Monday, November 21, 2011


During October, I was given the Versatile blogger award by Handmade by Carolyn thank you so much to Carolyn.   The rules are as follows, you have to write seven things about yourself.  That probably isn't a big problem because I am relatively new to this blogging scene but the thing that was really holding me back was, who do I pass this award on to!  The blogs I seem to follow have all been around for much longer than myself and have already had more awards than I can mention here.  So, I thought I would just hold onto this award for a rainy day.  Today is just that, it is really bucketing down outside and rather than whip up a...ahem...sundress that is on my table, I will whip up this post instead.

*  I began sewing as soon as I could safely wield a pair of scissors and could be trusted with a needle.  I remember with my younger sisters and a neighbourhood friend spending many an afternoon whipping up clothing for my barbie dolls.  In those days  Barbie rtw clothing was extremely expensive, and we were lucky enough to get the occasional outfit but I think our Barbies were the best dressed in town with our home made creations.  I still have most of these dresses and knitted ensembles and my daughter has also spent many hours as a small child dressing her dolls in the same clothes.

*  The first real item of clothing I made myself, was a wincette (sp?) winter nightie.  I must have been about 10 years old at the time and was helped by my grandmother.  I don't still have the nightie but do remember it vividly.

*  I took sewing in year 9 and 10 at high school and failed miserably even though I spent most of my classes helping my classmates.  Apparently my colouring in wasn't up the scratch....I still can't quite figure out what that is about!  Any ho that class was dropped in favour of more academic subjects.

During my late teens and early twenties, I made just about everything I wore except underwear and jeans.  Like most young people I spent nearly everything I earn't on my back, much to my mothers disgust.  This was probably the time when I sewed in most detail and was least afraid of failure...let's face it, at this age we are all pretty fearless.  My greatest sewing accomplishments during this time were a beautiful leather jacket and my wedding dress I posted about here.

*  The most fun I have had sewing actually began when I was pregnant with my first child.  I spent much of my pregnancy creating newborn onsies and a bassinet set, as well as a cot set for my daughter.  From then on I was hooked on kids clothing and eagerly devoured each new issue of Topkids each season for inspiration for her clothing.  My husband must have despaired over the quantity of fabric being regularly dragged home to our small home from the fabric store.

*  After my 3rd child was born I began my own nappy making business.  I was unwell at the time, and my doctor suggested some me time and of course for me that meant sewing.  I wasn't actually going to use cloth nappies for my third child even though I had used them almost exclusively for my first and sporadically for my second.  I went to a cloth nappy party (a bit like a Tupperware party) and was hooked on this modern cloth nappy revolution.  Because there was no choice of brands in New Zealand, I imported some fabric and began making them when my baby was sleeping and once he had more than he needed I began selling them on Trademe.  A website soon followed and at the height of my business I even had an outworker.  I loved the creative process and the positive feedback I was receiving from my customers and because I had my own baby using my products I knew my product worked.  I closed my business once my "baby" started school because I felt I had lost touch with parenting babies and it was time to move into work outside the home.

*  I began blogging for similar reasons to my nappy business.  I wasn't ill this time but as stress relief.  On 4 September last year my life and that of everyone else in this province came crashing down around me.  At 7.1, we experience the biggest earthquake in history in this area.  My kids had never felt an earthquake of any magnitude so you can imagine the impact on family life.   We experienced thousands of aftershocks in the coming months but these were reducing and so was our stress when 22 February struck killing hundreds in the central city, and demolishing the entire CBD and once again turning our lives into chaos.  Although this time we had less damage to our property, this time I was made redundant like a lot of other people.  There were no jobs to be had.   They are just coming on line now.  While some malls were closed with damage and the CBD closed indefinitely (most still is), and reluctance to enter buildings with daily shakes, I began sewing again to satisfy both my retail therapy craving and also to focus on something positive.  

I have thoroughly enjoyed the creative process but I think the best thing I have gained out of the blogging process is being able to mix with like minds online.  Something, that I have always found missing in real life.  Other than my family, I really don't know any other creative people and sometimes I feel people look at you a little oddly when you say you have made something.  I am not sure whether they are envious or just think you are a little eccentric.  One thing that does please me though, is making things is becoming more cool and anything handmade is actually desirable....long may it continue!

Now I am passing this award onto Lisa of Lisa Sews should you chose to accept it......

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