Saturday, August 27, 2011

Let this be a lesson to all of us ....

Procrastination is bad.

I convinced myself I could finish  the Flying Dutchman quilt on Saturday because after all,  I had no plans for the day beyond banking the cheque for my poor dead car and we weren't due out to my nephew's birthday dinner until 7.30pm . Plenty of time to get my act together and finish this at a leisurely pace during the day right?

Until we got a phone call Friday night inviting us to my in laws for a retirement celebration lunch on Saturday. Two social activities in one day is unheard of around here . What's up with that ?

I figured I could still pull it off  because I had all of Friday night to get the binding finished, print the label, wash and dry the quilt and sew the label on.

I fell asleep on the lounge at 9pm...oops. Having. Done. Exactly. Nothing.

Guess what I was doing at 7.20 this morning? Furiously attaching binding that's what!

And at 4.20 pm this afternoon as I de-linted it and wrapped it in beautiful flocked wrapping paper I have never been so glad to finish a quilt in my life! 

2/3rds of the front - this quilt is huge!
The back 
I'm off to pretty myself up for the birthday party. The birthday boy better be suitably grateful!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

Welcome to Friday!

I'm keeping it short and sweet this week. I'm dedicating my FTF this week to one of the hardest working people I know. My mother in law, Shirley, who will probably kill me if she ever finds out I've posted her picture and her name on the internet.  

On Wednesday this week , my mother in law retired after over half a century of working. At one point when my MIL was in her 20's she held down multiple jobs simultaneously while bringing up a  toddler to make ends meet. Her energy still amazes me. And until this week she still worked 5 days a week starting at the very rude time of 7 am every day. And somehow still always managed to have a pristine house and  throw together impromptu family dinners for the clan. When I get home from work all I want to do is collapse... 

My favourite thing this week is  the idea that after years of working so hard she is finally going to get to do some of the things that she wants to do for herself. She told me her first job was going to be cleaning her house from top to bottom. Crazy. My first thing would be to sit on my arse and do nothing for a month. 

Happy Retirement Shirley. You deserve it. 

If you'd like to share one of your favourites this Friday, whack up a post and link to this one so we can come and share something you're loving this week. 

P.S. My father in law will be joining her in sleeping in and bumming round doing exactly what he wants when he retires next week. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Excuses., Excuses...

You all know the sorry saga of how I left quilting the Flying Dutchman quilt until the last minute. I made a big song and dance publicly about having to do it all in a mere six  days. 6 days is a pretty tall order even for me, especially since I've cornered the market on avoidance lately. I'm seriously considering changing my blog name to Procrastinating in My Pyjamas. 

Straight up I'm going to confess I didn't touch it Wednesday or Thursday.

I ended up working all day Friday so I was shattered by the time I got home. Not so shattered that I couldn't make this though instead of doing what I was supposed to be doing. 4 days till deadline. Tick, Tock, Tick , Tock.

Saturday I planned to work on that quilt all day. Really. Miss P phoned at  10.15 am begging for help to move to her new house as  all  her friends had piked on helping her and she needed us to come with a trailer to pick up a "few" things. A few things turned out to be 3/4 of her house most of which was not yet packed. Three trips later with a cage trailer (and a lot of frenzied packing) and we finally got home at 6.15 last night. I was shattered. Not so shattered that I couldn't finish this though instead of what I was supposed to be doing. 3 days till deadline. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Today I woke to the certain knowledge that I had 41 hours to complete this quilt before D day. I was shattered. Not so shattered that I couldn't sit at the computer commenting on 30 blog posts and responding to about 20 emails this morning though. 

Finally at 9 am  I knew I could procrastinate no more....Nothing like a little bit of pressure to get your motivation going. And at 4.52pm I'm pretty sure I heard victory trumpets and angels singing to herald the finish of the quilting. I'm not showing it yet because it's the lint-iest quilt ever and I haven't brushed it down yet.

Now I just have to do the binding ...sigh...I hope your Sunday was full of crafty times. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

TGIF people. That's all I have to say this week. 

