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.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

14 June 2014 Lots of things completed

 Here's a weekend update. Mainly because I am excited to share my finished sewing things. They are so cute and I can definitely tell that my sewing is improving. I have heaps of knitting on the needles at the moment but it is all progressing at the same time so none of it is finished. 
First off though, some knitting from 2 weeks ago. I had realised that my friend Rachel wasn't going to be here for her birthday and we were meeting up for dinner before her big trip so I quickly knit up a Calorimetry as she is heading to Alaska. I know that it is Summer up there but I have a feeling it will still be cooler. 
We did have some yummy Indian food before she headed off. 

 Now for some sewing. Pictures are Front then Back. The first two are using the same pattern (Simplicity 4243). You can't go wrong with blue. I had initially put a zipper in, but I didn't like it as I would think that it would have been uncomfortable to wear, so I took it out and replaced with buttons. They are both in the Large size which the pattern tells me is 18months. Those snaps that you buy attached to binding are expensive AU$12.99 a metre. 

I made this cute dress this weekend. It is a JuneBug in the size 2T. It ended up being a big more princessy than I was expecting because of my colour choices. I think I will make it again but only one colour. 
Perth is a bit cooler at the moment but some lovely sunny days. I am liking the coolness like normal. Magnet has been very snugly.
I am not sure whether I wrote previously that I completed the 12Km HBF Run at the end of May in 1:38.21. I was pretty happy with my time as I was aiming for 1hr 40min. Hopefully next year's time will be better. 
I have asked for a fancy sports watch for my birthday so I can improve my speed while running. No point comparing my times at the end. I want to know if I am running faster/slower as I go. 
I don't have any more races coming up. I am guessing I will probably sign up for the city to surf at the end of August.