Friday, September 30, 2011

Favourite Things Friday-Reality TV

It's a long weekend here this weekend. Our first since June. Imagine me doing a very vigorous happy dance at the thought of four days off. It's also AFL grand final weekend which means all of tomorrow will be a testosterone filled day at my brother in laws because his team is playing. Loz will also be very happy. AFL is a big deal in this country for anyone who lives in Victoria or South Australia. Other states have the distraction of rugby. I have never watched an rugby game in my life. Sorry New Zealand. I know rugby and the TV show "Outrageous Fortune " are your main exports.

Anyway, on to FTF for this most wonderful of long weekend Fridays. 

I'm really putting myself out there this week with a confession that I am sure will subject me to much ridicule and pity. Obviously that doesn't worry me too much or I wouldn't be making a public confession. I need to unburden my soul. For far too long I've been pretending to be classy and high brow (I'm rolling round on the floor with laughter here ) and it's time you all knew the dirty truth. 

Until my sleep went to pot in April I had pretty much sworn off TV. Give me my internet and my sewing machine and I was a happy little vegemite. With the weird sleep thing I started to sack out on the lounge in front of the TV a little more and discovered a whole new world. At the start I was hand stitching and I told myself that I only had the TV on because I needed background noise and something to glance up at occasionally to break my intense scrutiny of my awesome stitching. You can imagine my horror when I started working my weekly after work sewing schedule  around some very trashy "reality" TV shows.

Looking back I should have seen the signs. In 2000 Survivor debuted and I loved it. All that skullduggery and back stabbing was pure gold. In 2001 Big Brother appeared on Australian TV for the first time and I became seriously hooked. 7.00pm BB was a viewing must and I didn't miss it for anything. If a crisis hit at 6.59pm you just had to suck it up until 7.30 when I was back in the real world again. Nobody was allowed to speak to me, call me or knock on my front door for that 30 minutes a day. Seriously.

Big Brother was axed in 2008. I was devastated and lost the will to live to watch the 400th season of Survivor and the 221st season of The Amazing Race. I figured I was over my reality TV stage and went on happily with my life.

Until recently...

When I discovered such gems of TV shows like Hardcore Pawn, Pawn Stars and Operation Repo. Something about seeing unfortunate people having their cars repossessed really appealed to the "sucked in, deadbeat " side of my nature. I've since found out that the show is totally scripted and it's kind of lost it's appeal for me. That Matt is a classic over actor, a bit like Jim Carrey.  Ditto watching people come in and pawn stuff. And argue about stuff they've pawned.  And bitch about how much they're being offered when they try to sell stuff. I've  never been in a pawn shop in my life and it's fascinating TV viewing. It's like a train wreck . I don't want to watch but I can't look away. 

My favourite thing this week is (un)reality TV ..I admit it . I'm addicted.  What's the trashiest TV show you'll confess to watching? 

Big Brother is coming back for 2012. I can't see this trashy reality TV kick ending any time soon. And I'll be there with bells on watching at 7.00pm every night. Don't bother emailing or calling me- I wont answer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

15 Minute Challenge with Kate

Panic sets in and motivates you to sew like a crazy lady when you set yourself unrealistic goals and can't let go of the idea that you can finish a ridiculous number of quilts in just over three months. But I'm half way there- sort of. Half my projects are ready for the basting and quilting stage and since three of the 6 are going out to be quilted properly (unlike my usual slap dash methods )  I really only have three quilts to get done. That's my logic and I'm sticking to it. The alternative is to realise how much work I really have to get done and go down in a screaming heap. 

I got everything done on my to do list from last week. Last time that happened was about the same time man discovered fire and learned to talk in intelligible sentences so I'm pretty chuffed. 

So with all the Merry Go Round strips sewn up into threes , I went ahead and started making some actual blocks. I think I'm going to love this when it's done. (assuming all the blocks go together without sending me to the nearest mental health facility) Imagine how bright and gorgeous this is going to be. Break out your sunnies. These colours make my heart sing and further reinforce the idea that I'm so not a pastels girl. 

I made the back for Flurry and then made the binding. Onto basting and quilting next....

I got jiggy with 6 more hourglass blocks and cut all the remaining coloured strips. They look so pretty waiting to be sewn up. And I'll be doing a lot of that this week . I have 49 of those blocks left to make....

I started marking the quilting pattern onto the Blue and Brown quilt..I've never marked a quilt before. This led to a flurry of emails to Little Miss Sunshine as my desperate insecurity about whether I was doing it right reared it's ugly head. How can you stuff up marking a quilt unless you do it in permanent marker? Why do I worry so much about inconsequential stuff? 

