Tag Archives: Sewing

May the Fourth be with you

It feels like a long time between drinks posts.  I have written several in my head in the last week, so was quite surprised when I logged on to see how long it had been outside my head, in the real world, since I posted!  There you go – time flies when you are having fun!

I have been playing with all sort of things in the last couple of weeks.  New fabric.  New ideas.  Old ideas revamped.  Housekeeping.  Forgetting to clean the house.  The usual circus that happens here in the nest!  My May newsletter did get out on time (have you subscribed yet?  They are full of a wide variety of things, so sign up – its free!)

In celebration of Star Wars day I have made two new bags – which will be listed on Etsy in my shop later today when I have the ‘good’ photos finished.  I enjoyed making these – I learnt a bit from using my repurposed denim bag while I was away over Easter, so took a different approach to cutting and joining pieces, taking note of the stretch in different fabrics, and think that the product is much better as a result.

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The first bag is a tote so not too much to tinker with there – although I did take a different approach to the base with some extra stitching, while the satchel is where I had a bit more fun.  I used the small front pocket from the jeans I was attacking cutting up to complete a bag panel alongside a back pocket piece, so this bag now has a pen pocket and a full sized pocket under the flap, as well as the usual pocket on the back, and slip pockets inside.  I like the new ideas that come from fitting together pieces that have already been used in another form!

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I also made the eldest chick a pair of pj pants from left over flannel – she loves them and I have had to peel them off her to wash them as she changes into them when she gets home from school!  I bought some new flannel on sale last week, so will be making another pair for her, one for the boy, and one for myself.  (The middle chick has about 10 pairs of pjs so doesn’t need more!)

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I went on a re-stocking buying trip last week (where I scored the flannel) and stocked up on some printed duck-cloth, and other bits and pieces, and bought this gorgeous fabric at the same time.  A friend/customer has requested two bags for her to take as thank you gifts when she travels overseas later in the year. She wanted an Australian flavour.  These fabrics (although unfortunately printed off-shore) bear the designs of Indigenous artists from Maningrida, a remote community in the Northern Territory where I have previously spent a little time.  I love them!  My bag making got stalled when I succumbed to a bug from one of the children, but I intend to finish them in the next day or so, and show you the end results!

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I also got a bit adventurous and bought some leather pieces.  I have been looking for leather to repurpose for a while, but in the absence of any success there, some pieces from a wholesaler are a good place to start (especially as they were a very reasonable price.)  I haven’t cut into them yet but hope to start playing with some new ideas this week, so stand by for photos!

In thinking about my market display I put out a call on Freecycle to see if I could get some boxes to help with my display.  Look at the history in these!  A beautiful woman passed them on to me – some were ones that her grandfather had acquired through his work, one had been used as a nesting box for chickens – they are all boxes that have had a life, and a lot of history.  We shared a bit of our lives with each other which made the meeting even more special.  I am so lucky!  A bit of cleaning and repairing and I will take some proper photos to share.

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It really has been a busy couple of weeks – there is so much more I could share, but I need to leave you with some time for your own life so won’t go on with every detail!  One thing I will share though is that my boy had a bad start with the return to school and was struggling again, with acute anxiety episodes, and the behaviour that flows from those.  Until I took him to the chiropractor we see, who also offers Neuro Emotional Technique.  If you google this practise you get all sorts of criticism of the lack of scientific evidence, blah, blah, blah, but to be honest, after the last couple of years I tend to look at the results for my kids, rather than the reviews.  I talked to her about his anxiety and other issues and she offered to check his ‘reflexes’.  She did, and then adjusted his “fear paralysis reflex” (some mild clicks in a couple of spots).   Wow!  He was calmer straight away, went to sleep without needing me to lie down with him that night, (and the next!), and the next day had an amazing day of staying in class and coping with everything!  The rest of the week continued well too.  Now this is not a ‘cure’ but whatever hocus pocus it is, it has given my beautiful boy, and his very supportive teachers, a break, some respite, and a chance for him to succeed again.  Hopefully the effect will last a while.  If not, even these few days of calm for him have been a gift.

