February 2007


Listening to: Danielle Steel – The Lucksmiths

Rad asked where all the good crafty sites are (since The Guardian‘s is only so-so), so here is a small list. It isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a start and I’ll add more as I think of them.

Craftster – I’ve never really warmed to Craftster as a community, but it can be quite good for tutorials and ideas (especially on clothing reconstruction and alteration). I tend not to trawl the boards much myself, but get the good Craftster links from reading people’s blogs – try How to turn a men’s shirt into a cap-sleeved top and How to make a lined zippered pouch.

Craftzine – I really like this one. Full of good links.

Not Martha – Among other things (a nice blog, for one), home of (I think) the definitive guides to making lip balm and marble magnets.

Thimble – General craftiness. Cool tutorial on making thrummed mittens recently (not something I can ever see myself making, but interesting nonetheless).

Whip Up – Sometimes it’s tutorials, sometimes it’s just about craftiness.

One Hour Craft – Good for a nice quick project. I quite like this one. (Includes a “Beginner Craft” category.)

OhMyStars – T-shirt surgery and other clothing alteration tutorials.

Etsy – The crafty marketplace. Enter at your own peril. I went on a spending spree there the other week, and am trying to restrain myself from visiting too often. But it’s really good for inspiration, as well as shopping. See also Cut + Paste.

Bust.com’s Girl Wide Web – Not all great, but it’s where I got started with all of this.

Some more specific crafty sites:

Tie One On – Aprons! I’ve probably linked to this before. Amy also has a blog, which I like.

Knitty – Free knitting patterns and instructional articles. If knitting is your thing, I cannot recommend Knitting Help enough – instructional videos for all those techniques you can’t get your head around. Also, many, many knitting blogs – See Eunny Knit, Saartje Knits, Web-Goddess, etc.

Stencil Revolution – I love this site.

Wardrobe Remix – Inspiration! I particularly like Wearmystuff/Toast. and Broken heart’s hard to mend ROLF lMAO.

Okay, I’d best click the publish button before my computer eats this enormous post. I used up our download limit getting hold of the first 9 episodes of Heroes (oh, I know), and things are going slowly for the rest of the month.

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Listening to: Cathedral Heat – Kristin Hersh

I have been reading this Ask Metafilter thread about food refrigeration, and have noticed a strange consensus on storing potatoes and onions separately. Am I the only person who has never heard of this rule? Why can’t you store them together? We’ve always stored our onions and potatoes in the same place – are they going to give us cancer?

It’s 40 degrees here at the moment, and it is thoroughly unpleasant. I just rode to the Central Market to get some ice cream (Soy Delicious in Mocha Almond Fudge and Peanut Butter Zigzag), and it was worth it but horrible. Is there somewhere out there in the world where it is a steady 18-20 degrees Celsius all year round? What’s the job market like there?

Anyway, films I have seen recently: The Last King of Scotland (about which I find myself curiously without opinion – I didn’t enjoy it, because it wasn’t that sort of film, but I didn’t hate it, and apart from that it’s just… something I watched) and The Accidental Tourist (good – I don’t know how it measured up to this particular Anne Tyler novel, but it captured a general Anne Tylerness that I liked – but William Hurt annoyed me. This could be because I have an impression of William Hurt as not being a very nice person in real life, but I think it’s also that he doesn’t give enough as an actor – I understood that his character was supposed to be reserved, and grieving, and I was on board with that, but the way he played it also really dulled the romance of the ending for me. Still, lots of other likeable elements).

I have been making lots of long gathered skirts, which, I realise now, are completely impractical for a cyclist, but I’m really pleased with them anyway. If I had the energy, I’d trek upstairs to get the camera and take a photo, but I don’t. Did I mention the 40 degrees?

Listening to: Especially For You – Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan (Happy Valentine’s Day for yesterday, people!)

I should really be heading out the door right now, but realised I have forgotten to mention my exciting news – I am being properly employed by the resource centre! And okay, it’s only 9 hours a fortnight (so the public library stuff will continue, too), but they’re a permanent 9 hours and they’re mine.

Listening to: Trenchtown Rock – Bob Marley and the Wailers

I’ve just discovered that The Guardian has a craft page. It’s a bit “hey, let’s jump on this bandwagon!” and some (most) of the projects are irritatingly simple, but I do like this Stormproof Outdoor Chandelier (a mobile made of hanging tealights in babyfood jars).

I have put The Brothers Karamazov on hold for a bit (I do like it, but I think it’s probably a bit like Proust – you need some sort of long convalescence [like a broken leg] to really appreciate it [says she who is only just coming to the end of a long summer holiday]. I’m a couple of hundred pages in and nothing has actually happened yet, which is fine, but it doesn’t suit my current reading habits. I will pick it back up later this year) and am digging into my collection of Virago Modern Classics. Clash by Ellen Wilkinson at the moment – first published in 1929, and oh, I think this is my favourite time period. It’s not great literature (it’s not very subtle, and it’s very clearly written to get a point across rather than to glory in the English language), but it is engaging and fascinating to read. I’ve also recently reread The Commitments (my favourite Roddy Doyle book – his other stuff is fine, but I don’t love it the way I love this one [and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha]). Do you think I could get away with introducing “Janey!” and “rapid” into my vocabulary?

Does anyone else have trouble playing public library DVDs that have been security stripped (i.e. have magnetic lines stuck to the disc somehow)? I can’t get more than 20 minutes into anything anymore without my DVD player spitting the dummy, and I think that’s the reason. We have gotten a fair few complaints since we started stripping them at my library, but the library doesn’t care whether they can be played as long as nobody steals them. Argh.

The Adelaide Film Festival is starting soon, which is quite exciting! So far, I am definitely going to see Grbavica and Jestem, but there are lots of others that look quite interesting. Also, one of the judges of the Natuzzi Award is Mick Harvey!

Listening to: My Finest Hour – The Sundays

I have been moving books around at the resource centre for the last week (two weeks?), and now I’ve started taking them all home with me. I’ve just sat here at my desk and read 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, and it was delightful. Don’t Google it; the newer covers are garish and modern, and it looks like there was a film made of it, about which I do not want to know because it might spoil everything. But if you ever happen to come across a nice ’70s edition, take it home with you. It’s lovely.

P.S. The last two Late Night Live Summer podcasts I have listened to have been terrific; the discussion of Marx’s Das Kapital from 17/1/2007, and the 80th anniversary of Family Planning interview from 16/1/2007. Both are available on iTunes and from the Radio National website here and here.