Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Can somebody stop me?

Well, Gentle Readers, I think it's Intervention Number 4.  It may be number 44 for all I can remember.  And what is it you're stopping me from doing?  Making these guys:

So far I've made 12 and there's no sign that I'm bored yet.  I've applied to have a stall at the Mona Vale Christmas Market, and I intend to sell these little guys, along with some fabulous fridge magnets made by Miss D yesterday and Monday - they look fabulous - she has such good taste, which is why she's my friend :-D

Yesterday I made the grandfather of all bilbies - I had the pattern sized up to 400% of original at a well-known office supply company, bought beautiful blue velvet and some grey polar fleece from the lovely Mr Fenner, and, three 1kg bags of stuffing later, here we are:

Yes, he's leaning slightly.  It's the leaning tower of Bilby.  You can see how big he is - the others pictured above are the medium size, which is 15cm/6" - the bigger guy, Mr Blue & Red is 19cm/7.5", and little Monkey-Face, who is about 10cm/4".  As I said to my good friend Miss JodieRicRac on Instagram (oh, wait, did I mention that I'm besties now with a celebrity?  Oh... well.  Hold onto your hats, Gentle Readers, there's so much excitement to come!!), it's like having a dog that doesn't need feeding or walking.

So.  Celebrity.  I went to Urban Stitches, the Parramatta one, not the Melbourne one, (more's the pity).  I had a great time, even though I was a singleton, because there were other lovely sewists there who also had no friends.  Who sew.  Yes, that's it.  Friends who sew.  We made things:

And I cut out and blanket stitched two legs of a fox.  I don't know how Miss Jodie does it, Gentle Readers, those tiny little legs and feet nearly sent me nuts, but anyway... The other two instructor/presenter/facilitators were Miss Mel, of Melly and Me, who gave me some excellent advice about publishing the pattern for the Bilby, and Rosalie Quinlan, who is a generally amazing woman.  Somewhere in the Ethernet is a selfie of Miss Jodie and me, and one day, when I'm very brave, I'll DM her on IG to ask her for a copy.  See?  Us besties can talk in code.  Can so too.

What else?  Fabric was purchased (of course), and eating and alcohol-free drinking went on.  Well, it was during the day... and I won a prize, a kit to make a felt teapot. Absolutely beautiful, and immediately added to the "maybe one day when I've got a broken leg" pile.  

Only complaints? - I'd only signed up for one day (there were two on offer), and the chairs got a bit uncomfortable after a while, which is absolutely nothing to do with the lovely organisers, and more to do with the Parramatta Novotel not understand the needs of sewists for a straight backed chair with support.

And I know, Gentle Readers, that you're wondering why I'm at home when I should be *insert music here* working for the man... working for the man... I had an operation on my nose, and I'm at home recovering.  No jokes about Joan Rivers, thank you.  And now?  Back to the Bilby Farm.  Ciao!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Rolling along like a 50 cent piece

Not quite smoothly like a 20c piece, Gentle Readers, but still rolling along. What's been happening?  Mr Golightly went skiing for a weekend, for the first time in at least five years, and had an excellent time.  I think he's got a previously undiscovered talent for photography, because he took a couple of excellent photos of the snow, admittedly with his phone, but still very nice pics...

I spent the weekend in Melbourne with Mr Golightly's delightful Mother (aka my lovely MIL), which was excellent - we spent quality time with Master Two, Miss E, his lovely Mother, and a little bit of time with Mr K, his lovely Father (which was still quality time, but there just wasn't much of it!) and I discovered the Museum of Melbourne, which was amazing.... have you been, Gentle Readers?  Lots of taxidermied (is that even a word?) animals, arranged by continents, and placed so you can see how big they actually (were) are, before they were killed in the interests of science...

We also went to see the exhibition of Italian Masterpieces from the Prado, which was really interesting, but the catalogue for the exhibition was so big & heavy we both left (almost) empty handed.  Cards are the best souvenir when there's no tea towels available, if you ask me...

We wandered down to St Kilda Markets on Sunday morning, and I bought a couple of nice tea towels with a tram route printed on them - one for MBF Deb & one for MGF Kaz - more tea towels I don't need.  Other sorts of fabric... well... maybe.

