Monday, May 30, 2011


I've been struggling with being creative lately. Making even a small consistent effort seems difficult and  I've been completely lacking in the motivation department.  I've been experiencing a backlash against my self imposed "I must produce a crap load of  things in order to be interesting in Blogland " rule. It seems that being idle  is somehow linked in my psyche to being a slob. And nobody likes a slob. And I want to be liked. I'm just full of insecurity aren't I?

With  other parts of my life  moving at  the  speed of light and my head in constant thought about all manner of things  it seems I just don't have room to be creative. It's like "being crafty" is just another thing on my list of things to get done which means it's more of a chore than a pleasure. I'm even having trouble stringing together blog posts. I have ideas but my words refuse to bend themselves into cohesive writing to match the dialogue in my head.What I do know is that I run around like a hairy goat Monday to Friday and I'm starting to feel some self imposed pressure to achieve when I'm not at work as well.

During my current phase of I cant be bothered-itis I've read some interesting posts that resonated with my current predicament. It seems I'm not the only one suffering from crafters block and questioning the thought that I have to  "produce produce produce" and finish something every five minutes  in order to feel like I'm a fully fledged member of the crafting community.

I've been running a race against myself trying to get more quilts done this year than I got done last year. I'm not sure why. What I do know is ,  I'm there - and it doesn't feel half as triumphant as I thought it would.

I've realised over the last few weeks that making things isn't a means to an end for me. When my great great grandmother made something she did it for practicality . It wasn't about filling her spare time  or just to see if she  could.  A quilt for my great great grandmother  probably meant the difference between being warm or freezing in winter.  In modern creativity, progress has somehow become a less valid part of the process  because we aren't making things for the sake of function. 

Kris started my thoughts churning by talking about the process of making things and getting them to a finish.  She postulated that we don't celebrate the "getting there " part enough.  Guilty as charged here at Maison Pyjamas. I'm almost always thinking about the end product and the next project or all the other things I "should" be doing and so I don't enjoy the journey as much as I could. In reading Kris's thoughts on the subject I realised that I'm limiting my experience by not celebrating and enjoying more steps along the way.

Like Shell, I've been paralysed and felt the pressure of too many ideas or too many irons in the crafting fire.   I can't count the number of blog posts I see about the amount of WIP's people are struggling with or all the things they want to get done.  I think we should refuse to feel guilt about WIP's. Guilt just creates more pressure to finish.  We're not in competition with each other to win "awesome crafter of the year".   And again there's that recurring theme about having something to show every week or two  that's "finished". Shell has vowed to get back to slow crafting and enjoying the journey. That's something I need to think about doing too.

And Lisa wrote a post recently about difficult vs time consuming which made me change my head space a little around some future projects.  I've been thinking "I cant do that - it's too hard - my quilting /sewing skills aren't that good-it'll take forever ". Then I got to thinking it's all about changing and growing and developing and I'm not going to do that if I don't challenge myself every now and then. Quilting is just maths with fabric. If I join Point A and Point B in a consistent way it'll turn out. The only person I'm answerable to  is me. If it takes me a year to finish something or it's not perfect the quilting police aren't going to come and lock me in quilting prison. So again, I've been  limiting myself by thinking "too hard" when in fact it's just time consuming. And isn't time all any of us have when you really get down to it?

So I'm going to remember while I'm running  this race  that you always win a race against yourself no matter how long it takes. Even when  you stop and  smell the roses along the way.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

I'm linking up to Little Miss Sunshine for Pyjama Party Sunday again this week ..and unlike the past few weekends, I did indeed spend the whole day in my pyjamas today.  I got jiggy with Elmo.And when I did have a shower at 4.00pm I got straight back into my pyjamas again...

I spent a couple of hours begging Blogger to be nice this morning. I think I'm caught up on commenting ...sorry if I missed anyones fabulous posts. I'm still having trouble with some blogs.

I'm showing you this messy desk because there are those among you who may be labouring under the delusion that it's always organised and tidy around here...

I made up some binding for the Zig Zag quilt

And later I sewed it to the front of the quilt

Mr. P cooked a bang up brunch.
I had the anaemic brunch special

 I managed to get  sidetracked by Dresden circles. I got  15 of these done today. Well, I made the circles and heat bonded them down.They still need sewing.

In other exciting news it was my annual  wash your ironing board cover weekend. Ours was so putrid we just went and bought another one. I'm all about taking the easy road.

And I found a little quilt from last year that I'd been avoiding finishing the binding on so I got to work on that as well this afternoon.

Unfortunately it's almost Monday again . Why do weekends go so fast?
After my FTF post this week several people said they'd love to drink tea so I'm thinking about doing a virtual tea party . Who's in? We can all swap recipes and take photos of our luxurious high tea party food.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

Blogger is still being selective about which blogs it will deign to let me post comments on so if I haven't  commented on yours lately that's probably because Blogger is holding your blog hostage.  I'm still reading your posts and hoping normal commenting will resume soon.

