friends · inspiration · sewing

Cee’s Share Your World ~ Week 2, 2014.

The old stone bridge at Alport in Derbyshire. One day I will walk on the ground that my ancestors walked on.  Photo credit ~ My dear friend, Keith Talbot.
The old stone bridge at Alport in Derbyshire. One day I will walk on the ground that my ancestors walked on.
Photo credit ~ My dear friend, Keith Talbot.

Cee’s Share Your World questions spoke to me this week. About to begin my sewing, with plans to continue for the day, I quickly peeked through my WordPress reader (just a moment wouldn’t hurt, I told myself).

So here I am, an hour later, writing a new post of my own as my heart advised me to, and in doing so I know that I will focus on the events of my day ahead with clarity, which I would not have done without writing first….

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

England. It’s always been England…always has, always will be. My parents left the country, with my three elder sisters, years before my birth and I have never visited the country. So how do I know the country so well in my heart, I wonder.

Music or silence while working?

Ah ha, another easy question for me. A few days before Christmas I bought a tiny “music machine” on which I could play old CD’s of my favourite Christmas carols (which I did) and today, as I work, I will be dragging out more old CD’s to listen to throughout the day. I had already planned this morning on listening to music as I worked today, then Cee asks the question.

I agree with Carol, she is showing her pink personality. :)
I agree with Carol, she is showing her pink personality. 🙂

What is your favorite color?

Well, seeing as you ask Cee, I took a photo yesterday of a red flower, which showed up as a pink flower on the screen, to which Carol commented, “It’s her pink personality she’s showing – not quite as forceful as her red personality”. In the Psychology of Colour, red, my old favourite colour for many, many moons is a rather forceful colour. These last few month I have become more drawn to lighter colours, mostly pinks. Perhaps, like the flower, I am showing my pink personality more these days.

Do you have a bucket list? What are your three items? A bucket list are things you want to do before you die.

No Cee, I don’t actually have a bucket list. There would be way too many “to do” items on my list and if I had a list, as I ticked off each item, I would feel that it was a day closer to my demise. Yes, I hear you all saying, “but that’s exactly what every day is anyway, regardless of a bucket list!”, which I realise. I just prefer it this way. But I do plan on travelling overseas someday to even more countries than just England, visiting some of the areas I have yet to see around Australia, buy a house in the Blue Mountains where I grew up, see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, work some more on my family tree website, do more work on my garden, take a flight in a helicopter (over water though, ground below seems scary!)…..Cee said three things, , I know, but remember, this isn’t a bucket list!

Thank you Cee! As always, the questions were fun to answer. 🙂

Australia · cooking · daughter · happiness · sewing

Christmas is in the air….

Always the helper. :)
Always the helper. 🙂

….and I think I can smell Christmas dinner roasting in the oven and the beautiful scent of the real pine Christmas trees my dad used to chop down every year in the bush, haul up onto the roof of the car and bring home for mum and I to decorate in the lounge room.

My imagination is working overtime, as is my body, seated mostly now in front of my sewing machine, as I spend my days madly sewing away at the last few orders that I must deliver this week.

I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year. The house is decorated, most of my shopping is done and my daughter and I have planned our Christmas cooking days for early next week. This is what Christmas is all about, isn’t it, the get-together with loved ones, the food, the gladness, listening to Christmas carols, relaxing. In Australia, it also mostly includes a swim in the pool after a huge Christmas dinner has been devoured, or falling asleep on the coolest available couch we can find around the house, preferably in front of an open window with a cool breeze blowing through.

For now though, for me, it’s back to work. So much to do, so little time! Yet I’m happy and organised and filled with anticipation.

Has anyone considered what their “word” for 2014 will be yet? Most years I struggle for ideas, this year though I already know what mine will be. But more about that later; the rest of 2013 is still here and to be enjoyed.  🙂

My other daughter (not the afore mentioned who loves to cook), knowing how much I love the Christmas carol “The Little Drummer Boy”, sent me a link to the song which I’d like to share with you all. It gives me goosebumps to hear this song, no matter what version it is I’m listening to. That little boy sure had amazing insight over two-thousand years ago, knowing the birth of this baby to be something special, and here we are, still celebrating his birth so many years later. And what better gift for the drummer boy to give the baby than that of his music. Priceless.

“When someone shares their favourite songs with you, embrace them, because they’re giving you a small glimpse into their soul.”

Here I give you a small glimpse into my soul ~

new beginnings · sewing · son · spring

Coming up for air….Spring Air!

Cute little new balls of downie feathers.
Cute little new balls of downie feathers.

Yes, that’s right, I really am coming up for air, after days and weeks at the sewing machine again.

Remember I said I would be selling my sewing business? Didn’t happen. I lost the urge to part company with my long-standing “friend”, the one that monopolises my time and leaves me with eye-strain and an aching neck during the most demanding times of the year. And you know something, I actually enjoyed the familiar whirring sounds of my industrial sewing machines, the cutting of fabric, the snip of the clippers, seeing the shirts I have constructed finally taking on form. That old familiar sense of achievement kicked in again and I’m feeling okay with the work that I do. For now.

I have had to put my fun, creative craft work temporarily on hold but my hours spent at the sewing machine has given my mind time to wander off along on the creative avenues that I will be pursuing again when the work is complete.

Whilst sitting in my work room, with window wide open, the welcoming sounds of the chirping of baby birds has filled my ears! Through years of practice I have learnt the art of “selective hearing”, allowing the outdoor sounds of nature to have a higher volume than my machines. A few days ago two baby “Noisy Miners” came along for a visit with Mama Miner and yesterday I was thrilled to bits to finally see a baby Magpie, whose tiny chirps I had heard for a few days.

