Mary and the Toothbrushes

The lesson for this post dear reader is never let your Dad get an idea in his head so he can blurt it out at the worst possible moment.

I’m repairing a statue of the Virgin Mary thanks to Dad – I know nothing about statue repair but thanks to the interwebs I’ve got some general idea of how it should work. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone based in the UK doing this so I’ve had quite a fun morning trying to translate (for want of a better term) American brand things into their English equivalent. Fun Factoid for you all: American sheetrock is English plasterboard; you learn something new everyday.

First job is to clean the statue and hope I don’t do any more serious damage, I am a little concerned the plaster will be really too old and just start coming apart. My tools for this are toothbrushes (baby, soft & medium), baby buds (normal & mini size) and an eyeliner brush and some warm soapy water. I have only vague idea how useful these things will be but ever onwards!

(And no I’m not ashamed of the caption for that last picture – I should be)

I have now gone onward and fears about plaster where unfounded, though it did absorb the water. Most useful things are eyeliner brushes and baby buds, I was correct in the surmise that they could lift off the dirt better. Although the way I found to lift off the dirt most effectively from around the beads took off not only the dirt but also the layer of paint. Toothbrushes made no impression when I tried to scrub these strange grey patches that were on the robe. But she is now much cleaner and ready for the second stage. As this goes on it gets more and more daunting, because each stage of this process means I can muck it up all the more.

Second stage requires  lacquer to create a seal against the old plaster and the new, according to what I watched this is needed to stop the water being leached out of the new plaster and making a bad bond. The video I watched had used shellac – note here readers this is not stocked by Wickes. The small hardware shop about 4 streets away did however have French Polish (contains pure shellac!). I went with that and hoped for the best.

A word to the wise DO THIS OUTSIDE – its one of the more potent polishes and really builds, I felt very sick afterwards and I only used it for about twenty minutes in small dabs on a paintbrush. But now Mary looks like she’s just been to one of those fry-up vans you find at road sides and spilt her egg and bacon sarnie all down herself.

I still have to do the chief repairs on this now – biggest of which is hiding the fact that Mary broke around her feet and was inexpertly glued back together. There are hideous solidified oozing of old brown glue all around the base and she’s missing part of her foot. Oh and a very slight nose job she’s missing a fraction out of the eight side. That’s not a nerve racking thought at all.

au revoir

Elinor

P.S. Oh and this all has to be ready within a week! See never let dad’s get ideas, you’ll end up painting statues and worrying about the abrasive damage of toothbrushes!

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And in she fell like a drunken water-buffalo

 

Owie…no I’m not drunk (despite the title of this post it refers more to reappearance on the blog after long absence – it amused me) No I’m not drunk but I feel like the interwebs are slowly frying my brain. I struggle trying to juggle my now enlarged presence on the internet as well as being somewhat busy myself in the real world.

I have been painting, a rather large painting; my usual size of work is 6×4 inches or 5×7 inches, so naturally the next step should logically be to size up to 6×3 metres. I will point out not in watercolour it was poster paint. What was I painting at the size – not a massive meecum tea-party but a pantomime back drop for “Babes in the Wood”. It was quite fun if rather painful at times between realising on the test piece that I was working on that all the green was drying instead of a lovely mossy greenish-yellow was drying brilliant neon and splodging paint in a somewhat leaf like appearance on a canvas for 6 metres by 2 metres. My right arm hurt so much the next morning!

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The director then liked the test piece I did so much that they wanted another one to hang on the flats. That led to some interesting working conditions for me as the light had gone in the utility room. I am particularly proud of my sign it does look like I nicked it off the M5 – and I got one in there were supposed to be more in the trees referencing jokey places but the director thought it would “distract from the performance”. I refrained from pointing out to him that this was a pantomime not the RSC’s latest production of Othello. And of course I snuck a mouse in – only visible to the actors but they liked it.

The job hunting continues interspersed with me getting dropped into things e.g. painting pantomime scenery. My Dad has also managed to drop me in it as a statue restorer! This is an idea he had and thought that it would be fantastic thing for me to do and I’d be able to do it easily. So of course he mentioned it to our parish priest who then promptly handed him a statue of the Virgin Mary for me to repair! This was at Christmas time and she stayed on the breakfast bar to two days until I got too worried she would fall off so she’s now spent nearly 3 months down the side of the sofa swathed in bubble wrap. And now it turns out this is a gift to a doctor he knows and they want it roughly in the next two weeks. Cheers Dad! Thanks for that. I should probably go and unwrap Mary and start figuring out what I should do with her.

au revoir

Elinor

P.S. If you the miss the meece you can catch up with their antics over on Twitter or Facebook – they did a whole Nativity which kept me rather busy. 

