Archive for March, 2008

Unlike Australia, rental houses in South Africa don’t come with curtains (at least none of the ones we’ve seen). In the Western Cape (where we are) they also don’t have ovens – but that is a different story.

Anyway,when we arrived here I found a fabric warehouse and bought material for curtains and sewed them all up. Then we moved and our new house has many more windows than the last place. So I’ve been sewing new curtains. Fortunately I found the same fabric so that I can match some of them and don’t need to make a new set. Unfortunately , just when I thought I was finished, I hung the new curtains and realised they are longer than the other ones and need some other adjustments.

What’s a girl to do? Well to console myself I sewed something else – curtains can wait. When I first received this fabric from Starfish in 2006 as part of Favourite Colour Swap 1 (FCS 3 is now on, but the exchange rate and our new financial circumstances have conspired against me to preclude me from joining) it told me that it wanted to be a dpn holder. I didn’t have the skills or know-how to make it’s wish come true, so it’s been marinating for 18 months.

The other night I was awake (funny that) and had an epiphany of sorts and knew exactly how I was going to construct it. Here it is.



and filled with needles.

I am really pleased with how this turned out, and it was much more fun to sew than curtains. Thank you Starfish, for my new needle holder! There are a few things I’d do differently and as Gorgeous Man has suggested making more so I can ‘get rid of that silly circular thing that holds your needles.’

I’m thinking I’ll have a chance to try the changes. The silly circular thing is too full anyway, so I could do with a few more needle holders, I won’t do away with it entirely though, as I kind of like it – now I just need to shop the stash for fabric…

Yesterday Gorgeous Man brought me home some flowers and a book. The book was finished by yesterday evening (it wasn’t long and I read it while cooking dinner)

2008 Book List

14. Digging to America by Anne Tyler

I enjoyed this. It was compulsive reading, the characters were exceptionally well drawn.

Gorgeous Girl seems to be teething, though there is no sign of a tooth yet – she’s sleeping very badly and yesterday was extremely fussy and clingy and hardly slept at all, I was only able to sew when Gorgeous Man came home.

Hopefully today will be better because I need to knit my wee tiny sock for the Wee Tiny Sock swap.

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Greetings! I hope everyone had a safe and happy Easter Weekend. We took Gorgeous Girl on her first road trip.

We headed out to Citrusdal with some friends and stayed at Koedoeskop Guest House. It was a lovely setting. While Gorgeous Man was out hunting for birds (to record not to shoot) I spent time on the stoep working on this.

The guest house is on a working citrus farm.

I managed to start and finish one block.

I also reached the toe decreases for a sock for me,

and graft the toe of one of the socks for Mum, but I seem to have neglected to take a picture of that.

The area was very nice, but we won’t go back to that particular guest house. They need to spend some money on the beds. They were extremely uncomfortable. The springs in our bed squeaked so much when you moved that you woke up.

It was extremely hot so none of us felt particularly energetic. My two Gorgeouses got to spend some time together. Like Father, like Daughter…

Citrusdal is about 2 hours from where we live and we discovered that Gorgeous Girl really travels well.

On the way there the sun started coming in the front of the car, so Gorgeous Man rigged up this to keep the sun off,

It worked really well until she decided it was a toy.

We’ve found that it’s easiest to have her car seat in the front (it doesn’t have passenger airbags so it’s ok to do) and one of us (me) sit in the back, she’s got someone to talk to and so forth. After about an hour and a half she started to complain a little that she was thirsty so we stopped, fed and changed and kept going. I’m not sure how long she will stay good at car trips, but we’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

We went home the long way via Ceres. The mountains were just majestic, photos (well mine at least) really don’t do them justice.

There was also some time for reading. Simone brought junk reading, and I finished two of those books. I can’t even remember their names now. It’s kind of like eating junk food – compelling and delicious at the time, but leaving you ultimately unsatisfied. There was also reading of a more serious nature.

2008 Book List

13. Gone – Jonathan Kellerman

I really like his early stuff, but this was disappointing. The early writing had lots of psychology and psychological insight. This was just a bunch of people running around doing weird things with no explanation.

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Easter Break

I’ll be away from the blog for a few days. We are going to take advantage of the Easter long weekend here and go away for a few day. We are renting a cabin on a farm. Gorgeous Girl’s first holiday. I’ve just got to pack, shop and wash a load of nappies before we go.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

See you when I get back.

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I decided to join Judy’s quiltathon today. Our time difference meant that I started long before those of you in North America, it also means that I’ve finished for the day and am headed to bed before the linky thing is posted. I’ll add my name to that tomorrow morning my time. I didn’t get as much done as I’d have liked. Below is the sum total of my ‘every spare minute’ sewing.

One six inch block hand quilted. I’m very slow. (Does anyone have any advice for removing marking chalk from your quilt?) Mind you I did have to teach my class (one hour) and there were some other unexpected interruptions and errands to run, and of course this

needed attention. But that interruption I don’t mind.

