crartblog

Just another WordPress.com site

Family not for sale

 

We didn’t make as much as we normally do on yesterday’s garage sale — certainly not for such a lovely day. PERHAPS instead of going to the Eveleigh Markets (from whence our crowds of customers usually come) you were at the beach. As we were today …

 

… with our SOMBRILLA. Best. Internet. Purchase. Ever. (I say that a lot, I think.) A little fiddly to put up this first time, but I think we have the hang of it now. And so beautiful and airy and shady and spacious. I wouldn’t want to use it on a crowded beach for fear of being beaten up (those guy ropes go out a ways) but otherwise it is Sun Protection Perfection.

The garage sale was very pleasant. Amy called it a self-watering plant as it for some reason required far less maintenance than they customarily do. The books-in-boxes phenomenon (for which we can thank Aussie Farmers Direct and their non-reuse policy) certainly made for an attractive display AND a very straightforward pack-up. Inspired!

 

For crying out —

Seriously. I mean, I know I’ve been busy, but not writing anything blogoi is quite simply Not Good Enough. Especially now that I know my Myers-Briggs profile is shared by only one per cent of all the other humans. Surely being That Special means I can squeeze a bit of blogging in now and then.

So, instead of finishing the edit I’m supposed to be finishing, while CK plays independently and quietly so that I neglect his nap, here I am blogging.

Having actually got some sewing done recently (mostly mending, though also some outlandish nighties Amy wanted fashioned from old Bonds T-shirts and my own much flawed take on high-chair harnesses) it behoves me to feature at least something here. Behoves. Today’s incomplete project (produit pas ne complet du jour*) is inspired by the fecundity of, well, everyone I know.

People need babies and babies need wraps. Amirite? One said baby got born in NYC and is called Sunny for short. So here is what I am making for her AND for a dear small one named Tom, who may well have two big brothers but who deserves his own special wrap nonetheless. Hand-me-downs are fabulous, no denying it, but so are brand new things.

Image

So, in the interests of my work getting at least a bit done before the boy wakes up from his hard-won nap (won without you even noticing by ME!), there you have it. Some almost-made wraps for which I even deployed The Iron. Frealz.

* this is MADE UP.

Vicarious doll bed

When I was little, I did not really play with dolls. I did, however, make beds for them. I hand-sewed small mattresses stuffed with cotton wool balls and tucked scraps of fabric into miniature cereal boxes and anything else I could find. I don’t remember ever one time actually putting a doll to sleep, but I was all over bedroom decor twenty years before there even was an Apartment Therapy.

I longed for a real wooden cradle with a real mattress and real sheets etc, but have had to wait until now, when CK is about to turn two and receive a (BPA-free) baby doll for his trouble. The cradle came from eBay but I made the rest myself.

Image

Image

The quilt cover matches the one on our bed; they’re made of sheets I rescued from my grandma’s house. It’s almost twee.

Stand by your desk

I am so stupendously grateful to my parents for their varied contributions to this project. It’s something I’m expecting to have and use for the rest of my life, or at least as long as I have legs to stand on.

I’ve been using a standing desk pretty consistently since the last trimester of my pregnancy, when I couldn’t sit for longer than twenty minutes without crying. (CK’s feet pushed very hard on my liver. Labour was nothing compared with this pain.) I had already got into the practice because I read a SMH article about how we did not evolve to sit down so much — it claimed that research had shown decreased heart disease and cancer rates among people who stood up to work. Something to do with using all the little muscles to maintain balance. WELL. Anyone who knows me knows that exercise is not a priority for me; also they’re probably aware I like to multi-task. (As I type I’m also knitting a smashing hat and solving the African debt crisis.) Getting work and fitness out of the way simultaneously? SIGN ME UP.

I started by moving work to a shelf in my office and, when I went on maternity leave, I got Dad to build me a slopey thing and some flaps we attached to the top of a cheap set of cube shelves. The whole thing was on castors and worked pretty well until A. the castors collapsed and 2. CK defeated my cunning ‘tack on a curtain and he’ll forget about Mama’s interesting work gear’ strategy. Clearly, I needed a cupboard. With a lock. And no open water bottles anywhere near any brand-new computers. (Still smarts, though only because the new computer has all sorts of gremlins the first was spared. Sigh.)

So I bought this:

We stripped it (I like shabby chic and Dad doesn’t, so I several times returned to his Super Shed of Excellentness to find much more timber and less attractive paint remnantage), sanded it, estapolled it, added a top and more flaps and much tougher castors and some nice timber shelves and an old clipboard clip. Now there is this:

I mean, really. Who could possibly complain about having to go to an office that looks that good? So thanks to my mum, for being right about the shorter castors and many other factors. And a special thanks to my dad, who made all my idiosyncrasies come true. I am very lucky.

