Sunday, October 12, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Then the girl grew up, married a bad tempered old toad, cunningly disguised as a charming Prince, had four babies and sewed and sewed on Old Faithful throughout. Sadly, the girl (woman now) had a nasty accident at her work, but she did receive some money for her injuries. So, she thought "I think I will buy a new sewing machine, a bit fancier than OF, but probably the same make as OF has been remarkably reliable for over 30 years."
The woman bought a fully computerised version of OF which automatically cut her threads, calculated her button holes, had thousands of embroidery patterns and a memory to record them, could work three different alphabets, needled up and down and basically could almost cook dinner, feed the dog and clean the house.
The woman loved the new machine - BUT within a month, something strange started to happen. Now and then, for no particular reason the machine would start to stammer and stutter and then - the bobbin case would lurch out of its position, frequently causing the needle to jam down into the case itself. This was very scary, especially when a message on the computer display screen would say Stop For Safety Purposes. So, the woman marched the machine straight back where she had purchased it (for over $1800!) and explained her problem. To cut a very long and ongoing saga to its nuts and bolts, the woman was made to feel that this had never ever been experienced by any other purchasers of that model (a lie, it was later discovered after a careful internet search), that the problem only occurred for her (maybe she was being too rough?) and after the 79th return to the store, it was sent to the mechanic, who (surprise) found it faultless. Next time the problem recurred the woman was shown how to jam the bobbin case into the machine in such a way that it would be less likely to escape its casing.
That seemed to sort things out for a while, but occasionally the problem crept back, which caused the woman to name the machine You Uncooperative Bitch. Every time she sat down at the machine, she felt nervous and frequently sewed at very low speeds to avoid hiccups. For the next three years, the woman persisted with the machine - carefully cleaning it after every use, changing needles at the drop of a hat and so forth. YUB was handled with kid gloves, but the problems persisted and started to multiply - now YUB would just keep sewing after her foot was removed from the pedal, sometimes for a full minute or two. The woman had very crumbly bones that kept breaking all the time and sitting at the machine became an arduous and painful task for her.
Finally, she reached the limit of her patience and marched into the store, determined to get a satisfactory outcome - i.e. agreement that the machine was a lemon and should have been replaced under warranty in the very first place. The toffee nosed madam who owned the franchise recommended she "upgrade to the next model" (HMMMMM - why would she not suggest a replacement of like for like) that she explained cost over $2000. She looked haughtily at the woman's machine and said she could only offer $400 as a trade in value as YUB was well worn by now (and had problems that would hinder its resale). The woman drew a deep breath and explained that was unsatisfactory and that she felt the company should honour its warranty. Toffee Nose said that warranty issues were handled by the mechanic, offered to call him but said that the company would just want to "fix" the machine. She phoned the mechanic who was busy but would call her back and disappeared into the back room. The woman waited, resisted the temptation to either burst into tears or pick up the nearest heavy object (and there were several close by) and implant it in Toffe Nose's brain. Luckily, the anti-depressant medication was working well that day or another ugly scene may have ensued, similar to one several years back when a clerk threatened to call the police. The woman was the only customer in the store and she noted that the other two retail assistants were making a huge production of looking extremely busy with "stuff" and avoided eye contact. Finally the woman said very calmly but very loudly "Well, I have things to do. I can leave that matter with you, can I? You will call me and let me know." Toffee Nose miraculously appeared from the depths of the back room and tried not to seem too relieved that the woman was going. She even offered to send the machine to the mechanic for an opinion and offered the woman the loan of a machine - a version of OF, no less! A plan was forming in the woman's head. She had lost faith in the company (let's call them Company X) and decided she would inform them in writing about this and the reasons for her extreme disappointment. In the meantime, she might just see what Company Y could offer, as Company Y had been recommended as being a work horse.
The woman has been delighted by using the newer version of OF which does everything she asks of it, even though it has not been oft cleaned or serviced either. Also, despite having a brand new fracture of one of the larger ribs at the upper back, she has been able to sew for quite lengthy periods and even to write a longish posting on her blog - something YUB rarely permitted her.
Notice, dear reader, no names, no pack drill - at this stage. HOWEVER, if the response to the woman's complaint is poor - there will be plenty of naming of names for sure.
Monday, September 15, 2008
This is just an indulgent photo of my youngest grandson, Kieran, who thinks it hilarious to crawl away from his grandmother as soon as he is removed from the bath. Look at those gorgeous curls!
