Sunday, 30 January 2011

Oops..

For some reason I forgot to update the page with this lovely treasury I made late last week - asyouknowBob, I was born in another country and only came here sometimes in the 1420's - and so I have lots of memories of that other place... not sure why I felt like I needed to make this, but I like it!


Anyway, the only reason I'm telling you this is so you can enjoy it before I replace it with the buggy one I'm about to make.  Enjoy indeed, soon all will be creeping and crawling and things that crawl up your nose in the night.


Enjoy, Gentle Readers!


Ciao.

Creepy Crawly Alert


I thought I'd put the non-bug type news first, so the faint-hearted amongst you can avoid it if you don't want to see what goes on in our garden.

I've finally dug out the beautiful fabric I bought in 2009 from here to make a tablecloth for My Best Friend, whose birthday was yesterday - Happy Birthday Deb! and I'm busy sewing french seams on the cloth:

Pillow and Maxfield by Michael Miller,Pretty Petals in Bluei, Whimsy Fabric, 1 Yard

Pillow and Maxfield by Michael Miller,Large Whimsy Dozzie in Blue, Whimsy Fabric, 1 Yard (Sometimes I hate blogger.  Why won't it put these in the middle?)

I really like these materials & hope MBF does too!  The first print is for the cloth, and the second print is for the border - there was much swearing yesterday when I was trying to work out what size to cut the border to acommodate the whole length (108" X 2 + 43" X 2) but I think I've got it.  I think.



OK, bug alert.  Stop reading now if you don't want to see spiders, half-eaten beetles and insect wars.


We tend not to call them 'critters', down here. They're just the local wildlife. We have an inordinate number of them, see here for details.  But don't look if you're faint-hearted.  We have the White-tail, Wolf, St Andrew's Cross, Redback and Huntsman in our garden, and the daddy-long-legs in our house.  Of all of them, it's the daddy-long-legs that annoy me the most - they make webs in the house, which attract - shock horror - dust.  And then we have cobwebs.  Once you've got them, too, it's almost impossible to get rid of them.  When we were first married, way back in the 17th Century, we didn't have them, then we moved into a rental apartment (which I hated, but that's a whole 'nother story) which had them, and bang!  We had them.  And we've had them ever since.  


Anyway, yesterday morning, Gentle Readers, I was hanging washing out in the garden, as we do here in Australia.  Out in the sunshine, as you will see from the photos.  The St Andrew's Cross spiders have started making their amazing multi-dimensional webs, and there's one right on the clothesline.  I don't mind this at all, because they catch flies and mosquitos, and as I'm still scarred from the sandfly plague, any help I can get from Mother Nature is fine with me.  I don't much like walking into the webs at night, particularly when they try & run over your face to get away.. but I digress.


The St Andrew's Cross spider had just shed its skin.  I didn't even know they did that.  But there it was, an empty skin, and a newly limp spider, just... hanging... there, waiting to warm up, or cool down, or whatever it is they do.  So I whipped back inside to get the camera.


It took me a few goes to get the camera to focus on the spiders and not the roof, the garden, the sky, but I finally achieved it:



Garden

Roof

More Garden


Yet more garden and finally...



Spiders.  Before and after!



Weird, huh?


Then, in another entomological moment, a beetle bit the dust just outside our back door, and made the ants happy for about 300 ant years:




This morning, there's only this left:


And the ants valiantly trying to drag an anntennae down the hole to their nest:


And last night, the battle of the bush spider versus the hornet - I'm not too fond of these little flying orange bundles of nasty, so I try to avoid them at all costs - which is why this was taken from behind my screen door (I'm not that brave!):


The poor paralysed spider is just outside my front door, being eaten alive by ants.  Ick.

And now, Gentle Readers, I must go & get in the shower (11.40am, just about time) & work on the tablecloth!

Have a wonderful (bug-free) Sunday.  Ciao!




Thursday, 27 January 2011

Meet me in St Louis?

A much better day today, and thank the Maker for that.  I would have just curled up & cried if that weather had gone on for much longer.  I didn't want to trouble you with TMI, but honestly, yesterday morning I was standing in the kitchen peeling lychees with sweat running down my face.  Actual beads of moisture.  Not just the gentle glow that ladies get, Gentle Readers, the full-blown sweaty globules of sweat that horses, navvies and road workers get.  Like the proverbial pig.


