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Being Selfish...

This, after a conversation with a friend.  Today is ME Day!

MY STUFF!Collapse )

Ok, enough food for thought for now.  I shall mull things over a bit and then we shall see.

At least I have made my mind up about a hat for Musketeers: not having one!  Simples!


Post Christmas and New Year Bash!

This is bash as in 'bashing things into shape' rather than some wild party, unfortunately.

I have got bored with teetering and unstackable cardboard boxes of Christmas decorations slowly falling to bits in the loft.  I have ordered vastly expensive boxes for storing Christmas!  I can pack the lot up now in boxes that will stack, will contain all my glass baubles without them being crushed or busted when a leaning tower of crimbley crumbles!

I will admit to being enamored of the Really Useful Box company's plastic crates and stuff, and have ordered:

One Christmas Tree box, sans inserts.  They do some nifty trays that fit inside this, for holding things like the fairy lights.  Our tree is sufficiently bulky that we don't think it'll fit with the inserts, so ordered the one without.

One wrapping paper box with trays to hold cards and the like.  Everything we need to wrap up Christmas in one place!  I always have spare paper left over that gets used down the line a bit, and have thrown away far too much over the years because it got a bit tatty in storage.  Now I can store cards, paper, bows, tags, a pen or two, and some sticky tape all together and ready to roll!  Sorted!

Two of these sets.  35lt box with three trays in for larger and smaller baubles.  OK, so I do still have the packaging for some of my baubles, but as some are now reasonably venerable, almost verging on Vintage, and the packaging is disintegrating, I feel that I need to replace it with something sensible that I'll never need to replace again.  Job jobbed!

We do have an awful lot of Christmas decorations.  Not all go on the tree in any one year.  Recently I have opted for elegant gold decorations, but I need to keep some of the 'archived' stuff for times when it will come in handy, and they do have sentimental value.  And it'll also make decluttering the loft and shifting everything out while we do the rebuilding so much easier.  If I can afford it, when I fit the storage room in the loft, I'll have some of these crates with a racking system so I can access it all nicely.  The flappy-top boxes we have now have been excellent, and good for their price, and what I could afford at the time.  But not a terribly long-term solution if I want both the packing density AND ease of access.

And yes, I copied Nel!

Onwards and upwards!


The Negative Elliot Effect!

TS Elliot is one of my favourite poets.  Given how much I love dress and literature and architecture from much further back than that, this often surprises folk who know me a little less well than my immediate family, but there you go.  There is something that just clicks about modernism and minimalism.  Amish style and the ethic of the Arts and Crafts movement both have much the same appeal: grace and beauty through form and function.  My ideal house and work space would have bare rooms with minimal furnishings and lots of SPACE, and all my lovely stash of clutter organized in pull-out racks and neatly HIDDEN behind cupboard doors!

However, this is not to be in the foreseeable future, so let's just get on with things the best way we can.  I live in a cottagey style house which suits a certain amount of STUFF being out and visible if it isn't to look as if I was about to move out or had only just moved in.  Not as much as it has, I admit, but some...

Given that the year ahead looks busy, I am turning Elliot's quote on its head:

This is the way the year STARTS!
Not with a whimper but a BANG!

After a pheasant and stuffing sarnie for lunch, and scheduling dinner to happen well after the good doctor has had his turn, I shall get out some of my sewing, I think, and get to work on MY stuff for the coming year!*  What with all the tidying and cooking and stuff wrangling, it's a good 48 hours since I sat at a machine, and I want to get the things I want to take away over New Year with me to do hand sewing on ready for the hand sewing.

It's smaller on the outside...Collapse )

*Time slipped: we watched Men In Black III and I shall do a bit of sewing while dinner cooks!

Amazon fail!

I pre-ordered a book, more than a year ago. Publication was put back about three times, and eventually Amazon cancelled the order.

A few weeks later, I could pre-order it again, so having assured myself that the order really HAD been cancelled, I did so.

Rinse and repeat.

On Friday I had three notifications that my pre-ordered book had been sent out. One book arrived. Today the postie brought the other two!


It's not a book, it's a London bus!



The post has come.  Bothersome letter from the GP, package for ravenrigan, no parcel from Goodness Direct...

Carrier has come with large box for ravenrigan from Virgin Wine: probably her new wine-tasting kit that we thught would come tomorrow!  Nothing from Goodness Direct...

I want my parcel!  It should contain Lexia raisins (a bugger to get round here!) and gluten free vegetarian 'suet' for my Christmas puds, plus ground almonds for them and the marzipan, chocolate for coating cakes and ginger chunks...

