Thursday, October 28, 2010

So, I've come to confess and repent

So this morning I went into my sewing room, I tried to sew, but instead, I just looked at it.
I had a thousand excuses about keeping what i was using close by because I keep needing it. But really in all honesty, it's really quite difficult to work around such mess, not to mention, where the heck is that...comes out of my mouth quite often.
It is also counter-productive because it MAKES you feel like you don't really want to be in there, even when you really do want to be sewing.
and if it's really bad, like when heaps of things come from someone else's house, into yours, then your husband can't come in to sit and keep you company while you sew. (theres a futon under there)
And things start becoming unfinished objects, in multiple boxes, and tubs, and buckets, and shelves. I don't even know/remember whats really in there.
So, today is the day week. I'm not going to stop until it's all cleaned up and everything has a place, that's my goal.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hooks, Eyes, Ruffles and Refashioning!

It's just after lunch, and I thought I would pop in to post about what I am working on today. I've really been moaning a lot about the fact that I dropped the ball on the 12 in 12 challenges. I had such high hopes for being able to complete them all but life intervened.

So I have been working hard today to get back into the challenges. The October challenge is something refashioned (visit an op-shop and create something new). What a challenge!
When I lived in other towns, I shopped at op-shops a lot, I loved them! but here our local op-shops are actually quite awful. Theres no great finds, theres nothing interesting and everything is priced quite expensively, considering. The same things that haven't sold since we moved here 7 years ago, are still in the same places they were each time I go in. I understand they help and support a lot of families before the items left over end up in the store. I understand they don't put out the funky 60's-80's gear anymore, they put out recent,  real clothes to help real people - I get it, but it makes the stores boring!
So, last week I went on in and I tried my best to find something I would love. I wandered, I looked, I umm'd and ahh'd and squinted and pulled faces, and looked some more.
And then I spotted this sml ladies shirt out the corner of my eye, this colour! and a ruffle!
So, I had two ideas in mind, I had thought I wanted to make a bag out of it, but then my little niece spotted it's colour and she wanted me to make something for her out of it. So she wins! Cute trumps a bag! The absolute worst part about it is this:
It's held together all along the front with Hooks and Eyes galore!!!!
So, thank god for audio only podcasts so I can listen, while my eyes are busy while I am unpicking...and unpicking...
.....and unpicking!
I really wasn't going to post those pics, as it shows how messy my sewing space is. But since Hilary over at Quilary posted pics of her space I felt I really should show you I am not neat, I never have a tidy, clean, picture-book sewing room, but at the moment it is particularly feral, with more things coming into my little place recently than will ever leave and a couple of piles of things precariously balanced against another to hold them all upright. So far no major collapse, no avalanche, but it nears...I can feel it.

Will post an edit/update on the shirt/dress... later today with some luck!
Edit: I'm baaaack! and it's finished!
I used a triangle of white ribbing to close up the expose that was the neckline. For summer, the long sleeves were removed and a little frilled cap was put on instead. Where the hook and eyes were all down the front, I sewed it together completely, as it fits over her head instead.
October challenge complete!

Monday, October 18, 2010

M is for Mondays

M is for Multitasking Mondays!
I can't believe it's Monday already! After torrential rains last week, we've spent the weekend thinking we were about to be flooded at any moment by the Murrumbidgee river. But thankfully the worst that flooded near us was the cricket ground, the flood water didn't come racing through our suburb as feared. We live in a suburb right next to the river. There are levi banks but noone is ever sure they will hold the water after so many years of drought, but they held! And in the places not protected by the levi banks, the river rose fast and flooded into the slightly lower lying areas next us. As far as I am aware no houses were flooded here thankfully.

Today's to-do list.
1. M is for Mending
I have a great, great, great pile of mending to do, or at least make a dint in it.
2. another M is for Mouse
I have to make a new Mouse for Mirabel today, she will be called Macaroni.
3. M is for Machine wash
I have about 5 boxes of dusty vintage  (luckily machine washable) fabrics that have to be machine washed and dried or hung up.
4. M is for marking
I have 2 classes of book work from last term to Mark and grades to enter and reports to write.
5. M is for Mop
I have to Mop the floors because quite frankly its verging on a necessity now after all that rain and wet feet! I can see where you've been people!

So today's, Manic Multitasking Monday, is brought to you by the letter M and the number 5.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mouse Tony

 Yesterday I made a purple mouse using the Patchwork Mouse pattern from issue 20 of Sew Hip magazine.
I don't usually buy magazines, but I bought one for reading back when Mum first went into hospital and I haven't been able to stop buying them each month since!
The instructions were really clear and really the hardest thing I had to do was to choose fabric I liked.
Of course that didn't stop me from making a mistake. I scanned in the pattern (So as not to trash the original) and printed out the bits I wanted, only to have printed one page out at 90% and all the others at 100% which led to this small problem.
So, I chopped a little bit off him so he is a tad shorter than he was supposed to be... ooops! But he "Turned out" ok eventually...hahaha get it!
After that, Tony and I needed a little break from each other.
So while he relaxed, I got to work on stuffing another Maisey I had cut out and started months ago. She's also decided to join the toys I've made for Mirabel.
And now back to Mouse Tony.
I changed him a little from the magazine, instead of using a string for his tail I used a strip of fabric folded in twice and stitched with a knot in the end.
I love to give them all names, but this time I just couldn't think of one, so my husband called him Tony!
Mouse Tony.
Is it just me or does Mouse Tony sound like he runs the Mouse Mafia?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sometimes the Mud bogs you down, sometimes it cleanses your soul

