abendgules: (knitting)
Last weekend, I dropped a wad of money on yarn for a long-term knitting project.

I've ordered 4kg of Shetland yarn; it will require hours of processing even before knitting.

It's 'yarn in oil' so you *can* knit it as-is, and wash it after knitting, but honestly it's not very nice to knit with as is, and much nicer after washing the skeins.

Said yarn is probably going to sit at Robert's office, while I'm in the colonies, yarnless and unable to reach it.

I can take another project, but with all the glitter of the new, it was the *new* project I wanted to take with me to the colonies.

First world problems.
abendgules: (knitting)
Well, finished making - now for the washing and fulling part.

This is the flat cap I started at Raglan, in 2 ply jumper weight, which is quite fine. Hence it took an age.

The next one in the same yarn will be with 2 strands and bigger needles.

In this house, it's hard to photograph anything without a measure of cat butt appearing alongside...

P9150003

P9150001
abendgules: (self-portrait)
Last weekend Robert and I went to visit Nicholas and Delia and their family of rescue-critters, to talk about how to decorate the hall for Yule Ball.

This is set at a historic venue in Cambridge for early December.

I'd had a vague notion that we could make paper mache, but having not done any since kindergarten, if then, I was low on ideas in this area.

Fortunately, Robert is an old theatre hand.

So we started w/ reviewing the bestiaries and books we had of splendid creatures, and made a short list of candidates for table decorations.

Then we broke out the newspaper and cardboard, and the flour and water, and started slathering.

Nick and Delia are those useful types of people who don't throw anything away.

So we kept saying 'Do you perhaps have X?' and they'd say, 'why yes, I was supposed to get rid of it, but it's still in the shed...'

Out came scissors, masking tape, buckets and basins, cardboard, staplers, and plastic bottles to use as moulds.

So it transpired in this type of questioning that they did, in fact, even have chicken wire, the holy grail of large scale paper mache work, in the shed. Acres of it, in fact.

Also splendid firm plastic-coated wire, also originally for fencing.

Q:'Why didn't you mention you had chicken wire before??'
A:'You didn't ask for it before!'

Armed with this finest of armature foundation materials, the creatures promptly got far more interesting and ambitious. :-)

So between us we managed a series of table decor items, that at the end of the day still needed painting, but were well on their way to being very cool.

In the process we got to know the house rules: don't leave the lounge door open because the jack russell will snaffle the cat's food; don't love up one dog without offering equal time to the other; don't leave the gate open in case one or the other make a break for it; don't leave any drinks on the floor unless you're ready to share.

They have a very loveable family of critters, frankly, so it was no hardship - just a change from a low-maintenance cat to a constant-watchfulness canine setting.

I'm keen to see the finished works, and hope to visit again before Yule.
abendgules: (knitting)
A Glasgow City of science is doing a health hygiene project for kids, and wants knitted microbes.

They are totally totally beautiful and cheaper than the stuffed ones you buy commercially.

This is courtesy of the craziest knitting blog I've ever seen - really. The unicorn dog harness, the Star Wars tapestry in crosstitch and the knitted wireframe webdesign is just amazing.

I'm passing the microbes round my work colleagues, so to speak, to see if anyone else wants to knit up some health protection germs.
abendgules: (Oooops)
...is very happy, having unwrapped a 10kg box of carve-able stone from J, [livejournal.com profile] aryanhwy's other half.

It's beautiful white with pale brown striations, and silky smooth to touch and already cut into workable blocks. The most tedious part of doing moulds is squaring off.

It's not quite soapstone, but some type of stone suitable for carving that J can find very affordably in DE. They used it at Raglan, to make the hourglass token for their Highnesses, for Duncan and Eibhilin's 'make something cool at the event' challenge.

Robert, gloating over his new treasures:  'I'm importing stone from Germany for pewter casting...just like in period!'

So he's set for the holiday.

I've received my delivery of further soapy supplies, so I can make still more soaps and toiletries, but now with added colours and textures. My friends will be very, very clean this year.

We also got our Bah Humbug shirts in the mail - Wychwood brewery has the best label art going, and I love their silly shirts. My real favourite is of the Wychwood elves roasting a reindeer at Christmas time, saying 'ho ho ho...' in their typical mischievious way...

So we're both wearing the shirts at work today.
abendgules: (15thc_worker)
...still posting bits and pieces from the summer.

This Raglan included glass painting with acrylic paints, and I asked everyone to send me pics, because I wasn't much good at getting them, at the time.

