Thursday, June 30, 2011

Words.

Is it possible that we have a finite amount of words per day? Wednesday nights after work we usually go to maccas for girl chats and two hours of lots and lots of words has left me all out. I'm struggling to think full sentences, let alone write them. It's taken me 25 minutes to get this far. But it's nice to chat. It seems like a worthwhile use of my words.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's really quite obvious...

Had noone ever realised before me that you can patchwork in a pocket? Surely I can't be the first, but I couldn't find anyone else having done it. It's really quite obvious now - I wonder why noone has before. Maybe other people can be bothered doing those nice inside out ones that you just sew on flat, but they'd always annoyed me.

The pockets are 10 cm wide with one centimetre of sticky-outey-ness and 1.5cm of space between the top of the pocket and the flap. The handles are sewn into the seams just like the pieces for the pockets are.

Anyway, tonight, I got home, read the new Top Gear magazine for a bit, got to my laptop, was gunna get into a pretty hardcore Bejewelled sesh and may brain went "um, if you don't mind, I've worked out a pocket for you to try. Could you test it now please, before I forget?"

Magnet clasps because I remembered where I put them when I bought them this time. You can kinda see the point where the bits join together in the middle.

My brain is really really polite. And smart too. It worked out sizes, and angles, and where to put the magnet clasps. I'm not sure when it did all this, since all I had to do tonight was cut and iron and sew, but it all works. Unfortunately, my brain let me pick the fabric. And I went with some less than stellar quality stripey cotton that I got from the Salvos over a year ago. That was made in Brazil. That I am loving the look of in real life, but which, bad news for the blogosphere, doesn't really show up my lovely pockets in the photos.

I pieced it all together across first - the piece that is the back of the pockets means it's thickest coming off of them, so I pressed all my seams away from the pockets and sewed just to the sides of the seams so they'll stay flat. Then I did the same with the top and bottom bits - on the top one I put the tops of the pockets and the straps into the seams.

I really should do up a proper tutorial for these bags. They are the bomb, and endlessly customisable, and really quite easy, for all that they take forever. It would be a good excuse to make lots and lots of them. With all sorts of different pockets. And one with no pockets, that can be quilted, and is way quicker and easier. But not as cool as this will be.

The back of the pockets - the gap between the two pockets was 2 cm and I use 1cm seams when I'm making bags, which is why you can't see a gap. Extra stitching to secure the handles can be seen at the top.
Of course, this is still just one side of the outside of a bag. And I* came up with an idea for revised end pockets a few days ago, which I might try tomorrow.

Except it's Wednesday. Which means it's maccas night (it's a work thing) and I won't get home till after midnight.

I'm feeling glad I have the weekend off.

*If it appears in my consciousness fully formed without me having actively worked on it, it was my brain, not me. If I'm sitting, looking at previous versions of the bag and discussing with a friend how I could make them better, it was me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Random Letters Night.

Dear ebay, If it won't cover even my teeny tiny arse, it isn't a dress, and it should'nt come up when I type in the word "dress".

Dear ebay, you know what I really hate? I really hate 60 repeats of exactly the same freaking listing.

Dear fly, you know what I really hate? You.

Dear donuts, I love you forever and ever and ever this much. No, even more than that.

Dear v key, it's really annoying how you're being a poobum and not working most of the time and I have to keep going back and putting "v"s into every "eery"

Dear milk, I wish I could trust you in the same way I trust water, but I don't. You'e been sitting there for a half hour now, I need to pour you down the sink and replace you. But thankyou for tasting good with my donuts.

Dear whoever came up with calling a one-piece bathing suit a "monokini" - I hope you die a slow and painful death.

Dear sliced chicken meat, I hope you weren't old and yucky, and that my tummy is hurting now from the two big glasses of apple juice making it too full and not from you being off.

Dear nose, it's times like this I wish you worked.

Dear apple fabric I picked for my next bag, you are very pretty. But I'm struggling to think of a good way to make your 2 inch directional print look good without having to lose chunks of it into seams.

Dear leg, please stop being itchy.

Dear electric blanket, you do for my whole body what chocolate donuts do for my tongue. I love you too.

Dear Taylor Swift (the car, not the person), I promise I will get you petrol tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Me = Da Bomb.

Just for future reference, if, one day, any of you turn your computers on the be greeted with a blank desktop, with no icons or taskbar across the bottom, message me. Cause I am the bomb at fixing that shit :)

Meagan told me the other day that it was happening on her laptop. I knew it was just that explorer wasn't booting and Steven said if I booted it once it should just keep booting itself. Except last night when I had a go at fixing it, the damn thing wasn't there. Explorer, not the laptop. I really really struggle to fix laptops that have suddenly ceased to exist. And, admittedly, I did struggle for a while tonight to try and boot a program that had ceased to exist. But, because I am awesome, I found a seed of it in the registry, planted it, grew it into a mature program, ran it, and got it fixed*. Round of applause for me, since I didn't even have to use an illegal copy.

I did however fail to get it to connect to my wireless internet. Which is a massive shame, because if I had been able to, I would have gotten access to her facebook page and posted naughty things on her wall.


*They were all metaphors, because saying I went to regedit and re-exported the explorer.exe key makes even less sense. I do like the idea of breeding programs though. If we cross-bred Bejewelled with Bubble Breaker I think I would probably have to give up quilting and my social lives and just sit and play it all day.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Awww, pretty.

This social life thing sure gets in the way of blogging. Buuut... I did manage to squish 5 minutes out of my busy schedule* to iron and photograph the new quilt top properly - sans borders, since I'm still not sure about them.



The better photo was one in the shade anyway - the wind put dark shadows in all the sunlit (at a severe 4.30pm angle) ones.


But I couldn't help but take some artsy lit-from-behind ones too.


Anyway, the sky to the east is starting to lighten, so it's probably bedtime.