My morning routine every day for at least the last 25 years has been pretty much the same. I wake up and my brain instantly kicks into gear. After my poor brain works out what day it is (that's always my first thought ) I'm thinking about whether I have to go to work and what I have to accomplish for the day. I'm usually out of bed within about 60 seconds of waking up.  It sucks to be instantly awake. 

Every morning is the same. I stagger off to the bathroom and  turn on the kettle and computer on the way. Once the bathroom and I have finished  the most important ritual of my day occurs. 

I make coffee. 

I don't understand anyone who can leave the house in the morning without slurping down at least one cup of coffee. I need at least  two or I'm a cranky pants or at the very least fairly fuzzy round the edges by the time I get to work. 

When I was nursing and had to be at work at 7am, there was usually no time for that second cup. I had to get Miss P to childcare and I'd often leave home at 6.15 am. It became well known among the night nurses that the only way to have a handover conversation with me  was to have a hot steaming cup of coffee sitting on my desk when I walked in the door. It's like coffee lights up my brain and allows me think intelligent thoughts. 

image credit

At my worst point of addiction I was drinking about 8 cups a day. That stuff is more addictive than crack. You seriously do go through withdrawal when you're coming off it. 

image credit (we dont want to get sued now do we?)
I don't discriminate when it comes to coffee. Plunger, coffee machine, instant-I'll drink them all. Cappuccino, Mocha, Vienna, Flat White  - just brew it up and hand it over. Coffee makes me smart.

As far as I'm concerned a bad cup of coffee is better than no cup of coffee and it's one of my favourite things this week. Link away if you'd like to share one of your favourite things this week. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

15 Minute Challenge with Kate

I'm back for another week of Kate's 15 minute challenge and I'm feeling like a bit of a fraud. I don't have a lot to share this week. 

The Flying Dutchman Quilt 
I publicly announced I needed to finish the Flying Dutchman quilt this week. I'm publicly announcing that  I'm bringing this one down to the wire.  It's not as if I didn't touch it at all this week. I made the backing. Let's see how well I work under real pressure. It needs to be finished in 6 days. Last time I brought my finish this close to the actual giving I ended up staying up until 3 am Christmas Eve attaching binding so I could give the quilt to someone Christmas day. 

For reasons that are unknown to me the floor on which I normally baste my quilts has decided to become uncooperative at allowing masking tape to adhere to it.  Anyway I had to suck it up and baste this quilt on a very large couple of tables outside on Saturday. I'm not sure I love that method of basting and I'm not sure I did a great job. 

I started quilting - I like the black and white variegated thread. 

What I didn't like was the curvy lines I decided to do on the coloured parts the seam picker and I had a session. I'm also dreading having to de-lint this quilt when it's finally done. 

Tis the Season Stitcheries/Quilt 
This week I finished two more stitcheries from the 'Tis The Season blocks.

And made some headway on the very last block. I'm disappointed this is almost done and will have to find some other hand stitching to do. Yes- you heard it here. I like hand stitching. Alert the media. 

And then I got really ambitious and decided to start making them into actual quilt blocks. (I think at this point I would have done almost anything to avoid the Flying Dutchman quilt ) 

Pop on over to Kate's to see what other crafters have been up to this week with their 15 minutes. 

P.S. Does anyone want to pop on over and quilt the Flying Dutchman for me? 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

It's Friday for another week. is it just me or do Fridays roll around really fast?

In celebration of Fridays (and the survival of another work week)  I play a little linky party called Favourite Things Friday and you can play right along too .  Just write a post about one of your favourites and link it up and we can share the things we adore. 

Having endured 4 months of the weirdest sleep patterns in the universe , I have to say my favourite thing this week has been sleeping my kind of "normal" again. 

I have to say I wish this was my bed but I pilfered the photo from here

I don't need a lot of sleep and I've always been an early riser (with the exception of my early 20's when I was often only just making it home at waking up time and would consequently sleep all day).  When I wake up I'm ready to face the day almost immediately, albeit in my pyjamas. There is no gentle gradual awakening for me. I'm asleep one moment- and bam! awake the next. I do my best thinking right after I wake up too. This is the time when I often solve problems like world peace, what we're having for dinner next Tuesday and how the universe was created.