Here are some of the results:

Viscountess Suzannah - her glass in front of her Sun and Chalice scroll
2013-08-22 susannah

Lady Agnes, who modelled her ivy leaves on an example on site
Agnes glass

Lady Agatha, who put us all to shame
Sideview
Glass Back view
Glass Arms 2

Still waiting for a few folks' photos, but it was very satisfying project to do with folks.

ETA: Glasses by Dom Duarte [livejournal.com profile] goncalves for members of his household - he did 5 in all.

For HE Aryanhwy

IMAG1448

For Lady Eleanor

IMAG1447

For himself

IMAG1446
abendgules: (knitting)
I didn't expect my slippers to work - they were so huge and blobby and they weren't shrinking as quickly as I expected...but third wash and rinse was a charm.

P5130002
Flat knitted pieces, before sewing up and felting.

P5230002

Finished - sewn into footbags, and then felted. The lopi yarn is shedding a lot of longish hairs and fuzz, but I'm hoping that passes.

I can see the advantage of 'shearing' a felted fabric now (the way medieval cloth was felted, sheared, felted sheared again) in a way I hadn't before.

I posted them on Ravelry, if you're a Rav-ist (membership has its privileges).
abendgules: (seneschal_cat)
X-posted from newsgroups....

As you know we recently had to vacate the longstanding fight practice site.
As a result Robert and I are storing a great deal of old kit, Ozbeg has taken away a selection of shields and weapons, and Mike is storing one set of kit.
Cupboards and closets are bursting, and we'll have to reconsider how much kit to keep, since we won't have a lot of storage at the new practice site.
SO: one thing we could part with are several bags of leather, donated by Mike the fencer.
He gave them along with some other leather kit from a LaRP group, at a time when we had lots of space.
The leather is all in small pieces, very soft like fine glove leather and some pieces are very stretchy. They look like offcuts. They might be suitable for:
- gloves - you could make yourself half a dozen pairs from pieced patterns, easily!
- pouches, purses, bags
- clothes that need fine leather edging, patches, detailing
- a patchwork coat (more thinking goth/fashion than medieval)
...any number of non-medieval crafty projects.
I can make a lot of pouches, but this is a lifetime's supply, and we can't keep it for a lifetime.
Unfortunately it is not suitable for armour, strapping, boots (maybe pieced indoor shoes, but not soles). Some pieces might work for knife sheaths, bags for accessories, but not for boiling or hardening.
I'm happy to sort and bring a selection to meetings, revels, whatever, if I can send this stuff on to a good home,
BUT I need a commitment that someone wants it, sooner rather than later.
We need to sort our stuff and get rid of it one way or another. If there are no takers, I'll take my own selection and put the rest in the charity bin.
RSVP appreciated.
abendgules: (catching snowflakes)
...England is a awash with flooding. I'll have to watch the Peanuts Christmas special on YouTube, and the Grinch too, for any white Christmas fill.

Hoping to stop pretending to work and slip out of the office soon, and go shopping in person rather than online. 

For this holiday crafty wish list:
- get more gilding tools to improve gilding results, hopefully today
- finish lining a hood
- start a new cardigan on the needles
- make more smellies as gifts
- optional: start laying out new bodice for German undergown

I have to rein in my instinct to start a half-dozen new projects - I get so wound up at the prospect of a few days uninterrupted crafting that I tie myself in anxious knots over what I could do, and end up frozen, unable to decide what to do first, and only manage to do the boring routine stuff like housework.

If I can settle to just a handful of projects, I have more chance of actually finishing them, and thus avoiding further rebukes from UFOs round the house.

I've actually had some FO results - finished a smock, finished some knit garters - but somehow they're anticlimactic compared to starting new.
abendgules: (15thc_worker)
On Saturday I got together with [livejournal.com profile] thorngrove, to learn the mysteries of the soapmaker.

I've been doing some reading linked to my current putter in medieval cosmetics, and soap falls into this category, albeit as a relatively late addition to the range of cosmetic products - and had mentioned I'd love to have a go. Luckily [livejournal.com profile] thorngrove proved, as always a terrific resource and teacher, as well as a fine hostess.

Soapmaking is essentially home chemistry, complete with goggles, face mask and gloves, to put caustic soda together with your choice of favourite fats, and then the smellies added at the last stage before pouring into moulds. 