*Okay, so I sat on the couch for 3 hours watching Bring It On: All or Nothing, ironed it in the last 15 minutes of the movie and barely scraped in the last bit of sunlight hitting the clothesline. Honestly, the sheer volume of adverts that the digital channels put in their midday movies is staggering - I probably could have downloaded it and watched it in it's entirety in less time than it took to watch it on the telly. The social bit came after, and meant I didn't get home till 6am.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Maybe, Possibly, Yeah...

Have any of you ever been too drunk to do a post? No, probably not. Nonetheless, even though I may be now, while I was still sober I got my quilt top finished, and my favourite things are interfacing (the unsung hero of the bag making world), Meagan and Anna (see last weeks FTF post) and the lyric "A replay of last nights events roll through my mind, except a scene or two erased by sweet red wine" from Calling Baton Rouge by Garth Brooks.

Really, what more does a girl need?

Friday, June 24, 2011

I don't know...

I don't know why, but when I get to the point where a quilt is in four or five quite large pieces, I loose all motivation to finish it off. I don't know if it's because of all the pinning, or the difficulties involved in having a small ironing board and a large quilt, or what it is. I tried distracting myself by doing some maths for a revised gym bag but it didn't work. With maybe 20 minutes of sewing to go, I have given up for the night.

Good thing I have tomorrow off.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Woohoo!

It's not finished, but the blocks are. And so long as the blocks are finished, I can plop them all out on the floor to get an idea of how it will look.


I need to actually put some effort into where each colour goes, I kinda just plopped these wherever. But it's nice to remember that at the end of all these seams will, eventually, one day, be a quilt.

I split my border seams even though it makes for a small but very thick lump. I just feel better about it. It took me an hour and a half to get them all done, pushed way back by the fact that Anna and I went to maccas after work and didn't leave till 12.30. Still, it gave me my facebook status for the evening: I wish "steam the shit out of it" was the solution to all of life's problems, instead of just the ones related to quilting.  

So what if I can't fix everyone's problems. I can press a damn good seam, and for tonight, that just might be enough.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I may have started to hyperventilate there...

The more I work on this quilt, the less sure I am of how the hell I'm actually gunna quilt it. And I really want it quilted as soon as I've finished piecing it - it's taken me too long already and I just want to wash it and be able to start using it.

I'm kinda wondering it there's some weird kind of balance between this quilt and my first one, which came about so effortlessly. This time last year, I was really getting into the stride of that quilt - come Sunday it will be a year since I completed it. That quilt happened really easily - unsurprising really since it was made by taking a massive pile of random 10cm squares and arranging them by eye on the kitchen table. I straight line quilted it in the ditch in one direction and folded the backing around to make a border. Nice and easy.

This one though, I'm not sure how I'm gunna do it. My tendency to go over every seam is overkill when they're going in 4 directions, but covering only two directions doesn't seem like enough.

I may have to send it off. I've never done that before. I don't like the idea of having to trust someone else to do justice to something I've put so much effort into. And will the lady at the quilt shop be okay with me saying "just a boring all over stipple, please"? And do I need to add extra to the front? Give it a border or something? Can I still do a pieced back? Will she get cross that some of my points are shoddy? How much will it cost me? Will she mind that all the fabrics are from Spotlight and not from her? Will she think I'm a sheep for using the DS fabrics? Will I embarrass myself even more by saying "yes, but even weirder, they're in the Joann's colourway" forever marking myself as a sad sorry loser with no life?

...

Just had to go look at my bag for a bit, remember how awesome I am. I feel a bit better now.

Back to the quilt, the good bits of it at least, the border pieces have all been cut and the short bits have been sewn on. Tomorrow night I shall sew on the long bits, Thursday night I shall piece it all together and on Friday, my day off, I shall take it and the brown one to Helen's to show her, because I've been too busy with work and trying to deal with actually having a social life* to visit, even though it makes me sad. Also, I haven't really had much to show off.

Maybe having no life wasn't so bad after all.

*in direct contrast to what you would expect of someone who knows which DS fabrics were released in which country, even though she doesn't really care about it and thinks that the internet's obsession with the designer in question does little more than make them look like sheep. Why can't my brain learn and retain useful things, like basic html? I'm sick of having to google whether it's or afterward. (I think it's the first one)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I have a Gym Bag!

 It's big, and square, and it matches my handbag.




I probably claim about once a month that this, that or the other has made my life complete. I'm about to do it again. This bag makes my life complete. It has a rainbow tie dyed lining too.


It even has pockets inside.



Okay, so I only put pockets inside so that I could say "It even has pockets inside!" but that's beside the point.

It's not quite finished - I need to go over the inside seams with a zigzag. But I said I would stop at 5am, so I have.

I could have made this bag a lot easier. It arrived in my brain fully formed, with cutting instructions and a clever way to set the zip so it was really easy. I have done absolutely no hand sewing on this whatsoever. But my brain said there was an easy way, that would  waste about a 45 by 30cm square of fabric, or a hard way, that would let me use that fabric to make two little outside pockets at either end. I don't really need the little pockets (the inside ones work for the easy way and the hard way) but I figured I may as well put in the extra effort.

I'm a sucker like that.

But basically, it's just one of those little boxy pouches, scaled up to 40cm long, 25cm wide and 30cm high, with some straps and pockets. But instead of starting with a rectangle and cutting little bits out, I got lots of exactly the right sized rectangles and put them all together. And by using zipper by the metre, and sewing it in in two bits and then putting the pulls on after it was all sewn in, I got rid of all the usual zipper hassles.

I've also just realised that I never blogged the yellow star pillow in the background. I made it with some of the charm squares Shay gave me. There's a half done blue one about somewhere too, I must finish that.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Relativity.

So a gym membership, all up, is gunna cost me about $600, for the startup fee, the keycard and a years membership*. That's a lot of fabric. That's a new sewing machine. That's entry to 4 BnS balls. That's 5 new pairs of really good boots. That's 6 weekends out on the town. That's 7 weeks payment on my car loan.

I already have too many expensive hobbies. Do I really want another one?

