Sunday, 31 January 2010

Doc Rosie and the Pencil Cases

That, to me, gentle reader, sounds like a much more interesting title for a book than "Little Kev hides his head in the sand about Asylum Seekers", or whatever it was called, but what would I know?

Anyway, I had a lovely visit with my very good friend Doc Rosie, who just happens to be the mother of the very lovely Clare, the brains and talent behind Lulu Carter.  And said lovely Clare hadn't been to the Golightly house since we rescued it from Pinkdom, and I think she liked it.  She was taken with the small but perfectly formed room, that's for sure (well, the contents, anyway!)...

Anyway, she stayed for a drink or two and some nibbles, we had a fabulous chat about craft, fabric, the ownership of 'original' ideas, who are the evil sisters and the wicked step-mother in the Cinderella world of craft, then she whisked young Master Carter away from the Frigits, and we had a fabulous time, eating, drinking and talking, and this time, we managed to stay away from this, which is good, because the last time we got together we polished off half a bottle, and I had a nasty encounter the next morning with pineapple juice that ended up with me chucking up said pineapple juice over the lawn.  You really wanted to know that, didn't you?  

Then I had the almost obligatory Sunday afternoon nap (these ten hour working days are really starting to take a toll, y'know?), and then sat down to make pencil cases, using Spotlight's best floral cotton drill.  When the recipients are five and three, I'm not going to use my best French linen, sorry!

For Tehya:

And for Kyla:

I love the Matryoshka lining fabric, which Mr Golightly's lovely niece Emma bought home from Amsterdam. 

And now, gentle reader, the cricket calls, and it's early to bed, early to rise makes Isabella less tired and grumpy than she is now!


Saturday, 30 January 2010

Gone, all gone

All my bits for Crafthope have gone, and I was very happy with the outcome of Sunday's efforts with the japanese linen & red spots:

The colour combo was just right, good size, zip went in beautifully... a slightly different experience to the original combo.  Obviously the god of sewing wasn't keeping her eye on the original pouch.

I have a bag of disasters, in the small but perfectly formed room, where I keep everything I've started to make but which has gone horribly wrong - I don't know why I keep them, they don't teach me anything except to perhaps be more careful... 

Other items of note in the Golightly Garden - the flowering gum is:

They're just like aliens, aren't they, waiting to burst forth from their pods... but very beautiful.
And the Crepe Myrtle, also flowering but on its last legs - it's been so pretty this year:

I was trying to be a bit artistic here and get right into the flower with my digital macro lens, but it was windy and do you think I could get the wind to stop blowing when I wanted it to?  Obviously the god of wind wasn't paying attention when she should have been either.  That's my excuse for the blur.

And we have a visitor in the garden - who is very welcome, even though I'm not that keen on them per se, and I don't like them in the house, I love seeing them in the garden because their job is to eat mosquitos, which means the mossies don't eat me, and that's got to be good!

And yesterday was my friend Deb's birthday... she's had a torrid few months, lately, what with one thing and another, so I've pushed the boat out a bit for her birthday - but still in keeping with the handmade vow, I got her this:

RESERVED Black Spotted Urchin with White Interior, Medium, Porcelain

from the lovely DiTerra, in Minneapolis... and I didn't make her anything.  Is that good or bad?  Who knows!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Call me UnAustralian, but...

I'm beginning to wonder why we need to spend today waving the flag, wearing the flag & having the flag painted on us - the need for overt displays of patriotism always worries me as perhaps underlying something very ugly - like those cars displaying stickers saying "Australia, love us or leave us" - surely everybody has the right with disagree with aspects of the national character, or state of the nation, regardless of where you were born?

I love this piece of writing:

I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism:  "Our country, right or wrong!" They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right."  Carl Shurz, 1899.  

Interesting, isn't it, that some things do not appear to have changed in 100 years, and that the sentiments could apply to any country?

Ah, John Lennon had it so right... "Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too..."*

Ah, dreams...

Saturday, 23 January 2010

And then there were three...

All of the things I donated to Craft Hope have now sold!  And now, I have to make them!  It's a bit naughty to sell something that doesn't exist, but I'm thinking its only fraudulent if you don't intend to make them - I spent this morning making one of these:

But I couldn't find any more of that pink, red, blue & white stripe (any ideas where it came from?  Nope, me neither, I'm thinking maybe Spotlight?  Ooooh, scary!) so I used Sandi Henderson's Farmers Market in this:

Sandi Henderson, Farmers Market, Spring, Stripey, 1/2 Yard

Which looked surprisingly good, I must say.  I hope the generous purchaser likes it!

