'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Sunday 31 January 2016

One thing leads to another

As a break from knitting, I decided to make another fauxdori. Yes, I already have four, but I have a good excuse justification reason. I like to use squared paper for making notes (I use a simplified version of the bullet journal system). You can buy squared paper notebooks, at a price, or you can buy school exercise books for a lot less. The only problem is that exercise books are a tad wider than A5. Hence the need to make a slightly wider than A5 fauxdori. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And it used up some hand dye and beads from my stash. There's still quite a lot of stash left, mind, but every little helps.

(I have to confess that after the first fauxdori fever struck, I did buy some coloured elastic just in case I felt like needed to make another one.)

While I was looking for the beads in the (small) drawer of jewellery I made and never wore (I'm a process, not a product person) I found a nice, but too short necklace.

"What a pity I haven't got any more of these beads. Oh, hang on, there's another necklace the same. And a bracelet. I'll turn them into one longer one.

I need to find something to string them on: look in my long neglected jewellery making box. This bit of cord looks about the right length. String some beads - oh, some of them have holes that are too small. Get out the finer cord I just put away.

Some won't fit even on the finer cord. Put them on one side, I've got some even finer elastic, I'll make a bracelet with those afterwards."

Time passes.

"That's all the beads with bigger holes, I'll just try it on. Oh, too long to wear in one loop, too short to wrap round my head twice without a fastener - or use elastic! Unthread beads, rethread beads on elastic, including those with smaller holes, knot and try on. A necklace I will actually wear. Maybe."

However, I didn't procrastinate all day. I wrestled the biggest glove onto the top bit of its armature, and it's now waiting to be connected to the rest. There is a slight glitch in that the rest is a bit wobbly and we have had to rethink it slightly, so I will be putting in another order to the steel rod suppliers next week...

Speaking of procrastination, I finally went to the audiology clinic on Friday afternoon. I turned up half an hour before closing, still waited an hour... But the hearing aid is fixed and I've got an appointment for a fitting for some new ones, as mine are 5 years old and therefore old hat!


Wednesday 27 January 2016

Be careful what you wish for.

After last week's dearth of junk mail, quite a lot this week, all different sizes, and including a booklet which unfortunately was glued together, not stitched or stapled. So I had to use it as was, or cut it up.

I chose not to cut it - so the challenge was to incorporate the A4 and A5 fliers. Which led to some head scratching and research into the Turkish map fold, which I can never remember how to do. I also decided I didn't want to cut out hands, so as an alternative I made hand prints with black gesso (couldn't find the black paint...)

I added an extra fold and a hand, made from black paper, having made a mess of a couple of pages.

I like the result, but didn't enjoy making it - I don't like the mess of paint and I'm too impatient to wait for it to dry - which is how I made a mess of the cover.

Notice the images of gloves serendipitously included in the booklet.


Sunday 24 January 2016

Not the best of weeks...

although not as hectic as I thought it would be last Sunday. Then I thought I would have to go down to Uni three times, including a mad dash from Uni (an hour from home in one direction) to school pick-up (an hour from home in the other direction). Fortunately I managed to arrange my tutorial for a different day, so I only went down twice. Unfortunately I lost a crown that morning, so the mad dash was replaced by an hour at the dentist's. I was going to say that was the crowning moment of the week, but it wasn't, despite my lovely Welsh dentist and the supply of 6-month old copies of 'Cycle Sport' in the waiting room.

That was just one of the hassles which made it a so-so week. The others included a Click and Collect order which came late, leading to a trip to Tesco on a Friday afternoon, which is not the time I would choose to go to any supermarket. (And they were much less efficient about dealing with it than Waitrose, but the price was right...

Then, on Friday, one hearing aid packed up, which means a visit to the drop-in audiology clinic next week. Sounds convenient doesn't it? The trouble is that you drop in, and then you wait, and you wait, and you wait. Last time I went the audiologist told me that people arrive anything up to an hour early 'to avoid having to wait'. My solution is to arrive late: last time I went an hour before closing, but it was still quite busy, so this week it will be half an hour - with, of course, a good book. I came across a relevant quote the other day: 'Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are'. It's by Mason Cooley - I have no idea who he is but if you follow the link he said some other good things, too.

The other hassle is that we had no junk mail this week! Well, it's not a hassle really, but I missed my bookmaking.

On the other hand, I did find time to do a bit of this - I decided I'd better, since I like to date it and it's nearly February. The colour is all wrong, due to taking all the photos in artificial life.











And, after pulling this back three times, it seems to be well on it's way. This is the glove I started, because I wanted something more portable than the great white whale glove. And it is, despite the size of the ball of yarn. It's a an acrylic/wool blend which I bought because it was cheap: it has reminded me how much I prefer working with pure wool.




But the real crowning mom et of the week has been finishing the great white glove. Two kilogrammes, 2.4 metres. I intend never to knit anything of that size again!






Saturday 16 January 2016

Progress - or not?

Definitely progress on the fifth glove - if we don't count the ones I made over the summer, which I thought were removed samples but which other people seem to think may be more than that - in which case it' she sixth or seventh. It's got to the stage where it isn't easy to move around so I've started another, smaller one I can take out with me.

