Monday, January 31, 2011

I love it. But I hate it. But it's quite nice. But it's not really.

I no longer have any idea how I feel about the swag quilt.



Look at that picture, it's freaking gorgeous.

But...

I'm not sure in real life. Because the strips of drill were all cut in one direction, and assembled in whatever direction they came together in, the weave doesn't align. I can't get a photo to show what I mean, but from an angle, it looks like each fabric is two different ones. Like someone's knitted a jumper from two different dye lots. It's especially problematic on the short bits either side of the centre blocks, on the big blocks in particular, not matching the long sides.

So that's making me quite cross.

On the other hand (because I now have 3 hands) the fact that it can look so lovely and balanced without me ever having seen the fabrics laid out in their spots is amazing. Either I've fluked it or I'm just absolutely, massively gifted.

Let's go with the latter, shall we? :)

Hopefully making some progress on the quilting tomorrow before work. Also, I had an amazing revelation on how to do something that has been eluding me for a few weeks tonight while I was on the loo. So I'll be testing that too.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Swag Quilt: Progress Report.

So this is my swag quilt so far.


Columns 1 and 2 are finished, 3 is almost finished and I haven't yet started 4 or 5.

Silly me accidentally cut the missing piece of column 3 as a pink and green floral (the fabric I call handbag, because it's the fabric of my handbag) and then discovered when I went to assemble it today that I didn't have enough spare of the pink with polka dots to fill in the gap. So it was back to Spotlight for yet another small piece of fabric, which is now in the wash with a whole heap of sheetings I've bought over the last few weeks to use as backings when I can't be bothered piecing anything.

I've double checked my little ziplock bags with all my pieces for columns 4 and 5, and they all look right, so hopefully I can be all done by tomorrow night. I'm working till 8.30, but that's an early night by my standards, so I've got plenty of time after that.

Weirdly, I don't feel very connected to this quilt. I think the problem may be that at no point did I lay the fabrics out on the floor and shuffle them around before deciding where they were going to go. I just followed the computer. It's not that I'm not liking where it's going, I just feel like it's not mine. It's like I'm looking at someone else's work. I imagine this is what doing a quilt from someone else's pattern would be like - like I'm looking at an answer without seeing the workings. It went from abstract coloured squares on a computer screen to part-done quilt without the usual middle process of choosing fabrics, putting them in their right spots and being able to see it all come together. I know I seem to rush a lot of my quilts but I still follow all the right steps in the right order, usually.

Maybe it's just that I'm not assembling repeating blocks. There's none of the 'sew-press-lay on floor to check that its all coming along nicely' that I usually do.

That said, I think it's a good thing that I'm only fond of it, and not super super in love with it. It will get used, in a field, when I'm drunk, maybe once a month. It will barely be seen. It will probably get really really dirty every time I use it. As far as quilts go, it will have a much harder life than most. I don't know that I would ever put my delicately thought-out quilts through that.

It's strange beginnings will lead to a strange life. But that happens sometimes.

In completely random news, we discovered tonight at work that you would need to drink approximately 27 cans of Birell (the ultra light (0.5%) beer we can sell at Woolies) in two hours to be considered intoxicated (2 standard drinks in the first hour and 1 per hour after that should mean you are under 0.05% BAC - the legal limit in SA, so 4 in two hours should put you over.) Since this is about 10 litres, we don't think it's really do-able.

Saturday nights are quite quiet.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Isn't it nice, when things just work?

Good news, sports fans! The swag quilt is a go!

I wonder sometimes if I'm the only person who does their quilt designs in Paint? I know there's many, many better, cleverer, more specialist programs available, But I really really like it. It's like colouring in on graph paper, but you can easily change the colours, till everything's in the right spot.


Of course, I'm not doing it in solids. I'm using a variety of printed drills from Spotlight, bought a week or so ago with the shared spend-$100-save-$40 coupon.


Though I did have to go back today for another 20cm of third-from-the-right, because that's the white squares in the middle, and I needed one more strip from which to cut my three 11.5x21.5cm edge half-squares.

The black lines all over it are my assembly points, and I admit, it's probably only understandable to me. But that's okay, I'm making it.

Every square is a finished 10cm, making the total size 110x180cm, which, although it's an odd size, is exactly the size I need, and handily means I can just use some standard width fabric for the backing without needing to piece it any extra. The fabrics are all cut, except the blue which is the binding and the last 20cm, which is still in the machine, but I'm hoping to make a nice big dent in the piecing tomorrow once that's dried and ironed. It's all in bags of rows 1-5 (the thick lines) and the mid-thickness lines show me the various sized cuts of fabric from within them - it'll just be like a big jigsaw puzzle.

This will also be quilt #40. Obviously, as mentioned the other day, not all 40 have been finished, but it will officially be quilt top #40, and for about 8 months of quilting, that seems pretty good.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Baaargains. Love 'em.

Apparently, there are some people out there who don't like bargains. They worry that buying something cheap will make them look cheap, so they make a point of always paying full price for everything.

These people should be taken out the back and shot.

As far as I'm concerned, the existence of bargains means that every day can be a treasure hunt. They'd probably call it a scavenger hunt, but I've always thought that a scavenger hunt had to be planned and was usually to celebrate an event, whereas treasure is just there. What's more, with regards to scavenger hunts, I'm usually the one doing the planning. In the party of life, I'm on the committee. So the opportunity to go treasure hunting whenever I feel like it, with no planning necessary, is tops in my book. 

That's the double whammy of greatness that a bargain brings. Not only do you get what it is you're buying, but the joy of success and the envy of fellow bargain lovers.

Definitely my best bargain recently was a pair of brand new RM Williams jeans for $8 from the Salvos. I go there at least a couple of times a week and it's quite rare that I don't get something nice. These particular jeans have an RRP of about AU$170, making them 95.3% off. Baaaargain, but one of my best friends wants to kill me and steal them. She has baaargain envy, which can usually only be cured by her finding a suitably bargain baaargain, and then showing it off.

That said, I don't think the Salvos (or Lifeline, or whatever thrift/charity store you have in your area) are my favourite providers of baaargains. My favourite type of baaargain is the end of range baaargain, which comes in two varieties.

The that's so cheap I can't not get it baaargain. The other day I went to Spotlight and there was some jelly rolls, formerly $29.95 each, out for $5. Nothing wrong with them, they were just old stock. I got 4 for me and 2 for a friend, even though I don't know that either of us would use a jelly roll. This is how most of my stash has been born.

And there's the I was totally willing to pay full price baaargain, with the optional extra of well I'll get the whole roll then, thanks. I decided yesterday to have a go at making a wallet, and decided it would be excellent to try laminating the fabric first. Prepackaged iron-on vinyl was $33 for 2 yards, but they had a bit left on the roll at $17 a metre, so I decided to get about 20cm of that. When they scanned the barcode, the only thing in the computer was a non-quantityable $1, so I got over a metre for that price. I was willing to pay $3 for 20cm, so I'm totally willing to pay a third of that for five times as much, thanks.

