And the Giveaway Winner is!….(also some Inspiring Women, Guinness and Connect Four)

I hope you all had a terrific International Women’s Day! Thank you to everyone for entering the Giveaway Fabric Magazine Pattern Tote Winning Bundleand for leaving such heartfelt comments about so many wonderful women that inspire you.  Here’s a rundown with some links, and quotes by all of you.

Inspirational Women

Family Inspiration: mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, Nana, aunt, sister and daughter.

Generations of Women in Adama, Ethiopia.  Source.

Generations of Women in Adama, Ethiopia. Source.

dottiedoodle says she was inspired by her husband’s Auntie. “She did an enormous amount for others and raised hundreds of thousands for Cancer Research.”  How wonderful Denise, I hope she inspires more people to raise money for good causes.

Kat Eldridge. wrote about her Nana, “she taught me to be true to myself and loved me for who I am.  She died at 102, after calling me and saying that she thought she had seen everything she was meant to see.” Wow, Kat E, I want to go exactly like that!

Shelley c’s grandma “was a botanist in the 1950s, helped people of all races register to vote, and was a well-known philanthropist in southern California.  She always rejected the rules placed upon her.” Shelly, I am in awe!

everystitchthoughtout gives a big inspirational shout-out to her daughter who suffered burning and scars from a horrible accident and picked her self up and moved on, just two days after her month-long hospital stay!

Ulyana Sergeenko collection, 2011

Ulyana Sergeenko collection, 2011

Betsey Johnson in the Red Dress Collection, 2007 for the Heart Truth Campaign (raising awareness of heart disease in women)

Betsey Johnson in the Red Dress Collection, 2007 for the Heart Truth Campaign

Style Inspiration: Betsey Johnson and Ulyana Sergeenko about which MaZeLiving said, “she is a Russian designer who combines just the right amount of vintage, modern and feminine.”  I would have to agree MaZe.  You can click on the link to see for yourselves.

Personal Inspiration: your teachers and good friends.

Kat H was inspired by her high school chemistry teacher, “-she was fabulous, didn’t care what other people thought, super intelligent, and clearly loved life.” I sort of want to BE her, KatH!

teacher

Jane P said: When I was 7, I entered school for the very 1st time.  I couldn’t speak any English and was very shy.  My form teacher was extremely kind to me.  Although she only taught me for a year, she changed my life forever.”  Sounds like a terrific woman, Jane.

Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman

Sewing Inspiration: Nancy Zieman, Steph of Sewing Cake, Indie Designers, Bloggers you follow and sewing groups like The Monthly Stitch and WSBN about which 1107nikki said, “I get to chat and gossip daily.  I consider myself very lucky!”  Me too, nikki, there are some absolutely fantastic bloggers, indie designers and sewing groups out there that inspire me every day.1955 elna sewing machine ad

People making a living by their handmade goodness also inspire me!” said EmSewCrazy.  It is definitely not an easy job, but we are all pretty happy they do it!

The Brontë Sisters, painted by their brother Patrick Branwell Brontë (died 1848)

The Brontë Sisters, painted by their brother Patrick Branwell Brontë

Literary Inspiration: the Bronte Sisters and the character, Kirsty from The Peasant Girl’s Dream, by George MacDonald (1893).

The Bronte Sisters, Emily, Anne and Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre (Charlotte), Wuthering Heights (Emily), and Agnes Grey (Anne) and, since in the 1800s, it was not commonly accepted for women to author, they originally wrote under male pen-names.  The three sisters published a joint volume of poetry before their untimely deaths.

margueritedesigns wrote: “How on earth did so much creativity exist in one family in such an out of the way community?”  I have no idea marguerite, but I’m so glad that it did!

Sociological Inspiration:  Arlie Hochschild.  Meri feels “her book The Second Shift (The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home, 1989) should be required reading for all young women.”

Hochschild imparts the idea that human emotion and feeling—joy, sadness, anger, elation, jealousy, envy, despair—is, in large part, social. Each culture, she argues, provides us with prototypes of feeling.  She has written several books including:

Famous Inspiration:  Angelina Jolie “for her work with the UN and her bringing awareness to women and children in unsafe conditions overseas.” (wrote Kristin).  Important work indeed, Kristin!

Scientific Inspiration:  Marie Curie.  Colonel Hazard wrote that “she was so dedicated to her work and was recognized for it at a time when women in science were still dismissed as oddities.”  I love that kind of dedication!

Marie Curie in her laboratory

Marie Curie in her laboratory

Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and in chemistry in 1911.  She is the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences.

By far, the winning inspirational woman in your lives was….Your Mom!  (mom is so proud :) )

laurahoj’s mother “was dedicated to her family no matter what came up.  She fought cancer, refusing to take pain meds at the end.  She always stood by what she believed.”  I’m sure her bravery and commitment rubbed off on you, Laura.