I should explain that I'm not getting this because I think I'm fat. Clearly, at under 50kg, I'm not. But dancing at the pub the other night left me utterly exhausted because I'm very very unfit right now. The most exercise I get lately is climbing up the stairs to the staffroom at work. The weather is far too shit to start walking, and anyway, the only time I could be doing that is the middle of the night, which probably isn't the best option. Nor, obviously, is getting out of bed earlier.

Plus, lately when I have been dropping Meagan home after work we have sat in the car for ages and talked, when really, we could be better utilising that time. Not that talking isn't important, and admittedly, we may scare some some people away with our raucous laughter, but whatever. She has a gym membership but doesn't go there often enough because she is bored on her own. We do two nights a week together at least, so we could pop in after work together.

Also, the nightfill boys go there.

And it's a good excuse to try designing/sewing up a gym bag.


*pay by the week and it comes up to about $1200. I think I will pay by the week for the first couple of weeks still anyway, just in case simply being in the presence of a treadmill gives me a heart attack. It might.

I can't wait to get the chance to fall in love with it...

Tonight, I told myself to suck it up and work on the quilt.

So I did. Not particularly happily, or efficiently, since I was having a movie night, but progress was made. 56 nice, neat pinwheels are all sewn, pressed and sitting prettily in a pile. Half of them have even been trimmed.


God I hate trimming. It just makes me so cross, like, "why couldn't you have just done it right to begin with?"

The little ones now need borders and then it's time to put it all together. Hopefully this is the bit where it all magically speeds up, because it's been bloody slow so far. 392 lots of sewing and pressing, and that doesn't include the ones I screwed up and had to unpick and do again.

If ever you are making pinwheels, the knowledge that you need only times the number of pinwheels by 7 to arrive at the number of seams you have sewn and pressed won't actually come in handy, but hey, quiltmaths cred.

I guess the problem I'm having is that I really have no idea how it's actually gunna look in the end. I could lay it out on the back of the first retro quilt because that had a white back that could pretend to be the not-yet-done-bit of my bordered blocks, but that quilt it somewhere near the bottom of the pile I sleep under every night, so I figure I may as well just wait.

And because it's the right day today (for her) even though it was also the right day yesterday (for me), a big happy birthday to Thea :)

EDIT: I feel really bad now, because when I said it was the right day for me yesterday, I meant it was Thea's birthday for me yesterday, in that facebook said it was, but I am 18 hours ahead, so it was Thea's birthday from Thea's point of view when I was writing it. My birthday was in January, and instead of keeping quiet about it, I did a blog post entitled "Happy Birthday to meeeeeeee" because on the 22nd of the first, I'm even more attention seeky than usual.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another bag.

I went and bought some more clasps. It seemed silly to leave it half done when it's a much more practical design than the brown one. And more rainbow.



Love the hot pink lining too. I try to make the linings lighter in colour so that I can see stuff inside the bag but this was the lightest fabric I had that went with the outside.

I curved the corners too, because I felt like it. Also, because I realised it would be easier, and I can be lazy sometimes.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bags

Somewhere in my bedroom are 40 magnetic bag clasps.

God I wish I knew where.

I bought a really big one today at Spotlight because I thought it looked funky, but I'm making two bags.

Or I would be, if I could find a clasp to put in the second one so I could get it finished. Sigh. I suppose I should properly finish sorting my room. Does anyone know where big tubs are on special this week?

Another reason for needing to clean my room is that we have decided that we are going to host a woolies party. The teenyboppers had been pestering me to host one for a few weeks and Casey has decided it's been too long since we had a piss up we could fall into bed effortlessly after. We are thinking a Happy New Financial Year one on the second, but we're not sure who's working when.

Anyway, back to the bags.

I'm terrible at photographing bags :(

Already full of stuff.

New design, which I didn't entire think through and therefore had to hand sew a bit. Base of bag (brown bit) and the lining were made and sewn together, and the top bit and handles were made to slip over the top, with the intention of then just running the join through the machine to attach them together. But I didn't leave enough at the top of the base to be able to pin the two together well enough to run it through the machine, so I had to tack it down by hand first. But I'm incapable of simply "tacking something down" - if I'm gunna hand sew I'm gunna do it right.

The brown fabric is a faux suede type furnishings fabric that I bought a few metres of a while back. It feels amazing, although it's probably a bit too brown for me. Don't get me wrong, I like brown (being the colour of chocolate and all) but my bags are usually a bit more rainbow. The lining at least is a tie dye I bought on ebay ages ago. I sometimes forget that I never ever use them and buy them accidentally. Oh well.


That's the inside (pink) and outside (same batik as the band on the first bag) for bag #2. It's the same as my last 3 bags. I really like the design, for all that it doesn't have pockets. And the opening is bigger on this one than on my finished one. Still, I guess I'll be using it for a few days, till I either find all the magnet clasps or give up and go buy another one.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm the worst* drug adict in the world!

Today My favourite things are Demazin





And Ventolin.


Because after stirring up all a lot of dust going through my closets last night, these two things kept me both snot free and breathing. And now I have cupboard space.

And an excuse to go buy some more clothes.


*Or best, since being the worst at something that can be construed as a negative makes for a double-negative situation. Damn you English language!

Baby Steps.

Unfortunately I had to work today (I said no, they said okay, they called back and asked again, and this time it was an afternoon shift, so I said yes just so I could go back to sleep for the rest of the morning) which got a bit in the way of my big cleaning plans. As did this:



My first ever layer cake. I haven't done anything with it except take it apart, rearrange it, sort it into little groups and stack it all back together again. I think I'll do the same star design as I did for the first retro quilt, but I don't know what to pair it with. Casey thinks something like Kona Lagoon (well, she thought "that one", which was Kona Lagoon) But I think I want a really pale lemon-lime. It's really really nice though it does have the same problem as Central Park in that it has really nice large prints, which I find a little hard to work with, and of course the name of the line rhymes with the name of the designer. Which I really really hate. If it's not a song lyric or a couple of lines from a poem, it just should not rhyme.