On to Favourite Things Friday. If you'd like to show off one of your Favourite Things this week -you can. I'd love to have you join us! Just write your own post about a favourite thing and link it up at the bottom of this post so other participants know who to come and visit.

When I was little and I used to visit my Nanna's house I used to marvel at some of her treasures.  She had a huge wooden spoon and fork set attached to the wall and lots of old glassware. She had chenille blankets on the beds and she had lots of pretty vases and crochet rugs. Sometimes she would let us have a cup of tea from tiny little tea cup set she owned. This treat didn't happen very often so we felt very grown up and princess-y when it did.

In my teens and 20's I thought all her "junk" was old fashioned. That was when I was going through my "I'm so trendy  and anything old is stupid and unworthy of my attention" phase.  I thought nobody but ancient  people actually liked doilies and salt and pepper shakers  and tea cups and vintage items.  And I vowed never to collect bric a brac and never ever to have a china cupboard. What's that saying about the impudence of youth?

At some point in my late 30's I got bitten by the vintage bug. I realised that old things can be beautiful and my love of op shopping was born. Very selectively I have since brought loads of old glassware, juicers,  china and crockery into my house.

About 5 years ago I decided to make Sister of Pyjamas a crazy tea set from odds and ends because she likes pretty vintage things.  So I set about collecting old and vintage tea cups, saucers and plates so that she could have her own tea party when ever she wanted.

And somehow during the process some of those tea cup sets made their way into my house. Into my china cabinet.

I've never used them ...and maybe I should.

I just sit and look at how pretty they are

I wonder about the people that owned them before I did

And hope they got as much pleasure from them as I do.

And even though my house doesn't really go with vintage , I think they add a touch of quirkiness to my dining room.

Would anyone like to come over for  high tea at my place just so I have a reason to use them?  I'm sure they don't like sitting in the cupboard being stared at all day.

Lord help me - I've  turned into a grandma. I even think lace doilies are pretty.

Have a fantastic Friday and thanks for dropping by to visit FTF this week.  Only one more day to the weekend and for some of you it's a long one! Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

This post is brought to you by

(and incidentally this post would have been published  a lot earlier if our linky party  hostess wasn't harassing me on Skype because she was bored )

I fell asleep on the lounge again last night so  I wasn't in my pyjamas for Pyjama Party Sunday because I woke fully dressed. Doing that certainly solves the dilemma of getting out of my pyjamas but makes me feel weird all day. It just doesn't feel like Sunday if I'm wearing actual clothes. I feel naked.

It's been a completely non productive  week round here for crafting. I just haven't felt like it this week and consequently ignored my sewing machine  for the entire week but woke up back in the game  today.  It was a good day for it because the weather was absolutely vile so I holed up inside and commented on the weather every 5 minutes to Mr. P.  

I sewed the zig zag quilt top together this morning. I'm pretty pleased with the result since I only had to unpick two rows during the process.  Now it's done  I  wish I'd made this bigger because it's only cot sized and I don't want Miss P trying for a girl just so it can get used.  It's looking for a snappy name so I'm open to suggestions since my quilt naming skills are pretty ordinary.

Then I made a label for Miss P's new quilt and sewed it on. I'm about to out Miss P with this label ...but now you all know I have excellent taste when it comes to naming children.

And I finished sewing on the label for "When Pastels Turn Sad". It's had a 1/4 sewn label flapping around on it for about three months.  Don't judge me.

I haven't had  baking disaster in a while so I decided to thumb my nose at fate and made some vanilla cupcakes from scratch. Fate -0, Mrs P - 1.

I've already eaten 3 and am feeling slightly chucky.

In other news this week:

I got mail from Kirsten in Germany who made me this wonderful top. Yep- I own a Kirsten original. Isn't it fabulous and so very me!

Thanks Kirsten! I love it.  

And finally Little P had surgery on Friday to replace two front teeth he fractured by face planting into a garden pot recently. Nobody told him a general anaesthetic is supposed to make you feel icky so he was running round my house causing havoc a mere two hours after he woke up from the procedure. He was very brave and kept telling me his "teef is ouchies". I think Little P got the family drama/attention seeking gene.  

Pop  on over to Little Miss Sunshine's and see what other people have been up to in their pyjamas today.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

Welcome to Favourite Things Friday .

Friday is the day we give thanks that it is indeed Friday ...the last working day of the week. And what a week it's been. Bizarre sleep, insane work hours and constant running just to keep up.  I dont mind admitting I'm hanging out for the weekend. 

I was emailing a friend a  couple of weeks ago when she asked me about the four legged members of the Pyjamas household. This got me to thinking that I am a bad mother because Indy, Lola, Mordecai and Moo hardly ever get a look in on my blog.  So this week I'm sharing them with you as my favourite thing because my pets deserve their own post (I cant believe I haven't  done this before!)

