Saturday, July 30, 2011


As usual, I spent most of today feeling like I was getting nowhere, and then as soon as I felt like I was slowing down stuff suddenly started to be done. I went over my to-do list and I was a bit amazed at how much I could cross off. I forgot to get a strap for the swag and a pillow until it was too late, so that will need to be done in the morning, along with picking up donuts and Holt the Cow from his other mummy. But that's a pretty manageable list.

Anyway, I've come up with a couple of favourites today. The first is being (nearly) ready. As a huge procrastinator and someone who tends to overly prepare getting organised to go away is always a challenge. I wait till the last minute, and then pack too much stuff. Packing too much last night and then downsizing tonight seems to have worked well though, but I suspect that once again I will be taking way too much food.

My other favourite is taking my ideas a little too seriously. I have a tendency to think of something and suddenly do it. My Official Swag Tester lanyards are a perfect example, but so too was my taking up quilting. I don't know how many people got started by saying, right, I'm gunna learn a new craft and create an example of it good enough to enter into a competition in 4 days time. Luckily I had my weeks wrong and it was actually 10 days time, but I would have had it done on the 4th day if I'd had too. I'm much better at getting organised for the things I thought of 15 minutes ago, than things I listed myself on facebook that I would be attending 15 weeks ago.

And some random favourites too:

Saying "Sad face" instead of actually frowning.

Strapping is so much easier than making an actual strap yourself.

Dan Murphies. Way cheaper than IGA liquor, even without giving you Woolies staff discount.

Telling everybody that I "combed my fur coat" and it not being yet another reference to my girly bits, because I have an actual fur coat.

Using my sewing machine for the first time in ages.

My amazing power cable finding abilities.

The fact that I am going to a BnS ball in about 17 hours time.

The fact that my Mum is dropping me off.

Friday, July 29, 2011

(In) decisions

Surely I cannot be the only person who, faced with an imminent two days away from home, has a nervous breakdown based on what to pack?

It started well. In spite of it being cold, and midnight, and therefore dark, I went out to the shed and managed to find, using only the little tiny torch on my keyring, everything I was looking for, except for the container of little torches you put on your keyring. But I have a spare tent, and my fur coat, and my flannelette underskirts, and the old morning after bag (I'm thinking I might make a new one though) and a rotary cutter and a short ruler and Casey's bit of Case-I-H fabric that I need to make into a cushion for her. I found blank DVDs and CDs, and brought the wrong ones inside, but that's okay. I know where they are for tomorrow.

I came back inside, got started on packing, and had to stop when I realised that it's only for one night, I do not need to take 4 pairs of jeans, and chances are high that I will just wear home whatever is in the morning after bag.

The morning after bag is the best. It's a really little bag, that contains jeans, a shirt, socks and jocks. Very handy when what you've taken off the night before was a floor length wedding dress with masses of underskirt, and you've just woken up in the swag of a boy you only met yesterday. You need quick, comfy and practical, and ball gowns are fur coats are not that.

I may make an unlined/uninterfaced version of the gym bag to shove those into to get back to our spot. My shift for tomorrow night has been cancelled, so I have an extra 5 hours in which to do stuff. It will mean another trip to the shed to find the strapping and fabric I need, but I'm getting better at finding stuff now.

All I got made today were the lanyards.

I've made 6, because that's how many wide ends were in the pack of 10 that I bought, the other 4 being narrow, and my having left the narrow ribbon in the car. There's five of us going, and Mum can have one too, so that will do us. I made us a facebook group too, because that's how I roll. I think the only qualifications you need are to be a female swag owner. I know that's a bit discriminatory, but the clauses are somewhat gender specific, and most girls keep their swags in good condition, so they are natural experts on how a swag should be. Depending on how successful these are this weekend, I may have to make quite a few more. I still have to round off the corners on these ones: I cut them with the rotary cutter and they're quite sharp points. Hopefully the corner cutters they have in the scrapbooking section will do the trick.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Official Swag Tester

Would you like to be an Official Swag Tester?

It's simple: simply print out this image at a width of 8cm, cut out, fold in half and laminate. Cut a little hole in the top, add a lanyard and you now have the perfect, not at all legitimate excuse to climb into the swag of a boy you've just met.

Best of all, if the boy and/or the swag turn out to be something of a disappointment, there's a nice little clause in there that says he owes you beer:

Swags to be tested shall be chosen at the discretion of the tester. The tester may require the assistance of the owner to test the swag, and this assistance may be required for tasks such as unrolling the swag, checking the fit of multiple occupants and the swag's suitability as a mating location. Swags which are clean and in good condition will be highly marked. Extra marks will be awarded based on the appearance of the owner and vehicle on, in or near which the swag is situated. Marks are deducted for patches of damp or dirt, holes or torn blankets and the presence of long forgotten clothing and/or used protection in the base of the swag. The presence of spiders or rodents is an automatic fail. Should your swag be deemed unfit for use, you will be fined a can of beer or equivalent, or a greater penalty at the discretion of the Official Swag Tester. All decisions are final, and correspondence will not be entered into, unless we think you are cute and decide to add you as a friend on Facebook.

Tomorrow, I have to print out a dozen or so of these (half will doubtless get stolen) and then laminate them at work tomorrow night. Nothing else on my to do list has been done, but no matter. I am an Official Swag Tester now. That's the important thing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Offical. Really.

