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Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

(Be Brave)

Subject:Making Things Meme Revisited #2
Time:2:44 pm.
Many moons ago, I received this from lovely2 as part of the "Making Things" meme.
Circuit Board NotebookCollapse )
It's very creative, and definitely geek chic. :)

(3 Brave Acts | Be Brave)

Subject:Making Things Meme Revisited
Time:2:35 pm.
Remember the old Making Things Meme? I just finished this underbust corset for sylver_spiders.

Green Brocade Underbust - Front View

More picsCollapse )

I flat-lined the brocade to English coutil by hand, but apparently not accurately enough, as I had some bubbles. I used flat steels around the busk and eyelets, and spiral steels everywhere else.

Overall I'm quite happy with it. There is a lot of puckering and creasing, especially along the waist tape. I also had trouble sewing the binding. How on earth are you supposed to hand-sew into coutil? It's so tough!

All considered though, I'm happy with the way it turned out, and I had lots of fun doing it. Very much recommend Laughing Moon for other beginners out there. I found the instructions very clear and easy to follow.

To set the bronze eyelets I used my foot-pedal eyelet press. I picked it up for a song when a book binder was going to throw it away. Since pressing eyelets is usually my most hated task, this machine is wonderful. I also plan to clean it up one day so it's presentable enough to live inside. I love this machine. :)
Eyelet PressCollapse )

Making Things Meme: One given, one received (will post about that shortly). I've started the next "thing", but time always manages to elude me.

Friday, July 31st, 2009

(2 Brave Acts | Be Brave)

Subject:Blue Dye used in M&Ms linked to reducing spine injury
Time:10:40 am.
CNN has a write-up of some research that links the blue dye used in M&Ms to reduced spine injury in rats. The rats, as shown in the article, also temporarily turned blue.

I say: forget the research - give me a dose of BBG! I want to turn blue!

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

(1 Brave Act | Be Brave)

Time:11:07 am.
Slowest work week ever. I didn't read Google Reader for 5 days over the weekend, but for two days now I've managed to keep it at zero unread items.

So, in the interests of keeping myself entertained, I've bluetoothed the most recent photos from my phone to my worktop for your viewing pleasure.

random phone picsCollapse )

And it's not even lunch time yet! However am I going to get through this week?

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

(5 Brave Acts | Be Brave)

Subject:I am a serious art critic :P
Time:12:03 pm.
The Needle and the Damage Done - Vinyl Journey - Fiona Scott-Norman
"The Needle and The Damage Done is a joyous romp through a top ten of the worst music ever released in the history of the world, from someone who’s been collecting bad vinyl since she was old enough to shoplift a Rolf Harris record." - Castlemaine State Festival programme

Events held at Castlemaine's Theatre Royal have a feeling of big-city culture meets country charm. The venue has gone through many facelifts since my childhood, undergoing a transformation from a small, run-down cinema to a bustling, cosmopolitan yet bohemian mix of wine-bar, cafe, theatre and music venue.

The crowd waited eagerly in the foyer, spilling out onto the footpath, as waitresses struggled to carry gourmet pizzas through to the throng. When the doors opened we flooded in, both to the theatre balcony, and the downstairs area, which had been cleared of tables and filled with chairs.

When Fiona made her entrance I was happy to see that she was wearing the same dress from her promotional material. While my inner bitch only wishes I could look so good in such a waist-thickening, skin-tight dress, there's just something about the retro coloured stripes that screams "serious comedian" to me. :)

Who would have thought that an hour or two of listening to bad music could be so entertaining. Fiona took us through a number of categories, including Australiana, Racism, Sexism, white Christian music, and Men with Stuff, announcing a winner for each, culminating in the announcement of the worst record ever released in the history of the world (I won't spoil it by telling you what that is, but they do have a website... ~shudder~). I disagreed with her winners in some categories, and there were a few mentionables that just left a sickening taste in the mouth (white supremacist nazi olsen-twin-wannabes), but overall the show was just plain funny. She calls it "cultural archaeology" - highlighting the massive difference between what was socially acceptable in the '60s and '70s compared with today. Who knew John Laws had produced so much offal? My personal favourite: John Laws: "In Love is an Expensive Place to Die" - WTF?

While the event would not have had as much inherent charm had I seen it in a more traditional venue, it would definitely be worthwhile seeking out Fiona's work in future. The show was thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud funny. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

(2 Brave Acts | Be Brave)

Subject:Making Things Meme
Time:9:54 am.
Yoinked from sylver_spiders. I somehow doubt I'll get five respondents, but you never know...
***

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me. My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

  • No guarantees that you will like what I make.

