Thursday, May 22, 2008


A is for ants.

I would like to know why ants seem to love my study and computer area. As I sit here there are a few busy little ones wandering around, singly or in straggly pairs, sniffing out morsels and molecules of goodness. There's a few in the kitchen too, and they leave the sugar pot alone, but last night they got into a fresh cake on a plate by sneaking under the plastic wrap.

When Steff had a bottle of lemonade in here yesterday they went crazy! (big surprise). I noticed the trail - from the windowsill, down the wall and the phone wires, apparently through the printer, down the side of the shelf, across the mousepad and keyboard - was much more substantial than usual and followed it to a capped bottle, with hopeful ants swarming around the sides. Yelling was involved. And swishing aside of queues of ants - no flyspray, just removal of the source of the frenzy.

Today there are still a few tiny hopefuls sniffing around, waiting to get lucky again. I am about to take my empty cup OUT again! Hold on...

Right ... back again. OK.

B is for bag
Are you surprised?

I found the pattern I needed for a big bag the same as I made for myself and my sister in 2006. Have I shown you these before? These are the originals of my 'sister bags', that spawned my pouches. I am unable to find a link to the patternmaker/supplier, sorry, but it is a Fair Mades pattern FM15 called the Gypsy Travelling Bag.Her daughter wants one, and she ordered creams and light beiges, maybe a bit of blue. My sister was here for a few days in early May and approved this pile of ingredients for the bag. So off I went. The palest creamy beige-suedette. The fine baby corduroy with the slate blue paisley print is actually a recycled skirt, the cream elements are obviously crocheted doilies, plus a selection of buttons, and a gorgeous creamy fine jaquard check for the lining. The young lady receiving this bag is a stylish filly, with very expensive tastes in bags, but she apparently is keen to have her own Aunty Janey bag, which is very large and roomy. You can fit a lot of ballet shoes and leotards in it! I felt the pressure not to have it look too much like a crafter made her a bag with doilies and yo-yos! Its not usually my style, but the yo-yos are part of the pattern that she professes to love.

I often make my own patterns for bags, and am fairly fussy about my fabric combos, but this pattern is fairly easy in its construction and I quite liked the colour/fabric choices here. So here it is. Drumroll...
Ten hours of work later. I could never sell these and get a fair price for them that recovered a decent hourly rate, but I am satisfied with it. It has a big jacket zip in it, that closes a placket at the top or sits opened flat against the sides. (Ooh - it matches my sofas! And my floor.)
Each one I have made I have quilted and decorated a bit differently from the pattern. I like the range of buttons. I love the lining fabric. The wrinkled doily application is deliberate. I'm pleased with the slate blue colour. This is the back.
Ducks and pearls (featured on the buttons) have a special significance. It is even monogrammed in a discreet location.

I was very brave and 'steeked' the doily to cut it into segments. Piece of cake - I'd do it again!

Now that it is photographed and blogged it is heading to Melbourne! Its certainly a custom-made 'one of a kind'. I hope she likes it!!

C is for craft.

Its the mega craft and quilt show this week in my neck of the woods. A travelling marketing circus, with stalls and stalls of temptations to overfill my stash even further. Yikes!! I have attended these things religiously for about 10 years, but missed out last year due to night duty and a foot injury. Boo-hoo. I don't think my stash or my wallet missed it too much ;P

However I am going today! I finished 6 days straight of driving around the far reaches and beyond of our metropolitan sprawl, and I am pretty exhausted. But today is the day without my daughter at home, and I should take advantage of the opportunity for exercise and walk around and get inspired/tempted/sell my soul to the devil for the latest thing/broke at the fair! Another of my sisters is working on a stamping stall at the show. I should be safe from that temptation, although you never know....

Comfy shoes? Check. Ankle braces on? Check! Painkillers in pocket? Check! Empty hand made bag for purchases? Check!

I'll try and be good!
P.S. B is also for Big Baby Boy! Did I tell you my son (the semi-professional card player) is in Hollywood and hasn't called me to let me know he arrived safely? That's a whole 'nuther story!


Lesley said...

Bag looks amazing — skype didn't do it justice! Looking forward to hearing about your craft fair adventures, you lucky thing you!

Lesley said...

Not a word from the Boy! But then you know how YOU felt when you arrived in LA and got whisked away — overload! He's probably moving a million not just because you're his mum and need a phone call, but also miles an hour! It's a shame though, because as it turns out, Will's gonna be in Malibu this weekend and they might have caught up. But hey — no news is good news, Laura!

For ants: I know its non-eco and non-PC to use bleach, but ants hate it. I kill all mine here with a spray of diluted Clorox. Works a treat. If you wipe down areas they like to march with some diluted bleach on a cloth, they hate it. They don't like eucalyptus oil either, which is definitely less harmful to the enviro.
Ants on the march usually means a change in the weather. Did it rain?

Jennifer said...

Tge bag turned out beautifully; I'm sure it will be treasured and used.

Anonymous said...

From the mother of the filly who received the bag. SHE LOVES IT! packed all her bits and bobs into it this morning and proudly walked it into ballet where I'm sure it will be greatly admired. It looks even better in real life.

Love you