27 June 2008

Freedom, Sweet Freedom!

Whew, I made it - just barely. I am officially off for summer vacation for the next 9.5 weeks. This was a very tough year, so I really need this break to decompress.

Things are looking up though.

Firstly, my hip/back is once again in perfect working order - so I can get back to doing stupid things like lifting objects that are much too heavy for me :) Thank you to everyone that offered advice and words of sympathy - they were much appreciated.

Secondly, I am now the proud owner of even more super delicious Japanese pattern books. I think I may have stumbled upon a new addiction (at this point it is yet undetermined where this addiction ranks among all my other addictions, like fabric, vintage patterns, shoes, chocolate and bag piping - okay, maybe not the last one). Here are my new lovelies - behold the splendour:

Sewing Lesson by Machiko Kayaki

Skirt a la carte by Machiko Kayaki

Utsukushi Silhouette no Skirt Angkor Shitakunaru My's Size no Kawaii Smart Style 27 by Watanabe Sato
Okay, this last one doesn't have a shred of English on the cover, so I cut and pasted the title given on the yesasia.com site (the retailer from whom I purchased the books). I have no idea what on Earth that title is supposed to mean. Honestly though I don't care, because inside this book are the most lovely skirts and that's all I need to know.

These books are like the other books I have purchased recently. They all come with full sized pattern sheets that must be traced because there are several pattern pieces, in several sizes on each sheet (think BWOF). After browsing through the newest acquisitions, I have a million ideas buzzing through my brain. Now, it's just a matter of listening for which one buzzes the loudest to determine what's up next on the sewing docket.

22 June 2008

Pain in the Back

So, I finally start thinking seriously about sewing again and wouldn't you know it, the universe steps in to put me in my place. Damn you, universe!! (picture me shaking my fist at the sky in righteous indignation)

Yesterday, whilst moving a wall fountain, I did a number on my lower back - if truth be told, it's actually my left hip. As I lifted the fountain, I felt a twinge and then a huge blossom of warm pain. I literally yelped because it hurt so much. I managed to set down the fountain and hobble my way into the house to inform my husband that I had managed to inflict damage upon myself. I think I pinched a nerve something fierce and all day yesterday I could barely sit down, stand, climb the stairs or breathe without pain shooting up my back and down my left leg. Today, I am much better, but I still have some residual creaks and groans - although I do think I am well on my way to recovery.

So, all I have to say is "what the _ _ _ _?" (insert whatever four letter word tickles your fancy). I just turned 38 - how on Earth did I get so old, so fast, that my body is already falling to bits? Man alive, I figured I would have at least 10 more years before stuff like this happened. Blech!

I think my major problem is that I have gained some weight (8 lbs) over the last 6 months and it's not sitting well. To say that I am not happy about my gain in weight is an understatement. Eight pounds on me is a 7% increase in my body mass - not a good thing. So, I have decided that starting today, I am going to start treating myself better - better eating habits, more exercise and a more all around healthful existence. I guess all it took was a pain in the @ss to get me motivated!

To help me in my journey, I have started using Diet Power again - I love this program (I am in no way affiliated with Diet Power, I am just a happy customer - it was my major motivator during my 40 lb weight loss a few years back). This program allows you to track food intake and exercise. If you choose a weight loss program, it estimates your caloric intake on a daily basis and adjusts to keep you headed toward your goal. For me, keeping a close eye on my daily calorie budget is a must if I wish to be successful.

So, for anyone else interested in a more healthy lifestyle, feel free to join me in my quest. I know I can do this - it's just a matter of motivation and keeping an eye on my goal.

20 June 2008

It's So Close I Can Taste It!

Okay, so I have been a bad, bad blogger. My posting has been spotty at best lately - but, this time of year always kicks my butt. Finishing out the school year is hectic to say the least - what with the classes to finish, the exams to create and mark, the final grades to calculate and turn in, the classroom to clean, the graduation to attend, the preparations for next September to make...well, you get the idea. So, sewing has been on the back burner (which sucks in ways I can't describe lest I lose my PG rating). I have one more week of this necessary horror until I am free for 9.5 weeks, yep, that's right, 9.5 weeks. I always day dream about quitting work and sewing all day, but then where would I wear all the fabulous clothes I'd make? It's quite the conundrum.

