Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

Anyone? No? How about this one...

What's wrong with it, is, it EXISTS. I'm sorry, but think about the steps this had to go to for you to see this photo. First, someone had to think 'Hmmmm. You know what my toilet needs? A toilet cover. Now where can I get... I know! I can needle-point one! Now, what would I put on it?' Well, dolphins, of course, to match the rest of the bathroom. THEN, this person had to stitch it. They had to find some canvas and plan a pattern and sew and stitch.
I wonder how long it took them?

Then someone at the Fox Collection had to see it, and say 'you know what? I think people will pay 50 dollars for that! But we need variety - can you make another one?' Then, a kit had to be made up, packaged, the warehouse stocked. The shrinkwrapping alone must have taken days. And then they found a bathroom with a floating toilet and took a photograph (they forgot to remove the bowl freshener for the fish one) and they put it in their catalogue.

It was there last time, but I was hoping it was just a glitch and they'd revert to their usual high standard of... er... Unicorns, snow tigers, and Princess Di. But apparently enough people loved this kit for them to want to run it again. I just... words fail me...

Thank heavens for subversive cross stitch. That's all I can say.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Your iPod is a window to your soul

I freaking love my iPod. It’s a heap of GouSi, but I love it anyway. The top is buckled, the corners are dented from all the times I’ve dropped it, the hard drive freezes continually, I can only see 1/3 of the screen (the middle third), and the sound no longer comes out for the left ear. But I love it.

Yesterday as I was walking to work the magic of shuffled music brought me a magical playlist. First we had ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ as sung by Nina Simone. Next we had ‘Secret Love’ by Doris Day (nothing like an academy award winning song to start the day, is there?) closely followed by the same song jazzed up by George Michael. I was hoping for ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ by George to come up, but instead I got ‘Yeh Yeh’ covered by ‘They Might Be Giants’ and then ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ (Come on, sing with me… Elizabeth Taylor is not his style… and even Ricky Martin’s smile… is something he can’t seeeeee, something he can’t seeeeeee!) Then some less exciting songs by Noel Coward and a Jonathan Coulton gem (although not Code Monkey, unfortunately. Freaking love that song; not as much as I love the speedmonkey remix, though.) Then the hard drive froze.

Some cursing ensued (mother-bleeping piece of Gousi)

Fortunately, after resetting, Marvin made it up to me with another Doris special, Sentimental Journey this time. (What, my iPod has a person-name, so what. And just because my computer is called Eddie, doesn’t mean I’m a complete loser. Lots of people list Douglas Adams as an influence… don’t look at me like that! Would it make you feel better or worse to know that two of the servers here at work are called Isengard and Orthank, and that before we upgraded many of the individual workstations had names like Frodo and Gandalph… it makes me feel worse…) We then had 'There Is Nothing Like a Dame' covered by Reel Big Fish and gotten off of the Welcome to Woop Woop soundtrack. Then we broke our nostalgia streak with ‘trampoline’ by the Grates, but I was happy with that. So what if I was singing ‘use your bed like a trampoline I said, higher! Higher!’ All day. That’s work appropriate, right?

I love you, Marvin.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's 40 degrees out. And suddenly, I have an uncontrollable urge to knit a blanket.

I blame Alison. The good news is, should I choose to knit one, I am reliably informed that it will only take me 90 days to 'yarn' it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I went into the bank yesterday to get some change. The woman messed it up and had to start again, so I had plenty of time to look around. There’s not much to look at in a bank, so I noticed the line of drawers behind the tellers. One of them had a sign reading “CALL DRAW”. I enquired about it. All four tellers turned to look at it with blank expressions. No one moved for almost a minute until the young, Asian girl at the end figured it out. “It should be drawER” she supplied.

I catch two buses in to work. One to the city, and then one out again. Usually they match up nicely, but sometimes, my first bus is late (like this morning) or the traffic is especially heavy (like this morning), and I get off the first bus to see the second sail past me in a blithe and uncaring manner. Today we were stopped at the traffic light right before my stop for what felt like forever. I was starting to get a little cranky (as I am wont to do) when I heard someone echo my thoughts. “Change please!” called a voice. I glanced around. “Changing would be good!” It was the driver. He puffed out a sigh. “Globuss, Changussss!” he called, in a voice not unlike Alan Rickman. Someone snickered. When, eventually, the light did change, he let out a high-pitched ‘Yeeeeay!’. There were titters, and even a giggle or two. I smiled and was glad of a brightened morning. And I did make my bus.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Images of eye and mind

Last Saturday I went to a birthday gathering for my friend. I wore my pirate outfit. To clarify, this consisted mostly of some boots that I bought a while ago with no heels (balance is not one of my strong points) and a turn down flap at the top, as well as a plaid skirt that I bought in an op-shop. When I bought it, the skirt had no waistband, only a stretch of fabric with raggedy edges. I cut it and sewed it over before I moved out & away from my mother's sewing maching. I wore it to the outing with the elastic held together inside by a giant safety pin that used to hold up my nappies. Appropriate? Almost.

