catchmyfancy: (story of us)
It is a fact universally acknowledged that I rather adore my sister, Bron.

As she's the organised family-oriented one of the two of us, she cleverly realised that our sister-in-law, Nici, was coming up for her 40th birthday, which occasion therefore necessitated a Special Present (I am crap at remembering my sibs-in-lawses birthdays; apparently I'm a subconscious genetic snob, because I have all the nieces' birthdays burned into my brain, and rang my mother today because it was her mother's birthday, and I know she can feel a little down sometimes, remembering Nan - but the sibs-in-law? Nope. Complete blank. I can sometimes remember the month. Maybe. On a good day, with the wind behind me.)

Anyways, Bron and I always like to be nice to Nici because she inexplicably married our brother, thus keeping him (a) off the streets and (b) out of our hair and (c) entertained and amused via the daughter she obligingly produced, Miss Georgina. (We also rather like being aunties to Georgie, so props to Nici all round.)

Bron's proposal: my mother and I send her fabric we liked that we thought was about right for Nici, and she (Bron) would incorporate it into a quilt-like object. As she's rather talented in such things, I accordingly put on the pith helmet, and took myself off to the fabric place.

And something went a little sideways. Normally I go into a sort of fugue state, then come out of it at the service desk with my arms full of either vaguely-coordinated fabric, or parts that kinda sorta map to a vague plan in my head. There's a semblance of method in my madness.

But tonight: oy vey! Things spoke to me, all right, but I appear to have had a brief sojourn in the tower of babel. The lady on the desk looked politely at my fabrics and said: "....a couple of different projects is it, dear?"

I explained no, all for one. I thought. Maybe? I didn't know. I liked them all and they all reminded me of my rather daggy and impish sis-in-law.  So that was good, right? (at which point the counter lady got to the yellow-with-coloured-spots in the pile and gave me a look. Eep.)

And if I was having trouble.....what was this going to do to the there-are-RULES-you-know Quilting Queen? I don't think she will love me very much when she opens the parcel I'm sending her tomorrow.....
See? Clickety for the fabric weird. )
catchmyfancy: Variant of old "Keep calm & carry on" WWII poster - text saying "get excited and make things" (Make things!)
So my dear friend Ingrid has her birthday...erm, today (it's been today for about 32 minutes).

A year ago I promised to make her a peg bag for her birthday - and today I finally came good on the promise (loud cheers).

The fabric I chose surprised me - I dragged out all manner of prints, but (and I was delighted to finally hear it, it's been a case of: it doesn't call , it doesn't write) this fabric keep popping up and saying "me! you know I'm the right one! pick me! meeeeeeeeeeeeee!!" and as all the rest remained obdurately silent, this one got the gig.


more pix under the cut )
(see? and not once did I mention the word "pegging" or the phrase "pegging technique" because I am all about the Classy).
catchmyfancy: (escher)
Action today:

1. LMusA
  • the lovely Anna found me the sheet music for From Rosy Bowers (Purcell).  Have printed it out and found a recording I like.

4. Geoffrey Parsons award:  
  • Tom has settled on Schlagende Herzen (Strauss) and Von ewiger Liebe (Brahms) for our two audition pieces. 
  • I went and found the soprano version of the Brahms (but the recording I love most is by a mezzo, Anne Sofie van Otter, go figure); gave it to Tom before he went away for a week (and also loaned him my shiny new Gerald Moore book, he better not lose it in the wilds of Hamilton that's all I can say; or use it to fend off the young lasses - and possibly young lads - of said township, who will no doubt think their eisteddfod accompanist surpassing fair and overly talented and thus eminently pursuable - poor Tom!); and broke the back of it tonight so I can start digging into it in my lesson tomorrow.
  • is it weird to say I'm terribly excited by the Brahms?  Not just because it's a glorious, difficult piece; but because FINALLY I have a piece that trips me up on every.single.thing I think is missing/wrong/undeveloped in my singing, the things that keep me a talented amateur instead of letting me advance to be a professional contender.  It's an excellent diagnostic tool as well as being a masterwork.
5. Stash wars: found the yellow gingham for Josie's apron, and also the interfacing for tracing the pattern onto.

6. Stuff wars: cleared out my cupboard and the one in the front room of all the plastic hangers I have ever bought, methinks.  Have made a date with Melinda to drive her home on Wednesday, which means I can deposit all the hangers into the charity bin in the church next door to her house.

