Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 September 2014 Have I ever written such a long post before?

3 weeks later and I have absolutely nothing to show in the crafting department.
You are all waiting for a Magnet update though, aren't you?
Applying the last coat of paint in the kitchen proved as entertaining as the first (and second if you count that). Magnet certainly knows how to break up any monotony a job might present.
After talking myself up in the last post, I got home and looked at the kitchen and after my previous evening’s work I was a bit over it. I stood there thinking a few unladylike terms and proceeded to try to ignore the mess and unfinished job and then with the help of ice cream ate my feelings while finally catching up of Game of Thrones (season 4).
Game of Thrones provided a nice distraction for the next night too. If I remember correctly, I finished the tub of ice cream too. Magnet was very content with me providing him warmth and cuddles.

Friday was going to be my relaxing day off. Please put all that emphasis on the ‘was’ in that sentence. As previously organised, I meet up with Rachel and her dad at Sayers Sister for breakfast. I love going out for breakfast. It is my favourite meal to go out for.

Rachel, of course knowing me well enough, asked if I had finished the kitchen…. I had to confess my technique of procrastination. She, of course, was gracious in her sympathy for my plight and preceded to regal me with scholarly discourse - meaning we gossiped like fishwives. I don’t know about that expression, I am sure that fishwives are hard workers.
After the leisurely breakfast and my now barrel belly, I thought I had better get in a bit of culture. I don’t normally spend much time in the city on my days off. I tend to do my window shopping when the shops are closed to avoid any unnecessary accessories making their way into my mostly already filled with accessories handbag.
I headed to the Art Gallery, the absolute centre of artiness and culture. I actually think the last time I went there was for the Russian Exhibition. OMG, I just googled that. Ummmm that was in 2005. It would have been when I moved to Perth the first time. I must have been since, though I don’t remember it.
What I was interested in this time was the Richard AvedonPeople Exhibition. It is a collection of about 60 photos ranging from 1940’s to 2000’s. It was amazing. I think I should get a coffee table book of his. I am always amazed by art/music/film since I have no aptitude for it. I don’t know how people come up with the ideas or see things that would combine to produce such fabulous results.
After this quiet, contemplative experience, I sat down to absorb the experience while having a coffee in the square outside. The experience certainly made me feel more at peace and quite nostalgic for Sue-ann, as I think she would have loved it too.
With a new frame of mind, I was determined to get this painting finished. Onwards and upwards I say. I made it into the house, to be greeted by a very ecstatic puddy tat. He loves people home during the day. I made it to the bedroom, only slightly kicking the cat once while he was under my feet, to get changed into my painting clothes. These are clothes that I previously spilt a whole lot of paint down while painting the craft room the previous year.
I didn’t need lunch after the breakfast out, so I got straight into it. Music cranking of course. We really need some decent speakers to help in these situations.
I was managed to get the first wall painted without the help of a certain Black Cat, but I had really tempted fate in my last post. This time when a curious cat come to check out my work he land with definite precision into the deep end of the paint tray. OMG, at least it wasn’t as full as it could have been. All I could do was laugh and then try to catch him to try and wipe some of it off. This of course proceeded to be a game of ‘cat and mouse’. With the amount of paint on him, I could still see the distinctive cat paw prints 6m later. Follow the trail across the bench, the dining table and then the floor and then around in circles as I followed him and all he wanted was to smooch around my legs. I swear that cat doesn’t know when things are on him. Seemed completely oblivious to the paint, was only interested in pats and food.
Finally the kitchen was painted! As I would normally say, ‘it’s not perfect, but it’s better than it was, and at least it is done’. I have to admit to not being the most tidy of painters. I think it’s a bit like my cooking. I make a mess and have to do twice as much cleaning as everyone else. Though I think my cleaning skills are probably better than my cooking and painting skills.
Saturday and Sunday I spent the day cleaning and sorting things out, so when Reece arrived home on Sunday afternoon, it would kinda look like it hadn’t taken much work at all to have a picture perfect home, which of course in reality took me hours to do. 
Of course if I hadn't given myself enough to do, I had decided to um take Reece's desk. This desk is huge. I kinda forced Reece to buy a desk and he came back with this one. After 2 years, he said that he would be interested in downsizing as our rooms are small. I said I would take it off his hands ( I was secretly going yay, I can fit my computer, sewing machine and overlocker on it at the same time) and then of course forced this issue by buying him a new desk. It was delivered during the week and I determined that girls can do anything when they set their minds to it. This might have been ambitious, not just because of the physical limitations of lifting but the limitations of only one person doing it. Lets just say it was very ungraceful and maybe the walls will never be the same. I had to lift it onto it's side to try and take the legs off. Not a lot of room to manoeuvring. It meant I had to shuffle it at the same time as levering it. Then Magnet thought he would help once I had it leaning precariously against the wall by jumping on the leg part and then it almost toppled over except I was super fast like the flash and super strong like superman. It took me about 3 hours in total to get it moved and reassembled in the craft room. I had done measurements but for a moment I didn't think it would fit. Also you take measurements of it's final position vs the size of the desk, that didn't account for the space you need to get it in place. As you can see, I was 'lucky' I could do it otherwise Reece would have come home to not the desks moved but suddenly his computer room being my craft room and my craft room being his computer room. 
