January 21, 2011

A Little Revelation

Who knew that hessian was a useful material? As an art teacher, I have only ever seen value in covering dirty old pinboards with it... Never to actually sew with. All those hairy fibres dropping off everywhere, and the SMELL...

But I needed some neutral coloured, textured fabric to make some small fabric baskets for the bathroom and it was perfect!



Nice, huh?

Also wanted to show off this top I made before Christmas... I ripped off the pattern of a Portmans top I have, but changed the neckline.

And last night's dinner...

Pesto, prawn,tomato, fetta and basil on the left, and roast pumpkin, salami and jalapenos on the right- I love pre-made pizza dough!

January 19, 2011

A New Project

I have decided, although my wardrobe is bursting at the seams, that this year I shall sew a dress or skirt for every month... They are what I love to wear the most, but I've been getting out of the habit lately!

SO... I found this free download for Simplicity 4116 on the Sewing Patterns website, and liked the look of it. After all, who can go past a peter pan collar?

I decided to try it in a heavy knit, just for something new, and so I could get away with no zipper. In the end, I chose navy and cream Ponti de Roma from Spotlight. At $8 a metre I was persuaded, although I've always thought of ponti as nana fabric...

I cut out the front on the fold, rather than include the goofy centre front seam - it worked well! The entire dress came together very quickly, but when I tried it on with skirt attached it was HIDEOUS!!!

Note to self: stay away from the dropped waist!

I was pretty disappointed after it was going so smoothly to begin with... After a bit of pinning, I came to the conclusion that 1) the bodice was miles too big, and 2) it would look heaps better with an actual waist seam. And pockets.

So I cut off and lifted the waist, trimmed the whole dress back THREE sizes and got this:

And I quite like it! It is a bit 60s, with the contrasting collar and pockets, and goes with all my red belts and shoes... and it turns out - I quite like sewing ponti!

January 16, 2011

Summer rain

I guess like lots of people I'm feeling sad and a bit overwhelmed by what's been going on in Queensland... and a little bit angry at all the idiots who just keep going against the recommendations of Police and emergency services.

The last couple of days have brought this all closer to home, as my parent in Rochester, Victoria, have worked with others to keep flood waters out of their homes.

This is a picture of the main street... if you turn right behind that four wheel drive, and head up the road about 500 metres, you get to my parents' home. They are lucky that their house is on a small rise, but the granny flat where mum does family day care had water lapping at the top of the verandah, and bikes were floating in the yard! Hundreds of people were evacuated last night, including the hospital and nursing home, so mum and dad were lucky to be able to stay put.

The water rose to 9.14 metres... a bit higher than ever recorded. Water levels are going down this morning, but more is expected later today, as the weir nearby is beyond capacity... wish I could be there to help with the clean-up.

January 12, 2011

Treats for a special visitor

My very special friend is coming to stay for a couple of days, so we whipped up some of these this morning. (As if I need an excuse!!) These are jaffa macarons - orange rind in with the shells, and a spot of orange essence with the dark chocolate ganache.

For the sake of quality control, I have taste-tested them and, just so you know - they are DIVINE!!!

January 2, 2011

A new decade full of hope and promise...

I can sustain positivity for at least the first few weeks; it's all down hill after that!
Happy New Year to one and all - I hope the next twelve months is a time full of laughter and love.

This year, breaking with tradition, I have not made a SINGLE resolution - after 25 years worth of unfulfilled ones, I decided I've had enough. And I feel a better person for it, too!

Christmas came and went, and for a change I was pretty organised. We shared a lovely long weekend with family and dear friends in Victoria, then returned, leaving the teenager to spend quality time with cousins and grandparents for a week. For the first time ever, he will make the 9 hour bus journey home alone. That's progress!!! And me and Mr G are spending some quality time, too. How nice!!

I enjoyed my two weeks break before Christmas, and found time to whip up a few more handmade pressies, like this set of pillowcases for my granny, from Alicia Paulson's Embroidery Companion. There are so many beautiful things in this book... I bought it mainly for the gorgeous skirt on the cover - perhaps I'll get to it while I still have holidays.

I'm loving this embroidery business, though... It's been quite a while since I did any, and I'm getting right back into it! I settled on a boring diary for this year, but have snazzed it up a bit with a new cover (my interpretation of one of the designs in this book).

As usual for the holidays, I have been enjoying some time spent cooking. My favourite new recipe is a chicken, fetta, sundried tomato and pesto pastry roll... they are delicious, and freeze really well, too!

I had to promise the young fella that I would wait until he returned to cook more macarons!
In the meantime, big plans for the next few weeks - continuing the lookout for a new car, camping at Goolwa, a nephew's wedding, and lots of these... happy days!