Then I had to make a box pouch, so I thought I'd go with the nice japanese linen with the green flower on it, lined with fantastic owls:

Robert Kaufman Fabric Set in Pistachio, Amy Schimler and Iota Fabric, 4 Half Yards

and I cut out and appliqued one of the owls onto the front, and then, when I was sewing it up, I realised I hadn't caught the end tab in properly, and when I tried to fix it, completely screwed it up.  So, from being 99% done, it was 99% screwed.  So I had to start again, from scratch.  And I said the big F word, really loud.  I'm sure I shocked Mr Golightly, who doesn't normally comment on my swearing, of which there is often quite a lot (but of course, only when really justified, (yeah right)...) but he did check if I was OK... kind of- he yelled from the study "did you break something?".  If I'd been lying on the floor stabbed through the heart with a pin it would have been too bad, eh?

Anyway, I've given the owls up as a bad job, and gone to this combo instead:

Japanese cotton linen blended fabric-cute apple red/blue (half yard) Jennifer Moore for Monaluna Mingle Dots on Red Fabric - By the Yard

which I must admit I quite like... so I'm cut out, pellon bonded, zip inserted, top stitched & rearing to go.  Tomorrow...  

And christ, it was hot today.  We took the 'shut up the house' option & kept the doors & windows closed, until the southerly whipped through at about 4.30 - just enough to lower the temperature by 18C, thanks, and to make us rush outside to get in the remnants of the washing in from the big fat rain drops... which lasted just until we'd got the washing in!

Ah well.  At least it wasn't humid, hey?  We'll sleep tonight, whoo hoo.  Flanellette PJ's here we come!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Nice work...

Well, good news on the Craft Hope front... two of the three items I listed have sold, which is fantastic, and sold to buyers in the US.

Thank you, whoever you are, I hope our small contribution will help MSF do some good in Haiti...

And tonight, I'm going off to make the items I've sold!

One of these, and some of these:

And I'll be putting a post on my Facebook page - if you haven't popped over to see me, please do - I feel very 'underfriended'...


Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Hunter Valley weekend...

So, we had our first visit to the Hunter Valley since Zeb.B.Dog went off to Doggie Heaven, and I have to say it was a bit hard... I kept looking for her every where I went, and of course, the house was lot quieter without her.  Poor Zoe Dog was also a shadow of her former self, off her food, drink, off her game, slinking around looking for Zeb everywhere she went...

Next time we're up there I will go & visit the spot where she's buried, but this time I couldn't face it.... give me a month or so.

In the interim, I made a couple of cushion covers for Kaz, who was looking to cheer up her living room a little.  I used up some of my nice Joel Dewberry Deer Valley from here:

and co-incidentally, I had a piece of Amy Butler Home Dec weight from here:

and the colours were amazingly in synch - needless to say Kaz was very happy with the cushions - and they were a nice easy birthday present - Happy Birthday Kaz!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Well, this is probably a better idea anyway...

 Given that I already donate on a regular basis of MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders), I wanted to do a little more, in light of the horror that is going on in Haiti.

Anyway, I'm going to send a bunch of listings to this shop, which is doing a sterling job in raising money for Haiti by selling crafty things made by people like me... please consider making a purchase or a donation for those poor people.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Ch Ch Changes...

Well, this could be embarrassing... (how is it that focusing has one 's' and embarrassing has two?).  Oh yes, where was I?  Embarrassing.  I added a new widget to the bottom of my blog from a site called "BlogFrog" - with a name like that, how could I resist?  It's supposed to be a form of social networking for bloggers, which might be nice, for those of us who can't go to things like "BlogHer" (but, I have to say, why would you want to?  Isn't cybercontact enough, already?)  Ooops, I digress again... and of course it's supposed to show you when people have read your blog.  I could be sitting there waiting for the pot to boil for a long long time.  

No, I know there are a few hardy souls who read this drivel through thick & thin, which is encouraging...

Did you also note I'd changed the banner?  I think sometimes a new look is good, even though none of my gentle readers could tell me how to add a background to my blog... I found instructions, I read them, I tried, I really did.. but some things just elude me - it's like long division, algebra and programming in C++, you know, they just go in one end and out the other.   Mr Golightly was no help either, even though he's the compleat geek, he was too busy fixing his toilet.  That's a whole other story I'm not telling. 

Weather-wise, it was nice having a day of 40C/104F yesterday, because it reminds us all how lovely it is to have a day of 29C/84F.  I was out west yesterday, and ventured out only once, to buy lunch, then returned to the slightly overheated damp cave I work in... no wonder I feel a bit odd today.

