Sunday, 30 August 2009

Oh the pain, the pain of it all...

So, yesterday with our friends K & O (you know who you are), we went out to lunch here, it was really nice, and they bought along their photos of their holiday to Paris, Moscow & St Petersburg.  Nice, very nice.

Today I was given the somewhat rare treat of complete peace in the house, MWH going off to the football & leaving me alone with the sewing machine, my MP3 player and several loads of washing.  Generous to a fault... so I cut out & made the black silk clutch, and broke five, yes five needles in the process.  Apparently size 70 Schmetz needles do not like encountering beads.  Unsurprisingly, they break.  Wouldn't you think after the first two I would have figured out to put something a bit firmer in the machine?  But no, I persisted with the 70s, and that has now joined the list of things to get on Saturday at the haberdashery store...

Anyway, cleverly remembering to add two tags for a strap of some kind, I finished the clutch.  It's tiny.  I might offer it to MWH's niece, Alex, (she's 11) & see if she would like to have it for the wedding (or whatever) - but it's no good to me apart from a lipstick, a car key & maybe a comb?  Oh well.  Another trap for young players there - check out the finished sizes before you start...

Oh, you want a photo?  Next week.  I've also managed, in the middle of busily knitting a cardigan for my friends S & T, who've just had a baby, and also a hat for my friend Karol's niece who's pregnant, to acquire tennis elbow.  I had it once before about 4 years ago & it is such a nuisance - I can't straighten my arm, and I certainly can't hold anything with my arm straight - even taking clothes off over my head is problematic - and it's all down to the knitting... so although I probably could go & get the camera &  take the photos, I'm going to rest my elbow for a week.  Or two.

I am also considering one of these, from Rowena at Red Ruby Rose - I bought one to go with the outfit I wore to Arthur's 60th birthday - they are so beautiful, in every sense - beautifully marketed, made and packaged - if I had a zillion dollars I'd buy every one in her shop!

Anyway, 10.52pm Sunday means sleep.  More, later.  Dismissed.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Fame, remember my name(2)

Just wanted to say how excited I am about getting 'pinged' as we computer geeks say (what's the difference between a geek and a nerd, in computer terms anyway?) by Jo at Diary of a Sad Housewife - I made her list of her favourite 9 blogs - wow (this is me rendered speechless here).

Sometimes I wonder about the impact of the stuff I write, because I have been known to rant a bit about the injustices of life, you know, where corporate giants exploit people because they can, where people are selfish and thoughtless, where scumbag lawyers make bad situations even worse by not caring, that kind of thing... and then I'm glad I blog, because even though most days this is a brain dump for me, and nothing more, occasionally I do want to make a point (even though most days I have no idea if anybody even reads this stuff) and I want to make the world and the people in it, better. And today, Jo made me feel like I might have. Nice.

Monday, 24 August 2009

It's a bit like LA Law this week.

It's a bit like LA Law this week.

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Read this and weep. In the words of Pete Seeger, "oh when will they ever learn?"

Decisions, decisions...

So, I'm about to make the Wedding Clutch (see, the relative importance is noted by the presence of Capital Letters...) & I can't decide which pattern to use. I have three, all from Keyka Lou, and they're all great - and if anybody knows anything about me, they'll know I can't make decisions about the small stuff! New beds are easy, new cars (well, it was easy 5 years ago), sure, trade-in the husband? Sure... that's a decision I make all the time (not that I've done anything about it yet, the prospect of moving 16.5 years of accumulated junk puts me off everytime I get close [and maybe that's not the only reason, hmmm?])... but which handbag to make for the wedding? Phew. Too hard.

Don't get me wrong, the patterns are great, easy to follow, well written, good pictures, very logical, so there's no issue there. Just me.

Here's the possibilities:

Journal Clutch: I've made this & it's nice, a good size & it would be very useful... also it's a great shape for the black silk, because it's 'boxy'...

Easy Curvy Clutch - haven't made this yet, but can't see that it would be any harder than the other patterns in Michele's range...
Garden Party Wristlet - this is very cute, and it would be super useful with the strap, but it's hard to imagine it in any other colour and the pink is very girlie...

