Monday, 28 December 2009

Ham, anyone?

Not to be too 'scroogely' about it, but this year we didn't inflate the tree.  We didn't spend money on a real tree, we didn't go to the shops & buy a fake one.  We didn't string tinsel or lights, or sparkly baubles.  I did put two holly leaves & a berry onto the leg of the froggie doorknocker, just to get into the spirit of the thing, and I made these

[insert picture here].

Damn, the pictures are still on the camera.  Which is at the Boxes.  Where we were on Boxes Day, and where we will be on Friday night to celebrate NYE, very quietly.  Our tradition, for at least the last five years, has been to spend the evening with Dr & Mrs Box, eating, drinking & playing something wild like Scrabble, or Monopoly, or even Anti-Monopoly, having a 'relatively' early night, then going out somewhere really nice for lunch the next day:

And so it shall be in 2010.

Also, I can't believe we're still eating ham.  And we weren't even the originators of the ham.  That privilege went to my lovely SIL, who certainly made the business requirement of 'supply too much ham at Christmas' achievable.

I got some lovely gifts, MWH* outdid himself this year, aided by the wonderful 'wish list' facilities at various online retailers.  This particular gift has been pilloried by friends and family alike, and I can't work out why - it's fantastic for people who travel a lot, and who don't want to drag phone and camera battery chargers around with them wherever they go:

And then there were the books:

zakkasewing97203jf.jpg  One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric!

All guaranteed to keep me busy for a while... but I have made a solemn vow that I am doing absolutely no sewing of any kind until I go through the small but perfectly formed room and find some things to put into the 'Destash Sale from Hell (IIBIHWID*) - the sight of piles of fabric on the floor of the SBPFR have made me realise that, sadly, it's not like the TARDIS, and I can't keep shoving fabric in it without it starting to bulge at the seams... so, the sale.

I'm only going to get rid of dress-making fabric, though, I have no desire to make clothes for myself anymore - I'd be happy to make stuff for the little kids though, although Miss A is now 12 & no longer interested in homemade anything - although she's not actually overt about it, she was quite happy that the pencil case I gave her for Christmas came from Kinokuniya, and not from my own fair hands... 

Master E, on the other hand, was quite happy to finally get his hands on these:
 1001 Awesome Things to Draw

which is pretty good, considering he also had one of those new-fangled skateboards with only two wheels to occupy him for most of the day!

And now, gentle reader, the cricket has adjourned for tea, and I am off to make myself a ham-free lunch!

*If I believed in Hell, which I don't

Monday, 21 December 2009

OMG, somebody pour me onto the couch...

Sound familiar?  Well, the birthday party for MWH was a big success, but I feel like I need a week of sleep... I had Friday off & picked up my friend Kaz from the nearest railway station at 9.00am, then we didn't stop until about 9.30pm that night.  Then we started again the next morning at 7.00am, and poured the last guests down the driveway that night at about 11.00pm... 

MWH got some lovely gifts...

about 5 pairs of thongs - that's about a pair a year for him.  Also about 6 different varieties of beer, some wine and a bottle of, get this, Green Fairy Absinthe... thongs may also be known as 'flip flops' to some of you, and maybe 'Jandals' to others... some of our more classy friends left the price tag on - $6.97 for a pair of nasty rubber black things that have a really bad rubbery smell for the first six months of their lives... and he loves them.

And in the interim, I had about 5 parcels arrive, including 5 yards of this:

 which I think I'm going to turn into a tablecloth & napkins...

Also this, from here:

Jennifer Moore for Monaluna Mingle Cocoa Fabric - By the Yard

in the red, the brown & the green - can't wait to do something with it, and this:

Embroidery Patterns Winter Wonderland Snowflakes

which is a pattern for the perfect monogram - I could make one of these for just about everybody I know, as the perfect custom-made gift - from here.

But now, I have to go off & finish the christmas tree decorations I'm making for my friend Deb - she just gave me a Christmas Tree shaped dish, which I've used as the template for Christmas tree shaped decorations - filled mostly with wadding, but with some cloves for that nice northern hemisphere Christmas smell you never get in Australia!

And, because it's only 4 nights before Christmas, I thought a little animal festivity might be nice as an incentive to get the Decorations finished!

"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer, and Vixen!
"On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen!

"To the sewing machine! Stay away from the Mall!
"Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!*

Although, we are in the midst of summer, so this might be a better option - I dare you to go there!

*Unsurprisingly, not the original lyics.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Two strands of thread...

And then last night...I made some lavender bags as gifts for my colleagues - it's amazing how much lavender one of these things actually takes - I use a 25ml scoop - which in theory should equate to 25 grams, a litre of water weighing a kilo and all, and one of these takes three scoops!  

Anyway, I've ordered more from lovely Christine at Ratho Lavender, who doesn't have a website of her own (but she should!), but who can be contacted via this link.  Her lavender has the most distinctive smell of any lavender I've ever bought, and all my customers comment on how fantastic it is - so I'm really happy that she can get more to me before Christmas - lavender bags make a simple but effective gift (hint!)!  

