It’s happened, I’ve turned into a tech dinosaur.

I thought this day wouldn’t come, or if it did I would be older , how foolish am I!!!  I saw this happen to my father in the 90’s turning from a massive tech head to whats this dvd player everyone’s talking about?

Mr Dinsosaur soon wont be able to listen to T-Rex on the go.

Mr dinosaur soon wont be able to listen to T-Rex on the go.

I heard this week that there is talk of Apple considering to cease production of the iPod. For a lot of people I know this is old news so this already displays how far behind I am. You see I still buy CD’s and burn them into my i-tunes, I still have dreams of opening a tiny record counter that s evaporating fast, of reuniting my two vinyl collections that are separated by the sea and setting up an amazing soundspace to work and listen to my amazing collection. With the sales vinyl resurfacing from the depths of the bargain bins (yay!) I thought we had reached a nice full circle. Not so!

I wouldn’t have this problem if there were a suitable replacement but at the moment there is nothing else on the market. I don’t like using my phone to listen to music on, its way to unreliable to hold my precious tracks on, Plus it wouldn’t be able to hold my entire collection – it wouldn’t even make a dent.

Yes I could use clouds to store all of my music on, but why would I do that? I don’t have much more control over that say if that company went bust or just decided to close, Is it fair in my understanding that I could just lose all of my stored stuff?

Why would I want to store all of my stuff on clouds anyway? Not to sound like some crazy person I am sick of companies such as Amazon knowing what I like and what guilty cd I bought through them and then offering me recommendations. I’m giving them market research for free. I find that annoying. If I want to listen to Roxette’s greatest hits in the privacy of my home I will without anyone else knowing about it. I like total anonymity when it suits me, and other times I like to tell the world what to listen to. But that’s my call.

Sounding like a nut job already? I will continue and now contradict myself a bit (cause that’s what I do).

I love Spotify, I love it I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have it as a teen. I wouldn’t have needed a Saturday job so I could buy records, I would have been exposed to a lot more stuff instead of what ever the radio choose to play. In some ways this would have been a good thing but also a bad thing.

So I love having it now, but if I were to replace my iPod their service with their service  I would need to pay for premium to take it everywhere with me, so there is my first beef,  paying for tracks (and streamed in lesser quality)I already own. The other being that the wi-fi/ reception service where I live is terrible and if you’re sitting on the train it’s worse so my service would be constantly disrupted which makes it hardly worth it. Sadly my lovely iPod is almost full and it occasionally shows sign that it’s just going to stop working one day so I probably need to shell out big bucks to buy another one before it all stops (and get round to backing it up on a hard drive).

 

What are these ye olde things of the past?

What are these ye olde things of the past?

As if all of this wasnt bad enough I read in one of the newspapers yesterday (print not online) that the whole concept of the full length album itself is old news and younger hipper artists are considering abandoning it to just be a hit making factory?? Heavens alive!!!! No artistic temperament there, no musical journey. I can’t see that happening with any credible artists….I hope.

After all the tragedy I thought an apt track to listen to would be Wezzer’s Say it aint so. Ironically this was not on my iPod and I had to go to Spotify. Isn’t there room in the world for both of them?

If anyone is interested the Guardian article can be found here, it’s annoying.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jul/29/album-music-format-streaming-playlists-extinction

Just a short what I have listened to on repeat this week. I have talked about Jake Bugg before, but I havent listened to the first album until this week. It is amazing I wish I had been able to write songs like that when I was 18. Good heavens It went through once and I played it again, and then again until rockette was a bit sick of it and wanted to hear Frozen.

If you’re having a first listen, don’t be put off by the first four track they were all the hits and the stuff the press loved , from track 5 its amazing ,sad,soft and loving and has a lot of Bob Dylan and some country . To be honest I’m amazed that the album did as well as it did (the music is just not what you would expect). I love it and it hasn’t come off the stereo..I’ll be buying it on CD this week.

 

The monotony of the block & enjoying Weird Al amongst others.

I normally post once a week, but I just didn’t feel like I had anything to really contribute In the last 2 weeks  (until I made that random skirt).I’m in the middle of making a few different things.