I am sure some of you are missing my weather updates (Uh-huh).  It is cold.  Really cold.  Snow on the surrounding mountains sort of cold.  And the kids started their winter sports season yesterday, in the cold, and the rain. (Luckily they are with their father this weekend so I was tucked up home in bed recovering from a virus while they were suffering.)  The middle-chick didn’t cope so well (her father diagnosed frost bite – massive eye roll from me) but the eldest chick, in her first season of hockey on a full pitch, scored a goal, and the boy, in his first season of being allowed to tackle in rugby (and for the Americans reading – this does not involve any padding like your grid iron players wear – they just do full body tackles) and enjoyed it and wasn’t injured.  Phew!

My plans this week include working on some business planning, SEWING, and finishing this zpagetti rug I started yesterday while lying on the couch feeling sorry for myself.  I hope that you have a great week!

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Away

I am writing this sitting in the shade of my tent, listening to some guitarists in another tent and contemplating whether to go and pick up a fresh bag of ice, or lie in my hammock. Tough choices!

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For the third year in a row I have travelled to Byron Bay to attend Bluesfest. This year I nearly didn’t come. The thought of the drive (about 13 hours before you factor in breaks), travelling on my own and attending a large music festival on my own was starting to overwhelm me. But…. here I am and I am glad I came.

I decided to stagger my trip so I wouldn’t be exhausted before I arrived, but I didn’t plan it at all! Just before I left home late on Tuesday afternoon I decided that I would drive to a spot just north of Sydney called Umina that I had heard good things about. When I rang the campground the receptionist talked me out of camping because of the late hour I would be arriving at – which was an absolute blessing when I arrived during a torrential downpour that was blooding streets and tents. Sleeping in a cabin was the best decision!

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The next night I stopped at Coffs Harbour and stayed at the same campground I stayed at last year, set up my little tent and was asleep before 8!
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A cup of tea the next morning set me up for a great start and I arrived with 20 minutes to spare before meeting my camping neighbours from last year so we could camp together again. The ridiculously luxurious trailer is set up, and our neighbours thus year include a family of guitarists who seem to be attracting other guitarists to them so we are being serenaded.

Why am I giving you a blow by blow account of my trip? Because three days on my own has not been scary nor overwhelming. Last night I attended the festival on my own and had fun. I could wander where I wanted, to my own agenda. I saw great musicians – Steve Earle, Charlie Musselwhite, Dyson, Stringer and Cloher, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I was exhausted by the time it got to Edward Sharpe and had retreated to a chair, thinking that there was no shame in sitting to listen…… and then they started playing and I was propelled from my seat forward to dance, confirming once more that music cures all ills!

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My observations so far this year are quite irreverent – lots of young men with long hair and beards being escorted by girls with flowers in their hair, flowing skirts and bare feet – they look like they are reliving their grand- or great- grandparents youth at Woodstock – but with a lot more cash. There are also a high proportion of grey haired men who look like they have been sitting behind desks their whole lives wandering around in packs looking happy. You can pick the northerners – they are wearing jumpers in the chill of the 18 degree evening (scoffs the southerner who is loving the warmth!)

No post would be complete without a sewing report – I decided it was time to sew for myself so whipped up a Tova tunic using my birthday fabric from last year, and a bag and coing purse for myself (using the jeans I wore here last year!)

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No kids, no agenda, and nothing to worry about. Just what I needed, and the reason I bought my tickets a year ago.

I hope that your Easter weekend is all things good for you.

A world of possibilities!

Although the first day of April is traditionally a day for pranks and tricks, today was actually a day for celebrating some steps in my life, with no pranks in sight!  My bags are on sale through the Shop Handmade here in Canberra from today, and I received my first month’s sales statement from the Shop for my bibs (and can report that there were in fact sales – phew!).

Today also marks the first day of my long service leave, and the end (hopefully for a while) of being on personal leave (which is the modern public service name for good old fashioned sick leave!).  Although there is no real difference in terms of the freedom that I have, I have found that since I made the decision to take time off to look at what my options are for the future it is like a load has lifted off my shoulders.  I feel lighter.  I have been joking with the chicks.  We rode our bikes to and from school today because I wasn’t worrying about what time we would get there, etc.  I am breathing out.

