Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Hickory dickory dock

Two birds perched on a clock...

My latest crafty adventure, I made this for MR's Mum's 60th birthday.  I used the instructions in Pip's first book as a guide, except I mod podged the fabric down rather than using spray adhesive.  It worked fine but I would recommend applying the glue quite thinly as I did it maybe just a touch too thick in some areas and it seeped through, leaving a little mark to the left of the 12 button.  Very sad, but I'm hoping it's only super noticeable to me.

I hunted everywhere for small numbers to add, I didn't like the traditional clock ones that I could find so I eventually settled on buttons.  I think it looks quite effective.  I have since found some small laser cut wooden numbers on etsy so I've ordered a few sets for the next clocks in the works.  That way I can paint them whatever colour I like, or just leave them plain.  I'm also toying with the idea of embroidering numbers onto the next clock...

The fabric is an ink and spindle one and I embroidered the birds with silk floss to look like fairy wrens, one of MR's Mum's favourite birds.

MR helped out a fair bit with this project, he cut the chipboard to size, drilled the hole in the middle and helped me get the fabric on smoothly and add the buttons.  He was more than happy to help because it meant he had to buy a jigsaw and a sander.  Any excuse for a good tool shop!  He also did the maths to work out where the buttons needed to go.  Numbers is definitely more his forte than mine.  My theory for working it out was just to turn the clock hands and stick the button where it pointed.  Very technical brained, I am!  We decided it was easiest just to hot glue the buttons on to be sure to get the placement all accurate.  I'm normally quite competent at hot glue guns but my medication shakes have been quite bad at the moment and it was just easier to manage with two.  

Apart from the stupid glue seepage, I was pretty damn pleased with this project, it turned out just how I had pictured it in my head which is quite a rarity in my creating world!  I'm making another, with a different fabric, for my best friend and then on the cards is one for our kitchen.  Haven't found the perfect fabric for that one yet though!

Linking in with the other creative spaces

Friday, 22 June 2012

One day...

I've never really been a particularly big risk taker.  I don't really like doing potentially dangerous or painful stuff and anything that is likely to scare me is just out of the question.  But there's always been the option of doing it if I so changed my mind and decided to.

Similarly, I never quite got around to traveling the world, living and working overseas or doing anything like that either.  I did a fair bit of travel as a child but as an adult, I haven't been overseas by myself or with a friend, only with my dad and sister.  Saving is not my forte.

I am however, quite good at daydreaming and making plans.  Wild, crazy plans that don't ever really come into fruition.  Or even just big plans, that aren't really wild or crazy, just involve a lot of work.  It's the procrastinator in me.

There's always the thought of 'one day'. 

When I was in high school it was 'One day I'll be a famous fashion designer or a famous author.'

When I was at uni it was 'One day I'll save up and go and work overseas for a couple of years.'

When I started work it was 'One day I'll save lots of money and build a nice home.' and 'One day I'll go on a big overseas holiday.'  

And of course there were many small things in between.

One day I'll get my motorbike license.
One day I'll go skydiving.
One day I'll get my ears re-pierced (after they closed up)
One day, when I decide what to get and where, I'll get a tattoo.

You know, small things that you think that you could really do at any old time.  Until you become immunosuppressed with a new liver.  And then you think, should I realllllllllly be doing those things?

Yes, it's my life and I can make the decisions I want, but I don't feel like it is quite just my life anymore.  I'm not quite living for two but I feel that taking unnecessary risks is a bit careless and disrespectful.  Like riding a motorbike or skydiving.  Like putting holes in my body when my immune system is compromised and I will always be at risk of infection and always heal slower than everyone else.  I feel like I need to make something of my life.  Be useful, do good things - not just everyday good things, but big helping-lots-of-people good things.  I need to do something to deserve my new liver.

I can't imagine myself ever going to Bali, Africa, India or any third world country without feeling completely paranoid about germs, infections and dodgy food.  I already feel somewhat paranoid about dodgy food in my own house and the thought of germs when I go back to work next term seriously gives me the willies.  Now, if I'm completely honest, I never really wanted to go to any of those places anyhow because I am a very fussy eater and a wuss but now that I not-quite-can't-but-really-it's-so-risky-I-shouldn't, I have that childlike tendency creeping around my mind thinking I'm gonna do it just coz they said no.  I just can't help it.

I've been thinking of all the things I'm glad I did before I got ill and needed a transplant...

Like paintballing.  Paintballing is probably not very good or safe for relatively new livers and sensitive scars.

And climbing the Gloucester Tree all the way to its 72m tall top, by myself.  Unnecessary risktaking.

Getting my tongue pierced, also all by myself because no one thought I would do it so I wanted to prove them wrong.  Germs and infections.

Going for a ride on the back of a dirt bike over jumps, probably my biggest adrenaline rush ever.  More unnecessary risktaking.

Going to Thailand and riding an elephant through the jungle on the back of its neck.  Germs, infections and dodgy food.

