, especially around the sides of my nails.

The beads are strung with 3mm Swarovski bicones in fuschia, with 4mm ones next to the big bead in the middle.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Breakfast at Tiffany's

In line with my new polymer clay addiction, I made these beads on Sunday. Made a little cane and covered beads that were just made from scrap clay. Wish I had some more colours of Fimo Classic (apart from black and white), but have to use up my stock of Fimo Soft before I buy more.

I dusted the beads with Red/Blue Pearlex Powder then coated with Klear floor polish.

I decided to call them "Breakfast at Tiffany's" as the reminded me slightly of a Tiffany lamp.

Got this Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski book, and desperate to try some of the designs. Pity the 18mm rivolis available in the UK are only clear or AB coated. I always try to source stuff from UK suppliers where I can, but looks like I'll have to order from overseas in this instance.

Comments/tips for improving my jewellery/beaded work always are always welcome and appreciated.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Hot Spots

I made this polymer clay pendant and bead using the kit I recently purchased from EJR Beads. I wore it to pc class yesterday and at first even one of the instructors thought it was metal, so I was well chuffed. I strung them onto copper tigertail, with copper filligree-style beads and Swarovski bicones in purple velvet.

Went to Manchester for the first time last week and absolutely loved it. Stayed in the Macdonald Manchester which was really nice, as well as only being a short walk from the city centre. On the Saturday we ate at Michael Caines at Abode which was really lovely. We went for the tasting menu and got a really good bottle of wine with it (can also confirm their mojitos are pretty tasty). On the Sunday we went to Chaophraya, a Thai restaurant which was really nice (although Stu ordered the hottest thing on the menu and it was too hot for him - surprise surprise). We travelled down by train which is definitely more relaxing than driving (and probably didn't cost any more than driving as we booked the tickets early).

On the Sunday morning we were walking into town in the rain and saw Ian Brown filming his new video - the things you see when you don't have your camera with you!!!!

The only thing that put a slight downer on the weekend was the killer toothache I had. Luckily managed to get a cancellation when I got home, so started root canal treatment and have another session on Tuesday. I was a bit nervous about it has I've heard a lot of bad things about root canal, but it didn't hurt a bit.

Bead wise, I don't have much to show apart from the necklace earlier in the post. I haven't been doing nothing, but just don't have anything finished. I have started one of the Moroccan-style beads from the Diane Fitzgerald book, have run out of one colour for my beaded box (but almost finished that one - just don't want to pay postage on one tube of beads, so it can wait until I am next placing an order - was going to give it to Stu's nan for crimbo anyway).

I am so lucky to have such a fabby husband - on Friday Stu bought me some new GHD straighteners since I've been wearing my hair really short lately and my thick straightners are too bulky for it and my thin ones were rubbish. He also managed to get a couple of tickets for The Pixies in October (I love love love love love The Pixies and was gutted I didn't get them when they were first released.... well Stewart was checking out Ticketmaster and some seated ones have now been released - might even get to wear my high heels to a gig for a change :D:D)

Don't have much planned for today - footie is on the telly later, so think I will do some clay stuff when that is on. Will also make some yummy cupcakes for hubs.

Oh I almost forgot (how could I!!), anyone familiar with our home will have a huge surprise next time they're round - the kitchen lights now work again!!!!! It's only been a squillion years! Came home yesterday and Stewart's dad had fixed them. They had been wired incorrectly - the people who lived here before must've been trying to create a deathtrap as so many things were wrong, but worked if you know what I mean.

Monday, July 20, 2009

This Weekend

This weekend I started working on one the the little boxes in the book "Little Bead Boxes" by Julia S Pretl (one of the books I posted on Thursday). I decided to do the "Flower" one and give it to Stewart's Nan for Christmas. According to the book the difficulty in shapes (from easiest) is triangle, hexagon, pentagon and square. I decided to jump in at almost the deep end (ha, ha - how unlike me!!) and try one of the penatgon ones. It really wasn't difficult at all, once I read the instructions on how to interpret the word maps (there's no way I'd manage it using the graphical charts).