  • What I create will be just for you.

  • It'll be done sometime this year.

  • You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story, a CD, something blinky or shiny. I may draw or sculpt something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

  • I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.



The catch: you have to repost this of course! (although I don't actually care about this)

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

(2 Brave Acts | Be Brave)

Subject:Brickvention 2009 - on this weekend!
Time:11:43 am.
Sadly I will be in Perth, but for anyone in Melbourne looking for something to do this weekend:
Brickvention: Australia’s premier LEGO convention.

In case I haven't made my point recently: LEGO is AWESOME!!!

And if anyone does go, I'd love to hear your review. :)

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

(1 Brave Act | Be Brave)

Subject:Button Earrings
Time:6:55 pm.
I spent much of Friday pottering around tidying up. When I had all of my craft supplies tucked neatly into my wardrobe I decided to mess it up again by pulling everything out again to make some earrings.
Button EarringsCollapse )

Monday, December 15th, 2008

(Be Brave)

Subject:Corset Follow-Up
Time:11:41 am.
It has been brought to my attention that I never posted the results of my corset-making experiments.
I finished my first corset ages ago (Vogue 2810), but I never got around to taking pictures.
Corsety PicturesCollapse )

It turned out to be extremely easy to make, and fun too. It's not particularly well made. I didn't sew the topstitching because I liked the jacquard too much. I also think it needs a modesty panel at the back, and a proper busk so you can't see all those ugly little hooks at the front. Otherwise I think it's a perfectly acceptable first attempt.

I also finally published my first pattern review. I love patternreview.com. I always use it now before investing in a pattern, to get some idea if it's going to turn out right.

My second corset I made using the "measure and pray", pattern-free method. It's an underbust version. I finished it in about two hours, but I don't like the way it came out, so no pictures for you. I think if I had a proper busk it would have turned out ok. I also used cable ties instead of Rigilene, which is far cheaper, and doesn't poke through and cut me.

I'm planning to invest in the Laughing Moon underbust pattern and proper supplies, and make a corset for sylver_spiders. But I can't start on that until I finish my current project: a 1950s style dress. I went with a size 12, and it's slightly too big. I've almost finished the dress, but I think I might hate the fabric I used. I also haven't decided if I should try to make a crinoline petticoat to go under it, or just buy one. They're pretty expensive, but I have a feeling trying to make one would send me insane.

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

(1 Brave Act | Be Brave)

Subject:Melbourne Design Market
Time:2:55 pm.
Today I went on an adventure to the Melbourne Design Market. It was pretty cool. Lots of t-shirts and pillow cases and interesting jewellery. I almost bought a set of cufflinks and some cute brooches until I stopped myself. Instead I bought something Useful!

Introducing...Pinkie!Collapse )

Yes, it certainly has been an exciting Sunday. After that I went a photography exhibition entitled "No Standing - only dancing" which was a bunch of photographs taken in the 70's, mostly of people at music concerts and people protesting about things. It looks like the 70's would have been an awesome time to be around.

In other news, I heard that they cut Joss's Doll House before it even aired. How sad. :(
~hugs pinkie to cheer self up~

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

(1 Brave Act | Be Brave)

Subject:White Rabbit
Time:2:30 pm.
I am home from work during the day today because I am on night shift.
Which explains why I am watching parliament question time on the tellie. It's fascinating stuff. They are a bunch of school children.
Anyway, the one interesting thing I just learned is that White Rabbit candy has been pulled from shelves in Australia (and presumably elsewhere) due to the recent Chinese milk melamine contamination. I was thinking about eating White Rabbit just the other day...
Oooh, Senator Wong just got told off again. Ok, bored now.

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

(Be Brave)

Subject:Tomorrow
Time:11:56 pm.
Tomorrow I am going to the Gold Coast. I don't think I will see any gold.

Friday, August 8th, 2008

(Be Brave)

Subject:Corset Progress
Time:6:28 pm.
Today I started making my corset. I decided to start with the lining because I'm special. On sewing the very first piece I managed to snag the fabric and had to unpick the seam. On my second piece I ran out of bobbin thread. Everything went well from there until I hit the very last piece of the lining, when my sewing machine decided to chew up the entire piece and vomit topthread everywhere. My machine does that every now and then, and I usually manage to fix it eventually by voodoo magics.
I cracked the sads for a while, ate lunch, watched the episode of Angel I fell asleep during last night, then went into diagnostic mode: clean the stitch plate, clean the bobbin holder, change the bobbin, change the needle, re-thread. No joy. Repeat steps and try again. Still no joy. I then discovered that I could take apart the entire bobbin casing and clean underneath it. I found a couple of threads of the silver fabric I used to make Shaun's comp outfit in 2006. Replace bobbin case, still no worky. Change the bobbin and top thread, and re-thread again. Hooray! Machine working again! It's a weird beast.
Unfortunately that used up most of my corset-making time for the day, as I'm now on night shift. I think I should get most of it finished tomorrow, except that I still haven't decided what sort of boning to buy or where to get it...

