Thursday, February 4, 2016

Downton Worthy: girl chairs

This is what happens when you have to take your pics when it's cloudy/

I was on Pinterest the other day (Pinterest = the debbil) and I noticed a lot of 'going minimalist' and 'Konmari' pins, mainly because it's the first of the year, I guess, and I thought 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?' because going minimalist seems counterintuitive.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Downton Abbey and the Carsons (In which wedded bliss may not be all it should)

Oh. Em. Gee...y'all. The Carsons' cottage. I can hardly stand all its cuteness!

Unfortunately, the bloom is off the rose (or the rose-covered arbor, whichever) because Carson is criticizing Elsie's cooking.
I imagine he's been spoiled by Mrs. Patmore's delicious meals, but he better get with the program, or Elsie will cut him off at the knees. Or maybe that's me. Anyway, no one wants to hear their husband complain about dinner. You don't like it? Pick something up at the Harris Teeter on your way home, Jerkboy. Mrs. Hughes asks Mrs. Patmore for help cooking, because Mr. Carson wants a home-cooked meal. I told you that he would start treating her like a servant. Now to buy lottery tickets.

Tom and Mary will be dealing with racing cars and pigs. Mary is worried that Mr. Mason won't be able to physically perform the tasks of a pigman, but Andy (who has always wanted to farm) will be able to help him, when Carson allows.  Mr Mason tells Mrs. Patmore that it does him good to see a friendly woman bustling about the kitchen. I predicted last year that Mr. Mason and Mrs. Patmore would fall in love. I think we may be headed that direction, peeps. And now excuse me while I go buy MORE lottery tickets.

(I will admit that I was a little unsure as to whether I would like the new components of the Pigman's place, but I see that Mr. Mason has copper pots, and in the grand scheme of things, that's all one really needs.
And maybe ironstone.)

Daisy looks uncomfortably horrified by the Mrs. Patmore/Mr. Mason stuff. Suck it up, Buttercup. Old people need love, too. Now go have sex with Andy.

Tom uses all this time with Mary to try to get her to understand that she needs to quit being such a bee-otch and just KISS CAR MAN ALREADY! He tells her that the world is changing and so what if your husband is poor? You have enough for both of you, so get over yourself. Sheesh.

Edith's new boyfriend, Bertie from the shooting day (whom she insists is just a friend, but who do you think you're kidding, Edith? You are an old maid of twenty-something with an illegitimate child and a cranky sister and you know you need that escape hatch) tells her about his friend and employer, Lord Hexam, who spends most of his time in North Africa, painting the young men of Tangiers. He's more artsy than sporty, and Bertie wants to know if he can fix him up with Thomas  Bertie likes him...but not LIKES him, likes him. Anyway, there isn't a mean bone in his body.

I just love, love, love Edith's apartment, don't you?

Denker isn't crazy about the fact that the doctor has decided to take sides with Cora in the whole Obamacare  Health Care debate. So she gets a little snotty with him IN THE OPEN STREET!! Is she not old enough to know you don't do that stuff ON THE STREET?? What the heck is she thinking? So of course Denker is fired. But then! Remember when Denker covered for Spratt while he hid his nephew, who was on the lam? Well, we knew Denker would use that to blackmail him at some Denker is still employed. For now.

In other servant-related news...Thomas, in a kind-hearted moment, offers to teach Andy to read. This means Andy and Thomas are behind closed doors frequently, as Andy doesn't want anyone else to know he is illiterate. You can imagine how this looks to they should be calling Lord Hexam for a threesome. Thomas also says he must be getting soft in his old age...hmmmmm...

So...Neville Chamberlain is going to visit Downton! He is currently the Minister of Health, but he will soon become Prime Minister. When the dowager asks him if he doesn't enjoy a good fight, he says' "I'm not sure I do, really."
Just wait 'til the Germans show up, Neville.

In the end, the dinner party is broken up by Robert foaming at the mouth  bleeding from a burst ulcer. This obviously leads Mary to believe that Marigold is Edith's daughter, which is a logical conclusion to which to jump. (That sounds awkward but is nevertheless grammatically correct.)

Is anyone else tempted to run around their yard, yelling "Bad Harvest!" or is it just me? I think I'll try it out, just for fun.