When I was teaching high school I used to tell my students to make use of the `small minutes’ short bits of time here and there while you are waiting for stuff. I tried to do that today, but find it much easier to do with knitting than with the hand quilting and all its associated bits and pieces.

I’ve got just over 20 blocks to go, plus the border. I’d really like it finished by the April guild meeting (the 7th) but I’m not sure that’s realistic. However, we are going away for the Easter weekend – to the middle of nowhere, so I’ll take it with me and see if I can get a fair bit done then.

Tomorrow will have very little time for quilting, I have to sew curtains for the living room, ugh.

Having a virtual quiltathon was a great idea, and I’ll definitely play again – see who needs a real-life guild. I’ve got the innernets 😉

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I went to my guild committee meeting today (and got horribly lost again it’s held in a different person’s house each month, I had to stop and ask for directions three times – turns out there are two roads with the same name that run parallel to each other!) and spoke to the president about the complaints regarding Gorgeous Girl.

Turns out that the complaints didn’t come from the committee, but from a few of the older guild members at the guild meetings – they even rather pointedly cited the constitution of the guild to her that states that children under 12 are not welcome.

I offered her my resignation from the committee, since I can’t be on the committee if I can’t attend the meetings but she and the other committee members turned it down. We’ve made a plan that I will attend, but sit at the back in the corner, rather than at the front with the committee – which is what I would have preferred to do last month anyway.

I’ll attend the April meeting and see what sort of a reception Gorgeous Girl and I get and make a decision then. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of their quilting day out, and I’m not that interested in forcing myself somewhere where I’m not wanted. Besides, if I do decide to stop attending, the internets provide me with a virtual quilting guild every day of the week!

Hopefully I’ll be back later today with some pictures of some quilting, but for now there’s a sink full of dirty dishes calling my name.

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Thank you for all the kind words about my computer crash. I guess I learned a lesson in backing up my data. 🙂 I’ve found most of the blogs that I read on a regular basis, so that is no problem. The thing that stings the most is the loss of my ‘To-do’ list and all its links to patterns and tutorials. I’ve managed to rebuild just under half of it. I’ll keep searching…

Ok, got to share this, I laughed until I cried when Gorgeous Man told me this yesterday.

Gorgeous Man works as a professor at a small college. He runs an academic blog on his subject area, but from the front page of the blog it’s not apparent who the author is (you need to go to the profile page for that). On the blog is a list of resources and some of them are annotated. Anyway, Gorgeous Man gave his students an assignment and asked them to provide an annotated bibliography (just in case you haven’t studied for a while this is where you comment on the book and it’s usefulness/topic). So Gorgeous Man gets a bibliography from the student and none of the books listed have been annotated except the last two – the annotation was copied directly from his own blog. Student is still mystified as to how Gorgeous Man knew that the work was plagiarised!

Sorry, the thought of someone handing in your own work to you and passing it off as their own really just tickled my funny bone.

I think my time as a committee member on the quilting guild may be over. I got a phone call from the guild president this evening asking if I would be at the committee meeting tomorrow. When I confirmed that I would be she told me that ‘some of the ladies had complained that the baby was distracting last time.’ I told her that I didn’t have a nanny (nannies are very common here among some sections of the community) and that since Gorgeous Girl was breast-fed I can’t leave her for long periods of time. So it was either bring the baby or not at all.

I really don’t get it. Gorgeous Girl was fine at the last guild meeting. She cried for less than five minutes while I was setting up to breast feed, she sat on my lap and had a short feed and then slept in her pram. And let’s be brutally honest here, we were sitting around talking about cutting up bits of fabric and sewing them together again. Hardly stuff that’s going to wreck the world if we take our minds off the task! So at the moment I’m leaning towards fulfilling the tasks assigned to me for this month and at the next guild meeting and then tendering my resignation after the guild meeting in April (we meet monthly).  If she’d cried and screamed I’d understand.  Personally I think the five cell phones that rang during the meeting were a lot more disruptive than Gorgeous Girl was. Oh well, that’ll teach me to try and play with the ladies who lunch…

On to other things in the wake of Friday’s great computer crash I reached for junk to console myself. But instead of reaching for junk food, I reached for junk reading. So the latest addition to the

2008 Book List is (and I’m embarrassed to admit this)

12. Seduction of his wife Janet Johnson – the plot had holes so wide you could drive a truck through them, but it was good escapism for an hour or so, and it didn’t contribute to my waist-line at all. Well I can’t just record the books that make me look good can I, got to have some honesty here.

And because this is a craft blog, in crafting news, I’m still chugging away at the African animals quilt – I think I’m going to call it the never ending story. I’ve finished a sleeve on the cardigan for the local public hospital – only one more to go (also a never-ending story) and I’m down to the toe decreases on the first of the crayon-vomit socks for my mother.

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Crash and burn*

Yesterday we lost power while the computer was on. Then the power came back on and I restarted the computer. In the middle of the restart the power died again, frying the computer.

We did lose data – fortunately we didn’t lose the drive that houses all of the pictures and stuff like that, but I did lose all of my email, my book lists and my spreadsheet full of wonderful things I wanted to make (along with all of the links to the tutorials). I also lost my blog feeds.