This is why I am always rude to people called Louise*. It's not personal - their parents just gave me no choice.

Back to the layer cake though, I've got 6 lots of four prints in similar shades and 2 more lots of two which will make a quilt with four rows of three and a half stars. And there was eight quite nice pale squares that I'm gunna put with some other fabrics and make something nice with too. Probably before I do the actual quilt, because pale lemon-lime is not a colour that displays well on monitors, and therefore difficult to buy online.

Once I was done despairing over my inability to find a complimentary solid, I got into doing at least a bit of room sorting - I went through my cupboard and bagged for the salvos, well, nearly everything. 21 pairs of jeans by the end of it (I still kept 13, which should give you an indication of how out of control my wardrobe had become) about the same number of fluffy roll neck jumpers and knit dresses and long sleeve tees. And a half dozen pairs of boots (well, they're stopping off at a friend who has the same shoe size's place first) and quite a few strappy heels that I probably only ever wore once.

So now at least all my often-worn clothes are in the cupboard instead of on the end of my bed. The rest of my room is still terribly messy though, but baby steps.


*I always say "please" when I call someone over the PA, except for two of my co-workers who are called Louise.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crossing fingers and toes.

I have pretty much left quilting by the wayside as I work on my mp3 collection. I feel bad about it, but on the other hand, I really am starting to feel like I'm getting somewhere. Which is good because it almost makes up for the fact that it's really really boring and I'm not gunna get a pretty blanket out of it. Instead I'm harnessing plans for a super amazing portable jukebox that can plug into the nearest sound system, maybe run from my tablet. Which I have to send off for a replacement charger for, because apparently some other peoples' have spontaneously combusted. Maybe from sheer awesomeness, but more likely an electrical fault.

I was thinking I might maybe do the little pinwheels tonight but then I didn't get home till 12.30 because Meagan and I managed to talk for two whole hours. About everything and nothing. And some other stuff too. And it was probably more fun than pinwheels anyway.

Good news though - I get the next two days off. And what I couldn't do in two weeks of holiday, I'm hoping to make inroads on in two days.

Yep, it's time for cleaning my room: Third time lucky.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Boys.

I may have just come to the conclusion that men are a lot like those antimatter atoms they're playing with at CERN - It's taken decades of research and a specially designed chamber to keep them in to get them to the point where they're stable and relaxed for 15 minutes.

The rest of the time, well, we understand that they're important for existence, but it's probably better if you don't dwell on them or let them get in the way of living your life. Also, if they collide with their opposite (be it regular atoms or, you know, a woman) they self destruct and take the other bit down with them.

No wonder scientists think they need to lock them in a frozen bottle and shoot lasers at them. That would be the antimatter atoms they're talking about, but I'm not entirely opposed to doing the same thing with boys.

My head hurts.

You know how we all like to whinge about how terribly boring pressing seams is? Tonight I spent 4 hours wishing I had some seams that needed pressing because I was doing something that bored me literally to tears. Well, it made my eyes water. Staring at a screen for 4 hours and renaming all your mp3s will do that to you.

Now don't bother putting on a surprised face when I come out and admit that only a small portion of my music collection is legal. I won't bother getting into DRM issues or the difficulties faced by those who don't like either certain file formats or certain media players, because one of us has already been bored to tears today, and while a problem shared is a problem halved, it doesn't make what I would be doing to you any less mean. But I suppose the advantage of using a horrible, nasty program like itunes is that all your mp3s would be formatted the same way. When you download higgledy piggledy from the furthest corners of the internet, that's rarely the case.

The worst part is, I have a correctly titled collection of about 1500 songs. And another 2100 that need sorting. I suspect I would have sorted out about 500 tonight. So it's only gunna take me another 20 or so hours to get them all done.

I really should do it more often, in much the same way that I should do a better job of maintaining my stash, but in much the same way that it's easier to just put half your fabric bits in a cardboard box next to the bench, it seems easier to just pluck out the 3 or 4 songs I'm really into, put them into the main music folder (new folder 2) and leave the rest in the albums folder with all_the_really_annoying_underscores-and_random_18_numbers. But then, you realise it's gotten really bad (2100 songs bad) and you've gotta sort it all out, so it's arrow arrow arrow delete space arrow arrow arrow delete space to get rid of the underscores and make it look like normal text. For 500 songs. Which all need a slightly different combination of arrow arrow delete space arrow arrow delete space.

It used to be much easier, back when I thought 3 gig of internet a month was a lot. I would only download what I really wanted then. Now not only am I downloading whole albums, I'm downloading whole discographies. So I've got 120 songs by the one artist, of which I know, and will maybe listen to, a half a dozen. The rest are there for when, inevitably, someone out in the bar will say "do you have any Meatloaf/Chisel/Sugarland/Lady Antebellum?" followed by naming one of their more obscure tracks that noone in their right mind would have to hand.

But that's okay, because after renaming hundreds of tracks in dozens of folders, I'm not in my right mind any more.

P.S. in quilting news, the big pinwheels are done, so I feel like I'm getting somewhere with the quilting at least, even if I'm not getting anywhere with other stuff.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I love you :)

I have a question: why is it that noone wants to hear my claims of universal love unless I'm drunk? And when I'm drunk, noone believes them?

I have a deep, abiding affection for pretty much everyone I know. An appreciation that they are struggling as much as the next person, as much in need of love as I am, and that they have played a small but vital role in making me who I am, and indeed, the world the place it is today. I love everyone for being themselves, for embracing themselves, from shying away from themselves. For being honest or for putting on a front. For being people, acting like people do. They are amazing, and wonderful, and I love them all. I love you all.

And because I've had (a whopping) 5 drinks since 11pm, well, I expect I will get the "Sara's drunk, she loves everyone" response. But I love everyone all the time, just like I feel that everyone should, to a certain extent, be honest all the time, and not so prudish or squeamish, even when I'm stone cold sober. Life's too short to frost a cupcake. I read that book last night. It was quite good, though the idea that her ex could sleep with both her best friend and her sister seemed a bit far fetched. Nonetheless, life is certainly too short to waste hating on one another. You could be dead tomorrow, so you may as well tell people how much they mean to you. Even if you've been drinking.

