Yeah I'm a bit behind the times but like they say 'better late than never'. I'm really not too sure what to think about being in the year 2013 - is it going to be good, bad or the same as last year. I'm approaching it with caution. No run of the mill New Year Resolutions for me although I do have one goal: to be HAPPY! I'm hoping the rest will just fall in to place and that I am where I am meant to be at this point in time.
My blog has been really neglected since I switched from Vintage Mum Modern Child - maybe this year I will make more of an effort to update. I recently came across a blog (Ché and Fidel) hosting a portrait a week type thing and thought I could tag along since I now own a fairly decent (but inexpensive) camera. So here is my first 'portrait'
Summer can't come soon enough! We spent some time lying out on the deck this morning watching the clouds whizz by. Mr5 has been learning about weather at school so he explained to me what type of clouds they were and that they would bring rain. And he was right - sort of. We had a few spits but not enough to bring the washing in.
With warmer weather and Xmas on the way I think it's high time I started crafting again. The aim is to create handmade gifts which I can hopefully manage in the 7 weeks I have left. It won't be easy though as we move out in a month's time while our house is being reclad. All the other houses have taken 6ish weeks but as ours is last and over Xmas we'll be out of the house for 8ish weeks staying with my Mum and sister.
Hopefully with the reclad we'll get a new deck - ours is currently on a lean!
I was lucky enough to be asked recently to participate in a blog hop organised by Shruti of 13 Woodhouse Road. She knows I have been struggling with my blog lately partly due to my returning to work and not having the energy to be as creative as I would like. I love that I have bloggy friends here and on the other side of the world looking out for me! I have followed Shruti almost from the beginning and she is a bit of a pioneer when it comes to modern quilting in India.
1. What machine(s) do you have? Brand and Model.I only have the one machine, a Brother BM 2600. It is basic but has all the stitches I have needed so far and has done a fair bit of mileage over the last few years!
2. When and where did you buy it? What were the reasons for selecting this(these) particular model(s). What was its approximate cost. It was actually a gift from my Mum one year, probably because I kept using her machine. I think she may have bought it from Spotlight which is a fabric, craft & home interior superstore found across NZ and Australia. A quick google suggests they retail around NZD300 but I'm not sure they're so popular any more.
3. What do you like about your machine? Have you named it? Have you made a cover for it?I love that it is so easy to thread! I remember getting so frustrated trying to thread Mum's machine - that hole in the needle seemed so tiny compared to the cotton strand. Having a threading tool on the machine makes switching cotton so much quicker. I haven't named my machine but I'm starting to think I should - maybe I could ask my 5 year old to name it. I have been meaning to make a cover for it but it always seems to come last on the 'to do' list so it remains covered by the plastic one it came with.
4. Does your machine give you any problems? Could you tell us a few? I don't recall having any problems in the few years I've had it. I guess occasionally the tension seems to be a little off but running a clean strand of cotton through clears the dust and it works perfectly again without the need to adjust the tension dial.
5. What do you sew on it mainly? Quilts, Clothes, Bags etc. How much time do you spend sewing on it? What are the features of the machine that help you improve your work?
I have sewn a little of everything on my machine. Quilts, children's clothing, numerous bags and purses, dolls, wheat bags, crayon rolls, aprons - I could go on and on! A few of my favourite things I've made I use in my home. I have a number of quilted floor rugs, cushions and quilts in my living area and more quilts in the bedrooms. Mr5's favourite is the sock monkey quilt I made him earlier this year. It is not quite a single size which makes it more manageable for him to make his own bed. Last year I came across a page on Facebook requesting gifts for children whose parents couldn't afford to buy them anything for Christmas. I made two rag dolls for two little girls, I hope they liked what they received because at the time I struggled to find the $5.50 to send them across town! I never heard back but felt good that I helped someone in a similar situation. I've also made snuggle rugs for a friend's children - and they were well loved.
I used to spend hours sewing but now I'm back at work I seem to run out of energy by the time I arrive home. I miss sewing! Features of my machine? hmmm it has various stitches that are quite nice to use on little projects. I'm sure there is a lot about my machine that I am yet to learn.
6. What advice would you give others when deciding about which machine to buy?
Buy what you think you will use. I think if you're a beginner then a basic machine like mine is perfect. Although I'd love a big fancy machine I doubt that I'd ever use a lot of the features. 7. Will you share with us a special memory associated with your machine? My son absolutely loves anything I make him - he is still wearing shorts I made two years ago and every night he sleeps under the quilt and on the pillowcases I made. He really appreciates it more than store bought.
8. If you had unlimited resources in the world, which machine would you choose to buy and why?
I can honestly say it's not something I've ever thought about. I'm happy with my machine although I would eventually like to be able to quilt like Shruti! I love her intricate designs and use of colour. The one thing I would love however is an overlocker - which one I haven't really thought about. Follow the blog hop on Shruti's blog, answer questions about participants and you could win a weekly prize of a $50 voucher to spend at the Fat Quarter Shop!
I'm now down 14kg! Starting back at work has many positives, one being weight loss. I'm running the general merchandise department at a reasonable size supermarket. I pretty much work alone and although it requires some heavy lifting (think 10kg bags of firewood) I am loving it. Sure it may not be the 'perfect' job but it fits in perfectly with school - there aren't too many jobs available that don't require weekend work!
I'm finding now that we are having longer days and more sun, my energy levels are returning to normal. We've been plagued by Winter illnesses this year - one after another - and it took it's toll. Thinking ahead to Christmas (oh am I allowed to mention that yet?) I'm in the process of setting up my sewing machine. I have no idea what I'm going to make though. I guess once the fabric is all laid out in front of me, inspiration shall flow, right?
(and as usual I'm without makeup - I rarely wear it these days anyway)
Talk about a blog fail! I had such good intentions to make a new start in blogland but things changed. I got a job and even though it is only part time (just under 30 hours), I leave home each day at 8am and return around 5pm. By the time I arrive home I'm exhausted, I do quite a bit of running around and lifting at work.
I underestimated how difficult it would be making the transition from stay at home single Mum to working single Mum. Don't get me wrong, I love working. I need the stimulation. I need the adult company. But I didn't think I'd be so tired.
But the pros outweigh the cons so I must soldier on. Actually not must, make that a want. I want to succeed at being the best Mum I can be. To me this includes instilling in Mr5 the value of having good work ethic. He wasn't all that happy about me returning to work, I guess it was fear of the unknown for him. We had a few issues with him not wanting to go to after school care but he has settled well thankfully.
So, does it get easier? I really hope so. I'm missing my sewing machine, I barely have the energy to hem my pants let alone finish off some of my projects. One day.