The world of possibilities that this time off work opens up is huge!  I have already come up with a long string of outrageous travel plans that bear no resemblance to my bank balance – just to enjoy the dreaming possibilities!  I am thinking about all the creative opportunities that I have, and starting to map out how to fit them in.  And I am enjoying feeling that there are no rules, and that I can do what I want with this time (within reason and the law of course!)

The first big adventure is one that was planned a year ago, before life got so complex – the 25th Annual Bluesfest at Byron Bay, over the Easter weekend.  For the last few weeks I have been umming and ah-ing about whether I should go, on my own, and whether I would cope, etc.  But a funny thing happened as I wrote a message to a friend offering my ticket for sale to any of her friends….. I realised that the only person putting pressure on myself is me.  I sent a follow up email asking her to ignore the first one – and instead we agreed to catch up over a drink or two in the campground instead!  The line-up for this year has a few acts that I really want to see – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Jack Johnson, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Suzanne Vega, John Butler Trio, plus a few that I will catch because I don’t really know their stuff, and others I will go to see because I have never heard of them!  A good start to a period of freedom!  (And some trips to the beach for a swim in the ocean might figure in that plan too!) It all kicks off in 16 days, so my road trip will start two weeks from now!  Yippee!

Other smaller adventures over the next few months might include some trips to see friends, a lot of sewing, drawing up further and better particulars on some business plans (see – you can’t take the lawyer out of the girl even when she is on holiday!), and seeing what opportunities come along!

I have tackled my sewing room and sorted it out after weeks of chaos – jumbled piles of fabric, interfacing, threads, half finished projects, scraps, etc.  It is back to being a calm oasis of creativity and just what is required!  Sorting and folding fabric is such a beautiful way to spend time – it reminds me of all the beautiful possibilities that lie in those piles!

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Half way through making piles, with the sun streaming in to help.

I also finished the last of my custom ordered bags from the markets two weeks ago.  The young woman who ordered this one deliberated over a wide range of fabric choices before selecting this one for me to order in.  And her deliberations were worth it.  The fabric matched perfectly with the beige duck cloth she had selected and has resulted in a sophisticated, understated, elegant and practical bag for her overseas adventure.  I even managed to get 2 zips in it without crying!

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With the desk clear, my load lighter, and a head full of ideas, tomorrow is looking good for a day of sewing and creating.  Which is a good way to mark the 5 year anniversary of the day that my marriage ended.  This is not a path I chose, and is not the plan I had for my life, or the life of my children.  However I am proud of the new life and the new path that I have been able to build, and of the values that I am teaching my children.  Although they still wish that we lived with their father again, they acknowledge that their life is better than so many others, and that they are very lucky to have three parents who love them.  I continue to be thankful that their step-mother is so incredibly decent and has made an effort from day one to make it easy for me to have a positive relationship with her. (I also continue to be thankful that he waited until the 2nd to leave – imagine having your husband leave on April Fools Day – you would never be really sure if he meant to do it or not!)

Now I am off to brew another cup of tea and to go and admire my neat sewing room and plan my first project for tomorrow!  I hope that your week is going well!

 

Joy in the little things

This week I have been spontaneously stopping at different moments throughout the day and just enjoying being happy.  Not because of big momentous things, but just through the joy of little things.  I have had a visit to the post office each day this week, with a little pile of parcels wrapped in brown paper to send off to customers.  I get such a thrill from wrapping them and carrying them into the counter.  Getting to do it every day is so cool. It makes me happy!

I also got to hand deliver three other sales.  Which meant having lovely chats with the people I am selling to.  Joy!   It is such a privilege to make things for other people that they want and love.

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A lap top sleeve for  an English student – she chose such appropriate fabric!

I have started and finished three custom orders in the last two days.  With no hiccups!  Again – happy!  I have cooked a lovely (she says modestly) meal for a friend, spoken on the phone with another, and had lunch with yet another.  All moments that give joy.  I have sat and watched the rain soaking my garden, and while I am sure that my joy cannot begin to match the joy of local farmers who have needed this so much, it has still given me joy.

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The grey wet day through my window when I stopped to refill my bobbin!

I think that knowing that I have time to plan for my future and my family’s future is giving me the time to appreciate the little things again.  And it feels good!  It also gives me time to come up with all sorts of ideas – which, upon closer inspection, turn out to be a mix of brilliance and complete rubbish!

