Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who rules in our house...?

This is what I found when i went to bed the other night!! I thought the dog had been awfully quiet!! Blissfully asleep on my pillow taking my spot in the bed..with my partner oblivious!! For those of you who haven't been introduced to our special pets - this is Matilda "Tilly" our 2 year old completely blind dog. She's been blind from birth, but there's nothing wrong with her finding her way to all the places she shouldn't be, although in this instance she's exactly where she thinks she should be!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bad boss syndrome

Me thinks I might need to read this book. I left a job yesterday - my 3rd in 2 years. I was working for A COW - a very small minded one or is that an oxy moron - anyway she was a moron. I have had 2 years of really really bad workplace bosses. #1 the psycho coke addict. He used to talk and make no sense at all. God help you if you asked a question or for an explanation of a strategy. He'd target people at meetings - i think he thought it was inclusivity but you'd be sitting there listening making notes and then suddenly you'd be asked this random question. He snif at your response (because he sniffed all the time and had a permanent head cold for the 6 months I was there) I mean most of us were more intelligent than him so we all knew he was doing coke and who in their right minds sends 20 emails to 1 staff member between 2 and 3 am? Anyway I've blogged about him before. He just treated people as expendable. He didnt' invest any resources in them or work through anything. People came and went every week. The record was apparently 24 hours. One walked out calling him a pig - wish I'd seen that! Then I decided it was time for something with no pressure - so I was offered a job at the local fruit and veg. The unhappiest place in the world to work. Very few happy full timers there! Nice to see some people taking pride in their jobs and their work so seriously but when you get in trouble for the way you pack 7 oranges into a bucket me thinks nah not for me ..time to move on. And when the boss swears at 16 year olds because he's forgotten to tell them their roster. Staff turnover there was second to bad boss #1. He was a moody moody bastard - really miserable. Then there's job number 3 where I've been for the last 9 months. Sales are up 45% on the same period last year, not a word of thanks or praise. Begrudingly paid me every fortnight and always a day or 2 late because she was too busy to do our pays. I think the last one was professional jealousy. A grateful client brought me flowers one day - I should have known when she dumped them in the bin after a few days when they started to wilt slightly. Then a second client did the same thing as a thank you. I knew I was a goner then!! Yesterday as I left she looked up from a desk and said I'm really sorry I haven't acknowledged today at all (my last day) - I mean here's a card and pushed it over to me with the most pathetic words in it. It was a slap in the face. I mean for the first time in 5 years she had a week's holiday and the business ran like clockwork. I could manage it completely and had far more product knowledge and industry experience than her. I just wanted to look her in the eye and tell her what a pathetic cow she is. Anyways it has only reinforced that it's been so the right decision to move on ...I hope!! Fingers crossed I can report good things on the blog in 6 months time. I won't say a word before then as I just want to settle in and see how things unfold. I am acutely aware that the common denominator in the last 3 jobs has been me so I'm doing a bit of soul searching and examining my work ethic and capabilities, however, not having any feedback from anyone other than customers makes it hard. But all the feedback from clients and customers was incredibly positive so I'll take solace in that. It struck me too that with all these bad bosses - it's just bad manners on a really basic level most of them have so little courtesy to their employees. They think that by employing you and paying you they are doing you a favour. None of them appreciate that it cuts both ways and offering encouragement, praise, courtesy they may actually get loyalty and respect. None of my recent bosses in the last 2 years have earned my respect beyond the fact that I admire they have the unenviable task of running a business and managing staff. The only thing I've learnt from them is how not to do things. Bring on the next boss and a positive work experience.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Babushka WIP

Here's something I've been working for a new quilt. I've had the babushka fabric in my stash for a long while now. I fussy cut 25 dolls for the centre pieces and then stripped around them with 2 strips. Now I'm working on a plain around each one, them some more stripping. The one directly above is the furthest along. The quilt is evolving as it goes - I'm not working to any pattern, just playing around with strips and bits. We'll see where it goes and ends up.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mezzanine Studio Space