Saturday was Rachel’s birthday and I did head over there for dinner. I was much more relaxed than Friday for breakfast. We weren’t actually celebrating her birthday until the next Saturday when everyone was available and we had tickets to see Le Noir.
Reece and I went out Friday after work to the Winter Supper Club for the Perth Arts Festival. It was a tad wet though which I had hoped would deter people. I don’t really like a lot of crowds. I was hoping to catch some live music, which I thought was meant to start at 6:30 but ended up being at 8:30 and we weren't going to stay that long. 
We did have some dinner, I tried the Cajun eatery and it ended up being quite delicious though I wasn’t sure about the rice, it was flavoured with spices but I think it could have done with some capsicum and corn maybe. Then desert… Well I will let the pictures speak for themselves. How do people in France keep the weight off if they have access to such delicious pastries.
Le Noir was a good day out (all the links have expired) . It is a Cirque, but not actually affiliated with Cirque de Soleil. I think they were ex performers from there. It was coined as being racy, but all it was, was normal cirque stunts but done in lingerie. Everyone of course is very fit. It really shows what the body can do with training. How do people stay that flexible? I guess when your job is dependent on your body performing at an elite level; it’s your job to make sure that you are that flexible.
We went to an afternoon session of the show and then headed out for dinner after. We just went to the pub down the road. The Bar has been done up and it is quite nice. We sat in the diner area and us girls stayed down one end and had fun people watching and making up stories of what the other diners were doing. It was a big day out but we were home by 9pm. I like that it like that, still can have a decent night’s sleep.
Reece headed back to work the following Monday. He will be back this coming weekend. As per normal this meant that he was away for my birthday. He did buy beautiful flowers during the week and he had bought me my birthday gift a couple of months ago. Isn’t he a good husband? He even left me a card when he headed back to work.
With Rachel’s Birthday and mine, so close it makes it an expensive month, but that’s just the way it lands. I had organised to go to LaSoiree Caberat at Downstairs at His Majesty’s theatre. Actually I just wanted to go the ‘Speak Easy’ event and it was only on over that 4 days which happened to include my birthday. We went to the Plenty Thai Restaurant down Shafto Lane (Thanks Kasandra for introducing me to it) which was really good and then headed over to His Majesty’s.
The Speak Easy was really good. It was small, intimate, very well choreographed and the band/singers were phenomenal. Love that type of show. Currently I’m trying to organise to go to another one at the end of September. I think has been my best birthday for cards. They are all fabulous. I have to say a special thanks to mum's one, it's a cat in a basket of wall and when you pull the cat out it meows the 'Happy Birthday' song. Awesome!!
And then there was this from Roger and his family:
Of course if that wasn’t enough culture for the month, I headed back to His Majesty’s on the Friday night for the ballet.  It was ‘La Fille mal gardee’ or ‘The Wayward Daughter’. I hadn’t been to a ballet in a long time. I really should go to more. It was very good. WA is certainly pulling its weight in the performing arts sector these days. I love the venue too. It always feels very grand in these old buildings. I feel so upper class.
Gosh this blog post is getting very long. This finally brings me to the current week. Nothing like over doing it. I spontaneously headed over to Rachel’s on Saturday and we ended up down at The Brook watching the All Blacks play Argentina. I haven’t watched sport let alone rugby live on TV for a long time; let a long being at the pub watching it. It was quite novel, though we are out of practice and we thought that the bar was very loud. Are we showing our age already?
I received this parcel from the Bruny Island Cheese Club in Tassie. I am not sure if any will be left for Reece...
This working week has been full on. Why is it that there is a lull at work and then all of a sudden you have four things demanding your attention all at once and need to have the same priority. On top of this I decided to paint the laundry. It has been two weeks since I finished the kitchen and the pain and drama had faded enough for me to enjoy the results. This is this is the last room that we are going to paint ourselves. We are hoping that we can get the whole bathroom done by contractors at some point in the future…. That may change but that’s the idea. Also I have been hanging off getting curtains for the lounge until the kitchen and laundry are done so we can get them all at the same time. This only leaves the ceiling to paint in these areas. Realistically it’s the flashing/balustrade (??) thing that needs done as the previous occupants didn’t do a very good job painting and it’s all over it and of course I have added to it, no where near as badly, but it should be done to give the house a finished/polished look.
I started on Saturday with puttying/sanding. Magnet was very interested in what I was doing since the laundry is his domain. He was all like, what are doing with my bed and litter tray… I moved the chest freezer into the middle of the kitchen which he thought was very convenient, a new perch for him to keep watch over his kingdom. I struggled to move the washing machine. Not that’s its heavy, just awkward and kept catching on the tiles. Magnet was not impressed by the noise or the water that sprayed out of the hoses when I detached them from the taps… Then I took the paint stuff out of the shed again and I am sure he was eyeing it up to see what he could do next.
It was actually much less eventful than the kitchen. He only really kept brushing his tail against the wall as he went in and out of the door. He pretty much sat at the bottom of the ladder making sure I was doing a good job. This did mean he was coated in a fine spray of white as I was.
I finished painting last night, so tonight I have to go home and take all the tape off and move everything back in there. Thank goodness. I think I was more than motivated last night to get it done, not necessarily because I wanted it over, but because I have a shortage of clean towels… I didn’t think that would be my motivation, but it really was.