With domestic servants on hand (in the form of crock pots, hand-held blender and digital thermometer) to make the fiddly bits easier, the whole process is way simpler than I ever expected, though it requires care and attention. If I had to guess at the temperature of the fats and the soda solution, and then stir the mix by hand for 'til trace', I might not be nearly as keen. Making medieval soap, from soda ash onward, would be just plain hard work.

The key step I learned was [livejournal.com profile] thorngrove's careful matching the temperatures of the two mixes (liquid fats and caustic soda solution).

The fat is slow to heat, but slow to lose its heat too. Adding soda to the water  for an alkali solution results in instant chemical heat - the solution goes from ambient temperature (11 deg C, sitting outside on the doorstep) to over 70 deg in the time the soda takes to dissolve.

But it's quick to lose its heat as well, so the remaining fiddly step was to get the slowly-warming fat and the quickly-cooling soda solution to the same temperature, then quickly mix them and whisk them with the blender.

I'll go back and re-read the instructions I've seen for making soap - but I didn't remember any mention of carefully matching temperatures of the two mixes, to give you the best chance of a smooth mix, and quick 'trace'.

We ended up trying out 4 different recipes for soap (one hot process, three cold process) most of which were left at her home to cure, while I took one batch home on the train...in a Pringles tin - the handy disposable mould! We'd planned five batches, but four proved a full day's work.

My sweetie, wonderfully, came out to the suburbs for the visit, and spent the afternoon ensconced on L's sofa, sipping wine (no visit is complete chez [livejournal.com profile] thorngrove without a bottle of red) and gorging on jewellery books from her excellent specialist library. 

I think we're all resolved to Do This More Often (tm). L has so many excellent tools, toys and materials, and all three of us want to make stuff (jewellery, mostly!); it's just a matter of picking the weekend to commit to it.
abendgules: (knitting)
This week I finished a pair of socks, and finished a baby project.

Ok, finish is a strong word; they are less unfinished.

One requires weaving in (about 5 mins work), and the other needs buttons (anywhere from 15 mins to sew on plastic ones, to all evening, if I knit them).

I've been trying to clear my crafting in-tray of projects, before starting anything new.

This is a bit like resolving not to buy fabric til you've reduced your stash; good in theory, but easier said than done, especially faced with serious temptation like fabric-you-see-while-on-holiday-that-you-can't-get-at-home.

But I've made some headway, really: the knitting items were nagging me, and finishing them will allow me to actually close my projects box, without having to sit on it.

I'm in a clearing, reducing, dealing-with-it mood. It's not continuous, and I may fall off the crafting wagon yet, but man if feels virtuous.

Oddly, the effort involved in finishing a UFO is almost always a fraction of the guilt/avoidance sentiment of not-finishing. But it's not my rational self that puts these things off, so I can't really make sense of it.

In other clearing projects: shredding still in progress (it was a big box of paper); and I've deleted fully half my neglected inbox.

Do I really need confirmations that I'll be at drinks meetings from 2005, really? And no: deleting messages from people I love does not mean I don't love them anymore.  

Stupidly, it's still hard to do, and I may be comforting myself with more hours of 'Angel' than is strictly necessary...while, uh, finishing my knitting tonight.
abendgules: (Default)
Thank you all for feedback on the perfumery and smellies stuff. I've dropped a note to Isis about her sources. Small world - she has a link to frualeydis, who is an active SCA person in Nordmark.

Baldwins definitely seems a good source for some specific items, tied with Pans Pantry.

So I'm compiling a list of items I want, and comparison shopping.

Sourcing civet and musk oils is still proving elusive. Found it in one pagan-ritual supplies shop sold in 2-drachm bottles for ritual use, but it seemed far too cheap to be a good product.

Researches so far:
http://www.baldwins.co.uk/ (no civet, some musk products, lots of other useful items)
http://www.panspantry.co.uk/ (no civet or musk, but many other useful things)
http://www.amphora-retail.com/index.php (musk seems cheap, no civet)
http://www.hermitageoils.com/ (new civet absolute listed, no info about source though; no musk)
http://www.naturallythinking.com/ (no civet or musk) 
http://www.essentially-me.co.uk/extraits_botanical_musk.php?cat=21 (botanical musk fixative for perfume - out of stock)

Ordered and received the book about cosmetics by Sally Pointer (abebooks rocks  as usual). The survey of cosmetics through the ages seems quite good - the Viking, 'Dark Ages', and early medieval is (unsurprisingly) a bit light, lacking examples, particularly compared to the print-era options which is so thick with sources.