First sighting of a baby Magpie, newly emerged from the nest.
First sighting of a baby Magpie, newly emerged from the nest.

On Monday morning my youngest son flies to New Zealand for nine days….a school excursion, no less! How times have changed, school excursion highlights back in my days at school consisted of a trip to the local council chamber! They’ll be skiing almost daily and having a fabulous time I know, I’ve seen the itinerary, so this weekend will consist of sorting through clothes, shopping for last minute warm clothing requirements and making sure the bag he’s taking doesn’t weigh any more than twenty-two kilos…..

I’m really looking forward to entering the world of people again (as opposed to the world of sewing!) and can’t wait to read what all of my blogging friends have been up to while I’ve been in semi-hibernation again.

For tonight though I am looking forward to a night in front of the television, perhaps watching a DVD, glass of white wine in hand, followed by an early night to bed…… 🙂

basics · happiness · inspiration · photography · sewing

A Brand New Project ~ The Sewing Box

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“Sewing mends the soul.”  ~ Author Unknown

Late last year, while I was up to my elbows in sewing school uniforms for a few local schools for the beginning of the school year this year, I happened to get a phone call one day that had me buying myself an early Christmas present.

I have subscribed to a craft magazine for some years now, and the company was offering their subscribers a deal “too good to refuse”. I must say I was sceptical and had no intentions of buying whatever they had on offer.

Quilting 'fat-quarters" all neatly arranged in a sewing storage box.
Quilting ‘fat-quarters” all neatly arranged in a sewing storage box.

So, the spiel began, I half listened. A few words caught my attention, fat quarters, sewing lamp, quilt wadding, scissors, sewing box….usual price ~ a trillion dollars, but for you today ~ dirt cheap.

“Would you care to repeat that?” I asked the very patient sales woman, as I apologised for being preoccupied with having so much work to get through.

She obliged, I did the mental sums; this was a great deal! And I rarely spend money on myself, and these were items that I would get a lot of use out of….

A beautiful wooden sewing box with a padded hinged lid, and drawer beneath.
A beautiful wooden sewing box with a padded hinged lid, and drawer beneath.

I’m not sure if the sales woman did a good job of convincing me that I had to have these items, or if I convinced myself. Regardless, I hung up the phone after exchanging pleasantries with the friendly woman on the other end of the line, feeling quite excited about my unexpected purchase.

A few days later, (which seemed like such a long time as I really was looking forward to my purchase arriving), two large boxes arrived at the post office.

I've had this scissor set for a number of years now, but aren't they pretty?
I’ve had this scissor set for several years now, but aren’t they pretty?

It was so much fun looking through my newly purchased craft items, but back then was not the time to be lingering over them, I still had work to get through. It is only this week that I have finally unpacked the boxes and found homes for all of my new sewing necessities.

Let me tell you, I’m not a woman who gets overly excited over new clothes and shoes. I like to wear comfortable clothes, mostly jeans and tops that are made of soft fabric, and around home I usually go bare foot, except during cooler weather when I wear my fluffy deep pink “ugg” boots. But give me two boxes of newly purchased craft and sewing bits and bobs and I’m in seventh heaven!

Empty compartments, waiting for some love.
Empty compartments, waiting for some love.

The last time I received a new sewing box was for my tenth birthday. My sister gave it to me and it was the last birthday present I ever got from her, as shortly after my birthday she joined a religion which does not celebrate birthdays, so my old sewing box is something I have treasured for many years, although it is rarely used now. Instead, I use pretty tins that once contained biscuits, or old chocolate boxes to store my sewing treasures. I even use an old tobacco tin that once contained my dad’s pipe tobacco!

Added character to the bare wood.
Added character to the bare wood.

Unfortunately the nostalgic odour of dad’s pipe tobacco is long gone now, making it easier for me to part company with an old memory and make way for my new sewing box, a part of my super-beaut buy!

It is a stained wooden box with a padded hinged lid and one single drawer underneath. Both the top section and the drawer are partitioned, to keep small sewing paraphernalia separated and neatly ready for use.

All felted up and ready for bits & bobs.
All felted up and ready for bits & bobs.

All that was missing was that each section needed to have a lining, to give it a more homey feel, so I searched through my stock of felt pieces and found two pieces of lilac coloured felt and one deep purple, which would suit the colour of the wood beautifully.

Neat little boxes, to hold sewing items, neatly!
Neat little boxes, to hold sewing items, neatly!

So today, I fiddled and measured and cut and glued, then sorted old tins and boxes, finally arranging all of my needles, tape measures, pins, elastic, scissors, and everything else that had been in something of a muddle for years, into my new sewing box. I hadn’t thought these things to be in a muddle though, not until I saw the end result of my labour today, with everything so organised.

A place for everything and some room to spare.
A place for everything and some room to spare.

With the shelves beside my sewing machine in my sewing cupboard all cleared off and cleaned, I arranged everything back onto the shelves, and now I’m all set to go!

What I’d really like to hear about now is this ~ do you have a hobby that makes your heart sing, one which you can become so engrossed in that you lose all track of time, almost as if you were a child again and had just discovered your favourite toy to play with?

All ready to begin the next project.
All ready to begin the next project.

I think that everyone should have at least one hobby that can brush away all the cares in the world.

So funtional, and so pretty!
So funtional, and so pretty!

I know that I have several, but they are stories that will have to wait for another day. 🙂

“Me thinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied.”  ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, 1859