Oh yeah, the gifts!

and all wrapped up and ready to go:

I love 5" squares, they are the most versatile things - coasters, lavender bags, jumbo lavender bags, frog components, lavender pyramids etc etc... every one of these is made from a single 5" square - fabulous.

and then... I love finding new blogs - but it does make me think, "is there anybody out there who doesn't blog anymore?"... I just found this one, via Etsy, of course, when I was looking, as I do every single day, at the beautifulthe bizarrethe ridiculousthe fantasticthe incredibly cheap and the amazingly expensive things for sale...

Anyway, I've added two new blogs in the past two days, and I'm thinking... what the hell, a third new one won't take up any more time to read... and it's an embroiderer's blog, which is a nice change amongst all us common sewers and knitters.. so check it out!

And now, I'm multi-tasking at the moment, partly watching Stargate Universe, which has just started - it's looking a bit grim at the moment, but we'll see - also we'll see if Channel 10 gives it a better run than Channel 7, who eventually relegated Stargate to 11.00pm on a Thursday night - and partly doing this blog - but the strain is starting to tell - so it's off to the Universe... more when I remember the dialling sequence for Earth!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Living treasures... made of paper

Have you seen this?

Amazingly clever.

Today, gentle reader, I sally forth to purchase innumerable paper serviettes, plastic forks (although I will hold out for bamboo if I can find them), paper plates (the sturdy kind), Stock, onions, spices, and a whole other bunch of non-perishable stuff for The Big Event, which is MWH's 50th birthday BBQ, on Saturday. He's so funny, he doesn't want "a party", so no cake, balloons or streamer-like decorations, just 40 good friends and lots of beautiful food cooked by this clever man, seen here doing things with our amazing early Christless Dinner, which he cooked, in its entirety, on the BBQ!

And then I'm going to make something with these:

which I originally bought to make this:

but instead used red dress making weight linen, from the SWICTBTWBBHNYBCAS*, and lined it with this (gotta love that Deer Valley!):

Excuse my fingers. I had to take this in the office (note the Eclipse mints tin on the desk waiting to be recycled) because, although I got up at 5.00am to finish it, I forgot to take a picture of it before I left home. And, I hear you say, why did you have your camera in the office? Doesn't everybody carry their camera around all the time? No, actually. I had it with me because we were going off to yet our office Christmas lunch on Friday, and I wanted to take photographs of the other side of where we were going to be on Saturday!


*Stash Which Is Claimed To Be The World's Biggest But Has Not Yet Been Confirmed As Such

Saturday, 12 December 2009

I love this blog!

I stumbled across this blog entirely by accident, but I do love it - this guy finds the most amazing places that are part of New York but a part which is slowly disappearing - it's a city I've never visited, but would love to one day - maybe after the US gets a little less paranoid & stops finding would-be terrorists in every visitor - even the ones who are trying to get out...

I've had a really busy couple of weeks, with early Christless with my Ma & Lovely Hank (that's "christmas" for the religious, or "saturnalia", for the pagans amongst you), plenty of birthdays in November & December, orders from the UK & US, and an exciting invitation - MWH's sister's son's girlfriend's mother (got that?) in the UK is apparently opening a shop & liked the look of the pouch I made for her daughter for one of those late November birthdays... but which I completely forgot to take a photo of (d'oh!) so I can't impress the crap out of you with it... but I digress -she wanted to know if I'd be interested in putting some stock in her 'soon-to-be-opened' shop (seriously?) - all I need is the time to make some stuff!

I went to a 10 year old's birthday party (and MWH & I are still having the argument of the ethics of posting even a pixellated picture of the girls in their bathing suits here, so I haven't)...

and I made the birthday girl this pencil case for her birthday - Happy Birthday Nellie!

and we had the annual lunch with a bunch of ex-colleagues, at one of the nicest venues Sydney has on offer:

and we saw a bit of these guys:

This picture was taken by Adrian, age 4. He did a self-portrait, too:

Cute, huh?

I made something for my WMIL*, who has moved in to a new apartment & wanted a better way to keep the doors open than by stapling the cat to the floor. Ooops. That was my idea. These were hers:

Filled with washed sand, they weigh a ton. Which is, I suppose, the point! I love this fabric, too, which is Amy Butler's Wood Fern Silver, from here.

Oh, and here's the cat:

Is that an evil look or what?

Monday, 7 December 2009


We had a lovely couple of days in the Hunter Valley, and all four seasons of weather were experienced at various times - hot, cold, wet, dry, windy, calm...

We ate hugely:

plus prawns, oysters, fabulous white wine, pannetone, mince pies, home-made stuffing for the turkey... and on Monday night, our friend Az made fantastic pizzas, which we cooked in his wood-fired oven - with slightly disastrous results for my Ma, who is still recovering from a nasty bout of bronchitis...

and we've been busy:

Back to work tomorrow for a rest!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Still here..

