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My computer is still broken. I have missed it about once. This is mostly on account of being very busy, I guess. My sister is GONE and while I do miss her, it is so so lovely having my space back. Although I keep finding things of hers. On the saturday she left, I asked ‘are you going to pack up your furniture’ and she said ‘no, is that ok?’. Um, NO, but we have to leave in an hour to catch your plane and you are still packing, so I guess it has to be. When I packed up her bed the next weekend, I found about 10 socks underneath it in a pile. I put them in a box, just like that, attached dustbunnies and all. Because I am a heartless bitch, I guess.
Anyway, I’ve been sorting and cleaning and generally reclaiming my space, in between working and socialising and all the other things I apparently do.
On Saturday, I turned this:
An almost-craftroom, painted in ‘applegate’.
Everything that was hiding under my bed came out from under it, and the spare matress replaced it. And the dust was swept up and Monday morning was the first morning in a fortnight I didn’t have a coughing fit after my shower, so that’s a plus. My fabric stash is in the meatsafe you can see, and my yarn stash is on the wooden shelves next to it, sorted into two big bins of 8ply, one of 12 ply, and one of 5ply. And also my basket of fancy yarn. I have a lot of yarn, it turns out. And fabric, too, for someone who doesn’t really sew. I would really like to use enough of it that I can fit all the extra craft bits (two boxes of paper craft, one of beads, the tatting stuff, you get the idea) into those shelves.
The computer desk is on the right of the photo, with the as yet unfixed computer on it. Gotta do something about that. And the pile of boxes to the left of the shot will be replaced by nice new sewing desk as soon as I get my tax return back.
I also turned this
And then into this
And then I filled it with books. The bookshelf on the right almost fits all my fiction books, and the stripey one would fit all my non fiction, if the craft books and magazines weren’t taking up half of it.
This is what you see if you stand with your back to those shelves and fave the other way, and also if you are me holding a camera.
I really love my house quite a bit. Hmmm, must paint that door, except I’ve burnt through the entire 4 litre can of ‘peplum’ white.
I’ve planted trees and shrubs in the front garden, and bulbs are coming up in the back. No photos of those, apparently. I am going to have to write down what I planted where, and then blog it for when I loose that piece of paper.
And as of last night, I officially have neighbours. Someone has moved into the other half of my semi-detached house. I haven’t met them yet, I got home late from dinner with friends, but their cars were there and I could hear a woman laughing, faintly, through the walls. It made me a little bit sad… my little house isn’t as private an island as before. Hopefully they are nice and not too judgemental of my sower-sob filled front garden.
You know, I haven’t missed my computer at home. Of course, I’m still getting my internet fix in sneaky breaks at work (work policy is this is fine, as long as your work gets done) and I have been able to use my sister’s laptop for emergency internet checking at home if I need to – which I have done once. I really have not missed it at all.
Well, I’ve been busy. Socialising, doing gardening (I bought a whipper snipper last weekend! It’s ace!) hanging out with the manpanion, helping my sister to pack up. Two more sleeps until she goes! It has sort of rushed up on me. I am certainly a bit sad, yes. Then again, I had a bit of a hissy on Tuesday evening. I did six loads of dishes on the weekend – by load I mean, what will fit on the rack at one time, I HATE drying, so I don’t. And the sister had said she would do some on Monday. Came home Tuesday and the kitchen was trashed, literally every surface covered with dirty crockery, and I broke a mug because I reached for the cat’s roo that was defrosting on the sink and a pile was dislodged. Well, I didn’t really have a hissy – it was one of a set of four Jamie Oliver colour mugs and it was this weird khaki, so it won’t be missed among my hundreds of mugs. Especially when it’s just me, because I tend to just use the same mug for days because I rinse it out when I’m done, except right now I can’t keep track of which one is mine in the maze of dirty mugs. So instead of a hissy I just sighed a deep, heavy sigh and went to go get the dustpan. BUT I COULD HAVE had a hissy.
And I’ve been knitting, of course. I can’t remember if I told you I was done with the Peak’s Island Hood or not – I am, and it’s all blocked and the cat only sat on it a few times during that process. Have yet to sew the buttons on because my sister has them and doesn’t know where they are.
Blocked damson, FINALLY, although the edges are still a bit curly. Really wish I’d managed that purl ridge. I’ve worn it a couple times, but it’s been pretty cold this week and I really need a proper thick scarf to go with my massive coat. Hoping it will get more of a look in when it warms up. Which has to be soon, right? Surely. I am very over it being cold and dark all the time. I am ready to wear skirts. I am wearing a skirt today, with tights, and I am FREEZING. Bring on bare-foot weather, I say.
