Thursday, December 07, 2006

pink and green apples

pink and green apples
Originally uploaded by djbebe.
Hey Sponky, you thought I was odd to buy this appley fabric at Spotlight (and I only did because we waited there an hour to be served) - but doesn't it look lovely and fresh with the pink and green in these bibs? I think the backing also came from the same Spotlight experience. I posted the big one to Lyssy May to put in her shop.

Also note that when you go to Lyssy May's website, you can see some of my aprons (matching oven mitts can be seen here) in the background of the second shot of the shop interior.

christmas ornament swap

christmas ornament swap
Originally uploaded by djbebe.
I signed up for the Holiday Ornament Swap over at cake + pie and posted these on Monday (only 3 days late), but just getting around to posting the pic today. They are trees made of felt and tulle, with scraps of this and that sandwiched in between - and handstitched.

You may notice in the photo that they are sheared round the edges with pinking shears. I love my pinking shears. I bought them because I 'needed' them and then for ages I couldn't remember what I 'needed' them for - but I eventually found a use for them and now couldn't live without them.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

placemats: red and black I

placemats: red and black
Originally uploaded by djbebe.
A commissioned set of 8 placemats and coasters for a friend at work. The disco black and red polyester jersey was a recent impulse buy - I don't normally go for synthetics but couldn't resist the pattern. I'm very glad I found the perfect use for it so quickly.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

for mum: red and black

Originally uploaded by djbebe.
Happy mothers' day, mum - only 6 months late! I did start this project before mothers' day but it took me a lot longer than I expected. It's all freestyle machine quilting which I was doing without a foot on the machine but then (thanks sponky) I discovered the darning foot right at the end which really would have made it much quicker. Not sure if there will be a next time but if so it will be a lot faster.

Monday, November 20, 2006

something old, something blue

wedding table decorations
Originally uploaded by djbebe.
The fruits of Friday's op-shopping. These will be the table decorations for ur 1920's wedding. Blue and brown, pretty vintagey glass and china, strewn with pearls and possibly turkey feathers. I just need to find about 10 more pretty blue and/or brown things. And some more pearls. I may have exhausted the Toowoomba supplies though - bridesmaids - if you're still looking for jobs, keep your eyes out at op shops. Budget is $5 each.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

care package kitty

care package kitty
Originally uploaded by djbebe.
A big shout out to my bridesmaid Betty Sue for listening to my wedding woes and sending me an unexpected and lovely package of Japanese fat quarters and the cutest little knitted kitty ever. Thank you so much for thinking of me and knowing just the thing to send. I also like what you did with the tag.

In other news, I'm feeling a bit better about where I stand with regard to wedding preparations - thanks to a day off and a spot of retail therapy on Friday, I've bought about half of what will be the table decorations. Pretty vintage blue ceramics and strands of pearls. With big brown turkey feathers, they will fit right in with the theme.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

wired for sound

Since I'm chained to a computer and forced almost to geekiness all day at work, I held out against the home-invasion of technology for as long as I could. However since the pressure of my mounting bloglines feeds has slowly but surely overtaken all other pressures at work, I decided that perhaps I really did need the internet at home. So after long negotiations with this and that internet company, finding we were unable to get ADSL, we have now got wireless internet. Crafty blogs at my fingertips at last - with nobody looking over my shoulder to ask why I am looking at crocheted body parts or felted balls! In celebration of my new-found connectedness, here is a picture of a

red & purple fish bathmat
Originally uploaded by djbebe.
Christmas present for someone who doesn't read my blog.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

green jungle

green jungle
Originally uploaded by djbebe.
I had a sewing bee and made 13 non-pink bibs. I've sold three, have some for the craft day and will take some to lyssy may's shop hopefully this weekend. But I think I will keep this one.

brown and gold coasters

brown and gold coasters
Originally uploaded by djbebe.
I finally found a use for my smallest size scraps (anyone else keep those tiny pieces that aren't big enough for anything else?). Put together with linen, offcuts of batting (thanks sponky) soft tulle & gold thread skirt thrifted years ago by my nanna, they make beautiful coasters.