She not only taught me so much, on her last years on earth, she taught me patience compassion and tenderness.  You see, she had Alzheimer’s and it really took its toll on her when my father passed away.” wrote cathynd95, about her mother.  Let’s hope that there is a cure soon, Cathy.

Lisa Eck reminds us that a mother never stops mothering. “Even now that I am older, if I need any advice or just a word of inspiration, I know that I can count on her.”

Kristin took a philosophical approach to the relationship with her mom. “We think very differently, we argue all the time, and we tend to talk only a few times a year, however she’s a very strong person.  She pushed me a lot growing up and while I hated it so much, I also learned to stand on my own and achieve anything I want.  If I had some strange new goal, after my mom told me it was a terrible idea, she would sit down and help me figure out how to get there.”  A wonderful reflection on the fact that not every family is the Waltons or the Bradys and not every mom is June Cleaver, yet we can all still learn something from our situation and accept others for who they are, not for who we wish they were.  Thanks, Kristin!

OH, I almost forgot.  The Giveaway Winner!

The Winner

Kitty decided to combine Game Night with the winning entrant selection.  He often has guests over for some board games and cards, where he’ll kick back, put on a casual tee and pour some Guinness.  Tonight’s featured game is Mini Connect Four!

Remember Connect Four?

Remember Connect Four?

First, Numbers 1 to 44 (the number of entrants) were written on the teeny tiny Connect Four pieces.

First, Numbers 1 to 44 (the number of entrants) were written on the teeny tiny Connect Four pieces.

Next, all the Entrants were assigned a number from 1 to 44.

Then All the Entrants were assigned a number from 1 to 44.  “I Writed Da Numbers”.

When the winning piece is played to win the Connect Four game, the number on that Connect Four piece that corresponds to the Entrant's number will be declared the Winner of the Giveaway! Get it?

When the final winning Connect Four piece is played, the number on that piece that corresponds to the Entrant’s number will be declared the Winner of the Giveaway! Get it??

Let the Connecting of Fours Begin!!

Let the Connecting of Fours Begin!!

Ready! Snacks, games, Guinness. No, that is not a giant cell phone from the 70s, that is Merlin!  Remember Merlin?

Ready! Snacks, games, Guinness. No, that is not a giant cell phone from the 70s, that is Merlin! Remember Merlin?

Guest Has Arrived!  Let's Connect the Fours!

Guest Has Arrived! Have a Guinness and Let’s Connect the Fours!

My Turn.  Hmmmmm......

My Turn. Hmmmmm…… (Kitty’s Garfield shirt says “Do I Look Like I Care?” Strategic dressing to help psych out his opponent)

Your Turn.  Not an Easy Game.

Your Turn. Not an Easy Game. Am I winning???

Blocked You!  Muwah ha ha!!!

Blocked You! Muwah ha ha!!!

My Move .....Wooooaaaaaahhhhh!  It's the Winning Move!!

My Move …..Wooooaaaaaahhhhh! It’s the Winning Move!!

I WIN!!!!

“I WIN!!!!” Kitty. “I Sad.” Dawg.

In Your Face, Dawg!!

In Your Face, Dawg!!

N'Awww, Dont be Sad, Dawg, have a Guinness.

N’Awww, Dont be Sad, Dawg, have a Guinness.

Don't Mind if I Do.  BEER!  Nom Nom Nom.

Don’t Mind if I Do. BEER! Nom Nom Nom. (Send your complaints of animal abuse to: ,,,,,,)

And the Winning Piece Number is FIVE! (5)...Which corresponds to the entrant name....

And the Winning Piece Number is FIVE! (5)…Which corresponds to the entrant name….

Kat Eldridge!!  Congratulations Kat!  Please send over an email and we will post your wining sewing notions out to you.

Kat Eldridge!!

Sewing Notions Winning Package

Congratulations Kat! Please send over an email and we will post your winning fabric and haberdashery out to you.

You Think You’re Sooooooooo Bossy….But….

Well, the suspense and waiting ALMOST did me in!  178 wonderful folks voted on my March Miss Bossy Patterns poll and I want to thank you all so much!  (And, I set it to ‘no repeat voting’ so you know it wasn’t just my mom voting 177 times).

For the first half of the poll, the Project Runway, Cynthia Rowley and the vintage looking modern Vogue were all neck in neck with Tom and Linda Platt coming in fourth place, getting a fair number of votes, but not enough to catch up with the rest.Fabrics Paired with Patterns

Then, for the second half of the poll, there was a ferocious battle between Project Runway and Cynthia Rowley, first with a tie, then folks would break the tie and one of the patterns would be ahead, then another tie!  This went on for a week.

