Author Archives: Helen

Progress of sorts


The house is nowhere near finished (who knew painting a house would take so long), and despite my best endeavours I never did get a boost of afternoon energy. At least not in the way that I wanted.

I managed a trip to the library, some reading and some knitting. My Mum and Dad came over one day to help and bought my eight year old nephew with them. Nephew needed a birthday present for his Mum, and wasn’t looking forward to a trip to the shops. When I offered him a chance to raid my handmade stash he jumped at it and decided that his Mum would like a hat and scarf.

I started knitting a replacement straight away, because I actually quite like knitting hats and scarfs. I think because they come together very quickly I feel like I am achieving something and they are simple enough to do while watching tv. So, there was a lot of afternoon movies last week, and I finished a new hat and got a good start on a scarf.

On another note: I seriously thought I would be sore from the painting, and I was mostly fine all week but I woke up this morning after one day back at the desk job and everything is stiff. I suspect just doing weekends from here on is going to be physically harder than doing one long slog.



Painting my house


For some reason, I thought it would be cool to take a week off work to paint my own house. Ok, mostly it is because I’m a total cheap skate and I’ve heard horror stories of people being quoted up to $20,000 to get their house painted. While I’m sure my little house wouldn’t cost that much to paint it would still be several thousand.

I decided that I would only paint in the mornings, and I’m glad I did. My day job involves sitting at a desk for most of the day so even being on my feet for 4 hours at a time is energy draining. After 3 days, I have almost one wall done. It’s not going as fast as I would like but it’s going and that’s the main thing. I figure if I don’t finish it this week, that’s ok too. I imagine there are bits that I’ll have to go back and redo as well as I am far from an expert painter. Once I have a sense of what I’m doing I can throw the odd weekend in here and there to get it finished.

Now I just need for the rain to hold off, for this sniffle not to get any worse, and to find some left over energy for doing some afternoon craft.


Unsuccessful experiment


I started playing with a glass art kit over the weekend. The idea being that you put pictures behind the curved glass and make yourself something pretty and decorative. They look alright from a distance, but on closer inspection it looks like the paper is wearing out. I suspect I was probably a little heavy-handed on the glue. Either that or I needed some more robust paper.

I guess my major learning is that I should have done one, waited to see how it turned out and then adjusted my technique rather than just jumping in and making up the whole batch.


Folding and sticking


I have been busy making up some kits I bought at the craft fair a few weeks ago. I don’t really know how to describe these projects (a purse and card case). It’s not really sewing because no stitching occurs. It involves folding the fabric and the whole thing is held in place with the final layer of sticky vinyl lining fabric and the clips. They are cute though and kept me out of mischief for one day this weekend.

The rest of the time was spent whipping a small part of my garden into shape.

Craft fair


There was a craft fair type event in town this weekend, so I went and checked it out yesterday and picked up a fair amount of inspiration. I went to two demonstrations, one on sashiko and the other on wool felt applique. I may have collected some new hobbies. There were also lots of lovely quilts to check out, but also a whole section on paper craft which I look at with envy because I have the fine motor skills of a drunk baby elephant. If I try to glue a small bit of anything to a bit of paper I end up with glue everywhere and things stuck to my hands. But nice to look at others work admiringly and be surrounded by crafty people for a part of the day.

The rest of the weekend was spent on chores and gardening. I did manage to create a small potted veggie garden in one corner of my patio as well as doing a bit of weeding and hedge trimming. Still plenty more to do though. It gets so out of hand during summer when it is too hot to do anything other than mowing, so winter is the time for pulling it all back into line.





So, my computer has been updating itself for over an hour now. Probably longer than that, given when I turned it off last night it said update and turn off. The one thing I have learnt from this is that I am incredibly impatient. Which is why I am doing this blog post on my tablet and typing on the incredibly small screen keyboard.

Though I suppose I am slightly more patient than I was ten years ago when I would have just have restarted the computer forcing it to abandon the update process.

It’s all relative I suppose, like all things. The cold and cloudy days that were a perfect excuse to spend the weekend on the couch sewing are an annoyance now I have to leave the house to go to work in the morning. At least I got a chunk of quilting done.




I was feeling a bit inadequate because my shower was leaking and I thought I would put on my big girl, home owner pants and change the washer myself and failed miserably. It’s not that hard I thought – after watching one how to video on you tube. Well, I tried and nothing went at all like the video. For a start someone had glued my tap to the wall. I finally got it off after what felt like 2 hours of chipping off rubber glue, and unscrewed everything and realised it didn’t look anything like the video and the bit that the video guy was pulling out of the wall, was not coming out of the wall. I was briefly tempted to just keep hitting it with a hammer until it came out but resisted on the grounds that I didn’t want to damage the pipes and make my shower unusable for weeks. So I retreated and called a plumber.

I’m feeling slightly less like a plumbing failure now, because the plumber took one look at it and said – you don’t see that very often. Apparently I had ceramic taps and they don’t even have washers. I didn’t know that was even a thing. Though it did mean the whole inner tap needed replacing. Still waiting for the bill, but now my shower isn’t leaking and I can get back to doing other cool stuff, like knitting a scarf and hand quilting the quilt that had been sitting half done in the cupboard for far too long.