And I finished the snapdragon mitts. The first one took me about two weeks, the second one got cast on this Monday and finished last night. Not a bad effort. I mucked up a couple of the cable bits a little bit, but not so’s you’d know unless you know what you’re looking for. I blocked them last night, and tonight I will find a button to attach the flap bit to. And then I might manage to take photos on the weekend and possibly even upload them. Oh, yes, and give them to my sister before she leaves for Ireland on Saturday.
I bought the pattern for Andrea’s Shawl (rav link) and I swatched and cast on for it last night. The yarn I bought for it is from etsy seller Hermosa and it is BEAUTIFUL. Soft and shiny and such gorgeous colours. The light purple is called ‘thistle’ and the dark ‘blackberry’. Unfortunately I didn’t pay much attention and even though it’s labelled as a sock yarn, it’s fingering weight – I’d say light fingering – where the pattern calls for sport weight. I got gauge holding it double, which doesn’t show the yarn off as much as it could, but is still very pretty. But now I am of course worried that I won’t have enough yarn. I might, given that I’m doing the smallest size of the stripy version. Oh, well, at least it’ll make me knit faster, right? Under the well known phenomenon of thinking you’re going to run out of yarn having that effect. If I start to run out I suppose I could use more of the darker yarn in the body of the shawl. Body of the shawl?
You start by knitting the bottom edging, and I’m zooming along making purple lace. Got a few weird looks on the bus today.
I accidentally bought the pattern twice. I bought it from knitpicks and it didn’t get processed and I wanted to swatch THAT NIGHT (which of course I didn’t end up doing) and it’s chepa and I like her patterns so I bought it through ravelry, which was instant. So now I have two. Would anyone like one? Leave me a comment. If more than one person wants it, I’ll do a random draw thingy.
I replied to the acquaintence who sent me the political rant, basically telling him off. He wrote back apologising and thanking me for my opnion. I shall have to write back again. He’s a nice boy, even if he does give me beserker rage.
And that is about all that is happening here. Oh, except that I painted my letter box red. It looks fantastic.
I’ve been a bit of a lurker lately. I’ve been reading everyone’s blogs and looking at your flickr photos, but just haven’t felt like I have much to say, or the brainspace to put anything into words. Feel a bit on the back foot, just in general. That’s not really accurate. I feel like I’m riding in the passenger seat a bit. Everything seems to be on hold – until my sister moves out (soon! Scary!) until it gets warmer and lighter (hooray for solstice!) until… I don’t know what else. But I miss chatting at you guys, and I have to talk about craf camp and Julia and my FOs.
Queen’s Birthday long weekend I went on another lovely craf camp. It was LOVELY. But that deserves its own post, not to be part of this bitsy one. While I was on camp, I pestered Suse and Janet into taking photos of my two finished jumpers – Emily, which had been done for a while, and Cinnabar, which I seamed up finally that weekend. It just needed the arms attached.
Here is Emily (rav link).
You can see the line where I lengthened it and the grafted it – the band originally started where that line is… much too short. I could have lengthened it a couple inches more, I think, but I’ve decided I’m happy with where it is. I shortened the sleeves, too, since I knit this out of regular yarn not cracksilk haze as the pattern calls for, so instead of being soft and billowy around my hands they were just bulky and annoying. I didn’t do bust darts because the neckline is so low, and I don’t think it needs them, although looking at the curving-up hem on that last closeup it wouldn’t have hurt. The fit is ok – I just did the shaping in the pattern and it doesn’t match me perfectly but it’s pretty good. I might have to start lengthening jumpers from the middle by knitting and extra inch or two between the hip decreases and the bust increases, since that is where I have the extra length (I’m long waisted. Most people fit two sideways-hand lengths between the bottom of their bust and their waist, I fit three) and most jumpers – this one included – sit a bit out above my hips because of that. Looking at the photos I feel like it’s a bit lumpy bumpy, but I can’t work out how much of that is 1)because it is 2)because it’s photos of me and everyone always thinks they look terrible in photos even if they are FINE and 3)because I made it so I know all the places where it is not-quite-right, could-be-better, wish-I-had. Why are we always so hard on ourselves?
The yarn is Bennet & Gregor and I LOVE it to pieces. It is soft and smooshy and the blended colour is really interesting – you can see the darker strands if you look close and that gives it depth and saves it from being to beige. There definitely needs to be more of this in my wardrobe. In varying colours – natural sheep colours, of course, since that is what they do. They don’t have an internet shopping cart, but they are very friendly and helpful – if you contact them, Nancy will send you out a colour card, and they take mail orders. They are usually at Bendigo Sheep & Wool as well, keep an eye out for them. Their yarns have some vegetable matter in them, but it’s a small price to pay for not using sulfur to process tehm (says the itchy one) and it’s not enough to be annoying. The yarn is an absolute pleasure to knit and to wear.
