Saturday, 13 February 2016

A moment's inattention and bye-bye to most of a day's salary

My commute home by train is by a London train which stops in Kettering.  It is one of a trio of trains that come in a cluster within a few minutes of each other:  a non-stop train to London, a train to Birmingham, then the London stopping train.  I suppose it was only a matter of time before I got on the wrong one.  At least I didn't end up in Birmingham.  The trains must have come out of order yesterday due to some delay, because I got on the one after the Birmingham train only to realise after 40 minutes that Kettering was just not going to happen.  So my half hour commute home turned into a two and a quarter hour round trip to London and back, with the added punishment of having to buy an expensive London train ticket to avoid a penalty fare.  Grrrr.  Let's hope I don't do that more than once a year. At least it was a Friday so I didn't have to go to work today.

Today we continued to work on fixing up our cellar room, starting with a massive clear out of junk which went to the recycling depot/dump. Leftover moving cartons, leftover bits of flatpack furniture, warped shelves with rusty fittings that came off the walls, all sorts of clutter, broken bits, fittings from furniture long since gone, rusty paint cans etc etc etc.  One huge car load later and it all looked much clearer.  Off to B&Q to buy a second lot of lumber to build a second workbench. We didn't get it all built, but it's mostly done. It went a lot easier the second time because we knew what we were doing and already had the measurements worked out.  We still need to give the walls a good brushdown: all the paint is horribly flaking and many of the bricks are spalling due to the damp in this unfinished Victorian cellar.  Then we can start making toolracks for the walls and figuring out where things will go. We need more electrics fitted - I showed the electrician when he came to do my sewing room and asked him if he would be able to run more powerpoints in such a damp room but he didn't seem to feel it would be a problem.

Then I will finally be able to set up the Proxxon tablesaw I bought secondhand last year.  I have a childhood phobia about tablesaws brought on by having to hold the other end of a huge wobbling sheet of plywood while my Dad fed the front end into his roaring monster cutting machine. The noise and violence of it terrified me at the time and I still feel pretty nervous around electric saws. However the Proxxon is just a baby blade so hopefully I will get on with it ok - which is not to say that it wouldn't cut my fingers off in a second so I will still need to be careful.  I also have a vertical belt sander and an electric scroll saw - neither of them very good quality, but I will set them up for the first time since we moved in 2003 to a smaller house. The power tools will either go on the workbench in the foregound or on the adapted table against the far wall.


This week my second ball of white yarn turned up from Blacker Yarns and I was able to finish my Baa-ble mittens to match the hat.  Meanwhile I've ripped off the brim from the hat and am re-knitting it to be snugger and hopefully more windproof, and a bit deeper.

I've been wearing my Jaeger Fleece windproof hat a lot the last few weeks as we are having another cold snap. It's hovering around 5 degrees C and windy in the daytime, and sinking down near to freezing at night. The hat is pleasingly warm and covers my ears nicely.

I've done a bit of sewing this week. I cut the rest of the plaid squares for the border blocks of my Let it Snow quilt and pieced 8 panels of 12 three-inch squares which are pleasantly scrappy - I think the plaids add to the cosy winter feel.  The cat kept me company and chose the basket of plaid fabrics as the most comfortable spot in the room in which to perform her ablutions. No doubt the remaining fabrics are now covered in cat hair which was probably her aim all along.

I cut more 6.5" squares from the new blue mottled background fabric and re-pieced the border strips with the original snowball blocks.  My design wall isn't tall enough to display a vertical quilt so everything looks a bit higgledy-piggledy at the moment until it all gets seamed together. Then I need to make four corner blocks which each have a different appliqued snowman in them.

I put together another dollshouse swap item using some of the Fimo food that I created when we were in the rental house two years ago. I had an unpainted crate which I aged and then added some printed labels, I was pleased with the end result.  This is 1/12th scale and hopefully my swap partner will like it. I didn't make the marrow, it was in my stash.

I've started the next dollshouse renovation project. This is my oldest house which I built in Canada in the early 80s and brought over to the UK when I emigrated. Over the years it has taken many knocks so I spent some time filling in dents and gouges, and gave the woodwork a clean.  The 'clear' glue that I used 30 years ago has now turned toffee brown where it is exposed to the air so I have to decide whether to try to get it off or just repaint the entire exterior of the house which is looking very tired.

The sad micro-porch is all that is left of a Federal-style porch with columns and a porch railing, which had to be cut off in our first real house because it projected too much to allow the house to sit on the available shelf.  You may remember I impulse-bought a heavily-discounted kit for a wraparound porch at Maple Street dollshouse shop a few years ago, thinking it might go onto this house and improve the external appearance.

Today I opened the kit for the first time and discovered there is considerably more DIY involved than I was hoping for.  I think this will have to wait until the new workshop is up and running.  It's going to make the dollshouse quite large and therefore harder to pivot it around to see inside, unless perhaps I can keep the porch detachable.

1 comment:

swooze said...

I bet it feels good to do a clean out. I am due for another one. My work project goes live April 1st so unemployment will follow shortly after. I want to take a short break after but those things are hard to control. I may just start job hunting and ask for some time off after starting if I can keep continued employment.

I've been trying to sew or quilt a little each day. I've made really good progress. I have one I need to quilt and finish it up to get sent to Rays sister for her 70th birthday. I've ordered a label from the local quilt store and will wait to completely finish the quilt when that arrives.

I like how your quilt is coming together. I think it's such a cute idea to use snowball blocks in a winter scene. I saw the quilt frame you were asking about. Not sure if we discussed it further but it looks like the quilt would be basted before going on the frame.

When I was in Europe I always worried about getting on the wrong train or bus. I missed one or two but I don't think I ever took the wrong one. A nightmare I am sure to rectify. Hugs to you. You didn't mention your work so I hope things have settled down for you.

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