Those bargains are the best, because they're so unexpected. I actively seek out bargains (I also got 25 big buttons for $6) but it's the ones that fall into your lap that are the sweetest. It's like the universe is rewarding you for being awesome.

Thanks, universe. I'll take two.

Never again (until next time)

Today, while we were waiting for some photos to be developed, Casey and I went wallet shopping. Strangely, she was the one who needed a wallet, but I was the one who bought one. Not a particularly nice one, but one I thought I might be able to copy.

I was wrong.

I should get a proper pattern and have a go with that, instead of just trying to make it up, but that's not really how I roll.

Anyway, having failed I decided to make myself some pouches. My first one was a bit crap but I got into the swing of it and my last one is seriously super nice. Except I used white thread instead of brown, but it's hardly my fault the bobbin shelf failed me, and there wasn't much point in only changing my top thread.

I really need to make a start on my swag quilt, since it's 3 weeks till Lake Charlegrath when I'll be needing to use it. The good pouch had some cute runching though and that's making me want to have a go at doing a quilt with a bit of dimension to it. Is this a terrible idea? Do I need warning off of it?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

PhDs, WiPs And UfOs... Oh, and BPs...

So I found out last night that a PhD is a project half done.

I personally go with WIP (Work in progress) and UFO (Un-finished objects)

My belief (and there are lot of different ones out there) is that a WIP becomes a UFO as soon as you have all the bits bought and planned, but no intention of finishing it any time soon. This is excellent for me, as it means that any backless tops are NOT UFOs, but WIPs. This makes me feel much better. I currently only have three UFOs.

One is the purple quilt, which has been loitering since early August, 3/4 quilted. Then there's the one I've been gunna-ing on for the past two weeks - it's all quilted, I made the binding on the 15th, I attached the binding on the 22nd. Now I just need to flip the binding over, pin it and sew it. But.... I soooo can't be bothered. Dad's pieced quilt cover needs to be attached front to back, and the clipper strip attached at the bottom. Oh, I forgot, the Hawks quilt I did for the tutorial. It's basted. But since I couldn't actually get the two yards of brown I needed, I have no binding fabric for it till they get more in.

Now, as for the reason I consider my un-backed tops to still be Works In Progress is that, well, I am still working on them. My little head based Rolodex is on the lookout for all of them every time I go into a fabric shop, every time I log into eBay. Even when I'm not doing this, there's a little part of my brain thinking about how they should be quilted.

Works in Progress Are:

The Newsprint wonky quilt - The only backing I can find is a white dot on black, which seems a tad dull. And I might give it a border. I haven't decided yet.

The blue and green and purple big disappearing nine patch - I have lost the backing fabrics. They're somewhere in my room, waiting for mid February, when I'm taking two weeks off for a cleanout.

The Soiree Header quilt - I can't find a backing anywhere near as awesome as the front. I'm considering using some of the other fabrics from the bundle but even they're not quite good enough for what I kinda consider to be my Mona Lisa. But I might buy this for the binding. Maybe. I love a good stripe, but it might be too bright.

The red and green floral two tyred quilt, not that you'd know it was even pieced because the two fabrics look so freaking similar when you chop them into little bits and sew them together so really what was the point, and how the hell am I gunna find a fabric to back or bind them in that matches them? - see previous sentence.

The Autumn Nutmeg quilt - I have a big pile of fabrics ready to back and bind. But I'm not sure what I wanna do with them.

Big Plans:

Swag Quilt - Current top of my list. Fabrics all bought and washed, but they still need an iron. Also, I haven't come up with a design yet.

Old Jean Quilt - Desperately want to do one, possibly also for the swag. Have started buying big pairs of jeans from the Salvos for chopping up.

Quilt for Helen - Still not completely sure on fabric #9.

Black, white and yellow quilt - bumped down list, but still on it. To be done in the big disappearing nine patch I've been so fond of lately.

Southern Cross quilt (prolly for Casey) - need 1 more fabric, and I got struck by a realisation the other day that my pattern won't work, unless I have an extra 3 contrast fabrics to fill in the little gaps in order to keep the blocks the right size, so I'll need them too. Also needs a small bucketload of math, which is in short supply just right now.

Purple and Green Mingle Quilt - I have a beautiful double bundle but no ideas whatsoever.

