Sunday, May 22, 2016

Makey Makings

'Sup? (which I have also discovered stands for stand.up.paddleboarding)...

So I was at a fabric shop that was closing down, with my sister, when I spied this beautiful yellow lace and hot pink silk satin. She convinced me to make a skirt with it.

I love this fabric and the colour combo heaps, but I'm not 100% on the way it sits when I'm not holding it out... I also may have made it slightly long I think which drabs it down a bit as well...

I will persevere with it though, maybe playing around with the styling will help too. If I really can't live with it it wouldn't be too hard to change as it's essentially just 2 panels gathered onto an elatic waistband. (I probably made the waistband a bit lose too, I'm terrified of a too-tight waist and major muffin top/spillage over the top)... suggestions?

The top is one I was given from a friend but it was rather too tight around the arms and over the bust. So I decided to play around with it. I have a bit of a goal to do more pattern on pattern at the moment so I thought this would be a risk-free way to have a play.

I unpicked the side seams and replaced them with some fun wide elastic I'd picked up at creative junk and then I chopped the lower back and replaced it with some leftovers from my daisy skirt.

I'm quite pleased with the final result. Still pretty simple but a little more fun and a good way to play around with patterns.

I have a few other projects on the go at present but having moved back to our home (!!!!! wohoo!!!!) this week I think I probably need to spend several hours sorting out my little sewing room before I manage to complete much else.

My 7 year old took these photos for me... so, this is how I look when you are 7! ;-)

love you more than a perfectly fitted waistband xxx

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Yeah I Made It - High Vis

Hey lovelies,

So my sister and I had an epic op shop haul of fabric a while ago and after we divided the spoils I had this scrap of neon lining fabric. Enter idea for making myself a biking vest.

It's probably a good time to introduce you to Bernice - my new bike. She's a little hardier than in the tyres than Beryl (who was left in Australia, with a new home). Christchurch roads are still a 'little' rough!

The Atlas and the boys bought me these gorgeous panniers for mother's day, and The Atlas fitted the mudguards, back rack and bell. Now I can bike to school in style, and visibility.

To make the vest I eyeballed the shapes and cut them out and then added some reflective stripes that I bought in a set from Spotlight. I also used fold over elastic to bind it that I grabbed from Creative Junk when we were there a while ago.

There are some other makes lined up on my table and 2 weeks until we are back in our house, hellow sewing room - I have missed you!

Here's to riding to work.

love you more than pink reflective stripes xxx

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fortune Favours the Floral

.... so friends,

I seem to be sewing again, which is something considering the general lack of anything shared here!

I made this skirt using a mashed up (very mashed) version of a cynthia rowley pattern by simplicity 2512. I used the back panel and cut it on the fold twice for the underskirt and then sort of made up the over skirt bit.

The underskirt is in a bright yellow broadcloth which is also the same fabric as the waistband and then I used an organza type fabric with embroidered daisies over the top. I hand stitched the non embroidered selvages up into the skirt by hand (those who know me may keel over with shock here) and I hand stitched the back of the waistband in too - alll whilst watching a film with subtitles - I can hardly believe my own brilliance *wink*.

I wore this to church this morning and it received admiration from young (3 years) and old (grown ups).
I love this colour combo. It does make me realise though I need some other kind of top to wear with it as the black doesn't really spin my wheels.

What colour combos spin your wheels?

love you more than buttercups xxx

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Buy My Book


Recently I decided to take the plunge and get an ISBN and do a physical print run of my book. Because the book is for children and families it just makes so much more sense for it to be a proper physical book (in my mind).

**For those bookish types, in NZ you can get an ISBN number without cost but you have to provide the national library with 2 copies of your book - one for the archives and one for loaning. Which I love the idea of.

This is of course a bit of a risk - when you decide to publish a book yourself you pay all the cost of the book at the front end with no guarantees that you will break even at the other end. Writing this book was never a money making venture of me (tbh, most authors, whatever route they are published don't make a lot from it), but I would love to break even.

example of a page - there are 24 like this

I decided to get my book published locally - about 5 minutes down the road. I know it would have been much cheaper for me to get it done off shore but, as much as I can, its nice to support local people in local jobs and also the thought of trying to do this kind of thing by distance does not excite me.

I also decided to get my book published on the very best paper I could get - 100% recycled, at the highest of international standards and bleach and chlorine free. This felt like the right thing to do too - even though it made it a little bit more expensive for me.

So now 100 copies of my little Advent book are printed! Which feels like a big number to sell but hopefully kind of realistic.

Of course I'm aware we're not even at June yet, but if you like to get things like this sorted early (or you need a whole year to get through the activities - which I completely understand!) you can get yours now.

You can read more about my book here
and you can also read reviews of the book here

Because I want to live hands open I would like to give away the first copy of this book (I can sign it if you like). I am happy to post this anywhere in the world. If you'd like to win a copy just comment here, on my faith blog or on my facebook writer's(!) page.

If you would like to buy a copy of my book, (yay!), it is $25 plus p+p. If you live in Christchurch I may well be able to drop you off your copy - or we could have a coffee??!

In NZ I can post this out in an A4 prepaid envelope so the total cost will be $27.90. At this stage copies can only be purchased from me. Because the mark up is so low it is unlikely at the moment that it will be sold through shops but I'll let you know if that changes at all.

If you live somewhere else and want to purchase a copy/copies please let me know and I will calculate postage and let you know.

You can still buy the kindle copy via amazon which will only set you back about the cost of a coffee if you still want one but your budget won't stretch to a hard copy.

I think that's all for now. you want to buy a copy of my book?

love you more than a big brown box full of a book I wrote! xxx

Thursday, April 7, 2016

So I Sort Of Made Something Else

Babes, How are you?

