Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lessons. And also fish.

Remember a few weeks ago when I said that deconstructing items of clothing was a much better alternative to just plain old constructing them?

Yeah, I didn't, which is why I spent tonight sewing three different versions of a dress, none of which was quite right, before giving up and taking the slightly saggy bodice off of a dress I bought on ebay about a month ago, leaving me with a lovely hot pink silk skirt, which, when worn quite high over the same long singlet dress I was going to wear under the lace dress I was trying to make tonight, with a wide belt, looks excellent. Yay.

The other thing I learned tonight was that sewing with lace is a fantastic way to realise your fingernails are quite chipped. And that lifting up slimy, spiky, prone-to-crumbling rocks on the banks of the river in pursuit of the crabs that live underneath them is a surefire way to quite badly chip your fingernails.

The things I do for tiny delicious fish, and also to get my dad to stop nagging at me to come to the boat for the next couple of months.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Why do I keep doing this?

The hardest thing about dressmaking is fabric selection. Fabric selection for a quilt can be tricky, but that's purely a design thing. Even if you've got the most horribly clashing prints imaginable, as long as you're using 100% cotton with a shrinkage rate of less than 5%, you'll end up with a functioning, if not necessarily aesthetically pleasing, quilt. When it comes to making clothes though, fabric selection is waaay more tricky.

It's all about drape, see. I hate drape. Partly cause I don't really have the figure for it (ie. I'm a boobless stick) and partly because it's pretty much impossible to economically design an item of clothing with drape without a mannequin. Ever tried to pin clothes around yourself? It doesn't really work. And making the same item over and over again doesn't work either, because fabrics with drape are usually about the same price as quilt shop cottons, and the cheap stuff you use for making your practice muslins doesn't drape.

I remember now why I didn't go off and do fashion design. That next batch of monsters might get made sooner than planned. At least they always work.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nothing, oh, sweet nothing...

I have two whole days off, and nothing very much to do.

SWEEEEET!

Well, I need to find something to wear for new years, for which I am working till 10.30pm, rushing to a co-worker's house for the event and heading home not too long after since I have to be at work at lunchtime (an early start for me even on a non-hungover day) the next day. Oh, and apparently it's going to be about 35 degrees, so no jeans and boots for me. Anna and I are going shopping tomorrow so I'll have to find something. I have plenty of clothes, but it's shoes that are the problem - I really struggle with sandals and thongs and heels. Boots I'm good at, sneakers I'm okay at, work shoes I bought the same pair 4 times to save the horror of having to find a new comfy pair for at least a year or two, and anything strappy just doesn't work on my feet.

Maybe that's why I like BnS balls so much - cause no matter what else you're wearing, you then get to chuck your nice comfy boots on at the bottom of it. I wish every outfit could be that easy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The cake is a lie, but will give you +5 sexterity...*

I expect very few of you to recognise or get these. That's okay. I can respect that. Most of you have lives, and haven't wasted goodly portions of them on computer games and internet memes.


Lucky you, I guess. Because despite making some Weighted Companion Cube pillows from the game Portal, instead of having Still Alive stuck in my head, I've got (Do you wanna date my) Avatar from The Guild stuck in my head. And having theme songs to computer games or web series' about computer games stuck in your head is kinda sucky. Those buggers are cat-chy.

*Do you wanna know? Really?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Meh.

I must admit, I'm not good with makeup. Actually, that's an understatement. It's something I barely do at all. I have, apart from my collection of lip smackers, pretty much just two bits of makeup - some very pale foundation powder that I use to cover up blotchy days, and which is pretty much exactly the same as my skin tone in sunlight but which makes me look like a scary ghost in photos, and some mineral makeup powder that is a bit darker that I put on over the top of the pale stuff just in case someone whips out a camera, but which in the mirror looks kindof orange, so I usually take half of it off with a swispers before going out in public with it. Make up is, for me, in the too hard basket, along with sewing with stretch fabrics and fre motion quilting. And because I can't be bothered, it's not something I really spend money on - both those cost less than $10. If it's something I'm going to do maybe 30 days a year, it's not something I'm gunna invest a whole lot of money into. Not when there's fabric that needs buying.

Because of this, it's both a surprise and not surprising at all that all I bought today, boxing day, big sales day, was 3 mascaras. $10, from Woolies. Some kind of special Christmas pack, I dunno. I considered it when it was $15, but that seemed excessive. I wouldn't pay $5 for one, but apparently I would pay $3.33. I tried one tonight, and it seemed a tad underwhelming. Maybe I've been watching too many ads on telly. I though they should be poking someone else's eyes out they'd be so long. Instead, they were a bit darker, and quite stiff.

It all seems a bit of a faff to be honest. The $4 spent on chocolate cake seemed much more enjoyable. I might go eat some more of it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Most Sparklyest, Rainbowest Present Ever!