Ahem.  I finished the quilt top today, after the remainder of the cleaning up, and here 'tis:







Ready and waiting to be quilted.


In other news, Gentle Readers, I got a mention from the very lovely Angela Pudding.  Mrs Pudding writes one of the funniest blogs I've read, and she's taken pity on me because we don't have Chipotles in adobo sauce here in Australia.  As I'd never heard of either, she's undertaken to come over & make them for me, served with fish tacos.  I think fish tacos sound just fine.  I'd like to go to St Louis, but I'm sure we could meet somewhere in the middle.  Hawaii?  Sure.  Fish tacos with chipotles and pineapple, anybody?


I had a very encouraging conversation with the man who runs the Upholstery department at our local (well, not quite local, but not quite St Louis either) Technical School, and tomorrow am popping over there to talk about the possibilities.  See, there is hope.


And I made a flat-pack pouch for the aforementioned Angela Pudding, the type I've raved about before, and which you can find in the shop.  She's my first Etsy sale for the New Year, and as mentioned, all proceeds will be donated to the Premier's Flood Appeal.  It's a great cause.


And now, Gentle Readers, I'm going to bed. My brain has stopped churning, it's raining and I'm very happy.  


Sleep well - I will.


Ciao!









Life

Sucks sometimes, doesn't it?  It's 4.42am.  We had people round yesterday (12 adults, seven children), it was so hot (hottest Australia Day in 20 years, apparently) & humid I felt like a damp rag all day, I couldn't even stand the thought of earrings (and if you know me, you'll know how serious that is) and I changed clothes twice before the guests arrived because I was a damp and floppy mess.


So, the thing is that I'm really tired - all the prep required to feed 19 people, the organisation, getting everybody to eat some salad (go Ryan!), the cleanup... but they were all gone by 6.30pm, mostly because today is a work day (for nearly everybody) & I fell asleep on the sofa afterwards until the cricket finished (we lost) and Mr Golightly dragged me to bed (by the hair, whoo hoo).  


So, if I'm so tired, why am I up at 4.46am?  I'm up at 4.46am because somebody said something thoughtless to me (no, not one of my guests) and it's churning rounding in my brain, and stopping me from sleeping.  It's one of those things that you can't bring up with the thoughtless person to discuss, because that will just cause angst and unpleasantness, at a time when those two are definitely unwelcome in our houses.  It's one of those things you just have to leave churning, wait for your brain to process it, and catch up on your sleep later in the day.  


Also, there are times when trying to explain or clarify just makes you look defensive, and when the person you love most in the world assures you that it wasn't your doing, you realise you don't have to defend or explain.  You just have to let it go.  And that's hard, sometimes.  Especially when you thought you'd reached a place where the thoughtless remark would no longer occur.  And that's why life sucks.  Because no matter what lengths you go to, what extremes, how much you put your own life on hold, how selfless you are, the thoughtless remark will always do its evil work and reduce you back to the role of 'not quite good enough'.


And that's why I'm awake at 4.58am, still trying to be good enough.  Now, back to bed, Gentle Readers and try to sleep. 


Buona notte.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Time flies

What a day and what night.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned once or twice or three times how much I hate summer.  We went to Morpeth on Sunday, just to wander the streets and look at the interesting architectural features:











and I got sunburnt.  Even though I had a hat on, I'd forgotten the sunblock.  I have now officially developed what Mr Golightly so charmingly refers to as a 'Westie Tan'.  You know, Gentle Readers, the sort of tan on those people who work outdoors, or who don't get to the beach much, so that it starts above the sockline, stops at the shorts, starts again at the neckline up to the face, and all the arms which aren't covered up.


I wouldn't mind so much, but I've got a bunch of white spots (absence of melanin) on my arms, and with the combination of brown skin with white spots and white skin with sandfly bite scars, I look like some kind of alien.


What else?  Sleep was hard to come by, even with the southerly sweeping through at about 9.30pm, but eventually I went off, but today I feel like I usually do after a bad summer sleep.  Crappy.