I am looking forward to another break. The garden really needs some attention, we have had a couple of weeks with rain and I can’t see the roses for the weeds.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

19 August 2014 Painting a kitchen

Reece has been away at work for a week now and I can tell you all, the majority of my cooking has been using the microwave to heat my food from the freezer.
This in itself has been a mission, I have been trying to paint the kitchen in the past week and I have relocating the microwave from one inconvenient location to another. It is currently sitting on the dining table plugged via an extension cord. I have been incredibly lucky to go on a few ‘trips’.
My mission was to ‘Paint the Kitchen’ by the end of the weekend. I thought, hey a week should do it. I will do the prep in my evenings after work, leaving the painting part for the weekend. I can now confirm that this was obviously an ambitious plan and that when it comes to painting, this work is not appropriate for the soft evening light.
I started to think of this job like playing World of Warcraft and I had my Quest list and I just had a whole lot of yellow question marks. There were a lot of them in Red.
I think those plastic things people put into the wall for screws are evil. Here I am standing on the bench after taking down the curtains, I put the screw back into the plastic thing for leverage and was using pliers and brute force to try and get them out. This is sweat inducing, muscle groaning work and if you aren’t careful, the potential to give yourself a black eye is high when they finally come away from the wall and you are using that much muscle… I was seriously thinking of taking a hammer drill to the whole wall and making a giant hole. The other option was, wondering if people would notice if I left them there and I just putty over them…
This kinda took me two days and I still didn’t manage to take down the paper towel thing and the curtain cord hooks that aren’t in the wall but close enough to be annoying. I was starting to ‘chew’ the screws so I have left them there (thanks Reece, you know that this is now on your list for your break J).
After my gym workout with the screws, the next quest was to putty these gaping craters. These ones weren’t so bad as it was obvious where I had performed the extraction. The problem was where the previous occupants had not really done the prep work for their last paint job. This meant I could see where there needed to be more sanding and putty application from certain directions in the evening light. I was like an artist trying to study my work from all angles. I can tell you the next morning I had still missed lots.
By this time it was Sunday, the day that I had hoped I would finish this job. I got up and thought hey a couple of hours and it would be done. This was a serious miscalculation on my behalf. I stood on the bench to do this job, but of course this meant I was a bit too tall for the wall and had to hold my head at an uncomfortable angle for the duration. The kitchen was fiddly. The two windows that meet at the corner produced some tantrum induced throwing of the paint brush. The paper towel holder that I was unable to remove ended up paint coated and me seriously wanting to take my hammer and smash it into a million different pieces (the reason I didn’t was because I am also the cleaner). Then there are the two doorways (the laundry and pantry) to paint around and the oven with cupboards.  All this meant that the first coat took me 3 hours, a lot of frustration and a crink in my neck and back. There was no way I was going to do the second coat on the same day. This meant that there was then another 40min of cleaning up the paint supplies. The only thing saving my sanity at this time was a pretty black and ‘white’ puddy tat. 


