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Monday, May 30, 2011


After the fun of Me-Made-March I have signed up again!

'I, (Judy, also known as Sheeprustler, of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-June '11. I endeavour to wear one hand-made-by-me item each day for the duration of June 2011, and attempt to make at least two new things during that month, and wear them. 'Item' includes clothing, accessories and/or jewellery and repeating items during the month is allowed but I will try to avoid it!'

Want to know what I am talking about?  Go over here and find out!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not a very exciting picture!
But that's because this is my May Bead Journal Project piece, and it is almost finished, and I don't want to show it off properly until it IS finished!!

So this is what I am working on tonight :)

For more creative spaces, pop over here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Creative Space

I have been wanting to do My Creative Space for ages but the whole going back to work thing stymied that.  By Thursday night when I get home I tend to be so tired that I might do a few minutes of something crafty after dinner and then resort to playing Tetris on my phone because my brain hurts so much.Posted by Picasa

But I decided that it would be better to make an effort sometimes at least.  So here is my first My Creative Space.  I have been working on this cowl for some time now.  It is is Tilting Tardis from Ravelry (sorry, no link to hand, and typing this while pasta is cooking so not much time to look it up!)  I am knitting it in a Wendy sock yarn.  It is mostly bamboo with some nylon and is soooo soft, just right for my poor neck which finds almost anything scratchy.  I bought it to knit socks but didn't really like it for sock knitting, it was slippery and splitty.  So of course I choose a lace project instead ... actually, on larger, wooden needles it was less slippery and splitty.

It's almost finished, I just have to knit a few more rows of garter stitch, cast off, sew the ends in and find some appropriate buttons.  That should be fun.

For more creative spaces, here you go

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bead Journal Project - April

Posted by PicasaI didn't quite ex[ect to finish my April piece by the end of the month, because of the house move, but I did manage to do so with a couple of days to spare.

I deliberately kept it very simple this month with no bead patterns or anything, just a bead soup embroidered around a striking image.  This time, while sticking to the Faces and Found Objects theme I had set myself, I mixed things around a bit.  The Found Object is the Face!  It is a button that I have had in the stash for a couple of years.  The 'body' is a piece of polymer clay left over from an experiment, so it is also a found object of sorts.

It is finished with the usual encrusted edge.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Seasons of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

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When we bought this new house we inherited a productive vegetable garden.  Over time it will probably be expanded, at the moment we are working out what to do with what is in there.

There was a lot of basil on the verge of going to seed, so of course I turned it into pesto.  That was fun.  The jar (please ignore the label, it did once have commercial pesto in it, but be assured that that green stuff is all mine!) is approximately one-fifth of what I made up last weekend.  The rest is in the freezer.  This jar is now almost empty, having gone into soup all week.  (A favorite Italian-inspired cafe I visit frequently put me onto the idea of a decent dollop of pesto in many soups being a wondrous thing).

I had planned to cook a pressure-cooker lamb thing with roasted rhubard last weekend.  And George was delighted because he (a) likes rhubarb and (b) wanted me to use up what was growing in the garden.  So I went down and cut the rhubarb.  While cutting it I politely asked him if he was 100% sure that it was rhubarb and not ruby chard grown bigger than it should have been allowed it.  He was adamant (and he is the gardener among us, I am the cook).  So I dutifully threw away all the leaves, rhubarb leaves being poisonous of course, and roasted the stalks with butter and sugar.

Roasted ruby chard stems with butter and sugar does not taste bad, as such, it just doesn't taste of anything except, well, butter ... and sugar.

And a large bunch of squeaky fresh ruby chard languishes in the bottom of our green waste bin :(

The house is coming together, slowly.  There is still all the stuff in storage.  When that comes out, I will be able to organise my craft stuff to some extent, and we will have thousands of books to reshelve.  I think we may need some new bookcases, too, but I'm not sure about that.  We have decided that the books of my dead father are going to the nearest book sale - I feel that I have been cursed ever since they entered my life and that it is no longer worth trying to value and sell them.  Some we are deliberately keeping, happily, but the bulk of them will not even be entering the new house.  We all need to move on.

It needs a lot more tidying and organising and finding places for things but it feels like home and we love it.  Yes, it was worth all the angst!

