Saturday 29 June 2013

The machines are silent

It's been over a week now that the sewing machine has been silently packed away. The house has rocked instead to the sounds of a family of four all coughing, retching, snivelling and nose blowing in concert.

I took the big hit, going down with flu, to resurface after about 3 days and crawl into town for a conference I was booked to attend. The subject matter: Cardiorespiratory medicine. I don't know if they appreciated me providing the soundtrack or not. If I wasn't asleep under my coat curled up in the foyer I was barking like a consumptive seal. Play that over on a four day repeat, and there was the week gone.

Meanwhile, I've been wandering around my neighbourhood running errands in a flu fug, but still managed to notice some really cool quirks of where I live.

Firstly a shop called  Vo-Le which, from the street, I'd never been sure whether it was a sewing machine supplies shop with some old signs for a previous Table Tennis shop or vice versa.

It turns out to be both! So whether I need cones of coloured cotton for the overlocker in just the right shade of purple, or a bat that will give me a killer, backhand ping pong serve I now know exactly where to go!

Another shop that I had the rare opportunity of going into (it's only open on two days of the week and I normally work on both of those days) is a second hand Japanese book shop. Less obvious a shop for this area than the home machinist ping pong playing Vietnamese shop, but here's a little Japanese shop with the promise of some sewing books perhaps... (can you read a word of Japanese? me neither)

Anyway I found this:

Which looks to me like a Japanese cross stitch magazine. I don't really do much hand sewing but I quite like the idea, and flipping through the pages of this book I'm starting to love the idea.

Luckily there are nice illustrations for each handmade lovely-thing and there's even a page with the basic stitches demonstrated and named, both in English and Japanese. The Japanese naming helps as then in the pattern instructions the same characters are shown to indicate where to use each stitch. I think it's do-able...

I had also recently had the joy of a little privileged reader voucher to spend at my favourite bookstore. Long gone are the days of browsing bookshops at my leisure. Selecting some popular science, a few novels, a biography perhaps and then one or two of the classics. My last few forays into the bookshop have either been for kids books (we all enjoy that visit) or in some insane attempt to shop for myself in the nanoseconds of good behaviour afforded by my children. The store assistants have been somewhat taken aback by my immediate demanding : Sell me a book, I read anything but it must be well written. Yet at this store they never fail. The most recent off the sewing topic book love that I've had on their recommendation: Burial Rites,

Anyway, I found this book, which was of course twice the value of my voucher but heck it had all those handsewing tips in ENGLISH

As well as lots of cute stencils and drawings in the back. Although no-one does cute like the Japanese and some of the little pictures in my magazine are to die for.

So I'm feeling all rugged up, stuffed up, drugged up and completely unable to move. Perfect for handsewing something. Just as I'm about to reach for the nearest cushion and start cross stitching to my hearts content I stop to take a little look through my crafting anti-dote book:

Amy Sedaris' Simple Times: Crafting For Poor People

Oh. My. This. Is. Too. Funny
and then it's a little bit practical and you start getting suckered in, thinking the kids and I could do this together,
then it's just hilarious all over again.
And if you can get to the "adult entertainment" chapter and still think there's a place for craft in all aspects of your life then you're a more dedicated crafter than I am. (and no, I'm not going to show pictures from that chapter: you'll have to buy the book :) - seriously, buy it for your crafting friend. Hilarious gift)

 Plenty more to giggle at on her website here, or via google images

Of course if I laugh I just end up coughing again..... Hopefully back soon and without having found a crafty use for all the used tissues littering the house at present.


  1. We're cough central at our place, too. Maybe I need some new craft books to make me feel better!

    1. Absolutely! Thanks for stopping by the blog. Hope you all get better soon...


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