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

(1 Brave Act | Be Brave)

Subject:Corset
Time:12:37 pm.
Mood: creative.
I am going to attempt to make a corset. I am writing this down in the hope that documenting my intentions will somehow make it happen. :)
I have joined corsetmakers. It's so cool.


  • Step 1: Find corset pattern.
    I dug out the pattern I bough incidentally a while ago. It's Vogue 2810 - not what I would have chosen for myself, but it will do for my first attempt that probably won't work anyway.

  • Step 2: Gather requirements and ingredients.
    I just skipped work and went to Clegs. I bought black cotton lining and a gorgeous black cotton jacquard with an almost-but-not-quite floral design on it. Not ideal, since the pattern has way too many pieces and topstitched detail, so the fabric will lose its design and look all chopped up. But I wasn't going to buy $80/m satin for an experiment.

  • Step 3: Cut and sew.
    I can't wait to get started. I'm on evening shift tomorrow, so I should have lots of tomorrow to work on it.

  • Step 4: Measure boning channels, and work out how to buy boning.
    There are so many types of boning in the world! I'm hoping that I'll be able to buy boning in pre-cut lengths. That sounds a lot less stressful. Boning comes from The Internet... that's as much as I know so far.

  • Step 5: Finishing.
    Boning, eyelets, hooks & eyes, lacing. How exciting.


Monday, July 14th, 2008

(2 Brave Acts | Be Brave)

Subject:Glaucoma
Time:11:48 am.
Shaun and I drove to Frankston for his mum's birthday last weekend. This involved adventures on the New Freeway, including much tunnel-ness, a stack of giant green smarties, rocket ships, a fake hotel and a giant blackbird eating a pixelated worm (PDF). We failed at taking the correct exit. Go us.

Anyway, one of the first things Shaun's mum said to us was that she had been diagnosed with glaucoma, and would eventually go blind, and that Shaun now had a family history of the disease to tell his optometrist about. I know very little of the disease, but the first thing that popped into my head was that while glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, most of those stats occur in the third world, and if she got the correct treatment she would not end up blind, and was instead being a hypochondriac trying to get attention. I dimly recall that my grandma had glaucoma, and died aged 94 with many things wrong with her, none of which was blindness. I also seemed somewhat skeptical it ran in families as strongly as she was suggesting. So that was my lay-person opinion, and I went out with the aim of getting better informed, so as to form a slightly more informed opinion.

The Internet agrees that glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness, worldwide. It is a disease of the optic nerve, linked to elevated 'intraocular pressure', which is the fluid in the eye.

It mostly affects women, diabetics, Africans and old people, and short-sightedness, family history and high blood pressure are risk factors. It is estimated that 1 in 12 Australians will develop the disease, with the vast majority of these being over the age of 80. This risk is three to five times higher if one of your parents has the disease.

The main treatment for glaucoma is eye drops, to lower the patient's 'eye pressure'. If this does not work laser treatment or surgery can be given. From Wikipedia: "Poor compliance with medications and follow-up visits is a major reason for vision loss in glaucoma patients" - can I assume from this that excellent compliance with medications and follow-up visits should prevent vision loss in the majority of cases?

Australian National Glaucoma Week is August 17th-23rd this year.

So there you go. Family history is big, so I guess there is a good chance that Shaun, and for that matter probably me too, will get the disease, if we live to be old. :) Living a healthy life is probably a good idea, and trying to keep our blood pressure low and not develop diabetes. I still don't think it's all that likely that any of us will go blind.

This ends today's investigation.

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

(1 Brave Act | Be Brave)

Subject:Inflation
Time:11:57 am.
Mood: sad.
The cafe at work just put the price of dim sims up from 80 cents to $1. This is a sad day.