I have lots to do today, shopping for food for the Hordes** who are descending tomorrow, and maybe, in the afternoon, a spot of sewing.  I'm going to start on a dressing gown, I think.  Mine first, so I can iron out all the bugs before I make the other two.  The fabric?



And for Az:


And now, Gentle Readers, much as I would love to crawl back into bed for an hour or so, the siren song of Woolworths is too hard to resist, and I must away, away to the supermarket.


Ciao!


**Quasi-Annual BBQ for the Friends.  Usually fun.  Usually.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Weekends in Burgundy

Well, not quite, but we spend quite a lot of time with Mr & Mrs Grand Cru** Vineyard, of Burgundy, France, who are here for Vintage (that's grape picking, for youse not in the know of the vineyard lingo)...


They are lovely people, except Mr Grand Cru is a fiercely competitive Scrabble player, and we played quite a few games of multilingual scrabble, which was great because some things are spelt just far enough off the English spelling that we could use up some odd letters - and Mr Golightly's crowning glory, was zero, which he managed to get in the bottom left hand corner of the scrabble board, which is, of course, a triple word score.  Ten for z, 1 for e, 1 for r, 1 for o, 39 points, thank you very much.  


I took a few pictures:


Dusk:




Dinner:



Dog:


Dark (almost):




And we drank lots of great wine in good company:


And the weather was perfect:



I discussed upholstery options with Kaz, who has a small bench she wants to reupholster in this:

CLOSEOUT SALE. Amy Butler August Fields Coreopsis Spruce.  Home decor weight 55/56in. Heavy Cotton Sateen

which I've had sitting in the 'Home Dec' box since April 2009, just waiting for the right project... 

We bought some gorgeous quilt backing (108"/274cm wide) From Busy Needles, in Singleton, to make new dressing gowns for me, Kaz & Az and although I had already bought a pattern from Folkwear, we popped into Spotlight & picked up something a bit less... fiddly?  Ornate?  I should be able to get started on these after Wednesday, but I did wash the material tonight, which was a smart move considering how much blue dye came out in the water... I may even wash them again once they're dry, just to make sure it all comes out in the wash.  Sorry, couldn't help myself.

And we won the cricket, so it was one of those weekends which are all good, but now, Gentle Readers, I am knackered, so it's goodnight from me, and Ciao! from him.

Ciao Ciao!  


Friday, 21 January 2011

What a day...

Well, yesterday I felt a bit like a Roman Empress, being fed, feted, fawned over.  Almost.  Yesterday was a day of food, drink, food, drink, food, drink.  With some good company added in for good measure, and a large dose of doing nothing more strenuous than moving from venue to venue.





Did you know, Gentle Readers, that public buildings which have chairs in their lobbies are great places to sit & read, or sit & listen to music, whilst waiting for one's next appointment?  No purchase required.


So, in the morning (really early, compared to my recent lifestyle), I got the bus into town with Mr Golightly.  I'd forgotten how he always likes to pretend my somewhat large bottom is pushing him off the seat into the aisle... anyway, dip the ticket, 6.53, onto the bus, and of course because it's still school holidays, the bus was empty (well, that and the fact that it starts just round the corner from our bus stop, so you'd expect it to be empty).  By the time we'd wended our weary way into town at 8.00, it was standing room only, school holidays or no.


I met up with my lovely former colleague The Jaxster, and my mentor and former-former boss, the gorgeous Q, and we had a huge breakfast and planned our strategy for the assault on available jobs in the August Institution when I return (l'orrore!) in March. 


That took until 10.00am.  Then Q and I wandered up to the big building with the TV studio in it, which also has offices of the August Institution, and I rang Babs, who was in my team last year, and we met for coffee and gossip information interchange.  


So then it was 11.00, and I had an early lunch date at 11.30 (note - I have never felt less like eating lunch than I did at 11.30am yesterday) with SD, another former colleague, where we chatted on like really old friends, rather than people who worked together for 3 brief and ugly months, until 3.00pm.  I also poured an expensive G&T all over the table and her cardi, and ate a fantastic Caesar Salad that I really didn't want, but enjoyed, nonetheless.


