It’s very pink

As predicted, life for me at the moment is pretty much work, study, cook and clean just enough to keep myself alive, sleep, and repeat. But it’s worth it – I’m loving the course, and if I can get myself a wee bit ahead on the study now, it means I can take a couple of weeks off for the convention in April without getting too far behind.

I took a break from studying this afternoon though to finish off making a birthday present for a certain pink- and purple-loving child in my life who’s about to turn 5 and start school.

(Sorry about the terrible lighting – I really should have waited until morning to take the photos…)

Just ignore the sewing on the binding – my excuse is I had to put in quite a thick layer of card between the fabric and wadding so that the folder would stay flat when I stretched the elastic to put things in, which made it a bit tricky to sew along the sides of it (though your walking foot definitely made it a lot easier, DancingStar).  Plus I was kind of in a hurry, having only allowed myself a few hours to finish it off. But I’m sure she’ll only see the pretty colours and pay no attention at all to the quality.

I had loads of fun finding pink and purple stationery to fill it with (yes, Lytteltonwitch, that is the book eraser you sent me – the colour and size were totally perfect, so I decided I had to sacrifice it to the project – sorry!) – the only thing I couldn’t find in pink or purple was the ruler.

Normally I would have blurred out the name on the front, but I couldn’t bring myself to (so please, evil people of the internet, don’t stalk her, or whatever it is that evil people of the internet do when they find out a child’s name). I’m just too proud of it, so I had to show off my work – that there is my first ever attempt at creating a paper-piecing pattern. Not *quite* up to Tartankiwi’s level, but I’m pretty pleased with myself for figuring it out! (I won’t mention the time I had to unpick the Y because I put it on the wrong side of the L…)

Rain, rain, go away

So much for autumn, we seem to have skipped straight to winter.  We’ve had three days now of gales, heavy rain, and the occasional flurry of sleet and hail.  Half the city is flooded, there’s trees down all over the place, and it’s generally cold and wet and miserable.  My garden is like a lake, I got soaked just walking from my house to the bus stop across the road, and of course the heating isn’t on at work yet, because it’s still only early autumn so they weren’t planning on firing up the boilers until Easter.  Oh yeah, and I’ve still got that leak in my roof.

But on a positive note, our team member Lucy-Jane who was lost up in the alps over the weekend got rescued yesterday, much to our relief.  Sounds like she spent a very cold and miserable couple of nights, but other than needing to catch up on some sleep is otherwise ok.  And it definitely puts spending the day in a cold office with slightly damp feet into perspective!

I gave my second official speech at Toastmasters last night (I’ve done lots of impromptu speeches and other minor stuff, but this is one that actually counts towards the certificate.  I really should have done it months ago, but various schedule changes and things meant it kept being put back), and it went fantastically well.  I spoke on the history of dictionaries – a potentially dry topic, but I livened it up with some of the more amusing definitions from Johnson’s dictionary (like “Sluberdegullion: A paltry, dirty, sorry wretch.” – Best. Insult. Evah. ;-))  It was very well received, and I got a great evaluation, so I’m feeling pretty happy with my efforts.

And so it begins

Term started this week, and I’m already swamped with work (it’s worrying when the lecturer says she’s going to give you a nice easy reading for the first week, and it’s 40 pages long (and that’s not counting the two “optional” readings that go with it…).  Yeah, I kind of forgot just how hard Honours is.  It’s amazing how you forget these things when you’ve had a year off…  So, life (well, work + study, at least – I don’t think I’ll have much of a “life” other than that for the next few months) is a bit busy.  So don’t be surprised if I go even more into radio silence than usual…

Of course, I haven’t quite got the hang just yet of cutting back on everything else in life to allow me more time for study.  As usual, my big problem is volunteering for stuff.  Like spending yesterday morning helping set up for the regional competitions my Toastmasters club is hosting.  Not that I actually had time to attend the competitions (I’m not eligible to compete myself yet – still too much of a noob – but it would have been interesting to watch the speeches), because I had to dash off to Addington as soon as the set-up was finished, so I could go to a meetup of the Christchurch Bloggers group.

Tartankiwi is organising the group now, as Miriam’s moved to Australia, and she’s trying to get a regular monthly meetup going.  So, having been a meetup organiser myself and knowing the frustration when you organise these things and nobody turns up, I went along.  As I suspected, it was a small group – Tartankiwi said lots of people said they were interested, but couldn’t make it this weekend (but maybe next time…), so I was glad I went, even though two social events in one day is kind of exhausting (I’m just glad Harvestbird had to cancel on our planned outing today – much as I enjoy her company, that would have been way too much social, as well as leaving me no study time).  It was a bit noisy in the cafe, and because of the way we were seated it was hard for all of us to hear and be part of the conversation, but once the lunch rush settled down and it got a bit quieter it got a lot better.  An enjoyable afternoon, anyway.  And I got a wee bit of cross-stitch done, having learnt the lesson from the last meetup that everyone brings crafts along.

Today was devoted to studying – kind of unsuccessfully in the morning (maybe it’s possible to have a house that is too tranquil and pleasant – for some reason I just couldn’t concentrate, anyway – too many nice things around me to distract my attention… (or was it just the cat constantly wanting to sit on my lap?)), until I took myself and my books off to a cafe for lunch, and ended up staying there for three hours and getting all the reading done, perfectly able to concentrate despite all the noise around me.  So now all I need to do is write up some notes and I’m totally prepared for next week’s classes.  I never thought of myself as a study in cafes type of person – I thought it would be way too distracting.  But apparently I am…