Model train blogs we love

 

 

Creating a great model railway is a huge creative endeavour that requires great skill and planning. True enthusiasts spend hours building and detailing all aspects of the railway’s layout, from weathering locomotives to forming rolling hills.

We’ve created a list of blogs, written by model railway lovers, that follow their creative pursuit to reproduce the railway world in miniature.

Rhyd Ddu

Rhyd Ddu

This blog describes the planning, woodwork and track laying as well as the wiring, scenery, and rolling stock of one man’s recreation of Rhyd Ddu in miniature. A very detailed and thorough record of model railway creation useful to all levels of enthusiast.

 

 

 

The Model Railways of Chris Nevard

The Model Railways of Chris Nevard

Fantastic photos of extremely detailed scenes with advice on creating the perfect layout. See how just a few key changes like swapping high vis jackets for murky blue overalls on model workers and weathering panels on carriages can shift the era of industrial layouts to give you more breadth of design.

 

 

 

Cairns Road Works

Cairns Road Works – Model railway detailing and repainting by Andi Walshaw

Excellent tips and photos on how to weather engines for an authentic look. Posts cover advice on repainting and detailing your model railway from a seasoned model railway artist.

 

 

 

Eastmoor

Eastmoor

Reviews of model railway shows and exhibitions as well as progress reports on the author’s own model railway projects. There are also posts on the day to day life of a railway modeller including trips to real railways and even reviews of stand up comics.

 

 

 

Model trains today

Model trains today

Top tips on how to improve your model railway, find deals and discounts on modelling gear and stay up to date on new releases of trains and layout parts. Also check out the 7 Model Train Mistakes to avoid and sign up for the newsletter to stay on top of model railway news and events.

 

 

 

A Model Railway - Life in Miniature

A Model Railway – Life in Miniature

David Smith shares videos of his work and the operation of his railways as well as photos of real life steam train sightings. There are also several useful posts on how to make your own DIY 4mm model people.

 

 

 

Model Railways Blog

Model Railways Blog

A relatively recent addition to the model railway blogosphere, this blog mixes advice on planning, building and running your own model railway with posts on real railway memories and modelling nostalgia.

 

 

 

Model train sets blog

Model train sets blog

This blog has lots of videos, reviews and tutorials for the model railway enthusiast. The blog also gives posts on how to build layouts and create scenery as well as sections on model railway FAQs.

 

 

 

Rushby’s Railways

Rushby’s Railways

Learn the ins and outs of batch-building, find out a few tricks of the trade for photographing your trains and follow Neil on his train-faring travels through his model railway blog.

 

 

 

Albion Yard

Albion Yard

This is the blog of the planning, building and operation of the model layout Albion Yard, which has featured in Hornby Magazine and Model Railway Journal. There is also a gallery section with great close-ups of the model buildings and trains.

Did you know…? The history of the Moccasin slipper

 

Moccasin slipper are hugely popular across the globe, but not many people know about their unique history within Native American culture.

The Native Americans were unbelievably good at recycling and reducing waste. Skilled hunters, they would utilise every possible part of their catch – using the meat for food and the animal skins for clothing. The tough hide, which was too inflexible to make into clothing, would be used to make strong, durable Moccasin slippers.

The humble Moccasin slipper
Moccasins were often beautifully decorated in accordance to tribal customs, using bead-work and fringing to make them original and unique. They were often hand painted as well, depicting scenes from nature in a variety of bright colours. The work of the Native Americans was intricate and distinctive. They were, in essence, the original ‘haute couture’ leather shoes.

Over the hundreds of years that Moccasins have been made the basic, original design has remained the same. They are generally still made out of leather, as they were originally, but the advance in dyes has meant that you can now buy them in a range of bright colours. Another, popular alteration has been to add a fur lining, making Moccasins ideal slippers for the winter months. In addition,

One of the reasons that Moccasins have remained so popular for so long is their ability to mold to the foot, meaning they are warm and snug. Their flat soles and soft leather make them unbelievably comfortable. They simply get better over time, as the leather softens and mold to your foot. A moccasin often ends up being a friend for life.

It is hard to believe that something could have remained so popular for so long, but it is a fact that Moccasins are just as popular today as they have ever been. Perhaps it is all those years of use that has resulted in a slipper that is so comfortable, practical, warm and stylish. Either way, the humble Moccasin is the perfect addition to anyone’s wardrobe.

