Cross-stitch, quilting, craft….

Archive for May, 2009

Books

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Books have been a constant in my life. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t had books in my life. I remember lying sick in bed when I was five or six reading a Skippy book. Another time having a sneaky read of adult horror stories mum had borrowed from the library, but she had deemed me too young to read…..She was right, those books weren’t suitable for an eleven year old…but I survived. My pre-teen years consisted of cheesy horror stories and anything else I could get my hands on. My taste was developing and I was exploring as many genres as I could. Fairly soon afterwards I discovered Edgar Allen Poe….The Black Cat….The Pendulum, The Squaw. I’d read these stories in Vampirella comics and was overjoyed to find the written versions….My interest in comics began to wane…..as the bookish worlds of horror, science fiction and fantasy opened their doors to me.

I was demolishing books at a great rate….which created some problems as my family was living in the middle of nowhere in a town with a library of a hundred books or so…….a four day drive from the city…..and the towns in between were even smaller than the one we lived in. What was a bookworm to do? The only solution was to re-read the books I loved. So I delved into the worlds created by Edgar Allen Poe, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, H.P. Lovecraft and others of their ilk.

The years flew by in a blur of reading….DS was born and as soon afterwards I began reading out loud to him….with the appropriate voices of course. He grew to love books and reads to this day…..regularly borrowing from me still. The Missus, DS and I enjoy some of the same books and many discussions have ensued from this shared interest over the years. I introduced him to classics such as Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World and the fantasy world of Lord of the Rings.

When Lord of the Rings movies were popular, I’d get strange looks when I mentioned something from the books….It was almost as if they were thinking “She READ the books!?!?!?!?!”. A faux paux…a peek into the real life version of Fahrenheit 451.

There were four years which were a blur of study while I earned two university degrees….lots of reading….but none for pleasure….who has the time or inclination to read for pleasure, studying full time and bringing up a child as a single parent? The books stayed with me, patiently sitting on the shelves, softly whispering their alluring stories, knowing that one day I’d be ready to read them again.

Working and living alone in a small country town away from everyone and everything I loved left lots of time to read. Lestat was a kitten then and I’d often sit with a small, fuzzy ball of love on my lap reading….immersed in the inner world of my imagination.

Then joy of joys! I met another bookworm who could talk sci-fi. As I got to know her, our love grew and she moved interstate….with her books so we could be together. We now had two wonderful book collections bursting from bookcases, shelves, cupboards and anywhere else we could squeeze them. Our books accompanied us over quite a few moves including the long dreamed of trip back home to Perth, where they now reside in and on top of three book cases. We have books which are like family to us….those are the ones we read over and over, that we wouldn’t part with….and the ones that stay with us for a short while and find their way to new, maybe permanent homes through second hand book shops.

I’ve been laid up this week with a dose of the flu….told by the doctor to rest. So I spent Monday and Tuesday on the settee sleeping, turning pages of my craft books and looking at the pictures. By Wednesday I wasn’t sleeping as much, but lost in Ray Bradbury’s dark world of Something Wicked This Way Comes…Thursday was his The Illustrated Man. His descriptive writing has me turning to see what I just missed in the periphery of my vision…was there something there or was it a slight delirium caused by the flu and my vivid imagination?

The Missus is a sci-fi movie buff. She has a decent collection. It has been a standing joke with us that for many of the movies she has collected or seen, I will say “I’ve not seen the movie, but I’ve read the book.”

I was talking with Mum on the phone yesterday and I mentioned The Missus had given me Something Wicked This Way Comes. Mum had borrowed it recently from her local library and she wondered if I had read it….Books are like threads in our family web.

I’ve dived into the strange world of Ubik by Philip K. Dick. This was a man who had an incredible imagination. His name may not be familiar to you, but some of his stories probably are….Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly, Total Recall, Minority Report, Screamers, Paycheck….all movies based on his books. None of them advertised as science fiction….but as thrillers or suspense. Science fiction is still seen as being geeky, so must be dressed up as something different.

I haven’t chosen which world I will visit next. It might be on Earth in the near future, maybe back in Gothic times or another world entirely. Wherever it is I know I will be next to the hero or heroine battling alongside them….spending some time in the world of my imagination.

Doing The Finishing Happy Dance

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It’s been a productive crafty day with three finishes.  First is Oscar….The Scarf.  I gave all my scarves to the Good Sammies a short while back and it is supposedly going to be cold and rainy in the middle of the week….which meant I need a new (quick knit) scarf to cover the gap in the front of my coat.  After a quick rummage through my stash I found a couple of balls of ostrich yarn.  One green and the other green and brown.  I joined them together and after a couple of nights….Oscar was born!

