It is amazing how the time soon fills up. I can't believe it's a week since I last blogged, and I'm starting to feel like I don't have time to job-hunt, which has to be bad.
So what have I been up to? Well, on the weekend I realised that one of the main reasons I was procrastinating about starting the new Fairfield dollshouse kit was that I had really wanted to use my unemployed time to progress/fix some of my older dollshouses. So on the weekend I got the big protective padded tablecloth out of the attic (last used when I built my Willowcrest house on the kitchen table) and made a start on some of the backlog.
I scratch-built a 1/24th scale Thatched Cottage about 17 years ago, complete with an outdoor garden made of railroad terrain materials and dried flowers. Over the years, as well as getting extremely dusty inside and out, the colours of the garden had faded to a uniform mud brown (something to keep in mind if you are using commercial flock or foliage materials). So I spent some hours removing all the dust (including running the hoover over the thatched roof - I may not do housework but I do use the hoover!) and then got my paints out and painted back in colour to the garden. Plus lots of sticking things back where they had fallen over. It looks a lot better now.
As an unexpected treat on Valentines Day, my DH (proudly wearing his knitted heart pinned to his sleeve) drove me and a friend to the Epsom Dollshouse Fair. This is a smallish fair run by the same people that put on the Kempton Show, so a lot of the same traders attended. I had a fun 90 minutes going around, and a nice chat with Judith of 'In Some Small Way'. I bought a 1/24th scale greenhouse kit from another trader which I am planning to cannibalise to be part of my pseudo-MissLydiaPickett construction, and picked up various accessories such as doll stands to help tidy up my other houses.
Monday was almost completely taken up by a visit to the Victoria & Albert museum's new Medieval and Renaissance galleries up in London. DH took the day off and we went up together. They are quite magnificent, bigger than we expected as it is over three floors, and surprisingly not finished yet - lots of scaffolding and unfinished displays. A lot of ecclesiastical relics as I suppose the Church preserved things, but I liked the domestic objects better although they were in a minority. There was a magnificent drinking cup which I would have taken home - it was in the shape of a Disney-esque castle with a fully modelled town on its lid complete with tiny figures of soldiers about 1/4" high. When we got home, I started renovating my biggest dollshouse, the one I call my 'Vic-War-Gency' house because it is period but can't make up its mind which period. It too needs lots of dusting and sticking things back up/down, but it also needs some painting and finishing.
Tuesday was a knitting day. After seeing an agency in the morning and signing on for my benefits, I was ready to relax with some knitting. I met up with a knitting friend in the afternoon to talk about jobhunting, and then we moved on to the pub knitting group for an enjoyable evening. I had taken along my Sirdar Juicy summer stole. I hadn't worked on it for months and it took me about 30 minutes just to figure out what row I was on and then repeatedly knit/un-knit it trying to get it right. After that, I took a group poll and we decided it was long enough so I bound it off. It's Finished! apart from darning ends in and blocking it. I also knit some more rows on my Pretty Thing Lace Cowl (now over halfway) and on my Roman Rib Socks (almost finished the cuff, will be turning the heel soon).
Fine Cell Work charity provides needlework kits and tuition to prisoners, to give them 'hope and independence'. As well as being therapeutical, the prisoners get to keep some of the proceeds from the sold items. Since the prisoners aren't allowed to use scissors or rotary cutters, all the cutting out has to be done at the charity. So I spent my first day cutting out fusible webbed animals which will be part of a cot quilt kit. Probably not quite what my outplacement coach had in mind, but hey, I was dressed and out of the home.
And all this time I have been busy working on my Mystery knitting project which is almost finished. I am now just adding the final details such as this little grouping: