Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Shimmy till my garters break

A busy old Wednesday here - my day off from work usually involves more activity (and achievement, if I'm honest) than my days in the office. Not that it all went well - I went out and bought a new Vivofit flexband thing and was so excited - but it won't work without the software that my laptop's operating system is too old for! Can you believe that? I can update the software but that involves backing up and things, and so it all got a bit hard. I might get the nice young men down at the apple shop to do it ... at least that way if anything goes wrong I can blame them and get them to give me a hefty discount on a new one. Hah!

Anyway, my activity tracker will have to wait; and therefore, my entire fitness. Because obviously, if you don't get enough exercise, the way to fix it is buying purchasing a small electronic gadget. I did also buy some new running shorts (actually knee length, there is a lot of cellulite to cover) so I'm basically already a marathoner, by purchasing alone.

In quilting news, I finished the top of my solids scrappy trip around the world. It's quite active visually, but I like it! I'm not going to do a border, just bind it. I don't have enough of any one colour to do a solid border, and anything pieced will just burn your eyeballs out. I did it singing along to the soundtrack of the Chicago movie, which is why the post title. I needed a bunch of new earworms to ease out the Into the Woods songs.

This is my pretty blue nail polish (ignore the fat loose-skinned old lady hands). And my mother's pearl ring, which sets off the blue rather nicely. This is the Miracle Gel that is supposed to be rock hard and not chip like regular polish - it does seem to last a bit longer and be a bit tougher than normal, but it's not exactly a miracle. My son would like the blog to note that he put it on his fingernails and it all peeled off within a few hours. He did spend most of that time in the surf, and the rest digging sandcastles, but still ... not a miracle. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015


I had a lovely weekend - the luxury of two days down the beach by myself! Such hedonism. I fully intended to take the entire family but they kept dropping out one by one ... one son had baseball, the other had a birthday party sleepover, then my husband had to deliver his model plane to the Canberra Show on Sunday .... I suggested he could get someone else to drop it off but apparently No-one Touches The Rigging. So I thought bugger it, even if they're all too busy I need some salt water and headed straight down from work on Friday in a delirious happiness of solitude.

The weather was lovely, the waves were crashing, the serenity was awesome and I had a lovely time making unwise food choices and watching trash television. Perfect. I also did a little bit of sewing - just bits and pieces of things that appeal to me and I might use in the future. It's quite a good chance just to do borders and things from the pre-cut strips, like this one. There's a nice quilting shop in Moruya too that I went and had a poke around in and bought a couple of little things.

It was touch and go whether I'd come back to Canberra, but I did ... I could have done with a week spent in exactly the same way! One day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Keeping on

Just keeping on keeping on at the moment - I'm still making blocks rather than quilts - up to 58 kaleidoscope blocks now! I'm going to keep going until I stop. They don't seem to be getting any more accurate or flatter. Number two son and I went to the book fair again this weekend; they have them every six months. This is my $20 haul (I stuffed my grocery bag as full as I could).

Number two filled a bag as well, although his bag did not disgorge in a neat pile but appears to have vomited books over the lounge room floor.

But it's hard to be cross with a child that just made Viennese butter biscuits, covered in chocolate. And made one with a smiley face, just because.

We are still surrounded by storms that refuse to actually rain. It's humid and so hot; distant flashes of lightening but it probably won't come to anything. The dog is panting fluffily after a brief walk but she's happy because my husband is at home and sitting on the floor ... he has been forgiven for giving her a much-needed bath yesterday. I came home and she greeted me with a massive droplet shake. I nearly went back to work...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Just blocks

I seem to be in the mood for making blocks, but not for putting them together. I made 25 of the solid scrappy trip around the world blocks, which is enough for a medium-sized quilt, but I really don't feel like sewing them into anything. I made the left over solid strips in bunches of triangles, and another dozen or so selvage blocks (I've run out of selvages now....). But I don't want to sew them up. Now I'm making six inch kaleidoscope blocks out of my 3 1/2 " strips.

I've made these blocks before and they annoyed me because they weren't very good and there's a lot of bulk at the centre. Making them smaller has helped - and I do the corner triangles oversized, then trim the lot down, so at least the final block is square and the right size.

Here is how the dog spends the day, lying by the front door waiting for my husband to get home. At least she's not ripping up the furniture or digging in the garden, but doesn't she look sad? I can't believe she spends all day there but evidence so far suggests she does.

And otherwise I am having a crankypants day. I had a mammogram this morning - just routine but still my two least favourite things of waiting around and being poked and prodded - on top of a crap sleep last night, and it's hot and humid with a big storm coming. I just bent over to pick something up and whacked my head on the sofa, number one's baseball this afternoon is on the other side of town, the guy in Lincraft overcharged me $6.50 and I didn't notice until I got home, and generally my metaphorical undies are bunched. I am taking it out by shouting at the cat, who doesn't notice and won't care.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


I've been cutting off the selvages from my quilting fabric and collecting it for a while now, so I thought I would have a go at making them into something. There's a few different ways you can do it, but I went with sewing it flat onto a foundation square of fabric. It means there are visible stitching lines, but it reduces the bulk of seams. Each one overlaps the raw edge of the previous one, and I stitch on the selvage.

It's still pretty solid though. I don't know if I'll be able to quilt through it, but that's OK, it can be tied. When I was trimming them off I left a half inch or so of the base fabric, so it's not as elegant as some of the ones you see which are purely white or cream with just the writing or colour spots. But I like the stripey effect. It uses a lot of selvage though - I had a whole big bag of them and it will probably only make about twenty blocks (8" square, trimmed). So a long term project I think. This shows the back .. it's a peach-coloured dust ruffle!! They just keep on giving.

The first week of school is going smoothly - the boys are settled into their schools now so I wouldn't have expected dramas. Some new teachers and some old teachers, which is good, and they were happy to see all their friends again. I walked the dog down to meet them at the shops yesterday which both the kids and the dog thought was pretty awesome! Here is Mishka happy as anything to be where there are people, especially little people, and other dog butts to sniff.

See all the leaves and little branches? There are flocks of corellas that sit in the trees and snap their way along the branches. Nature's pruning I suppose, but it makes a hell of a mess. And it rains down on you while you wait.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

On the up

It was just a cold, despite all my drama (swine flu! TB! leprosy!) and I'm feeling much better now after a few very quiet days. It was a vicious cold though - knocked me over - and then I was convinced I'd gone and heathledgered myself with the awesome over the counter US medicines I'd got in Guam ... I took a maximum dose of whatever seemed relevant to the symptoms and then had a turbulent few hours while the walls went in and out.  Stuck to paracetamol after that and all was fine. Luckily the weather has been cool and rainy and it hasn't been a hardship to sit inside and watch Hoarders on TV. I love Hoarders, it makes me feel so much better about the state of my cupboards.

I did even do some sewing yesterday, although not for very long. The scrappy solid round the world I'm making leaves me with random lengths of 3" strips, so I sorted them into colour and I'm making triangle sets from co-ordinating colours. Not sure why, but it's nice to make some triangles after the endless squares.

And the most other exciting thing that happened - and it's not very exciting at all, it's been a quiet week - was the installation of a dog door. We were a bit worried she wouldn't figure it out (not very bright, Mishka, in fact she's the cliche of a fluffy blonde) but she got the hang of it in the end. So now she can let herself in and out when we're at work.

She prefers to play fetch with sticks that are far too big for her. You throw it, and she chases after it, but you have to be quite careful in the throw because if it hit her it would do her a serious damage. Knock her brains out (if she had any, which is in doubt). But she loves it, so we do it.

I'm not sure if this photo adequately captures the cat's death stare. She is still outraged at the dog's mere existence. Mishka keeps a very wide radius whenever she can - but sometimes forgets and gets swiped. I do not see them becoming a cute youtube video any time soon.