Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Once upona time, there was a young girl who loved to sew. She purchased a brand new sewing machine with her first paycheck and things went along superbly for 30 odd years (some more odd than others). She rarely cleaned her machine, or had it serviced or oiled it or changed the needles, but Old Faithful kept plodding along taking the girl on many journeys through complex dresses made out of silk, fat bulky curtains, over blobs of painted surfaces, foil and did every single task she asked of it.
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


Ta da!! I have finished hand embroidering the burnt piece I was working on, mounted and framed it with an old frame I hotglued some shells from Broome onto.

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.
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Here are images of the spectacles case that I promised to post. I bought this in Broome at the Monsoon Gallery - no idea who the artist is otherwise I would acknowledge, but I got rid of the packaging. The website is :www.monsoongallery.com.au and I am sure they could give more information about the artist. The middle photo shows the front, right is the back and to the left is the inner workings part that shows lining and a large thingo (press studs we sometimes call them). Pieces of monotoned shiny/sparkly fabric have been joined diagonally into a rectangular shape, with some embellishment in the form of yarn and beads. Some of the individual pieces have been irregularly ruched to give texture. Pics don't do it justice, really. Do go to the website, she (the artist) had some stunning pieces in the gallery - it was a question of what I could afford really.