Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I spoke with the manager--no they don't have video surveillance in the car park. They will be installing it "soon". I spoke with the police--nothing they can do, but take a report which, "proabably isn't even worth printing". I spoke with my Insurance agency--they gave me a reference number. I spoke with the Smash Repair Shop--here's the bright spot--they said, come on up and they'd see what they could do.
Driving up the highway without a driver's side mirror was very unsettling. I was amazed at the number of times I glanced at the absent mirror and then over my shoulder to cope with the huge blind spot. I spent the next couple of hours in a tiny, dusty, brown office, while the Smash Repair guys rang wreckers and waited for parts to arrive. Meanwhile, I kept busy with my trusty drop spindle: See what I mean by dusty brown? As for tiny--that's the counter and I rested the drop spindle on my knee to take the shot. The office was "decorated" with dozens of certificates, interspersed with old football posters. Attractive--NOT.
The first mirror to arrive was white, mine was black. They tried again. The black one arrived. They installed it. I handed over $100 and grateful thanks. There wasn't much left of the afternoon. Would you believe I took a friend to a fast food "resaurant" for tea? I did have second thoughts, but I'd had enough of the day by then. The place was quiet. My car remained undamaged. We had an hour or so to catch up and then I went home. I don't have any plans for this afternoon, but one thing is for sure: no matter how slow and unmotivated I feel, I will not be dropping in for a quick lunch at that fast food place.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
My breakfast was much more prosaic: rolled oats, oat bran and sultanas with skim milk--not quite fitting for the rose elegance, but much more in keeping with the rest of my table. The roses are my reward for a good hour spent weeding late yesterday afternoon. I also have roses on my design wall--I've pulled out an unfinished quilt from several years ago and it's on display to boost my inspiration and help me to decide how to finish it.
Meanwhile, I have some lovely fine kid mohair to prepare for spinning--I'm flicking it, and so far my fingers are OK. It's too fine and long to comb effectively. I tried carding it, but even on my new fine carders I was losing too much of it's character. I'll have plenty left to card later, since flicking removes a lot of lovely, useful, not quite as long fibre in preparation. I bought 100g and I need a 20g sample--plus a swatch, display skein, fibre sample etc etc--yep I'm back to working on my Spinning Certificate Folio. That will leave plenty to play with when the required work is done.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I'm told it's been initiated already--being quite thick and textured, I thought it would be good as a place for baby to sit and play while older brothers and sister do their thing. Since my friends live in (subtropical) Queensland there's not so much call for something to snuggle under. Especially not at this time of year.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Here's one which I picked for my living room:The variegated petals are such fun--I've got another rose which is candy striped in pink:) These are the colour gradations that I strive to reproduce in my dyeing.
Now I have to be honest and say that the weeds have responded equally well to the extra water and they too are rioting. The weeds in the back "garden" are rioting too, even without any extra encouragement, so a whole heap of weeding is once again on my "to do" list. That's not going to happen today, though, and there's nothing to stop me enjoying this bit of beauty. Maybe on the weekend I'll pull out the weed spray and try to get things a bit more under control.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I'm doing my class preparation today because my car is booked in for a service tomorrow, so I'll be out most of the day. I'm hoping there won't be any complications since I'll definitely need the car to get to my quilting class--the Neighbourhood House is an easy walk, but the amount of equipment I need to carry usually entails several trips to and from the car. OK, now I'm off to photograph and pack the quilt and then prepare some handouts about binding a finished quilt.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I put the idea aside and went on with my plans to visit the large table at the Neighbourhood House whenever I need to baste a quilt. But while I was getting on with something else, my brain started making connections, until . . . ah ha! A solution came to mind:
- I've long liked the idea of having a design wall--a space to pin up fabric and quilt blocks while deciding about arrangement, colour balance etc. Sometimes I've pinned a large sheet over an area of my living room wall--temporary, but effective.
- Quite a while ago I acquired a large quantity of white cotton drill fabric, I'd never got around to using it--so it became part of the clutter in my sewing room;
- If I could make a stable enough surface out of my white drill fabric I could have a design wall and a basting wall all in one.
- Two rod pockets, a curtain rod and hooks to hold the fabric at the top and a 2 metre length of timber to weigh down the bottom had me nearly there.
- My rod-pocket curtain idea made a good design wall. To stabilise it enough to use for quilt basting, I used drawing pins to attach the edges of the fabric directly to the plaster wall.
Here it is on a trial run with one of the baby bunny rugs I mentioned in an earlier post:So far, so good! My design/basting wall is just about 2 metres wide and 2.3 metres high--I've never made a quilt bigger than that and I could push out the width a bit more if needs be. The "spray basting on a wall" technique seems to be as easy and effective as it looks in the video. I was worried that the tutor's competence in this reflected years of skill development--I'm sure her free-motion quilting does, but the basting part is just easy. I don't think I'll miss that particular patch of wall in my living room--I only had to move one small quilt to make room for it. I think I'm onto a good thing. I now have two baby rugs ready for binding and a smile on my face. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I already had all the necessary hardware in the house!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I have been doing some sewing despite this, but that means I now have fabrics out of their boxes and boxes out of place and I've been leaving putting them away until I can get the bigger picture sorted out.
