It’s getting loud in the house of stitch

After  a few self-indulgent posts about my obsession with Ipod’s I really should get back to quilting stuff.

In crafty world I’m slow-moving as usual. I finally started a new paper piecing quilt (if it turns into that…probably) so only a slight variation on the hexagon, hexagons surround by half hexagons. I know revolutionary!!!


The there was a choice of two put to a vote on fb the plain version won. I’ve realised just how many people like calm and organised in a chaos world. (or it did just look better?) but the votes were something like 16 to 2 so you can’t argue with that.

The  plan will be to do enough in varying rows. fingers crossed it will look good, and not so much like coasters as has already been pointed out.

There are only 63 more days till Halloween. Krakatoa I’ve gotta get that quilt finished!

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I put all of my stuff away and made my home look neat for the Frozen party and have not really had the inclination to bring it back out again even though I know I have too. I think once the holidays are over and school starts I’ll be quilting like a she demon possessed! The blocks are all finished I just need to join them all together.

So if there are only 63 days to Halloween…phew there are still 118 till christmas, take off 22 days to get the full advantage of a month of decorations (94 days) and, yeah  I still have stacks of time to make my Christmas throw  for this year.

All this means the end of Summer, Autumn has already presented itself well and truly here  so that it all sad. I’m a sun person, like a lizard.


The only other thing on the craft side from this week is the stash of fabric I really didn’t need to buy but at half price it would have been rude to say no. I’d like to make a skirt out of the little french men but the rest of it I don’t have any plans for , and I’ve been so good lately avoiding all temptation of reduced fabrics and sticking to the projects. There is a nice medallion quilt in the love liberty book that I’ve wanted to make so I’m sure most of it will get used for that. IT WILL GET USED!

Whats on the iPod/ streaming?
On the music front this week I havent listened to a great deal. I have no idea where the time has all gone or what I have done but my ears have been restless of late and not content with much music.  I’m ashamed to say that the most I heard over the previous weekend was when I played Just Dance 4 for an hour (straight in, no warm up and no exercise for about 3 months no ta  great idea) so I did heard lots of chart stuff I hadn’t really heard or paid attention to. I’m happy to say I still wouldn’t listen to these tracks by choice outside of the game.


This week Royal Blood’s debut LP was released. It feels like it’s been around forever already what with all the hype. But the reason why I love them is purely from a bass players perspective. They are a drum and bass band only.  All of that sound is coming out of a single bass guitar! When I first started playing bass I used to play it like a guitar along side Sonic Youth and Pixies albums until I learnt how to play it properly. But I love what they are making and that the humble bass which is normally cast aside (or even in some cases excluded) and turning it into the main feature, It’s a beautiful thing and one that makes me very happy. The album itself is chock-a-block rock album, it’s all good. (No mucking around there)

I’ve also been listening to a collection Kasabian albums, but mainly43.12. I’ve not been a fan of old Kasabian, I don’t like the swaggering attitude the lead singer just reminds me of a rockier version of Robbie Williams (Shouldnt mess with him his from Leicester n all) How old did that last statement sound??!!!


Anyway I have been enjoying their new album it’s one of those big hit records like a punch in the face. So I started listening to the back catalogue (which all live on my iPod) and I was surprised at how many hit’s they did have. All those big ball’s out tracks in the end I was impressed by all of it. Maybe Kasabian and I got off on the wrong foot. I just started working at Virgin Megastore when their debut album was  released so I had to listen to a lot of it.

I have lots of bands that have suffered that fate, Coldplay, Elbow, Van Morrison, Pendulum, Pachelbel’s Cannon, the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack and the Venga Boys. I can’t listen to any of this music without feeling slightly nauseated.


The new discovery this week is Stephen Steinbrink, which I only discovered because I did judge his album by the cover art and gave it a whirl.stephensteinbrink

It’s a beautiful folky pop acoustic album.Yes sad but were you expecting any other?

That whole singer song writer thing gets bashed around a lot so I don’t really want to attach that reference to him. It’s just a beautiful album and an artist I’m going to have to listen more off (a whole 6 more albums of if I can track them down). I love a comparison so I thinking in a small way maybe Charles Jenkins from the Ice Cream hands, maybe a bit of Brendan Benson? I’ve read that this man has toured America with a quiz team and has also listed everything he has eaten on tour (if your interested in that sort of thing)
I’m going to do a separate blog on JMascis’ new album as I’ve got too much information here already.


