Coffee, Books, Paint and whole lot more.

It’s been fast, it’s been busy, it’s been stressful, it’s been tiring, it’s been happy, it’s been sad and it’s been freedom in a way I’d long forgotten.  It’s. Been. Good. I have had times that were difficult but more and more, times when I’ve been absolutely loving life. I passed the 1 yr anniversary of separation with peace and excitement to be moving on, no sad. It’s just a date. A number. But mentally it becomes a period (.) when a new future begins. I’m glad. Seems I say that a dozen times a week. It is good to be glad!

I’ve been doing so much; I have found it hard to find time to blog, especially since I broke my iPad!!! I am still amazed-speechless! In 3 seconds, the blink of an eye while one is standing (or sitting) there watching, same silly person can drop an iPad and then goodbye $500+.  For two days I experienced the range of emotion summarized as grief. I cried, I got angry, I needed to tell someone, in a state of disbelief I kept testing it and then after 2 days I gave myself a good talking to

“Okay it’s done, I can’t change it. It’s time to accept and start saving for a new one.” Oh, how I wish all grief was that easy!!!

Blogging??? – it has taken some time for me to become comfortable with the ‘old-fashioned’ concept of sitting at a desk to be on a computer.  Without the  iPad, I have read an amazing number of books. That makes me glad.

I’ve read a lot and I have sat around a lot. Sitting and lounging in a multitude of places around home, mostly in my gorgeous outdoor garden right outside my door. I sit there for a bit most days with a coffee, sometimes cake or cookies and always something to read.  I do wish you could come for coffee, I shall post a picture.

My reading has almost exclusively been auto-biographies. You know you’ve seen a brilliant movie when you are still thinking about it days later. This year, I’ve read a brilliant book.  I’m still thinking about ‘the one’ I finished well over a month ago even though I’ve since read two more enjoyable biographies. At random moments amongst my days, I find myself thinking of Ingrid Betancourt and the amazing attitude she had. She was held hostage in the Amazon Jungle for 6 years in very harsh and primitive conditions. It was a long read, the biggest work I’ve ever tackled but I’m really glad I did. For me, it has been life changing. I think we all want to believe we have a similar inner strength that cannot be broken. And when a professional tells me I’ve done very well this year, I do believe!

Even silence has an End

I’ve also been sewing, just small items here or there. I’ve enjoyed it very much, no stressing over patterns not fitting right…  I will attempt to brave that frontier again, just not today.

I re-connected with a long-lost hobby, restoring and/or re-purposing furniture. Sometimes it’s hard to know which basket a piece might go in. To me if it’s made from wood then I will give it a makeover.  I’ve worked on a number this year and thankfully, I have finished some. My pride and joy which has already taken 2 full summers is on the verge of completion. I’m a wee bit excited ’bout this one. Soon…

Here is a doll house I renovated for a friend’s daughter. I started out just cleaning it. Then I had some red paint and the roof was in poor shape so I re-painted the roof. Then I touched up the varnish and then I decided I had done so much, I couldn’t leave it with the back wall looking so sad.

before & after dolls house

Eventually it had a complete makeover. What do you think? Better?

Hi, checking in…

Hi to my faithful friends who I know have been thinking and praying for me. Life has been pretty difficult but spring is coming. I can see the sunshine. I will be back real soon.

I have started sewing again in recent weeks just a few household items but a good starting point. Photos and posts coming soon. I’m on track for my 12 items for the year.

Here’s my recently widowed Mum with the plastic bag holder I made for her.


Goals for 2013

We’re a strange bunch when that New Year clock draws near to its goal, we go into overdrive with our own goals, dreams, aspirations and resolutions. And what of all these resolutions. I’ve been pondering how empty the blogosphere would be if we removed all the ‘New Year Resolutions’ conversations made in the last week. Resolutions? Not me but I do make and aim for goals continually, some of which I meet and others I don’t. I like to have too many goals because it leaves me room for more rather than getting to the end of my list and not knowing where to next. says (relevant meaning chosen from multiple meanings)

A Goal is the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end

Dreams are an aspiration; goal; aim: A trip to Europe is his dream.

Aspiration is 1. strong desire, longing, or aim; ambition: intellectual aspirations. 2. a goal or objective desired: The presidency is the traditional aspiration of young American boys.

And a Resolution is
3. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.