On the handmade front I am, and will keep being, busy.  I have further custom orders to complete, stock to make for the Handmade Shop, stock that I want to make for my Etsy shop, a business plan or two to write, some research to do, and some articles to write.  All of that means that I am expecting a fair few more of the little moments of joy!

One of the projects that I want to put some time into is preparing some online resources that share some of the lessons that I have learnt over the last couple of years about building a creative business, becoming a stall holder, planning, selling online, and taking the steps to translate a hobby into a business.  If there is something in particular that you would like to know, please let me know – either in the comments, or by email (Theresa@alittlebirdmademe.com) so that I can be sure to include some answers for you in the materials that I prepare – or get one of my many friends with expertise to help me answer your question!!

For now – back to little moments of joy.  I have just one chick in the nest tonight, so she gets extra cuddles and stories for bedtime and that is where I am headed.

What moments of joy have you been able to find this week?  I would love to hear about them – big or small!

The aftermath

The two day Handmade Markets in Canberra are finished, and it is a public holiday here in Canberra, so I am lounging around with my chicks, ignoring the mess and chaos in the sewing studio (and in fact the rest of the house) and enjoying reflecting on a great weekend.

I will be re-stocking the shop over the next few days with new items, new photos of items, and some new descriptions, so stand by for a bit more flash and colour!   I am also thinking about a sale by the end of the week, so will be back with news of that soon.

A quick recap of the markets is required, after all the build up.  For those who aren’t familiar with these markets, they are held 4 times a year, and coordinated by the lovely women who run the Handmade Shop here in Canberra.  They provide wonderful opportunities to showcase high end Australian made designs, food, accessories, etc.  This was my first time applying to appear at the markets, as I knew that I had to be ready – have the right style of stock, the right display, and the right approach.  However I have always loved being a customer at the markets, so knew what to expect in terms of great atmosphere!

I had a great time – I love chatting to customers, stall holders etc.  There are so many interesting people who attend markets, it is never a boring experience!  It also gave me a chance to tweak my display set up.  On Sunday I took a few extra props in with me, and my two eldest chicks, and they helped me to rearrange my display before customers arrived.  We all agreed that it was much more effective!  I have assured them that they are my official display design helpers from now on.

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Day 1

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 Day 2 (with gorgeous helpers)

It also gave me a great chance to learn what customers are interested in.  After all my protests that bibs were outside my ‘scope’ they were, of course, my biggest seller!  Always learning.

The next steps here, once the chicks are back at school tomorrow, is to clean up the piles of fabric, unpack the stock that I still have, and load it onto my Etsy shop, and start on the custom orders that I took over the last two days.  In between I will be playing with some new ideas that I have had for new designs…… always fun!

I hope that your weekend has been fun too!

 

Busy Busy Busy!

I have just realised that it has been over a week since I last posted.  This is not a sign of disengagement on my part but of complete and utter busy-ness!

This may be one of my shortest posts ever as I am in the middle of a sewing frenzy!  It is less than a week until the Handmade Markets open in Canberra, and I am determined to have as much stock as I can for the markets.  The chicks are at their father’s house and I am sewing, sewing, sewing!

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Things happening this week:

– I delivered 36 bibs to the Handmade Shop and they are now on sale there!

– I am completely obsessed with repurposing denim jeans into bags.

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– I have the first samples for the bag kits that I am developing.  They need some tweaking but just getting started on it is exciting!

– I have discovered the joys of making my own green smoothies (lots of vegies and fruit pulverised into a drink!)  Will definitely fill you in on that once the hectic week is over!

– The chicks are all well and busy and calm!  (Freaky but true!)

– My house looks like a thread factory exploded

– I have shattered (not snapped!) two needles – one on my sewing machine and one on my overlocker.

– I have worn a blister on my knuckle through using scissors on denim and canvas.  (How do I know this is the cause?  Because every time I pick up the scissors I remember that it is there when it hurts!)

– I have used 2 kilometre of sewing cotton in the last 10 days.  I have used 4 kms in the last 6 weeks.

– I have realised that I need to set up an easy way for people to arrange custom orders with me.  My brain is ticking over the options as I sew!