Unless I fell asleep at 9 pm and wake at 3 am. At that time of the morning it seems I'm incapable of any thought aside from 'What the hell am I doing awake at this hour of the night" . Because ladies and gentlemen - 3 am truly is the middle of the night no matter which way you look at it. And when you wake at 3 am it's not like you can get up and actually do anything because the rest of the house is asleep, like normal people should be. 

I'm a midnight go to bed kind of gal because that means at 6 am I'll be awake and ready to think a billion thoughts while I contemplate my day. After 6  hours of sleep (punctured by the dulcet tones of Mr. P's freight train snoring )  I can get in an hour or two of alone and quiet time during which I drink at least two cups of coffee, spend an hour or so seeing what you all got up to since I was here last and then jump into my day. 

We tend to underestimate the importance of sleep. And it's usually one of the first things affected when we're under stress. So, from a girl who has spent the last week actually waking at a normal hour for the first time since April I have to say my favourite thing this week is actually sleeping like a normal person. In a bed. At a regular time. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

We're having ourselves a census

Like many countries, Australia does a nation wide census every 5 years.  It's compulsory to participate and although I've never heard of anyone being clapped in jail for not filling it out - the census workers just keep visiting you until you cave in and hand them a completed form. I  hear that the third time they have to come knocking they bring a baseball bat as encouragement for you to find a pen and start ticking.

I'm a brown noser from way back. I like to follow the rules. I live to do the right thing. I was always the first to finish my school work in class, the first to hand my homework in and the kid most likely to volunteer to stay behind to clap the chalk dust out of the blackboard erasers after school. I rarely lied to Mother of Pyjamas as a kid (she had a spidey sense about that stuff anyway), I didn't do drugs and I was scared and wanted to please any one  in a position of authority including the police and the dude who drove the school bus and threatened kids with being chucked off if they got too loud.  Back in my day it was still permissible for a teacher to give you a  pancake (a whack on the arse with a ping pong bat ) or if you were really bad,  to whale the stuffing out of you with the cane or a yard stick.

Where was I? ....oh yes- I'm a good two shoes ...

My point is - as an adult I haven't changed much.   I want to be a good citizen and I want to return my census form for the greater good of the country. For an Australian that's about as patriotic as we get. If the people of this country had their way "Waltzing Matilda" would be our national anthem because we know how to poke fun at ourselves. We're all about beer and sheep and public holidays mate. It's not that we don't love our country - we do - we just don't talk about it much and rarely in terms of patriotism.

Where was I ....oh yes ...brown noser.

I still had those "wanna get this census finished first" feelings - so much so that I had to refrain from filling all 18 pages of that baby out when it arrived in my door step 10 days ago.  I was hoping to get a "first place" ribbon for census completion but apparently there is no prize for filling in your form before the due date and in fact that might even nullify your results.  Bummer.  I was seriously crestfallen. How was the government going to know how seriously I was taking the census if I couldn't shine above every one else. And no prizes for finishing first? What the hell is up with that? If there aren't prizes half the people in this country aren't going to do it.

Yessiree Bob - I really wanna do my part to help shape social thingys and infastructure whatsits  and blah blah blahs and be counted as part of this great nation of ours. I'll  even write Jedi Knight on my return if it will help get Star Wars recognised as a formal religion. I'd love to pay higher taxes and for the government to use this information to  work out how they can squeeze the remaining 20 dollars I have left after I pay for everything each week out of me. Bring it on. Let's fill in that census.

I must confess I felt relief after looking at the questions. I know all the answers. I know where my parents and grandparents were born, how much I earn, my marital status and my own address. Too bad this isn't being graded because I'm  finally going to ace a test.

I worry momentarily about whether  they can trace the fact my great grandfather jumped ship in 1896 and swum ashore entering Australia  to start a new life without asking for proper permission to emigrate. Surely they wont deport me back to Finland after 110 years?  Fortunately they have Maccas in Finland so I'll probably be OK aside from the minor detail of not being able to speak Finnish or Swedish. 