If I'm honest, I'm glad it's over. I'm not a huge lover of Christmas, since it always feels like it will be a huge hassle, and, yeah, usually it is. There's lots of driving about, often with people in your car you would never otherwise have, the awkwardness of having to say hi to relatives you loathe for a variety of reasons and the always fun job of pretending to ignore the fact that two of your sisters are hating on each other, and that your dad is slightly too drunk on account of how he hates Christmas too, and probably for the exact same reasons. Except the driving, cause that's not allowed after a whole bottle of Wild Turkey.

This Christmas though, contained a ray of light not seen every December 25th. And while I loathe surprises and being out of the loop, this was my present from Helen and Casey this year.


I found it on ebay a few weeks ago and put out an open invitation on facebook for anyone to buy it for me, but it was near enough $100 so I doubted anyone would. It ended and was re-listed at 20% off and I seriously considered buying it but by then, someone already had. I took it as a sign, since really, I don't live the kind of life that caters to a wardrobe of rainbow sequined dresses, but today I opened up a little box and saw some sequins through the tissue paper and almost peed my pants.


If it hadn't fit, I probably would have locked myself in a bedroom and bawled for a bit. 

Apparently though, pretty much everyone except me knew I was getting it. I messaged Anna as soon as I got it since we'd cooed over it together and she already knew, as did Mum and Nanny. As someone who doesn't really "do" secrets, the fact that everyone around me does is somewhat disconcerting. Thankfully they've (so far) only used their powers for good instead of evil.

So thankyou to Helen and Casey. I must come up with a suitable occasion to wear it. And some new boots to wear with it.

I'll post a link to them on facebook when I do. My birthday is only 4 weeks away now...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas.

I got everything finished on time, even though I didn't get out of work on time (a saturday when you have to do all the sunday jobs? Too confusing.)

And so it is, officially, in my time zone at least, Christmas. 3 hours in.


Santa has been, though I still have to wait 5 hours to find out what I got in addition to an RAA roadside assist membership and some hopefully-bitchin new headphones. They cost six times my usual headphones so one would hope they are six times better, though they're probably just 6 times more likely to get lost.

I hope everyone has a good one, whether they've still got a whole day to wait or just a few stolen hours of shut-eye.

I think I might get away with not sewing for a whole day now. Yay!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Feelings

It's been a day of interesting feelings today. There was the time spent in the perfume section of Priceline, feeling ignorant and alienated (because I'm anosmic. Google it). There was the time tonight when I realised that I'd made a goddamn stupid mistake* on Casey's bag and had to spend 20 minutes unpicking the zipper, feeling stupid and angry at myself. But on the other hand, I got a small child happily into bed, and that felt quite good, since it's not something I would have previously considered myself capable of. And selling all the monsters tonight at Helen's, in the space of one slightly frenetic hour, actually felt kinda great. It's a lovely feeling to have my stuff be very much wanted, and, even though I'm certainly in no rush, to leave them already wanting more.

Now though, having pretty much finished Casey's bag (I've just got to neaten up and overlock the inside seams) I'm pretty much just feeling tired.

*I cut the vliesofix and had it as my pattern interfaced to the lining to give me the size I needed. But because it was the start of a new piece from spotlight, the edge was wonky and though I remembered to draw a nice straight line to square it off, I didn't actually cut that line, meaning one zipper edge was, at one end of the zip, over a centimetre wider than it should have been. And yeah, I didn't realise it till I had sewn, threaded and cut down the zipper.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Yay!

5am, we meet again....

Yeah, I'm not good at this whole "going to bed" thing. Buuuuuut.....


Faced, sewn, stuffed and ready to hand-sew closed tomorrow. My favourite is the pale blue one at the right. He has really long arms, so you can fold (knot) them and he looks really gangsta.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I think I'm doing it wrong....

I'm not particularly good at this "Christmas decorating" thing.


Though some of those little arms do look kinda like stockings.

All this batch of monsters are fully faced now and all their little arms have been sewn, but not stuffed, cause I didn't get out of bed early enough to make it to Spotlight and Casey got there at 5.25 and didn't think to name-drop her way in. Silly Girl. Stuffing is another of those things I have *somewhere*

I'm feeling extremely grateful that I have the day after tomorrow off, since I still have a lotta lotta stuff to do. My goal is to get these guys sewn and stuffed tomorrow night/friday morning and drop them into Helen, and hopefully she'll be nice enough to sew them closed for me, since I hate that job.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Here we go again...

Because I am a sucker.


I couldn't even find my old patterns, let along the half dozen half-faced monsters I know are somewhere. Lucky I posted all the patterns on here a while ago - look under the tutorial label if you're wanting it.