Am I having fun though?  Yes!  Yes, a thousand times yes!

I hope that your week is full of creative fun (although perhaps not quite as much craziness as mine!)

 

 

Friday on my mind…..

Ah Friday.  The end of the week.  In days gone by the night that I went out drinking, dancing, flirting and enjoying myself.  These days I am happy if the house is peaceful, relatively clean, and I have some decent music to listen to while I sip my cup of tea!  How times change!

Speaking of change (nice segue huh?) I am extremely happy and very proud to report that today, at the first Junior assembly of the year at the new school, my boy not only (jointly) compered the assembly, but received an award from the Principal for showing principled action in making the right choices.  Wow!  His stepmother and I were both able to be there and were so proud.  While this is still early days, and as we have all experienced, anything can happen, it is certainly a very pleasant change to have such positive experiences with him at school!

The eldest chick has returned from her school camp, and from the excited conversation we had on the phone, it was a resounding success!  They were able to participate in so many wonderful activities like archery, abseiling, a disco, and the experience of being away from home for 3 nights.  She was a bit put out that for the second year in a row their raft building activity was cancelled due to weather!    Her absence also meant that for the last two days I have only had the middle chick at home.  She and I pottered around quietly and kept commenting how very, very quiet it was!  We agreed that while it was nice for a change, neither of us would like it for much longer!  (I didn’t have the heart to point out to her that for the next two weeks I will have a much quieter house while they are all at their father’s house!)

With all of this quietness I have been sewing!  I decided that I don’t really like the way that the camera that I appliqued in my last post has turned out – the pattern on the fabric is wrong for the shapes, so I have put that aside for a while.  My other appliques however, have turned into these (excusing the photos taken with my phone!)

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I have discovered iTunes radio on my new iPad so I can report that these bags were all made while I listened to the familiar tunes of 1980’s rock!  Trips down memory lane while sewing – so much fun!   Two weeks until the Handmade Markets – I see a lot more dodgy music in my very near future!

I hope that your week has had a great balance of quietness, creativity and music!

Ticking things off the list

The big news in the nest today is the rain.  Yes!  It has finally rained!  Our water tank is full, the garden is starting to look a bit green, the air is damp, and everything feels cleaner.  After long, hot, dry weeks everything, including the air, was starting to feel dusty, so this clean dampness is a joy!

The eldest chick’s birthday celebrations went off very well on Friday.  In the end I made her a cross body bag using Dr Who fabric, a Dr Who pillowcase, and gave her the pouch that I provided the tutorial on, with some beautiful face care products made by a very talented creative friend, Kyoko, who makes all the lovely things at So Soap.

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Add in a Lego present, and a light for her bike and she was a very happy eleven year old.  By way of a party I took her and four of her friends to a trendy café/pizza place/bar for dinner last night.  Luckily one of the mothers, who is a friend of mine, chose to stay so I had company while the 5 girls giggled and acted sophisticated, and then acted like children, and generally had a great time!  One of her friends always gives her excellent presents – either handmade by her mother (a very crafty friend of mine) or books.  This year it was a new series of books that already have the eldest chick lost with her nose deep in the pages, so that was a success!  Another present she got was just perfect.  Great friends of ours taught her to play Yahtzee over the holidays, so when they saw a Dr Who Yahtzee set, it had her name written all over it.  She very happily taught the boy to play it this morning and declared it the best game ever!

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By working away in my sewing room I have managed to complete the 6 bags that I cut out and prepared a week ago.  (I am trying not to dwell on the fact that it took me a week to make 6 bags…..).  I complicated things by putting in zipped inner pockets, wide bases that needed stability added, etc.  I also complicated things by managing, on three bags in a row, to sew things together upside down…….  I am sure that there is a message in there for me – just not sure what!  After 6 messenger style bags in a row I think it is time for something different this week.  (Now to work out what it is!)