Now, my news and what has kept me from this blog. I have had some baddish news from the bone specialist that they have not managed to stop the deterioration of my skeleton. I kind of knew anyway from the level of the pain. God help me, I appear to have now passed the skeletal age of 95!!! So, it now becomes a matter of priority for me to move into a much smaller residence which means this house must be sold. That of course means that I have to carefully remove any trace of personality and (shock horror) colour and neutralise to appeal to the mass buyer market of bland loving home owners. I have started by painting out the glorious purple with pearlised swirls in my bedroom and have replaced it with a pale green, actually not so bad, almost a duck egg blue. Today I painted the back toilet and the laundry room in the same colour. Both were pains as there was so much to be taped out. Anyway, I have given myself a year to get this done and a year to find a new place. I am in discussions with my daughter and son-in-law about possibly building a "granny flat" at their place. Maybe, we shall see.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I don't know what it is, but I cannot seem to fall in love with this piece (hence the pins that might be visible in the outside trim will most likely stay there!) The other night, unable to sleep, for some bizarre reason I frenetically worked on this the whole night and by the end had the most hideous migraine. I even had taken it outside, pegged it to my clothesline and, with a cigarette lighter, set fire to the layered sheer pieces that I had sewn on. Whilst a great deal of fun, I just keep getting that Nyah feeling. A good outcome, though, was that my brain engineered a new set of ideas, partly inspired by that piece of arson and fanned by reading through a back issue of QA (number - do you think I can find that sucker? It's probably under my bed!) Anyway, it's the one about using strips of sheer fabric abused with a heat gun and attached to a background to form a kind of picture or scene, heavily embroidered and embellished as appropriate. Aha! Perfect methinks for my Broome series (?) as I have been enamoured of sheers for yonks and often fiddle with em. My latest preoccupation with layering even had me creating all kinds of trendy ruffles made out of spirals of sheer fabric. I like that effect too, but I am pretty keen on this newie! To the relief of one and all I even splurged on a gas fuelled heat gun today at the hardware store, where I also had to purchase mulch as it was so warm today that it would have been criminal not to be in the garden and we are expecting rain tonight, so my decks will be cleared after my babysitting duties of the day. I am also labouriously attempting some silk paper creating. I say labourious because I am literally deconstructing pieces of silk fabric down to the thread. It is perfect zoned out work at the end of the day.
PS I found it. The QA issue is 24 (it was sitting face down right in front of me!) and the article is called "Sheer Landscape" by Inche Berlyn.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I have a shameful admission. I spent most of the morning howling my eyes out while watching the early morning TV news which has been tragically focussed on the fate of a baby humpback whale whose mummy abandoned it in Sydney Harbour. Poor thing, named Colin, has been trying to suckle from larger boats in the harbour. As Australians, we are very sooky la la about whales - we tend not to see them as main course as in other cultures. Our experience in the West is of them frolicking off our coastline as they migrate up and down from the Pole. We consider them beautiful, amazing creatures - not pests. Hence, there has been enormous public hue and cry about the fate of poor Colin. Vets have been called in to see if they could try to keep him alive by artificial feeding - a bit like what they did in the States with a similar species. Apparently, the difficulty for poor old Col is that he would need krill in his diet, especially at weaning time and that in massive amounts daily would need to be obtained from the Antarctic. Also, there is no way to know why his mum abandoned him in the first place and so, ideally he should eventually join another pod as he gets older, but scientist think it highly unlikely he would be accepted and more likely that he would be attacked by other whales. The worst part, I think, is that the media seems obsessed with showing us endless footage of this poor baby suckly dead old boats and of course we watch it with inevitable horrified fascination. Anyway, the decision has been made to end his suffering as he is starving to death, weak and in a lot of pain, having been attacked by sharks when they tried to take him out to deeper water. Oh my nature is certainly harsh sometimes.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
And, of course, our winter in Perth seems to be officially all but over. It is supposed to rain today, but the past week has been gloriously spring-like. Lovely temps in the low twenties and
everything bursted into full bloom already. It has been so ideal for gardening that I just had to get out and remove the 20 bazillion weeds that sprouted whilst I was away and it had poured. (Hah! Good timing, what?) I also lumped over 2 tonnes of black mulch over the garden beds which just about killed me, but looks fabulous and will really help if we end up getting not so much more rain. (Meteorologists are so excited that the dams are at 35% capacity for the first time in yonks and yonks, but looks a bit like follow up is going to die in the arse.)
