Monday, September 27, 2010

Tutorial: This is the Way We Wash Our Clothes

This one's for you Miss P...

Somewhere in my parenting I have obviously neglected to show you how to use a washing machine. I apologise. That is my failing as a parent.  I am making amends with this post because when you move out of home I would like to think you might occasionally wear clean underwear. And that your expensive 1000 thread count white sheets aren't grey through lack of washing.

The best time to consider whether washing is necessary is when you run out of underpants or you are picking clothes up from the pile on your floor to wear. In public. That you wore yesterday.   Or when I can't get any of my clothes in the massive  laundry hamper we own which would accommodate the clothing of  a family of 6 for a week because your stuff is in there.  And on my laundry floor. For the last 10 days. Or when I cant find a pair of matching clean towels in the house from the 40 towels I own.  Oh and Heads up ...wet washing doesn't dry when it's thrown on the laundry floor either.  Unfortunately we don't have under floor heating. Bummer.

Another clue might be when Sir Edmund Hilary calls and says he and the Sherpa's will be right over because we have a mountain in our laundry that he saw on Google Earth images and he wants to come over to conquer  it.

So here it is:

1) Open hamper and take clothes out. Or pick clothes up from stinking pile on your floor. Whatever.  Put them in the washing machine. Your time commitment will be about 90 seconds.

See how this picture looks all sunshiny? That's because the world is happy you're doing your washing. Hallelujah.

2) Place powder in the powder holding receptacle. This will take about 15 seconds. And that's if you have to go looking for the powder. 5 seconds if you don't.

3) Shut door, select  the cycle  and turn the machine on. (Time commitment 15 seconds) Get Little P to help you if you're unsure. He's a whizz at turning the washing machine on.

The washing machine gods will release you at this point for a time period of up to 2 hours. Relax. They will summon you with a sweet melodic song when it's time to come and do Step 4. Wander away. Go on Facebook. Watch TV . Whatever you do don't replenish the toilet rolls, mop or sweep the floors  or think about what you might cook the rest of the family for dinner because your head will probably explode. And I would subsequently have an apoplexy from shock.

4) When you hear a happy song emanating from the laundry , that's the washing machine saying " I'm ready - I've done the hard work , come and empty me ". Open the machine and throw clothes in the laundry basket. Tip: Our laundry basket is green. This is what it looks like.

5) Search for something that looks like this. This is a clothes line.  It's 10 feet out the back door. You can't miss it.

6) Take clothes out of basket , take two pegs and hang your washing on the line like this.

7) Continue thus until the basket is empty. Now you have free time to do what you wish. This time will range depending  on the weather from 2 hours to a week. Enjoy your free time.  Go on Facebook. Watch TV. Your friend the sun will do you a favour and dry the clothes. Unfortunately the sun doesn't have arms so you will need to bring them in at some point. Then you can place them on your floor-drobe again. For the uninitiated,  a floor-drobe is when your wardrobe is actually your floor.

This is so easy peasy trained monkeys could do it. Not that they'd have to because monkeys walk round naked. You don't. But you will be if you don't do some freaking washing soon.

Mr. P this is not for you. I learned long ago not to let you anywhere near the washing machine because at one point everything of mine you washed came out looking like it would fit Barbie. If you wanted to marry Barbie you should have made sure you looked like Ken. And that you came with a dream house, a dream car , and a dream boat. You are still officially banned from the laundry.

P.S. Miss P, the massive orange  garbage bag full of clothes that need washing that you put in the carport and have been avoiding for 10 weeks is still there. If you leave it much longer those clothes will be out of fashion.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What I've been up to this week

So it wasn't all work, work, work this week, although that accounted for about 25% of the week. Sleeping accounted for another 25% . I'm not sure where the other 50% went.  Surely I don't blog and sew and surf the Internet 84 hours a week? I'm going to do a  time and motion study this week to see exactly where that 84 hours goes.

I blitzed the string blocks for Indy and Lola's  Quilt. 10 more done. That's 35 finished and 37 to go. I'm almost halfway.