Until, the poll closed and the results came in:

Miss Bossy Patterns Final Stats Chart

Yup, TIED again!  And, the Lego Stormtrooper valentine photo also got a vote from my Nephew, Wyatt!  :)

Since I can’t promise to sew both this month, tells you what I’m gonna do.  Some of you voted based on fabric with the most popular fabrics being the black and white (paired with the Project Runway) and the paisley (paired with the Cynthia Rowley) so, I’m going to pull the ol’ switcheroo.

Cynthia Rowley pattern sewn with black and white paint splash design fabric and fully lined with purple bemberg rayon.  Project Runway sewn with rayon blend paisley fabric and bodice lined with pale blue cotton blend fabric.

Cynthia Rowley dress sewn with black and white paint splash design fabric and fully lined with purple bemberg rayon. Project Runway dress sewn with rayon blend paisley fabric and bodice lined with pale blue cotton blend fabric.

I am pairing the black and white fabric with the Cynthia Rowley and the Paisley fabric with the Project Runway and will sew one of these combinations, which will be a surprise for you (and me)!  I think this will work well because the Cynthia Rowley dress is more dramatic and modern while the Project Runway dress is more classic.  Whaddya think?  Any objections?  Proposed Alternatives?

PS:  Have you entered my Sew Grateful Giveaway yet?  Fabric Magazine Pattern Tote Winning BundleI’m giving away a bunch of sewing stuff like magazines, patterns and fabric.  Pop over to enter!

Sew Grateful Giveaway!! How about some Red and some Threads?

SewGrateful3xlI’m so delighted to participate in Sew Grateful Week hosted by My Happy Sewing Place!  I truly feel blessed to have found a past-time that I love, that relaxes me, that challenges my brain, that allows me to be creative and that’s resulted in so many new friendships and connections both online and in the real world.  And, at the end of it all, a new garment or accessory is the result.  Win-win!

So, Monday’s task for Sew Grateful Week is a crowd favourite:  A Giveaway!  I’m so grateful for all of you and I would like to give you something.  Fabric Magazine Pattern Tote Winning Bundle

The Goods

  • Threads Magazine, July 2013   Threads Magazine, July 2013 #167
  • Threads Magazine Collection Sewing Pattern, Simplicity 4275   Simplicity 4275 front
  • Three different red themed Fabrics   Three Fabrics
  • Sewing With Nancy Booklet: Quick Jackets by Nancy Zieman   Sewing With Nancy Quick Jackets
  • Coats & Clark Totebag to carry everything   Coats and Clark Totebag

The Deets

Threads Magazine July 2013

Threads Magazine July 2013, Number 167

Simplicity 4275, Threads Sewing Pattern.  Includes: 2 styles of jacket, 2 styles of trouser and a short sleeve top.

Simplicity 4275, Threads Magazine Collection Sewing Pattern. Includes: 2 styles of jacket / blazer, 2 styles of trouser, a short sleeve top and a belt.

Three Red Themed Fabrics

Fabric: 1. Silky smooth, lightweight and very drapey poly blend in a solid red colour: 2.5 yards (2.3 m). It could be used for a dress or blouse but would also make terrific lining fabric. 2. Black, grey, white and red striped fabric, lightweight and floaty poly blend: 2 yards (1.8 m). 3. Red, black, white stars and stripes Scooby Doo Hanna Barbara medium weight 100% cotton: 0.7 yards (0.6 m)

Sewing With Nancy Quick Jackets

Sewing With Nancy Booklet: Quick Jackets by Nancy Zieman, Booklet #510, to help you sew your Simplicity 4275 Threads jacket.

The Fabric In Action

Yoke and Pockets Lining

Red and White Stars Cotton Pajama Bottoms

The first two fabrics played centre stage in a Red themed outfit I sewed for Sew Red October.  The solid red fabric and the striped fabric were used to colour block my By Hand London Polly Top and the striped fabric was also used to line the yoke and make pockets for my wide legged culottes.  The stars and stripes fabric was used to make men’s pyjamas for my dad.

The Entry

Entries close on Saturday, March 8, 2014 (eastern standard time) which also happens to be International Women’s Day.  Happy Women’s Day!  In honour of this day, please leave a comment below telling us about a woman you find inspirational (real, fictional, dead or alive).  And, if you enjoy my blog, don’t forget to follow it!  Giveaway is open to everybody worldwide.

Kitty will, once again, officiate the draw and select a winner so you can look forward to antics such as this or this or better still, this!

Good Luck Everybody and Thank You.  I Really Am Sew Grateful.

Edit:  Giveaway is now closed and the winner is posted here.

