I think I’m committed. I’m committed to doing something with the bedroom – or perhaps I should be committed. Whatever, I have begun to move stuff out of the room. Oh, the stuff – the stuff! I have no idea how I’m going to move that huge bed. Not only is it enormous and heavy in its own right, but the mattress is full of water. Not one big bladder, thank goodness, but several skinny tubes full of water. I think I can move them separately – I sure hope so, because it’s getting cold again and there is no way I’m going to empty and refill them. I don’t think.

Right now I’m washing the walls, which I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t done since we moved in. I am blessed/cursed with one grandmother’s high standards of cleanliness – and the other grandmother’s lack of initiative to maintain those standards.

The other night I marbled some paper for the first time. Mixed results, but lots of only-somewhat-messy fun! First I mixed a tray full of gelatin, which is supposed to allow the (oil) paint to float and also provide sizing. I later discovered I could have used way less gelatin.

Then I mixed the oils fairly thin with [some kind of paint thinner I found] what was supposed to be either turps or paraffin but wasn’t, and drizzled them into the pan. Here’s a picture of them floating on the size:

Then I laid a sheet of paper on top very briefly, (hold opposite corners), which I haven’t got a picture of because I was doing it at the time, but I’m sure you can figure it out), and put it on newspaper to dry. I did two “runs” per oil-paint-drizzle-session, the second one was very faint and subtle, which wouldn’t be too much use if you were looking for end papers or something, but since I was trying to generate stationary I actually liked them better.

On the first sheet I tried to get all fancy and block out a portion in the centre so it would only have a marbled border. This would have looked really nifty, if I had had/used spray adhesive or something to make the stencil, instead of taping an ad for a phone company there and hoping it would work. It didn’t.

So on the rest I just dipped the whole page. Here are the first and second of one run drying

In other news, I finally made a drop spindle. It is totally thrown together out of a leftover end of dowel from the masks and a chunk of softwood I had lying around for some reason – I think that last broke off an old long-gone dresser. I’m sure I could do better, but I’ll need more practice before I can determine how much its general half-assedness is contributing to the fact that my spinning sucks eggs. I’m going to tentatively suggest: Not much. Practice needed, fer sure! I “get” it now though, which is more than I can say for the first time I tried spinning, lo these I’m-not-going-to-think-about-how-many years ago. So there’s that much hope, at least!

More on that subject later, for now I’m just going to give you some setup. About a year ago, my in-laws travelled to Wales to visit family. They asked us what they could bring back for us as a souvenir. Both my husband and I said that we didn’t want anything ‘touristy’ or cheesy pseudo-historical, we wanted something real, something that was actually from Wales. Who needs another fridge magnet? Never the kind to back down from a challenge, they duly brought back our gifts: To my husband, they gave a rock. He was very happy, and is keeping it safely somewhere until he can think of something to carve out of it.

For me, they brought back wool. About an ounce or so of right-off-the-sheep wool, which my father-in-law found stuck on a thistle in a field. It was best present I’d received since my high school graduation, when a fellow I knew from work gave me a brick, with my name written on it in Sharpie marker. My name was spelled wrong; I still have the brick. That was a great gift.

Here is the clump of wool, thistley-bits and all:

Next episode: follow the progress of the clump of wool, as I attempt to make something I am not embarrassed to show my in-laws!

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