I painted the first top coat of THE  BLACKWOOD CHAIR . I think I slapped the paint on too thick because it's been drying for a day or so and is still tacky. Just imagine it like it looked last week, but shinier. How many times can I post a picture of a chair painted white and still thrill you?

The picture frame got a  coat of paint as well...ditto on the tacky paint.   I was itching to finish it. It's not quite done but it's not going to look any done-er  so here it is. I may or may not add black ribbon criss crossing it.  What do you think?

I finished quilting Little P's quilt and made the binding and machine sewed it to the front of the quilt. Now I just have to get jiggy hand sewing the binding to the back. I can't wait to get this done and in the wash so it goes all crinkly. I might even lash out and make my first quilt label (looking round for the quilt police because apparently it's a crime punishable by death not to label your quilts )

I needed something quick and easy to finish this weekend so I started making mug rugs. These are cute and quick to make.  Yep-I'm using selvage from my stash.

Miss P gave me some cash for my birthday (in addition to an actual quilting book she picked out for me herself) and so I bought  these other books I've had my eye on for a while. Thank you Miss P and Little P.

I added to my stash (again) I've been itching to buy this fabric for a couple of months. The excuse finally presented itself when I got birthday money some of which was spent on this 5 yard  pile of lusciousness. Thankyou Brooke and Mark.

Spa by Rosemarie Lavin

I'm turning into a crazy cat lady and buying obscure things for the house. I just loved the lines and detailing on this old door. I have no idea  what we'll end up doing with it. It'll either be a pantry door, a screen door for the laundry or garden art.

I continued sanding the desk. (I last touched that in March, which is officially a long time ago...eeeeek )  I'm sure I've mentioned my love of sanding in the recent past. I loved it just as much today when I  sanded drawers and bogged up the handle holes. I have spared you pictures.  I nearly got eaten by a Redback though. Excitement plus. I smooshed him with the palm sander. I know he  was one of God's creatures but he was venomous.

Lola and Indy discovered they like Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, so from here on in I have to share. Could Lola get any closer to the jelly beans without actually being in the box? Indy was behaving himself and laying on the floor. Good manners Indy.

Mr. P watched the AFL Grand Final. It was a draw. They'll re-play next week. Ridiculous.  Just to put it in context that's like re-playing the Superbowl.

Most of you know I am not  a gardener, which is unfortunate since we have a lot of jungle  garden at our place. When we put pavers down earlier in the year we didn't use enough sand between the cracks so look what happened. I've been able to ignore it all winter but with the advent of Spring decided I needed to do something about it. There were spiders and bees and slaters and millipedes shaking their little insect fists at me as I destroyed their hidey holes. Sorry insects. You're creepy and need to find somewhere else to live. I hear next door is nice this time of year.


One of these days I'll do something spectacular with my garden. Like concrete it over or something. Meantime just to show you I'm not a complete dud and can be a responsible plant owner here are some things in my garden I haven't managed to kill. My Mum is reading this and laughing her socks off because she has seen the garden in it's entirety. These and dirt are pretty much the only green things left besides the weeds.

I wish I could like gardening more. I'm just not sure where to start.

Mr. P tiled the splashback in the kitchen. We're getting those final touches done slowly ...More tiling to come.

And that pretty much rounds out my week. I hope you all had a fabulous week and found some time for crafty stuff.

My goals for this week are :
20 more blocks for Indy and Lola's quilt
Get 20 Windmill blocks finished
Finish Binding Little P's quilt
Make 3 more Mug Rugs
Prime the desk drawers

P.S. Thank you to you all for your well wishes. I am feeling a lot better and  just need to learn that I don't have to go at everything  at 100% all the time. I'm trying!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm doing a Macca's run

Does anyone want anything? I'm getting a triple cheeseburger...AND  large fries.

Favourite Things Friday

Time for Favourite Things Friday. I love looking at your FTF posts and really appreciate everyone who takes the time to post. If you've been lurking wondering whether to post or not, jump right in. So,if you'd like to show off your Favourite Things feel free to link up at the bottom of this post and be sure to try and visit the other people who linked to have a peek at their favourite things.

