Thursday, July 2, 2015

Yeah I Made It 27/52 - The Best Dress

'Sup Lovelies?

So I recently entered 2 versions of the same dress in The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month challenges.

This is one I made from IKEA fabric, which I have had for a while but was planning to make a coat from, I didn't have enough fabric and then they sold out. It's from a company called Simple Sew and it's called the Ruby dress. It is a very simple make, although the instructions are pretty simple too...

Because the fabric is intended for furnishing it is really heavy and that's what makes the skirt part stick out so beautifully.

I absolutely love this dress.

The first day I wore it to school and I walked into my first class for the day and one of the children asked, "What are you teaching us today?" - long story I teach several subjects. One of the other students replied with considerable contempt in her voice, "Art obviously, look at what she is wearing." So funny. I had no idea that I dressed for the subject - but I probably do!

The next time I wore this dress I was waiting to cross the road at the lights and a man ran up to me and asked where I got my dress from and then launched into a conversation about the fabric and the designer and said how much he loved it. Then he told me he is a a street fashion photographer and was bummed he didn't have his camera. Can I just say, me too!!

Anyway - outfit for the win! I am so thrilled with it and I can see it will be a go to dress when I want to feel special.

How about you? What is your go-to I need to feel special outfit?

love you more than being stopped by a stranger to admire my outfit xxx

*** edited to add I made the finals! Whoot. If you want to see the wonderful finalists and vote for your favourite please do here. ****

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

In My Neighbourhood - Booknook & Bean

Hello virtual travellers,

Just recently a rather scabby part of Adelaide, a carparking underpass area, has been transformed with a series of cute shops and finds. I'm sure I'll be back to check out all the bits but today The Atlas and I had a coffee date at this wonderful place.

Small but cute it serves drinks and a few pastries. I had the orange hot chocolate and The Atlas had the white hot chocolate. They were good. There was quite a few hot chocolate flavours and seeing as I am still too immature to drink coffee I am very excited by this.

The thing I loved most though is the second hand book wall. As part of the cafe/coffee shop they have shelves of donated books and an honesty box in the middle. The books aren't priced and if you ask they'll suggest you donate from $2-10 depending on what you feel the book is worth.

None of the money goes into the till. All money is used for Kiva (microloan company) and when the loans are repaid they'll reinvest it. Definitely check out Kiva it's a great idea for helping to empower people the world over.

I donated seven books today and bought 3, strictly to support the cause you realise!! ;o)

If you are in Adelaide and want a hot drink or to be inspired by how urban eye-sores and dejected spaces can be revitalised and awesome then you should definitely check out topham mall.

love you more than a feel-good hot chocolate xxx

Monday, June 29, 2015

Author Interview and Giveaway


It feels like the longest time since I've done a giveaway so I am super happy to include a giveaway in this author interview. A while ago you may remember that I reviewed Pieces of Sky in a round up of children and YA fiction I've been reading.

I also had the opportunity to interview Trinity Doyle and I leapt at the opportunity, having really enjoyed the book. It is really nice to be able to connect with an author whose work you have enjoyed and ask them questions. I hope you enjoy the questions I posed.

I sent through the following questions to Trinity and these were her responses:

How has Pieces of Sky changed from the very first sentence you wrote to the finished book you now have?

I think the easiest way to answer this is to say how it hasnt changed. Well, Lucy, Evan, Steffi and Cam are still there. Pieces of Sky underwent extensive rewrites as I, essentially, learnt to write. It always began from the same place: fear of the water, but spun out in so many different directions. With each draft I felt it getting closer to the actual story but I had to sacrifice a lot to end up with the final book.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

No! I love them all. Last time I answered this question I said Steffi but this time Ill go with Cam. Cam was the big brother I always wanted and I cruelly took away from Lucy. I love stories where an absent character still has so much weight, and I hoped I achieved this here. Cam, to me, is a bottomless wella place where I can just keep falling. Hes a fantastic muddle of contradictions from the leader to the layabout to the obsessive. Hes the kind of person you dont think values anything but in truth values things fiercely. I wish everyone couldve known him.

What is your favourite line/s from the book?

*fetches book* This is one of my favourite moments

            The Sunbird hits the freeway and its just us and the road for the next four hours. The day is hot and we drive with the windows down, the wind whipping in at us, and the stereo up. Despite the heat, Evans wearing jeansblack jeans and a dark green T-shirtbut hes kicked off his shoes, bare feet on the pedals.
            I stick my feet on the dash and lean back in my seat. I get a surge of something: freedom, independence, growing upit sings in my bones.

Which character gave you the most difficulty to capture in words?

Alix. Alix was a side character I had no idea what to do with. She started off as Steffis friend but was too similar to her, so I made her a swimmer but then I couldnt work out why she was friends with Steffi. Then I made her Lucys friend and a swimmer and she began to make sense to me. Once she felt real the story just seemed to jump into this other more realistic space.

You have had a lot of different jobs, how have they influenced you as a writer?

This is a tough one! I think in my different creative endeavours Ive always been hunting for my voice, something that felt true to me. Many things Ive done felt like an imitation of something else. I always had the hope that through exploring different styles Id find mine but when that didnt happen I struggled to continue. Writing is the closest Ive come so far.

What book do you wish you had written? or What book do you read again and again?

I reread a bunch of books this year and one of the standouts was Hunting and Gathering by Anna Galvada. The story is essentially about a bunch of lonely people finding each other and becoming a familyand I just love that. I finished it and thought I want to do that! And thats pretty much what Im trying to accomplish in my current project.

Can you share a standout moment for you in the process of writing Pieces of Sky?

