Sunday, 26 February 2012

Wagging the quiltalong, and sulking the report

I haven't done the last couple of assignments for the quiltalong. The first one was to practice quilt as you go. When I was trying to describe how I felt about this to a friend the only word I could use was
"despise": I despise quilt-as-you-go. I dithered for a while about doing it anyway, then decided I would listen to my inner voice (and outer voice too), and not learn to do something I would never do on a real quilt.

This week is quilt a UFO week. I know it is weird, but I don't have any UFO's. The part of quilting I like the best IS the quilting. Piecing is okay in a neat freak kind of way, but it is the quilting that I like, which means nothing sits around waiting for that to happen. As long as work isn't biting me.

Which it is at the moment. I have this Very Thick report to produce, some of which requires a large number of weasel words. I looked at the last section in the weekend and just about cried. Today my very lovely department helped me produce some suitable weasel words that press all the pc buttons, and I am nearly done on the hard stuff. I think the report is a good idea, just there is a lot of overkill in it at present. I will feel better about my whole life when I hand this report in.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Living the high life

When the exband and I separated, he decided to go and live with his parents a six or so hour drive away from here. At the time I felt a great deal of relief as I didn't have to deal with him except over the phone. So no fraught child exchanges on the weekend. I had my boys all to myself, and I liked that.

Today my boys went down to their friends, and when I went down there to ask if they could stay while I got the groceries, their mum said "Have a coffee as well", and I did. I very rarely get a break away from either work or the kids, and most times I don't mind. I do go to dancing while they have a baby sitter, but I am rushing home to save a buck then. Today there was no need to rush. I sat in a cafe and read a design magazine for a while, and then had a look at what was in the garden centre.

It felt absolutely grand.

So now I can see that if the exband was a little closer, there would be an upside. But you know, when I think about it, I wouldn't change my situation at all. Except for an hour off every now and again, when I don't have to rush. I'm sure that must be possible!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

invidious comparisons

At ballet tonight we had the star of our school in our class. She is a very good dancer, who injured herself late last year, and is doing the adult ballet class as part of her recovery program. When I compare what I do with what she does I just look plain awful.

On Monday we had the beginners class. We had about three students doing their first ever ballet class, and compared to them I look absolutely fabulous.

So which is true? Actually both are true, which shows how useless comparisons really are. They are such a sliding scale, and there is always something to improve or celebrate. I could puff myself up, or I could make the whole thing utterly depressing, so much so I give up.

Most nights at ballet I don't look at anyone, cos I'm working quite hard to do what I need to. I'm in that quiet space where I don't notice what is around me. It's a great spot - my brain stops going blah blah blah and I focus. I get in that space sometimes when running too. And occasionally when writing.

 I suspect enlightenment might mean living my whole life in that space.

I suspect enlightenment is a long way off!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Starry starry night

So our FMQ task was to go stipple round some objects - I did consider not doing this one, but then got inspired about doing some stars on a place mat - I want six large quilted mats to put on my rather delicate table. I've done three as part of this project, so why not continue?

So I did:

Four stars in a stippled ground

One of the stars.

I found doing this pretty easy. I'm happy with the stippling, and having a plan was a sensible way to get the job done. I also got to practice using a stencil and FMQing round it without spinning the quilt. The back is very dark, with a matching dark brown thread, and you can't see anything in a photo, so I haven't shown it.

What I learned: Having a plan is a good thing.

Major success story: I didn't 'have' to OR accidentally break the thread for the stippling. So I only had the start and stop threads to hide.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Happy birthday me

Today I had my birthday - the woman who works beside me turns 29 every year, but this year I am turning 44 for the first time.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Star so bright

Our assignment was to go round and through a star. Leah said you can't do it 'wrong', and that you can sort of do it your way - or I hope she said that, cos its what I did!

First we had to stipple in a shape - Leah did not go around the square in the middle, but I couldn't help myself, and I did. It looks So Wrong to me to go over that square - so I didn't. Let's hope I don't get told off...

Rather small stippling from the top. I used a chalk pencil to mark the sandwich - almost like my first stencil?

First square from underneath

I have lots and lots of this red fabric - a shop assistant and I had a maths accident, which I still have about two metres left of. It was a really big accident, possibly involving a decimal place...

Me and son #1 really like the above star, and plan to turn it into a cushion for the window seat.

The second star looks fine - I definitely was using a stencil thing to make the pattern, and there are different sizes of stippling. So assignment complete! But this didn't come out looking so good to us, we thought it looked too busy and the middle star is drowned by all the busy stippling both in and around it. 

This week I used a cheater needle, and I'm terribly impressed with how much tidier my starts and stops were.

The underside of the second one is a bit munted where I forgot to put the foot down till after I'd done a few stitches, but I forgive me! That doesn't mean I'ma gonna show youall!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Insane homework levels

Both my kids have eNORmous amounts of homework this year. I guess it looks terrifying when they get it all at the beginning of the week, and then if we whittle away at it the job is not as bad as you think. But homework is obviously going to be a major part of what we do with our lives this year!

Apparently some parents believe its a good school if there is a lot of homework. It means there is order and discipline and Work Being Done. I'm a little under convinced myself. I suspect it is nothing to do with education, and all to do with Looking Good.

Doesn't matter what I think though, imma gonna haveta 'elp 'em wit it. Dammit.

Monday, 6 February 2012

The calming influence of vampyres

Had a very annoying conversation with my exband who is on medication for his mental health issues. His version of reality and mine are not the same, which makes signing a separation agreement very hard. Or at least, he has not been able to sign the one he was sent, I've spent about $1500 in the past year doing stuff for the lawyer he has now fired (and described as unhelpful), and now he wants to sign the original agreement. Which means the past year has achieved absolutely nothing.

So my head was blah-ing on about all this crap (above is a very brief summary) all day Saturday. When I saw a box set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I knew what to do! After several episodes, I am once again grateful that I don't have him in my life on a day to day basis. I have a happy life now, and I know it.

Also there is less wallpaper in my bedroom, cos I have stripped two walls. That was therapeutic too.