Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Campers

I have just packed up my tent for the winter. Yes. Outdoor season has officially ended this weekend. At least the season for sleeping outdoors (every other outdoor activity you can pretty much do any time of year in Ireland - this poor deprived country only has one season all year 'round, anyway.) My end of season marker is the great big open air music festival Electric Picnic which is on in the Irish sticks on a country estate in the Irish countryside the first weekend of September every year. It's a weekend of music, music, music, some art and literature, and camping. (Oh, and some MAJOR drinking for most the revellers there. Yours truly would love to, but is a responsible parent, so doesn't.)

You may remember that I mentioned the festival the other day when I showed you my rock chic outfit. It has become one if my favourite garments which I wear even when not at a festival. Hey, that's because life rocks, anyway. Especially now that it has been washed a good few times and the hem is nicely frayed. So I must say, it really rocked. Here is the reminder (right):
There were plenty of faded denim skirts out there. But none in combination with cute polka dotted wellies ;-). At some point a woman approached me and said "Hey, we are wellie twins!" Ha, wellie quintuplets, more like - I saw at least three other girls with the same wellies, but I did not have the heart to tell your woman after I had already shocked her by saying we were wellie cheapskates - considering that they were bought for € 20 at an Irish chainstore.

Anyhow, you have to bear with me today, I am still in full swing - literally - after the musical delights of the festival. I have been dancing the morning away. No kidding, dusting off the old hips in my study and rocking away to Foster the People's "Call it what you want". Click the vid and get an instant boost of energy and good mood!)

Bear with me, I am recording this for posterity. Skip the red part if you couldn't be bothered with this music stuff. We watched 22 shows. I measure their success in a) how much I danced and b) how much I remember of the gig at all. So in order:
  • Sinead O'Connor (grande dame of Irish rock - bit lame, actually)
  • Foster the People (full tent and some serious rocking go on)
  • Santigold (nice soulfull voice, but didn't quite hold my attention)
  • PJ Harvey (can only remember her odd headpiece and the rain. Gig can't have been outstanding)
  • Interpol (rain. Some dancing. I guess I was only just getting into it)
  • Bitches with Wolves (prize for the worst stage outfits - all of them. music was actually not bad)
  • Codes (ehm, no recollection, sorry guys)
  • Undertones (classic punk, really well done even without Feargal Sharkey)
  • Jape (hands of fire got me dancing)
  • Lykke Li (hm, lame - must be the stage: main stage is outside, not much of a spark)
  • Death in Vegas (rrrrrrrrrrrocked!! Serious dancing going on. Even converted the GG)
  • Arcade Fire (good show - but that almost distracted from the music, so not the full marks from me)
  • Trentem√∂ller (like him better when not live - the singers were not my thing... good dancing, though)
  • Chemical Bros (punctuality, guys! great gig, but again the outdoor thing doesn't work for me)
  • The Minutes (ehm???)
  • Oh Land (just 15 minutes of this Danish band, nice, smooth, but banal sound)
  • Gemma Hayes (my surprise gig - really good, some swinging along, have to check her)
  • James Vincent McMorrow (packed tent, we stayed outside. as good as expected, some seriously off-key background singer though)
  • The Japanese Popstars (yay - fantastic, would love to see these guys playing a smaller venue, dance central!!)
  • Big Audio Dynamite (surprisingly good - even without much previous knowledge)
  • The Drums (didn't really spark for me - maybe because we stayed outside the tent and I was freezing)
  • White Lies (my top gig of the weekend - unexpectedly. Their rendition of Death had the packed out tent dancing and jumping in unison. a seminal gig? certainly for me!)

Will she ever get to the craft bit? Yes, she will now. My point of all this preliminary talk (apart from looooooooooving to see my own writing *hahaha*) is, that there was camping involved in the weekend. And at the beginning of the summer I sewed some handy sheetbags (guys, no joking here, I have heard them all before, really! I AM familiar with Irish slang and foreign accents...). Ok, I know, camping season has just finished - unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere. Any readers in Australia? New Zealand? Well, Fiji, anyone? Ok, maybe you don't need sheetbags there, considering the climate... But here we go, this is it:

I started off with a kingsize duvet cover.

I measured it carefully and then cut it into three parts.

Well, obviously not carefully enough, because I was unfortunately left with one rather narrow strip of material that was too small even for a skinny ten-year-old.

I took one of the strips and laid it out on a flat surface. The fact that it was one of the side bits of the duvet cover meant, I only had to sew down one side of the material to create a sheet bag.

To determine the size of the pillow I used a regular pillow case as a pattern and cut along it across one half of the material strip, leaving an inch extra for hemming in.

I first hemmed what was going to be the opening of the pillow case. Then I sewed the pillow case onto the back of the sheet.

Next I sewed another hem along the blankety bit of the sheetbag.

Lastly, I made the sheetbag by sewing down along the long side, leaving a bit of a slit at the top so that you can fold it down and wriggle yourself into the sheetbag.

These instructions are not very detailed, I know, but it is all rather self-explanatory and logical once you make this. We put them to the test on our summer holiday in the South of France - and they worked beautifully. The pillows were snug in the casing of the sheetbag and the bag itself big enough to hold an average sized adult. Apparently I have no evidence that I ever finished this project - no images do exist. And the sheetbags have already been stored away with the tents. So you'll have to do without it and believe me.


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