I've discovered a new source, based here in Australia, and I'm busy exercising the Parcel Locker system, giving my new colleagues no end of amusement.  I don't care.  Fabric at a good price is good fabric, as far as I'm concerned, and it's an added bonus that it doesn't have to come from a(nother) foreign country before it gets to me.  So, I'm looking at you, Evil Alison - I've completely thrown away my vow not to buy any more fabric this year because not only are the deals excellent, the service is fantastic.  Plus she's signed up to read this, so I have to be nice... not that it's hard!

I've been getting a bit of traction of my Instagram account, which is nice, but I haven't had an Etsy order for yonks, and I'm wondering if I should move my shop over to one of the other possibilities?  I had a look at Shopify, but it was way too complicated... and I've already got a Big Cartel space, but I don't really use it - I had zero interest from it when I had lots of stuff listed... so.. what to do?

I'm thinking about selling the pattern for the Bilbies, on my Etsy page too.  There are lots of nice patterns out on the market, which seem to do quite well (well, I know I've bought a few!), so there's definitely room for one more... but I'm torn between focusing on getting stuff made for the market (7th December, come on down), and trying to do other crap like, you know, washing, putting away (I don't do ironing, no matter what!), cooking, tidying, life's little joys.

Here's 10 bilbies on the way:

and more later.

And now, it's 10.38pm, past the time small Golightlys should be in bed.  Ciao!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Look, look, here's another one!!

I've been doing the FatMumSlim Picture a Day challenge over on the 'Gram (thank you, Millennium Housewife, for pointing out yet another aspect of a scene that completely passed me by (illicit pharmaceuticals...) because I was (and still am) so boring and straight when it comes to all that stuff...), and it's been ... interesting (the 'FMSPhotoaday Challenge, not being boring and straight!!), and I've had loads of "likes" from people from all over the world, which is lovely. 

My photo of the theme for yesterday, "Pet Peeve", wasn't very good (it was a very blurry shot of some filthy smoker's filthy droppings - yes, Gentle Readers, a cigarette butt.. and interestingly, my good friend Mr UBeaut58's sister (got that bit?) (with whom I went to school, but with whom I was not particularly friendly) even 'liked' my photo, which is a first for me!  

Today's theme was "mix", and I just took a photo of some of the boxes of fabric in the Room of Requirement, showing their labels.  I thought it was pretty nifty, but.. so far... only four likes.  Oh well.  Just goes to show you... not everybody has my excellent taste :-D

In Fabric Addiction news, I bought some nice Joel Dewberry fabric from lovely Ruth at SewLoveFabrics (she always has such as great selection):

Birch Farms by Joel Dewberry, Fat Quarter Set in peacock sage

So much for my no-buy July.  I'm thinking about "Ought-not-to-August", but it doesn't have quite the same ring.

In other news of fabulousness, I bought some beautiful midnight blue velvet and some grey polar fleece today.  What do these two fabrics have in common?  Well, Gentle Readers, I'm going to do the Christmas Market at Mona Vale (NSW), on 7th December [contingent on actually getting a stall!] and I've decided to make a huge Bilby to lure in the kiddies so their unsuspecting parents can buy lots of goodies from my stall... 

I went to Officeworks today & spent about $20 having the pattern sized up into ridiculousness, and tomorrow I'm hoping to cut out this monster... keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't fall off the worktable & crush me when I finally finish stuffing it.  I'm estimating three 1kg bags of wadding to fill it, but it could be more...I'm thinking of raffling it off, with proceeds going to Save the Bilby Fund... Thoughts?

Here's a picture of the bigger guys having some fun outside - don't you just love Mr Purple's pants?  What a groover...

And in getting out and about news, I've splashed out and I'm going to Urban Stitches in Sydney!  I'm pretty excited about this, because it should be such a fun day, and I'm hoping to come home with some lovely handmade stuff... I'm only doing the Saturday (it was $180 for one day), so if you're going, and you see a dumpy dark haired lunatic there by herself, that'll be me.  I'm thinking of wearing my "I'd rather be sewing' shirt from Erin at Dog Under My Desk, but would that be too ... obvious?  Possibly.

And that, Gentle Readers, is that.  I've finally finished removing my old presence from the old laptop, in preparation of its donation to Master E, and now I'm going to sit in front of the fire & gentle rub Mr Golightly's head.  It's as good for him as it is for me.  And with that disturbing thought firmly in your minds, I'm gone!


Monday, 4 August 2014

Where did that go again?

Well, the new job is in full swing.  Amazingly nice people, full of all the flaws of people everywhere, but the atmosphere is so much nicer than ...that other place... even with the normal stresses and strains of work...

