Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

<---- This is Alan. 
As you can see, Alan has long hair.
What you cannot see is that Alan also has a small but growing bald patch.
Oh dear.
Clearly an intervention is needed.

This is Alan. ---->
as you can see, Alan has short hair.

Alan did not want to just throw his hair away, so he put it in a zip-lock bag and gave it to me. Of course.

  --- --- --- --- --- --- ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---

I made a pile of these little trinket thingummies - essentially a lock of hair, tied up with ribbon, bottled and labelled. The long corked vials are from etsy, but I ran out of those pretty quickly and was so turned to the little jars instead (Which I was forced, practically at gun point, to procure by eating lots of cream teas in cafes and stealing the jars the jam comes in).
These have proved quite popular, they seem to make people laugh, so I've been selling them to raise money for The Little Princess Trust - a charity which provides wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. I'm still waiting on one payment, but I'm hoping to hit £100.  That will make the grossness of dealing with a bag of hair just about worth while

Friday, 22 July 2011

Crafting with Cat

Crafting with a cat in the room is not advisable. Worse still, leaving the cat in the room while you go to make a cup of tea, or to pre-heat the iron or somesuch. You will return to find that said cat is eating your wadding, or sitting on your sketchbook, or - and this is the worse option - sat very quietly swishing a tail whilst looking at you with big innocent eyes (so that you spend the next hour trying to work out what they did...).
You have been warned

Holly & Ivy Refuse to Grow Up

I've never really done machined patchwork before, but decided to give it a whirl for this garden trellis design, made using a jelly roll of fabric (another first for me).
I was... a little doubtful - I thought the pre-cut nature of the strips would be constraining, but actually for this pattern it was really useful; saved hours of faffing around with a rotar cutter. And the fabrics themselves were lovely quality, soft and begging to be handled (once I worked up the nerve to undo the bow and unroll them; kinda like approaching the first page of a fresh sketchbook - a beginning laden with potential best approached with due consideration). I received the 'Hope' collection* for Chrimbo from my Aunt & Uncle, who shortly after announced that they were going to be grandparents.
Now, this scares the shit outta me, because my cousin is basically my age, and all the people my age seem to be having babies or getting married or generally being very grown up. Whereas I was thrilled when Boy brought me a colouring book recently, so I took it to work along with my crayons and spent the evening happily deciding what colour to do the triceratops (blue). The fact that I have a job where I can spend my time colouring in just about sums up the level of responsibility I am capable of holding. I am most certainly not in a position to be considered a grown-up, and am terrified that one day soon someone will mistake me for a real adult and expect me to start behaving like one.
Anyway, I decided to hide from my impending age by hitting the sewing machine (my sewing machine is old - inherited from my great-aunt - and loud, so this is the aural equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears and  going 'la la la'). Blue and brown is one of my favourite colour combos, and really lends itself to traditional patterns like this, so away I went. The original concept was to quilt on Ivy design over the top of the finished patchwork, to make an Ivy Growing Up Garden Trellis blanket in remembrance of my Grandma Ivy, who passed away in December. Unfortunately my long-arm skills were not up to the task, and when I started doing it by hand I quickly realised that it did not look good, so I unpicked and left just one ivy leaf in the corner by my tag. 
WarGoose Crèche
Oh well - Grandma always hated her name anyway (a Christmas birth like me, I have her to thank for dissuading my parents away from 'Holly'. Uck, Holly Hurst. Sounds like a sugary cocktail  vomited up outside the office party)
So, with lots of love and plenty of hope and a promise to share my crayons when he's old enough, this goes off to baby Gene
Noodle x
*The fabrics from this collection were reproduced from a Lemoyne star quilt from upstate New York, circa 1830-40. A note attached to the quilt stated that fabrics were from the dress the maker wore the day she met her future husband. Ain't that sweet as cherry pie?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Doorbells and sleigh-bells and schnitzel with...

This post combines two of my favourite things; tea and Joe.* I cannot honestly say which is more awesome.

