Tuesday 27 September 2011
I now need to create another piece, using the stronger colours, as an example piece so that I can remember how I made it, just in case anyone wants to commission one!
Monday 26 September 2011
As the sun began to set, it started to disperse and change shape.
Eventually, it turned pink and flattened out over the countryside. It was a wonderful thing to watch.
Saturday 24 September 2011
I came across this quiz whilst browsing through favourite blogs/sites on other blogs. Intrigued, I gave the quiz a go and found out I am most like Elinor Dashwood. I am quite pleased with this as Elinor is sensible, practical, caring, intelligent, loyal and I would like to imagine we share some of these characteristics. However, I am not sure I could hide my feelings as well as she does, nor keep a secret that undoes all her happiness from those around her. A colleague at work tried the quiz and found out she is most like Marianne Dashwood, so hopefully we should continue to work together well.
I tried some of the other myriad of quizzes on the same subject and the results of a couple of them were very disheartening. I was more than a little dismayed to find that I was most like Fanny Price (Mansfield Park). Fanny Price!! She is a snob, a wimp and allows other people to treat her badly and is a wallflower who can be easily ignored. She does have some good qualities, but I would much rather be like Elinor Dashwood than Fanny Price. Yes, she gets her man in the end, but it is more through luck than anything else. I was not impressed! Mansfield Park is my least favourite Jane Austen novel, so that was another reason not to be like Fanny Price. (Re-reading that, it does sound like a bit of a rant, but I hope that I don't share many qualities with her.)
If you'd like to try the quiz, the link is below:
above picture from:
Tuesday 20 September 2011
Having started making felt again, I need to continue as I have missed it over the last few months.
Sunday 18 September 2011
My garden has been giving me a few headaches just recently as I am fighting against a rampant fungi in the soil which is sucking out all the moisture in the raised beds and gradually turning the soil to grey, ashy stuff which no moisture can get through. Unfortunately, it seems to go around plant roots too, which kills the plants. When I come across it, I am digging it out and replacing it with top soil and adding water retaining granules. I am valiantly fighting to keep my plants in good health and am contemplating sinking drainage tubes into the soil to aid moisture retention. Despite this situation, my plants are doing their best to continue flowering just a little bit longer, for which I am really grateful.
Wednesday 14 September 2011
It is fascinating to be able to look at these items and wonder about their owners. If they could talk, I expect these accessories would tell some very interesting tales.
Sunday 11 September 2011
Here is the piece de resistance of Mum's costume hoard - a Regency dress dating from around 1803ish. Strictly speaking, this is before the true Regency period which was 1811-1820, but for me, 1795 - 1820 is the time scale I think of to be the 'Regency'. The dress is made from a nude/beige coloured silk and has long sleeves with a gathered bodice piece over the bust. Unfortunately, the photo of it hung on the door doesn't do justice to its lovely shape and it is difficult to imagine how it would look on a woman. Twenty years ago, I actually managed to fit in it, but I tried again last time I visited Mum and I have expanded way too much! The moment of defeat came when the under bodice pieces that tie up over the bust ended up somewhere under my chin! Oh well, at least I fitted in it once.
I am really privileged to be able to look at the dress in such detail and I think Mum is going to give it to a museum as it needs conserving for the future. Perhaps it will be able to provide textile experts with the opportunity to look at the construction of a dress from this time and hopefully, it will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Saturday 10 September 2011
Wednesday 7 September 2011
This richly decorated and coloured material has an intriguing label (written in a beautiful script) pinned to it. The label reads "Miss Vipan's wedding gown married to Mr Jennings of St Ives about 1750". Although Mum has several family trees written down, we haven't yet identified the Miss Vipan married in 1750, so that is a mystery that remains to be solved. We also don't know who wrote the label. (This photo reminds me of the 'Tailor of Gloucester' by Beatrix Potter, with her illustration of 'No more twist.'See below.)
(picture from VAM.co.uk)
This is the longest length of the material and shows the pattern going down what we think is the skirt panel. The style would have been similar to the dresses worn by Marie Antoinette with full, wide skirts that meant you had to go through the door sideways. The dress must have looked spectacular as the pattern is certainly eye-catching.
More interesting discoveries to come.
Monday 5 September 2011
Above is a really pretty silk (I think it is silk, but it could be a silk/taffeta) with machine embroidery on it. I'm not at all sure on date, but my gut feeling is 1800 onwards.
This is a great advertisement for hoarding - if Mum (and previous members of her family) hadn't been such hoarders, we wouldn't have these lovely things to look at and enjoy now.
(I have a feeling that my friend Charlotte, who has recently moved to Holland, will particularly like the Regency dress post..coming soon!)
Friday 2 September 2011
Usually, when I read a book that I like, I write a few words on here to say why, picking out interesting characters and giving my view of it. I was encouraged to read this one from the masses of excellent reviews on amazon. I got the book from my local library (fantastic things, libraries, so why are they being closed in such huge numbers? They provide a wonderful service and a chance for some people to socialise, which is so important. Keep our Libraries Open!) After that slight rant, back to this book.
So, I collected it and settled down for a nice read - a love story with the unusual twist that the hero keeps jumping about in time so sometimes he jumps into his wife's life at a point where she is a lot younger than him. Hmm, interesting premise, I thought. As I read on, I decided that I didn't much care for either of the main characters (never a good sign).
Having finished the book, there were several things I didn't like. There was a fair bit of swearing and bad language. I know that contemporary novels have to reflect life and it would be ridiculous to have everyone saying "Oh, Gosh!" or some other archaic phrase. However, I hear language like that most times I go into the city centre, so I don't want it throughout a supposedly escapist novel. The other main problem was that I just didn't care about any of the characters at all. There was nothing for me to empathise with and so I was left feeling very indifferent. (Another minor and rather pedantic issue was the title spelt with one l not two when being sold over here).
So, would I recommend it? Well, I know that many people love it and that is great. However, I didn't like it and actually wish I hadn't read it at all, because having read it has not enhanced my life at all. I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from reading it, because that is one of the great joys of reading - to be able to make up your own mind about what you have read. I would give it one star if I had to rate it, and that is quite generous. So, I shall now read other books, which hopefully I shall enjoy a lot more. In fact, Miss Buncle's Book isn't due back until 17th September, so I shall start with re-reading that one.