Sunday, 4 October 2015

I hope this is good news

I found out on Monday that I have been conditionally offered the job I interviewed for a few weeks ago. I'm quite surprised given how many dozens if not hundreds of people took part in the testing session, plus as I stated in a previous post, competency interviews are not my strong point.  So it felt quite good to be one of the selected ones although it's not a done deal until they complete all the background checks. The start date will be mid November.

One of the best parts is that it got me out of attending Team Hell Day this coming week, because I told my boss that it was very likely I would be giving notice soon and therefore I didn't feel comfortable going to a session that was all about bonding and planning for the future when I wasn't ready to tell people yet that I was probably leaving in a few weeks. He was quite understanding, I'm not the first nor even the second team member to be leaving because of jobhunting that we all started back during the redundancies, plus I have a fairly long and expensive commute into London.

I feel taking the new job is the right thing to do for several reasons but somewhere in the back of my brain a little voice is screaming about failure and being too old to learn a new job and not enough stamina to work four busy days a week when I've only been doing three easy days for so long.  I'm trying to ignore the little voice and concentrate on the benefits.

Craft Day

On Tuesday I happened to not have any commitments and I decided that if I wasn't going to have many more free Tuesdays, then I wanted to really commit to crafts all day and not get distracted by mundane concerns like laundry and email.  So I set myself an unofficial timetable.

I started out slowly, waking up in front of the telly while I finished off a knitted mouse for our cat Oreo for 30 minutes.  Needless to say, she had no interest in it whatsoever at the time - since then she has once or twice deigned to bat it around for a few seconds.

Still in the living room, I spent the next hour stitching on my next hand applique block for my 25-block applique quilt, stitching down some stems for the flower wreath.

Then I popped out to the grocery store to pick up some milk chocolate and some treats for lunch.  I melted the chocolate to dip in my second-ever batch of Cake Pops, which I decorated with sprinkles.  I find these American treats very rich and a bit cloying, but DH and DS thought they were wonderful.

Then of course I had to eat a cake pop and have a cup of tea for elevenses  :)

Next I did some more bobbin lace which was still out on the dining table from my Monday group meeting.  I've made some mistakes on this Bucks Point motif but I feel like it's going better. It's still very slow, I only get about half as much done in an hour compared to Torchon lace but that's partly because the threads are finer.

Then it was 1pm and I had lunch.  After lunch I headed down to the dollshouse room where I spent the next 2.5 hours quite happily.  I tidied up after the big magazine sort out of last week, and then I tackled the desk drawer problem.  I solved it pretty much as Swooze had suggested: by moving the leg of the worktop desk out of the way, and cutting a slice out of the IKEA desk drawer so it can open underneath the worktop desk.

I want to go through my entire collection and sort out all the outstanding issues and winnow down some of the things I don't want any longer.  For example, I threw out two decaying cardboard beach huts left over from a long ago club project when we all contributed to a big beach scene.  I harvested useful items from the contents first.  Then I examined a kitchen project I made at the Gulf South minis show in New Orleans back in 2003. I had been thinking I might get rid of it as well but I discovered one of the reasons it looked so dingy was that the plastic front had discoloured to amber.  When I removed that, the whole scene looked a lot fresher and I remembered how much fun I had making it. So I made a new 'glass' front from plexiglass, and also gave it a label to explain that it was made from all the kits and giveaways from the show.  I also made a new 'glass' front for a quilting room box that had never had a proper cover. Time just flew by and I was quite surprised to see that 2.5 hours had elapsed.

After that I felt like I had been inside too long so I headed out to the garden and spent an hour or so planting more of the 400 bulbs from the collection I bought.  I've planted 50 crocuses, 50 Anenome de Caen, 100 Oxalis and about 50 Allium Molly so I hope that at least some of them come up in the spring. I generally have very bad luck with bulbs and all the hard work to plant them is just wasted.

