Tag: Kipling

More and More of Less and Less

Painting with Toddlers - Misericordia

We’re hitting the Age of Great Turmoil (nothing political for a change, just a Little Lion starting to navigate the 18 month – three year rapids) and I’m finding myself stripping things down to my most basic needs.

Designing a Prototype Bag

Cutting a Prototype Bag

After a rather unfortunate run of bag disasters while in Japan (I broke two straps in two weeks), I decided that the solution was not to carry less stuff but to make a stronger bag. So I’ve made a prototype bag and I’m road testing it. I’m pretty pleased with it, but I’ve hit a snag at the fabric stage.

Waxed Fabric Choices - Misericordia

While I investigate the options (I’m pretty sold on the yellow for the body of the bag, but I’m not sure what to make the waterproof base out of), I’m trying to finish up another pair of trousers and knit myself a hat. Pretty much anything in order to avoid going to the shops and participating in the seemingly endless awfulness of people to other people in the name of commerce.

Prototype Bag - Misericordia

I’m even stripping back my camera usage and seeing what happens if I use my phone photos for the blog (reviews are welcome).

Kipling at Work - Misericordia

If you need me, I’ll either be sewing or resorting to the prop of all parents of young children, hiding in the cupboard eating cake.

Musn’t Grumble?

It’s not technically true that I have nothing to report.

Myrtle and Willow - Misericordia

I have been working away on the myrtle leaves, but the progress isn’t visually thrilling (neither is it giving much of a sense of progress).

Ibuprofen - Misericordia

So instead of progress, I have a cold, a professionally embarrassing back injury (I did it while sitting down and putting my teaching shoes on), and a pair and a half of trousers.

Trousers with Cat and Hankies - Misericordia

Churidar trousers notes - MisericordiaTrouser perspective - Misericordia

Still, each leaf snufflingly stitched is one more increment towards leaflessness.

“Whatever you do, it’s never enough”

I was sitting on the (very crumb-covered) kitchen floor (because it’s better than sitting in a chair), trying to document the 25 minutes (using my new productivity app*) I’ve spent this week on the Ark Project, when the radio intruded on my internal monologue and presented me with the title of the post.

Sketchbooks and ginger cat - Misericordia

I have a few sketchbook pages of notes and a little swatch of stiffened silk which really represents me coming to realise that I’m going to be cutting hundreds of leaves out of silk very shortly, and I don’t really want to hem them. I also have to get a handle on properly 3D rouleaux which use the minimum of silk, more on that when I get it to work.

Fabric glue test - Misericordia

*I’m using the Pomodoro Technique which times you working for 25 minute blocks. It’s been quite helpful for taming my distractible nature, even though the free app I have keeps demoting me to Unrepentant Slacker!

And now it’s time for …Cake of the Week, iced buns!

Iced Bun - Misericordia

I’m very pleased with these, they’re hitting the not-too-sweet spot nicely. (I didn’t fill them because the first iced bun I ever ate didn’t have filling so I have grown to love them as oddly sweet bread rolls.) I can only show you the elegant pale yellow icing. After the first four were iced the colour scheme descended rapidly into the lurid and sludgy spectrum. I’m thinking about making half-sized ones for Little Lion’s upcoming first birthday celebrations (which is a bewildered post for another day).

Looking Ever Forward

I don’t mind planning ahead, really I don’t…

Keys, money, phone by Misericordia

But I’m starting back to teaching this week and I’ve already had to start making myself timed to-do lists of a kind I usually reserve for planning Christmas dinner.

Tatties by Misericordia

Although I intellectually appreciate that sometimes the only way to get through a day is to make dinner at 9 o’clock in the morning, I find it really throws me off. I guess it disrupts the narrative of the day.

Inktense samples by Misericordia

Completely contrary to most of the people I speak to, I really like the way autumn starts getting darker and wetter about now.

Autumn blooms by Misericordia

I’ve noticed that I’ve been burrowing into my phone a lot (due to a distinct lack of conversation that doesn’t involve Lego or why I won’t make Halloween costumes for teddies), so I’m trying to lift my gaze a little and enjoy the light.

