30 January, 2009

The list of gifty goodness

So here's what I got:

and Chef Messy.

eta: AND chic_too who is beginning to scare me.

LOL, I just realised that I said 5 and I've ended up with 7, but I don't see why Jen and Chef Messy should miss out because I can't count (never have been able to to be honest). The more the merrier! I'm so excited actually, this is going to be fun! And so international (=sophisticated). So now I just need to think and ponder and decide. But first a cup of tea and a shower. And watch Franklin with Hazel. And finish this book chapter (today) and my corrections (two weeks?) and graduate (May) and stuff like that. But definitely some crafting and thinking inbetween. Well not inbetween now and the tea and shower. Particularly the thinking.

28 January, 2009

The Giftyness Meme

This is going around over at Live Journal but I figured it was more appropriate here :)


The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

- What I create will be just for you.
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make! [I will make every effort though]
- You will receive your item before the end of the year (or sooner).
- You will have no clue what the item is going to be. It could be a story or poetry [unlikely]. It could be a piece of handmade jewelry or an art doll [slightly more likely]. I may draw, paint, collage, or knit crochet something [if I learn to knit or crochet]. I might bake you something and mail it to you [if you live downunder]. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange [unlikely, I don't really do strange :D].

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to repost this meme and make and send out five surprises of your own. (If you want to that is, I hate memes/chain emails/threats that make you do the same to X number of your nearest and dearest)

24 January, 2009

A bad habit reinforced

I have such a hard time getting rid of scraps, there's this little voice in my head that says "but you might need it sometime!" and so I bundle up bigger bits and smaller bits and squirrel them away for a hard winter. I'm sure this is an inheritance from my maternal Grandmother and her living through the Depression. Well it sounds better to say that than to say I have a slight problem doesn't it?

From Hazelnuts

While we were away at the in-laws Hazel's monkey Scopes lost an ear and I blithely promised that we could get another from Santa's elves (Scopes was in her stocking). We composed an email this afternoon and sent it off, asking for another asap and she went to bed, confident that the elves would being stopping by tonight. So when I went to get the fleece to make the ear - there was none! (I had to shorten the tail a bit and use that scrap) I'd been super super ruthless this Xmas and biffed all the scrappy bits of that particular colour. Why? Why go against my basic instinct like that? I can assure you it will never happen again - never! I will end up an old lady with a lot of cats and newspapers and dammit it will be justified.

Out of curiosity, I have to ask - if I said that the reason the monkey is named Scopes is because he was my first (trial) from that pattern, would you get it?

23 January, 2009

The best kind of recycling

Is where you end up with something really great for free! Hazel and I walked over to the library this afternoon and passed this old chair on the side of the road. I told her if it was still there when we came back we'd take it home, and it was, so we did.

Roadside find

We need an extra chair for the kitchen and although this isn't quite the same as the old chairs we have it's actually the same height and the fact the back is a bit lower doesn't matter. I'm in the process of getting myself organised to redo those as well as they're in pretty much the same state, so adding another won't make much difference! They all need to be stripped, our chairs need to be glued and clamped, and then repainted. We had great plans to strip and refinish them because they're oak, but they've been stained black at some point, then painted over, they've had holes drilled and nails put in and it's really not worth it. So I'll repaint them and put in new seats with great fabric and they'll be far nicer than anything else in our horrible kitchen! Can't wait - it's my project for the rest of this summer.

22 January, 2009


Hey look what Sarah at ::BobbyRobin:: made for me! My very own tile

What I did today

Mission Bay

20 January, 2009

Ha HA!

I managed to loan 'Seams to Me' to Jesse so I feel virtuous on two counts - it's out of the house and not tempting me, and she gets to feel the love too. A plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel. The plan would be more cunning if I was actually working on my thesis or this book chapter instead of blogging about it...perhaps it's some other less cunning member of the mustelid family.

19 January, 2009

From the Age of Macramé

Remember those owl wallhangings with big wooden beads for eyes? Or the potplant holder you could put your enormous Boston Fern in? Then this will strike a chord with you. The other day Janne over at What's Blogging my View posted about those delightful dolls with crocheted skirts that people used to cover their spare toilet paper roll with. Ah such happy memories of childhood! Along with those, crocheted poodles were very big in my neck of the woods (early 1970s western Canada, renowned for decorating nous). Anyways, while we were at my inlaws what did I discover lurking in the downstairs toilet?

