Last Month Today | April 2020

This Geeky Tangent Last Month Today

A full month in lockdown, with no end in sight, but clearly very restless neighbours. I’m almost glad the rain has returned – people are back in their houses after apparently being a bit gung-ho about the whole thing over the last few days. Though, of course, to caveat this, I can only comment on the people I see outside my windows.

I’ve been outside four times in April – if that. Would I rather be outside? Absolutely. Am I going to risk it? Oh hell no! Lockdown Lethargy is real, but I prefer it to the possible alternative.

I cannot wait for the day I can comfortably go back into a supermarket rather than have to wait on the uncertainty of a delivery slot or veg box delivery. The rules in place are there for a reason, but there are clearly more people than anticipated who are in the limbo land between healthy and shielding for whom potential exposure would be a bad time.

Until those heady days of supermarket visits come to pass, however, I’ll just stay home!

1

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, the leader of the free world suggests injecting bleach.

Need I say more…?!

1

I read one page this month. One.

The Lockdown Lethargy has been bad for reading.

I just haven’t been able to find the will to read anything, broaden my watching or really do all that month in general. I have bursts of crafting energy and then just slip back into lethargy. But I made a decision this month to not beat myself up about the lack of reading. It is what it is, and I refuse to make myself feel bad about it.

I did re-arrange my bookshelf though… does that count?

3

First up, The Great British Sewing Bee is back! Woo! Filmed way back when times were COVID-19 free, it’s pure, unadulterated joy! Wednesday nights are now the best nights of the week.

Other than that, I’ve been comfort watching Tomb Raider gameplays. Honestly, the new trilogy is better than any film (yes, even the newest one… I don’t know why they changed the synopsis so much, the game is better!)

2

I know that we’ve watched films this last month, but I can’t for the life of me remember what or when…

The theme of lockdown!

I finally crumbled to the comfort viewing provided by Disney+, and we’ve watched a fair few Marvel films and Mulan (of course) and I’m pretty keen to get stuck into some more classic Disney soon!

11

I finally threw my iTunes ‘recently added’ on shuffle and had a great time. So much so, I decided it was time for a new Mixtape Monday outing – keep your eyes peeled!

Mostly Korean (the outlier being Jeremy Renner), there was a good mix of genres. APink’s ‘Dumduhrum’ is a fantastic dance tune, DPR Live’s newest offering is excellent throughout and Renner’s EP is nicely grungy and I love it.

I then dived back into the full iTunes library, and it’s just been nice to be listening to music – again, that Lockdown Lethargy has made a will to do anything less prevalent.

4

There has actually been some activity – I had a go at two patterns this month: the Kabuki Tee by Paper Theory Patterns and the Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company. I cut my size for both, made no adjustments – both to be wearable (hopefully) toiles.

The Kabuki tee was 50% successful due to an off the mark fabric choice. The sleeves, I absolutely love, and I’m keen to have another go in a more suitable fabric – I have a white floral georgette I’m dying to cut into.

The Wilder Gown was more of a success, and I’ve worn it several times since. I’m definitely going to make some modifications – mostly to do with the length. For this one, I’m going to hack a couple of inches off the bottom and re-hem. For the next one I make, I’m going to lengthen the first tier panels so they’re midi-length. I can see this pattern becoming a favourite in all sorts of variations.

I also added these awesome labels: the name tag inspired by an awesome instagram sewist (@kateevadesigns) and the isewlation labels – with all proceeds going to UK emergency services charities – by @modistasewing.

Next up on my sewing table will be an Indigo x Hannah hack (the former by Tilly and the Buttons and the latter from By Hand London), some face masks for me and the boy, and (hopefully) the second/third iterations of the DIY sheet masks. Watch this space!

Oh, and I resumed my ginger-haired journey this month. It feels good to be a red-head again!

I have been crafting up a storm this month, and I am so, so happy about it! The first of these projects is already up on the blog, with more to follow in the coming months!

First up, I posted all about my envelope templates and how I make my writing sets. This was a great craft to work on, and I decided to branch out and have a go at filming some videos. I’m pretty chuffed with the results!

To help my sewing, I decided it was time I finally made some pattern weights – blog post coming soon!

Pattern weights
Bookmarks

On top of that (and because I’ve been doing oh so much reading) an idea hit me and I just had to make some bookmarks… obviously. Blog post on them coming soon, too!

Amazingly, this section has made it’s way back into the blog this month. The Lockdown has cajoled me into finishing worksheets I began to work on and never finished.

Currently in the works I have a set of hangman printables, worksheets to go alongside the netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events, and everything you’d need for an ‘Around the World’ camp!

Watch this space!

6

Sadly, I don’t have a photo of the amazing soup I made last week, which is a shame, as it may be the best soup I’ve ever made (she says, hastily jotting down exactly what went into it…), however I do have some snaps of other successful cooking, and not all of it mine!

The boy cooked up this amazing mince dish. I’ve no idea how he does it, but he mixes sauces in the most amazing way. April was a fairly sunny month, and this made an enjoyable and refreshing lunch. The potatoes are a Korean side dish – gamjajorim – which we made because we had a mountain of potatoes to be eaten. It was all delicious.

mince and lettuce wraps with gamjajorim
quorn chilli

Continuing the theme of things that need to be eaten, I made a quorn chilli to use up the quorn hidden away in the back of the freezer and the equally large quantities of carrot and celery in the fridge. I love a veg facilitator.

On the baking front, as the regular bread flour was running out, I dug out the gluten free bread flour (a theme here for April, using up what we have tucked away). I had a go at making this gluten free soda bread. It was more complicated than regular soda bread, and I was making do with what I had in my cupboards, so there was some fudging going on, but it wasn’t half bad.

Gluten free soda bread
Lemon drizzle cake

I also made a lemon drizzle cake – my go-to favourite sponge recipe, one I’ve been using since I was 11! I kid you not. 19 years using the same recipe! Whenever I have lemons, this one is quick, easy and oh-so delicious. I always have everything on hand so it’s a breeze to throw together.

Thankfully, I have now managed to source some bread flour and the bread making schedule will be re-commencing.

8

Not really a curve ball, but as the month wanes, I’ve got myself back onto the exercise after a long blip. I’m currently doing a madfit workout every other day, with yoga inbetween, and it’s going pretty well (she says, all of a week in).

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been out all of four times this month, and I’m missing walking. I’m just not willing to risk anything right now, at all, and I figure doing something at home is better than nothing. Having the boy do a workout every evening is also egging me on!

More than anything, I’m finding it a great mental lift in the middle of my days.

Re-Cap:

Lockdown has brought challenges, and also – apparently – creativity. The good really does come with the bad.

I’m hoping, with us all settling into the new norm, May is a brighter month, even though we remain in the small bubble of our homes.


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