Oh yes, did I mention?  I feel a bit odd today.  Sore throat, sore ears, glands are up, eyes feel very sticky, head feels very cotton-woolly.  It's 10.50AM & I'm still in my PJs.  Not at work, in case you were worried.  

And on the supplies side, these arrived yesterday:

Amy Butler Lotus  Yard Bundle (2 Yds Total)  Lacework and Star Paisley - LAST ONE

And these:

Joel Dewberry Deer Valley - Azure Palette - 5 Half-Yards - 2.5 yards total

I loved the red and blue so much I thought I'd give the turquoise and coral a burl - they are very nice, I must say.  What a talent that nice Mr Dewberry is.

And in other news just to hand, I've been invited by my lovely friend Fluid Pudding to join her Flickr Group "Tide Whiff Wise", which is another way of saying 2010 is "The Year During Which I Finish What I’ve Started (TYDWIFWIS).  As the proud owner of many UFO's*, I'm determined to finish the lace scarf I started for my lovely SIL** two (at least) years ago, before her birthday.  When is that, I hear you saying?  Oh, if you must know, it's in October.  But that doesn't mean it'll be done in time - I just can't knit in summer because it's too hot, we're away for all of April, May, June, July & August are prime sewing months because its cool, so it'll have to be September.  Don't expect to hear from me then!

And now, back to bed.  I've exhausted myself with all this typing and I need to rest.  I'm so precious :-)

*Un-Finished Object

Saturday, 9 January 2010

All right, crisis averted!

Boy, when I get my knickers into a twist, they really do get twisted, don't they?  I must admit to being really pissed off with Vodafone AND Google, for making what appear to be some fairly arbitrary decisions about the way the bundled phone is going to work, because, no matter how good Google, Gmail etc etc are, the fact remains that occasionally, people will want to synch their PCs with their phones.

Anyway, I found something called 'eReader', via the Android Forums, which has been put together by those clever people at Barnes and Noble.  It's great, because it allows you to download the eBooks you might previously have bought at Fictionwise, which is an eBookstore I've used since I had my Palm, way back in the dim distant dark ages.   So, the good news, gentle reader, is that I can stop spending hours of my *free* time looking for drivers, .exe files and hints hidden in the dark corners of the HTC universe, and concentrate on the really important things, like, sewing!

Because MWH also got a new geeky toy for his Big Birthday, I thought I would be nice and make him a case for it.  Well.  Talk about fussy!  Had I but known... (it was really a case of "but I want the caramel on the inside, which some of you may remember).  He wanted a clip, not a nice, easy to use lobster, of which there are plenty in the drawer, but one of those fairly horrible 'push to open' jobbies which I find very hard to use (and which, to be fair, is probably the point, hard to open, hard to get lost, yes, yes, I get it), and he wanted it sewn on *here*, not a millimetre lower, and yes, that's lovely, but could I have some velcro on it too?  So I took it all apart, added the velcro, discarded the original (now too short) lining, ripped, stitched, swore a bit and came up with this:

Anyway, after two weeks of use, His Nibs advises me that he wants to be able to use the silicon condom that came with said geeky toy, and could I make him another one, a bit bigger, and also could it have space to stuff the headphones into as well?  Honest, the man thinks I can work miracles.  Well, he's only partly right, of course.  Sadly, I didn't have any more of the robot fabric, but I did have baby-poo brown dinosaurs, of course I did...

Note it's all one piece, and I did a clever thing with the ribbon this time, stitching it into the top seam when I joined the inner & outer fabrics.  Looks much nicer, and, best of all, the geeky toy, silicon condom and earphones all stuff very nicely into the pouch, which seals up securely with Velcro.

So, I'm thinking, I should make myself a better one, with some o' that magic velcro stuff on the top to stop yon geeky device sliding onto the floor, something that happened quite a lot last week!

So, using some of this absolutely gorgeous french linen from here, I made this, lined with this:

And then I made this for a colleague, who borrowed mine in the week to go out powerwalking, and who raved about it!    Fabric also from Whipstitch Fabrics - gorgeous, isn't it?  Any excuse to spread the love.

I think I need a tutorial on how to make those lovely handles I see on Etsy, which look a lot more sophisticated than my 3" cut & folded - any suggestions?

Now, I'm off to enjoy the eReader on my geeky toy... ciao!


Can some clever person tell me how to put a spiffy background onto my blog?  I've spent a fruitless morning (well 28 minutes, anyway) listening to next door-but-one's absolute crap music, & trying to read-and-think, think-and-read, and it's all too hard!


