Making a Sewing Box

As my twin and I are in a stage adaption of Sense and Sensibility, and I have been making Spencer Jackets, resulting in lots of hand sewing. I also have a good amount of time off-stage at practices in which to sew, o I decided this morning that I wanted a sewing box that I could take with me. 
My first plan was to make a zippered bag, kind of like a makeup bag, but I much prefer repurposing things to making things from scratch. 
So I went on the hunt for a good box. I found this one in my closet, I think it was the packaging for some stationary that my mom gave me a long time ago.

Why yes, that is my shelf full of Tolkien sitting in the background. Accompanied by a little Rosemary Sutcliff
                         


It had this weird window preview of the stationary, which I thought very strange. So I cut it out.


I also decided to unstick the backing on the lid 



I then took a random piece of fabric that I found and I made a pincushion for the top of the box. I stuffed it with sawdust, as I heard that was better than cotton batting or fabric scraps, and I quite like how it turned out. I pushed it up through the hole made by removing the window thingy, and then glued the backing back on. Always remember, hot glue is your friend. 


I then cut a square of the same fabric to fit the inside of the lid, and sewed on a little pocket for my needle case, and a couple of elastic loops for my tiny scissors. 


Next I cut up an empty tissue box (these are also your friends, never throw them away).



Then I did a bad job of covering it in fabric. I ended up only using the larger one, and had to resort to a different random scrap of fabric, which doesn't really match the rest of the box, but it looked okay.
Oh look! CS Lewis and Madeleine L'engle.


Next, a piece of cardboard covered in the same fabric, cut to fit the bottom of the box.



I also glued a couple of little elastic loops in the front of the box to hold some spools of thread, and then filled up my box with things. Including an altoids tin for my tiny spools of yarn, and a smaller tin for safety pins. And of course my 'box of random things'. There is still plenty of room if I needed to put something else in here, which is loverly. 

To finish it off I strung some ribbon through a button, glued it to the inside of the lid, and then put a loop of elastic on the bottom of the box. 
I also put a little patch over it for no particular reason.
Ta-daa!



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I Don't Know How To Write a Review

I have a problem. I haven't the slightest clue how to review a book. Or a movie. Or anything. To clarify, I can't write positive reviews. 
I haven't reviewed my favourite book. Technically. I made a blog about it. (http://theredbooknews.blogspot.com/)
And I sort of reviewed the hobbit movies, but I really just complained  and ranted. 
But I cannot write a concise and helpful review. I either have too much to say, or nothing to say. And then there are some books where to give anyone my actual opinions would feel like hitting a child. Where you look a picture of the author and say 'bless their heart, this book was nauseating". It would simply be too cruel to mention all of it's flaws, and grasp at the random specks of okayness. You don't feel annoyed with the writer, you just feel kind of bad. 
I am limited to yeh, meh, or neh. Yeh being "I liked it", meh meaning "not great/not particularly bad", and neh meaning "I didn't like it". Keep in mind that I am way more critical of books than I am of movies, so a book that is a 'yeh' is much better than a movie 'yeh'. Now you know the strange language of I don't know what. 

So here are some of the things that I actually WANTED to review ( I sort of keep a list).   

Books:
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth: yeh
The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan: NEH 
Divergent by Veronica Roth: Neh
Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins: Neh 
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale: yeh
Inkspell by Cornelia Funke: meh
Dracula by Bram Stoker: yeh
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: yeh
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: neh
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo: meh
Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis: all the yesses 
Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis: more yesses 
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle: yeh
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'engle: yeh
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'engle: yeh
Many Waters by Madeleine L'engle: neh
An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'engle: meh
Tales From the Perilous Realm by JRR Tolkien: so many yesses 
Father Christmas Letters by JRR Tolkien: a labour of love resulting in so much cuteness
Snow White & Rose Red (or The Shadow of the Bear) by Regina Doman: yeh
Black as Night by Regina Doman: yeh
Waking Rose by Regina Doman: meh
Midnight Dancers by Regina Doman: neh
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: neh
A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison: neh
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner: yeh
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner: yeh
The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner: yeh
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner: meh
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller: meh (it was good, but I sort of figured out everything that was going to happen before I read it, and was consequently bored)
The Tree by Denise Mallett: neh
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orczy: yeh
Redwall by Brian Jacques: yeh
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky: yeh


Movies: 
Jurassic World: meh (It would be a neh without Chris Pratt)
The Force Awakens: meh
Rogue One: yeh 
La La Land: neh 
Arrival: meh
Hidden Figures: Yeh
Captain America: Civil War: neh
The Jungle Book: meh
Batman V Superman: meh/neh
Star Trek, Beyond: neh
X-Men: Apocalypse: neh
Eye In The Sky: yeh
Queen of Katwe: yeh
Avengers: Age of Ultron: meh
Avengers: yeh
Creed: neh
Spectre: meh
Joy: neh
Brooklyn: meh
The Man From U.N.C.L.E: yeh
Ant-man: neh
Mr. Holmes: neh
Sherlock Season 1: yeh
Sherlock Season 2: meh
Sherlock Season 3: meh (Except for Episode 3 which was a yeh)
Guardians of the Galaxy: yeh





Let us hope I will write ACTUAL reviews of things in 2017. That can be a New Years Resolution um, it's February, to write real reviews of things.
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Beautiful People: Tiye and Amenhotep

'Tis here. A couples edition, in honor of Valentine's Day. Hounds and Jackals currently has only one living couple. Since (half dead couple) Sefkh and Senet have their own story, I must do Tiye and Amenhotep. They are real people, but I have taken some liberties with the facts of their lives. Many Egyptologists do agree that they were a love match. Enjoy.