Gave them to an inspiring friend at work today and she loved them. I knew she would.

Friday, August 18, 2006

orange bitty booties

orange booties
Originally uploaded by djbebe.
I made bitty booties! Two pairs, for a cousin's new baby. I like the orange ones the best. I used a pattern from which was really easy - I whipped these up last night.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

you better have a good reason for waking me up

This is a baby quilt for my future sister-in-law. They don't know if it's a boy or a girl (or maybe they do, but they're not telling), but they're due at the end of August - so I've made it in time. I hand-quilted circles, following the circles in the pattern where I could. I won't be hand-quilting circles again - you have to keep turning the quilt around which is a pain. Particularly if you're a cat who likes to nap on the quilt while it's being worked on.

So now I can get back to my mother's day present which is only... 4 months overdue.

Friday, June 09, 2006

our first walk

Last night we went for a walk, on a lead, in the back yard (I got home too late to venture further out). We sniffed the roses and no doubt got our nose pricked by the thorns. We scratched in the dirt and pretended to pee. Three times – it was a good spot. Then we tried to run in the leaves under the camelia bushes but that damn lead just isn’t long enough to have any fun. Then it was dark and we had to go back inside. Next time we will try buttering our paws (someone forgot).

Thursday, June 08, 2006

cat neighbours

I woke up this morning to the sound of my cat talking to somebody. Normally he wakes me up by jumping on the bed and biting my feet, or jumping up onto the bedside table and sliding stuff around, so I immediately got up to investigate. I found him having a staring competition through the glass door in the living room, with a massive ginger cat (I’ll call him Heinz – big, red) that has been hanging around ever since we moved in. They met the other day through a screen door and after a period of adjustment (Calico scared and puffed up, Heinz staring), they started talking to each other. Heinz is far too well-fed to be homeless (so fat you can’t see his colar) and he acts like he’s been in our house before. Heinz isn’t scared of Calico – seems to be waiting for him to come out and play – just stares and stares – it’s kinda creepy. Not sure what will happen when they meet without a door between them… But I’m taking Calico for his first outside walk this afternoon. On a lead.

Friday, June 02, 2006

this weekend

Calico will make the big move this weekend, once most of the furniture is moved in and he can run around without danger of getting stood on. Suggestions so far are to keep him inside for 2 weeks until he knows where he lives, and to put butter on his feet (I initially thought this was just so we could laugh at him trying to walk on the slate floors – but apparently we are supposed to butter him up and let him outside so he will lick his feet and know the taste of home). Any other suggestions?

Apparently the previous owners’ cat is buried under the 3rd rose bush from the left on the western side – not sure how long he’s been dead though so hopefully there is not too much residual cat smell around the house, or else Calico may feel the need to mark his territory in every room.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

winter is here

Yesterday I had the first mandarin of the season - I had almost forgotten how good they are! This morning it was so cold I had to wear a jacket AND a scarf on the way to work. Unfortunately my office is so hot that I have to strip off when I get to work, but I can still enjoy mandarins. Did I mention I love winter?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


So I'm in San Francisco for the conference for computer geeks from everywhere. There are a few other geeks staying at my hotel - you can spot them a mile away. How, you ask? Male, unfashionably long hair, jeans and sneakers, complaining about having to pay for internet access at hotel, mobile phone attached to belt. Pale, either skinny or ever so pudgy. You can tell. I think women are outnumbered about 80 to 1 at this conference. They're giving away free stuff everywhere - I spot a pile of t-shirts and try to talk to the people at the stall until they give me one, but some people just walk right up and help themselves, then they're off.