Anyway, this is what I have done so far (quite a few hours).

I also ordered some Hot Copper glitter powders for polymer clay from EJR Beads

Not had a chance to try this out yet, but hope to in the next week or so.

Off to Manchester at the weekend. Staying at the MacDonald Manchester and going for dinner at Michael Caines restaurant on the Saturday night. Going to try and book Chaophraya for the Sunday night as well.

Murder mystery night went really well on Saturday (although I screwed up the main course a bit). Cooked the chicken to too long and it sort of disintegrated (no wonder I hate doing chicken). Everyone really joined in and only one person (my sis) guessed correctly.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I've always been a bit of a bookworm, as well as a recently reborn bead addict, so today I treated myself to a couple of new books: I really like these little boxes, and although they'll probably take ages, I thought they would make lovely presents for people. I seem to know so many people who are lucky enough not to really "need" anything and find it difficult sometimes choosing presents, so hopefully these will go down well. Should be easy enough to incorporate different patterns into the shapes as well.
I have a fascination for beaded beads, and hope to make some of the Moroccan-style ones from Diane Fitgerald's book soon - just need to get some of those (pricey) galvanised delicas. This book on beaded beads gets pretty good reviews over on Amazon (the main one seeming to be don't pick a book by it's cover, as the ones on the front are pretty ugly).

Everything seems to be in order for my murder party on Saturday.
I am playing a french lady (my vocabulary may become a bit repetitive, as I don't have many French phrases in my head!!)Have decided on meze type starters, followed by djaje belimoune (chicken with orange and saffron) from my Medina Kitchen book. This is actually the only recipe I have made from this book - must make more.

Will do the New York cheesecake from how to be a Domestic Goddess for sweet again, as it was a great success the last time (and can make it tomorrow night, leaving less work to do on Saturday - always a bonus if you can grab a siesta before having visitors).

Seems I'll have a fiar bit on my hands over the next couple of days, but I am sure it won't be that bad.

Monday, July 13, 2009

ChocoMint Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for a friend's birthday. As it was my own recipe (butchered and added to from a few others), I'll post it here. I think these would work with any other chocolate cake, but as I'm not keen on chocolate cake I made mine with cocoa instead of real chocolate. Measurements seem a bit higgledy piggledy, but I try to use cups & spoons instead of weights where possible as it is much quicker (don't know why we don't use them more in the UK).

ChocoMint Cupcakes (makes 16)

Chocolate Cupcake
1.5 cups plain flour
1 cup cocoa powder (not hot choc mix)
2 cups caster sugar
1.25 tsps baking powder
1.25 tsps bicarb of soda
1 tsp salt
0.75 cup hot water
0.75 cup milk
2 large eggs
0.5 cup veg oil
1.5 tsps vanilla extract

ChocoMint Frosting
1 x 150g bar white chocolate
half a small tub of soft cheese (I used light, but full fat or extra light would prob work too)
4 x tbsps butter (unsalted)
Icing sugar (approx 3 cups)
1.5 tsps peppermint extract
Green food colouring (I used a tiny bit of holly green paste)

Make the Cakes
Sieve the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder and bicarb into food processor/mixer bowl.
Turn on and whilst processing add water, milk eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix until mixture is smooth (it will be runny).
Half fill paper cases in muffin tray and bake at 165 degrees for 15-20 minutes (I use a fan oven, so times/temps may have to be slightly increased).
Leave to cool once done.

Make the Frosting
Melt the chocolate in the microwave until just melted then stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
Mix the butter and cheese together (I use a food processer). Once combined add the chocolate and peppermint essence and mix again.
Add the icing sugar (I do this half a cup at a time until almost the right consistency, then quarter of a cup at a time until it is just right).
Once the frosting is the right consistency add the food colouring and mix well.
Spoon a generous desertspoonful onto each cake and use the back of the spoon to swirl.

