Friday, April 30, 2010

The Modern Friendship

Redefining my definitions.

Sewing 2009

Three years ago I started sewing again
after a near 20 year hiatus during which I studied, worked, did a few naughty things, travelled and the like.

Two and a half years ago I discovered an on-line sewing shop...
then its forum...
then the world of blogging.

I do have some real life friends.
I really do.
A couple of long term, close ones
and few others who are always a comfortable fit but more distant.

But what about this whole other on-line life that I have?
I have been an active member of the Crafty Mamas forum
for two and a half years.
It is an amazing place.
So many women.
Mostly mothers.
So diverse in age, backgrounds and day to day lives.
Yet similarly driven to create.
And above all accepting, supportive and helpful.
There is no judgement,
no hostility, 
no place for school yard bitchiness or arrogance.
Regardless of whether we are discussing the latest boutique pattern,
bottle versus breast
or the likelyhood that little green men are going to come and take us away.

Yet up until recently my turn of phrase was
"one of the girls on the forum that I hang around on said..."
"a mum on this sewing forum I know did..."
I couldn't quite come at using the word "friend".


Because even though we have shared stories,
laughed together,
given each other shoulders when needed,
encouraged to create,
helped out
and are in touch 7 days per week,
most of us haven't physically met
or even spoken to each other in real life.

I talk to this sisterhood more frequently than my fresh and blood friends.

As time goes on, more of us are meeting up in the flesh
and the bond that we feel from our on-line interaction makes such catch ups very comfortable.

Yesterday I got an unexpected envelope in the post.
Tracy over at the Mad Quilter
knew from the forum chats that I was struggling with an ongoing lurgy.
She is currently holding the fort at home while her hubby is away for work.
She has 7 children, the youngest only a few months old.
Yet she still found the time for a Random Act of Kindness.
She sent me a get well card and some crochet goodies.
Unexpected and heartwarming.

In the past few months,
after sharing the supprt and generosity of these women,
I do now talk about my "friends'",
even though there are a fair few of them that I would not be able to pick out of a line up.

I am also feeling the same way about my blog followers who drop by,
read a bit,
then take the time to comment.
There is a level of understanding and comraderie
not based on anything material.

The power of the Internet can indeed be used for evil
but it can also be used for the very, very good
and can make the world an incredibly small and comforting place.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A tee for me.

Ottobre Creative Workshop 303

I am particularly chuffed about this tee for a number of reasons.

Firstly because it is the first time I have sewn up an entire stretch fabric garment without
uttering a single expletive. It sewed up like a dream.

Little Boozle 2010
Fabric is Stella from Crafty Mamas shop.

Secondly because it is the first time I have embroidered on a stretch fabric
where I have achieved a near perfect result.

Little Boozle 2010
Embroidery is loveNpeace from Smila's World.

Thirdly because I can wear my fitted jeans and a more fitted tee and feel good.
Something that I didn't feel when I had those extra 10 kilograms on my hips.
In fact this tee is a little on the big side.

Little Boozle 2010
(OK so at 7am, pre-coffee drip, I don't look so good
but I've never professed to being comfortable on the catwalk)

And the last reason is that now that I am sewing for myself again,
I am making myself some clothes that I really love to wear.
In gorgeous, good quality fabrics.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quote of the Week

From my 6 year old son.

"You can't get married if you are a spatula"

Not that many spatulas are looking for the big, traditional wedding ceremony...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Day, 25th April, 2010

Lest we forget.

(Image from

Last night my husband and I sat down to explain the meaning of ANZAC Day
to our 5 and 6 year old sons.
We both felt an overwhelming pride in our country and got very emotional as we explained to them
the dedication, loyalty and sacrifice of those people
who have defended our country.

This morning they attended their first Anzac Day dawn service.

In the past few years, my husband and I have become a little bit complacent
about the meaning behind  the Anzacs, Australia Day and the like.

But passing on to our children,
-the next generation-
these times of reflection,
and an understand of how lucky we are
gives us a reminder too
and a realisation of how important it is that we don't forget.

Friday, April 23, 2010

From my embroidery machine...


Which may or may not end up somewhere eventually.

Little Boozle 2010

Deer from "Waldtiere" at Kunter-Bunt.