I do think the black silk would look better as a clutch rather than the Garden Party Wristlet, just because the fabric is quite 'firm', but it is a very useful style...maybe without the bow? I'm not much of a bow person anyway, (on me, anyway - on a victorian tea gown, or an afternoon dress they look spectacular)... but it would need some 'focus' object to finish it... hmmm.

Much thinking required here, methinks... oh well, off for breakfast. Then we'll see.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

A little world surfing

Well, I just finished making a birthday gift for my good friend GMcD, aka Hanna Sutherland, who has a birthday on Tuesday, and something else I can't talk about just now, but will post about it when I know it's hit the other end.

So I thought I'd share some pictures I took a couple of years back, on our first trip to the UK together.  They were the last shots I took with my trusty Nikon film camera, before I converted to digital.  They have a certain something, don't they?

Chihuly glass at the V&A - magnificent

This is holding up the roof in a church somewhere - gorgeous...

Fantasy land - hard to believe this was taken in St James' Park, isn't it?

My all-time favourite.  The staircase in Queen Mary's House, at Greenwich.  Some days you just get lucky!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

And on a slightly more cheery note...

I have to share this with you people out there! Sorry Kaz, if you didn't want it out there - it's too beautiful to leave unposted somewhere on the fancy young people's internet (thanks, Tony Squires...)

This is the label my lovely friends Kaz & Az are going to put on their wine this year - they normally sell all their grapes to these people, and have a few bottles kept aside for themselves prior to it being blended in with other quality grapes - and they've had a label in the past, but nothing as spectacular as this:

How could anybody resist? And it has two of my four favourite dogs in the whole wide world on it - just beautiful. It is slight, ever so slightly not quite but nearly geographically correct, but who's going to quibble? Everybody will be so taken by the gorgeous doggies that they won't even twig that the water is not really there... and who cares?

And, do I hear you say, what about the other two favourite dogs in the whole wide world? Well, seeing as I haven't done any sewing since Sunday (shame on me), and no material arrived in the mail (and what's that about?), it's down to the dogs - or is that "we've gone to the dogs"? Sorry. Couldn't help it, you know how I love a good pun...

This is Gus. He's a boy. Anybody who didn't notice needs to have their eyes checked very very soon. He was a pound puppy, can you believe it?

And this is Jarrah:

She has the sweetest nature, and puts up with all sorts of crap from Gus, who constantly teases her, chews her legs, flicks her ears, worries her tail... and she just happily sits there, until Gus goes just that little bit too far. Then she growls at him, he runs away and peace is restored. For about 10 minutes.

Love it. Love those dogs.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

More than one kind of birthday...

Today is not only my 100th post, but also the first anniversary of my arrival at the day-job.What a year. Some of the rudest, meanest, bitchiest people I've ever worked with, which is quite impressive, considering I've been working for 30 years in December. Also, some of nicest, kindest, most thoughtful people, which kind of makes up for it.

Wow. 30 years of work. Lets see... Bank (different bank), Bookshop, Library, off to the UK, Temp, Library, back to Aus, Bank (different Bank), back to the UK, Oil Company (typing pool), back to Aus, Temp, Library (see a pattern here?), Temp, Typing Pool, University student (didn't last long at that, let me add!), Training Company (trainer), Insurance Company, 2nd job at same Insurance Company, another Insurance Company, working part time & studying, studying full time, IT Contractor, back at that Insurance Company again, IT
Consulting Company, IT Contractor, Bank (different Bank). I think that's it. Isn't that enough?
I've had some great jobs... some have been lots of fun - the typing pool in London was great, we used to have lots of fun whilst working our way through Exploration & Drilling reports. Plus we had state of the art technology, word processing machines with Hard Disks in them! Wow! (this was 1988, you know...) Ah, those were the days.

And what I really want to know is, why did it take me until I was over 40 before figuring out what I really really wanted to do with my life? Way too old to retrain again... and in way too deep with house, renovations and a mortgage to go back to uni... so I'm making do. I wanted to make costumes for films & theatre, but I've left it too late... now I spend my time making beautiful things out of beautiful fabric, wishing I wasn't pushing buttons & writing business requirements. Ah, happy freaking anniversary.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

It's finished, it's finished!!!

