Friday, August 31, 2012

Eric Whitacre Prom

I didn't end up going to the Eric Whitacre Prom this week, but I wish I had. 

I've listened to it on iPlayer - if you get a chance, it's excellent. The link is here, but I'm not sure how long for!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Temeraire

I'm normally quite wary of picking up books off shelves in bookstores (I'm reliably disappointed), but when I noticed Temeraire poking out between Neil Gaiman, Trudi Canavan and Philip Pullman at Blackwell's in Cambridge, I thought I'd take a chance.

Essentially, Temeraire is an alternate fantasy history of the Napoleonic Wars, but with dragons. I know, dragons.

Temeraire's egg winds up being captured from a French naval ship by a British ship, where he proceeds to hatch and imprint himself upon a British naval officer.

The dialogue between the two of them is extremely entertaining, and their relationship reminded me quite a bit of the Saphira/Eragon relationship in the Eragon books. I guess there's a fairly standard dynamic between humans and dragons.

I really enjoyed it (and have passed it along to a number of friends who've loved it, too). I'm working my way through the series (2 books finished, 7 to go!), and by the time I'm done, Peter Jackson should be finished with the movie.

P.S. Can I have a dragon? Please?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Might have been fabric shopping

I went over to Quilter's Haven on Saturday after a full day of being the Official Photographer at EAST for the visiting Paralympic torch. They were having a sale (which turned out to be a very sorry collection of unloved fabric), but they also had quite a bit of Summersville and A Walk In The Woods.

I'm going to use the bird & mushroom print to back the chairs and birds baby quilt that I'm working on, to be finished as soon as the baby is born and named! Since I can't do the quilt sandwich until I've finished the applique, and I can't applique the name until the baby arrives. (I have been assured by the Mommy that the baby's name will NOT be Bartholomew or similar and that it WILL fit on the quilt!)

The rest of the fabric is for a quilt inspired by this one by QuiltyCat. It's a wedding quilt for a friend who lives in New York and is a librarian. So you can imagine how pleased I was when I noticed this in the Summersville (which I probably would have bought anyway). SHUT UP. I get to put a library on a quilt for a librarian!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Paralympic flame at EAST

We had the Paralympic flame at EAST on Saturday - no rain (despite the forecast) and a great turnout!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gone sailin'

Every spare minute of every weekend has been spent in the company of our favorite squib (sorry, EAST squibs, we love Kanga more).

We took her sailing with John's brother, who brought his camera (brave chap). And, yes, I know that my overalls are extremely flattering, thank you for mentioning it!

Happy crew (and it's not raining)!

On the way back in (after taking the main sail down):

The view up the river towards Ipswich:

I LOVE that she's on the water (finally) and is such an excellent boat to sail. Wilful? Yes. Stubborn? Definitely. Runs in the family!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I was actually there

I thoroughly enjoyed watching hours and hours (and HOURS) of Olympic events on the BBC and their website, and on the "red button." I was a little bit sad not to be at the diving, but it was definitely excellent on TV.

I was invited to the Rhythmic Gymnastics individual final (whaaaaat?), and so of course I said yes! Shiny ticket (and included day travelcard):

I even bought a special train ticket:

Hello, Wembley.

It was held in Wembley Arena (next to Wembley Stadium, where Brazil and Mexico were battling for Olympic gold). It had been reconfigured after the badminton from last week.

The volunteers were super-helpful and nice, everyone in London seemed genuinely happy to be there, and even the weather cooperated. Seriously.

Here we are, in just before going in:

We had excellent seats:

And watched the medal ceremony:

Russia won gold and silver, Belarus the bronze.

P.S. As entertaining as it was, I'm still not sure Rhythmic Gymnastics actually counts as a sport.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympic Hiatus

Blogging has fallen by the wayside. Team GB are kicking some Olympic butt and the BBC's coverage is absolutely outstanding.

See you after the closing ceremony!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tutorial: applique baby clothes

I'm making a baby quilt for my friend's imminent new arrival, and I had a few scraps of fabric left after making the quilt top. A few of them will go into making the back, but I wanted to make a few things to give to her at the baby shower, since I won't be delivering the quilt until after the baby's born.

I went to Mothercare and bought a mixed "starter pack" of plain white baby clothes, size 0-3 months. I can't find the link to the exact pack online, but the one I bought had a little shirt, a onesie, two sleep suits, a hat, two pairs of baby mittens, and a bib. FYI, this set should come with a health warning. Caution: may cause irrational "OHMYGOD that's so TINY! And so CUTE!" moments, especially after prewashing and when hanging on the line.

Anyway, be careful.

After my heart rate returned to normal, I fussy-cut some of the Tufted Tweets (I think this one is called Itty Bitty Chairs, colour Sorbet.) I pinned the chairs to the middle of the shirt, then fired up the sewing machine. 

Because the shirt was so small (see issues, above), I removed the cover on my sewing machine's base (I think you're supposed to do this for sleeves). I set the stitch length to 1 (at the long end of my buttonhole setting) and picked the medium-width zigzag.

Off we go! In the corners, I went all the way until the needle was at the edge of the corner on the outside (the bottom right in the picture above), before I turned the shirt with the needle down and kept on going.

Ta-da! All finished. I overlapped the beginning and the end, then brought all the threads to the inside of the shirt where I knotted them and then snipped the ends. I snipped the threads hanging over on the front of the shirt, and it was ready to go. The whole thing took about 15 minutes. I'm definitely going to keep a stash of onesies for quick baby gifts. LOVE them.

I had such fun making it, I made a second one. And then put the first one on Flickr, where Laurie Wisbrun (who designed Tufted Tweets) commented on it. Squee!

And then wrapped them up with a red ribbon and put them in the mail!