Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Having a bit of difficulty getting this to show the detail of the vest. But here it is buttoned and finished and I am loving it. The side fastening is also shown below. Love that unusual finish.

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.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Ta da da da ta ta ta tarum!!!! My work is ddone on the February Take It Further challenge. I am old enough to remember when recycling was called poverty! We religiously recycled our glass and bottles (that were mostly dark green in colour) in hessian bags, collected weekly by the "bottlo" dude with his horse and cart. I used cellophane, crumpled and torn, fme'd it to a piece of hessian, did some more fme randomly around it and inserted a couple of glittery bits of braid and sewed on some fake emeraldy looking button things.
Not only that, I managed to make the Istanbul vest shown in Threads magazine of November 07. This is not such a great shot, but I will put some nice buttons on it tomorrow and show how it came out. It is really lovely in the flesh, so to speak, making use of the most beautiful red cashmere scarf my daughter gave me a few years ago, but that I have hardly worn - it's simply not cold enough in Perth generally speaking. However, I have become a tad excited about the harbingers of autumn because of my need to reach for the cotton blanket a couple of nights last week. Today and this week, though we seem to have lurched back to the situation where I will be sleeping with the fan on for a few nights yet. Still, I like the idea of wearing cotton shirts and vests in the autum with my jeans, it is just about the right wardrobe to carry me through til next summer.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008


These are some of my thoughts about the challenge theme - I am old enough to remember >>>>. I wanted to jot down mainly happy thoughts that would be unique to me and my memories of growing up. I could have gone into things like the day JFK got shot and so on but I really felt the need to deal with something special and also joyful. What have selected from the random scribblings at left is the sights and sounds of the old "bottlo" guy that used to collect everyones empty bottles once a week (and you got paid for it!) This was recycling before we knew what recycling was. He had a horse and cart of all things and there were always large pats of horse poo in the back lanes as reminders of his visit. I remember the glass always being green and thick (don't know if my memory is correct or not - maybe just the beautiful emerald bits were the ones that captured my eye. I also remember he had heaps of hessian bags in his cart.
The work I did is so close to finished (and has been since February 5!!!) I have just been distracted by other things. I am hoping to post the final tomorrow.

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Monday, February 18, 2008


I haven't blogged for some time because a.) I have had some ghastly gastro bug that hung on for yonks and b.) my dog, Kahluah had to go. Let me explain. Kahluah is/was 12 years old and originally belonged to my daughter Nat. Then, as kids do, she left home and good ol Mum got custody, as I did when my husband nicked off. I always felt kind of sorry for that dog because she came into a house that already owned a highly intelligent, but slightly neurotic border collie - Tess. Tess took her role as top dog far too seriously and young Kahluah suffered rather badly from more than one savagings, cuffs about the earhole and general reminders that she was nobody and nothing on this earth. Now, I'm not sure if this is what made her odd or if her mother had, in fact, sat on her at birth, but she seemed somewhat, well to be kind not the sharpest knife in the drawer. She would wander off into the garden and stand there staring into middle distance for hours on end as if she had completely forgotten why she came out in the first place. Eventually, Tess got so old and crabby and arthritic from all her youthful fence leaping (as a sheep dog is wont), that the savaging became worse and worse and I put my foot down and said I could not bear it any more. Much as I had always loved Tess, it was poor little Kahluah that snuk into my room every night and snuggled up against my legs and God help her if Tess ever discovered it! I tell you, if looks could kill, Tess could produce some truly psychopathic ones. So, shortly before the separation, my husband and I had to have Tess euthanased and that was a horrible, horrible day.
So Kahluah has been my main companion really for a long, long time. Unfortunately, as she is a red cloud Kelpie (a cattle dog) she can dig holes from here to China, escape from any kind of barricade I could create and run like the wind. At one time, Nat had a cop as a boyfriend and K escaped, running all over the road like a lunatic and he could not catch her even though he was the fastest athlete in his group. For me, on my own with all my various broken bones and things, I had no hope of catching her or being strong enough (nor had the desire) to concrete the entire garden, which would have been the only hope of containing her. There were several consecutive episodes of my helplessly watching her (still, even at 12) charge like a rabbit up and down the middle of our extremely busy road, while the 70+ year old neighbours and some complete strangers walking/driving past tried to catch her. The only hope of doing so is when her intelligence deficiency trips her up and she accidentally runs away down the driveway and can be trapped. Every day for 2 years I have filled in cavities the size of the Grand Canyon and have tried every method I can think of without success in stopping her, including filling the holes with her own excrement. I have reconstructed and reinforced my side fences with everything from bricks and concrete slabs to barbed wire, but still she finds a way - sometimes she would just dig underneath and make herself a wee tunnel. For such a dumb, sorry, not so sharp dog, she sure was determined, if not wilful. Finally it came to a point where I physically could not go on and I was beginning to feel angry with her, even tho she's only a dog. I was constantly feeling quite nauseous at the thought of her being splattered across Cockman Road one day quite soon. So, after months of debate, I consulted with Nat, who offered to take her - but really, I told her it's a big challenge with two babies and your own idiot dog (yet another border collie) and who knows how the top dog thing would go (maybe the memory was sharper than the other brain functions and revenge can be sweet). She agreed fairly easily, so I took K to the RSPCA. Their assessment was that she was basically antisocial (oh, yeah, forgot to mention that she had recently taken to attacking other dogs nowhere near her own property and sometimes threatened poor old people walking on the pavement.) I grovelled, begged and pleaded to at least try to place her - maybe someone on a large property would be willing to take her. Finally, they agreed, but warned that I was aware what the alternative would be if they could not place her quickly and did I want to know how many days they could keep her before option b? No, I said, I don't even want you to tell me what option b is (although it's blatantly frigging obvious) and I certainly do not wish to have any idea when that will occur.
Now, as if this story isn't sad enough and I do accept, as my Dad once said to me "The trouble with pets, dear is that they will go before you." God knows, I certainly have had to say goodbye to my fair share over the years, including the cat that nobody could find for a week until I noticed four very stiff paws sticking up through the ivy near the mailbox and then had to bury myself, dressed like some kind of CSI lab assistant with Vicks under my nose to try to block the stench - because my great lummox of a son was hungover. When I informed my youngest daughter who has not lived with me for 3 years and asked her to let her brother know also, I got the cold and stoney silence of the mortally offended. Then again, that girl never really grew out of the egocentric stage of childhood. Nat later informed me that my husband's comment was "Typical of your mother to make decisions like that on a whim." Taz, my baby, rang me the next day to apologize for her selfishness and lack of consideration for my sadness and my loneliness - mind you, only after her sister had blasted living hell out of her about it. Nothing from son, STeve, but then again, I haven't heard from him in over a month (new chick on scene).
I just cannot get over the comment of my husband. I mean, how dare he even think he has a right to say anything at all. He hasn't borne the burden of looking after his own children, let alone any pets in the house. I have been trying so hard not to speak negatively about him and certainly never do to the children, but obviously he doesn't return that respect to me as their mother. I mean, I have never said that he is an emotionally cruel, mysogonistic, right brain lobotomized bastard, have I? No. I didn't even let him have it (tho in hindsight I should have) when he invited Nat and Steve to join him and Taz on the stage to toast her 21st birthday a couple of years back, while I stood like a lump of nothing with the "guests". When they all wrapped arms around each other I nearly puked at the fakeness, remembering all the times he has torn them to shreds and taken out his rage on them, while I have dealt with the consequences, bandaging up all the emotional wounds. Nat told me after that she felt embarassed and awkward as my husband was the one putting on the party and calling the shots and I understand that a scene was not appropriate at that time. It's not the kids I blame for this - I just don't understand why he feels it necessary to punish me this way, when he was the one who initiated the breakup.
There - it's out. I feel like I have dumped quite a lot in this entry and that I can leave it behind me now, it's buried and dead. And listen folks, don't worry too much - I am smarter than the average bear and right now I am just biding my time and waiting for the right moment to start the divorce proceedings. Believe me, it is in my best interests to be patient a while longer and I can say no more.
By the way, dumb - no, not smart as she was, you have to give it to Kahluah for patiently letting a 2 year old wrap her up in fabric pieces at her age!!!
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Friday, February 1, 2008