Yesterday I did a tour with my good friend VanBubbles and her fiance starting at fisherman's wharf, around the Presidio, to Golden Gate Bridge. All very good. Our tour guide (Romeo) latched onto the fact that 2 of us were australians and told us bad jokes. He wanted us to sit at the front of the bus but we declined - and even from the back of the bus he managed to pick us out regularly. I also managed to run into a couple of old school friends, here on holiday from London - small world!

I went shopping yesterday, in Haight-Ashtbury - lots of vintage/secondhand shops - I seriously had to restrain myself from gasping out loud at everything I touched - so many fabulous dresses! I bought some new jeans - may leave behind those others that I've patched several times already... And a couple of shirts... And some shoes, and a couple of books... I found a fabric store called Far Out Fabrics - Japanese prints were all I could see from the window, because it was closed. May have to go back there.

Friday, May 12, 2006

the bank will give us money

all paperwork is signed – now we just have to wait for settlement.

I have been moaning about the inconveniences of running 2 houses for months, but now that we’re actually moving in together it’s a little bit scary. What if we can’t agree on whose plates to keep? Or what drawer the tea towels go in? Or whether the cat is allowed on the coffee table? More importantly, whether the cat is allowed to lick the plates when we’ve finished eating? So many issues… We’re frequently having discussions at the moment about how to discipline said cat. Which may be a moot point because the cat seems to be fairly indifferent to all methods of discipline – but what will we be like when we have children??

pistachio, yoghurt and cardamom

100g pistachios
1/2 tsp ground cardamom or the seeds of 3 cardamom pods
150g butter, chopped
1 1/2 cups SR flour
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
100mL water
zest of 1 lime

Process pistachios and cardamom in a food processor until just chopped. Add butter, flour and 3/4 cups sugar and process until crumbly (can be done by hand with a wooden spoon). Add the combined eggs and yoghurt and mix well. Pour into greased 20cm round cake tin (make sure the top of the cake is flattened). Bake 45-50 min at 180C.

To make syrup: heat water and remaining 1/2 cup sugar over low heat until dissolved. Bring to boil, add lime zest and boil gently 5 min.

Once cake is cool, poke some holes in the cake with a skewer and slowly pour strained syrup over cake.

quilt store snobs

Inspired by this post (I do like that quilt) from one of the - ahem - many crafty blogs I subscribe to - this one's for you, Sponky.

Sponky and I have had several visits to the quilting store recently to purchase supplies to make baby quilts, mostly. We have spent considerable time taking fabrics down from shelves, spreading them out here and there on the floor, hemming and hawwing about whether there are too many stripes, or not enough colour contrast, or whether batik prints are allowed at all (eventually we agreed to disagree on that one). Then, after deploying the trusty credit card to pay for said purchases, we go off happily exhausted to have coffee and cake. I didn't notice - I was having too much fun mixing up the fabrics - until Sponky pointed it out, that the quilt store ladies look down their noses at us for numerous reasons.
  • Example 1: Sponky was looking for a 1" bias binding maker, and they said in snooty voice "oh no, we like our binding a little finer than that".
  • Example 2: djbebe was looking for bright red blanket binding, and they said in equally snooty voice "oh no, I'm afraid we only have apricot and lavender - you know, most people use this for baby blankets" and I said "well I'm making a baby blanket, but it's red, and apricot just won't cut the mustard". Actually, in the end, I couldn't find red anywhere so I used royal blue which is maybe even better.

Personally, I think quilting (everything?) is easier if you do it in a way that comes naturally - once you have the basics - rather than following the rules. Sponky - maybe this is why you had so much trouble quilting the black and white quilt? And maybe this is why I prefer to buy my fabric at thrift stores.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

the joys of no email

Our email system has been broken ALL DAY. This includes calendar - so due to all the meetings I've missed and all the emails I haven't been interrupted by, I managed to get lots of work done today. Hurrah. Tonight I'm going shopping. I feel the need for another pair of shoes.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I need placemats

