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.  


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Gee, Barry, who'da thunk it?

So, Gentle Readers, this post comes to you today from the letters "D" for Disappointment, "A" for Anger, and "P" for pride...

As some of the more dedicated amongst you will remember, I've been doing this on & off for a few years now:

Applying fabric to wooden foundations, with intervening layers of foam, elastic or jute webbing, hand-tied springs, flocking flock, lintus, calico, fabric... for which the collective noun is... upholstery.

Last year, our State Government, in its infinite wisdom, decided that the Institution that trains people to do Trades (read:  plumbing, carpentry, motor mechanics, glazing, floor coverings, electrical, cabinet making, french polishing, lead lighting, and yes, even upholstery) did not need about $80 million dollars of its budget, and so it cut that much money.  The end result of this is that my course, which I was aiming to finish this year, no longer offers a night class.  Which means that... unless I can find a day job which is happy for me to work 4 days a week, I can't attend, so I can't finish.  And neither can anybody else who can only go at night.

The other part of the death-knell is that the Institution is not allowed to enrol anybody who isn't doing an apprenticeship, unless you were unfinished at the end of last year.  So, potential new adult learners, even if you could go during the day, you can't go during the day unless you've got an apprenticeship (and see above for why you can't go at night any more, in case you missed it the first time).  Apprentice wages are unchanged since the days you had to provide your own candles and Queen Victoria was on the throne, so an adult person living away from home is unlikely to be able to survive on those!

This also means that about five of the six highly experienced teachers who taught, between them, night classes, day classes, access classes (for people who might be interested in becoming upholsterers without doing an apprenticeship), country block classes (for people who live too far away to attend once per week, and who come down for a week once every month), have all lost their jobs, and only one teacher remains.

And so, the reasons behind the "D" for Disappointment and the "A" for Anger become clear.  

But the "P" for pride?  My slipper chair, which I'm sure I documented here in great detail as it was being constructed, won First Prize and Most Outstanding Exhibit in the Handcrafts - Open class, at a smallish Agricultural show not too far from where I went to school.  I gave the chair to MBF's lovely Ma, Clare as a gift, and she put it into the Show.  So, Barry, in case you were thinking nobody cares about the cuts to Upholstery, think again.  I believe the good people at the Moss Vale & District A H & I Society just gave you the finger.


Photo © Greg Reive 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Have I ever told you, Gentle Readers, that there is a small penguin fixation in our house?  Mr Golightly was once part of a small, fierce and noble band of weekend warriors who travelled from ale-house to ale-house, testing their products for quality, allaying the fears of delicate travellers such as myself, and slaying any beastly T-bone steak that might have come between the band and its quest for ale-y perfection?

No, I'm sure I haven't.  Anyway, on one such occasion, it was observed by one of the brighter band members that they had all (inadvertently) arrayed themselves in shirts of a similar brand, with a similar logo, a flightless bird, mostly black and white but with occasional bits of yellow...  And at this same occasion, it was observed that they were all, with one notable exception, unencumbered by life-companions of the soft, squishy, washed and nicely-smelling kind.  This event was marked by the creation of an acronym that fitted into 'black and white flightless bird with occasional bits of yellow' - I'm pretty sure you can see where I'm going with this. PENGUIN.  

Anyway, Mr Golightly, himself having been the shyest of all the noble band, was the last of the Penguins to find himself that soft, squishy, washed and nicely-smelling life-companion (that would be me), and so, it was deemed fitting that our wedding cake should be the sacrificial Penguin.  

Of course it fell to me to ring the giant multinational which owns the logo copyright and check if they had any objections to us using their logo for our wedding cake.  I think they thought I was insane, and I think the wedding cake makers (a fantastic company called 'Sweet Art') did too, but they didn't bat an eyelid:

Anyway, I'm sure you've all been mightily entertained by this amazing tale of days gone by, but I digress.  My lovely friend Ms Blue Lambb wanted a penguin softie for a friend who's going off to have a baby, and given the history of this house, how could I say no?

I found a pattern here, but it's got issewes, man.  I don't like patterns where you have to sew things on afterwards, because to me, that's just an invitation for some snotty three year old to pull them off (can you tell I have no children?  Soooo much empathy...)... and they won't stand up.  I've made two now, and I haven't been able to get either of them to stand on their own two (flat and floppy) feet.  So, in the interests of getting it right, I'm going to make a small change to the pattern, to incorporate a technique I learnt here - which is, to slice off a piece, add seam allowances to the big piece and the small sliced off piece, insert the 'whatever' between the two sliced off bits, and bam!  Feet inside body.  

Here's a pic of Mr First:

And here's a pic of Mr Second:

No, he's not dead.  He's just fallen over.  Bloody feet.


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Peace, man

And then we came back to Rome, ate well, slept a bit and walked up to see the Ara Pacis, a piece of Roman history resurrected by Mussolini in the 1930's as a propaganda exercise - but originally created by the first emperor to be named "Augustus", over 2000 years ago as a monument to peace.

It was obviously fascinating:

But there was an exhibition of Impressionist art on in the lower gallery which might account for the levels of excitement... needless to say I didn't bother trying to get Mr Golightly to go along... it was enough of a strain for him to go to the Cheapside Hoard exhibition (which he amusingly kept referring to as the Cheapside Whore), and I didn't want to push it...

I thought it was extraordinarily beautiful:

and nearly best of all - it had seats!!

Afterwards we went for a wander through parts of Rome we hadn't seen before:

and I spotted my new winter coat (not!) in a window [excuse the blurry photo, I was trying to be discrete])...

I love Rome.

Turin around...

Then we came back to Italy, and wandered round other bits of the countryside for our last few days. Turin is one of the most beautiful cities I've been to - laid out in a grid, very Parisian in style - with some very interesting sights:

and a fabulous Egyptian museum:

And of course, the Shroud.  Well, the Church with the room with the cover over the box with the case in a chest... and no photos.  Unless you're one of those functionally illiterate travellers who can't translate pictograms that look like this:

And there were some...

Hmm.  There was also fabulous street life:

And wonderful art and architecture:



and they have trams!  A fabulous network of trams that run right through the city - for €1.50, you can ride the trams for 100 minutes, or for €5.00, you can ride all day, round and round and round... surprisingly, for the home of European chocolate manufacture, we didn't buy any, and we didn't bring any Fiat memorabilia home with us either.  What were we thinking???