Until next time, peeps!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Downton Worthy: Danni's Bell for Bates

*This is a post from a few years ago, when I was still Kirb Appeal. Danni graciously did it for me while I was busy with real-life stuff. As I am busy with real life stuff again, I'm sure she wouldn't mind if I re-post. She is one creative chick, that Danni!*

Hello Kirb Appeal fans! Danni here from Silo Hill Farm guest posting for Kirby and just a little nervous about it.  My blog is mostly a craft blog and Kirby is not a crafter.  She keeps threatening to do a craft, but so far, since I've been following her, I'm not seeing a whole lot of crafting.  She does awesome stuff....great furniture makeovers, decorating, writing (such fabulous writing) and of course some very cool videos.  I do none of those things, so when Kirby was asking for guest posters and I volunteered, I hadn't really thought about what I would do for a project. 
I'm also kind of freakin out because she's a teacher and I probably have dangling participles, run on sentences and gross misuse of semi colons.  Having said all of that, I figured I could do a project about something near and dear to Kirby's heart, Downton Abbey and maybe she would forgive the grammatical errors.
I made a little bell.  You know the servant's bells at the beginning of the show?  Well, I decided to make one.
It was really pretty easy and I spent zero dollars on it.  Here's the skinny...
I used a piece of pallet wood, a wooden spool, a wooden circle thingy (total technical craft term), a couple of buttons, some plumbers tape and a seriously ugly plastic shiny bell from a Christmas decoration.  Oh and some electrical tape that didn't make it to the first photo shoot on time.
I painted the pallet board one coat of grey. I painted the little thread spool black and the flat round one grey.
I screwed the two wooden pieces on to the pallet board, then glued a couple of buttons together and fastened them to the spool to hide the screw head and cute it all up a little.
I couldn't figure out how to make that coil.  It baffled me for a little while and then it occured to me that plumbers tape was probably flexible enough to coil, yet firm enough to hold a shape.
I didn't love the silver color that plumbers tape comes in, so I covered both sides with electrical tape, which also hid those weird holes.  I wrapped it around a craft paint bottle to get the coil shape, bent the end so that it pointed down, then fastened it to the spool with some glue dots.

The bell was too shiny for my taste, so I painted some antiquing gel on it and then wiped most of it back off to make it a little less soI attached the bell to the bent portion of the coil.
I made a little label on it just like the ones on Downton Abbey, except this one says Kirby's Bar.
The next time Kirby wants a drink, all she has to do is ring the bell and hope that Mr. Carson shows up with something wonderful on a silver tray.  
Maybe he'll bring her something totally British, like Pimm's on the rocks.
Pimm's is a gin based liquor.  The recipe is a major British secret and only 6 people know exactly how it is made.  Just that fact alone makes you want to try some right?
Or, perhaps Mr. Carson will recommend one of these British treasures...
Maybe a pint of Boddingtons, in a beautiful crystal glass.

 Possibly he'll recommend she have a glass of this....
 ......oh, that's probably meant for Violet. 

Thank you Kirby for letting me guest post here today and for trusting me not to make something out of popsicle sticks.  Thank you as well for the many morning laughs your blog provides me with!  It's been a pleasure to be here today.    

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Downton Abbey: Episode 4 (the one in which everyone but Cher is making a comeback)

While Carson and Elsie are away in Scarborough for their honeymoon (harvesting parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, no doubt), Thomas is the butler. And don't you forget it, sillies! So when Mrs. Patmore says the po-po are coming to talk to Miss Baxter, Thomas says something to the effect of "Hey! You can't just invite the po-po in here! I'm the butler!" And Mrs. Patmore laughs while I want to yank those two ironstone/creamware pitchers out of her hands and run away, cackling like a maniac. But not Molesley...he wants to be present when Miss Baxter is being interrogated. Seems like the guy she went to jail for is having other girls go to jail for him, too, which is not cool. In fact, some of them are prostitutes now. (Not having any fast-food establishments for fallen women to work at in the 1920s.) Moseley and the po-po want Miss Baxter to attend the hearing and be a witness against him, if necessary. Molesley even quotes Edmund Burke.

Lady Who-Was-The-Mean-One-In-Sense-And-Sensibility is visiting to help the Dowager in her quest for hospital domination. Lady Rosamund will be cheering for the other side. I guess that having all these folks return for the last season is a nice gesture, but sometimes I wonder. Anyhoo, Henry Tolbert is the nephew of the Sense and Sensibility chick, so I guess we need to have a reason to bring him back into the story. Mainly because he races cars and Matthew died in a car and oh, the irony. The Dowager wants to know if she is here to help or irritate.

Mrs. Patmore: You couldn't be harder on those potatoes if you wanted them to confess to spying. And then she calls Daisy Madame Defarge. I *heart* Mrs. Patmore.