They all seem very similar to me. Before today I held a belief that I did not believe in New Year Resolutions but each January 1, I would formulate a list of things I wanted or intended to achieve that year. For as long as I remember I’ve always been a goal setter. I vaguely recall making lists while I was in upper primary school and clearly remember making goals during my high school years. I also remember that a great many of my goals were not achieved. It would often see me questioning the value and of course being hard on myself for not doing all that I planned. Now as I look back I see I was learning how to set realistic and achievable goals. It was in my early 20’s that it all came together for me. I had become a single mum with an 18 month little princess. My goals for that time actually started before then. My newfound circumstances were the result of wanting a better life, a life that a sweet, smart pretty little girl deserved. And so we embarked on our new life. They were difficult times but the optimist in me made it a good life, public pools, libraries, playgrounds, playing together & reading books, baking and gardening. Lots of debt, little money and at first no home. We started our new life together in emergency housing for the homeless. Each tenant was housed for 8 wks in which time they were expected to save the money required to rent in the private market. Most people stayed well over 3 months and some up to 6 months. Right up front I was told about the expected 8 wks plan to independent living but also not to worry if I didn’t make it in the time, as failure was common and because of the Christmas period I would be given extra time. Ahh, I’d been given a goal and I rose to the challenge. We moved into our own privately rented unit in the 9th week, Christmas period included. That Christmas I realised God was real when the Salvation Army left a box at my door and it contained every item from my shopping list I’d not been able to buy, right down to a can of soft drink for each of us. That was massive, I had stood in the supermarket crying as I’d tried to figure out what to leave behind only to receive it all plus more from strangers. My next goal was to pay out all my debt and save for a ‘brand new’ fridge and washing machine while I waited out the expected 6 months wait for state subsidised housing. And I did it! Moving into my new unit with my first ever new electrical items was a very proud and exciting day for me.

So now I’m saying goodbye to 16 years of marriage and making new goals again. This time the goals are helping keep me happy and focused. It’s not so much about the physical need but more about the process. It gives me something to plan and dream, it keeps me focused. Honestly, the last 3 months have been the most difficult in my entire life, more difficult than escaping a violent relationship, more difficult than starting out young with a baby girl but because of those past goals and lessons learned I know this time I can do it again. Looking back at all my past goals and the testimony of all God has done in my life shows me I can. I know getting bogged down thinking about how hard it is doesn’t help and lately I am guilty of having trouble remembering that fact. But time and time again Jesus lifts my spirit and I get back on track. No matter how often I fall He picks me up.

So for this January 2013 my goals are very simple but they are big for where I am at. They are enough to remind me where I’ve been, what I’ve achieved and where I’m going. They are enough to remind me of His working in my life and give me peace to just be – where I am today.

I’ve a perfect little 1 bedroom flat to settle into and put my stamp on. I’ve plans to make a patchwork rug for the floor. I’ve also committed to making 12 sewing items and declared it publicly over at Karen’s from didyoumakethat. I’m even going to put a bit more pressure on myself by promising to make a donation to charity if I fail. Maybe I’ll still make a donation if I achieve them as a means of celebration. And of course I’m going to get well and get a job. I’ve not worked since 2004 except for voluntary work in our church office which I loved. I’m looking forward to having a job I enjoy more than the prospect of increased income. So I have dreams and goals for 2013 but I still don’t think resolutions are for me!

So how about you are they different words, same meaning? I wonder if it depends on your world view, perspective and to some degree whether one is an optimist or pessimist.


Go Do It

This is my theme for 2013. I’ve never been so glad to say goodbye to a year and so happy and excited to say hello to a new year. I’m praying it will be a fabulous memorable year for all. There are many things to pray against in 2013. I don’t want to list them cause they don’t deserve the air time but let’s unite and pray for a year filled with His love, His peace, His Joy and growth where He directs. Blessings to you all.


I tried to find the original author of this but just got 100’s of links going all round the world back in history. If anyone knows, plz let me know so I can credit.

Doing what I can…

Life is pretty very difficult for me at the moment. Through the long days and nights I’ve been blessed to see The Lord looking after me with lots of little miracles. Next year I will be looking for a job and I am fully confident that when I’m ready I will find one without a great deal of stress or effort.

This is one of the first miracles I received from a new blogging friend over at Pillows A La Mode K made it and wrote about it here. I commented that it was just what I had needed to read that day. At the time I had no idea that much more difficulties were about to visit my life. Anyways, the next morning I received an email from K saying she’d like to give it to me. I cried right there, while reading the email for I knew God had used her to get this message to me. By the time it arrived, I needed it even more and- He knew.

It very thankfully sits on my bed where I see it and read it several times a day. It has been extremely encouraging.

Thank you so very much Katherine.
(Colossians 1:3 ESV)

Butterick 4335

Greetings friends,

Hope you are well. In sunny North Queensland we are having a lovely bright and warm day – what I think of as happy weather. It makes me feel alive and energetic. It’s a nice warm, due to plenty of shady green trees and shrubs. And I can hear the native birds in my garden calling out that they feel the same. Our garden is no botanical garden, some of it even looks dry half dead but the birds do love the native garden I am growing just for them. I have a rain forest tree that also brings butterflies especially the famous Ulysses.

So… this is what I’ve been working on, soooo slowly it was almost renamed UFO B4335. I cut it out 4 weeks ago. My very first real dress, is lays unfinished on my ironing board but is very close to becoming a Finished Object. I want to tell the world I am excited. I had visions of myself running up and down the street saying look, look, look what I made! I’m sure I won’t be able to wait for someone to ask did you make that. I bought this tiny flowery print at a garage sale for a whole $2. It’s not my usual favourite colours and was only intended as muslin but I’m pleasantly surprised to see it’s looking good enough to wear, just at home? Maybe, just maybe I’ll be able wear it to the shops late at night.

