Tag Archives: pencil rolls

The Market!

After months of wondering whether I was doing the right thing having a stall at the Christmas markets, whether I would have enough stock, whether my stock would sell, what to wear on my feet, what to wear on my body, how to carry money, and every other worry you can imagine, plus a few extras, I have successfully finished day 1 of the two day markets – and survived!

Having my super-assistant Mum in residence has been such a blessing. In the last week she has sanded, painted, hammered, sewn, and then still made cups of tea and sandwiches for me each day! With her help my shelves were finished, the screen that I bought from the recycling centre at the tip was completely renovated, a perfectly fitted tablecloth for the trestle table was made, labels were sewn onto my packaging calico bags, price and care instruction tags were attached to each item, necklaces were packaged, plastic crates were washed, bags were cut out for me to sew, and……lots of other things were achieved! (Oh my – as I write the list of things that she contributed to help me out I am overcome with emotion. I have a very, very, special mother.)

In the meantime I was sitting at the machine producing just a few more bags, a pile of zipped pouches and coin purse key rings, and sleeping a lot! (Gee – Mum did do a lot didn’t she!!) Wait – I also drilled holes, screwed hooks in, prepared inventory, priced the goods, made discount coupons and price signs and a few other things. (Phew – I feel a lot better now!) As my last bit of sewing preparation, last night I made us an apron each – mine with a zipped compartment for cash. I made mine first – and then worked out how to do it better and made my assistant’s apron with a lot less fuss and error!!

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The chicks have been spending time with their father and his fiancé this week, and settling into the new routine of having two houses. But they were still thinking about me and my stall. The eldest chick bought these shiny Christmas ornaments to add to my decoration (and sticking with the bird theme) and the middle chick presented me with this origami ornament that she had bought at a stall at school. The boy just gave me a hug. Pretty good all round really!

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The Christmas markets hold an interesting mix of goods, stall holders and customers. A few other Etsy sellers also have stalls, so it was lovely to meet people and put faces to the names and voices to our communication! Mum and I attended last night and set up our display furniture,

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then took the boxes of goodies this morning and set up the display.

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I decided yesterday to be sensible and purchase a trolley. I love it! I haven’t taken a photo of it yet but will be showing it off within a day or so! It converts from an upright, hand-cart style, to a flat platform style so it is very versatile. I discovered this morning that I can load all my stock onto it and move it in one trip (if there is someone to help me over the bumps…….).  And the icing on the cake?  It is bright orange!  Perfect for me!

The question of course is ‘How did you go?”. The answer? Quite well. I sold a number of bags, pencils rolls, pouches, a cushion cover, and pendants. (The pendants are made up with the fabrics that I use for the bags etc, mounted under glass in a silver tray, or under resin on a scrabble tile. The Dr Who ones and children’s fabrics were the most popular.)

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But more importantly I was able to talk to people and hear what they liked, what they were looking for, and to talk to them about the different possibilities with bags, art folders, etc. I took three custom orders – two for pencil rolls and one for a bag. (We had a great time designing it on the spot with fabric from three different bags to be used in the style of a fourth bag!). I handed out cards and postcards to people, and had some wonderful conversations with people who didn’t necessarily buy anything but were interested and had great ideas. And most important of all – I had fun!

I had two official assistants – Super-Mum was with me for set up and the morning and then my wonderful friend and supporter Ms C took the afternoon shift. Mrs J also arrived to deliver coffees, admire our work and do a little shopping, and other friends and colleagues dropped by – and some even bought things! I really am blessed! We will be back there again for the day tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see what the day brings. One thing is for certain though – after dipping my toe in the water to test it out, I can confidently say that I will be applying to sell at other markets next year. (And that I will finish my business plan so that my path is clearly set out!!)

In the midst of all of this excitement I am also turning my mind to Christmas presents for my chicks and my family. Hmmm….could be time for just a little bit more sewing…….