The World’s Snuggliest Slippers

 

Never underestimate the power of your slippers, once said a wise man (who was wearing slippers).

And he was dead right. Slipper-wearers all over the world are feeling the benefits of owning cosy slippers. There’s not a more snugger feeling than squeezing your pinkies into two furry burrows and forgetting about the winter’s night outside. From Argentinean sheepskin to Peruvian llama wool, when it comes to warm feet, slipper-wearers the world over sure take snuggleism seriously. Yes, that’s ‘snuggleism’ (it’s in the Slipper Dictionary).

Or maybe your slippers aren’t that snug? Never mind, the path to snuggleism awaits you … so before your pinkies freeze and drop off, take note of some ancient slipper wisdom. Read on, and be enlightened by the world of slipper luxury.

Peruvian Alpaca / Llama Slippers (photo by ChezShawna)

Peruvian Alpaca/Llama Slippers
It’s extremely cold up in the Andes, but the llama and its furry cousin (the alpaca) are just fine with their thick coats. So the Peruvians keep warm too with handmade alpaca fur slippers. Soft, fluffy and luxurious, these little feet toasters are made from 100% alpaca fur and make everyday feel like summer in footworld.

 

 

 

Sheep’s Wool Slippers

Sheep’s Wool Slippers
From the snow-capped horizons of New Zealand and Argentina to the frosty winter mornings of England, sheep have been lending their woolly locks to shivering folk for centuries. Thick, soft and extremely warm, sheep’s wool slippers are just the job and perfect for dealing with the British cold snaps.

 

 

Himalayan Cat Slippers

Himalayan Cat Slippers
We’re going even higher for the next stop on the magical mystery slipper tour. On the roof of the world up in Nepal, feet have to be extra snug, so slippers are made from a range of things including straw and animal furs such as yak, cat and rabbit.

 

 

 

Alaskan Eskimo Slippers

Alaskan Eskimo Slippers
And when it comes to keeping seriously warm, nobody does it quite like the Eskimos. From Siberia to Alaska the freezing far north is home to the royalty of slipper-wearing. Made from durable moose-hides and lined with fur from Arctic rabbit or beaver, Eskimo slippers put the snug into snuggleism.

 

 

Though be warned, this kind of warmth isn’t for the rookie snug-seeker. In fact it’s a little too much for our relatively roasting winter shores, so make sure you choose wisely when seeking snug slippers.

Daddy blogs we love

 

We’ve covered Granny Bloggers and Mummy Bloggers, so it seems only fair that we give all the dads out there a fighting chance! Here we’ve compiled a list of our all time favourite Daddy Blogs – enjoy!

All that comes with it

All that comes with it

This Daddy blogger is a fun read and a busy man. Dan is a father of two children – Amy (6) and Evan (3) and posts about the juggling act of fatherhood. As well as encouraging Amy in swimming lessons and teaching Evan to write, he keep chickens, grows vegetables and works part time as a mental health nurse. Be sure to also have a look at his hilarious Midnight Movie Review podcast.

 

 

 

Single parent dad

Single Parent Dad

This blog follows a young Dad and widower who is also a very straight-talking blogger. Read how he manages half-term with geocaching and fun activities or follow him as he humorously vents spleen about irritating children’s TV characters.

 

 

 

 

Daddy Dazed

Daddy Dazed

Becoming a father for the first time is a major milestone in every man’s life. For this Dad it has also come from an eventful path of IVF. The story includes embarrassing tales of sperm tests, an agonising countdown to the first pregnancy test and eventually the birth of his first child. You can now follow his musings on being a proud and busy father.

 

 

To be a dad

To be a Dad

This Ukulele playing father of 2 shares stories of the games his children create as well as some touching moments from their daily routines. Every post is imbued with great adoration and love for his family, be it retelling the previous evening’s dinner or videos of his children playing together. A must read and a fantastic document of family life.

 

 

Bringing up Charlie

Bringing up Charlie

Author and father of two, Tim Atkinson blogs about being a stay at home Dad. Former teacher, Tim also blogs on child education and development including Psychology Fridays where he shares some wisdom on the mental art of parenting.