I have a confession to make. I am in love with a small red dude. Mr. P knows and it's all OK.

Yes. I'm a tad Elmo obsessed. Elmo makes me happy.

For my 40th birthday Mr. P bought me TMX Elmo.  Elmo lives in the sewing room and quite often helps out with my quilting projects. He was telling me here I needed to unpick a wonky quilting line.

I  have Elmo pyjamas.

Small Elmo talks when you press his tummy. This is one of Little P's favourites.

Big Elmo has a lot to say too.

But the piece de Resistance of my Elmo love are these booties SAJ (of burning down the kitchen fame  and my best friend ) me back from the UK for my birthday recently. Have you ever seen anything so cute?  Does she know me well? This was the perfect present. Thanks SAJ - you rock baby!

So now you know  my dirty little secret. I'm an elmo-phile.

What are your Favourite Things this week?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Slack Tea Thursday

Forgive me blog buddies for I have been absent this week and not commenting on your blogs nearly often enough. I  have learned that while you may feel fabulous schlepping round home recovering from whooping cough , when you return to work where schlepping is frowned upon you must run run run all day and when you get home you are very very tired. And guess what? You're not allowed to wear your pyjamas to work!  I have also been busy turning another year older.

Mr. P is a wonderful man but on special occasions he always forgets important things  like cake or celebratory cards. Last time I had a cake I didn't have to organise myself was in about 1987.

This week Mr. P bought a cake. And a card.  Without prompting or reminders or hints being dropped. I almost died from shock.

Apparently my name is Wife.

So slack tea tonight is the birthday cake we should have eaten Tuesday but which we ignored because we  were all too stuffed from eating out at the local steak house to be bothered with. I suspect that will be the first and last time Mr. P buys me birthday cake since even I couldnt be bothered eating this on my actual birthday. Only because I had about 1/2 a kilo of steak and 2 pounds of curly fries at Hog's Breath. Birthday girls dont have to eat vegetables or salad. It's the golden rule of birthdays.

And apparently you can eat what you like during your birthday week and not put on one ounce of weight. That's good news isn't it because I'm halfway through this cake. 

And in case you're interested, I turned 36 this birthday having decided when I turned 40 I would start counting backwards. I cant wait to be 30 at 50!

Mmmmmm mandarin and passionfruit cake. Early dinner. I have sewing to do.

Earlier in the week, I showed you what I got up to last weekend, and asked for guesses as to what I was  planning to do with the picture frame. The correct answer is of course, a Bulletin Board (which we call a pin up board here in Australia). 4 of you guessed the correct answer.  I assigned each of you a number and video called Miss P  who was in the loungeroom (yep we're pretty lazy ) and asked her to choose a number between 1 and 4.  She chose number 3 which is Deb from Quiltgal.

So Deb, if you email me your snail mail addy I'll pop your parcel in the post! Congratulations.

Oooohhh and I got a webcam and skype for my birthday,among many other things. Email me your skype address and we can chat. I'm so technological now!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Land of the Living

Last week I planned to have a flat out week getting things done around here, in addition to all the stuff I do outside of here ,  but the whoopy cough got me. So I spent last week relaxing and resting, which did me the world of good. However, I go back to the real world tomorrow so I've spent the last couple of days easing out of being a total sloth. My blog title this week should have been  "I'm Living In My Pyjamas".

I found a fire extinguisher among the mess in my sewing room.  Which just proves that sometimes I'm so creative I'm on fire. Sewing room tidied - check.

I finished 10 more Blocks  for Indy and Lola's String quilt. Right after I spent a couple of hours cutting strings from my stash. A  basket of strings is a visual feast full of  unknown possibility.

THE BLACKWOOD CHAIR makes a re-appearance this week. It's naked-ness has been covered with two coats of primer.   Progress.

