Archive for hobbies

Halfway …

Well I have just completed week four and am halfway through the OU writing course. It has been really interesting so far with the exercises, knowing who we are, this week being the most useful. I guess I have led a fairly mundane life being a wife – several times – and a mother to eight of my own and minder to many, so trying to stir my imagination up to write something that is completely out of character was going to be difficult. This week made me ask the question ‘what if’. How I love that little phrase. How many other opportunities, adventures would I have been in if life had offered me a different plate. What would I liked to have done, where would I have been.. I just love the idea of ‘what if’.

I have also switched to fiction in the other course I am working on. The non fiction section expected me to research and analyse various magazines. Analysing is no problem, have done all that on my degree, but the last thing I want to do is write letters to a magazine that I have absolutely no interest in. Women’s magazines have their place for those who like reading them but other people’s hard luck stories and ‘dramatic events that changed my life’ really turn me off, as does the sensationalism behind it all. I could write my own story, and I did write my autobiography, for my eyes only and to release my demons. It was he most carthartic thing I have ever done, but it wasn’t to indulge others in their need for … well whatever they get out it. The fiction aspect of the course will go along with what I am working on at the moment but because it has a set storyline, it will be much easier to develop.

There seems to be a great weight lifted off my mind having switched the aspect of my course and I am having no trouble fitting everything I need to do in any more. I have a couple of books I am working on the illustrations for and another waiting to come in, watercolour pictures this time, something I am looking forward to doing. My life is definitely taking another turn and the horizon is looking clear and inviting.

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Dipping my toes into the writing pool…. again.

The dining room floorThe Dining RoomVictorain KitchenIt has been a while since I wrote but I haven’t been idle, far from it. I think that’s my trouble really. I have so many hobbies and interests that keep me busy, I don’t get them all in. Recently, I have been busy trying to organise my work room to fit yet another new project into an already crowded space. Since I was small I loved the idea of miniature; I think must have been down to the literature I read as a child and, although The Borrowers had a pretty risky existence, it gave me a wonderful escapeism. This leads me neatly into my new project – a doll’s house.

I have been making miniatures of things for as long as I can remember and now, finally in my autumn years, my dream of doing it for a reason came true when Harry bought me a doll’s house kit for my 60th birthday. It’s a magical project for me and one that suits my tendency to dip in and out of different hobbies as the mood takes me. So far I have completed the basement kitchen, and scullery though I still have to make everything for the laundry. As it is early Victorian there is a lot of stuff to make. I know about artistic license so am employing it on that room. I made a doorway and window at the side of the  house, no problem?  I struggle with a house that has no toilet facilities and will build an outside privy later on but on the main house the chimney breasts are on that wall so a great deal of imagination is required. I am sure the occupants aren’t going to complain though.

my new camera 071           Basement            completed basement


completed basement


The kitchen, hallway and scullery have a hand painted floor because the papers I looked weren’t terribly realistic. I have also completed the dining room a lot of fun to do. A mixed bag, this room moves into later Victorian times, it looks pretty bare at the moment with only the basic furniture but it is ‘functional’ should any small people wish to join us for a meal. The lighting works in the fireplace too, that was fun to do. I only blew one fuse and did rediscover my soldering skills in miniature though. The worst part was trying to insulate such minute wires but offseting the joins and using a dab of bathroom silicone to seal them seems to have done the trick.
April 26th 13 019April 26th 13 017
The floor of the dining room has been a brilliant project. I decided against artificial floor covering and opted for the ‘real thing’, well almost. I don’t go to coffee shops very often but the wooden stirrers are perfect for making floorboards so I persuaded friends to bring back their stirrers everytime they had a coffee. Coffee stains add to the authenticity. I made a template and stuck carefully cut stirrers to look like wooden floor and sanded it well, so far so good but the next part was rather laborious. I used an awl to mark nails in the ends of every board before I stained it. I think it made a rather impressive looking floor, but I am slightly biased here.
My next project is to make a parquet floor for the hallway, now that’s a challenge for sure. I think I have just enough wooden stirrers to make a start. Thank you to everyone who has brought me their sticks, couldn’t do it without you.

Do you see how easily I get distracted, this blog entry was meant to be on writing and wandered off the path. Definitely a butterfly mind still. I enrolled on a writing course last year and have been struggling with writing articles but I managed to complete it and submit it yesterday, here’s hoping the rest of the assignments become easier. It’s a lot of money to waste if I don’t get my finger out, and my head out of my doll’s house, and get writing and that is why, as a motivational technique, I have decided to paddle once more into the world of the blogger. Here’s to bigger (and smaller) things!

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