February 28, 2009

Sartorial math

Like most women I have clothing in a couple of sizes in my wardrobe (insert stupid non standardised sizing rant here). Some of it due to weight ups and downs and some due to aforementioned non-standardised sizing.

I managed to put on about five kilos over the social whirl that was November and December last year but I've been doing pretty well with my diet and exercise resolutions this year and have taken most of it off so today I tried on some jeans in the middle size range and hey, the biggest of those fit fine again and the smallest are almost there (another kilo or so and they'll be tight but on lol). So yay (and sigh, yes, the way to lose weight is sensible not-100% perfect eating and regular exercise).

Of course there's another level of jeans in the cupboard which need another five kilos or so past this point to go but I'll get there. In fact I'm planning to get there and pass them by on my way to my goal weight. At which point I'll need still more clothes and will be happy to buy them.

February 25, 2009


Create an album cover meme...as spotted at Deanna Raybourne's blog.

Not sure about the band name, Decapod sounds more like some sort of heavy metal thrash (so not my thing) to me. But I do like the image and the album title....maybe we should use Wikipedia for book titles.

February 20, 2009

And again

Apparently I am feeling sew-y today. This was quicker, maybe two hours and probably faster now I know how it's done.

This is the Flea Market Bag by Grand Revival Designs. The fabrics are Amy Butler (Daisy Chain collection, I think). No messing around with this one, er apart from the bit where I didn't quite read the pattern right and cut the straps too short then had to add a sewn extension, so there's some extra seams. It wasn't terribly complicated once I understood how the straps worked. I'm going to try the Practical Bag from the same company as well.

And now, I think I need to collapse on the couch!

Project for the day

I forgot to take my yoga mat with me to the Nia class yesterday and when I got home I realised I didn't have a mat bag as I've only ever used my mat at home.

I'd seen a free yoga bag pattern on Amy Butler's site (the Nigella yoga mat bag), so I decided to give it a whirl. Ta da!

I'm quite chuffed with it. It was pretty easy to put together (I even remembered how to ease curves and believe me, it's been a long time since I did anything resembling complicated sewing). The fabric is a cotton canvas, so I didn't have to use the interfacing. Though I definitely needed a heavy needle - there are a LOT of layers of fabric in certain parts, particularly attaching the bottom circle to the exterior bag where the strap is attached. I'm happy to report that my new Janome (did I blog about that?) didn't turn a hair, just chugged happily through the loads of fabric.

I'd read this review of the pattern (really, how cool is the internet?) and decided to take her advice. I made the strap an inch narrower, and the bag itself four inches longer. I decided not to lengthen the strap itself (wasn't sure if that would work with a drawstring closing) so I just attached the top of the strap four inches down from the top of the bag instead of against the top edge, turned the raw edge under and top stitched that then stitched another line of stitching two inches below to reinforce. It appears to be pretty strong, yoga mat aren't that heavy after all. And seems to have worked fine, though I guess you could lengthen the strap. I've made a channel for a drawstring cord (or shoelace or whatever I end up using) at the top by turning over an inch, sewing that down then turning over another inch and sewing with a gap for the drawstring. It took me about four hours including cutting out the fabric and a few breaks.

The longer length is good, my mat doesn't stick out. A note about the pockets, they're pretty close fitting, good for keys or some cash and a card but you wouldn't get a water bottle in there. There's a reasonable amount of fabric left over so I might even make a bag or something out of it eventually.

February 19, 2009

Shaking it up

I've been pretty good with the exercise lately, getting in four sessions a week on the old elliptical trainer and sweating along with Coach Sean plus doing once a week pilates but for awhile now the girls have been thinking "some dance would be fun". Actually they want tango lessons but I think that will have to wait for a bit.

But Barbara has been talking about Nia and how much fun it is, so tonight I tried my first class. And now I know what she's been raving about. I've not done many exercise classes where you find yourself grinning away during the process. I love my pilates but it doesn't often evoke smiles (unless it's relief when you're allowed to stop doing something painful lol). This did. I was still smiling driving home.

Nia is part dance, part yoga, part martial arts, part tai chi, part pure play. And still a pretty damn good workout. But you don't need to be super co-ordinated like aerobics or even super fit (you can do all the moves at your level and it's all about finding the movement that feels good to you). I'll be going back (and next time I might be nerdy and wear my heart rate monitor just once to see what it says).

If you'd like to know more about Nia then the international site is here, the Australian site is here and this is the site for Melissa Page, who taught tonight and made it a great experience.

February 11, 2009

A brand new adventure

I've said it before and I'll say it again. My friend Linda is one tough cookie and now a brand new mama for the second time.

Welcome to the world little Jethro who zoomed into the world after a mere two hours of labour (much appreciated by Dad and me helping...not sure how much Linda enjoyed it).

It's going to be fun watching you on your big life adventure.

February 09, 2009


After the weekend, our sunburned country is just burned. At least in Victoria. Too many months of drought followed by a record heatwave and then, on Saturday, the hottest day on record combined with high hot winds have taken a terrible toll in people and property.

The death toll has doubled since yesterday, jumping from 65 to 130 in less than twenty four hours and is expected to keep on rising as the emergency services can get back into the affected areas to search the ruins. It's Australia's worst natural disaster in terms of lives lost. Ash Wednesday took more property but Saturday's fires were just too intense and fast and unimaginable. And most of them are still burning despite cooler weather and the best efforts of the firefighters.

It's hard to watch the news or listen to the radio without worrying about friends and friends of friends and family and feeling helpless here in the city. Luckily everyone I know is safe but to everyone who's hurt or who've lost people or animals or property, my heart goes out to you. As it does to those who are flooded in the north (stupid rain, come down HERE).

The most horrifying thing is that they think most of the fires have been deliberately lit. And all I can say to those mass murdering scumbags is that karma is coming after you with a red hot pitchfork and you deserve whatever comes to you.

For those who want to help - if you're in Australia consider giving blood (the agencies don't want goods right now) or money (and you can donate from overseas as well). Times are hard but they just got a lot harder for thousands of people so please give if you can.

Red Cross Australian Bushfire Appeal (Red Cross takes none of this money)

February 01, 2009

The soundtrack of your life

Snagged from Lynn Flewelling's LJ


So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
7. No cheating and doctoring your list to make yourself look cooler than the person you took this from

Opening Credits:
Toto "Africa"

First Day at School:
Hunters and Collectors "We The People"

Breaking Up:
Once More With Feeling (Buffy The Musical soundtrack) "Rest In Peace"

Nina Simone "My Baby Just Cares For Me"

Sex Scene:
Annie Lennox (The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King soundtrack) "Into the West"

Life’s Ok:
Bon Jovi "Without Love"

Melissa Etheridge "Change"

Bruce Springsteen "Better Days"

Getting Back Together:
George Michael "A Different Corner"

Wedding Scene:
Randy Edelman (The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack) "Rival Walk and Discovery"

Birth of Child:
Robbie Williams "A Place to Crash"

Falling In Love:
Chuck Prophet (PS I Love You soundtrack) "No Other Love"

Final Battle:
Chris de Burgh "Much More than This"

Death Scene:
Newton Faulkner "Straight Towards the Sun"

End Credits:
Vika and Linda "I Didn't Know Love Could Be Mine"

You know, apart from the sex scene (Into the West is a very sad song so it would have to be a "dying lovers embrace" or "one last time" sex scene or something) and the kind of mind warping concept of Robbie Williams blasting during labor, that's not too bad LOL.