Saturday, August 14, 2010

The wonders of modern technology...

Hmph, our computer is still broken, well, it got fixed and lasted a couple of days before deciding not to start again. It's only two years old.
Back in the 'olden days' things were made to last. My times have changed! I remember being at the grandparents house when they were getting new carpet- the carpet layer commented on how 'you don't see carpet like this anymore- this is the sort of carpet you get rid of because you don't like it anymore, not because it's worn out'- I asked how long the new carpet should last- 'oh, well we'd expect it to last about 7 years'. Highly unimpressive.
Every now and then (probably when something is broken) we have that 'quality' discussion. When is second hand best, and when is new best- and if it's new when is the more expensive but (one would hope) better quality option best?
I tell you what, I am so glad I took the latter when buying my Miele front loader 13 years ago- it was amazingly expensive (to me!) at the time but it still doesn't miss a trick. Our second hand gas oven hasn't worked- despite saying it was for LPG bottled gas, it wasn't (the plumber checked) so that was a waste of $100 when we were trying to save.
So now we are in the market for a computer (probably) and an oven. And we are not known for making decisions quickly so it might be time to drag out the BBQ. I think we should invite all the neighbours over to thank them for using there computers at times over the past few weeks!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Call this a crafty blog?

I have been a little light on crafty content lately, haven't I.
I have been 'doing' just not showing and telling.
I mentioned I have had a few little photo uploading issues. I am not sure if it was a Picasa problem (but I am back to Photobucket) or a jolly warning sign. Our computer died last Sunday, thankful it hasn't wiped our hard drive and today we have it back- but it remains on 'light duties' until we get that external hard drive that we have been 'gunna' get for sooooo long.
Anyway, this is my version of Nicole's panel bag that I pattern tested for her a while ago. Have I mentioned I love pattern testing? LOVE. A great combination of words and editing, which I really like and sewing which I really like and following instructions- which I am getting better at!

I have been looking at patterns with new eyes as well. I have bought patterns from loads of different designers and they really do deliver different things, don't they. I have some that have, unfortunately, got to cutting out stage and progressed no further. Actually, I have some that I have pulled out of the packet, tried to read and put straight back in the packet!
What I like about Nicole's patterns is that they teach you techniques as well as giving you a pattern- so I am increasing my skills. The panel bag I tested is designed for beginners to intermediate sewers- how great- it includes things like piping, pleats and inserting magnetic snaps (which I have done before, without such clear instruction and ended up with a hole in my bag before too long)- which a 'beginners pattern' wouldn't necessarily include, but she includes very clear instructions about how to do it and photos.
While obviously I am a 'Nicole Mallalieu Design' fan this isn't just a plug. It's a critical think about the difference in patterns- I have beaten myself up in the past for not being able to follow a pattern, put myself down, had tantrums because 'a' and 'b' don't meet where they are meant to and now I realise (lightbulb) that it isn't necessarily due to my poor skills- patterns have misprints and mistakes and sometimes, poor techniques. I am getting a bit more confident in recognising this now. For example, I made up a softie pattern recently (not one I have blogged about) and in retrospect, if I make it up again, I think I will do it in a slightly different order and I think the result might be a bit smoother.
I never would have thought of that a year ago- the fact that it could be done differently or having the audacity to not follow the instructions of the expert! Sounds like I might be 'moving forward'!!