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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Project spectrum - May - Green - Also K is for Kid

Fashion Show at The Highway Gallery for this year's Come For a Yarn, their festival of knitting and crochet.

It is a Shardigan, pattern by Terri Ranck (Google for her, she doesn't seem to have an actual site as far as I can see), knitted in quite different yarns from those used in the original pattern.

On me it is a shoulder shawl. Posted by Picasa

Project Spectrum - May - Green - Project Colourswap

Sneaking in JUST before the end of May, here is a picture of the glorious goodies that Celia sent me. The two balls of Anny Blatt funky stuff will probably go into freeforming - it has funny bits sticking out of it and will be perfect in lots of freeformy type things! The roving I will either spin or needlefelt. The embroidery threads will go into my stash of very special threads and will turn up in something crafty some time. I felt very spoilt, thank you Celia! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Project Spectrum - May - Green

This reverse applique is this week's homework for TAFE. It is also the first time I have done reverse applique. I'm not sure that I am really pleased with this, the teacher asked us to bring glitzy fabrics even though they fray, and the bright green satin frays like mad and irritates me when I look at it. Plus the crystal organza was a pain as it was SO easy to cut through by mistake! I might use the technique again with nice, closely woven cottons (as the top layer of this was), but then again I doubt if it will ever become my favorite technique. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 29, 2006

Project Spectrum - April - Yellow/Orange

So It's nearly June and I'm posting an April picture - who says I am disorganised! This is the lovely parcel that Morgan sent me for the April Colourswap. The cutest beaded hook, stitch markers, some gorgeous patchwork fabric and sock wool to die for, all in the cutest, most useful little knitting pouch in bright orange! I think I will be brave and knit socks out of this that break away from my standard toe-up plain stotcking stitch socks, nice as they are (and easy, because I have the pattern memorised). I think it is time I bit the bullet and tried some lace socks. I have three patterns earmarked but we shall have to wait and see what I choose! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Work in Progress

This is going to be on the front cover of one of my two folios for TAFE. It still needs handstitching - to give trunks to the trees (the green blobs) and to include a couple of dead trees. I'm quite pleased with it so far. The piecing went as hoped and the effect is pretty much what I was after. I was disappointed in the machine embroidery thread that I bought, at first - on the reel it looked as though it was in variagated shades of orange and purple, which was just what I wanted, but on close inspection that was an optical illusion and it was red and blue, and red and yellow. It still looks OK though and I managed the machining with only minor disasters (shredding the thread a couple of times, and discovering that machining at high speed over a pin breaks the needle - well duh!! I hope this gives an outback-type impression, as I was inspired by the paintings of Fred Williams, which I have long loved, and the way the trees float on his landscapes. I have some wonderful hand-embroidery threads which I will be using, either tonight or over the weekend. Posted by Picasa

J is for Jolly

I really like this piece of embroidery and I think it is very JOLLY, hence the use of it here. I loved doing it, all the bright colours and the playing around with patterns. It creased up a bit when I put it on the scanner but I rather like the effect, so I didn't rescan it. It is perle cotton on black felt. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Reporting on my Yarn Diet, and other trifles ... mmm, trifle....

My yarn diet is going great guns. As explained in a previous post, this is a yarn diet with a difference, or a cop-out if you like. We can buy yarn on one day in each month. I have joined a sock of the month club and that is being my one purchase for the month at the moment. I received my sock wool in April, and that was my yarn purchase for the month. This month's hasn't arrived yet but I am sure it will during May, and that will be May's purchase. And likewise for June - I signed up for three months. I am not counting the sock stuff I got from Sockmonster (see my sidebars) because I had ordered it in March so it didn't come under the auspices of this yarn challenge (run by Rebekah of Knit Knack, again see my sidebar). I am proud to say that I haven't fallen off the wagon once, though it was a near thing a couple of times.

