Held to ransom: a warning

I’ve had a slightly scary morning.

Part of my morning routine is to browse happily through what Pinterest believes might be of interest to me, pinning here, clicking through there. This morning I spotted a pretty flower shaped paper piecing block, and clicked onto it. Hurray! There was a free pattern pdf to download. Cue ominous music…..

I downloaded it. I double clicked to open it. Oh s…..t. Loud voice and flashing screen telling me to ring the number below, a virus has been installed on my computer and I should call this number to get ‘Microsoft’ help in getting it removed. I couldn’t shut down either the application or my laptop, and the bloody voice and flashing screen blared on and on.

I took the whole shooting match to the Apple store. Within 10 minutes it was clear that this was ransomware, and had I rung the US phone number, I’d have been told I had to cough up or lose the lot. The lovely people at Next Byte got rid of it for me, I got rid of the pdf, and I just want to let you know to avoid the problem item, or at least approach it with caution.

Here it is. If you see this on Pinterest and you want to download it, make sure your anti-virus software is activated and up to date.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 12.16.30 pm

I’ve tried to tell Pinterest, but there’s no dropdown menu option for ‘one of the pins you sent me links to a pdf that instals malware if you download it’ in their complaints area, so I suspect my warning hasn’t been too effective. I’ve put a warning comment under the pin which will hopefully give anyone pause. Strangely enough, the owner of the blog has now repinned 21 of my pins.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 1.22.42 pmAm I suspicious? Well yes, a bit… I may be doing her a great injustice, and someone has piggybacked onto her pretty pattern, but since she’s repinned everything since I wrote the comment, I feel I’m entitled to some doubt.

Anyway, you have been warned!

The Tree of Life 19: There are waves now

I have spent most of the day hand quilting.

It’s time to stop, I’m getting tired, my fingers are stiff and sore and I’m beginning to draw blood with monotonous regularity.  But I have finished the ripply lines for the sea in the lower half of the quilt.  I’m pleased with how it looks.  Tomorrow, I will do the sky. And then, then, my friends, I’ll be done.  All that will be left is the binding, putting in a hanging channel on the back, and labelling it.  There will be major gloating and whoopeeing.  I will take a nice photo of it hanging on the line (assuming the weather obliges, which seems likely), stick it in my archive, maybe stick it on my spanking new Pinterest quilts board, and then breathe a sigh of relief.

Meanwhile, some detail shots to whet your appetite.  It’s been a toss-up about whether to include these, as they do rather expose the defects in my work. On the other hand, if I can’t be candid with my blogging community, there’s no hope! I mean, is any of you seriously going to send round the stitch police?

Birds detail

Birds detail

Flower detail

Flower detail

Fish detail 1

Fish detail 1

Fish 2 detail

Fish 2 detail

While I was out briefly this afternoon on a rather fruitless errand, I passed our local op shop (known to non Aussies as a thrift or charity shop). I scored a nice pink basket handbag, but I also found these rather smashing ties.  They are just begging to be picked apart and turned into something handsome: a cushion, maybe?  I like how they are already slightly patchworky in appearance, which is essentially what caught my eye.



And now, some of you have been having a look at my new Pinterest boards.  For those who wanted a look but haven’t been able to find me, and were offered options along the lines of Pasta, Corgis, Holidays, Sneakers and other bizarreness, here’s the link:   http://www.pinterest.com/katechiconi. I’m not altogether clear why my user name, which is the usual talltalesfromchiconia, won’t produce anything in a search, but there you are.

And while I watch TV tonight, I’m going to add a few more inches to the Woolly Thing, which may itself be ready for an unveiling in a month or two!

Right, off to make the Husband, who’s had a bad day, something delicious and unhealthy for his supper.

I’m Pinning!

Ooooh, this Pinterest lark is dreadfully addictive.

It’s a good job I’m having a few technical difficulties, or I’d be spending all evening cruising the web, pinning like crazy.  9 boards already, and I’ve barely scratched the surface! What I’m finding so interesting about it, though, is that having the images organised and catalogued like that helps me see recurring themes, colours, textures and ideas.  It’s sort of sorting out my preferences for me!

At present, I’m having to re-pin from other peoples’ boards, which is fine, but narrows the field somewhat. I’m on an iMac, running Safari as my browser, and I can’t seem to instal the Pin It button for my browser that would let me pin content directly from the internet. I did everything in the instructions, but the download did nothing. Anyone out there got any ideas? Until I get it, I can’t retrieve a lot of images I’ve previously sourced from the internet.

I’ve noticed that almost all Pinterest images are in portrait format.  I suppose this means that if you want to get pinned, you should ensure your images are portrait too…

Anyway, if you want to take a look at progress to date, my Pinterest account is also (original as ever) called talltalesfromchiconia.

Right, back to waiting for a response from technical help at Pinterest…. unless one of you out there helps me sort it out first!

Old dogs, new tricks

I’ve been at work today, so there’s no sewing to show.

It’s quiet at work right now, and I filled in the hours of inactivity with reading the nearest I could find to ‘The idiot’s guide to Pinterest’. Because I have lots of visual reference, and really, there’s no reason to keep that stuff in a folder on my computer when it can be kept elsewhere in a nice, neat, organised fashion, and where other people can look at it too if that’s what takes their fancy.

I freely admit that I have resisted joining the online community for a very long time. It’s not that I’m technology resistant, not at all, I have a Mac, a smart phone, a Kindle and all the other toys, it’s more that I had reservations about how public the participation would be, and I was concerned about privacy issues. I still don’t want to join Facebook. I don’t think the minute details of my day to day activities are of riveting interest, and I dislike the triviality (is that a word?) of most of what appears there. I know that Facebook can be an extremely useful marketing tool for businesses large and small. Maybe one day I’ll find I need it. But until then, I’m steering clear. Twitter’s another one I don’t see much point in. You may have noticed I usually need lots of words to cover what I have to say! Again, it’s too public, and perhaps a bit too easy to blurt out the first thing that occurs to you…

This blog, on the other hand, is heaps of fun. It’s a forum for meeting people with interests similar and dissimilar, the creative, the dedicated, the inspired and the eloquent. I kept a diary before I discovered WordPress. Now, I keep my blog, and post something most days. It has given me a community of friends and acquaintances that was lacking in real life, having moved to a city where I know very few people apart from my husband and his family.  The ever-fascinating stats seem to indicate that I’m not posting into the void, either.

So one day very soon,  talltalesfromchiconia will be putting up some image boards on Pinterest.

Now then, I need some better words than ‘stuff’, ‘ideas’ and ‘things’…..