Toastandcupcakes.


Happy birthday Abraham!
April 28, 2007, 2:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

AbrahambirthdaydinnerAbrahamblowingcandlesAbrahamkiss 

Today is Abraham’s twenty-fifth birthday!
He is celebrating with his family, so last night we had our own little celebration.
Mum & Dad took Aesop for the night and we feasted on homemade spring rolls, buttered chicken and of course… birthday cake!
I must admit I’m still not feeling 100% so I was perhaps not as festive as I’d like to have been, and I only lasted through one DVD and snored through the other, but all in all it was a lovely evening, and it was just nice to say, after everything we’ve been through the last year or two, that I was there with him to celebrate a birthday, five years after the first one we spend together. (And to remind him of this I dressed in exactly the same dress and did my hair the same as all those years ago!)

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Last year I made him a stuffed robot, so I figured this birthday he could have a robot cake. It ended up being a three layer cake (after I ruined the initial attempt hah), with chocolate mud cake stuffed between two layers of store-bought sponge. And then decorated with butter icing, chocolate icing, and lollies. It was pretty darn good.

Happy Birthday Abraham! I love you, thanks for being my best friend.



Health and help.
April 25, 2007, 2:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Please forgive my absence the last few days. I hadn’t been feeling very well on Monday, and then very early yesterday morning I had a seizure.
This is my third seizure so far, since developing epilepsy whilst pregnant. And luckily, well I think it’s lucky, for me I only have them while I’m asleep. It’s less lucky for Abraham who witnesses the whole thing, but I’m so, so glad he’s been there for all three. I don’t remember anything about the actual seizures, so it would have been awful to wake up with a mammoth headache, sore neck muscles and bitten inner cheeks and have no idea what the heck had happened!
The hardest thing for me has been realising that this seizure has dashed my hopes of getting my learners license for at least another 12 months. I have to have been seizure free for 12 months before learning to drive, and well.. I should have done it while I had the chance! Now It’s at least another year off. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never drive.
But yes, to all of you awaiting e-mails/ replies/ comments etc. Please be patient with me, my head is still a little fuzzy and I’m having to get a lot of rest.
Industrialmachine Mesewing
In other news, I got an industrial sewing machine! I have absolutely no clue how to use it, so will have to get someone to come and show me (it didn’t have a manual). It’s an older model, but it seems to be in really good nick, and I got it for a pretty good price too. I’m hoping to find a nice, basic, cheap domestic on this week too, as I’d like to continue to use a domestic for the fiddly appliques etc.
Any hints and tips about the industrial would be very, very appreciated!
As you can see by the second picture, I’ve borrowed a machine from mum’s friend and I’ve been getting a tiny bit of sewing done. I’m taking a few weeks break from my course (I’m pretty far ahead of the others so I’ve got some room to move…)to get some sewing done for Dandylion, and also to work on a collaboration project which will be revealed soon. I have a week long workshop coming up next month for pattern drafting, so hopefully after that I can grade my skirt/dress patterns for winter and get going on those, otherwise before I know it it’ll be Spring and I’ll have to start on something else!
One last thing, I finally finished the jerkin and handed it in (goodness, after three hours sewing in just the main lining I never want to see it ever again.). Here are the pictures of the end product:
16040jerkinfront_finished 1640jerkinlining



jerkin around.
April 21, 2007, 9:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

As part of the costume history section of my course I had to construct a clothing item from between the 14th and 19th centuries. It had to be an item of substance, like an embroidered something or a waistcoat etc.
So after much, much deliberation, internet looking and hair pulling (after I realised they didn’t have sewing machines until the 19th century! And I HATE hand sewing!), I remembered mum’s friend Anne made dolls and had hundreds of books about fashion through the ages for her doll making. She arrived with more books than I could possibly look through, and amongst them was ‘Patterns of fashion from 1560-1620′ By Janet Arnold. Which gives actual scale patterns of real garments found from those times along with construction tips etc.
Patternandtoes Stitchinghessian1
I drew up the pattern, in a small size (to save time..), found some velvet like material, which apparently is in fitting with the time, and found some hessian for the backing. I whip-stitched the outer pieces individually onto the hessian pieces. I decided to use a calico in place of the authentic linen as a lining, because well, I didn’t have any funds to be buying real linen. I cheated, for time reasons, and machine sewed the main pieces together, and then whip stitched the lining of the little tabs around the bottom in, and over hand stitched gold cord around the edges.

16040jerkinfront 16040jerkinback

I have to hand it in on Monday and all that’s left to do is stitch the gold cord onto the little capped wing sleeve bits and sew those on, and then sew in the main lining. I debated with myself about whether I should attempt the buttons and buttonholes right up the front, and whether to do the collar as well, but I really don’t have enough time. Who knew hand stitching took such, such a long time? I’ll be sure to post pictures when all is said and done. Fingers crossed the marks are worth the time it’s taken!