A little worn, a little floppy, but boy that acrylic yarn sure has staying power. I was going to try and photograph it (surreptitiously) in some outdoorsy setting, but Mat insisted that it had to be photographed "in its natural habitat" so here it is, sitting on an almost retro cistern. Hazel fell in love with it and wants one but childhood memories and kitschy retro irony only go so far and I regretfully declined her suggestion it come home and live with us. It will give her another reason to want to visit Gran and Grandad.

18 January, 2009

I'm back!

Just back from 7 days down with the in-laws. They've just moved off the farm and into town so there was a lot of helping them sort through all the little bits 'n pieces that didn't have an immediate place to go. We ended up with some stuff, some is off to an antique dealer, some stayed. Remind me not to move after living in the same place for 50 years.

I notice there were a few visitors past to see the bunny stuffie and I'll try and respond to all of the lovely comments but I've got a co-author breathing down my neck to work on a book chapter that we're writing and I need to get my corrections finished - both by the end of January! Goodbye crafting, hellooooo academia! Well not goodbye, I'm still going to sneak in here but you know if you see me it's totally illicit and I'd like you to pretend you can't see me ;)

I did, however, get "Seams to Me" by Anna Maria Horner in the mail while I was gone, I'd ordered it online before I left. Some really neat projects that I'm looking forward to trying, although I'm about 50/50 on her fabric combinations. Some are great, some are too busy, but the projects themselves look like they'll lend themselves to whatever you want to do with them. Love the quilts she's got in there. But the cuffs? What is with the cuffs - they seem to be all over the place at the moment and I'm just not feeling the love or seeing the sense of them. Oh man, does this mean I'm becoming an old fuddy-duddy?

10 January, 2009

Hazel and Scopes

Hazel and Scopes, originally uploaded by Ansis68.

Hazel wanted a photo-shoot with Scopes - lousy lighting but so many things are fixable with Photoshop! I just wish I knew how to use it more effectively. Not that I need the whole program, next time I need to upgrade or get a new computer I'm just going for that pared down version.

Hazel and Scopes, originally uploaded by Ansis68.

09 January, 2009

The Christmas nightie resized

Well it's meant to be a nightie, although Mat thinks it looks more like a sundress. I guess I think of it as a nightie because they can be all matchy-matchy and slightly twee - in fact it's kind of de rigeur isn't it? Normally I have an abhorrence of those kinds of clothes so it's actually nice to allow myself to make something like that! Actually I'm not sure on the matchy-matchy front, it's actually a LOT harder to match fabrics in an artless, just-threw-it-together kind of way than I would ever have suspected. I respect people who can a lot more now! Amy Butler for example. I'm actually quite conventional in my choices I've found - I love that wacky completely mis-matched but that actually goes together beautifully look, but somehow when it comes to actually making that choice I get scared and go with the obvious. Some people get it absolutely wrong I must say; I'm not one of those, but I lack the "wow" factor. That's ok, I can admire wow in others :)

Christmas nightie

Despite both fabrics being from the same designer (Sandi Henderson) and both with 'lime' in the title (Lime Bouquet Toss and Lime Vintage Dots) I'm not sure the lime is actually the same! Or maybe it's the white surrounding the dots that makes it look paler.


The bunny is from the Print A Day download I posted about last month.

06 January, 2009

Darn it!

Yes Donna, there are darners out there. :) I thought the egg was a brilliant idea, not one I'd heard of but it made me go "hmmm...clever!". Last year I finally bought myself one of these classic little beauties

Well it's a cheapie, but I still love the darning mushroom! I actually enjoy darning, it's contemplative, fiddly, and has a nice defined point (haha) to aim for. With darning you know where you are and what's going to happen. And when it's done you've got a useful item again. Satisfying on so many levels :P

On the way out into the yard to try and photograph it in the last of the remaining light I was assaulted by a cloud of passionfruit vine hoppers that errupted from one of the hydrangeas, dashed around the corner of the house wildly waving my arms without somehow dropping the camera, dislodged the one that had made its way down my cleavage, and was greeted by this dahlia in the light of the setting sun (bigger image if you click on photo)

I was actually trying to include some of the dahlias in the shadows beyond but I think this first attempt actually captures the glow best. Then I thought the position was odd; but again, I think it's actually quite successful. The next image manages what I had in mind but is just kind of meh.