Wombat is off school yet again. He has had ongoing problems with his ears all term. This was the third syringing and the doctor said that any more problems and he will need to see a specialist. At least once the wax was flushed out, there was no sign of infection, which is good - last time, when it was in the other ear, there was infection under all the gunk. He has been rather fragile this week and so I have pulled him out of school for a couple of days. This means that I have not had one full day at home on my own for what will be four weeks come the end of this week - there has been a child at home or George working at home every single day, or else I have been at TAFE. It is driving me mad and I am threatening to move into the shed for some peace and quiet!

I have been working on my course work like a lunatic the last couple of weeks. I now have my folios 95% complete, ready to be checked over by tutors on Friday, and leaving me three weeks to finalise anything that is missing or wrong. (I know I am missing one large handout, and therefore haven't labelled two weeks work on one subject because I know the descriptions of all the exercises are on the handout). I have prepared the fabric for the reverse applique we are doing in class on Friday. I have revised my ideas for my two Major Projects. Heck, I've even made a start on one of them! Sewing and everything! As I will be stuck at home with Wombat all day tomorrow I hope to get that piece well advanced by the end of the day - it definitely won't be finished but I hope that enough will be done to make me feel that I have broken the back of it. Despite being shattered (I am also having a fibro flareup) I now feel that I will get everything finished in time and it will be all right - this time last week I had my doubts about that!

I might try to take some pics over the weekend.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Project Colourswap

I have just posted my May green parcel to Celia. In fact, two parcels, as just as I had sealed up the main parcel securely I saw the last present sitting forlornly on the coffee table waiting to be asked to the party. I had lots of fun putting together green things and I hope you like them, Celia!

I still have not posted pictures of my April colourswap gifts - I took photos of them last week but a certain someone who shall be nameless deleted them instead of downloading them for me. I will try again!

Despite leaving a comment on Morgan's blog to thank her for the bueaitufl things she sent me, that comment has never showed up, nor have I heard from Morgan to know if she received the parcel I sent her. Morgan, if you are reading this, I hope everything is OK with you.

I went out and bought a blue card and wrapping paper today, and I haven't even received my June partner!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mothers Day!!

I know I'm a bit early there but won't get another chance to blog until Monday at the earliest. We personally don't make a BIG fuss about Mothers Day but we do a little bit, and it's always nice. We are going to spend some time with George's mum and sisters and I am really looking forward to that. I will knit a sock (my Project Spectrum project for the month as it is multi shades of green, dyed by my fair hands) on the way down, and while we are there I will work on this week's stitch homework which is a textured piece on canvas. (It was meant to be on rug canvas. I didn't buy any rug canvas as a kind person in class had a big roll of plastic rug canvas to share around. I tried and tried but I just couldn't use it, it hurt my hands, so I am using a much finer piece of canvas which was the only one I had under the bed). I made her a little bag to keep wool needles in, with a couple of packets of them inside. I;m rather proud of it, it's a Humbug bag in the medium size and big enough to keep sundry sewing supplies in. It was very easy to make and took me an hour from start to finish, not counting quilting the fabric - I ad two patchwork fabrics I wanted to use and I decided to take the plunge and machine quilt them. This is important because I tried machine quilting some years ago and made a horrible mess of it and threw it away and vowed never to quilt again. But I have been teaching myself to do free motion machine embroidery recently and thought that machine quilting is the same technique, more or less, so I would give it a go. And I conquered my fear of machine quilting! I was so proud of myself.

Work is really ramping up on the course and I am starting to panic. Considering that I don't even have a paid job, you'd think I;d have time enough compared with all the others, but I guess the down time of CFS and fibromyalgia takes up a lot of time. At least I can often get stitching homework done when I am too flaked out to do anything except loll on the couch. This week I have to do the canvas work and write two design briefs for next Friday. One of them will be from scratch (except that I have already pretty much thought out the basics of the design I want to do), the other one I have already done all the research for and just have to put it all together. Plus I have to deliver stuff for sale at The Highway Gallery on Thursday to go into their Come For A Yarn exhibition in a couple of weeks - all the stuff is made, except for some patterns I need to print out, but I need to price them and fill in the consignment form. I have also agreed to teach two scrumbling classes during the exhibition. So am feeling a little panicky at the moment! I was going to exhibit three things as well as the stuff for sale, but I think it is only going to be one thing now as I haven't finished the other two and it is unlikely at this stage that I will finish them.