I have had a plan. I'm not sure how I'm gunna go about putting my plan into fruition in the next 3 days around work and all the other shit that needs getting done, but oh well. Some plans are so magical they come about on their own, like they were destined too, without any help from mere mortals like you or I.

I need a t-shirt, or perhaps just a badge, maybe a card on a lanyard would suffice, that says "official swag tester" then, at the BnS, any cute boys, I will point to my shirt/whip out my badge/hold my little card in their face and tell them I need to test their swag. And I need their assistance to do so.

The best part about this plan is, I can do it in the afternoon, before the ball even begins, and if their swag really isn't up to scratch, I'll hand them a fine for two beers and then go find myself another swag to test. And if it's a lovely swag, and a lovely boy, well, I can't think of a better conversation starter than, "well, since we're both here in this excellent example of swagness, what are you doing for the rest of the evening?*" It's genius.

But you know what's even better? Mum is coming with us. MY MUM! Is going to be dropping us off at a BnS Ball. (insert excited squealing here)

*You is only an acceptable answer if he's really cute.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

dot dot dot comma question mark

My room is painted and I just re-hung my curtains all by myself. Alas, still no bed or sewing machine, but tonight should be my last night in my swag till Stonerollers BnS on Saturday. And even then, a girl can hope for a sea of invites to other swags, preferably the kind containing hot, naked cowboys. I'm getting sick of my swag, and it's distinct lack of hot naked cowboys.

Tonight I should have many many trippy and interesting dreams, sleeping as I am in a room full of paint fumes. Obviously, my anosmic little self can't actually smell them, but I've already decided to attribute my complete inability to type to them. Is that a known side effect of inhaling paint fumes? Typos? Well, it is now.

Wading through the typos, I have written up the instructions to make a gym bag like mine. But I have no sewing machine to make another bag to take the accompanying photos. Or, if I'm honest, any time to make the bag to take the accompanying photos. Three 9 hour days, then a short day during which I also have to clean out and pack my car, find my clothes including the ball gown and the fur coat in the sea of tubs in the shed, get my legs done* sort out food and grog, charge up all the phones and the laptops and the cameras and the walkie talkies, get petrol and wash my hair.

Just as well my swag's been checked out then, isn't it? I don't even know when I'm gunna find time to scratch.

*according to the girls at work, referring to my beaver as "free range" is one of the funniest things I have ever said. Actually, it might be one of the funniest things anyone's said, ever, according to one of them, but I'm not sure why. Maybe it's just because it's the complete opposite end of the spectrum - indeed, I cant think of anything less funny than having all the hairs on my vajayjay ripped out. And it's one less thing to have to worry about getting done.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Viva la Revolución

My mother has decided we can wait till my room has been painted to put my furniture back in here. Granted, it hasn't been painted in the 17 years since it got a lick of light grey undercoat, but oh well. I like light grey undercoat, but apparently, after 17 years, it must be "under"

In retaliation, I have chosen a slightly darker shade of grey as my paint choice. I've also decided, in lieu of sleeping in yet another bed I don't like, to bring in my swag.

And my flop chair. And a powerboard, for the essentials. Mum hid the router behind the curtain, for reasons that aren't immediately apparent.

As far as a quarter life rebellion goes, it's not much. I still don't have a sewing machine either, which is especially annoying considering I'm filled with a near overwhelming urge to get the two part-done bags finished, and start on a third (which I will need to find the fabric for - it being in a tub somewhere) but at midnight on a Sunday night, after a busy 9 hour day, it's the best I can muster.

Viva la Revolución? No thanks, I want my real bed back.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Losing it.

Mum has decided we will get these carpets properly cleaned before we put the furniture back in, so yet again I'm without a bed. Well, that's a lie, I'm sharing Maddy's bed with Casey, and she snores like a freight train. Or sometimes like a chainsaw. One time it was like a motorbike. But you get the idea. Last night, to combat it, I stayed up till about 4am safe in the knowledge that I would be so tired I would fall asleep in spite of the noise, and I could sleep in once she'd gone to work at 7. But tomorrow I start work at 12, which is late by anyone's standards, except of course mine. Or those of the nightfill boys. Some might say the nightfill boys have no standards, and they wouldn't be too far wrong.

Because I'm working all afternoon and most of the evening tomorrow, I just have to hope that some nice parent or sibling puts my bed back while I am at work. I'm losing it without my bed.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I miss you, bed.

My favourite thing today is my bed. And annoyingly, it's one of those "don't miss it till it's gone" favourites. See, tomorrow (in about 7 hours, actually) a man is coming to put in some new carpet in my bedroom. Since it's nearly 1am now, that means he'll be getting here at 8am, and since I don't really wake up till lunchtime normally, that posed a bit of a problem, rectified of course by moving my bed out to the bar in little (well, actually quite big, really) pieces, and me sleeping in my sister's room. But for me, my bed is not just for sleeping on. As a queen sized bed in a quite small and full room, most of my living takes place on the bed. I use my laptop on the bed, design bags and quilts on the bed. Watch movies on the bed, eat snacks on the bed, read books on the bed. My bed is my place. And while I may have carped on a bit a few weeks ago about how your watch or your handbag says something about you, there is nothing more in tune with a person than a single gal's bed. I'd make a conservative guess that I spend fully half my time on that 2m2, and it fits me perfectly, from the little dent I've made in the mattress to the exact weight of the quilts (a polyester quilt and a comforter that came from lincraft ages ago inside the one eiderdown cover, and 4 of my quilts on top of that) that I like. Also, my tendency to wake up at a 90° angle to what I went to sleep at, stretched full length along the pillows. My cushion that I cuddle, as well as Mo the Sheep, Alex the Monster and Eleanor the Elephant. And of course my electric blanket. I really really love that.

