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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Me-Made-March 2011 - the preparation

I survived another week at work.  The first time I have worked a five day week.  It's killing me!  But it is also getting easier.  Easier to do the tasks required, that is, not easier on the energy.  There's something I really, really want to do tomorrow (Sunday) but I am afraid that if I do it, I won't be able to get out of bed on Monday, and I HAVE to be able to get out of bed on Monday - and Tuesday, etc.

Me-Made-March is a-coming.  What with the job and the having packed everything, it is going to be restricted to: two necklaces, two bracelets, several brooches and maybe three bookmarks; plus I have bought a few pieces of material which I am going to turn into very simple scarves; plus I am busy crocheting a felted bag which I hope to be using before the end of the month; and I have plans to repurpose a cardigan and a top to be worn at some point.  If all else fails I may have to semi-cheat and claim a hand-knitted kitchen towel for the day's item, as I always have one in the kitchen and they are all made by me!  It is complicated by the fact that for four days a week I have to wear what I refer to as 'corporate lite' and most of my textile jewellery and other handmade stuff is not so suitable for that (we have Casual Fridays, thank goodness!).  If the weather is coolish, which it may or may not be in March in Melbourne, I can also wear a handknitted cardigan which is suitable for work or otherwise in a cotton-acrylic blend, my beautiful beaded denim jacket and, not for the corporate lite days, handknitted socks.

Back to crocheting.  And I have to sew some brooch backs onto things too.

I will photograph everything and post once a week, I think.  I might even get round to joining the Flickr group, if I have the energy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Next Stage of My Life...

So I have survived a week back in the workplace and I feel weird but pleased with myself.  I have made awful and silly mistakes, frozen computer screens (though it turns out that is to do with the antiquated computer system, not me specifically!), got to know people and procedures, and remembered why peak hour transport sucks.

When I accepted the job it was on the basis of 4 days a week (or in every alternate week, 3 full days and 2 half days, to cover a Saturday morning shift).  When I arrived at work for the first day I was asked to work full time during Semester and take the extra time in lieu out of semester.  It will actually work well in the long run - I will get lots more time off when I do get to take time off, but in the meantime I will be working full-time for a 0.8 wage, which is going to feel annoying when I am exhausted and cross!  I also only discovered then that I have to work through three State public holidays, which is a bummer because they are all ones that we spend together doing family things every year.  It;s all going to take quite a lot of getting used to.

Semester One starts tomorrow and I know, from previous experience, that the first couple of weeks of the academic year are hell on wheels, even when you know what you are doing.  So I am planning my first nervous breakdown for, oh, mid-morning tomorrow ...

Time to put the casserole on for tonight.

I should have added that when I get home at night the children have washed and set the table and made a salad so all I have to do cooking wise is pan fry the defrosted meat in a non-stick pan.  And if I need the oven turned on I ask them to do that while I am on my way.  On Tuesday nights in term time I will be working late so they will be cooking for themselves and their dad.  And although I did not specifically ask them to feed the dog, Wombat has taken it upon himself to feed her quite often.  They are good kids!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Update

I finished a pair of socks for George.  Cheapy sock yarn from Sullivans, 75% wool and 25% nylon - but nice bright colours and he loves them.  The usual toe-up easy pattern.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I am clearly insane.  I start work tomorrow.  I will not have the time or energy to blink for some time to come.  But I have signed up for Me-Made-March despite knowing that I won't have the time to make anything at all in March.  

With this pledge :I, Judy from sign up as a participant of Me-Made-March '11. I endeavour to wear (or use)one hand-made-by-me accessory or other item each day for the duration of March 2011'. I will probably recycle the same few things though. But I will photograph and date each one!!!

I have quite a few brooches, earrings and other accessories that I have made myself, and by including the word 'use' I aim to include things like bookmarks and other thingummybobs.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Yes We Have Sold It!!!!!!!

And the next day I got a job. My head is spinning. I start on Friday. I will be Assistant Librarian at the Endeavour College of Natural Health in Melbourne working O.8 time (at a rather low salary, which is a bit of an issue - it's a rather crappy Award) and I am really looking forward to it.  Actually, I'm not sure what I am feeling - excitement or terror!  Probably both.  I will attempt not to hyperventilate.

So goodbye 'free' time, hello workforce.  Almost the first time in 18 years.  (I did spend six months working part-time for a friend several years ago).

And the house settlements both take place on 15 April.
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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Bead Journal Project - January

I am rather pleased with myself. I;ve tried to do the BJP twice before - the first time I lasted four or five months, the second time I gave up almost immediately. But this time I am no longer studying so I think this will be the perfect year for it!

I am however hoping to return to full-time work soon (job-hunting is busily underway) so I decided to work on a small scale to ensure that I didn't get bogged down. I've chosen to do densely beaded ACT size pieces. After some idle thinking I decided I wanted to base them all around faces, as I have a box full of assorted face cabachons that I have collected from various online sellers that were just crying out to get out of that box! And once I had started, the thought came to me of Face and Found Objects.