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

(Be Brave)

Time:3:07 pm.
As a kid you get used to being told 'No' a lot. One of the wonderful things about growing up and moving out of home was that there was nobody to tell me 'no' any more. I could eat chocolate for breakfast if I wanted to. I could go for months without vacuuming. Of course common sense tells me not to do these things, but overall I still have liberating control over my own life, and end up doing lots of things I wouldn't otherwise be able to do. Like... staying out all night dancing, spending stupid amounts of money on costumes I will never wear again, and jet-setting across the country.
I think I just hit my first adult 'No'. I tried to book annual leave to attend the Sydney comp, and work finally got back to me with a short, blunt and heartless "Due to current timelines there will be no leave during this period". I know they don't need me, but I don't have any bargaining power. I tried to convince them I could work off-site from IBM Sydney, but they didn't go for it.
It's the first time I can think of in my adult life when I have seriously wanted something and not been able to have it. I'm not used to this feeling, and am impressed with my restraint at not throwing a tantrum. :) I think the worst part is going to be spending a week without Shaun. I don't remember the last time I went so long without seeing him.
I'm so bored! I want to go home and watch Buffy.

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

(Be Brave)

Subject:Dollhouse
Time:10:43 am.
I can't wait to see the new Joss Whedon series Dollhouse. The internet won't tell me when it's going to premiere.

Myer sent me a birthday card and a $10 gift voucher. I thought that was nice of them. It's got my name printed on it and stuff about my star sign and everything. Also in the mail was one of those "package at the post office" cards, with a tick on the back for international post, and now I'm super intrigued as to what it could be!

Yesterday I met up with Mum and Dad and went to Medieval Imagination - the free exhibition of medieval illuminated manuscripts at the State Library. It was pretty cool. I find it hard to imagine monks so very long ago sitting down and writing things like that, in such amazing fine detail. I see they are also having a Medieval Faire on sunday, which would probably be interesting to check out.

Friday, April 11th, 2008

(Be Brave)

Time:11:03 am.
Boredom has led me to become the office sudoku champion. I tried online crosswords, but I'm too stupid for crosswords. And sometimes the crosswords are too stupid for me. Like stupid crosswords that put two words as the answer for one clue. You can't do that! It's cheating!
Let's see, what else have I done at work recently... I have started conducting a survey of Raisin Toast in inner Melbourne. So far I have been very disappointed, and have not found anything that even remotely matches up to Barista on Flinders Lane. That's damn good toast... Almost, but not quite worth the 5 block walk each way.
Outside work hours I've actually been very busy recently. I'm going to Castlemaine this weekend to have dinner with Ashlea and Nicole, and their respective partners. I've only seen Ash twice since she went to the U.K. "for a year" three years ago. So much has happened since then... Shaun and I are also going to give Nic and Daniel their first dance lesson for their upcoming wedding.
And there's been dancing... the Victorian Modern Jive Championships are on again this month. I'm entering four categories, including a team which I've never done on a competitive floor before. It's on Saturday 26th if anyone's interested.
There is also a large contingent of people from Perth coming over for the comp, so Shaun and I have opened our doors to billet a few of them. I believe we are having three people stay with us, which is going to be nice & cosy, and I'm not too sure what we're going to do with all our furniture. Ahh well, it's all in the spirit of fun.
I've been trying to get back in to sewing, but it's hard when I spend very little time at home these days. I've almost finished my patchwork skirt. I made a pair of pants for work. "Work Phatties" I call them, as I was going for a nice big flare. I'm planning to make a matching jacket, and another pair of pants with belt loops... I'm part-way through making a black off-the-shoulder top, but I got scared when I read pattern review and everyone was complaining that the pattern comes out too big... I bought a pattern to make a skirt for this year's ceroc ball (1920's/30's Gangsters & Gals theme). It's super slinky and long with a train at the back, and I'm not at all sure it will look good on me. The pattern I bought also came with two variations of a corset, which I've always wanted to try, but don't really want to wear... I don't know if I'm good enough at sewing for that. I'm going through a purse phase... I went op-shopping the other week, and bought some awesome old neckties that I'm turning into coin purses. The old lady who sold them to me said how nice they were, and that she hoped whoever I bought them for likes them. I didn't have the heart to tell her I was going to cut them up.
So anyway, with all these half-finished projects kicking around, what I really need is some motivation to start finishing things. I will make a post with pictures at some point... Is anybody in need of a purse, or a corset that may or may not fit/fall apart? hehehe...

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

(Be Brave)

Subject:I am the stupid
Time:10:44 am.
I've been compulsively checking my email for three days waiting for a reply to an email I sent..... snipCollapse ) I was starting to get all tetchy that they were ignorning me! I woke up this morning, and the first thing that popped into my semi-awake brain was "You sent it to the wrong address, didn't you?"
That's right, I'm the stupid. I've re-sent the email, but it's to a business that isn't open on weekends, and now I'll have to wait even longer! Grrrrr!

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