Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Since the room's going to be full of colour and interest, I decided to keep it simple. Here we have a tin of flat white ceiling paint and two of wall paint: low sheen acrylic. The colour is called peaceful white. I chose it as the most neutral of the off-white selections, but the name certainly has appeal. I have brushes and rollers at the ready. The power is connected already, so I'll pick up my phone and music machine and off I go.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Now for a shed update: the plaster is in; stormwater and electrical work will be finalised today. Then it's just a case of waiting for the finishing touches on the plaster. I should be painting on the weekend, though I have Foster Carer training all day Saturday, so I'll see how I go. Next week will see me putting up shelving and moving furniture. Then it will be time to actually move in with all my materials and equipment. I can hardly believe it. And I can hardly wait!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Off I went to the Office Superstore. I've had my eye on this little desk for a while. It seems sturdy enough and inexpensive. I don't really want a lot of visual clutter in the living space--those of you who are familiar with the current state of my house: here's your cue to laugh out loud! Of course the desk came flat-packed. Here it is now in 3-D. And don't ask me why the pic is sideways . . . it's one of those blogger days. At the moment the only personal thing about it is my greasy fingerprints all over the glass. I pride myself on being better than average at assembling bits and pieces from cryptic diagrams. This one nearly had my stumped. Most of the assembly was reasonably straightforward, but there's a clever little keyboard drawer below the main desk surface. That drawer is on tracks with ball bearings--all fine and dandy. According to the diagrams, that mechanism needs to be pulled apart: one part is attached to the drawer surface and the other to the main desk piece. Later on the assembled drawer is slipped into place. It's a while since I studied probability and statistics in maths, but I can tell you from personal experience that two slide-mechanisms, each with two components can be put together in a squillion different combinations and permutations, only one of which is correct! I tried all but one of those combinations yesterday afternoon. I couldn't get it right. I decided to use the walk away technique. This is an approach you won't find in any technical manual. It involves taking a deep breath, calmly laying down your tools and leaving the job to another day. This morning I came back to it fresh after breakfast and a nice cup of coffee. I didn't bother looking at the instructions again. I pulled the drawer mechanism apart and tried fitting the components together without the extra hassle of the drawer and desk getting in my way. Snap! they clicked together easily. I heaved a sigh of relief and just hung on to what I'd done. Then I re-attached them in the right place without letting go of those pieces. Mission accomplished. I have a neat little PC desk. Now my next task is to pull my computer apart and put it back together in its new location. Maybe I'll leave that task until tomorrow.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Meanwhile, what am I going to do with myself? I think I might pack up and move this computer, since that will give me a bit more room to move while I pack up all my fabrics from this spare room. It's a finite task--always an attractive feature.
First, though I set my attention to a less attractive task. The garden shed I've had these past ten years or so is going to go as part of the current reorganisation. It needs to be emtied out. What's in there? I'm not sure. I went to have a look. First up, four boxes of old study notes and assignments. These are all at least ten years out of date. When I stored them in the shed the memory of the effort they had cost me was too fresh and I couldn't bear to get rid of them. Now things are different:
One very full recycling bin, four empty cardboard boxes. Any useful information from those courses has been well and truly assimilated into my thinking by now. Either that or I'm going to have to learn it another way.
As soon as my nose recovers from the large dose of dust it just received, I'll go back and see what's next. I'm pretty sure there are several cans of paint and some garden chemicals I'm not going to use. I'll offer them on Freecycle or toss them out, depending on their condition. Then it will be time to slow down and shift my attention to indoor tasks.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
How many ways are there to say "excited"? I need to ask some friends to come and help me with the painting, but what I feel like doing is hiring a band for a little barn dance instead! It would have to be a very little barn dance, so maybe just one fiddler. Oh well, maybe I'll just make sure I hook up the radio to play nice and loud while we wield our paintbrushes.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
We've being making flowers for the quilt. Each one is different: some embroidered, some crocheted, some beaded. One of the group suggested adding some butterflies. Why not? Flowers, butterflies . . . I had a go at sketching some outlines before someone else suggested I use the computer. They're getting to know me well--I'm definitely better at using the computer than I am at sketching under pressure. I found a butterfly, printed it out and then tried to think of a way to make it which wouldn't involve too much explanation. Meanwhile I asked about the meaning of "butterfly". I collected one more Arabic word, which I'm not going to attempt to transliterate here. "But what does it mean for you?" I wanted to know. It turns out the butterfly is a symbol of good news, like the arrival of some-one you love. It's "like the pigeon", they said. In case you're wondering about the "pigeon", we've designed a couple of white doves--symbols of peace--as a major feature of the quilt. Up went my motivation for butterfly-making.