More progress, though it's better late than never. I decided to make some full size mockups using recycled magic gloves, some cheap polyester jersey and the rejected armature system. Oh, and some wire, some rubber gloves and some expanding foam. (I went a bit OTT with the foam.) Of course, I've had all holiday to make them, so I'm doing them during the last weekend. When these are set I will add the gloves and jersey sleeves.
Not much progress. I've got lots of ideas, but I've been knitting instead. I started the sample when I was working on the never-ending black glove, because I was so bored with it. Since that was finished, the sample has been a bit neglected. But come May I'll have nothing to do...


Tuesday 12 January 2016

Sale Hands Wanted

Rather a lot of junk mail this week, and as usual all different sizes, although most of it was A4 on at least one side, which made things a bit easier. The little booklet of money-off vouchers was a challenge, though, but I kept it as a separate book and tucked into a pocket made from the oversize flyer.

Even the beads are junk mail - well, not the red ones.



Sunday 10 January 2016

Be Warned!

Reading blogs can be bad for you. It can lead to addiction...

For example, I regularly read Liz Plummer's blog. Recently she posted about her addiction to notebooks, and paper and such. OK, I already had that, can't blame her for that.

Then she mentioned something called 'Midori notebooks', and how she made one from some painted Vilene she happened to have lying around.

Well, I didn't have any painted Vilene, but I did have some painted Lutradur I'd been thinking of throwing out.

If you are also addicted to all things stationery, and like making books, take my advice. Don't, whatever you do, do what I did. Do not, do not Google 'Midori notebooks'.

I realise that I am several years behind the times here, and the journalling/scrapping world, who seem to be the biggest fans of Midoris, may have moved on to different ways of doing whatever it is that they do. But if, like me, this is new to you, a Midori is not really a notebook, but a cover for several notebooks joined together. The idea is that you have different notebooks for different things, and when you have filled one you can take it out and replace it. And if you don't want to shell out £40 for a nice bit of Japanese leather and some elastic, you can make your own 'fauxdori', and the notebooks, pockets etc. to go in it. There are dozens, if not hundreds of videos on YouTube (I know. I've watched most of them) showing you how to make them out of all sorts of materials from place mats to solid gold - well, maybe I exaggerate slightly. This is a good one. (A pusher? Me?)

So I made one. Well, to be truthful, I made three four.

No. 1. I FuseFX'd the two aforementioned pieces of Lutradur together to make them stiff enough, then just punched holes in the suggested places, threaded through some elastic, and bob's your uncle. Except that of course I had to make some booklets to go in it, and because I'd trimmed the Lutradur to straighten it up, it had ended up not quite A4, so I had to cut down the paper to fit. That took much longer than making the cover.

However, it fits nicely in the pocket of my big bag, and I can get my odd shaped diary into it, plus my cheque book, as I'm one of those odd people who still carries one.

No. 2. is a sandwich of transfer printed Lutradur and Evolon, and really it's a bit too floppy, so I added a stiff card pocket as the first layer next to the cover. To save time, I made it to fit two Cath Kidston notebooks I already had, and measured their depth as well as height and width. The thingy on the elastic was a tip from a video - it's designed to protect the edges of the cover, as they are soft.

No.3. is my favourite. The cover is scrap fabric bonded to craft Vilene (something to use up my leftover Vilene!) It is A4 notebook size, although I still ended up making some notebooks for it - to use up paper!

I love how fat this is - I always like my scrapbooks when they are so full they won't close properly, and this is getting on that way. Plus I like the buttons on the elastic, and on the end of the bookmark, which you can't see. No idea what I'm going to use it for, but...

No.4. is the baby. I really needed a notebook for the handbag I carry when I can get away with not carrying the big one, and this just fits the pocket in that bag. It is a scrap of sunprinted cotton, again bonded on to Vilene, but stitched as well as it will get lots of wear.

Things I've learned:
  1. Stay away from addictive blogs and YouTube.
  2. Fauxdoris use up lots of bits - but you end up with lots of fauxdoris.
  3. If you are going to overfill your fauxdori with stuff, you need to make it much wider than you think you should, or the contents stick out of the cover.
  4. There are different ways to punch the holes for the elastic. I prefer horizontally paired holes to vertically paired ones, especially with a softish cover.
Things I'm thinking about:
  1. Making much more elaborate, embroidered covers. I have so many ideas - but no time...

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Arted in 3 Easy, a.k.a Winter Survival.

This week's junk mail book. The mail was very different sizes, so it was a challenge. I experimented with a 3x4 section accordion, rather than the usual 4x4, and the folds were irregular too, just for added interest.

There are some hands in there, but they are well camouflaged.



Friday 1 January 2016

There seems to be a custom...

on blogs to write a summary of the last year, and outline your resolutions/intentions/ambitions for the next.

Baa, humbug, say I! To me they are the blogging equivalent of Christmas letters. And after a string of insomniac nights, and an afternoon clearing my workroom (not so you'd notice), I'm too tired to write much anyway. Sorry to disappoint you if you enjoy reading such things.

So my summary of 2015 is that it was mostly rubbish, with a few high points, and I managed to finish this on the last day of 2015. Apart from darning in the ends, and dealing with a dropped stitch, that is. (Despite appearances, it's black and the carpet is blue.)

And my ambition for 2016 is to finish the degree, and have a better year than last year.