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but these and these are finally the inspiration I needed (see, monitoring crafty blogs is useful!). I have plenty of scraps, and I think brown and orange are the colours for me… This has to go on the bottom of the list though, after all the baby stuff I need to make for friends. My schedule will go to pieces if somebody pops early!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

my fabric store isn't big enough

How can this be: no yellow and white fabric? I need to go shopping! Although I did a list last night of all my “urgent” craft projects because I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed, and it seems I have a lot to get done in the next few weeks (before I go to San Francisco) so I may not get to this month’s tie one on… But there’s always next month – or even the next…

Thursday, April 13, 2006

yoga kitty

The other morning, I was doing yoga in the lounge room, and Calico kitty was running around like a psycho, as he does - and then he ran down the hallway, saw me in the arched phase of the cat pose, and he stopped in his tracks, turned sideways (to look bigger), arched his back, fluffed up his tail and hissed at me. It took him a few seconds to realise that it was me and I wasn't really a giant kitty suddenly invading his territory.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

conference scheduling blues

I am going to San Francisco in May for a conference. This means I get a couple of days when not conferencing (when I'm supposed to be recovering from jetlag in order to gain maximum benefit from the conference to bring back for my colleagues), when I can look around San Fran - which is good. However, I just went through the scheduling tool (indeed) and it turns out that because the conference is principally for computer nerds who don't care what city they're in as long as they have access to the internet, the sessions run until midnight. And because it's such a "big responsibility" and I'm supposed to be bringing back as much information as possible "for the team", I really should go to as many sessions as possible. This leaves me little time to sample the delights of what I'm sure is a very exciting city, in a country I've never been before. Also since I struggle to concentrate after 4pm on a good day, it is going to be tricky for me to bring back anything at all from any 11:20pm session. Seriously.

Any ideas on what to see in San Fran between the hours of midnight and 9am?

On another note, must go home and locate my passport.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

sewing season

The woman behind the counter of the sewing store where I was buying supplies on Sunday said that sewing season was about to start again. Apparently, "regular" people have summer off. Admittedly I sew more in winter because it's cooler (I get surprisingly hot when slaving over a hot sewing machine) - but I don't have all summer off - what if I needed a new shirt?? Do these people tell themselves no no, you'll have to wait until the autumn leaves start falling before making those pants. You can't sew summer stuff in winter, it would be all wrong. Perhaps these are home parents, who can only sew when the children are at school. But personally, I sew when the inspiration hits, regardless of the season.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

kitty is chewing my cyclamen

He severed 4 leaves fromt the plant – didn’t eat them. And, strangely enough, he doesn’t seem to like chives. Need to get him some catgrass.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

tea leaf disposal

this is my only problem – at work, I don’t have a garden to swish the leaves into. I do have a window but I’m scared I may scald an unsuspecting gardener – OHS issues. I did see a very cool thing this morning on treehugger which I think would work much better than the thing that I have (which I keep forgetting to use)

here 'tis

Thursday, March 09, 2006

hello kitty

Originally uploaded by djbebe.
This is my kitty - he is alternately snuggly in my lap, climbing the curtains and pouncing. I need to think of a name for him (he was christened Skip by the RSPCA). One suggestion so far is Mittens.

Monday, March 06, 2006

balloons, music, cheese and wine

I made heaps of ice and nobody asked for any. The children loved the red garage. I put out all the chairs I own, in various rooms, and everyone chose to sit on the floor in the lounge room. My brother got the time wrong and turned up after everyone else had gone home. But all in all, it went well. Glad I finally got around to it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

last night I parked in a disabled parking spot

seriously, I’ve never done that before, I always feel too guilty. But I was running late to pick up my Indian takeaway, I’d already driven once around the block, it was raining, and I was only going to be a minute. But I still felt guilty.

Monday, February 27, 2006

yes, it is worth it

soooo comfortable. no springs digging into my ribs every time I move. And apparently since I’m so comfortable while sleeping, I can get 8 hours sleep in 6. We’ll see.