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I have also made some business decisions in the last few days.  After going through a great process of deciding that the bibs that I have been sewing are not ‘within scope’ and therefore I will only make them to be sold by another website I have done a complete about face when presented with an opportunity too good to miss.  Here in Canberra we have the Handmade Shop, where everything in the shop is handmade within Australia.  It has always been part of my long term plan to apply to stock my bags in there, but I am not at that point yet.  However they recently called for a new designer bib maker to apply to stock their shop, and a friend of mine tagged me in the Facebook page.  Cutting a convoluted story short, a few days later I applied, and was accepted the same day, so will be stocking bibs there from 1 March!  What a fabulous excuse to buy more gorgeous children’s prints!

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The second decision was that I needed to improve my record keeping and inventory control, particularly for attending markets, and if I am going to have stock sitting in shops, or on other websites.  A recommendation from a creative colleague pointed me to a great program – and it can be used on an ipad, including producing and then scanning barcodes (it is Vend, if you are interested).  What does this mean, I hear you ask?  That this provided sufficient justification to purchase a new iPad Air.  (I was an early adopter of the first iPad but hadn’t upgraded since, and the absence of a camera meant that it wasn’t much use for inventory etc.  That is my excuse and I am sticking to it!)   So now I can look all professional and keep track of my products instead of looking at my storage boxes in confusion!

On the home front, the chicks all had a great week at their schools.  Given the drama, trauma, and crises of the last two years with the boy attending school, being able to write that first sentence is such a relief.  I am eternally optimistic, so hope that it continues (but am realistic enough to know that the future is unpredictable.)

With only 3 weeks until the Handmade Markets I am hitting the panic button a bit, so hope to get a lot of sewing done this week.  I was going around in circles tonight, wondering what to do next when I remembered my bicycle applique from the last post.  So here it is, appliqued onto some canvas, ready to be made into a canvas satchel!

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I think I might have to break up the sewing for the week with experimenting with a few new applique templates!

I hope that you have had a great weekend, and that your week ahead is full of fun experiments.  What are you looking forward to most this week?

Distractions

{NB:  No actual disasters occur in this post.}

(and there are no pretty  or even ugly photos.  Sorry!)

I am struggling to get to my sewing.  Between a sick boy over the last three days, a trip to the Emergency Department for investigation of a suspected arm fracture for the middle chick today (which thankfully was not broken), and rude distractions like housework, cooking and sleeping, I am just not getting that clear time to sit and sew that I want and need!  I have 6 bags cut out, interfaced, and partly assembled……. but not finished!

Sigh.  In the meantime, as a distraction for the middle chick from the pain etc, we spent time designing her new school bag……which now needs to be made.  If it works as we imagined it then I will have a whole new design – a messenger bag that can also be a backpack.  I will keep you informed about its progress as I try to work out where to fit it in the list of priorities that sits on my desk!

What I had hoped to write about tonight is my exciting new purchase – therefore I will, even though I have no pretty photos to show, or even good results to report!

Yesterday I became the proud owner of a Brother Scan’n’Cut machine.  I stumbled across this when looking for ideas on how to streamline my applique process.  (I love making my applique bike and word cushions but they take so long to draw, cut out and then sew on, that I can’t justify the time it takes versus the price I feel comfortable charging for them.)  This machine allows you to scan in your image (or use one of the 800 odd programed patterns including quilt pieces) and then cut it out of paper, card or fabric!  Ah-ha!  If this machine can remove the drawing and cutting part of my applique process and I then just have to sew, then I can make them again and be charging prices that cover the cost of labour, and are still affordable!  (Of course my mind has already run away with itself imagining the possibilities that the machine opens itself up to!)

Last night I decided that I was too worn out to try and use it, and instead I set aside time today while the children were at school to play with it.  And then had the trip to hospital in the allocated time.  Late this afternoon I decided to tackle it.  I was hot, tired and cranky.  Foolish, foolish girl!

After setting it all up (very straightforward) and reading the instruction booklet (sort of) my first error was made when using the provided iron on applique sheet (the first step) – and putting it on upside down, and forgetting to use my pressing cloth, so that instead of fusing to my fabric it fused to my steam press.  @#$%^&**!!!!  (I have now removed the majority of it I think……..  but it took quite a while!)

My next error was not checking my scanned image to check that the lines that were to be cut were the ones I wanted.  Sure I eyeballed it to check that there were no lines missing……. but I didn’t enlarge the image as recommended, and therefore missed the fact that I had hit the wrong button and the machine now thought that I wanted a cut line on either side of the drawn line…..so I was cutting the outline of the lines instead of cutting the lines (if you know what I mean.)