I hope that the lead up to Christmas is treating you kindly and that you are finding joy in the simple things.

Friday finds – a list of DIY gift ideas for a 9 year old girl with links to tutorials

Oh dear. The middle chick turns 9 next week and I am drawing a blank about what to make for her (let alone buy for her!) Last year I made her bunting with her name on it, and a creativity suitcase. This year? I am just not sure! So I decided to prepare a list of the links I find and share them with you in an effort to find inspiration for myself! Let’s hope it works!

Hair accessories

These days my nearly 9 year old is very fashion conscious.  She puts together her own outfits with more style than many adults – layering colours, textures and different fabrics to create her own ‘look’.  I think that some hair accessories to assist in her styling wouldn’t be out of order!

Interchangable ruffle headband – Funky Polka Dot Giraffe

Hair accessories – Life and Grace

Hair Accessories – Style My Party

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Rolled Ribbon Rosette Hair Accessory – Mom Advice

Home décor

Part of developing her own style means that my nearly-nine year old is a ‘tween’.  So it is time to update the bedroom décor and let her have her own space to express herself.  Some of these accessories might just do it!

Alphabet cushion – Hobbycraft

Fabric covered magnetic board – Riley Blake Designs

Fabric buckets for storing ‘things’ might also be useful as part of a ‘makeover’ – see the list I prepared earlier! Friday Finds – a list of 23 tutorials for fabric baskets and buckets

Fabric Covered Pin Board – The 36th Avenue

Reading Nook – Club Chica Circle

Clothing

Hmmmm….. perhaps making her some things that fit her ‘style’ might work!  With summer coming on she definitely needs a new hat – and is very picky about what she will and won’t wear.  Perhaps if I make one with funky fabric that might work!

Reversible Bucket Hat – Oliver and S

The other thing about summer is that she wants to wear shorts – all the time.  So perhaps I need to make some of these for her (adjusted to her size of course!)

25 DIY shorts to try – Cameo Blog

Or a skirt?

25 Girls Skirts Tutorials – Every Little Day

Technology accessories

Like so many young people my tween has an embarrassment of electronic gadgets.  A cover to assist in protecting them would be just the ticket (and in fact now that I remember, something that she has been asking for!  Yes, yes – insert the embarrassed face of a forgetful mother here!)
Kindle Cover – Diary of a Young Teacher

Padded Gadget cover – Riley Blake Designs

Ipad Cover with wrap around Pocket – Sewn Up by Teresa Down

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Editted to remove links to the WhipUp.net site which appears to have been closed.

Kindle Keeper – Polka Dot Chair

And to assist with the earphones that I keep finding tangled in a heap!

Earbud Pouch – Erin Erickson

A list of iPad and Kindle cover tutorials – TipNut

Things of her own

My middle chick loves to have her ‘own’ things now rather than sharing in the communal household things.  She also loves to ‘borrow’ her mother’s heat pack for all sorts of imagined ills….. so maybe she needs her own!

 Heat Pack – Fellow Fellow

She does have a large amount of pencil cases, but when you are the artist-in-residence you can’t have too many!

Pencil roll – You Go Girl

Notebook Cover – Sew Up by Teresa DownUnder

Edited to remove links to the site WhipUp.net which has been closed.

 

The good news is that after spending the last hour or so preparing this list, I DO know what I am planning to make for my middle chick!  Now to see if I can pull it off before she returns from her holiday!  I hope that the list helped you a bit too!

Finding time

The week has flown by!  I am convinced that it is the shorter daylight hours that make things fly past so quickly – or it could be our busy timetable.  It has just occurred to me that with the children’s winter sports activities there are only two days a week where I have no commitment involving delivering a child to some activity or another.  This could explain a lot!  I am trying to be disciplined about using my time efficiently to fit around the timetable, otherwise my little bits of ‘me’ time, those precious moments when I get to make things, will disappear completely.  I didn’t do too badly this week, although housework and making the children eat vegetables everyday may have been the sacrifices….