P.P.S. I don’t know what’s wrong with the pictures but I’ll figure out how to fix it – when I took them they looked alright

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Gigour Mortis

The disallowed and the disaffected,
In a pub that smells of disinfectant,
Disappointment and disarray,
As the dishcloth dystopian cabaret,
Mount the stage and discharge,
A dearth of dismal dirges,
Dispelling any kindly urges of applause,
Or pause, for any thoughts on art,

Not so smart,
This dandy, Disney, death metal display,
A distinctly down number,
And a slow slow sway,
This is Friday,
And we’re in this encasement of a basement,
Listening to Dumbo the disquiet arrangement,
I’m not even a goth and I don’t drink beer,
A question, a thought,
Why am I here?
Shuffling in the downstairs of a blue strobe,
Dilapidated death trap,

We’ve nothing to say,
But when we do we shout,
The toilets don’t lock,
And when they do you can’t get out,
Don’t touch the doorman,
I think he’s got scabies,
Wade through bog water to get to the ladies,

I’m guessin’ it’s distressing,
Dishing out drinks in this dive,
In this honeyless hive,
Of worker fleas,
Of printed tees,
That don’t make sense,
But smell of cheese,

Leave your dignity at the door,
Down twelve Daniel’s,
And lie on the floor,
Who needs rugs,
With cliental décor?

The guy over there has met his maker,
Face still clinging to the flock skull paper,

The disaffected, the misdirected,
The common nightly binge collective,
Those disposed to excessive drinking,
Those devoid of critical thinking,
The disinfected, the disallowed,
So help me God,
This is my crowd.

Gwen

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Veg Patch Cake

This was my sister in law’s birthday cake, I’ve seen cakes like it floating around pinterest and it was a lot of fun to make one myself. The soil is dark brown sugar if you’re wondering.

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Find me (cake) on facebook

And Twitter

 

Gwen

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Feed the Soul

A small poem based on a random youtube comment I saw the other day. The comment appears on the last line.

Warm and soft beneath my fingers,
Now all is gone, now life is cinders,

Perhaps I’m only trying to hide,
That all of us are black inside,
But I’ve seen in you, I’ve melted there,
And all is bright, and true, and fair,

Your world was me and all I know,
I’m sorry that you had to go,
I’ll cry aloud, alone, without you,
RIP, my baked potato.

Gwen

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Appetite at Night

At night suppressing thoughts of hunger,

That supper was a time ago,

And dreaming of the fridge’s plunder,

Humming gently floors below.

Gwen

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Royal Iced Winterland

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Gwen

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Winter Bunnies Birthday Cake

A wintery gluten free birthday cake for my sister who is 11!

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Gwen

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Christmas Past. Lessons Learned. Notes To Self

christmas jar oh christmas jar1.Don’t wear a dress.
Christmas being a special day, it may seem like a good time to wear a special dress.

It’s not.

Be real, if there’s even a change you’ll be crawling on your belly under a six foot pine trying to reach your auntie’s lavender bath bombs, then unless you like flashing your loved ones and filling your tights with pine needles, you should just go for comfy jeans. Better still something soft, elastic, splash-proof and fire retardant and you’re all set.

2.Do some wrapping in advance.
I bloody love wrapping. Not a universal opinion I know, but for me I’d have a good wrapping session (wine, twinkly lights, Michael Buble) over an all expenses paid skiing holiday with (insert hot bloke here).
I thought I was being very cunning last year by saving up the wrapping for Christmas eve, for maximum eve fun. WRONG. Wrapping IS fun. But ALL the wrapping together in one night makes you want to die. Spread out, enjoy at leisure.

3.If you continually bite the sellotape to tear it apart, then all the skin off your lower lip will be wrapped up with the presents, and you’ll look like you’ve been punched in the face.

4.Don’t aim to cook more things than can fit in the oven. Yes, we all want a scrumptious spread for Christmas dinner, but you can achieve that without cooking every vegetable on God’s green earth.

It might not seem that way to your bucks fizz addled mind, but there IS a limit to the sheer volume of stuffing you family can ingest. Be generous by all means, but be real, we can’t all have agas the size of two bed flats, and the best Christmas ever will never be the one where you cried because you didn’t know where to put the parsnips.

5.Don’t turn the Christmas lights on at the plug while your brother is fixing them like that time you did a few years ago, and he was electrocuted.

6.Adding tinsel to your outfit in any form, will look cute, but will itch like scabies.

Love love, Merry Christmas and all that,
Gwen

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In Breif: Recent Reads

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This Comes a little late in the day I must confess, and the word ‘recent’ in the title must be taken in the loosest sense (I’ll admit that the thyme plant in the picture is now dead thanks to my not so green fingers.. Rest in peace Herbie). However I think I can dredge up some dim memories of these reads if I squeeze my eyes shut and really try.

I would recommend…

After the Armistice Ball- A decent who done it with an appealing leading lady and an appropriately tense ending. A good read, not too taxing.

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The Tenant of Wildfell Hall- A period romance with a mystery element, and I have to say I really got into this one. Considered shocking and ‘a complete mistake’ in its day due to content such as a wife leaving a husband (shock horror), times have changed, but it could still be called an intense ride I think.

Not so into…

The Whaleboat House: I read it all quite quickly, and it’s fine, but I don’t know, for me it was just fine and not much more really. Not very original I think and the author insists on detouring into every character’s extensive backstory even when not relevant or interesting.

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The Shadow of Death: This has been made into a TV show, and soz balls but it beats me why. Boring and repetitive in my eyes, and not very mysterious mysteries. I have a friend who holds the same opinion but I suppose some people must like it, so  let me know if you do.

Love love,Kiss Kiss and all that,

Gwen

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