Pink Quilt - Every time I see the fabrics together I play with them, and love them, and sit them next to one another, and then I get all scared, and put them back. Also, I have no pattern in mind, just a dozen really really nice fabrics.

~~~~~

So yeah. An unfinished object is one where all the thinking is done, and the actual work simply needs doing. A work in progress is one you still need to work on in your head.

If you ask me, anyway.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Top done.

I got my top finished...


I'm quite fond of it, even though I would have prefered something brighter. I've worked out an 18 by 18 block version with a full spectrum in both directions, and were it not for the fact that I'm a big fan of instant gratification quilts, I'd absolutely be having a go at that. But spending more than a day or two on a quilt top is beyond my tiny tiny attention span of late.

I've bought a heap of Kona solids from fabricshack.com ($6 international postage for 9 yards) but because I don't have a card, I've had to guess.

I've gone for Bubble Gum, Tangerine, School Bus, Corn Yellow, Chartreuse, Kiwi, Lagoon, Royal and Mulberry, if that means anything to anyone. I've also gotten Candy Pink and Cerise as alternatives to Bubble Gum and Sunflower as an alternative to Corn Yellow, just in case I don't like them. But that's still a few weeks away from arrival, and in the meantime, I have an Australia Day Pub Crawl to attend.

Hope you all had a lovely 'Straya Day.

Sigh.

As you've probably noticed I really quite much like to get my quilt tops finished before bed.


It's not, so I'm a bit bummed. But the blocks need to be trimmed before I can piece them together, and that's gunna take ages, so it can wait till tomorrow. They're all pieced and ironed and stacked neatly ready to trim, so there's probably only 2 hours work left, but it's 3 already.

Most of the fabrics are from this bundle I put together a while back.


With a few other reproduction fabrics from the same tub at Lincraft. The only fabric I bought especially was the hot pink, because I didn't think the ones I had were bright enough. But it only cost me $1.50 from Spotlight, so it's no biggie.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. Happy Australia Day everybody.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tutorial: how to waste 2 hours of potential sleep.

So I get home from my 9 hour shift and go online. I see a photo of the contents of someones handbag and an invitation to show everyone mine, and I get all excited and I do it. I write the post and...

Now I'm a bit buggered. A sudden complete and catastrophic loss of motivation. It could be something to do with the two hot cross buns I scoffed as I lay out my handbag. It could be the long shift, or the fact that my laptop has warmed me up and and I've slid further and further down my bed so that now I'm practically lying down. It could be that it's 1am already, and I'm just tired.

About the only thing I've done is this.


It's what I did with the Newsprint Mingle, but I wanted to see if I could do it with a proper regular spread like I had originally planned. This works with the 9 colours following spectral order left to right, top to bottom in the big blocks, with the colours going clockwise around them starting at 9 o'clock. I'm fairly sure that no matter what point you start at, there will always be one colour connected to itself, though I haven't yet tested whether or not they will if you go counterclockwise. Logic tells me they still will.

30 minutes later and I've started playing around with the idea of the spectrum going lenghways, and seriously, how cool would it be if I could get it to go vertically as well. It would be like those boxes where you put the words in so they go up and down and side to side and you can read them both ways.

It doesn't work. This has 1 big square, 2 halves and 4 quarters of each fabric, and the places they have to be in wont let the same order of 9 colours fit. So I did them all in one direction.


Since then I've had a go using only 3 colours


And then I gave that a go on a standard grid.


Here they all are next to one another


I like them all, probably the second one best. But it would really only work if I found 9 nice graduated solids.

I have a folder on my computer full of these... Many many wasted nights on things that usually never get made, because I like them in the solids so much but I can never find them the right shade.

Ooooohhhh.... It's 2.30 now and I've come up with this.



I just thought it up but already I desperately want it. Perhaps made from 9 fabrics of this? Fluro solids that exactly match the picture would of course be preferred, but I could make this work. Or this, but it's a bit pastel.

And that my friends, is how to waste two hours and not really achieve anything. If you hit the design you like with ahead of schedule, spend the remaining time hunting for suitable fabrics onine.

To properly "waste" the evening, decide you don't like/can't afford any of them and go to bed.

Does anyone know where I can get one of those Kona colour cards?

She ain't heavy... She's my handbag... (actually, she's damn heavy)

Kate over at Foxs Lane took a photo today of what she had in her handbag. It was quite a lot, but I need two photos.






Top from left: Sunnies, Car keys (also has mini torch and 4G usb stick,) Bricanyl asthma puffer, Dell Axim x50 (palm pilot), Notepad.
Second row from left: Demazin, Coin pod (inside of a kinder surprise, filled with bum change) Ventalin asthma puffer, Roll on deodorant, Glitter*, Phone.
Bottom from left: Two Peppermint crisps and a half eaten Cadbury peppermint roll, Wallet, Mirror, Pens, Pimple killing concealer (it's that silver ball thing), Post office key, 3 more mini torches, Work keys (also contains permanent texta, torch, and 4G USB), Chapstick.

I didn't mention the blue and green tubs or the little fabric pouch, which contain:


Pouch: Business cards in holder, Spare phone, 4G USB stick.
Green: (Possibly) seal/walrus claw (found at the beach on my 21st birthday), Fluro button, A couple of rings, Hairclips, Small pack of cards, Dental floss, Fold up scissors, Bandaids, Hairties, Bulldog clip, Small bottle with pills inside.
Blue: Torch, Comb, Batteries, Tweezers, Cable to plug headphones into my phone, 2G USB stick with marble maze on the back, Foundation powder, Undies (unworn, and neatly wrapped in some masking-taped-together curtain lining), Lip Smacker, 4G micro SD card and adapter, Fold-out rotary cutter, Swispers (cucumber 5 pack).

There should be a nail file in there but I've obviously taken it out and forgotten to put it back. This will be rectified ASAP.


So yeah, that's my bag.



Most of that's always in there, except the Demazin (I've just come into hayfever season) the chocolates and the palm pilot (I'm re-reading some books on it at the moment)

As you can probably tell, I'm a bit of a preparedness obsessive. I have a similar collection of stuff in my car, as well as a change of clothes, chargers for almost every piece of technology I own and an emergency internet connection (I'm really not kidding right now)

If you'd like to show the world what crap you cart around every day, there's one of those linky-up things.


*I recently discovered that most people don't carry a small bottle of glitter with them at all times. This seems damn strange* to me. What if one day you need some sparkle? I mean, it's okay, I'll lend you some of mine, but what if I'm not there? Where will you get your sparkle from?


*And by strange, I mean irresponsible.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Swag Quilt Fabrics.


Washed but, admittedly, not ironed.

Various printed drills bought today at Spotlight on a shared Spend-$100-Save-$40 voucher. Thanks Helen.

Still got no idea what I'm gunna do with them.

Mt first ever quilt pattern (that I've written down)

So here it is... In Inches...

Yeah, I know most of you probably do your quilts in inches anyway. Certainly, even though  I had already sorted it in metric and I was just converting it and writing up the pattern, the math seemed super easy. Fractions instead of decimal points seems to work well - ¼ is easier than .25 to math out.


So, this pattern is in inches, uses a quarter inch seam allowance, and should be made by everyone because it's bloody brilliant except that the top doesn't work well with large prints. Stripes will all point in the same direction, though if you want to rotate every second block so you don't have to match as many points, that can look cool too.

This is the pattern for what has been made as both the "Two Tyred" quilts and the "Awesome Quilt" series.  At it's core, it is a lap quilt, 36 by 45 inches, that is made with 4 yards of 44"/110cm wide fabric (including backing and binding) in as little as two colours. Actually, you don't even need 4 yards of fabric, you officially need 27½" (70cm) each of two colours for the front, and then 32" (82cm) of backing with an extra 15" (38cm) of contrast backing and 15" more for the binding (assuming 3" wide binding, you'll need more if you like it wider)