Within the first 15 minutes of me painting, he came to investigate, bouncing up onto the bench, landing, thankfully on the shallow part, of the paint tray and then produced amusing paint paw prints over the tiles of the window sill and then brushing along the wall to look a bit Pepe le Phew.  Thank you puddy for trying to walk over the paint tarp draped over the sink and not realising that the sink was under it and falling in…
I now knew that I wasn’t achieving my ‘finish the Kitchen’ by the end of the weekend. The worst part was when ‘Watching Paint Dry’ I saw that I needed to do more puttying in an area where there was obviously something hanging on the wall. All I could see were two vertical grooves. I thought about trying to ignore it but nope that was impossible.
I spent my Sunday night still playing putty and whole lot of frustration of not having this job finished.
Then it was Monday… I told myself all day at work that if I get my arse into gear and get this over with I could have it done Monday Night and then I can tidy up, still leaving my next weekend to relax.
After negotiating the streets in the pouring rain to catch the bus, I made it home with squelching shoes and my pants sticking to my legs from the knees down, but this would not deter me. I am on a mission to get this done.
Magnet welcomes me home thinking I will pay him some much needed attention and provide a lap and an arm to attack. He was sadly let down. I changed into my much drier paint splattered clothes and eat a bowl of cereal for dinner because breakfast is my favourite meal of the day.
I pour the paint into the tray and then…. ‘Oh shit’ is probably my best description of my next dreaded moment. There was no way that the paint left in the tin is going to stretch to finish this job.
I have already dirtied half of the paint things and I know that it will take me 40min to clean it all up again so I just sucked it up and decided to see how far it would take me. It didn’t take me far at all. One wall. I chose the wall that I had to more puttying on as I thought that wall would probably need a third coat anyway (trying to go for a silver lining here).
Now here we are, Tuesday. I wasn’t going to drive the car to work this morning but the paint store opens at 6:30am and closes by 5pm so I knew that I would have to pick it up on the way to work and I am busy Wednesday and Thursday night, so tonight is the last night have to ‘finish painting the kitchen’ in the hope that I can relax on Friday when I am meant to be meeting up with my friend for breakfast and having a relaxing day.

I don’t want to even think about what might happen tonight…

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

13 Aug 2014 Mid-August hmmmmm

It's almost the Middle of August. Does that alarm anyone? I think I should almost be thinking about what Christmas Decorations I should make this year. I know that the rest of the year is going to fly past as I already know that I have heaps of things organised. 
Sadly I don't have any crafty stuff to post about. I have kinda finished knitting the t-shirt vest thing. I am not sure about it though. I ran out of wool and it probably needed another inch on it. I am considering frogging the bottom and knitting more in a contrasting colour. I am also not sure about the arm holes. They are rather large. I feel like I f**ked up in the pattern somewhere, but I am not sure where. Maybe it will look better after sewing in ends, putting buttons on and blocking. All this means is that it is sitting in the 'Time Out' corner with me glaring at it thinking, why didn't you turn out like the picture...
I have the pieces of dress strewn around the floor of my craft room. I am nervous to start sewing my adult sized dress. I probably have too higher expectations for my first big project. I want it to fit properly. I know that I will end up having to do a lot of unpicking. I just need to take that first big leap and get on with it.
Spring is in the air here. We are having an unusually warm and dry August. I planted my tomato seeds the other day. I have them sitting inside in hopefully a sunny position. I had to guesstimate it in the evening. 
I finished pruning all my roses a couple of weekends ago and this sunshine is making me want to tidy up outside. I am hoping that I am motivated enough this weekend to get out the high pressure water hose to clean up the bricks in the courtyard. 
Reece is away for work at the moment. A three month contract doing 2 weeks away and 1 week off. He left on Monday for his first swing. Magnet is feeling quite lost without his buddy. I have been making videos of Magnet for Reece and putting them on YouTube. I wouldn't want Reece to feel like he is missing out on anything. Not that I am actually doing anything particularly exciting. I have been doing stuff around the house. I am definitely not doing much cooking. Eating lots of prepared meals in the freezer. 