After we parted company, I wandered down to one of the new chrome & glass edifices which they are throwing up all over town, trying to convince us all that people who come to Sydney want to see 'an international city', which is a bullshit way of saying 'we get to knock down interesting old buildings and build new, shiny, crappy, gone in 10 years, stuff'. 


sydney



Nobody who comes to visit a new country wants to see the same buildings they can see in every other country!  They want to see buildings that tell how we got to where we are, that say something about who we are.  Ahem.


Anyway, I wandered into Trenery, which is an off-shoot of Country Road, almost an institution in Australia, a clothing company which has been around for about 30 years, but which doesn't make anything above a size 14 because "they don't want fat people (fat!) to wear their clothes".  Since when is anybody who's a size 16 fat?  Maybe if you were 4' tall & 100 kilos?  Tossers.

Anyway, Trenery is "a new label for men and women who appreciate the beauty of a simple, sophisticated collection that is modern in approach and classic in style."

And expensive. Don't forget expensive. But apparently not quite so elitist as Country Road, because they make things in XXL, which in the real world, translates to things a slightly tubby 5'6" person can wear (ie, me).  Note:  This is not me.  Really.







Then, I went to Eckersleys, the arts supply shop & fed my ribbon addiction a bit more, by which time it was 4.00pm, and I was supposed to be heading home.  Anyway, after a brief, somewhat terse discussion with Mr G, I stayed in town, had a drink at one of my after-work favourites, which I'm not going to tell you the name of, in case it gets any more popular, and then Mr G joined me.  One Negroni Aranciata and large glass of Trummer Pils later, we were in a taxi heading to my Nephew's place, for yet more food.





I felt like Mr Creosote by the time he bought out the cheesecake.  Phew.  Dinner was fabulous though, lots of great conversation around form versus function, the role of art in life, whether graffiti was an art form, whether you could really inherit skills & the desire to use them from grandparents you'd never met (opinions please!)... all the good stuff.  I dipped me lid* to My Nephew's beliefs, buying a white wine called 'Two Churches', and a red called 'Faith'... the red was lovely, the white had too much sulphur in it & I was sweating like a pig after one glass...  maybe the sulphur we're going to encounter when we got to hell?  If I believed in hell, of course...





Then we watched a fascinating DVD about Banksy, who is a very interesting man, and which led to more questions about what Art is, whether you can truly be called an artist if you have no skills but just pay people to make stuff for you, stuff which is incredibly derivative of things you'd seen other people do, right down to the painted animals, and whether the whole thing was a Banksy-driven hoax... then we got in a taxi & came home & collapsed.  It was midnight.  I was stuffed full of food.  I was knackered.  





And that, Gentle Readers, is how I come to be still in my PJ's at 9.25am, thinking about more sleep and whether I can go through the weekend without eating anything at all.  


We shall see.  Ciao!


*aussie term for acknowledges

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Check this out!

These gorgeous brooches come from a fellow Sydney Etsyan, Alittleredribbon (I hate the way Etsy makes yousquishupyournames.  A Little Red Ribbon.  I've got family birthdays coming up & you know what?  This could be the winner - plus, I love her photos - I must write & ask her how she does it, mine always look like the bridge between amateur and complete chaos.


New - Brooch with Liberty of London fabric



In other news, the mosquito plague that has taken over from the sandfly plague is still driving me nuts in the night, two bites around the left eye & I look like I've got 2 rounds with Aussie Joe Bugner in his prime.  No pictures of that, I promise you!


Yesterday we went to town, and the Kidlets and I checked out Kunokiniya, which is an amazing bookshop - I love it - not sure about the Kidlets though, they seemed a bit overwhelmed - but they were pretty keen on the Apple store.  I love the way they just let you wander through, playing with stuff.  It's a pretty neat way to get people to buy your stuff, if you ask me.  Shame we can't do that with jewellers, isn't it, or fabric stores?  I just need 3 metres of this to play with for a while....  Can't see it taking off.  Shame, that.


And so, because we were in town all day, no progress was made on the quilting, but I did get the lavender bags for AusDisasterRelief made & packaged up, ready to be posted off today... and I think I'll put another lot in their shop, because they came out very nicely & they are fabulous, if I say so myself.