I haven’t gotten heaps of wear out of this one, but I think that’ mostly because it’s gotten cooooold and this isn’t really a full coverage jumper, and because you can see whatever you wear under it it is less versatile for layering. I think it will be the perfect transition season jumper, though. I am not 100% happy with it, but I love the overall look and I am ignoring that line. Because this jumper is done and I am f*&king NOT regrafting it. So there.
What I would change: the adjusted sleeve length is perfect (ravelry tells me I made them SIX CENTIMETRES shorter) but I wish I had been more carfeul when I picked up stitches on the sleeves and seamed them, because they are a bit bunchy chunky there. Not too bad, but a bit irritating. I would have made it much longer – when I fixed it I knit three extra inches and I wish I’d done just one more. I wish I had seamed better (I’ve recently given up and learnt mattress stitch and folks… it makes SUCH a difference) but overall it’s a good, servicable, wearable knit.
What I love: The yarn. The neckline. The yarn.
And here is Cinnabar (rav link).
This one was a bit epic. I was determined to do this one RIGHT and I ripped and I ripped and I ripped. And it’s still not quite right, but it’s close enough.
Issues with it: The collar is a bit weird – I had trouble making the placket the right length to sit right. Since I don’t intend to add buttons, I’m not fussed. I might have to undo that bit where it’s all bunched because I seamed it badly (on the left of the neck in the above photo). The right sleeve is a bit wider than the left because I switched to circs for that linen sitch band, and my gauge was looser than on straights. Again, not much, but enough to be a bit irritating, especially when putting on jackets, etc. It’s actually a wee bit long. I deliberately made it long and I love the length, but it bunches up when I sit down, so I end up tugging it back into place when I stand up. This is more pronounced because the whole thing is just a bit big. The yarn (just Bendigo 8ply rustic in Red Currant) bloomed quite nicely when I blocked it. I also made a larger front size to compensate for absentmindedly casting on and knitting half of the back before realising I was knitting it a size too small. I needn’t have gone up an extra size, it’s plenty big. The extra size in combination with my laboriously knitted bust darts means it pooches a bit at the shoulders/underarms (you can’t see it in those photos because my hands are on my hips stretching the extra fabric out). It’s not that big a deal, but it looks more pronounced to me because I am looking down, which makes it obvious. I’m sort of tempted to find a dryer and chuck it in for a minute to shrink it just a biiit, but the thought of actually doing that is a bit scary.
Most of these issues are not actual issues. It’s just that it’s turned out to be a different jumper than I thought I was making – I thought I was making a form fitting jumper to be worn over a tshirt. Turns out I was making a comfy winter jumper to be worn over at LEAST two shirts. I’ve worn it twice every week since I finished it, and I see it being in high rotation for many months to come. It’s comfortable, well made (except for that fracking placket bit) and the red is lovely and makes it look smart. I am not 100% happy with this one either, but I am very very proud of it. I definitely took more care with this, and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot.
Things I love: the colour. The length. The beautiful seams.
I really need a better system in my wardrobe. At the moment I have NO ROOM so all my jumpers are shoved into the top bit of my wardrobe. Really, shoved. This makes it very hard to find anything, and I just wear the same ones over and over. I now have enough hand knit jumpers that I could probably wear one a day to work without repeating (although a couple of them I don’t really wear much) and I’d like to get more use out of them while it’s still cold.
While we’re on the topic of FOs, you can see another one in the Emily photos. In my last minute packing frenzy for craf camp, I chucked a skirt into my luggage. It was part of a set that my sister bought at an op shop, of a cape and a skirt. Sort of like this, although slightly less lairy. Here it is, on the floor at sewjourn.
The sister kept the cape, and since the skirt was teeny, she said I could have it, because I had admired the fabric. It’s not pure wool, but close enough. It really is teeny: it literally only just fit my thigh.
Please to excuse my tres sexy pj pants – I spilt tea ALL OVER my jeans (it was v. dramatic) and had to wear my pjs for half the weekend. Because I am classy, that’s why.
Anyway. Janet had very kindly borrowed her mum’s sewing machine so I could have a go at sewing. And did I! I did. Janet was very patient with all my nervousness and umming and ahing, and I chopped away at the skirt, refaced it, and took it in a bit. Then the lovely Suse pinned the hem and I hemmed it (by hand and everything!). Ta da!