And one last thing, well three actually. These three things have made me smile very broadly the last two days:
Marypictures Flowers April07aesopandjodie2
(1. I finally found somewhere to hang my (nz$2 each!) pictures of the beautiful virgin. Now she’s in my guest toilet annnd my laundry! Here’s to no more water troubles.
2. My front garden at the moment is full of beautiful flowers. I’m not sure what these are (anyone?) but I’ve also got frangipani, hibiscus and gerberas : )
3. My sister and Aesop with his new ‘Musical Thomas’. It’s so nice to see them together and Aesop sure does love that train!)



Questions.
April 20, 2007, 7:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sweet Martha has allowed me to be involved in a question answering game. Here are the questions I received:

1. What is your favourite time of day?
At the moment, I’m really enjoying my mornings, after dropping Aesop off. just after nine o clock. It’s still nice and cool, and somehow it all just feels so peaceful.
In the Summer I like the time just after dinner when it’s getting late, but there’s still time to pop to the supermarket. And if you’re lucky the stars will be coming out as you walk home.

2. What talent are you particularly proud of? I can’t really think of anything. Perhaps putting colours/patterns of fabric together? But I’m sure plenty of people would disagree. I think , while so, so many people do it, keeping a child alive and relatively happy is a huge talent. So I’m proud of that.

3. What is your favourite thing with chocolate? I really like chocolate by itself. Big blocks of Whittaker’s dark and mocha, sweet William’s soy bars (esp. the almond one! yum!), and the occasional bounty, crunchie or snickers.. (I’m fairly dairy intolerant to dairy milks in the ‘sometimes’ part of my food pyramid!).

4. Britney or Xtina? It took me a few minutes to realise what ‘Xtina’ even meant. I don’t really keep up with what’s happening with those two. I want to say neither, Britney has lost the plot, and Christina has always, in my mind, been a complete ho. And to be honest the music either of them produce does nothing for me.

5. Who is your favourite actor? hmmm… I’m going to take this question to only involve male actors, because its easier, and I’m going to say ummmm… at the moment probably either Morgan Freeman (for his acting) or Jake gyllenhaal for his quirky good looks. (It’s true!). Though really I always find it hard to choose favorites because I like some roles and not others…

Okay! Your turn! If you’re brave enough to answer five questions leave a comment or e-mail me : ) I’ll be back later with a ‘real’ entry! Enjoy your days lovelies. 



The temperature is dropping!
April 18, 2007, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Our house today was a flurry of tidying ready for my sisters visit. Granted she’s not even staying with us, but I’m sure it’s the same with you, a visitor is always the perfect excuse for a spring clean.
And despite the washing machine playing up (what else can break this month? my phone? my tv? Please technology gods stop! I can’t afford any more debt!), we had such a wonderful day.
After reading Helen’s entry about saying goodbye to sunny days and barefeet, I realised it really was time to start thinking about cooler days, and preparing for frosty mornings and nippy nights.
Yahoo!
I’m not a fan of Summer, all that stickiness, all that salad (although I’m getting better on that front..), all those flies and all that exposed skin! I do like the light evenings and the abundance of gorgeous fruit, but otherwise give me a chilly breeze and an excuse to wear a coat anyday!
So today we started out ‘Winter readiness’ by pulling some of my Winter woollies out of the shed, putting the first lot of extra blankets on the beds, and making a Winter essential – crumble!
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This is the quilt that adorns my bed in the cooler months. Technically it’s probably not even really a quilt, more of a patchwork duvet cover. A double sided patch-worked cover with an opening at the bottom so that in Autumn I can use the cover as it is, and in Winter I can stuff it with a beautiful big fluffy duvet (comforter? dooner? For you non-kiwis).
I made this quilt/patchwork thing while flatting in Wellington almost 5 years ago now. We lived in a huge renovated factory building (oh, it was the most incredible place…) and our lounge was 11×11 metres (?) which just screamed for large craft/art projects. So while my flat mate set up a screen printing factory in one corner I lay out huge patch-working plan in another.
Every single piece of fabric in this quilt was dumpster dived, except for the black and white floral which was thrifted in Holland (do you still have your half Anu?). And it’s the most gloriously heavy cuddly thing to sleep with.
The crumble pictures are pretty self explanatory. Aesop has finally discovered the joys of baking, and it seems his baking habits will be pretty similar to mine. ‘One for the bowl.. one for the mouth..". Haha the boy never stood a chance!
But here’s too many days with just enough sun to lighten the mood, and just enough chill to keep our legs nicely covered! Happy colder days sweet fellow southern hemispherers! Feel free to drop by for a hot cup of chai and a bowl of crumble if you’re ever in need to some warmth! : )