So, way back in February the Monthly Stitch (way more fun than the general 'monthly') had a UFO challenge - which is essentially about finishing projects you started and abandoned because something better came along.

Surprisingly, given my bone grating difficulty in finishing things (I'm a very enthusiastic starter!), I don't really have UFOs in my sewing room. Also I currently have no sewing room but that's another thing.... anyway

I remembered that I had 2 dresses from op-shops that I needed to do some work on before they could be worn out.

This genuinely vintage number cost me $30 from the red cross shop in Adelaide which is a lot for me to spend in an opshop, but.... the fabric, so good!

I really made very little change to it at all - the hem had been hacked off and required something other than a raw edge. It was a little large so my mama pinned some back darts in and also the side seems were slightly too wide for an a-line. (I think it must have started life as a maxi).

I love this dress - it makes me feel like a 1960s Air New Zealand stewardess. It gets a lot of comments too.

The guy I'm hugging? I don't know his name but he walked past while my sister and I were doing outfit photos at The Tannery. I am a full hugger kind of person - I just don't do limp insipid hugs, urghhh (although there is a too-much line as well, just sayin).

Here's to any kind of creative projects that are finished even if the deadline was ages ago. The Atlas saw the photo titled 'before' in our email box and his face paled as he said, with the dread of a man who hasn't appropriately noticed, 'Have you had a haircut?'

Bless him.

What op-shop scores have you had lately?

love you more than a half hour job that could have been done months ago xxx

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Yeah... I did actually make something!

For someone who's been committed to making something every week for the last few years it's been a lot less making so far this year.

The main reason for this is that we're currently staying with my folks until our lovely tenants move out of our place in May.... It will be 5 months of suitcase living by the time we get into our place, which is a LONG time for a home lover like me.

Recently Deb - one of the most generous people I know - had a clear out and brought it to an evening catch up that Sophie arranged not long after I returned. We all scored big time and I got a pile of fat quarters in my favourite colours (along with a whole lot of other things).

One of the boys had a birthday party to go to and he asked for a Creeper cushion (you've seen enough of those from me so I decided not to post about it). I asked a mum at school who I knew would have a cutting mat and rotary cutter so I could complete the project.... So, I had her stuff for a weekend and the temptation was too great not to play with the fat quarters while the opportunity was there.

Stack and slash I do love you.

Yes only the top is done but without proper sewing space this is as good as it gets at the moment.

Tell me what are you making at the moment?

I have some other plans and a couple of refashions I need to share ... in due course.

love you more than a blue, green and purple combo xxx

Monday, April 4, 2016

Summer Reading - All the Big Themes

So I've been working my way through some novels - while packing and living with others. (urgh! Please can I not be packing and sorting next Christmas and New Years?).

It's always nice to get some reading done during lazy summer days. Again, I'm enjoying the variety of the books that are coming my way, these books to contain some trigger warnings and some are not an easy read. It's amazing how fiction reading can be incredibly challenging.

American Blood by Ben Sanders

This New Zealand author is making big waves with the rights for this book already picked up and Bradley Cooper cued to play the lead. If the Bourne movies/stories are your thing this will be right up your alley. Following a former cop who is now in witness in protection - a missing woman pulls him into a world of drug dealers and underworlders, all the while with a target on his own back. A word of confession, I didn't actually finish this book - the level of violence is a bit high for me and I decided that it wasn't something I would cope with. It is a very compelling read though, intersecting characters with question marks over who is who and where the reader should put their allegiance. * trigger warning - high level of violence.
Details - Allen and Unwin, Jan 2016 RRP $29.99

Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

Another heart stopping read with lots of suspense along the way. This book tells the story of Alex a journalist drowning in her own alcoholism and resulting waning career. It also tells the story of Amy a teenage girl locked in a coma for the last 15 years. Very readable with strong female characters and intrigue. As Alex investigates the story of Amy the walls close in, will she be able to find the answers the police couldn't and will she stay safe along the way? Intense, sad, hopeful...
* trigger warning rape/unwanted sexual encounter. Dealt with carefully and not in explicit detail.
Details - Allen & Unwin, Jan 2016 RRP $29.99

Death by Water by Kenzaburo Oe

It's daunting when you get a book to read by a person who has won a Nobel Prize for literature! However, I found this book so much more readable than I expected it to be. Set in Japan and following aging author Kogii Choko as he returns to his home village and assists a group of young actors putting together a play around his books and what promises to be a great revelation as he revisits his mother's sealed box of documents after she dies. The book is slow and expressive, it deals with the big themes of life - relationships, relationship breakdowns, mortality, secrets, pride and sickness. The book as a very fluid kind of feeling and large sections of people's internal thoughts/letters etc. It was a much slower read than I am used to the style forces the reader to emerge into the text and it feels very intense. A totally different read than I am used to.
Details - Allen & Unwin, Dec 2015 RRP$39.99 HB

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I picked this one up from a book sale at a church ladies event (I love how jams and twinsets that term sounds). It's true Picoult, many stories told from different perspectives dovetailing together seamlessly. It's a hard story to read Holocaust accounts from survivor and SS perpetrator. It's a story of redemption, hate, forgiveness, prejudice and more. I wouldn't say readable -I squirmed and grieved while I read it - knowing these kind of stories are still playing out on a world stage while we chose to turn our heads the other way. Much to learn and ponder. * trigger warning murder and concentration camp vivid recounts included. I found these aspects very difficult to cope with but I equally felt this was a very important book to read.
Details - Allen & Unwin, March 2013 RRP $29.99

So what are you reading and what books have challenged you on deep levels?

love you more than an evening of reading xxx