I started the wonky blocks quilt for my nephew. All the blocks are done. All 48 of them. The binding is done. The sashing and borders are cut.

And I started a new stitchery for a card I'm making. I'm hoping for a girl...but I'll make a boy card too just to cover myself. It's so inconsiderate when people wont tell you whether they're having a boy or a girl . 

This weeks goals:
Start sewing the wonky blocks together into rows
Complete 12 more Hourglass blocks
Make 10 hexagon blocks
Start quilting the blue and brown quilt
Ignore Flurry for another week 

For more crafting genius take mosey on over to Kate's to see how other people spent some of their quarter hours this week.

If I don't write a post about something other than sewing soon I think my head is going to explode....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Starting Number 6

It's Monday again. Back to the daily grind for another week. Why do weekends go by in the blink of an eye and the equivalent number of working days seem to drag on forever? Chocolate for whoever comes up with the best answer that doesn't involve complicated scientific theory. My head can't cope with complicated.

I had a productive weekend of sewing and got a stack of things done. More on that on tomorrow. In the meantime I want so share a sneak peek of a quilt I started this weekend that's on my list to finish by the end of the year.

This one is for nephew number 2 who not so subtly reminded me on Friday night that I made his brother a quilt and he wants one too. I've been planning this one for a while and it's easy peasy. Saturday morning it was a pile of fat quarters and as of Sunday lunchtime only 5 blocks stood between me and starting to put a quilt top together. That's my kind of quilt! I was a bit dubious that I'd be grooving on the colour scheme or the fact it's all solids but so far so good.

I stepped out of my comfort zone this past week and signed up for my first ever swap. Kat is hosting a scrappy swap and it looked like a low stress , fun swap. I stress out at the the thought of swaps . My internal dialogue runs something like this "What if what I make is crap? What if the recipient hates it? What if I don't send enough and my partner thinks I'm mingy?". Kat's swap has rules on not going overboard so it was perfect. Now I just have to get over my Flickr fear.... and suck up enough courage to make a mosaic.

My Dad is still in the hospital and no word yet on when he might be coming home. We totally busted the "2 visitors at a time rule" when visiting him today. At one stage we had 8 people in his room and played musical chairs for three hours with the two whole chairs they provided. When the Pyjamas clan get together we're none too quiet either.  I bet that comes as shock to all of you. That kind of normality probably aided my Dad's recovery no end. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

It was another week where I struggled to keep up with the goings on in Blogland and my email Inbox and with juggling work and home responsibilities. With another Little P sleepover, my Dad having surgery (which he never does very well)and a mega busy weekend coming up I'm looking forward to focusing on something today that has been the highlight of my week. Come and play Favourite Things Friday with me!

One morning this week I woke up early as usual. I got in my hour at the computer before Mr. P woke up. And when he woke up he gave me this because apparently I stink.  

And because it was my birthday. 

I also got a "Go and Buy yourself an I Pad, tablet or notebook since you have wanted one since the dawn of time and spend 90% of your waking life at home playing with your Blog friends " note. Sara , you and I will be talking about what I really want to buy since you're my techno expert and know about all this new fangled technology stuff. 

When I got to work my office was awash with gifts and a birthday cake. I think my Babushka love is well known everywhere but especially at work. 

Lunch with my mother and my sister yielded even more bounty. A subscription for home inspiration and a Spotlight Voucher so I can make more beautiful quilts. I can probably spend that voucher in less than 3 minutes. The magazine subscription will last a year. Plenty of time to be inspired and decide I want Mr. P to re-paint the entire house in purple or orange. 

Later in the day, I got  a parcel from Little Miss Sunshine. Apparently I'm a bitch who loves Faith Fabric. Right on both counts. I almost squealed when I opened the package. Words fail to convey how much I love this fabric. But I know you all understand that feeling. 

From another wonderful work friend, the most divine diffuser for my bathroom. It really is too bad this isn't smell-a-vision. You'll just have to take my word for  it that I have the best smelling bathroom in all of the Southern Hemisphere.

Miss P and Little P came over for my birthday and stayed the night. Miss P looked kind of mischievous when she handed me my gift which turned out to be this. A disposable camera.  I've been complaining about my 7 year old digital camera for a year so maybe she thought this would help me out. 

Until she couldn't contain herself any longer and forked over the real present. I think I know where some of that hard earned money from working a couple of weeks ago went. 

