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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Floofy Scarf Redux

I don't know why the last pic didn't load. Probably something to do with the computer being out of action for several days. But anyway, here it is.

The move happened. There are still things we can't find or do, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. By the end of Easter it should be a lot better. We still loved the house the moment we walked in, despite the chaos. And the chaos, though diminished, still exists. All will be well and all will be well and all manner of thing shall be well!!

I got a new bed :) It is superbly comfortable. And there will be other new things soon too. All replacing ancient things.

By May we should feel like we actually live here! The neighbours are generally delightful, the street is gorgeous and leafy and so quiet. The previous owner said there was no native wildlife around, which was disappointing because we had got used to living with parrots and possums and bats and things. Well, in a week, we have heard more native wildlife than he ever mentioned, and he lived here for 30 years!

There was much weird plumbing and electrics and we have spent a lot of money getting them fixed, but those fixes should last a long time. It helps that we know a plumber, and a carpet person (we got new carpet downstairs), so service was prompt and excellent and reasonably priced, and the electrician loves us now because we paid him well up front!!

I have not got the kitchen quite sorted out yet, but with a bit of resorting, it will be fantastic and I can go for true gormet!!! And the owner left a little vegie garden with some very usable chillies, tomatoes, a few other things and enough basil at the right stage to be turned into yummy pesto over Easter,
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Flooffy Scarf

I have lost the yarn label for this. I bought it in Lincraft. There is a vague possibility that it may be called CanCan, or maybe it is a cheapo imitation of a yarn called CanCan. Anyway, it is infuriating to knit (though it is possible to do it while under the influence, which is a plus in my case) and there is no way on earth that youy can finish off the ends in any way normally done with yarn of any sort. It does, however, knit up into a riot of flooffy(TM) colour and feels OK against my neck, which complains about proper yarns made from actual fibres. So it is a GOOD THING (TM by many people - so sue me). Yes, by the time you read this I may have moved. I may still belong to a family of four people and one dog. On the other hand, people may be buried in the dungeons. I kid you not, this new house comes with dungeons. I am in negotiations with a friend about obtaining adjustable shackles - his children have thinner wrists than Wombat. I wrote this a few days ago but have organised for it to be published in advance. And if I was sober enough to mangle any more tenses, I would :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SF Mistressworks - a reading meme

Yes, I am indeed in the middle of moving house.  This post was one I prepared earlier.  Normal blogging may resume at some stage in the near future!

I got this meme from here where there are links to the posts by Ian Sales and Tansy Rayner Roberts mentioned:

SF Mistressworks - a reading meme

This list was created by reviewer and author Ian Sales, in response to the Gollancz SF Masterworks series.

Ian explains:

"[These are all by women,] science fiction only, no fantasy; and no YA or children’s works. One work per author... Arbitrary end date of 2000.

For trilogies or series, I’ve listed the first book but put the trilogy/series name in square brackets afterwards. Asterisked titles are in Gollancz’s SF Masterworks series. And if the Masterworks series is allowed an anthology, so am I: hence the inclusion of Despatches from the Frontiers of the Female Mind. I’ve also sneakily included one or two collections, for those writers best known for their short fiction.

The list is in order of year of publication.

You know how it works: bold those you’ve read, italicise those you own but have not read. (If you’ve read the entire named series, you can even emboldenize that as well.)"

The titles bolded below are ones that I (Judy) have read - some many times, some only once. This is Deborah's list so I am not sure if it is identical to the original one.
1 * Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (1818)

2 * Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1915)

3 Orlando, Virginia Woolf (1928)

4 Lest Ye Die, Cicely Hamilton (1928)

5 Swastika Night, Katherine Burdekin (1937)

6 was deleted cos Francis Leslie Ashton is male (1951)

7 The Sword of Rhiannon, Leigh Brackett (1953)

8 Pilgrimage: The Book of the People, Zenna Henderson (1961)

9 Memoirs of a Spacewoman, Naomi Mitchison (1962)

10 Witch World, Andre Norton (1963)

11 Sunburst, Phyllis Gotlieb (1964)

12 Jirel of Joiry, CL Moore (1969)

13 Heroes and Villains, Angela Carter (1969)

14 Ten Thousand Light Years From Home, James Tiptree Jr (1973)

15 * The Dispossessed, Ursula K Le Guin (1974)

16 Walk to the End of the World, Suzy McKee Charnas (1974)

17 * The Female Man, Joana Russ (1975)

18 Missing Man, Katherine MacLean (1975)

19 * Arslan, MJ Engh (1976)

20 * Floating Worlds, Cecelia Holland (1976)

21 * Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, Kate Wilhelm (1976)