My one whine is that the author footnotes things that I'm not interested in, and leaves no references to things I do want to know more about (11th century manuscript of cosmetics citing 'Trotula' is mentioned three times, but is not footnoted! no source! argh).

I'd also hoped for a list of UK sources/shops; no such luck.

Pointer does mention a couple of interesting items though - 'Water of Hungary' may be the earliest alcohol-based scent, for home and person, dated to about 14th c (mainly rosemary scent, with other herbal options), and provides a recipe that looks perfectly do-able.

And the idea of scenting leather (soaking leather scraps in a perfume mix, then sewing it into small bags) is very promising, and worth persuing. I'd love to fence in scented gloves - (almost) anything could improve the smell of my fencing gloves.

Soap-making also looks easier than I thought; requires care because you're handling caustic chemicals, but otherwise perfectly do-able.

So: worth getting the book, but got fewer answers than I hoped.

I've checked with my sweetie, and he's ok with me possibly smelling out the house with this project...presumeably if I come away with more night-cap powder, all is good.

In chasing round the Intawebs, I discovered a forum of people whose hobby is apparently collecting commercial perfume. I thought I had a silly pastime (or bunch of pastimes, really) but wow, this group sounds like a marketer's dream.

ETA: wiki link to Trotula
abendgules: (prickly)
...I'm now toying with making some medieval cosmetics.

The splendid Ynes de Toledo left us her un-shippable blends of 'red powder for scenting things', 'white powder' and 'powder for nightcaps', among others. We're enjoying using them, and they make me want to try out a limited amount of scenting and mixing.

However, some key ingredients are a bit tricky to source these days, namely civet, musk and ambergris (the £40,000 chunk of ambergris that washed up on a beach in the UK this month notwithstanding): all that pesky treating-animals-ethically business.

(Reading up, it turns out my 'Amber' perfume bought at Pennsic 10+ years ago may not have been amber (the resin) but amber-gris, the whale excretion...who knew?)

Does anyone who works with perfumery know good sources of (advanced artificial) versions of said ingredients? I've been looking through Ynes' notes  - her handout from her excellent class from a few years ago - and have some suppliers noted, but am interested in my friends' experiences. Euro and UK sources preferred.

Any thoughts about sourcing and using essential oils? How about damask roses?
abendgules: (Default)
Coronation this past weekend: brilliant. Reasonable travel (it's worth paying for real airlines, IMO, for non-stupid flight dep/arr times); wonderfully hospitable Finnish event staff looked after us; fed and watered and coffeed very well; successful ceremonies almost entirely as planned and pictured, in a beautiful lakeside setting.

The best pictures are on [livejournal.com profile] aryanhwy's FB pages, so far.

Lady Anne produced a beautiful kirtle (black linen with gold silk lower skirt), gown (black wool with red silk binding and red linen lining and a long train) and (with Edith's broidery) headdress for HRM to wear, matching Paul's early Henry VIII gown, doublet and hose. Together they look the part of early 16th c royals.

I can now see why the Finns are so attached to Cudgel wars, and enjoy the venue so much. It reminded me strongly of visting camps and cottages in Muskoka; mixed birch and fir woods, gravel roads, cottages perched on slopes overlooking a small lake with canoes at the dock, birdsong and crisp clean air. There were fewer bald spare boulders and evidence of roads blasted through solid rock of 'Canadian shield', so there may be more fertile farm-able soil in the area, but the memories of travelling to northern Ontario were strong.

However, I'd never visited a Canadian cottage with two saunas - one was modern electric ladies/mens/mixed facilities, the other was a small traditional wood-burning sauna. The latter requires half a day of fire stoking to warm and make ready but I can see the attraction; the woodsmoke atmosphere and the feel of the steam and heat is different from the electric sauna, and I was glad I tried both.

How I do wish saunas were common here! Warm baths are lovely but the all-enveloping sauna heat is wonderful. The Romans had it right from the outset.

I delighted in playing c&t one afternoon - sadly not long enough, but worth it for trying out a hand and a half sword in this form. [livejournal.com profile] goncalves and I both tried against Lord Mikkael, and both of us came away with biiig stuuupid grins on our faces, it was so much fun.  My next serious investment may be such a weapon. Lucky Cernac gets to go back in 3 weeks for Cudgel and play some more.

[livejournal.com profile] goncalves and Cernac triggered something of a diplomatic incident between Insulae Draconis and Arnimetsa, witnessed by too many from all sides to be hushed up. We may have to settle it by hitting each other with sticks in yet a third region, like Nordmark, much as our ancestors did by making war through Normandy and Bergundy. At least, that's what we hope.

