Sunday, 29 June 2008

Batman, Beth and Bronte

Things I have learnt this week:

1) Sewing is quite frustrating, but because I learnt to knit, I appear to have infinite patience with these things, even when I want to scream and never look at my sewing machine ever again.

2) Saying that, I have a massive desire for a skirt made of Batman fabric. I have also rekindled my love of the 60's Adam West Batman. Because of these things, I *will* sew again next week.
3) It is possible to get through to stroppy teenagers with the poetry of Emily Bronte! One of my more difficult students actually came up to me at the end of a lesson and told me that she was enjoying studying the poetry, as she knew how Emily felt when she was writing it. That is one reason why I teach. However, that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to the summer.
4) I've been watching Glastonbury and wanting to be there. It's been years since I went to a festival. I also enjoyed Gossip's set and I heart Ms. Ditto for lots for reasons, but I especially enjoyed her singing in the crowd.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

In which I do something entirely different...

Meet Esmerelda:

I bought the sewing machine today and Emma decided to call her Esmerelda. I think it's a fitting name for a sewing machine. Don't you? I've saved up for a sewing machine for ages, so it was quite nice to finally get one. I figure that if I can knit and crochet, I can sew, right?
The picture above is the resulting mess (which I have yet to tidy up actually... must do before Benn gets home) I basically bought a load of remnants and played with them. I decided to make Emma a pin cushion, as she bought me some posh cupcakes in a shop in the Laines. They were very nice.

It took ages to work out what I was doing, but I finally worked out how to wind a bobbin (all the time actually singing 'Wind the Bobbin Up', I was amazed at how words I haven't sung since nursery came spilling out..!) I practiced loads of seams and back stitch. I still haven't got it to pat, but I did manage to make:

One dotty pin cushion. It took about two hours to work out what to do and I did have to close it with hand stitching, but I think it looks darn good for a first sewing project. I'm toying with making a tote bag, but I have hundreds of bags, so I'm not sure. In the book I have, there are some amazing patterns and I would like to have a go at a wrap around skirt, so I may have a go at one in the next couple of weeks. My aim is to make a dress similar to one the one I bought a couple of months ago by the end of September.

Benn is a bit bemused by all of my crafts stuff. I am the messiest slob in the world normally, but stuff like this and baking and growing plants fascinates me. Benn is also going away for five days with work again, so I will have plenty of time for sewing this week, without annoying anyone (except maybe Douglas!) or getting in anyone's way.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Lazy Sundays..

So, my usual Sunday procrastination abounds. This weekend has been one of mostly pottering- sorting out and moving my plants after various kamikaze missions off the window sill, writing letters, sleeping, reading, generally taking it easy. I would have liked to have knitted in public yesterday with the rest of the Brighton knitters, but I was so tired and I had a huge headache, which resigned me to lots of afternoon sleep.

I have decided that next weekend will herald a massive de-cluttering. I am going to be really looking at a lot of stuff- I have so much I don't need. So charity shops, eBay and Freecycle will be called upon to get rid of various things. I also would like to get a sewing machine and learn to use it, so once I have created lots of space, I will finally have enough room to install one :)

I have been knitting, although not as much as I would have liked to, and I think the shawl is really coming along (even if it looks like one repeat in the pattern has gone somewhat awry- I refuse, for my sanity to fix it. I can live with it and Benn assures me that no one, other than me, will notice it..) I have also decided, in typical optimistic fashion, to start knitting the odd Christmas gift, without stretching myself to stupid levels. So, my friend who loves orange will get an orange and cream stripy angora/merino mix scarf etc.

Roll on the summer holidays, when I can actually do what I like without work hanging over me!

PS- How excited was I that Sebastien Tellier was interviewed in the Observer Music Monthly? I think it's now bordering on obsession.

Monday, 9 June 2008

I am very tired..

.. and behind with a few things. I also have to go to sports day tomorrow, which does not fill me with joy (I would actually rather teach)

Because I am so tired, I have decided to post links to videoes of two of my favourite songs at the moment, in a hope of momentarily distracting you from the lack of postings.
At the moment I really like Annie's 'I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me', even though I know I probably should know better. But, but, but it's all summery and colour co-ordinated!

Sebastien Tellier: Divine. (Sebastien is the chap at the top of the post)
This was the French entry for Eurovision. I love this song. I could listen to it ALL DAY! I think the video is a bit mad, to be honest, but I think I am a bit in love with him. Probably because he's French and a bit filthy. And inhaled helium live on Eurovision. I once had a Scouse boyfriend who was half-French. He was beautiful, it's a shame he was a raving alcoholic.
My shawl is coming along! Yay! And I might be due some chillies soon, double yay!
PS- I did try and embed the videos to no avail, but click on the links, you know, if you're bored and let me know what you think.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Things I have been thinking about today:

1) My hamster Douglas is going bald and is peeing a lot. This could mean renal failure or old age. Bald old men pee a lot, right? I kind of don't want him to die.. Good thoughts required please :)

2) I'm surprised Vivienne Westwood is northern. I heard her speak on the news and she's, like, totally not what I expected.

3) I have a chilli plant given to me by my friend Suzanne. It is magnificent.

4) I have a new book to read *squee* (although it's about eating disorders and obsession with weight, so it's not a candy floss read)

5) I was sworn at twenty minutes into my first lesson today. It's a vocation, I tells ya.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

A very strange week indeed...

Hello! I figured I should post as I haven't for just over a week. It has been a bit weird this week, good weird and bad weird, but strange all the same.

Benn went on a course in Birmingham on Monday until Wednesday, which meant that, due to both our downstairs AND upstairs neighbours moving out last weekend and the flat opposite us being empty for months, I was pretty much on my own in the building (and not at all freaked out, oh no. Not one bit. At all.) This intensified when, on Tuesday night, there was a *huge* storm which frightened me half to death and sounded like there had been an explosion on my street.

I mostly baked, repotted plants and generally pottered around Brighton while he was away, ate too much junk food and drank too much Diet Coke. Oh, but I did pass my driving theory test first time :) That was *fun*, as I'd thought it was on Thursday, only to discover at 3pm Monday that it was at 8am WEDNESDAY and I hadn't done any revision. That was a fun Tuesday...!

I also locked myself out for eight hours on Wednesday and then remembered that Benn's last words to me on Monday had been "Oh, I don't need to take keys, do I?" Cue frantic phonecall to his mum and me camping out in Starbucks for two hours, knitting and snarling at teenagers.

Other than that, it's been a fairly relaxed week. I've done very little school work, which I think I needed a break from, as I have been so exhausted. I'm also starting to look forward to the summer break, as I didn't get one last year, as I was temping. (Yes, I know I haven't gone back yet, but I need *something* to get me through the next seven and a half weeks!) I have a feeling that this half term could go very quickly, which would be nice. At least I'm back to normal emotionally!

I've also started to work out what needs knitting for whom for when in December. I think this year will be shawls and mittens mostly, with most of the rest coming off etsy. I know it's early, but I guess I need to be organised, as I never manage to get everything done that I would like. I'm knitting some Kaffe Fassett socks and I'm wondering if that sort of thing would go down well, as they have been so easy and worked so well.