Wednesday, 3 June 2015

How Was Your Day Dear?

Prior to today my only experience of working in a commercial environment was my Dad's solicitor firm. My business surroundings since then have been charities - not-for-profit organisations with Members who needed servicing and usually a magazine published monthly and maybe a small finance department.
Agriculture workers
Today, I entered the world of San Franciscan Tech Start-Ups.
mac book air 13 - 3
In my old work environment you were given a second hand computer when you arrived. It would be a desktop with a big, heavy hard drive under the desk. There were "office" laptops and if you needed one you had to sign it out. If you were lucky one of the newer ones was available, otherwise you ended up with one like a breeze block. Only the CEO had their own laptop, and that would be a generic thing not a Sony or Mac. Now as I sat down at my new desk my boss was trying to wipe the Mac Book Air given to my predecessor, who only used it for two weeks. "It's not working" she said "so just take one of those." Gesturing behind her she pointed to a stack of brand new Mac Books still in their wrappers. The lady to my left noticed the stack and said "Oh, I need a new one too." "Ok." said my boss "Go ahead and take one."
Old radio shack computer
"You'll need a notepad too." said my boss. OK, I said, expecting a stationary cupboard. In my previous job, when someone left, the used pages of their notepads were torn out and the unused portion left for the new person to use.
[034/365] 15th September
She handed me my A5 Moleskin notepad with the company logo embossed, not just printed, on the front - individually shrink wrapped.
Project 50 - Day #1 (Moleskine)
"What would you like for lunch?" my boss asked me. "Oh is it it office lunch today?" I asked with trepidation - remembering the set-lunch-A that 'catering' used to provide at my old work. "On Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays you use this link to order whatever you want from local places and a company picks it all up and delivers it here for you." I looked at the link - it was restaurant type food. "On Wednesdays and Thursdays we order a load of stuff from local places so we might have Mexican or Chinese - tomorrow is Mexican." My head whirls slightly as I realise I'll never have to buy lunch for as long as I work here. Looking at the kitchen I can see a huge fridge full of every kind of juice and soda and on all the shelves are endless (mostly) healthy snacks - including two different dried fruits covered in chocolate. 
It's not quite Google, but there are exercise balls to sit on in lieu of chairs,(should you wish) several designer chairs for cuddling up in with just you and your laptop, plus an actual freaking hammock. 

Tomorrow there's a free company happy hour in a nearby bar. I am truly working for a tech start-up.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Filling Up On Cats

With my new job starting any minute now, I knew my visit to the Cat Town Cafe in Oakland last week might have to last me a little while. My visit started memorably when my Uber driver asked if it was ok if he came in with me to have a look since he was intrigued by the idea and had never heard of the area's speciality coffee house. He departed after grabbing a cup and I was left to enjoy the cats.
Cat Town Cafe, Oakland
Cat Town Cafe, Oakland
The sleeping guy above had the cutest pink nose and little black paw pads.
Cat Town Cafe, Oakland
Is it bad to objectify cats like that? By commenting on their extremities? Meanwhile in the quiet room there was a lot of cuddling going on.
Cat Town Cafe, Oakland
Cat Town Cafe, Oakland
The little stripy guy above was adorable and stretched out so I could stroke his stomach as well. Then there was one cat who had just recently moved from the Shelter to the cafe who was still nervous.
Cat Town Cafe, Oakland
He sat right at the back of the space so I slowly lent in to stroke him without spooking him. He wanted to be stroked and leaned in for it but then pulled back at the slightest noise. I really do think this place is amazing as some of the cats are feral and some have been in Shelters for years and this place gives them a chance to socialise and get used to interacting with people with a view to getting them adopted. And is it working?
Cat Town Cafe, Oakland
Stone Cold Steve Austin would definitely be giving out a "Hell Yeah" in answer to that one (WWE reference). I long for the day when I can be one of the adopters!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Making and Changing

I finally finished my second Hands2Help quilt. My usual allergy to straight lines shows in the finish.
Flowery Patchwork Quilt
I made use of some of the flowery stitches on my sewing machine when adding the strips.
Patchwork Quilt Detail
I added them to cover the joins because I used the block method I had always known about in general terms but which was gone into in more detail in the Craftsy course.
Patchwork Quilt Blocks

The other patchwork I have been doing is some of the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks. I am in the second year of a Bee for this and during my two months as 'Queen Bee' and through my own stitching I am up to forty! (I've done an extra one since taking this photo).
Lucy Boston POTC blocks
The time has come to start the inbetween pieces that join them together. I've decided on kona white cotton just to keep it simple and I'll be using extra pieces of the red and whites I've and others have used as the squares between them.

I was due to give my ickle niece this height chart for her birthday, two weeks ago. Ahem.
Height Chart
There is just the miniature metal coat hanger to add to the top end. It gave me a chance to have a good rummage through my button collection.
Detail of Height Chart

I do adore chain stitch. It's very satisfying to do and the finished design stands out from the fabric beautifully. I used it for the red in the height chart and again on this t-shirt-in-progress.
Embroidered Buttons
My white fabric marker had run out so I used circles of freezer paper as templates. I ironed them in place and then embroidered around them. They just peel off afterwards.

The big change coming to my life is that I have a job! From Tuesday I will be a full-time Executive Assistant to the CEO of a tech company. The good news is that it is only 20 minutes walk from the flat but the bad news is that I will now have 40-50 hours less crafting time each week. The job came up on Wednesday this week and I'll start on Tuesday so it has all happened very quickly. I told my sister and she asked me whether I was getting any new clothes for work. I held up the button t-shirt above and she groaned. When it comes to fashion I am a great disappointment to her - to such an extent that she has started a Pinterest Board for me to refer to when I next go shopping!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Exploring Treasure Island

The Treasure Island Flea Market is a well known event here in SF and this weekend was the fourth anniversary one. I had been meaning to go since we arrived here so thought today was as good a time as any. Slightly better in fact - Pooch rather over exerted himself the previous night and was groaning in bed and there's only so long that remains amusing for.
treasure island google map
Treasure Island is in the middle of the two halves of the Bay Bridge and a has a smattering of houses but during the last weekend of the month people and cars flock in in their thousands just for the Flea. The emphasis is on handmade things and twentieth century schmatter.
Mannequin Heads
Letterpress Letters
Hanging Air Plants
Vintage Frames
As well as the stalls there was a big food truck area with about twenty different trucks.
Food Court
My creation
There was a lovely view while I scoffed down my whateveritwas.
San Francisco
Then back into the fray.
My creation
One of the things that did tempt me was a Virgin Mark bust.
Busts of Virgin Mary
But I was slightly put off when I realised that that is an ornate leather gun holster they are arranged among. Plus I didn't get "a feeling of joy" when I picked each one up - something not attributed to holy-poly but more to "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up" which I have been listening to recently as an audio book. Very interesting stuff. The only things that did come back with me, which I do find very joyful, were some little succulents from this stall.

I have some crafty updates to share tomorrow and also some big news that will seriously curtail my crafting time. So I had better go and get on with it while I can!

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