Spotlight didn't have any opaque white fabric paint, so I've had to sew on a layer of felt with a layer of white quilting cotton fused over the top - that's the only combo that properly covers the prints underneath, and doesn't pill like the felt does on it's own. Fortunately, without actually practicing or doing it all that often, I suddenly got quite good at raw edge machine applique. Yay me.

But my vision's starting to go blurry from staring intently at a turning circle of white and my bobbin ran out. And if an empty bobbin isn't a sign to stop for the night, I don't know what is. Maybe the fact that it's a quarter to five. That works too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lying.

Have you ever made someone something and then been all bummed that you don't get to keep it?

Any of you that said no, I'd like to remind you that Santa is watching, and you've only got yourself to blame if you don't get anything on Sunday. If I know you're lying, then Santa does too.

I've been working hard* on Casey's bag tonight, and I want it. Want want want. Sulk. Maybe I will steal it later. It's not yet finished yet, and I have some distractions, maybe I can pretend that it can't be finished, and then sneaky finish it and keep it for myself.

The distractions I mentioned are a sudden call for lots and lots of monsters, in the next 4 days. Helen put them on facebook, and people went and bought them all, and wanted more. And they're not having Alex (he remains my monster) so I'll have to see what I can do.

*Just because I spent long periods of time getting distracted by making myself a new headband, cooking some rice, playing with some zippers, painstakingly cutting some fabric on the grain, and wrapping a couple of presents, doesn't mean I wasn't working hard, y'know, in between all that stuff.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I am a dull and uninteresting person.

I know that music aficionados say that the richest sound comes from vinyl. I know that the best method of digital compression and storage for audio is FLAC. I know that I much, much prefer being able to download an album in 17 seconds. I know that it took me 3 minutes, and the assistance of one of my sisters to work out how to merely open the one remaining cassette player in our house today.

I didn't know that cassettes ran two channels of audio. Or maybe I just hadn't thought of it. Cassettes were a dying breed when I was in my formative music years, but I was there for them. My first ever album was on cassette (it was Hanson. The ones that sang MmmBop. My favourite song was Yearbook.) I can remember friends bringing over their cassettes and CDs and making mix tapes. You couldn't do that in 17 seconds - you did it real time, having one play in slot 1 while you recorded in slot 2. 

Today I didn't make a mix tape. Today I did the reverse. Six weeks ago I wrote about a song called The Melbourne Cup which I couldn't find anywhere. My sister (the same one who can remember how to open a cassette player*) told me that it was on the Home Among the Gum Trees cassettes we had when we were little. I looked on eBay, and there was one lonely copy available. I bought it. "That's excellent," said Casey. "You can put it all on the computer for us and then give it to Nanna Joy for Christmas."

So it's on the computer, in 25 minute blocks of 7 songs per side. Digitized by plugging an audio cable from the headphone jack of the almost-never-used sound system in the lounge to mic jack of mum's laptop, and pressing record in my music editing software, and waiting 25 minutes before flipping the cassette. Each channel of audio is different, and I'm breaking it down into little bits by listening to the beginning and end of each song through my headphones, and yeah, one ear is hearing different things to the other.

It's not beautiful sound. There's a lot of noise in the background. Not actual noise, of us putting up our Christmas tree, which we finally did tonight at about 11pm because it was the only time all six of us were home, but the faint buzzy cracklyness of the cassette.

Weirdly, even though I'm listening to it through the sound card on a computer, it feels soothing. Familiar. Songs I haven't heard in 15 years, from a cassette 25 years old. I wonder if it's because of the cracklyness. I'm planning on having a go at cleaning it up some other day, but maybe I shouldn't. Maybe it's important.

Also, I have the worst Deja Vu of my life. Not just cause I'm listening to songs from when I was a kid - I don't think I ever listened to these songs at this house, just in Dad's ute or on the houseboat. But I feel as if I've sorted this audio before. Maybe just because it's taken me the last 4 hours to get halfway through.

Anyway, if any of you remember any of these songs, or maybe want them, or came here cause you too realise that, for reasons beyond your control, your identity is tied up in some songs sung three decades ago and now unavailable to anyone not lucky enough to do the right eBay search on the right day, message me and I'll send them to you.