Here are the final results of my January Take It Further Challenge. I honestly finished it yesterday (31 Jan) but have not been able to do my posting until today. The picture at left shows some of the detail and you can see that I incorporated some pieces of jewelry in the piece as I had wanted, some special to me pieces that were broken or had lost pairs etc. I am really quite pleased with the result and I will hang it on my wall. It achieved a lot of what I wanted to say about my dad - like the upper right and lower left corners that are basically pieces of "found" things to remind me that he was the original recycler. He would constantly spot old bits of rubbish on the road, like a rusty old screw, pick it up and put it in his pocket saying that it would "come in handy" one day.
I feel sorry for my brother and sister who had to clean out his place - when he died - they said he had newspapers and stuff dating back to the 1930's, but those two being the blasphemous part of the family threw it all away!
Now the reason I have taken so long to post. I hate, absolutely HATE HATE talking about my own health. However, here's the story. I may even have mentioned before that I have the world's largest (according to my doctor) birthmark. It is on my right thigh and extends from hip to knee and is usually purple and mottly looking. It never bothered me much and I think it was mostly less obvious when I was younger and maybe more warmblooded (so it was paler). As I have aged, it seems every knock and bump results in what they call a varicose ulcer which are hereditary in my family. One caused my grandfather to die (at 98 mind you) when the crusty scab knocked off in his sleep and he bled to death. Great way to go, really, you wouldn't know much about it. Problem is, I am more than 40 yrs younger than that and they are excruciatingly painful and notoriously difficult to heal. /The current one I have occurred 2 years ago and it still looks like a bloody crater. I have had skin grafts on previous ones, but the problem is that the whole kit and caboodle, nerves, blood vessels and God knows what is apparently malformed so the skin grafting bizo sometimes doesn't work. Now the docs are saying that the whole birth mark needs to go - God am I dreading that. As I no longer can afford private health insurance, I am forced into the situation where this is deemed an elective procedure and I have to wait until I can see a specialist (maybe even for years). In the meantime, I have to go get this bastard properly cleaned out and dressed by the nurse twice a week (which makes me scream and frighten all the children in the waiting room!) I find it hurts so much now, it makes me limp constantly and I can't play with my grandsons like I used to. I can't "be" an excavator on the floor any more and that really shits me!!!! Also by the end of the day, the stupid leg starts collapsing under me, because I think the muscle is being affected it is so deep. All in all - intolerable and I am going to see yet another doctor next week for yet another opinion.
In the meantime, I love you all and I love what I do so life can't be all bad - can it>
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