Thursday, September 25, 2008

America surrenders her right to bare arms

This week the orders started coming in on Etsy as the Northern Hemisphere moves into winter, and for my third year running I'll spend most of my spare time between now and Christmas making armwarmers.

Last year's record was 13 pairs sold in a week, and although I'd be quite happy not to exceed that, I do have a few more colours available this year, so it's anyone's guess how many all-night sewing sessions I'll be pulling.

So that I don't go crazy making the same thing over and over again, I'm working on some new variations. The first is a simple short sleeve to layer over the top of the existing armwarmers, which has the added bonus of using up all my short ends. So far I've done these in green (modeled by Mel) - the next pair will be dark brown, to layer over mid-brown armwarmers (double chocolate, yum!).

The other idea I have is to make double layer armwarmers with shapes cut out of the top layer. This is a bit more experimental - I'm not really sure how well it will work with the merino fabric - but if it does work I think it'll look cool. If it doesn't work then perhaps applique is worth a try. I'm open to suggestions - if you're inspired, leave me a comment...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Unnatural Selection

Tomorrow night is the opening of Mel's exhibition, Unnatural Selection, which promises to be intriguing and quirky. Mel is an awesome photographer and creates curious narratives in her panoramas using odd characters and Photoshop trickery.

Opening night is from 6pm till 8pm tomorrow (Tuesday 16th September) at L'Estrange Gallery in Sumner. The show runs until 12th October, so if you don't make it to the opening, there's still heaps of time to make a trip out to Sumner and check it out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Pyjama Plan

I found some lovely fabric for two new pairs of pyjama bottoms - or to put it more elegantly and justify me spending more time wearing them, lounge pants. You can call it semantics, but lounge pants suggests to me a whole new level of pyjama-wearing. It conjures up glamorous Bright Young Things and G&Ts in the conservatory.

But I digress.

Pyjama Plan 1 is a blue, green and white floral print, William Morris styles, with a mint green ribbon.

Pyjama Plan 2 is brown with butterflies. I'm not usually keen on beige, but a beige ribbon seemed to work best with these.

Making my new lounge pants involves unpicking my much-loved and previously glamorous favourite pair of pyjamas. These are so cherished that when I'm putting them on my foot has to navigate carefully down the leg to avoid coming out through the wrong hole, so as much as I love them, it does seem timely to retire them.

Punky is a big fan of pyjamas and will happily follow any pair of pyjama-clad legs that happens to go by. He also likes playing in floor length curtains, so I suspect it has something to do with loosely hanging fabrics. Most of his strange habits can be traced to survival instincts or warren etiquette, but as yet I've failed to establish how a love of drapery could be interpreted in this way. Rabbits are mysterious things.

Monday, September 1, 2008


In an effort to learn from recent experiences, this week I've been reading about emotional resilience. I'm currently intrigued with the idea of sensitivity and whether to be sensitive is a strength or a weakness. Unfortunately the books I've read so far haven't been terribly helpful and I draw more consolation from this quote from Alain de Botton, author of at least one, possibly more, of my all-time favourite books.

"What annoys me about most self-help books is that they have no tragic sense. They have no sense that life is fundamentally incomplete rather than accidentally incomplete. I find a certain kind of pessimism consoling and helpful. Part of fulfilment might be recognising how awful life is."

If this sounds negative, consider the beauty and depth of feeling that makes life what it is. Without pain and loss and grief we wouldn't have joy and excitement and pleasure. Or as my friend Sue puts it, "It sucks. But it's beautiful! But it sucks. But it's beautiful!"

And in keeping with my theme of the human condition, here's a tragic love song by Bill Bailey, who I'll be seeing live in about 2 hours, yaay!