Plus we have some stress going on at the moment which I won't go into right now, we're in a difficult situation with one of the kids and we have to make some tricky decisions quite quickly. Teri, who left a comment on my previous post - when I have some time I will email you and continue the conversation you have started!

I hope you are all spoilt by your kids, if you have kids, and spoilt your mothers, if you are lucky enough to have mothers!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I is for Iridescence

OK, so this picture isn't technically iridescent, because that can't be captured properly using conventional (digital or otherwise) photography. But I played with the colours to brighten it up and I quite like this picture, and I have been in a funk over my ABC along pictures recently and I just have to break the cycle and get on with them!! Posted by Picasa

H is for Hats

It was a cold day in Melbourne, and Wombat could not decide which hat to wear ... Good thing he was wearing a Project Spectrum green scarf for the month of May. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

First the Grumbling...

Wombat has been off school all week with a heavy cold, and now I have it and I feel like death warmed up. He is VERY demanding when he is sick, understandably so, but it means that I am spending time defending myself in Pokemon battles when I really want to sleep. I also have a pile of homework to do for Friday - I have done most of it, bar the sticking down and captioning, plus an embroidery piece that will probably be finished by tonight - but i would have prefered to do it in a less fragmented way.

Baby Bear had her parent-teacher interviews on Monday. I couldn;t go because I had to stay at home with the hacking, spluttering Wombat, so George went along. NOT HAPPY, JAN. It turned out that our happy, cheerful child who is having such a wonderful year is indeed having a very happy and cheerful year but at the expense of things like schoolwork and music practice, and is spending most of her time talking and not paying attention. Poor child has the misfortune to be 'gifted' both academically and musically, so of course we expect a certain standard of work from her (not an exaggerated one, and we are always careful to praise what she does, but we do expect her to work to something approaching full capacity, not slacking off like she has been doing). So we have had to take the cruel and heartless parent line and re-establish some very firm ground rules. I think it really hit home when one of the teachers showed George a classroom test that had nine questions on it, which everyone else in the class had completed but she had only done one question. And no, it wasn't particularly hard, and it was in a subject she likes and is capable at. More stress that we could, frankly, have done without.

And to cap it off, it turned out that she had not bothered to tell us about the Victorian Flute Guild Competition which is being held this Saturday, at which she is expected to be all day. She entered it last year and I happily spent the time there, knitting a sock in between sections, and enjoying a very high standard of music. We think she did not tell us because she knew there was a birthday party on that day (of one of the girls who should be in the competition, no less!) I got really annoyed about this because we had already planned out the day for Saturday, because we all had to go in different directions and then go out in the evening. George is doing a working bee at the primary school; she was going to and from this party, quite a longish drive away; and I was going to spend the afternoon slowly chopping and simmering and organising an elaborate dish that I am taking to the dinner party on Saturday night. Now I have to make the thing on Thursday and refrigerate it, which means doing an online shop for tomorrow because Wombat is still sick, which means that they almost certainly won't send something vital because they ALWAYS run out of the most amazing things; I;m always exhausted after school on Friday, and as I am quite sick that will be even worse; and now I have to spend the whole day at the flute thing and then be the sparkling life and soul of the party on Saturday night. If she had told us in advance we could have at least preplanned something to reduce the pressure on us both. Snarl, snarl.

On the up side ... i got my parcel from Morgan today for the Project Spectrum colourswap and I am so thrilled with it! No pics till Sunday, probably. It included some amazing sock wool, stitch markers, some patchwork fabric and an ornamental hook for the wall, all tucked into a bright orange knitting pouch. I felt truly spoilt, and goodness I needed it!