This is my studio space - it's a mezzanine floor in our extension. I adore it. I can't tell you how long I've dreamt of having space to work and not pack away - to have my precious and inspiring bits and bobs around me. And it really works - I come up here and move into another zone, not just physically but mentally as well. It is mostly a mess because working with fabric bits etc is messy. I give it a good tidy up every so often but it doesn't bother me - I work well in it. And that's exactly why I've wanted my own space to walk in and out without feeling any pressure that my creativeness imposes on anyone else in the house. See how the cat loves it too!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One less UFO

Tonight I finished my third quilt - really truly finished it by putting the last stitch in the binding. It seemed to take forever on this one I don't know why...I mean it took me hours of hand stitching. I felt that absolute rush of excitement and joy and glow at the pure pleasure of looking at something I've created and finished. It's on the bed to sleep under tonight. It's been on the bed before with the binding half on half off and the needle hanging off it, but tonight is different - there's a whole new way of looking at my FINISHED quilt - no niggling thoughts of 'suse when are you going to get round to finishing it .. you better do it before you prick yourself in your sleep. I reckon I must like to live dangerously because that wasn't much of an incentive? Lucky the weather is still cool enough to warrant a quilt..... I put the last stitch in it tonight round at a friend's house - the gorgeous Margie who took the photo you can see. She is such a friend...I said I'm not leaving until it's done!! And she said go for it! It wasn't too late was it Margie? Thanks for sharing the joy of my completed quilt and being so appreciative of it!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Gone to a new home

My sister Helen came to visit recently which was very special as it was a few years since she'd been here. We've caught up on the east coast many times, but it was lovely to welcome her to my home. I did a bit of show and tell with craft projects, finished (hah, very few!), and wips - one of the wips was my crochet ripple which I was finishing a fluted edging on. Well Hellie fell in love with it! She LOVED I said you can have it - for all those birthdays etc when I haven't sent pressies etc. I'll finish it and give it to you at Christmas. Anyways the visit ended as all good things do and Helen flew home to Cairns. The next day I got a chat chat and "oh by the way I took the rug!" I laughed and said Hellie it's not finished! There's probably still a crochet hook wrapped up in it! And I haven't woven in all the ends. She said, " no I love all the tassles - I love it just as it is and so do my girls...Maya came in from school and stopped dead in her tracks and exclaimed "Mum, where'd you get that AWESOME blanket?" (Hels had thrown it over the sofa). I just laughed and said well you better find the end and tie it off so it doesn't start unravelling!!

So there you go a WIP in my eyes was a finished work of art in someone else's eyes. I am thrilled it has gone to its new home where it is LOVED. And now I'll just have to make another one for my home. Big sigh! What a shame...NOT! I get to have the fun all over again!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

778 done, 222 to go! Blooming hexies

So I've counted them all up. I have made 778 so only 222 to go because i have it on good authority that you need 1000 to make a queen size quilt - that's my 1/1/2 inch hexies. This is the funnest project ever in the world right now. I never ever thought I'd like a hand sewing project so so much. but then I know lots of people out there in bloggy crafty land wouldn't be suprised by that they'd just think "uh, yeah" are you a slow learner or what....yes I am ...about the slowest in the world...Has anyone ever heard of that kid's book "Leo The Late Bloomer". I dont' remember much of the story perraps I'll find me a copy and refresh my memory - 'cos I reckon that's me - the latest bloomer ever!!! But baby am I BLOOMING!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Parallel lives??

