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August 2011
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October 2011

September 2011

Mid life crisis or just very, very tired

I confess to feeling a bit out of sorts these last few months; just a bit and sometimes a lot meh, blah, unenthused. It's been a bit of a confusing time, trying to put my finger on just what it is that was making me feel this way. And you know what they say: "happy wife, happy life". Because I was feeling stressed and grumpy it rubbed off on the children and the whole thing just felt dysfunctional. My snappiness meant they were all tetchy. And Will, poor Will wasn't sure what was going on. His normally capable wife was losing the plot.

To cut a long story short, I waved the white flag and admitted I needed to do something. It wasn't just a holiday I needed. On the recommendation of a good girlfriend I booked myself into Gwinganna, an amazing health retreat in Queensland, where I did a week of detox.

Muesli

I got back last night and I feel fantastic. It's quite incredible what a week of organic food can do for one's mood, skin and overall vitality. It was a revelation. I met some gorgeous girls. We laughed and cried together. There were some amazing experiences and it was, as they say, lifechanging.

I have returned with a focus on staying healthy and getting my little family healthy.  The pantry is getting an overhaul and we're going organic.  By a fortunate stroke of serendipity, one of the first blog posts I read after returning to civilisation was Jane's.  She had a muesli recipe.  This morning I made my first ever batch of organic muesli.  I followed Jane's recipe, but added puffed quinoa.  It's delicious and the children love it.

Liberty

So there you go.  That's a little more than I would normally reveal on this little ol' blog. You probably weren't expecting that.

Now that I feel I've returned to my normal state of vim and vigour I have itchy fingers to get creative and productive again. With the lovely spring weather I can't wait to cut into some favourite Liberty.  A cute sundress for Adelaide is on the ToDo list.

Have you ever felt a bit blah?  What worked for you?


Simple crochet hair accessory

Look how much Adelaide's ponytail has grown in 9 months.

Ponytail

I do like crocheting these little hair ties.

Crochet hair tie

They are a quick and easy project.  The pattern is Motif number 31 from this same book.  The hair elastics are from the supermarket and the yarn is a 3 ply cotton from Spotlight called Milford Soft.

I've found the most reliable way to attach them to the elastic is just to incorporate the elastic into the crochet in the first round.

Crochet hair tie back

Adelaide rather likes them but hates having her hair brushed. Who doesn't when hair is sticky and knotted with every bit of food eaten. That's why the hair ties are rather crucial at present.


Vintage French Dress Form

This is my new dressmaking form.  

Buste de couturiere profile

Isn't she chic?  She's French and, from her shape, I'm guessing she's from the 50s or 60s.  

Buste de couturiere The brand is Juvenia Paris and she's a size 40.  I'm very excited to have found her.

I know in Australia what was a size 10 half a century ago is much smaller than today's size 10.  The human race has grown.

From the measurements on this form, I would guess the same can be said for France.  A French 38 to 40 is my size, but Juvenia is smaller than me.

That's OK though, because at least it means I can try the clothes I am making on this form.  

I have another dress form that I bought about 10 years ago. It too is vintage and in excellent condition - better than Juvenia.

But she's too big, my clothes don't fit her, so she's not much use from a dressmaking point of view. (Although she's been lovely as a prop in my sewing studio.)

So my old dressmaker's form is now for sale.  Her measurements are: bust 89cm, waist 71cm, hip 100cm. She is very sturdy, the base is detachable, you can adjust the height. The base and the top of the neck is a lovely dark coloured wood.  The fabric seems to be a very fine weave linen or linen/cotton blend.  There are no tears in the fabric.  There is some discolouration of the fabric. If any readers are interested in purchasing this lovely sewing prop, please leave an email or comment.

Update:  The dress form has now sold.


Crochet snowflakes

We're very sad that the ski season is drawing to a close.  We've just had a very exciting weekend, with Tom competing in the national ski races at Falls Creek.  He joined his school team for the first time this year.  On Saturday he came 14th nationally in his division, which included boys in the year above him.  He is as pleased as punch and we are hugely proud of him.  It's a very exciting turn of events for someone who was a beginner skier at the start of the season.

Snowflake1

While the boys have been busy improving their skiing form I have enjoyed many indoor hours at the snow.  I'm a fair weather skier so if the conditions weren't great I opted for indoor pursuits.

Snowflake2

In a tiny apartment the housework takes but a minute so I indulged in a little hand sewing, knitting and crochet.  These snowflake motifs are from this book.

When stitched together they are supposed to look like this:

Snowflake scarf

Isn't it dreamy.  But then I'm not quite sure how this works because the little one in the image is bigger in reality.

Snowflakes

I guess that's where reading Japanese comes in handy, as you can understand yarn and hook recommendations.  So for now I don't think these will progress much further.


Sewing for summer

With Spring in the air I'm starting to think about some pretty things I'd like to sew for Adelaide this coming summer.  I'm still busy packing orders from my recent email announcement so the best I can do at this stage is source fabric while I'm still so time-poor.  The fun part - the sewing part - will have to wait a week or two yet.

Summer fabric

The bottom fabric will be made into Puppet Show Shorts.  A replacement pair for ones Adelaide has grown out of.  

The top fabric will make a pretty sundress of some sort.  Maybe inspired by this pretty top that I pinned to Pinterest the other day.

And the fabrics in between...  I'm not sure what they'll become.  Any ideas?