So if Blogland is a bit quiet on the Aussie front tonight it's because we're all off dutifully filling in our census forms. I'd like to thank the Australian Bureau of statistics for giving me something to do to fill up an otherwise boring Tuesday night. You have my address to send me my gold star. 

P.S. The "how many cars were garaged at your house on census night?" question became easier to count as of this morning when our little red rocket was written off in an accident by someone  who wasn't watching where they were going. Please spare a thought for the little red rocket tonight lonely and cold in a car graveyard. It looks like we're going car shopping.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

I've spent much of my week at various times on my hands and knees hand scrubbing every single inch of floor grout in my house. Real friends would have warned me when I excitedly talked about laying white tile last year when we renovated how much of a bitch that was going to be to keep clean. In fact real friends would have been here helping me clean the grout. I had planned to clean the grout in April and got as far as buying the cleaner and then ignored it until August.  I finally finished on Saturday with a marathon scrub of the kitchen and dining room. Nobody is allowed to walk on it. We've been stuck in the lounge room for the last 24 hours and I'm making Mr. P take a whizz out the front door so he doesn't have to use the hallway to get to the toilet. Cleaning grout has to be one of the worst household jobs ever. I dont plan on doing it any more often than I have to.

Yesterday I got all fired up about the idea of making a quilted purse from this super easy looking tutorial over at Kat's. Call it avoidance of the Flying Dutchman quilt if you like but I got me a hankering to have a pretty purse and by golly I was going to make one. And it was going to be the best darn purse in the history of purses.

Most of you know I have bag-o-phobia.  Some people are scared of spiders, or Friday the 13th , or murderers. I am scared of bags. Every single time I  make one I screw it up somehow. Either the handles disappear inside the lining at the turning stage or something crucial doesn't line up when I pull it right side out no matter how carefully I cut and sew and follow instructions. This time I was feeling confident and full of girl power. And it all went swimmingly  until I had to do the turning right side out part which appears to be my Waterloo.

In my first attempt -I sewed the entire top shut . It's pretty hard to turn a bag right side out when you do that. In my own defence I was completely surprised when this occurred since in my mind  I thought I was genuinely  following the instructions. Yes - I'm a complete dumbarse. I unpicked and decided to try again. 

In my second attempt (during which I sent Mr. P to the shops because he was looking a little bit deer in the headlights after my first attempt) the flap disappeared into the bag and decided it wouldn't re-appear without more unpicking . Which I dutifully did accompanied by some swearing. I'm not going to lie- I did contemplate using it as a flapless pouch and pretending that's the way it was designed.  

It was at this point I became paralysed by fear and  decided to go away and make cupcakes because sometimes they actually turn out and because I  felt like having a little whiny self pitying cry about being the only person in the universe that cant master basic bag making.

The cupcakes made me feel better so I ate 4 of them. 

I also re-upholstered the computer room chairs. I stripped the old upholstery off, bleached it , tea dyed it and then hated how it looked  so one emergency trip to Spotlight later  this is what I ended up with. 

I got some more Tis The Season stitchery blocks done. How pissed off does the snowman on the left look? 

I did manage to drag up the enthusiasm to actually cut the backing for the Flying Dutchman quilt and that's as far as I got. That deadline is getting closer and closer and eventually I'll be forced to do something to finish it. Or hand my nephew a pile of fabric that vaguely resembles a quilt.  He could super glue it together. It'll be character building.

Oh and that bag? I went back and kicked it's arse after my cupcake lunch. It's amazing what you can do with a staple gun and spit.

It seems I can make bags after all. 

I'm linking up to Little Miss Sunshine's Pyjama Party Sunday. Click the link below for a squizz at what she got up to this weekend.

P.S. I feel like I'm dying. Someone has generously given me a cold and accompanying fever. I'm just hoping it isn't flu but I seriously doubt I'm going to be up bright eyed and bushy tailed for work in 9 hours. 

Friday, August 05, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

Whoooooooo Hoooooooo . It's Friday again which means that if I survive until 5pm I have two days off to look forward to. It also means it's time to play Favourite Things Friday again. I'd love to see your Favourite Things this week so feel free to link on up and shamelessly tell us all about one of your Favourites. 