So this is my day so far...I set alarm for 6.30 am to ensure raising my daughter in enough time to take her to school for a test at 7.30 am. She is doing year 12 so is exhausted from everything she has had on. Wake her, make lunches and a coffee, put away dishes left to drip dry from last night. Feed the cat and give her her epilepsy tablets. Drive my daughter to school. Come home, get myself ready for work. With a few minutes to spare I jump online to pay bills due (yesterday was payday). Reply to a couple of emails (we have an insurance thing happening - the result of 3 burglaries this year). Drive to work. Arrive at work - dive right in. Very busy day at work in sales - grab a drive through burger at 3.30 on my way to see a client. Yep forgot my lunch - it's still sitting on the kitchen bench. Get back to office. Client arrives at 10 to 5. Finish with drop in at 5.30. Ring to cancel vet appointment as now too late. Ring my daughter to tell her I will be home in time to take her to dancing at 6. She is sitting outside playing with dog as she's forgotten to take keys. Run in, she changes and then dash out to dancing. Stop by coles to get 2 missing ingredients for dinner I am planning. Arrive home at 6.30. Greeted by partner "what are we doing for dinner". I tell him tonight's menu. He asks "where's G". I manage to say in a light tone "at dancing" (even though she's gone every Thursday night this year !!!!. I then prepare a delicious dinner. Greeted with "thank you dear" that was delicious". My dinner interrupted by phone call. Granny checking up on overseas daughter. Leave washing up as I realise need to pay another bill. Time to go and collect G. Lessons run over time. Kill time by deleting 135 messages on my phone. Arrive home to find washing up from dinner left for me to do. I wash up and tidy kitchen. Plan lunches for next day. Tell everyone (again) to not let the cat out tomorrow for re-scheduled vet appointment. Go to computer to check for emails from child away overseas. Must ring sister for her birthday next. Vent via blog.

His day. Arise and get to work after short play with dog and eating breakfast. Straight after work visit friends for beers. Arrive home and ask what's for dinner. Shower, sit on lounge whilst dinner is prepared. Compliment the cook. Sit on lounge watching tv for another 2-3 hours patting the dog. Retire to bed. Very tiring day.

That is the household routine most days.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My mother the artiste...

Well I suppose I've blogged more this month than I have for many other months...does that I slightly more back in the habit? I hope so...i don't know my life is busy although I still think I was time at times. Time is precious and not every day do I make the most of it. So much of it (my time) is dictated to with work, family, commitments and then sometimes I'm the kind of person that just needs to be for 5 minutes. Today I had 1/2 hour between a drop off and pick up so I got on the computer checked emails, read a few blogs then waiting for something to down load i played scrabble. 15 minutes later I was still trying to win a game against the computer and my mind is saying to me...susan stop your time is precious and here you are wasting it playing computer scrabble...what about all the creative projects you were going to do tonight...see you''re your own worst enemy...anyway I played for a while it's still open on my computer and now I beat myself up about wasting my precious time...I think I'm going mad or already mad...Anyway by coincidence the pic I've uploaded is one of my mum's creations. My mother - Christine West - of Birregurra is a textile artist. Her talents are boundless and she is a particularly wonderful felter. The hat is just one of many on display in her studio. She is so creative and inspriring and I doubt would get distracted by solitaire, but I will ask her and check with her on "Distractions from tasks on hand" and not just laborious houseworking tasks but genuine creative, fill my heart with energy and happiness projects. I'd be interested to hear from other struggling creatives - is that what I am? Do other people do the same - do they find themselves off on some irrelevant path when that's not where they want to be. Perhaps today it's a fatigue factor - I'm feeling tired and now going to head to bed and read?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

View 2 Random stripes

Another view of my zig a zag crochet throw. Not quite finished around the border - I'm doing a wavy edge..

Short and sweet tonight xx

Saturday, August 07, 2010

oh-o missed a day

Yesterday was very busy, can I make it up with 2 posts today? I worked and then last night we had the high school musical "Honk" - the story of the Ugly Duckling as a musical. It was brilliant - so fun and fresh. Bridget was part of the ensemble and had a small part as Father Swan. She was fabulous. And I just didn't have any puff left in me when we got home. Today has rather taken its toll as well. It's an emotional roller coaster at the moment with B leaving on Friday for the US - off for a cultural enrichment experience for 5 months. Lucky girl!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Day 4 - Dreaming of sleep

I have just made it today.... I'm dreaming of snoozing away like my sleeping pets...let me introduce our 2 very special members of the family. Firstly Gypsy the cat, she adopted us some years ago at the vet's guess at about the age of 6 months. She is the skittyist cat you'll ever meet. I think the result of severe trauma - she arrived without a tail and she is not a manx, she is a common domestic cat - I shudder to think how she lost her tail. Turns out she's also epileptic and is permanently medicated to avoid the terrifying fits she has which can propel her from the bed to a wall and then the floor. For some particular reason she took a shine to me, living in our front garden and appearing every night to me when I drove the car in the drive. After a couple of months I remember thinking ' there's that cat again...mmm I think she might be living here....yes I'm not the quickest of people, I took the plunge and offered food. It was weeks before she would come inside...but now she sleeps on my head at night (photo for another post) so she's well and truly relaxed at and home 5 years on.