Friday, February 24, 2006

almost did got there this morning

took the photo, brought the camera into work, cropped the image, and then deleted it. Sometimes I think I should go back to Windows where there is a recycle bin. I also deleted it from my camera, so I have to go home and start again, with taking the photo.

late night shopping in the sticks

If you go shopping after 7, you have a choice of ONE mattress shop. We tried a number of mattresses, and (naturally) liked the most expensive one. Is it worth spending $1899 on a mattress, albeit made out of 100% latex and assembled in Australia, with virtually no “partner disturbance”? AND, if we decide to get this one, we have to wait 5 weeks.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

voodoo pincushion

Thanks, Betty Sue, for the fabulously nifty voodoo pincushion. It has a person on the front, and a place on the back where you can insert the name of todays voodoo victim. Following voodoo pincushion protocol, I wrote on a little piece of paper the name of my victim, inserted it into the pincushion, and began moving pins from my current pincusion to the voodoo pincushion. The first few I inserted with feeling into vital areas - chest, head, hands and feet, until he looked like a gingerbread, like so:

Originally uploaded by djbebe.

Although I mean no actual physical harm to my victim, it felt good, like a form of release. Since then, I have just used it as one would normally use a pincushion: absently inserting pins as one is sewing. And I think since part of the voodoo magic is surely the malice one feels for one's victim as one is inserting the pins, one might have to take time aside from sewing and insert pins into it with feeling. However my voodoo pincushion is always handy, since I'm never far from my sewing machine, and it is also handy to have the voodoo disguised in pincushion form - thus avoiding embarrassing explanations when visitors discover instruments of voodoo on the coffee table.

Friday, February 10, 2006

mystery seeds

I planted some seeds that have been in my kitchen drawer for a year or so – there’s four packets, and there’s only two labels – so I’ve planted some of each to see if they grow and what they might be. And after only 4 days, some are already sprouting. Looks like some kind of brocolli/cauliflower and snow peas so far. I forgot to mark which packets went with which punnets – so will have to do that for the next batch. It’s exciting!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

ex library books

Every now and then libraries have sales and sell off old books. How do the libraries decide which books to sell? Is it because nobody has borrowed them for the last five years? Or has somebody read them and decided they are no longer worthy of library status? Or do they just get rid of the older books to make way for the new ones?

And to make things worse, the poor books are scarred by bar codes and stickers and dewey decimal numbers - or worse, the part of the cover that had the bar code has been cut out, leaving an unsightly gap. This makes them somewhat of a second-class item at secondhand stores, so these poor books may never be read or loved again. They might be a bargain at the library booksale for a dollar or two, but they have very little resale value.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

on the virtue of sarongs

  • even if you put on a kilo or two they still fit comfortably
  • cool and breezy, and satisfy almost any dress code
  • simply fold over the top for adjustable length
  • can also be used as a blanket, nanna-type knee rug, sunshade or neck-pillow
  • easiest thing in the world to make - no darts, buttons, zips, sleeves, plackets, pleats, facings - not a curve in sight
  • if you sit in something that leaves an embarrassing stain, just turn the garment upside down - stain gone - or at least moved to somewhere less embarrassing

Big shout out to Betty Sue, who brought me some fabulous fabric from India which I didn't make into anything for ages because I didn't want to make something that I might not like. So the other day I just hemmed the edges and voila - the best looking sarong in town. And if I find a pattern one day that I want to make it into something else, I still can because I didn't need to use my scissors at all.

Friday, January 06, 2006

black cats and the afterlife

A bit before Christmas I was visited by some friendly neighbourhood Christians and a black cat. They said they didn't bring the cat, it just followed them to my door. I have not seen the cat before or since. They asked did I believe in God, I said no, they said ok so what happens to the people you love when they die, and I said when we die we get buried and eaten by worms. (I actually said that - it felt really good.) And they said oh that's so depressing... And eventually I had to say ok well thanks for your time, good luck with your converting (yes I actually said that too, and gave them a thumbs up) and I shut the door on them.