Daisy has her knickers in a twist because she thinks they should give the pigman's farm to Mr. Mason. After all, they are giving a cottage to the Carsons. 

Henry Tolbert admits that he races on a team. he Dale Earnhardt, Junior?

Smackdowns continue at the dinner table, only this time it isn't Miss Bunting, it's the old broads. I happen to find this terribly amusing.

Henry Tolbert gives Mary his card, suggesting that she call him next time he's in London. They can have lunch or a drink or something. Mm hmm...we all know where that ends up. It's the 'something' you have to look out for, as Mary should well know.

Gwen, a former housemaid, returns as the wife of someone Rosamund is meeting. Unfortunately, she shows up right in the middle of Thomas' existential crisis. Thomas' meanness is catching up with him--no one wants to be his friend and he 
is lonely. (Baxter hits the nail on the head when she tells him he's his own worst enemy.) So he takes it out on Gwen by announcing to everyone that she used to be a maid. And then people talk about opportunities for women and how awesome Sybil was to help Gwen find a job and Gwen visits her old peeps. We are one step away from holding hands and twirling.

Anna and Mary race up to London in the middle of the night to see if they can get a doctor to take some stitches to hold Anna's baby in place. Anna still doesn't give Bates the 4-1-1, but whatever. This storyline is almost as draggy as the murder one. I guess Anna and Bates are doomed to a life of storylines that will not die.

(This is the scene where I yell at the television, "I WANT THAT COUCH!!" It would look great at Brandywine.)

So Daisy and Mr. Mason get the Pigman's farm...and Andy says he wants to be a farmer, too. Hmmm.....(I'll admit, it's a sweet-a$$ farm.)

Carson and Mrs......Carson are back and there's a party in the basement. So Mrs. Hughes keeps her former name, not realizing she is seventy years ahead of the times. But Carson...he looks so sad as he peruses his former abode. Is he having second thoughts?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Downton Worthy: Anybody want some tea? Or something for a snow day?

I know that many of us have had weather, and lots of it. Today is a "snow day" for me, though how one can actually have a "snow day" without any of the white stuff is a mystery, indeed.  But it's supposed to snow later today, and I have purchased the prerequisite toilet paper, just in case.

Meanwhile, I am thinking about hot drinks. Because, you know.

My Grandma Flossie, who was from Scotland, drank tea every night after dinner. While I am more of a coffee drinker (who am I kidding? If I could get caffeine intravenously, I would. But it has to be hot and black, none of these wussie-girl frappucinos or what have you. That's a waste of good coffee that I could be drinking, people. Have some compassion!), I do occasionally like a nice cup of hot tea.

Here's the way my grandma taught me to make it:

1. Get the teapot out of the cabinet. This is the teapot I inherited--it's a Brown Betty by Sadler and Sons. You can read about it here.

Then, you put the kettle on, but you DO NOT BOIL the water. You just get it really hot.

Then, with a little of the hot water, you rinse out the teapot to get it warm. (Plus, if you're me, you get the bonus of getting the dust out, just in case that teapot has been sitting awhile because you prefer coffee.)

One of the reasons I drink mostly coffee is because loose tea tends to be expensive. But honestly? It is SO MUCH BETTER than tea bags. I am not even joking. I will buy little tiny packets of loose tea when I can find them. I put them into my tea strainer (mine is a spring-loaded one, which I like because the catch can't come loose) and then pour the hot water over it. Then I put the strainer in the pot for just a few moments. I put the lid on the Betty, and pour myself some tea. (I take mine black, like (If Airplane is your favorite movie, you'll get the joke. If you've never seen Airplane, your education has been sadly neglected.)

I will not lie to you, however, so I will disclose that I normally use a tea bag. I prefer Red Rose, but it's hard to find in North Carolina, where they drink their tea cold with approximately 38 pounds of sugar in it.

Now, if you're snowed in (like I'm supposed to be tomorrow), you may want something to help you get through the first season of Making a Murderer (for which there are no words, peeps, except perhaps 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot') or, in my case, deal with a cat who wants to 'help' me on the computer.

This includes the hot cocoa of your choice, and

a little Irish. I like Bailey's, but there are other good brands out there.

I warm the Bailey's (which I keep refrigerated after opening) in my mug in the microwave for just a moment, then stick it under the Keurig and fill it up! It'll warm the cockles of your heart, friends.)

(I just said 'cockles.')

There's another hot drink we like, which is hot apple cider (also for the Keurig) and Fireball whiskey, but I'm out and need to pick some up at the liquor store.

I guess I'd better get there before I get snowed in.