Monday, 7 May 2018

Minor miracle

A long bank holiday weekend when it was actually sunny???? As rare as unicorn horns or hens' teeth, but that's what we've had: gorgeous summer weather and the hottest early May bank holiday on record today.  We've christened the new patio/pergola with a BBQ and several family meals, the fountain we bought last year is lovely and the pleasant noise almost drowns out the screaming kids next door and the people playing their radio loudly with the window open so we can actually relax out there.  It's been very pleasant.  I even strung up the fairy lights we bought on holiday last year, although that involved some electrical work as I had to cut the plug off to get the wire through the shed wall, then re-join the wires and string an extension cord around the wall to reach the socket.  It feels like a luxury hotel now.  Or at least a premium economy hotel.  We went to a local village plant sale on Saturday and picked up several bargain plants to fill in some of the bare gaps in the garden so hopefully those will thrive.

The big craft news this week is that I finally finished quilting the crosshatching on my Indigo Bear's Paw quilt, and I put it through the washing machine and the colours didn't run!  Something I had worried about occasionally over the last several years I've been working on it.  It's come out quite nice, soft and vintage looking.  I just need to put the binding on now.  It was hard work trimming the edges ready for binding because I have to keep it off the floor - because it's white and my sewing room floor is not pristine. So lots of bunching up and smoothing out to trim each small section of edge.  It's all trimmed up now and ready to sew the binding on.

I'm getting on well with my Peerie Floores hat designed by Kate Davies, which is the fair isle project I started once I finished the Scalloway Tam.  I bought this pattern a few years ago but only recently decided which colours of Jamiesons Spindrift I wanted to use. I also bought the matching mitten pattern so I might adapt those to fingerless gloves or mitts.

My colleague at work was thrilled with the teddy bear I knit her and has requested some cardigans as no one in her family knits.  I said I would be happy to make a few for her.  She's not due until July I think so I've got some time.

I've done more on the Japanese dollshouse this week.  I put together the ceiling for the landing and glued it on, and also made the other over-door canopy.

I had to sand down the ceiling a bit to get it to fit, since I had shortened the width of the landing when I assembled the first floor.  So I finished my modifications to the bench grinder turned disk sander, and used that for sanding the ceiling.  The grinder is not working exactly right yet, the sanding disks I bought do not seem good quality, and the hook tape I applied seems a bit too spongy. Also my wheel is bigger than my sanding disks.  But it still worked well enough to sand down the ceiling. I'll have to see about trimming down the wheel size and maybe try different loop tape.

With my extra day of holiday, I moved on to the next few chapters which is constructing the opening door and balcony room for the lefthand bedroom.  This was very difficult to assemble, the smallest discrepancy meant that later components didn't fit.  I resorted to a lot of banging with a hammer and forcing joints shut with my panel clamps, and got there in the end. Still need to build and install the doors and windows.

I occasionally watch a programme called Japanology Plus on TV and was very pleased when the cameras went into the home of a shopkeeper who lived above his shop in Tokyo.  His livingroom was basically the same as one of my dollshouse rooms:  same alcove with decorative post, same floating shelves, same sliding cupboards, the tatami mats, the low table, the post and beam construction etc. So this dollshouse is surprisingly authentic.

The bobbin lace has progressed slightly this week as I worked on my hexagon edging both Saturday and Sunday for a few hours with friends.  I'm going on a day course next weekend to learn Bruges Lace, a different type of bobbin lace, which should be fun and then Sunday is the Makit lace fair in Peterborough which is always good.

The rest of my spare time this week has been spent on developing the itinerary for next year's Japan holiday.  I've decided I'm going to book it all myself this time and not use a travel agent at all.  So lots of work to identify destinations, a logical route, plan how much time we need in each place, and making a start on reserving or booking hotels.  I've even emailed a traditional Japanese hotel to enquire about reservations using Japanese characters courtesy of Google Translate so feeling very brave.  It probably seems ridiculously early and yet already I've had trouble getting hotels I wanted in Tokyo and Osaka as the ones I wanted were sold out.  It's a popular destination.

Hope you've had great weather wherever you are!

1 comment:

swooze said...

Love the hat! Your quilt and dollhouse look great.

Your garden sounds beautiful. I’m glad you’re getting to enjoy it.

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