Other things I love right now:

KFC Potato and Gravy.
Cadbury Fingers.
External harddrives.
Facebook chat and messages being the same thing now.
Barrette hair clips.
Jeans day at work.
Chocolate Mudcakes.
Putting a bandaid on a broken nail when you can't find a nailfile.
Dragging new tabs to the tab bar in Firefox.
Playing Bejeweled on a touchscreen.
Bundy White Lemon and Lime.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cleaning still.

The closer I get to the end the harder it is becoming. That makes sense I suppose, since you leave the hard bits till last. Most of what's left I could probably just shove into an enviro bag and into the cupboard, but It's a mix of important stuff that I want to remember the location of, and unimportant stuff that I forgot to put with the rest of the unimportant stuff, or didn't come across until it was too late to do so.

Also, there are cables. Lots and lots of cables. I'm a bit ashamed to say I'm running four powerboards and 3 double adapters in my bedroom. I know it's an electrical risk, but this bedroom was built before laptops and mobile phones and routers and two sided electric blankets and me owning two digital cameras and handheld computer* and two tablets and a sewing machine and an alarm clock. I'm pretty sure originally it ran two bedside clocks and two bedside lamps. When I get the bookcase, I will need to chop a hole in it where the powerpoint is.

Tomorrow we have to take out the furniture and put it out in the bar. Becky has cleared out already because she's mainly living at Todd's these days anyway, but Casey and I need to get our stuff out still. The man comes at 8 Saturday morning, and will apparently be tearing out the old carpet before he puts the new stuff in. That's a big relief to me, since the carpet I have now really, really, really likes pins. I spent about an hour picking them out, but I still probably only got half of them. They burrow in though, so you almost never get them in your feet. I think I might put one of my little quilts underneath the sewing cabinet when we get the new carpet so I can just wave my magnet over it and they will all get picked up.

I've also decided to get rid of my magazine collection, although the initial attempt nearly killed me, but not for the reason you may think. See, I put them all in a big bag on the bed, one of those woven plastic ones you get at Cheap as Chips, and then I went to lift it. And then when it turned out to weigh as much as, if not more than me, I fell off the bed. As if the runny nose and asthma attacks weren't bad enough, this cleaning malarkey is trying to get me any way it can. I've since split them into four much more manageable enviro bags. For those of you who were interested, there were some beading magazines, lots of old issues of Empire magazine and the first two dozen or so issues of Top Gear magazine. When I get my new shelves, I will need that space for fabric.

*actually, I have two of these too, but since they're identical, I only have the one charger.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


This morning (well, this afternoon) when I went out to my car, it was faintly yellow. Lots of other stuff happened today too (in fact, today was so long that it feels as if the slightly yellow car was days ago), but most of it is unimportant. What is important though, is that the trees know that spring is coming. It may only be 6°C out there at the moment, but it's only a matter of time till it's nice and warm again. Granted, between then and now there will be plenty more cold nights, lots of snotty tissues and about four bottles of Demazin, but no matter. At some point in the not to distant future, it will be warm again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Found it.

Tonight, for the first time in ages, I found myself wanting to get home to do some sewing. And then I got home, and found that my room was still torn to bits like I'd left it six hours before when I'd gone into work. Including 2 big tubs, a really old travel bag and a suitcase full of handmade toy monsters squarely in the way of my sewing machine.

Oh well. I found a lot of other things today too.

Lots and lots of socks. Literally dozens. That's the advantage to buying pretty much the same socks over and over, they all match one another, with very few odd socks remaining. All the socks that I found were black size 2-8 Bonds ankle socks with the padded soles. The look kinda like the one in my header, but in need of a wash.

Lots of zippers. Some individual ones, but quite a lot on rolls too. Over 20m of zipper all up.

Quite a few packs of blank CDs. Four USB sticks and two external harddrives. Five 3-pin-clover cables with Australian plugs. One with a US plug (I threw it out).

My Pandora bracelet with the blue beads on it. I had just assumed that one of my sisters had taken it.

The pattern for the ballgown that I threw out the instructions for yesterday. Thankfully, I am a smart cookie, I shall just figure it out.

Lots of hairties. Even more bobby pins. Half a dozen nailfiles. A box of pore strips.

A quilt cover that will make some really nice bags once it's chopped up.

Some blocks I made out of the blue charm squares Shay gave me when I visited her in Adelaide that I never got around to assembling into a second pillow*

Quite a lot of foreign coins.

Some carpet that hasn't seen the light of day in a couple of years, and will, sadly, be torn up in 5 days time and replaced.

Tomorrow I need to find myself another half a dozen tubs, and then by Thursday night I suspect I will find myself sleeping in an empty bedroom.

In the meantime, I need to find myself some hand sewing projects. Or I could set up the sewing machine out in the bar, maybe do a bit of quilting, drinking and listening to late 90s music out there.