I love it. I haven’t worn it to work yet, since it’s been too cold really, and I’ve been too tired to futz around with stockings. But it will be worn. Oh, yes, it will. I wore it home on the plane, too. Looking at this photo reminds me of my pirate-plaid skirt that would go very well with cinnabar. Must crack that out when it warms up a bit.
I also traced off a pattern from one of Janet’s Ottobres and sewed another skirt, which just needs hemming. Which of course I haven’t done. But it has a ZIP! The most badly done zip in the history of zips, but still! A functioning ZIP! Oh, and I also finished Damson on camp, but I ran out of yarn on the cast off. This is what I had after I eliminated a purl ridge and cast off again:
And it was too tight. So I ripped it when I got home and recast off with different yarn, but I haven’t reblocked and photographed it yet. Hmm, this sort of turned into a craft camp post. Well, let’s change directions and make it a FO post, since I don’t think I’ve talked about Sahara (rav link), have I, since I finished it?
I really need to find somewhere where I can take self portraits. I have no good photos of this – I asked my sister to take some, and this is what I get:
No, no, take photos of the TOP!
No, of the TOP!
Well, yes. Technically that was what I asked for. OH HAI INTERNET HERE ARE MY BOOBS.
It’s been a while since this was done. Don’t really remember much about the knitting of it. Rav tells me I used a smaller needle and a larger pattern size, to get a fabric I liked. I used Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool which is ACE and I would totally knit with more of it if I could find it somewhere that doesn’t charge as much for shipping as for the yarn. It’s surprisingly warm, but also nice and cool in hot weather. It’s a wee bit scratchy (for sensitive folks like me) so I almost always wear it with a singlet underneath – for modesty as well cos, dudes, that’s a LOT of boob. But it’s a flattering length of neckline for the big busted among us – breaks it up a bit. I pretty much knit this to pattern apart from diddling with gauge and adding bust darts, and the shaping is excellent. Oh, I believe I lengthened it as well. Since it was top-down, I could try it on to see where the shaping should be, which was wonderful.
I had a bit of a wrangle whether to knit the cap sleeves, short sleeves, or long sleeves. I am very happy with the cap, and sort of converted to the whole knit-tshirt thing. I’d previously thought it was a bit silly, but no! It’s so useful! I see more in my future, if I can find appropriate yarn… why is it so hard to find summer-weight yarns in Australia. Counterintuitive. But I would love to have a long sleeved version of this as well. I see on rav that some people have knit it in wool, and it looks fine. I’d do a DK and do the same gauge shenanigans. I reckon it’d be ace.
God, that boob photo is confronting. Note to self. Find place to do FOs, STAT. I don’t have any finished photographs of Rogue, either. I wish I had crafty papparazzi here ALL the time.
And to finish off, here’s a WIP.
Remember my granny hexes?
Gosh, the colours in that bottom one are making my heart thump!
I was doing them on a 3mm hook. Once I had a few of them I put them together and realised that they were too stiff. Not nice for a blanket at all. So I decided to get a bigger hook and restart them. This was a bit disenhearteining, so they languished. Then, last Tuesday, I decided I had to restart them RIGHT NOW. Possibly spurred on by the granny blanket I found at the Pt Adelaide Market for three dollars. It’s lovely, too, I wish I could show you now, but the photos are still on my camera. Anyway, I went to look at other people’s crochet to see what size hook I should use and got enchanted by Lucy’s Hexagon how-to. Then I got sad because I didn’t have a 4mm hook, which meant that I couldn’t start them AS SOON AS I GOT HOME. I was emailing S and mentioned this. He was picking me up from work that evening and… he brought me a 4mm crochet hook. That man knows a way to a crafter’s heart. WAY better than roses, I tell’s you. I might have blushed.
So, anyway, I started with some hexagons that night. I thought I’d ordered white yarn to edge them, but apparently not, so I’m just cranking out little circles at the moment and I’ll start joining them later.
I’m actually quite happy with that as it gives me time to build up some colour diversity. I might need to order some more yarn for them, because otherwise I’ll use up my leftover yarn too quick. There’s some rainbow wools scraps leftover from this blanket (rav link).
The scraps are lovely – both the colours and the yarn – so I might get me some more of that. Or maybe just some more Bendigo, since that’s cheaper and that’s where I’ll be ordering the border yarn from. If anyone has any 8ply scraps in bright colours that they are feeling guilty about: I’ll have em! I have less yarn to work with than I thought because I rejected some yarn for being too muddy. Don’t worry, though. Those hexagons didn’t go to waste. I upcycled them into hats:
Anyway, I had booked in a ‘hermit weekend’ to spend by myself, having some down time and cleaning my house, which is a bit trashed. I DID mop the floors, but apart from that I mostly slept and spent quite a while this weekend sitting on the couch drinking tea or beer (in the evenings) and crocheting away. They are like potato chips, I can’t stop. I have about twenty some now. I think I want to make it big enough to be used on my queen bed, but I might be kidding myself. Then again, I’m sort of happy to be working on this for years. My favourite part is choosing which colour to use next. Looking at them makes me really happy.