22 Islands, Marta Randall (1976)

23 Dreamsnake, Vonda N McIntyre (1978)

24 False Dawn, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (1978)

25 Shikasta [Canopus in Argos: Archives], Doris Lessing (1979)

26 Kindred, Octavia Butler (1979)

27 Benefits, Zoe Fairbairns (1979)

28 The Snow Queen, Joan D Vinge (1980)

29 The Silent City, Élisabeth Vonarburg (1981)

30 The Silver Metal Lover, Tanith Lee (1981)

31 The Many-Coloured Land [Saga of the Exiles], Julian May (1981)

32 Darkchild [Daughters of the Sunstone], Sydney J van Scyoc (1982)

33 The Crystal Singer, Anne McCaffrey (1982)

34 Native Tongue, Suzette Haden Elgin (1984)

35 The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1985)

36 Jerusalem Fire, RM Meluch (1985)

37 Children of Anthi, Jay D Blakeney (1985)

38 The Dream Years, Lisa Goldstein (1985)

39 Despatches from the Frontiers of the Female Mind, Sarah Lefanu & Jen Green (1985)

40 Queen of the States, Josephine Saxton (1986)

41 The Wave and the Flame [Lear's Daughters], Marjorie Bradley Kellogg (1986)

42 The Journal of Nicholas the American, Leigh Kennedy (1986)

43 A Door into Ocean, Joan Slonczewski (1986)

44 Angel at Apogee, SN Lewitt (1987)

45 In Conquest Born, CS Friedman (1987)

46 Pennterra, Judith Moffett (1987)

47 Kairos, Gwyneth Jones (1988)

48 Cyteen , CJ Cherryh (1988)

49 Unquenchable Fire, Rachel Pollack (1988)

50 The City, Not Long After, Pat Murphy (1988)

51 The Steerswoman [Steerswoman series], Rosemary Kirstein (1989)

52 The Third Eagle, RA MacAvoy (1989)

53 * Grass, Sheri S Tepper (1989)

54 Heritage of Flight, Susan Shwartz (1989)

55 Falcon, Emma Bull (1989)

56 The Archivist, Gill Alderman (1989)

57 Winterlong [Winterlong trilogy], Elizabeth Hand (1990)

58 A Gift Upon the Shore, MK Wren (1990)

59 Red Spider, White Web, Misha (1990)

60 Polar City Blues, Katharine Kerr (1990)

61 Body of Glass (AKA He, She and It), Marge Piercy (1991)

62 Sarah Canary, Karen Joy Fowler (1991)

63 Beggars in Spain [Sleepless trilogy], Nancy Kress (1991)

64 A Woman of the Iron People, Eleanor Arnason (1991)

65 Hermetech, Storm Constantine (1991)

66 China Mountain Zhang, Maureen F McHugh (1992)

67 Fools, Pat Cadigan (1992)

68 Correspondence, Sue Thomas (1992)

69 Lost Futures, Lisa Tuttle (1992)

70 Doomsday Book, Connie Willis (1992)

71 Ammonite, Nicola Griffith (1993)

72 The Holder of the World, Bharati Mukherjee (1993)

73 Queen City Jazz, Kathleen Ann Goonan (1994)

74 Happy Policeman, Patricia Anthony (1994)

75 Shadow Man, Melissa Scott (1995)

76 Legacies, Alison Sinclair (1995)

77 Primary Inversion [Skolian Saga], Catherine Asaro (1995)

78 Alien Influences, Kristine Kathryn Rusch (1995)

79 The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell (1996)

80 Memory [Vorkosigan series], Lois McMaster Bujold (1996)

81 Remnant Population, Elizabeth Moon (1996)

82 Looking for the Mahdi, N Lee Wood (1996)

83 An Exchange of Hostages [Jurisdiction series], Susan R Matthews (1997)

84 Fool’s War, Sarah Zettel (1997)

85 Black Wine, Candas Jane Dorsey (1997)

86 Halfway Human, Carolyn Ives Gilman (1998)

87 Vast, Linda Nagata (1998)

88 Hand of Prophecy, Severna Park (1998)

89 Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson (1998)

90 Dreaming in Smoke, Tricia Sullivan (1999)

91 Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle (2000)

you can read more about this list on Ian Sales' blog

Deborah read about it first on Tansy Rayner Roberts' blog, I read about it on hers.

Embarassingly, and most unusually for me, I have read almost none of these books!  It looks like a good reading list to follow up on.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Resolutions - April Update

So here we go again. 

1. Accomplish all the necessary stuff involved in selling this house and moving into the one we are buying. This is the sort of resolution that, although not easy in itself, HAS to be followed through on.

