The Year That Was

I can’t express enough how eagerly I’ve awaited 2016.

2015 was a really bad year. Late 2014 the small company I worked for was purchased by a much larger one. It soon became clear that it was not a good company to work for. As the months wore on I fell deeper into survival-mode and disconnected from everything. All my energy went into work and job hunting. I wanted to do my art but I just couldn’t. The passion was gone.

The second half of the year was the worst. We relocated further from home and I’ve been travelling 3 1/2 hrs each day since August (at least the company let me work four-day weeks so that helped a little bit). And my supervisor resigned so I was left trying to do the work of four people with a backlog of work thanks to the move. It just wasn’t possible and I was drowning.

That, in combination with a little bit of family issues, sent me over the edge. I woke up one September day unable to stop crying. So I took myself to a medical centre and got help. Thanks to that I’ve been getting better and turning my life around bit by bit. My job still sucked but I felt myself again. The depression over the year was so gradual that I hadn’t even realised that I had lost myself and it was such a wonderful feeling to get me back.

Best of all, my months of hard work finally paid off and I was offered a job! I spent a week bouncing around the house giggling to myself ūüôā People at work have been commenting how happy I’ve been and telling me to stop smiling. Which just makes me smile even more…

So in this crap year of crapness, December has been a really awesome month (aside from all the needles I’ve had to get for the new job). I cannot wait to start my new job in the middle of January. It is such amazing timing as well to start a new job in a new year. A fresh start.

Bring on 2016!

Ridiculous cake is ridiculous

My supervisor is abandoning me for another job ;_;

I made the mistake of letting her pick her farewell cake. I was thinking along the lines of flavour, perhaps a lemon drizzle or a chocolate mud cake. Alas, she wanted a Deathstar cake. With glitter.

I’ve never made a spherical cake before, I have no idea what I’m doing. I used the cake batter from the zebra cake and used lots of colouring. If I’m going to make a ridiculous cake then I’m going to go all out and make¬†it look as ridiculous as possible. Swirling the colours all over the pudding pan was very therapeutic. This has been such an awful month, I really needed an opportunity to make a colourful mess.

I baked the cake at 160C for 1 hr 40 mins, with water added to the oven. I was so worried that it would be burnt on the outside and raw on the inside but it turned out just right. I think an oil based cake was a good move.

Then I turned the cake out and some of it stayed in the pan. Why? ;_;

deathstar3The icing for the zebra cake was a little too sweet for my tastes so this time I went with a lemon cream cheese icing. It tastes delicious but made way too much. Now I have heaps of ugly grey icing in my freezer.

As for the details, I still have a big expensive tub of blue fondant icing that needs using up. Accuracy is overrated, blue deathstars are trendy. Shut up!

Did I mention that I have no idea what I’m doing?

Everything is awesome

goodnewseveryone-professor_zpsd9f36e14I try not to post too much about work online. It doesn’t feel right to me. I cringe whenever I see my ex-colleague complaining about work online. But damn, it almost seems like the company has a bet on to see just how much crap they can lay on us before¬†we crack. I feel so broken and devalued.

As soon as we’ve grown accustomed to the latest drama, we’re called into a meeting and Surprise! It is actually impressive just how much worse they can make things. It’s a skill.

My supervisor has had to talk me out of considering resigning without a new job lined up. The only thing keeping me going is the thought of how glorious it will be when I finally hand in my resignation. That and the cakes.¬†I’ve managed to convince the people resigning that they have to bake me cakes. I still can’t believe they’ve fallen for it… ūüėÄ

I have been job-hunting but it is so time-consuming and draining. I actually managed to get an interview last week. But then my grandad and uncle died and that was pretty devastating. I did manage to attend the interview (almost ran away when I had to listen to some dickhead on the train shout into the phone “He’s dead! He’s dead!”) but I don’t really remember the interview. Oh-well. Hopefully some other opportunities come my way soon. Then I can get back to all my fun creative hobbies.