Ooooh, shiny happy colours!
That being the day after we move. Until then, not only do I have very little time to do things I like to do, I also appear unable to go to sleep in under three hours. Instead I lie there, desperately organising things in my head, and stressing out about the fact that I am unable to sleep.
Oooh, oooh, wanna see something gross?
That, my friends, is what was underneath the old stove. It is mouse poo embedded in old, congealed grease. It smelt. It took me a whole escape pod episode and half of a Cast On episode to make it look like this:
Can I just mention that I am glad I bought a new stove?
Did I even mention that I did buy a new stove? Here is a fuzzy picture of it still in its wrapping, sitting next to the new fridge, also still in its wrapping.
I went shopping with my mother and her new boyfriend and he convinced me to ask for money off. Oh, didn’t I mention that my mother has a new boyfried? I realise this should be a big deal, but since a) I didn’t exactly approve of the state of my paren’t relationships (personally I think divorce would have been a better option than suicide, but whatever) so it’s not like I feel betrayed on that front b) it makes her far less crazy and also more of someone else’s problem, and c) he’s a nice bloke (apart from his terrible taste in women) omg this is a long sentence. Anyway, what I am saying is, I’m remarkably unfussed. My sister is a bit freaked out and doesn’t like the idea of meeting or doing things with him, but since I dislike doing things with my mother anyhow, I don’t care. His wife is still alive – in a nursing home with alzheimers and doesn’t remember him – and his grown up children apparently are not OK with the new situation. Fair enough, too. Hmm, I guess we count as grown up children. His are ten years older.
ANYWAY. The stove is an Emelia – it was the last one in stock and there’s a new model so I got it for just over a grand when it should have been 2. Except that it’s got an electric oven, which is proving to be a bit of a pain, but it will sort itself out. Well, I’ll sort it out, anyway. The fridge is an upside down Westinghouse. I secretly lust after a side by side fridge, but they are ridiculously large – I could do with one where the fridge was the ize of the feezer, but they’re all massive. But the one I got will work excellently. And did I mention it is BRAND NEW? I am so excited to banish my old fridge. When I got home from shopping for the new one it was groaning away and I just looked it and thought ‘your time is UP buddy!’
I am also excited about the movers. MOVERS. People will come to my house and do all the LIFTING and the packing and the wrangling of things. They won’t say ‘do you really need all this wool?’ or ‘how much baking stuff do you have!’ Well, they might. But whatever. I won’t hear it because I won’t be on the other end of my massive desk, trying to lift it.
Anyway, I was going to misuse work time to write more (I was in early, ok?), but someone has just linked me to a fabulous job. So I am going to misuse work time to apply for that instead. Let me just say in closing: my friends are awesome, and so is my new yellow kitchen..
Two weeks ago we painted the living room and my bedroom. For reference, here is the living room, pre painting.
I probably shouldn’t find this photo so humourous, huh?
And here is the new colour.
Ok, ok. I know what you’re thinking. It’s essentially the same colour. You have some small point, it is very similar (the noisy photo doesn’t help), but it’s quite a lot darker. When we were painting the first coat, it was EXACTLY the same colour. But it dried much deeper and darker – it’s particularly noticeable at night. It’s still clean, without being watery like the old colour was, and it’s EVENLY APPLIED and not faded, which makes so much difference. The colour is ‘Whimsy’ in Dulux. You can see the contrast on the ‘skirting board’. Here it is closer:
SO MUCH NICER. Hmmm, the more I look at the floors, the more I realise how much they need refinishing. Not enough to need immediate attention though, it’ll have to wait… the one in my sister’s room has been drawn on with green pencil.
And here is my bedroom being painted.
OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. When I painted this first bit of blue (‘Lake Placid’, if we’re being exact) over that hideous pink, I almost had a CONNIPTION I was so excited. (How does one have a conniption, btw?)
Here is Emma’s charming husband helping out – he was there ALL DAY and was completely invaluable. Despite getting a bit enthusiastic around the ceiling trim with the blue… He also scrubbed the mould off of my bathroom ceiling the next weekend. I owe him many, many beers.
Lord, all that pink is making me feel a bit dizzy. And not in a fun way.
There would have been more people there, except that I organised it on Valentine’s Day. What can I say? It’s just not on the radar! Other helpers included my cousin Madelaine:
And my sister Maeve, aka the camera whore:
LOOK AT ALL THE BLUE AAAAAAAAAAAAA IT’S SO AWESOME!