Store and serve from the fridge - adds to the mint choc chip icecream taste if they are cold.

Another Polymer Clay Necklace

Went to the polymer clay class again on Sat, and made this necklace. We were shown the big bead as a pendant and the smaller beads strung with other beads, and I thought neither of them were really my style, but once I made them and put them together in the one necklace I was really pleased with the result.

I used 2 colours of brownish clay, a Sculpey texture sheet in Sticks and Stones. and black acrylic paint, which was brushed on then wiped off. I also used ceramic spaces and Tibental silver beads.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Another First from Me

I went to my first ever polymer clay bead class on Saturday and it was absolutely fab. Such a friendly group and so welcoming - I went home feeling like I had known everyone for years. It was great value for money as well. This is what we made.
We used white, turquoise and green clay, varioys pokey-things and some acrylic paints. I'm really happy with the finished product (although there are a few imperfections) and wore it to work today - go a couple of compliments on it.

Thanks for looking

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My First Attempt at Glass Beadmaking

I made these beads at the class I went to on Sunday -the other people in the class seemed to make more than me, but I didn't care because they had all worked with glass before.

The yellow, light amber and last amber were my last 3 and I really think I was beginning to get a hang of it by then. These ones seem much rounder etc and I felt I was more in control when I was doing them. You might see some bead release, because I didn't have time to clean them and my file is too big, and I also can't use them as wanted to take them home straight away instead of having them annealed (I knew they weren't up to a high enough standard to use in any jewellery. That said, I am inordinately proud of them and hoping to do another class in August.

I'd love to get a kit for making them, but realistically I don't have much spare time on my hands at the moment, so can't really justify the outlay for something I wouldn't utilise very often - hopefully at some point in the future, once I've had a bit more practice, I will be able to do it. Also meant to ask at the studio where the class was if it's possible to hire out kiln space etc.

Off to a polymer clay bead making class this Saturday, although this one only lasts a couple of hours and isn't expensive - I have most of the stuff I'd need for clay beads, but just thought it would be nice to get a little bit of tuition instead of trying to learn from a book all the time - sometimes it's nice to see someone actually making things to learn techniques etc.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Piece of Cake

Had Stu's parents and my Mum round for dinner last weekend, so decided to attempt a baked cheesecake. Used a recipe from Nigella's Domestic Goddess book and it was very yummy indeed. One word of advice though - if you're ever making this cake, the cooling/setting time after cooking is 3 hours (cooking time another 1.5 hours on top of that), which doesn't leave a lot of time to chill the thing if you don't start making it until 3pm. Had to try and chill it in the freezer and resorted to mutter at it chill you damn thing. Anyway's here's a slice fo the end result:

Was at Paul & Kirsty's summer party last night - had a great time, even though I was driving and it was dry (not like last year!!) so we managed to sit outside.

Going to a glass bead making class taught by Rachel Elliott today - just off to get dressed shortly - really excited about it, although as it's my first time the beads I make prob won't be particularly pretty.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lotus Bangle

Remember the lovely pink and purple beads I posted last week, well this is what I made with them. The pattern is by the ultra-talented Jennifer Airs

Also got this book last week, so have started learning shapes because I want to make almost everthing in it - the Moroccan lanterns (shown on the cover) are absolutely stunning, but probably way beyond my skill level at the moment.

Went to the Take That gig at Hampden on Saturday - only knew on Thursday I was going, as G called to say she knew someone who knew someone who could get 2 people in if Stu and I wanted to go. Never ones to turn down a freebie we jumped at the chance. Was a really really good show; obviously a lot of time and money had gone into designing the set and show. The mechanical elephant was fab and Stu and I were singing along to quite a few numbers. One of the support acts, Gary Go, was also really good. The other support was James Morrison, of whom least said the better!

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pinks & Purples

I ordered this delicious section of beads on Monday and they arrived on Tuesday.

