Sunday, December 26, 2010


Well, another Christmas crossed off the list.    Now to kick back and wait for Melbourne to stop producing liquid sunshine and get going with some of the real stuff.    My husband will tell you that I am not a fan of the heat - (although he can never understand why he can get around the house in shorts in the middle of winter when the ducted heating and the wood fire have the house in the vicinity of a balmy 27 C and I then complain when the weather warms up and gets over 23 C) but even  I am sick of the rain.   

Above are some "glimpses" of the tree skirt I started this year.   This is version no.2.    The tree skirt saga started after I had been on the "Designs by JuJu" site. After taking advantage of one of her sales, I added a few more North Pole designs to my considerable collection of machine embroidery designs and in a rash move, decided a beautiful piece of fabric that had been laying around for a couple of years - originally purchased to make a heavy jacket - looked like the perfect canvas for a tree skirt.     I knew it had been washed a couple of times already, because it was one of Norman's favourite sleeping fabrics.   The fabric was a lovely fake suede look on one side and polar fleece arrangement on the other.    Did I give any thought to how such a wonderful fabric may have been produced?  NO.   I had sewn about 4 designs when "The Beast" aka the PR600, began having a cow and telling me every 20 stitches, that there was an "issue" with the bobbin or the upper thread.   Did I give any thought that it may have been the fabric? NO.   So I begged the repair man to come and check "The Beast" out,  and we did samples on other fabric, and he changed all the needles and she began to sew again.  So we decided it was the brand of needles, and he left and I continued on with the next design.  Needless to say, he had no sooner left the building than the problems started again.   I deemed that as I was already 5 designs in and it was (in my mind anyway) beyond the point of no return, to continue.    Closer inspection revealed that the needles were becoming coated in a sticky substance.   Did I stop here? NO.    So I pressed on and on, until I had successfully completed the 16 designs.  I was going to do more houses and it was going to be soooo lovely.   I decided before adding the snow border, that some trees were needed to give the street scene that little something extra, so between all the designs I added trees, all the time taking needles out of the machine, soaking them in metho, cleaning the scarf of the needles to remove the glue, until I had finished.   (At some point in all of this, I discovered that my beautiful fabric was actually two layers of fabric glued together - hence the sticky glue on the needles).   Behold the tree skirt was finished as far as the embroidery was concerned.  As I had drawn lines  all over to get even spacing  I thought I would give it a rinse, to remove everything before I added snow.     (Some of you will know where this is going).     What happened - the colour ran.  Everything was pink.  It ran with 5 dye catchers in the machine, it ran with oxyaction napisan, it ran with more dye catchers - it ran until I threw it in the bin.    There was two weeks sewing I wasn't getting back.

So above are glimpses of the second tree skirt.   Needless to say, it isn't finished, that will be my project to finish shortly, or before next Christmas, whichever comes sooner.   
I think I need to add a hat to Norman, and the title could be "Ho Bloody Ho".     Maybe next years Christmas card!     Oh wait, I forgot, I never remember to send them........    Harv looks good in a hat, although somewhat mournful and pitiful.
Having survived 6 years at the hands of these two, from kitten hood on, our previous Christmas tree went to the tip straight after last Christmas.    The new tree came in about 100 pieces, good luck putting that away, I hear you say.    However, the branches are a more dense than the previous tree, so Norman hasn't yet been able to work out how to climb it.   This means the new tree will live to see next Christmas.   This is Norman pretending he really didn't want to climb the tree and has found something more interesting to do (like wait for Harv to walk past).  
This is Nelly.   Nelly is my sisters dog.  Nelly thoroughly enjoyed Christmas Day.    There was lunch, there was mid afternoon snacks of bacon, and there was an expectation of dinner at some point later in the day.     Nelly had a great Christmas.    It is nice to see her smiling.    More often than not she looks like she has the worst life and yet quite the opposite is true.

Just before Christmas, the fish tank finally was placed in position.     Santa coughed up a few more camera accessories, including a flash, so I was able to get some better shots of the new fish.   Introducing (keeping in line with the Department Store names) Coles and Myer.   
You can almost see fish tonsils in this shot......
Needless to say, the tank and its occupants have kept Norm thoroughly entertained.
Of course, the camera was downstairs when this was taking place, I only had my iPhone on hand to take the shot, so the quality will not be great.
I'm just looking.....



Just as a teaser, there will be a new addition to the family this week.   I can't wait.     
  The tree and the decorations will be getting the flick pretty quick this year.    I think I will be busy sorting out disputes and territorial arrangements.    I am sure the phantom piddler will be keeping me on my toes as an act of revenge, but it wasn't like I haven't told him.......

See you soon.    Sue xxx

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I would love to hear from you, just so I know I am not talking to myself - the cat is tired and so is the dog!