Monday, June 25, 2012

Helllooo? Is there anyone out there still?

I wouldn't be surprised if everyone has packed up and gone home, figuratively.

Crafting (or is that crafty-ness?) is in short supply at my house. There's no sewing to report. All I've managed is to hem some jeans and sew some buttons on. The crocheting of granny squares is proceeding slowly- around 200 more black squares to do. I've done about a third of all the squares (colour and black) that I need for this afghan, and in typical fashion I already have the yarn for the next project sorted out. Despite not getting any sewing etc done myself I am still reading blogs, but not really commenting. I'm living vicariously through everyone else out there. :)

Work, on the other hand, is ongoing as always. The thesis is slowly being chipped away which is a relief.

In the meantime I've diverted my 'creative' urges into another blog called thoughtstopia where I'm dumping all my thoughts, or the 'thinky' stuff as one friend called it. Sometimes it's just hard to switch the brain off at night and thoughtstopia is where I'm doing all my rambling, thinking-out-loud so to speak. So if you're interested, pop on over and see what you think and maybe leave a comment or two.

Don't worry - I'll keep this blog up too cos I've gotta get time to sew again one day don't I?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Random ramblings

  1. Nothing like a dedicated sewing and study room to stir the mojo.
  2. I feel like I should make something. 
  3. Although I have a large pile of alterations and repairs sitting on my new desk.
  4. Glad today is over.
  5. I must remember to speak more slowly when presenting. 
  6. Hopefully I won't have to worry for a while though.
  7. Crocheting black at night is tricky.
  8. Actually crocheting black in anything but direct sunlight is tricky.
  9. I have about 240 more black granny squares to go.
  10. I better hope for some sunny days.
  11. I might wear a skirt next week to work.
  12. I only said might.
  13. Thoroughly enjoying the Game of Thrones books.
  14. Reading on the ereader is much easier than heavy books in bed.
  15. And easier than crocheting the black granny squares.
  16. Haven't mentioned that hubby has a job back home.
  17. He's in the same building as me.
  18. Which is nice :)
  19. I've become quite fond of cider.
  20. I found Feijoa cider
  21. Yummm.
  22. Whittaker's now make Peanut Butter Chocolate blocks.
  23. Also yummmm!
  24. As is their Hokey Pokey block.
  25. No I don't work for Whittakers.
  26. I'd be happy to be their taste tester if they needed one. 
  27. DD1 cooked tea tonight.
  28. And then baked dessert.
  29. Gotta love school holidays and bored children.
  30. It's easier to love school holidays when you still go to work.
  31. I really do love my children.
  32. Especially when they make brownies for dessert.
  33. And even when they don't.
  34. The brownies don't hurt.
  35. hmmmm, that's a lot of posts about food.
  36. maybe I should go crochet?
  37. Or I could unpick the sleeves of the top I bought
  38. because the armscye is very low
  39. I'm going to take a tuck in the shoulders
  40. perhaps pleat the top of the sleeves?
  41. or recut them completely?
  42. decisions decisions
  43. I could do with a new top soon
  44. I've got that bright fabric downstairs calling to me.
  45. All of my fabric is still downstairs.
  46. Although my new sewing area is upstairs.
  47.  I still have a lot of fabric.
  48. Perhaps I could make an A-line tunic
  49. I really do need some new tops 
  50. I actually mentioned sewing! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

EReader Cover

Last weekend I got a new toy a new gadget for work - a Sony ereader.

I have to say this is a very cool toy helpful device for work. Unfortunately, for the $229 you pay, you do not get a cover. There is also a stylus included, but no way of attaching it to the device. I umm-ed and aah-ed over the cases available, before deciding that I might be able to do something at home to keep my reader safe in the depths of my handbag.

So, cos I have to have something to blog, I took photos of the way I made my ereader cover.

Step 1: Find an old book that is bigger than your ereader. I started with an old diary I'd found the day before in my decluttering. I have no idea why we had an unused 2004 diary on the bookshelf.

2. Carefully cut out the pages by slicing through the inner cover paper with a craft knife -

3. Lay the book cover on your chosen fabric (or decorative paper) and cut around, leaving enough to fold over. My allowances were 5cm on each side and 2.5cm on top and bottom edges because I was working with a remnant.  Make small marks to make it easier to line your cover up on later.

4. Spread glue over the front cover and line up on fabric. Flatten the fabric out carefully - because my fabric was a heavy woven, it didn't need much smoothing.
Then I used a double-sided tape on the spine, rolled the book over to make sure there was enough ease in the fabric, and glued the back cover on the same way as the front.
My cover flattened out well, so I moved onto the inside. Otherwise I would have moved to the weighting down stage until the glue dried on the cover.

5. Glue the overlaps up to the inside (the same way you have to cover all those schoolbooks every year). As you can see, I was still considering leaving the ribbon bookmark as a quirky feature, but I later changed my mind.
I used a bit of fraystop on the corners.

