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As I said a few days ago, I've been sewing. The recipient has now got the new toys, and expressed happiness, so I can reveal:
Camera strap cover and hat
a camera strap cover and matching hat, for a niece who's as teddy-obsessed as I am.

The meeting on Friday was all about Art, and trying out new techniques, so I had a go at pyrography

and having used watercolour pencils to colour that, tried using them on paper, with water.
watercolour pencil sunrise

and then moved on to pastels - a rather inappropriate word, considering what I produced.
pastel phoenix
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It looked like being anything but, when I was still in PJs at 10:30, but then we got a text to say we were going to get visitors. So we needed to tidy the place, and the visitors meant a delivery opportunity for something I'd been intending to make.
Quite what, and for whom, remains secret until the intended recipient gets it. But I'd had a sort of dare that it might be possible to make something, and I'd got the material, and some vague ideas, and dithered around not doing anything. It was a sewing machine job, and that meant finding the dining table, and I couldn't face doing that much.
But we'd cleared the place up, the table was visible, and clearing it right off didn't take much doing. So I sat down with fabric, and vague ideas, and some sample objects to fit, and eventually came up with a cutting diagram that fitted the fabric. There were a few arguments with topology, and a few times when I realised I needed to make a few extra cuts (but no cases of "drat, I shouldn't have cut that). A few things had to be redone, and at one point I think I was well on the way to sewing a 4D Moebius Strip. But I got there, and Dave inspected and pronounced it good.
So there I was with time to spare, and fabric to spare. A matching set of things would be nice, wouldn't it? There was something else that one of the ladies in the MIND group had said looked easy to make, and on inspection, she was right. So I did. Then I did another smaller one of those, since I quite fancied one myself.
Cleared up, took photo of items made, and Dave kindly hoovered the dining room table, dining room floor, and my jeans. That fabric sheds!

That was about 5 hours solid concentration on one thing, overcoming obstacles, and not forgetting what I was doing and wandering off. Compared to a few weeks back, massive progress!

Yesterday, by the way, I finally summoned up enough enthusiasm/nerve to fire up the very new (thank you, Santa) Portable Purple Pavilion - a tablet/netbook device that runs Windows 8. I got the setup done, I got all the installation done I wanted to, I've sorted out most of the network connections I need. Again, lots of concentration over a long period, and on the sort of "techy" things that I've been blanking on for far too long.

janewilliams20: (Default)
Crafting update"

Read more... )

Cooking - I did indeed make bean pickle, and very nice it is too. Using sweetener instead of sugar, the only WW points in there are from the tablespoon of cornflour and the mustard powder, so in sensible quantities, it's zero.

New skirt got the pocket fitted, and it got worn. Crafting time was cut down somewhat yesterday - I got a lift into work with Dave. He works 6 to 6, so that's a very long day for me even before we add in a visit to Hobbycraft (paints and Very Useful Boxes) and a pizza out.

Work was good. Attended a very productive meeting, caught up with people, got to know a new task management package, diagnosed and fixed a bug, did an on-line training course that had slipped my memory, and proved that yes, I can cope with normal office life (though next time, I'll be taking in some aids to carrying takeaway lunch while one hand is occupied by a stick).

Today - latest step forwards is driving the "big" car (the Clio) rather than the little one. Only to Sainsbury's and back, but I walked round the whole store without a stick, as well as driving both ways.

Tomorrow, next physio session - and I'll be driving there without a co-driver. Dave's on nights, and he'll be asleep.
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It's all progress, but this is multi-tasking and then some. I'm trying to make sure I do at least a little bit of some sort of crafting every day - it's good for me, quite apart from things "needing" to be done. The easiest way to arrange that is to spend perhaps half an hour in the craft room (upstairs) before coming down for breakfast. Getting up and down stairs is still hard work and needs at least one hand free, so carrying things is something to plan.
Assembling and painting wargames figures is always "do a bit, wait for it to dry", and so is card-making to some extent. So I tend to do the next step on one project, and then leave it till the next day to do the step after that.

On the go at the moment:
Read more... )
Possible jobs now downstairs:
Do the skirt pocket
Make bean pickle
Do filing etc. on Dragonnewts
Research for Dragon 2 assembly
Edit: found a YouTube video that shows exactly what I need. 11 minutes in is the fitting of the saddle.
Read more... )
Bit of time on the Wii Fit now we have batteries for it.
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Camargue.... salt flats, herds of savage wild black bulls, flocks of pink flamingoes flying overhead, white horses galloping through the shallow water, with the sun setting in the background, right?