In a roundup of the week I have finished my first ‘giveaway’ on my facebook page, with a lovely winner from a farm in Western Australia the recipient of the art folder.  I have made 10 pencil rolls and listed them in my Etsy shop (my first new listing in quite a while!), made an art folder as a gift for a special little boy who turned 5 this week, crocheted a beret for the artist-in-residence (so fitting!) and prepared to make some more art folders.  So with a bit of juggling,  ‘crafting’ didn’t miss out this week!

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The artist-in-residence’s chosen photo of her new black beret!

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A Star Wars art folder for “Cha Cha”. 

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I also created with sugar this week, for my team at work.  Part of it was a promise to bring in my Thermomix and show them how it works, and part was an excuse to have a bit of a break for the team, talking about things that aren’t related to our jobs.  I made vanilla bean icecream and chocolate supreme icecream in advance, along with salted caramel fudge and coconut ice.  Then I took the Thermomix in and made warm chocolate custard, fruity dream (which is like soft-serve icecream but made completely from frozen fruit whipped with an eggwhite), and an orange sorbet on the day.  Sugar, sugar, sugar!  My kids were happy as they got some of the leftovers!     I was happy as I was ‘making stuff’, and those of my team who were able to attend were happy as they had sweet treats to sample.  Next time I am needing to do some ‘creating’ I will have to remember this trick – I might do a savoury sample for them next time.

On Saturday night I went out to dinner with friends at a lovely, trendy local restaurant.  I have had to admit that I have become a bit of a recluse over the last year or so.  I don’t go to the movies, rarely go out to dinner, never have an after-work drink, and rarely invite friends over for a meal.  I am not complaining – this is how life is at the moment – but it was nice to get out with adults, nice food, wine, conversation and enjoy their company.  I really should try to do it more often…….

I am sitting here contemplating the week in front of me and wondering if I will get the time to make some of the things that I want to make….  I hope so!  My head is buzzing with ideas – I just need more time (as always!).  Short of giving up sleep altogether, or quitting my job (which would have some fairly dire consequences like losing the house and not being able to feed the children) I think I have to find a way to be content with the small pockets of time I can find and savour them.  I suspect this is another one of life’s lessons – appreciating what I have and enjoying the moment instead of looking for the next moment.  Hmmmmm…..although I have improved in my ability to do this over the last few years, I am probably about due a reminder on this lesson!

I hope that you too are able to remember  to simply enjoy the moment this week.

The busy nest

This feels like ‘the return of the occasional blogger’! The last week and a half have been a blur of juggling children’s sporting fixtures and training, work, and then the first of the cold season bugs.  I have had some great thoughts of things to share on the blog, but as I succumbed to the virus (a head coldy sort of thingy) it had to slip down the list of priorities. I am still in recovery mode, but thought it was worth recording a few of the happenings of the last week or so, not the least of which was Mother’s Day.

My beautiful children never cease to amaze me with their ingenuity, creativity and love. On Saturday afternoon when I was sinking into the haze of illness and had slept for several hours while they had the run of the house I was instructed not to enter the kitchen. They assured me that everything was fine (!!). Then the two girls said that they needed to go to the shop to get some ‘stuff’ for mothers day. Although it was close to dusk they insisted that they could ride their bikes and be back quickly, so I gave them some money and sent them off. They returned much later (after I went out looking for them) with 1 kilo of bacon. They explained that they had some difficulty getting served at the deli counter and that the bacon was on sale and seemed like a good price so they ordered a kilo! I wish I had been a fly on the wall as they worked it out between themselves!

On Sunday morning they were all so excited about giving their gifts (bought on a shopping trip with a beautiful friend, and then topped up at the mother’s day stall at school) and preparing my breakfast, that there was no chance of a sleep in. The effort that they put in was astounding. The menu alone made my day!