 

 

 

 

 

Dads the way to do it

Dads the way to do it

Paul blogs about being George’s Dad, which can involve differentiating the Queen on the back of a £20 from Nanna, and teaching a one year-old that eggs don’t bounce. There’s also meetings with penguins at the zoo and wrestling with a vacuum – fun and endearing reading from a family man in Coventry.

 

 

 

 

A dads blog

A dads blog

This Daddy blogger has a toddler and a newborn. He’s happy to share his advice with other Dads and Dads to be, including tips on getting children off to sleep, picking the right pushchair and spotting the tricks of the toddler’s trade when it comes to pulling the wool over their parents’ eyes.

 

 

 

Goodbye pert breasts

Goodbye pert breasts

Both touching and funny, this blog veers from the poignant to the ridiculous. One post details a trip to the hospital for his ill baby to be treated, in which he acknowledges the tears brought to his eyes. Displaying an incorrigible sense of humour, the same post also features pictures of gonad protectors in the radiography department that the author finds amusing.

 

 

Like father like daughter

Like Father, like daughter

Through Richard’s blog you can see his daughter’s first steps, their adventures in the snow and how he often gets outnumbered by Mums as a stay-at-home Dad. Father and daughter also go on the political trail together, interviewing politicians for the local paper.

 

 

 

 

The life and times of a house husband

The life and times of a house husband

This is a blog written by a Dad who is learning to accept life as, in his words, a  ‘housewife’. Former pub landlord, now stay at home Dad, Jamie blogs about his new life as a house husband and father to three children. Be sure to check out the hilarious adventures of George the Guilt Explorer (pictured above), who appears on top of the messes that lazy children leave behind.

 

 

 

 

Shouty dad

Shouty Dad

Amusing moments of communication-breakdown between toddler and parent feature alongside posts about what not to do when your eyelids are covered in ointment. An excellent story teller with a confident writing style, Shouty Dad is a enjoyable reading.

 

 

 

 

Clued up dads

Clued up dads

Having blogged the final months of his partner’s pregnancy, this blog now features the musings of a very recent father. In his own words “this blog attempts to separate fact from fiction and highlight what’s worth knowing if you’re about to become, or are already, a dad.”

 

 

When daddy gets home

When daddy gets home

Already a father to one, another is soon on its way for this Daddy blogger. Posts are usually themed around photos and ‘Gallery Prompts’ in which we see what the baby has been up too, be it new food discoveries or prolonged bouts of smiling. Alongside this structure are thoughts and descriptions of the often amusing antics of little kids and parents who are sometimes still kids at heart.

Puss in slippers

 

Cats can be too damn cute, and no more so than when they’re cuddled up in, around or on your favourite pair of slippers.

Check out our picture collection featuring our slipper-clad, furry feline friends.

The perfect disguise
Photo by By Abbamouse
I would like a slipper for every paw and another for my tail, please.
Photo by Meredith P.
Ha! Take that, my evil canine friend!
Whoops - caught pink handed!
Photo by Angela
Slipper, you are my one and only love...
Photo by Sylvia
What?!
Phwoar! How can you wear these things?
Photo by Oliver Bruchez
Umm... excuse me? I’m stuck! Hello! A little help here please? Anybody?!

Teddy bear blogs we love

Arctophiles, or bear lovers, are a likeable lot who mix great craft and artistry with affection and good humour. We’ve put together a list of teddy bear collectors, crafters and restorers who also write blogs. By checking out posts you can see their bears, keep up to date on their creations and follow the healing process of patients in their teddy bear hospitals.

eden bears blog
Eden bears give poorly teddy bears a new life
Eden Bears

The author of this blog, Elaine Hirst, creates traditional bears and also runs a Teddy Bear Hospital for restoring bears who have been in the wars. The excellent before and after photos, and the breakdown of what was done, will bring a smile to your face each time a new patient re-emerges from the hospital back in one piece.

 

 

three oclock bears blog
3 o'clock bears are fully pampered
Three O’Clock Bears

Bears in period dress, or with coiffured hair, even bears with their own beds and duvets, Three O’Clock bears come in all shapes and sizes. This blog follows their development as well as showcasing the new creations with stunning photos and commentary.