I also wore a white shirt with a bunch of buttons down the front and a mandarin collar that my Grandmother second-handed to me a few years ago. Then I added a sea-shell necklace that one of my friend's gave me as a parting gift when I left China, and some earings that my sister gave me on my return. They are shaped like tiny cutlasses, and I have never worn them before. They prompted my friend to tell me that I looked 'like a carribean princess'. I took that as a good thing, but you never know with her...I didn't have anything appropriately petticoat-like, but actually that might have been going too far, anyway. Baby steps.

I'd apologise for what is a very out-of-character monotribe about clothing and accessories, but this is my blog, dammit, and making an outfit counts as craft, I've decided. Anyway, the upshot is that I looked cool, felt cool, was cool. That outfit rockes. I am definately wearing it again, and I absolutely longed for a camera, partly because I wanted to share the effect with blogland, since I feel that this coolness was only made possible by the things I have seen here, and partly because I wanted to share it with my future self, to say 'see? You can wear interesting things and look good in them'

I caught the bus into town, and then I walked to North Adelaide. I walked along King Willian Street, past Parliament House. I passed the Festival Theatre. Boy, I've had some good times in that building, seen some great things. If you click on this link, you can see a 360 degree view of the theater and surrounds. That big lawn was covered in people, mostly sitting in those ridiculous low chairs you get when people who like chardonay go to outdoor events. It was, I found out later, the Symphony Under the Stars. There was a big stage set up on the lawn, and beautiful sounds were coming from it, violins sounding like they are supposed to - lush and mournful and joyful and deep. The top of the stage had one of those generic white awnings over it that you get at outdoor concerts, and it was all lit up with blues and purples, contrasting beautifully with the bright orange of the sky. Just behind the stage was the Torrens river, and a huge flock of seagulls was circling over it, seeming to swirl above the stage, as if catching the riffs; or maybe flocking for a rare musical treat. The Torrens itself was beautiful - yes, I know, shocking! But in the twilight you can't see the rubbish and the wrong, wrong colour - you can just see the light glimmering and shimmering, the art installment of lit-from-the-centre paper boats (made of metal and plexiglass) and the fountain spurting away from the middle of the river.

I longed, longed for a camera. And then I thought about it, and I realised that although I could show you what was happening, I couldn't capture the graceful movement of the seagulls, the beauty of the ever-changing reflections from the water. I couldn't show you exactly how the colours in the sky were changing, or share the soft, warm breeze with you. A photograph can't tell you about the buzz in the air as people gathered in the warm evening, or how wonderful it felt to have space all around me, and nice things in that space.

I thought about how Telfair told me "Don't worry about not having a camera. You draw pictures with words" And I thought about how, even though these words still can't quite tell you how wonderful it was to be there, then, they can do a better job of it than pixels can. At least in this instance.

A picture is sometimes worth far less than a thousand words. As I walked past the statue of Don Bradman, I considered how a photo of said statue wouldn't begin to tell you about all the associations that sparked off in my mind - or about how I immediately looked to the other side of teh road, where I could not quite see the war memorial and its rose gardens.

I guess some things need pictures. Others need words.

That said, I am looking forward to next week when I will be going out and purchasing a camera. Probably not the uber-expensive one I am lusting after. But a halfway decent one. Because, you know what? I would still love to have photos of that night. I would like to have them for me, because I do know what that statue means to me, how it felt to be there. And I have a terrible memory. An image is only worth as many words as you have to explain it.

BTW, in case you were wondering, the party was good. Nice dinner, nice people, then we went out to a club where I got hit on by and old guy named Dominic. Clubs are sooooo not my thing...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Hey, blogging buddies and knit sibs. Have you missed me? I’ve missed you! This no internet at home thang is getting me down. I wonder how much it would cost to get it laid in? Hmmm…. I’ve spent most of the day with bloglines open here at work, but although it’s no biggy to read it when I have no work, I’m jumpy and nervous and I feel bad. I feel like I’m wasting my time, when what I want is to get a coffee and jump feet first into blogland, bookmarking and cutting/pasting to my heart’s content.

That said, some of the things I have seen have brought my inspiration to craft surging to the forefront. It isn’t that I want to steal people’s ideas. Although, of course, I do. It’s that seeing what other people have done makes me think I can do it too, even if I can’t. It makes me remember the thrill of the FO, the calm of creation, the buzz of project planning. I’m dying to get a sewing machine, too, and see how long it takes before I sew my finger to something.