And work is even feeling a bit better.  I had a three-month review yesterday - I am on a 12 month contract (we all are, it gets renewed so long as both sides still want it at the end of every 12 months) but with a 3 month probationary period). I wanted to discuss some things I was not happy with, and obviously my boss needed the opportunity to say anything he needed to say.  Everyone who matters is happy with me, so I do still have a job!  And I was able to air a couple of grievances and establish myself on a bit more of a professional footing.  And I am possibly the only person in living memory to ask for more work to do!  What I actually said was that my allotted duties did not fill in the time I worked, and I was unhappy with the perception that I should spend the extra time doing the work of people below me in the organisational structure.  This was agreed upon, I have more interesting things to do now, and I am going to embark on a training course in designing and delivering information literacy programes, paid for by the college, which will help bump up my CV no end.  So I am still tired all the time, and I would still rather be at home crafting, but at least I feel a little more appreciated now.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Resolutions - May Update

So here we go again. And again, and again, and 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 - House sale was finalised on April 15, as was house buying.  For a scarey 45 minutes we had no place to live in but were comparatively wealthy.  Now we have gone back to having no money but owning 3/5 of a rather nice house.  The bank owns the other 2/5, of course.

The move went as well as expected.  Tempers got frayed, things got lost, one or two things got broken (mostly by us!).  The bloomin' removalists packed THE KETTLE.  They obviously had not studied Removalism 101.  So I ducked out and bought a cheap and nasty kettle that was on special in Target.  THEY PACKED THAT TOO.  We have not fully unpacked, of course, it will take months before everything is sorted out completely, but the house feels like home and we are very happy with the move.  Some furniture still needs to be acquired to make sense of it being larger and with more rooms/functions for the rooms, but that will be done gradually (a mixture of IKEA and Ebay, probably), together with the other things we want to get done.
2. This was 'get a job'.  I've decided that after nearly three months whingeing about it I will be deleting this one from the monthly report.  Periodic whingeing may still occur but it will be same old, same old.
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 had low expectations for April, what with the house move, but I am glad to announce that I finished the April Bead Journal Piece a few days before the end of the month.  When we can find the cable that connects my camera to the computer, I will blog about it!  It's the one important cable that is still missing, of course.
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.
Report - I bought another couple of work things, but I have pretty much reached the stage now where I have plenty of work things and really don't have any space for any more clothes.  Though I want to get back into dressmaking again.  And there are some killer boots I am waiting on to come into a shop in the city!.
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 - I'm really quite a good girl.  I slightly exceeded the above, but now I am spending my own money on them I feel less guilty.  For my film, I bought Harry Potter 7 Part 1 (still haven't watched it yet).  And for the series I bought the complete (2 series) box set of Campion, because I have read a couple of the books in recent months and fancy it.  And also, the slightly naughty bit, an extra series - Children of the Stones which is a 1977 kids program that looks wonderful!
4.3 Likewise with books. One full-price book or the equivalent per month.

Report - to my complete surprise I stuck to this, buying a new AWW Pressure Cooker cookbook.  I've cooked a couple of things out of it, too!
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 roll of strong double-sided tape bought to replace the one I lost in the move.  Used for sticking face cabs to beading foundations, and that sort of thing.  And then another roll to replace the one I managed to lose between the shop and the car. 
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 - I passed this one - I went to AQC with a fixed sum of money and bought Nicole Maillieu's new book, which I had planned to buy, and as I was exhausted from moving and at the end of the show when everyone's defences were down, was conned into buying a showbag of Japanese goodies that had originally been $60 but were being sold off at $30.  It supposedly contained over $100 worth of stuff.  Well, it contained some things I didn't like, but the fabric selections alone were worth well over $30 and I love Japanese fabric, so though an unplanned purchase I was happy with it!
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 - No impulse buys have been made, but some very expensive planned ones for the new house.  We have bought a new fridge, dishwasher and microwave, all to replace the old and decrepit ones that were wearing out.  Also two new beds, ditto.  And new carpet.  And there will be other things to follow.  In particular a new digital TV and recording device for me, to replace my tiny and old CRT telly and decrepti VCR.

So I am happy with how things are tracking.  We are exhausted and broke but we love our new house.  I might even take some pictures of it, if we ever find (or replace) that cable thingy that connects my camera to the computer!