Monday, 27 July 2009

And from the sick bed..

I've been itching to make one of these for myself for ages, and after knocking up the one for Gill on Saturday in an hour, thought I might make myself one - just large enough to put my phone in, some credit cards, some cash and a clip so I can attach it to my Day Job door pass, and then I can go hands-free at lunchtimes... I get a bit concerned sometimes that I'm going to leave either my phone or my wallet in a shop, and this way, I don't have to carry anything at all!

And I also appliqued my initials on it, all three of them, which took longer than making the whole pouch... 

But it came out quite nicely, I think...


Sunday, 26 July 2009

Happy (early) Birthday to you...

Well, after no posting for 2 weeks (was it really that long?, I'm now posting like a mad woman.  Of course, being tucked up in bed at 11.00am will do that for you, it's a good way to ward off the boredom, although I just bought a copy of this:

A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns

which has some very beautiful lace knitting patterns in it, just the thing for somebody with a short attention span...

Oh, you want to know why I'm in bed?  Well, the cough which has been lurking in my chest for the past week is trying to get a foothold in my lungs & I'm determined not to let it... so at the insistance of MWH, I am staying in bed & keeping warm.   I will be up later to go & make some more stuff, I've got those orders from MWMIL to make, and although I made one small box pouch yesterday (without taking any photos, shame on me), I want to get the others made & off my list.  

The other thing I made yesterday was a small version of that nice linen & floral print flat pouch with the hand appliqued flower on it, and I have packaged them up nicely to go off to Gill in Brighton... was much happier with the applique results on the smaller pouch, but of course I forgot to take a close up of it... but the pair look really nice together:

I did a little French knot in the middle of the flower, and some stitching round the orange blobs in the middle... they looked so nice I was tempted to go up the hill to Cottage Quiltworks and show them (because I got the fabric from them) , but I'm sure they would have looked at me like I was a crazy woman...

One of my colleagues is going to Brighton for a conference in August, and she has very kindly offered to hand-carry the parcel for me - nice!   I I love Brighton, it's one of my favourite places on the planet ...

What's not to love?


Friday, 24 July 2009

I know, I know...

Where the heck have I been?  Well, nowhere, of course!  I've been really really busy with "the day job", as one of my favourite writers refers to it, (Sharon Lee, if you must know, of Lee & Miller, and the Liaden Universe, fame), and I've been too pooped to drag this infernal machine out of its cocoon & write anything!

However, I have made solid progress on the wedding bunting:

so now you know what all the work is leading to - 72 6" X 9" rectangles cut out, 30 letters traced, cut out and appliqued onto the flags, 72 6" X 9" rectangles sorted into 3 sets of 12 ("melspaceandspaceurby"), carefully making sure that the same fabrics don't end up next to each other, the colours look okay and the letters are all the right way round... stitching, stitching, stitching, pressing, pressing, pressing... so all that's left now is to make the 'string', which is 8 feet of 2" binding cut by hand, per set, pressed (pressed, pressed) then carefully pinning the flags onto the 'string', and even more carefully stitching it together... phew.  Not that it hasn't been fun, but just quietly, I'll be very happy when it's finished.  Good thing the wedding isn't till September!

Other makings:

I bought some beautiful linen from Cottage Quiltworks, at Bilgola Plateau the other week, and the most gorgeous cotton print for the lining - and I made this, but I haven't worked out an infallible method of calculating where to put the applique (which you have to do first, so the stitching doesn't show inside the pouch) so that it's in the right place when you make the boxed corners.  Man, that's a sentence and a half... anyway:

And it's lined with this (excuse the crease!):

Gorgeous, and with this beautiful ribbon, also from Cottage Quiltworks:

Now, what to do with it?  Maybe an early birthday present for my friend Gill in Brighton (UK)?... hmmmm...

What else?  Well, I just spent a fruitless half hour searching the Lotteries site for MWH, who had a year and a half's worth of dead lottery tickets jammed into his beautiful Italian black leather ticket holder that I bought him at Rome Airport in 2003... mine (red, surprise surprise) is still its original size and shape, because I never use it for more than two or three bus tickets at any time - and his is about 1cm deep!  - and I found one lousy winner, for a whole $20.  Won't be going back to Italy any time soon on that, needless to say.   

Oh, and yes, I must shamefully admit to caving in and buying that beautiful red square handbag I have been coveting at Diane Van Ooi's gorgeous quirky shop in Newport, for some time... I got a large sum of money from the Guvinmint by taking in a bunch (and I do mean a bunch!) of doctor's receipts to Medicare, and I thought, well, why not?  I'm just doing my bit for the economy, honest.  And I can hear them trundling that guillotine down the road right now... ah, come on, there's just no such thing as 'too many red handbags'... is there?