Five things.  There might be more, but nothing is springing to mind currently.  Five risktaking adventures is not really very many and I'm a bit sad about that.  Not quite regretful, just like that era of my life has passed.  I'm sure that there will be many more adventures to come in my life.  And really, a liver transplant is quite a risk taking, germ and infection filled adventure in itself I suppose, just not one I would have had on my list of things to have a go at...

What are your 'One day' things or things you look back on and are glad you tried them?


Friday, 8 June 2012

Pin it, Make it - Lasagne cups

I've been wanting to join in this new meme over at Polkadot Lane for a while now but I kept accidentally missing it.  I almost missed it again today too - I watched too much catch up tv online and my internet has been shaped. Oh the disaster! Luckily, they gave me another gig to get me through the next two weeks until it gets reset.  So after today, I may be a little bit absent again for a bit.  Another hint that I should be doing more actual stuff and less internetting perhaps?  No doubt!

My most recent pinning and making effort involved a lasagne variation.  Baked in a muffin tin! Supposedly good for portion moderation it certainly is not when you overestimate and cook it in a 6 hole texas muffin tray.  That's a normal sized dinner plate up there.  Way. Too. Much.  I think a standard 12 hole muffin tray will be just fine next time!  However, it was pretty delicious.

Of course, being me, I didn't actually follow the recipe too closely as I already have my own awesome lasagne recipe.  I just used the concept.  The recipe wasn't really very clear about whether you line the bottom of the muffin hole with the pasta sheet or just the sides so I went with both as I like my lasagne with lots of pasta.  The top edges get a bit crispy, but I was okay with that.  I've still got 3 left in the freezer, very handy as to pull out, heat up and serve with some salad on those lazy days where cooking falls into the too hard basket.

Head on over to Polkadot Lane to see what else people have been pinning and making.  It's on every second Friday and I'm sure Kelly would love to see what you've been up to as well! 



Thursday, 7 June 2012

My (completely out-of-season) Creative Space

I'm curious, what is your favourite type of crafting?

Maybe it is a working with a particular medium - crochet, embroidery, sewing ... or perhaps it is crafting for a particular event, or even maybe crafting for your kids, or your home.

For me it is most definitely, well and truly, Christmas crafting.

I am obsessed with it.

No, I do not care that we have only just finished with May.  Not one teeny tiny skerrick.  For some reason, the thought of making cute decorations and stuff for Christmas leaves me all a tingle with much crafty delight.

In May I made...

an amigurumi snowman called Wallace.  He has a hat just like Wall out of Footrot Flats.  I loved Footrot Flats as a child, my dad was a bit of a collector, he has all the Footrot Flats, Asterix and Snoopy comics and many hours were spent reading them. 

some crochet candy canes,

and some crochet snowflakes

In June I am planning on doing more... some cross stitch from some cute little pattern books I bought at the Quilt and Craft Fair, more crochet snowflakes (because there is no such thing as too many snowflakes in my house!) and maybe even an amigurumi reindeer to be friends with Wallace.

It honestly doesn't bother me that they only get to come out once a year, that just makes them even more special.

In the meantime though, as a little break from the festivity, I've been working on this lovely piece of sashiko that is hiding under my cross stitch iphone cover giveaway!

playing along...

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

My Place and Yours - Pets

My family has always been a cat family.  We dabbled in a rabbit (a baby one that my cat carried in like a kitten one night) and had guinea pigs once (never again!!) but apart from that, only ever cats.  I got my first cat when I turned 7.  My parents decided 7 was a good age for taking care of your own pet.  My sister got her first cat at 7 as well. 

In our home currently, we have one cat.  She has enough personality for four.  We call her Meow, The Meow or Meowhead even though she is a very quiet non-meowing mog and her name is actually Nissa.  Sometimes we call her that too.

Here are some of my favourite most recent photos of her.  The Meow loves nothing more than outside play time with Mummy or Daddy. She particularly likes it with Daddy because he plays hide and seek chasey with her (Mummy is still getting reused to running).  When outside, if you are a meow, one must roll on the grass, the bricks, the driveway, the path and one must particularly smook (our family word for rubbing her head against) the letterbox to death.  Also mandatory outside activities include eating lots of grass, sharpening her claws on the lawn and playing games in the long grass.  Oh, and sleeping under bushes.  One thing Nissa does not like though are soft toys.  Particularly when one is made to walk around near her.  Then it is all battle stations ready for attack as she hugs, kicks and bites soft toy until it is suitably dead.  Above is James Meow getting just such a dose of loving.  Other quirks of The Meow are a strange love for eating tissues, a lack of understanding of just who is staring at her in any reflective surface (attack!), a penchant for prawns, a love of broggies around the house doing skiddies on the tiles and a weird obsession with kicking herself in the head when rolling around on the ground.

She is crazy indeed but I love her to pieces.  I cannot imagine life without a cat in the house.

There's lots of pet love happening over at My Place and Yours at the moment, do go and check it out.  But first... have you entered my giveaway?