I have a preliminary plan for my summer sewing all laid out and I present it here for your viewing pleasure. It is based on a teal/lime/aqua/yellow colour scheme. I was so inspired by Audrey and the beautiful colours she has chosen to sew lately (if you haven't checked out her work, you do not know what you're missing - she is an exceptional seamstress). Unfortunately, I can't wear pastels as well as she can, so for the most part, I went with more saturated and intense colours. All year long, I wear autumn colours (brown, rust, mustard, green, terracotta), so in the summer it's nice to sew up a bunch of brights that aren't my norm.

I also have a coral/orange plan in the works too, although it's not as fleshed out yet. You'll notice that I am rather spotty with the pattern choices at this point - hopefully, over the next while I'll figure out what those fabrics are destined to become.

Now, all I need is some student-free days and some motivation. I expect both will be in vast supply on June 26th at 2:25 p.m. I just pray to all that is good, that I make it 'til then without killing anyone!

11 June 2008


I loved the first Japanese pattern book that I got so much, that I bought a few others. Following Angie's advice, I checked out yesasia.com and before you could say "smokin' credit card", I had put three books in my cart. My new loot consists of the following:

Simple Chic by Machiko Kayaki

Pindot Polkadot Coindot Etc.
by Machiko Kayaki

Home Couture
by Machiko Kayaki

I simply cannot get enough of these books (and if truth be told, I have another three books on order - I'll show them to you when they get here). I could flip through them over and over and never get tired. There is something so appealing about the photography. Of course, I love the clothing, too. The lines are simple and clean, the fabrics are classic and sophisticated - it's like Machiko Kayaki peered into my head and created exactly the wardrobe that I want.

Even if I never make up a single garment, the inspiration to be found in these books is fabulous! However, I definitely do have plans to dive into some of these patterns as soon as I'm off on vacation.

Before I sign off, I wanted to say a big thank-you to everyone for their advice and suggestions on figuring out how to use these patterns. After studying the first book more closely, I have come to realize that reading Japanese is really unnecessary. Between the excellent diagrams and my sewing experience, I can't imagine I will run into any problems.

4 June 2008

Tag Along

Mardel tagged me. I decided to play along. I wish I was more interesting. Oh well, here goes...

What was I doing 10 years ago?
I had just finished graduate school and defended my MSc thesis (Title: Heteroditopic Receptors - all 134 pages of super geeky chemistry goodness written by little ole me. By training I am an organometallic chemist - here's a little tidbit to give you a taste of my research.). At the same time, I was finishing up my BEd degree as well. My husband and I just bought our house and were in the midst of some home improvements. You might say I liked to keep busy!

What are 5 things on my to-do list today?
1. Make up a gas law test for my grade eleven classes - check.
2. Make up an electrochemistry quiz for my grade 12 class - check.
3. Continue working on the exam for my grade 12 class - check.
4. Mark the gas law assignments from my grade 11 classes - in progress.
5. Go on a walk with my husband and Simon - hopefully later if it doesn't rain.

Snacks I enjoy.
vegetables and onion dip

Things I would do if I were a billionaire.
1. Buy 1000 acres.
2. Build a custom designed home on the property.
3. Adopt 10 dogs.
4. Fence in 5 acres in which the dogs could safely roam.
5. Give huge dollops of cash to any organization that cares for animals.

Places I have lived.
LaSalle, Ontario
Windsor, Ontario - which borders on LaSalle, Ontario
LaSalle, Ontario
I am basically a barnacle - I find a place I like and I stick to it.

What types of work have I done.
Research chemist
Chemistry teacher
Yup, that's it.

6 peeps I want to know more about.
If you're reading this, I tag you.