Report - Well, we move on April 15th.  I just want it to be over and done with.  It will be four months since buying the house and moving in (a ridiculous length of time but stipulated by us because we needed time to sell the old one and get the money for it!)  There will be upheaval and what-not.  Tempers are very frayed all round.  I am grimly trying to hang on to the shred of sanity that comes with remembering why I fell in love with the house in the first place.  Plus the people buying our place have been a bit irritating.  But all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well.
2. Get a job. It really is time after 18 years to go back to earning some sort of income. This is a scary one. I have no idea how I and the rest of the family will cope - they have all got used to me being available whenever required. I did not have children or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome last time I worked. A very large part of me does not want to go back to work. But a small part of me craves the idea of doing something else.
Report - well, I've been working for five or six weeks now, I have learned a lot of what I need to know ... and I don't much like it.  Not the job itself, which is fine, and the people are lovely, and it is even nice to earn a bit of money.  But I hate not being around for the children, even if they are teenagers, and all my health problems are rearing their ugly heads again.  I am permanently tired and miserable and hurt all over.  Again I am gritting my teeth and trying to hold on to that notion that I need to earn this money to pay for the new house, and I really want the new house.  And I am trying to pull myself out of the Slough of Despond and make some small changes to my lifestyle which might help my health a little - like starting to take a proper multivitamin again, for instance.  And knowing that the damp and mould in the old house is probably a cause of many of my (and the other family members') health issues in the first place, and that the new house will not have them.

The small bit of me that craved doing something else - it is now begging to return to its cave and be left alone!
3. Complete a project a month. Even if it is just a plain sock (pair of socks!) Preferably try out some new techniques or whatever, but at least one project a month.

Report - easy!  I have finished the March Bead Journal Project piece, run up three quick scarves for Me-Made-March 2011, and repurposed an old cardigan and a pair of shorts into another scarf.  All blogged about previously. 
4. Stop spending money like water. With this in mind, this resolution is split into sections :

4.1 I will not buy any clothes or shoes unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. 'Necessary' means underwear if my current collection falls apart; if I end up in a job where I can't wear jeans, some other covering for my bottom half may be necessary beyond the one pair of black trousers and one black skirt I own; and I am going to a family wedding in March that MAY necessitate a new outfit. I can make myself anything I like out of my vast stash of fabrics and patterns, however, and if this is the case, purchase of required notions will be permitted. I would make an outfit for the wedding but that is likely to be around the time we move, and I am packing up my stash as we speak.

Report - Ha Ha! Quite a few work clothes purchased, the new job requiring reasonably corporate clothing. But nothing frivolous or not usable for work. (Oh, and there were some shoes too, but ditto). I bought a dress for the wedding, despite really wanting to make something, but realising that I just wouldn't get round to it, and the dress is suitable for work as well. All in all, more money spent than I really should have done, but for a good reason. 

That paragraph is what I wrote last month, and it can stand again for this month.  I bought three 'pashminas' in a 3 for the price of 2 deal, and wore one of them to the wedding.  All three will get used.  The wedding one was black and grey (as was my dress - how Melbourne am I, I wore a black dress and a pashmina to a wedding!), the others are bright pink/black and turquoise/gold.  They are all lovely against my sad old neck and between them will go with lots of things.  Yes, there were a couple more items of clothes for work, and maybe some more shoes.

4.2 I buy far too many DVDs. I will restrict myself to the equivalent of one full-price film (i.e. one new release or something like those 3 for $30 specials you see around) and one TV series. I need to be VERY STRICT about this.

Report - pretty successful.  I bought the old BBC series of Survivors as my TV series, and a reissuing of Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves as my film (it's a huge favorite of mine).  I only cheated a tiny, tiny bit - at the same time I found a copy of the old TV series of My Brother Jack (not the one made a few years ago) which I have never seen, on special for $10, and I bought that because it is a favorite book.

4.3 Likewise with books. One full-price book or the equivalent per month.

Report - please all fall about with derisive laughter now.  Even with rolling over February's book into March, I overdid it by a factor of ... something or other.  I think I bought about six books in March.  My bad.  All with my OWN MONEY though, so boo sucks.

4.4 Craft materials - only to be purchased if necessary to make a specific project immediately after purchase. Otherwise all craft material shopping is to be done from the stash.

Report - One ball of novelty yarn from Lincraft with which to make an annoying ruffled scarf.  I mean the knitting of it is annoying, the scarf is kind of cute.  In shades of bright red.  And hugely ruffly.  I started knitting it the day I bought it.  And it didn't cost much, though I cannot actually remember how much.