*weird fact, I made the first pillow in yellow and now cuddle it more than I cuddle either Mo (the sheep) Alex (the monster) or Eleanor (the elephant). I figure this can only be a good thing, as it means I can remove my toys from the bed should a boy decide to spend the night in it, without depriving me of an inanimate object to cuddle as well as him. For an update on the boy situation - he's sick with tonsillitis, so nothing is happening. I find this as boring as you no doubt do.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's a rich man's world.

Oh dear. Having spent a little bit of money, I am filled with a desire to spend much, much more. Dell has dropped the price of my chosen next phone by $200, for all that I can't buy it because I don't have an American address (I may at some point need to borrow someone's) and I've suddenly been filled with an overwhelming urge to have a TV in my room. I've not had one for the last 23 years and I'm suddenly worried I'm missing out. A 19 inch from Kogan (they're a cheap online company - Dad's telly on the boat came from them and it's going great) with DVD and USB input is about $200, but I've seen them on sale for less. As much as I'd love a big bitchin' screen, that's about the biggest I can fit on the wall opposite the bed. It's still plenty bigger than my 12" laptop though, and way bigger again than the 5" I can spare in the corner of my screen when I'm using the internets. I may wait a while on that though - the Dell Venue Pro has dropped to $300 and whereas before I was just vaguely considering the notion (as I am now with the idea of a telly) now with the price drop it's left me thinking maybe I should keep paying rego in 3 month lots instead of doing it for the whole year all at once and buy the phone with the money gap - kinda like a very odd buy now/pay later.

It's kinda a wonder how I manage to do my own taxes and still get plenty of money back, when I'm clearly useless with finances - I'm not sure "I want that" (add to cart) is the best financial strategy...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tax time...

I had such grand plans for tonight. The store closes at 8 on Sundays so that's an extra two hours I would have had to work with... I was gunna do the lining of the bag of pockets, because that's top of my pile of stuff-that's-around-the-machine, and who doesn't love new bags? Instead, I clicked on a random link (I cant even remember where from) and ended up on a website full of random cheap stuff and pretty dresses, also very cheap, which of course I had to look at every single one of, and eventually pick 6 of which I wanted. One of them's a ballgown. Yes, I do need another one. Absolutely. Stop being so judgmental.

Anyway, it came to about $100, which is very cheap for six-dresses-one-of-which-is-a-ballgown, but still, it's more than I could really justify spending on a whim.


It's the middle of July. Which means my group certificate finally arrived. Which means that after 45 minutes pressing yes, no and next on the etax program, the government has promised to send me $1025.50* in the next 14-21 days. And having spent $550 on car rego and $370 on a really big bookcase, I've got $105 left over.

That works out jolly well, doesn't it?

*they sent me back $1400 last year. I think they spent the other $375 on their fancy new 20c coins to celebrate themselves.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Today, I once again proved my awesomeness by fixing my harddrive which had shat itself when it went to visit Meagan. One area in which I'm failing though is my quest to work out a perfect re-do of the audio and lighting out in the bar.

The bar is, sortof, Dad's shed. It's where the drinking and the partying happens - there's an actual bar, and a pool table that can be converted into a pingpong/beerpong table, and an old 10c one armed bandit poker machine, and a pinball machine that only works when it feels like it, and a frogger machine that decided a few years ago that it wanted to be German, and we haven't yet worked out how to make it speak English again. All that's great, but the sound system is over 15 years old now, and consists of a great deal of obscure cables that I've sourced over the years to keep all the old bits working, while still allowing me to put in some new bits. The cables to the speakers, which are very old, sometimes get chewed through by mice, and I'm thinking more and more that it would be lovely to maybe buy some nice high end wireless speakers. And a new stereo system. One that plays nice with my laptop, and people's phones or ipods. I could extend the internet's reach to out there, and we could stream music through youtube. I could get a mini-projector, and we could watch movies on the wall. I could make it all properly bitchin' but I'm struggling to find the ebay search terms I need to do so. This makes me sad. If only everything in life could be sorted with a bit of attrib -h -r -s /s /d i:\*.*

That would be truly awesome.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I don't like thongs.

Tonight, I'm suffering from the horrible empty feeling that comes from finishing a book you were really into, and not having another one lined up. It bummed me out so much, I cleaned out under my bed. So now I'm also feeling bummed about the fact that an hour and a half of clearing, putting stuff in tubs and binning everything else has made the room look... slightly messier. All the visible mess is still there, around the sewing machine, and of course I'm putting that off the most because that's where all the half done projects are, and if you put them away there's always a risk they will remain half done forever.

In an effort to counter this at least a little bit, the rainbow zigzag quilt is all quilted and trimmed. This was from ages ago, and I kept stalling in hopes that I and/or my machine would magically acquire the ability to stipple, and I could do some funky dense stuff all over the black bits, leaving the rainbow to pop. But it still hasn't happened (because a.) I need to take my machine in for a service and having done that b.) practice) So I just followed the seams along the zigzags -edge to edge on the black, around the inside on the coloured bits. It makes it look a bit more cohesive on the back too - random zigzagged lines interfere with a random stripey design less than defined patches of quilting.

Trimmed AND lint rolled. Still needs a heart appliqued into the bottom corner gap.
I might bind it from the back so it's wider on the front, so I don't chop off as much of the piecing.

Pink binding will be done some other day, mainly because the fabric I'm using is 285cm wide sheeting, and it's gunna take a bit of effort to iron it and cut it into strips. There'll be less joins though, but I'm not sure it's worth it. I just went for it because I like the colour.

