Thursday, October 30, 2014

Make My Week - Vogue 8469

I find it very difficult to not just have a 'wee rummage' (you would not believe the teasing I get for the use of the word 'wee' in Australia! And it seems I use it a lot without realising!) through the Vogue pattern draw when I see a 'all patterns $5' sign.


So it is already ridiculously hot here - we have already had a day of 35 degrees! I am already going on about the weather - it is going to be a long summer of whinging I suspect! In the heat sometimes a lady just needs a good maxi so she can sit like a man and let the air circulate!

I saw this fabric at the same time when I was out looking for chair fabric (no dice on that - oops bought some things for a new dress instead).

I made it into a maxi shape by just making the skirt sections as long as I could with the fabric I had. I hit on the perfect length by complete accident - whoop!

Contrast sash from left over orange and I made the tie lengths equal rather than the pattern suggestion and tie them front or back - as you can see.

I cut the 12 which was the top size in the pattern but added length to front and back shoulder straps and graded out (by eye) in the bust and in the sash. I also lengthened the bodice under the bust as well to make sure the sash sat under the ladies.

Super pleased with this. Finished it on Friday morning before school and wore it Friday and Sunday - it's so good. It's all I can do not to wear it every day. I love the fabric and colours and that even though the patterns don't match on the seams the lines at least do.

Also yes the heat and sun is so extreme I wear my hats inside now too!! (not really, but do you like my new hat? I do.)

Joining in with the makers here:
 Show & Tell Thursday's

Maxi dresses - love them or feel swamped by them?

love you more than air circulation xxxx

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Best and Most Beautiful

Even if I had a hundred Christmas decorations here (we currently have 4 that we have made and no others) I still would have bought this at oxfam today.

I especially love it when Christmas decorations like nativities and angels are portrayed in the culture of the maker. Of course a Zimbabwean angel would look like this and have beautiful dark skin. Because Jesus is a gift to us all, he meets us in a way we relate to - he takes on our flesh and understands the journey we walk.

Also look at the message about who made it, it was all I could do not to cry in the store.

One mother (me) partnering with Mai Stanley (Stanley's mother) helping each other to celebrate the most wonderful gift of all.

love you more than an angel on the tree xxxx

Monday, October 27, 2014

forty three

School fun run.

These boys just ran and ran and ran - so proud of them.

They both did the most laps in their classes and I love that they pushed themselves. (I think they get that from The Atlas! Although I did say to my mama at five, "there's no point running in a race unless you know you are going to win." Now I just look for someone to talk to and walk with!)

love you more than a full drink bottle after a hot run xxx

Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Week - How to Know You Are An Optimist

So today is a little tour through the stacks of books at my place.

When I started taking photos of these stacks I thought, only an optimist would think that they will be able to read all this and keep getting more books out of the library!

There are books under the computer - these are new and as yet unread (or just started)

some to review

some faith books

some crafty books

then there is the day I went to the library and every single book, (bar 2 - and of those 1 was for my son) on the hold shelf under our last name initial, was for me

and then there are a few others I grabbed just because they caught my eye

my current and the book we are currently reading aloud to the boys

plus there are a couple of different versions of the Bible I picked up the other day - just to mix things up

Despite all these piles I seldom read during the day unless it's while I am waiting for something - somehow reading during the day seems too indulgent.... or maybe it's a throw back from the first week of my maternity leave when I read 5 novels in 5 days and felt a bit booked-out,

 but I'm thinking if I want to make any progress on this pile I may need to allow myself some indulgent reading hours under the air-con.

How about you - are there books stashed around your house too??

I may have another book week when I make some progress into this mighty stack....

I'll be back in the weekend though to review some picture books that the boys are enjoying.

love you more than a whole day of reading in a cool spot xxxx

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Make My Week - Simple Sashiko

A little project from the latest CWA meeting.





all aspects of the design that appealed to me,

things I could do with more of myself

as you can see I have yet to wash away the lines for stitching over

joining in here
 Show & Tell Thursday's

love you more than peaceful moments in a gentle breeze xxx

Book Week - Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead

As a person I love surprises - to the point where if I get sent a birthday gift I don't take the outside packaging off in case they haven't wrapped it inside or I guess the gift from its shape. So when I am reading I kind of hate that I can't help guessing or feeling like I know where a story is going to go.