Now, be prepared for a scorching blast at communications companies! A few months ago I changed my ISP - a general hoo hah in itself - and, as directed by the new people, filled in and sent back a form to have the monthly bill for my broadband direct debited from my bank account. Fine. Next thing, I get back from Broome to discover ALL the mail from that week stuffed into my letterbox and completely soggy despite the fact that my youngest daughter was staying at my house, supposedly to collect the mail each day. But that's another story in itself about her irresponsibility etc. Amongst the wet mail was a nasty letter from said ISP to say they had not received money to pay account and unless they did within seven days, service would be disconnected. Needless to say, that seven days had passed by the time I got the letter in my hands and I had no phone and no internet. The letter went on to note that if I had any questions, I could call a number - BUT FROM A LANDLINE!!!! or I could contact them through their website. HOW????????????????? So. that day (a Friday) I was busy doing 59 loads of washing that had to get draped all over the house because it was still raining, re-stocking my pantry and fridge that had been completely emptied by said daughter and changing my bedlinen after removing all the WET towels off it (every single towel in my house was draped somewhere around the place in some kind of damp state) - all of which led me to a strong suspicion that this young lady had not been here on her own!! (Hence the urgent need for fresh bedlinen) On weekend, no phone, no internet and no way to contact company who keep 9-5 hours weekdays only. On the Monday, I had to drive to my daughter's house (the eldest, married one) and sit on her phone in a queue for 45 minutes until I got some person who really copped it from me, as in "I have done all the right things, blah blah, what the hell....?" She calmly stated that everything was now sorted - the direct debit had been processed and I should go home, turn everything off for 10 minutes, turn back on and everything would work. Which it did. For four days. The next Friday, I try to ring someone - no phone. Try turning on computer and accessing internet - no go. Furious, I go next door and sit on neighbour's phone for 30 minutes in queue and finally have to give up as she had to go out. So this process of using other people's phones and sitting in queues for periods up to an hour at a time continued all week long. Finally, yesterday (Monday) I decided I was just going to wait on my daughter's phone (all day if necessary) until I got hold of a human being. Being cheerfully informed at constant intervals that they were experiencing high volumes of calls and if my call was non-urgent, perhaps I could call back later or maybe try contacting them via their website, was more than merely annoying. Hence after close to an hour when I finally got hold of some poor soul - did he cop it!!The worst part of the whole thing was that he tried to lie to me about the reason for being disconnected. He said it was for non-payment of my account. I explained that was just so much bullshit because of my previous contact with the company. Then he tried to tell me it was probably the fault of the bank. I told him that I very much doubted that, as we were talking about the biggest bank in Australia and I have never had a problem with other direct debit arrangements through them before. He got quite snarky with me when I told him to inform the accounts people that they better not have the audacity to charge me for the week and a bit they had cut me off. "Why is that, madam?" he asked. Because, you moron, none of this is my fault and you did not even have the courtesy of telling me before cutting me off the second time. He insisted it must be a bank problem. I think steam was emanating from my brain by then, but of course, I just wanted my phone and my world back again, so I told him I would be writing to the company about the atrocious customer service, etc, etc. and hung up. At least I have my lifeline reconnected, I suppose and realistically, I guess they probably will charge me and I will get furious and that will take another year off my life expectancy. This might sound melodramatic, but I said to my daughter "Sometimes, I just feel drained by the fact that every single aspect of my life seems like a huge struggle. Why does it have to be that way?" Let's hope there's a payoff somewhere in the future.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
portraits are very realistic!
And here's what happened when I let little Kieran feed himself some Petit
Miam. What cannot be seen is the highchair tray and my floor also generously coated in strawberry goo.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
See what I made today??/ No mean feat, putting those wretched Ikea thingies together, as everyone knows. So I feel justifiably proud of my effort. I am also working on a little cloth book of family faces that I will have pics for shortly. This is all for my gorgeous little grandson, Kieran who turns 1 tomorrow (where the hell did THAT year go?). I minded him and his bro on Friday (yesterday) as mummy had to work, mainly to pay for all the medication needed for poor sick little bubbie. Kieran has bronchial pneumonia, two ear infections and asthma. Luckily, as is the way with tiny ones, just spoke to Nat and he is back to his happy little self today, although still coughing badly. And, joy of joys, I get to have them overnight tonight because mummy and daddy are going out and it is wa-a-a-a-a-ay too cold to take sick bubbies in and out in this weather. I know, I sound pathetic, but it is honestly the highlight of my life to get to spend so much time with these little boys - I actually consider it a privelege to babysit them. I love my littlies to bits and pieces.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I am also hard at work on this month's TIF challenge that I must do, because I am worried that April, being the big wedding month, might see me having to miss the challenge.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I also got very excited and started making myself a dress based on something I spied in a fashion magazine. (Above)
I have been in love with that colour pink as long as I can remember and I had a flash of inspiration to incorporate a skirt that I have had since 1985 which is a silk designer thingie and I have never been able to part with it. So I found the perfect hot pink silk chiffon and I am off and away. I already had a pattern very similar to the style in the book(Simplicity 4996) - which is really just a fancy sort of shift. Alls I had to do was make the skirt straighter and add a pleat insert (in this case, my designer skirt fabric).
I also shortened the width of the shoulders. I am thinking of possibly putting a few little pink roses on the base of the neck maybe as the bodice of the dress I have cut out of the designer silk. I have included for your viewing pleasure a pic of the front of the skirt with the inserted pleat.