Change of topic now. I feel like having a little rant.

I have a question. What's so great about thongs? Obviously, being Australian, I am referring to the rubber footwear that gives you nasty nasty blisters, not the skimpy underwear that gives you nasty nasty wedgies. But really, they're both pretty bad. I mean, yes, they are easy to get on. And when you're at the beach, you can shake out the sand, for all that it's pointless, because the next step you take will get more nasty gritty bits between the thong and your big toe, grinding away mercilessly at the skin. And it wasn't so bad when everyone was paying two bucks a pair from kmart, but now everyone's paying twenty bucks for a pair of havaianas, and still losing them/getting them stolen at the same rate. It seems like a waste of money for something that's nowhere near as good as a pair of real shoes. I put on a pair today, because they were at the back door, and my boots were at the front door, and I was going out to get some bark to light the fire, and the front door was too far away, and I am lazy. And then I went out to the woodshed, which is usually quite full of spiders and I found myself thinking, "well, how ridiculous is this?" I have a pair of perfect boots that are pretty much impenetrable to spiders. And while I'm relatively chill about spiders* the ones in the woodshed are usually fist sized and hairier than the muff of a 70s porn star. Not the kind of thing I want on my be-thonged feet, for all that I would find the irony of one on an underwear thong worthy of a good chuckle. And while I feel that spiders on toilet seats are perfectly good and Australian, having to suffer through something furry crawling over my toes, just because I'm wearing properly Australian footwear (except they're made in Brazil) isn't cool. As far as I can tell, the only good thing about thongs is that there's usually some at the back door, and they stop me getting splinters in the bottom of my feet.

I feel better now.

*as opposed to Meagan, who made me go into the toilet and kill a 4cm daddy long legs last night - actual body size, about 3mm.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Useless reviews.

Today, I had a nice cry. I haven't cried in ages, so I was about due for one, but I will tell you this: crying is much more difficult with 3D glasses on. If you feel the same way about the Snape/Lilly Potter love that I do* then I suggest you save your $1.50 and see it in 2D. Though I heard from the lady in the row in front of me that at some of the cinemas in Adelaide you got 3D glasses that look like Harry's. So if they're on offer, maybe just try not to cry so much, because that's pretty cool. If you can get your hands on some, could I have them?

Anyway, after the cry I got home and I could start on the book that arrived in the mail today. If you have a spare $16, click on this link and buy it. It's fantastic so far. It may well become one of my favourite non-fiction books of all time.

It does have one slight problem though - a problem I'm all too aware of having just re-read all of Tamora Pierce's Tortall-set books on my palm pilot. They're not actually legit copies, but since I have them all in actual, paper and cardboard copies, I figure this is okay. Because the palm pilot has a definite advantage over paper books. It even has a definite advantage over e-ink screened e-book readers, the ones that are the same size as an actual book and have the clever screens that don't have pixels and don't make your eyes hurt. You can read it in bed. In the dark. And you can hold it, and scroll, with one hand. And if you fall asleep, it won't lose where you are, it will just wait 30 seconds and shut down and go to sleep too. For a book that you're very very into, it's perfect. You can literally keep reading till you can read no more. You don't have to worry that the lights are still on, that you're going to crumple your book, or lose your place. You don't have that horrible "I'm about to fall asleep, put away the book... wait 5 minutes and pick it up again" feeling. You just read and read and at some point you're not reading anymore because you've gone to sleep, but you don't realise this till you've woken up. It's magnificent. So's my new book, for all that I now have to stop and go to bed, instead of doing it the other way around, like I want to.

*He kept on loving her forever. Even when she didn't love him back. Even when she married the boy that was mean to him. Forever. Like, properly forever. And he pretended to be a bad guy and died just to protect the child of the woman he loved, it's just so beautiful and so tragic. He kept on loving her. Forever. (note: my friends didn't get it. Philistines.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It seems like a good idea...

Even though I said I wasn't gunna buy any more fabric till after my room was clean, I did buy some hot pink cotton sheeting today to use as a binding for the rainbow steps on black quilt, which is very nearly all quilted - it would be but the moving stuff around thing has left the machine even more, um, congested than usual.

I had originally planned to bind it in black. It has a black border and background, and well, it seems obvious, which of course seems to me to be a perfect reason not to. The quilt itself doesn't contain a hot pink in the piecing - The colours are all kona and the bright pink looked a bit faded compared to all the other colours, so it goes from the orange (I used tangerine and school bus) through to just the far side of purple (cerise). I've really struggled to find a super-bright pink in quilting fabric, but Spotlight has some 285cm wide 100% cotton sheeting that is exactly the colour I wanted. I also have to applique a heart in the corner, which will be the hard bit for me, though at least it will be quite small and in the corner. And yes, I have quilted it before appliqueing - I plan on shallowly needleturning it and then quilting through a foot's width* inside the seam just as I did with the piecing.

I have tomorrow off, so instead of cleaning like I should, I'm sure I will be finding new and exciting ways in which to procrastinate. Binding. Binding's toats fun!**

*by this I mean the width of the machine foot, which, being metric, is about .75cm. I don't mean I'm sewing a foot (12inches/30.4cm) from the edge. Obviously. That would be dumb.
**no, it's not. But it's better than cleaning out my room.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The truth is out there. But it's a bit dull...

