Monday, 29 November 2010

Loose Ends

 Spent yesterday feeling downright unrelaxed - most unlike a Sunday.

In the end, I went to the new Mr H. Potter performance. What a joy - the spooky music, the dark, cavernous interiors full of black gothic furniture, barley twist four-posters, higgledy-piggledy staircases... couldn't decide if I liked Sirius Black's, Luna Lovegood's or Bathilda Bagwotsit's gaff best - but as usual, some nasty, menacing swirl of cgi nonsense destroyed most of them anyway. Hermione has an excellent handbag - a marquee was produced several times from within. Severe doubts remain about Daniel's acting ability - oh, how the cinema erupted at his dad-dancing. Mr Radcliffe - surely Strictly must want him?

Inhaled a most unsuitable amount of paintstripper fumes to reveal the 1880's Victorian glory of my lump of wood that shall be the mantelpiece. A bit more jiggling with sandpaper, and you can almost picture the candles and tealights all a-glowing, festively, on top of it. Nearly finished but not quite.

A nasty draught comes from the gaps inbetween the newly sanded bathroom floorboards. Have decided its bugger to the jar of sawdust I'd been saving to mix with pva - am wedging strips of old toilet roll tubes in them gaps. Nearly Finished But Not Quite.

Strangely, people are starting to ask if I've done all my Christmas shopping yet. But there's still 25 days! So, that's another NFBNQ to deal with...

The World of Work is totally convinced we shall be CLOSED for the forseeable future as of tomorrow due to all this envisaged snow.... daren't hope how much that will help me to catch up with myself. Then some of this "nearly finished" nonsense can get QUITE, COMPLETELY and TOTALLY finished. Until I start another mad project...

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Have been a bit on the go this week - hoorah! And here is the proof...

The red wall in one of the recent posts - behind the chandelier in Trashsparkle's Homemade Home - has now become grey (dulux's urban obsession), so this little fella can sit up on the mantelpiece soon without being camouflaged. And hey, yes, he is sitting on the first piece of the mantelpiece I was contemplating last week. A sawn-down fence post....

..... and this is the other part of the mantelpiece, a piece of salvaged victorian door architrave from when the kitchen got knocked through. Still a long way to go, seeing as I woke up to find the paintstripper had failed to magically do its job overnight (thought that trick they do with cornices and shrouding in plastic
would work).

And inbetween these mucky little projects, I realised on Thursday how cold I was, even in my hat. So I started to make a big, weatherproof one that evening... Voila!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Trashsparkle's Triceps, Tea and Televisual Treats

Morning bloggers! Some tea, some free-range egg'n'fakey bacon sarnies, Nina Simone and Blondie, and all is well in Trashsparkleland this fine and dainty Sunday morning...

...apart from the still-disturbing image of the big canary wandering out from behing the curtains last night. Ann's big mistake was to refuse Anton's suggestion of doing Improper Moves, and thus diluting their samba down to another Queen-Mother-Wanders-Round-Chelsea. Not sure about their choreographical intentions, but I strongly suspect she'd had enough by the end and lay down on the floor, leaving Anton to improvise wildly by having to drag her around like a defeated floorcloth. Where have we seen that before?

Another dodgy samba was Scott and Natalie's. Not that bad, but, in Strictly-Speak, far too much "gapping" during that forward roll thang. Has Scott gone off Natalie's perfume or something? I felt myself almost shouting "forward" to make him move his feet nearer to her.

Which is something poor Sheryl Gascoigne had to do to urge The Big Wimpy Vegan that is Gillian McKeith through the blindfolded cave of horrors experience in last night's slice of "I'm a Celebrity..". Sheryl played a blinder when Gillian freaked again at another hanging cobweb... "Its only a Christmas decoration". Genius, Gascoigne.

Meanwhiles, in the land of my Disgracefully Unfinished House, I have temporarily put down the knitting and entered phase 2 of sanding the bathroom floorboards. Did a couple of hours Friday and got half the room done. Just the other half to go, then. Full of optimism that it SHALL be finished Fairly Soon, I shelled out some quids for a tin of yacht varnish. Very good for one's triceps, this floor-sanding malarkey...