January uses a face from a collection of grotesques that I bought when I was doing my final exhibition pieces for my Diploma of Studio Stitch Textiles.  I used some to create a piece inspired by The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, in which the design was based to some extent on the sets for the movie, which were rather distinctively Art Deco.  I decided to use one of these grotesque faces for my January piece, and beaded around it in similar colours and shapes to those I used for that exhibition piece.

The Found Object part of it came to me while I had already started, and I must admit that the button I used was, quite literally, the first 'found object' that I 'found' after making the decision - it was lying around on the table I keep the television on.  I decided that I would not make a big thing out of the found objects for my pieces - I will choose the face carefully but the found object has to come serendipitously.  The button in this one looks like it has come off a man's shirt but has no specific meaning to me.  It could have fallen off one of George's shirts, or just been one of the many and varied stash buttons that I organised recently.

Posted by PicasaI have included the not very interesting picture of the back to show off my crusted beading edge.  I have tried quite a lot of beaded edges but I always come back to this one, which is both the easiest and, in my opinion, the most opulent.  Plus it has the great virtue of being so flexible that you can cover up unevenness in the original embroidery and no-one is any the wiser!

I did the front on a piece of Lacy's Stiff Stuff slightly coloured with watercolour pencils in shades to match the beads, just in case anything showed through, and backed it with a piece of complementary Ultrasuede.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Bobby the Ram Does Central Victoria

Despite this happening just before the end of last year, I have not got round to finishing off Bobby's adventures for the time we went to the Geelong Wool Museum and then on to stay the night with friends in Beaufort, followed the next day by a leisurely trip through some parts of Central Victoria on the way home.

It all looks very dry and was locusty at the time.  Subsequently most of it is or has been under water.

 We all climbed up a viewing tower at Maryborough.  There were locusts.
 Bobby was restrained from entering these licenced premises!
 Culture vulture.
 I need a drink!
 More flippin' historical buildings!
Rams don't read books.

So we took him home, firmly placed in my handbag.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Resolutions - February Update

January wasn't too bad in terms of following through on my resolutions, or goals.  Report card time:

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 - masses of decluttering happened.  A storage unit is almost entirely full of books, bookcases, craft materials and other stuff that we can live without for a while.  The house has been on the market since before Christmas and quite a few people have been through it.  We are settling on the new one, and moving in, on 15 April.  All neighbourhood op shops have had their stock massively swelled by our offerings.  A small amount of stuff has been thrown out if too disgusting/broken/etc to reuse or recycle.  The house is cleaner than it has been for a long time.  I think we have accomplished everything possible for one month.

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 - I have applied for seven jobs, having spent a long time rewriting my CV.  The first two jobs, no interview or job.  Job 3, no response.  Job 4, have an interview on Tuesday - it is unfortunately the lowest paying of the lot but might provide useful experience.  Jobs 5 and 6, no response yet and it was long enough ago to assume that I didn't get interviews.  Job 7, hoping for an interview but if I don't hear in the next couple of days will have to assume nothing there either.  One more possibility, waiting on a job description.  I fear that the 18 years out of the workforce is proving to be a stumbling block and a half.

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 - I have finished my January Beading Journal Project piece.  It will be photographed and blogged about separately.  Very pleased with both it, and with finishing something!!

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 - mostly successful.  No clothes purchased.  Two pairs of cheap, gaudy summer sandals proved irresistible, however, so not total success. Two pairs of inexpensive, practical black shoes for work purposes were also purchased, legitimately.

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 - surprisingly successful within the strict wording of the agreement.  I bought one TV Series - admittedly it was the entire PD James collection (not including the Martin Shaw adaptations) which was astronomically expensive, but it WAS only one boxed set.  I tossed up between feature films but in the end spent the same amount of money as a brand new one on the TV series Testament of Youth which has just been released.  It is one of my all-time favorites, to the point of obessession with Vera Brittain.  So I consider that I did well, if not cheaply!

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

Report - hey, guess what, did not buy ONE BOOK AT ALL.  I might consider rolling it over, but I think that I ought to consider the two naughty pairs of summer sandals and call it quits.

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 - ahem, one new Issy Miyake Vogue pattern slipped under the radar.  

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 - I am pretty certain that I followed this one to the letter.  Oh, I did buy two coloured glass bottles to store water in the fridge, but they were $5 each and we didn't have any fridge water bottles.  I do have a water jug but it takes up half the fridge, whereas these fit in the door.  So I count these as reasonable purchases.

All in all I think I did OK!  This month - well, I;m afraid that so far one more pair of cheap gaudy summer sandals came home with me.  Clothes - it depends on whether I get a job this month and, if so, what the dress code is, but the only clothes purchased will be under those circumstances.  I am on the lookout for a pair of winter boots as they start coming into the shops - in the winter I like to wear skirts with boots.  I have two pairs that suit, but one is about to fall apart and is not fit for work wear, and the other pair are two winters old and may not last out another winter, so I want a back up pair.  And because they have to fit my massive calves and still look attractive, I have to shop around.  Otherwise, my winter shoes are more appropriate for work than my summer ones, so there shouldn't be any need for more.

I already know what TV series and feature film I will be buying this month, but I will draw out the anticipation.

Everything else, like house stuff, will be taken as it comes!