That's 117"/3½ yards/3m all up. Even if you play it safe and get some extra to accommodate wonky edged cuts you can easily do it with 1.75m of each fabric. But since a lot of fabric is sold by the yard, go for 4 yards and add to your scrap box.

Also, you can mix and match and add more fabrics. Each of those five measurements (27½", 27½", 32", 15", 15") can be different colours, or you can make the accent on the back the same as the binding (four colours.) If you want three colours, make the binding and the accent or the main piece of backing be one of the front fabrics. The two fabric version has the two colours on the front, with one of the fabrics also being the binding and the accent on the back and the other being the body of the backing. Or however you want it.

That got confusing, even to me. This might help:

Two Colours - 2 yards of each fabric


Three Colours - 2 yards of one, 1 yard of another, 1 yard of the third

Four Colours - 1 yard of each
Five Colours - 1 yard of three and a half yard of two
Of course, this was actually designed because I had two fabrics that I loved that didn't go with anything else. So it's the perfect cheapie quilt, because not only does it use so little, but you can buy those last two (three/four/five) straggly fabrics in a range at clearance price. Hurrah!

Okay, so what you have to do once you get your fabric is chop it up. If you've got 5 colours you've probably got the right amounts of each, but if not, cut the 27½ inches. This is exactly the amount you will need to fit the strips, so you might want to cut a bit extra in case of wonk.

Aligning with the selvedge, cut two strips 5½" wide, four strips 2¾" wide and two strips 10" wide from each of your two colours. There should only really be the selvedge remaining on either side. Cut your 10" strips into pieces 2¾" wide. You should get 10 from each strip, pretty much exactly.

The top ones are folded up strips - I only have a short ruler.
Sew the 2¾" wide strips onto either side of the 5½" wide opposite fabric, so you will have four 10" strips in two opposite variants. Press your seams.

There's two of each.

Cut your new 3-piece strip into pieces 5½" wide - you should get 5 from each, again, pretty much exactly.

There's 10 in each pile.


Now sew your 10" by 2¾" strips to either side of your 10" by 5½" wide blocks, so they become a square of one fabric in a box of the other fabric. Press your new seams, and trim if necessary (if your quarter inch seams are correct, it should be fine)

Ten of each again.
Join your blocks together in a grid to finish the top. I rotate one colour lot so that I don't have to match the extra seam, but if you have a striped or "right way up" fabric pattern, you can leave them all the same way.



For the back, cut your backing accent fabric into two 7½ inch strips. Lay your main fabric so that the selvedge is at one of the long sides. Lay one of your strips of accent fabric across it at a diagonal, so that the inside points line up with where the edges of your front piece are.


Cut either side of the accent piece, so that your main piece is now in three parts. Trim the ends of your accent pieces so they are straight with the sides of the quilt.


Use the little bits you chopped off to trim the other accent piece.


Sew the accent pieces into the main piece. Trim your main piece down to match the accent fabrics and your quilt top.


Quilt however you want. I do straight lines on either side of my main seams and on the inside of the inside seams of the blocks, but do whatever floats your boat.

Trim your quilt to a nice neat rectangle, chop your last bit of fabric into strips for binding and finish it up.

POSTSCRIPT

Personally, I think the two lines on the back look a bit like the quilt's been run over, and since it can be made in as little as two colours, I like the name "Two Tyred"

Whenever I've made it with a batik and matching solid I've given it a name with the word Awesome in it - there's the Pretty Awesome quilt (pink and rainbow) and the Awesome Quilt of Awesomeness (black and rainbow)

I have made this above as a sports quilt; if your team has two colours like mine (Go Hawks) you can do it as is, but if they have 3 and you want an even colour spread get 20 inches each of 3 colours for the top and you'll have 1 block to spare. Put colour (a) inside colour (b), colour (b) inside colour (c) and colour (c) inside colour (a). I think a big number of your favourite player would look cool as an alternative backing, or you could piece together an image of their gurney (This is especially easy for Aussie rules as they're pretty much just a rectangle with armholes and a collar)

The metric numbers I usually use are 14, 7 and 25, which is pretty much the same as the imperial measurements.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to meeeee....

Today for my birthday, I got a swag. It's only a mini swag, but then, I'm kinda miniature and my car is officially classed as a "supermini" so I doubt anything bigger would fit. But I doesn't have any blankets in it, so, naturally, I need to make it a quilt. But even a mini swag measures about 1m by 2m, which is quite an awkward shape. I was thinking about adapting the Two Tyred/Awesome quilts into something long and skinny because they have a lovely 25cm square block, but instead I accidentally ended up writing out the proper pattern, in imperial measurements no less. I'll buy some fabric tomorrow so I can do the photos that go with it, and hopefully it'll be up tomorrow night.

In the meantime, I haven't gotten any further with the swag quilt. I'm actually considering doing it in drill, since there are some really lovely ones at Spotlight at the moment, and I think it would be nice to have it be a tough, outdoor quilt. It'd probably end up matching my handbag, which could be interesting. Also the outside of the swag is blue, so some pretty colour is totally in order.

Actually, I'm a bit baffled by the design. There's a foam mattress built into the canvas, but the way it fastens into a roll means that when you unroll it the mattress is at the top, with any blankets you've put in underneath it. Which seems super daft, but I think I can probably invert it by removing the in-built strap and giving it some of my own. Probably hot pink ones. Note to self, go to Cheap as Chips tomorrow, that's where I got Casey's from.

As for my birthday, I didn't really do much. Had a bit to drink in the wee small hours since everyone came home from the speedway and stayed over, and then this morning I woke up at NINE AM to a strange boy in my bed; actually it was just Gordon, and he's not really that strange. Circumstances were though - he's exactly like my Dad of 30 years ago and he has a girlfriend, who got cross at him and went home. Naturally nothing happened, except sleep and a small snoring competition, but the important thing is that on my birthday, I got up at nine am. Me, who never, even on a workday, wakes up before 10, was up and out at 9. NINE!

I got Bob's quilt bound (finally), half did the binding on the other one from a couple of weeks ago and got bored. Mum and Dad got me some cream with a small amount of cake in it, and sung a song at me, then tried to shaft me one of my "hip hip hoorays." Three is traditional, I want three, so I refused to blow out my candles till I got it.

Helen, Bob and Esther came out for a bit and we ate an apple, and some cheese. I got a replacement cat, but this one is for sticking pins into. The fabric is prettier than Honeycat's fur was.

Maddy decided she wanted to make me a quilt out of icing that I could have put on my cake, so we did that for a bit. I highly recommend cotton buds for painting icing with food colouring, since they don't soak as much in as a brush does.

3 hours ago I started to do some math for a new quilt, and tomorrow you get to read my first ever (old) quilt pattern.

Happy Birthday.


PS, Thanks to everyone who said happy birthday. It's nice that people I've never met wanted to wish me one.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Favourite Things.

Today I have lots of favourite things.

The first is to be driving home from work and have lots of cars coming the other way, because it means the speedway (across the road from my house) has finished for the night and I will be able to hear my television.

The second is socks and jocks. So terribly underrated, but a day with a bad pair of either is a day ruined.

The third is the fact that all the TV shows in America are coming back form their midseason breaks right about now. In the next week I have new episodes of White Collar, Big Bang Theory, Castle and Bones.

The fourth is cheese. Mainland Vintage is my block of choice. Om nom nom.

The fifth is the fact that I have the weekend off. And nothing planned.

