Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mish Mash..

Carolyn showed us the table her father made on her blog a few days ago; her family seems to be a really crafty and hand made family which is really inspiring. It also reminded me that I made a table too.  It was a while ago... hmmm let me think when ... it must be about 15 years ago (wow, where does the time go?) 

I was a travel agent for a long while. One of my clients was quite a traveller and a really nice guy.  He ended up travelling lots with me (actually that means booking with me) and he ended up getting married to a young lady who was a furniture maker (and traveller) ... not just an ordinary furniture maker but she had learned from Bell Bros. which was an old traditional furniture make now sadly out of business (quite a while now).  She wanted to teach people how to make simple things and pass on her love of woodwork; and she particularly wanted to teach women.  

When she told me about it I jumped at the chance and another travel agent friend made one after me too.  There were only 6 or 8 in the class and we made a table from silky oak which is a lovely wood from a grevillia tree (can't remember which one - but my absolute favourite species of native trees). You all made the same size and shape but could customise it by shorter and/or fancier legs, routing the edges etc but I wanted a nice simple shape.  She helped us all in the beginning as we had to plane the wood etc and may have been a bit slow at times.  The wood at the beginning looked like it was on a dump pile so the first thing I learned was that you don't judge a book made of wood by its cover! Anyway here it is.. what do you think?

 Anyway, onto other things I have been doing.  I started university yesterday.  The tafe course I was doing (Diploma of Marketing) was a 12 month course and that gave automatic entry into a Bachelor of Business at QUT here, of course only if you actually passed (I did - distinctions all round!!) It also cuts one year off the Bachelor so I only have 2 more years.

I chose to do it this way because as I hadn't studied for quite a while and I am a single parent I wasn't sure I could cope with full time study for 3 years.  So this way I could bumble through a year and at least get a qualification that was useful.  If I started a degree and couldn't finish; I'd have nothing to show for it.
Anyway, while I have been on the mid-semester break I have been doing stuff.  I sewed a skirt (two actually but one I gave to my Mum as it is just not good for my shape), still half made the black dress posted before, the magenta jacket, half made top for my mum (having trouble with the thread for some reason - and it's a knit), I know I have made something else too but can't remember!
This is just a simple A line skirt that I put a brown zip in as that was all I had that was dark, some patch pockets and belt loops.  It's probably a little short but with boots and tights I can get away with it as a student!

The other thing I have been doing is painting my lounge room!  It hasn't been done since when I went to Argentina and Peru many years ago (Princess Diana died when I was in Cuzco whatever year that was).  I came home and my boyfriend then painted the lounge room this beautiful happy sunshine lemon colour.  Being a single parent and poor, I bought a can of miss tinted paint from Bunnings for $20 and now it is a very neutral cream/beige colour.  My son and I miss our happy yellow colour.  That corner behind the tv has a spot that I missed I noticed last night but too bad - I'm done! 

Well not really as the windows are getting done this weekend while my son is with his Dad.  I also have a spinal/neck injury from 20 years ago so I am super slow and so this has taken me a few weeks - I had to scrape the peeling paint from the window frames and sand them and this put a lot of stress and pain on my hands so slow was the go. (where the table is pictured is the new colour) At least there are no black hand prints on the wall anymore (my son came into the bathroom when I was showering one day and said "Look how I painted my hands mum" and I knew it was on the walls too!)

I also had to go to help my friend in Adelaide for a few days - so I have been (lots) lazy, and (some) productive during my break. Sorry for the long post.  What a mish mash of stuff.  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not competitive but community.

While doing yoga this morning (I do it every morning so that I am a little looser due to an old car accident) I was thinking about sewing and about having a blog.  I am not such a proficient seamstress like many in blog land, nor am I so precise and patient like many seamstresses out there.  Then I thought having a blog and a blog land of sewers makes us competitive... I have definitely sewn more since having my blog. During this musing though I changed my mind and decided that rather than making me competitive it inspires me.  I think more about sewing and what I am making and fitting etc.  So thanks to all the bloggers I read (even if I don't comment) for the inspiration, information, encouragement and the sharing of a lovely community.

This is a maxi-dress I made a couple of years ago.  $2 per metre cotton and a shirred bodice with a big ruffle on the bottom.  Sooo comfortable and nice to wear but the cheap fabric didn't last.  We had just been swimming at South Bank on Australia Day - it isn't very flattering but I love that my son is so cuddly!

Gratuitous photo as no sewing done as I am painting (well so far scraping, sanding and filling) the lounge room.  The last time it was done was when Princess Diana died and I was travelling in South America - an old boyfriend did it as a surprise!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cyprus and warmth.

Well, I haven't done much sewing as it is just too cold in my house at night to sew.  I've lived in my house for nearly 20 years and I caved and bought a heater this year; one of those heavy oil heaters .. lugged it up the stairs, put it together and... it didn't work.  Took it back to the shop the next day, repeated the lugging and putting together for the heater to work perfectly warming up my kitchen and some sewing was done (see previous post) however, that only lasted 3 days; or rather the heater did.  So that went back and now I am wondering should I buy another?? I am cold; so I say yes, but that would be 4 trips to the shops so far for no warmth. 

I had to go to Adelaide to help a friend in need .. cold and wet there .. took fabric to cut out a jacket and she borrowed a machine for me - but a lot of talking, reading and relaxing got done but alas no sewing. That's ok I didn't have my son with me (he was at Dad's) so it was the first uninterrupted time I'd had with my girlfriend for quite a while.

So just to have some colour in my post I am putting a photo from our trip to Cyprus in 2009 at about the same time of year.  Beautiful isn't it ... Look at those colours with my piddly little camera.

 This one is of my and my son's foot on the marble rocks on the Acropolis. I liked my pearly pink nail polish and the colours on the rock and my son's little foot.
This is a photo of my son and nephew at the Brisbane Tram Museum.  I go when I want to remember riding the trams in my early youth. These are way before even my youth however; but they are really lovely and the boys love going.  It is a really cute museum, the people are friendly and run the different trams all day... it's only open on Sundays when it doesn't rain for those interested.

I graduated last Tuesday and now start university on 25 July! so I hope to have time to sew a few more things and paint the lounge room (and maybe my bedroom??) Here's wishing me luck.