I made a wonderful (imho) treasury, 'Do androids dream of electric sheep', which is a book by Philip K Dick, a very clever man who knew a lot about what the future might look like, and I slept badly (again).


And for now, that's it.  I'm going to finish sewing the sashing together now, then start stitching the quilt back together.  If you need anything, just yell, OK?


Ciao!











Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Gone to...

Sunbury, Victoria and Doonan, Queensland, that's where.  The second lot of lavender bags sold in about 2 hours, which is really nice, and today, Gentle Readers, I will be whipping them up & sending off via Australia Post.  And I may even put another lot in the Disaster Relief Shop.


In other news, a few days of stinky humid weather has left me feeling tired, but the ceiling fan is doing its work at night, except last night, when I was clammy and restless - but I think that's more to do with the ear thingy - did I mention the ear thingy, Gentle Readers?  Yes, I did.  Yesterday, finally, after much procrastination, I got to the doctor. 


After exclaiming over the sand-fly bite scars on my arms and legs (worst she's seen, apparently), she told me I have a Eustachian Tube dysfunction, which is an infection not in the ear itself, but in the Eustachian Tube, and what I've been hearing is the movement of air in the Tube, trying to equalise itself.  Sounds terrible, doesn't it?  No pun intended.  


Anyway, antibiotics for the ear, antibiotic eye drops for the impacted eye and no flying for a week or so.  Simon, cancel the jet for Tahiti*.


In crafty news, I went to Cottage Quiltworks yesterday & chose backing fabric & binding for Miss Nelly's quilt, spending an inordinate amount of money, but it will look fantastic when it's done.  The quilting turnaround takes about six weeks, but is, apparently, usually quicker - I've left it to the discretion of the quilting lady, but with the caveat that the quilt owner is 11 years old & definitely not too girlie - so hopefully it will come back a masterpiece.  Pictures, I promise.


I also bought a nice maroon & green (no, really!) fat quarter to make up for the lady from Victoria who bought one of the sets of lavender bags, she was very happy to oblige with a suggestion, and the Queensland lady wanted earthy tones, so that was pretty easy.  I also slashed the second quilt (being extremely careful to line up the seams) again, and here 'tis, just waiting to be sashed:




which I'm hoping to do today, after I return from my outing to Town (Aussie readers may remember that ad for Spray Fresh, where the farming family goes to town about twice a year and they all have a shower or bath before going?  It was called "Don't waste a wash" - but the key part was the whole family going "Town?  Town!"... sorry.  Seniors moment there...) with My Best Friend and the Kidlets - and so, Gentle Readers, I must away to the bathroom, make myself respectable and find suitable clothing.  


It's going to be 25°C today, and the sky is grey, but I'm sure it's going to be hotter than that once the sun warms up and burns all the clouds off - so... shorts, t-shirt?  Linen 3/4 pants & shirt?  Pants & shirt?  Oh, decisions, decisions.  Maybe I'll just go naked.  Easy.


Ciao!








*Another ad from the '70's, for Imperial Leather soap.  Try YouTube.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Gone to Gowings?

Well, not quite, but gone just the same.  The Really Stinky Lavender Bags, that is.  Sold. Dunno who too yet, because I haven't had an email from the conveners of the Etsy shop, but when I do find out (and I will, Gentle Readers, I will), you will be the second to know.


Anyway, I've sent off another listing to the lovely peeps running the shop, so there'll be another lot available in case you wanted some & missed out.  I haven't actually made them yet, but when I find out where & who, I will.  Following?


In other extremely exciting news, I have made the first 5/8 of the quilt top that's been languishing as a Layer Cake in the Small But Perfectly Formed Room since August 2010:





Part The Second is to turn it 90° on its head & do the slashing & sashing thing again, which I think will make it look really nice - and since I worked out that the foot with the little red lines on my sewing machine is an actual quarter inch, things are a lot more accurate.  Well, that and the fabulous new cutting out table Mr Golightly whipped up for me - did I mention this before, Gentle Readers?  