And here's the view from the building:

And on a good day, we get to see this:

which was really spectacular, but shows a bit of reflection of the office interior, if you look too closely, so don't, OK?

It's going swimmingly, so far.  I like my colleagues, my boss, the work.  I love not having to drive to work, but I'd forgotten how annoying the general public can be, especially with things like moving to the back of the bus, taking your backpack off so you don't clobber everybody with it on the way through, turning your headphones down so the leakage doesn't drive everybody nuts... and not covering your face when you cough or sneeze.  Ick.

I really love that the post office has parcel lockers under our building, and I've registered to use them (it's free!) and all my etsy purchases turn up there now.  I've brought home some amazing parcels and I think my new colleagues think I'm a bit whacky... 

Hmmm, what else?  My lovely nephew and niece-in-law (heh?) had their baby and I'm a great-aunt - it's probably just as well - my sewing room was starting to get a bit full of toys for the baby:

I can count seven here...the giraffes and the red bilbies all went off to Miss EE when we were first introduced.  The Turtle is still here, but the other bilby went off to Master IPL for his second birthday; it's in the same fabrics as the quilt I made him for his first:

This was one cute Bilby, too:

and by all accounts he was quite pleased.  I also sent one off to London, for Miss A, who was turning 3:

Don't you just love the flowers?

And in completely unrelated news, we just came back from a fabulous weekend in the beautiful Hunter Valley, getting some canine therapy, and doing what we do best - I made cushion covers:

Plus two other yellow ones, including one with piping, to go with the quilt I bound - I don't have a picture of quilt with binding, but I'm pretty sure MGF Kaz will provide one if I ask nicely.  She's good like that.

And I photographed a couple of things for the FatMumSlim PhotoADay Challenge, which I'm doing for August, over on the 'Gram (that's Instagram, for you older peeps - I'm IsabellaGolightly26, and I'd love you to come on over & have a look at my pics.

Today's theme was "In the Middle".  

Isn't it fantastic?  The whole display is just gorgeous... but the photo was taken with the phone, so it's not great.  Plus the smell of a tonne of moo poo was making my eyes water a bit.  Mr Golightly & Az spent a lovely morning doing what they do best, shovelling it all over the garden.  You gotta love the countryside.

What was that?  You want to know about the baby?  Oh!!!  She was 49cm, 3kg and looked like a blob.  That's official, from her extremely proud father.  We saw her at a week old, and she slept happily in my arms for 2 hours.  That's a first for me, I can assure you.  We're hoping to catch up with the delighted parents very soon, so more news as it comes to hand (I know, I can't believe it either - I'm excited about a baby!!).  And so, amidst all this excitement, it's off to bed.  Ciao!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Fiddle me sticks...

Sunday 29 March 2009; I bought a new laptop.  Sunday 29th June 2014;  I bought a new laptop.  They tend to last me 5 years, which is pretty good, considering.  This one is lighter, a slightly wider screen but not so high, 750Gb HDD (yeah, like who cares?) and I've already done all the moving of stuff, which is the biggest PITA* when getting a new laptop.  

In other news, life.  The house looks like a bomb has been dropped, the shoe count in my bathroom is going up, the pile of discarded coats on the dining table is growing, the spurt of good quality home cooking is slowly tapering off & tonight for dinner we had a pre-cooked chicken & oven fries, with soft porn sweet corn being our fresh vegie of choice.

The guest room is devolving into chaos - the Murphy Bed that Mr Golightly made is up, leaving loads of empty floor space, just waiting to be filled up with... the old dirty linen basket (finally found a skinnier but taller one for the corner), five suitcases, (don't ask me why I didn't put them away when I wasn't working, OK?) four rolls of fabric (one red damask belonging to my lovely MIL to re-cover her wing chair [that's a whole 'nother story...], one roll of Atrium Blue for curtains, two piles of blue damask for curtains which are just waiting for me to get the message) and a pile of boxes that normally live in the wardrobe & which hold things like seasonal jumpers & polar fleece & winter PJ's... it's a bit depressing, actually.

The only place that's really tidy is the sewing room - and I think that's only staying tidy because it wouldn't take much for it to become absolutely unworkable, as it's such a small space.  I took a photo the other day which I posted on Instagram - check me out (IsabellaGolightly26), showing how full the shelves are looking... don't ask me how to put it in here - the phone is switched off (OMG!  The phone is switched off!!) & I'm not getting up to switch it back on... and I have no idea how to add a picture from Instragram in here.