I did have an old back up of the blog feeds, but I’ve added more since then. I guess this is a good way to cut down on the number of blogs I’ve been reading…

Anyway, I have a request. If you have emailed me in the last day or so and haven’t received a reply please send it again, also if you’d like to leave a comment to help me find your blog again I’d appreciate it…

One thing which I never expected is how distressed I am that my restored in-box and outgoing email look different from before. I never realised how resistant to change I am – I changed countries after all! I’ve been fiddling with it all morning and can’t get it back to how it was, so I guess I’m just stuck with the new look.

* I was going to call this post bugger (like the Australian toyota hilux ads) but I didn’t want to offend…

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We picked the first capsicum (or peppers as they say here) and corn from the garden this week.

The corn was fabulous! There’s nothing like fresh picked corn. The tomato seeds and the beetroots are up, last time we planted tomato seeds guinea fowl trashed that section of the garden, but they aren’t around at the moment, so it looks like the seeds will have a chance to establish themselves.

I sewed some more ribbon the the blocks for the Advent Calendar

But I’m just not loving how it’s turning out. I think the fact that I’m struggling to keep the ribbon straight isn’t helping, so it’s time for another plan. I’ll keep you posted on what I decide to do, I think I have an idea that will work, but I want to try it out first.

Now that Gorgeous Girl is mobile it makes getting stuff done more challenging. I can no longer put her in the centre of our bed while I put clothes away, since she rolls so much she’s liable to fall off. But, if I put her in her cot and she doesn’t think it’s bed-time we have all sorts of carrying on. Yesterday I propped her in the corner of her cot while I sorted the washing.

It worked quite well, since she was sitting up she didn’t feel like I was forcing her to go to sleep.

Well I’ve got to go, I’ve got a load of washing that needs hanging on the line. Since most of this week has been wet and cold and they are predicting rain and cold weather for the weekend I need to take advantage of the sun today.

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Yesterday was ‘Knitting for Gorgeous Girl’ day, and this

is going to become this by her.

One of the odd things about living up high is that you can actually see the weather change. Yesterday this mist rolled up the mountain.

The picture is taken from my living room window. We now have some lovely cool weather, which is great because today is ‘Quilting’ day and once this post is finished the quilt and I are going to spend some quality time together.

Time for gratuitous cute kid pictures – this is what greets me 9 times out of 10 after Gorgeous Girl’s nap.

On Sunday we put a large sheet on the floor of the living room so that Gorgeous Girl could crawl around (she’s having some reflux issues, so this was a way to save cleaning the carpet). It worked quite well until…

Somebody decided to hide.

Hope you all have a great day, I have a quilt waiting for me…

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Mum’s Christmas parcel turned up on Friday – posted October 17, 2007! One advantage to having it turn up now is that Gorgeous Girl is a little more alert than she was at Christmastime, when she was only 11 weeks old. So we gave her the present to ‘open’.

Everything was given the taste test.

Speaking of gifts, I finally got all of the fabric I was given ironed and put away.

The white fabric at the bottom and the dark blue fabric on top of it are stretch knit material and I’m thinking that I’ll try and make some dresses and pants out of them (try being the operative word). Gorgeous Man’s mother brought me some decorative ric-rac from Australia that should embellish them nicely.

From the patterned material upwards is cotton, but not quilting material, but I think bags and softies would work well, each patterned piece is only 40 or 50 cm square, many are the same pattern in different colourways and are obviously fabric samples of some sort – maybe furnishing or curtains. The middle section (from the stripes) is quilting quality fabric. I’m thrilled with the off-white calico (muslin). The purple fabric has been stored poorly and is quite dirty – washing didn’t get the marks out, but it will come in handy as the base for the string quilt that I want to make ‘one day’.

Once again I feel very lucky to be on the receiving end of another woman’s clean-up and de-stashing process.

I finished another quilt block this weekend and should get another one done before the day is over if it cools down a little. I also finished sewing down the hearts on the block for Clare. So that’s ready to go in the post in April. I put in another appeal at my guild this month and told them I’d be posting after the April guild meeting. I received one block last month 😦 I’m hoping a few more quilters will come to the party in April, we’ll see. Given the reception our idea of a quiltathon for charity got, I’m not holding my breath. I’m not going to go into that here, but was quite riled up at the attitude displayed by some of the members. We are still going ahead with the day though.

I’m feeling like the blog is getting a bit boring because I’m just working away on the same projects all the time, (and I’m not very fast) and I don’t want to keep posting pictures of the same things. This began as a craft blog, but it’s kind of morphed into This is my Life and I’m not sure you all started stopping by for that.

Anyway, there’s also been reading going on.

2008 Book List

11. The Traveller by John Twelve Hawks.

I really enjoyed this book (except the ending left me very unsatisfied – as Gorgeous Man said, ‘it felt like half a story’). It’s science fiction, but the society described is so close to our own and so familiar it really makes you pause and think about issues of privacy and public surveillance.

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