The sixth and final is something that I don't have right now. I am missing the stylus for my touchscreen laptop like you wouldn't believe. About this time last year I found myself suddenly single and I think this is worse. A replacement is on it's way but it's taking too long. I don't understand how people use computers with only a mouse or a touchpad. Everything seems too hard so I give up.

I also like stuff on other days of the week.

Mellow Yellow

I looked and looked but I can't find my camera :(

Thankfully, the spare phone has a 5MP built in so I just used that.


This is mellow yellow. If you click on the picture to see it big you'll probably get a better idea of my chopped off corner issues. This is how I did it.

You cut your centre block. Then you get your strip and lay the square so that one edge crosses the strip diagonally with one end of the side at the top and a one end at the bottom., which gives you the length you actually want to cut your strip. You add a centimetre and cut it, which, once you've cut across it on the diagonal, gives you the extra little bit of point for when you sew it to your square, but of course doesn't take into account the fact that the next square out will cut off a centimetre or so from the edge and take the corners of your square with it. But I chopped it off consistently, so it's not so much a mistake as an innovative re-imaging of a classic concept.

Man, I should get a job in advertising. I could go around convincing people that any mistakes that are there were fully intended by the creator. Maybe I'll claim they were being ironic - since Alannis Morisette did that song, noone knows what it means any more so I think it's perfectly reasonable to claim my chopping off corners was an ironic take on traditional quilt blocks, when actually what happened was that I did my math while I was bored on checkout, and I didn't have an internet handy to tell me I was being a damn fool.

Also, I was convinced that a jelly roll was 7.5cm wide. Don't know where this number came from, but all my math features this number. Weird.

Anyway, I'm not sure whether to add 3cm to my length next time or just cut my diagonal from 1cm in on either side instead of the edge of the strip. I think I'll find out by making one block though, not a whole quilt.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

With regards to a badly done quilt...

I've still got no idea where my camera is. Probably somewhere in the lounge/kitchen area (that's where I had it last) but I've moved on to bed now so it's a bit late to go looking. I changed my mind today when I looked at the pink so it's become very very yellow. Helen will therefore hate it, and I'm not a huge fan because of my stupid cut-off corners, but now that it's quilted I think some nice binding will improve it greatly. I'm thinking green. Keeping it gender-neutral.

It's quite small, maybe 70 by 90cm? And I went with a blue for the back, because it was there.

I wish I could see into peoples brains to know what they think it looks like, since I've been very vague and shown no pictures. I don't really see pictures in my brain, I hear words instead* so it would be especially interesting.

Here's a tiny, terrible and completely inaccurate mockup to give you an idea.


Stay tuned tomorrow to see how it compares to the real thing...


*that's why I waffle so bad here. I'm just trying to fob some of them off.

Nawww.

I really tried. I started charging my phone regularly*. I bought it some new batteries. I started using it to check my emails 3 or 4 times a day.


And now, it's gone and fucked itself.

Naturally, I'm a bit bummed. I like my phone. It came from Hong Kong a couple of years ago and cost me about $150, which was fantastic at the time for an unlocked phone with a full qwerty keyboard, running Windows Mobile. We've still got crappy Nokias in at Woolies for more than that. And sure, I might not have used it all that much, but it's web browsing was fantastic and it let me check hotmail from the same screen as my text messages. It could play Top Gear, and I could read novels on it, or use it as an MP3 player. With the exception of the fact that it sometimes refused to sent SMSes (easily fixed with the well documented turning-it-off-and-on-again function) it's been utterly, utterly fantastic. Except that time the front fell off at the Longerenong BnS ball, but I superglued it back on.

Thankfully, it's not fucked-fucked. It's still on, and looks fine, but it's taking at least a minute to load into SMSes, and twice that for emails. I tried to add a contact today and gave up at the end of my 15 minute tea break, having spent at least half of it trying. I suspect, since I use it so rarely, that it will suffice for the next month or so, and I have my spare phone if I get desperate.

Tonight, in the best traditions of sticking with what I know, I've found my phone again on eBay and bought it. Not the exact same one, this is the 3G version.


Clearly, it's a bit longer, but when you consider the sheer amount of stuff in my handbag, an extra centimetre or so of phone wont make much difference. What's more it cost pretty much exactly the same as the last one.

Unfortunately, that's money I could have spent on a bundle of Central Park. Or put towards some new boots. Or paid my car rego in February, or gotten my licence renewed.

It's my birthday on Saturday people. Though I'll settle for Jeremy Clarkson's new DVD (The Italian Job I think it's called) or a bookshelf/cubeshelf thingie. 1.2m wide, 1.8m tall please. Don't mind the colour, and 40cm deep is plenty.


*by "regularly", I mean sometimes. And by sometimes, I mean occasionally. When I remembered, and I could find a cable that fit. And could be bothered.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baaargain.

If I could find my camera, I'd show you some lovely pictures of the 6 jelly rolls I bought today. For $30. For the 6 of them. (Don't worry Helen, two of them are for you)

What I wouldn't show you is the hash I've made with my first attempt at using them. I've come to the conclusion that if you make one mistake in one block, you have to sit tight and hope noone notices it, but if you make the same mistake 8 times in every block, you can tell people it's your attempt at creating an interesting and unique design.

Well, it might be once it's done. At the moment it's still 12 slightly nasty blocks, but tomorrow night I'll string them all together with some pink between them and see how it looks then. It'll only be little, but you never know. It could be an interesting and unique design. Also, it's only actually taken up one straggy fat quarter and about the equivalent of 3 strips, so it's not too much of a waste. It might even be small enough to have a go at free motioning it, since all I have to lose is about 50 cents worth of fabric and 3 hours worth of sewing.

For those of you interested in my TV habits, Katie from No Ordinary Family is my new favourite TV character, at least until Mozzie comes out of his coma in White Collar. I'm 7 episodes in and should download some more, but I'm a day or so ahead on my internet usage (on the 19th we should be at 62%, we are at 66%) and there's a lot of shows coming back form midseason break this week.

In completely unrelated news I have the hiccups, it's 3.30 and I need to go to sleep.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Grump, grump, grump.

I'm feeling like I'm sunburnt, even though I'm not even slightly red or tanned. It's bloody annoying and it's making me grumpy. Grump, grump, grump.

That said, I achieved quite a bit today, though none of it was sewing related. We took all the bottles and cans to the depot, and because South Australia is awesome we got over $100 back. In our defense, that wasn't just this weekends drinking, they've needed emptying for a while, and it took most of this morning which I was gunna spend sewing on the binding. It's still not done, but I did some $5 donations and entered a couple of the raffles instead.

I also finished my book (The Last Continent - I'm reading it early because I'm working on Australia Day) and worked 5 hours and watched the first 4 episodes of No Ordinary Family, which I saw an advert for last night and immediately downloaded. Hurrah for bittorent, since channel 7 was all "coming soon" and that could be months away. It's still a whole day till I can download the new episode of White Collar, and I need something to fill in the gap.

Yes, I could fill it with binding. But, it's... binding. I hate binding.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Recovery.

Today last year was actually the day of the Harrow BnS. But the day after, what today would have been, "recovery" it's called, we spent watching a guy try to get his Land Cruiser out of the river.

He would have had a much harder job of it today, since the Glenelg river passing through Harrow is in flood.

Still, in loving memory of one man's stupidity, we spent the day at the Burrangule Road quarry toward Glencoe, watching the boys do exactly the same thing. Granted, they didn't get stuck (only one engine flooded, and it dried out after about an hour) and we swum for a bit (well, I didn't, I floated around in a little blow up kiddie pool they took) and caught some yabbies, but it was just like last year, only with a smaller audience. And walls the boys decided to drive up. And McDonalds for lunch.