This resulted in very tiny slices of fabric around the body of the applique that were so thin that they broke as I was removing the fabric from the mat, and left the body of the applique too thin to sew (and parts of it also broke due to their being too thing).  Then I made my next error – pulling the fabric off the tacky sheet that holds it in place for cutting.  If I had followed the instructions and used the provided tools to lift it I would not have made such a mess of the mat, and would not have left so much fabric fluff and iron on gunk behind.  (None of the errors were the fault of the manufacturers.)

At that point I went and lay on my bed and listed my errors to my middle chick who was lying in there enjoying the cool and quiet while she rested her arm.  Her response was to ask what was for dinner. Hmmmmmm……  wrong audience obviously.

I then spent half an hour helping the eldest chick to search for things she needed for her martial arts class.  I emptied baskets, moved piles of ‘stuff’, and generally messed up a lot of what I had been tidying and sorting.  When I couldn’t find it all I was ready to confess to her instructor that we need to perfect the process of moving the chicks between the nest and their father’s house and that it wasn’t her fault that the things were missing as we had mucked up the part where she would be responsible for her own stuff, when her step-mother rang just in the nick of time to say that she had found the missing items and could drop them at class.  Phew!  No public and humiliating explanations of our disorganised life required!

After a day of no actual disasters, and lots of good outcomes (I missed mentioning a trip to the fabric shop that had a 50% off sale that saw me stock up on bright stripes, spots and solids for lining my bags) I am calling it quits and will start again tomorrow, fresh, calm and cool.    And I will sew at least one bag to completion.  And I will cut out an applique with my new ‘helper’ (sounds so much more professional than ‘toy’) and show you a photo, so that I can prove to myself that I can do it!  And I will design the construction of the middle chick’s new school bag.  And I will remember that doing complex things when hot and tired is not the way to succeed!

I hope that your day was also full of no actual disasters and lots of good outcomes and that you get to have a fresh start tomorrow too!

P.S.  If that sounded like a pep talk to myself, reminding me that nothing bad actually happened, and motivating me to have a different sort of day tomorrow, you may be onto something…..feel free to share in my positive spin attempts, and to recast your own day into one where no ACTUAL disasters occurred. 

 

What a week!

All that preparation to begin sewing when the chicks returned to school has delivered very little.    I did get a good start on a project that I have been commissioned to prepare for a magazine, but of course, all I can show you of that are the fabrics I am using!

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I have continued to enjoy cutting up old denim jeans and repurposing the fabric into other items – it is quite interesting identifying the useful pieces of fabric in a worn out pair of trousers!  I also found a great spot to donate my de-cluttered clothes, including those fabulous pink sparkly shoes – a charity shop that targets the trendy vintage and hipster market, and uses the proceeds to support a national help line.

Why did I not get more done?  Ah yes.  Life.  The reality of  life as a parent of a child with a disability was thrust upon me.  This week has seen some big changes in the nest as a result.  The boy has changed schools, from a private Catholic school to attend our local public school.  The middle chick was so impressed with the facilities at the new school and so unimpressed with her new teacher that she started a campaign to move schools too.  Torn between teaching her about facing up to adversity and finding strategies to address it, and the knowledge that the public school offers a program that could have been purpose designed for her, we gave in and agreed to move her, and she started today with much joy.  In the space of a week we have gone from three children in one school, to only having the eldest chick there.  Lots of change.  I think that the outcome will be a good one overall, and the boy has certainly had a better experience in the last two days than he had in his first two days at his original school earlier in the week (or in fact the whole last year term at the original school).  And so we change, find even more new strategies, and keep moving forward.  Different schools, different teachers, different resources, different approaches.  Hopefully this one will be a better fit.

I was meant to post my list of DIY ideas for tween gifts tonight.  I promised it in my newsletter.  And while I am half way through preparing the list I am exhausted and have decided to be upfront about the fact that it is not ready, apologise and publish it tomorrow after I have had a decent night’s sleep.  I am sure that you will all understand!

I hope that your week has not been full of life changing events and that your weekend holds delightful things in store for you.