Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So sew UFOs.

I finish things.
Unless I don't like them or they're for me.
But, other than that, I finish things.

These are the things I'm working on at the moment, or have abandoned for one of the above reasons.
Both very good reasons too.

So, anyway, here are my UFOs (unfinished objects) in their crumpled, I don't like them anymore glory.

Actually, the ant block is going to be for Bronwyn's June mail out. Last time I was there, a very handsome team of kitchen ants were making her kinda cranky, so I thought I'd dedicate a block to their uneasy relationship. It will be finished this week, so it probably doesn't count as a UFO as such.

The cat block is for Clair. She knows why. It is finished except the tail and maybe I'll crayon it a little bit.

The cross stitch is for Clair's bubba. It's 2/3rds finished and I only started it 2 weeks ago.
It has bunnies on it.
And we know this because if you look closely enough, you will notice (even without backstitching done) that they are losing the scrum.
That's OK. I still love them.
I now have needle holes in my right thumb and my left forefinger (in addition to my other stigmata), from stitching too much, so...

The lamby-bag with the areshole contains what will be a pram blanket for Clair's bubba. It's just that I like lamby to look full, so...

The Rabbitohs logo is mine. I was originally going to do maybe 6 or 7 of them and sew them into a quilt. But then I realised how badly it would wash, so...

The hexagons are MINE and I love them. They will never end up crumpled in that container under my sewing table.
Such is my resolve, that I did a couple of stitches in total blackness the other night when Adrian turned the power off.
They were fine.

The orange quilt, well, I'm just over orange and I never really decided what it was destined to be at all. Quilt, table cloth, cat blanket? I think it makes a fine UFO. It's ready to be pinned and quilted, but frankly, I don't like it's chances, so...

That little thing was going to be a button wall hanging, but then I remembered that I don't particularly like buttons. Or wall hangings.
Hmm, nope, I got no plans for it, so...

The larger checked thing was made just to see whether I could make a whole quilt out of scraps or not.
Well, I can. But apparently I don't like to use the same fabric twice.
Does that make me wasteful and shallow?
Or eccentric and diverse?
Of course, around this stage of the project, I realised that the butterfly in the corner is really pretty similar to it's ugly, disgusting, hillbilly cousin, the moth, so.....

So, is it OK not to finish things if you have a good reason?
Is it OK to sew my dad's 1974 coat buttons as aresholes onto lamby-bags from Spotlight?
Is there really a quilting mafia?
And if there is, is that where the term "made" comes from?

Anyway, I'm heartily ashamed of myself, sew...

My brother.

My brother has seen a great deal of the world. Perhaps because of this, he sometimes sees things in a way I simply cannot. This makes it all the more special to me when we grasp the same tangent.

I've always liked Adrian's photographs. He has a way of catching the world napping and preserving those moments which require no explanation.

I happened upon some of his pics from his last trip to India and almost cried due to their charm and humour.
They are mostly of animals doing odd things.

Our appreciation of nature is really very similar I guess.
Although I do think he is more accepting of it's nasty side than I am.

If a gigantic bull (see first pic) happened to walk up to Adrian's front door, he would simply look right back at it and say, "Oh, hello", and go about his business, leaving the bull to go about his too.

Uncomplicated acceptance.

Meanwhile, I would be trying to name it, pat it, feed it and work out whether it would fit on the lounge or not.

I would call him Brian.
And I would cook him rice pudding.
And we would all squish up so he could fit.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lifting the red and green curse.

We (Adrian, Jeff and I) went into the city today for Yum Cha at The Golden Harbour Restaurant.

Also to pay our respects at the usual pit stops on our lap of the city.
Adyar, Vienna Cafe, the 2nd floor ladies toilets in QVB (home to the tiled floor I'd like to copy as a quilt one day), JB Hifi, Paddy's markets, Jurlique, the cross stitch shop (moved)...(bastards), various other book shops and an assortment of charmingly pointless Korean knick knack shops.