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I enquired about the ‘Bacon and egg magic makers’ and was told that they were bacon and egg cupcakes that the middle child had spotted on Pinterest (!!). They threw in a side order of “everything tastes better with bacon”. The food was delicious and they only suffered one bacon fat burn between them!

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I then had a container of chocolate chip cookies presented to me with a card in honour of being “ the first and probably only guest at our cafe”! This was the cause of my banishment from the kitchen.  They then presented me with the bill – and my payment was calculated in hugs and kisses – the best sort of payment!

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Although I kept sleeping on and off throughout the day, and was grumpy and tired, they really went all out to keep making sure that it was a special day. I am so blessed to have such amazing children!

In crafting news I have been busy, although I didn’t photograph all of my efforts! I had a birthday to attend for a friend’s 40th. She loves accessories so the obvious choice of gifts was a bag. I wanted to try a different pattern, and given that this wasn’t being made for sale, thought I would try out an online tutorial, so went for the Tohoku tote. Although my late night sewing meant that I put the bow on upside down, I was still very happy with the result, and decided not to unpick the whole thing on this occasion (mainly because I was out of time!)

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The theme of the party was “Gone before their time. Famous and died before they were 40”. This is a family who really do love a fancy dress party and always go to a lot of effort, so the pressure was on. I initially thought of Patsy Cline and had images of fringing etc, but as always, time was ticking on and I hadn’t made it to the shops. So I went with the slightly obvious (there were 5 of us with the same idea) of Amy Winehouse. I found a wig online for a very reasonable price, and after some funny communication with the security guard at my office, it was finally delivered. A bit of teasing and stuffing with bath scrubs and I had the height of the beehive right. The artist in residence drew the tattoos on for me (after assuring me that she was only using washable markers) and face paint did the eyes. The end result? Voila!  (Very different from my normal look I can assure you!)

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Luckily I didn’t channel too much of her character and was in very good shape, with all make up and tattoos removed, by the time I was picking up the kids from their sleep-overs the next morning! It was a great party – something about fancy dress always makes for a fun night.

Other creative endeavours have included a large pile of pencil rolls, and toothbrush rolls and a superhero cape to fill some orders.

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I have a few other orders ready to start on, as soon as I am up and about a bit more. Plus, all this time in bed has given me lots of time to think and plan and come up with more ideas! Dangerous territory for a woman who is already time poor!

There is a suggestion in my office of having a craft sale in November as a fundraiser for the social committee (which often also gives part of the proceeds to charity) and I have been thinking about the work involved in building up enough stock to set up a stall. As a result there are lots of ideas percolating around in my brain.

In other news the winter sports season has started well. The boy had his first rugby union match last week and scored two tries, so he was thrilled. The girls are both in the under 11 hockey team and won their first game 3:1, with the eldest chick as goalie, and then this week they tied 3 all. They have a lovely team, with very supportive team members and a great coach so I think it will be a good season.

For now, I am back to bed. I hope that this finds you all well and warm, wherever you are!

Serendipity

The last few days have been delightful. The children returned from their holiday full of stories, and very happy. To listen to them the highlight appears to have been a smorgasbord at a flash hotel in Jakarta, which included a room full of desserts, a chocolate fountain as big as the eldest chick, and sushi that was ‘ruined’ by ‘crazy people who put fish eggs on it – why would they do that?’. I suspect that this only became the highlight as it was the last thing they did before heading home. Judicious cross examination by their mother elicited further details of snorkelling adventures, seeing exotic animals, and watching Balinese dancing. They were so tired on the first night that the boy fell asleep in my arms on the couch – something he hasn’t done for years.

