Friday, 30 September 2011

Christmas table runners - finished

I finished the table runners yesterday and I am inordinately pleased with them all.

And the backs - all the same.

I'm still thinking about sorting the sleeves on the black blouse. I've had help from Nenu, my friend in France, and her advice is similar to what I read in one of my books. So I think I know how I'm going to tackle it - when I'm going to tackle it is another thing altogether! :oD

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Christmas table runners - a new arrangement

This was the layout of the Christmas table runners last time I showed them.

I changed my mind about doing them that way for one main reason. Look at all those corners I'd have to put binding around. Yikes!

So, I played around with the tumblers, cut 6 more and now have enough to make 3 runners like this:

This one is quilted - I just sewed 1/8" away from all the seam lines - and ready for binding. I hope to get the other 2 quilted tomorrow and then I can get on with the bindings of those as well.

In other sewing news - I'm in the process of scouring the internet to find out what I can do about making the sleeves of that black blouse wider. I've got a couple of books that tell me what to do but those instructions are for starting from scratch - ie not with the body part already sewn up. I want to know if I can just widen the armholes by lowering them slightly and then recutting new wider sleeves (I have enough fabric left to make new sleeves) or if there's something more than that involved.

Of course, the fact is, the blouse doesn't fit me as it is so, even if I can't find a way to do it, it's no more of a loss than it is right now. So, if I can find anything that would work, it's a benefit. Yes?

If I keep telling myself that, I might start to believe it! :o)

Monday, 26 September 2011

from the sewing room window - 26th September

And the progress of the sunflowers:

Martha - I'm not sure which of our garden birds will go for the sunflower seeds but, if I see any birds at them, I'll be sure to tell you which ones they were! :o)

Friday, 23 September 2011

a disappointment and a huge excitement

I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. Why I keep trying to make myself things from commercial sewing patterns and expecting them to fit me. Will I never learn? Heck, how many times have I blogged about making things that just don't fit or look right on me? Well, here's another to add to that pile.

I tried the blouse on when it was just the body part and it fit me beautifully. It wasn't too tight or too loose, was a great length - aka it covered my bum! - and I had high hopes that it would continue to go well.

I fitted the sleeves in this morning and, lo and behold, I literally could not move my arms. I'm not kidding - my arms were stuck to my sides as if they'd been glued there. All attempts at lifting them failed miserably! Fizzin' wizzin'! Och well, another one for the "I should have known better" pile.

But then my day improved to the nth degree after the postie brought me this. (There are a lot of photos. Sorry, I was - am - excited about it! :oD)

In case anyone doesn't sew, it's a Go! cutter which cuts fabric using dies.

It came with this set of dies -

and I ordered the tumbler die as well -

Of course, I had to go and play with it immediately. First I tried the wee squares -

And then the triangles (in the background) and, finally, with the tumblers:

And then I had a brainwave to make a Christmas table runner using the tumblers so I had to cut out 36 tumblers in Christmassy fabrics. (I realised later that the cream one with the trees (on the left) was cut sideyways by mistake. I cut another one the right way up later when I showed Joanna how my new toy worked.)

Then, after tea, I sewed them together. Sorry about the bad photo - it was dark.

Now they're all laid out ready to be sewn together tomorrow.

So, my sewing day ended on a much better note than it started. Go! me! :oD

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

basic linking codes

I've read a couple of blogs recently where the writer wanted to put up codes for buttons but couldn't get them to work. I'm no expert in HTML by any means, but I thought I'd post the codes I know here.

The most basic code is this:

<a href="URL of where you're linking TO"><img src="URL of image"></a>

URL you're linking to
This is the web address of the page you want people to land on. It will *always* start with https://. If you use a code that starts with "www.", it won't link properly.

URL of image
You need to have loaded your image into a hosting site and then use the URL that the hosting site gives you for the button. Again, the URL is the code which starts with https://. It *has* to be the URL. No other code will work.

Now, whilst that basic code works beautifully, there is another code which I like to use. It just adds in a couple of features which I think are beneficial.

<a href="URL of where you're linking TO" target="_blank"><img src="URL of button/TAG" title="these show up on hover over"></a>

This means the link opens in a new window. I like this because people are not directed away from your blog - well, they are but the original window with your blog in it is still open as well.

these show up on hover over
These are words that will show up when people hover their mouse over the image. So you can give clues in these words - or keep them guessing.

For example, hover over this and see what happens -

Then click on it and it will take you - in a new browser window - to a post about something I finished in August - the clue to what it is is in the hover over words. :o)

The code that I used is this:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" title="the wedding quilt"></a>

I hope that makes sense! If anyone has any questions, leave me a comment and I'll be happy to help. :o)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

from the sewing room window - 20th September

And, in case you didn't spot the fact that the sunflowers over on the right are *finally* showing their faces, here they are from the spare room window - zoomed in as close as the camera would allow.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

odd photos

I loaded some photos from my camera today and found a few odd ones that I hadn't blogged about so here we go.