The chevrons need putting onto bigger backing pieces now, I went into the lake of dread and finished one piece of the Alison Glass paper piecing blocks (and that was after picking it apart twice), Rockette’s massive quilt is still sitting in the corner still not based together let alone started to start quilting and the mock adult skirt is still sitting in amongst it with nothing done. I don’t know what it is but every time I open up my Tilly and the buttons book my head goes to mush.

What has turned into a bit of a chore is making 26 6″ star blocks for another quilt at the moment. Normally I really enjoy making blocks but this one has become more fiddily than I anticipated.

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This small block uses an array of 1&3\4″ and 2″ pieces .Theses are so diddy that when I’m sewing a quarter-inch seam to turn them into tiny  triangles that when they go through the machine they fall in between the feed dogs and get mashed. Try unpicking that without destroying the fabric fibers and losing a bits of fabric.

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Then each little square needs pressing and then each row needs pressing, there’s a lot of pressing so a lot of getting up a down, and a bit of burning fingers….

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Then I sew all these little squares together and then sew them into little lines . That’s the bit taking me ages.

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and low and behold you should have a small star block where all the points should meet together. (Most times this almost works, close enough).

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All of this means that each block is taking about 40 minutes. I’ve done 10 over about 2 weeks!

(These blocks haven’t been blocked/ cut down to their correct size so that’s way they look a bit messy/longer in places)

I’m sad that I feel that this has turned more into a task now and not a source of real enjoyment but I’m sure once its done it will look pretty good.

Whats playing these last 2 weeks

On the music side of the last two weeks it has really been about Weird Al Yankovic. I’ve loved him since the 80’s at a time when I used to write terrible parodies. I had ambitions to be as good as him but sadly mine were  not. I crafted such embarrassingly titled delights such as   “Simply irrachookable” (Simply irresistable) and “I want your brand (Flakes)” (I want your love), why am  telling you this?? These are some of my most embarrassing moments in my life, these are my what are you thinking( whilst in mid performance) moments, these were all the other kids at school staring at you perplexed because you decided to perform it for some sort of school performance moments..I can’t go on I will just push that back in my to forget pile until someone works out how to remove it (it’s in good company it’s getting a bit close to capacity).

Anyway yes Werid Al, Word Crimes this should be learnt by all children in school. It really gets my goat when the english language is abused because of laziness or stupidity. So instead of getting annoyed I’m just gong to sing this song at people.  (I think I like singing at people I spent last week at work singing Metallica’s “Sad but True” after the end of every statement that everyone would make about the state of the work place. I know annoying yes?). I love the music for Blurred Lines I just hated the lyrics, now I can listen to it with it without conflicting emotion.

I love spellchecker. Now that’s what I call Polka! has also been big in our house. Listening a lot to that. He has done videos for 8 of his new tracks they are an amusing way to spend 4 minutes. What else is there to watch? Gordon Ramsey’s New Kitchen Nightmares USA? (Yes, yes you can watch that)

Weird Al is taking up most of my time the only other thing I’ve given over any time to is Sean Lennon’s new project The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger . This is the second outing Charlotte Kemp Muhl (she is also his girlfriend but then I thought it is sexist to just to refer to her as that).

I liked Lennon’s 2006 release ‘Friendly Fire” it was a lovely heart-break album. But I don’t think he gets the recognition he really deserves. I feel a bit sorry for him it must be difficult trying to make your way in a world when your father was a revolutionary. This is GOSTT second album, and I only came across this as I was flicking through a magazine at smith’s and was attracted to the sleeves art work (as we know I’m a sucker for art work). Its got a psychedelic multi layered summer feel to it. I keep comparing other music to the Webb Brothers but Last Call does remind of ‘Beyond the Atmosphere’ that and MGMT . It’s a nice record to chill out or sew to. Spotify tell me they are playing in Birmingham next week. Music clips are a bit weird (I shouldn’t be surprised really) so much so I had to switch off ,too odd for Rockette’s little eyes. (I couldn’t explain half of it, it was a bit pompus).

