Saturday, October 31, 2009

No more Letters from the Editter

My dear friend, who was ill for the last few months, has died.

I can't think of anything to add to that, except "Goodbye - I'm gonna miss you".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our battery collection

For months now, I've been avoiding putting our used up batteries into the household rubbish - because somewhere, I read or heard that those things are full of heavy metals and ought to be disposed of in a special way. So I hung up a plastic shopping bag to collect them, fully intending to find out where they should go and then taking them there.

The bag has gotten pretty heavy by now, and the boy voiced fears that it can't be healthy having a big bag full of toxic thingamies hanging around in the kitchen. So I finally got around to going on the 'Net to find out what I'm supposed to do with it.

And it turns out that there is nowhere nearby that recycles them.

So into the kitchen bin they go.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

lunch date

The boy asked me to look after TLM for an hour in the middle of the day today, and I thought, cool - I can take her out for a fluffy and then check out the Yayoi Kusama exhibition together.

It was only for an hour, and that hour went by so quickly -

She charmed the pants off my co-workers.

We had lunch at a nearby cafe (a fluffy and a sausage roll for TLM, a hot chocolate and a potato-top pie for me).

TLM insisted on climbing over every raised flowerbed.

She hugged each and every one of the koru (unfurled fern fond)-shaped pillars surrounding the Civic Square.

We checked out the polka-dotted City Gallery facade (it sooo reminds me of the Dr Seuss as Robert Lopshire book, "Put me in the zoo", about a spotted creature who can throw his spots onto any surface). But we didn't go in because the queue was too long.

TLM ran free and wild around the Civic Square, leaping about on the boat-shaped seating and frolicking on the grass.


Monday, October 19, 2009

When plus-size women can't be plus-size models

I read the other day about the tiny-sized Ralph Lauren model who was sacked for being too fat. She's a size 4, which means she's about a size 10 in New Zealand sizing. Now, you know and I know that that is not fat. And apparently the preferred dress size for a plus-size model is 8-10 (which is probably about a 14 in NZ sizing).

Apparently the reason models have to be so thin, is because the sample clothes that designers send in to be worn on the catwalk (and in the magazines) are so small. And the reason they are so small, is to save money on fabric.

Well, I have the solution.

Why doesn't the fashion industry just model all new collections on Barbie dolls?
The construction might be a bit fiddly, but they'd save a ton on fabric.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spring coat sprung

Now that I've put all the buttons on (close-up of the buttons over on the right there) and worn it out a couple of times I have to say you were right, dear commenters.

I do like this coat. Although it definitely looks better on me if I don't button it up all the way - and better still if I don't button it up at all.

Also, the term "spring coat" is a bit of a misnomer. Because around these parts, the kind of coat you'd have to wear in spring is a rain coat.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I been exercising

On Wednesday evening, in between driving 'round to my mum's to dial up her insulin pens and having dinner, I managed a 20 minute session on the Wii Fit (and I did another 30 minutes tonight).

And I might be hooked. It's really fun, and some of it even feels like exercise (inasmuch as it works my muscles and I feel a little tired afterwards). With Wii Fit you get yoga, muscle workout, cardio, balance games and some other games which I forget what they're for.

My favourite exercise is still the yoga. But my favourite game is the downhill skiing. I still can't do the whole run without ramming into at least four flags.

The board records my every movement, so I know that my left side is way weaker than my right (which is interesting because I'm a leftie so my left ought to be stronger). It feels good that my balance is apparently pretty good and my lunges are better than the lunges of a middle-aged woman who hasn't been to the gym in four years.

Maybe the novelty value will wear off eventually, and maybe I'll soon reclaim these evenings for sewing. But I aim to make the most of that novelty for as long as I can.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I yearbooked myself

Can you see which one of these footballers is me?
No? Well check out the Lennon-ist on the right.

Another year older

Apparently people at my work are allowed to take the day off on their birthday, but I didn't because I had taken so much time off sick already this year. Then on the weekend my thoughtless sibling told me I had to take my mum to her follow-up appointment with the eye specialist this afternoon.