I was tired after that so I sat down in front of the computer and watched craft videos while I worked on my cross stitch.  In fact, I've done a fair bit of cross stitch this week because DS set me up on his Netflix account and I've been bingewatching Season 3 of a so-bad-it's-good fantasy called 'Once Upon A Time' on the PC. It only went to Season 2 in the UK and then it was dropped from the schedule, but meanwhile in America I think it's on Season 5.

Then I had to stop and make supper, but after supper I headed down to the sewing room and cut out backs for all three table runners and sandwiched them up with batting.  I'm going to do the pillowcase method and turn them through before I quilt them.  In my experience, finishing placemats with bias binding inevitably leads to the mat not laying flat because over time and washing, the different thickness and grain of the edging behaves differently than the main body of the placemat.  So the last set I made I turned through and just quilted and they've held up very well through several washes.

I also stitched a new cover for my Filofax diary, which may be old-fashioned but remains vital to the smooth running of my life.  I made the new cover out of printed 'patched' fabric but used the old one as a pattern.  You can see that it is all cut in one piece from stiff doublesided fusible pelmet interfacing, lined on one side, and the main fabric taken over the edge and hemmed down by machine. I also stitch by machine along the fold lines, then I fold it up and hand-stitch it into a little book cover shape. You can see how worn out and dirty the old cover is, but it lasted eight years quite well.

The rest of the week

The rest of the week hasn't been as crafty due to work etc.  I did finish knitting all five pieces of the lining for the vintage handbag.  That's all the components knitted now so I need to start assembling the handbag.

I also finished all the knitting on my Fingerless Gloves and I'm just stitching in the ends now.

I got a new bin for my knitting room - how cool is this?  It's from Lakeland Limited and is made from moulded plastic.

Today we took DS back to university, so the house is ours again.  I asked him to tidy up his room before he left, so we can use it as a guest room.  Superficially it looked tidy until you got down and looked under the furniture, where it was armageddon with dusty bunnies on top.

Yesterday we went to the Peterborough Festival of Antiques. I thought it would be a nice day out but in fact it was so big that it was quite overwhelming.  It's not as big as the Newark fair, but we can't go to that one because it's on weekdays.  At Peterborough we thought we would do the outside stalls first as it was a nice day.That took three hours because we kept thinking we were done, and then we'd come around the corner of a building and see another field full of them.  The inside part of the fair stretches across four buildings at the East of England showgrounds, any one of which would qualify as a big fair just on its own.  It was too much for DH and he had to go sit in the car but I soldiered on.  It wasn't all quality antiques, there was a fair bit of 'collectables' so for example if you were a Moorcroft collector you had your choice of likely 30 stalls specialising in Moorcroft alone.  I found that because of there being so much choice, it actually made me feel like I didn't want to buy anything, because nothing seemed special and my brain was just overloading.  However I did get some silver polish, brass polish, and a small bottle of leather conditioner for the leather handbag I want to make. And we found a nice pair of brass candlesticks for the dining room.

The only other thing I bought was a Victorian mahogany button back upholstered chair. I had admired it on one of the outside stalls in the morning, and it was still there in late afternoon when he was packing up. So after a bit of negotiation I got it for a very cheap price and I quite like it. It does need reupholstering which will add to the cost, but it suits the period of our house and looks nice in the lounge, and it's comfortable - with arms low enough that you can knit in it, an important criterion :)  The dealer said that antiques are going so cheaply at the moment because the Europeans and Americans aren't coming over to buy the way they used to. So it's a good time to buy, before prices start picking up again if the foreign shoppers come back.  I paid £110 for the chair, and as DH said, you can't even get a cheap upholstered armchair from IKEA for that.  Even after the costs of re-upholstery, it will still be cheaper than some of the IKEA armchairs and will be a beautiful antique that should last for another  150 years hopefully.


swooze said...

Would love to see the chair before and after. Glad you got the desk sorted out as well. Sounds like you had a great week.

Congrats on the job! These changes help keep you young!

Daisy said...

I love the sound of your crafty day!

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