Friday, 20 May 2011

In which I say something nice about a tent. For the first time ever.

OK, this is the tiniest, pointlessest (I started that word and was damn well going to find a way to finish it), blog post ever but I had to share this and a Facebook link just wasn't enough.

I hate camping. I hate the smell of the tent. I hate the soggy grass. I hate the fact that no matter how much horrible canvasy plasticy sheeting crap you have on the floor there will STILL be a puddle of rainwater in the morning exactly where you put your clothes from the night before (even if it hasn't rained). I hate stupid not-really-working camping stoves. I hate the enforced jollity and the fact that someone will always bring a guitar. I hate being cold (and it is always cold when camping, even if you wear your fleeciest Where The Wild Things Are pyjamas and zip the sleeping bag over your head). I hate having to trek across a dark field full of possibly-shagging-weirdos to the communal toilet (if there is one), and unzipping all the arctic gear just to have a pee.

Camping, basically, makes me want to cry.

So I will never buy a tent. BUT. If if ever had to - like I was suddenly rendered homeless in the event of a Mad Max style apocalypse and everyone was being killed off by a toxin that was stopped only by the barrier of canvas and I had already eaten my cats to survive and there was absolutely no choice – I would buy this one. Because even though it is a tent, it is awesome.

That is all.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Off piste.

I promise both myself and my house look less moody than this in real life...
One of the - admittedly extremely few - drawbacks to my newfound and still quite baffling mild success at making stuff and selling it is the fact that I can't keep any of it myself. I'd love a skull handbag, or a Viewmaster Cushion, but if I just hoard everything I will a) never get any money for it and be back at square one and b) have a house even more full of mismatched cushions and handbags I don't really need. Not that there's anything wrong with having loads of handbags. Really. In fact, everyone should have at least a dozen handbags. And they should buy them all from me. Ahem.

Sometimes though, I come across something that's just so god-damned amazeballs that to see it go to someone else would just make me weep. Such as the truly epic Robert Kaufman horror movie material I bought last week. Normally I tend to buy fat quarters and half metres of fabric, but this time I new it would be so cool I had to buy a full metre (I know, easy tiger). And then when it arrived, I couldn't bear the idea of chopping it up and selling it on.

So. A metre of fabric, covered in awesome Hammer horror monsters. Frankly, I was happy just to wrap it around myself like a blanket and sleep under it, but I knew that it needed to be seen by the wide world. So I decided to make a dress.

I've only ever made one dress before, and that was a fiendishly complicated 1950's job, which turned out OK (against all odds), but was entirely pattern based. This time I decided to fly solo.

How hard can it be?

Well, not very, it appears. Even I managed it. I folded it in half, sewed it together up the side, and put a length of elastic at the top to hold it up. So far, so good. Then for a waist, another length of elastic, this time sewn straight onto the back of the fabric with a zigzag stitch. I have no idea if this is how you are meant to do it, but it seemed to work. A hem at the bottom (courtesy of my eternally patient Significant Otter who pinned it up while I stood on a chair and made picky comments), and ta da! A tube dress is born!

I love these so much they have their own shelf. One day I may get them a spotlight.

It needed a belt to hide the fact that it is, basically, a sack, but I'm still pretty chuffed. I added a couple of straps to make a tie-up halterneck just in case the elastic were to give way under the enormous weight of my heaving bosoms (yeah, whatever). 

And the best thing? For the first time ever, I have an entirely co-ordinated skirt and shoe ensemble. I know! I'm a proper grown up!