Sunday night I was feeling flustered and discontent, a result of having spent almost the entire day on the computer. I picked up my kittyville hat, began to knit, and calm descended. Not magically, not immediately, but with every stitch, each round, the swirls of thought inside my head that found it impossible to settle began, miraculously, to do so…

I found my cardigan for Arwen in a bag. I think I’ll have to unravel it a bit, the short rows seemed to come out the wrong number. But I think I might get cracking on it again. And I’m thinking of ordering some more wool to knit my Jo Sharpe cardigan again – with custom shaping on the waist, and without being afraid to make it longer. I’ll still have to work out what to do about the shoulder shaping – it’s a bit scarier – but maybe I can ask my grandma about that.

I really really want to stop into spotlight on my way home – I need a different size of DPNs to finish the kittyville hat, and I want some nice sloppy satin ribbon to tie back the girly gauze curtain in my room so I can let some sunlight in. But I am poor… very poor. I just handed over some $155 to my boss so that she could by a womadelaide ticket for me – my workplace is placing a group order, which means we get a discount, but it’s not a good week for me to be doing that. I got payed for my first two days of work and now I have to wait another fortnight for my next (huge!) pay. Let me clarify. It’s not actually huge, but for me, used to living on a student’s part-time payment, it’s huge. Also, I have a fairly minimal expense outlay. Comparatively, anyway. So, although I am determined to save at least a little each week, and despite the multitude of events I want to go to in the coming months (damn you, festival city! Damn you and your ridiculously appropriated moniker!) I should have enough left over to suitably indulge myself in craftiness. Also, I no longer have to sneak packages past my mother, lest she chastise me for my extravagance.

There’s a DK’s near my work, too. That’s a fabric warehouse thingy… it’s one of the few places left around here that has a decent range, and the last time I went their prices were excellent. Of course, that was when my mother was making my formal dress, in Year 11. That would be…. Uh… 6 or seven years ago. Still. They’re open till 5:30, so I could just make it after work, or else I could always go one my break. Except I enjoy the lunch room – there’s usually something hilarious going on in there of an afternoon.

I’m exhausted, though. It’s been hard adjusting to full-time work, it’s hard getting around without a car, its hard finding energy to do things after work. It’s hard buying groceries, again, sans car. It’s hard finding enough business-like things in my wardrobe to not repeat myself too often. It’s hard being white and middle class, people. It’s just hard.

But in all seriousness, I am enjoying my new job, my new home, the possibilities that are inherent in both these things. Today I am tired, but soon it will be time to go home. And then, I can sleep. Or, I could craft. Whichever seems likely to revive me the best. I can’t wait

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Just in time for Chinese New Year...

I don't know if you know, but most of the traditions surrounding Chinese New year involve various incarnations of 'out with the old, in with the new'. I'm all about the newness, albeit slightly used newness.

I have a new house. It is an old house (There are cracks in most of the walls, and half of my room looks like it's about to fall off), but I have never lived there. Four of my cousins have though, and two of them still do. I'm enjoying seeing all my stuff that has been stored for two years, although I have no internet, and bloglines is piling up my feeds. I'm also loving cooking again. I may have gone a little nuts on the cupcakes. Yesterday my cousin introduced my to her friend as 'this is my cousin who lives here. She makes cupcakes.'

I have a new job. It is just doing admin which is totally not what my 4 years of uni qualified me for, but they're paying me. Also, and more importantly, it's a great organisation with wonderful people. I don't really want to talk about it too much because a) it's probably not good policy to talk about your workplace in internet-land and b) It's not crafty. Unlike so much of what I've been talking about lately, I don't think. I will say, however, that it's very close to this shop, and I have a feeling I may be paying a visit. When it cools down - it was 36 yesterday, and Monday will be 38. (that's Celsius) I'm not happy about it.

So, with all that crazy, there's not been much crafting, unless cupcakes count. I've buried my Arwen under some miscellaneous stuff, and I have knitted a few more rows in the official kittyville hat which I started recently, but I'm up to the decreases which means at least minimal concentration is required. Does piling all my craft-related stuff in one corner of my room count? It takes up a lot of room. I have big plans for my second-hand-new wardrobe, I want to cover the doors with fabric and batting to make pin-board-like surfaces, but I don't know if it's even do-able, and it will definitely have to wait. I'm exhausted.

I did go see Pan's labyrinth, which I was all excited about thanks to Emily, and it didn't disappoint, although it was darker than I expected. I might go see it again, even. I had a knit-wear/colour review planned, because the costumes were awesome, and that's the kind of thing I notice, but it will also have to wait. Maybe if I go see it again, and it will be fresh in my mind.

Anyway, that pretty much assuages my blog guilt. (does anyone know how to say 'assuages'? I sure don't.) For now, and in case I don't speak to you all before Feb 18th, I'll just say 'GongXi FaCai'. That means, roughly 'wishing you wealth'. So I can't speak French, I'll just have to take my show-off chances where I can get them... it's the year of the Pig, too, that's me! (the star sign, not... actually... ) That's right, I'm too good to be true!