Also, there was a distinct lack of a really really big tree falling down an hour or so after the two dozen bogans who had been sleeping where it fell got up and wandered over to laugh and try to give advice to the idiot who decided that instead of driving across the shallow bit, he'd try 4 feet to the left and see if he could make it up the bank*.

Looking back now, last year was quite epic. Also, one of my friends broke some guy's nose for giving him a wedgie. Last year. He was quite well behaved this year, and everyone's noses remain intact.

Having not finished my binding, I'm going to bed. I might get it done in the morning in time to list it on the QLD Auctions, I might not.

*They spent about 4 hours trying to pull it forward, which just got it more firmly stuck, as the snatch strap kept breaking into smaller and smaller pieces. By the time they realised it might be better to pull it backwards, it was so firmly entrenched in the bank that they needed two utes, one pulling on the other which was attached to the towbar of dickhead's ute, to get the damn thing out. We spent most of the afternoon singing Corb Lund's The Truck Got Stuck. Good times.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bedtime.

Tonight was supposed to be Harrow BnS Ball. Instead, I'm going to bed a bit after 2am.

Alone, too, for the record, though not for a lack of effort on the girls' part. But I'm not as keen on Phil as everyone was hoping I'd be (or as keen as they are) and Brad still gets drunk and acts exactly like my father does, and although Freud would probably say otherwise, that means a big fat no from me.

On the other downside, I made absolutely no progress on either quilt whatsoever. They haven't been trimmed, the binding hasn't been cut, let alone joined, ironed or attached.

I have made one interesting discovery though. Absolut Vodka in the peach flavour is absolutely foul, but as with all alcohol, if you add a double hit of red cordial it becomes bearable enough to skull it. But, like all vodkas, it does still give me nasty heartburn though, which explains why I stopped after about 5 drinks.

I need a new alcohol. Any suggestions?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My boots.


These are my boots. I love them.

They are size 5 (technically kids size) Ariat Heritage Ropers.

I bought them for $90 at last year's Lucindale Field Days.

When we go this year I'm gunna buy another pair.

I'm really not a shoe person. I have a lot of pairs, because even though they feel okay in the shop, I get them home and wear them for a day and realise that they hurt (I have bunions, see) and I hate them (I also have a really really low pain threshold), and then I need to buy another pair and go through the process again.

As a result, except for my work shoes (which I hate with a fiery passion, for reasons listed above), these are pretty much the only shoes I've worn for the last 10 months.

I would like a taller version, too, but noone make them. These are 8 inches* tall but I have skinny ankles and they rattle around in my boots and make me look silly if I try to wear skinny jeans. If I had a taller pair, maybe 13 or 14 inches, it would go up to my calves and look more right. But you can't get plain tall cowboy boots, they all have fancy coloured leather and ostentatious stitching or big decorative holes. These are the closest I can find - right colour, and only small (comparatively) amounts of stitching.


Or maybe I'll go with these. The blue is a bit ridiculous, but oh well.

Or these. They have big sill holes, and the leather's a bit red, but they have a round toe, and really low heels, so they should be more comfy.

Of course, to buy any of these, I'd have to seriously cut back on my fabric buying. And since I can't possibly cut back on fabric, my current boots will probably remain my favourite for a while.


*they come from America, where they don't believe in the centimetre. Not even my spell checker believes in the centimetre, which makes me sad.

Hurrah!

I have finished quilting both Bob's quilt and the new one.

I had to take a break in the midlle to let my foot pedal cool down.

It's going to spontaneously combust any day now, but it's a good excuse to stop and go snacking.

Tommorrow daytime I'll be doing my bestest to get them bound, and then come late afternoon, I'm gunna get my drink on.

Here. At home.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Grumpy.

Harrow BnS has been canceled due to the weather, leaving me seriously bummed. I've been looking forward to it for probably a month now, but there's not much I can do. Apparently instead we'll be doing something for Casey's 21st, probably here, but who knows.

Our group of friends are pretty famous for randomly deciding to do or more often not do stuff, and it tends to snowball; if so-and-so isnt coming, then other people wont come, so other people wont come, etc etc, till noone's there, and the person trying to organise it (usually Casey) ends up all cross.

Bogans: turns out they're terribly fickle.

But anyway, if I'm gunna be home this weekend then I'll have time take part in the flood fundraising after all.

 
I'm almost finished quilting this quilt:


Which hopefully will photograph a bit nicer in the sunshine, if we get any, so I might put this one up if I get it done in time. I have a lot of brighter quilts but they're smaller: if you have a favourite let me know and I'll consider that one instead.

Yay! Top Gear!

Why did none of you tell me that there were two Top Gear specials over Christmas? Because of your uselessness I didn't know till I did my check-through of what-mid-season-shows-start-when today, and as a result, I'm not in bed early, like I was gunna. I'm watching Top Gear.

I also haven't gotten any of the things on my list done. I've decided I'll get a proper leather needle to sew up my coat because it's a fantastic excuse as to why I'm not doing it tonight. My ball gown is still out in the shed unwashed but I have found one I bought from the salvos about 6 months ago because the retro-ness of it's fabric, so I might wear that instead. I only found it because I had to sort through the clothes at the end of my bed to put them in the washing basket, and if anything, having a tidy bed-end has made the rest of my room look, if you can believe it, even messier.

I actually wanted to sew quite badly, for reasons I couldn't explain. But I had Top Gear, and that took the urge away.

Actually, I'm getting a big urge to buy myself a fat quarter bundle of Central Park. I really really want it, so I can make myself an orange and green quilt. There's 42 fabrics in the range, so I'd have enough to do that and a similar one in blue and purple, and what's more there'd be enough to put some pretty fabrics on the backs too. But with Harrow, and car rego, and licence renewal, it'll take me some time to justify it to myself.

If I found my stylus I would take that as a sign. But I haven't yet, and it's driving me so bonkers I'll probably order it way ahead of my "wait a week and see" plans. So that's $40 I can't spend on fabric.

I may have to give up eating to fund my habit, because I've been doing it a lot longer than drinking, which I've only just taken up again.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hello, Me of 5 years ago...*

Tonight, I accidentally found my old blog. The first one, not the livejournal one that I can still access pretty easily. The one that was started pre-boyfriend (2005), and ends about 3 months into the relationship, well before I finished school (2006). The one from highschool, when I had lots of different (read: nerd, not bogan) friends, and what feels like much more spare time, but then, when I read it, clearly wasn't any spare time at all. Because I was working just as much and going to school occasionally, and hanging out and being a social teenager.

And asking myself the big questions. This was in the first month of being in the relationship.

"do i change to become something i think they want me to be or do i keep being me because they want me already, and if i change it might cause the loss of what they love about me?"

I obviously wasn't as big on the capital letters 4 years ago. My answer at the time (in the next post) was keep being me, but I did obviously change. It wasn't a change I could notice at the time, and I wonder now if anyone else noticed it, and also if the new girl has undergone the same sort of changes as I did.

Hmm. Anyway.

I've started on my prep for this weekend, which means no sewing got done today either. Also I worked 9 hours, and that seems like a good reason for not getting stuff done too. I've got a pretty big run ahead of me actually, Harrow this weekend, 23rd birthday the one after and my one year anniversary of joyous singledom after that (There will be a party. Unless I'm working. In which case I will party at work). Casey's 18th will be at some point, and Maddy's 8th, Mum's 49th and I think we're going to the Dartmoor Rodeo if I'm not working.