Monday, 4 June 2012

Stitchery Giveaway

A little while ago I saw these awesome cross stitch iphone covers on Pip's blog.  Perfect!  So I bought myself one.  And one for someone else as well!

I stitched a pretty heart on mine to start off with, nothing particularly original but I do love me a love heart.  I did have a nice pattern for a little bambi deer but it was a bit too wide for the cover.  I'm sure something else will turn up, or maybe I'll just add some pretty patterns around the heart.  That's the best thing, I can change it as often as I want!

My phone is sitting on my newest of past times, my sashiko panel.  I bought a few of these at the Quilt and Craft Fair and I'm almost half way through the first one.  I'm going to turn them into cushions to sit on our bed.  I can only do these fine stitchery projects late at night when my medication tremors have worn off enough for me to manoeuvre the needle properly.  Hopefully the high dose of steroids I'm on at the moment will start to be weaned off soon so I can do my stitching whenever because I'm really enjoying it!

If you'd like to win yourself a cross stitch phone cover, just leave me a comment telling me what you would put on yours.  It's made for an iphone 4 or 4s and the one I have to giveaway is white as well.

Entries close midnight (WST) on the 12th June.  I'll post to anywhere, so long as you're a follower!
Grab an extra entry if you mention my giveaway on your blog too...


Finishing off

Artfully posed by the wagon wheel - thanks for taking the photo Sally!

Instead of starting the next sewing project, I decided I really should finish off the one that has been draped over my chair for ages.  Nothing fancy, just a pair of pyjammie pants.  I was just being a bit lazy about finishing them off.  All that needed doing was the waistband and the hems. 

I wanted to do the waistband a bit differently, using a ribbon instead of having lots of flannel folded over and ending up with bunchy bits that dig into my hips when I sleep on my side (in other words, all the time).  And seeing as they are just for around the house, it didn't really matter that I was spending more time waffling on with Sally than attention to the straightness of the sewing...

There certainly wasn't much measuring going on, not even with the hems.

The only ribbon I had wide enough was orange, so orange it was!
 But I'm pretty happy with the results and they will keep me toasty and warm and that's one less half finished project lying around too!

The macbook case is still on the cards.  I need to get some denim I think.  But the other fabrics have been selected (naturals and reds in the end) and I think I'm definitely going to have to do some measuring for this project!


The next sewing project

Will hopefully take place tomorrow, or rather, today seeing as it is after midnight already.

Now that I have my lovely new baby, my macbook, and I've ordered it a pretty decal, the next job is to make it a case.  While there are loads of realllllly pretty ones on etsy, I am perfectly capable of making one myself and I have a reallllllllllly big stash of fabric that just gets added too and not often gets used from.  So this is the perfect opportunity to actually use a pretty fat quarter or two and get sewing.

Luckily, I will have some motivation.  Sally is coming around for an arvo of craft.  I am quite dreadful at doing much sewing by myself for some reason.  I seem to want sewing to be a social thing.  Is this a result of 4 years of home economics classes at high school I wonder?  Maybe I just like the idea of having someone there to help me when (because it really is when and not if) I stuff up.

Either way, Sally is a very clever sewer and super social.  So I will be all set!

Here's some pretty ones I've drooled over on etsy while looking for inspiration....

1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6 ... 7 ... 8 ... 9

Seems like I'm going through a bit of a naturals and blue phase!

I think I've decided I like the envelope look but I want mine to have a strap and a pocket or two as well so we'll just see what turns out tomorrow...


Friday, 1 June 2012

Things I have learnt about hospital #1

I've been going through my draft pile of posts and came across this one which was just sitting around waiting for more nuggets of gold to be added.  Since I don't plan on going back to hospital Any Time Soon (or Later), I figured I might as well post it.  I can always do a #2 if I've just jinxed myself...

Private health insurance is the bomb. Really.

Private hospitals are five billion times better than public hospitals, noticed particularly when you are being transfer from private to public.  And when you are eating the hospital meals.

Take your own pillow.  The first time I was there MR brought mine in for me when he arrived home.  Oh the bliss.

Ask for print outs of your blood test results.  You will learn loads.  For example, I finally learnt how to properly read and understand the greater than and less than signs ( < > ) that I never understood in high school.

If you are good (and not toooo sick) they will let you go out for the day.  So long as you come back.

Beeping is fucking annoying.  (Okay, I did already know this)

It is amazing what you can actually cope with being poked and prodded in and pulled out of your body.

Nurses will not believe you when you try to convince them that the nasogastric tube (that you pulled out) fell out.

Nasogastric tubes are the worst invention of all time EVER.  I do not blame anyone for pulling their own out.  I won't go so far as to encourage it, but oh the relief!*#(!#^!@^! (until they stuck it back in)

Many medical people think they are Good At Putting In Canulas.  They are Not.

Those sticky dots are their three goes on that arm before they got it in,
there are two matching sticky dots on the other arm...)

Please feel free to add your own random/ironic/sarcastic/serious observations from your hospital stays.