We have spent the days since their return preparing for the return to school and the start of the winter terms (shopping trips for underwear, shoes, warm clothes, etc.) I took the three of them to the hairdresser and it was interesting to watch them negotiate with her on their chosen styles. The eldest went for a shorter version of her previous cut (a bob with the fringe grown out) ‘but with more shape to the back’. The artist-in-residence was quite specific about wanting a bob that was longer at the front than the back, and then longer on one side and shorter on the other. Very chic – especially for 10 and 8 year olds who are surrounded at school by girls with long hair. The boy just wanted ‘something cool’ (i.e. something with product that sticks up a bit!) So interesting to watch their style develop, and their individuality shine through, without any prompting by me.

I then had a moment of serendipity. I have been planning for a few weeks to move the eldest chick into her own bedroom. I have also been exploring some better fabric storage and had thought about a chest of drawers for my bedroom – thinking I could decoupage or paint it to fix it up a bit. Then I had changed my mind and was thinking that one of those boring white melamine cupboards would be better for the fabric. I had settled on the bed that I was going to buy for the eldest, and then on some cupboards from the same shop. I borrowed a trailer from a friend to move the queen size bed that was in the spare room back to its owners, with the intention of buying the single bed etc and transporting it home. However, just before we started the bed move I checked my email and looked at my emails from ‘freecycle’ and saw someone offering a 6 drawer pine chest of drawers, and a trio bunk – one with a double on the bottom, and a single on top. So my plans changed and I picked up free drawers and a free bed – so now the eldest chick feels very sophisticated having a double (which also gives me more options for accommodating guests now that there isn’t a spare room), the middle chick finally has a desk in her room for her drawing and writing, and I have a lovely piece of furniture, that matches my existing bedroom furniture, to store my fabric in. And no money was spent. The gods were smiling on me!

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The new bed, midway through the move.  Some lessons in bed-making appear to be in  order!

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New fabric storage!

Of course, this meant that the rest of the weekend has been spent moving, cleaning, sorting, rearranging, and then cleaning again. So we are starting the week, and the school term, all set up in the new arrangement (and almost de-cluttered…..almost).

Another delight of the weekend was the boy deciding to build a tree house in the backyard. He loves to climb a particular tree that he discovered when his grandmother was visiting. She did that thing that grandmothers do and spent time with him, patiently, which gave him time to find out how to get up, what to do when he was up, etc. Now he shimmies up like a monkey – and has moved various pieces of timber up there, from which he has hung a bag of toys, his binoculars, a torch and his Frankenstein mask (of course!) So much fun to be had with such simple things. It reminded me of my own childhood and the dreams I had while climbing in our peach trees and how many times I hauled bits of wood up, with plans to build a tree house (which – given the size of peach trees, was never going to work!).

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In amongst all of this busy-ness, I managed to sew! I have been enjoying making more pencil rolls – 10 so far this week, with more to come. I haven’t managed to list any in my Etsy shop yet – they are all spoken for already.  So my aim is to make more this week, and to list some in the shop.

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I also wanted to make something for my niece who has a birthday in the next couple of weeks. She is turning 9 and is beyond ‘toys’, and has enough gadgets. So I decided to appliqué two tops for her. I am quite happy with the way they have turned out. Combined with a pencil roll (because I really am enjoying the perfect blend of fabric and function) her present will be in the mail in the next day or so, to (hopefully) arrive in time for her birthday.

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The other delight of the weekend was that realisation that as the children get older, I don’t have to do everything on my own. The girls helped to carry the pieces of the new bed, the chest of drawers and mattress inside from the trailer. The middle chick helped me to dismantle and remove the loft bed that had formed bunks in her room. The boy washed the very dirty car, and the eldest chick did the baking for their school morning teas for the week. The boy sorted through his dress up box and made a pile of the costumes he wants to give away, and the girls both (after some nagging by their mother) sorted through their bookshelves and buckets of toys and identified what they are ready to give away. The end of this little bird having to do it all might actually be in sight!

Of course, as I have been writing this post, the middle chick, and artist-in-residence, has announced that she has chosen her costume for this year’s Book Week parade (normally some time in August) and that we need to buy some silk fabric to make it, and it will be a nice dress that she can wear when it isn’t a costume.  While tucking her into bed I found her plans for the costume on her desk.  Guess there is more work for this little bird yet!