Then Matilda arrived. The girls Chrissy pressie nearly 2 years ago - a gorgeous love at first sight (well for the humans anyway) lab/retriever pup. She was without a doubt the cutest puppy you will ever seen. the so cute the grannies stop the pram kinda cute and tell you what a beautiful baby you have. I thought that was only with babies but no it happened all the time at the park with Tilly - but I run away from the story. I sensed something wasn't quite right with out beautiful new bundle, she was very very cut a long story short ...she's blind...fully blind. I took her off to the eye specialist who confirmed the diagnosis. The pet shop refunded the full amount and we end up with the best dog in the whole wide world. She is so much fun and so lovable - she can keep you captivated for hours with her antics.

So we're the home for pets with special needs. (2 is plenty!)

Anyway Gypsy and I are off to bed....xx


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Quilt #4 for me

So here's another one of my quilts - it's not quite finished (it needs binding), but it's on the sofa bed ready and waiting for a VIP guest arriving late tonight. Yes we have a granny arriving for a 2 week stay. Yippeeee!
This quilt is really simple and quick to sew - it starts with a hero fat quarter and then just worked around in strips to whatever size you like - this fits my double bed sofa bed nicely. One big giant log cabin! I have a smaller version almost done for another VIP but it's a birthday surprise so has to stay hidden for a while longer.
I have a lot to learn about our digital camera - lots to improve on my technique. I love other peoples blogs for lots of different reasons but the overwhelming reason is the beautiful images that truly inspire and transport me.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Round and round the garden market totes

Absence from blogland doesn't mean absence from craft and here's proof - 2 of my market totes. The earthy one inspired by the colours of the pilbara in the north of the state and the bumble bee (or jaundiced zebra as I like to call it) - inspired by ...well ...I'm not sure exactly...just colour play really. I love picking up the skeins - starting with one and adding another and another, discarding one, trying another, until I have about 4 left cradled in my arms by then I'm in a frenzy of excitement and can't wait to cast on; then I can't wait for the first colour change, then the second....round and round the garden until the bag is finished. Then the metamorphis magic of felting them. They truly take on a whole new character - the original bag has melded into a new form. I love it! I positively skip and dance around the washing machine and as I shape and stuff them. I admire them from lots of angles at morning and night whilst they dry... I know I'm talking to those that understand - you do don't you?

I love the idea of going to my local farmer's market at Clontarf and coming home with them stuffed with organically grown goodies...can't you just see the celery and silverbeet and baguette sticking out the top? Freshly brewed and fragrant coffee in the other hand and a delicious bakery treat to enjoy when I get home.. what a perfect start to the weekend on a Saturday morning. My bags are for sale at my stall - not that I've had one for a while - but I think I'm getting inspired again to stock a stall.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More hexagons....

Wow 2 days in a row and the post is working - here's a close up of my hexies - 1 1/2 inch - I'm working towards a queen size quilt. I think I'll need 1000 or so and I've done about 700. Tonight is craft night with others who share my love. Can't wait.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I beginning to think I'm not meant to blog...every time I go to post something doesn't work properly. I tried to post months ago about my hexies but the photos just wouldn't upload that day so I've been absent in disgust. I've worked through that now and thought I'd try again and Voila it works... aaaahhh go figure. I have been working on a hexagon quilt for at least 4 months. I started with incredible gusto however, a couple of other projects have recently taken over. I banged a quilt top together in a week and a crochet rug. All of them are GFC projects. Nothing new can be bought - i have to draw on all the resources I've acquired. Cash flow is at the worst it's been in 10 years since I was on the single parent pension and my ex wasn't contributing a thing. Losing my job and deciding to work 4 days to try and strike a balance with home, teenagers etc has seen the income dribble to a trickle! It's excruciating and my hand is being forced back to full time work in the not too distant future, much to my dismay. Anyway I've gone off on a complete tangent - it's the outlet of writing - it is such an outlet. Life has been incredibly cruel lately...I've been burgled 3 times this year and lost all my valuable jewellery amongst other stuff