I do miss the final stop of Utopia since it's moved up stream.
It used to finish things off nicely.
Watching the kids in there bullying each other into conforming to the peer acceptable alternative tastes was always entertaining.

So, here is a pic of my consumer Holy Grail for the day.
My $4 trophy.
A glory-glorious red and green bunny phone case.

So, my hunter gatherer instinct having been satisfied, it is now my hope that the curse which has clearly been placed on Souths, may soon be lifted due to this purchase.
God knows, the $1.5 million purchase of Craig Wing did bugger all to help.
And my beautiful phone cover has already lasted more than 8 minutes, innit.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Playing NOVA

Australia is home to a couple of very silly publications.

My personal fave is called NOVA...Australia's Holistic Journal...Keeping body and soul together.
My translation = taking the business of being a hippy way too seriously and hiding lots of seedy stuff behind a glittery shell of spirituality...

It's circulation (perpetration) is 142,000 copies each month.
Less the 30 or so we dump in the bin.
And the one I bring home to laugh at with the boys.
So... there are 141, 969 that I can't speak for.

At work, we "play Nova" every month by each grabbing a copy and retiring to our corners.
The first to find the worst, wins.

I always win. I have a good eye.

It's not so easy now that they've removed the personals though.
No more flexible, pranically charged Scorpio naturalists who are into tantric drumming and aroused by the smell of patchouli, but only looking to smell it on Libra cusp women. And only during a waxing moon phase. And only if it's on a Tuesday.

That guy made it way too easy anyway.

My fave win ever was courtesy of a full page ad, depicting a glorious pair of magnetic underpants.
Pretty good value at around $85 plus P&H... yes, I phoned. I had to know.

What I liked about them was that they looked something like gigantic Y-fronts, only uglier.
With a few sewn in pockets designed to house magnets which didn't really look much smaller than a Mars bar. Very comfortable.
Despite their appearance, the major caption on this article read, "INCREASE LIBIDO!"
Whereas, had I written the ad, I would have mustered all my honesty and written, "PASSION KILLERS!"

But enough about underpants.
If I don't stop here, I may go on forever.

This month, I've spotted a few things in Nova which I'd like to share with you.

Firstly, in the BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES section, it reads, and I'm not shitting you,

I'm a pensioner playing Lotto for 14 years. Win approximately $11,000 per year. You can too!"

What else? Oh yes, you can do a course called "Animal Dreaming". Apparently they're the voice of Mother Earth and she is trying to tell us something through them.
Cripes, only this morning I heard Mother Nature coughing up a nasty fur ball in the kitchen then, which is a worry.

Aaaaaaaaaah, yes, here's a beauty.
Please note. This is NOT silly, deluded parents pretending that their poorly managed ADHD child is special.
It's not, OK?
And this appears as 1 of the only 2 POSITIONS VACANT in this newspaper.

"Soulful child carer required to care for and help nurture our "indigo child". Experience preferred though an openness to learn and experience the indigo wonderment is necessary. We ask God and our angels of light to protect and assist us all in fulfilling our requisite for an enlightened carer for our child. Newcastle area."

LOL, I've been to Newcastle.
I can indeed confirm that many people there are indeed, special.

The second position vacant in this enlightened rag reads "Sacred sexual healers wanted."
It seems they need spiritually minded ladies for something or other.
Go figure.

It seems that last weekend we missed "The Gathering of Great Women" and the opportunity to walk the sacred feminine geometry. Which seems a pity.

It also seems that Jesus and other various ascended masters were due to appear concurrently at upwards of 14 separate workshops last weekend in the western Sydney area alone.

And where was I? Drinking a soy decaf cappuccino somewhere. Oblivious.

But, you know, after flicking through this newspaper, I'm no longer comfortable now that I know how many people appear to be into tantra and awakening the sexuality of their soul.

Get a haircut, ya hippies!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yes, I said stigmata.

I've long expected a bolt of lightning or a trio of sixes, so no-one was more surprised than me when a couple of crucifixion style nail holes casually appeared on my wrists this morning.

And yet it happened.
A miracle!

I went to bed a self-defined atheist, yet awoke with a heavy burden indeed.