The hoader needs to face her problems.

A few weeks ago I bemoaned that my ipod wasn’t big enough. But having it on shuffle this week I can see why.

I hold a lot of records that I doubt I will ever listen to. I’m a music hoader.

As I was baking I had the pod on shuffle and I reckon I skipped more than I listened to for two reasons, too depressing or that boring band. The first problem is the sheer amount of depressing stuff that is clogging it up. I’m trying to surround myself with positive happy things at the moment but my iPod isn’t helping this, I will pop it on shuffle now for some examples.

Sigur Ros, Tori Amos, Bernard Butler, Joy Division, Beth Orton.

These are not bad songs at all, just sad ones and my iPod thinks it’s the Leonard Cohen of electronic devices, it just loves misery. I need two pods for different moods. (a Leonard Cohen and a Weird Al Yankovic)

Leonard also needs a clean out. There are albums that I put on there for one good song and thought that it would grown on me as I mature as a person. This has not been the case I have not become the sophisticated listener and now after at least 5 year minimum I have all sorts of stuff such as (Wait ,Before I delve in none of these albums or artists are bad I just didn’t make the connection, It’s gonna happen.)

Joy Zipper, the Engineers, Death Cab for Cutie (except Plans), Film School, Gersey,Grand National, High llamas, Iron and Wine, Kent, Leaves,Long-view, M.Craft, Mono , Julian Cope (except 20 mothers), The Raveonettes, The Shins (I’m going to try them again before I march them off), Smog, Tori Amos albums , one or two Rolling Stones albums (sacrilegious!),the Veils, the Vines, Sophia, Shack.


You get the idea. I should like these bands, I should love the Raveonettes but I just don’t.

But my quandary is do I trash them even though I may want to hear them in years to come? They were music darlings at some stage were they not? What have I missed? In the case of Julian Cope I did see him live and he was amazing, but in my kitchen not so.

I’ve also got other artists on there listed under “Stuff Im not sure when I’ll be in the mood for” These include Boss Hog (so cool maybe too cool? I love JSBX too much to remove this ), CSS, Cooper Temple Clause, Black Crowes (3 snakes) DIO, Distillers, the Donnas, Doris Day, Jamiroquai (never in the mood to be a space cowboy ,but if you do get a spare 2 minutes go onto his website and read his bio, it’s pretty hilarious) and  Michael Nesmith who indeed has great country albums but I’m never in the mood to listen to them even though I know they are good.

Finally I have  stuff so embarrassing it’s not even a cool guilty pleasure it’s just awful or I grew out of it. I’m not sharing I don’t want to be mean. This also includes soundtracks that I’m not really going to listen too, we will leave that there I’m not proud of a lot of them and as I am trying to hang on to an inch of respect I’m going to let your imagination run wild. Ok one hint, I went through a stage when I really enjoyed Glee. (That’s it!)

What to do? I started to delete them very carefully , listened to a lot of them again and still deleted them, didn’t even move them to another hard drive I just got rid. I hate having loose songs on my iPod I like full albums so I’m still midst “do I like it enough to keep the lot?” . If I finally get sophisticated enough to enjoy them I’ll stream them.


Making a mixed tape for an almost 4 year old.

This was easier to make than the playlist

This was easier to make than the playlist

This is harder than it seems. It would be easy to fill it with nursey rhymes but as it was going to be aired at a party with more adult’s then children I thought I should be considerate.

It was easy at the start, The Frozen soundtrack in full. No that wont work, only half of the album is made up of vocal numbers the other half is score, that would create a weird party atmosphere. Next favorite songs, Jake Bugg- Messed up Kids, Werid Al -Now that’s what I call polka, Metronomy- Love Letters,David Bowie Starman/Jean Geanie/Oh you Pretty Things!, Feist -1234 (in replacement of the amazing Sesame Street version that you cant buy).  Man that’s all a bit hip I better put on some chart stuff so I don’t sound like I’m rasing a hipster.