Here is a shot of it creeping up the walls, taken from the kitchen.
I was just reading the back issues of Maria Killam’ of colour me happy’s newsletter. In one she’s talking about myths about colour. Apparently there’s one that painting a baby’s room yellow will make it cry. I’d never heard it, before, have you? Maria’s response? ‘If you paint ANYONE’S room a neon, primary yellow? We will all cry in that room!”.
Amen! This shot makes me realise how insipid and, at the same time, invasive the old colours were. I am SUPER excited to see how it looks in a nice, darker yellow (please, please don’t let it be too bright…).
We are painting at least the kitchen (and maybe the hall, but it sort of depends on if the bathroom is done by then, since it will be the same colour – ‘Skyway’ 1/4 strength – as the hall. It’s being tiled as we speak, I believe.) on the weekend, and hopefully the trim in most of the rooms. Do you know how hard it is to choose a white? Very hard, that’s how.
Anyway, here is the painted bedroom. We had juust enough paint in our 4 litre can to finish the room – I will need to do touch ups where the pink shines through, and there will probably be a tiny amount left in the can and the sample pot. I hope it’s enough!
Aaaah. It makes me so happy just looking at it! Except not the trim. It’s actually making me a bit ill, seeing that pink in there. I realise there are people who would hate this as much as I hate the pink, and shudder to think of sleeping in that room. Thankfully, they don’t have to. It is, as my sister says, like being underwater. I love it to pieces.
Today was pretty rotten. I’m not feeling great to begin with – just a cold, I think, but my eczma is flaring up and other physical signs of stress are banging me on the head, so maybe not? I was telling my workmate today that I don’t understand it because I don’t feel stressed… well, no more stressed than usual… She said pointed out that maybe it was not a good sign that that had become normal to be stressed.
Anyway, I was low level ick, depsite putting myself to bed super early last night. And then I had to format a bunch of powerpoints for our suicide prevention program. This is not unusual, the woman who runs the program had to be taught to double click when she first started working for us (true story) so her stuff needs a lot of attention. And while I would appreciate her being a bit more sensitive, by the same token, it’s my job. And I don’t want to not do my job.
But I was surprised by how upset I was. I guess I was feeling fragile to begin with, and that just tipped me over the edge, to the point where I was very glad I am tucked into a corner because a couple times I just gave up and cried at my desk. (If you’re knew and have no idea what I’m talking about, the trauma starts here.)
It was fine, but stressful, and tiring. I had that after-crying feeling where you feel all puffy and vague and slow. So I went home, had a beer, and did some embroidery. Just like last night, come to think of it.
I’m stitching a pattern by the lovely Andrea Zuill. I love her stuff and her blog. I kind of love the way this looks just in texta on the fabric. I’m a complete pleb, I have washable crayola textas that I trace with. I’ve not had a problem with them yet. I’ve been thinking about the bunny queen for a while, ever since I did the deer for my boss for christmas. I always meant to do some more for myself, to keep, and never did. Then I was looking for potential patterns for the tea towel swap, and I went ‘oh, yeah!’. The deer is in a couple of flickr groups and every now and then someone will fave it and I’ll look at it again and think ‘I can’t believe I did that! It looks so… pretty! And awesome!’
Although I really wish I’d ironed the damn thing before I photographed it. I was in a rush, ok?
I did the deer in all backstitch, with a teeny bit of satin stitch and some french knots, cos that was all I knew how to do. Oh, I lie, I did some stem stitch but it turns out I was doing it upside down, so it looked pretty terrible. I’ve been looking at tutes on the intarwubs, and I spent a lot of today on stitch a day and trawling flickr groups. Good lord! There is so much awesome out there.
Starting this meant cleaning up my threads which, as you can SORT of see from the top pics, were in a shambles. Enough that I couldn’t really find what I wanted. Tidying it up felt good. It was wonderful to have it all laid out in order, all that colour and potential just waiting…
Cross stitch was probably my first proper craft, certainly the one I’ve done for the longest – both since I started and in terms of hours spent. Looking for my stuff I came accross bundles of finished and half finished stitching. I really should do something with them. Over the years I’ve ammased a fair few colours. When I was a kid I used to have this fantasy that I would live in the house down the road with all the horse paddocks (someone else would feed the horses) and I would have a whole room with just craft stuff, and a whole rack of threads, like you see in spotlight, only all for me! And thus, the stasher was born.
I’m further along than this now, and I’m pretty excited by how it’s turning out, and by how much fun I’m having.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go choose the next colour before the light goes.