And I just wanted to add that I love this woman's blog - even though she goes to church, she seems fairly sane in a completely insane kind of way, which proves, I guess, that religious beliefs don't turn everybody into nutcases, maybe just those who were already sliding down that slippery slope?  I had a funny religious moment of my own this week, with a bunch of religious orders and organisations having booths (stalls?  sheds?) in the main pedestrian plaza of this fair city - they were proselytising, which is a word I just love for the inherent complications of its pronunciation... it means "actively hustling for converts"... and as I was wondering up the hill towards "the day job", I overhead a trio of MIS* commenting that "they must be looking for recruits".  My comment?  "Where's the one for Jedi, that's what I want to know!".  Much assorted laughter, and a very amused "that's made my day" from one of the suits.  Mine too.  And so, gentle reader, here 'tis.  

And that, tonight, is it for me.  MWH is happy because his team has won its match, and I am glad to sitting here, burbling away, listening to beautiful Derek Bell harp music, and watching big men in maroon dance around each other... okay, stopping now.
*Men In Suits 

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Sometimes I wish, often I wish...

Blogger ate my post!  Man that is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooo   oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo annoying.  A bit like reading that word, I'm guessing.

Anyway, I was rambling on about Jessica Steen, who originally played Dr Elizabeth Weir in Stargate, and how I'd seen her on NCIS but couldn't work out who she was until it about 3.30am the next morning - and why was I rambling on about this?  Because the title of this blog is a line from a song, but I can't remember which one... but I'm sure... it'll come back to me.  And then, Blogger ate my post.


So, the new job is going well, I'm really enjoying working closely with my new project manager, and being back in town - and I just found out my BA Buddy, who was there to help me out when I started on this journey last year, won the annual Big Prize for Being Fabulous At Work (which she always is!) - well done Jen!

Creative news - I bought some lovely fabrics on Saturday up at Cottage Quiltworks, and I need to lock myself in the magic room on the weekend to take advantage of it all!  Alas, I am in thrall to the cricket (plus it's just tooooo cold to be anywhere except in front of the fire!) and cannot move!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Clever, very clever!

I've been a wee bit busy, putting up with the sick husband really takes it out of you, and I spent a bit of time yesterday looking at houses with my friend Deb, which is fun, but exhausting!

So today I got stuck into the sewing, finishing off the pencil case & matching sketchbook bag for my nephew, who is turning nine in August & who loves to draw:

And then, I finished off Miss Mandy's button bag, which she wants to use to collect up all the little packets of buttons and threads you get when you buy shirts and things, and I've put a surprise in there for her (which of course I can't mention because I know she reads this!) - and that's going in the post tomorrow:

And then I made these for Kaz, from some lovely Momo in Wonderland, and some beautiful Butterfly Fling - they've got 6 scoops of lavender in each - who knows how much that is? Not me - the scoop says 25ml! (that's probably not funny for people who don't know about the metric system - "ml" is a measure of liquids!).

And then finally I made a pouch, my WMIL* has orders for me for 5 more, plus two more glasses cases - but for some strange reason it came out like a cube, rather than a rectangle - obviously I need to check the measurements calculator again!

And then I did a bit of work on the bunting for my lovely niece Melinda's wedding, in September - she saw the "Happy Mother's Day" bunting I made for her Nanna - and asked me to make some for her wedding! Her favourite colour is orange, so I tried to include as many fabrics with orange in them as possible - and how amazing that I could find 38 fabrics with orange in them - but I only needed 36 - and the fronts are now all cut out & appliqued on, and all I have to do is cut out the backs & the hanging & stitch them up... phew...

And now, gentle reader, normal transmission is resumed (actually, I've got the cricket on in the background and I'm greatly enjoying seeing what's happening to the England batting line-up - ha!
*Wonderful Mother-In-Law

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Daylight come and me wanna go home

Well, actually, it's more like "oilcloth come and me wanna go sew!" but, unsurprisingly, that isn't a song title.  It's arrived, it's gorgeous and I think I know what I'm going to do with it - but a big huge THANK YOU shout goes to Susie at I Just Love That Fabric - I promise I will post pictures when it's all made!

More later.  Brain need food now.


Saturday, 4 July 2009

I had forgotten you*

Not strictly a song title, I know, but it is appropriate, thank you *Mr Paul Kelly... I had completely forgotten to put the credit for that lovely photograph of the school at Latton into my blog - it was taken by Ian W Stokes, and you can see it here:

I love Panoramio, it's the cheapest way I know of to see places I've only dreamed of visiting, and it never ceases to amaze me how clever people are with their cameras:

Copyright  Androo.  (I haven't figured out how to do the ascii thing on this laptop yet).  I feel much better today, more human, and I can think again.  But only enough to see that the house looks like a bomb has hit it (see what happens when the tidying person takes a day or so off?) - and yet, funnily, I can summon up absolutely no energy for tidying.  I did stack and run the dishwasher, because leaving dirty dishes on the sink is my idea of slovenly, and we haven't fallen quite that far into disrepair yet.. although the milk has gone off, and we're just about out of bread.  Yikes.  Better get well soon, methinks, or we're going to be well into the Dave Lister School of Slobbing round Slobbily.