We were nearly at the end of our time together. Today is Eid--a major religious celebration, and the subject of more interesting attempts at communication yesterday. I used my few Arabic words to convey my best wishes and respect for the Festival. When I got home I googled, "how to make a butterfly" Here's one of my attempts:
The French-beading technique is a natural extension of how we've been making some of the flowers. And the wired butterfly can be made to hover over the surface of the quilt. Later on I'll see if I can figure out a stitched version. Next week I'll see what they think, and we'll continue to explore possibilites and meaning. I'm learning so much from this project!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I can't recommend my approach to the rest of the day. I kept checking the weather forecast. The news didn't get any better, though the wording changed occasionally: flood warning; severe weather warning; heavy rain; storm watch . . . none of it was encouraging. I should have just given up the idea of digging and moved on to something else. I tried. Eventually I pulled out some beads and started to make a chain necklace, but my heart wasn't in it.
Today it's cloudy, the forecast is for scattered showers, clearing in the afternoon. It's still pretty mucky out there, but I am determined. I'm hoping to take all my pent up frustrations from yesterday and channel them into digging power. That should see the job done amazingly fast--if the weather holds off.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
May we have PEACE in our time.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
My afternoon commitment was at the hairdressers. I was ready for a change. After flipping through some style books and trying to describe what I was thinking, it was time to just let it happen. To my surprise, there was no hesitation with the scissors. Anna just went ahead and snipped away all the length around my head, leaving me with something that might resemble a short bob, if it wasn't for the curls! There I was in front of the mirror, watching Anna style and arrange my hair, knowing full well, that within a short time of leaving the salon I'd be back in the garden with a mattock and shovel, running dirty fingers through my hair to keep it out of my sweaty face.
After another session of digging, I decided I needed some technical improvements. I've borrowed a crow-bar from a friend and invested in some protective leather gloves. I was interesting scouring the hardware store for real working gloves in a small ladies' size. Crow-bars only come in the one size, which is significantly taller than me.
The shed installer is due here in less than an hour. Before he arrives I need to work out how to keep the dogs out his way while he works. I've been told not to expect much obvious progress today. The first task for the subfloor consists of digging holes, which then will need to be inspected before the stumps are cemented in. By tommorrow I should have a floor and then the walls and roof will go up. At that stage my ditch needs to be ready for the electrician, so I guess I'll be more than occupied.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Speaking of robust, I'm about to go out the back and dig myself a ditch. It needs to be 600mm--that's two feet--deep and a couple of metres long. It will carry the electrical conduit to my new shed. I can't say I feel up to much ditch digging just now, but I'm hoping that once I get started I'll be able to push on a bit at a time. The weather is finally warming up: forecast top of 28 today and 32 later in the week, so I'd better get out there before it really starts to get hot. Alright, here goes, water, sunscreen, hat, gloves and I'm off.