Cooper Bartholomew is Dead is sort of sad and hard right from the outset because it starts with Cooper's death and then it goes backwards and you start to love him and his friends and yet you know he's dead/going to die.

But it is clever and it is a bit of a thriller and I found myself thinking I knew where it was going and I was wrong, then I was right .. or so I thought and then I was way off track and all sorts of things in between. I was surprised in all the right ways of a well written book.

The story is told from 4 different characters only, each heading up short chapters throughout - sometimes in some kind of order, often not. Cooper, Libby, Sebastian and Claire - each with their perspective, each with a very different relationship with Cooper.

Did Cooper commit suicide? That is the official finding and only one person is asking questions. Is it desperate delusion or just clear thinking when everyone else is reeling in shock.

This book is aimed at a YA audience. It does have sex, drug taking and swearing in it but none at a level I found personally offensive. I guess on the whole those things felt contextual and part of the narrative rather than just thrown in to be 'cool with the kids.' I'm sure people will draw different conclusions about that.

This is a quick read I did it over a couple of days and I found myself wanting to read more and sort of dreading reading more as well as the narrative unfolded because it started with his death and you knew it wasn't going to be reversed - so even if all the questions were answered you still couldn't stop the death.

This longing for it not to happen speaks to the relate ability of the narrative.

A good read for getting lost in. A new author to me although she does have 2 other novels already on the market that have been very well received - her first selling in 52 different countries (that has to feel good as an author).

Details Cooper Bartholomew is Dead by Rebecca James published Allen & Unwin Sept 2014, RRP $19.99. Also available as an ebook.

love you more than a good surprise xxx

ps - I'll be back later today with something I've made and it won't be my CV which is what I really need to make at the moment!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Week - A Doctor's Dream

I found this book incredibly inspiring. Usually I find I have to read memoirs slowly and when I have time to focus carefully however I found this a much faster read, as far as memoirs go. I could easily pick this up and fit in a chapter here and there while waiting to collect the boys from school and such.

This book outlines the journey of Buddhi and Tanya and their children as they set out for Arnhem Land to deal with scabies. Supported by Sam Prince who is prepared to bankroll the mission to get rid of scabies and initially with the support of the Northern School of Medical Research they have good ideals but they have much to learn on the ground.

The further the project goes the more they realise the model they have is not going to work. This commitment to doing right by the people of Arnhem Land eventually leads to an incredibly positive outcome but it is not without fallout.

I think this book is a good one for any 'do-gooder' to read. Oftentimes I see a cause and feel stirred by it and want to donate/help out and none of that is bad but reading this has really challenged the notions and models of how that help is offered and made me engage more with what is achieved with good ideals and little understanding.

There are lots of turned corners in my copy of this book - pages that bring thoughtfulness and truth to what has essentially become an unquestioned model for 'helping' disadvantaged communities and indigenous people groups. Sadly the model has often been arrogance 'we have the answers, you can't do it yourself'.

Over the last couple of years in NZ I have been learning sign language and assisting with a small part of the sign language at our church. One of the things that the deaf team (as in the actual deaf leaders, rather than hearing helpers) was the value 'deaf can'. They reiterated to us that hearing people can actually disenfranchise deaf people by trying to do it all for them. Our eagerness to help can actually leave people without a voice and in the process lower their own self-confidence/esteem.

This book paints a similar story. It is about humanness, about true partnering, about appreciating the real skills that people have - even when they also have huge needs - and recognising that being a guinea pig for everyones 'projects of helpfulness' are not effective, sustainable or long term models.

I think this book has something for anyone who longs to be helpful, effective and human in the ways they seek to help others.

Details A Doctor's Dream by Dr Buddhi Lokuge and Tanya Burke. Published by Allen & Unwin September 2014. RRP $32.99 Aus. Also available as an ebook