Bums!  I want to Get On with things!

I may just weigh out all the other ingredients for the puds, and start on the Black Bun.

On the list this year:

Dark Christmas Cake: 4
Chocolate Christmas Cake: 4 (one ring, two 6" ones, and a 7" one)
Christmas Puddings: 9 or 10, but mostly small ones
Stollen: probably 4
Black Bun: 2
Buche de Noel: 1
Shortbread: 4 or 5 rounds
Cranberry and orange sauce with red wine : 6 or so jars...
Mincemeat: I may have enough, but need to check.
And I need to bottle the sloe and damson gin from a couple or three years back.
Chocolate coated marzipan balls
Chocolate coated ginger (I will buy this if I can get the good stuff, because it's a skiddle to make it come out without a 'bloom' on the chocolate)

Yesterday I did the first 8 Christmas cakes: four chocolate ones and 4 traditional dark ones.

Nomnomnom...Collapse )


Stays not upon the order of your going...

Jacobean stays. 

This is the foundation (literally as well as figuratively!) for a much bigger project.  Not quite on the scale of the 2010 18th C marathon, but getting that way!  There will be at least two gowns to go over the stays.

But go at once.Collapse )

It's Sunday... Do I get to have a day off?

Yesterday counts as slightly working, in that the lovely queenortart came for a fitting, and we were joined for lunch by ravenrigan.  I made broccoli and cheese soup. 

T'Strapping Lad(TM) went to the pub to work his shift, and later helped Himself to paint shelves and stuff for the new room.  The shelves are being painted black.  The walls are white.  The remaining woodwork is white.  One wall is red...  The black paint dries very slowly.  It's beginning to look quite smart, though there are edges and finishes and quite a few shelves still to do.  I must take some more pix...

Today I woke up COMPLETELY at 7:00am.  I feel this is a little excessive for a Sunday, but lie-ins seem to be a thing to dream of and remember rather than do.  T'Strapping Lad(TM), being a teenager, can sleep for England.  However, he has been taken a mug of tea, it being 20 past nine by now, and him needing to make his mind up about Remembrance Day parade and/or working his shift at the pub...  They muster at 10 for parade, and he needs to be at the pub for 12.  His call, he's officially an adult now.

My day?  Looks like this:
  • Hotfix crystals to mirror shades

  • Finish sewing frogs to silver doublet

  • Print out, read, and inwardly digest info/character sheets for Marlowe and Koenig...
  • Practice walking in Impossible Mobeus Shoes (TM)
  • Complete pix for Musketeers leaflet
  • Feed mogs before Cornflake eats my toes!  (Himself may give in and do this, but they have a little of their supper left and are being picky about Premium squishy-inna-bag rather than Budget tindins.  They seem to prefer the tins!)

The Musketeers pix are sort of for work, but fun to do.  And already I have squandered the reddies on more lace (Shock!  Horror!), and some black pearl drop earrings, all cheap off that ebay.  Oh, and I have some bids in for kitchen storage jars and a beetroot jar.  OK, so what if I already have one?  That one is severely plain and this one is pretty.  And the plain one has History and is lead crystal.  It will never contain pickled beetroot again (while I don't dislike pickled beetroot, I can think of better things to do with it, and keeping it in a crystal jar is just WRONG), the jars will make fine kitchen canisters for things like instant coffee and Splenda.  Yes, both are horrible, but the boy indulges, and if they have to be in my kitchen, they can at least dress posh!

OK, breakfast...  Then I can get on.  First thing is to put a load of towels in the boil wash.  And at some point, write up the 17th C stays report for Corsetmakers.

The Etsy Shop: Unashamed Self-Promotion!

Thanks toravenrigan's hard work, our Etsy shop is back up and running!  Yay and woot!

We've reduced the price on some things, and a whole new bunch of stuff has gone up, so if anyone is interested, pop along and see, think ahead for LARP and Fair and Christmas, and Like us on Facebook!

I don't do a lot on FB, but I'm trying to spread the word a bit.  We are on the brink and teetering with a couple of big projects, and to stop me gnawing my fingers down to the elbow, I may well get started on my silver doublet!

Find us here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Jollydiceycostume?ref=seller_info_count

It's a bit wet up there...

We've had a lot of wet recently.  The middle of Durham (my old university town, and where I met Himself) is rather damp...

This is the student union buildong, Dunelm House:

Dunelm HouseThis shows the usual water level.  Note where those trees are on the left?  And the windowa beside them, above the steps?

This is what it looks like today!