I realised today when everyone wanted to know why I'm finally cleaning my room that I never actually said anything about it before. Clearly, I'm cleaning my room so that when it comes time to bring a boy home to shag, I won't look like a crazy hoarding quilting lady.

Actually, that's not it. I don't care about the fact that I am a crazy hoarding quilting lady. And it's not like it's not a fairly well known fact. It's probably a more interesting story than the truth though, which is that one of Dad's mates bought a house that was only carpeted last year, but he's decided he wants hardwood floors instead. So Dad's scored himself a heap of nearly new carpeting, and decided to re-do all our rooms.


Progress is horrible and slow. And sneezy, and heavy, and neverending. Four 52L tubs and four big garbage bags have made no discernible dent in the stuff I have accumulated over the last 5 years. Come Thursday and Friday, which I have off, when I can put it off no longer (Dad plans to do it over the weekend) I'll be faced with the nasty job of picking which sewing projects I want to do for the next few weeks, because I can't really put my room back together till I've been to IKEA in Adelaide, and that's not till the end of the month.

I hope a shag that isn't in the back of a ute and/or a new carpet is worth it. I may hang the big rainbow quilt on the wall, though I will have to put my beautiful wonky mingle quilt somewhere else, perhaps on a different wall.

I'm sure that once it's all done I will love it. Don't expect any before photos, they won't be taken. But hopefully my room will soon be "after photo" worthy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Clearing out

This clearing out thing is hard. I keep telling myself just to turf stuff, that it's been sitting in drawers, and at the back of bookshelves, and under the bed, for so long that I didn't even remember I had it, so I may as well just throw it away. But then half the time it's things I've made, or even worse, things I never finished, and it's like, well shit. I put time and effort into this thing and now I'm gunna turf it. It seems like a massive waste, but then I think, no, this is a perfect candidate for the too hard basket. Buh bye, strange little thing: into the rubbish bag. You're only holding me back.

And then, I get to the supplies. Half used spools of cotton. Bags of odd toy eyes and noses. Knitting needles. Spools of ribbon. They've been sitting there for years. I don't know if I will ever use them. I paid good money for them once, but, just like all the other crap, I've been throwing them out. It just seems easier. There's too much nice stuff for me to just consider torching everything and starting over, so I keep telling myself that unless I love it, get rid of it. The spools of cotton you have to hand are never the right colour anyway.

I'm truly amazed though at how stuff seems to expand as soon as it gets taken from wherever it was and put into either a tub for storage or a rubbish bag. 3 small drawers managed to fill one of each. I'm about to do the dresser and I dread to think how many tubs I will need for that.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I've no idea how long it took cause I fell asleep while it was doing it, but my computer is up to date. I should have learned by now that 2.30 am is not the time to decide to do software updates, but it's the only time I get the urge. Then I give up keeping an eye on them and go to sleep :/

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I have been quilting. It's felt kinda good. Boring, easy, achieving-things good.

It would seem that if you've lost the motivation to quilt, tell yourself you need to clean your room. Quilting, even difficult spinning zigzaggy quilting will be nice and peaceful and easy.

It will also give you time to ponder your new problem: if you have to pack away all your stuff for the next few weeks, what are you gunna leave out to sew? I won't have a big bookcase to start unloading all my stuff back in till we go to IKEA in Adelaide the weekend of Stonerollers... 22 days from now, plus however long it takes me to translate Swedish flatpack instructions. I don't know what I'll feel like sewing tomorrow, let alone 21 tomorrows after that.

No wonder my long procrastinated quilting seems like a fun thing to do just now...

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Before I get to the point, does anyone else use blogger-in-draft? What do you think of the new layout? I like it, because for the last month or so it'd been saving my posts as dozens of drafts and making me delete them one at a time, but the redesign lets me delete lots at once. Also, it's stopped saving lots of unnecessarily drafts, doing away with the need to delete masses of posts, but whatever. I like it, except I keep forgetting which button to press to do a new post.

Anyway, to the point of tonight's post. Watches. I believe I have discussed them before, but I've talked about so much crap on here that I can't remember. Anyway, the thing about a watch is that, apparently, it says something about who you are. Once upon a time it was shoes that did this, but I suppose since people have so many pairs now it makes it a bit hard to remain consistent. If we were what our shoes are, I suppose we'd be covered in dirt and/or schizophrenic.

The trouble is, I don't want my watch to say anything about me. When I said this to a friend, she pointed out that a watch that says nothing about you actually says a lot about me. She's right. It says "I'm being worn by the kind of person who works very hard to not be defined by a commercial object* - the kind of person who goes out of her way to make active statements, in her words and her actions, rather than passive statements, in what she wears or uses"

But actually, what I really want my watch to do is raise it's metaphorical eyebrows suggestively and say in a condescending tone of voice "sorry buddy, but you're gunna have to work harder than that to get to know her" - of course my watch is lying, I'm not hard to get to know at all. So really what I want is a watch that will call people's bluffs, so I don't have to.

After a good few hours trawling through ebay, getting despondent that all the watches I really liked were in the $500 - $2000 range (if any of you ever get given a Tag Hauer Ladies Aquaracer - I don't mind which one - and feel it doesn't suit your personal style, feel free to re-gift it my way. Or 150 of you could put in a tenner each, and get it for me for my birthday) I found a seller who had quite a few nice second hand ones in the $10-15 range. I've bought four, and I'm hoping at least one of them will feel right, because it's very hard to find nice watches on ebay. There's 133 thousand on ebay Australia alone. Worldwide, you're nudging 700k of listings to consider. And unless you're looking for a specific brand, it's tough. Typing in "A watch that doesn't say much about me" gets no responses whatsoever. "bracelet watch steel bezel" gets 9, none of which are what I want, but including the description gets 37000, which is too many.

