I’ll be missing in action

It is time for my annual winter escape.  In years past, I have arranged a bunch of posts to pop up on their own while I’m gone but that is not happening this year-to much crapola in my life the past two months.  I will be back after a week of blissful rest (at least I hope it is blissful) and I will be fully recharged. (Well…at least less crabby….) Until then

And shopping is done!

My 2 months of car accident/insurance struggle/car shopping is nearly done!  Everyone has paid up my wages while I was on light duty.  The new to me car is insured and in the garage!  img_20170124_210456578.jpg

What is left: Not done with physiotherapy but getting there.  Take the winter tires off of the old car and put them on the kid’s car.  Take the old car to the insurance company and collect the pay out.  We can get this done before my vacation!  We can! We can!

 

Car shopping

I think I’m starting to see a light that might mean the end of my nightmare tunnel of car accidents and auto insurance.  A sad but tolerable amount has been agreed upon by the insurance company and I for the loss of my car.  I am one physiotherapy treatment away from being done with the whip lash injury.  And I have completed a weekend of car shopping.  It started out with some head butting between hubby and I but it is with great relief, I can say we easily agreed on the winner of the search.  Tomorrow, he commences the haggling with the current owner and with any luck, I will have a car before I head out on vacation.

In celebration lets look at my hands down favorite paper doll dress from my Christmas paper doll book.img_20170108_163639848.jpg

Of course it is a Worth gown.  I would really love to see this gown but I can’t find anything better than sketches and attempted copies.  If anyone knows of a picture of the gown please point me towards it!

It reminds me of the gown I saw at Coco last summer.  Loved it!  The train lifted just like a peacock’s tail.  Pretty sure the Princess of Sagan’s dress didn’t do that!

Crochet hook holder

A few posts back, I was whining about no one wanting my knitted or crochet projects. One of my solutions was to simply make stuff for myself.  And the things I can use a lot of is bags/containers/holders to keep my crap organized.

Up until now, I have been using a plastic case to hold my crochet hooks.  img_20170121_185119092.jpg

But it was originally a kit and I have more hooks than were originally intended for the case.  This means the case wont stay closed and then the hooks fall out.img_20170121_185109251.jpg

A real pain in the rump roast.

I had seen “housewives” that were popular in the Victorian era (and I believe earlier).  They were cases, usually made from scrap bits of fabric, that were designed to hold random tools and items needed for sewing.  So I thought,  “they used left over fabric for a house wife for sewing- I will use left over wool to crochet a housewife for crochet hooks.” Ta da!img_20170121_185138874.jpg

As you can see…nice and tidy!  They are spaced quite far apart but in reality, I can get quite a few more in there…once I find them in all their hiding places.  It rolls up nicely and all the hooks stay put. img_20170121_185229072.jpg

I did two rows black, one row grey (left overs from my sons neck warmers).  I used double crochet for every row but I altered every second row of grey.  In the altered row, I crocheted into the row below the normal spot every second stitch.  This created the little points on the out side.img_20170121_185241160.jpg

On the inside, it created larger loops that I can slide the hooks into.

The plan is to use knitting needles and a knit stitch to make a new knitting needle case and I will use circular needles to make a case for my circular needles.  AND THEN I will sew a housewife for my sewing things.  I am inordinately pleased with myself!

 

Hello Dolly

I have no inspiration for this post other than my new paper doll book.  So here are a couple of my favorites.img_20170108_163623828.jpg

I love the lacy wrap on the doll on the left.  It would have absolutely no insulating ability but sure is pretty.

The gown on the right is very pretty!  This is saying a lot as I usually hate yellow in clothing…at least on me.  It would be nice to find a fabric like that one.

I think it is cute that the dolls are playing with dolls!

Belated gift

I received a belated Christmas gift last week.  Call me a big kid but I love it!

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I don’t know if you ever played with paper dolls, but I have, and I loved them.  It is going to take a bit of self control to stop myself from cutting them out and playing with them!

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I wont show you every page: you will have to get a copy of the book for yourself if you want to see them all.  I will just dole out a few of my favorites when I am having a dry spell for post material.  I will start you off with these two. img_20170108_163607042.jpg

Victoria’s pink thing is a bit much but LOVE Eugenie’s brown number!  The hat is FEATHER FABULOUS!

With that I wish you a fabulous week.  My goal is to keep on keeping on with my car drama and to sew up the chemise and corset cover I cut out this weekend.  I have a chemise but I could use another and the corset cover will be a new thing.  (Sorry Shirley, I am using the corset cover pattern you lent me somewhere around a year ago!  Totally forgot I had it.  Hopefully, I will have it done in time for our coffee date next week so I can give it back!)

Oh “bleeeeep”

I need to get back onto the HSF bandwagon (I fell off last month when I gave up on my black leather gloves).  This month, the plan is another chemise to go with my new Edwardian dress.  The plan was a basic, no frills bag with arm and neck holes but (insert swear word here) didn’t I see a pattern for an insert for Edwardian undies on the vortex…I mean net!  I found it on this site.

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And it originally comes from this book.

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It would really make the chemise something special but I don’t have time to pull this off for the challenge!  Drat, drat, drat, drat!

Okay, game plan.  Make the plain chemise on time for the challenge.  Crochet the yoke and put it in later.

