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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Post Apocalyptic Catch-up

Apologies for the protracted silence from this blog - it hasn't been intentional.  The madness that is Christmas and New Year and the merry-go-round of travelling up and down the country to visit one set of relatives and then tolerating a different bunch of them down here has been more or less non-stop.  We have had a lovely 2 day hiaitus with just the kids which will come to an abrupt end tomorrow when my immediate family descends for a further 3 days. Although I love my family they do annoy the heck out of me.  My parents in particular bring decades-old family politics with them that I frankly can't be a*sed with.

My family.  NOT.

I should update you on the Christmas Fair, which was 3 weeks ago but somehow seems like a thousand years ago.  It is one of those odd things that I am glad that I did, to get it out of my system, but that I won't be doing again.  Here is my little stall:
I am grateful to all of the people who advised me to make lots of little things as parents are only willing to spend so much at school fairs.  This was entirely true as I sold lots of mini stockings, quite a few trees and sachets, and surprisingly quite a lot of hairbands (once one Y3 girl bought one and wore it, others came looking for where she had bought it).

I sold none of my big stuff but happily I had already earmarked it all for my lucky relatives and godchildren etc so I don't have a big pile of stuff left - everything has gone to a new home.  The remaining mini stockings and trees are on my Christmas tree right now.

The thing that I learned most was that whilst I enjoy sewing for its own sake, what I really enjoy is creating whatever it is that I feel like creating at that moment in time.  Doing the prep for this Fair turned it into a job instead of a hobby.  That's why I won't be doing another Fair!

As soon as the Fair was over, I started thinking about what *I* would really love to work on, and by coincidence (ahem) look what came in the post:
Spoonflower fabric yum yum yum .... I think I may make a Slouch bag out of this....

Echino purple Wish fabric ... this is going to be a bag too ... maybe a Nikki tote ...

Fun Matryoshka fabric ... only a FQ of this but I thought it would make a fun journal cover?

Ashland dress pattern from Sew Liberated ... I think I may shorten it to a tunic but this is exactly the style of top I like to wear.  And it's about time I did a bit of dressmaking.

Of course I haven't got started on any of this because of flippin' Christmas!  But at least the world didn't end.  So hopefully I will have time in 2013 (once my relatives b*gger off).

G x

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Nihongo o benkyoushimashou!

One of my lesser known talents is that I can speak conversational Japanese.  Post-school but pre-children (in that lovely interlude where I could do anything I liked), a friend asked if I would enrol on a Japanese GCSE course to keep them company.  And, in their words: "because you will make sure I don't jack in the course early, because you're such a swot.  You know, like Monica in that episode of Friends when they go on a reading course".
(Scroll forward to 4.40 and that's me in class apparently)

Since I was in my 20s with boundless energy and plenty of time, and because I am a swot, of course I said yes.  And it was really quite fun.

The Japanese writing system has 3 layers - 2 phonetic alphabets plus 1 pictorial system called Kanji (essentially nicked from Chinese characters and bastardised a bit).  Today I am going to introduce you to some Kanji:

Tree: ki
Wood: hayashi
Forest: mori

And now here's my sewing version:


Unfortunately I can't quite remember how to say "I can't wait until this &*@%£*$ Christmas Fair is over" in Japanese.

However, if asked at the Christmas Fair whether I will do it again, I will reply "chotto....".  We should have this expression in English.  It literally means "a bit", but in reply to a question it can mean "No, and I am not going to give you a reason why, and you can't ask me the reason why either because that would be unacceptably rude of you".

We were taught this in the context of how to say no to being asked on a date or something.  How much easier would it be to say "chotto" than to think of rubbish excuses like washing your hair or visiting your Great Aunt in Cheltenham?  Although now that I am old and grumpy (and in no danger of being asked on a date), I am perfectly happy to just say "no".

G x

Saturday, 1 December 2012

I love a deadline, me

Yes there's nothing quite like a deadline to scare you into finishing something:
This is a Christmas Angel (looking a bit casual, admittedly - maybe it's her day off) for the LMQG 2012 ornament swap.  Maybe I should give her some wings.  However given that it is quarter to midnight the day before the swap, perhaps it's a bit late for that. 

I am looking forward to the LMQG meeting tomorrow but I always feel terribly guilty for leaving my young family behind for the day.  Although the meeting itself is only 2 hours, once you add on the travel time it is more like 5 hours.  I know shouldn't feel guilty because I have the little anklebiters all day every day, but I know how tiring they can be and I feel sorry for my husband who is not as used to having them for prolonged periods.  I never used to understand my mother's permanent state of feeling guilty but now I do.

G x