Seems I still have a social life. Who'd a thunk it?

*I commented on one of the posts to see if I got a message on my current hotmail account, that could help me sign into it. I didn't but I feel better knowing that I've let the me of 5 years ago know that it all gets better. She was a bit emo, see, but she seems quite a bit funnier than I am. She probably plagiarised a fair bit.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Grrr and Grrr again.

Today I achieved nothing* at all. But that doesn't worry me. Sometimes you have days like that.

What does worry me is that tonight I went to click on the little spot where the stylus for my laptop's touchscreen lives, and it wasn't there. Casey spent half the day with the laptop trying to catch up on season 3 of Chuck and Becky was signed into facebook when I checked in tonight, so it could theoretically be anywhere. And replacement ones are in the $40-$100 range.

Today I bought 3 pairs of jeans, a nice puffy jacket, a polo shirt, 4 wine glasses and a slightly nasty 80s formal dress for $40. For $100 I could get this (almost)

Of course everyone's asleep now, so I can't go ferreting through their bedrooms. I would like to, but I guess I'll have to wait till tomorrow.

Grrr.

*when I say nothing, I'm not including working my way through 3 call centres to find where my slightly ridiculous purchase of a second tablet ended up (it has android, and dodo are giving it to me for $9.90 a month with bonus internets) or scoring $300+ worth of jeans (one pair are RM Williams ones) for $20. Or working 5 hours, or installing a whole heap of games on my new tablet, or finishing reading The Wee Free Men. I didn't get anything made, therefore I achieved nothing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why do people not stop me?

You know what I really need to learn how to do? I need to learn to not go onto youtube. Because it's after 3am now, and I've done nothing but watch videos for the last 2 hours.

What's worse, they're all quite short. I'm fairly sure, not that I've ever loaded anything on youtube, but I think there's a 10 minute max, which means that when you're watching it you can't really do anything productive, because you've got to click on a new video almost straight away. So although I was fairly productive till about 1am, as soon as I ran out of Time Team and got onto the internets, production pretty much ceased.

Buuuut, if I'm honest, I didn't mind. Because, really, straight line quilting is bloody boring. Still, I've realised that my work in progresses are fast becoming unfinished items, and maybe I should start turning all my lovely tops into quilts. Bob's quilt had a back and was all basted already, and I went into Spotlight to try to find a backing fabric for the new one but couldn't find one, but I did find a heap of sheetings for $3p/m, one of which went quite nicely with my second-last of 2010 so I basted that and got quilting on that too. Neither of them are finished, because that would be obvious and straightforward; instead I've done about half of each. But still, that's pretty good progress.

The other thing I got done today was the finishing off of my Newsprint Mingle quilt top.

When I planned it, I was gunna do it with a regular pattern repeat, but then I didn't like the balance so I've tried to even it out more. The fact that most of the stripey ones are across the middle is less obvious in real life; it's the brighter red that pops the most, and that's the one I've concentrated the most on spacing.

The handy thing about this is that the only points that match are the ones of the big blocks (well, in the middle of the all wonk block too, but they don't count) so there were no wonk-to-wonk points that I had to match up, as that was my big struggle with the last mingle quilt. I've still got 4 mingle bundles left, two each of the blue-orange-brown (what I used for the first one) and the purple-green-brown, so I'm not done with the fabrics yet, but this one's all done.

Unless I decide to give it a border. I've never given a quilt a border before, but all my trimming meant it ended up quite a bit smaller than expected (about 110 by 130) so this might be my first time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

*yaaawn*

I was making quite good progress. Sure, I stupidly decided that since I was using the Mingle fabric again (this time in the Newsprint colourway), maybe I should add just a little bit of wonk, like I used on the last one, and because it was quite a sudden decision (aren't all of mine? maybe it's something I need to work on) none of you had the chance to remind me that it was a terrible idea. Last time the big problem was matching the points, but I came up with a design that completely avoided wonky points, so this time, it's instead been the changing sizes of the blocks as I sew diagonals. I had to trim, which is something I really hate doing, because there's such a stupid huge amount of waste, both of fabric* and time. 

It will be almost a wonky version of the big block disappearing nine patch, but without the nine patch, or the disappearance. So that makes no sense, until you see it. Which unfortunately wont be till tomorrow, because I'm also watching Time Team as I sew, and someone mentioned a nice warm bed. So now I'm sleepy, and even though there's only an hour or so of work to go, I'm bowing out. My electric blanket is calling me.

*tonight's trimming - 1700 square centimetres, which is a bit bigger than a square 40cm each side - nearly a fat quarter of it's own)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Why did no-one tell me earlier how nice they were?

So today instead of doing something productive I got caught up in shirts. Today was the first day I wore my Lower South East Ladettes shirt




With very short shorts because it was quite warm. And because I was wearing it Casey got all motivated to want hers. But she'd been having trouble finding a hot pink shirt in her size, so she took me up on the fabric dying offer. We went to rivers and got 4 shirts (two for Case, one for mum and one for another friend) and then I had to go and buy dye. Thank god it was half price at Lincraft, as it was it still cost me nearly $20, though we didn't quite use it all, so I think I can still get a shirt or two more yet.

Dying shirts is possibly one of the most boring supposedly-crafty things I have ever done. It's like cooking, but worse, and cooking's not something I've ever been a fan of. You spend 15 minutes trying to stir a bloody great shirt in an annoyingly small pot* full of boiling water that also stains horribly when any of it splashes. Then you haul it out, rinse it off and realise there's still a big pale patch in the middle because you didn't stir it quite right. So you do it again. and then you repeat 3 more times.

It has definatelly been my least favourite part of this whole shirt thing.

But, I must say, because of the whole shirt thing, I'm very much loving polos again. With the exception of the shirt I wore when I did nightfill at Spotlight, I haven't really worn a polo since school. Well, year 10, since I decided in year 11 that I really liked fitted 3/4 sleeve shirts. So I wore them instead. And then when I finished school, I decided I really liked tee shirts, but only element ones. A couple of years after that I took to singlets and long sleeve shirts over the top, and I've gone with that for a while. But I want to go out and buy the shirt that I got printed in lots of colours. And wear them all the time. It might only last a month or two till summer ends, but right now? Loving Polo shirts.


*Dad took the big one "somewhere" to cook some crayfish in, and cant quite remember where..

Friday, January 7, 2011

Prep.

I had big plans for tonight but they got sidetracked by a big parcel of stuff from Vistaprint and the fact that today I found a tub that fits well enough under my carseat that I could do myself a box of everything.

Back with BJ the box of everything lived in the glovebox. Taylor's glovebox is tiny so all it can really fit is the various chargers that I need on hand at all times to try to keep up with Resolution #1, and the best spot seemed to be under the driver's seat, which would nicely fit a tub of around 10cm high and 25 by 30 across. The tub I got is only 20 by 30, but it's enough for:

Swispers. Panadol. Notepads. Demazin. Sticky tape. Single use toothbrushes. A Swiss Army knife. A big pack of glow sticks. Listerine. A hairbrush. A comb. Some hairties. Some bobby pins. A screwdriver. Some cotton buds. Pads. Tampons. Condoms. A torch. A pair of scissors. A pair of pliers. A roll of Quickeze. Bandaids (Dora the Explorer ones.) Soap. Moisturiser. Socks. Undies. A singlet.

So all it needs is a small sewing kit and some masking tape and I think it's good to go. Oh, and batteries.