The last few months I have felt so bogged down. We've had to deal with 2 family members stealing things from my Mum & Dads house while Mum was dying in hospital - who does that!!! People we loved and trusted.
Mum left explicit lists of instructions on who was to get what and now we can't fulfil those wishes because things have gone missing and other things have gone missing that should have stayed with Dad in the house until he passes on.
We are still trying to work out all the things stolen, but so far, clothing, sewing patterns, a vase, money in named money boxes for Mum's grandchildren, Mum's parents photos in frames, a coin collection for one of the Grandsons and loads of jewellery that Mum had specifically listed for each of her Children and Grandchildren.
We were all practically living at the hospital for 6 weeks before Mum passed away we just thought we were all going slightly round the bend with stress and tiredness and thats why we weren't able to find things like Mums big heavy vase that had always been in the same place in dining room.
There was an out of town family member who stayed in the house but left just before Mum died.
The day after she left, was when we noticed some of the things missing.
Then another family member arrived and we began to notice more and more things going missing until she left. Things from Mum's lists, things Dad needs, things that we knew had been there days before and other things that we had put in specific places for other people who hadn't arrived yet. My cousins baby had her clothing taken, it was there the night before and gone the next day when this family member went home.
It still makes me sick inside.
Then there were the family arguments between my aunt, my sister and my cousin. They decided to air their laundry in front of everyone and tried to make all of us take sides. the day before my Mum's funeral, they screamed at each other - I was dumbstruck and shell shocked! I really still am at a loss to understand, why now!!? why right this moment when I can barely breathe or dress or function, and my mum is gone. Seeing them do that stole the last sap of strength I had left and it was only the day before Mum's funeral, I still had the hardest day in front of me.
I was like a zombie, walking, talking doing, but barely there, but noone much noticed, they were too busy arguing and stealing and complaining and stabbing each other in the back, and demanding we cook them all home cooked dinners, when all we could barely manage to swallow ourselves were sandwiches. Everything tasted like sand. While they argued, or sat back, relaxed, talked, laughed, drunk booze, slept in and watched TV,  they gave me more and more things to do, organise, look after, plan, fix up and run around after on top of the funeral arrangements. More and more stuff! I could barely drag myself out of bed and dress myself, but I did. I was a zombie. I felt like I was literally walking around with boggy mud in my brain. It didn't stop, not for the funeral, not when I returned to work the next week, not when most of the family went home, not for the school holidays.
It didn't stop, not until we went camping. Then everything began to change.
The rain cleansed the earth and removed the mud from my brain, the quiet started to heal me inside and the good people we camped with showed me what it was like to be normal again. I wasn't quite there yet, but at least I had felt glimpses of what it was in the laughter and the quiet.
Yesterday I cleaned the house a bit, did some washing, sewed a lot and listened to a 3 mth backlog of podcasts.
Yesterday was so ordinary.
Yesterday everything was the same on the outside, but yesterday everything changed on the inside. 
I felt normal.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Start off the week with freshly rained on grass and clean sky

Sometimes it helps to leave town for even a couple of days just to sweep out the cobwebs!
We didn't drive far, just 30 minutes out of town to camp at Wantabadgery on the banks of the very same river that runs straight past our suburb in town. It's the Murrumbidgee river.

I'd been out there once or twice as a kid to swim, but would never have thought or remembered to go there now! My husbands aunts, uncle and cousins from Sydney found it and came down to camp a while, so we joined them out there for a few days.
Our tent finally got an airing after a year or two in exile to the hall cupboard.
The campsite itself has no fresh water, BYO. A nice chilly walk to the long drop toilets! Oh my. (lucky they even had these really)
No shower, oh dear! But on the overwhelming plus side!
Happy hour each evening! Fruity wine and nibbles. Oh yeah!
Nice, yummy, comfort food - prepared and shared family meals cooked on a smokey wood fire and plenty of male-foke to tend it.
Birds, clean air, trees, everything freshly rained on before we we got there and green!

Cows mooing, and a bull calling out to his ladies each morning! Lazy mornings sitting around drinking coffee and flipping pancakes. Even the Paterson's curse is forgiven for its invasiveness because it looks so pretty.
Thousands of stars, falling stars, weird stars (no thats a plane), with hot choc and marshmallows over the fire along with campfire stories you would never tell at home.
A scarf that got crocheted start to finish on the banks of the river while others were out in a canoe.
Garry's cousins, two very nice, pleasant, chatty, polite teenage boys! Is this a miracle!!? It was wasn't it! They were lovely!
So, this is what 5 hours in a canoe does to you.
So now we return to town full of fresh air and a hell of a lot calmer than before we left and with a new scarf to wear on the cooler mornings.
*long relaxed sigh*