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.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Damn you Ants

They're back, in the dishwasher this time. They come & go, come & go, but this time it was serious.  I had to get the nice man from F&P out to take the front of the dishwasher off, and inside the controller box was a trio of dead German cockroaches, and a bunch of ants, and you might be able to tell who was feeding off whom, Gentle Readers, but I can't.  Anyway, that controller box went in the bin, and a new one has been installed.  I was quite convinced we had a huge ants nest behind the dishwasher, so I was moderately relieved to find it was only the scent of lunch that was attracting the parties to the party, so to speak.

Anyway, the nice young man from the pest control company is here, right now, spraying all sorts of semi-nasties around the house & nasties around the garden. 

In other, sewing, type news, I went to Tessuti, in Chatswood, and bought some beautiful Italian wool (don't ask me why I didn't buy it in Italy, OK, just don't) to make skirts - I used this pattern, which I've used many times, and still love it - yes, it's a bit hungry on the fabric, but the skirt falls so nicely, the no-waistband suits my badly-designed short waist (thanks, genes), and it's got a side zip, on which I always do my neat trick of installing back-to-front so it almost looks invisible... Now I just have to go down to the alterations shop & get them to do the hems for me.  I know my machine has a hemming foot, but do you think I can get my head around how to put the fabric?  Nope.

Anyway, I also went through the magic door marked "Wool" in my sewing room, and found a rather gorgeous dark navy blend of something, which I've made into the same pattern - I did flat-felled seams on this one, and I went nuts and put the zipper on the outside, like some of the really trendy clothes you see now - Mr Golightly most definitely did not approve, Gentle Readers.  I also found three metres of the most gorgeous houndstooth check which came from the late, lamented Fine Wools Direct, which used to have a shop in Newtown... this is incredibly fine, and I have no idea what to do with it - certainly not skirts with gores - can you imagine the pattern matching stress?  Any suggestions?

In other crafty news... nada.  Nothing.  I'm all toyed out.  I'm still looking for a job,  but the job market is a bit flat at the moment.  There are lots of people looking for work, and recruiters have their pick.  The problem comes when they don't even bother to get back to you to say "thanks but no thanks" - that's a bit disheartening.

What's even more disheartening is when you go directly to the company, have an hour & a half interview/chat with the guy, get told you'd be a good fit & get ready for your second interview when the other guy comes back from overseas, follow up because you've heard nothing for 10 days, then the next day you get an email saying "sorry, you didn't make the cut".  How do you go from "a good fit" to "no thanks" in the space of half a day?  Hmmm.

On a more cheery front, we spent the ANZAC weekend at the Phabulous Hunter Valley, working in return for phabulous phood & board - I made a new cover for the dog's bed, and MGF Kaz & I played in the 10" squares & picked out enough to make her a quilt top - so that's something I can get started on!

And here's a pic to remind us that it's not all crap:

And now, lunch. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

I think I need to go back to work...

Rhetorical, really.  No, really.

Anyway, what with all the excitement of the wool-gathering (oh, terrible pun!), I forgot that I have made some more stuff...

For my Nephew D & his lovely spouse T, parents-to-be of Great-Baby E, another giraffe, this time slightly scaled up, and may I say, sooooooooooo much simpler to make than the small fiddly one:

This is a great pattern, with the horns cleverly incorporated into the head.  Stuffing him was a pain, because I didn't want the somewhat large head to wobble, but I also didn't want the neck to be too thick... anyway, I used some of my precious Michael Moore Giraffe Garden on this guy - did I mention the last of the Citron version went on the little Bro?  If anybody has a stashload of that fabric and they're willing to unload at a reasonable price, send me a note!!!!

And then... A penguin for Miss Grace, who has been a really stalwart buddy over the last six months - and this guy stood up - thank you Sewing Goddess for helping me make the pattern modifications!

I made him in the leftover Japanese fabrics that the fabulously huge quilt is made of - speaking of which, I must take that to be quilted tomorrow.  So exciting!! 