I'm 5'6"/168cm, but the dining table is just 4"/10cm too low for me to cut out on.  I get a sore back just looking at dropping the cutting board onto the table.  So, in a fit of the genius that reminds me why I love him, he cut out four 4" square feet, made brackets, and attached it all to a custom sized sheet of MDF.  Then, we attached the 24"X36"/940 X 640cm cutting board to the MDF with liquid nails, and there you are, Bob's your Uncle.  Best part?  The feet pop off so I can store it upright down the side of a storage unit in the SBPFR*.

Anyway, it's now super easy to cut WOF fabrics using a proper quilting ruler on a big cutting board, which was the downfall with the first version of this I made - I tried to cut it by eye, because I couldn't find a big enough space to do it properly.  I feel like a real quilter now.  L'Orrore!

You can also see that I was super careful to match up the blocks this time too:


That sashing isn't really bendy, it's just an optical illusion.  Honest.

What else?  My Best Friend and the Kidlets have returned from the damp North, with tales of food wastage and the intransigence of supermarkets.  Turn away now if you're prone to fits of righteous anger... This is the story - they wanted to buy two onions.  There were two loose rotting onions.  The only non-rotten onions were in a bag with one rotting onion also in it.  When they asked if they could open the bag & buy the non-rotting onions, the supermarket responded by throwing away the whole bag of onions, because one of them was rotten.  Too bad if that had been the last onion in the world.  

How did we get so tangled up in rules and regulations that we can't think "oh, there's a shortage of food items, there's some onions available in that bag, let's break it open & sell them off to people who only want one or two".  No, we have to throw the whole lot away, good onions and all.  Honestly.  It's enough to make you cry.  No pun intended.

And that's it for me, I think.  It's been a sticky day, but the sun is going down and the air has cooled sufficiently such that I think I might sleep tonight.  Yeehaw.  I hate Summer.  Did I ever mention that?

Ciao!




*Small But Perfectly Formed Room







Saturday, 15 January 2011

And in other news of unparalleled excitement

I have sent off an item to the Australian Etsy Disaster Relief fund, so if you're feeling generous and have A$18.00 to spare, you can have 3 beautifully stinky jumbo lavender bags, posted free to anywhere in the world.


These be they:




Ribboned up & ready to go.  Come on now, don't be shy, it's a great cause!


If you can't find my item in the Disaster Relief Etsy shop, all profits from everything sold out of my shop in January & February are also going to this great cause - when you make a purchase, send me a note that you're buying something for the flood appeal, and I'll refund your postage.


Back to the sewing machine!


Ciao!

Lost something?

Dinner last night at the Dinger's.  White wine in fridge, cooling.  Beer in fridge, ditto.  Red wine on bench/counter, waiting to go into cooler bag, and then into car.


Get phone call, Mr G is on the ferry.  Put wine into bag, put beer into cooler bag, hit the road.  Collect Mr G.  Hit the Dinger's house (not literally, of course), seek out white wine.  No sign. Mr G helpfully says "Bottle was in bag when beer went to ice". Seek out white wine.  No sign.  Go to laundry room where soft drinks sit under ice. Seek out white wine.  No sign. 


Chestnut Grove Verdelho - Buy Online - Winelistaustralia


Greet other friends, nibble, chat, drink Host's white wine (called, distressingly "Cock and Bull",  tasted OK but not my beautiful bottle of 2008 Chestnut Grove Verdelho).  Eat, drink somebody else's red wine, soft drink, chat, chat, chat, resume discussion of missing white wine.  Turns out Mr G only saw the red wine in the cooler bag.  





Betcha any money white wine is still in fridge!


Return home.  White wine in fridge.  Apologies issued all round.  Peace.


Ah, our life is soooo exciting.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Apparently

It's Friday today.  Not quite sure where that week went - My Best Friend comes back from Mackay, in Queensland, (pronounced mah-kai) tomorrow, They've had rain in Mackay but no flooding, thank the Goddess.  I've been popping by her house to collect mail, real and junk, from her mailbox, and I think part of my malaise this week has been because I've really missed her company - being on your own all day is no fun, really, even surrounded by boxes of fabric and great music.  


I've been distracted by the stories from the floods in Queensland - my heart just goes out to those poor people.  Such devastation - like Italy or Germany immediately after the end of the World War II - and because we've been asked not to send stuff, I have decided that any money I make from the shop during January and February will go to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal, so now would be a good time to buy lavender bags, doorstops and Froggies, Gentle Readers, or anything else you want.