This One

This is the bag I started a couple of weeks ago from the spring issue of Quilts and More.  It was simple to make and individualise.  All it used was a couple of fat quarters!  Even though it is small, it is roomy enough to hold a tin with my needles, scissors and needle threaders (remember when we could thread a needle WITHOUT one of these? lol)  plus embroidery threads and Gail Pan’s Christmas BOM block.

I can see myself making another one of these to keep small x-stitch project bits and pieces together.

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There are cheap hand models around here….they work for a cup of tea! 😉  This is The Missus modelling one of her mittens (pre washing and blocking).  Even though the days are divine, there is a bit of a nip in the air when we go for our daily walk.  These will keep her hands toasty.

 These are a big improvement on the last pair I made….They both have thumb holes for one thing….and it is all rib!

 I’m curious to see if anything happens to the silk (the yellow flecks) when these are washed.  I wonder if it will bloom. 

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Every year I get a Mother’s Day card from Lestat….This year he decided to have a change.  He organised a fly in / fly out raid by Nibbles on The Missus’ stash.  Then with the hermit crabs they got down to work…..Lestat batted the beads into position…Nibbles tied the knots (I was told Lestat had to keep a careful eye on him as he kept chewing on the cord with his rather sharp beak)….and the hermit crabs snipped.  The fish even got in on the act over the phone (they live in my classroom) and bubbled encouragement….I love it!  It makes me smile and feel loved every time I see it.

Omnia Vincit Craftus

As I open the door to the staircase I hear the faint sounds of Dancing Queen and get a whiff of perfume intermingled with oestrogen….I’ve made it!  Mind you….there was about forty minutes (which felt like hours btw) when I didn’t think I would.  Whoever put the Google map together for the city centre needs some lessons in the road rules…..It is I-L-L-E-G-A-L to turn the wrong way into a one way street…..and I’m NOT happy that I ended up on the freeway, then on the other side of the river…I thought these maps were made for people like me…..with no sense of direction…not BY them! 

 All was forgotten as I raced up the stairs and saw the sea of cardigan clad crafters…..I controlled the urge to happy dance up to the counter to pay for my ticket (I did not want to be thrown out before I had even set a foot in the door).  For the next two hours I mooched, fondled and squeaked (I’ve had laryngitis since Wednesday) my way around.  I had a bit of a spend…..and added to my stash….

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I love this booth….all fq’s are $3.50!  I’m collecting cat fabric for a future cat quilt…..These are the latest additions.

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These are some silks for knitting and perhaps crocheting (when I eventually teach myself how to do it!)  The top one just caught my eye….with endless possibilities…and besides it is pink, shiny and feels good to stroke!  I can’t go past sari silk…*moves on before I start drooling on the keyboard*….The Debbie Bliss Pure Silk….*goes slightly weak at the knees*  I have no idea what I will do with it….yet….Something will come to me….with a little help from Ravelry probably!

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The Noro feels like string!  From what I’ve read and seen on blogs is that when Noro is washed that it miraculously softens.  (I’ve read it on the Internet…so it must be true…or I hope it is true…otherwise I’ve done my dough!)  As for the other two balls….they are a wool/soy (80/20) blend.  Before I visited this booth I technically knew what drape was when it came to knitting….After seeing and feeling the scarf the vendor was knitting I UNDERSTAND drape now….I was so enamoured with this yarn that she could have probably sold me a truck load and I wouldn’t have blinked!  I can see some luverly fingerless mittens coming out of these three! 

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I couldn’t resist this gadget when I saw it….It is a retractable scissor keep on a broach.  Now The Missus won’t be telling me to get my scissors out from under my leg when I’m doing x-stitch….I’ve never stabbed, cut or snipped myself…..yet.  (Keeping Murphy’s Law in mind I’ll be keeping them in plain view tonight….I don’t fancy a trip to Royal Perth Hospital on a Saturday night with a pair of stork scissors sticking out of my leg or somewhere much more embarrassing….mind you, I don’t fancy that ANY time!) 

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These were my two favourite quilts….both were part of the Australian Patchwork and Quilting (magazine) competition with a fantasy theme…..

 I love all the detail in this one….It would make a gr8 Halloween wall hanging.

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The figure in this one almost looked like it could fly out of the background….and grab you!

