Saturday, 19 November 2011

Steam Punk

In case you haven't read it several times in this blog, one of the things I really enjoy is dressing up.
I was going to a Steam Punk Party, and my dear friend found this wedding dress for me. The bodice was red velvet but the skirt was cream silk.
I managed to dye the silk and it came out a lovely red, but it took quite a few boxes of dye!

I added the lace overskirt, which had a bustle on the back, and the jacket was already mine and has seen a number of different lives!

It was an absolute dream to wear, especially with my red rock boots!

I bought the top hat from a fancy dress shop and it was completely plain. Having researched a little about Steam Punk I was wondering how to create some of the cogs and wheels of the gadetry that goes with the Victoriana, then I happened across an old spyrograph box, the wheels were perfect, once I had sprayed them silver.

A good hour or so with my trusty glue gun and a box of metal beads, and I had created a few items for the hat and a brooch. The feathers were a lovely touch and I had some silver ribbon in my stash. (I love it when you find just the right thing in your stash, its like all the hoarding is finally justified!)

I had an old watch that wasn't working and a broken necklace, it all looked great on the dress and was fantastic fun to make.

My daughter is very into steam punk and since she is getting married next July has decided to have a steam punk wedding!

I will have to think some more about what I am going to wear, dressing up is such fun!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A simpler life

After a year of living with friends, it was so wonderfully finally to move into my own little home, I was so excited to have my own kitchen again. It really did surprise me what a simple pleasure it is to cut with my favourite knife, or to have my own cake tins, or saucepans. I had never really given any of those things much thought before, but having spent a year struggling with blunt knives, saucepans that only seemed to burn food and a cooker where I continually switched on the wrong ring it was a true delight to be cooking with gas! 

I realised that I was downsizing, the small two bed flat was a quarter of the size of the four bed detached house I had left behind, but I optimistically, thought that I would only bring the contents of my studio, bedroom and a couple of items of furniture. I say optimistically, because even though I had left more things than I was bringing, the flat was full to bursting in no time. 

I was lucky, to be living on the top floor, and was delighted to discover a large loft space that covered the entire area of the flat, so I organised a lot of my storage in the loft giving me enough room to move. The great advantage is that the cleaning is so simple, no stairs to hoover, no huge rooms to clean, everything in its place and there is no-one to move things or make a mess. 

It was the first time I have lived alone since I was 18 and engaged to be married, after 23 years of having children around, it did seem to be very luxurious to be able to think of just my needs. The time and space has been wonderful, and I found far from being lonely, I enjoyed living on my own. 

Every time I opened a box, it was a joy of re-discovering all the pretty things I had collected over the years, some of which had remained packed away during simply because they did not fit. China is a passion of mine, and it was thrill to be able to sit down with a tea pot and drink from the bone china. 

West Sussex is a lovely area; I love walking on the beach everyday, there is something fantastic about sea air being only five minutes from the beach it feels so refreshing. The sun shines more here, as it tops the sunshine tables often. I miss walking in the woods, but I am sure in time I will find a nice place to stroll. 

I think that sometimes life does throw us an opportunity now and then, a couple of years ago, I was living in a large house, with a big studio and doing a very demanding job, now I feel so grateful for my little flat, working on my own and being content, life really is simpler and better. 

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