Thursday, April 26, 2012

My (peasant dress) Creative Space

Last Friday night, I was almost possessed.  I had to make a pattern for a peasant dress for Zoe.  I had to prove to myself that I could do it.  I can't explain it, I just had to do it.  I would not go to bed until it was done.

Many years ago, I was at University, studying to be a medical photographer, yes, that is what I am trained to do, but I have never worked as one, but that is a story for another day.  Anyway, while at Uni, we were required to choose one subject that was not in our department.  I remember at the time complaining, thinking there was nothing I wanted to do except photography related classes.  Then I found a pattern making class offered by the Fashion Department. I signed up, and loved it!  It was fabulous to learn how to draft patterns to make clothes that actually fitted me.  I am short petite, and most items off the rack in shops do not fit me very well, or require alterations.  Making my own clothes, with my own pattern, was such a revelation and a joy.

So I applied my pattern making learning's, and made a pattern for a peasant dress.  Not satisfied with just making the pattern that evening, I started the dress, and almost finished it.  When Zoe tried it on the next day, it was a little too short, so I added the strip of fabric at the bottom.  I am very happy with how it has turned out.

First dress from my new pattern.

I loved this dress so much, I made another one on Sunday, with a few small tweaks to the pattern (I made the length longer and made it less full across the chest).

Flowers and butterflies dress.

Zoe looks gorgeous in her new dresses.  Of course, her big sister Abbey wants one now too.

I have adjusted the pattern, and Abbey's dress will be made today with these fabrics.

Strawberries, big and small.

Right, I better get sewing.  The strawberry dress is needed for a fruit themed day at kinder tomorrow.

All the lovely creative spaces can be found here.  

Cheers, Cat.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

6 years ago today, it was a Tuesday.

12 Days before.

Six years ago today, it was a Tuesday.  I was 8 months pregnant with my first baby.  I was baking a double batch of Anzac biscuits.  It was Anzac day in Australia after-all, and it was a public holiday (bank holiday), I had the day off work.  I took some of the Anzac biscuits over to my Grandma, we had a cup of tea and a chat.  I then went shopping, and bought the first set cot sheets for the baby.

The Shropshire boy was out for the day, he had gone to the MCG to watch a game of AFL, the Collingwood versus Essendon derby that is held every Anzac day.  He did not take his mobile phone with him.

I was happy.  Work was kindly holding a morning tea in my honour the next day, which was to be my last day of work before starting Maternity leave.  I was looking forward to being on leave, maybe catch up on some sleep before our baby was born, pack my hospital bag and to get the room ready for the baby.  I needed to research which cloth nappies I was going to use and I definitely needed to buy some baby clothes.

For the first time, I was suffering from fluid retention.  I put it down to probably overdoing it during the day. I went to bed with swollen ankles, hoping they would go down overnight.

I woke up at 4-something-am busting to go to the toilet.  I ran as quickly as an 8 month pregnant woman can run, to the toilet, but just did not make it.  I could not believe it, I had wet myself all over the toilet floor.  In my half asleep state, it took a few moments to realise that there was a HUGE amount of liquid.  It did not look like wee. It smelt different.  It literally took a few minutes before I thought maybe my waters had broken.  Then I froze.  Sitting on the the toilet, a pool of liquid all over the floor, terrified that indeed my waters may have broken.  I was only just 8 months pregnant, in week 35 of my pregnancy.  It was too early.  This was not happening to me.  I must have sat there for at least 10 minutes, frozen by fear.  When I manged to move,  I consulted a book I had handy, Kaz Cookes Up the Duff - The real guide to pregnancy.  This confirmed my fears, my waters had broken.  I grabbed a towel from the nearby linen cupboard, and placed it on the floor of the toilet, hoping it would soak up the liquid all over the floor (luckily they were tiles!)

I went to wake up the sleeping Shropshire boy, it was like a scene in a movie.  "Honey, my waters have broken, we are having our baby".  He just mumbled something and rolled over until I shook him more fiercely and told him again, in a louder voice that we were having our baby.

Neither of us panicked.  The Shropshire boy suggested I phone the hospital, which I did,  and they told us to take our time coming in.  We actually lived in the same suburb as the hospital back then, and we could have walked there.  We packed the hospital bag, this took a while in our sleepy and shocked states.

