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Lee Mac. Twenty-nine year old fibre artist. Crochet portraits = Obsession. I am surgically attached to my Ipod and crochet hook.
Bookworm. Pop culture addict. M&ms are as important as oxygen. Einstein hit the nail on the head with "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

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BOOKSHELF

The Book Thief
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Gough Whitlam
A Short History of Nearly Everything
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
Gone with the Wind
Elizabeth
Who I Am
Small Bamboo: How my family's journey on a leaky boat led to our wonderful life in Australia
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Watermelon
Sushi for Beginners
Rachel's Holiday
Anybody Out There?



2011!
March!!

Random Connections
31st March, 2011

Ok, i'm fairly certain this happens to 100% of the population, but just incase it doesn't, bear with me here
You know how one minute you're thinking about something, it can be anything in the world, then all of a sudden you hear a song, or get a feeling or something else pops into your head seemingly un-related?!?!
Pretty run-of-the-mill I know, but then does anyone else find that their brain suddenly switches into overdrive and gets on a roll of seemingly tenuously-related thoughts?!?!
Granted this mainly happens to me after i've had 5 cups of coffee
So really it could be the caffiene firing off my memory synapses, but I bloody LOVE when it happens, because all of a sudden you find yourself in a flood of thoughts and get a rush of nostalgia that envelopes you giving you that warm fuzzy feeling!
To illustrate, I had an episode of 'hyper head/random connectedness' (techinical terms for this sporadic condition) whilst driving into town yesterday !


As usual I had the ipod on shuffle blearing through the car stereo, cruising into town, when all of a sudden Enigma's - "Return to Innocence" came on! I thought "my god! I haven't heard this in flipping AGES! Top tune!" !!
Then I found myself thinking, "where/when did I first hear this?!?!".....


I remembered it was at the end of "Man About the House"! A movie I must've watched approximately 5,654,464,768,7686.3 times as a 10 year old
So good to see the end on youtube actually, because I think my old cruddy VHS copy is completely worn out thanks to me rewinding this sequence time and time again to listen to the song
Then I found myself thinking, "man I friggin LOVED that film! More to the point, man I friggin LOVED JONATHON TAYLOR THOMAS!! Yay 1990's cheesy Disney films!"....so naturally I then found myself reflecting on my first official fangirl crush...


This is the image that floated into my brain and I swear to god, this poster stayed on my bedroom wall for at least two years.....
As a kid of the 90s I like to think that crushing on JTT was a normal process for others my age to go through...like a right of passage lol
Which THEN got me thinking about other crushes of my childhood.... but my god i've bored you long enough...
But really I just wanted to express how much I love those sporadic moments of Random Connections your brain makes
3 cheers to you brain !!
Side note - Yes. I have had 3 cups of coffee so far today, so my sincere apologies for allowing myself near enough to a computer to blog such a load of crap !!
Lee xox

Get Cha Potter On
30th March, 2011

Just got back from yarn shopping!!!!!!! I'm all set to make a start on him this afternoon !!! Side note - Picked up my new sunnies today!! Pretty SNAZZY eh?!?! Lovin` em!


Lee xox

Eeeeee
29th March, 2011


I'm going to have difficulty trying to explain how F'ING EXCITED I get everytime I look at this so i'll just let you assume that i'm beyond elated through the use of pixels such as this
The first official poster of the last Potter film....let's all take a moment....
.....
.....
... thank you for your time
So my stupid back is almost better
I've been doing some awesomely ridiculous stretching exercises on the floor looking like a complete knob, trying to get the nerve to pop back into the right place or the muscles to sort themselves out, or whatever the hell the matter is Either way, it's feeling better and not worse so I must be doing something right
Sadly thanks to catching up on gardening and uni work, time for crochet has been scarce, although i've gotten Miss Marilyn to 5%!


Not really blowing anyone away at the moment, but lemme tell you, she's going to look GORGEOUS!!! when i'm through with her !!
I'm swapping between Maz and a certain other piece at the moment....

Back To The Future is at 25%! at the moment. Well actually last night I got it to about 27% but let me tell you this thing is so freaking BIG that there's about 15 or so rows that go into each 5% increment, hence it takes a while
But I do plan to swap between the two, so stay tuned peeps !!