Here are some cat pictures to keep you going. 




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

29 July 2014 Some knitting and sightseeing.

Not a whole lot of crafting has happened in the last couple of weeks. I have these finished photos to show you. 
The first up is another pair of Evangeline gloves that I have sent to Teresa. I haven't heard whether she has received them yet. I wonder if she will notice that I purled twice either side of the cable pattern on one glove and only purled once either side of the cable pattern on the second. I didn't think it was too noticeable and the fact that they are black will mean that it all just blends. This isn't a great photo I know I am wearing a sweatshirt, shorts, socks and slippers. Great Fashion statement. I wanted to take the photo and it was raining and dark outside and I posted them the next day so I didn't have time for more. 
 Here is the wee layette singlet that I finally blocked and photographed. I didn't realise my settings on my camera were off so the colour looks more blue than it should. It is quite a bright orange. I am happy how it turned out, though I don't think many people would dress their kids in bright orange. I am using up some wool in my stash and I had no other plans for it. I have just under a ball left, so I will probably do some booties to match at some point. Not right now though. I have heaps of other projects on the go. 
I took my bike on the Train two weekends ago to catch up with my friend in Mandurah. It was quite pleasant biking to the train station and biking to the town centre at the other end. I had to change trains in the city on the way and that was interesting. I have never taken my bike through the city before. There was a lot of waiting at lifts as there were a lot of mothers with prams on a Saturday.
 Last weekend, Reece and went up to York to visit an old friend of mine. I normally meet up with her in the city when she is comes down but she hasn't been coming into Perth recently since she isn't working there any more. I wanted an excuse to go and see York anyway as I had heard it is very pretty. 
We had a lovely time visiting and she filled us up with lovely baking as she is awesome at it. Though I do believe I dropped raspberries on myself. You can't take me anywhere.
After our lovely catch up we headed into the township for a brief look. Being late on a Sunday at this stage, most things were closed but we could admire the beautiful architecture. 
I am still obsessed with taking pictures of wells. They have done a wonderful job of covering this one up. 
 There are more old pubs in York than I was expecting for a small town. I haven't looked up the history of York but there must have been a bit of money here at some point. 
 I spent a few hours over the weekend pruning roses. I haven't quite done half but I did do the one really large one, so hopefully it won't take as long to do the rest, which should be next weekend.

I am very sorry in my last post for not including pictures of Magnet, so here are two that Reece took. 

Magnet surveying his subjects from way on high before standing on the power button and turning Reece's computer off mid-game... 

 I am sure that you made this wee gap on the printer just for me to sit on. Come on... Print Something so I can watch it spit out....

Sunday, July 20, 2014

20 July 2014 The Vintage Feedsack Dress

I finished the Vintage Feedsack dress last weekend. I washed it during the week and ironed it last night. I finally got around to taking photos of it today. This is meant to be a size 2-3.