Little Boozle 2010

Dragon from "Drachenbruder" at Kunter-Bunt.

Little Boozle 2010

"Elephant Stack" from EmbLibrary

Little Boozle 2010

Squirrel from "Enchanted Forest" at EmiOli.

Kwik Sew skirts

Recommended patterns.

A little while back, Leisl over at Hoppo Bumpo
was espousing the virtues of Kwik Sew pattern 3513.

Little Boozle 2010

It is a great little pattern.
So simple and so quick to make up.

I have wanted some basic skirts in my wardrobe
so made it up in a black knit fabric.
I wont waste time posting photos that wont show any detail
but believe me when I say that you would be hard pressed to find a skirt that you could make faster
and as a bonus, it is supercomfy.

Of course, while I was shopping on-line for that pattern,
I bought this one at the same time: Kwik Sew 3512

 Little Boozle 2010

I made this one up in a dark denim so not going to post any snaps of this little baby either.
But I made view B.
Took a bit more time to cut out and make
but again a lovely fit and very comfortable.

Which leaves me with Kwik Sew 3494...

Little Boozle 2010

...which begged me to buy it...really.

Looking forward to making this up,
perhaps when my booty is a little bit smaller.
But I think it is rather gorgeous.

30 degrees outisde and I am making winter dressing gowns!

Just in case Winter ever plans to make an appearance.
We are mid way through Autumn here
but yesterday in Adelaide it reached 30 degrees.
The warmest April day for 28 years.

But in spite of this, my daughter spied the Dora polar fleece in my stash last week
so I had to make it up into something before she absconded with it.
There were a few options
but if I didn't make it for a specific limited purpose,
I could see her wearing it all day, every day
(and night)

But she gets the concept of a dressing gown so I figured that I would get
to change her clothes during the day this way.

Pattern: Burda 2662

Nice little pattern that comes together well
and superfast to put together in polar fleece as I only trimmed the seams neatly
rather than finish them.

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Approval rating?

Little Boozle 2010

Can you guess?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Warning: dag alert

Guess what I did last night?




Just me and 10 000 of my mates,
(99% of whom were over 40 years of age)
reliving the fun of our youth.

Tears for Fears were amazing.
Those voices...
Spandau Ballet were fun.
A bit different to the 80s...
Overall less hair,
more wrinkles,
better clothing sense
but energetic and entertaining and having a ball.

(And might I say that the sax player, Steve Norman, is a certifiable 50 year old spunkrat.)

Yes, I am a dag and proud of it.
(and no, I didn't have a fluoro "Chose Life" tee and bubble skirt to wear)

And at the risk of starting to sound like a middle aged parent,
I have to say,
as inane or cheesy as the lyrics may be in some of the 80s music,
at least there aren't any words that I wouldn't like my children repeating back at me
or music clips that aren't suitable for them to see.

Now, if only Abba would reform...

Can you hear that?


Try harder.
Just silence?


Today my youngest child started once a week daycare.
So with one in school and one in half day kindy,
that gives me,
considering the time to do the drop off and pick at kindy,
exactly 2 hours, 27 minutes and 42 seconds to myself
every Tuesday afternoon.

Don't get me wrong.
Love my kids.
But mummy time is good.
Mummy time is great.
Mummy time is fabulous.

It is the first time in nearly 7 years, since my first was born,
that I have official "me" time
on a regular basis.
and in July it will become 6 hours a week!
(provided of course that my daughter continues to enjoy daycare.
My personal freedom and gratification lies with the carefree attitude of a 2 year old. Eek!)

So what did I do today?
Sit and watch Oprah with a tub of icecream double dipping to my heart's content?
Run around nudie a bit (just cos I could)?
Blare out daggy 80s music and do a Tom Cruise around the house?

Basically I did a big fat nothing.
Partly to do with the lurgy that I am dealing with.
But partly because I could just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Another gem I have come to understand as I get older:
Silence certainly IS golden!

An elephantine offering.

Crafty Mamas April pin cushion swap

Now that my pachyderm is safely wrapped and winging her way to the Netherlands,
to a recipient who doesn't lurk around here,
I thought it safe to show what transpired from my Toledo map readings.