I think, if you bought your watch on ebay, it says one of two things about you: "I am amazingly lucky and exactly what I wanted showed up at the top of the first page" or "I am both stubborn, picky, and have way too much time on my hands"

I am the latter. If you have a gift for being the former, please, please share it with the world.

*Okay, so I may or may not consider my two necklaces (one an RM Williams longhorn, the other my name) to be the objects that most define me, but they are different. I designed them, I'm the only one in the world that has them. If I am murdered, I expect they will be used to identify me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

(not) Feeling it.

Some days, I don't know what to do or what to think. I flit from one thing to another and nothing really holds my attention for long.

I feel a bit bad that the first night in a while that I come home at a reasonable hour, I just lay on my bed and fiddle around with the computer. I feel bad that I haven't done any quilting since I finished the pinwheel top. I feel bad that I haven't really felt any motivation to.

Well, that's a lie. I considered quilting the rainbow and black zigzag quilt. It's sitting there all nice and basted, I could just do it. I've decided to just follow the zigzags on the black side in black. I considered a wave stitch but I like the cleanness of the lines. I'd probably feel better if I did both sides of the seams but I'm sure it will be fine.

I have tomorrow off. I might get something done then.

Tomorrow is Friday. I need to think of some things I am liking this week. Things other than new socks, of which I bought 15 pairs today, and plastic containers that look like apples but are actually full of mini M&Ms. I sorted them into two colour groups - red, blue and brown and green, yellow, orange and pink. I just felt like doing it.

I should write up the instructions for the bag. I'm thinking of making myself a smaller one. I don't really have need for a smaller one, but I worked out the maths for a half yard one tonight. I have lots of half yards, so I won't need to buy more fabric. Although I'd quite like to try it with the plastic stuff over it. Maybe I will buy some of that. Has anyone ever used that stuff? Will my machine chuck a hissy fit?

I think I should go to bed now. But I forgot to put on the electric blanket. I will go have a snack instead.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

So many people...

What do other people think of someone talking about themselves in the third person? It's something that, in day to day usage, makes me want to stab the person doing it in the face. Repeatedly. And then set fire to them. The variety of personal pronouns in the English language isn't so vast that you should be confused by them, not when English is the only language you've ever spoken. And it's not like your being a literary genius by saying "can Kyal go upstairs and get a drink?" - I can't even be bothered dignifying the douchebagginess of that statement with a well written, bestseller novel type alternative where third person is the best and therefore most used of the personal pronouns.

All I can say is this - as much as I hate it when people speak in the third person, I'm quite okay with them doing it on facebook. You'd think that now facebook no longer demands you use is as the first word of your status (which forces you into third person), and now that your name and your status are clearly defined as separate things, I would be thinking that people should stop doing third person statuses and revert to the first person pronoun they learned before they were even in kindergarten, but actually, I'm okay with it.

Does this make me a hypocrite, or just a bit weird?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I have learned...

Apparently, sometimes, being a best friend means sitting on the floor of someone's lounge till 6am when they've had a fight with their boyfriend, at 2am when he leaves for work at 2.30am. That's okay though. If there's one thing I consider myself to be particularly good at it's being. And I can be anywhere. So I'm quite happy to be where I'm needed.

In other news, apart from the food poisoning scene* Bridesmaids is quite a good film, and includes many good discussion (re)starting points (after you've done the nitty gritty of the talking about it stuff earlier on in the evening/we small hours of the morning). Also the scene where she breaks all the traffic laws she can, freaking hilarious.

*especially when you just spent half the day out with it. Note to self: pita bread gets mouldy really fast, and check the whole pack, don't just trust the top one.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I think it's easy to forget, when you spend time without close friends who think the same thoughts as you do, with whom you can hold a conversation using only a few words, who feel to you like maybe they are you, but stuck in a different body: it's easy to forget how awesome having friends like that is.

I have long blabbed on on this blog. A year of blogging came and went a few weeks back and I will confess, I didn't notice it, probably because I was off having far ranging, 3 hour conversations with Meagan or Anna. The amazing thing I think, is that talking to them isn't much different to doing a blog post, because, although it's being read by you guys, to a certain extent (as it is with actual on-paper diaries) what we are doing here is talking to ourselves. But when you're talking to another person but it feels as if you're talking to yourself, it's even better, because people don't look at you like you're crazy. Not even when you talk loudly about the kind of things that are inappropriate to talk about in front of strangers, but, to be fair, the only other people in the gym were this girl that I went to high school with but was never friends with, and the guy that always comes when she's there and sits next to her and chats to her even though they arrive separately leaving us wondering what's up with them.

Maybe they're just two people who found each other and realised that talking to each other was like talking to themselves. If that's the case, I suspect they don't even hear what we're saying about work and boys and sex. It's easy to forget the rest of the world exists when you're talking to yourself*.

*you know what is a fantastic distraction from talking to yourself (in a blogging context)? The little dunk sound that facebook chat makes when you're chatting with a boy... The same boy you spent an hour or so talking to yourself (in an actually-talking-to-your-bestie context) about earlier at the gym.