This is Miss. P's cat.  The cat she left with us when she moved out. Moo is a total crankypants. She's the most temperamental cat I've ever met. She'll love you one moment and without warning the next she's trying to scratch your eyeballs out. She's also very camera shy and spends a laod of time outside by her own choice.

It's hard to believe this little cutie....

 became a monster the size of a Shetland pony .

 I swear Indy has ADD. He chases leaves and anything else that flies including shadows. I watched him one day play tag with a dragon fly for about 20 minutes. He thinks the  world is a playground. He also has an almost human sense of humour-kind of like a 12 year old kid. Goofy.

Mordecai is well known for pulling cute faces and being my resident quilt inspector. If I am making a new quilt he has to roll all over it-every single time he walks near it. Once a quilt is done he's on the prowl looking for the next new quilt. I suspect this is much less about him appreciating my quilting prowess and more about his need to put his cat stink hormone on everything.

And this little Miss

is the dog that picked us. We had no idea she was coming home with us but apparently she had it planned from day 1. And she has no sense of humour whatsoever but she does like to pull sad faces in the hope I'll feed her jelly beans. She's also well known for being a bed hog. She likes to sleep under the covers.  

I can't imagine our house without multiple sets of four legs in it although it would be nice to have clean floors for longer than 5 minutes. I guess grubby floors is a small price to pay for all that unconditional love.

Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So that's where my week goes....

“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown Jr-author
You may recall I announced my intention of doing a time and motion study of my life last week.  I didn't solve that pesky world peace issue  and I didn't invent anything that will ultimately benefit mankind. In fact I should have picked a quote that contained the words sleeping , eating,  internet,  and the phrase "sitting on my fat bum stuffing my face with salt and vinegar chips "  because according to my carefully collated research that would have accurately summed up my week.  

I start every week with a clean slate and 168 hours to fill. Every week I vow to make the most of every minute. And every week I wonder where the  time goes  and now that I  know -I'm kind of horrified.

Last week I caught Rip Van Winkle disease and wore a dent in my lounge cushions from falling asleep there most nights.  I went  from having a midnight bed time to falling asleep at about the same time as Little P, who goes to bed about afternoon tea time. Just when I was booking myself in for tests to determine whether or not I was suffering from narcolepsy,  I managed to stay up past 9.30pm. Last week I managed to clock up about 49 hours of bedtime which is pretty much unheard of for me. Last night I fell asleep at 7.30pm again which gave me plenty of time to write this post when I woke at 3am.

Earlier in the week I was patting myself on the  back because I managed to cram an entire working week into 4 days. How efficient is that? Strike off another 38 hours for work and give me a resounding clap thankyouverymuch. Let's hear it for superior time management. Wait until my boss gets my time sheet and sees that I've managed to clock up a whole new load of flexi.

Apparently I spent  three whole hours showering, dressing  and making myself beautiful last week which seems kind of ridiculous. I don't know how I manage to knock out the vision of loveliness that is me in a mere 25 minutes a day but apparently I do. Obviously running through the shower with a cake of soap and calling it bathing helps. Wearing my hair in a constant pony tail helps. And  slapping on  moisturiser and calling that "makeup" is a massive time saver.

Under the housework/cooking heading which covers pretty much everything that isn't sewing/quilting/picking lint out of my belly button  I logged 16 hours last week. I'm not sure how -since Mr. P actually cleaned the house but numbers don't lie people. I did spend a load of time cooking meals for the freezer because I'm scared I'm going to get to the point where I'll be wanting to go to sleep at 6.00pm right on dinner time.

I spent 3 hours talking on the phone last week and another 2 hours gossiping randomly in person.  Don't worry - I wasn't gossiping about any of you. And  I re-acquainted myself with television which reinforced why I gave it up in the first place. I'm going to say outright that Jersey Shore which started on free to air TV here after heavy promotion for what felt like months  is the worst show EVER and I only lasted 15 minutes. How can ANYONE watch that rubbish?  I wanted to punch Snooki at about the three minute mark. I did however log 6 hours of Melrose Place episodes for a total of 12 hours of TV because that's quality TV programming from the 1990's.  It would have been more but I kept falling asleep. I fully intended to stitch in front of the TV but since I  was falling asleep at the drop of a hat I thought I'd cut my losses and keep myself safe. There's nothing funny about poking yourself with a needle.

I got 14.5 hours of crafting done. That included a quilt finish, sewing half of two other tops together and fluffing around getting mad with one of my stitcheries. Some weeks I really enjoy the creative process and some weeks it's just a means to an end. Last week was the latter. I bombed on doing 15 minutes a day ...again. I feel like an abject failure.