Well, no. What actually happened was that with the aid of a step-ladder, I was put on top of a white Camargue pony called Nimrod (see, I said he was a hunter!) and sat on top of him while he walked sedately (mostly) on a lead rein for two hours. It was morning, because it was cooler then. We did not go in the water, only next to it.

Yes, there were black bulls (and black cows, and black calves), but they were in a field, and none of them are savage in any case, not even "savauge" (it means "wild"). The man v. bull games around here involve men trying to pluck ribbons from the bull's horns, which go sideways, not pointing forwards aggressively like those in Spain.

There were flamingoes. There were also Little Egrets (I saw one in it's black form later!) and cattle egrets (smaller than Little Egrets) and what I was told was a heron, but since I was also being told how to distinguish it from an egret, was probably a Squacco Heron going by the bird book.There was a Stork in flight (no babies in evidence, so presumably on its way back from a delivery). As we passed a pond, we saw a "water rat" only a few feet away. Either French "water rats" are a lot bigger than those at home, or it was an otter.

These were the people I went with, recommended by the local TI as speaking good English due to being English. The guide I had wasn't, but her English was good. Yes, I'd recommend them.

Conclusions for next time, or for others?

Getting onto a horse is harder (for me) than it looks. I should do exercises to correct this.

They tell you that being on a horse hurts because of all the bouncing up and down. No, When walking, there is next to no bouncing up and down. What there is is a lot of rocking backwards and forward, hitting first the back of the saddle and then the pommel. Bracing with a hand against the pommel can help with this, but it's still tiring and painful.

When in this area, you are advised to wear long sleeves for protection against mosquitoes. Having something like that with you is a good idea, as otherwise you may end up scouring the few shops left open at 6pm for long-sleeved clothes, and ending up buying some scarves and doing some rapid sewing that evening, like I did. I'd wondered if I'd need three scarves, one to add sleeves, but they were wide enough that two were enough. We were sitting at one of the outside tables at a restaurant when I got the idea, left my order for food with Dave, and shot down the street to buy scarves.  By the time starters arrived, I had the back seam done. The wrists got sorted between starters and mains, and that made it enough of a usable garment that I wore it on the way home. That was enough of a test to tell me that I needed full side seams and elastic on the wrists, and I did that back at base. By midnight, I had a new jacket. You probably don't want to have to do this. Take a long-sleeved blouse with you.

janewilliams20: (Default)
I'm fitting pockets into various skirts and dresses that didn't come with them (why???)
This means going through the smaller bits of Fabric Stash for suitably sized and shaped bits and pieces. I'm on my third - and all three bits of fabric have previously been the back yokes from blouses. Two were failed practice pieces from that navy Victorian I was doing, this one is from an old pink silk - most of the body got turned into interfacing for a houppelande years ago, but there was just enough left for this.
janewilliams20: (Default)
It's getting almost like old times.

Last night was a "rest" night - clear the dining table down and put the extension pieces back in, make a card (first time of "DIY decoupage" - take multiple copies of an ordinary card, cut out the motif from some of them, glue it to the base of another).

Today, I get into town to pick up two parcels and post said card, then back here and start Sewing. That isn't quite like old times - I used to have fabric all over the lounge carpet, but now I can't get down there to kneel next to it, hence the use of the big table. Check my measurements, check the cutting pattern, chop 4 yards of linen into various rectangles and triangles, apply sewing machine. There will then be hand-sewing to finish the seams and apply eyelets for the front lacing, and that may occur in front of the TV.
Lunch is planned to be "cheat's paella" so as to use up things in the fridge, dinner will probably be salad nicoise, but Dave will be back tonight, so it might be something we'll both like instead. Just not cold chicken. I picked up a reduced ready-roast chicken earlier in the week, and while that's a nice easy meal, I'm a bit "chickened out".

I'll also be investigating what looks like some medieval sandals for fit and adjusting as needed (pretty simple bit of leather-work), finding eating gear, medieval glasses, any cooking/sewing bits I might have that would be in period, and so on.

But first - coffee!

janewilliams20: (Default)
Last weekend four of us headed off to the Welsh borders (Llanymynech, to be exact) so that two of our number could learn about linen. I won't bore you with all the details now, esp. as I don't have time to get any pics online, but here's where we stayed (and would stay again): http://stayatthemanse.co.uk/index.php and once we'd walked across the road, here's where we ate in the evenings (and would do so again): http://bradfordarmshotel.com/.

The first is in Wales, the second is in England: and one pub, now closed, once had a bar in each country.
The course was, I think, in Wales: in the vilage hall, anyway.

This was the "Perfect Linens" course. Sarah's a good teacher, both practical and theoretical.


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September 2017



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