In other, more cheery, news, my lovely friend Auds, who is from Mumbai, has asked me to think about joining her on a trip to a wedding in Mumbai in mid-February, as she's not taking Mr Dingers or any of the (not-so) little Dingers'.  I must admit that I've been a bit inspired by the very lovely Flickety-Splits' photographs of India, and think that it's the opportunity of a lifetime, to go to India with somebody who was born there, knows it and loves it - much more interesting than a group tour, or wandering aimlessly with Mr Golightly, each saying "where do you want to go", and "I don't know, where do you want to go", as so often happens on our holidays...


Anyway, I can get a return fare to Mumbai for about $1300, and given that it appears I will be returning to the August Institution in March, I think I'll take advantage of the opportunity and go.  More info will be gathered tonight at dinner with the Dingers family... so stay tuned.


In crafty news, I have finished both pillow cases.  I got off my lardy-arse yesterday & whipped up the second one in about 10 minutes flat; isn't it strange how the first one of anything takes so long, but the second and subsequent items, exactly the same pattern, take a fraction of the time?


Anyway, here:




I was very happy with the way the zip flap turned out, next time I make a dress I'm going to use the sandwich method - very neat & tidy, no effort at all, but I did think afterwards that I probably should have put these in the back of the pillowcase, but I don't think anybody is going to poke their eyes out on this:






French seams throughout the pillowcase, no raw edges of any kind.  Nice job, Mrs G.


And for today, I think I'm going to indulge myself and make that Owl.  What a hoot!  (Ouch.)  


Ciao!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

It's been a nothing day today

And that's what I've done, Gentle Readers, exactly nothing.  For the first time since I've been off, I've felt like doing nothing at all, but not in a good way.  I couldn't settle at the sewing machine, the three-quarters finished pillow case is yelling at me from inside the Small But Perfectly Formed room but I've walked passed with my eyes averted all day.


My former boss has passed my resume onto a potential new boss & I need to ring him about a job, my friend Auds has asked me to join her in her trip to India in February, I have a bagful of fabric from the Homewares store on the floor of the Small But Perfectly Formed Room which needs to be made into things, the washing is piling up, I promised Mr Golightly sausages to go with his ham and salad for dinner, and yet... blah.  I feel definitely apathetic about it all (and I didn't get the sausages, either).


Although, I did do one thing, and that was to dye the laundry room floor streaks of red - in early December, when we went to Perth, we had a small accident with a load of washing, and a black and white shirt.  We forgot the washing was in the machine, the black dye in the shirt ran onto everything else in the machine, so we bought some colour remover and very successfully removed all the unwanted dye from everything, but it also removed all the colour from my favourite coral-coloured t-shirt, which was reduced to a shadow of its former self except in coral-coloured blotches.  And it has sat, in my drawer, waiting for me to buy dye.  


Yesterday I bought a packet of Dylon Scarlet dye, thinking that it would cover up the coral-coloured blotches.  And it kind of did, but not really.  The dye did manage to spread itself all over the floor, the walls, the tumble-dryer, the window, the door handle... and I wiped it off the floor with paper towel, and it's left lovely pinky-red streaks all over the laundry room floor, which may wear off in time... maybe.





I washed the newly dyed t-shirt with a pair of Mr Golightly's trousers (navy, so it wouldn't show if it ran (and it didn't, but the pockets, facings and every other white part of those trousers are now pink), a green towel (still green) & two cream towels, which are now pink.   So now I have a coral-coloured splotchy t-shirt, which I think is destined for housework, instead of being my favourite going out in medium-good company-shirt.  Damn.  No wonder I'm down.


Meh.  Ciao.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

I can't believe...

Gentle Readers, that I went to IKEA yesterday.  Mr Golightly's sister (who, in fact, I knew before Mr Golightly, and who actually introduced me to Mr Golightly, in a very roundabout way), had a day off yesterday, and together with Daughter/Niece Miss Milly-Melly-Mel, the beautiful blushing bride of last year, who is a teacher, and therefore on holidays, we traipsed out to Rhodes.  No, not the Greek island, but the suburb of Sydney which is in close proximity to my temporarily former office...