I love all you guys.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peh...

I am in the weirdest mood. Noone felt like backing it up so I've read a book, watched a couple of episodes of Johnathan Creek and pressed my HSTs. And ate about half my body weight in peppermint chocolate, sliced chicken and boiled eggs.

Frankly, I'm epically bored. I'm not entirely sure, but having had the potential for tonight to have been a big one, the fact that it isn't has kinda gotten in the way of actually achieving anything. I suppose I'm moping.

Happens to the best of us.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Well, I feel as if I should do a post.

Seven drinks in eight hours left me free to drive home, which was jolly good, since everyone's asleep, and although my sisters may find no shame in waking us up, I would. Sleep is important.

I must say, for a night when we weren't going as hard as we could have, it was damn fun. We went to dero-oke at the federal, but Mel wasn't there so even thought I put us down for some songs, none of us sang. And then we went to the G*, and then dirty shads**. Where there was much gyrating to be done, and, I'll be honest, I didn't recognise ANY of the songs. I haven't listened to the radio in over a year, and it only shows when I'm at the pub. Or dirty shads. Still, it's possible to gyrate to a song without knowing it. It's all stupid doof doof crap anyway, but I suppose it's tough to gyrate to "take me home, country roads"

But yeah, damn fun, when there's five girls in your group and one boy. Who's so out of his depth it's not funny, but hilarious. He's adorable though, and the way he reacts when Meagan and I dirty dance is utterly priceless, for all that you can't laugh in front of him in case we hurt his feelings. I'd kinda forgotten what it was like to take teenage boys to the pub.

Can one be a cougar at 23? Nah, I didn't think so. Nevermind.

Anyway, here's a bit of Joe Nichols that Meagan and I were singing between the Federal and the G.


She can handle any champagne brunch, bridal shower with Bacardi punch, jello shooters full of Smirnoff, but tequila makes her clothes fall off...

Well I guess it's a good thing I didn't have any tequila then, isn't it?

*The G is the Gambier Hotel, where one may get their drink on till 2am, after the Federal Hotel has closed at midnight.

**Dirty Shads is what everyone calls Shadows, which is a kinda crappy nightclub you go to 15 minutes before the G closes, because so long as you're in by 2, they let you stay till 4am.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I love these guys.

I have, I suppose, a fairly mundane job. I work at a supermarket. I work afternoons and nights, because I'm very much not a morning person. Because (at 23) I'm old by the standards of a lot of my fellow night-working (ie. after school) colleagues, I get to do supervision or work the front counter, which involves dealing with whingey-poo customers and selling cancer sticks, since South Australian legislation says they can only be sold from a designated counter within the store.

And while I think a might maybe like to work at the DMV because I'm curious about certain peculiarities of South Australian car number plates, that alone is not reason enough to give up my job. Because I love my job. Or more specifically, I love my co-workers.

You know how you're not supposed to have favourites? I have favourites.

Meagan and Anna work in the cash office. I used to, but the store manager and I don't get on, and in there, you have to deal with him way more than when you're just at frontend. Also, 5am Saturday starts. *shudder* But Meagan and Anna are my homies, since I've been in their boat, and we're all in our 20s. We're going to Lonegernong BnS ball together in August.

Lauren and Tegan make me laugh. And it's easy to make them laugh. It's especially easy to make them laugh when they're using the instore intercom. Lauren's just turned 18 so she can come to the pub with us. Tegan watches all the same TV shows as I do, so I give them to her once I've downloaded them.

Sarah has the same name as me, which is quite annoying. She goes on the smokes counter when I'm supervising. She likes saying mean things about people she is friends with, which is funny.

Janelle is the other night supervisor, and she's in charge when I'm on smokes. She's been at woolies 15 years, and she (like me) gets that the attitudes of the 16 year olds who work after school isn't gunna be the same as that of the managers who have made a career of it, and that you need to treat them differently. This is why Janelle and I are liked, and the juniors spend a lot of time bitching about the other supervisors.

Ellie gets really excited about little things and jumps up and down squealing, which is adorable.

Emily is tall and pretty and athletic and nice, which annoys us because if she was just tall and pretty and athletic we could hate her, but she's so nice and sweet and funny that we can't.

Simone's ex was my ex's little brother. We go to karaoke together sometimes. She can sing a lot better than I can.

Louise lies convincingly and often, but not about important stuff. She'll make us believe that there was two midgets fighting in the carpark, or that she's actually only 14.

The boys in nightfill make us all laugh. Correction - we all laugh at the boys in nightfill.

In a year or so, there will be a new Woolworths store in town. Apparently, they want to take a lot of the more senior staff from our store to the new one, so last night Tegan was philosophizing that it would be like the end of high school and that we would never see each other again.

I got that song from the end of Grease (We Go Together) stuck in everyone's head, becuase it seemed like the most appropriate response.

Tonight, a half dozen of us are hitting the town a little bit. Saturday night, we will hit the town properly. Backing it up, Woolworths style.

I may not have the best job, but I have the best friends, and I get paid to spend time with them. I'm pretty happy with that.

BIG plans.

It's interesting the series of emotions that can happen in an hour or so's progress on a quilt. After I split my HST units last night and ironed out the 112 I need for the big quilt, I thought that it didn't take me that long to iron them out, and it wasn't that bad. I was feeling optimistic that progress would maybe take twice as long as a usual quilt, and it should be a finished top in maybe 2 weeks. Tonight I looked at the little tiny pile of ironed squares and thought it was nowhere near big enough, and I looked at all the ones that have been put aside unironed for the smaller quilt, and I think, holy cow there's a lot there. So I worry, have I done my maths right, that seemed too easy, and shouldn't I have used more of them? There's too many left over. But I did do it right - there's one and a half times as many leftover ones as used ones but it seems like a lot more.