To be attractive to Christians is surely my worst nightmare.
In fact, I could never have imagined such perversity or evil.

We always think it'll happen to someone else, don't we?

Pretty soon, all manner of desperate weirdos will be arriving by the bus load, trying to worship me, stealing leaves from my garden and queuing for hours to purchase exquisitely over priced and cheesy souvenirs.

I like the souvenirs bit.

So, before my lifestyle is overcome with the kind of people I generally go out of my way to avoid, I'm going to have to have a little word with Francine, my Acupuncturist.

Maybe I'll even vent my spleen.

Full moon in Merrylands.

So, I'm on the phone to a customer, scratching my head, inspecting my stigmata and frantically reaching for my cup of jasmine tea, when she busts the following question out onto me...

"Is it true that you should only take bee pollen if it's gathered by bees who fly within a 60km radius of your house?"

I'm going to repeat that, just in case you think I had a seizure while typing and simply chanced upon that combination of words.

"Is it true that you should only take bee pollen if it's gathered by bees who fly within a 60km radius of your house?"

Now, although desperate myself to know the idiotic mechanics and possibly alien origins of this brand of logic, I had to refrain from all lines of questioning, in a feeble attempt to stave off a most unprofessional amount of laughter.

So, I'm not able to expand this theory for you.

If you're wondering about my response, the best I could come up with at that moment was,

"If you like."

And I'm not repeating that either, as I'm not terribly proud of it.

I can tell you what I was thinking however, as I stared, glassy eyed with eyebrows painfully raised, into the bodybuilding section.

I thought, "Is it a fucking full moon, or what?!"

But, as we know, it's pretty much always a full moon at dear old Merrylands.

Ah yes, Merrylands.
Home to the world's hillbillies.
Each and every type of people represented at their very, very strangest and most charming.

A place where I've met folks who drink their own urine.
A place where the local Naturopath thinks she has stigmata.
A place where people bring me in gifts of illegal medicinal herbs and freaky giant zucchini.
A place where people knit Souths Sydney Rabbitohs dolls for me as well as for Paul, the local Santa, and let's not forget, a place which boasts people who are no less than "lactose intelligence".

I ask you, why would you want to be anywhere else?

And, yes, I said stigmata.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Just a day.

Things that happened today which probably don't deserve a mention.

Woke up with Phoebe on my pillow and her back feet under my face. Not going to think about where the rest of her was.
God she's warm. Soft too. Each time I move she starts to purr.
I love Phoebe.

I slept in. I hate that. Too many things to do.

I got lots of the green bits done on Clair's cross stitch.

Poppy pissed all over my fave round cushion for no good reason and I got mad at her for the first time in four and a half years.

Imagine her surprise.

Jeff appears spooked by this.
As well he might be.

I went to Lincraft and got served straight away.
At least they didn't disappoint with their stock levels of DMC thread. I'm guessing they must order replacement stock annually.
Well done.
I walked through their scrapbooking section without cursing.
First time ever.
I'll make up for it next time.

I bought crayons, thread, beads and fabric dye with the voucher Nadia and Wayne gave me for my birthday. Fangs luvs. :O) (I'll make you something nice)

Had sushi with Jeff.
Were served by an ex-student of his whose name he couldn't remember if his life was on the line. Actually, he couldn't remember her at all.
Probably she doesn't like football.

Ran into a very grateful patient who is frighteningly eager to take another bottle of nasty tasting herbs.

Saw a junkie steal sunglasses from a shop in Parramatta. Came pretty close to being knocked over by him too.
I hadn't realised that heroin made you run that fast.
I've always known it makes you dress badly.

Had a good laugh at all the Roosters jerseys in the window at Cash Converters.

Mars Hill was full. WTF?

Bought a good looking pomegranate. Not going to share though.

Bought a green apple for tomorrow's red cabbage dish which had a beautiful lady bug on it.
Made Jeff take it outside the shopping centre to let it go somewhere nice while I minded the trolley.
He very thoughtfully took a photo of it on his phone to show me that it was indeed OK so I didn't worry all night.
Bloody hell. Am I that bad?

