Thursday, December 29, 2011

Simplicity at .99c!

Hi just a quick post to say is having a Simplicity patterns sale for .99c with a maximum purchase of 10 patterns.  I have used them twice before and it is very quick service and they are very helpful. Even with the postage it will still be cheaper than 2 or 3 patterns at full price here in Australia!

Good shopping!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What am I doing with all my free time?

So I have all this free time as my son is going to his Dad's for a week on, week off (for the first time in 4 years) for the 6 week Christmas/summer holidays!  I thought I would get more done but I am exhausted and I have just had Christmas at my place so full clean up and set up took it out of me!  I bought a Karcher water pressure hose and blasted the green off everything - after a year of rain everything went yukky and I couldn't have that for Christmas.

So in this long post, after sorting out the photo business (see previous post) I can let you see what I have been doing.  Add to this making Stollen (German Christmas bread/sweet) (about 10)and cooking a ham (for the first time) and a turkey for Christmas in the Weber kettle (they both turned out great!)and I could hardly move yesterday so I just tidied up and mopped the floor and today I start other things.

 This is a Simplicity pattern that I have made up - (2217 I think - one of the Amazing Fit patterns) but look at that bad drafting! Those notches are way out. But the dress looks fine and is a nice fit. Even though I have been 95% finished about 4 December, I have not had time to put the armhole facings on and hem - I think I will put bias tape on the arm holes however as the one facing I have put on is a bit out because of the extra bust fitting (D cup) and I can't be bothered to draft one!

 When I make up the aprons I use my rolled hem foot in a 4 mm size.  They are really easy to use when you get used to it - sometimes mucks up but I use scraps of voile to make hankies (I still use hankies)and this is good practice but also gives you funky hankies instead of Nanna hankies!

One of the aprons I made (with a matching tea towel)

This is with Ikea fabric which is great for this kind of thing!
This is New Look 6831
 This New Look pattern I have had for years and have made the top (many times) and skirt (once) but never the dress. When I bought this cotton from Spotlight ($3 pm) a few years ago, I knew it would be this dress.  You can just see a curved under bust seam, but I have magically (by chance) matched it so well it is nearly invisible.  I would have liked the skirt to be on the bias but I didn't have enough fabric forgot when I was cutting it out! I do have a 1cm black and white rayon gingham that will be the same dress soon so I will do it on that one. Only change I made was to put some elastic across the back at the same spot where the under bust seam is to give it some shape for my sway back otherwise it is just one long piece. I put some of that pom pom edging on it for whimsy! 

 These are the cushion covers I made with Ikea fabric too (I love the heads one. I bought 4 cushions vacuum sealed from Ikea about 2 years ago and just got to opening and covering them. They were about 1/2 cm thick when I opened them and it took about 3 weeks for them to puff up fully! They are 72cm x 72cm so quite large and there are 2 with the heads and 2 with the striped fabric hiding behind.
I also helped a friend start sewing.  I had an 12 month old Lincraft magazine that had some craft things in it and passed it on with other mags to her.  She saw some little sacks and bunting and decided that she would make them for Christmas.  My friend is German and they do this kind of decorating a lot.  She made 7 metres of bunting with red and white fabrics and it looks great - I'll get a photo to show soon. She is using my 2nd hand My Style 22 Janome that I bought for $35 then spent about $125 getting the feet and the little box that clips on but it is a one step button holer and at the time I only had my 25 year old Janome that is a 4 step button holer. 

I am now scraping and washing down my bedroom to prepare to paint while my son is away but I am broken (neck injury from years ago) and everything takes about double the normal person time ... slow but surely wins the race so back to it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Reflections after Christmas... previously titled "..before Christmas"

Well, I think this is my last post for the year. Such a cliche but I really can't believe how fast this year has gone.

My son (right) and his best friend at school Christmas concert.
(Edit: as I couldn't work out my photos I left this as a draft and forgot about it... I have worked out my photo problem - small issue with wrong year on date that is now fixed! so please excuse my comments about "before".)

Some reflections about my year:

I have learnt so much... that is formal learning at university and also personal learning that we do every day.  

My relationship with my ex partner has really improved and that has been a blessing for my son especially but for all involved. 

I have learned that I don't need to hang on to some friendships that have had their time and I can (and am trying to be) true to myself. I have also learnt that, true to words of wisdom from one who had gone before, some people treat you like their project and when they finish with their project so does their friendship, and with this I also learnt that some people need you to be constantly grateful to them and that is why they offer their "help" so it's not necessarily about helping me but about their own needs being fulfilled - don't get me wrong, I am grateful for my friends. Friendship to me is giving help but also accepting and receiving help if you need it also. A friend who is always doing things for you but never lets you help them when they need it has some other agenda I have found.

I learnt my Mum and Dad are not indestructible! That is a shock(not only to me but them also) Of course my intellectual self knows this but the child in me wants them to last forever - especially for the Grandchildren.

I have also grown my learning curve for technology enormously - ha ha, you may think this means I am competent (ok I am competent) but I am not proficient ... however compared to when I started my Tafe/Uni I am a techno genius!

I have learnt that I can do nearly anything... or if not I will find out by giving it a go and know that I can't do it. 

It is a special feeling going to university with people who are half (or more) my age and still feeling like I belong .. that is a testament to  the young people in part of course, but it also highlights that you don't really change (I feel the same as when I was in my thirties ... for clarification I turn 50 next March - phew how did that happen!!) 

Lastly I thank any readers I do have (still a surprise!).  I love reading your blogs and have learned so much so thank you. Safe and happy holidays to all.

Anyway that's enough ... and just to prove that technically I am still very challenged .. I cannot work out how to get my photos from the new Nikon to iphoto to get them on the blog! (Edit: see above edit.)