8. Make the better decision:
  • had breakfast this morning, and chose fresh-squeezed vegie juice and a chicken-and-dark-leaves-in-mountain-bread roll for lunch. 
  • Had dinner at Mary and Melinda's house and got chickpea and chorizo and tomato something plus salad and more flatbread. 
  • Went and bought vegies and fruit and general Stuff tonight - spent $47, but I have everything I need for the rest of the week foodwise. 
  • DID NOT GO TO GYM, but then was not breathing overly well for most of the day, so: swings and roundabouts. 
  • Got 16 minutes before bed! (outside limit of midnight).
catchmyfancy: (escher)
A week or so ago I was meandering through old entries trying to find a recipe I posted a couple of years ago. 

Which is like going to look up just one small thing in the encyclopedia and coming to about two hours later sitting on the floor surrounded by open volumes.  I guess the internets equivalent is getting sucked into the TV Tropes vortex.  (Click on link at your own time-management peril).

I ended up reading the first six months of entries wherein I came to grips with physical training (and my vocal injury), and I realised a couple of things:
(a) I really suck at tag management and will now have to go back and re-tag everything
(b) posting little and often and using the blog as, ooh I don't know, an online diary or something really actually worked.  I liked being able to type the words "just back from the gym", so I tended to BE just back from the gym.

I've been updating on Facecrack, but that just dissolves into....somewhere and nowhere.  You can't go back a couple of months easily, never mind a couple of years.

These days I have multiple projects on, so instead of just one multifaceted project (like [personal profile] etfb 's Project Apple - and hey - that one worked!) I bring you THE LIST (dun dun duuuuun!)

Here they all are:

1. LMusA practical singing exam - 40 minute recital with bonus viva voce from the examiners -  Deadline: mid-Sept

2. Musicianship 6th grade (basically the written component of (1): aka just cos you can sing pretty doesn't mean you're allowed to be all iggerant and not know a relative minor should one bite you on the arse)(and believe me, in the past they have)  Deadline: mid-August

3.  Lyrebird music society recital: 5th September at 2.30pm DO come and bring all your friends 80 minute recital (or two 40-minute halves - if ever I was losing my junior journeyman status and heading towards senior in the bizarre ricocheting journey that is my musical career where I'm either an earlier-spent-force-regathered or a very late bloomer - pick one -  and looking ahead to the dim, daunting peaks of mastery, September will be the month to KNOW.)

4. Geoffrey Parsons award: 28th June in Ajuloide.  Me and Tom throwing down in the city of churches.

5. Stash wars: who will win - the fabric stash or me?  In this challenge I attempt to ignore the screams of the fabric as I cut into it and actually turn it INTO something and get it out the door, or in use around the house. Deadline: end of 2010, it's gone, it's made, or it's earmarked.

6. Stuff wars (a slightly snappier title than "jesus mary joseph and ethel merman, I am drowning in STUFF and it must go before I turn into someone who has to clear a path into the rooms they want to use...").  Deadline: right bloody NOW.

7. Garden: needs to be looked after better.  Deadline: so it's pretty in the Spring.

8. Gym, fitness, sleeping, eating - I'm giving this one no deadline, but I'll go with: make the better decision.  Every time.  It helps to have perspective: one of my singing teacher's other students came for her lesson and we were chatting about staying well and looking after yourself and all I could hear was whine-whine-whinge (yeah, she's young and fairly ridiculous, just like looking in the retrospectoscope for me) and when she said "I'll try", I have to admit I lost my temper a little and my parting line was: "as Yoda says: Do.  or Do Not.  There is no 'Try'."  It is a fabulous exit line.  But as I dodged trams across Royal Parade, I had to admit: good advice for me too.  I either make the right decision (going to bed at 11pm not 2am; going to the gym instead of sitting hunched at my desk; cooking real food instead of eating whatever) or I don't.  And no whining about the consequences.  (not the warmest and fluffiest of places to be sitting, but at least it's honest).

And that should keep me going for a while, I reckon...
catchmyfancy: Variant of old "Keep calm & carry on" WWII poster - text saying "get excited and make things" (Make things!)
I bought this book and the little soft house shoes (the third last image) made me go "hmmmm".

(There has been epic craft-book buying of late: I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something...)

I usually need to have a recipient in mind,so decided to make them for Miss Melinda to take to Japan with her for her latest trip. Don't want them thinking we just wander around in our socks!

And although the linen and gingham was very cute, I had some kawaii fabric with adorable Miffy-like bunnies on it. Linen and gingham: purleeze.

ETA: I have put all the image-heaviness under a cut - sorry sorry, where are my intarwebs manners - it was 2am and I don't often do the picspamming......

closeup of bunnies

Read more... )

catchmyfancy: (this is my planet)
.I've been updating my RSS feeds.  And I want to share.

