Friday, 20 July 2018

Victory Cookbook

Like most of my local charity shops, my nearest Oxfam bookshop no longer seems to get in the volume of vintage books that it used to. However, it does sometimes get interesting books about history, and this cookbook caught my eye the other day. I own a copy of Constance Spry's Come Into The Garden, Cook, which was written during the Second World War, but this one was written by Marguerite Patten, a Home Economist for the Ministry of Food during the war, from a modern perspective, and I was hoping for a more... shall we say palatable selection of recipes.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Take note

Several notebooks with writing in
Do you have a weakness for notebooks? I admit, I do. A notebook full of family history notes. A holiday journal. One with the menus we’ve served when we have people round for a fancy meal, so we know what worked, what didn’t, and don’t risk serving the same people the same food every time they visit (that one hasn’t been used in ages; we’re so reclusive). A notebook for the book I’ll never finish writing. When we first bought our house, I started one for planning the garden. It’s been hardly touched since, but I’ve rediscovered some of the joy of gardening of late, and have picked it up once again to record what grew well this year, and what would be worth trying next year. I’ve recently started one to keep track of my sewing progress, complete with fabric swatches. Let’s hope it goes better than the gardening progress, eh?

Monday, 9 July 2018

Lessons from the moths

Vintage dresses in a wardrobe
It was too hot to go out much over the weekend, but that was okay because I found one of my moth traps had caught loads of the blighters last week, so I spent Saturday committing insecticide. I went through everything – not just my wardrobe and jumper cupboard, but the places I've stashed clothes I've outgrown but can't bear to get rid of, and the boxes of yarn I keep in the bedroom. I eventually found the little gits in part of my yarn store, and it was the place where I keep ball-ends from completed projects, so all in all it could have been much, much worse. Because I caught them early, most of it was salvageable.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Ready for the weekend


A tabby cat on a fence
Ziggy
Who's ready for a good hot weekend? I definitely am! The cats probably aren't, though at least their fur is very short. I feel quite sorry for them in winter, with their long, skinny limbs and short fur (we suspect there's Siamese or similar in their ancestry) but it probably means they're a little cooler in this weather. Even so, Ziggy picked up an infection so he's currently on antibiotics. Poor boy.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Shopping is no substitute for doing

'Shopping is no substitute for doing' is something I really need to bear in mind, as I've found myself slipping, as a novice sew-er, into a bad habit I had as a knitter: buying more things to make stuff without actually making stuff. That's why I have five plastic crates of knitting wool; I think Mr Robot will divorce me if I acquire the same amount of fabric. That said, I had to have this Liberty fabric. The pattern is called 'Rocket Dance' and I got it from Shaukat Fabrics. A few online stores have this pattern, but not many seem to have the darkest background.

YES IT'S A NAVY BACKGROUND SOMEONE STAGE AN INTERVENTION!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Rolling Stones in Cardiff

The Rolling Stones on Stage at Cardiff
Last Friday* Mr Robot and I went to see the Rolling Stones in Cardiff. I've seen a few classic bands in recent years – ones younger than the Stones – and in most cases the years have taken their toll, especially on the singers' voices. On top of that, I only really know the classic songs from the 1960s and 1970s, plus the occasional hit, so expected the gig to be mostly me thinking, "That sounds good, I wish I knew it."

It wasn't like that at all.

Friday, 8 June 2018

A Quant of Solace

So, the V&A's announced its next exhibition, and it's going to be devoted to the work of a designer who shaped British fashion in the 1960s, Mary Quant. She wasn't the first to make a mini skirt, but by crikey she made them popular. She was an early worker with PVC, too - her 'Wet' collection of 1963 used it.

On the subject of 'Wet', garment from that are among the items the museum is hoping people can lend it. They're looking for stuff like early Quant with Bazaar labels, 'Wet' items, and mid-60s styles with Peter Pan collars (not sure I'll forgive MQ for making that particular piece of tweeness acceptable for adults, to be honest – did Audrey Hepburn wear one? Did Diana Rigg? That should tell you all you need to know.) Anyway, those, home-made - sewn or knitted - garments from Quant patterns, and more are all on their We Want Quant list. If you can help them, I'm sure they'd be grateful.

The exhibition is opening in April 2019. I didn't manage to make it to the Ocean Liners one (idiot Mim!) but I am definitely going to get my arse into gear and go to see the Quant one.