Monday, November 8, 2010
When I woke yesterday morning I was sore and tired. All my muscles from my wrist to my shoulder were complaining about the unaccustomed effort the previous day. If I'd been on my own I probably would've groaned and tried to go back to sleep, but I had the promise of two more hours of W-time. I got up, made coffee and toast and tried to find some enthusiasm for another batch of painting. Just after 7.30 am my phone beeped--it was W saying she'd woken early and was on her way. Yes, this is 7.30 am on a Sunday morning! Together we managed the second coat on just over half the shed panels. As you can see from the pic, W is an experienced painter. This time she came armed with a tiny brush for cutting in the fiddly edges and a mat to sit on, as well as all her protective gear. After a few hours of enthusiastic work she raced off home to clean up, wake her teenage daughter and get on with her own commitments. I have to confess, at that point I did groan and try to go back to sleep. I curled up in the armchair for a couple of hours before I started to feel as though I wanted to do anything more.
Today I'm hoping to finish that second coat. Then I have a trench to dig--I need to get power from the back corner of my unit to the new shed. My electrician is semi-retired. I think he's been semi-retired for the ten years I've known him. He still has all his sparky skills, but his trench digging days are over.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Also on the agenda for yesterday was a trip into the city to discuss possible future study options--that's a story for another day. I'd hoped to make the arrangements for delivery on the Thursday, but no-one got back to me. Before I went to bed on Thursday night I shot off an email to the shed people. I've noticed they start work sometime before my first cup of coffee in the morning. My message explained that I'd be out in the middle of the day, would they please contact me on my mobile regarding delivery of the shed.
Off I went to my appointment. I left the mobile on as long as I could. When I hadn't heard anything about the delivery, I shrugged it off. Worst case scenario I'd have to do the painting early next week. I got home at 2.00 pm. There were two messages on my answering machine from the shed company. The second told me that the shed would be delivered by 1.30 pm. I looked at my watch and picked up the phone. Why didn't I go and check outside? It's like this, my place is tiny. My street frontage is only about 5 metres wide. About half of that is occupied by my rose garden. My car was parked in the remaining area. I keep my side gate locked. There's nowhere out there for a shed to hide. B, the sales manager answered the phone in his normal bright tone of voice. Yes, the shed had been delivered. The courier had stacked the panels on my front lawn. I dont' have a front lawn!
Off I went down the street to look for evidence of a stray shed. It felt a bit like the times when my dogs have managed to slip out through the front gate. I figured it wouldn't be far from home, but it's a bit embarrassing peering into neighbours driveways. Meanwhile, the sales manager was contacting the courier on his mobile phone. I'm guessing I found the shed at about the same time as B tracked down the courier. Fortunately both the courier and my neighbour are easy-going types. Gary, my neighbour had come home to find an unexpected stack of shed panels in his front garden. He's been waiting on some roof repairs and there are plans for renovating his bathroom, so he immediately contacted his landlord to see if there had been some mix up. Of course, the landlord knew nothing about it. Meanwhile, the courier made his way back to my street and good-humouredly started reloading his truck. The panels are too heavy to be simply carried down the road. Here he is at work. My roof is the green one you can see at the far left of the pic. It's four doors down from Gary's place. I couldn't help questioning the courier about the situation. He blamed his GPS. Had he driven down the street or looked for a street number on the houses? No, why should he? He did have some doubts when he couldn't see the side gate--Gary has no side gate. Did he think of phoning back to the office to check on the discrepancy? Well, maybe, but he was out of phone credit. I wasn't going to try to fathom the logic of a courier who drives about an hour and a half across town to deliver a load and doesn't have the capacity to contact either the sender or the receiver of that load. I offered him a glass of water. No, thanks. I contacted B to let him know the situation was under control and went in to make myself a cuppa.
This morning I've been out with a paintbrush already. I've got a friend coming to give me a hand later in the afternoon and the electrician coming to check out his side of the job this morning. I'm hoping today will be a bit more straightforward than yesterday, but I'm not counting on it.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Well, those beads sat on my table challenging me for nearly six months. I didn't want to put them away, out of mind, but I didn 't have the chance to really focus on the task either. Multiply this situation by any number of occurrences and you'll have some understanding of why it's hard to find a place to rest a plate of dinner on my big table.