How and why did they meet?
I have chosen the semi-arranged, love-match theory. Amenhotep's father was fifth in line for the throne (and possibly murder his older siblings, but that is another story) so no one would have particularly cared who Amenhotep married. Theoretically, Tiye is distantly related to the royal family and could be said to possess divine blood. Anyhow. In my story, they grew up in the same harem, and was the daughter of some random noble who had married a woman in some way related to step-mom of Amenhotep's. Alternatively, she is a child of a relation of his biological mother.  

What were their first impressions of each other?

Amenhotep: Ga ga ga goo blrb ga (translation: oh look a bird)
Tiye: grd bloo la la la (no translation)
Their mothers/nannies: oh look, they're talking. How cute.

How would they prove their love for each other?

This is an odd question. Do they have to prove it to each other? It is safe to say that they would pretty much do anything for the other one, but they also understand their duties and responsibilities. Amenhotep wouldn't abandon his country for Tiye (she wouldn't want him to).  Their relationship takes into account that they rule a country, and neither would ever expect or ask the other to do something for their sake, that risked harm to their country. 

What would be an ideal date?

With or without the kids? Because anything that involved them getting to hang out with their children would make them VERY happy. They actually get to spend plenty of time together. But the perfect date, with just them, would be the chance to abandon all of their responsibilities and just hang out, preferably in a boat with no one else around. (He later builds her a lake with an island in it, and they realize the part where they can sail with no guards, because it's a private lake, and quite safe). 

Is there something they emphatically disagree on?

Hmm. Not particularly. Tiye likes to do (important, businessy) things without telling people, and it drives Amenhotep crazy. But she can't resist the temptation to settle things in the moment, without consulting him. Usually it turns out fine, because she's not stupid, and he doesn't so much hate the decisions the makes, as the fact that she makes them without warning.  

List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)

Ha. Lacking the weird abundance of STUFF that we can eat today, they don't really have food quirks. There are, of course, random things that they like and don't like (Tiye doesn't like beer [she can afford all the wine she wants, so it is not a problem] and Amenhotep doesn't like nuts. Hum de dum. Tiye is a total lightweight, and back before they had to be responsible adults who worked all the time, he would occasionally bribe people to give her strong or unwatered wines because he thought it was funny. 

What’s one thing they know about each other that no one else does?

Tiye knows that Amenhotep gets really nasty headaches whenever he is stressed, but he refuses to tell the doctor. So as far as the household knows, the queen has frequent headaches and has soothing oils and "teas" brought to her. Nefru may or may not have figured it out. Tiye has nightmares about her children being in danger or killed. (which has made her very picky about their security), and has only spoken of them to Amenhotep. It is difficult to have many secrets when one is attended from birth. There are of course, random sentiments and feelings that Tiye has, that she speaks of to no one but her husband. 

What’s one thing that they keep a secret from each other?

Amenhotep is a very good natured person, but he occasionally does rather extreme things when angry (such as sentencing people to punishments greater than what they actually deserve etc.). Tiye is usually able to deal with it and either convince him not to do things, or delay them until he is calm and can reverse the order. What he doesn't know is that she is rather terrified of his ever being exceptionally angry at her, because there wouldn't be anyone to talk him down. She is constantly doing things that annoy him (such as placing the fate of egypt in the hands of enemy spies [because she talks with Ukani even though she knows he always gets what he wants from her]). She is too impulsive, and knows it's a problem. Usually things work out fine, but she knows she isn't perfect, and she is constantly worried that she is going to REALLY mess up. It isn't so much a secret, as the awkwardness of saying "darling, you have such a dreadful temper when you're roused, and I'm worried that I will do something exceptionally stupid one of these days and you will be angry." Because he would just say "I couldn't possibly ever be angry enough to do you any harm" and the whole point is that she thinks he might. 
Anyway. 
Amenhotep keeps secret from Tiye that he has a few people dedicated to keeping an eye on her because he has reason to believe someone is trying to kill her. This never comes out in el book, and no one will ever notice, but it's there. Don't tell Tiye. 

How would their lives be different without each other?

History would be different without either of them. Neither would have ruled well alone. Between them, they created a golden age for Egypt. As for their personal lives....Tiye would have lived a clever and mundane existence, married well, and been bored. Amenhotep would have been like many Pharaohs before him, and built a world of beautiful things, while neglecting his diplomatic duties and spoiling for a fight, probably resulting in a war (which he would have won). He would also have been married to a bunch of women he didn't care for, including one that he (apparently) lost. 

Where do they each see this relationship going?

This must be a question for the boyfriend/girlfriend people. Umm. Well. At the time of H&J, they are married already and have three kids. As for where THEY see it going.....exactly where it did go.
Their relationship continues to hold, and they end up with 7-8 kids (history is not 100% clear) and never split up, they remain happy and in love until Amenhotep's untimely death at which point Tiye continues in her duty as queen, assisting her son in his reign and religious reform to temporary monotheism*. Tada


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*her son was Akhenaten.







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