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Rested.
April 17, 2007, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Thank you everyone for your very sweet comments and e-mails after my last, slightly gloomy post.
I’m back and I’m feeling ever-so-slightly refreshed. I must confess to not really having stuck to my low-technology-diet, but I did get quite a bit of my school work done which was the main goal.
Also having something to look forward to this week have made things alot easier.
My sister, who I haven’t seen for 4 years, is coming to visit tomorrow from London! Obviously having not seen her for so long it’s pretty exciting, and of course it will be her first time meeting Aesop! She’s bringing with her a boyfriend who we’re meeting for the first time too, so it’s pretty nerve-wrecking all round, but so, so exciting.
It’s fairly short holiday but it’ll be so good to spend sometime with her, and especially for Aesop to get to meet and spend some time with his Aunty.

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In other exciting news this week, I had the most amazing op shop score yesterday. I couldn’t believe my luck. I happened to mention to the lady serving me at the store that I was always on the look out for fabric, and she said ‘ oh we’ve got a few boxes out the back..’ and toddled out to find them.
I almost cried. Piles of great solid plain colours, perfect for suspender skirts, wrap skirts, dresses etc and a few gorgeous patterns too. Needless to say I had to buy a whole banana box full! She charged me only nz$1-$2 a bundle for the fabric, with some of the pieces being more than 4 metres long! It cost me more than I would usually like to shell out in one visit to the thrifties, but for less than a dollar a metre it was worth its weight in gold to me.
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I also scored this beautiful, albeit a few sizes too big, beaded cardi. Hopefully I can take it in a bit without ruining it too much!

And now here’s a topic I’ve been debating with myself about for a few weeks now. Perhaps you can give me your opinions (but pretty please no mail bombs, death threats and the like. I know it’s a hot topic, but a simple ‘ no way’ will suffice!).
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Vintage fur. A goer or a never-ever-goer? I’ve been a vegan, I’ve been an animal rights activist. I’ve protested fur in upmarket stores and in the streets in Wellington, I’ve had the arguments.
But lately I’ve been re-thinking my ideas about fur. I know I don’t agree with new furs. Never ever, under any circumstance. I know I don’t agree with paying loads and loads of money from antique dealers or trade me- yahoos. Because really that’s still putting my money into the industry, that’s making a market for it, and I don’t want that.
But what about the fur sitting in little small town op shops gathering dust? What about the fur that was made over 40 years ago, that only costs a few dollars and is going towards supporting local charities? Is is still better to let it go to waste, rather than appreciate it for it’s obvious, although blatantly distasteful, beauty? Is it better to admit we were wrong all those years ago, and just wear the furs that are already around until they fall apart, and be done with it, or is it better to throw them out?
(PETA gives the furs they’re donated to homeless people who can’t afford alternatives, which I think is a great solution….)
I can’t decide. I can’t decide if me wearing a fur scarf is encouraging the industry. Knowing that what my terms are on wearing it for myself doesn’t really give anyone else terms on wearing it, so perhaps it is? There’s no way for me to tell everyone I see that ‘yeah, fur is okay but only if you buy it from a local tiny op shop and it’s really old….’ so perhaps it’s encouraging people with different ethics to me to go out and buy it other places, which I don’t really want to be a part of.
What do you think?



A break.
April 12, 2007, 7:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was going to post today about my new camera and the sewing machine I’m getting next week. But I can’t get the camera to focus or take any proper photos and I have realised that I’ve just spent nearly $700 on a new camera when really I just wish my old one would start working again. Or maybe someone could magically show me how to use the new one. What is the point of having a new camera that I can’t even use?
I’m incredibly stressed at the moment. My course is insanely stressful, my ‘personal’ life is both confusing and stressful and Aesop is driving me straight up the wall. This was going to be my year to do things for myself and so far it’s nothing that I hoped it would be. I’m exhausted, gaining weight, getting nothing done, I’m hugely in debt and feeling absolutely miserable.
I know I haven’t been around much lately, but alas I’m going to be around even less the next little while. I need a break. Everything just feels like too much at the moment and I find myself feeling so overwhelmed that I just sit in front of the tv or computer and try to forget about the huge lists of things to do and forget about all the decisions I have to and have made. My solution? I’m going to get rid of the TV for a week and see how we do. And from now on I will not have the computer for at least two nights a week. These little jaunts never last long, but at least I’ll have a week of ever so slightly increased productivity. If only it would solve all my problems.
I know, this is meant to be a craft blog. I’m sorry. And with that I’m off before I blubber even more all over you all.
Take care! I’m sure I’ll see you all soon enough.