And then I got to cutting the slightly bigger ones. And seven strips being cut into 8 squares each took almost no time at all. Okay, it took over an hour. But it didn't feel like it. Cutting the big white bit into the same number of triangles probably took less time, but it felt like more. And now that they're all cut, and in a neat little pile, it looks as if there's a million billion of them and it will take me the rest of my life.

So I may as well wait till tomorrow to get started. That feeling I think is a mix between despondency and apathy. I anticipate it getting worse tomorrow as I sew them together, disappearing tomorrow night as I hit the town for town-hitting-practice with people from work, returning on the tails of a slight hangover, easing (hopefully) once I've pressed them all (assuming it goes as quickly and effortlessly as list night's 112) and drowning in a sea of alcopops as we properly get into town hitting on the Saturday night.

We have accepted the challenge laid down by mankini man. We are gunna back it up, two nights in a row, Woolies style. We may end up making a scene at Coles*

Expect a return to the nights of drunken rambly posts.

*for the non Australians, Coles are the rival supermarket. I plan on stealing their cardboard cutout of Curtis Stone so that we'll have a breeding pair with our cardboard cutout of Margaret Fulton.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday.

Some nights you just think... Gosh life is weird. Gosh life is brilliant. I'm so glad I'm me, because this was something worth experiencing.

Or you know, maybe it wasn't. But the fact that I get paid to stand around and laugh with a half dozen of the greatest ladies in the world, for all that I occasionally have to sell someone some cancer sticks, makes up for the fact that my crazy Wednesday nights aren't actually super crazy, by the standards of, say, Charlie Sheen.

There was a lot of the usual boringness earlier on. Busy afternoon, dinner from the fish and chip shop and sitting in my car so my phone could eek out some charge for it's flat batteries from the car charger. A much quieter evening, and then a guy tries to steal some smiley fritz (it's a processed sliced meat with a smiley face on it in a slightly different coloured processed meat - yummy)

I mean really. It was maybe $3 worth. He had it in his pocket, he took his hand out of his pocket, the smiley fritz falls out, he realises and tries to nonchalantly walk away very quickly, except Lauren has noticed and is damn near wetting herself with laughter. I suppose it's difficult to be nonchalant when you've just had your dastardly plan foiled by a spot of gravity.

Still, that's not an unusual occurrence. You work in a supermarket, people try to steal stuff. It happens. Far rarer is a man walking in, one a Wednesday night, in nothing more than one of those borat style mankinis with another, still quite small, pair of undies on underneath. Raised some eyebrows that one did. And then a half dozen of his friends came in, boys and girls, in similar states of undress. Keep in mind that as well as being the middle of the week, it's also averaging about 7°C here in the evenings. We called everybody from around the store to have a look. I've no idea what they were celebrating.

While they were wandering around, another customer handed one of our checkout operators a small bag of weed she'd found down an aisle. Probably less than an ounce, but still.

Normally when someone hands in lost property we try to find any clues as to it's owner and reunite them. And although we were pretty sure we knew who it belonged to, I'm not sure how you go about asking a group of near naked people if the semi-illegal drugs someone's just found belong to them. Or, for that matter how they go about proving it. A wallet, we can match your license photo to you. A phone, we can call home. But a bag of dope, um, well, I'll need a microscope, and some comparative samples. So we waited till they'd left (they bought some chocolate) and called the policeman, who gave me a receipt and said that he would "destroy it"

I'm thinking I might just hide the receipt in amoungst Mum's tax paperwork - she'll find it in a month when she goes to do the GST and be all confused.

After we closed we decided to all go to maccas. So the four of us sat and ate chips and nuggets and bitched and laughed for about an hour, till it was time for them to kick us out.

And after all this, while I was busy thinking I love Wednesdays because of crazy people in mankinis and bags of weed in the supermarket and late night trips to maccas, I forgot that I love Wednesday because White Collar has started again, so I only started downloading it 15 minutes ago.

In crafting news, I have pressed 16 HST units of each print - 112 in total. Tomorrow I shall cut and sew another 16 of each print, but bigger.

This is going to be a very slow pair of quilts.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Confused, but not concerned.

So it would seem that, judging by the competition being run on Red Pepper Quilts, the fabrics that I'm using aren't actually the Australian ones. The green colourway is one of the Joann's ones, so I'm curious as to how I have ended up with it.

I'm glad it was what was at my store though. With the exception of one of the yellows, which I wouldn't have really been able to piece into a quilt all on it's own, I wasn't a huge fan of many of the other colours. Bit serendipitous that. As was my ability to spell serendipitous right first go. I don't think I've ever typed that word before, but maybe I'm just that much more awesome than I even realised.

Work tonight was typically quiet for a Tuesday that was freezing cold (well, about 4°C) and bucketing down with rain, so I got all my math done properly for my design revision. I need 13cm more of each print - thankfully Spotlight cuts in 5cm increments - and enough white to go with it. My big pinwheels will come out to 19cm and my little ones were always going to be 13cm - now they'll have 3cm borders instead of 5cm sashing. I'll have to make 112 more HST units but I should also be able to get away with - for now - only pressing and pinwheeling 112 of the little ones too. And all those other ones I've already cut and sewn - well, I'm going to make the original one anyway, just a bit smaller. 113x131cm is still bigger than many of the quilts I've made so far, so I'm thinking of this as my two for the price of one plan. Well, admittedly I keep going back and getting a little more of this or that, so it will no doubt be two for the price of two, but oh well. One of these days, when I get up the motivation to do more than just maths, it's gunna look awesome.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I get it.

Generally speaking, as soon as a quilt comes out of the washing machine, I am smitten. Even if I wasn't totally keen on it beforehand, the washing machine is like a make-it-good machine.

Those people who never wash their quilts don't know what they're missing. The slight boofy crinklyness that hides all your mistakes. The thing it does to your stitching so you can't tell anymore which thread was top and which was bobbin. The way the fabric becomes just a tiny bit softer - just enough that you immediately want to start wearing your new quilt like a blanketcape.