Monday, July 4, 2011


So tonight, I baked a cake. I also made a bag, but whatever, I've done like 5 of them in the last month. A cake though, that is something new!

So it all started with someone on facebook saying they were going to make a cake, but then they had no butter so they couldn't. By this point though, cakes were already being made - I will confess mine is a packet mix - while I can make bags from scratch I doubt I could do a cake. It's actually two packet mixes, clevery plopped together to give good swirlyness. But because of this it was too big to fit in any of our plastic containers, so a fair bit had to be chopped off. It felt like quite a waste, since it took about an hour and a half to cook. And is still a bit too moist for my liking - I am a fan of dry cakes. But it looks cool, and on the internet, that's enough.

This bag is even cooler in real life than on the internet.

I took photos as I made it, so I can do up the pattern sometime soon. I gave it a layer of cotton quilt batting and one layer of 1600F interfacing, and that seems to be a good blend between stiffness and softness. Outside fabric is Bloom by StudioE, inside is a bright goldy-orange. 40cm long, 30 high and 22 wide, no extra pockets.

I prefer the bag, but the cake is the more remarkable achievement.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


What do people think of elasticised pockets on the ends of big gym bags? I think it makes them a bit too nappy-bagish, but this is the bag of pockets, so I figured I should give them a go. With the funky side zipper and magnetic clasped pockets I figure the end ones may well never be used, so just for the sake of it I have split them into two halves. I thought the flat end pockets on the first gym bag were too wide and shallow, and even thought these wont really be any deeper, I'm hoping the elastic top, the gathered bottom and the fact that they're half as wide will make me feel like whatever is in them is a bit more secure.

But back to a bag with, essentially, only one pocket. A bag I'm pretty sure even a quilter who's terrified of bags could make. The stripped down, essentials only version of the gym bag. In Casey's preferred fabric, so I suppose it will be more of a netball/BnS bag. I've had to stuff pillows in it, because it's very floppy, but I also learned it has a bonus feature.

Comfortably fits 2 standard size pillows without much squish

One of which was red, making for a slightly confusing picture, since the pull tabs at the ends of the zippers are also red, to match the straps.
When you take out the pillows it deflates
So you roll it up, wrap the straps around it and it can be handily packed away.

This bag is essentially a quilt with some straps and a zipper stuck to two sides, with a couple of bits chopped out of it and the zipperless sides sewn together. I set my zip in, but there's no reason you couldn't just make the quilt and sew it on afterwards. It would make it even easier still.

Of course, I pretty much used a single piece, with 3 joins - one for the handles on each side (tucking them into the seam is the easiest way I know of to get a neat end) and one at the base because it's a directional print. But you could piece and quilt it fully, or, if you were confident in your handle attaching abilities (or had bought ones with nice neat ends and sewing holes) you could just buy a 105 by 72cm bit of pre-quilted fabric and use that.

But the complexity of the many-pocketed bag is keeping me very entertained. The outside is all finished so tomorrow is lining day. I'm not sure how many pockets it should have on the inside - it has 7 on the outside now so I don't think it needs very many, but I'll probably put a few in anyway.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Today I put all my unlikely-to-be-used-anytime-soon fabrics into the shed, cleared out four bags of old crap for dad to take to the tip, bought a dozen new pairs of socks at Dimmeys, went to the Salvos and didn't buy back any of my stuff, re-filled my cupboards at the half-price clearance sales at kmart (for only about $60), got my hair chopped off, bought fabric to have a go at a quilted pocketless version of the gym bag, went to see Helen, made the pocketless quilted version of the gym bag (it looks floppy, so I need to fill it with stuff before I can take a decent photo), shredded another bag (from the Salvos) for fixtures and washed what's left of my hair. I also tried to shift my part a little bit further off centre but time will tell how successful I've been at that.

With an action packed life like mine, no wonder I'm starting to feel a bit tired. Bedtime, methinks :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Welcome all, to the Circle of Trust.

Tonight, I broke 3 machine needles. After forgetting to sew the handles into the other side of the bag. And deciding to fix it (because I needed to make my side 2cm longer for the seam allowances where the handles needed to be tucked in) by adding a zippered pocket. Which, before unpicking and sewing correctly to the side, I sewed to the base piece.

If any of these things had happened while I was quilting, I probably would have given up. But I am really liking this bag. I'm liking making up stuff as I go along. I'm liking the fact that I'm using up fabric that's been in my stash for over a year, which I love the look of but in my heart know was nowhere near the kind of quality needed for a quilt top. I'm loving adding random pockets. I'm loving the unstructured style of sewing, where it's not piece a bunch and press a bunch, but cutting and interfacing and sewing and moving. From the kitchen to the machine and back again, each time with a little bit different bit.

I think one of the reasons I'm liking this speed of sewing better than quilting is that it fits in better with facebook chat. It's early days yet, but I am indeed running the risk of being attached by my next BnS ball. Which would be a shame, but if I was willing to let him distract me enough to cut my pieces incorrectly, sew a zipper to the wrong piece and still be in a good enough mood to simply change needles when they broke, I suppose it is time for me to admit, quietly, that I like a boy.

P.S. if any of you tell my Mother, Father, Sisters, Grandparents, coworkers or indeed, anyone I have ever met, there will be serious repercussions. I've invited you into the Circle of Trust, don't abuse the power.