Last night I had a quick listen to Jenny Lewis new album which is streaming on Soundcloud before it’s release. So far so good I’ve been a fan of her work with Rilo Kiley and of her solo stuff , and to a lesser degree Johnny and Jenny. I hadn’t realised it’s been 5 years between solo albums, where did that go? I remember buying Rabbit Fur Coat. I was also still working at a record store mind.

This album is much more inward looking , far more personal and a well-rounded good body of work .I’ve added ‘One of the guys’ on the Spotify playlist this week just because I think it resonates with me more personally. She’s round my age and I think it’s an honest look at getting on . She is a great songwriter with twang’s of rock, country and americana. I’ll keep this one on rotation.

I’ve also been enjoying Cass Mc Combs album Big Wheel and Others. I’m slowly loving it, it’s made out of that kind of stuff. it was a twinge of country in its ballads. I cant compare it to much that comes to mind. I’m going to say The Triffids but it’s probably not much like it really.

This is getting out of hand! We have the new Sebastien Tellier album in our house, I love it but I’ll save it for next week.!

Venture into the world of dressmaking.

This actually isn’t my first try at dressmaking. When I first got my machine I did make a small top for a much smaller Rockette, but by the time I finished it she had already grown out of it, now it sits at a bottom of a draw.

But I had bought some lovely Riley Blake Unicorns and Rainbows fabric with the determination I was going to make a skirt.

https://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/shop/category/riley-blake-designs/available-now/unicorns-rainbows-1/unicorns-rainbows-cotton-2/

So with the Opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games on in the background and feeling reluctant to make another block I put into Pintrest “easy kids skirts tutorials”. The easiest looking thing that came up was toted as “The easiest skirt you will ever make” that’ll do.

Easy it was, you can find the tutorial here

http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-a-simple-skirt.html

It took a whole hour and a bit to make (stopping of course to cheer on Australia when they entered the arena). The only things I will say is make sure you either zig zag/french hem/overlock all of the raw edges (the seam and the casing for the elastic) I thought I would do it further down the track but before I knew it I was done with not enough space on the seam to do it later (this was my own dumb fault for cutting it crooked and not leaving a big enough seam allowance)

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I did enjoy making it. I don’t think it looks too home-made, I’d like to think it was something you could buy in one of those Whitstable boutiques. Next I’ll try a multi layered one.

The only complaint from Rockette was that it was too tight and then it was taken off as quickly as it was put on in exchange for her new Frozen t-shirt, that’s gratitude for ya!

On a completely different note look at the weird kind of things you can win at a regatta in 2014….

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Yeah it’s a coconut. There was a weird Halloween punch ball thing too but I forgot to include it.

There’s another entry to follow shortly, nothing for 2 weeks and then I’m on fire!

The cheaters guide to quilting.

I thought this would have been finished months ago. But as usual it sat on a chair without binding for months.

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I got the idea for this at a stand at the knitting and quilting show. I had been looking for a throw for my sofa to replace the grubby brown blankets I’ve had for years.

So I bought some arrows by Melody Miller which is a massive beautiful print (I have a thing for arrows) But as usual messed up by buying at least half a meter less than I really needed ( I’m a tight arse, that top trumps basic mathamatical facts). You can still get some from M is for Make.http:// http://www.misformake.co.uk/collections/melody-miller

The beauty of all of this is that you can have a fantastic looking quilt with minimal effort. Awesome project if you were short of time or wanted a big bold image.

So just your basic quilt sandwich with super thick wadding..which was a mistake its horrible to stick through my machine.
Quilted lines to follow the arrow details, added the binding Bobs your uncle all done!!!

I have tried to take some good photos but this weather has been deadful for a whole week now.

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You could free motion a quilt top like this easily but as usual I want a simple life and used my walking foot. I know Im boring.

Short and sweet today. I’m very tired I sat up all night ( till half 4) putting together hexi’s for the chevron quilt and watching a bollywood film (which I am still only half way through!!!@!)

Nothing of much note on the music front this week, we spent Saturdays craft club(paper piecing from the begining) had a Big Bang Theory marathon on in the background. Hexi chevron finally coming to its end more soon!

Swimming in the sea of unfinished symphonies…with sound.

Quilting can take you on a long road, In my case several at the same time. This has been an ongoing issue for me since I was 4 with kindergarten teachers complaining I would do a bit of this and move on then a bit of something else yah yah yah. I say it’s a restless creative mind. Here I am many moons later doing the same thing.