I like airports. And planes. I like trains and train stations. Bus stops, not so much – too ordinary – but planes and trains have so much promise, somehow.
Maybe it’s because they’re the ultimate in in between places. No one lives there, no one owns it, no one really likes it there, no one stays there for long. And yet, such magical moments happen there, such large transitions, farewells, meetings, returnings, exiles.
I love the in between places in life. When you have an epiphany in the shower. When you enter a public toilet stall and suddenly realise that something in your life has shifted and you were too busy thinking about what to have for dinner or how annoying the people you love are to notice but now, suddenly, in the spasming flourescent light, you realise that nothing is the same.
I was sitting in Adelaide airport, that morning a few weeks ago. Free from work, waiting for a long awaited holiday to kick off, feeling the absence of an accustomed weight. I sat opposite two women. They looked vaugely familiar – one looked like my year 9 art teacher, I realised, and one like the younger sister of my ostensible high school ‘best friend’. Then again, it’s Adelaide – they might be people I catch the bus with, or see at the shops. They might by my neighbour’s sister. I am almost certainly connected to them in some way.
You used to have to walk right out on the tarmac at Adelaide airport. Right from the lounge where your family waved you off into the weather. Starting your journey on foot. This is not quite the same, but there is something charming about a rubbish bin on a dolly and a string of flags being all that’s keeping the passengers boarding at the rear from being sucked into the engines.
I was half watching them. They were so different. The one on the left was short, fat, just creeping past middle age. Short red hair, dyed, glasses were a deep, bright metallic colour. Purple, maybe. Dressed the trendy side of expensive. She sat with her hands clasped accross her belly, legs out.
The one on the right was thin and angular, long blonde hair tumbling from her head, plain black thick rimmed glasses. Young – just out of university, maybe. Dressed the expensive side of trendy. The sat perched on her seat, folded up almost, hands draped on her lap or by her sides.
They looked so different, I thought. They must be related – otherwise I wouldn’t expect to see two people whose lives must be so seperate sitting together like that. And then I looked up from my book just as they had obviously finished one of those small conversations you have with someone you know well, while you’re waiting. They were both staring into the distance, half smiles on their lips as if they were savouring the echo of a pleasant thought. And they were eerily similar, the thing that looked out from under their faces was the same.
I don’t know what the moral to that story is.
I love flying. I hate rollercoasters. You know that feeling you get in your stomach, when you’re on a rollercoaster? Or on an aeroplane and there’s turbulance? When I’m on a rollercoaster, a machine built for fun, the clitoris of the mechanical world with no other function… all I can think is that the car is going to come off the tracks and I’m going to dye a horrible death, and then I won’t be that misfortunate person who died a tragic death, I’ll be that idiot who died a senseless death for the sake of a funny feeling in her tummy.
But turbulance on a plane? Love it. Pure joy.
Don’t the fields look like patchwork? A cliche, I know. But those colours – brown and green and purple, more purple in real life. Glorious.
More Apartment Therapy inspiration
I came across this today.
Ok so it’s a kid’s room. Shhhh. How awesome is that curtain around the bed! And the leaves… I’ve had a slight obsession with those IKEA leaves, which I cannot find on their website. Maybe I can use this as an excuse to buy some. But you know how I posted about my bed? This is the type of thing I want, somewhere cosy, a retreat but also welcoming and snuggly. Like this OMG YOU GUYS it’s a fort competition. Check it out!
Go look at all the other cool ones, and then look at the – GASP – Where the Wild Things Are blog. Sorry, must go have a lie down, I am so stupidly excited about this…
OK, go look at the blog, and look particularly at this post with the winners. The winner is the coolest, but I love second place a whole lot:
The clouds are so sweet. And she made the lamp out of bottle caps. I love it, you guys. I love it.
I also want a where the wild things are hat.
From here. There’s an instructables link, too. Maybe I’ll make myself one. (I wonder if I ever looked that young? I feel oooold today. Surely this is ridiculously early to feel this old?) But maybe floppier, like this. After I make myself a panda hat (current dilemma: straight up knit, or lightly felted? I like lightly felted, but takes more thinking.)
I realise all this is very silly, but like the second place winner of the fort contest said, I’ve been drowning in adulthood lately. Luckily there’s only myself to worry about and I can avoid a lot of it, but an antidote is better than avoiding things. Sometimes I forget to be silly, which is sad.
On the weekend, I put new bedclothes on my bed.
Everything except the flat sheet is from the op shop. I bought the yellow gingham cover because yellow! Gingham! I never intended to actually put it on my bed, thinking it would clash horribly. This weekend I decided I didn’t care. It’s actually supposed to go the other way but I love gingham a WHOLE lot more than I love stripes. I also have gingham shoes. The other day I had someone over and I kept stopping talking in the middle of sentences because I would be distracted by how much I love gingham, oooh look, gingham, on my feet! Did I mention I love it? They were bemused, to say the least.