The Puffy Xander*

So, you may remember my ambition to make something clean and simple for the protection of the replacement laptop:

 

Instead, after some sewing and not very much measuring and some swearing, I came up with this:

 

The front pocket is like the back of the cushion covers I make. Sort of envelopey and entirely lazy. The fabrics are from My Collection — the print came from an oppy on the south coast. The buttonholes are among the dodgiest I’ve done and the whole thing is ENTIRELY much puffier than I had intended. But that, surely, will keep the precious (BUT STILL CURSED) replacement computer safe. That’s the plan.

* Anyone who gets this reference is cool.

Long Time Gone by KT

Sorry for radio silence. Suffice to say many technological hitches (litre of water spilled on brand-new MacBook Pro types of hitches) and extra work to pay for fixing said hitches. Here is the finished (almost, but which of you will quibble?) bathroom.

It’s pretty now. And easier to keep clean and also stand in (what with less of it being taken up by a disgusting shower cubicle) though DO NOT CHOOSE GLOSSY TILES, RENOVATORS AND RENOVATRICES. They show all the water spots. If you, like me, are the sort to notice this but not polish surfaces daily with a Chamois, then go for matte. And if you think the tiles LOOK matte in the shop, they’re probably gloss. I’m not bitter.

My next post, when I stir myself, will be about the INCREDIBLE STANDING DESK I created with the help of my beautiful and very talented parents. And the 1950s. You’ll see.

Also I wanted to buy one of these

from colasac.com, but then felt really guilty about the stacks of fabric in Big Joe. (I would take a photo of Big Joe but I’m too lazy. See above re Chamois. Chamoises?) So instead of forking out for the design creativity of some lovely people on the net, I will make something myself. It will feature neither hessian nor synthetic sheepskin, so it will not be a copyright infringement. It may have a pocket.

 

Three long days

That’s how long this house will lack a working toilet. (We think. There’s one out the back but we’re too scared of redbacks to investigate it very closely. Suffice to say it was closed off with rusty metal last time we looked.) If only CK’s cardboard manor was still with us we could have used his loo!

Here’s what’s happened:

I know, right?

To be fair, I did totally ask for it. The toilet thing was a surprise, especially the three-day part, but better nothing for a short while than permanent leaking, right? Right?

Soon there will be new green tiles and a shower curtain and a lovely fresh Caroma Regal Caravelle. And an Ikea medicine cabinet and vintage door handles and WALL-MOUNTED TOOTHBRUSH STORAGE (possibly my favourite bit). In the meantime there is weeing in buckets and impromptu trips to shopping centres. Wish us luck!

A man’s home …

It was supposed to be an ordinary work Friday: I would edit feverishly while Amy was home in the morning looking after CK and getting into some housework; I would continue with editing and housework of my own during CK’s nap, then more editing in five-minute increments before Amy returned from her afternoon of teaching and we’d dive into a family Friday night. Delicious in a standard sort of way. Instead, David turned up with boxes.

I may have had to work until eight pm to get to my target, but I think you’ll agree it was worth it. Such perfect timing too: CK has just fallen in love with making his own Art and I was casting around for a surface more exciting than, you know, the real house and everything in it.

Image

Image

ImageImageImage

Image

Image

We’ll keep it as long as I can bear having it in my dining/music/office space and then we’ll start all over again with more boxes. The best thing is that it’s not only a cubby: it continues to be an activity! There are more windows and a star-shaped skylight since the last photo was taken; and it stops CK drawing on the furniture. For a minute.

Cheap

You are.

I haven’t read this book, but the post is interesting. It applies, of course, to my ‘real’ job (freelance editing) as much as it does to anything I make to sell (which, dear ATO, is definitely within the bounds of the Hobby classification, or ‘costs more than it makes’).

I read this the other day too, after a random Google search for editors’ blogs. It was on the first page, terrifyingly. It’s unspeakably insulting to professional proofreaders, let alone experienced and insightful structural and copy-editors. The author being ‘the one with the talent’ doesn’t mean that other contributors don’t have expertise worth more than what amounts to about $8 or $10 an hour. If amateurs want to provide their (substandard?) services at a discounted rate, that’s perfectly fair. But rubbishing professionals (you know, people with degrees and industry engagement and stuff) for charging what they’re worth and deliberately undercutting them with their target market — otherwise known as scabbing — is unnecessary to say the least.

Hope that all sounded reasonable and not defensive …

(And I have to say that another of my numerous rants concerns the legion of unscrupulous people leeching a living off the creative endeavours of others. Bad photographers over-charging for headshots; for-profit acting schools and hack writing teachers and self-appointed singing gurus; and yes, ‘agents’ who’ll only take you on if you pay an exorbitant manuscript assessment fee. My defensiveness in no way extends to these particular parasites.)