Oh this?  Completely unrelated, but very nice & available from here!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Rule One: Never post when angry

Rule Two:  Always read everything twice before posting.
Rule Three:  Always read the entire contract from end to end before purchasing.
Rule Four:  Re-read Rules One-Three before posting.

I bought a new geeky toy.  Love it.  Sleek, slender, light, powerful.  Fun.  Convenient, easy to use.  Nice customisable features.... (plus, I got the black one, waaay more sexy than underpants white, right?)


Hmmm.  But wait... My new geeky toy appears to have a major design, ummmm, limitation.

Apparently the Vodafone Google bundled model was never designed to synch (i.e., talk to) a PC 'as a device', so any Apps (little programs that run on your phone) that depend on your synching your PC to your device, won't work.  For somebody like me who reads a lot of e-books, that is a seriously seriously poor piece of design.  Because this is 'new tech', there are only a couple of Apps on the market which will supply the required e-book reader, and the chosen App (which I might add is completely blameless in all this mess) just can't talk to 'temporary drive x:', it needs to talk to 'the device'.

And so, I have to say, I'm very cross.  Nobody from Vodafone bothered to tell me when I signed up for the damn plan that the phone couldn't synch with a PC 'as a device'.  They told me all about the good stuff, like Google Maps, Gmail, Synching your calender & contacts with Gmail, yes, indeedy, but did they mention it couldn't talk to a PC 'as a device'?  NosireeeBob.

Am I cross?  Very.  Did I mention that?  Oh yes.

So, I hear you say from the non-geek corner of the world, what's the big deal?  The PC will still see the device as a 'temporary drive x:, and you can load files to the drive for things like music.  Fine, but if the App requires the device to synch as 'a device', forget it, it just can't do it.

And the other thing that has really got me riled is that Google, whose big idea this all was, has about as much help as John Howard has heart - practically none.  Their website is as much use as a chocolate teapot, glass door in a toilet, screen door on a submarine*, [insert own 'useless' metaphor here].  It doesn't even mention that the HTC Magic is out on the market, branded Google, with all these Google apps 'bundled', as they say, and the help is non-existent.

C'mon, people, lift your game.  This is serious!

*Image & metaphor courtesy of here, thanks Baino.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Some kind of irony

Does anybody but me see some kind of weird irony in being asked to make a toy dog, less than a week after The Best Dog In The World has gone to Doggy Heaven?  Goodness me but life is weird.

Anyway, Mr Golightly's nephew, Master E, has a friend, Master L, who is having a birthday, and "could Aunty Golightly make a dog like mine, only for the Cronulla Sharks?"... Last year I made a dog for Master E in the colours of his favourite Football team (or a close, Joel Dewberry-type approximation thereof).  

For those of you out there not completely au fait with the NRL (oh, you too?), the colours are apparently blue, grey and white.  So, one did ones best, as they say somewhere else:

To be named, somewhat appropriately, "Sharkey".  I'm a bit cross with myself because I forgot to make him a collar, but as Master E's mother so wisely said "he'll never know".  Well, yes, but I will.  Next time, too, I will dig out the florist's wire & make the ears a bit more standy-uppy, but I quite like floppy-eared dogs.  Why wouldn't you?

And now, back to the disaster that is Australia Vs Pakistan.  Mr Golightly is off getting wet & miserable at the Cricket Ground today and very shortly I'm going to do the good wifey thing & make spaghetti for dinner.  He'll need something to cheer him up after Australia's performance today! 

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Best Dog in the world... gone to Dog Heaven

My good friend Zeb.B.Dog has swum off to Dog Heaven, where, if there are any rewards for good behaviour in Doggy Life, there should be an endless supply of golf balls, tennis balls, soccer balls, hard rubber balls, soft stress balls, frisbees, sticks of all shapes and sizes, bread rolls to be eaten only on the carpet, raw turkey necks and bowls of other doggie's food, just waiting for her. No arthritis, no pain, no competition from the owners of that food, just lots of big fluffy dog beds, big dams full of warm water, birds to chase, passing walkers and joggers to bark at, and nobody to stop her, an endless supply of people to throw those sticks and balls and hand out the turkey necks on demand.

Even though she wasn't mine, she felt like mine. She loved to sneak up behind you and stick her head under your arm and toss her head, and too bad if you had a glass of wine in your hand. She loved to drop wet sticky slimey balls at your feet for you to throw, especially if you were sitting with something that needed clean hands. She loved to stand right next to you after she'd been in the dam, and shake all that lovely cold water all over you. She wanted all your attention, and she was worth it. She was smart and funny and if she loved you, you knew it.

She was my friend and I'm going to miss her.