Bought another ripper sewing mag.

Tidied the pantry. I always feel better for that.
Why do we have Freckles anyway?
Apparently Adrian hasn't seen them.

Missing Adrian.
How can someone be so noisy and exert such a calming influence at the same time?
Ah yes, the Pisces man.

All but given up using a thimble.

Picked up the Community College brochure.
Anyone want to do the "Cupcake Workshop" with me? Better call Taryn. Wait, are Souths playing May 31st?

So you see, that's why, when someone asks, "What are you up to?", you must in all seriousness, reply with, "Nothing much", rather than with what I just did.

I'm sorry about that. It won't happen again.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hello, I'm Simone and I'm a serial killer.

Hello, I'm Simone and I am a serial killer.
There, I've said it.
Let the wanky 12 step healing program begin.

And to think that I've gotten away with it for 39 years without it becoming socially inhibiting, makes me feel a good deal more proud than it rightly should.

It always takes a good friend to reflect back to you what you need to confront or be congratulated for.
And Clair is just such a person.

She has spent the last 10 months or so planning, cutting, piecing, scheming and stitching an offering for me which makes me feel joyous to my very core.

She has made me this beautiful quilt with 12 cats, each stitched with a name of 1 of my expired feline darlings on it. FFS I hadn't ever tallied them before.

Not taking responsibility for all those names either. Cripes. Certainly Fluffy and Chablis were not of my doing.

Indeed, it makes me feel as though I've been a little careless with my feline charges over the years.
To lose 2 cats is bad luck.
To lose 9 is closer to negligence.

Well, in order to remind me to pay greater attention in future, I'm planning on hanging this magnificent piece on my study wall.
Sadly, this wall directly faces Poppy's tree birds and we may run the risk of scaring the living crap out of them.
Pity then that they s(h)it right over my clothes line.
But hey, maybe they'll feel loved and protected by the 12 gay pride cats with bad names watching over them, in addition to Poppy herself.

You never know.

Does that count as all of Step 1?
Or have I already covered a bit of Step 2?

N.B. The pic of Phoebe sitting on the quilt, going in for a major arse lick. :O)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ranga's Quilt.

So, here is Ranga's quilt.
Ranga of course, being short for Orangutan, as not one, but both parents are strawberrically blessed.
Ranga has been kind enough to furnish me with an excuse to purchase soy babycinos at work for the last 8 months.
This is my way of squaring things up a little.

Made from 225, 3 inch squares of fussy cut novelty fabric.
And because Cath is Cath, I was able to include tattoo fabric, dancing cowboys skeletons and Day of the Dead fabric for a newborn's quilt without so much a moment's hesitation.

I'm glad I know people like that. ;O)

I even managed to slip my customary greeting/salutation of "Up the Rabbitohs!" in there.

I hope this quilt provides Ranga with many hours of fun and learning, and simultaneously frees up time for Cath and Ben. ;O)

I also hope it plays a part in letting said Ranga know just how much she/he has already been loved even before making an earthly appearance.

I enjoyed every stitch of this project. Except that one at the end when I pricked my finger (snort, giggle, I said prick)

Vive la Ranga!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Packing light.

I'm not sure that this will be enough fabric for 2 days of sewing.
What do you think?

Oh dear.

My packing is always generous.
But the way my brain is functioning (or not) at the moment means that I've had to pack any piece of fabric that that currently takes my fancy, just in case I need it.
Mostly this is because my usual planning capacity is AWOL, but some of it is honestly because I don't know exactly what I'm going to be making.

No, I don't buy that either.
Oh well, at least Clair and I will have something to pee on should the need arise.
No, I'm not going to explain that.