The scriptorium had several attendees, and we reviewed my Romanesque alphabet, but we all seemed short of time - even with a four day event there was a lot to squeeze in. However, I did show one lady how to make a reservoir for a quill and she seemed very pleased at trying it out at home.

Once more, I was impressed by the depth of the artisan community in Arnimetsa particularly in the textile and clothing arts. Their standard is high, even for those new to the Society; it must be all those long winter nights that give them opportunity to sew, weave, broider and embellish to such good effect. Fru Johanna continues to develop her repetoire of narrow wares which is excellent, even persuing the art outside the Society.

I had only one serious attack on my wallet among the merchants; I was cornered by a 3m length of hemp fabric - something I haven't been able to find in London and thus hard to resist. The merchant (www.tippet.fi) said it came from a factory in Romania.

I learned a lot in conversation this weekend, about the Pelican order in Drachenwald.

Today is one long round of laundry, followed by errands. I'm away to my first homeland tomorrow, hopefully back in a couple of weeks.
abendgules: (catching snowflakes)
This was the plan, and this is how far I got:

Scrolls x 4 - ended up doing scrolls x 3, thanks to a change in requests, but successfully finished.

 Largesse list
- Veil pins - old favourite - nope, not in the mood for beads this season
- Finishing pouches 
- sewing
- eyelets
- braiding or plying cords
- assembly
Cards with Romanesque initials:  lots - am now set to gift the next three reigns as well as this one, and not burned out. Very pleased.
- Handkerchiefs - hemmed: got one done
- leather pouches: several 
- cutting
- braiding


Also: A couple of small belts for demoisels in the shire - a last-minute addition, that resulted in Robert doing most of the hard work

'Me' list
- Finishing current fencing hood - hemming: done
- finishing new fencing hood - pressing, cutting out, sewing, hemming: ho ho ho...Merry Ambitions!
- new fencing gowns - pressing, cutting out, sewing, hemming (still debating weights of linen to use - still don't have a punch tester nearby): more ho ho ho ho...

- refreshing plum gown: in progress
- new neckline - drawn
- reworking eyelets, possibly without heavy facing - not doing all of them, just the ones that need it
- lining sleeves, possibly with fur - now adding a fur hem - lining sleeves may or may not happen before end of month

The fur is courtesy of two fur coats, that Robert sweet-talked out of a charity shop some years ago. 
I think they're both rabbit, but honestly don't know: I don't have a lot of experience with furs. One is 3/4 length ladies coat of mostly brown, arranged in horizontal bands (pale at the top, getting darker towards the bottom of the band).

I've taken apart two of the bands,and found that together they will more than do the hem of the gown (measures 130" at bottom, but probably less 5" up from the bottom). The plan is to run a piece of cloth tape along the top edge, and attach that to the gown, but it'll depend on how long it takes to attach the cloth tape.

Also: more piecing on the undergown, so the hem actually sits evenly: in progress
Also: a pair of fake sleeves, to tack to the undergown, to save myself the work of actually adding full sleeves to the undergown: in progress

If the fur edging works, it'll be the most luxurious gown I own (after the Cranach).
None of the following - just idle holiday dreams!

- finishing 16thc shirt
- finishing 16th c doublet
- lightweight partlet
- finishing wool cap with brim stiffener

I did do more knitting - but ripped out at least as much as I knit. DROPS have tricksy ways of explaining their patterns; they make sense, but it means a lot of thinking for yourself.
Following the instruction 'make a second side front, mirror image to the first' isn't as clear as you might think.

SO: all in all, some progress, but more slacking than anticipated. 
abendgules: (Oooops)
Got a good start on the pouches this weekend, getting eyelets into two of four, and braiding cords for three, so I may actually be able to knock the current batch off the list.
Pouches are a perpetually-renewing project though - I've now made them in leather, fabric, and knitting. I suppose I could weave one from scratch for a change (NOT).

Also got the calligraphy done on the cards, but didn't get any illumination done.

Did have a happy evening surfing the BL site, finding nearly an entire alphabet of very do-able Romanesque intials.

There's a particular style, c. 1150-1225 ish, England and N. France on sacred books, that uses bold plain colours, some very beautiful arabesque flourishes, but very little 'finishing' (no outlining, no knotwork, no gold). The accompanying hand is late Carolingian, early Gothic-ish, well within my repetoire.  The sweet AoA I did last month is typical. This could become another 'workhorse' hand for scrolls for me.