The bright pinks are a colour called orchid and I think it just may be my new favourite colour in the world.

I put them to use straight away, starting on this bangle:

It's done in peyote, the same technique I learned for my spiral bangle. Was a little bit tricky at first, but once I had the first "V" done, it go much easier.

At the weekend I went to little Samuel's first birthday party, held at the Boilerhouse in the Hidden Gardens at Tramway in Glasgow. Great venue, really really interesting garden and a glorious day. The birthday boy had a great time playing in the dirt and it was good to catch up with my cousins again.

Think I am going to Take That on Saturday - looks like I managed to wrangle a couple of freebies - still waiting for it to be confirmed though.

Til the next post, bloggy-types.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Finally Finished

I finally finished the beaded bangle I was making. I'ts taken me 2 weeks to day, and if I'm being perfectly honest, I'm not even sure I like it that much. I don't know if it was because I changed the beads slightly or bause of my tension, but my spirals don't seem as sharp or tight as the ones in the pattern.
Despite the apparent negativity above, I would love to do another of these bangles, maybe in fuschia and purple next time.

I made these utterly decadent red velvet cupcakes last weekend for Phil's BBQ. They seemed to go down a treat, altough I only had a small bite of one as wasn't that hungry (think that was the start of me not feeling well).
I still have a couple of them left, so may treat myself to one later.

Off to a first birthday party armed with pirate ship and cove later, Yarr. Then when I get home I'm going to try to get the last of the sie 15 seed beeds I dropped out of the keyboard - damn you sticky keys.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Poorly Sick

I seem to have some sort of bug and have been off work for the past 3 days. I really really hate being off sick and thought yesterday afternoon I would be able to go back today, but last night and this morning I wasn't as good again. Definitely feel a bit better today, but playing it by ear and going to get up for an hour or 2 shortly. Means I have got nothing at all done all week, even though I had lots of things I wanted to get done.

On a good note, I signed up for my first glass beadmaking course today - it takes place a week on Sunday (21/06) and I am really excited about it.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Another Work in Progress

I've still not done the polymer clay beads for my necklace, weather has been so nice and sunny and haven't wanted to be stuck in the spare room (which really needs decorated as it's quite dark). So, whilst my necklace awaits its finishing pieces, I decided to have a go at peyote stitch (which I had always been a bit chicken to try). I used a pattern from one of my Carol Wilcox Wells books (but changed some of the sizes to fit the beads I had).

Here's a sneaky peak of the bangle I decided to do. Not quite halfway yet and has taken a fair few hours so far.
I'm hoping it'll go well with the necklace, even though one is peyote and the other herringbone. Hopefully I have mixed sizes in both pieces and all the beads in the bangle are used in the necklace.

.....fingers crossed.

Thanks for looking

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Super Sunny Sunday

Another beautiful sunny day today. Up bright and early and heading off to Mum's later to take advantage of her garden (the only downside of living in a flat is that, although I have my own garden, it's not very private). Will take up some goodies and maybe make a picnic. Luckily it's not far, so can walk and have a couple of glasses of vino.

I've almost finished my necklace now, just need to make the polymer clay focals (which will be a bit of trial and error) and a little dangly bit then pull it all together. Don't think they'll be done today though, as don't want to be stuck indoors (expecially since there was only about 1 sunny weekend last year).

No new photos to post today, but this is the book I'm reading at the moment (actually I've almost finished it)I've really enjoyed it, but it probably isn't to everyone's taste. I loved her last book too (The Trophy Taker) and there is a new one due out in paperback in August. They're detective novels based in Hong Kong and deal with the (extremely) seedy side of life there (although most of the action in this one is in the Phillipines and London).

Talking of London, Stu and I were planning on visiting for a few days at the end of July, but when I priced it, it looks like being quite expensive, especially as we'd like to the the Rocky Mountaineer train in Cananda not next summer but the next again. So we've opted to do this instead - Jacobite Steam Train, and spend a couple of days in Fort William. I've never been up that way before, so should be fun. Oh, and this is the steam train that goes over the big bridge you seen in the Harry Potter films.