 

 

 

soft toys blog
Soft toys blog for teddy bear news and reviews
Soft Toys Blog

A new edition to the blogosphere, this blog is building up reviews of new bears on the market as well as links to places to buy them. The blog works as an online magazine for sourcing new bears or getting the latest information in a friendly and easy way.

 

 

 

Bearing all blog
A multi award winning Teddy Bear maker Bearing All
Bearing All

Multi award winning Teddy Bear maker and member of the Guild of Master Bearcrafters, Paula Carter’s Bearing All blog documents her life and craft. You can follow her creations from birth to adoption as well as getting an insight into the everyday life of Paula.

 

 

 

 

bear club
Join the teddy bear clan at Bear Club
The Bear Club

As featured in the Guardian Media Monkey, The Telegraph Online and BBC Radio 1 & 2, the Bear Club is a blogging site for your Teddy Bear. You can create a profile, join a clan, learn about bears and have lots of fun with other bear owning bloggers.

 

 

 

furgotten bears blog
Traditional teddys for modern times at Furgotten Bears
Furgotten Bears

These bears look as if they have a few stories to tell, however they are brand new and handmade by Darren and his wife Jacqui in Macclesfield. Beautiful bears and creatures with a worn look live on this blog until they are adopted by new owners. Truly one of a kind and not to be missed.

 

 

 

 

michelle's bears
A great collection of bears from all ages at Michelle's bears
Michelle’s Bears

An excellent compilation of posts on collected bears, newly crafted bears and antique bear restoration projects. Michelle has over 20 years of bear making experience and a huge collection to show for it, which you can enjoy here on her blog.

 

 

 

 

steiff life blog
A Steiff Life documents tales from generations of Steiff fans
My Steiff Life

A blog shrine to all things Steiff from a seasoned collector and Steiff afficiando. My Steiff Life is written by a third generation Steiff collector who previously worked for Steiff, writes on Vontage Steiff and answers your questions on your own collections.

 

 

 

 

bear treasures blogs
Bear treasures from a teddy bear artist
Bear Treasures

A proud member of the Guild of Master Bearcrafters, Melanie Jayne is a full time Teddy artist. Be sure to check out her creations, like Little Joey and see how she designs and creates bears full of their own personality for the adult collector.

 

 

Novelty slippers with personality

 

Don’t be fooled – the average pair of men’s slippers can say a lot about a chap. So whether you’re a fluffy bunny or a big bad wolf, we’ve taken a look at what your slippers say about you…

Sailor slippers
The Extrovert
Photo by Poppalina
Werewolf Slippers
The Big Bad Wolf
Photo by Phatcontroller
Vegetable Slippers
The Vegetarian
Photo by Pengrin
Dog Slippers
The Dog-lover
Photo by Jonathan Gaskin
Peter Pan Slippers
The Lost Boy
Photo by Ingermaaike
Homer Simpson Slippers
Doh!
Photo by Stuart Bryant
Cat Slippers
The Feline Fan
Photo by Mark Pether-Longman
Piggy Slippers
The Third Little Pig
Photo by Les Hutchins
Squid Slippers
The Zoidberg
Photo by Aryc Ogre
Angry Fish Slippers
The Computer Geek
Photo by Scott Savage
Cup-cake Slippers
The Cake-lover
Photo by _StefwithanF
Birdfeet Slippers
Big Bird!
Photo by Andy Herd
Sock-monkey Slippers
The Sock-monkey
Photo by Christi
Penguin Slippers
The Ornithologist
Photo by Fling 93
Angry Bunny Slippers
The Split Personality
Photo by Adam "rampage" Meltzer

How to get the perfect fit – the ultimate guide for shoe and slipper buyers

Get the perfect fit.

 

Buying perfectly fitting slippers and shoes is a bit of an art form, but one that’s well worth learning. Our feet are a much-used asset, and if you look after them properly you can save yourself a lifetime of pain and discomfort.

To help you find the perfect fit, we’ve come up with this buyers guide to shoe fitting.

1. The size of your feet changes as you get older, so always make sure you get measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure is at the end of the day, as your feet are largest then.

2. Don’t go by the size marked on the shoe – only use it as a guide. Always make sure that you try shoes on properly before wearing them out of the house, so that you can exchange them if they don’t fit.