What's the point of chopping some fabric into little bits and sewing it all back together again? This is.

Um...

It took me almost four hours to pair up the 280 half square triangle units. I am not looking forward to having to press them. Might have to do it over a few nights. *shudder*

What's more, I'm considering changing the design. I really really like the look of the brown one with the smaller and larger pinwheels. I was just going to sash it but that's quite dull. 2.5cm extra in the initial square size still makes it 5cm bigger in the pinwheel - for all that lots is lost to seam allowances in pinwheels, it's a fixed 5cm over the initial double width squares, even though my brain feels like it should be a scaled increase. So all I'd need to do is buy 15cm cuts of each of the prints and the same again in the white and I could replace half the blocks - I'd still finish up the pinwheels I've started - half would go in and the other half I could put on the back. Yes, technically, it would increase the amount of pinwheels I'd need to make by a half, but whatever.

Maybe I'm talking myself into just doing more work. But I figure, I'm going to be putting in a huge amount of work anyway. By a fair way, this quilt has the smallest pieces I've done so far, the most points and the most complicated piecing I've ever done. I don't want to have put in a huge amount of effort and get to the end and think to myself, well, that's a bit boring. I could have made that plenty more interesting. I don't even like sashing. I think it's too traditional for my tastes, and I'd really only chosen it because it meant I wouldn't have to match up the corner points. But it wasn't that hard to do the brown quilt.

I could come to regret it, trying to piece dozens of uncooperative pinwheel corners together, or I could end up regretting not doing it, and putting my most labour intensive quilt yet into a box because I'm not totally keen on it. I'm not sure which just yet.

Course, I may get a quarter of the way through ironing my HSTs, realise I still have over 200 to go, and fake my own death. That is always an option.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Love.

You know how some days you achieve a lot and some days you just write off in the knowledge that you're not going to achieve anything more quilty than popping one over your lap as you bum about on the couch?

Today was somewhere in between. Dad's been chopping down a lot of the trees around the yard in the past few days so my first few hours were spent helping haul branches onto trailers and utes, and since then I have been terribly stop-start-ish. I finished piecing the falling pinwheels quilt, in 15 minute spurts of effort that were about an hour apart.


And I bound the Mingle Star quilt, which is in the wash. I also ate 4 rolls of peppermint chocolate, quarter of a cheesecake, a can of tuna and two frozen apple fruit juice boxes, watched about a dozen episodes of QI, one of Hawaii 5-0 and two of Johnathan Creek, and read a novel. Which means even though I achieved a fair bit in quilting terms, I achieved far more in bumming about wasting time terms, which completely nullifies what I actually got done.

Think of it as a reverse of the "I've saved more money than I've spent" theory we've all used when justifying fabric purchases.

In other news, I would like to formally introduce everyone to the single most divisive rug in the whole of human history.


Is it the most awesome thing ever to be bought for $6.95? Or a hideous monstrosity? Does it look like brussel sprouts? Or broccoli? Or sea urchins? Do I love it more, or does Maddy?

Because Kelsey was the one who actually processed the sale of it from the local Lincraft store, I had decided that she couldn't get the ten points. But calling it a shag - well, that's genius, even if it is technically a mat and not carpeting. Ten points to Kelsey. Although I still don't know what I'm going to do with it - there's no bits of floor in need of a very unusual mat and I don't have the wall space to hang it, which is a shame. Even so: Love.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Brilliant

Well, it's still in bits but I've made progress to the point where it looks like a pinwheel quilt.


It was still at blocks at that point and I haven't made a huge amount of progress from there, as it turns out that it's really quite difficult to quilt and watch some truly excellent late 90s murder mysteries. You keep getting distracted looking for the clues, even when you've seen it before.

Nonetheless, if you're not quilting, I highly recommend a show called Jonathan Creek. Go for the earlier seasons though, they're a lot more fun - well, as fun as people dying interesting and unusual deaths can be.

Anyway, the quilt should end up at about 135cm square. And for the first time in ages I pressed a seam to the side - I've always been a seam splitter, I just think it looks so much nicer, but on the corners of the blocks with the borders it made a nasty bump where it folded over and over on itself, so there's two seams on each of the bordered blocks that are pressed differently. I just have to keep telling myself over and over that literally thousands of quilts are made every year with the seams pressed to one side, and they don't spontaneously fall apart, or acquire unsightly lumpen bits.

Speaking of lumpen bits, 10 points to whoever guesses what this is:


Whatever it is, it's bloody fantastic.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's late.

I have ummed and ahhed about this for about 16 hours now - to the point where it is no longer Friday, and causing reference to the post a did a few weeks back about my love of procrastination. Hell, I could have even turned it into a post about my love of indecision (or could I?)

But, I have decided not to. It's not even going to be a post about QI, which is going to be tough since it's also been in my head for the last 7 hours or so, excluding times I went to the loo.

Nope, It'll be about sewing in the middle of the night, in a pretty much empty house. I don't know why I struggle so much with sewing in the presence of others, but it really makes it difficult. Much better to sew while everyone's abed, off at the pub, or on a boat somewhere.

I once said that having sex was like doing the dishes - that it was much more difficult to do if there was someone watching*. Maybe it's like a sliding scale, with dishes grudgingly doable in the presence of others, quilting only doable in the presence of others if they're not only not in your way but also not interested in you, and members of the opposite sex really only doable if there's either no-one around, or you're really, really drunk.

Anyway, tonight's sewing was the first I've done in nearly a fortnight. Half square triangles too, because I'm a freaking idiot and decided that the way I really wanted to get back into it was with some bloody pinwheels. And not just one pinwheel quilt, oh no, I need to prove I am much, much more hardcore than that, so I'm doing two pinwheel quilts at once. Different designs, measurements, fabrics and even thread colours. The second of the two, which I have so far only cut, has 240 half square triangle units, although admittedly, only 224 of these will be used - I sold out and bought six fabrics from the Denise Schmidt ones at Spotlight today. I only went in to see if they had a dark brown that could go with the Michael Miller Falling Leaves that I now have more of**.