When I was trying to figure Evan out. I was listening to the radio at work and Polaris by Jimmy Eat World came on. I stopped whatever I was doing and just sat there because that song was him. Even though it was nothing to do with himand he has mixed feelings about Jimmy Eat Worldhe was just completely in it. I listened to that track on repeat for a long time after that.

At what point of the process did you start to think that the published book would become a reality? Do you call yourself a writer when people ask you what you do, when did you start doing that?

I always hoped for this story to be published but it didnt start looking like it could actually happen until Id gotten to the querying agent stagethats when I believed I had something publishable.

I read an interview with a writer, cant recall who, where they said to stop calling yourself an aspiring writer, if you write then youre a writer. I tried to own it after that. Its something thats very personal for me though so I struggle to talk about it, I tend to crack a few jokes then turn the conversation back on them.

As a writer and an aspiring writer what were the things that kept/keep you going on the days when it feels like an impossible dream?

Other writers. Ive been lucky to have found some wonderful writing partners and we all just care about each others work so much. Having someone else take what youre doing seriously is a massive motivator.

What practise has most influenced the development of your own unique voice as a writer?

Good writing is all about honesty and honesty of self is the hardest thing to put on the page. Something thats laughable but I think had a great baring on my writing was the years I spent on livejournal. In what I call my vague emo poetry I was learning to name what I was feeling and to put those feelings into a public space. That practice meant that I was a lot closer to my emotional self when I came to my manuscript and Id already dealt, to a degree, with that fear of being seen.

I loved reading these answers, I would love to sit down and have a face to face talk to Trinity! Thanks so much Trinity for answering these questions, your humility as an author and person really shine through and I look forward to reading your next book.

If you enjoy YA fiction I'm sure this will be a book you will like. If you want a chance to win your own copy (NZ and Aus readers only, sorry) then please leave a comment below - how about you tell me: a favourite line from a book, the title you'd chose for a book if you wrote one or what you are reading at the moment.

Entries close Monday 6th of July and I'll email the winner after that.

love you more than a parcel in the post xxx

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yeah I Made It... 26/52 Rats and Mice

Hey Gorgeous,

Here are some little projects of late... remember those 100 cards I abandoned making last year?

Here is one I whipped up the other day - it was B for Barnacle

and I had a go at crochet again too with a magazine (Mollie Makes, thanks Kimberly!) to guide me.

Sometimes a quick and easy make is just what the doctor ordered!

love you more than a new brooch xxx

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Learning Together - savings goals

Hey beautiful people,

Can you believe another one so soon??? I've written about how we do pocket money before. Today is about a new thing I've introduced to help the boys. They tend to get all excited about saving for a big ticket item then they see something smaller and cheaper and quicker to have and forget what they were saving for. (I think I'm a bit like that too!)

Recently at a friends house Flip discovered iPod nanos. Our boys listen to a lot of audio books and some music and Flip does love his technology! so he decided he wanted one of them. We looked up new ones and second hand ones and figured he could probably get one for around $150 - being his father's son ;-) he's only interested in the 7th or 8th generation!

Bounce wants roller skates so we had a look and found that $80 would be plenty for him to get a pair.

I helped them make a temperature gauge.

Having a goal and saving towards it is so much easier when you can see it coming and if I get really organised I'll print them both a picture so they can see it coming. It will take them quite a while to save up but I know they will really value them when they get there.

Learning Together a series for primary aged children and their parents - activities that break up homework monotony, promote skills and create positive experiences together.

What keeps you on track when you are saving up for something special?

love you more than a savings goal achieved xxxx

Monday, June 22, 2015

26/52 - The Parklands

Happy Monday y'all,

The thing about living in the city is the lack of outside space at home, however Adelaide City is surrounded by green parklands (they are actually brown in the summer but let's not be too picky).

So these parklands which are about a 3 minute walk away become our play space.

There is an area we have been introduced to that is the 'hut area'. 

On Sunday afternoon with another lovely family, we headed out and discovered a half hut. Over the next hour and a half the littles and dads built the other half, while the mamas watched on and chatted.

As the sun sank we wandered back home to dinner. Such a lovely afternoon - all outdoors and technology free. No resources other than what we could find. These are the days when it all seems right.

Does the final result remind anyone else of Eeyore's house in Winnie-the-Pooh?

love you more than a 3 metre stick xxx

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Yeah I Made It... 25/52 Skirt Re-Make

Hi Y'all,

It makes me smile and nod when I come across an almost complete handmade item in an op-shop. I tried on this skirt in my local which was too small. I suspect it was too small for the original owner too because it was complete except for the final hook and eye/button and button hole required to make it complete. Don't you hate when that happens?

I'm pretty sure it's Dupion Silk. Originally my plan was to take off the waistband and just insert an elastic waist, then I decided that might not be the most flattering choice....

So, I took off the waistband, sketched in some darts and cut the right size from the top of a skirt pattern, bias bound the waist facing and stitched it back together - sort of.

I left all the volume from the hips down. Then I scrunched and pinned all over the skirt to get the desired level of puffy. Once that was done I did a stitch and re-stitch over the line (on the machine) and it was done!

Side note - I took it to school to collect the boys in the afternoon so I could trim the threads and gathered quite a little entourage asking what it was and exclaiming how pretty it was. Kids do love to see craft in public it would seem, and I guess many of them don't see their parents making stuff.

I'm stoked with the final result. This is how I wore it.
Top - opshop,
Tights - hand-me-down from my sister,
Skirt - remake from a $8 op-shop purchase,
Cardi - throw out from a friend,
Boots bought on sale for $75 down from $250 a couple of years ago

The Atlas and I joked about the ensemble looking a little like Santa's Little Helper - so he said he was going to get a t-shirt made that said "I'm with Sanat's little helper". I do love that he thinks this is a great outfit, I know there's many a partner who wouldn't!!

love you more than an outfit that turns heads xxx