I haven’t posted for ages again. there is a rather good reason for this, which I shall come too later. but what I intended to post about, before evil black growing things got in the way…..

Nearly a month ago now (14th-17th of March) I went with my Mum and one of her friends to the Knitting and Stitching show at Olympia…

The only picture I took…

knitting and stitching show

Just as we came in, as you can see it was massive. Also it was Really Not My Kind Of Thing!

I had a nice time, and Mums friend who does patchwork had a very good time,and I think if you did cross stitch or decoupage or knitting (though tbh, given the knitting bit in the title of the show I thought they were under represented) it was the thing for you. The dressmaking offering consisted of a couple stall selling all the kind of tat you’d get on Goldehawke Road or a Market Stall in the Rag Market in Birmingham, and one large stall selling Liberty fabric reasonably cheaply and Alexander Henry at a far higher price than I could get it from etsy and a load of other stuff that was mostly overpriced. There was nowhere selling haberdashery stuff (which was a pain as I have a reasonable list of stuff I haven’t been able to get in Lewisham) or patterns, I managed to pick up a french curve from a stall selling quilting equipment but that was pretty much it.

Oh I also picked up a load of silk flowers from Miss Rose and Sister Violet  who the internet tells me is an Australian brand, but for some reason had a stall at the show selling flowers for considerably cheaper than they seem to be priced on their website! Which will be ideal for hatmaking when I finally get into central London as I’ve run out of combs again.

However….there was a stall there selling sewing machines, and Mum bought me an overlocker for my birthday!!! It is a Huskylock S15, so not a super expensive one, but it will do the trick nicely. I will be able to get a much more professional finish on the clothes I make.

So excited! 🙂

It arrived about 2 weeks later and is currently sitting boxed up in our living room as events unfolded that have stopped me getting on with anything for the last few weeks…..

Firstly a sunny day arrived, roughly about the time I offered to have my parents stay overnight and I realised that with Jon and I having been ill so much over winter the state of the flat had got somewhat bohemian. So a week of hardcore cleaning occurred, which would all have been fine, except in the process I pulled a chest of drawers out from next to our bed and realised there was a bit of mould there, and then realised that if there was some there behind the bookshelves would be crawling with it.

We are not habitually filthy btw, our flat was built in the 60’s or 70’s by someone who thought it was a good idea to use only a single course of bricks but an extra dense one, probably thinking that the special new bricks would keep the place warm without needing the expense of a cavity wall. Unfortunately  it does no such thing but the combination of  no insulation the specially dense bricks and the fact someone a few years ago put upvc windows in, means no moisture can ever get out. So we have a damp problem. We have sorted it mainly by buying a dehumidifier and painting the walls of the living room with bathroom paint which is mould resistant and stuff. We were intending the bedroom repaint to be our job for next summer.

There is thankfully no ‘before’ picture of the corner of our bedroom where the bookcases were, but there were 3 of them, two Ikea,one wooden, double stacked with piled up books, in our previous flat we had a small study and had room for 4 bookcases so when we moved here we’d had to condense it down. We sort of organised it when we moved in, but hadn’t really touched it since as it was too much trouble.

We quickly came to the realisation that the solution to this was that a good 3/4 of the books had to go, luckily they have been rehomed in my parents attic, so it wasn’t super traumatic…I don’t think I’d have managed it if we were never going to see them again. And in the  process quite a lot of other stuff too.

We moved here three years ago, although we were incredibly grateful to have found a place we could actually afford in London as Jon could no longer manage the commute from Hitchin, at the time we only really saw living here as a temporary fix, but the recession, family circumstances and skyrocketing house prices in this part of London now make us think we’ll probably be here for a good few years yet. Which is not really something we had adapted for in the way we live in the place.

Getting rid of books (Especially when you know you’ll get them back in the end) is actually easier than I’d though. Its amazing how your tastes change as time progresses, we had duplicates of most of the Harry Potters as we were both really into them when we met, but now neither of us can envisage reading them again for the next 5 years or so.. so they went!

I went mainly for stuff I hadn’t read but was intending to, Jon for certain key books that mean a lot to him, and a load of Fantasy series that are half way through being written, so we’ll want the first few again every time a new one comes out.

We got it down to 3/4 of a bookshelf in the end, which leaves loads of room for additions, though we do hope to get a bit better at using a kindle instead.

Of course getting rid of stuff has meant we now intend to rearrange the flat entirely, which is going to take over our time for the next few weeks. We’ve got rid of the mould though…

In pictures…..


with the wallpaper on, and what was growing behind

IMG_1409 mould 1

once the wall had been stripped and now we’ve put the lining paper up.

Obviously it was completely gross, luckily we think it had only been there a few weeks with the really damp weather.

We are really proud of ourselves for our lining paper attempt. Theres a tiny crack where its not perfect, but that won’t show when the paint is on. Its the first time we’ve attempted anything like this though, and we had only the vaguest idea what we were doing, so its come out mercifully alright!

We’re not intending to paint it for a couple of weeks and have to order some stuff online before we can get on with rearranging everything, so I have had a quiet week to get back on with my life again 🙂

So this week I am sewing together a dress I had cut out before the overlocker arrived, as soon as this is finished I intend to go completely nuts on jersey for a while, I think I’m showing complete self restraint, but actually while we are redoing the flat its better new expensive machinery stays in its box for a bit. 🙂

It is really slippery fabric, I’m having to iron it all the time, if you have to undo stitches it marks like anything,I have no guarantee the things actually going to fit, but if it all works out I will be so happy with it. 🙂


unicorn bodice

3 thoughts on “MOULD!

  1. oooh, that looks nasty – hopefully it didn’t get into any of your books and fabrics?

    we lifted a corner of the laminate on my living room floor the other week, and found that yes, it does have york stone flags underneath – but unfortunately the flags are under a modern dampproof course, so they’re swimming with damp that can no longer get out, and it would be awfully expensive to lift them and put dampproof underneath – sigh!

    • No, we’ve been very lucky with that one, there wasn’t even any on the back of bookcases, I think we must have got to it flukely quickly. That’s a shame about your floor, at least you know there’s a proper damp proof course down there though!
      I thought of your blog at the stitching show actually, there was a guy selling metallic threads for gold work and someone selling some beautiful hand dyed embroidery silks.

  2. at least the books are ok. My little hosue is just full of surprises – we’re fairly certain it has minimal foundations, too, as it was built long before building regs, but its stood for 200 years, so I doubt its going anywhere

    I generally get metal threads from toye and co, and buy direct, as I’ve found them quite pricey elsewhere

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