Yesterday afternoon I got caught up in a burst of action. I decided that rather than sorting some of the big items, like shelving, I could start by reducing some of the smaller items, like fabric. I went through my box of flannels first. At one stage I thought I'd make a flannel quilt or three, but it hasn't happended, so out go the flannels. I don't want to waste them, though, so I've paired each metre of flannel with a metre of quilting cotton that I don't need--are you getting some idea of how much fabric is in this room? Now I have eight pairs of fabrics waiting to be turned into bunny rugs. That's a day's work in itself coming up, but I know a charity which will really appreciate them. And it's a days work unrelated to any other problem, so at some stage (soon) I can just get it done. Reality check, they will need to be ironed and I will need a flat surface to spread them on, but I think I can manage that.
While I was sorting through my quilting cottons looking for suitable baby fabrics, I came across some Mary Engelbreit prints that are just not my taste. I bought them for a project that didn't eventuate. I know I bought them on clearance and I know they don't go with anything else I have. Out they went, via Freecycle. A happy quilter will be coming to collect them tomorrow.
I also came across these: --half a metre of the stripe and half a metre of the polka dot print. . . I must have been running out of energy, because I couldn't bring myself to just send them away. This morning I've lost my resolve and I can't decide whether they should stay or go.
If you love them, let me know. If you have a suggestion that will turn them into something useful in less than two hours--without buying any extra fabric! --let me know too, but no promises.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
They are light and bright and fun to wear. Now I have two items of orange for Harmony. Wearing orange earings is a tiny stretch for me. I hope it will remind me to notice and overcome some of the little--and not so little--prejudices I have.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Yep, I mixed up three more versions of Green yesterday and here they are: I suspect the differences won't show too well on the screen, but for your info, I added:
- marine blue and a bit of citrus yellow to one batch;
- just citrus yellow to the second batch
- just golden yellow (chamomile) to the third
- and the fourth piece I left alone.
I didn't label my experiments. I wasn't really trying to be scientific, but wanted to give myself some more options. I'm surprised at how little difference the over-dyeing made. Then again it was a printed fabric, which I'd already over-dyed once. I think I'll go with the version in the upper right hand corner. It has the green I want, plus enough of the yellowy-gold colour to pick up what's already in the quilt.
As for yesterday's other fabric, I'm having visions of bush scenes, and I've also got a collection of wild animal fabrics . . . stay tuned.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Now I need to choose, or try again.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Today is a big day at the Guild: opening of the student exhibition followed by a flax workshop, so I don't expect I'll get to do anything more with this fabric. Tomorrow I have a day at home, so if I can clear up the kitchen, I'll pull out my procion dyes and have a go.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
OK, now I have the loan of a marudai. Yay! I'd like to do a bit of practice on it and just get a feel for the skills involved. I loved what I did at the workshop--the process more than the product, but I can only hope the product will improve. If I'm still hooked, I'll be trying to make my own. Meanwhile, my next challenge is to make or find weighted bobbins to hold the threads.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
I had about half an hour to wait, so I pulled out my knitting. A staff member then recognised me as, "the lady who makes her own string"! That kept me smiling for a while.
After our coffee, we browsed through a few of the local shops--lots of pretty things. I got another giggle when a shop assistant--in a French themed Boutique--asked for help interpreting the label of a baby blanket. It read, "Fabrique en Chine" . . . yep that's "Made in China" in French:) Oh well!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I bought a beginner stamp-making kit from Two Cheese Please at Northside Makers Market last month. That was the market I went to check out and came home with a load of goodies. I so enjoyed the process of carving these that I went out on Saturday to buy some more tools and supplies. I have a lot to learn. At first I thought I could carve my friend's name alongside the bunny--that was way too ambitious--so I scraped off the mangled letters and turned them into a bit of texture--grass--instead. I'm not sure what to try next. I'd like to get beyond simple outlines and create some shading. And I would like to be able to do letters, but the stamps will have to be more than a couple of inches across.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Would you believe I've promised to make a roast dinner for tonight. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've made a roast dinner and have fingers left over. It's supposed to be easy, and I guess it is, but I'm consulting on oven temperature and time and . . . The theme for this week has been Pink, but I don't want a pink roast.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
A simple project like this is just the thing for the morning after teaching a Patchwork class. I'm tired and my feet ache. I don't know how teachers manage who have classes all day. I don't think I'd have the stamina for it. I'm going to make another coffee and head back to the armchair for a bit.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
While I've got the fabrics out, I'm thinking about how I'd like to use them. Here's one of my hand dyes which I think will work. It too got an iron, since it's been in storage.
The trouble with my hand-dyes is that I love them so much when I've dyed them that I find it hard to use them. The trouble with having company over the phone, rather than in person, is that I need a camera to share.
Here's my fabric:
I hope you like it as much as I do.
- excess to requirements
- trial runs
- skeins where I forgot to keep a sample to display
- insufficient fibre to make up the required quantity
- unidentified spinning . . .
To unify the whole thing--and because I don't like to wear neutral colours--I've been dyeing the skeins in shades of purple and pink. Here's today's brew:
This one is the excess of my medium woollen sample. The dye is Landscape, Galah. As you can see, my dye pot is nothing very flash and it shares the stove with the coffee pot. Most of the brown on the stove top is over-enthusiastic coffee. Once the stove cools down, I'll give it a clean up, but for now, I'm going to turn that dye pot down to simmer and get back to my spinning.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
She had to have this drink: Yep, the contents are water, sugar and some sort of colouring. It's the colouring that does it: what pink loving girl could resist. As it turns out, she hardly drank any of it and it slowly melted into something that looked awfully like red cordial. Oh well!