Casey and I are crazy ladies when it comes to packing and planning for any occasion. We've taken axes with us just in case we needed firewood and/or the zombie apocalypse came. I think I took about 7 quilts (not made by me quilts, big fluffy eiderdown quilts) to Harrow last year, because I don't like being cold. I also took the laptop to watch movies on, since I had a boyfriend at the time, but I think I might just be able to get away with only taking the tablet. Except of course we can't use it to burn CDs, so I suppose I will take the laptop. And we take our body weight (well, my body weight) in food, and Casey's body weight in drinks.

Everybody got all excited about the double shelf boot of the swift because we could put the booze under it. But how the hell is it all gunna fit? She's gunna be so full she won't be able to move. She's only got a 1.5 for Christ's sake... Her four little cylinders displace less than a big bottle of coke... and there's some big hills between here and Harrow.

I think we'll dump it all int he back of Meagan's ute. Meagan is a fellow Woolworths Bogan. We're a rare breed, only 3 of us remain now. I hope she's as prepared as we will be.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ahem. Excuse me...

Still no sign of Honeycat. Tomorrow I'll do the rounds of the vets and the pound, and if there's still no sign, I do what I did last time a cat vanished into the midsts of time, and quilt with a fervor not seen since... I dunno. Someone did something fervently, I suppose.

Sorry, my brain has appeared to turn into mush. Actually, although the human brain does appear quite mushy, even at the best of times, it is actually a fragile and delicate thing. That's why we have skulls, to protect it when we need to go around headbutting people. Which is thankfully not often. But sometimes. So thankyou skull.

Fortunately there's only tomorrow at work before I have a (clearly) much needed day off. I think I might use it to do the super easy quilt top in the black, red and white Mingle bundle. Or I could quilt Bob's quilt, like I've been saying I will. That should bring Honeycat home, she loves to sit on whatever it is I'm trying to wrangle through the machine.

Dunno. But no matter what I'm doing, I will be wearing my totally awesome Lower South East Ladettes shirt.


Casey doesn't want me to because she doesn't have hers yet, but as I've repeatedly pointed out, that is not my fault. She, like the rest of you, simply has to pick a hot pink* polo to her liking, take it to Jagga Jagga and give the man $20ish. My work is done.

*I've even offered to dye a white or differently-pink top if it helps.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Worried.

Honeycat has gone walkies. I last saw her yesterday when we had a big ol' snuggle at about 3 before I went to work, and last night Casey said "Hello Pookie" to something* while I was in the loo having a read while I waited for Casey to get off my laptop and give me my bedroom back, but noone's seen her since.

And I know cats have a tendency to disappear and reappear, but Babycat went walkies and never came home, so I'll be over here, doing my worried thing.

Even though Terry Pratchett's The Unadulterated Cat is very funny and often scarily true,  contained therein is the knowledge that cats can travel through time, and that makes going out in the yard to find her a damn sight more difficult. The sound of a shaken box of food obviously travels, but through time? Even though I clearly have a Schrodinger cat, I don't think I have Schrodinger catfood.


*one of our friends has a cat called Pookie. I'm convinced Honeycat will end up with serious psychological issues from having two names, but they can't seem to help themselves.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

There are so many better things I could do with my time, but...

Even though it leaves a lot to be desired as a drawing program, I love playing around in flash.
It uses something called vectors, which is a way the computer cleverly works out what you meant to do from what you did. In high school we jokingly referred to it as a make it good button, and I'm in love with the results. I was trying to do some cute versions of drinks to add to my Lower South East Ladettes collection, but then I got distracted by the urge to draw monsters. I'm still particularly proud of my little cocktail with an umbrella in the middle. That's really cute, but not something any of us really drink. Bundy Red is our "official" drink (even though Casey prefers Stones, I like Cruisers and Becky will drink anything) but my tiny version of the bear on the label is rubbish, so these at least will remain silly, self indulgent, I-didn't-get-enough-photos-from-Helen-to-do-what-I-was-gunna-do-tonight procrastinations.

Also, I appear to have forgotten to put tyres on my little ute's hubcaps. Whoops. That will completely spoil the ride. Good thing I'm taking the Swift.

I think the reason I'm distracting myself is that I'm feeling an urge to get sewing all afternoon, but I'm stuck working. Real life sucks. I have three more days of 8 hour late shifts before I can get stuck into something, though I'm not sure what. Hopefully work should start to ease off now that the public holidays are over, and I wont be so desperate to just bum once I get home, and I'll start sewing after work again. 

And maybe I'll run out of Time Team and lose that as an excuse to procrastinate. I've got about 7 complete ones left, and that's only a night or two's worth. Not that I have an actual project cued up, but I've got plenty of part-done ones to get cracking on.

And I want a cute case for my tablet. I'll make it a pretty outfit as thanks for playing all my Time Team, and leaving my laptop free for doodling and trawling the internets.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bogan-geeking. It's the new thing...

I think I've been watching too much Time Team - my brain is starting to dribble out my ear a little bit. But it's not like when I got caught up in Chuck, where it all flowed into each other, because I'm not even watching them in order. But paired with the distractions of New Years shindigs, I'm not even feeling motivated to plug in the machine. I feel bad about it, but then I come to my laptop and put on Time Team, and, currently at least, get cross at the French for daring to try to invade Mother England. Obviously I'm not British, but in the same way I tend to get passive drunk while chillaxing with the bogans, I find myself getting passive GB patriotism when I watch too much Time Team or Top Gear.

Maybe if I could find a decent quilting show as opposed to the hideously staid American ones on Austar, I could get passive craftiness?

I'm thinking of getting going on Casey's Southern Cross Quilt in hopes of getting it done for her birthday (on the 15th, the same day as the Harrow BnS ball), but I've bought her a real present so it's not super important. One thing I really need to do in the next two weeks is sew up the tear in my epic fur coat which got torn by a boy at my last BnS ball, as well as find my ball gown - I think it was lucky enough to be in the back shed, and not get landed on by a tree in the main storage shed, so all it should need is a wash and it's sorted.

What I'm really looking forward to is going to Jagga Jagga on Tuesday to get my Lower South East Ladette shirt. Casey wouldn't let me go pick it up before we went down to Nelson because I hadn't organised to get hers done (mine was the test run) and I wasn't allowed to have it if she didn't. I spent a damn long time on those designs, and I wanna see how it's turned out. I'm also immensely proud of the fact that I managed to leapfrog Becky's shirt plans, and that mine will be way more awesome.

Would I be taking it too far if I spoonflowered the designs and made a quilt from them? The opportunity to bogan-geek-out on that scale would absolutely motivate me to start sewing again. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Resolutions.

Tonight I figured out my new years resolution. A little bit late, I'll admit, but oh well. Last year I went with "drinking cranberry juice even when I can wee" and it probably lasted about 4 months, which I deemed a success. I figured I couldn't do "eat less fast food" since I had KFC for tea, and "buy less fabric" just doesn't feel right. "Blog more often" is a bit of a silly one for me - "blog less" might be a better one. I've settled on two resolutions.

Resolution 1 - Try to keep my phone charged. I would say that currently at least two days a week my phone is flat. I've bought 2 spare batteries but they're taking their sweet arse time getting here. It's on the charger now, so, yay, progress.

Resolution 2 - Check my junk folder more. I never used to bother, but hotmail keeps thinking that you guys commenting is spam, so I've been going there more. From now on, any time I see there's anything in there, I will see what it is, and either delete it or move it to the right place.

So there you go. Resolutions. But lazy ones.