I made (ugly) bagels -

I made them half-size but that turned out to be a mistake because we just ate 2 of them! And some of them had no holes!! but, oh my goodness they were gooooooood! :o)

Rosie got a haircut:

And I bought half a metre of this fabric

As the girl was cutting it for me she told me that there was a wallpaper in the decor department that I might like. She went and got the roll and, sure enough, I did like it but what on earth would I do with it? I certainly wouldn't put it on any of my walls. She asked me if I'd like a free sample so I said "yes, please" more out of politeness than any desire to have any of it!

She unrolled the roll and cut off a metre of it. A whole metre! (This is only half of it!)

If I cut out each of the cupcakes, I could make them into birthday cards and use them for the girls for the next 24 years! 48 birthday cards out of a free sample? Not too shabby! LOL

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

got a reply

Well, this will be my last blog post about the nonsense happening at that forum. I just had a reply from one of the people in charge of the people in charge. Here's what she wrote to me:

Hello Anne,

Thank you for your recent letter regarding issues that have arisen on the XXXXX boards. I understand that you have had some frustrations communicating with others within the organization, and while I sincerely regret that you’ve had this experience as a volunteer Community Leader, I understand your decision to leave. I have discussed the situation with several members of my team, and we are exploring ways to improve the flow of information to our CLs — whom we greatly value.

I truly appreciate your time and the contributions you have given to the XXXXX Community through the years, and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Name of sender.
(I'm not going to "honour" her with a name on here!)

Here's my reply:

That's it? No apologies for the appalling way I was treated after nearly 7 years as a much-loved and dedicated CL? All I can say is, if this is the way you treat the people you value, I'd hate to think how people you don't value are treated.

Oh and just an FYI - I had no problems communicating with anyone and never have. The same could not be said for those allegedly in charge of the XXXXX boards.

~ ~ ~ ~

What a crock!

Oh well, one forum's loss is another forum's gain. My new group on cafemom has, in just over one week, got 47 members. Far more than my board on that other place has had since their stupid upgrades.

Editing to add - one of the other CLs who got the "shut up or leave" e-mail got the *exact same* e-mail from this person. Well, her name was there instead of mine but, other than that, it was the exact same wording. Even though she had brought up entirely different issues in her complaint. No wonder the boards on that forum are failing when they let idiots like that be in charge of the idiots in charge!!

Monday, 12 September 2011

from the sewing room window - 12th September

Very high winds due to the tail end of Hurricane Katia hitting the UK. Look at the trees at the back of the garden - you can see the underside of their leaves - not a good sign!

it just gets worse

Not only did that forum (blogged about here, here) get rid of 4 long-serving community leaders but 2 even longer-serving community moderators have left now too.

There's no way anybody is going to tell me that these 2 mods have left under their own steam. They've been mods for years at that place and know the ins and outs of the place far better than any of the others. I'd lay bets they were "asked to leave".

I sincerely hope that when Jodi Kahn and Angela Matusik get around to analysing the e-mails sent to them by myself and 2 of the other leaders who got the "shut up or leave" e-mail that they might take a minute to wonder why not only 4 CLs but also 2 of their most senior CMs have "chosen" to leave.

Of course, they might think the "top dog" is doing a wonderful job in getting rid of people who question what's going on. In which case, good luck to them. They'll need it.

In the meantime, my group on cafemom is flourishing. That must really make the "top dog" sick! bwa ha ha

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Picasso and me

I blogged here, here and here about the tartan jeans bags I made for Debbie and Jason to sell in their wonderfully fabulous store, the One Stop Wood Shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I'm not being biased! The stuff that Jason makes from pieces of wood just blows my mind. Check out their website if you don't believe me! He's a clever laddie! :o)

In their store they also have the Coal Wynd Gallery where they sell art of all kinds from local and not-so-local artists - that would be me! On the labels on my bags, I'm called a "textile artist from Scotland". :oD Here's the link to that website for you to see what they sell.

Anyway, this week, they took delivery of a painting from an art dealer to (hopefully) sell. It was by - wait for it - Pablo Picasso. No, seriously. I'm not joking. A real 100% genuine Picasso. Wow!!

See: Man with Cigarette by Pablo Picasso.

I asked Debbie to get Jason to take photos of my bags beside the Picasso because - well, just because. Don't they look great together? :oD

So, if you've got a spare $175,000 (Canadian) lying around, rush on over to Bishop's Landing in Halifax and get yourself a genuine Picasso. Go on, you know you want one!