The wedding bunting is officially finished.  I finally got off my assets and finished the binding, or the string, or whatever you want to call it, that this stuff is going to hang up from - and you know what?  It took me less than an hour.  Shame on me for letting it go on so long, but hey, it looks nice, I think, whaddya think?

What else?  Here's the other stuff I bought last week:
You can't see how beautiful the black silk is, with beading and sequins but it is gorgeous - and the others look pretty good too.  Next weekend, the clutch for sure.  I just bought this from Michelle at KeykaLou, her patterns are really good, easy to follow, with great instructions and good photos.  

Then this afternoon I made two more glasses cases for my WMIL* - these are a really pain to make, two tubes and a flap - if you cut the inside tube smaller to make it fit better when it's finished, it's hard to get the two to go round smoothly on the flap; I ended up with a tiny pleat on the outside of one of them - really really annoying - but I don't think you'll see it when it's all pressed up nicely... maybe:

And finally I was reading this blog and I wanted to do something for this woman - what a crap situation to be in - it's only when you read stuff like this you realise what absolute bastards are out there, putting decent people in impossible situations.  Jo, if you read this, mail me at, because I'd like to do something to cheer you up. 

Friday, 14 August 2009


This is nice (and I made it) - my friend Kaz just sent me some pictures of the journal cover I made her (well, I made it as an experiment & it just so happened to fit her journal) - it looks quite nice, I think...

And this is the pattern I'm going to use to make the black & orange silk clutch. I'm going to make it with some loopy things on the side to hang a strap of some kind, probably black cord or rat tail, because it is a cocktail reception & there's nothing worse than trying to juggle a baby spring roll, a glass of sparkling something and a handbag, now is there?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Somebody stop me (again)...

Has anybody else seen Stargate SG-1 Children of the Gods?  Boy, do I feel ripped off.  I bought it thinking that it was going to be something new and interesting in the Stargate world, although I must admit that I am enjoying Season Three of Stargate Atlantis... and we sat through it last night and the night before, in two chunks because I was so exhausted I fell asleep in the middle of it at the first go... and I spent the entire time waiting for something else to happen, that I hadn't seen before.

So, apart from the editing out of the gratuitous nudity scene (showing the lovely Vaitiare Bandera in all her glory), so they could get a PG rating, and chucking in a bit of extra scenery of Chulak, there was absolutely nothing I hadn't seen before.   I feel really ripped off.  

So, to assuage my disappointment, I popped into one of my favourite fabric stores today & bought the following:

One half metre of japanese black & orange cotton
One half metre of orange & pink shot silk
One half metre of black silk with sequins
One half metre of thickish orange & yellow striped cotton

And what am I going to do with it, I hear you ask?  Well, I know exactly what I'm going to do with the black & orange stuff - I'm going to make a clutch bag to take to the wedding of MWH's niece in September - using the orange silk as the lining... but the rest of it... well, we'll see.

I'll post some photos in the next couple of days... honest.... but for now, some general cheeriness:

Is too much fabric ever enough?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

and we're still counting...

My lovely friend Kaz in the HV just sent me the most gorgeous photo of some snowdrops & daffodils from her garden, elegantly draped around the bag I made her on the weekend:

Isn't that gorgeous?

Also, I got these last week, and shamefully neglected to show you!

Aren't they beautiful?  Home Decorator (or furnishing fabrics in this hemisphere) weight & perfect to make pencil cases & other boy kind of stuff - my lovely DSSIL* asked me to make her a pencil case & sketchbook bag for her nephew, & I'm wondering if these might do, hmm, Miss Mandy?

Saturday, 8 August 2009


Who remembers Countdown from the '70's?  Oh, the anticipation of Sunday night at (was it 6.00pm or 6.30pm?) [insert magic time here], waiting for JPY to come on with those incredibly tight satin trousers, all those guys with the bad hair, just hanging on for 20 years waiting for hair product to be invented & but doing amazing things with hairspray and lard (honest, I'm sure I read that somewhere...) while they were waiting, and then, Molly, poor sad Molly, trying to be so serious, so deep, so meaningful, and nobody wanted to listen to him, he used to make me cringe when I saw him with 'real' rock stars (ie, not home grown) & you could see how they were looking at him going "who is this guy again?".  Ah, the memories.  Sherbert, Hush, Dragon, JPY, Skyhooks, Ted Mulry Gang... 