Then I left my cover to flatten overnight under some heavy books. I offer no excuses for the fact that the closest books to hand were mainly chocolate cookbooks. :) These were removed the next morning to let it dry better.

6. Once the cover had dried, I taped the spine for reinforcement. Then I cut a strip of fabric to cover the inside of the spine and glued this strip into place.

7. Before I glued the strip in, I used one of the cut pages and folded up edges until I'd decided on the size to cut the foam for the inside padding.

I cut out 2 pieces of craft foam and a piece of backing cardboard for the inside back cover. My thinking was that the cardboard would provide just a little extra strength to the piece supporting the reader with the elastic.

8. I covered one piece of foam with fabric for the inside front cover

and glued into place inside the front cover

Sorry, in my excitement to finish I forgot to take any photos for the next bit, but it's fairly self-explanatory.

9. I glued the card and foam together and covered it with fabric for the inside back cover block. Then I played around with elastic placement to hold the reader in place. When I was happy with it, I glued the elastic to the back of the 'block'. I added some stitching (yes, Judy, some sewing!!) to stop the reader sliding down too far.
My elastic placement is actually a bit lopsided because I wanted to have some room to one side for the stylus to be held. I stitched the elastic on the side to make it tighter for the stylus.

Then I glued the block into the inside back cover and weighted it down for an hour.

And ta-dah - my ereader cover

Unlike my friend J, who is the Glue Queen, my technique lacked a bit of finesse, but it worked and I saved myself quite a bit of money.

Word of warning though if you decide to try to make one too - let the glue dry on the back block for a day before you try the reader out or the glue pulls up a bit.
You can guess how I found that one out. :)

So, I made something and it even involved a teeny bit of sewing, lol.

Now to get back to those granny squares...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A random thought...

Wouldn't it be great if Murphy's Law kicked in as soon as you throw out all those clothes that are a bit tight?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My latest crochet project

I've mentioned that I've rediscovered crochet and it's become my new craft - to be honest it's about the only craft I'm getting time for lately. It can be quite addictive, not to mention it's a heck of a lot easier to pick up a crochet project to take to craft night, than a sewing project.

My latest project is going to take me a while - the 'Granny's colour palette throw'

I was impatient and used Spotlight for my yarn source so any hope of getting 11 shades of any colour went right out the window immediately. So my throw will be more 'vibrant' i.e I went for bright colours cos that's all SL had, and that was enough of a struggle.

There are a lot of squares in this throw - yes they're only 2 round granny squares, but I'm not going to win any awards for speed crochet especially on granny squares which I only just learned to do. So I'm looking at 374 squares total, 248 of which will be black.

So far I have this huge pile of yellow squares - 

Also pictured are my first granny square I completed in blue, and the 'daisy' granny square I tried out.
I calculate that if I do 2 squares per day I might have this finished by the middle of winter. That doesn't sound a lot really does it?

Before I found this project to throw more money at  brighten my winter, I had been playing around crocheting easy scarves.

A cream angora wool scarf which is lovely and soft.

Plus a much longer variegated scarf from a lovely soft acrylic for my daughter. I have enough yarn left for arm warmers or a beret, or possibly both.

And in the UFO pile is this scarf which has been undone so many times I'm sure I've crocheted at least a metre or so which is no longer there. I like the effect of the yarn/ribbon combo (which looks much prettier in real life), but it's not a nice yarn to crochet. At the moment this has been put to one side to think about whether it wants to behave for me or not. 

 Right - off to declutter some more!


Another blogiversary missed. You would think that New Year was easy enough to remember wouldn't you? And it wasn't because I was celebrating all out.
In fact the whole Christmas/New Year period has seemed delightfully quiet. I say delightfully because this past year has simply flashed by with DH working in Christchurch, thesis work ongoing, transporting and wrangling organising kids, my Mother's death and the long, long job of sorting out the estate of a hoarder. Everytime I come home, I want to throw things out of my house, but usually by then I'm too tired.

So, this last week, DH and I have been tackling all the jobs that have been neglected around our house - the weeds have been brought under control, for now, after a mammoth effort involving my sister and her husband as well as us. Why is it that the plants I grow the best are the ones I don't want?

We've been decluttering and reorganising for the last few days. A trailerload has gone to the tip, 2 carloads have gone out to charity stores or friends, and there are 7 large bags of rubbish waiting to go out this week (usually we only put out one) - yeah, our house was that bad! - and we're still going!

I've only gone through a small portion of my fabric and managed to get rid of 3 boxes worth so far. Then there was the liberating feeling of throwing out a load of 'mending' that had been sitting in the pile, some for years. I sat down and fixed the items that were still of use and no job took longer than ten minutes. Obviously the lesson is to stay on top of it all regularly. Hmmm, maybe I should rethink my New Year resolution not to make resolutions.