Sunday, 27 March 2011

Insert 'it's curtains for you' pun here.

A few people (who are either kind, or mad, or both), have asked me why I haven't written anything for a while. The answer is that I haven't done anything worth writing about. If I'm honest, I have spent most of my recent free time watching a lot of The X Files.

The SO and I decided to re-watch the whole nine series and two films of this landmark of 1990's sci-fi in order, from the beginning. This was nearly two-and-a-half years ago, so a large proportion of our own relationship has panned out against the backdrop of Mulder and Scully's adventures. Together we have enjoyed the heady, hopeful early days of seasons one and two, when the monsters were plentiful and Scully's hair was big, helped each other through the dark times of the baffling government conspiracy mire that marked four and five, and struggled into the light of season six, when it got good again all too briefly before plunging back into the confusion of season seven, as Duchovny left to embark on his glittering Hollywood career (how's that working out for you, Duchovny? DUCHOVNY!!). We're now halfway through season eight, getting fed up with Scully's pregnancy and wishing Mulder would return and bring the spark back. (I realise the relationship metaphor got lost somewhere along the way there, which is probably no bad thing).

So what with all the ups and downs of that, I've not been up to much.

 It's sort of difficult to get an interesting picture of curtains, but here they are.
I did make some curtains. Let this be a warning to you from someone who has been there and survived - don't do it. 'How hard can it be?', thought I 'they're basically squares'. (Everything is basically squares when you come down to it, I've found. Scale that up and you can make anything. 'Taj Mahal? Yeah mate, piece of piss. It's basically squares, innit?').

So with 15 metres of Ikea's finest material staring at me, I set off to make six curtains for our unnecessarily big lounge windows (we had wooden blinds, which the cats had recently discovered could be used as rope ladders to swing on while re-enacting the Pirates of The Caribbean for the benefit of passers by. At least I presume that's what they were doing, nothing else would explain the destruction they had managed to wreak). After cutting, hemming and ironing one, I started to get bored. After three, I lost the will to live. And by the time I got to number six all that was keeping me from tears was the sheer grim determination of a woman possessed and the promise of a gin and tonic at the end of it all.

Apart from all the hemming and ironing, and the patience of a particularly patient saint, you also need a large area of floor to lay it all out on. I have a large area of floor, but it is generally full of cats. So extra time needs to be added for shooing the cats away, hoovering the floor, cutting the material, shooing the cats away again, retrieving your tailor's chalk that they have decided to take with them for a snack, then hoovering the finished curtain again because despite all your care they have still managed to somehow will their fur onto it from another room.

Still. They're up now and seem to have turned out OK. They're pretty much curtain shaped and the right way up. I'm nursing a mild hangover as I write this and they are doing a good job of preventing the sun's evil rays from burning into my retinas so they fulfil their primary objective.

Now. More X Files. Come on Agent Doggett, Scully's up the duff and Mulder's still gone, it's just you and me now.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

my name is lemurlady and i am addicted to pretty patterns

Since my first tentative forays into sewing only a few short months ago, I have developed a problem. It's not recognised by the NHS and as far as I know there aren't any treatments available, but it is becoming a serious concern.

I am addicted to shopping for pretty fabric.

It all started with the awesome dino-fabric, then I moved on to the harder stuff - woodland animals, skulls, retro 50's prints....I don't know where it will end.

Websites such as (which sounds like it should be a source of help, but only feeds my addiction), are like catnip to me. I trawl through the pages and just need to own the stoned owl print, or the psychedelic butterflies, or that autumn leaf pattern that looks oh-so-temptingly like the sort of thing they printed on dinnerware in the 1970s. Must own!

Problem is, there's only so many cushion covers and bags I actually need, and only so many polite friends offering to take them off my hands. But I can't stop, not while there's still robot fabric I don't own (oh bugger, I was only joking then, but now I really want it. Argh).

Still. I have made use of some of it. I made this bag from some fabby voodoo-skull cotton, and luckily a friend has very kindly accepted it as a present and appears to be very happy with it, so at least I'm sharing the love (and the awesome skull print).

I've got another one of these on the go, with the same pattern but with a white background to the skulls and black canvas.

For something nice and mindless to do this evening, I decided to whip up a cushion cover from a woodland animal print I'm particularly fond of. The plain brown back has a pillowcase-style opening so it can be taken on and off (much easier than zips and none of that zip-imprint on your face when you get drunk and pass out on it. Don't pretend you don't know what I mean). It matches nothing in my house but frankly when you've got cartoon mooses colour co-ordination becomes redundant. I'm especially enamoured of the bear that looks like he's just remembered he left the gas on in his bear-house.

I made the pattern up as I went along and I'm pretty pleased with it (yes, I know it is essentially just a square but humour me, I'm only a beginner. There was a lot of measuring, honest).

So. If you need any cushion covers or small satchel-like handbags let me know. Might I suggest something with robots?