I chose this pattern as my first dress because it looked easy with only bust darts. It has been in my Dream Bin for many years. I wasn’t going to have the flounce at the bottom. So, I am making view D without the flounce.


Easy make dress

check in

Hi friends,

I’m just checking in to let everyone know I’m still around. My dad’s passing has been much more stressful than I imagined. When I have felt up to it, I’ve done a little sewing, I made a muslin for a dress which was a mixture of 2 patterns. The good old NL5615 – well it’s the only pattern I’ve made that fits me so far. I know, I know I must move on. I’m trying, really I am.

So, I hated my first dress ‘design’, can I call it a design?  It now sits buried in the bottom of my stash cupboard. I might show you all when I get time to do some photos.

In other news I bought a Circulation Booster and it has fixed the foot pain. I can now do everything I want with no pain and no more health probs. I’m thankful my feet pain was so easily fixed. This means I’ve done more housework and less sewing! I’m off now to do some ironing and then hopefully start sewing the dress I have cut out almost 2 weeks ago.

Hope you all having a fun weekend,



I’m rebloging Karen’s post from I found it first thing this morning. Yesterday I had the best day with my Dad. I did talk about the qualities he gave me and I let him know I appreciated what he has given me. Then Last night while sleeping he passed away. I can’t write or talk much ATM. It’s still becoming real but Karen’s message is so good I wanted to share it here. Do thank those special people for all the little bits and pieces that make you you.

My Space Saving, Cutting Table

Hi ya,

Gorgeous warm, sunny day here in North Queensland and we’re right in the middle of a great week.

I read a while back on Karen’s Blog over at didyoumakethat that she cuts out on the floor. Not an option for me due to aged skinny bony knees and stiff joints but it got me thinking. I had previously cut on the dining table but it has its drawbacks, getting around it is hard and our table often has piles of stuff there waiting to go home. It’s our dumping place!

Any how hubby got me a piece of ply 92 x 100 cm which I started to use on the table as it was wider than the table. He sanded one side for me so that it didn’t catch on the fabric and pull threads. I recently thought to try putting it on the ironing board as a better option. I can adjust the height, full height is perfect for working also I can plant it right it the middle of the room and walk all around it. It’s super. When not in use I store the ply wood behind a cupboard in the spare/sewing/computer room. It is only a few mm thick so takes little room. I do need use care when I place heavy items but it’s not been a problem so far.

My home made temp space saving cutting table

Now I just gotta get/make one of those wrist pin cushions, I know it will also make life easier.

Hope you are having a good week.

My foray in New Look 6515 (and my version of the FBA)

My ‘learn to sew fashion clothes for myself’ began here using New Look 6515. After that mammoth sewing experience I needed a break.

I didn’t realise how draining it had been until the weeks went by and I could not bring myself to have another go. Almost 5 wks on I realised I would need to force myself into it if I was to ever sew again. I knew in my head the rewards would be great but my heart struggled.  So it was time to apply some pressure. I had read comments by Rachel & LinB on Karen’s post on didyoumakethat about an ill-fitting tank top. It seemed while I was doing all that trial and error (read lots of errors but not wasted) I had done the right thing without realising it.  I wrote:

“LinB this comment about the FBA caught my attention because it seems I recently did this without realising what I was doing. I graded up only the front of a pattern because that’s where I thought the problem was. I’m such a novice I didn’t even think about the back. Doh. The hem length didn’t match though & I had no idea why! On my blog Liz commented about a FBA so I’ve since been reading about it. Thank you for adding to my knowledge as well, seems I was on the right track, albeit blindly”.

I had not fully understood what Liz had written on my blog post but she had said basically the same as Rachel and LinB, (intelligent actions of a blonde)!

So off I went with fear and trembling and obstinate stubbornness to make my version NUMBER 5 of NL6515. Following the above suggestions I traced a size 14 back bodice with extra length and for the front a size 14 from the shoulders to near the bottom of the armhole and below the arm hole a size 18. I have since learned to divide the armhole into threes and do top 2/3 in the smaller size. The sizing I determined by comparing my measurements to the pattern envelope. I pinned my traced pattern pieces together and did a basic fitting, which seemed okay. Next I made a toile using large basting stitches, no seam finishing and only up to the first fitting. It felt great, excitement was taking the place of stubbornness. I tossed the toile in the bin and cut into my fashion fabric. (The toile was a hot pink, cheap synthetic lace)

floral fabric for summer blouse

Blue is not usually my colour but the woman at the shop said the colours suited me and at $3 metre, it was  a good buy. A necessary prerequisite at the moment.

There’s not much more to write. It went together perfectly and fits beautifully. I underestimated how fantastic a handmade item could fit. And so I present my Number 5 New Look 6515 which I will wear to death with much pride.

My Summer New Look 6515

Thank you to everyone who helped me. I shake my head and marvel at all the years I tried on my own and how the internet and such wonderful ladies from all over the world have helped me conquer the mountain called ‘Clothes That Fit’!

wishing you a fun weekend…

Here’s a good start: Get on over and read Andrea’s post on foursquarewalls  it’ll have you laughing all day.