Ahem. Anyway, I put the cover on and then none of my pillow cases matched, so on went my thrifted stash of cases. Originally intended for crafting, but they are so lovely I couldn’t cut into them. And I think it looks lovely. A whole lot brighter than I would have thought of even six months ago, but it’s so happy and I love it. A cosy little fort.
Which it looks like I’ll be retreating to very soon as my sister has recently woken up from a nap and also gotten to the bit in her Hornblower bit where (SPOILER!!) Bush dies. And she is v. grumpy and acting like a teenager and likely to reduce me to tears if I’m not careful.
One of the websites I read pretty much every day is Apartment Therapy. This is because I like to torture myself with nice things I can’t have taunt myself with neat places and soothing spaces gather ideas for my own home, and sometimes just look at the pretty pictures. They’re doing a colour theme at the moment, and some days it’s like candy for your eyes. Eye candy, to coin a phrase.
From this post. (oooh, bonus crochet hexagons!) I don’t think I would want the brown, if it were mine, but I like the combo, and I like the tones. I like that it is traditional but that the colours lift it and make it something different. Maybe replace the brown with another nuetral that isn’t white? How about a natural linen?
From here. Also, check out the last pic on that post, with the white frame against the deep blue. LOVE! Here, as well. (Mirrors!!) I love those deep, bright blues. Soothing but not boring, restful and exciting as well. I think I am going to end up with the reverse – bright saturated furniture and acessories against a white background. Which makes sense since I will be renting in the forseeable future, and the walls are always white.
What about this one? Oooh, look. More crochet. Is that even quilted? Maybe it’s just a throw. But how easy would it be to do? I could totally make one for myself, and I bet it wouldn’t even take that long, if I actually DID it, which seems to be the problem with most of my crafts. The actual doing it phase. Like in my last post, it’s just easier not to do anything, really. Playing computer games or noodling around on the internet is a simple way to spend an evening, and relaxing every now and then. But when it means I don’t excercise or craft anything that can’t be done in five minute chunks, or even read much anymore… then there’s a problem. And the problem isn’t the internet, it’s my motivation.
ANYWAY, I could do it like this. I won’t steal Posie’s photos, so go look. I think I probably have enough thrifted bedsheets that I could do it using only them. And I think a tied quilt is a good way to get my feet wet – no actual quilting involved, which I suspect my machine will not handle well.
I borrowed a Modern Quilts book from the library – will find a reference later, it’s an Aussie one. The ones I loved the most were either lots of little strips put together, or ones not quilted at all, or much. There was an abstract rose one where the quilting was lines intersecting scattered roses. It was devine! But the one that’s relevant here was one that one indigo linen on one side (mmmm) and French toille on the other, and it was tied with French knots. Simple, and beautiful. It had running stitch around the edges and I wanted to snuggle under it.
I don’t think I’m going to start on a quilt like this tomorrow. But I wouldn’t mind at least getting it started cutting in the next few months. Again, if I just DID it, it won’t be hard. And I’d love to have a summer weight quilt before the next heat wave!
An on a final note: speaking of inspiration, have you seen Attic 24? The colours! THE COLOURS!!!!
I bought this canopy for myself when I was in highschool, and recently requested it from my parent’s shed. It’s like a cozy cave.
As it’s a bit cumbersome covering the whole bed, it stays like this most of the time, so that I don’t entagle myself with wild flailing when the alarm goes off in the morning.
I wish I’d hung it a bit closer to the head, now, because of that. It looks a bit silly, doesn’t it? Ah, well. It’s a canopy, it’s meant to be a bit silly! I might hang something from the centre, stars or birds or flowers, maybe. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up. Lovely!
My bed is my most favourite place in the whole wide world.
I believe we’ve discussed how predictable consistent I am re: colour, before.
I took all of my earings and brooches and hair things out of the blue drawers and put them on ribbons. Yes, I just happened to have those exact colours. Seriously. The whole middle ribbon is hair things, which is a bit hilarious since my hair is super short. However, I have decided to grow it out a bit because I want to be able to have pigtails again. So hopefully they’ll get some use.
But it’s not ALL about the cool end of the spectrum! Here are some flowers we bought last weekend when we went to go see Up (which was fantastic even though my mother wouldn’t stop patting me and I almost had a panic attack. I highly recommend it. The movie, not panic attacks)
Daisies and I think Asters? So cheerful, and fortuitously match our dining area! They’ve been brightening my week up.