3. As most people have one foot larger than the other, make sure you fit you shoes to your largest foot.

4. Select shoes that suit your foot shape. For example, a narrower foot may better suit a narrow heel or pointed toe. Wider larger feet my better suit a square or rounded toe.

5. Make sure there is enough space between your big toe and the end of the shoe. When you put pressure on you foot, or when you walk, your toe should not touch the end of your shoe.

6. Don’t buy shoes expecting them to stretch – always get a good fit from the start.

7. Where possible use breathable materials that don’t make your feet sweat as much. When your feet get hot they can start to sweat, which may mean that your shoes become uncomfortable.

Pipe smoker blogs we love

 

Smoking a pipe is an enjoyable, relaxing pastime for many men and women. Here we’ve rounded up a blogging community of pipe smokers and enthusiasts to provide you with hints, tips, advice, anecdotes and inspiration.

A Castello Sea Rock pipe

Rising from the Ashes

Consisting of the ‘Random musings from the smoke filled mind of G L Pearse’, Rising from the Ashes is a collection of thoughts, ramblings and humorous anecdotes. Whilst Pearse meditates on his love of pipe smoking and reviews his favourite tobaccos, he also gives his insight into life in general. Witty and a pleasure to read.

 

The good old days of smoking a pipe

Smoking Pipe Tobacco
Smoking Pipe Tobacco features news and reviews for everything to do with pipe smoking, combined with tips and anecdotes to help you along your way.  There are some useful points to be learnt, even for the most experienced pipe smokers.

 

 

 

The Savinelli Punto Oro pipe

The Pipe Smoker
The Pipe Smoker – ‘Smoking his pipe… and pondering on everything’.  This blog was started by a true lover of pipe smoking.  Consists of tips on pipe care and tobacco, as well as his musings on life in general and a collection of favourite pipe smoking quotes.  One for the true pipe enthusiast.

 

 

There’s even a ‘pipe babes’ section...

Pipes Magazine
Pipes Magazine is the ultimate source for pipe lovers.  Ask questions or share advice in the forum.  Watch videos from pipe enthusiasts such as Mad Men actor Michael Gladis.  For those who really love pipe smoking there’s even a ‘Pipe Babes’ section…

 

 

 

Going green!

The Briar Files
A blog based purely on pipes and pipe smoking, The Briar Files features pipe and tobacco reviews, bios on ‘featured pipe smokers’ (both real and fictional) and humorous cartoons and advertisements all about pipe smoking.  It’s a fun, interesting read.

 

 

An old corn cobb pipe

Smokers Blog
The Smokers Blog is an eclectic mix of interesting pipes (check out the Native American Peace Pipe), and pipe and smoking knife reviews.  This is a great visual blog, packed full of interesting photos and unusual pipes.

 

 

Some great tobacco reviews

A Passion for Pipes – Neil’s blog
This is a blog by a real pipe afficiando. Neil Roan features and reviews beautiful vintage pipes, tobacco blends and modern pipe carvers. His authoritative and relaxed writing style displays  years of experience and a great fondness for the beauty of pipes.

 

 

An example of Talbert’s professional pipe carving

The Talbert Pipe Blog
Written by a professional pipe carver, this blog is imbued with the artistry of craft as well as the technical aspects of pipe design and production. Be sure to check out his stunning creations of Goblin pipes, Briars and Ligne Bretagnes.

 

 

 

Bob Harrison updates from his Saturday excursions to the Tobacco Hut

The Sweetest Smoke
Each Sunday Bob Harrison posts updates from his Saturday excursions to the Tobacco Hut where he and a community of pipe smokers hang out and talk about all things pipe. As much a social commentary as an exploration of new pipes and tobacco blends, it is an addictive tobacco soap-opera.

Book Lover blogs we love

 

To many, there is simply no greater winter pleasure that a warm, comfortable seat, a steaming hot cup of tea and a good book.

So we’ve put together a list of our favourite Book Lover blogs to inspire future reads, make you laugh, make you think and generally enlighten your day.

We hope you like them and happy reading!

Clare writes some great book reviews from a range of topics

Keeper of the snails
Award winning novelist Clare Dudman keeps us updated on her life and literary adventures in this chatty blog.  Some interesting interviews with other authors (there’s a great interview with Sue Guiney, author of A Clash of Innocents) and some thought-provoking reviews. Clare is fun, endearing and, obviously, an excellent writer.  An altogether good read.