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There was a display dedicated to The Royal Flying Doctor Service as part of last year’s centenary.  The question says it all.  Dad was taken to hospital on their plane when we lived in the Pilbra….It used to take four days to drive to Perth on unsealed roads….

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Dad used to put the lights down at night for the RFDS planes in places like this….

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The only thing that didn’t feel quite right today was not having The Missus with me.  I share everything with her….including the lurgy….She woke up sick and couldn’t go…..So a bit of spoiling was in order!  After I went up the road to vote for the daylight savings referendum I visited this place…..I almost feel like Charlie having a chocolate factory round the corner…

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The Missus is an avid cap collector….she likes chocolate….and chocolate lip balm sounds good enough to eat!

 The honey is mine (The Missus doesn’t eat it)….I visited the apiarist around the corner, as I was all out of honey!  Fresh honey is divine….and there is such variety.  This one is Flooded Gum….I’ve not had it before, but thought the name sounded interesting….which is the usual way I pick! It has a rich flavour and isn’t all that sweet….I had to taste test it when I got home….and it also soothed my throat….so now I’m croaking more than squeaking!

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Lestat decided to get in on the act….and as with everything else….the honey had to be “owned”…Lucky the lid was on tight!

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These are three Highland calves which live on the apiarist’s property.  Their (huge and hairy) mum was nearby under another tree.  They are quite used to people coming and going….just sit and watch it all going by.  You can see how dry it is just now….rain is forecast for the middle of next week….I hope we get it.

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Lestat was dozing so I gently slid my hand out from under his chin so I could type this post……and this is how he stayed!

The WOW Factor

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A friend who is a talented artist created this piccie for me.  I love it! Each time I look at it, I see something I haven’t seen before.  I have it as the background on my computer.

Today’s Project Is……..Any Guesses?

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The basics.

 

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Just a couple of hearts to cut out and applique….then the preparation will be done.

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I haven’t quite got a handle on this section….it needs to be unpinned and something added.

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I’m sure I said I wanted to get a handle on the situation and not in it!  It makes a change from what I usually do…..sew the outside on the inside!

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Lestat just doesn’t want to know…..

I’ve just noticed that I pinned the unsewn side to the sewn side….it is time to go read a book before anything else goes wrong!  I will be back with a post of the finished product sooooon!  Have a lovely week.

Knit One, Tink One….

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The Missus collects postcards.  So after I’d had a bit of a practise last weekend using scrap card, I dry embossed a postcard using the kit she gave me last weekend.  It was fun to make, and I can see myself using it a lot in the future to jazz up cards.
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It was a shock to the system going back to work this week after two weeks holiday, so a tiny bit of retail therapy was in order for surviving the week……the purple is virgin wool….sooooooooo soft.  I had it on the computer table last night fondling and drooling over it when Lestat took an interest….maybe he though it was getting more attention than him (not true btw…it sits still and doesn’t block my view of the computer screen when it wants attention)….next thing I knew he had whopped it onto the floor, pounced on it and proceeded to kick the living daylights out of it with his back feet.  I took my life in my hands rescuing it!  Next time it sees the light of day it will be to make some mittens.

The other is sock yarn.  I love lairy socks….the brighter the better.  I couldn’t resist this today.  The Missus wanted to know why I needed another ball of sock yarn when I have one already at home.  After seven years of living with me, I thought the answer would be obvious.  lol

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This is my first mitten…ever.  I’ve called the pattern Smallville.  It did start out as Fingerless Mitten Duo.  This lasted a whole fleeting moment.  I decided to have a go at making it in one piece instead of two.  My reasoning Gemini logic at the time was I’d be able to wear the mittens (yes, it will have a partner…eventually….if I don’t run out of yarn ripping it back) sooner because there would be less sewing.  This worked fine.  After a few false starts (and a threat to run it over like Conni does with her stitching when it doesn’t behave) I had four inches of rib. 

That is when I was sucked into an alternative reality and I was knitting something different than rib….The truth is I was watching engrossed in an end of season cliffhanger on Smallville….and I *coff* forgot to read the instructions to check for changes on the next row.  All is well though….as I had one toasty hand when the Missus and I went for a walk last night.  (There was only ONE crack about Michael Jackson’s glove. lol) I’m sure it will have a twin by the end of the week….especially when I remember it is knit one, pearl one…..NOT knit one row, pearl one row!  I did that three times before I figured out why it looked so different from the first one. lol