Home Among The Gumtrees - Bullamakanka
Old Man Emu - John Williamson
Ridin' - Smoky Dawson
The Gondiwindi Grey - Johnny Greenwood
Click Go the Shears - The Hawking Bros
Redback on the Toilet Seat - Slim Newton
I was only Nineteen - Redgum
Downunder - Men At Work
Put Another Log On The Fire - Bill & Boyd
Little Boy Lost - Johnny Ashcroft
I'm The Sheik from Scrubby Creek - Chad Morgan
Theme from Picnic at Hanging Rock - Paul Lennon
Tenterfield Saddler - Peter Allen
And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda - The Bushwhackers
Our Don Bradman - (No artist listed)
The Wild Colonial Boy - Smoky Dawson
Waltzing Matilda - The Sundowners
Theme From Rush - Brian May and The ABC Showband
The Melbourne Cup - The Hawking Bros
Santa Never Made it to Darwin - Bill & Boyd
Flash Jack from Gundagai - The Bushwhackers
The Ettamogah Pub - Ray Kernaghan
Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport - Rolf Harris
Come On Aussie Come On - Frankie Davidson
The Dog on the Tuckerbox/Road to Gundagai/Back to Yarrawonga (Medley) - The Sundowners
Theme From Cash & Co - The Bushwhackers
I Still Call Australia Home - Peter Allen

As for craft, today I did none whatsoever.

*The stop button is also the open button.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Progress

I think I might be bored with HSTs now. I finished the top of the christmas quilt and pressed it all and thought, well, that was fun, time for something new.

Except, well, I can't really start anything new, since I have a whole lotta stuff still to be done in the next week. I did pretty good today though - after I finished the top I got it basted and quilted - now all it needs is trimming down and binding. I've already got the strips cut, and I've got the strips cut to bind that red and green one I made a few weeks ago to see how much I disliked wool batting, but I'm puting it off. I hate binding.

I got the other three christmas sacks finished today too. We always used pillow cases as a kid and then we would lug the pillow cases around to wherever christmas was that year, so this year I have made us some ones in pretty christmas fabric that are still the size of pillow cases, but have squared off bottoms and handles. Handles are handy, as the name suggests.

I made the lining for Casey's bag, and devoted some time to berating myself for deciding to make hers a fancy bag.  Bags without pockets and with handles that go from one end to the other instead of up the sides are much, much easier, but she wants a little bit of leather from the back of some jeans sewn to hers and for whatever reason, that makes me feel like the bag has to be as fancy as the pants it came off of.

And I made a stubby holder, just to see if I could remember how to do it. I can - yay me!

Unfortunately, at some point while I was doing all this my phone went flat, so I couldn't take any pictures. It's charging now though, so I'll take a heap in the morning.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Yawn.

I'm so tired I may have passed, about 45 minutes ago, into that land where you're basically drunk, only it's better, because there's noone around to tell things to, no drinks to spill, and it's cheaper, and you wont feel as terrible in the morning, and you're not feeling like throwing up (unless you've only eaten cheese for the last 8 hours) and you actually achieved quite a lot.

It's so much better in fact that one could consider making it their favourite thing for friday, except that, well, it's not actually a nice feeling at all.

Instead, my actual favourite thing is going to be those pencil cases made out of zips. Now for the record, I think they're a stupid idea. They were cute and twee when it was only crafters making them, and yes, the one that zippers around and around forever was a very cool variation on it when it first came out, but now that you can get terribly made ones at all the cheap shops they, for the most part, really annoy me. But... on the other hand, as someone who uses a lot of zips, they're handy. While honestly I'd much rather just be able to buy a metre of bright orange size 7 zipper, I understand that it's a niche market, and am therefore kinda glad to see a frankly silly looking phone pouch made out of exactly that for $3 at Neds. Sure it means a 5 minute job with the quickunpick, but the people in the sweatshops have kindly set their machines to the longest stitch length, so it's not like it's hard work. And while Lincraft have size 3 pulls you can buy, they don't have size 7, so a pencil case for $4 which gets me 12 zipper pulls is not too bad a price. I don't have a use for the 12 brightly coloured 15cm lengths of zipper they came off of yet, but I'm working on that bit.

Other good stuff:

Furnishings fabric. We forget about it with all the pretty quilting fabrics at our disposal, but they have some really nice yarn-dyed stuff.

Electric blanket. It doesn't matter that it's summer. I'm using it.

Computer mouse. As a dedicated laptop user, and also a touchscreen aficionado, I've never really used them. But mum's laptop, with it's oddly clingy touchpad and screen that just sits there no matter how much you prod it really benefits from the presence of the little red mouse.

Multitasking. Tonight I worked for about 10 hours on 8 projects, flitting from one to another when I got bored. None of them got finished, but I made a lot of progress on most of them.

Pin magnets. Actually, any magnets, since all you need to do to make a magnet a pin magnet is throw a pin at it - a handy fact if you're lazy like me.

Shopping for clothes in the kids section. Trackies for $8, thanks. Undies for $2, ta muchly. 

Totally being a trendsetter in the adults section. Remember these?
 