And in the spirit of Winter Decorations, we are soon to become Proud Owners of a red reindeer. Not a Beryl Bainbridge-style taxidermy one, but a huge wooden advent calendar. T'is for the kids... It will go over the mantelpiece in the dining room. The mantelpiece that I have yet to source and install. There are high hopes that the planed piece of floor joist lurking in t'shed shall be fashioned into such.  Also, in the spirit of Planning Ahead In Effort To Avoid Haphazardry I have invested in some new red decorations. Some tin and wooden decs - but disappointingly, they turned out to be not scarlet as imagined, but sort of rustic-red-oxide. Think I will leave the Gisela Graham look alone in future...

We are also recovering from a visit from Trashsparkle's mother yesterday. Hence lurking lazily on here, writing, and admiring other people's creations and findings. Yesterday, mum did not get as enthused as me about the bathroom floor - she merely asked when I was getting the doors sorted, and tut-tutted as she passed the bombsite that the 11 year-old sleeps (and hides his clothes) in. As for the lovely knitting, well that just made her sneeze. Although she did atually love something - the pie'n'mash I made for lunch. A small victory...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Rainy Junk Hunting

We went on a long and rainy drive this morning - into another county in fact - in search of some tat to peruse. A total mystery journey of A roads, terrifying bends with big lorries coming the other way, until we finally discovered our destination; a big gothic industrial building ripe for a murder mystery. The scene of the indoor junk market. A pact was made - we had to buy SOMETHING because of the mad distance we'd travelled.

Inside, tables galore, laden with STUFF. And some cute dogs, which were not on sale. Promising... but actually most of it was craft bits. Little bits of decorated wood - A Home Is Just A House Without A Dog. That kind of thing. Not knocking the craft, but not exactly what we were hoping to find... Well, we tried. We went round the room, twice... fake security cameras, baby clothes, 3 fishing rods, dodgy dvds,  absolutely zilch.  But I found a few balls of glittery wool - for the Ongoing Leopardskin Handbag Project.

So, due to the lack of actual vintage bounty this morning I've spent the afternoon trying to wean myself off wanting to buy Something. That vague, dull yearning to acquire something - how shallow is that! I even considered going to B&Q. Shopaholics Anonymous, I am a paid-up member...

Other than Extremely Interesting Trips to bad junk markets, I have mostly been knitting. A lot. There is sooo much diy/fixing up to do in this house, but I am wimping out of all of it, and knitting instead. Its clean, its fast, and it gives results. Which polyfilla-ing and floorboard-sanding, as done by moi, plainly does not. So one handbag made, and leopardskin lining to be made, when I get a sewing vibe on, at some point before last posting day arrives. And halfway through a second one! Already! Amazing...

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Strictly Snogs and Snoozing

ooh, yum - kids still asleep, one hour and 9 minutes of me-time so far this morning! am sooo evil, making them stay up til 11.30 watching The Million Pound Drop.... obviously, it was me who was nodding off towards the end, and bossing them upstairs the SECOND it finished. The lack of noise around the house so far, although lovely, has made me very lazy - lots of tea and chunky buttered toast, still in pjs, and not much likely to get done today.

The Strictly use of lesser-known tracks has resulted in me dragging out Murder Ballads to show the 11 year old Kylie's cool side. He was a little horrified by the album title, but I think the exposure to the tracks thereon was worth the risk. What is with everyone doing snogs on Bruno last night? Gavin is well and truly past being shy, that's for sure...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Trashsparkle's Homemade Home

Well, just to prove I don't spend my WHOLE life shopping, watching tv or snoozing, here are some photos of what happens when I make stuff...

Made a chandelier (ha ha) from Poundland jewellery and plastic shot glasses


And some knitting for the ice age. Lighting is totally pants, so will do better next time. In fact, I will get my tailor's dummy back from the boyfriend's office

And by the way, soooo surprised by Kirstie last night - fancy her not knowing that Boots used to frame paintings in the 60s. Has the girl never found a Tretchikoff-era piece at one of these antique markets she's always telling us to go to?

Shiny Things and Stuffy Head

Head exploding this morning - from the ongoing head-cold, and now from the 3 year-old amateur Linford Christie next door, who has enormous levels of zest and Needs To Be Taken To The Park to release them. Now please, neighbours. Thank you.

