Sunday, 17 July 2016

Trawling the past

I've spent a lot of time the last few weeks trawling through  nine years of blog posts, eight years of financial records, and searching through my email account of several years. And I've been opening a lot of cupboards.  After years of procrastinating since we got burgled in 2011, I'm finally making a start on putting together records of my dollshouse collection for both insurance purposes and posterity. The insurance adjuster who visited about our burglary said that it was worth doing even if a lot of the collection is irreplaceable and even if I don't have receipts. He said a detailed written estimate of what every item cost, plus photographs, would support my claim in the event of loss due to, say, fire. Obviously it is a huge job to do retrospectively and thus the procrastinating.

The cupboard opening was because the research revealed various purchases which I didn't even remembered making, such as a complete kit for a 1:48 Debbie Young quilting studio with all the furniture kits to go with it. So I've also been started a list of all the kits waiting to be made up.  It's all been a tad depressing, both at the amount of money I've spent on things that are in cupboards, and the amount of things that are in cupboards waiting to be made up.  It will be an ongoing project  because eventually I am going to have to photograph all the individual rooms and make lists of what's in them and how much I think I paid for them.

I had a few days off this week which I spent between tasks on my 'to do' list and enjoying my crafts.

Tuesday I spent the entire day in the living room taking apart the Edwardian screen and recovering the panels with the fabric we bought in Yorkshire.  It was a huge job, not least because after coaxing out the various screws (including having to dig one out that had been buried in filler) I had to remove probably over 100 staples that were holding the previous fabric onto the panels.  It is quite a clever construction, the outer pieces unscrew to reveal inner wooden frames which have the fabric stapled around them.  The outer pieces hide the raw edges as long as these are cut close to the frame.

The first two panels went well, and I managed to cover them fairly smoothly and keep the edges neat.  The third panel was more of a problem because I didn't have enough fabric for an exact match of the repeat and also there was a bad historical break to one side piece. Previous owners had obviously had a go at repairing the break in the past, with ancient glue, and lots of staples.  It held together fine while I recovered the panel but of course as soon as I went to reassemble the frame, the breakage suddenly gave way.  Then I was faced with trying to mend a break that I couldn't get at because I had stapled all the new fabric on.  I had to take out enough staples to get at the broken part, restaple the two wooden pieces together, then try to restaple the fabric back on neatly. Annoyingly it didn't work very well and there is a bulge and some ripples around that area.  By that time I had been at the job for about seven hours and I was too tired to try again. Some day I may have another go and disassemble the screen, remove the fabric from the panel and try to make a better job of fixing the break.  Apart from that, the overall appearance is very effective and the television just disappears now which is what I wanted. It makes the fireplace the focal point of the room as it should be.

Wednesday I finished putting together the Spinning Pinwheels panel of charm squares, and started cutting out the pinwheels.  Since then I've made up four rows and it is looking good.  I am sewing each row as I cut it because there is a high risk otherwise of getting the pieces mixed up.

Over the few days I also put together a kit for a 1:48 'wrought iron' table and chair set, which is actually laser cut card.  It is so tiny and fragile.  I bent one of the table legs just getting it out of the motherboard. But it looks quite nice now that it is made up. I put a high gloss effect on the medallions on the chair backs and on the table top.

I said last week that I was knitting a striped toy bunny from a pattern from Let's Knit magazine.  I enjoyed putting him together but I found my choice of colours meant that the black eyes and nose detail don't show up very well.  I stitched around the eyes in pink to make them a bit more visible.  The bunny has a baby-safe pompom for a tail which I made using these instructions here.  This is for a colleague at work who is going on maternity leave at the end of August, so I am ahead of the game.

It was nice to knit in DK after starting a lot of projects in finer yarn so I've now started a Toddler dress in Sirdar Baby Crofter using a design called Caesia by Georgina Hallam.  This week in TV knitting I also finally finished the first Lallybroch sock.

Also on the knitting front I have machine knit all four pieces for a machine knitted tee in Panama cotton/acrylic coned yarn this week, and I blocked them today. Knitting the practice t-shirt really helped and the real one went fairly smoothly. Hopefully it will go together well and I will end up a nice wearable garment.

I've finished sticking all the shingles on the Victorian gazebo porch. After spraying them with sealer to help reduce warping, I've given them a preliminary coat of green paint.  Shingles are such a textured 3-D surface which makes painting a long job: every time you shift your sight line, you see a bit that you missed.

In another blast from the past, I dug out the summer top I knit in 'Breeze' last year.  I've almost never worn it because it was too cropped and the sleeves are a bit clunky. I still have several balls of yarn left so I picked up all the stitches around the bottom of the shirt and knit a few inches of 2x2 ribbing which I think makes a vast improvement on how it fits.

It felt very odd to be back at work on Friday just for one day, I kept thinking it was Monday.

I hope you've had a crafty week also. Summer has suddenly arrived at last, with temperatures up to 25 degrees today and predicted to be hotter still this coming week.  Not looking forward to my non-air conditioned office tomorrow.  At least, there is air conditioning but they never turn it on because of the people who moan about drafts, so we all sit there and bake instead.


Daisy said...

I did something similar once with our books, once I realised that most houses don't contain 4000, which made the insurance inaccurate! It's good to have evidence of things like the value of my yarn stash too, should the whole lot go up in smoke or something!

swooze said...

Yes having that record is so important. I maxed out my policy after my house fire. You just don't realize!

Your screen looks wonderful. We are our own worst critics.

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