 I went into cotton-on today and found these:
Theirs have a blue ribbon and slightly smaller check, oh, and they cost twenty bucks! I paid $4 for a metre of the fabric and made 2 pairs, bringing me to my final fave,

Bargains. This might be 30 years old, but for 99c it's got some damn good stuff in in.
Though to be honest, that tennis outfit isn't one of them...



Friday, December 16, 2011

Slow and steady

HSTs are sewn. 


Now to make the most of three days off - get the last couple of bits of christmas shopping (mainly nice foods for the grandparents) done, and sew sew sew. Finish this quilt, bind the other christmasssy quilt, and make 3 bags for the sisters.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Actual quilting!*

I'm a bit behind on my TV viewing. Now that my laptop is home downloading has resumed, but there's still 2 weeks of watching to do, and not much time between work and sleeping and going to the gym and doing stuff for christmas.

Tonight when I got home I decided I'd make a start on the christmas quilt. And I decided I'd watch some Castle while I did it. I must say, the episodes were both brilliant. Beckett working through her issues with the sniper in the first one, all deep and emotional, with crying and stuff, and then the odd comedy/thriller of the next episode, where they're trapped in a room and don't know how they got there, and then there's a tiger. And they're trapped in a room with a tiger. And it's oddly hilarious, while absolutely gripping. It held me up quite a bit. The morals of this story are a) don't quilt and watch new episodes of Castle at the same time, and b) a tiger can knock over an on-it's-end chest freezer, making it an unsafe place to stand atop of. If there's a tiger.

Still, although progress was slow, I did get all my triangles cut. 80 of them, though I only needed 72, but since I placed them randomly it was good to have some spares to get a good balance.


It's a shame I didn't have another darker red triangle. to put at the right hand end of the second row down, but all my leftover triangles were of the mid-shade.


I'll see how I'm feeling about it once my pairs have been sewn - I've got more than I need of the binding fabric to cut another one to put in, but I don't remember it looking that noticeable in the real world. Taking photos of quilts does funny things to them.

*That title's a lie since no actual quilting was done, but cutting up fabrics is what quilting's all about, even if my sewing machine didn't get plugged in.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Uuuummmm...

It's much harder to choose a fabric for someone else than it is to choose one for yourself. And it's much more difficult again to choose a single fabric. A quilt, where it's a whole big cohesive thing, that's practically easy compared to picking a single fabric to make a bag for someone.

Two someones actually: I'm planning on making a bag each for Casey and Becky for Christmas. Casey thinks that maybe she wants a red, blue and white check that I've already used to make an identical bag for Meagan, and even though it would look a bit different if I put it on point, it's not that different. And I don't really like re-making things. And all the other yarn dyed* checks at Spotlight are horrible crappy loose weaves that look scratchy and horrible. Except gingham, and that looks a little bit too cliched.

Becky's even harder to pick for, mainly since I don't really get on with her that well, and therefore have no idea what she likes - as far as I'm aware, it's the colour orange, taking my things without asking and making a mess in the bathroom. And I've failed (unsurprisingly) to find a fabric that encapsulates these things.

I'm gunna have to pick something fairly soon though - I have 3 days off this weekend and then just next friday off to get everything done.

I think I'm still a bit thrown about it being less than a fortnight away cause we still haven't been out to get a tree yet. Yes, that's right, I'm the only person in the blogosphere still without a Christmas tree. 

There has to be someone who's last, right?

*Unless it's printed on point, in which case it's okay, a printed check just doesn't look as good as a woven check. I can't explain why, but it looks more "right" - actually I can explain why. It's because it is right.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yum.

Tonight when I got home I found this.


No-one told me that it was plum season. It's a good thing I didn't go to maccas after I went to the gym, or I wouldn't have had room to fit in the three bowls I ate.

It's messy, sticky, juice-flying-in-all-directions deliciousness. I might even get up early (er... like maybe 11.30) to go out and get some more off the tree before work tomorrow.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Later...

Tonight, after visiting Helen to pick up my still sadly a bit poorly* laptop and going to Carols by Candlelight and spending 2 hours at the gym cause Anna was waaaay later than she said she was gunna be, I got all the red and white fabrics, took them to the kitchen, laid them out on the bench and stared at them for a bit.

Then I got out some paper, drew a little diagram and wrote some notes to myself, along the lines of "flowers can only go between two lights" and "stripes can only go between two darks" and "stars have to abut - shame"

And now, 30 minutes later, I've decided to wait till later, chop them up and just do it by eye. There's still 13 whole** days before Christmas. I will be fine.

*by that I mean that although it's useable for now I will still need to replace it ASAP, making me merely poor.
**by that I mean 12 whole days and 22 hours and 20 minutes till midnight Christmas eve. In case you were wondering

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A slight delay

It's a "hungover on Saturday" edition of favourite things Friday, cause yesterday was all a bit busy, what with the getting all my hair chopped off, the assembling of garden furniture, and the drinking. Still, I've had a shower and I'm feeling a bit better now. Well, sorta. Perhaps the point of the post is going to be that even when you're feeling shit, there's still good stuff about.