Lee xox

Captain My Captain
26th March, 2011
EDIT ///////////////////


The Pattern is up ^_^!!!
END EDIT \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\




CAPTAIN. JACK SPARROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date started: 15th March, 2011
Date completed: 26th March, 2011
Stoked?? - HELL YEAH!!
My first foray into rusty red shades has me a little excited! !
That rusty brown was really playing HAVOC with my brain but i'm super glad I put faith in it and gave it a chance, because I don't think the finished piece would of looked as...dare I say "dirty" with out it?!?!
Relieved !!
The pattern for this hunk o'spunk will be available as soon as I can bring myself to type it up
I've managed to pull a muscle in my lower back overnight (must've been sleeping in the pretzel position again) and can only sit down for short bursts of time, otherwise I tend to stiffen and become glued to the spot
So it should be up as April's free pattern of the month tomorrow, providing I get a good night's shut eye with no pretzel action

"Yo ho me hearties, yo ho!!"
Lee xox

Got My Hair Did
24th March, 2011
EDIT /////////////////////


70%!!! Swear to god is this dude's second eye EVER going to show?!?!?!? Sheesh...

/////////////////////////// END EDIT

Totally just got back from getting my hair did!
Was in need of a revamp on the colour front and I think my gorgeous stylist totally ripped it!! !!!!
She actually added a third colour this time - a lovely deep violet colour which you can't really see in photos, as it's all underneath but when I pull it up!! WOWZER!!! !!
She's also given me an a-symteric cut - aka layered and textured the hell out of one side, whilst leaving the other side longer and in a concave bob type cut. Totally rockin` !!
We've already planned to add some blue into the violet next time to give it even more OOMPH and we're probably going to go a little more dramatic with the cut but right now i'm certainly in a very happy place !!!
This comes on top of yesterdays MAJOR success at the optometrist
Turns out I needed a new script. Not too much change, but enough to warrant a change so I set about trying on some new frames, even though I was freaking reluctant to give up the ones I have now but holy cheddar !!!! Have I found the most FUNKYEST and SNAZZYEST pair of glasses!!!!!!
I'll wait till they come in so I can show them off in pictures, but between them and my new hair, no one is gonna lose me in the crowd !!
Moving on, Mr JD has hit 65%! aka we hava an eyeball people


I should have our fave pirate up to 75%! aka the owner of 2 eyeballs by later on tonight
Spose I should think about doing my reading for uni at some stage too....hmmmmmm....
NAAAAA!!
Lee xox

Shivering My Timbers
22nd March, 2011

The Captain has reached 55%! !!!!!
Hoping to have a bit of a sesh tonight in front of a dvd, so maybe tomorrow we'll have some peepers !!
Lee xox

Stoopid Scales
21st March, 2011
Here we are again! Monday morning. Weigh-in day
I've hit every dieter's nightmare.... THE PLATEAU
I'm STUCK at the 8 kilo loss mark
Majorly frustrating! Especially when I woke up feeling that today was a skinny day. All week i've been having fat/frump days...so thought I was onto a winner this morning, but nup, the scales kept staring up at me this morning...totally mocking me
Anyway, that was this morning, time to shift my focus from wanting to smash them with a mallet, to setting myself up for a big loss for next monday !
Apart from consistently posing with my arse out to one side every photo I am liking the slimmer me !
What I'm Wearing Today!



Feeling the love for my HK necklace today
Anywayz! Enough about my pudge
Jack is up to 40%! and is really starting to come into his own with a bit of tash action now !!!



I'm aiming to give the guy a nose today by reaching somewhere in the vacinity of 50%! Can't wait to get to his gazing eyes.....
Lee xox

Hair, Skin, Beauty and JACK!
20th March, 2011

Captain. Jack has hit 35%!
I just saw a few snippets from the new film on Entertainment Tonight and it looks bloody ACE !!!
Sadly Hello Kitty will not be making her cameo appearance as Captain Jack , but I think we can all agree that she would make a cracking Jack Sparrow. Savvy?
Moving on, I have one densely packed week coming up!
Every day of the week is booked with appointments devoted to different parts of my anatomy
Eyes, hair, beauty, skin, teeth, you name it it's getting a look over ! So hopefully I get a clean bill of health on it all...well not the hair and the beauty...they would fall into the category of indulgence , but fingers xx'd on the rest!
Side note -
I want to say another MASSIVE thank you to those who have joined my group on Rav!! I'm now up to 98 members !!!!
For those who are members on Rav, feel welcome to stop by the group and give us a wave !


Lee xox

I'm FREEEEEEE
18th March, 2011
I believe it was George Michael who sang it best.... "Freeeeeeeedom..."!!!
SO happy to have that report done and dusted that I am now free to chillax for a couple of days, before getting prepared for the next one!
Celebrated a lil by getting Jack to 15%!


