incandescens: (Kanzeon Bosatsu)
Mondays, dear sweet Mondays.

On a lighter note, here are some quick-and-dirty photos of recent quilts that need to go up on etsy.

Big brown brick quilt -
Big blue brick quilt -
Blue disappearing nine-patch -
Small orange quilt -
Blue stripe quilt -
Purple flower panel quilt - - the most recent one
incandescens: (Kanzeon Bosatsu)
Watching Elisabeth has caused me to expand my historical knowledge. I now know what the Austrian-Hungarian Compromise was. Well, more or less. As long as I'm not asked to explain it.

Pictures of two quilts I've been working on, both at the "awaiting handsewing round edge" stage: - about a metre by a metre and a half. (This one's reserved.) - about six feet square. (This one's going to take a while to sew round the edge.)

Now where did I put that DVD of The Seven Per Cent Solution...
incandescens: (Default)
So, well . . .

Absolutely fabulous holiday. Got home safely. Leeds has not burned down or had zombie apocalypse or fallen into a black hole in my absence.

Rather than talk about all the fun I had going round bookshops with people, or craft shops, or just hanging out, or watching DVDs, or discussing dragons . . .

I made quilts as presents for [ profile] flemmings and [ profile] archangelbeth: here are photos of them.

Batik quilt for [ profile] flemmings:

Waterlily quilt for [ profile] archangelbeth:

Oh, and here are a couple of photos of that stuffed doll prototype that I made pre-holiday:

I will now cheer myself up (a certain post-holiday tristesse is affecting me) with some of my new purchases: new Professor Layton game, new Digger books, new Bujold, new yarn, new fabric, new Kate Griffin . . .
incandescens: (Default)
This is the stuffed snake I made the other day:

Close-up of snake head

And these are two quilts I made recently, which are now up on etsy, so I might as well give the link to that rather than upload more photos:

Rail fence quilt in red, black, and white roses
Tiffany-esque quilt in red, black, orange, and green
incandescens: (Default)
Even though it was only a four-day week, everyone was very glad to see the weekend.

Here are some photos of recent patchwork:

Log cabin quilt with flower fabrics, for coworker who's about to have a daughter, or rather, for the daughter
Partial back view of log cabin flower quilt
Main view of Flower Fairy quilt
Close-up of Flower Fairy quilt
Partial view of back of Flower Fairy quilt


In Kyoto,
hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.

-- Basho, translated by Jane Hirshfield
incandescens: (Default)
Finished another quilt, which was a gift for the friend of a friend. You may remember that a few weeks back, I was making happy noises because someone had given me a pile of fabric, mainly men's shirting stuff? I felt that I owed something from it in return. Blue, she said. So I went with blue.

Front view
A bit of the back view

It's been a good weekend. I feel quite nicely rested. (This feeling may last a whole five minutes into Monday morning. Possibly even ten minutes.)


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way -– in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

-- A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

dino quilt

Feb. 21st, 2012 12:52 am
incandescens: (Default)
Hello, two new work packages?

Oh well, it's job security. And it's got to be done. And it's still better than writing process documentation.

On a brighter note, here are a couple of photos of the quilt I finished yesterday. It's for the son of a friend of mine at work: he's six years old (or so, I think) and his name is Hisham. Thus the big applique across the middle.

Front view
View of bit of back

Fuzzy dinosaurs say raarh.

When I was in York on Saturday and heading for the racecourse (because the Rock, Gem & Bead Show was there, she says hastily) I was, as I always am when I see it, amused by the fact that that particular area of York is known as the Knavesmire. There's also a part of the shopping district named the Shambles, and while it's obvious that such things are (hand on heart) far, far in the past, seeing the official street signs or bus stop directions with those names on them always makes me smile.


"Papa is a preferable mode of address," observed Mrs General. "Father is rather vulgar, my dear. The word Papa, besides, gives a pretty form to the lips. Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prism are all very good words for the lips: especially prunes and prism. You will find it serviceable, in the formation of a demeanour, if you sometimes say to yourself in company — on entering a room, for instance — Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism, prunes and prism."

-- Little Dorrit, Dickens

cat quilt

Jan. 25th, 2012 01:15 am
incandescens: (Default)
Tiring day today, and probably another tiring day tomorrow, as there's a deadline to hit.