Tangled cables by Misericordia

If I can only prevent myself from turning into a pumpkin on the sofa at the end of the day, then I’d really be on to something!

Happy pumpkin by Misericordia

Any evening efficiency tips you’d like to share?

Returns, Reviews and Restitutions

This has been an ‘..already?’ week.

Between the first proper week of school, the start of after-school classes, a mountain of life administration and trying to new homes for all the stuff that has crept into the house while my back was turned, I don’t have much finished work to show.

But I’m trying to ride the crest of the end of summer wave and get myself back into the swing of coherent existence. I’ve had a nice few months letting things slide, but now I think I want to live in a house where there are flat surfaces with nothing on them and corners which only collect cat fur.

I’ve girded my loins for another attempt to finish the Lovely Young Man’s Christmas jumper (which I started a fortnight before Christmas two years ago), and I have moderately high hopes for this attempt.

How are things shaping up around you? Have you turned up to anything a week before it was meant to start? Have you put something down only for it to vanish into a realm from which nothing can return? Do you have any good ways to store Lego and dinosaurs, safe from the curious fingers of a soon-to-be-mobile Little Lion?

Moderate or Good, Occasionally Poor

I’m wafting gently through the weeks at the moment.

The weather is nothing special, I’m in the middle of two medium to large projects that I can’t really show at the moment, and my companions are mostly silent (but good company).

It’s quite soothing, but the odd day of excitement (Dragon’s school induction!) takes me rather by surprise and I end up needing half a day staring out the window to get over it.

I’m still picking away at things, even if it is in slow motion.

Last Vestiges

This is going to be strange…

…for me, more than you (with the possible exception of the four or so of my readers who have inside knowledge).

Misericordia Mansions started out as the Lovely Young Man’s student flat, lo this 15 or so years ago. It was distinctly upmarket for a student flat (the boy has standards), but there were still idiosyncratic touches such as orange radiators throughout, unusual paint combinations, and a cork in the cornicing.

Found it yet?

Over the years, we’ve been upgrading in bits and pieces, but since we’ve moved back, there has been a more concerted plan (and budget).

Next week they start ripping out the bathroom, which is the last big project before our flat looks like a house where grown ups live. (But for Heaven’s sake, don’t tell those grown ups, we quite like it here!)

The only thing that was worrying me was Kipling. Every six months or so, a new generation of mice forget to heed the warnings of their elders and squeeze through a gap between the bathroom wall and floor where they meet this charmer…briefly.

I probably don’t need to fret, in a Victorian tenement another mouse dispenser is bound to appear, but I thought it was a fitting farewell when we heard the unmistakeable sounds of mouse-crunching in the middle of the night.

We’re decamping while works are underway, but I’ll be confecting a little something with these which I can share later in the summer.

Holiday Happenings

I think I’m slowly starting to embrace the festive atmosphere.

After last weekend’s slightly manic dash from craft fair to teaching night out to craft fair, Dragon and I decided that it was time to break out the Muppet Christmas films (we’re holding off on Muppet’s Christmas Carol for another week) and try to relax properly.

We’re having a rare holiday at home, which I’m really looking forward to, Dragon is at the age where traditions really start to stick, so I’m hoping we can create some good ones. (The Star Wars ornaments bode well, I think.)

Of course, I have four commissions to get through before I can really consider myself on holiday, and I should probably unpack the craft fair boxes and bags that are lurking at every turn, but I have a cunning plan on that front…

I’d like to offer you 20% off anything on the website until 31st December, just to save me putting everything away! Use the code ‘holiday’ at checkout and you’re away.

I’m making a concerted effort this year to buy exclusively from local or handmade sources for my gifts, and it would be lovely if everyone could at least buy one more thing from a friendly face than they did last year.

I hope you’re all managing to stay toasty wherever you are, I’m slowly adding layers of legwarmers, cowls and shawls as the weather dictates!

Many Hands and Happy Returns

Misericordia Mansions has been a hive of activity this week, but not of the usual kind.

Piles appear on all available flat surfaces, surmounted with shopping and to do lists.

We even get the apprentices involved (trousers – not seen).

All for a rather special event this weekend.

Not everyone has been quite so carried away with preparations…

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