I’m annoyed at all of this stuff hanging around and I just want to get on, it’s not an excuse but doing this whole social media thing is taking up much more of my time than I ever expected, wish there were more hours in the day. I’ll post all the stuff in full when it’s completed.

Unfinished 1

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Remember the chevrons hanging off the fence in the 2nd post? The main bit is almost done I just need to do ends. I had a really crappy week last week and when I feel down I hand quilt like I’m possessed. So what I thought I would have finished in about a year was whittled down to a week. I’m already itching to find a new one to start this week (see here I go again) But I like to just sit on the sofa and put it together instead of going into my dining room and using the machine.

Unfinished 2

rectangle quilt

I have had  this for almost a year, Its enormous! much too large for the Rockette she’s going to have to grow into it. Can you feel my pain when I think about having to quilt this thing with my normal sewing machine that’s bigger than the free space of my living room floor? I’m hoping to do this free motion with flowers, I say this all the time and then chicken out so I’ll see how I go. Plus when am I going to find the time????

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feathers

I spent the nights in the forest sewing bits of hexis together and cutting up hundreds of pieces for the Alison Glass Feathers quilt. Its machine pieced (bit exciting) but it took planning and concentration and I still messed it up by cutting prints the wrong way or not enough. My brain is bad at maths and this quilt is a bit more important than the others , so extra concentration needed! More as that progresses..too be honest I’m afraid to start it. But look at the organisation of lunch bags for each of the blocks!!! Be impressed I am, Impressed and surprised.

 

Unfinished 4 (kind of)

blocks

I’ve been working on test blocks and they have now ended up on the backing of the giant quilt. all sorts of proud of these as I had to reduce the size of these only using my math brain..and it worked out!

Also went over to Plush Addict over the weekend too one of their few open days. It was a long drive but great to touch and feel the fabric, it’s really difficult sometimes buying online especially if the print is larger or smaller than expected, and when your on a tight budget you dont want to mess up your purchases.

I was very good and restrained. Its July so it’s only logical to buy Xmas fabric (im buying that a bit at a time pacing myself it’s too expensive otherwise). What is happening to me? I’m turning into an organised human being? Then we found the Rockette some fabric we thought she would like (Halloween who would have thought??) so that’s another quilt to start…..

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Enough of that progress will be updated.

 

Music!

I’m still catching up on all the Glastonbury footage that’s sitting on my planner, I’ve watched loads but there is still stacks on there.

Not to sound like everyone else, but how great was Dolly Parton? I don’t care if she mimed the Sax she was amazing, hoping to be that cool when im that age.

Oh Metallica, I was looking forward to you. I had watched them in 1999 on the S&M tour and they were enjoyable, I’m not a fan really but hanging out with the metal heads at school and then going to metal clubs in my late teens I’m familiar with most of the “hits” so to speak but Im not going to be one of these stupid hipsters coming out saying, yeah big fan..

I digress, It was a mixed performance, I have no idea what they were doing just playing weird tracks and in between James Hetfield going on about random stuff. But as usual Kirk Hamett was king of cool. When they did play “hits” they sounded great I was air drumming to my heart’s content.

The house of the crafty mastermind was not appreciative of it (the music not my drumming), but Rockette decided that she did like the guitars and drums in the end. WTF was going on with the beach balls? Did you see the size of them??

 

Jack white was great surprisingly (I saw him at Reading in 200 and something) I was distracted by the Edward Scissorhands/Michael Jackson look his got going on.

Signs of getting old 1, I was so glad that I was sitting on the sofa, tea in hand blanket on lap and not there in the cold wet mud. standing next too some tiolets someone has set on fire. I don’t think I have much of a desire  go to something on such a massive scale (watch me slide into middle age comfortably before I’m due).

On the playlist this week? I loved the Arcade Fire performance especially Win Butlers shoes and his masked crusader look

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So two tracks from different albums. I’ve put Jake Bugg I love him and his making skiffle music popular. Bit of Metronomy again, and some Dinosaur Jr. but not old school stuff.