The Paloma Top

All throughout the Sewing With Knits class, Meg McElwee has been wearing her paloma top. It’s a clever strategy as I’m sure I’m not the only one who wanted to make it after watching her classes. I love the stripes running in the different directions. My final fabric even looks similar to Meg’s top.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well. The fabric was horrible to cut out and wasn’t fun to sew. The sleeves were a nightmare. I couldn’t get the notches to match without stretching the fabric too much. And the corners were too difficult for me. What are sleeves doing with corners?! I almost gave up entirely but I really wanted my stripy top so in the end I stopped¬†trying to line up¬†everything¬†properly and just sewed the damn thing. I’m too scared to finish the neck so I’ve left it untouched.

Apparently this is a beginner pattern…(Ôľõ-_-)

Paloma

It could be worse. I’ll still wear it. It doesn’t look so bad from a distance and no one at work needs to know how it should look. But I’m still really disappointed.

In other news: things are pretty crap right now. Since the company take-over I’ve grown to hate my job. And at the start of the month they announced that we would be relocating in August. My commute is going to change from tolerable to agony. I’ve started hunting for a new job but that isn’t going well. I keep telling myself that a job is better than no job but I honestly don’t know how I’m going to cope.

Herman the German Friendship Cake

Work has really been stressful and chaotic. The past month has been uncertain, secretive and horrible. Now, part of the business has been sold and us workers have been split in two. I have the same job (I think?), for the same pay, in the same building, for a new employer. Such a strange week. It’s going to be an interesting few months.

Thankfully, during these tumultuous times the workplace has been introduced to Herman. That’s Herman the German Friendship Cake. Containers of smelly yeasty mixtures and a set of instructions were passed around. We took our Hermans home and took care of them for 10 days. There has been so much cake to eat. One coworker tried the basic recipe, which we found to be a bit dry, though still yum. Another tried a Ginger Herman, which was amazing.

I didn’t really have anyone to give my Herman portions to – everyone at work is all Hermaned out. So I froze two portions for later and baked with the rest. I started with the basic Herman (without saltanas, apple, or cinnamon), and then divided it into two.

Lemon Herman. A winning cake.

The first I added the zest of four lemons. My lemon tree is prolific, I have been baking so many lemon goodies and giving heaps away but there’s still heaps of lemons on the tree. The batter was very doughy so I decided to add some lemon juice until I liked the consistency. It took about an hour to bake and sat in the over afterwards. Then I poked holes in the cake and brushed over a lemon syrup (it was more lemony than sugary). Everyone at work seemed to love it.

This photo is meant to be artistic and has nothing to do
with the fact that I couldn’t be bothered cleaning my
messy kitchen…

The second portion I added raspberries and white chocolate but no extra liquid. I love that flavour combination. As muffins, it took 40 minutes to cook. While not as nice as the lemon syrup cake, they were still yummy and actually weren’t dry.

There are so many more possibilities I want to try out. Such a great food trend!

October busyness

OK, so I put minimal effort into October’s palette challenge.
I’m too exhausted to attempt anything serious. At work I’m training in another area that has a very high throughput (and less tolerance for mistakes). It only amounts to a little extra (unpaid) overtime but the process is not ergonomic and my upper body and thumb muscles aches. When I get home I just collapse on the couch and cross stitch.

I’m also buying my first house. It’s a nice little 2-bedroom (with backyard for Future Dog) on the boundry between suburbia and rural (doubling my commuting time). The process of buying a house is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. But all the documentation freaks me out and the bank made a mistake transferring my deposit. I should have picked up the mistake on the day but I’m an idiot and didn’t realise until the next day when the deposit was due. That wasn’t a fun birthday…

Settlement is a month away so in theory I have plenty of time to pack and arrange utility changes etc. Except I’ve accumulated a lot of crap over the years and it’s taking forever to throw it all out. It would appear that I am incapable of throwing out packaging. Which is fine for things like a sewing machine box. That’s useful – many things can be packed in that box. Tiny box for tea pot is not useful.
I also have trouble throwing out my old toys. Throwing out my old uni material was very satisfying.

I’m too tired to be excited right now…