And why, you are asking, is she rambling on about Countdown?  Because, gentle readers, I am on the slippery slide down to 100 posts, the magic number when special secret secret special things happen, for you, out there.  Of course, it won't quite be like the joke my husband told me about West Virginia (he lived in the US for a couple of years & has some interesting stories...), the punchline is "oh, just you and me"... it'll be much classier than that, and it will involve one of these:

Made just for you, named, of course, Centurian.  Unless you think 'Count Down' is better.  Oh, that's quite clever, really.  Sometimes I surprise even myself.  

And of course, instead of the 'A' (for Aster, see previous posts if you really must absolutely have to can't live without knowing), it'll be a 'C'.  

And now, the real reason for this post (as my lovely wobbly friend over at Fluid Pudding says, the best bit is always at the bottom, you have to show real dedication & devotion to get here) (and of course the reward is sooooooooooo worth it) is that the shop name for me at is not IsabellaG (that's just my username, apparently) but is - wait for it "Isabella Golightly".  Whoda thunk?  Go, browse, enjoy.  And if you note the amazing resemblance of some items to some other items currently listed in some other online store, well, keep it to yourself, will you?


Thursday, 6 August 2009


I just found Madeit & have registered for a shop - sadly the shop names are limited to 9 characters (why is that?) - so I had to make do with IsabellaG - but I'm sure those who want to find me will be able to!

I've listed just a couple of things, and may move away from Etsy if it works out - not that I have anything against Etsy, but it is so Americentric, and they have some policies I'm not that happy about - but I hadn't seen an acceptable alternative until now - anyway, if you have spare cash & want to purchase some of my beautiful products :-)), give MadeIt a go & let me know what you think...

And these turned up today, after 6 weeks - I'm really happy with the quality and the price (100 zips for US$25 (works out about 33 cents per zip, a real bargain) but boy, six weeks is a long time to wait!

That's it for me, having escaped from the office at 6.00pm for the first time in 3 weeks, I'm going to have an early night.  Yay!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Heads up...

for a full house (yes, I know, it's "eyes down"), but sometimes you need to keep your head up so people can't see things they shouldn't...

And I say this because my lovely friend Romy just sent me an email about her hair - sorry reply not longer looked in a shop mirror today. roots! arrghhh. big time. no time to get to hairdressers, teach tomorrow (head down, talking), fight with management thursday (head down, negotiating), uni event friday evening in ballina - unknown people, probably all tall and looking down on my head.

so, ooops, look, dripping hair colour on desk...


I think we should all stop colouring our hair in Movember, you know, when the men grow their moustaches.  We could raise a lot of money for Beyond Blue, I reckon, with people paying us to do the dyeing deed.  Why is it that your hair always goes grey in the wrong places?   I want to be like Mary Kostakidis, who has the most gorgeous silver streak in her hair, and instead I look like Pepe La Pu's feral girlfriend Penelope.  Ah well...

We had a fabulous long weekend in the Hunter Valley, beautiful weather, great wines, some neat sewing stuff, plenty of quality dog time... and the cheekiest kangaroos I have ever seen!

And this is Bruce; he's the boss and he's about 6' 10" and very very scary - my friend Kaz says he sometimes turns up outside their shed at dusk - imagine if you ran into him putting out the garbage (and look at him facing me off - very glad I was 100 metres away!)...

Then we did a bit of sewing - the original of these came from Country Road, and it was a simple enough exercise to measure up that one & make another one in lovely apple & spot linen from here:

And then we made another, longer one for the bigger wallet...

in the gorgeous Eiffel tower material, also from here, and then I made this gorgeous (imho) pouch for Clara - who is la francaise herself...

and I had a bit of a glitch with the label - I wanted to put it in the bottom left hand corner, it just seems to be the most aesthetically pleasing there, but I still haven't come up with a foolproof way of calculating where it needs to go to allow for the boxing of the corners - and so I had to take it off & hand-stitch it on afterwards - but it doesn't look too bad, does it?

And then I persuaded Kaz to resurrect her blog, which was a brilliant move, again imho, because she has some beautiful photos & should be sharing them with the world - Post more piccies, Kaz!

Monday, 3 August 2009