Friday 28 August 2009

Fave Friday

Five Favourite Things About Autumn Coming

1. SOCKS! Big, fluffy, squidgy socks. I know I can wear them all year round but they just don't have the same effect as they do when it's cold, and it's nice to be able to get them out again as the weather turns.

2. Those autumn days when it's really windy and there are scattered showers, so the whole world smells of wet leaves but there are times during the day when one can go outside and appreciate it without getting drenched. This is my definition of a blustery day.

3. Things that smell of pumpkin and spiced apple. Such a strong scent association for me, I can't use this stuff any other time of year. I have a BPAL pumpkin and spiced apple perfume which is my staple for the autumn.

4. New term. I get excited to be back at school, in large part because it means there legitimately can be shopping for new work clothes, shoes and, more importantly, stationery. It's also fun to see everybody and meet all my new classes and get back to a routine. I work best with a routine.

5. Blackberries - free in the hedgerow. Three of my best blackberrying spots have been destroyed in the past couple of years but luckily they still grow like wildfire on the edge of the school field - even if I did once come across a rat, sitting on a branch at eye level. I always wash the fruit.

I know the bad weather we've been having (thunder today!) is largely due to that hurricane blowing itself out in our direction and not to the onset of autumn, and that we probably have a few nice days ahead of us, but I came across a pair of squidgy socks I'd forgotten about and did some shopping yesterday, so it really feels like the season is on the turn.

It's impossible for me to pick a favourite season. Trying to reach a decision causes a pucker of consternation to appear on my brow. They all have their merits and their negatives. I just get excited when the seasons change, really - I'm always ready for the new one to roll around and shake things up a bit.

Kelli's written about her five favourite things about Fridays this week, over on her blog - Three Boys and a Dog.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

RIP Edward Kennedy

...though, congratulations on dying in your own bed, of natural causes. You bucked the trend, there.

(I don't mean to be irreverent, by the way....a great politician, from a very influential family, and it's a great shame. But that thought has been going round in my head all day and I had to share it. British dark humour, if you will.)

Friday 21 August 2009

Fave Friday

Five Random Favourite Things

1. Turquoise. The colour, not the stone - I don't much care for the stone, weirdly. I'm all about the colour, though. In fact, anything on that spectrum - teal, aqua....

2. Shoes. Parpy Jo and I went shopping last night and I tried on this pair in Aldo and was instantly smitten. They came home with me. And maybe a second pair in grey. But when I find beautiful shoes that comfortably fit my wide, high arched feet - carpe diem.

3. My bed. Especially since we got the new mattress in February. My favourite bedtime is when the sheets I splurged on from John Lewis, with the poppy duvet cover that sort of matches the bedroom curtains, are fresh on the bed (even better if Mother Z has snaffled them away and ironed them first) and I'm not too tired to enjoy some reading and fresh-sheet-enjoyment before I go to sleep.

4. Baths. I just hopped out of one. I like to use lots of good smelling bath products, and after 10 minutes or so I start adding cold water until the bath is only lukewarm. I don't like an overly hot bath and can't sit in one for too long.

5. Eyeliner. Especially in bright colours, though I am toning it down a bit more as I'm getting older. I like gel and liquid eyeliners best because the colours stay nice and strong. I bought a couple of glitter eyeliners in Sephora (bet you can't guess which colours...) while I was on holiday and I like them a LOT. It's going to be much easier to deal with those than with the individual sample-size pots of MAC loose glitter I get from ebay. The last time I used one of those I thought I was holding the lid for my SheLaq and upended the whole pot all over the floor. Thank god it was that scummy Brighton hotel we stayed in and not my own carpet!

This post brought to you with thanks to Kelli at Three Boys and a Dog. Kelli is gearing up to doing 30 days of giveaways on her blog from September 1st, so it's definitely worth a gander.

