Saturday, 25 January 2014

And Now For The News

Pooch and I both like to listen to news on the radio in the mornings. When we get up on weekdays it is "The World Tonight" on BBC R4 which is clearly an international program so quite diverse. However, if we listen in the evenings we'll get one of the regular UK news programs. What is very noticeable is how a theme gets a lot of coverage while other things that don't fit the theme get left out. Plus once the news machine gets a grip on a particular issue they then go on and on and on about it.
This isn't a new thing and it's also not something I've only become aware of since moving to Japan. But being out here and wanting a general overview means you have to really spend time digging around the lower levels of the bbc news site.

The topic of 'news from home' came up at the Stitch n Bitch group on Tuesday when I happened to be at a table with an australian, a new zealander, an american and a german. The american was talking about how there was a politician in her state misbehaving and how she just didn't want to know and couldn't see why so much airtime was given to it. We compared what the big themes were for our countries and my contribution was "Weather - there have been loads of floods, immigration...oh, and of course the pedophiles". Lengthy pause. "Pedophiles?" someone says. "Oh yeah I heard that the Pope had been dealing with the bad priests." "Oh no" I said, "I mean the famous ones."
It's Famous Because It's Good
So the good thing about this conversation is that it reveals that the UK is not yet famous for having lots of pedophiles. Yay!

The revelations about the mass abuse carried out by an admittedly limited number of celebrities from the seventies and eighties is something I find particularly disturbing since it is the celebrities of my own youth who are involved. Jimmy Saville was always a real oddball and I never felt comfortable with the juxtpositions of his lifestyle. Not that I ever suspected he had abused hundreds if not thousands of children - but that didn't stop me wanting to be on Jim-ll-fix-it. And as for Rolf Harris...a big part of me is still thinking that it can't be true. But then that suggests the multiple women accusing him must all be either fantasists or psychotically mercantile.
Rolf Harris on SUNRISE
But I loved Rolf Harris as a child and I loved him as an adult. When the accusations came out I wanted to hug him and tell him I still believed in him and Pooch and I had several heated conversations about whether it could be true. However, I am a strong believer in the justice of the UK legal system so the case will wind its way towards a conclusion and in the meantime I will maintain a strong hope that he is innocent.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Sewing Fail, Sewing Fun

Fail first. I spent fricking ages putting this zip in.
Polka Dot Zip
I mean...I basted! I haven't basted since the after school sewing teacher made me do it before using the machine. How does it look?
Wretched zip
LUMPY! It looks really lumpy like a pre-schooler did her first zip. Going to have to unpick and rethink. So annoying.

Sewing fun - my first ever spool block.
Spool Block
I am not usually a fussy sewer so a 5" block that uses 11 different pieces was not something I exactly jumped into. But I think it has worked out rather nicely! It is for the She Who Sews Hop which starts next week.
She Who Sews Thoughts
I finally got some inspiration this morning.
She Who Sews Sketch
I will probably still play with the layout but I am pleased enough with it to make 8 more spools. I'm using this tutorial which stays away from triangles so it's a Modern Spool rather than a usual one. I've been going mental on the triangles recently.
Sewing Swap big item in progress
This is becoming a bag for the Sewing Room Swap. I was thinking about how much effort I go to to make these things for swaps and thinking about the effort I put into things for myself. I think sometimes I forget that I am much more valuable to myself than other people - think of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first on an airplane before you help others. I should take this much trouble with things for myself too.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Crafty Finishes

Pooch's birthday jumper is done.
The Killing Jumper on Pooch
He's gone all shy in his 37th year but still has the bum of a 35 year old, n'est pas? He's very happy with it. I used the free chart from here (Rav link). I also finally sewed the buttons I made onto Jasmine's dress.
Jasmine Dress Medley
When I make another one (I just need to be sure this one fits) I won't use such bulky buttons as having them on both sides means the dress will stand away from her little collar bones. I think next time a couple of those iron on patches will serve to disguise where I've sewn on the poppers instead. But apart from that I am very happy with this. My sister is very lovely and an excellent mother but useless at measuring her child so I just did it based on the average for her age, hence my concern about the fit!

I now need a new knitting project, which I think will be a jumper for my ickle brother (who is bigger than Pooch), while I have no need to think hard about my next sewing efforts.
Triangle EPP
The english paper pieced pouch swap has started and having never done triangles before I thought I'd give them a go. I do love a nice tessellation.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Scoring at the Salvation Army Bazaar

I believe I have previously mentioned the lack of charity shops in Tokyo. This post is about the one I've found. It's only open on Saturdays so this last weekend I pootled over there, taking care to leave Pooch at home. This kind of place is his idea of hell. It was the best part of an hour each way - was it worth it? Oh yeah.
Salvation Army Bazaar Medley
This is not your average UK style charity shop - but much more like the american thrift stores. It was huge. Epic. Vast. There were leaflets in english at the door telling you how it all works but essentially about 10% of the stuff was priced, the rest was a guess. And then whatever it said on the label, they'd knock up to half off when you came to pay. You see the bottom right photo in the medley? That was the haberdashery and vintage kimono section. Mmmm.
My creation
850g of the green yarn for 500Yen (about £3.50), oodles upon oodles of buttons, drawers of fabric remnants (left) and handkerchiefs or wrapping cloths (right) - these are just what I brought home which barely dented the surface of what was there. There were much larger lengths of fabric too.
My creation
Unused vintage placemats with this lovely maple leaf design, random hair clips, 'thank you' cat and a juice flask and glasses still in their original box. My favourite item though is this lovely vintage kimono jacket.
Kimono Back
This is a present for Mater. I think the body is silk and looks quite old while the sleeves have been carefully added later and are in a temari ball print. That was just under £10. Amazing. And as ever in Tokyo, the volunteers staffing the place were endlessly polite and kept thanking people for buying things. If I had known about this place when I was shopping for our house I would have bought all of our kitchen things, pots, crockery, glasses, from here and furniture too. Lovely solid wood 5' tall chests of drawers for £30? I would happily have had all the furniture I saw in my home.

For anyone who happens to be in the vicinity these are the directions. If you get lost and resort to google maps I suggest searching for "Salvation Army Suginami" which is the Corps building just next door. From there follow the people marching steadfastly towards it. It is only open 9-1 on Saturday mornings and, as with most of Tokyo, is cash only. I am definitely going to be going back!
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