So, I have been through the fabric check list:

  • lime green leopard print - check
  • yellow leopard skin print -check
  • Sailor Bob tattoo fabric - check
  • lesbian Go-Go dancers fabric - check
  • green toasters fabric - check
  • green retro salt and pepper shakers fabric - check
  • 1950'5 uber sexist,Valium encrusted women bending over in heels as they make their man's coffee fabric - check
  • retro wireless radio fabric - check
  • green retro 1950's hausfrau(s) washing curtains/mopping in formal wear and looking at own reflection in shiny saucepan fabric - check
  • 542 other fat quarters chosen for no specific reason
Well, I don't know what will come all that.
Looks like a weekend of shameless free-balling coming up.

Good taste be damned.

PS I think I may be an idiot.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Insecure fuzzy helpers

Hands up who didn't think this was going to turn into Auntie Simone's cats'n'quilts corner?

We haven't met then, have we?

I spent Saturday morning pinning 200 safety pins into this thing.
I spent Sunday machine quilting.
ALL Sunday.
I finished just in time to watch the Souths game.
Thank God I did too, because missing that gem would have be awful. But I'm not ready to talk about that.

Furthering my theory of our 2 older cats Alice, and now also Phoebe, reading my blog and becoming insecure due to the praise I recently lavished upon Poppy, I was treated to some world-class fuzzy assistance with the quilting.

Oh joy.

As you can see, Phoebe came in from the rain and parked her soggy wet arse all over Ranga's quilt while my back was turned.
Surely she's worth every one of the $10 we paid for her. ;O)
I'm going to be kind hearted and give her B of the D and assume she believed that in some small way that she was contributing.
The fact is, she was in a large way, thwarting my efforts completely.

Soon after Idiot Number One was dispatched, Idiot Number Two arrived, hot on her heels.
Alice being the backwards cat that she is, helped me by burrowing underneath the quilt (creating and unsightly lump) and swatting aggressively at my hands at even imperceptible movements.

So, after kisses and hugs had been exchanged, I closed the door on their attempts to impress and assist me for the rest of the afternoon.

Hopefully now that their efforts have been recorded in cyber space, they will read this and then be able to relax, secure in the knowledge that even if their one task is to lie around on the bed being fuzzy, then that's always a big help to me anyway. :O)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I like stuff. This is stuff.

Check out the camel toe on my teddy bear! Is that wicked or what?
His name is Meinhardt, and in true Bavarian style, he don't give no shit how he looks, OK? It's practical, so he's wearing it.
In fact, this outfit (complete with toe) is soooooooo damn practical and comfy, maybe it should become the national costume.
Never happen.

I like stuff.
And this is stuff I made.
I love this little guy.
I cross stitched him and left him lying around in my bedside table (I think we all know how scary that can be) for a few years.
Then I gave him to Jeff, who put him in his bedside drawers (Lordy, Lordy, Lordy).
Then I think he spent a few years in my sewing cupboard before I rescued him and framed him with fabric given to me by Clair.
Now he guards the laundry from mozzies and so forth.

Clair, the above cross stitch belongs to you and yours eventually, just ignore Jeff. I said it was OK. ;O)
It took me 2 years to complete, although it must have sat idle for 6 months atleast.
Those last 6 months I whipped myself to finish it.
It then took almost 5 years before I could look at it and appreciate it's beauty again without just seeing it as fragments.
I'd tell you what I think about working with metallic thread but I don't know how to spell Yugo obscenities too well and I doubt spell check would be any use.

The smelly old owl and his blow flies I fell in love with on the way down to Mollymook one year. Yes, I changed the wording a little.
But not as much as I would have liked . ;O)

See if you can guess which one of these girls is anatomically correct.
Some people would sew the face on first. My priorities are a little different I guess.
Seriously though, where would we be today without sequins and pearls?
See above wording on owl cross stitch.

Well, that was some stuff I happened to walk past today while I had the camera in my hand.
It could have been worse.
Not kidding.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Damn my eyesight.

The concept of karma is confirmed to me every time I wear glasses.
Not that I wear glasses.

Is it OK with you all if I have just one small vanity?
Well, unless you've seen how spectacular I look in glasses, then I think you should reserve judgement.
Fully, I look like the smartest chick on Earth. Even if they're just sitting on my head. Even if they're Sue's $2 magnifying glasses which I stole so frequently that she bought me my own pair.
I feel like the ant's pants when I wear glasses. Shameless too. I approach total strangers and demand to know whether they think I look as hot as I think I do. But I doubt that anyone could think that.