Sadly all these figures add up to one thing. 30.5 hours left- all of which I apparently spent on the computer and since Blogger was down for a good 32 hours of the week that's just sad. I realised that despite all my attempts at being uber cool I really am a geek girl after all. And that I don't really have a life. And that I spend a huge amount  of my "free" time   meandering round the internet. Blogger and Google (and you lot ) are a bad influence. On the up side it's not like I'm off smoking crack or something in my recreational time so the internet is relatively harmless in comparison. Does it sound like I'm in denial?

PS. Pop on over to Kate's to see what people got up to that didnt spend 37% of their life on the internet this week in the 15 minute challenge.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival-Spring 2011

Amy's Creative Side

The Bloggers Quilt Festival is being hosted by Amy's Creative Side (click on the button above if you want to be transported there ala Star Trek) this week. If you're one of my regular awesome blog readers  you'll know every quilt I make comes with a story that usually involves triumph over tragedy. There's usually pathos and comedy and some swearing chucked in as well. This quilt story is my own personal version of The Pursuit of Happiness.

Sometimes there's nothing like bringing a quilt finish down to the wire.Clearly I thrive on tight deadlines and a good dose of stress.  Bloggers Quilt Festival started yesterday and I finished this quilt at  5.00 pm Central Australian Time today.  A year in the making - it's finally finished...albeit without a label. What's even cooler is that for most participants it isn't even 5.00pm Saturday yet so many of you are reading a post about a quilt that doesn't actually exist in your parallel universe and has yet to be finished in your future.  ...Yep I'm messing with your mind.

I started this quilt as part of a Snowball quiltalong last May . The QAL fizzled out after a few posts and in  August my resolve fizzled after all the blocks were cut and sewn. I sent the quilt to the naughty corner (which is actually a deep dark cupboard in my sewing room )  and ignored it. It had plenty of company.  It sat lonely and forgotten for the next 8 months.  I'm good at ignoring stuff I don't want to deal with. I'm a mother.
Somewhere along the way I convinced myself the quilt was possessed and that I didn't like it. That meant I felt Ok about ignoring it because after all who wants to touch something that's possessed by Quilting Goblins.  Eventually  I sucked it up and stuck it on my PhD list and vowed to finish it by June 30th. Miss P spied the forlorn quilt bits in March and fell in love with the fabrics and I finally had a reason to finish it because constant nagging really makes my head ache.
The next phase was not without incident .  I swore and hated this quilt  some more when I realised I didn't have enough matching backing by a mere 10 inches. Quilter's stashitis saved my arse. I knew having a sewing room with 3456 yards of fabric would come in handy at some point.

With the top finished I still wasn't convinced that this quilt could ever be gorgeous  (or in my ability to make it look pretty given my rudimentary quilting skills- FM quilting and I have yet to develop a warm and cordial relationship ) So off to the quilter this quilt was sent. In music and theatre circles it isn't over till the fat lady sings. With quilts- it's never over until the quilting and binding are done. That's when the magic happens.

It arrived home this afternoon and I love it.  I finished the binding and I present to you "Snowballs in Hell" , because that's about as much chance as this quilt had of being finished a year ago.

My only regret is that this quilt is promised to Miss P - who is now pressing her luck by insisting I also make her jam donuts. Maybe we can organise a trade- donuts for the quilt? I mean after all I gave birth to her - what more does she want?

Thank Goodness

It feels so wrong that I'm so grateful Blogger is fixed...but I am. Thank you Blogger Team for running around feverishly getting everything back to normal.  I had images of Blogger headquarters looking like the control tower of an airport in emergency crisis yesterday. And while I was locked out - along with every one else-I reminded myself that in the grand scheme of things this really was only a minor inconvenience, and that there are still people going hungry in the world, and that world peace hasn't been achieved and so a Blogger snafu isn't actually the tragedy I  kept thinking it was.

Blogger also decided earlier in the week it hated selected Australians , South Africans and Malaysians and wouldn't let me in for another 24 hours on and off it hasn't been a prolific posting week. FTF will be back next week because it feels like cheating to post FTF on a Saturday.

You would think that with no Blogger to distract me I would have managed to get  a ton done. I'm hoping that a 90 minute Nanna nap and watching 4 episodes of Melrose Place along with a couple of hours of sewing counts as productivity.

Yesterday I squared up the rest of the blocks for the Zig Zag Quilt and laid it out in this pattern and then started sewing the rows together. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that when I try to sew the rows together they'll all match up but I'm not convinced yet. I do like the quilt though. I'm always happy when I work with bright colours.

It's going to be on the smallish side  but it'll make a great lap quilt for a little girl. And I guess if I really want to I can add a border. Goodness knows I have enough of that fabric left over...

I'm hoping to get  lots of things done this weekend, including a quilt finish so I'm out of here. I hope your weekend is amazingly creative.