4.5 Exceptions to the rules will include craft shows, where I will take a fixed amount of cash and leave my credit cards at home. Nothing purchased under these circumstances will count towards the total!

Report - no craft shows, so I passed this one!

4.6 Items for any room in the new house, but especially the kitchen, will only be purchased if necessary, not just because they catch my eye. There will be some purchases, planned in advance.

Report - Nada.  But April will be a biggie on this one, as we need a new fridge and dishwasher (and when I say 'need' I mean 'replace the 25 year old fridge that keeps freezing vegetables and the 15 year old dishwasher that leaks and isn't going anywhere near the lovely floorboards in my new kitchen'!)  And I may buy a couple of new pans given that I wil have more than two burners on my cooktook for the first time since January 2000!!!

And apropos of nothing, today is our 22nd wedding anniversary.  We'd better get this move over and done with or there won't be a 23rd, we will have killed each other before then!!!  On the other hand, the fact that I will be spending the evening alone with a bowl of soup sounds sad and pathetic but isn't really.  George is working very late so that he can take the next 2 1/2 weeks off to oversee 90% of the moving without me having to do more than the other 10%, and he will be taking me out to dinner over the weekend or something when I have the energy to get up and go out.  I have promised to take Wombat to Supernova tomorrow, which means my energy levels will be in heavy minus figures.  There will be a 23rd anniversary!

Edited to add that the anniversary dinner happened anyway, unexpectedly, and the chances of a 23rd one are increasing!  However if he keeps reading over my shoulder and asking if I am editing this to change the rules of the resolutions, I;m not so sure!!!!! 

Monday, April 04, 2011

Bead Journal Project - March

For a start, this is a close-up of the face cab I used in my February post.  I 've only just got round to taking a halfway decent picture of it.  I'm not very good at close-ups.

Now for the March piece.  It really is this blue.  The polymer clay face cab came from a lot I bought on Ebay, I think, but as with all of them, too long ago to be able to acknowledge the artist properly.    The found object this month is, quite literally, something I found on the floor.  I have no idea how it came to be in my house, I'd never seen it before!  It is a millefiore-style glass button, cut on an angle, and it matched the face so beautifully that I just had to use it.  I love blue so I had lots of blue beads in the stash, in fact many more than I could sensibly use in an ATC sized piece.

It is finished with my usual encrusted edge.

Next month is going to be slightly different - still a face and a found object, but slightly different!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Me-Made-March 2011 Week 5

I truly did try to be original for the last four days of Me-Made-March 2011, but as you can see, two of the four things I wore have featured before.

This brooch went so perfectly with the outfit I was wearing - a white top, black leggings and a wrap skirt in bright red with a white floral pattern like a stencil - that I wore it anyway.  In this photo it is still on the grey top I wore it with a couple of weeks ago.

On Tuesday I wore this braclet that I  made some years ago and had forgotten about.  I made it when I was perfecting peyote stitch and it is a series of patches of peyote stitch sewn together in a sort of crazy patchwork way and embellished.  I love the effect but it is a lot slower to do than freeform peyote, so I haven't done it since.  But I must ressurect the technique, it really is effective.  I wore it with a floral chiffon wrap dress with a black background and big old-fashioned roses in pinks and blues and yellows, and a green cardigan, over a black crushed silky 'slip as outwear' dress.

I was having withdrawal symptoms from my favorite glass brooch so it came out again, teamed with a white top with some silver cutwork embroidery (not made by me), black trousers and a purple/grey/cream cardigan with diamante buttons.

And for the final day of the month - I made this shawlette thing years ago out of a hank of expensive ribbon yarn.  The dangles on the end are from the furnishing department!  It jazzed up a cream top and grey trousers no end.

Having started this challenge thinking it would be incredibly hard, I think I now realise just how many made-by-me accessories I actually have already.  It has certainly encouraged me to start sewing again.  Though that will have to be after we move and have unpacked.  And I fear that it could take a very long time indeed before I am allowed to have any free time to do anything like that - I can see months of doing nothing but going to work and coming home again to be yelled at if I sit down to do anything for myself.  The whole work and moving thing is really getting me down right now.  Although the job itself is OK I hate the way it makes me feel utterly exhausted and cranky all the time, so that even when I am home I don't have the energy to be the mum I want to be.  And I suspect that there will be ongoing problems when we move.  But I will stop complaining now and think instead about the fact that the new house will be worth the expense and the upheaval, and that I am going to consider paying for a cleaning lady so that it stays clean and so that I am compelled to keep it TIDY.  That might remove a couple of the reasons for being yelled at.

I have got so addicted to describing my outfits every day, because it makes me sound so much more interesting than I actually am, that it may be a hard habit to break!!!