This is, clearly, a mug hug, with the chemical symbol for caffeine on it. Joe and I share a special tea based relationship because we mug-share at work - dual ownership limits the possibility of the mug being stolen away to a dressing room. But what about days when Joe is not WarGoosing? Or on the long commute in? Well, he will need a mug hug - environmentalists cannot be going along constantly using the cardboard ones - and now he has one.**

So, lovely Joe - Happy Birthday. I raise my tea-cup in salute to you, and am very proud to call you a friend.

*I tried to write a song about my favourite things, but I gave up because nothing rhymes with Tesla.
**I realise that in the picture it's on a Thermos, and a Thermos has no need for hugs, as it has inbuilt insulation. But it was the best I could do for illustrative purposes and I though the Thermos might want a hug anyway - just because a hug is not needed does not mean it goes unappreciated.

Friday, 8 July 2011

The Night Train

When - not drunk but maybe slightly tipsy - I sit on the train alone, looking at my own self reflected against the darkness of night London outside, all the myriad voices in my head aline, and my thoughts speak like the narrative of a book. I am suddenly looking me in the eye.
I am not a pretty girl, cheeks too broad and skin too pale (like death, rather than like cream), but maybe I am handsome in my own way.
I lack the social skills needed to recommend myself to strangers, it takes a long time to turn an acquaintance into a friend - longer even than that process usually takes. Yet once I become confident in someones company, or interested enough in what they may have to say to breech my own reticence, I am intelligent enough to be vaguely interesting - or at least I am quick enough to feign it and thus avoid being branded dull. 
So I cannot be entirely incompetent; I just cannot do small talk - that currency of companionship is beyond me. I never know what to ask, or how to form a reply in such a way that conversation may ensue. I am a dead end, except in those occasional circumstances when an easy entry for discussion makes itself apparent early on. Worse still, my shyness often manifests itself as loud, brash and sarcastic - a symptom unlike the disease hiding behind it, but even more off-putting to those around me.
Thinking, thinking in time to the movements of the train, thoughts unfurling between stops going homeward.
A jack of all trades - to flighty to decide even on which aspect of my own personality to lie my head for more than a moment, so how is it that I have found another - an entirely separate human being, whom I am so sure of, whom I want to spend all of my slice of eternity with?
I have though - I have found him - the most marvellous man, who will talk when all I do is get stuck by the words which never escape the confines of my own head. A man who charms everyone he meets, when I cannot even meet anyone at all. It's brilliant, watching him, knowing that someone so like me yet so unlike me exists - it gives me hope for myself.
I have no idea what he sees in me, or why he likes me, but I trust that he does because he says that he does. It is the most wonderful, indescribable thing - even with this sudden clarity of mind from a little alcohol and the darkness of the world I cannot find words to explain the ballooning feeling in my chest brought on my his presence in my life. It makes the everything else of life worth enduring, knowing that in the quiet I can spend a few occasional seconds wrapped in the knowledge of him.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Sunshine On A Rainy Day

I am incredibly lazy when it comes to basic repairs and alterations - for example, it has taken me over 2 years to bother sewing back on a missing button from my favourite sweater. This problem is not assisted by my insistence on buying clothes that don't  fit properly (ie. all high street clothes - always either too small on the boobs or too big on the waist. Which irks me because I have a pretty averagely proportioned figure - hips and a bum like most girls. Just nothing like most fashion models) with the intention of altering them. I should just admit that I will never get around to fixing them.
Going through the stack of ill-fitted purchases, I came across a dress in an awesome print that I've been meaning to deal with for ohh... about 5 years. I brought it while I was still at university, for fucks sake. But, well, I will never have the patience to deal with all the pin tucks on the bodice and I finally admitted that. So I've bastardised it into a new sunglasses case - a quick 5 minute make; 2 seams, a hem, a bit of ribbon for the drawstring and a button to finish the whole thing off. Satisfaction (and loads of left over fabirc to make other cool shiz with) . Another plus side is that now my new sunnies won't get as scratched as all my old ones when I leave them in my handbag. Hurrah.
Largely irrelevant as, this being England and it being July, it's pissing it down with rain. But Heigh-Ho, if the sun ever does come out I'll be fully prepared. In the meantime, I really need to get my arse in gear and repair my umbrella, 'cause right now I'm very wet.
Soggily yours,