The great thing about them is that as they keep on producing new albums, unlike the majority of most bands their quality has not slipped all of the new stuff if just as good. Still wish I had the t-shirt that I wore everyday when I was 16.

It’s all been about Gruff Rhys/Super Furry Animals this week I have had them on repeat. It was hard to choose between the SFA songs but one from their classic album “Fuzzy Logic” and the other from the not so classic “Phantom Power” (hey not everything can be classic). Cant wait to see him in September.

XTC for good old measure, and my sister recommended Agnes Obel, what an utterly beautiful album. If you like the track listen to the whole thing its brilliant.

That it all for this time round! Dismissed!

If you did like this post please share it and let the world know.

I’m over  the world cup (since Australia was knocked out) but Brazil v Germany is on at the moment and I feel so sorry for Brazil, you can see they have given up trying.

The death of the houses of rock n roll.

I am an anorak, I am a music nerd. I’m not complete devotee but when ever I go somewhere new I’m in the local record shop, i get a thrill when i see a sad teenager holding a sign for a record fair and i love a good rummage through a bargain bin. I’ve always been this way for as long as I can remember. From my dad taking me to my first record fair when I was 6 or 7 and buying me a copy of John Entwistle Whistling Rhymes thinking it was a kids album.
Shall I add a picture to show how inappropriate this was to buy a kid?

So being a music nerd it was the only thing I was interested in. In grade 6 I got into loads of trouble because the book smart nerds on my table didn’t like it that I wrote RunDMC and the Beastie Boys on my pencil case. Also when my mum sent me out to get some Maltese biscuits for my dad I came back with a Rebel MC 7″ instead…like she wasn’t going to notice! (She did as soon as I didn’t have the bag and I didn’t give back the cash). I dreamt of the albums i’d get, make long lists at Christmas and watch Video Hit’s from start to finish every Saturday morning.

All of this obsession isolated me from a large majority of fellow females everywhere..why is that???. Look if your going to be 14 and you want a hippy birthday party, don’t complain when I only bring hippy kind of music…

So at school I hung out with metal heads and the like. Being in the burbs in Australia there are not going to be stacks of people of either gender, who want to read your 4 month old copy of melody maker or NME. (That’s how long it took to get there).

Anyway I’m digressing as I do so well. This week I had gone to see chief mind messer Derren Brown, and in it he said the kids at school called him Dick Brain because he could memorize lots of stuff. When I was walking back home I said am I a music Dick Brain? You could be a dick brain about anything really couldn’t you?

The next morning a friend of mine had sent me a link to a collection of photos from the states of closing down and derelict record stores. This excited my dick brain but also made me sad about the demise of the once glorious and holy record store (its not all rose-tinted there was a lot of skanky ones about too)

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/40-sad-portraits-of-closed-record-stores

I’ve worked at independent record stores, that was a good business but turned bad when the new owner’s only experience was how to work a petrol pump. It was still a nice job and I could go to work in a petticoat and jumper (it was the height of riot grrrl fashion!!!)

I moved to a chain where they originally only hired girls with big chest’s (I kid you not!) and another chain with a friendly dog (but hipster clicky staff) and one who was run for a time by a beardy man (with brilliant nerdy staff).

The thing about some of these places were was that they were about money than music, and more about being cool than living everyday with passion.

But the independent music store was my first taste and it made me feel like I was in a whole culture that understood me.  I was paid in CD’s most of the time unless we had a few sales but we would spend the day listening to UK imports and eating food behind the counter. I was a foundling and I was getting an education.

At this time I was heavy into Riot Grrl but things had been changing and I was listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin (2 mainly) and Big brother and the holding company and Janis Joplin, But this reignited my love for UK indie. I had been a shoegazer before grunge hit and it was here I was welcomed back into it’s arms, Pulp, Ash, Blur, Radiohead this was just before brit pop was massive in Australia but had already passed it’s used by date in the UK .

But as all good things this had to end and I went headlong into a world or corporate music retail, which a lot of people who used to work there really didn’t know a thing about music except that they liked Bon Jovi. But I was lucky because of my dick brain I had the free reign of stuff and my music knowledge grew. But it was still difficult as all my colleagues were 2pac and TLC fans so I was back on the outskirts with the odd person with similar tastes walk through the door. Here I was still a dick brain but I got alot of free tickets to shows because no one else wanted them.