Anyway crafty stuff... I'm loving the hand sewing of hexies. It has surprised me how much I love making them and watching them grow. Each one is pure joy. I love the few minutes I spend with each piece of fabric - revisiting the designs and colours. I love putting them in stacks and then playing laying them out in "flowers". I've done hundreds and sewn lots together then I've got on to another project of a quilt and another of binding another quilt and a crochet rug and it's all yummy and fun!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Life is like a box of chocolates...

My new boss presented me with a gift to day - a celebration of me joining the company. I have never ever in all my working life been presented with a welcome gift. It was a box of chocolates. I am really touched. How sweet is that? A beautiful, simple gesture - it made me feel really warm and fuzzy and special Rembering the line from Forest Gump - life is like a bunch of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get... my new boss has told me everyday of my first week how well I'm doing. Contrast that to my last horror boss at Scoop Publishing who in 5 months was never able to say an encouraging word. Yes I believe I'm in the right place. So many decisions in life are a leap of faith - the outcome completely unpredictable - but I feel very reassured today that I have made a good decision and a positive step in my working life and can put the horror of the psycho boss down to experience.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Takes one odd molly to know one odd molly!

I would love to design fabric and clothes and perhaps one day I will. I'm often reminded of my secret dream when I'm out shopping and everything seems the same and I'm confronted by chain store after chain store. The clothes are the same, the layout of the shop is the same, same, same same. Is there a secret society to clone the world? I'm so over it. I want originality/uniqueness/individuality/attention to detail. (I have one exception to chain stores - anthropolgie - But I've never been to one in a mall. Do they do that? I hope not.) Shopping malls are soul-less places. I much prefer strip shopping precincts - walking in and out of fresh air, stopping for coffees, meandering into side alleyways. Anyway I recently found a shop in Subiaco Perth, called Emporia, that has lots of different stuff. Before Christmas I bought a dress - the label Odd Molly - I love it. I googled the label and found the website and oooh and aaahed over everything. I'm going to seek it out when I need something new, now I know where to head. The dress pictured is another one I'd love to get my hands on..... And Odd Molly makes crochet garments look oh so tres chic!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quilt #3 - Flea Market Fancy

Here is quilt top number 3 - I used a fat quarter pack I bought eons ago in the Flea Market Fancy range of which I am a great fan. The pattern is from Material Obsession Book 1

which is inspiring. I'm backing it in the flea market fancy decor weight range fabric...yummm...which I just need to get around to. Yes the UFO pile towers over the FO's wonderful having so many options.. On another note I don't think my photos do their subjects justice, so many blogs have such beautiful images....not mine ...yet?!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Start

Today I begin a new job. I posted 11 months ago of my job loss. It has been an interesting time for me. I have explored a few different lines of employment - the steadiest was cashier at a local fruit/veg/continental supermarket. It offered great flexibility with hours which I really appreciated after years of 9-5 and I've loved my customers - they're with you for a minute and then gone! Only return when they need something else. Any problems I simply rang my bell and passed them over whilst I kept the line moving! Joy after years and years of troubleshooting for troublesome clients. The compromise for a role like this one though is cash flow - nothing like what I'm used to earning, and mind numbing repetitive work (again another plus after years of mental exhaustion). New year, new beginings I started looking for a new role to add to my list of life experiences and the universe has not let me down. Perfect school friendly hours 4 days a week back in the promotional products trade that I lived in for 9 years. I'm exciting to be doing something with new people, improving the cash flow and (hopefully) becoming a valued team member in a new environment. Interestingly I found my experience of last year had hurt me more than I'd admitted, but a new beginning like this one may be the healing experience I need. But then no expectations and an open mind is the best way to approach my new role. Wish me luck....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black and white crazy nine patch

Ages ago I was inspired to make a black and white quilt, so I started collecting the fabrics. I decided to make it in a crazy nine patch with the centre fabric having one contrasting colour - aqua. It is going to be an incredibly busy quilt me thinks. The visual effect reminds me of Bridget Riley's work - a lot of it makes your eyes go funny! It's so fun putting it together (isn't every quilt, that's why I'm addicted!)

