That Moment When……………………

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You realise that the ironing board cover needs replacing.

2014-12-21 01One minute it seems OK and the next it has ripped to shreds.

2014-12-21 02This is the cover I made from a brand new cotton doona cover I bought from the op shop.  It was the first time I had made one and I was very pleased with the result.  You can read about it here.

I could never have told you how long an ironing board cover lasted but thanks to this blog I now know that this one has given 2.5 years of service.  I regard that as pretty reaonable as I do a fair bit of ironing.

End of an Era

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Last Friday marked a major milestone in the life of our younger grand-daughter.  Izz turned 5 in August and next year she will join her older sister at school.

She first attended daycare at the tender age of 4 months and has now completed 5 years (at 2 different facilities).  Last week we were privileged to witness the graduation ceremony for those children are moving on to the formal part of their education.

2014-12-20 01Yesterday was her last day at daycare and I imagine that there were some emotional farewells.  It certainly is the end of an era.

Harrowing Times

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To say that I have been busy for the past couple of weeks would be an understatement.  I feel like a farce as my life has felt anything but organised lately.  However, I know that at some point I will get up and dust myself off and find my direction again.

Candles
Unfortunately, there are others who are not so lucky.  The last week has seen the media awash with awful events from the school shooting in Pakistan to an armed siege in Sydney and finally the tragic deaths of numerous siblings in Cairns today.  It is impossible to try to make sense of these events and it is easy to be consumed by the media coverage which I do not believe is beneficial to anyone.  My heart goes out to the friends, families and all affected by the terrible tragedies.  May the souls of those who have lost their lives rest in peace.

 

Holiday Hangover

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It is now 10 weeks since we arrived back from our overseas holiday and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to get properly back into the swing of blogging.  With less than 4 weeks until Christmas, I suspect that it is going to be next year before I get things really back on track.

Apart from trying to get things done at home, I am finding that I am particularly busy at work.  I constantly feel as though I am trying to catch my tail as there has been quite a backlog from while I was away.  I have almost got that under control and now am trying to fit in a couple of additional projects which I will be working on next year.

Yesterday we attended our Christmas drinks celebration with all of our neighbours.  The road we live in is about 3km in length with only about 26 houses scattered along its length.  Some of the residents are permanent and others homes are weekenders so we see some of our neighbours very infrequently.  The annual get-together is a fun evening and everyone brings theirs drinks and a plate of food to share.  I took a bowl of Pumpkin & Feta Balls and some homemade tomato sauce for dipping.  The recipe I used is here.  I adapted it slightly as I used standard feta, chilli powder (1 teaspoon) and 1 teaspoon of powdered coriander.  I rolled them into small balls rather than as fritters.

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Today I picked 2 large bowls of cherry tomatoes.  These grown wild in our garden – sometimes in rather inconvenient places.  Here are some of them.  I remove the stalks, discard any with blemishes, rinse them and then freeze them whole in recycled bread bags.  I now have about 6 kgs in the freezer.

2014-11-30 02I am  off to Sydney this week for 3 days for work but more about that next time.

Project Completed

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It is almost a week since my last post and in that time I feel as though I barely managed to keep my head above water, let alone write or publish any blog posts.  As well as running a home and holding down a full-time job I have been caring for my 2 granddaughters, aged 5 and almost 7.  By the time I cook meals, pack lunches, wash clothes, supervise homework etc I am pretty well exhausted.  Luckily, my stint is for 10 days so I can see the end in sight.

I had almost finished a patchwork project before things got busy and I have now finished hand-sewing the binding.

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This is a knee rug which I have made for my mother for her birthday.  Like the other work I have shown you, it is based on a disappearing 9 patch block.

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This photo shows the backing which is from a sheet that I bought some time ago from the local op shop.  In fact, all of the fabric is either salvaged from unpicked garments or offcuts from other sewing projects.  It is all cotton or poly/cotton but of varying weights.  In my opinion, this rug represents the true essence of patchwork – using up what you have.

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A close-up shows the wide border with mitred corners and then the binding to finish it off.

This is my first completed patchwork so I am definitely no expert.  If you were able to study the piece closely you would find that it is far from perfect.  There are some joins in which the corners do not match precisely, it is possibly not as flat or smooth as it should be and there are the occasional wrinkle and pucker.  However, I regard these as part of the love with which these was devised and assembled.

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Finally, I wanted to show you that you do not need to spend a heap of money on a plethora of gadgets.  I used my standard dressmaking scissors, tape measure and pins.  In addition, I used a set square and 1 metre metal ruler which I had on hand.  I also used a 1/4″ foot and a quilting foot for my sewing machine.  The 1/4″ foot was a handy addition but not essential, whereas I could not have completed this rug without the quilting foot.  I was lucky that both of these items had generously been given to me.

Sexism, Sadness and Simplicity

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The catalyst for writing this post came in the form of a post on a friend’s Facebook page where she posted a link to this article.  While the ‘extreme grooming’ that is described in the article is about a television presenter, it can be seen every day in our offices and shops.

Then just to top it off I found another link via Facebook about the ‘social experiment’ conducted by Karl Stefanovic.  He wore the same suit every day for a year – and no-one noticed.  This was his silent protest to highlight the way his female co-hosts were constantly judged and critiqued on what they wore and their hairstyles.

These articles in the media highlight the unreasonable pressures and expectations that society has on women in general and more specifically women who are constantly in the spotlight such as television presenters.  It saddens me to realise how much of this pressure is on women in all walks of life.

There have been small, incremental steps to break down these ‘societal norms’ but we must all be a part of the solution if things are really to change. The Little Brown Dress project by Alexa Martin in 2005 – 2006 chronicled her anti-consumerism stance in which she wore the same dress every day for a year.  Like Karl Stefanovic, no-one really noticed.  Project 333, is loosely based on the same principle – have a small number of clothes that you wear and love and realise that the world mostly does not care what you wear.  Anyway, none of us should be defined by the clothes we wear.

Wardrobe

To return to the first link in this post, make-up and grooming are yet another facet of us feeling the expectation that we have to present ourselves to the world in a certain way.

Make-up module

I have never been a great fan of make-up and tend to keep my make-up to an absolute minimum.  I no longer colour my hair and have a small but much-loved selection of clothes.  My clothes fit my lifestyle and I feel good in them.

What about you?  Do you feel pressured to present a certain face to the world?  Does your workplace have an expectation of how you are groomed?