I primed this old picture frame ready to be made into something (hopefully) gorgeous. You'll see it if it turns out like my original vision. If not you'll never hear about it again.

I looked at a box of partially completed blocks that had been in WIP-Less Protection (I'm coining that phrase by the way )  since February and thought if "I don't start doing this  bit by bit it's never going to be finished".   I'm not feeling super confident that my points will match up but it's all a learning process. I sewed 50 pairs of these together this week.  

I bought these two leadlight doors as a feature for the kitchen windowsill. (Why do I keep buying things that need to be painted?)

I wish I'd never told Mr. P I have a blog because it's hard to keep my fabric buying addiction  a secret when he comes on here and reads about it. 6 yards of Hushabye  to back the snowball quilt (eventually ) at a bargain price.

And my finger slipped on another US eBay auction ...and I accidentally bought these appliques as well.  66 of them.

Spotlight and I got friendly yesterday and I bought more lime green thread. The other one is still in the void somewhere that also eats odd socks. Little P's quilt is now 2/3rds quilted. Said quilt did not want orange quilting in it. Everytime I tried to use orange it went loopy at the back. Finally I took the hint and did extra red.

I'm offering a prize to the person who can guess correctly what I'm going to do with the picture frame. Four fat quarters of Kashmir IV by Moda. (Featured in the windmill blocks above). If more than one person guesses correctly I'll do a random drawing from all the correct entries. You have until my Slack Tea Thursday post this week to have a guess.

My Goals for this week:
Back to work
10 More Indy and Lola Quilt Blocks
Paint the Blackwood Chair and Picture Frame
Finish Quilting Little P's quilt
Start the desk re-do (more sanding !)

So what are your goals for this week?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In :The Case of the Disappearing Lime Green Thread

Friday Night Sew In

So last night I participated in my second ever Friday Night Sew-In. Little Miss Sunshine and I sent each other emails hourly of our progress. It's about motivation people.  I can't share the emails  because they contain swear words when sewing is not going so well, and because there was a lot of personal stuff at 11pm that involved an unfortunate incident with a rather large spider who was taunting Little Miss Sunshine and trying to get into her liquor cabinet. Nobody likes a drunk surly spider so drastic measures were necessary. RIP Spider.  Get the full story here.

Remember this fabulous bit of creativity ? It only took 2 days to get the top together. I recall thinking "Maybe I've finally got this quilting thing down pat"

I decided to try spray basting it and it was a complete disaster.  I started quilting it and gave up two rows in . My spit would have done a better job of holding it together. It resided in the corner in a crumpled heap for a couple  of weeks while I contemplated the evils of spray basting and the crap-ness of Australian spray glue in particular. Then it went to live on a coat hanger in my sewing room for the next 10 weeks, while I got over my fit of pique.

I want to finish this before Little P graduates from high school, so I decided to pull my finger out and work on this for Friday Night Sew In. But first I had some un-sewing to do.

I want to know does anyone really enjoy the basting process? People who buy spray baste that actually sticks probably do ...  For the rest of us,  are these curved pins the BEST INVENTION EVER ?

So I taped....

And smoothed

And smoothed some more
And pinned 

And pinned some more (Yep-I have over-pinning issues.)

And finally I was ready to get to the quilting part. I was flying along. Red rows, blue rows, yellow rows.... and it was all hunky dory until I went looking for my lime green thread. I searched and searched and couldn't find it. It's clear to me that someone snuck into the house and robbed me. Obviously a crafty criminal mastermind who needed green to finish a project. Or maybe the dogs ate it. Maybe one of you stole it because you're jealous of my creativity (snicker, snicker )

So what did I do ?  I kind of lost my puff after that. Stomped around muttering things not fit to be repeated here. Vowed to go to Spotlight this morning and buy a spool of thread in every colour and then hide them in a secret place that will no doubt be so secret I will be unable to find them again when I need them, which is probably what I did this time.

Hey it got basted and I got started right? That's better than nothing.

  Go and have a look at what some of the other creative peeps actually achieved. I'm going to Spotlight....