Cut through this isn’t a CV. I finally worked in a store with more dick brains. Loads of nerds with amazing encyclopaedic knowledge about everything. The pay was crap , but that wasn’t the point. You could argue all day about the pop qualities in Roxette, drive people nuts if you wanted to play the new Joan as policewoman album on repeat, sit at lunchtime with people helping me with answers to the mojo crossword on or play Russian roulette with the cd’s. Our customers knew we were much nerdier than the listening dog store round the corner and come to us because we wouldn’t sneer when they asked for the X factor album or sigh when they were after was a rare classical recording. Even once a man bought the last Kula Shaker lp and I said I love them. He looked at me and said that’s not fair to joke. Joking I was not, I love Peasants, Pigs and astronauts. He was wrapt!

I’m sounding like a dinosaur I know. But for me it was never about being cool it was about where my obsession was and working with it everyday. I love Spotify and I like that if I want one song I don’t need to buy the whole album. It’s not all bad now.

I think what I’m getting at is It’s not being a woman or a dick brain really is it? it’s that with all stuff online there are not too many situations where older people can complain that they can’t find this rare pressing, or when they saw Bowie at Wembley or teenagers can go into to try to pinch stuff. There’s not many places where you can hold the prize in your hand.

Even when the record fair comes around there are less and less stall holders sometimes I’m amazed they still hold it. Once when I was into my 30s a stall holder once said to me if you need any help with what all the records and who’s who just ask me. I said I doubt I need help I’ve been doing these things since I was 6! Which was/ still is part of the problem isn’t it? Trying to buy albums with a pair of tits , I obviously have no idea what I’m looking for.. Scuse me sir do you have any Robbie Williams?

Apologies if this is indulgent….

Drinking beer in a church.

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I have drunk beer in a church and it felt a bit weird. But I’m sure the priest is ok with it then so I am.

I was in St Mary the Virgin’s church in Ashford to see the amazing Cate Le Bon. Not only did she not disappoint but she completely surpassed my expectations. I wont write a load but you know what it’s like, you go and see a band you have wanted to see for ages, you get there and they sound terrible, just proving how much studio help they have had?

This was opposite all her songs sounded warm and fuzzy. I have been hooked on Mug museum since it was recommended to in back in March, so I’m a johnny come lately its true, but I’ve been catching up!

Live her voice was just as impressive hitting and holding high notes is always a good thing. All of the songs were performed with perfection.”Are you with me now”, “No God”, “Cyrk”,” I can’t help you” all sounded just amazing.That thrill that goes through you when your favorite song is played…4 in a row! (I say in a row, may not have techincally been in a row)

When she launched into “Wild” I couldn’t imagine what the elderly people in the front rows have thought. It was loud and raw and loud did I mention that?
2 encores of 1 song each.

The first song was a cover of I have no idea what but am willing to find out as it was brilliant. Nope it’s not on the set list website, someone, anyone know what it was?

The second was just Cate without her band singing “Frank Mills” from the Hair soundtrack. NOW let me just say I performed Hair in high school (under the name Aquarius as we were not allowed to use the name) and over time I have come to hate that soundtrack with a deep deep passion(I use to love it I went to see the stage production about 4 times as a teen) so when she began to sing something changed, it was haunting and lonely and wonderful all at the same time. It made me stop breathing for a second.

That was the end of it all. Short and sweet around an hours worth.

The venue was just beautiful. I cant wait to see Gruff Rhys in September! Some one needs to book Nick Cave into that place…could you imagine…..

Also the support act were Tender Prey, she was pretty darn good. Hoping to hear more stuff of her’s in the future.

Ms Le Bon at Glasto this weekend so hopefully the BBC will be showing it on TV check it out. Do I sound a bit girl crush gushing? Probably. Maybe I need to get out more.

Sorry about bit rubbish photo, I was trying to use it without a flash.

The consequences of being a bad cutter..and new sounds.

I am not great with a rotary blade or a pair of scissors and normally when I start a new project I just dive straight in, I am bad a measuring twice especially when I’m using an easy square with a quarter-inch added. I cut crooked even when using a massive quilting ruler.