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I hope that you have had a lovely weekend, wherever you are, and that the week ahead holds joy for you.

Little joys and cake

My children will be home in a couple of hours. Hugs and excitement and piles of dirty washing will abound! So I am enjoying my last few moments of peace and looking forward to the love that will run through the airline arrival gates. I have friends who say ‘You must miss them so much’ when they are away. I do. But it isn’t an ache-that-can’t-be-filled sort of missing, it is the quiet gaps that highlight their absence. I have had four years to get used to them being absent for a few days or a couple of weeks at a time. I know that when they are with their father, or their grandparents, they are loved, cared for, secure in their place in the world and as safe as they are when they are with me. Instead of being sad I get to just savour a small piece of time for myself. The change to proper autumn weather has meant lovely colours, crisp mornings, and a snuggly bed, all of which has added to that feeling of having a little bubble of time for me.

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You would think that after four years I would be good at arranging to fill the time when they are away with all the exciting grown up things I miss out on when I am being a full time single parent. Wrong. While they have been away I have had one lovely dinner with friends, and have done nothing else social! I have started watching a DVD of the TV series ‘Revenge” that a friend lent me, which gave me time to crochet and build on my afghan, but that is about it in terms of being wild and crazy! I am okay with that though. I have put in 10 and 11 hour days in the office to catch up on some big issues I needed to work on, I have sewn, and have tried to get a few credits in the sleep bank! So I think I have used my time well, and am ready to face the return to their routine, school, winter sports, pottery classes, running club, medical appointments, lost lunchboxes, etc!

I had a little bit of joy yesterday when I won the ‘tastiest cake’ competition being run in my office as a fundraiser for Legacy, a charity that supports families of our defence services. I made a Raspberry Ripple Cake – a recipe I found in a magazine 10 years ago that has never failed me (well – except the time when, sleep deprived and pregnant, I put bicarb soda in by mistake). I was so excited to win (a gift voucher for a cake decorating shop) that I announced it at my team meeting – talk about immodest!

So – I thought I would share the recipe with you.

RASPBERRY RIPPLE CAKE
 300g frozen raspberries (thawed slightly)
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
 125g unsalted butter, softened
 1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
Icing
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 23cm spring-form tin.  Place raspberries in a bowl and lightly crush them, reserving a  tablespoon of their juice to make the icing.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.  Cream butter and sugar in a separate bowl, and then stir in eggs.  Gradually add dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream, mixing  well after each addition.  Spoon about a third of the cake mix into the tin, then spoon over half  the crushed raspberries and any remaining juice. Repeat with the next  third of the cake mix and the rest of the raspberries, and then top with  the remaining cake mix.  Bake for 50 minutes – the cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the  centre comes out clean.  Allow to cool before turning out and icing.  To make the icing, add the melted butter to the reserved tablespoon of  raspberry juice. Slowly stir in the sifted icing sugar until the icing  is a nice runny consistency and spoon over the cake.

Another little highlight was a lovely evening of reminiscing with my sister, her husband, and friends online after we learnt that a house that we had lived in while we were studying at University had burnt down (which was sad as it was a lovely Federation cottage, but not too bad as no one was hurt).  My parents owned it when we lived there, but we shared it with friends, and it remained as a rental for some time after that, so there were many years of great stories to share.  As my brother-in-law said – it feels like yesterday, but it was 25 years ago.  So nice to have a trip down memory lane with so many laughs (many at each others expense!)

I also managed some sewing – some pencil rolls and an art folder as part of an order for my sister. Once again I was reminded of how much I find sewing to make me feel good about the world. How lucky am I?

 

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To add to my list of joys, today is a public holiday, ANZAC Day, and I have tomorrow off work to spend the day with the children, so I have a four day weekend!    Time to play, sew and prepare for the return to school.