Yes, definitely feeling better.  Other news - the lovely beautician where I go infrequently to allow them to use me as the model for 'what happens if you don't look after yourself', or, on other days 'this is what happens when you let yourself go', was very kind about me not turning up for the 6-weekly hot oil & hair ripping out experience I had scheduled for today - and I quote "we don't want your germs here".  Thanks, Kerrie, I'm always happy to see you too - but she did have a question about these:

I'd forgotten that I'd left a set of 3 in there for them to enjoy - and apparently they've been getting queries with regards to selling them - well!  I said $3.00 each, but Kerrie seemed to think she could get $5.00 for them no trouble.  I said if she could do that, she was welcome to take 10% (does that sound right?) for her trouble.  She said she would see what happens!  Man, when I can be bothered, I'm going back into the magic room to make some more!  

And of course now I've remembered what happened to these, and why, when my lovely customer Carmen from California ordered this set, and I knew I'd made them, but I couldn't find them - not like me at all, and you, up in the back row, stop sniggering, I had to run around like a bluear*sed fly make her a set from scratch, and do you think I could find that creamy birdy fabric?  Man, it was almost ugly, let me tell you.  However, find them I did, make them I did, posted them off & got lovely feedback on their nicely lavendery-stinkiness... and that's why I had to make them, because I'd given them to the beautician to up-stink their salon.  Well, if we can use 'up-cycle', I don't see why we can't up-stink.  Debate on the need for the hyphen welcome here...

And now, gentle reader, having assuaged my conscience with regard to Mr Stokes and the credit for his lovely photo of the lovely school where I learned the value of a comma, and not to put too many instances of a preposition in a sentence, and all about Thomas the Tank Engine, and Little Black Sambo (hey, it was the unreconstructed 60's), I am off to visit the new abode of my WMIL*, and to plan the housewarming gift I am going to make for her.  Much joy to follow for all, I suspect!


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Winner takes it all...

I just found out I've won something!  Man, that is so exciting.  I have a very paltry history of winning things - it's so small & pathetic I can probably list all the occasions - first one was when I was about 5 or 6, and the small two room school I went to (see picture!) had a fete - and I spent sixpence of my hard earned pocket money on a ticket - and won, yeehaw, a bottle of beer and a bottle of lemonade.  I seem to remember that I didn't even get to share in the lemonade, but I do remember that Dad made shandies out of the winnings!  

Next, I won a terrarium in a raffle at my first job - and it wasn't exactly auspicious, either, because I'd been given the job of selling all the tickets, so of course my win was highly suspect... I have no idea what happened to the terrarium.  It had an african violet in it, and with my extremely ungreen thumb, some might even say, 'pink', I'm pretty sure it didn't last too long!  I've just realised that's nearly 30 years ago.  Man, I feel old today!

Then, 2 years ago, when I was working as an IT consultant, I won a $50 gift card to David Jones, an upmarket department store here in Sydney.  I used it to buy morning tea for my colleagues, so we all got to enjoy it...

That's it, until now - I've won some oilcloth from the lovely Susie, who has this very beautiful blog - - how exciting is that?  I'm going to make something for her out of it, after I work out how to sew it!  Pictures forthcoming, you betcha!

The carnival is over...

And I'm back at work, after 10 funfilled days at home with a cold, flu, cough, sniffles, sneezing, and a runny nose... and not much sewing!  We did pack in a bit of activity, including the trip to Melbourne to the exhibition - and how lucky it was that we went overnight, rather than just the day trip I'd originally planned - because the gallery was closed on Tuesdays, except for an exhibition of Salvador Dali's work - now don't get me wrong, the man was a genius, but the art I like to look at doesn't involve lobsters on telephones! 

Anyway, luckily we had the next day to come back to see the exhibition, but I must say I was a bit disappointed - there were only about 10 garments on display, but quite a few references showing styles from the times, and some decorative objects and furniture and that was about it.  Not really worth a trip to Melbourne by itself, but I thought dinner might make up for it - and that too was a bit disappointing - but the fact that we both had no working tastebuds didn't help!

Hotel was lovely, though, we had a room overlooking the garden, which was quiet and spacious, and in easy walking distance of the Gallery - and we bought Series 7 of Spooks - if you haven't seen this show before, you owe it to yourselves - it's English, based on spies in MI5, and it's great - good scripts, interesting plots, great acting, great gadets - I love it.

Then we went to the Hunter Valley, and I made this:

and this:

lined with this:

Kaz has a pretty interesting Pig collection, and I did a bit of checking on Etsy for Pig fabric - there's quite a bit around, including this, which is supposed to show French pigs:

and I think it's really smart - and I am tempted, I must say!

And I also got a couple of orders - my friend Kaz's friend Clara wants one of those pouches, but lined with the pigs, and with the Eiffel tower on the outside!  Maybe I'll get the French pigs for her - she is French, after all!

And now, off for a nap.  I hope to feel better soon... maybe!