Anyway, I finally sat down to the task a couple of days ago. Here's some of the result: Since I was working with single unique beads, I decided to emphasise that aspect. I didn't add any other feature beads to the mix, just a few seed beads in toning colours. I made up the rest of the length with bits of chain, satin and velvet ribbon and wrapped wire. Now they're sitting in Liz's pigeon hole at the Neighbourhood House for her to see and comment.
In other news: the planning permit for my shed-studio is finally through. Now for the building permit, which should be a formality. I'll try to sound excited later. Now I'm just thinking of all the last minute preparation I'll have to do if the shed kit is actually going to arrive in the next few days. Watch this space!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I'm so glad she gave me a how-to list . . . here's how it works:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (in no particular order…)
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.
The thank you part is easy. Thanks Sophie for the encouragement and for all your comments.
As for seven things about myself . . . that's maybe not so easy.
- I'm pretty self-conscious about sharing about myself--so that's the first thing.
- I post here just about every day--it's a way of keeping myself on track and at least thinking about what I'm making, even on the days that I don't feel up to much.
- I just about failed Home Economics at school--the comment on the report card said, "assignments unsatisfactory"! I was already sewing my own clothes at that stage, but couldn't fit in with the school's way of getting things done.
- I'm much better at starting things than I am at finishing them. My head buzzes with ideas and possibilities, but all the follow-through to get the job done is less exciting.
- I'm good at Maths, but terrified of book-keeping.
- My solution to many dilemmas is to brew another pot of coffee--usually decaffeinated or I'd be bouncing off the walls.
- This is the first time I've received a blog award.
Now, to pass the award along:
- My friend D at Dee-cluttering my life: for inspiring me in so many ways and sharing big and small things.
- Teresa at Teresa's Textile Inspiration: for textile inspiration! She was my first spinning teacher.
- Charly at Ixcel Angora and Funky Fibre Art: for honesty and humour in equal proportions.
- Artrepeneur, the Collision of Art and Business: for asking, and attempting to answer, the hard questions about creating and cash.
- Ang of Ang's Antics: the little stories about your children make me smile and I will always admire your loyalty as a friend
- Pam at Beads 'n Threads: for achieving the kinds of things I dream about with metal clays--and more. I'm trying to work out how to get myself from Melbourne to Perth for some workshops.
- Knitspingirl: for calling me over to the world of socks.
Now to contact my award-winning bloggers to let them know and ask them to pass it on.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I spent several hours yesterday carving this stamp: It's a monogram for my friends J and A to use on their wedding invitations. It felt good to focus exclusively on such a tiny aspect of their special day: not just the technical challenges of shaping the letters, but the relationship between the parts and the balance of the whole. I thought about the inevitable imperfections when something is made by hand--and the attractiveness of that reality. Today my friend D--J's mum--is spending the morning with a beading needle and thread, securing I don't know how many faceted glass beads to the hem of the wedding dress. There's a particular little sequin she has been unable to match. I'll try the local shops down here when the Cup holiday is over and post them to her. Meanwhile J is finishing her end of semester assignments at Uni and A is working and house-hunting. None of it's perfect, but it's good to be involved.
Monday, November 1, 2010
When I saw this yarn on my friend Charly's stand some months ago, I immediately thought of E. Yep, it's smooshy handspun reddish wool embellished with needle felted blood-shot eyeballs.
Out of respect for the rest of the family, I gave E's mum a quick call on my mobile while I held the skein in my hand, congratulating Charly and grinning with delight. I won't even try to describe the response on the other end of the phone as I tried to explain what I was holding. Let's just say it was dramatic enough that I was convinced of my judgement and positive enough that I thought I could get away with it. That was quite a few months ago now and I've been impatiently waiting for the actual day to arrive. Now it's here! I couldn't decide on the best way to make the most of those incredibly detailed eyeball features, so I've waited for E to decide its destiny. She would like an eyeball hat. The other options were a scarf or --my personal favourite--a fringe for a cheeky little skirt. So, an eyeball hat it will be. But first the skein has to go to school with her, for the enjoyment of her friends and teachers--she's at a science specialist school, so the crazy thing is that they'll get it.