20cm cuts don't get you that many good selvedges
Initial square sizes were 20cm and 17cm
Much preferred to the size of these - just 10cm
I must say, I really like the primo homespun they have at Spotlight now. It's so much better quality, there's almost twice as many colours at the local store and best of all, I go look at the colours in the store, and I get them home, and they're the same colour! For all that I love internet shopping, and yes, at $6.95 a metre it's technically more expensive than kona from fabricshack even with the postage, the fact that I can just see the colours, and buy the fabric, and take it home right then and there, that's good. And if sometimes I accidentally buy some fabric that I can't help but think to myself will spontaneously turn me into a sheep, well, that's a small price to pay.

Actually, for the 6 cuts of prints, 2.4 of white to go with them and the 1.5 of brown (which now that I've gotten home and refined the math for is about 30cm underestimated) the actual price to be paid was about $41. And that's forty one strong, robust Aussie dollars there too.




And now, I've spent almost 45 minutes without the reassuring, dulcet tones of Stephen Fry in my ears. I must be getting back to that.

*I really cannot explain why, but I really don't like doing dishes in the presence of other people - possibly I worry that a) they will think less of me or more likely b) they will now know that I can indeed do it, and expect me to do it again.
**Speaking of, if anyone wants a $5 coupon for fabric.com that needs to be used by the end of the month, message me - I really don't think I need it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Just thinking... Or maybe going crazy...

I really like thinking about stuff. All sorts of stuff. Weird stuff. Some stuff I think about for a long time, some stuff I go at for a few seconds and then move on.

Working at Woolies is surprisingly conductive to thinking about stuff. Not so much during the day when it's busy, but after 8pm or so, especially on the smokes counter, there's plenty of time for pondering pointless things.

I also really like recursing. Tonight, at Woolies, I did some thinking, about Woolies.

Now, for reference, Woolworths is an Australian supermarket chain. There's lots and lots of them across Australia. There's thousands of staff across the country. There's friendship groups and in-jokes and rivalries between departments. Pretty much everything I can think about it, you can think about wherever it is that you work.

Today I joined a facebook group. One of those "Taking off your (thing) after a hard day of (thing)" - in this case, taking of your woolies uniform after a hard day of being fresh*. It's a really interesting page to read. It's mainly employees quoting their store number and whinging about either the Margaret Fulton** promotional tee shirts we're wearing or the Chips Ahoy*** adverts that play on the instore radio every 10 minutes. But it changed my earlier thinking, which was much more focused on our local store being a self contained living organism, to a notion that maybe working at Woolies is like being in some strange religion, maybe even a cult. What the hell, we wear silly shirts, threaten to kill ourselves when anyone starts singing "don't you want me baby" (the song in the Chips Ahoy adverts), hook up with one another and go out partying together on the weekends.

Yeah. Pretty cult-like.

Or, I don't know, maybe I've gone a bit crazy because I haven't sewn anything in over a week.

*Woolies slogan is "the fresh food people"
**Grandma-esque celebrity chef
***New brand of chocolate chip cookies/biscuits

P.S. I think posts like this need a label like 'really random shit' to differentiate from the normal, everyday 'random shit'  -actually, no, I'm going to go with 'seriously random shit'

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mornings.

I am sooo not a morning person. I wish I was, because I do like dawn, and I think it can be a magical time of day, when noone's awake and there's interesting light and time moves a bit weirdly. But really, I'm only ever up at that time of the morning when something interesting is going on, like I'm going on holiday, and it's much more likely and also much worse that I should have to be up at a mundane hour of the morning like 8 or 9am.

This happened today. My hatred of mornings is well known by my colleagues, and because of it I'm never rostered before lunchtime, but we've agreed that if they've called everyone else, and I'm their last option, I will say yes. And there's a bit of a bug going around Woolies at the moment, and I got called. They were kind enough to call at 8, and since I was meant to be working my usual shift of 2.30 till 10.30, I tried to haggle an 11am start, since that would mean that whichever schoolkid worked till close could do 7 till 10.30 and then they wouldn't need a teabreak* but it's hard to haggle at 8am when you're still pretty much asleep, which is why I had to start at 10.

It was horrible. Really really horrible. I'm very happy with my bodyclock, for all that everybody else thinks it's whacked, and I really don't know how everybody else does it. My parent's have been informed that if anybody calls for me tomorrow morning, I'm dead, and will continue to be dead until 2.30, when I'll be at work. That should suffice. Any more than one morning a week would probably kill me.

*Which may seem mean, but it's very annoying to have to give someone a teabreak at 8.30 when there's only one other checkout chick, so they try to roster 3.5 hour shifts at night.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pfft...

I'm afraid I shall have to give up quilting for a bit. I'm far too busy watching my way through 8 seasons of QI to do anything else right now.

How terrible is that? I have new fabric. The binding for the Mingle Star quilt is here. I have found a dark green that will slot nicely into the quilt I've made no more progress on whatsoever. I've got a pretty rainbow pinwheel all drawn up.

Buuut...

I can't say no to the prospect of Stephen Fry telling me interesting things. It's much easier to say no to quilting, and sit bemused in front of my laptop.

I feel a bit bad that everyone else is having proper quilting crises, while I'm sitting here with a milo and learning that friendship is like wetting my pants - everyone can see it, but only I can feel it's warmth. You can't quilt and learn stuff like that at the same time, so I'm not even gunna try. And I'm not gunna feel guilty about it either, because I'm five deep in quilts on my bed right now, and that's plenty in spite of the -2° temperatures we've been having down here lately.

Don't worry, I'm sure my ability to talk crap will in no way be diminished. If anything, watching two or three hours of people talking crap each night before I go to bed should leave me in peak talking-crap condition.

It's like exercise, but you can do it in bed. While eating chocolate cake.