Finished knitting a scarf for a friend. If the emanations of whatever we're watching/thinking of while knitting got into it, then it contains the residue of several episodes worth of Criminal Minds. Interesting thought.

Here are a few photos of the cat quilt that I made for a friend's granddaughter. You may recognise some of the fabrics, [ profile] archangelbeth . . .

Front view
Showing a bit of the back

I must have twisted my back a bit at the weekend; it's been a bit painful the last couple of days. Must try to sleep straight tonight and not curling up.


Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were. -- Proust
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Took advantage of the sunshine outside to take some photos. Used some of the tables in the back area of the pub next door to spread the quilts out. Got a few complimentary remarks and a suggestion that I ask for a table next time they do a craft fair, which was very nice. But anyhow:

Dresden Plate quilt (for present to coworker):

Batik quilt:

Blue/white/green flower quilt:

Also managed to clean the bathroom, clean some of the kitchen work area, finish doing the binding on Brown Quilt One (For Coworker), and make a few Barbie-sized necklaces, so in general it feels like a rather productive day. Plus I wrote a new thousand words on the sequel to Library.

It just goes to show that I can get stuff done when I'm not at work all day. Hah. Take that, universe.


What is the Correspondence?

They say it's a series of confidential negotiations between the Masters and a devil of some note. They say it comprises the billets-doux written by Jack-of-Smiles to the Traitor Empress. They say it's the letter the Pope wrote, the one without which Rome would have been the Fourth City. They say if you read it your eyes boil and your hair turns the white of old ice. They say it's written on slate in the blood of poisoned bats.

-- Echo Bazaar
incandescens: (Default)
Another busy day.

Also ... well, one of my coworkers is leaving. She's just given in her notice and made a general announcement. (I knew about it yesterday, but it wasn't public at that point.) Which means we've only got her for another 12 weeks. It's going to be really hectic when she's gone, as she's in my particular area of the team (cross-mapping). I understand her reasons totally -- her mother lives down south and is not well, and she's managed to find a reasonable job down there -- but while I'm glad for her, I'm selfishly annoyed for myself. Though trying not to show it, of course.

Oh well. Que sera, sera.

I will console myself with having cultivated my Suspicion until I got sent to New Newgate Prison in Echo Bazaar. There are things which can be done/obtained there which can't be done/obtained elsewhere in the game. (Rubs hands together and cackles.) Really, that is such an excellent game.

I think my common sense is telling me to have an early night tonight. I think I may even listen to it.

Also, the hand-quilting is Within Measurable Distance Of Its End, which is very good news. Hand-quilting is even more annoying than whipstitching the back of a quilt binding, and it has to look tidier. Only one more pink flower, two edges of grey/brown flowers, and four patches of leaves. Whee. I would not be working on it so continuously, were it not for the fact that coworker's wife is due in mid-June, and it would be nice to have the quilt ready to hand over at around the time that the baby arrives. Otherwise I would definitely be diverting myself with more entertaining/easier stuff for a break.

I have a curious urge to imagine a Chalet School/Laundry crossover. Yes, the Charles Stross Laundry, and yes, the Elinor M Brent-Dyer school story Chalet School. It'd be easy enough to have the doctors doing something interesting up at the Sanatorium which the school always stays close to. And don't tell me that all those multiple childbirths of Jo Bettany's (or Maynard) aren't suspicious.

No, what's clearly going on (again the "clearly") is that someone is collecting people to use their minds/brains for a distributed processing network. The girls are got at while they're young, trained/programmed while they're at the school, and then released across the world, though admittedly mainly in Britain/Europe (though we've also had girls from Australia, America, India, Kenya, and so on ...) So who is it, building up this network? What's the connection with whatever's being worked on in the Sanatorium? And what happens when They (whoever They are) finally activate it?


What happens at the Royal Bethlehem Hotel?

The manager of the Hotel offers free rooms to guests of particular note or interest. He irritably denies the suggestion that he might be 'collecting' them.

-- Echo Bazaar
incandescens: (Default)
Was unable to escape the Royal Wedding while trying to watch the evening news. Oh well.

I've also just seen that Joanna Russ has died. I remember the first time I read The Female Man. I didn't necessarily agree with all of it, but it did make me think.