Awwwwwwwwwww yeah!!!!
Am now even keener to get to work on him after seeing the first promo poster for Pirates 4!!!!!!!
Be still my beating heart...


God damn.... is it hot in here?!?!
I hadn't heard about Penelope Cruz being in it either!!! Bonus! I must admit I haven't seen too much of her work, but I always seem to catch her being interviewed a lot and she's a bloody kak! So it should be awesome seeing her in a somewhat comedic role
Between this and Potter 7 it's got to be the most smashing-est (new word alert) of years for movies
CAN'T WAIT!!!
Lee xox

Doing My Head In, savvy?!
16th March, 2011

I'm starting to lose the will to live with this freaking report !!!!!!!!
I'm almost at brain busting capacity with theories on egalitarian societies and philosophical musings on what constitutes a community that i'm at that stage, which all fellow students will recognise, as 'Who-the-frig-cares-shove-your-philosophical-egalitarian-ishness-up-your-clacker-I-have-other-important-shiz-to-do-like-defrosting-my-freezer-and-deep-conditioning-my-hair'
CLEARLY i'm in need of a study break
In even better news, the thing is due tomorrow. Halleluja huh?....
In yarn-yummy news, I restarted Jack last night!



The changes won't really become apparent till I get a little further up, but I have lopped off a number of rows and I have changed up the colour palette to include more dusty rusty reds rather than the peachy girly colours I was working with before !
In other more exciting news - apologies if you're a member off my group on Rav, cause you'll already be aware of this - but!!!
DRUMROLL.....
....
There is a new Multi-Panelled Blanket in the works!!!!!!
Like the Hogwarts Bunch and the yet-to-be-finished Monkees pop art inspired blanket, two wonderful ladies Aly & Simone suggested the possibility of a "Down Under Blanket" featuring the cute and quirky animals of Australia on the back of seeing Mr. Koala
I BLOODY LOVE THE IDEA!!!!
Kangaroos, Emus, Platypuseseses!!!! This could end up being another King sized blanket thanks to this country having so many CRAZY-ARSE animals !!
Lee xox

Koala Cutie Pie
15th March, 2011


I am so PROUD of this 100 x 100 cutie !!!!!!!!!
I'm seriously having difficulties holding myself back from cuddling the thing every time I walk past it
Now that I have time to reflect i'm BEYOND RELIEVED I didn't stuff about and add brown shades to the branches as I was planning! That would of made things waaaaaaaay too dark and would of thrown the whole thing off !
As it is, the blue is enough to make the little guy pop out enough and the greys on the branches tend to keep him nice and soft looking so "Woop woop" for staying with your gut instinct and not stuffing it up!!!!


Lee xox

Aussie Aussie Aussie
13th March, 2011
75%!



Another 30 odd rows and my first animal piece will be complete
Which has now totally wet my appetite for fauna! I feel a couple of pieces featuring cute Aussie animals may need to be considered
However I have other pieces that need attention first!!
Due to totally wiping out on some colour choices, Ravenclaw Crest, Micky, Jack Sparrow AND Marilyn had to take a bit of a backseat these past few days. However this little black duck went yarn shopping today and got my SPEND ON!!!
Let's just say I think i'll be fine for a while now
Lee xox

Ouchie Wow Wow
12th March, 2011

Sorry for not being able to post yesterday as promised! Crazy crazy day yesterday!
As I mentioned, the lovely Donna sent in a question!
QUESTION: " You work on so many different projects and seem to get them out uber quick, do your hands hurt? The muscle around my thumb hurts and I'm actually noticing rub marks from my hook on my fingers. What do you do for your busy hands?"
Ah yes! The dreaded hand cramps !
When I first started crocheting properly at the end of 2008, I noticed that my hands started to cramp up quite quickly! I searched every forum you can imagine to get some tips on how to prevent my fingers seizing up after only half an hour of crocheting, so quickly tried them out. Some worked for me, some didn't. Some made perfect sense, others were perfectly ridiculous !
Here are some tips that help me BUCKETLOADS when it comes to hand cramps!