Katy Perry, that “Call Me Maybe” woman, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk  and Pharell. I even played Agadoo because she learnt it at nursery (Mr Crafty Mastermind thought it was a mistake and thought the playlist had stopped working). Then some Disney and Muppets to finish off.

It took me ages and ages to get half a list and lots of “Do you like this song?” “Well what songs do you like?” CHILD DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD PLAYLIST??? Obvisiouly not.

In the end It played through once or twice then went offline, someone played the whole soundtrack in full and then when it came back up online a chart show started playing and no one complained….I shouldn’t have bothered.

If this was my 4-year-old mix tape it would have been easy, it would have been Abba, Olivia Newton John and the hits from Young Talent Time.

What would your 4-year-old mix tape be?


The Friday Night Project.

I’m singing “it’s Friday night and I ain’t got no social life, I think I’m gonna go and make a bag”


I had been looking around the net for something pretty easy bag tutorial and at the same time didn’t require more than a meter of fabric. Why? This is because I’m that nice mixture of tight and skint because of this I have an extra tight fabric budget. So I only buy fabric in up to half meters unless I’m in Ikea. (One day I’ll write a post about quilting on the cheap)

So I found this very nice looking retro messenger bag at the Stitching Scientist.

For a bag novice like me it’s like a mine field the only other bag I had ever made was from the book Meet me at Mikes and it had turned out more like , thus forever being know as Skirt Bag. So this tutorial was pretty straight forward.

In some parts I cheated and in other parts I couldn’t. Such as I spent ages looking for an alternative to fleece interfacing because it is really expensive (£8.65 a meter, and this didn’t fit into my tight remit) But there was no alternative after reading way too many blogs about the stuff I just bit the bullet and bought a meter from my lovely local sewing shop. It gives it a soft quilty feel, I was tempted to use some wadding but I needed to iron it in. Just dont iron on the wrong side (the stick side) it was hard to get the glue off my iron and it’s still not the way it was.

I needed to cheat elsewhere. The tutorial did ask for a meter of the backing fabric, luckily I already had half a meter of the blue herringbone and I had seen that Plush Addict had it in a sale so I picked up another half a meter. I wouldn’t have needed it if I had not messed up one of the side panels and cut it in the wrong direction, so that was wasted on this project at least.

I guess the meter is to use for the lining, instead of using the expensive stuff I used the awesome Ikea £3 a meter stuff and it worked just as well.


The main difference was that in the strap I used the fleece interface instead of normal interfacing and it was a nice touch, it gives that bit of extra comfort when your using it for grocery shopping it wont dig in. But I am carefull so far not to overload it…c’mon I’m not that confident in my sewing skills. Also when your finishing off with the top stitch, make sure the hole is in the back part, I’m dumb I put mine in the front. I also finished it with top stitching about a quarter-inch around the top, It just felt like it needed it.


It’s easy to make I just need to work out how to put a zip in it the next time I make one.  That awesome front fabric is Alexander Henry-Lost at Sea. (I haven’t seen it in the UK as yet I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, it’s very beautiful I love it)

Yo DJ spin that wheel…..

I’ve not listened to too much new stuff this week, much of the same stuff as last week. I’ve put on to the music list Perfumed genius who reminds me of Mick Ronson, a modern-day glam song. I’ve also had Brian Eno playing , his early albums anyway I do like how he can move between pop and atmospheric instrumentals on the same album. I’ve included two amazing pop tracks.

Work had been busy this week by Tuesday I was trying all sorts of music to get me through to 5.

Ryan Adams worked for a bit, I thought about maybe War on Drugs or Jack White but it was so busy and my brain decided that it was sick of thinking it needed something big, bigger than Billy Ocean big (were talking big)., but that just wasn’t cutting it.

I’m going to destroy my reputation but I have mentioned them before so no big surprise. On went Roxette best of, that did the trick. Before I knew it, it was 5 I went home with a spring in my step and then put some more of them on while I cut fabric for the Halloween quilt. So there is it my escape from boring tasks music is Roxette, Im not embarrassed. I’m going to share that my mum took me to see them back in 1990 or something like that, it was my first proper buy a ticket not free in the park arena show. They were ok to what I can remeber, not much of a set.


After a dose of that it did make me want to listen to a bit of Heart and a bit of Nelson strangely enough.



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.
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.