I am pretty proud of myself. Look how those strips match up on the gingham... Look how the bias tape matches up....My Zip matches at the top too. I had to unpick one side of the zip once. As I said though I am very happy how this turned out. 
The construction of this dress was very well put together with a lot of different techniques to the last Junebug dress. The zipper tutorial was excellent. Though I have a few questions like how does one put the zipper between the lining and the outside. I basically tacked it down on the inside so it would lay flat. 
I use gingham for these as it is cheap and I am still a novice so I am doing a lot of unpicking and resewing when I don't think I do a good enough job. My sewing is improving immensely, the seams are getting straighter and I am now taking more and more care on the lining up pieces of the pattern for cutting so it matches. This means my finished products are getting a lot more polished.
I have cut out some material to make a dress my size next. So far I have cut out the bodice. This will be a while in construction as I want to make it properly fitted to me. I can see a lot of unpicking in my future as I try to work out the best places for adjusting seams to make it fit and look good. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

14 July 2014 The JuneBug Feedback

I gave the greenish floral JuneBug to my colleague as his daughter is roughly 18 months. I had some really good feedback from them.
His wife thought that it was a very 'Nana' dress. I would interpret this as 'I probably wouldn't put this on my child'. I was kinda glad then, when they went to put it on the child it didn't fit. This means that they will give it back. Now when I mean 'it didn't fit', it does actually, it would probably fit once it was on but they had problems getting it on. They could fit one arm in fine but the dress wouldn't stretch diagonally enough to get a get the other arm in, let alone getting it off. Now I tried searching the Internet to see if other people had the same issue and I found two other slight mentions of the same problem occurring. I am not sure how to solve it. I mean a zip would solve it but other options. Would making the bodice longer, therefore the bib part open more help solve it? It's a bit upsetting when the dress would have fit nicely otherwise. I am going to send the other one to Evie in Melbourne. She is slightly younger and smaller. Hopefully it will fit. I will definitely ask whether she encounters the same issue. 
I like this kind of feedback. I am not sure how to take the 'Nana' comment. I see a lot of these dresses on the Internet. I thought the pattern was quite cute/modern suggesting that it is more my fabric choice. Would this be an overall generalisation and is this a problem. Do modern mothers not like dressing their daughters in what I would think is 'Vintage'. My taste does run old school. I just thought that was kinda fashionable these days. I will have to think more modern in my fabric selections in the future. But not at the moment. 
I finished sewing the 'Vintage Feedsack Dress' By Craftiness is not Optional late last night. I was just using some nice cheap material for the first time. The photo is what I took early yesterday which is the bodice mainly finished. I still need to wash it before taking the final picture. I did a bit of unpicking. I think if I make it again I would do a couple of things differently, I would put the bias tape around the arms afterwards and I would like to learn how to sandwich the zipper in between the front and the lining. But since it goes into the skirt I am not sure how to go about it. 
I also finished the Elephant Softies from  Craftiness is not Optional. I am not sure what to do with them. I don't have anyone to give them to and I am not a soft toy kind of person. I just thought they looked cute and I was interested in the construction of them. 
I finished another Milo. I am trying to use up my wool stash and I am annoyed that I ended up with 9 gms leftover. I thought I had calculated for it to use up most of it, but obviously it wasn't meant to be. I can incorporate it into some matching booties maybe. 
Reece and I headed to the Good Food and Wine Show in Perth on Friday. We attended the Wine and Cheese Tasting workshop first thing. It was really good and entertaining. I did feel strange wearing a wine glass on a lanyard around my neck but it is a practical solution, I just felt like a bit of an alcoholic. Most of the wine we tasted was excellent and we came away poorer in our bank account. It goes without saying that we also bought cheese.... I would definitely be keen to go again next year. 
Some Progress Shots of Magnets interest in the Elephant Toys...




 Magnet not letting me open my parcel from overseas.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

26 June 2014 More and more sewing

Last weekend I finished sewing two more JuneBug Dresses. I made them at the same time, which made it twice as fast. At this rate I am just going to have a lot of sewing that is size 2. That seems to be the size for free patterns. 
Again these pictures are front and then back of garment. I am also considering changing the buttons on the first dress. Maybe to yellow. What do you think? It might make the dress stand out a bit more. Though sometimes subtle is better.
This one turned out better than I thought. Sometimes I am not sure about my fabric choices with the pattern.
I cut out two more patterns to sew. One is a soft toy elephant and the other is called a 'Vintage Sack Dress'. They are from the same person who did the above pattern. I have chosen a pink gingham material for the sack dress. I didn't want to use pretty/more expensive fabric while I work it out. If I like it and want to make it again, I will use nicer material.
I am still knitting away. I should do more knitting while watching TV shows but I get so engrossed. Progress soon I swear.