I haven’t posted in a long long time and for that I apologise up front. What have I been doing? Well not a lot creatively…. I’ve been working hard at my day job in govt projects with little time for anything else except exhaustion. I have had a few messages coming through, thank you to those of you that have stopped by and sent a message, or those who have contacted me in person to grumble at me for leaving this blog for so long to languish like an unfinished suspense novel. SORRY, a million times sorry.
I know, I know – the motto is:
But we do have a very good excuse – We’ve just been real busy on a rollercoaster year on fertility treatments…. and yes, hubby and I are now expecting our first child. After a complicated IVF miracle and we are 10 weeks along as of today. So that is really exciting. I’ve also been thinking about life not working (big brain shift) and baby raising, and I am looking forward to the new opportunities that come with that package. However I’m VERY EXHAUSTED all the time and I am that turtle sloth above, BECAUSE I AM STUCK WITH DECAF FOR THE NEXT 7 – 10 MONTHS..ahem, sorry the hormones have their own outbursts sometimes and it’s near impossible to control them…….. That hasn’t stopped me having some creative thoughts churning away in the back of my mind on all the wonderful things I want to do when I’m in the maternity leave zone. But currently I’m trying to get through each day by day of this first trimester as it is enough to focus on right now…YAWN. I am looking forward to Pregnancy Pilates classes for the rest of the year and preggo yoga to begin the new year. Can’t wait!
I haven’t been in a total creative slump – Remember I had those Japanese pattern cutting books? Well I also was super lucky to pick up 3x Winifred Aldrich metric pattern cutting books in as new condition from my local book fair for $1 each…
I tried, and tried on my own to decode the secrets of these books but was never successful so I enrolled in a pattern making course back in August this year and was so excited to discover our classes were based on Aldrich’s books for the foundation teaching, with a few extra sneaky industry tips thrown in for good measure. I also discovered that the Aldrich books are SO CRIMINALLY expensive to buy new or secondhand, even the older editions. So I am so very very lucky – like ‘whew’ (wipes brow) dodged a costly bullet lucky… I have so many design sketches of garments I want to make but alas my ever-expanding belly makes it hard for me to make garments for myself at the moment. So I may need to practice on someone else for a bit. I’ve learnt so much in such a short time, my tutor Sue Cox is amazing and so generous with her time and experience. She has been in the fashion industry as a pattern maker for 30 – 40 years she learnt her trade at the london school of fashion in the 60/70’s.
She is hands down ‘AMAZING’ she uses nothing but a pencil, a grading set square, a metre ruler and her raw talent just like Coco Chanel.
I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from her and I am a little teary that the course is at its end. I do have the opportunity to attend advanced classes but they are more like small drop in sessions where you bring your ideas and work on them and she provides support if you get stuck, however she gives you so much training in the beginner course that by the time you finish you feel pretty much set to be the next super star design extraordinaire armed with your pencil, set square and ruler ready to take over the world! I am still thinking about what I want to do with this new found knowledge before I commit to the advance classes. I am thinking big (dream big, or don’t bother I say) like custom designs, made to measure patterns for the discerning lady. I don’t know if there is much of an appetite for that sort of thing in the current consumer environment. What do you think? – drop me a comment! would this be something that you’d be interested in? If you are a sewer how much do you pay for good patterns now? and what would you expect to pay for a made to measure pattern in any design you want? let me know.
Thrifting update? I really haven’t been on any great op shop thrifting hunts lately mainly because I’ve become a bit of a clothing snob as I’ve learnt what good construction as opposed to poor construction and looks and feels like. Honestly there is so much cheap, or NOT so cheap and crappy clothing out there that it’s hard to find actual good quality. So I might have to make my own, that way I get perfect fit and whatever design and finish I want. All I need is time and energy! and for the hazy brain fog to lift…… you know what I’m talking about.
What else, Oh, one of my friends introduced me to an amazing website where you can buy perfume or cologne cheaply and I’ve converted to solely shopping with this one online site for all my fragrant needs. They also have beauty products for a fraction of the price that you would normally pay retail. For example, every year for my birthday hubby buys me a bottle of perfume for approx $100NZ (amongst many other things, such a gentleman and I am super spoilt), this annually purchase bottle is usually 100ml (3.4oz) in size, that’s pretty standard in this country for that price, I’d even go as far as saying that’s a good price…. This year (birthday procurement time) I went online and was able to purchase 5x bottles of perfume for $110.00NZ (3x 3.4oz, 2x 2.5oz) all decent size and some were classics. Shipping is free if the order is over a certain value and the delivery takes 2 weeks on average to bottom of the world in NZ. It’s probably faster in the States as the website/outlet is based there. Also, I’m told they sometimes sneak in a small favour as well – last time we got branded emeryboards I love bribes, it’s the special extras that get me every time. But let’s be realistic – Christmas is screaming towards us like a derailed freight train, and it’s going to be very ugly if your not prepared ladies and gents. So, here you go……. a link to this magical fragrant playground of scented dreams… OOOOooooh and their having a pre holiday super sale, as if it wasn’t cheap enough already – up to 80% off don’t delay. YYYuuuuuUUUsssss!
Gardening? Yes my garden is awash with the most beautiful flowers at the moment and they were totally unexpected. Last year I planted an ice plant (type of succulent) and it went a bit wild and tried to take over one of the gardens, hubby clipped it back on our last garden tidy up and next thing, we were rewarded with the most insane carpet of brightly cerise coloured flowers with gold centres over the half of the garden still occupied by the soft green ice plant. We’ve also been rewarded with an abundance of strawberries, so much so, I’ve had to freeze them. We are harvesting about 3-5 punnets a week which is truly excessive and they are off miserable little plants that were planted last year and survived through the mild NZ winter.
We’ve also discovered our raspberry has gone crazy and has taken over the remainder of the garden and is already bearing an early bumper crop of commercial proportions. Everything seems to be thriving more than usual, so much that I fear I might lose precious veggies to the marauding fruits and berries if I’m not careful. I may need to get in there and thin it all out to give the veggies a chance at surviving. I also got my first crop of Maori Potatoes – super delish and very high in all the good nutrients. They are super attractive all chopped up in a salad or on your plate to as they have deep purple and sometimes purple variegated flesh as well as the skin. They taste like potato though, if you did a blind test I’m not sure if there would be any difference. Other than that I am experimenting with growing different coloured carrots and patiently waiting for my salad crops to grow a bit bigger so I can eat them.
and that’s it really, our life over the past 6+ months summed up in 1300 words….
P.S I’ve been quite prolific on pinterest during this time, those that follow me over there may have seen me as a constant nuisance in their home streams…. It’s all fuel for creation so I might rummage around my boards and pull together some trend hunting posts in the coming days – stay tuned.