Here are some photos of recent patchwork:

Dresden Plate cushion

White and blue kimono fabric cushion - front
White and blue kimono fabric cushion - back

Blue Kaffe Fassett quilt - front
Blue Kaffe Fassett quilt - back
Blue Kaffe Fassett quilt - folded over

And yes, I am still working on other stuff. Including Winter War, and trying to compile the first draft of my Library story. What a good thing I have a long weekend.

I'm also being tempted to go to the quilt show in Malvern in May, about 3 weeks off. Positive aspects: I get to go to quilt show. Less positive aspects: it's about three hours either way by train. But hey. One can always doze on the train.


This book is written in blood.

Is it written entirely in blood?

No, some of it is written in tears.

Are the blood and tears all mine?

Yes, they have been in the past. but the future is a different matter. As the bear swore in Pogo after having endured a pot shoved on her head, being turned upside down while still in the pot, a discussion about her edibility, the lawnmowering of her behind, and a fistful of ground pepper in the snoot, she then swore a mighty oath on the ashes of her mothers (i.e. her forebears) grimly but quietly while the apples from the shaken apple tree above her dropped bang thud on her head:


--The Female Man, Joanna Russ
incandescens: (Default)
Why weren't more Art Nouveau pictures of men? Yes, I know, obvious answer, it wasn't what the art style was about. But it would still have been useful for some current plans.

But doing some art research online does broaden my nodding acquaintance with various artists and pictures, and introduces me to some completely new stuff. Like this -- Kunstformen der Natur (German for Art Forms of Nature), a book of lithographic and autotype prints by German biologist Ernst Haeckel. Frogs. Lizards. Hummingbirds. They're gorgeous.

(Though possibly not that many other people would be considering getting fabric made up in those designs and making cushions or quilts. Then again, maybe they would.)


The Twelve Moons


Fourth Moon

Cool at dusk and dawn are the trees on the earth.
In depths of green a thousand mountains hover beneath the clouds.
The faint-scented rain falls among evil mists.
Teeming leaves and round flowers shine on the curved garden gates.
In the stone ponds the water shakes off leisurely green ripples.
So heavy is this summer the blossoms are not surprised to fall.
Faded red flowers on the earth glow in the shade of the trees.


-- Li Ho, translated by Ho Chih-yuan
incandescens: (Default)
Fairly busy day, but did at least get a lot of stuff sorted.

While it is a noble, virtuous, and praiseworthy thing to discover that there is an error in how we have been doing some mapping and to vow to resolve it, it is (a) not entertaining to have to do it, and (b) highly irritating to think that we have made a mistake in what we previously did. However much one technically realises that mistakes can be made, that no doubt we have made mistakes, and that we learn by acknowledging mistakes and accepting them and moving on, there is always that inner part which wants to scream, "HOW DARE YOU SAY I GOT IT WRONG?"

Inner parts are annoying.

On a more vibrant pink-and-orange note:

Front of quilt
Back of quilt
Detail of quilt corner


What is 'moonish light'?

What we have instead of moonlight, down in the Neath: the uncertain glow from phosphorescent things in the cavern roof. Possibly jewels, possibly very large glowing insects. Frankly it'd be nicer if they were jewels.

-- Echo Bazaar
incandescens: (Default)
Dinoquilt is done! (And I will be taking it into work tomorrow to show off.

Front view
Back view
Corner view

Other than that I am extremely tired and had a rather annoying phone meeting this afternoon in which one of the participants had a very bad crackle on the line, and have a team position meeting tomorrow.

But. There is a craft show on Saturday in Manchester.

I will have to try to be thrifty and good. But not too good.


Lord Lundy

Second Canto

It happened to Lord Lundy then,
As happens to so many men:
Towards the age of twenty-six,
They shoved him into politics;
In which profession he commanded
The Income that his rank demanded
In turn as Secretary for
India, the Colonies, and War.
But very soon his friends began
To doubt is he were quite the man:
Thus if a member rose to say
(As members do from day to day),
'Arising out of that reply . . .!'
Lord Lundy would begin to cry.
A Hint at harmless little jobs
Would shake him with convulsive sobs.
While as for Revelations, these
Would simply bring him to his knees,
And leave him whimpering like a child.
It drove his colleagues raving wild!
They let him sink from Post to Post,
From fifteen hundred at the most
To eight, and barely six-and then
To be Curator of Big Ben!. . .
And finally there came a Threat
To oust him from the Cabinet!