I'm not usually a huge fan of dahlias, but I'm coming around to them gradually. This one is a beauty. I still don't like the very regualar pompom ones though.

Yeah, so that's what happened to me on the way out to photograph a darning mushroom.

03 January, 2009


Awhile ago someone on a blog somewhere posted some pictures from Quilt Fair (I think, it's all so hazy) and one of the things they posted was a 'cheater quilt', which wasn't something I'd really heard of. Well I suppose I had because I've seen the panels for things like that at Spotlight but I thought they were pretty tacky and never in a million years would I want something like that! But the one in this picture was neat and I was all "oooo, what a great way to get a nice quilt with all the fabric sorted and ready to go, especially for a beginner!". The fabric line wasn't out yet so I pretty much forgot about it until today when True Up posted some highlights of the year and this cheater quilt (which I'm pretty sure is the same one from before) was one.

I'm slightly less enamoured of it now than I was before, it seems a bit busy or something, but I still like it a lot. It's from Denyse Schmidt's Country Fair line The idea of a cheater quilt still really appeals to me, although I think ones like this are few and far between - most seem to be of the more traditional type. So maybe this one, maybe another, but the idea is firmly there in my head because I think I'd need to take a course on how to cut and piece a quilt, and figure out how much fabric and all that, but I can quilt by hand already.


I really should be doing my thesis corrections, it's stupid not to be but a couple things get in the way. No three!

1) I find it very hard to care about it anymore, I've spent too much time on it and I'm so over it.

2) I was given an examiner's report to do them from rather than a second-hand list of corrections (don't get me started on why!) and it's hard reading, makes me mad and resentful, and feel sort of rebellious like "stuff you, I'm not doing this!" which is so childish and pointless I know but I can't help it!

3) I'd rather be sewing something nice for me, or doing the alterations to Hazel's nightie or putting the velcro on to her house. I'd rather be getting stuck in to finally and at long last redoing the kitchen chairs, or learning how to sew a tshirt.

So what do I do instead? Pfaff around on the internets and not get anything done. Oh, and the dishes need doing and the living room's a bomb-site.


02 January, 2009

Still sharp...

When I was back home in Edmonton in August I paid a visit to the best hardware/gardening/craft shop, Lee Valley Tools, with my friend Jess. As we wandered around saying "look at this!" and "ohhh I'd love that" I noticed in passing this seam ripper kit which duly arrived as a Christmas present. At the time I think I commented to Jess that they looked pretty deadly - which may have been part of the attraction! How to add spice and excitement to your sewing experience! Live dangerously! I finally put the blades on this morning to unpick Hazel's nightie which is miles too big and needs resizing.

I should have taken a picture of putting on the blades because if you've ever used scalpels and put on blades you'll recognise both the way these blades are packaged and also the way the handles work and realise that we're talking serious sharpness here.

Using them requires a slightly different technique than the standard unripper but nothing too strange.

This section went really fast! The only thing it's not good at is ripping out top stitching where you can't pull the two sides apart and put some tension on the stitching, but I've got the old unripper for that kind of thing. It will take a bit of getting used to but I think they'll be worth it. Thanks Jess!

01 January, 2009

Going on holiday

Not me, yet, but Hazel's toys. We decided to try rotating them, so this afternoon we sat down and put them into two piles "staying" and "going on holiday". She had a great time, me? not so much. I just get SO invested in stuffed toys, and have ever since I was little with my own collection. It's especially bad when the toys I've made her end up in the "holiday" pile. I have to bite my tongue and tell myself that it's only for a month! So up into the attic go

Hazel's bunny

Olive and Archie
A Wonderful trio


and pink monster who appears to be photo-less!

It would be nice not to get so darned emotionally tied up in these creations and to feel sort of slighted when they're not loved as much as a cheap-ass bunny named Foofoo who was bought on a whim from a department store. I love Foofoo because she does, but you know?


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