And then Miss Alix & Mister Claude in London had Baby Girl number two - and I wanted to make them something that was pretty but not too cutesy vomity pink, you know - so I did a rabbit, shown here in the beautiful wrapping from Little Paper Lane (although the purple tissue did enter the Golightly household courtesy of Miss Blue Lambb).  The eagle-eyed amongst you may recognise the fabrics as being the same as another, slightly tubbier rabbit.  Well.  Who says fat girls can't wear stripes?

And I made Apple the Rabbit, for Mr Golightly's great-nephew, Isaac.  I hope some of you get the joke, because I'm not explaining it.

And then there's the Classical rabbit, for Great-Baby E, in an interesting colour choice, which both parents-to-be loved - Mrs T because dark red is her favourite colour, and Mr D because he loves the neo-classical elements you find in damask... Nice to have such an educated bunch in the family, isn't it?

That's it.  Tomorrow I'm going to have another go at making this in fabric, not felt, having already upsized (is that even a word???) them by 50%.  I'll keep you posted (another dreadful pun!!!).


And I'm going to...

Anybody got any suggestions what I can knit with 6 balls of Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette, in the gorgeous "pebble" colourway?  I don't know why I do this, but I always do.  I buy just enough yarn to make half a cardigan, or a jumper for a midget.  Sorry, vertically challenged person.  So irritating.  I want to knit myself a jumper, and I've found the pattern I want - v neck, loose, bit of interest, not too challenging (although I am a competent knitter, you understand, I can't read a pattern & watch TV at the same time!!) - and here's what I found:

Image courtesy of JesikaJack

I love the colour of her jumper, too, but I'm knitting it in Lana Gatto Jaipur, in the blue colourway, simply because I had enough balls of this to get started without worrying about running out soon, and also because I found 14 balls of it on the fabulous Internet here, at $3.00/ball.  The original price was probably around $12 or $13/ball, so I was able to buy enough to finish the jumper for just $40 odd.  That's amazing, especially because, according to the pattern, I need 21 balls.  21.  FMD.

Anyway, I now have these six balls of Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette, which is discontinued, in the beautiful grey, and no idea what to do with them.  Socks? Too thick.  Shawl?  Too old lady.  Hat?  Too late, I've done Rome'n.  Hahhahahahahah Oh I'm so funny sometimes.  Sorry.

Ahem.  Anyway, if anybody has any suggestions as to where I can get more of this beautiful yarn, at a price that doesn't involve selling Mr Golightly's body parts, or even better, some sensible suggestions about what I can do with six balls, I'd be grateful.


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Busy, busy

So, Gentle Readers, what-up?  Just kidding.  I've been busy making stuff, fiddling with Instagram (you can find me under "IsabellaGolightly26", where my icon is the incredibly tubby rabbit I made some time ago as the tester:

Including this, for my Nephew and his Lovely Bride, who are expecting their first baby in July:

And this, for my good friend the Jaxster, whose daughter is expecting a baby... sometime soonish.

 And here she is, with her scaled down siblings - this Heather Bailey bird really knows how to make good patterns, I have to say.  Plus she liked some photos on my Instagram account.  Woot...

I confess to be looking for a job in a somewhat desultory fashion, checking the online sites and applying only for those things that grab me... So far the daily diet of washing, cooking, sewing, coffee and internetting (is that even a verb?  It should be!!) has not palled, but I'm sure it will soon, as there are only so many things one can make, although I have turned the poor neglected Sydney Pies quilt into a cot quilt for Great-Baby (insert Niece or Nephew here) E, which gets it out of the UFO box, and I've also finally pieced the last of the Japanese fabrics into a whole quilt top.  

All I have to do now is put the top sashing on, and send it off to the quilter.  I was going to hand quilt it, but it's huge, and life is too short.  I am hand-quilting the Sydney Pies, and I promise pictures when it's morphed into a baby giraffe quilt.  You'll see soon enough.