When I was little I had very dark, very straight very shiny hair, and I took it totally for granted. I used to  stay out in the sun without a hat , and use non coated elastic bands. My Mum used to wash our hair with shampoo only and then let it dry naturally into shape by  sticky taping it to our foreheads. I guess they didn't have blow dryers in the dark ages. And my hair always bounced back.  Those were the days my friends- those were the days. I didn't realise how good I had it.

In my teens I got a mullet...I don't want to talk about that. In my own defence - it was the fashion at the time. Yes -I have pictures. No - you cant see them.

In my 20's I started torturing my hair with cutting, colouring and perming. I also found my first grey hair (on my 29th birthday no less !)  I ditched the sticky tape and started using a glob of mousse and a blow dryer-every single day. And I used whatever shampoo they had on special at the supermarket. 99 cents for a whole bottle is a bargain. And still my hair remained shiny and gorgeous and dark and sleek with very little effort on my part. 

In my 30's  I discovered the joys of hair product.  Lots of hair products in fact .  I got sucked in by the marketing hype. I allowed my hairdresser to upsell me to teeny tiny expensive bottles of  salon shampoo and conditioner. I added shine serum to my repertoire. I ditched the mousse and started using wax and paste and anti frizz rinse . I lashed out on  hairspray and finishing spray. I bought curling irons and hair dryers worth mega bucks with diffusers that looked like the exhaust of one of the Apollo mission shuttles. My hairdresser became one of the most important people in my life. Yes folks I turned to the dark side. I became a convert to the "Thou shall spend approximately 3000 bucks annually on your hair to look gorgeous " camp because my hair was less shiny and less straight and less gorgeous than before.

In my 40's  hormones and living have taken a toll on my once dark sleek shiny hair and the only way I'm going to get that effect now is by using copious combinations of very expensive, probably head cancer causing hair products.  My hair is downright kinky and not in a good way. The only shine my hair gets is straight from a bottle. Colouring my hair is no longer a fashion statement - it's a necessity. My morning ritual has gone from "I'm using hair products to enhance my hair and look utterly gorgeous" to "If I don't use enough hair product to sink a battle ship someone's going to ask me if I'm the scarecrow out of Wizard of Oz". And since one of the joys of my life is having a  good hair day, and if I don't use all this crapola on my hair these days the chances of that happening are remote, I'm happy to worship at the altar of Matrix or Redken or Juice on a daily basis. And if that means I have to take an extra suitcase away on holidays to fit it all in and hide the hair product receipts from Mr. P-  then so be it. Men just don't get it because usually they would be happy to wash their hair in dish washing liquid.

I'm a  firm believer that the Good Hair Day Gods only visit those of us that buy ridiculously expensive hair products and a great shampoo and hydrating rinse (notice they don't call it conditioner when you buy the high end stuff ). From time to time I get the shits on with paying 80 bucks for a bottle each  of shampoo  and "hydrating rinse" and then I remind  myself of what happens when I use the cheap stuff. I don't want to take that trip to Scarecrow-ville. 

So now that you all know how shallow I am I dare you to link up with some meaningful and sentimental and well thought out posts about your Favourite Things this week.  I'm off to pimp my hair.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

15 Minute Challenge with Kate

This post is brought to you by :

Not a particularly great week for crafty achievement here at Maison Pyjamas. I did finally make this place mat for Little P though. Since it's going to get "bas-ghetti" and "graybee" all over it multiple times I'm not massively fussed it isn't 100 % perfect. I'd forgotten my machine did those fancy schmancy stitches because the last time I used them was in 2004.

I went fabric shopping - twice. It seems that's what I do when I cant work up the enthusiasm to craft !

40% off Denyse Schmidt. I couldn't resist. It's all Kat's fault. She told me about the Spotlight sale. Darn tooting I told on her to Mr. P.

And I finished up another one of my TTS blocks. 

I ignored the Flying Dutchman quilt completely this week  ...yikes. Only 20 days until that has to make an appearance as a birthday present. Guess what I'm going to be working on like a mad thing for the next couple of weeks?

Pop on over to Kate's at Life in Pieces to see if anyone did better than I did this week.