So I have spent the last few months making a baby quilt for little Baby Mouse child of Book Mouse.  I had used the pattern from the book Liberty Love. The quilts in there are pretty straight forward  http://www.bookdepository.com/Liberty-Love-Alexia-Marcelie-Abegg/9781607056263.  As I had already done a postage stamp block before with ease I was confident.

So I had used pink fabrics from my stash and bought a small Aneela Hoey hello petal fabric charm  pack from the Sewing shop in Canterbury to give me a better range across the whole piece. I’ll be honest when I did cut the squares and started to sew them together I did think “Crap this is a bit close to the edge..” But I’m not going to waste this fabric as you see before this problem even occurred I had read the pattern wrong (I do this a lot too) and over cut by something like 60 odd squares! So bad juju already.

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But it will be alright in the end wont it? So I had sewn all the blocks together and they all looked ok. I had bought a couple of meters of a wee wander by Sarah Jane (Michael Miller) http://sarahjanestudios.com/blog/2013/11/introducing-wee-wander/

I put it all together and Voila it looked amazing I was very pleased with the whole thing. The seam allowance issues were a distance memory and I was going to finish in good time.

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Until the freaking machine decided to break when I knocked the needle knob from position one to position two making it smash straight into the walking foot and the whole thing sounded just horrible. So I waited.

I checked the machine again because you know sods law I’d take it and it would magically work..nope still broken. I took it back to the ladies at the sewing shop for a check and left it for a week. Phone call a week later lo and behold there is nothing wrong with it! I was so embarrassed.

I quilted the whole thing, it wasn’t a complicated design by any means. I do straight lines ,I am trying to do free motion but always chicken out and go back to old school. All done, all beautiful so I popped it in the washing machine 2 days before I was seeing Baby mouse it was all good.

As the whole point of this blog is to show that not everyone makes beautiful perfect things I’m going to share in the disaster and how I fixed it.

Hung it out on the line, freaking disaster!!! All of the seams in the blocks had come undone. Complete panic lots of colourful language, I didn’t have time to unpick the whole quilt as I was working the next day and wouldn’t have the time, I had to be creative.

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So slowly with a kids knitting needle I had to turn all of the frayed stuff in and top stitch all the rows back into place. This was going ok, it just meant having to top stitch every single row of every block so it would look like that was the design I was going for.

I got to the last block and it was a complete mess, I though this is close to the edge I’ll just undo my binding, unpick the bit of quilting and repair by turning it inside out. This was my undoing and what sent me over the cliff. Once I unpicked it I couldn’t turn them inside out to stick it through the machine. Unless I unpicked a load more of it.

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So I had to top stitch it all again. At this point it was the morning and I was all tizz. It was almost all done but re-doing the binding was giving me complete grief (I hate binding, I always buy it pre made and I hate putting it on, I really need to take a class on it) . Thankfully the brilliant Mrs MLP came to my rescue fixed my binding and any other bits all in time to see the lovely little baby mouse!

Sorry about the lack of pic’s we were running late and almost forgot to take any! All the close up ones turned out blurred.

 

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A bit quilted out after that! So I had a break for a bit. I have a massive backing for another quilt that needs piecing which I’m dreading to put together, I think because I’ve been on that project for almost a year now and I’m a bit bored with it. Anyway details for another day on that.

Also after being on twitter for about a week I was awfully excited as I got a retweet from Katy Jones.

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On the music side this week…

I have finally got around to listening fully to the new Matt Berry album “Music for Insomniacs”. I do love it. Well all of it except around 17.45 on the first track where there seems to be some horrific screaming, If i were falling asleep I would wake with a shot thinking it was coming from outside. No singing a few weird noises There was also a bit male yelling.

I did try part two while I couldn’t sleep. With headphones on at 2am, there are bits on it that could make you feel like your underwater, even drowning for a part, other parts in a submarine. Theres a crying baby and some people talking, the music in between is beautiful . I didn’t fall asleep but I think this was more due to me listening to the piece. That Matt Berry is a talented man!