I got to Mr Golightly's sister's house at 10.09am, we picked up Miss Milly-Melly-Mel at 11.00 from her residence in Glebe and we were at Rhodes by 11.30am.  We did not leave until 5.00pm, and I arrived home at 7.09pm.  Phew.


And, I hear you wondering, why couldn't you believe you were going to IKEA?  Well, Gentle Readers, because I usually hate going - it's packed with people with no goal in mind, no lists, no idea - and a zillion screaming children.  Even though it's school holidays, and raining, yesterday was actually bearable.  We managed to avoid all those 'no idea' people by arriving at lunch time, waiting until 2.00pm to have our own lunch, and ducking out periodically for coffee.  Much more bearable.


And what, pray tell, I hear you asking, did I purchase?


Well, I had my eyes on a few big things:
EKTORP Two-seat sofa and chaise longue blue Width: 252 cm Min. depth: 88 cm Max. depth: 163 cm Height: 88 cm Seat height: 45 cm
But purchasing this would have required re-organisation of our whole living room, as it's currently configured to have the other sofa/couch/lounge at right angles on the RHS - so that wouldn't work - it would leave our guests sitting looking at the piano, rather than out at the garden, as you would want, particularly when it's looking so nice and green:
Looking North(ish)

All their other lounges have low backs, which I hate - I want to be able to put my head on the cushions when I lean back - and our house is not particularly modern in style - way too much clutter to be fashionable - so it needs to be 'cottage-y' without being twee - any suggestions?  I did look at the Moran range, and although the fabric on this one makes me want to roll on the floor foaming at the mouth, I did quite like the general shape and size, but I think I'd have to sell a kidney or two to get it and a matching two seater... maybe I should just have the old ones reupholstered & recushioned (again)?

I was also interested in TV stands, the perennial quest for a television stand that isn't completely f*ugly goes on and on - they're all either too modern or too chunky - and I think I'm going to have to give in & pay somebody to make me one.  

In other fascinating news, I bought a square wastepaper basket to store my christmas/birthday/gift wrapping paper, as per Chez Larsson, a new washing-up brush (see, told you it was fascinating), 12 tumblers (six medium size, six large) (at a huge $6.99 for a pack of six, that's $1.00 per glass, people), two packs of square cork mats (those are invaluable for protecting the Jarrah bench in the kitchen, which Mr G gets all thingy about, a water bottle so I can put cold water in the fridge, and finally, a 35c carrier bag.  It's huge and perfect for the sewing room rubbish.

My trusty companions purchased things along the same lines, but Mr Golightly's sister came across a bargain in the 'As-Is' section - an Expedit four section shelving unit for a bargain price, which, because I had my handy-dandy tape measure with me, we figured out we could get in the car & take home - and to loud and increasingly annoyed cries of "you won't be able to shut the boot" from both companions, I closed the boot on it quite happily, leaving Sister-in-law and Niece standing open-mouthed in awe of my spatial acuity.   Ah, sometimes it's good to be King.

Ciao!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

More Urban Jungle... (it's a spider, so look away now)

This morning we had a visitor:



That's Mr G's hand, right there (safely on the other side of the screen).  She was pretty big, I have to say...



but she looked to me like she'd just shed her skin & was still hardening up... 

In other nature related news, the sole remaining palm in our back garden does what it does so well, which is self-clean, bringing down a few plants, tealight holders and pots in the process with a huge crash in the night... we think the possums were actually to blame, because they've been going nuts in our backyard over the Lillipillies, which are seriously in fruit, and I think they got a bit carried away & pushed this out of the tree:



The tree is at least 10 metres high.  No wonder the crash got us out of bed!

And the fruiting Lillipillies, I hear you say?


Apparently the early settlers used these to make Jam & they are quite safe for humans to eat... if you can beat the possums to it!

That's it f53kHVmCYQDDc2lMaX_zKCQMVjMxJHN8O6amp; have breakfast (it's 11.38am), iron that beautiful red French fabric and make pillow cases.  More, later.  Enjoy your day!

Ciao!