That's about it for now.

Take care bloggy-types.

Lisa xoxo

Monday, May 25, 2009

Work in Progress

Remember the citrus beads I posted a pic of at the weekend? Well yesterday I started a new necklace with them. Only my 3rd attempt at doing off loom-beading and my first attempt at both herringbone and using different sized beads (I think the 2 necklaces I used before used a spiral rope, but can't really remember).

Here's a little pic of the first section:
As well as the beads that arrived on Saturday, I used some orange cats-eye beads. I did originally plan on also using some lime Swarovski crystals, but completely forgot about this plan until I was driving home from work today!!

Thansk for looking

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What Lisa Did

Yesterday I baked some banana muffins using one of Nigella's recipes. I love love love Nigella - everything I make using her recipes just seems to turn out well. These muffins are lovely and soft, yet almost chewy.

For lunch we went through to The Boat House in South Queensferry for a nice lunch. First time we've been there and will definitely be back. Really nice atmosphere and great views.

In the evening we went to see Nickelback at the SECC in Glasgow. Absolutely fantastic - great show. Black Stone Cherry were supporting - they were a lot better than the last time I saw them.

Off to make a start on my new necklace. Also need to do some tidying in the spare room at some point (spare room is like painting the Forth Bridge - it just never seems to be done).

Thanks for looking.

Lisa xoxo

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Seed Beads

These seed beads arrived this morning. It's the first time I've had decent seed beads, as I've tended to do more stringing than off-loom stuff in the past.

I know the bright citrus colours may not be to everyone's taste, but I love them. The 2 oranges in the top row are actually the same colour (the paler of the 2). Once I teach myself how to do the styles I need I'll be able to get cracking on this making these into something.

As I enjoyed adding a couple of my favourite things in my last post, here's another:

This crystal globe was given to Stu and I as a wedding present from a couple of our neighbours. It's absolutely gorgeous - the globe itself is about 7 or 8 inches in diameter.

On a final note, finished my SVQ level 4 in Management, along with 2 enhancement units on Thursday. Really enjoyed doing it, but also really glad it is all done now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Afternoon Tea, Anyone?

A few weeks back Stu and I treated ourselves to a gorgeous Portmerion Crazy Daisy tea set... and I finally got round to taking a photo! I think it is gorgeous, but let me know what you think.
(Had to squish it into my little pop-up studio, hence rusbbish picture and looking a bit squashed{I love being able to use squish and squashed in the same sentence!!}).

We got the cake stand, teapot, milk jug, sugar bowl, 4 breakfast cups & saucers and 4 mini mugs (which also fit perfectly on the saucer). Coveting the egg cup and toast rack set too (although we'd need one each or there would be tears).

Whilst I was taking the photo I also took a pic of one of my current fave things, which is a little Columbian frog which Mum brought me back from holiday. Here he is........
Ribbit ribbit bloggy-types.

p.s.take a look at James May's plasticine garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.
I loved plasticine when I was little - much better than playdoh (which I wasn't allowed to play with anyway cos the smell made my Mum feel sick).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tools of the Trade

I'm treating myself to an order for a nice batch of tools for polymer/Art clay today. Hoping to make my own clay beads as have such a desire to get back beading again, but really want to try something new. I got a really good book on polymer clay beads a couple of years ago and also bought a little starter Art Clay Silver kit from someone round about the same time. Hopefully will have something nice to post soon.
Also keen to try lampworking classes, but will have to put that on the back burner for a few months, as still have one VQ assessment to go and then need to spend some time doing stuff around the house.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You Don't Always Realise...

... the good stuff that's on your own doorstep.

A couple of weeks ago we went to the
Bo'ness & Kinneil Steam Railway and then to Birkhill Fireclay Mine. We had a fantastic time and it had the added bonus of only being a 15 minute drive away.