 

Get stuck into a whole range of books

Stuck in a Book
Simon Thomas is always stuck in a book, and this colourful blog lets us know which one he’s reading now and exactly what he thought of it.  There are some brilliant reviews and recommendations for future reads, combined with the odd ‘Song for Sunday’ and literary outings (including a book bloggers lunch at the British Museum).  Good fun!

 

The Midnight Bell keeps a keen, critical eye on literature


The Midnight Bell
Sean lends a dry, witty style to his review blog The Midnight Bell.  The successor to the London News Review Books Diary (which was admired in both The Guardian and the New York Times), this blog is a keen, critical eye on the world of literature.

 

 

Just one of the images from du Maurier country

Dovegreyreader Scribbles
Dovegreyreader is ‘a Devonshire based bookaholic, sock-knitting quilter who is a community nurse in her spare time’.  Carry on to find some great interviews, including an insightful chat with Erica Wagner, Literary Critic at The Times.  There are also some inspiring reviews and adventures, including a beautiful walk through Daphne du Maurier’s Cornwall, linked with her various excellent novels.  Well worth a look!

 

This is a blog for the serious lover of classic fiction!

Brontë Blog
I can guarantee that even the biggest Brontë fans will be completely overawed by this blog.  Find out who is playing Heathcliff in the latest adaptation.  Check out the Brontë ‘quote of the week’.  There’s even a list of Brontë themed Christmas events!  Needless to say, this is a blog for the serious lover of classic fiction.

 

 

Katy's fantastically Gothic photograph of London under a full moon

Baroque in Hackney
Published poet, writer and journalist Katy Evans-Bush, otherwise known as Ms Baroque, hosts this inspirational blog.  Beautiful poetry, witty observational posts on life generally and some stunning photography (my favourite being a fantastically Gothic photograph of London under a full moon).  Perfect for an educational lunchtime read.

 

 

Some particularly enthusiastic book lovers

Book Maven
Book Maven is a blog by writer Mary Hoffman, and gives an insightful view into the world of literature.  Read interesting blog posts from writers such as Michelle Lovric.  Catch up with the latest book news and reviews.  This is a great blog, well written, cheerful and full of future reading inspiration.

 

 

As well as books, John also discusses music and politics

John Baker’s Blog
John Baker is a published novelist and his blog is a mixture of his own writing, reviews of other works and the occasional snippet focusing on music, art and politics, as well as general ramblings on life in general.  A good read.

 

 

 

The Beat's anthology of favourite guest writers

The Beat
The Beat acts as a showcase for new and exciting writers, whether they’re poets, novelists or short story tellers.  There’s always something new and interesting to keep you entertained – if you’re the sort of book lover that just loves to read anything then this is definitely the blog for you.

 

 

It's books galore in Lizzy's Literary Life

Lizzy’s Literary Life
Full of reviews for some interesting and unusual reads, Lizzy works her way through the world of fiction and gives them a personal rating out of five.  This really is a homage to literature in its many and varied forms, and should provide you with no end of inspiration.  Definately one to take a look at.

 

 

Book World's author searches for inspiration for her first book for children

Book World
Book World describes itself as ‘One woman’s attempt to read what’s worth reading and say something about it along the way’.  Sometimes it’s a general rant about trying, and failing, to write a children’s book.Sometimes its just a short post giving a quote from a famous author.  In one post, 36 books are reviewed in nine words or fewer.  Whatever the contribution, it’s always something worth a read.

 

This should be more that enough to fulfill even the biggest Sherlock Holmes fan.

The Baker Street Blog
If Sherlock Holmes had been interested in blogging, then this would have been the site for him.  Dedicated to all things Holmes-based, from the latest television series to hit our screens to poems dedicated to the famous literary detective.  This should be more that enough to fulfill even the biggest Sherlock Holmes fan.

 

 

In this beautiful blog Fiona Robyn gives us small snippets of poetry to carry around with us

A small Stone
‘A small stone… picked up on a long walk and carried home in your pocket’.  In this beautiful blog Fiona Robyn gives us small snippets of poetry to carry around with us – one a day.  A lovely, calming addition to your day and a real pick-me-up when you’re feeling downhearted.