Last year I had like 2 headaches from reading, so I fairly sprinted down to the optometrist for an eye examination in the hope that I'd reached the age where I could finally wear a slinky pair of tortoiseshell glasses and look fabbo each and every day.

But no. Sadly, I was informed that I have 20/20 vision. FFS.
You may imagine the confusion of the poor lady doing the test when I reacted with such stoney faced dejection. *sigh* Clearly she had not understood the gravity of the situation.

So, lets' just accept that I look great in glasses but that my self respect won't allow me to wear fakes. Although, it does allow me to borrow from others, even prescription glasses, and admire myself in public mirrors. Which is harder than it sounds, as I can't actually see what I'm looking at while I have them on. Yes I know that sounds well bimbo. But I don't care. ;O)

And every time I concede defeat and take them off, I know that karma is laughing her arse off at me, maybe even peeing down her leg a little. Bitch.

You see, when I was around 7 years old, they did some big eye test at our primary school.
I vividly recall faking a portion of the test as I knew full well I couldn't manage the task I'd been set, which was a distance judgement exercise. In fact, this still screws me... I must concentrate not to trip up stairs. Down's OK.

Anyway, they told me to go home and tell my parents that I needed glasses.
Of course I did nothing of the sort.
Actually, that's not true. I told Dad a couple of years ago.
Apparently this man finds me amusing.

So, my karmic punishment is to be denied looking constantly sassy and intimidatingly intelligent.

I actively avoid supplements containing Bilberry, Vitamin A and Vitamin B2. I always make the effort to choose chocolate rather than blueberry muffins. Turned my back on carrots years ago. And all to no avail.

So, to my mind, karma is a spiteful bitch who probably wears like bifocal horn-rimmed glasses and looks like an absolute bag lady in them.
And assuming I'm right, which usually seems sensible, what will be karma's punishment for holding a grudge for more than 30 years over such a trivial issue?
I think she should go to Heaven and hang out with all manner of fundamentalists.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Copy of a Poppy Cat.

So, apparently either while I'm asleep or at work, Alice logs on and reads this blog too. I knew leaving the radio on for the cats would have long term consequences. They probably know a good deal more about current affairs than I do. Poor bastards.

Imagine my surprise when I returned home from a particularly harrowing day at work to discover Alice sitting in the study at bird o'clock, pretending to be Poppy.

Methinks she read my last blog, was driven insanely jealous by my praise for her little sister, and after having obviously recently watched "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" while we were all at work, decided to get herself a piece of the action.

Judge for yourself. Intellectually fueled sibling rivalry or cat just sitting on stuff with tongue out.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Paragon mit Pom Poms

In this house, we all have agreed jobs.
And among us is one whose attitude to their tasks is beyond reproach.
One who performs her duties with such meticulous care and indefatigability that ordinary people gather together and kneel in awe.

Poppy, the domestic paragon.

She has only 2 jobs. But damn if she doesn't do them well.

The first is to assist me on Fridays when it's time for the linen change.
All I need do is sing out, "Poppy, it's time to..." and she arrives, an excited blur, direct from the garden before I can even finish the "...change the bed".
Some days she even brings me a lovely clump of damp wisteria leaves and spider web bits and pieces too.

The second is to appear from nowhere every night at sundown and sit patiently on the cane box by the study window, waiting patiently for the birds who live in the tree just outside, to arrive home. Once they're settled in bed and I've pulled down the blind so that they're not disturbed by the lights, she sticks her head behind the blind and guards them until they go to sleep. ;O)

Now, if only ALL of us could feel and display such enthusiasm for our most mundane tasks...

Clair, you're the only person I know who comes close. ;O)
I kneel at your robe.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008



It was Jeff who left the Viz magazine lying around. Not Yoga Boy.

Hearty apologies to anyone mislead or inconvenienced by this gaff.