The Duke - his aged grand-sire - bore
The shame till he could bear no more.
He rallied his declining powers,
Summoned the youth to Brackley Towers,
And bitterly addressed him thus-
'Sir! you have disappointed us!
We had intended you to be
The next Prime Minister but three:
The stocks were sold; the Press was squared:
The Middle Class was quite prepared.
But as it is! . . . My language fails!
Go out and govern New South Wales!'

The Aged Patriot groaned and died:
And gracious! how Lord Lundy cried!

-- Hilaire Belloc
incandescens: (Default)
I've got the three layers of Dinoquilt quilted together. (Front view and back view.) Now I just ("just") have to trim the edges and sew binding all round it. This will probably involve a nice Gilbert and Sullivan DVD for the handstitching part of it, so that I can sing along loudly while whipstitching the edges. "Good Captain, I've important information, sing hey the kind commander that you are, about a certain intimate relation, sing hey, the merry maiden and the tar!" ("The merry merry maiden, the merry merry maiden, the much too merry maiden and the tar!")

Work continues moderately busy and will probably get busier soon. Coworker had to adjust her just-agreed-yesterday vacation timings, so I had to adjust mine as well, but it was manageable, and handled with goodwill on both sides. Not too bad.

I will have more brain to focus soon, but at the moment work is eating a lot of it. I will waddle around like a grave poetic hen and try to survive tomorrow's meeting.


Statement of Being

I am a grave poetic hen
That lays poetic eggs
And to enhance my temperament
A little quiet begs.

We make the yolk philosophy,
True beauty the albumen.
And then gum on a shell of form
To make the screed sound human.

-- Ezra Pound
incandescens: (Default)
Very quiet day. Decided to have a day in, and do my regular grocery shop tomorrow.

Finished two more cushion covers, one of which I'd already started yesterday:

Blue cushion, Endless Path block pattern
Asian-style fabric cushion (yes, I know, very pseudo fabric)

I have to stop messing around with these neat short-term projects and actually start sewing on dino-quilt. Perhaps tomorrow.


An Immorality

Sing we for love and idleness,
Naught else is worth the having.

Though I have been in many a land,
There is naught else in living.

And I would rather have my sweet,
Though rose-leaves die of grieving,

Than do high deeds in Hungary
To pass all men's believing.

-- Ezra Pound
incandescens: (Default)
So instead of complaining about work or politics today, I will put up some photos of recent jewelry and patchwork.

Mother-of-pearl and onyx earrings
Agate and copper necklace (view one)
Agate and copper necklace (view two)

Christmmas stockings (made for parents)
Green cushion (front view)
Green cushion (back view)


You Are Old, Father William

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head --
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And you have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door --
Pray what is the reason for that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment -- one shilling a box --
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak --
Pray, how did you mange to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the tend of your nose --
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father. "Don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"

-- Lewis Carroll
incandescens: (Default)
Moderately busy Sunday today.

a) phoned second branch of local shoe shop to see if they had a pair of the boots I wanted in the colour I wanted. They didn't. But at least that spared me the decision of whether or not I wanted to go out this afternoon to try and get them. And there are branches of said shop all over the UK, and I can always order a pair after Christmas if I don't mind waiting. So no big deal.

b) cleaned bathroom.

c) made earrings for coworker (for his wife - he requested "Bollywood style").

d) finished small purple quilt. - front view - back view

(And here are photos of the cushion from a few days ago.) - front view - back view

e) watched Patrick Stewart in A Christmas Carol.

f) wrote Christmas cards and wrapped presents for coworkers.

Tomorrow involves a long meeting. It also involves work Secret Santa, which should be more fun.


“Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”

“I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.”

“No, no,” said Scrooge. “Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared.”

“If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

“Man,” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”

-- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
incandescens: (Default)
Finished some work on the sewing machine today, and here it is:

Cushion one: front view
Cushion one: back view

Cushion two: front view
Cushion two: back view

I need to get my corners a lot more lined up, but I do feel cheerful about this. :)


One need not be a chamber to be haunted;
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

-- Time and Eternity, Emily Dickinson
incandescens: (Default)
Reasonably nice day today, if also reasonably quiet, which is very reasonable.

Here are some photos of the recent baby quilt, now finished:


Fifth Month rain --
the five thousand five hundredth
rented umbrella

-- Issa


incandescens: (Default)

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