First up is my bed. It's not a particularly fancy bed - I think my parents paid about $200 for it second hand. It's got heaps of stuff on it, since it does take up most of my room, and about 8 quilts, since you've got to use them for something, but more importantly than all that is that it's mine. I don't have to share it with anyone, and when I get too hot on one side, I can move to the other side. Or, more likely, rotate at a 90 degree angle so I'm parallel with the cushions.

A cool breeze through an open window.

A glass of water with ice in it.

Silly string. I bought 4 cans yesterday and put them in Secret Santa, then told Anna what one to go for. Then we attacked people.

Skinny jeans. When other outfit-related decisions fail, go with skinny jeans.

Power tools. Wielding a cordless drill just makes me happy.

600th post. Wowee.

Scratching the dandruff out of your eyebrows and pretending it's a white christmas.
Warm fluffy towels. Pink ones.

Buying some really gorgeous 5 inch heels and not wearing them. If you wear them, you hate them, but while they're just sitting on your shelf, being pretty, they're quite enjoyable.
KFC potato and gravy. I still know of no better hangover food.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It always ends in swearing.

Fashion is hard. I'm not talking about dressmaking here, for all that it has its difficulties, I'm talking about "fashion". Or, if you'd rather, fashion.

It's a thing. A thing that says that those shoes do not work with that handbag. That that belt is an inch too wide, that that heel is just a tad too chunky and that that waistline is a wee bit too high.

Take this skirt for instance. 1m of polytulle, 1m of hot pink cotton and a bit of zipper I had leftover from making my gym bag. 3 hours of work, cause I pinned all that runching instead of gathering it, and it's lovely. Really really nice. Pretty much exactly what I wanted it to be.


Except it's all wrong. See, I want to wear it with the top I altered last night, and a wide belt. But the top is quite long, and I'm not sure that I want to cut it down so I'd rather it be tucked in. This skirt sits on my hips perfectly, since I used the same waistband design I've used for pretty much every skirt I've made myself in the last 5 years, but oh no, it doesn't "look" right with it on my hips. Not with the belt. The belt needs to be higher. But the skirt is too big at my waist, because it wasn't made to fit there. Oh well, there's this belt, why don't we use to gather it in? The tulle is gathered anyway so you won't see it... But the band is too wide when it's up high. It's all wrong.

What I need is the same skirt but with no waistband. A bit of elastic would do the job fine. It doesn't matter that the top will be tucked in to it because you still won't see the top of it for the belt. I can make a gathered, elastic waisted skirt in about 15 minutes. If I had been able to try on my non-existent skirt before going to the effort of making it I could have saved myself 2 hours and 45 minutes.

This is why I didn't move to Adelaide and do fashion design. Squares are simple. Squares don't make me cross. Even rectangles are quite alright. If HSTs were on facebook I'd probably even be friends with them. But fashion?

Fashion can fuck off.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Not mentioned in this post: the fact that I have the hiccups.

Tonight I was going to finish work, go to the gym for my usual 42 minutes, come home and have an early night. There's a protest to attend tomorrow, and it starts at noon. NOON! I'm usually just doing the last of my sleeping then, so that means an alarm, and going "ergh" and arguing with myself that Chinese investors can have the damn forest, I wanna sleep in, and eventually getting up in time to get a terrible park, miss the first 10 minutes and not have anything for lunch, since I have to be at work a half hour after it's scheduled to finish. But I suspect it will run over time. Such things usually do.

Alas, it was not to be. Meagan and I spent an hour and a half at maccas, it still took me 42 minutes to watch an episode of Buffy at the gym, and my plan to write a list of things that need doing in the next two days got sidelines when I started, um, actually doing them.

So I'm torn over whether it's a good thing or a bad thing.

I didn't really get much of anything done though; a vague shuffling around of the mess in my room revealed a black lace top that I bought at kmart about a year ago for $6 but never wore - it had a fairly high neckline and long sleeves, but they're gone now.


I think I prefer deconstructing clothes to the actual making-them-from-scratch thing, probably mainly because that involves tricky seams, and an always-surprisingly-large amount of fabric. This I did most of the chopping in the bathroom, cause that's where the mirror is, and I just folded it over and sewed it down at the edges. It's the top half of what I'll be wearing Saturday night - the bottom half is still yet to be decided.

And no, the room's not really any cleaner.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In the red

So tonight I started work at six, but I had to be in town before the post office closed at five. That was okay, cause I needed to go to Cheap as Chips to get an audio cable, but it's right next door to the post office, so that took me all of 5 minutes.

