Friday, 21 October 2016

Dear Epicurious - you're doing Fairy Bread wrong. Very Wrong.

If you're not aussie or kiwi and have seen anything about Epicurious' article this week, then you might just believe them. Here's a link in case you're interested at all.

Facts about what it's not:
It's NOT toasted (that's the most hilariously wrong part of the article).
It's NOT a breakfast food
It's NOT typically a snack food outside of children's parties.
It's NOT rainbow sprinkles on fancy bread.
It's NOT sugared toast.

What it is: 
Mainly depression era or post war creativity. Such as how Iced VoVos were around for decades at the fancy end of the commercial biscuits. As far as I'm concerned, the less said about them the better unless it's your aussie childhood comfort food.

  • Cheapest soft white bread, buttered to all the edges (or margarine) with hundreds and thousands sprinkled to a solid layer on it. 
  • The quality of the butter or marg is irrelevant, it's simply there to enable the sugary balls to remain on the bread. Enough butter/marg for the little sugary balls to stick to. 
  • Crusts may or may not be removed - just expect children to not eat the crusts if you leave them on.
  • Cut into triangles (halves or quarters)

To reiterate - rainbow sprinkles are not in the spirit of Fairy Bread. Just NOPE.

A more recent (than my age group's childhood) who are familiar with using nutella instead of butter, but that's fairly fancy and not an essential component.

Monday, 17 October 2016

I might have a lot of sewing stuff

Another friend came over on Sunday afternoon to help me pack things - she worked on my books and I continued with sewing things, and started on the wardrobe.

I've faced the concept that if I didn't sew (real life clothing and/or costumes) then I'd be packed up already. So far upstairs, I've filled 4 half-teachests with sewing items and realised that I still other items like my sleeve board, pattern rulers etc to pack. Painting/packing with insomnia is a tough gig, but I'll get there.  I'll turtle my way to the finishing line. 

Here's a pic of the wall of boxes I've been building.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Painting is done

Thank goodness for great friends, as we were able to smash through the second coat in all the rooms yesterday afternoon. The landlord is replacing the carpet on Wednesday (rather having it done by another).

So, now it's packing stations. Another friend is helping me pack stuff today, so I'm hoping she can pack the books & some kitchen stuff. I'm launching at the wardrobe & more upstairs sewing stuff

Thursday, 13 October 2016

This month is all about painting & packing

Thankfully the approval to paint, and the colour to paint it was easy for my soon to be home.  I've been out 3 nights this week doing prep work & then painting. The only rooms that I'm not painting are the bathroom (already an OK colour) & laundry cos the walls are a very uneven surface that a light colour will highlight, & the paint has flaked away from the render in a couple places.

I've had 2 fabulous friends help me paint, and I threw out the first paint roller I'd bought as it was cheap in all the wrong ways. The significantly more expensive replacements have been working fabulously, and we got everything but the larger bedroom done last night in about half an hour longer than it took to do the bedroom (to be my sewing room) the night before.  As I'm going from donkey brown to a cream it's taking more than one coat. I'm leaving the first coat to cure and will do the second coat of everything on Saturday

New carpet goes in next week, now on Wednesday. I'm not moving for at least a week to avoid the worst of the out-gassing of paint & carpet fumes.

I've started packing at my current home & holy crackers batman I have so much stuff. No need for any more furniture at the new place, just expand into the new rooms. I'll be doing a better cull of things as I unpack at the other end. I'll to a quick cull of everything but fabric as I pack, but I don't really have time to do everything.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Packing+moving this month, no time for sewing

I got the place on a 1 year lease :) I'm hoping to paint this Saturday and I have approval to do that. It's better to paint now as the carpet may be replaced next week. I have to give 21 days notice where I am, as my lease has expired (& that was approx 17 years ago LOL). 

The new place is right across the other side of Sydney, in Werrington so very outer suburbia compared to inner city where I've lived most of my 28 years here. But so much more space at the same price. Rent + commute total is about 30 a week more, but I'll have space to have friends over for dinner unlike here where 1 guest is the comfort limit. A dedicated sewing room (using the larger bedroom), as well as my own bedroom, an internal laundry and a pocket balcony. 

It gives me time to pack & possibly get to the steampunk day the following weekend. I'll see how it all goes, cos that may be an over-reach.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Possibly moving home well before December

My aim was to move before December, and I made two Saturday trips out to walk around the suburbs I was thinking of moving to, and get an idea of which I'd prefer.

The pocket of streets that I'm looking at got narrowed down, partly due to local shops and getting to/from the station AND the massive hedge in blossom early in one cul-de-sac that would = dreadful hayfever. Given my body can over-react to pollen allergies with asthmatic-bronchitis there's no way I could afford to live with or even walk past that hedge twice a day. It was so large you couldn't even see the block of apartments behind it. Nuh-uh.No way.

On Saturday I went to a viewing of a flat/unit/apartment that I could see myself living in. It's in that  smallish area that has some units, some town houses and about half are houses. I liked it enough to see myself living in it so I'm applying by email tomorrow. There's a chance that another one that I like won't become available in the next 2 months, so why wait for the sake of waiting. I don't have a scanner at home, so I'll send it all through from work first thing. If I get it, then I'll move in a couple of weeks not a couple of months.  It's quite a jump across the city, so I made sure to chat with the real estate agent explaining that I know the area enough (my grandad lived in the next suburb when he was alive). I'm on the train out here more than anywhere else (other than my sewing guild group) and my friends are all near here & the blueys (mountains). I also managed to slip in that I'm allergic to cats. Sad but true these days.