I hope that you have found some little joys in your week so far.

Lessons learnt

I am laughing at myself right now. In my last post I was apologising a bit for sewing things that weren’t on my February “To Do” list – but in fact everything that I sewed WAS on the list! I was looking at the list written on a scrap of paper at home, and not the one I publicly shared! So in fact I am doing really well at addressing my list right now!!

I also answered my own question of ‘to-crochet-or-not-to-crochet’ on the pillowcases I made – if I had to ask, then the answer was ‘no’. My wise friend Jo pointed out that there is something about bunting and crochet that doesn’t work – neither of us know why but we both agree on that point! So I listed them in my shop today, after taking photos in the lovely sun – and a friend snapped them up straight away! So I might need to make some more.

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Finally I am laughing at myself for forgetting the very simple rule – people read blogs. So some of my staff knew why I was at work having a chat, before I had told them in person, and one of the lovely teachers at my children’s school, who also loves fabric, was very tempted to call me after I announced that I should get stuff done, if only the school didn’t ring….. Good lessons to learn with no damage done and much laughter.

I have been sitting and admiring my delicious stash of fabric a bit, and was inspired to make this up during the week. Again, it has been snapped up, so I will make more using this lovely blue paisley.

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As I gear up to return to the office on Monday I am trying very hard to maintain my carefully won balance and not feel that I have to frantically sew to get things done before Monday – and it is working. Last night I had a lovely evening with a friend, some great Asian takeaway, and decadent ice-cream. When the power went out due to a storm we just turned on a torch and kept giggling and sharing. No sewing to be seen!

I had a list of things to be done this weekend – including three presents for my children to give to their friends at parties they are attending. In my mind I was planning to sew each gift, but this morning I sensibly went shopping and bought small gifts. The artist in residence was attending her best friend’s birthday party and I was disappointed that I hadn’t been able to make something for this little person who has a special place in our life – but we fixed that when we realised that a bird softie that my daughter had been making would make a perfect gift to accompany the purchased gift. So a very special handmade gift was delivered instead.

Having found some time to attend to other things (like housework) I then sat down and whipped up two simple pencil rolls (making up my own pattern) for the party that the boy is attending tomorrow (for two classmates), to accompany the small gifts I bought. I am quite happy with them and think that I will make some more for the shop.

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I also unpicked and altered a gift for my friend who has a special birthday tomorrow – and am now much happier with it. Taking time to do it right instead of just ‘okay’ feels good.

The return to work is a little daunting because, since my last post, it has been confirmed that I will take on a new role, beginning on Monday. I have also discussed my wish to work different hours, subject to finalising my before-school care arrangements, and they are supported. So the idea of a new position, which involves leading a service delivery area (something I haven’t done before) is exciting but also challenging. The idea of starting work early each day and then finishing at 3 in order to collect the children from school in person is wonderful, but I am apprehensive about finding the balance at work. All in all, I am sure that once I am there and have moved into my new office and remembered all my passwords etc I will be fine – but the anticipation of new things does have me thinking about work a bit more than normal!

Of course while I was in the office I managed to talk to one of my colleagues about a bag that she wanted…..and then came home and made it. Although it fits the description of what she asked for I am not happy with it yet, so think that it might be the next thing to be unpicked and re-shaped – the flap isn’t sitting quite where I want it to and the bag is a bit deeper than I think it should be. Back to the drawing board!

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Finally, an amusing sight while the kids and I stopped to find a geocache on our way home this evening. To find it we had to pass an administration office, and in the window, on the side of a tissue box, was this sticker, that the children loved!

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I am not sure if you can read the sticker, but apart from making it clear that this is a geocaching friendly environment, the small print says “Where else can you use billion dollar satellites to find plastic containers in the bush?”

I hope that any lessons that you have learnt this week are positive!
(My other lesson is to post more regularly so that my posts aren’t this long!!)