Knowing that I should be rummaging in my kitchen for some sensible head de-clogging remedies, I am doing nothing of the sort, and getting my Need To Sit Down And Veg And Look At Pretty Things Which Do Not Demand Any Concentration Span fix by checking out my favourite Australian blog, Brilliant girl for colour, glamour, painting things constantly, having a fab garden (and nails!) and for giving us lots of film reviews. FF, and Claudia too - now on Film 2010, I admire you both for fitting so many films into your lives and not falling asleep. Which is why I am not a film critic...

There will, later today, be some Going Out, but owing to still being a tad fragile this will be a necessity not a retail extravaganza - I need to post a present to my lovely dad, but think the post office will be quite ambitious enough a destination today. Will get trinket-perusal fix instead by looking at some more lovely, shiny websites later.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Oh Lordy, Leopardskin. Again

This rainy morning I am fondly remembering my old leopardskin coat, that once upon a time I used to swish round London in... All before accidentally coming to live in a town where to wear something as "show-offy" put one in the ranks of the Widow Twanky Who Sits Outside Poundland Being Sharon Stone, and the lively old bat who wears her leopardskin in vinyl, with jauntily matching cap, in such a way as to remind one of Mollie Sugden as Nerys Hughes' mum. So it came that reluctantly, the acrylic jungle-fur had to be rehomed... And now leopardskin is EVERYWHERE again. Gutting... though I am planning on a range of handbags crafted out of some leopardskin velvet... far more delectable than swishing around like Widow Twanky Of The Dubious Underwear.

Aside from that, I feel a magnetic draw toward the shiny scissors of the hairdressers - something not unlike the sleek choppy look Brix Smith wore when she flew to the Outer Hebrides in search of real, uber-expensive tweed on Gok yesterday. Actually, it may not even have been yesterday - it could have been on cable, in which case when it was is anybody's guess. Can you tell I have a cold? Time-travelling telly - absolutely excellent for the state of confusion induced by one's sinuses.

Sort of inevitable that Jimi and Flavia will be on Claudia tonight - will Jimi be able to speak? He was rendered speechless with the emotion of getting voted out (or rather, not voted for enough to keep him in) last night. Proper choked, he was. How can it be that, after Peter Shilton and Paul Daniels went, the ones who can actually move are getting chucked off?  Even Gavin seems to have finally mastered the art of linking up all those stilted man-at-C&A-poses into Actual Dancing, so he could be in dangerous vote-off territory. Meanwhile, Ann (channelling the Queen Mother this week) rehashes her trademark moves - a cross between an afternoon at the Chelsea Flower Show and slow-motion moshpit action.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Pasta Telegram and Other Dreadful Side Effects of Chocolate

Have been 'festing up the house a bit this week in honour of the non-stop combo of sparkliness and fizz that is Diwali and Fireworks. The sparkly corner I showed in the last post is, finally, now bedecked by a string of multi-coloured lights. Damned gorgeous, although I say so myself.

Have been snaffling up bits and pieces to hide away for presents for the Winter Festival aka Christmas. Not usually this sensible, but it seems wrong to give people things that you've bought in a tearing hurry, at the last minute, getting all hot and grumpy in a shopping mall, boiling over to the point of resentment. Have now decided that if I see something that is "right" I will buy it, there and then. Which gives me carte blanche to go into shops A LOT. Which can be dangerous, but so far I have found 5 Very Suitable Things, and today managed to be Very Sensible in TK Maxx - ok, what's a little Charlie'n'Lola calendar here and there? T'was only £3.99, and it's for the house, not me..... and it will make me happy every day throughout next year. Bargain. And I am secretly 47-going-on-4 years of age...

Last night I rediscovered how utterly weird your dreams get when you eat chocolate in the evening. There I was, in the post office, asking for a bowl of pasta, telling them off for putting brussels sprouts on it, and trying to send it to someone in order to sort out what I was doing at the weekend. Bloody Yorkie bars - I swear they've put something in them.

Am thinking that the post-Halloween versions of Strictly are going to be a bit, well, just not vampy enough. I really think Matt the macho farmer should adopt the guyliner fulltime, and not just for showbiz. He just looked a bit too well-scrubbed without it on Claudia the other night. Come on BBC makeup ladies - the nation needs YOU. But it does not need Alice Cooper to be hidden away, obscured by cavorting Professional Dancers. What is the point of that???

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Sparkly Treasures

A little sparkly corner in my house

I love "pattern" from this era
And the shelf was free - a box dumped after a car boot...

My new chair!