So, my birthday today was full of joyful activities such as:

1. a long staff meeting, followed by a panicky hour of cramming work in and then
2. 2 hours of sitting, zombie-like, in a public hospital waiting room (for a 2 minute consultation) and then
3. feeling slightly guilty for not going back to work for that last hour of my working day, because all that spring air was giving me a sinus headache.

But the boy and TLM did give me some lovely artistic birthday presents:
1. a tiny wee dolly made by a ceramics artist (because I told him that I never had dollies when I was a kid)
2. a bright red t-shirt, one size too small (but with a beautiful screenprint on it - it just needs to be bigger and blacker, really)
3. a hand-made mug, to go with some bowls by the same artist that I got for Christmas last year
4. and a lovely hand-made birthday card created by TLM, who may or may not be an artist but sure has the right amount of flakiness.

Oh, and a birthday muffin (that is, a cake. Just in case you were thinking that was a euphemism).

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Suspiciously chivalrous

When I was at school it was mostly only the rebellious kids who didn't give up their seats on the bus for adult passengers. These days it's remarkable when a kid does give an adult their seat. In fact, I still haven't forgiven those rude people who stayed seated when I waddled onto a crowded bus, 6 months pregnant and dying to take the weight off my feet.

So why did a young man offer me his seat on the bus this afternoon?
He wasn't doing to chat me up - because he didn't.

It's possible that he caught sight of my "mature" hands and - putting that together with my old-man newsboy hat, deduced that I was an unsteady old biddy.

Or, he saw how voluminous my A-line coat was (not the one I've been sewing - that one is only just big enough) and mistook me for a pregnant lady (where the hell was he 4 1/2 years ago?)

Hopefully, he did it because my oversized bag looked really heavy (it was - it was full of library books about women's fashion).

But I'll never know. It was nice to have a seat all the way home though.

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Dora bill

Oh yeah, and here is a photo of TLM in her Dora skirt - which she is wearing with Dora socks.

Should it stay or should it go?

I STILL haven't finished this coat yet, but right now I'm not sure I should bother.

What I have left to do is:
  • Get three buttonholes put in professionally (or sew on some snap buttons) and sew the buttons on
  • Unpick the lining hem and re-attach it so that the back pleat doesn't sag funny
  • Re-do the sleeve hems because the sleeve lining is way too long
And then it will be finished.

I'm not thoroughly happy with this coat though:
  • the back pleat doesn't sit right when it's on, though it looks fine on the hanger
  • Most of the plaids don't match up from bodice part to skirt part
  • the skirt part really sticks out
  • the fabric is a little bit distorted, maybe because I machine-washed and line-dried it prior to cutting
  • I'm not sure this style and pattern is very flattering on me
(Apologies if you're eyes are going a bit weird looking at the back view; it's just a blurry photo)

So anyway, do I spend the extra time and money on finishing it, or is it a dead loss?

It's not all bad though - I have learned enough that, if I were to make this coat again, the end result would be much more satisfactory (though I reckon I could find a more flattering style).

  • stay away from any fabric that has obvious must-match pattern on it
  • don't use fabric that is super-frayable and super-duper-snaggable (it makes unpicking really really hard, and the floor really really messy)
  • be careful putting in that back pleat, and don't be in a hurry to undo the tacking that keeps it in place
  • don't machine-washing a loosely-woven cotton tweedy fabric in the hope that it will tighten the weave.
  • If you don't look good in high necklines, just accept the fact that you need to wear a scarf with that coat - then go out and buy a really nice one.

Friday, October 02, 2009

We don't do Daylight Savings by halves...

...but we bluddy should.

Right up until the night of the changeover, I had been waking up half an hour earlier than normal i.e. 7am. This gave me time to get TLM and myself ready for the day and also half an hour to just hang out.

But last Monday, I suddenly had to get out of bed half an hour before I was awake. So all week I've been late in to work, and still can't get to the sleep at the new bedtime.

I propose that in future we do Daylight Savings in two phases - the first phase is at the beginning of October, when we move our clocks forward by thirty minutes only. The second phase is a few months in, when we move our clocks forward by another thirty minutes. Taking it slowly will decrease the amount of tiredness in the first week of each time change, and indirectly cause greater happiness for everyone. Well, for me anyway.