I even found a scholarly text about this art style, focusing on MSS from 11th and 12th c Northumbria - a snip at £70 from Boydell and Brewer.
abendgules: (Oooops)
Christmas is Robert's and my favourite time to Make Stuff(tm) - uninterrupted blocks of time to work on projects.

This year's list for me is a mix of old favourites, repairs, and making new stuff.

Scrolls x 4 for 12th night

Largesse list
- Veil pins - old favourite
- Finishing pouches
    - sewing
    - eyelets
    - braiding or plying cords
    - assembly
- Cards with Romanesque initials
- Handkerchiefs - hemmed
- leather pouches
     - cutting
     - braiding

'Me' list
- Finishing current fencing hood - hemming
- finishing new fencing hood - pressing, cutting out, sewing, hemming
- new fencing gowns - pressing, cutting out, sewing, hemming (still debating weights of linen to use - still don't have a punch tester nearby)
- refreshing plum gown
    - new neckline
    - reworking eyelets, possibly without heavy facing
    - lining sleeves, possibly with fur
- finishing 16thc shirt
- finishing 16th c doublet
- lightweight partlet
- finishing wool cap with brim stiffener

Non-SCA
- knitting bolero cardigan

Robert has a whol' heap of casting to do - Sir Vitus is hoping plenty of PCS holders will join him on the field at Estrella, for which he needs tokens; my sweetie now also has commissions.
abendgules: (downhill)

Does anyone else make bead and wire jewellery? I want to make small giftie rings, w/ 1-3 beads on them, in silver and gold-coloured wire.
I think I've figured out the basics, but if there are any instructables, videos, tutorials or tips around, I'd welcome them.

I've already hit up [livejournal.com profile] thorngrovefor advice...

abendgules: (15thc_worker)

  • new seating: Plan, based on Charles Oakley's late-period design Shopping for wood on Sat AM.  Now have wood, have cut it into strips of a sort, with some shaky edges, and am waiting for a free(!) evening to finish cutting and dr
  • new gown: no progress
  • new banner: Robert has assembled the banner, but still has to source paint. Splendidly long and swallow-tailed!
  • 1 scroll, promised for Raglan court: did the practice piece. Need some whitework/highlighting tips! Found the tips, now want to spend Sunday practicing. Hoping to stitch, and scribe, the whole day.
  • practice 3 hole pipe: have practiced several days, but still can't play quite as fast as I'd like. Now stuck with Charlotte brawl and Maltese brawl in my ear, and unable to remember how double brawl goes...
Just about 1 week! how the heck did that happen!!
abendgules: (15thc_worker)

When I joined the SCA as a student, I went to a shield-making weekend and some form of communal meal, and was introduced to the wonders of shield presses, power tools (especially jigsaws) and shield edgings. At the time in the MK, shields for Crown tourney had to be no longer than your chest-to-fingertip length (resulting in a laughably small one for me), and edged with padding and a slit rubber tire or garden hose. Only the madly keen bothered covering the edging for appearances' sake.

On Saturday, Robert and I went to Vitus and Giuliette's family home, to cut shields and BBQ foodstuffs. In some ways, not much has changed. :-)

We do now make more authentic shields: I don't know how the rules have changed, but there's less fuss over edge padding now, and Vitus demonstrated an excellent method of edging with rawhide (sourced from doggie chews). His ply shields last 1-2 years, which sounds pretty good to me.

We also eat better; G. produced a range of side dishes to complement fabulous venison burgers. Nom nom nom nom...

On Sunday I continued on the power tool theme by testing my jigsaw skills on our plywood, soon-to-be benchbox.

There is something satisfying about playing with powertools - big noise, little bits fly away, you see results immediately. I can see why thems that love them find them so, well, powerful. I can't sustain my own interest past getting the desired task done, but I can appreciate the attraction.

I have a bit more cutting to do this week; this evening I'm hoping for a short run, and return to my scribing desk...

Other small accomplishments: a run on the linens at Classic Textiles, one of my favourite shops in London, introducing some new Thamesreachers to its pleasures; and testing out the new washing machine laundering said linens. The old machine is now sitting outside the flat waiting council pickup. I'm curious if it will actually last til then, or if it will have wandered off by the time I get home this evening.

One disappointment this weekend: my chocolate cake for Robert's b-day failed - not cooked through, and still very baking-soda-ish, like the chemical reaction of baking didn't finish. Humph.

In other news: I have serious Pennsic envy. I both want to hear it all, and don't want to hear it, at the same time!

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