She is a vintage elephant
(though in retrospect for a pin cushion a thicker, denser quilting cotton may have been a better choice)
and is certainly not perfect
(matching up all those little fiddly gussett seams got the better of me)
but I hope that the recipient finds her charming...
...and useful!

Pattern: Heather Bailey effie and ollie elephant
Fabrics: vintage cotton and chenille from stash
Cute factor: 5 star

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Holy Toledo Batman!

An exercise in map reading.

Over at the Crafty Mamas' swap this month,
we are to make our recipient a pin cushion.
Aha! I have the perfectly cute, perfect pattern, methinks.
And some perfectly cooured vintage fabric.
And some perfectly fluffy chenille.


Everything going swimmingly until I turned the page...


...and got a bit confused as to sew what bit where.
It may not look that bad but considering what I had in my hands,
it was a teensy weensy bit confusing.

Deep breath.
Big swig of coffee.
I can work this diagram out.
I have a University degree.
Failing that, I have birthed 3 children naturally.
I. can. do. this.

It actually reminded me of a sunny day in Spain way back in 2001
when hubby and I were traversing Western Europe in an old, unreliable Combie van
(as Aussies do)
and the day that we decided to explore the old city of Toledo.

Have you been to Toledo?

This is Toledo.

(image from

Just a simplified map here to give you an idea.
Don't get me wrong.
Gorgeous, stunning, awe inspiring place.

But it is a little bit convoluted.
It should have a booth at the entrance where you sign in;
you know, like when you are embarking on a hike at a national park.
Just in case you aren't back before your visa runs out.
(In case you ever go there, I'd recommend running out a piece of string from the entrance.
While it may seem grandiose and downright risque to throw caution (and your map) to the wind and decide to wander aimlessly,
after a few hours,
tired from the forty degree heat,
sore feet from trudging up and down cobblestones
and seeing THAT building for the umpteenth time
-"haven't we been this way before?"-
 it all might just get the better of you!)

Anyhow, I've side tracked.
Back to my pin cushion.
It wasn't half as bad as I first thought.
(Unlike Toledo)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Farbenmix Beala hoodie

Supersnuggly version!

As a recent convert to sewing knit fabrics,
I have to say that part of the joy and satisfaction is the speed of putting most garments together.
The embroidering of the butterflies
(and sewing them on to the velour as I was too chicken to embroider directly)
took much longer than cutting out and sewing up this hoodie.

Fabric: velour from Crafty Mamas shop
Embroidery: from Embroidery Library

It is a bit on the big size but that's OK.
There will be lots of layering happening if winter ever gets here.





Monday, April 5, 2010

Swing top, Japanese style.

New meaning for the word "roomy"

I have a bit of a crush going with Japanese sewing books.
I am accummulating a few and get inspired everytime I look through them,
but have only made up a couple of things.

But they are generally very simple and straightforward...
which is lucky given the complete absence of English guidance.


I made a version of a swing top from the above book.
It was very full to start with
but then I lengthened the sleeve by extending the line of the sleeve at the cuff.


This top really gives a whole new meaning to "full" or "room to manouver"


I'm still not sure.
Love the fabric.
And often look at it and think "love it".
But then look at it another time and think
"not convinced"


Anyhow, I adore the fabric
from the lovely Noor at Holland Fabric House.
Check out her web store or etsy store.
Remember those gorgeous bias tapes I bought a while back?
And I have some of that divine kimono girls fabric in my stash now :)


And it is pretty.
And it certainly is different.


So I am happy as long as the little goddess will wear it.
Perhaps even with some trousers...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

March health report

We apologise for the temporary break in transmission.

Due to the fact that my computer died,
then the computer people's customer service
was apparently not very heavy on the "customer service" part of their job description
and then there were a few little things happening
(like end of school, 15th wedding anniversary, you know the sort of thing),
blogging has been on the backburner for a week.

Then when I did have something to blog about,
we have discovered a problem with our digital SLR camera.
It takes photos
but doesn't want to play nicely and share with others.
Work in progress.

Anyhow I am back for a while.
And using a point and shoot digital to track my progress.

But meanwhile I can report that after 3 months,
my weight loss is about 9 and 3/4 kilograms.
Well over half way to my goal and very happy!