By the time the Shropshire boy was driving me to the hospital, contractions had started.  We really were having a baby.  Our beautiful Abbey was born just after lunch, a quick 6 hour birth.  I was a mummy!  The rest of the story I have already shared on my old blog, over here.

Just born.

So six years later, today, it is a Wednesday.  I am going to bake some Anzac biscuits.  Zoe and I will wrap Abbey's birthday presents and make her a birthday card.  I will remember why Australians and New Zealanders commemorate Anzac day.  Tomorrow, I will have been a mummy for 6 years!

Oddly enough, I made Anzac biscuits the day before Zoe was born......


Monday, April 23, 2012

I need a challenge

Yes I do, I am in need of a challenge. When Kylie mentioned on twitter that there was a kids sew-along happening with the Elsie Marley blog, I had to know more. So I have signed up to the Kids Clothes Week Challenge.  It runs for a week starting today.

The challenge is to spend one hour a day (or more) making clothes for your kids. For the last three days, I have actually already been doing this, so I plan to continue for another week and see what I can achieve.

This is one of two dresses I have made for Zoe, over the last 3 days.  I also designed/made the pattern, I'll talk about that in another post.  I am very happy with it!

Dress for Zoe.

So I dare you all, if you have children in your life, sign up here.  Have a happy week creating for the children in your life.


PS: Cam, I promise, I will finish my Lisette dress this week, for your sew-along.  Yes, I am a naughty girl starting a new one before finishing yours.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blue Squared.

Hi peeps,

I thought it was about time I talked about life in Hong Kong. It is hard to believe we have been here for 10 months now, it has gone so quickly.  We are still loving this adventure.

We live in an apartment.  It is much smaller than our house in Melbourne, but we have adjusted.  It gave me a good excuse to de-clutter, and I did, but I am sure I could cull more "things".  It is a three bedroom apartment, with a combined living/dining room, a very small kitchen and two bathrooms.  Having two bathrooms makes such a huge difference.  There is a shower in one, a bath in the other, and each bathroom has a toilet.  There is no laundry.  This apartment has a balcony too (our first apartment did not), oh how I love our balcony.  If the weather is not too hot or cold, the girls play outside on their scooters or take some toys out and play on a picnic rug.

There are many water features and fountains in our apartment complex. Water is a symbol of wealth and prosperity in feng shui.  I have noticed that most of the apartments in our area of Hong Kong have one or more water features.

There is one I walk past every day, many times.  It has been windy this week, and some pretty things have landed in the water, waiting for me to photograph them.

This is what we have found this week.

Lonely pink flowers floating in the rippling water.

One tiny floating flower, alone on a journey this windy day.

Water features on very windy days are interesting to watch if you are a two year old (I was holding her tight)

I was holding her tightly.

Pink flowers can be hitchhikers on bark boats.

Little flower on a boat ride.

Hi, there is my reflection.

A different leaf in the water feature today. And my reflection.

Yes, I am still addicted to instagram.  You can see my images here, or in instagram, my user-name is raspberry rainbow.  Pop in and say hi if I have not found you yet.

Have a great day.  Cat

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My (reconstructive) Creative Space


So what do you do when your Grandma has a favourite dressing gown that is falling apart?  She has two other ones that she could wear, but they are just not the same level of comfy.  This one is her favourite, it is just right.

My Mum and step-dad (Steve) have been staying with us for the last 12 days.  Mum brought my Grandma's dressing gown with her hoping we could repair it.  It was just the two top panels that were falling apart, the rest of the dressing gown is fine.  I had a brain wave, and thought we could replace the worn, damaged panels with some panels decorated with fabric pens by Abbey and Zoe.

Pretty pictures

And it worked! (phew)  It required a lot of brain power to figure out the best way to replace the panels without taking the whole garment apart, but I managed it.  Luckily my Mum and Steve took the girls out to the playground (for a LONG play) so I could sew (and think) in peace.

Abbey chose to write some beautiful words, "I love Grandma"about her Great Grandma.  I was so proud of her.  We do miss her now we live so far away.


We all believe Grandma will love her new, and improved. dressing gown.  It certainly is one of a kind.

All the Creative Spaces are over here today.

Happy Thursday to you.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter to you!

Happy Easter!

From us to you, we hope you are having a lovely Easter.

Hands, eggs and carrots.

Love from Cat.