Saturday, December 23, 2006

Will we be in our minds when the dawn breaks?

I used to overeat as a kid. Not all the time, but certainly when nice things were on offer, things that weren't everyday foods. So birthday parties, with their neverending bowls of chips and lollies, would almost always lead to me getting home feeling not just full but totally green. I blamed the fact that they always brought out the really sickly sweet things, the chocolate crackles (made from coco pops rice bubbles) and evil lamingtons, towards the end, when you were already full of chips and fairy bread. Sweet things still really tip me over the edge quickly. These days I hate chocolate crackles (but do they even get made any more?), and I approach lamingtons with extreme caution.

Some part of me knew, even as I was planning all the presents I might make or have a go at before Christmas, that my eyes were way bigger than my stomach. A few things didn't go quite as planned, but the real problem is that I am simply in denial about how time works. You can really only do one thing at a time. (Athough you CAN knit on the bus and also while waiting for pages to load when the internet is running really slow). Everything takes longer than you think it will. You need time to think, and look, and feel how the item is turning out and what the next step should be.

That said, I need a certain amount of pressure to work at optimum efficiency and creativity. So I'm ok with continuing to bite off a bit more than I can chew, as long as there are back-up options. (Like, maybe, not knitting gift bags to put presents in). This week I had to come up with some back-up options. But everything on the plan will get made, eventually.

Friday, December 15, 2006

No I've never felt this way before

The magic of felting is back. I've had some projects in the pipeline for a while, but I think I might have been putting off the actual felting part - it's time-consuming and seemed like so much work. It always takes two sessions (over several hours) to get it done. I do several pieces at once though.

This time I tried an amendment to my hand-felting technique. Basically it's a bucket of very hot water with lots of sudsy woolwash, and lots of agitation, assisted by a ridged wooden soapdish (imagine a mini washboard) and rubber gloves. I used to stop every now and then to rinse the piece under cold tap water, as I suspected the shocks of hot then cold temperatures would help the felting along. The difference this time is I have gotten serious about the cold rinses, using a second bucket with cold water and ICE CUBES, and switching much more often. It really seems to have speeded up the process considerably.

And oh, the resulting felted fabric is soooo lovely and squishy I just wanted to keep making more of it. More projects than I can keep up with are now popping into my head.

There was a slight setback when I realised, after ignoring many hints of the ugly truth, and unfortunately way too much stockpiling, that the new Lincraft 'Cosy Wool' really does not felt. The old version was marvellous. I was kidding myself that it was just some colours that didn't work...but Taph, you were right.

Luckily, the new Big W in Civic, while it stocks hardly any wool at the moment, does have many colours of Panda Carnival, which felts like a dream. Seems like every other day I pop in for another colour. I am loving those self-service checkouts.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Foot in mouth and heart in hand

Last week I was forwarded, three separate times, a video called "Government employees" (You can view it here.) A man and a woman, both in business attire and carrying briefcases, ride a fews steps apart on a moving escalator in the atrium of a large building. The escalator stops. The government employees remain standing still, look annoyed, look at their watches, comment on the fact that they're already late and 'don't need this', and finally start calling for help as if they are trapped in a stalled lift.

It might have been my mood when I watched the video, but I felt it wasn't quite funny, and needed something extra to work as a punchline, rather than just the title.

I usually get overly irritated when I'm forced to stand still on an escalator. I hate it when people stand side-by side so you can't walk past. Yet I will often stand there glowering rather than asking them to move aside. In the London Tube stations they have signs telling you to stand to the left, or maybe it's the right, either way it was great, because there is always a path to walk through.

I like to walk fast, especially when shopping, and an escalator is a way to go faster.

But sometimes I'll find myself on a tired or just very relaxed day, simply gliding along on the escalator, watching the world go by. When I realise I'm just standing there, then I feel like I'm a hypocrite (even just in my own head).

If there is one thing I hate, it's being caught out in hypocrisy. I think that's behind my indecisive nature to some extent - if I don't pick a side I won't risk becoming a hypocrite when I later find out more information and have to change my mind.

So, I guess what I'm getting at is....ummm.....

....the other night I found myself gliding again. Gliding rather fast actually, though a roadworks zone (60 km/h) at the normal speed limit of 80. Oops.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Honk if you think I'm a pain in the @rse

The other day I drove past as a police officer was writing out a speeding ticket for some poor fool. It was in a short 60km/h roadworks segment of Gininderra Drive, an 80km/h road. I was thrilled to see this and did a happy dance in my seat... while sedately driving past.

I felt that I deserved it. A few nights before I had been driving home along this road and a car roared out of nowhere, doing at least 100 km/h, past me doing 60. Needless to say this gave me a scare. Part of the reason for the lower limit is that there is no proper shoulder to the road at present, and traffic cones lined up along the edge make it feel narrower than usual.

I was infuriated, and by the time I came home I had formulated an ideal plan.

Arms waving and spittle flying, I announced it to K and the dogs: "there should be speed cameras everywhere! Absolutely. Everywhere. (evil laugh) It wouldn't take long for most people to lose their licenses. Then the roads would be left for people like me. Wouldn't that be lovely?"

Most drivers seem to find it very difficult to actually slow right down to the reduced limits for roadworks. (Well, let's face it, around here a lot of people speed everywhere anyway). This is one of the few areas where I am happy to be a complete nuisance. I take great pleasure in slowing down to the exact speed limit and forcing those behind me to do so too.

They should be thanking me.