Monthly Archives: October 2011

What’s that curled up behind our bin?

Our neighbour was out walking his dog earlier tonight and he passed a woman who said she had seen an echidna walking up our driveway. Sure enough, there it was, curled up behind the rubbish bins.

Our lovely neighbour said he’d ring the wildlife people to see if they needed to relocate our newest visitor to somewhere safe. We’re just off a main road and would hate for something bad to happen to the poor little thing. In the meantime Mr or Ms Echidna is more than welcome to spend the night.

We have Blue-Tongued Lizards who call our back yard home as well as a Tawny Frogmouth that visits once in a while but this is the first time I’ve seen an Echidna in suburbia so I had to get a photo!

– Miss Thrifty

Free Stuff!

Tonight- Miss Thrifty and I went … well, not dumpster diving, but hard refuse scrounging. It’s that time of year when the local council comes to collect all kinds of things people want to throw out but can’t because it’s too big to fit in their regular rubbish bin and/or they can’t get it to the dump.

Lots of great and potentially useful things get thrown out, and over the past week or two the streets have accumulated piles of stuff. Every night on the way home from work I would spot something else and think to my self “Ooh! that would be good for something”. Some of the highlights that I’ve seen around include interior doors (matching set of 3, minus door knobs), a display cabinet set (5 or 6 pieces, full height, with glass doors) and the pieces which made us decide to go out and have a look around tonight, two large mirrors.

The problem with having seen all of this and planning to go get it is that it turns out that today was collection day and almost everything was gone! None of the streets I have regularly driven past had anything at all left out, which was very disappointing (the two mirrors we went specifically to get where going to be put together on a wall, one above the other in our new workshop as a full length mirror).

We drove around for a while looking for an area that hadn’t been picked up yet. Eventually we came across one small back street which hadn’t been done. Truthfully it looked as though it had just been missed by the collection trucks. All the streets around had been done, but this one not. Right down the end of the last block in a little dead end section we came across a find that, while not what we set out too get, did make the drive worthwhile.

Standing up against an old washing machine, in amongst a broken chair and some boxes of who knows what was a big whiteboard! The same style used in classrooms and offices.

I’ve wanted to replace/get a second whiteboard for around the house for some time, and this was a beauty! Over 2m long and 1.x something high and metal backed (so we can stick magnets to it) it ticks all the boxes. Bearing in mind that it was out for hard refuse collection it’s not in the best shape. The frame is missing one corner, there are a couple of dents in it, and its got permanent(ish) drawings and words all over it and lots of tape residue too.

It’s a bit beat up, but should be made good again with a bit of elbow grease and turps.

For comparison we found a similar whiteboard new on the website for an office supply shop for $497.13!

Not bad for a freebie off the side of the road!

– Unexpected Idea Man

Keeping a straight face- Trousers for Mr Thrifty

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on drafting blocks for myself, taking my time and second guessing everything. I enjoy pattern-making but I’m finding it hard to do it for “myself”. I’m happier drafting for other people, and yay for me- Mr Thrifty (aka unexpectedideaman) needed new trousers.

I love a bit of procrastination so my personal blocks are on hold at the moment because DH is/was in urgent need of more work trousers. The stash his mother made him years ago are past their “best before” date and he refuses to buy from department stores because they don’t fit right. His idea of the perfect fit is like most beer-bellied men, the waistline has to sit below the gut. Anything higher than that and he complains that they dig in or ride up. If he wears them under his gut all I can see is pools of fabric across his lap or a baggy bottom. Shopping with him for pants (I’m an Aussie! We call ’em pants!) was an exhausting and fruitless exercise. I now know why his mother made his last batch!

The pattern his mother used still fits him but it isn’t particularly flattering. So, being a good little Mrs, I drafted a block for him. Unlike making things for myself, making the block/sloper/fit pattern for him happened in just a couple of days. I cut out a toile and sewed it up the next day. Technically it was a half toile(?), I only bothered with one leg because I knew it would need adjustment. So far, so good.

When Mr Thrifty arrived home from work I told him that we were ready for the first fit. He popped them on and truthfully- they weren’t that bad at first sight.

But here’s where it gets silly. Mr Thrifty is super-dooper ticklish. When I tried to move the back seam to where it should sit, he jumped and ran away. I explained to him that I wasn’t tickling him on purpose but he was a bundle of twitches and giggles the whole time. Once he had settled down a bit more and given me a chance to examine his rear end- I’m happy to say I am very pleased with the back view of the trousers. The pattern his mother was using left an excess of fabric at his rear that wasn’t particularly attractive.

Then we get to the next part- How does the front fit?
They sit under his gut where he wanted them which is good but oh my, oh dear, ummm… I’ve never toiled men’s trousers before.

When you’re face to face with HALF a pair of trousers, examining the front crotch curve for fit… It was my turn to erupt into childish giggles. I have no issues whatsoever with handling lady-bits… but well, umm… man-bits are new territory for me! I couldn’t get my head around what was wrong or where to change it. It does need to change, there’s not enough room for him to be comfortable but after staring at that region for an uncomfortable amount of time I decided to just take some photos and look again later when I wasn’t rolling around laughing. I guess a benefit of a photo is that is can’t stare back or distract me by making jokes. 

I’ve since made some adjustments to the first draft and I’ll be starting draft number two in a few more days. Next time however- I will make a WHOLE pair!