"Hmm," I thought to myself, "I'm running low on bright white prima, and I don't want my mojo to come back and for me to feel like finishing the sashing on this new quilt only for me to not have enough of the right white. I'd better get some more, and maybe something cheap for a lining for Casey's bag, and perhaps some more of the rainbow seersucker that makes me so very happy every time I look at it all made up into my gym bag."


So I did. And even though I wasn't particularly impressed by the new catalogue when it came out yesterday, I also still accidentally came out with these.


Helen's been telling me for a while that I should make a red and white quilt, and there's quite a lot of christmas fabrics this year that aren't christmassy at all. Of this pile, only the gingham at the bottom (for the backing) and the one third from the top aren't christmas fabrics, meaning they were the only ones that weren't half price. I got fat quarters, for the most part, and a metre of the one second from the bottom because they didn't have any fat quarters left and it was the minimum cut. Oh well, I suppose I have to bind it with something. 

I'm gunna do it as big pinwheels, about 41cm (3 each way) and it will be my first go at trying to use value to make the design visible. If it doesn't work, random HSTs are nice too, and it should be very very quick - once the pairs are sewn it's basically just really big (20+cm) squares.

All nine front fabrics are made by Sugar and Spice Textiles, and I don't know if they're a Spotlight exclusive fabric, but they feel very different to all the other quilting fabrics. Not bad different -  though I can find the texture change a little off-putting when I'm playing with them in amoungst a bundle of other fabrics, but almost brushed, vaguely even like a chamois cloth. I'm very glad they had that some other red fabrics than just the christmas one, since nine's my lazy number and I could only find eight on the half price table that didn't have Santas or trees or candy canes on them, because it means they'll be nice and consistent in texture right across. 

It's the little things...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It just makes me happy...

It is love of which I wish to ramble on about tonight: not grown up, used to each others faults, committed love, but the first heady rush of new love.

Now, it's not me. I'm not really in love with anyone, unless you count the chocolate cake that I'm devouring between sentences. No, I'm talking about Tegan and Alex, two of my co-workers, who should have gotten together a very long time ago, but haven't till now. Meagan called it out to me yesterday when she saw them in shopping but I wasn't convinced; today I must concede that she was right. She called it. They are in luuurve, the cute, sappy, hickey on their necks, 17 year old's version of love. The heads together conversations, the matching hickeys ("It was my cat," Tegan said, to which I replied "It's cute to have pet names, but that doesn't mean you need to literally name him after your pet") and the looks they give each other when they don't realise that Meagan and I are watching them just so we can see everything and be happy for them about all of it.

It's beautiful. I wish I could bottle it, and keep it in the fridge, and then whenever I'm feeling glum I could just get it out and drink-in a little bit of it. It's like a cute puppy. You no longer care about all the other shit that's going on when you see two teenagers making doe-eyes at each other. You don't care that there's work that they should be doing* cause it's sweet and cute and comparatively innocent. Let them learn later on about having your heart torn out by someone you entrusted it to, about the heart wrenching realisation that although you thought you knew everything about a person, you couldn't have been more wrong.

Actually, don't. I hope with all my heart that neither of them ever find out all that other stuff, and that they stay forever as in love as they are right now. Cause they are so gosh darn cute that it kinda make me want to be in love.

Now I just need to find a cowboy-boot-wearing, html-coding, Shakespeare-reading, beer-drinking guy who'll be willing to carve up the dance floor with me one of every four weekends. Oh, and he has to work late afternoons and evenings, and sleep in with me till lunchtime. Anyone know anyone who fits this description? Send me a link to his facebook so I can stalk him please.

*Sometimes I would care, but other staff members tonight also did jack-all without the excuse of being distracted by Mills and Boon-esque stares of longing. Which of course made me go naaww...

Monday, December 5, 2011

And yet, I do actually like my job.

Now that we're properly into 4 week rolling contracts at Woolies, I only work one of every four Sundays. And while I miss the extra $50 or so that comes with the bonus half pay, those 3 weeks where I'm not doing anything on a Sunday, or more to the point not running around stressing like a crazy person (or bursting into tears like some of my co-workers) being passive aggressive towards some really genuinely lovely 16 year-old girls who are nonetheless faffing about and not getting anything done and making me cross but I can't yell at them because they're nice and sweet and it's bad enough that the people who are supposed to be in charge are out the back crying and I don't want the people I'm supposed to be having on register crying too and... I forgot what I was talking about.