Because apparently I am all about lovely things and making stuff and gorgeous design at the moment, so enjoy revelling in:

Design*Sponge online: despite the intentional asterisk there, oh SO MUCH to drool over and garner inspiration from.  I mean, come ON, this week they are in Paris.  Hot pink leather shoes are involved. *waves arms to indicate the sheer inexpressible awesomeness of this*

Little Birdie Secrets: more down-home and DIY with wonderful tutorials and still full of the whimsy and the pretty (also the practical)

Pioneer Woman Cooks: an 'accidental' pioneer woman who found herself on a property married to a rancher in Somewhere Remote in America with four kids and she does amazing things with food that make it very very glad to be eaten.  She does comprehensive photo tutorials, and has a great love of fooooood, which makes me smile.  And want to eat things.  Mostly fried things.

Twig and Thistle: preeeetty things.  Ideas for the home. Little makeovers.  Did I mention the pretty things?

An Apple a Day: I saved the best for last.  This is a lovely girl called (through no fault of her own) Emerson Merrick.  Emerson adores old-timey things and antiques and vintage and lovely things.  She falls madly in love with found objects and they seem to make her so inexpressibly happy.  She has one post where she spends the day going going crazy and communing with a peaceful old barn.  A little bit loopy, but her enthusiasm and ability to see beauty is a divine gift.
catchmyfancy: (contented sun)
 What happens when your best friend (who is a VERY accomplished seamstress with advanced knittage, crochetage and overlockage skillz) is recovering from chemotherapy and thus cannot see or use her hands properly; and Manifest 08 is coming up and her daughter (also your goddaughter) has her 13-year-old heart set very firmly indeed on having a cosplay costume for that weekend?

What HAPPENS is that they both do the Extra Special Pleading Puppy Dog eyes at you, and after about ten seconds of telling them you cannot sew a straight seam to save your life and they KNOW you always make it up as you go along and precision work is just not your thing, DAMMITALLTOHE-muttermuttermutter.... you crumble completely and go "Oh ALL RIGHT, what is she supposed to look like?" 

And you are presented with pages out of a Manga comic book.  That's right, you are now attempting to realise something that previously only existed in someone else's head.  Dear god.

Although Elley (aforementioned best friend) watched me through much of this process which involved a lot of peering yet again at the now crumpled print-outs and observed that I was doing it old school - making something "from the picture". 

So I scoured through pattern books very carefully, because at 13 years old and five foot nine with wide clothes-hanger shoulders, Sarah is no stick-thin teensy Japanese schoolgirl.  But I found a basic skirt and a basic top pattern, and completely made up the sailor collar pattern; and after much tailoring and finishing and volumes of swearing, above is a picture of our girl at Manifest being Arisa Uotani from Fruits Basket.

And she had a blast, thank you very much, and people recognised her character and she got asked to be in photos and lots of warm fuzzies all round.  (All I can say is: PHEW!!)  Anyway, it was a challenge, but I found that if I take things s-l-o-w-l-y on a project they tend to turn out better.  Heh.  Who knew? 

Costume under construction....(image heavy) )
catchmyfancy: (fambly)
Just come back from a two-day stay with my sister and brother-in-law and three very cute little girls in a bee-yoo-tiful old restored wooden house in deepest darkest Bemboka.  (30-some kilometres from Bega in NSW, on the wonderfully-named Sapphire Coast).

Bemboka is the aboriginal name and translates as "place of many winds".  They sure got that right - the weather station on top of the palatial chook pen recorded a 40 km/h wind on Sunday afternoon.  Nobody seemed fazed, though.

The scenery is stunning, although very prone to hilliness and terrain.  I coped, although it was slightly disheartening to watch Isabel (now nearly 9) and Josie (7) sort of bound around me like two eager little puppies or pieces of thistledown as I slogged up hills.  I gave them stern warnings about making sure they were always fit, especially when they hit 15 and 25 (it will be then their Oke genes will ambush them if they are lurking in the genetic undergrowth.  As it were).

The girls were happy enough to see me - Beatrice occasionally favoured me with a bemused glance from her Throne of Queen of the World  and there was the odd hug.....but the two eldest seemed to need to be in bodily contact with me as much as possible.  I didn't mind at all - a 30-something and a 7-year-old may not have a lot in common to chat about, but there is always snuggling and clambering onto knees and hand-holding while wandering along to say "hello, it's me!  i am here! hello you!" and to show the bond is there. 

We played games and went for walks and even managed a couple of hours when we all sat down, all girls together to do some sewing. Results: cute little pieced patchwork quilt for Little Ted (Isabel); a little pillow for Beatrice with "I love you Bea" very nicely embroidered indeed on it (Josie); several stars on beatrice's quilt hand-quilted (Bronwyn); sequins liberally applied to a small bag I made for little Zoe Evans' 8th birthday (me).

Happy to be home in my own bed with my own pillow...but looking forward to seeing them all at Christmas, yes yes!

Photos as soon as my sister sends me some.


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