Attack of the stupids

I decided to dye one of my dresses today. I bought it in the Boden sale last summer and also have it in black - I wanted a blue one, but they only had red left by the time I got to the sale. So I bought it anyway, because it's such a lovely fit and so comfy. I really love these dresses.

Trouble was, even though I love red, as a dress on my generous frame there was a lot of red. Maybe even *gasp* too much. So I decided to dye it a darker colour. I bought some machine dye in blue, figuring the dress (100% cotton) would come out purple and everybody would be happy.

I started this project this morning. I laid the dress out and took a before picture.

Then I opened the washing machine and put the machine dye in it, and turned around to grab the dress...whereupon the bagel, which I had forgotten was toasting in the machine underneath the dress, popped.

Yes, I burned the back of my dress out. On a frigging toaster.

And worse still, since I had already put all the machine dye in there and had nothing else to dye, I had to run the cycle with my now-ruined dress and got to see the awesome purple colour it went, knowing that it is destined for the rag bag.

I have been trying to come up with a plan for fixing this mess all morning, but I have drawn a blank. I know I could wear it in the winter with a cardigan over the top...but it's hardly the same.

It's lucky I bought two new dresses yesterday.

Subconscious colour selection

During our holiday we went to Hot August Nights, a vintage car show in Reno. Mr Z spent a lot of time wandering around looking at the cars and taking arty pictures, while I spent a lot of time taking pictures of my reflection in the cars...

...and admiring the colours. My favourite was this Skylark.

The picture doesn't do it justice. I loved the turquoise, of course - that drew me to the car in the first place - but then the engine parts in bright pink and purple just sealed the deal for me. Love. I decided I loved it so much, I would come up with a knit - maybe a stripey jumper - in the same colour combo, at some point.

(I also loved that it was a Skylark, mainly because the only time I have ever come across this type of car before is in My Cousin Vinny when Marisa Tomei is talking about it on the stand and I can hear her accent in my head, which makes me grin.)

Several days later, I went to Jimmy Beans armed with a shopping list which included Lorna's Laces Worsted in Wisteria colourway. They didn't have it, so I came away with four skeins in Uptown, which sang to me from its shelf hook and which I dithered over for quite a long time before finally giving in.

It wasn't until I got home and wound it that I realised....

It's my Skylark!

The funny thing is, I went to try and find a picture of the colourway online because I figured it would be a truer colour representation than what I could photograph, and it seems like this colourway usually has quite a lot of royal blue in it too. Not this dyelot. It's just a lot of turquoise and some pink and purple in there too.

I've had a look for Rav projects in this colour and the only one with any notes says, "I HATE these colours! Good thing the scarf's not for me..." *gasp* sacrilege! I am loving it. I'm designing a kimono-type sweater with it, in the hopes that it won't be too hot for me to wear. And it's the first thing I've cast on for since getting back, in spite of the fact I have the yarn and pattern all ready to go on two other projects, and a lace scarf in dire need of special attention.

For those of you with sharp eyes - yes, that's a properly wound cake of yarn, from a ball winder. Mr Z bought me one at Jimmy Beans for my birthday. It is so much quicker than going by hand - in fact, I had the swift whizzing at such a pace I thought it was going to break up.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Two more video diary entries

So, I fixed the privacy settings on that first video and I hope it works now. I hope these work, too. Please comment if you can't see it, or send me a message or something.

I decided for the rest of the video journal I should split the video footage into two. Here's the first...

And here's the second...

They're very dark. I recorded them in the Silver Creek campsite near Truckee, at night time, and we had the gas lamp and a campfire to light me but evidently that wasn't enough. Oh well, it is the sound that's important!

There are some more videos to go with the trip, including one of a tarantula we saw by the side of the road. You can see them at my YouTube channel.

Friday 7 August 2009

Let's see if this works...

I made a video entry for my blog and finally have a chance to try uploading it, but it's too big for Blogger so I've put it on YouTube and am trying to embed it. We'll see...