And in case you're wondering how old I was
(the donuts were for Miss P and Mr. P ) 

And Little P had his first frog cake while Bella ate about her 1 millionth. 

I think he enjoyed it even if he did eat it all wrong. Everyone who is anyone knows you eat the head last so you can hear the frog screaming until the very last bite. PETA members don't send me hate mail - I'm totally joking. (You tape their mouths shut so you can't hear them scream ) 

Birthday celebrations continue this weekend. I've had so much fun with this birthday and intend to wind it out as long as possible.

If you'd like to show off one of your favourite things for this week -you know the deal - link on up and show us something you love!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

15 Minute Challenge with Kate

If you have read my previous post you'll know I was a lean mean sewing machine for at least three days this past week. OK- maybe not so lean but I think it's safe to say I got my 15 minutes a day in and then some if you average it out over the week.

I'm like that in real life too. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. Whatever I'm focussed on tends to consume me so I'm either crazily sewing enough for three people or I'm  doing nothing. Thank goodness this week was of the crazy sewing variety. I never know how long that feeling will last so I just roll with the punches.

I tend to be a morning person so when I get home from work I often don't feel like dragging my very tired patootie to the sewing room. In the morning I don't think Mr. P would be very happy to be woken at 5 am by the dulcet whirring of a sewing machine. It's a dilemma I haven't managed to solve satisfactorily yet. One solution would be to give up my day job but we tend to like eating and paying bills and not being evicted from our home so me not working isn't a very practical solution. 

I have some goals for this week. One of them is to make this pile of strips disappear into magically sewn sets of threes and 6 more Hourglass blocks. 

I'm going to make some binding for the Flurry quilt. Yes I'm aware I haven't made a back for it yet. That's on the list for this week too...

And lastly on a begging note, I have decided to make a selvage quilt in 2012. This has been a long term dream of mine for a couple of years and I've been saving selvages. I have a large squished down zip lock bag full of them but it's probably not enough for a whole quilt yet.

So if anyone has any they would be willing to gift to me please let me know. I'd really appreciate it and promise to mention you on my quilt label!

For more 15 minute reports from this week pop on over to Kate's blog - Life in Pieces. All the craftiest people hang out there. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Going For Broke

Friday I had a craft groove going like nobody's business.  I sewed pretty much ALL day. Crown me Princess Craft. I worked on my "Tis the Season" Quilt like a demon. I made binding , pieced the quilt back, finished the borders, cobbled together some batting and had it basted by midday. 

I gave myself a mental high five, told myself how awesome I was and went and celebrated by eating 6 Tim Tams and a half pack of raspberry bullets for lunch. One of the best things about having no kids in this house is not having to set a positive example. 

Fuelled by sugar and temporary insanity I did one border on the Flurry quilt and then realised I had made a huge and very noticeable error.  Since I was too lazy to unpick said error I tossed it in the corner and decided to ignore it. If ignoring Flurry was a recognised sport I'd be in line to win the grand final. I know some of you are wondering whether it'll ever get finished.

Little Miss Sunshine and I played Skype Sewing Friday afternoon/evening. TTS got quilted and I spent the rest of Friday night attaching the binding. By 10.45 pm it was done. I went to bed patting myself on the back and telling myself (and Little Miss Sunshine ) how fabulously talented I was. 

Saturday morning I got up bright and early vowing to kick Flurry's blocks. (You all thought I was going to write arse didn't you?  ) Something happened between coffee number 2 and 3 and commenting on blog posts and I decided it would be a shit hot idea to short list all the quilts I still want to make in 2011. For your information there are 105 days left of this year and apparently I've decided I can finish 6 quilts in this time , three of which weren't even started when I woke up yesterday morning. 

Notice I said "weren't " which implies that at least some of those quilts are started now. After all my holier than thou crap lately about finishing a couple of things before I started anything new I'm publicly admitting I am officially a bullshit artist. I can't help myself. I had to start something new. I have zero willpower. 

Since then I have sewed together 78 strips of the Tonga Hard Candy Batiks for the Merry Go Round Quilt. How cute do these look? I figure since they aren't actual blocks yet I can call it "fabric prep" which means I didn't really start a new quilt.

It wasn't all about ignoring WIP's this weekend.  I made the backing for the blue and brown quilt and started auditioning quilting patterns. 

Thea posted about a quilt she is doing at the moment and gave the pattern link. You know how sometimes you see an idea and think "I have the perfect fabric for that quilt in my stash". That's what happened to me when I saw this. So I emailed Thea to make sure she was OK with me shamelessly copying her brilliant idea and then I made a test block.