Oh yeah. I'd much rather spend my Sundays feeling shit cause I spent Saturday night drinking waaay too much alcohol and injuring my coccyx by falling off the stage than feeling like shit cause customers are swearing at me because there's a NATIONWIDE FAULT IN THE EFTPOS SYSTEM, and therefore THERE'S NOTHING I AN DO ABOUT IT. No, swearing at me doesn't help either. Trust me, I wish it was fixed waaaaay more than you do - this 3 minute wait you have to SUFFER THROUGH while we process your transaction is nothing compared to the 45 minutes I have to stay back tonight getting everything counted and balanced and put away. If you keep this up I will STAB YOU IN THE EYE WITH MY PEN, lady who wants a raincheck on the cat food we still have plenty of on shelf, even if it isn't still wrapped in plastic. GTFOI.

Nine hour shifts with a good deal of pent up anger followed by an hour at the gym waiting for the anger to be replaced by apathy have let me here, to my bed, with its lovely warm electric blanket. I'm going to go and dream sweet dreams of people paying for everything with cash, and of being able to ban customers simply for getting on my nerves.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

And relax...

Some days you achieve a lot, some days you don't. Sometimes this lack of achievement makes you cross, other days you're like, meh, whatever.

Today was the latter on both accounts. Well, work was a madhouse, what with the EFTPOS machines of half the country (apparently) being down and all the transactions taking twice as long and all the staff having nervous breakdowns and all the customers swearing at me, and maybe that's why I didn't do anything today. Because Casey told me that it had happened, so I bummed about in the afternoon knowing that later in the evening was going to be shit, then after it was over I was just worn out and couldn't be arsed.

Either way, today I sewed about 6 inches - I'm taking up a dress for a friend and wanted to make sure my machine could get a nice edge on the chiffon before I got a bit scissor-happy. I think it's going to be fine, but it's not needed till next Saturday, so I'm in no rush.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Goood.

My favourite thing today, all week in fact, has been the word Dichotomy. It's not as much fun to say as Derivative, but I like it. I like it so much I considered making it my only favourite thing this week, but favourites are not diminished by the presence of other favourites: instead, they come together in harmony, like a choir of good stuff.

Uncles that can fix computers. They're excellent. 

Mum's laptop, that I'm using while mine is off being fixed. Also very handy.

Wedges. The potato variety. Yum.

Spare batteries for your phone. New batteries in your watch. 

99c Cadbury Flakes. (remember when that was full price?)

Going to the gym and re-watching season 1 of Buffy. The two go together better than you'd think.

The fact that it's summer. Not that you'd really know it, but it is.

Knowing where a tape measure is when you want one. This happens very very rarely. The knowing, not the wanting.

Clean, straight hair.

Lying on the grass, staring at the sky.

Buying something on Ebay that you had when you were a kid. 

Finally using some fabrics that have been in your stash for as long as you've had a stash.

Watching random movies with your bestie.

A phone case you can use as a wallet.

Really sharp scissors.

A new gym bag that's just the right size.

Crossing something off your to-do list.

Writing lists. As you can probably tell, I really like doing that :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Sound of White...

I've been starting to think lately that I should be buying white quilting cotton by the bolt - first there was the pinwheels, then the pavement quilts, and then today I realised that you can sash a disappearing nine patch so it looks like one of those stained glass quilts, except white. And I had a bundle of fabrics that I've had for longer than I've been quilting, but they're all fat quarters which does limit your options a bit - I'd considered seeing if I could shoehorn them into a pavement quilt but I just didn't think it would look right with the two big squares being different prints. Still, disappearing nine patch quilt, that can be done with fat quarters. 

Most of the fabrics in question came form a Fabric Traditions bundle I got at Spotlight a couple of years back. In case you didn't know, Fabric Traditions is a company that ONLY does pre-cuts. You can't get yardage. Which is a shame, since the brown fabric in this quilt is probably my favourite print EVER. There was no yellow in the bundle, but that was okay because the one from Eden by Lila Tueller fits in very nicely, and they stock it at Stitch and Knit, so I went to get some. While I was there I decided that the blue I had was too wishy-washy so I swapped it out for some from the Spirit range, another Lila Tueller one. I bought some pink repro on-point-check to trade in for the pink that was in the bundle, but when I went to Spotlight I changed my mind AGAIN and got some of the pink and orange on point check from the new DS range instead. And I swapped one of the greens for the blue and green check from the previous DS range.

Even though NOvemeber didn't really stop me buying anything, it would appear that I needed to get over it by having a December 1st blow out. Still, they came together very nicely, as shown in this unfinished progress piccie.


It needs the sashing between the blocks themselves done. But it's later than I though - My watch needs a new battery and it turns out it's not still only 1.30 and I'm not making the amazing time I thought I was.

Oh, and if you don't know the song in the title, it's by Missy Higgins. Get amongst it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And what did YOU do today?

I, personally, believe that anyone who owns a vacuum sealer, and DOESN'T use it to vacuum seal themselves some clean undies for in case of emergencies, is being, frankly, quite irresponsible.