Oh, and maybe you could buy a bag or two whilst you're there! Or a coffee table or bed or bookcase!! :oD

Thursday, 8 September 2011

I have the power!

I took myself on to another forum and set up my own sig-making group. The group is private so people have to ask (me) to join. I will probably let most people in but, the odd few who caused bother on my previous board will definitely not be allowed to join. *I have the power!*

Also, in my group on the new forum, *I* am in charge. If someone posts in the wrong folder, *I* move it. If someone becomes a pest - *I* get to remove them from the group. If I want a post to drop down, *I* can lock the post. If I want a post to stay at the top of the list, *I* get to make it a sticky post. *I have the power!*

All this power might go to my head but, hey, I like it. I don't have to ask someone's permission to do something. I don't have to give reasons for why I want things done. I just do them myself. *I have the power!*

Oh and that other place forgot to take me off the mailing list for the leader newsletter. I honestly laughed out loud when I read that they're going to have a community leaders workshop - "to learn more ways to interact as a volunteer community leader".

I think these will be the most important things they'll be taught in at that workshop:
1. You must not ask a question.
2. You must not ask that same question again if we ignore you.
3. You must not ask that same question again if you think our answer is not correct.
4. You must not dare to tell us we're wrong.
5. You must not dare catch us out when we tell lies.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

a few things I've been making

I mentioned in the post about Douglas's new phone box jammies, that I'd used one of the phone boxes in another project which I'd forgotten to photograph.

I can now show you a photograph of that project because Kat has posted it on her blog and I've stolen borrowed it from her. She calls it her cheeky quilt because she asked for her blog readers to make her a block for her quilt. I decided to go for it - first time I've ever done something like this - and I had fun doing it.

Here's the block I made:

If there was a story to tell about the fabrics we chose, Kat asked us to tell that story. Mine was something like -
I used the tartan because I'm Scottish, the phone box because I'm British, the coffee mugs because I enjoy coffee, the paisley pattern because Douglas went to school in Paisley, the musical bits because I sing, the buttons because I love to sew and the others just because I love them.

Another thing I made the other day is this wee coin purse. It's made from a piece of ribbon and a zip. It's a bit fiddly to make but it worked out quite well.

Here it is in various stages of the zip from open to closed.

Monday, 5 September 2011

from the sewing room window - 5th September

Especially for Nenu - here's what my washing looked like out on the washing line today! :oD

Saturday, 3 September 2011

thank you!

To all the friends who posted comments on my last post, thank you. It really means a lot to me to know that you "get it".

I have e-mailed the links to that post (and to the posts on my board and another board) to Jodi Kahn and Angela Matusik. I especially asked them to read the comments on the blog post as I really think they'll find them "enlightening".

I don't know if anything will come of it but if just one person turns to that "top dog" and asks "just what the hell is going on?" then that will make me very happy.

It must really stick in her craw that she can't remove posts or comments on here like she has on my board. bwa ha ha

Friday, 2 September 2011

the hardest post

Today I posted what, to me, was the hardest post I've ever written. Oh not on my blog. On a forum where I was, until today, a community leader.

I've been on that forum for over 7 years and became a CL very early in my forum life. I led boards where we just blethered - I'm very good at that. Boards about sewing - I'm also good at that. And boards about signature making - I'm also good at that. So, basically I was the leader on boards about things I was good at.

I made lots of friends from all over the world and even had the privilege of meeting some of them when Douglas and I went to America on 2005 and 2006. It was wonderful to meet all of them and they were exactly as they were on the boards. Full of fun and laughter.

Now, last October, this forum "upgraded" their boards. Basically they shifted them on to a new provider and to say it was not a great success is the understatement of the year. Stupid little things didn't work properly - like the board counter. Apparently 1+1 does not equal 2 any more!!

Anyone who knows me will know that I will ask questions about stuff and will keep asking the same questions over and over again until I get an answer that makes sense to me. If something's broken or not working properly I will keep asking for it to be fixed until it is fixed.

Well, a time or two (or ten) our leaders were caught out telling us lies. Did they like that this was pointed out to them? No they did not. Did they like that we kept asking the same things over and over and would not give up because we wanted replies? No they did not.

So last night I got a really long e-mail from one of the "top dogs" basically telling me to stop asking questions all the time or leave. If I didn't do this she'd take away my leader status.

HA! I got in this morning and resigned.

I know it will take me a while to get over not being a CL any more but I'll get used to it. I have other things in my life that can easily fill that forum's gap - sewing, knitting, crochet, baking, swimming etc etc In the meantime, I'm going to allow myself to be a wee bit sad at the passing of an era. But not for too long.

I realise this post will mean very little to most of the people who read my blog but I needed to post it for my own benefit. Thanks for bearing with me. I'll be back with more "normal" stuff later. :o)