Take a break ! Over time I have learnt to rest my fingers before going overboard. I start to get tingly sensations in my fingers and my wrists start to click, which is my flashing warning sign to give it a rest The worst thing you could do is try to push through the pain, even if you only have one row left! I was so eager to finish my AC/DC piece, I remember pushing through the clicks and cracks to knock off the last 12 rows and by god, I could hardly bend my fingers without searing pain for the next week, rendering me useless!! Pretzel-finger syndrome!!!
I now crochet in 15 minute blocks. After 15 mins, I stop, stand up, and do some basic hand exercises

Hand Exercises - after a quick search for "finger stretches, hand stretches, etc," I compiled a series of finger, hand and wrist stretches that I do in between 15 minute blocks of crocheting. First I tend to splay my fingers out, stretching them as far as they can go, before then curling them up to form a fist (repeat x 10), I then gently massage the palms of my hands, working from the middle of the palm out to the end of each finger. That usually takes about 5 mins for both hands. I then bend my wrists backwards and then forwards using my other hand like this...



Funnily enough, I don't tend to get too much pain in my crocheting hand. I actually get the most pain in the index finger of my left hand ! I tend to stick out my index finger as I hold my working yarn, which leaves it a bit stiff and sore! Which leads me to think that maybe trying a different grip on your hook may alleviate any pain your experienceing in your crocheting hand.
I've also noticed that MY NECK gets extremely stiff!! After I complete a row i'm finding that I have to do a few simple neck exercises (which make me look like a pidgeon...so attractive...)
I must get into the crocheting zone and look like a bloody statue sitting there cause my neck is completely set in stone sometimes! Very strange!
So as long as you don't push yourself too hard and you take lots of little breaks, hopefully some simple exercises should help ease the pain and it'll be smooth sailing from here on in !
Lee xox

Treat Time
10th March, 2011

So i've been on my mission to lose a smudge of pudge for about 10 weeks now and this morning I hit an awesomely fantastic milestone !!

8 KILOS LOST ! ! !

Twas quite a lovely sight to wake up to!!
So whilst out walking about the shops today, I decided I deserved a little 'reward' for reaching the 8 kilo mark and for only having 2 more to go !
I avoided the clothes stores as they can wait till I reach my goal weight. I stayed the HELL away from cafe's/Pick'n'mixes/The chocolate aisle's in the supermarkets and ended up coming home with these.....


I have dubbed them my 'lifesavers' due to a) the colour and b) because I have been on the hunt for a dodgy pair of cheap Converse rip-off's for flipping AGES!!!
I was originally on the hunt for some hot pink ones but multi-coloured shiny shiny ones are ten thousand times better! Score!
Now for the ironic news of the day...
Below you'll recall my entry on colour choices when it comes to yarn and how SOMETIMES it doesn't work out so well?!?!
Last night I got to 40%! on Micky, my last Monkee needed for my blisteringly bright Monkees blanket and low and behold once I got to his mouth the shading just wasn't dark enough!! BIGGEST GRRRRRR!!!
So unfortunately i'll have to shelve him till my next yarn expedition!
Which leaves me at a bit of a crossroads...
What to work on tonight?!?!?!
Koala? BTTF? Jack Sparrow? Start Marilyn?....
*SIGH* I need a 4 sided coin....
Side note - Tomorrow i'll have another 'Totallee Got A Question For Ya' or TGAQFY submitted by the lovely Donna ! Stay tuned!
Lee xox

Q & A
9th March, 2011
Strictly speaking, I'm not really one for 'weekly features' on blogs.
Don't get me wrong I LOVE them when they are updated frequently on other's blogs, I just always fail epically when I try to keep one going !
That being said...


This feature can be as regular or as irregular as you'd like it to be!
Okay i'm hearing that being said in my Doctor's voice in my head and it's sounding gross
Anywayz!
Whenever you guys ask a terrific question regarding the type of crochet I do (because i'm not so crash hot with any other sort), I'd really like to take the time out and answer it as best I can, so both you and others may benefit !
The wonderful Kate has put forward a question I get asked quite a lot, so I thought I would make it numero uno! Cheers Kate !!

QUESTION: "What brand/type of yarn do you use??"