Got visitors.  More soon.


Sunday, 22 November 2009

Just in case you thought you'd seen the last of me today...

You were obviously wrong.  I've had a productive day, finishing the last of the pouches ordered by my WMIL, and also whipping up an order for the lovely Xine67, who wanted something made with this gorgeous Marimekko fabric:

So today, we did this:

And here are the finished smaller ones:

And now I'm thinking about Paddle Pops, Magnums, Streets Blue Ribbon Vanilla... various forms of ice cream.  Yum.

How time flies...

When you're having fun... not.  For the best part of the last two weeks, I appear to have been in a time-warp.  Apparently I got up each day, did the things you do before appearing in public, went to work, came home, ate, recreated, slept and then did it again.  Apparently.  Anyway, my Ma and Lovely Hank will be appearing on Thursday night,  disgorged from the innards of a plane, here for two things - Ma's birthday (1st December), and early Christmas.

In the meantime, we cleaned, tidied, sewed, did personal maintenance items, visited the newly opened supermercato in our little town, went to a 50th Birthday party (happy birthday Sharon), took delivery of a package, painlessly, and not so painlessly did not take delivery of another package... wait, I have a question - is "took delivery of" an americanism?   Would the anglo-saxons reading this please pass judgement on whether there is another phrase I can use to say "a parcel was delivered"... thank you.  Now, where was I?  Oh yes, the non-painfree parcel delivery.  

Here's how it goes:  I ordered something which I consider to be very useful, but which others amongst you might go "what a waste of money".  The website was very clear that they would be delivered by courier.  OK, fine, but as you know, we are generally not in the Golightly house during the day, so the nice person leaves a card saying "you must ring to arrange delivery".  OK, so I ring and arrange.  And then, caught up in timewarp of work that I am, I forget to put the card on the door, so when the person comes back again, all they leave is another card.  Damn.  So then I ring up to find out when they can come again.

"If we have already made two attempts to deliver the parcel, we won't attempt to deliver it again".  

"Where does it say that on the card?"  "It's on our website Madam" [yeah right]

"OK, so can I pay you to deliver it to my house?"  "No".  "I can't pay you to deliver it?"
"No". [No wriggle room here, kids.  What fantastic customer service].

"OK, so can I hire you to collect it from, say, yourselves, and deliver it to my house?"  "Yes, but you have to pay upfront at this office". 

(Does anybody else see the problem here?)

"OK, can I pay by credit card, over the phone?"  "No, you have to pay cash upfront at the office".

"OK, let me see, this is the 21st century and you don't take credit cards?"  "No, cash or cheque up front".

"So, do you see my problem?  If I have to come & pay you to deliver it to my house, I might as well pick it up".   "You can collect it from us".

"I can collect it from you?"  "Yes".

"Where are you"?  "6 Hill Road, Sydney Olympic Park".  1.7 kilometres from the office I'll be sitting in on Tuesday.  10 minutes by car.

Honestly, I felt like the lunatics had truly taken over the asylum.  Yes, we can deliver it to your house if you come in & pay in cash for the delivery.  I swear to Ghod! 

On a happier note, I delivered the last of the Toy Bags to the lovely Kerrie:

and I've had an order from my WMIL* for 4 pouches, and this is what I chose:

and.. I made a tote bag for Miss Mandy's niece, my first go at one of these & it wasn't too bad - but I think the straps are a bit long... I got the pattern from here, and I had one of those funny moments where you get it all cut out & pinned and you think it's going to end up being 2 feet long & only 4 inches wide.  Then you realise you've got it pinned round the wrong way.  D'oh... Like the first time I made pyjamas - I thought I was going to have to chop 60 centimetres off my legs & add on 30 kilos, then I realised I needed to turn them round... funny.  Kind of.

It needs pressing, but it came out ok:

I lined it too.  Hope she likes it - I remember being incredibly fussy at 15 (and I still am!) but if Miss Mandy is her favourite Aunt, it might just slide past the 'cool' criteria'...

And last night we went to a friend's 50th birthday party - and MWH* dressed up, special like:

Isn't that an amazing outfit?  The trousers were Mr Golightly's University Graduation Suit from 1985, (that was the 20th Century), complete with, grass and rust stains, and a split up the back where he'd slightly, ever so slightly, grown just a little bit too big for them... the shirt was his father's from about 1970, with gorgeous embroidery, pockets, rust stains and the most incredibly pointed collar, and the jacket, "Mr Don", 100% woven polyester, thanks so much, was from an Recycled Clothing Store in Newtown.  Needless to say, as the party wasn't actually fancy dress, just "wigs and hats", he stood out like a peacock amongst the crows.  Stunning.  Oh, and the wording on the hat, I hear you say?

He's all class.