When it came together with no swearing whatsoever  I convinced myself that the quilting gods wanted me to proceed and I washed, dried and ironed my fabric in preparation for the right time to start some blocks. 

Which apparently was 47 seconds after I finished ironing . 

You're all wondering how long Flurry is going to sit in the naughty corner aren't you? 

I finished the top this afternoon. 

So basically this weekend I finished a wall hanging and a quilt top , convinced myself I was really ahead of the game and started another two new quilts that I have vowed to finish before December 31st. Madness . Shoot me now.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Favourite Things Friday

Welcome to a very special Friday for me this week. It's special because I went back to working full time in March for 6 months. As of today  I finally have my Friday's off again.  I love my Friday's off...I'm planning to potter and sew and spend time on the computer and possibly do some housework without the pressure of having only the weekend to get all the essential things done. 

On to Favourite Things Friday for this week. Feel free to join us . All you have to do is write a post about something you love and link it on up to this one. It's like one big love in where we all wander over to your place and have a look at something that is meaningful to you. It can be an object , a thought , something that happened to you , or a place. There aren't many "rules" at all. So feel free to link up and tell us all about one of your favourites. 

I think it's been well established that I am a planner. Holidays are no exception. I like the anticipation of deciding where and when we'll be going on a big holiday. I love researching what we'll do when we get there , booking  somewhere to stay and working out all the finer details. Often I'll plan all that stuff months and months in advance. I love going on holidays and for me a lot of the pleasure comes from the planning.

Our last "holiday" was in July 2009. We went to Darwin to await Little P's arrival since that's where Miss P was living at the time. Little P  inherited Miss P's lazy gene and decided to arrive a full two weeks late so I ended up staying in Darwin for three weeks. While it was nice to be away it was less a holiday and more a thrilling nail biting time counting down the minutes until Miss P went into labour. Everything had to be really flexible just in case. 

Dinner at Yots. My Favourite Restaurant in Darwin.

The exact moment I fell wildly hopelessly in love with Little P.
The year before that I went to Darwin to visit my sister for three weeks.  That was a holiday. There were a lot of cocktails involved. Which is probably what led to me thinking this was the coolest idea I'd ever had.

It washed off after a week. But I thought I was a complete bad arse while it lasted.
Me at Mindil Markets stuffing my face

In 2006 I went a little crazy and organised a holiday for Mr. P and I on the spur of the moment. Two weeks later we were in Surfer's Paradise. Just the two of us.

This photo makes me the envy of every kid I work with . I've canoodled with Wags the Dog.

In 2003 just before Miss P started high school we went on a theme park holiday.

Me in the Big Brother house . I am a serious BB tragic.

Miss P (looking a LOT younger ) hamming it with Fred and Wilma.
This trip down memory lane does have a purpose. This week I booked tickets for my next holiday.  I leave in just under 5 weeks and I'm heading here to spend time with Little Miss Sunshine and to see her part of the country. 

I suspect there will be a lot of these in my holiday future....
image credit
To say I'm excited is the understatement of the century. So my favourite thing this week is looking forward to my holiday and spending time with one of my best friends. 

What's your Favourite this week? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kate's 15 minute challenge

I haven't linked up to Kate's 15 minute challenge for a few weeks mainly because there hasn't been a lot of progress to report. I've been ignoring a couple of projects quite studiously which has been taking up a lot of time.  I did make some progress this week and so you get to see the results. I go back to my normal 9 day fortnight this week for the first time in 6 months so Friday has been designated "sewing  day". 

I spent some  of the weekend making these blocks for someone I work with who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She has discovered she likes sewing mixed textile quilts together while she's having chemotherapy treatments so I was happy to oblige by making a couple of blocks.

I've been in a bit of a sewing funk lately. I managed to de-funk this week and got all my Tis The Season Blocks finished and sewn together. I'm itching to start my next project but I'm on a promise to finish two already started quilt projects before I start the next one. 

Ok I'll confess. I slipped. But only a little bit. I had to try out the idea to see if it would work. Now I'll go back to finishing the other stuff (even if I am itching to work on more of these) 

Flurry finally saw the light of day again and got a teeny tiny amount of attention.  I WILL finish the top by the end of this week!

Goals for this week : 
Finish the Flurry Quilt top and start planning the back 
Finish the Tis The Season Top and piece the back 
Avoid playing with the Merry Go Round Blocks 

For more crafty reports pop on over to Life in Pieces.