The MOST IMPORTANT aspect of yarn choice when it comes to colourwork is the colour !
The CBN technique relies on you choosing progressive shades in the colour palette of your choice, be it greys, blues, pinks, etc...
Typically a pattern will instruct which brand of yarn to use, and for those folks who find it frustrating or get a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing colours, Todd has A LIST of blue and brown shades that work in the Red Heart range which may make life easier for you !
As for my yarn choices - they do tend to change with every piece!
After much browsing I have found a palette of greys that I am very happy with, however it does vary depending on whether i'd like the piece to have a black & white feel or a slight blue tinge running through it. It really does come down to trial and error for me!
I have never made a piece using the same brand of yarn for all colours. I always use many different kinds!
I get yarn from craft supply stores, discount stores, Kmart, Woolworths, my Mum's accumulated stash over the past 30 years, freebies from friends old stashes, etc...
Then it really is a case of mixing and matching to get the right degree of shading
The size of the ply I use also varies! For instance, in my GWTW piece, one of the lighter blues I really really wanted to use only came in 5 ply, much thinner than all the other colours that were 8 ply. So I bought 2 balls and worked two strands of the colour every time I used it, in order to balance the thickness. The important thing was that it was the RIGHT COLOUR for the job
Hence the reason as to why I cannot give brand names of the yarn I use in each pattern as it really is an eclectic ever-changing mix!
I guess the biggest barrier a lot of people have in giving work like this a go is the risky business of choosing colours and being afraid that they won't work as well as they want them too. Trust me, i've had my fair share of disasters!
Exhibit A
I thought I was on a winner with my choices for a piece featuring Danny Jones from McFly I attempted a while ago...



So far so good...decided to keep going...



Yup! Loving that shine on the retro microphone! Kept going...



WAY TOO DARK!!! BIGGEST BUMMER!!!
So the best advice I can give is to take your time in comparing and contrasting your shades! Sometimes projects will fail, sometimes you may have to put a project on hold until the right shade turns up in stock, sometimes you may have to change your entire palette depending on the colours you have available to you. Ply size you can work around, brands you can mix and match, but it's the colour choices that will be the difference between a good piece and one that POPS!

If you have a question please don't hesitate to get in contact either via the tagboard or email: poprocker85[@]totallee[.]net and i'll be more than happy to go into a lil detail that will hopefully help
Lee xox

The Big Reveal
8th March, 2011
I can NOW reveal my 'hush hush' piece!!!
Kathryn, dude, i'm sorry I kept it from you!!! Honest to god it was only to keep it super super super top secret !
For those who aren't in the know, Kathryn is my gorgeous cousin and for the past 19 days I have been working away on a piece featuring her adorable parents as a thank you gift for their support in my crocheting endevours.
I can now reveal the end product !!!





I've just gotten home from surprising them with it and i'm stoked to report that they loved it !! Phew!!!
I'm in LOVE with the end result!! This is the first time i've used a multi-coloured yarn in a piece and I truly adore the effect! So be warned, there will be more used in future!
Kathryn - dude - I swear no more secrets!!! SO hard not to tell you!! But I hope you get a kick out of it too !
Side note - 30,000 HITS on Totallee.net!!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE WHO HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO DROP BY!!!! BIG LOVE OUT TO YOU!!!! XOX

Lee xox

Rockin` Again
6th March, 2011

I just took the plunge and e-mailed the lady at the Rock 'n' Roll club about membership! EXCITED!!
I had a read through of their activities, functions, etc and holy crap it sounds so fun! I had no idea there were so many fifties-style festivals and 3 day weekend events dotted around the place!
I also had no idea there were so many boutiques here in Aus that get truckloads of amazing stock from the States!
Exhibit A!

Credit: Bettyjane.com.au

I feel a shopping/road trip to this boutique coming on !!! Pity it's 3 states over
Thank god for postage !
AGH! Can't wait for it all to kick off
In other news, feeling human again today !
Thankfully it was only a 24 hour thing, so am almost back to being healthy and boring again!


I've also managed to reacquaint myself with the hook! I was starting to suffer symptoms of withdrawl aka restless fingers and fidgeting !
My 'hush hush' piece is now at 65%, so i'll try and get as much done today as I can, as the rest of this week will have to be devoted to my first piece of uni assessment for the year...joy.
However! Let's leave on a happy note shall we!!



(I can NEVER seperate Steve Martin and John Candy's version from 'Planes Trains & Automobiles' anytime I hear this! Truth be known I don't want to! Friggin hilarious!)
Lee xox

Maz Love!
1st March, 2011


I know I said I wouldn't be starting any new pieces till I got the old ones out of the way but I caught the tail end of 'Some Like It Hot' on telly today and by god I love that film and by god....Marilyn
The most BEAUTIFUL hourglassed beauty of her time needs to be immortalised in crochet !!!
Tomorrow = yarn shopping for the Ravenclaw crest and Maz!
Plus another secret shhh shhh piece i'm working on is about to hit the halfway mark, so I shall be working to get that up to speed!
The free pattern for March will be up tomorrow!
I do have crochet picture updates in store for later this week I promise peeps !
P.s. I totally got chatted up in Kmart today. Was quite fabulous. Hourglass dress + health and beauty aisle of Kmart = Perfect pick-me up !
Lee xox