And the lovely Mr Golightly is watching his team win their game from last Friday (again).  

Life.  So exciting.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Life returns to... normal

So, Gentle Readers, it appears that the sojourn will shortly be over.  Having spent a wonderful six months at home being 'wifely', I now have a real job.  Well, I will have on Monday.  I start work at a large August Institution (no, not the same one!), in town, with a small team (much smaller than my old team, which started as eight and morphed into 14 at the end) of three, working on what is euphemistically called "lights on", or, if you're old school like I is, "BAU".  Woot!!  I am so excited not to be working on Projects - they suck you dry, chew you up & spit you out, and I'm not willing or able, mentally or physically, to do that.

So.  Having managed three (or is it four?) posts in those six months, I suspect the flow may reduce to a trickle, but it may be that having interaction with other human beings, apart from Mr Golightly and a small, very select, band of friends, may result in an outpouring of observation.  Or not.

Anyway, I recall that I promised pictures of the finished Bilby...



Plus the other two which still have the slightly piggy face:



Mr Golightly professes to like the little protuberance caused by having the gusset go right up to the chin, but I prefer the slimmer look.  

So, now that I've perfected the pattern, I need to sell them.  Any suggestions for price?  The small ones are fiddly, the big one takes a huge amount of stuffing, but they are all gorgeous.  I was thinking $20 for the little guy, but the only other thing in my shop for $20 is a doorstop and these guys are a lot more work than a doorstop. 

Would you pay $25 for one of those little cuties?  Come on now, I need to know!!


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Copy, right?

So, Gentle Readers, where have I been?  I have been making something.  When I say "making" something, I mean, from scratch.  Well, I don't mean that in the 'growing the cotton' kind of way, but more of a "I want to make one of these and there's no pattern on the market, so I'm going to make my own".  That's not strictly true - there are a couple of patterns out there, but they are both for the furry jointed doll kind of thing, which I didn't want to make at all.  I wanted one I could make in cotton, stitch together on the machine, fill with fibre-fill and be extremely cute.

What was I thinking?

My first attempt was based on a line drawing I found on the internet, which looked like this:

But ended up looking like this:

Which, as you can clearly see, is more mutant than marsupial.  Where's the front legs?

Anyway, I left it for a couple of years (you know how life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, thanks for the reminder, John Lennon), and then I saw a rabbit in a fabulous clothing shop in Avalon, which is just up the coast (about 10 minutes by car) from me.  Anyway, this rabbit was nothing special to look at, but I had a sticky* at how they'd made the ears, and thought "oooh, I can use that!!", so I paid my $20, confessed to the woman in the store that I was going to cut it up, and wondered off.

Anyway, after doing this to the rabbit:

and making these:

Ugliest thing I've ever made.  Seriously.

Weirdest looking thing I've ever made.

I decided that I needed to go back to the original shape idea:

and it was so close, but the front legs were all wrong.  The Bilby sits on its haunches and feeds itself with its front paws, rather than looking like a dog with a very long nose & huge ears, so I persevered:

I have very long ears but no tail

None of these guys got a tail...

This little guy was the closest I came to being happy with it before discarding his alterations & starting again.  Big mistake:

It's not a tumor!!

This guy looks like he has a huge tumor (it's not a tumor!!) at the top of his legs, but the arms are so close...

And you can see I was nearly there, but I couldn't figure out how to get the arms right... then it popped into my head in the night.  Seriously, as if there isn't enough crap going on in my head at night without Bilby gussets making an appearance:

This is almost the finished model.  I need to stop the gusset from going up into the chin, because it looks a bit piggy, so I've made another one this morning, with the umpteenth alteration of the pattern, which returns the head to its original size.  Once he's made, I will post a picture, I promise.

And after all this, I can understand why makers of patterns get so cross when people breach their copyright and just rip off the patterns.. there are hours and hours of work in this - every single alteration was made into a model - I have a bag full of fabric discards, and a bag full of pattern discards too.  Anyway, they're going in the shop, and we shall just take our chances with the rip-off artists.  At least we know I was first, right?

Riiiight.  Ciao!

PS The Etsy Treasury Code Generator doesn't work any more, so you'll have to pop over to Etsy to see the Bilby Love Treasury I made - it's fabulous!!

*Sticky - sticky beak - Aussie slang for a quick look, possibly rhyming slang for a peek.