 

 

Christmas gift card gone

My main goal for dress creation this year is one 1900’s dress in my wardrobe.  The one I have my heart set on is this one…you’ve seen it before. 1909 in the V&A collection.1909-dress-va-d

I really want it in the purple but the fabric gods were not forthcoming and it will be in green…not my favorite shade of green either but workable.146

Probably wont be using those buttons.  I have some Dorset buttons that will be better.

Anyway, the hat…. Hats are always a challenge because silk flowers that actually look okay are expensive.  I’ve usually had to a) buy good stuff but not enough of them because I don’t have enough coupons or b) buy cheap Dollarama flowers that look cheap.

But, the hat for this dress will have a ton of good flowers courtesy of all my gift cards and a couple of coupons.img_20170108_163155182.jpg

I think they will be a nice complement to the green in the dress-especially if I buy some more leaves to add to it.

What do you think?

 

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Can you envision it?

What shall I call this dress? The woman who wore the purple dress was named Heather Firbank.  She liked to wear heather colored clothes.  My name is not Heather and there is no such color as Wanda or my real name. So a green name.  This color is close to Olive. So my future dress will be called 1909 Olive.

 

Completed project and how to knit stuff people want

My son asked me to make him a neck warmer for Christmas. He wanted black or grey. This makes me think of the time a couple of months ago, when I despaired that no one wanted my knitting (nothing sold at a craft sale table I shared with a friend). I went to my computer and typed in the google line “No one wants my knitting.” It lead me to a blog which had some advice, which I will pass on to you*.

First: knitters like wild colors because they are fun to work with (guilty), but in reality, no one wants these items. They are, at best, outside peoples comfort zone for actual use and at worse, just plain tacky. And when I look at my décor in my house there are lots of neutrals with tiny splashes of color.  In my wardrobe, I have color because I like it, but they are either solids or subtle patterns.  No wild stripes or blotches of rainbow colors.

So back to the neck warmer: boring black or grey it is.

I bought real wool, because we all know real wool is warmer (and more expensive) than the synthetic stuff.  Which leads to more advice from the blog I read: buy the expensive stuff  because the cheap stuff looks cheap and no one really wants that. People may or may not factor the amount of work you put into the item.  If they don’t factor in the work, they just see cheap wool that looks and feels like crap.  If they do, they feel guilty because they are not going to use all your hard work-because it looks and feels like crap.

Okay-neck warmer: I used circular knitting needles and “guesstimated” the number of stitches needed.  I used my own massive melon for fitting so the thing ended up way too big for the boy.  We tried shrinking it and that helped, but it also made it too short.  So back to the drawing board.  I knit another, much smaller one.  img_20170108_102333797.jpg

The top one is the first one I made.  My boy will use that one on super cold days when he needs his face covered as well, but the second one will be the one he wears most of the time.  I made it in two layers (extra warm) and I made it reversible so he can have it be black or grey.

The boy actually does use these things.  And this leads to the third piece of advice from the blog: if the receiver of the gift has a say in what they want they are more likely to use and value the item.  My boy said “I want a black or grey neck warmer”.  I gave him a black or grey neck warmer and he likes it.  For bigger ticket items like a blanket or sweater or for more finicky people, it is better to take the person shopping for wool so they can see the colors and feel the wool.

So what is a knitter to do with this advice when she knows her wool stash is full of wild colors and cheaper value wool?  When I think of my stash, I could despair.  I could just give the balls away to a thrift store…something I may actually do to some of it. But now I am thinking, there are some things I would use that are wilder.  I don’t care what my housecoats and slippers look like.  I could make all kinds of housecoats and slippers in all kinds of wild crazy colors and patterns and I will love them.  There is no law that says I only need two or three of these things.  I bought the wool, I will do the work, I will want and appreciate what I made.

I could make project bags for all of my UFO’s and I could line them with left over fabric (kill two stashes with one stone.) I could make small items to give to others that they might use no matter what it is made of (coin purses or pouches to use in purses).  Kids toys can be wild.  I don’t have any kids to give them too (yet) but that is an option.

Finally, a commenter on that blog I read said she knits all kinds of things and puts them in a bag, then at family gatherings she opens the bag up and allows people to pick something out of the bag that they want.  Sure, people may pick SOMETHING to avoid offending her but at least there is a chance they will pick something they might actually use.  I could do that with the more subtle colors and nicer feeling wools I have in my stash.

So new year with new goals for my knitting.

*Sorry, I did not save the link to the blog I am referencing.  If I find it again, I will rectify that faux pas.

All about the wedding

On Facebook, there was a random game posted which said if would predict how 2017 would be for me.  It told me to grab the nearest book which is my 1901 copy of “The Life of Queen Victorian and the History of Her Reign”. I picked it up at a flea market many moons ago.

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The next step was to turn to page 117.  I don’t know why that number.  May be 1 is for January and 17 is for the year.

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The next step is to go to the second sentence on the page.  Again, I have no idea why.  May be the two is for the 2 in 2017…picking 20 may not work if the book is a small one.  This is what I got.

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“On the way back the bride was no longer pale, but had a glow of happiness on her cheek and an expression of confidence and comfort in her eyes.

 

Makes sense because the big event this year is the wedding of my first born, which launches me into the new role of Mother in Law. Now you try it and let me know what you got!