Gum’s new album is out, Yay! it did not disappoint more psych rock meets shoegazer meets fuzz rock. I suppose like Tame Impala a lot, which makes sense.

Also on the same label is the new album from Shiny Joe Ryan called the Shiny Joe and the cosmic microwave background. Cant be bad with a title like that now can it? It has similarities to the sleepy Jackson (and I love the Sleepy Jackson much much better than Empire of the Sun). More acoustic than the Gum album  and I love the record cover.

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I would expand more but this blog is getting long..

And some Kelis, Her new album Food is so far removed from Milkshake, its more rocky, popsy, soulsy.

I also bought some actual CD’s this week while in sunny Leicester over the weekend . The first Neon Neon album Stainless Steel which I have been meaning to buy for years. Its one of the side projects of the wonderful Gruff Rhys. I’ve added some old and some new!

Speaking of Welsh acts looking forward to seeing the amazing Cate Le Bon play in Ashford this Thursday night!

I also replaced some cassettes, remember them? They are popular again, I don’t know why they were a pain, revolutionary for the time there is no denying , they made music portable and recordable. But now you can buy the systems in Curry’s again, yes I suppose it looks cool but ist it quite novel?

Chewed tapes, re winding with a pencil, fast forwarding and re-winding to find the start of the track. Pain. I should lighten up it’s all a bit of fun isn’t it. It’s not as if I’m anti old tech either as I still buy vinyl (I love the crackle and warmth ), That started because vinyl was cheaper than CD’s in the early 90’s and with my weekend shop jobs/pocket-money it was all I could afford) I sound old…

Digressing or what????

R.E.M Automatic for the People and Out of Time were the replaced albums in question. I like Out of Time but I very much dislike Shiny Happy People, annoyingly positive song with a ridiculous video clip.

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And while in the forest this week I have been reading Yeah yeah yeah, an incredibly through and well-informed history of pop. I’m up to Rock n Roll so not too far into it but it’s full of interesting bits such as Shake Rattle and Rolls lyrics were changed to make them more tame and less sexual for a white American music. They did keep one line which was “I’m like a one-eyed cat peepin’ in a seafood store”.

I’ll leave you with that.

 

 

The cushions finally get to grace the sofa together.

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Well it was a mad dash to finish it but finally the first cushion would not look lonely by itself on the sofa (not that much else matches in the house).

 

They are both made using epp so all sewn by hand but quilted on my sewing machine. as I said I can not hand sitch neatly.. It took forever to do each one. I always go in to it really optimistic get half way through and think why have I started this? But im always happy with the results. using this technique means I can’t do any crooked lines on the machine and realise only when I’m quilting that there are gaping holes in the piece (More on that in the next entry).

As you can probably notice one looks more worn than the other, there is probably at least 6 months between them and someone like to sit on it to watch tv. Also I washed it in a 30 degree wash and was saddened to see that the beautiful deer Kokka fabric in the center had faded…lessons learnt.

They are easy to make. The pattern came from the first issue of Love quilting and patchwork and was designed by Katy Jones, I’ve no idea if it’s available elsewhere. But you could look at her website I’m a ginger monkey which is one of the websites I often frequent.

http://imagingermonkey.blogspot.co.uk/

No music for this one. The next 1001 album was David Bowie’s Heroes. If you havent heard this, why the hell not? Go listen to it now! It’s not as good as Ziggy Stardust but it’s pretty darn fine and captures the feel of east/west Germany.

The painful earworm I’m having to deal with is I Alone by Live. I’m not putting it on my Spotify list, if you’re not aware of the song your probably very lucky. I’ve not heard it since 1994 and I didn’t like it then, But a few days ago there I was sitting on my living room floor minding my own business when it decided to invade my head…and it hasn’t left!!!! No matter how many times I listen to it. Whats even worse in this sad tale is that when I let the album play there were at least 4 other songs I knew all the words too…I promise I never owned it. The record store that I was working for at the time did heavily promote it so It must have slipped into my subconscious and stayed there just like Foster and Allen’s greatest hits and some terrible Van Morrison album he released in 2001.

If anyone else has had an embarrassing email this week or wish to defend Live (or in fact you are Live) leave a comment and we can discuss. (apologies if you are Live)

M