Midweek Sunday

It is Wednesday and it feels like a Sunday.

I have been working both of the last weekends. It has been glorious using the new table that Patrick put together for me one night after work.

So I am enjoying a day off, before starting on a new job tomorrow. It is school holidays, the girls are at home and my husband has taken a random day off work, just to chill, what a treat. Here you can spot him chilling while filling in a hole in the ceiling, he does so much maintenance on the house, I think it is just second nature, like breathing. 

Whilst I have been enjoying working from home, in particular the creativity, being in charge of the entire practical aspects of a job, not having to commute, listening all day to my favourite radio station, spending all day with the dogs (and fitting a walk in)… there have been really challenging aspects as well.

There is nobody to ask for advice. I am a men’s tailor, so making a fitted ladies’ outfit with a tight deadline was an added challenge. In a workroom I can always ask for an intervention “hey, WHY are these sleeves not going in?”, “HOW much ease ought to be on this sleeve head?”, “HOW exactly do I finish a faced skirt waistband?”. Home alone It’s simply trial and error and going slow and methodically.

Yesterday I dropped the said outfit and instead of a huge sense of relief, I feel worried that it is not right, having had only one fitting.

To divert my thoughts I have taken to the kitchen, as per usual when I want to relax. I put on two slow cookers with soup, ham and pea for the girls and pumpkin as the vegetarian option.

We had orange cake for lunch, while playing board games, yum.

On the weekend it will be our 21st wedding anniversary. Last year we did a 37km hike in the mountains and then stayed in a fancy hotel for the night. This year we are staying in the bush, so we have to take tent overnight gear, food and water. In preparation I have put some amazing gourmet dishes together for dinner and breakfast – they just need to be boiled up.

Final thoughts… it’s good to be the best you can and to strive towards always doing a great job… but it is really counterproductive to be haunted by one’s own perfectionism.




Falling into place

Like most people, I do worry about a lot of things. When I don’t have any work, I worry that I might NEVER work again. When I have work, I worry that my family will fall apart due to my absence.

Luckily I spent a few days after my return from Europe not worrying about these things too much, in fact the phone started ringing before I had the chance to worry. I am going to do some stuff for a commercial (from home) and for my favourite theatre company (from home). The best of both worlds!

So before I received these phone calls, I happily dug out a quilt that I started some time ago and made another two hexagons. I so enjoyed my workspace, the warm sun, the sounds of the bush and the dogs at my feet.

Today I started on patterns, and was really happy to use this beautiful space again in my professional capacity! I am extending my repertoire to ladies and childrens’ wear – I could have freaked out when I got these offers (really only being confident in mens’ wear), but chose not to be. It is great to have a learning curve with each and every job.

Things are falling into place sometimes, solutions approach us, better than we could have organised them ourselves.

Knitting Soldiers

On my way home from a very quick trip to Germany I stopped over in Vienna for a day. It was a very easy place to visit – it’s small and quick to get to from the airport with a bus. Once in the city centre, you can get a tram to take you around the ring road to see just about all the sights. Then walking straight through the city centre takes only 20 minutes!

There sure is a Museum for everything in Vienna, it’s a hoot. But then the whole place is one big Museum, really… statues of major artists and politicians everywhere, historical buildings and monuments – you cannot look anywhere without feeling firmly tied to European culture!

Apart from sightseeing on the tram and aimlessly wandering about the city, I only had time to visit one Museum, which turned out to be an amazing choice: the Leopold Museum. I joined a guided tour for an exhibition featuring an old and a new master.

I really enjoyed Spitzweg’s critical social commentary hidden in his meticulously executed traditional paintings. And obviously enjoyed meeting two knitting soldiers!

The other highlight of the Museum were the paintings of Egon Schiele, who sadly died at age 28 – God knows what other amazing art he would have produced, had he lived to an old age!

And there was a lot of Klimt, Kokoshka, and so much more… I’ll be back for more…



Back to Basics

We have not had heating, I mean efficient heating, in this house – for 3 1/2 years. Now it is winter, it is fairly crisp, I can smell the snow.  Can you guess how exited we were to get HEATING yesterday???

We got the guys installing the things and then, in the afternoon, half the house had no electricity. This was investigated for hours and no solution was found. We made do with a few lights, there was still hot water, and we were used to the cold anyway. No big deal.

The Ausgrid guy came at 7.30am and switched the lectricity off altogether. Fire hazard. Combustion hazard and what else… YIKES.

All I could think of was that the wedding dress had to be finished today! We plugged an extension cord into the neighbors over the fence – it is bright and warm in the downstairs work room on a sunny day like today. So I worked away, plugging in sewing machine and iron alternately. Jo needed the internet for an assignment – hm – so I got her to go to the nice people 3 houses down from us.

Patrick came home early and set up the camping stove in the courtyard… we don’t have to live without coffee! Yay! Cooking is another matter. Not too hard, but then there no hot water for the washing up… ok, we ordered pizza and ate from the boxes, no problem.

Now, at bedtime, the kids want showers. I will make a few phone calls.

This is fun in a way- incredible how reliant we are on all sorts of things.

In case you were wondering – the dress is just about ✅ done, just a tiny bit of hand finishing.


Autumn Leaves

We had a lovely weekend in Canberra. Not sure how often I exclaimed “DO look at these colors!” The leaves were amazing, especially against the backdrop of the biiig sky.

I had forgotten how fun the architecture in Canberra is – it seems like most buildings look mid- century, even if they are contemporary.

So there was a bit of culture in the National Art Gallery.

But there is art everywhere, it seems…

We cooked up a storm in the evening at Chris and Helens.

We shopped in lot’s of second hand shops and found plenty of treasure.

And the icing on the cake was a visit to our nephew’s metal working workshop – so much serious machinery!

Proudly presenting: Masterpiece

I made the Masterpiece for my friend Jo last year and had never seen it on her, but today she brought it along and I was sooo pleased to see how nicely fits. In the meantime, I have made my own Masterpiece out of cotton. I finished it 10 days ago and am virtually living in it.

Masterpiece is designed by Jutta von Hinterm Stein and it is a rather challenging project. It is a top down knit, where revers and set in sleeve are simultaneously managed at times… I did plenty of ripping. It’s shape is very tailored, which makes the look feminine as well as formal, which I really like. The edge around the front and collar is seriously something that requires a lot of patience and knitting needles! Stitches are picked up around the edges, then a 4 row band is knitted with mitered corners. And THEN one needs to  pick up the picked up stitches on the back and knit another 4 row mitered edge on the back of the work, which is then cast off together with the front edge (3needle bind off).

Masterpiece is well worth the effort!!!


True friends are…

…those people who really want to know what they can do for you and stop at nothing to do it for you, right there and then.

Sue gave me this old (inherited) dress form some months back, it is an adjustable one, so not very sturdy. I would like it to go to a good home, so for the time being she lives in our living room.

The phone rang last night and it was a lovely person in distress, needing her wedding dress in 2 weeks time. She happens to get married to a lovely man who I know from years back… so I said YES CAN DO.

We met this morning and decided on a design and I wanted to get started with making a toile. NO calico, no pattern, no lining… and NO WHEELS, since my car is presently at the panel beaters!

So I rang my friend and she organised a private chauffeur to take me to Spotlight and back home, after spending a good hour there!

I have cut the pattern and realised that the dress form happens to be (without adjustment) this lovely laddies’ size! WOA!

Thank you so much, Sue and Michael for always being there for me, in the right place, at the right time…