I mentioned that I sew a lot so that I want a separate sewing room ... and she responded that she sews on her dining room table. I've also checked out sewing guild groups, and there is a local group but it meets on a week day, so that's a bust. Getting to my current group is feasible, it's not to difficult so long as I'm organised. Getting to Rhodes (my original and now sometimes group) would take longer despite being geographically closer.  There's another couple of groups that i can try going different days but there's a long wait between train & bus, so we'll see. I get as much from the social aspect as the productivity so its in the 'see how it works out' basket.

Fingers crossed that I don't melt my brain if I'm packing everything up to move in the next 2-3 weeks.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Buttons as nemesis

Perhaps nemesis isn't the right word but so far with my dresses, finding the right button (or even a good enough button) has been a challenge.

It used to be that matching thread used to be the challenge but this year it's the buttons. The raspberry dress was a shocker. The navy of the dress was impossible to match. Ditto the strawberries and though green buttons were the best choice to make the collar not seem out of place, they were really hard to find. I wasn't convinced they were/are exactly the same green, but they work so I'm happy. 

Mermaid buttons, not too hard but the fabric grey isn't the same grey as 99.99% of the buttons.  Even the March dress buttons are niggling at me. Black is too contrasty, the vintage white ones feel the opposite but will likely be the ones I use. I might still end up making covered buttons of the microdot.

The cocktail dress - aiyyy. Navy, who knew a different navy would be just as hard to match as the strawberry dress.  Pale creamy yellow - I found a single one on Satuday, as in one button left in the tube, and it was cracked.  I ended up buying a couple of green buttons, as they were inexpensive and work when I wasn't considering green for a while. That they're not a solid green helps. If I find the holy grail of buttons for this fabric then I don't mind a couple of buttons for waistbands etc.

I always sew a spare button into the side seam allowance, so that it gets laundered as often as the garment. After once losing a button, and getting the spare out of the button box it was obvious that it had faded/changed a little. Enough for the perfectionist streak to be uncomfortable using it and to motivate me to stitch the spare button into the side seam. Given my dislike of hand sewing, that's how you know it really bothered me back then.

I need to look for buttons for the lobster dress, so maybe I'll visit the Newtown button shop on Thursday next week.

Monday, 26 September 2016

More about my sewing derailment

I've been able to use the left foot on the sewing pedal, though I kept starting with my right out of habit. 40+ years of habit isn't overcome quickly. It's why I got my knee control machine[s] when it happened last time.

I thought I'd finish early enough last Thursday to get to My Hung Fabric in Hurstville before they closed but the workshop thing I was at ran late and I hadn't realised they're now open until 8am on Thursdays. I thought they closed at 6pm so I didn't even go to the station. I was hoping to get the contrast collar fabric for my mermaid dress, and if I'd had the martini fabric with me I would have gone to the button shop in Newtown as they're open til 7pm on Thursdays.

The plantar fasciitis is still almost but not quite better, so I need to make sure that I don't stress it. Maybe I should dredge my Elna Grasshopper out of the upstairs wardrobe and use that for a while. D'oh, my Bernina IS upstairs, on the shelf behind my front door.

The other thing that derailed me from finishing the pattern work on the martini dress pattern is that I got a heads up from the real estate agent that I'll need to move home early next year (I'm a renter not owner) so although I've not been given a written notice I know that's coming.

To stop myself from panicking - even though I'd already thought about moving next year -  I started thinking of about how much I have to pack, plan the culling of things and think about where I want to move. I even wrote up a list of all my furniture so that I can get an idea of what removalists will cost. I've a couple friends who've offered to help but (1) they've their own physical limitations and (2) this time I just want to pay fit/strong people to move all the furniture and heavier stuff. My physical therapists both said "don't move yourself this time" as it will re-injure the foot. It's a little weird, cos I'm still strong enough other than the foot. I've already spent enough fixing my foot, and it'll be cheaper to plan to pay professionals to move me than try myself, reinjure and have to pay someone anyway.

Back on track, I'm not staying in the same area as almost all my friends are between Parramatta & Katoomba now, or close to that train line.  The last friends I have in the broader eastern part of sydney are already selling up to move up the mountains. As a result of this news, on Saturday instead of going to St Ives Medieval Fair I caught the train westerly and went to a couple of viewings and for a walk around to get an idea of the suburbs I'm considering. Suburbia is going to be a culture shock after most of the 28 years in the inner city. However you don't even have to dig very deep down before you find my inner pragmatist self, so if I'm going to have to move then I'm moving closer to my friends; moving from a bachelor flat to a 2 bedroom with the largest becoming a dedicated sewing room; being a short walking distance to a fast stops train station; and realistically if I want space for a sewing room then I can only afford suburbia.

I'm going to start culling & packing up my storeroom first as boxes of things make me unsettled & twitchy. My mother's an extreme hoarder and my childhood home was full of boxed up 'stuff'. I'm fairly sure that one of the reasons I've stayed put so long was that facing boxes of things isn't good for my mental health. Seeing as my work is relocating at the end of January or early Feb, then I'm planning on moving my home before Christmas. I don't want both happening at the same time.

I'm still planning to sew a dress a month, so I'd better work on returning to being organised and productive after work instead of my winter self pictured in this comic by Loryn Brantz back in June.