And on another note - today I wished I lived in London again...why - look at this upcoming exhibition at the V&A

Friday, February 05, 2010

Wavy Crochet Love

I've been absent from blogland during the renovation, but now I have a working camera (yeehaa) and a designated creative space (yeehaa, yeehaa) with working computer ( 3 x yeehaa) there is no stopping me. It is so so thrilling to walk up the stairs to MY PLACE. It is a truly beautiful area (photos to come). I'm transported to a wonderful, wonderful place every time I arrive. Whilst absent from blogging I haven't been absent from creative bits and pieces. Here is my latest crochet project. I'm just finishing the edges. It's a totally random colourway, I just let the yarn jump in where it wanted to. It was mega fun to make, snippets of joy time every moment I have spent on it - a wonderful distraction from the horrors of renovating. I've nearly used up all the bits on the random frill around the edge - which means a trip to my LYS for more stash building..can you feel me skipping?!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Quilt #2

This is my second ever quilt top. I was inspired by our recycled brick feature fence/wall so I used Amy Butler's free Brick Path Quilt pattern from her website. I have gone for a bolder, wilder look using Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs fabric which I love, love love. I feel so so happy everytime I look at this quilt top. I'm wandering through a beautiful, inspiring garden every time I look at it. I have a cottage in the garden which will be used to house visitors when the renovation is complete and I think this will find a home there looking out at my garden. I'm having it professionally quilted, even though I am practising my free motion quilting - I'm not confident enough yet to embark on a quilt top. The backing is an Anna Maria Horner fabric, - binding not yet decided. I'm finishing it more traditionally than Amy's pattern outlines as I want the soft pouffy feel when I wrap myself in it.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Inspiration from blogs

I find other blogs truly inspiring - it is wonderful to see other people's creativeness. It is food for my soul. I love the photos, the visual feast blogs provide me. Some bloggers seem so prolific, I can't imagine how they fit it all in, when my own time for indulging my creativeness seems so limited but it fills me with hope that there will come a time in my life where I can devote more time to the things that make my heart sing. This morning I came across comfort stitching and her girl on a swing quilt. Looking at it takes me straight to a childhood memory of playing on swings - I love swings - the wooshing, the reaching for the sky looking up to the blue blue sky and treetops, swinging feels so free. Such a good feeling - I can hold that feeling with me all day and one day I might make my own girl on a swing quilt.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Renovation hardship

Have I mentioned that I'm renovating and have been for 5 years? Mmm probably at some point, but then in blog land I've perhaps subconsciously put it out of my mind. It has not been fun or exciting as I thought it would be and well we won't mention the time frame will we...5 years!! With probably another 5 to go. I am no longer sane, I don't know what it's like to live in a proper house with an internal kitchen and bathroom - we have the ablution block like you would in a caravan park outside the house, and I now dream of moving to a fully completed flat that you lock and leave...sod the house - i resent it and the it's become the barrier to a lifestyle of any sorts. Trouble is to do that the house has to be it's a vicious circle I'm trapped in - can you feel my dilemma, my pain? Most of the work needs to be carried out by my carpenter partner, but there are lots of things I can do so I'm busy making lists to motivate me. Top of my lists are all the fabriccy, soft furnishing bits because that's where my true love and passion for fun I'm focussing on 3 lots of window coverings that can now be done. Cafe curtains for the kitchen window...even though there's no will feel so much more welcome when it does arrive!! Soft door curtains for french doors to our bedroom, even though there are no handles and they don't close properly and a curtain for the bedroom window, which needs to be replaced. it's the old adage for me ...focus on the least I have doors and windows to decorate?!! And I will need to spend time in fabric shops...mmm come to think of it...what renovation hardship?