Cupboard Under the Stairs

Don’t worry, we don’t have plans for a new room for Natalie a la Harry Potter.

Rather, this is dealing with our basement.

image(3)This is what it looks like on a good day. Sean just cleaned yesterday.

image_1(3)Like any typical American, our basement holds a lot of stuff. But what I’m focusing on right now is all of our SCA garb and gear. Currently, it’s hanging on this rack (which has collapsed on us before)…

image_4(2)…and in these bins. Which means I have to dig any time we go to an event. Ignore the laundry basket on top, please.

image_2(3)My solution? The crawl space under the stairs. It currently holds all of the paint in our home, which we haven’t touched in years. Our water shut off is under there, so we can’t completely block it, but here’s the plan:

image_3(2)

  • clean out and safely dispose of all the paint
  • cover up the insulation on the right hand wall (see the pink fluffy? yeah, that)
  • put up a closet rod by the front of the opening
  • sort through the bins and store them in the back
  • pick up a plastic drawer set to store our socks and other accessories
  • hang all long clothing to cover the space

understairsbeforeOur home is meh on storage space, so this is the start of my efforts to think outside of the box in order to make what we do have work for us.

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How We Shop for Fabric

Yesterday, a lazy Sunday turned into a crafty and productive Sunday, all because of a request from Sean.

“You want to go to Joann Fabrics and get stuff to make a cloak?”

A wife would typically be surprised if their engineer husband uttered these words. Most men I know would run screaming at the thought of a couple hours perusing materials, thread, buttons and trim. But not me.

Since joining the SCA, Sean has expanded his love of stabbing people with a pointy sword to shooting pointy arrows at targets and making garb using the pointy needle of our sewing machine. And who am I to discourage this? He enjoys making his own garb, means I can focus on making my own garb. Double win!

It also makes fabric shopping trips interesting.

The item in mind for yesterday’s shopping trip was a fencing cloak. It is used primarily as a soft parrying device and to distract your opponent. Waving and swirling it can accomplish everything from obstructing their vision, catching their blade to garnering comment from the opposition. In fencing, witty repartee is valued.

Soft parry is the final qualification Sean needs in fencing, and the big championship for fencing is in a mere 2 weeks. Hopefully he’ll walk into Kings and Queens bearing a fully qualified authorization card. His skill level in some categories is significantly weaker than in others, but he can fight with them if need be.

After Googling brought back little help in advice for constructing this cloak, we were basically winging it as we wandered through the aisles. We decided that while we were at it, we should make him a new doublet for the championship.

Looking good is also important in fencing.

We found a lovely navy blue upholstery fabric with a silver diamond pattern on it for his doublet. I looked at him and said black would look fantastic against this. So we went in search of black upholstery fabric – no luck. Courderoy? Maybe. Then I saw black velour. I handed it to him so he could perform his test. The test he had been doing all over the store with every contending fabric.

My husband waved it about like a bull fighter.

Flipping, furling, snapping…all with this intense look of concentration on his face. Then, he smiled.

“I like this.”

So 8pm found me laying a newly constructed velour and cotton cloak over his shoulder. It’s not fancy or trimmed yet, but it’s functional, and he’ll be able to test it out at tonight’s practice. And when he competes at Kings and Queens, I’ll have a little surge of pride at seeing him wear and use it.

Pictures will follow, I promise.

Where did October Go?

So I’ve closed the book on Prescription for Murder and have jumped directly into Christmas Carol. As close to literally as possible without physically jumping.  I drove like a madwoman after the last show to my first rehearsal.

I missed being on stage.

For the first time, I’m working in a show with kids…and there are a LOT of kids. I leaned over to my dear friend ‘Mrs. Cratchit’ and whispered “We’re outnumbered”. But while I was prepared to loathe a swarm of screaming brats (as a couple of other friends had made it seem), these kids are great. They are well behaved, eager, and wicked cute. I am smitten with our Tiny Tims, who are more like Tiny Tinas, or Tabithas, or…well, you get the idea, they’re girls. Both are teeny little things that elicit an ‘awww’ from all watching after saying their lines. I want to stick them in my pocket. Freaking adorable.

In other literary news, I’m tackling NaNoWriMo again next month. Yes, I’m insane, and will be yelled at once my mother finds out I’m putting something else on my plate, but there are a couple of plot bunnies hopping around my brain that are dying for some attention. I’m hoping to trap one of them and fatten it up. I do love to write, and I have some long plane rides in the near future.

And lastly, Duello is fast approaching. I went over and helped Rozi make little chess pieces on Monday. I have a blister to show for our hard work. I’m excited to be deputy since I’m not a fencer and I can’t even tell the chess pieces apart (although after cutting them all out, I’ve almost got it down). Perhaps I should just give in and let Sean teach me the game.

Ok, super lastly, San Francisco in less than 2 weeks 🙂