Bocce Ball: Kitty Selects a Winner for Pattern Pyramid!

Yes, Bocce Ball!  A fun, jam packed exciting lawn bowling game made popular in ancient times during the Roman Empire.  Summer is the perfect time for a rousing match, so Kitty decided to select the Winning Pattern Pyramid Entrant through a game of Bocce Ball!

And, since we have no idea how to play Bocce Ball, we made up our own rules!  Best kind of game ever.

Prepping the Bocce Balls with Entrant Numbers 1 to 28

28 entrants – 28 Bocce balls

We had a total of 28 entrants, so numbers 1 to 28 were stuck onto 28 Bocce Balls.  A Winner’s Circle was set up along with a panel of Judges, to rule on any discrepancies in throws.

Winner's Circle and Panel of Judges

Winner’s Circle and Panel of Judges

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!…………….

GAME ON!!!!!

GAME ON!!!!!

Bocce Balls began whirling and rolling in seemingly random directions.  That’s mostly because we cannot throw.

Go For It Kitty!

Go For It Kitty!

Where Did It Land

This way. Throw them THIS way.

Kitty takes full charge of the game, never letting any Bocce ball go by, without giving it his stamp of approval and padding after it, (in popular Canadian Curling style) to maneuver it toward the Winner’s Circle.

Bocce Ball Inspection

Each Bocce Ball Must Be Thoroughly Inspected by Kitty

Kitty inspects each throw, psychically willing every Bocce Ball to land within the Winners Circle.

Kitty impatiently awaits the release of yet another Bocce Ball.

Throw Another One!

Throw Another One! THROW IT!!

Kitty is quick to point out that VERY few Bocce Balls are actually entering the Winner’s Circle.  Which is quite sad, since we did, indeed, make up our own rules, you’d think we’d be able to get at least one into the Winner’s Circle.

Did Not Make the Winners Circle Throw Again

Wow! 0 for 0. You are terrible at this game!

Kitty takes pity on the ball players and opts to offer up some strategic advice for throwing the Bocce balls.

"Throw it a little more to the right.  The right!!  Not YOUR right, MY right!  That way!"

“Throw it a little more to the right. The right!! Not YOUR right, MY right! That way!”

Oh my goodness!!!  Upon Kitty’s sage advice, the game begins to pick up!  Miracle upon miracles!! One Bocce Ball finally enters into the Winner’s Circle!!!  Immediately after, a second ball quickly follows suit.

So Far Two Made it Into the Winners Circle

Two Bocce Balls in the Winner’s Circle!!

The excitement is palpable, Kitty is duly impressed! And, it’s hard to impress Kitty.

Wonder Twin Bocce Ball Powers ACTIVATE

“Excellent Job!” says Kitty. “High Five – Paw.”

Wait!! What’s this??  A third Bocce ball enters the coveted Winner’s Circle.  The judges are bowled over!  (Literally. I had to set them back upright a few times….)

Three Bocce Balls Make It Into the Winners Circle

Three Bocce Balls Enter the Winner’s Circle. Kitty and the Judges are overwhelmed.

Ah, but now, which of the three is the winning Bocce ball?  Lucky for us, Kitty is able utilize his astonishing powers of intuition to sniff out the winner!

Which One Do I Like

Kitty circles, attempting to intuit the winning Bocce ball.

He circles and circles, he is practically vibrating, his spidey senses are tingling.  He peruses and paces….Honing in, getting closer…..

Yes I Feel as if This One is the Winner

“Yes, I’m sensing THIS is the winning Bocce ball.”

And, amazingly, he does it!!Kitty Randomly Selects Bocce Ball 10 from the Winners Circle

IMG_3754YES!!!!!!!!!  Winner Selected!!!!!!!!!!  Bocce Ball Number 10.  And, from the list of entrants, number 10 corresponds to………….(drum rolll)………………….:

"Here.  This is the Winner.  See it?  See it?  Look Closer!  It's the 10."

“Here. This is the Winner. See it? See it? Look! Look Closer! It’s the 10.”

List of Entrants

Fiona Parker from Diary of a Chain Stitcher.

Congratulations Fiona!  Kitty and I are very happy for you!!

Please email me with your specs so that I may get the Pattern Pyramid to you!

"My Work Here is Done"

“My Work Here is Done”

 

Wellington Pattern Pyramid Has Arrived! Enter to Win!

Wellington Pattern Pyramid ArrivalI was very lucky to win the Wellington Pattern Pyramid from Laura over at Make it Yourself Mom’s Diary.  Laura also gave me a very cute card and some lovely stretch cotton floral print fabric.

Love this Fabric from Laura!

Love this Fabric from Laura!

This Pattern Pyramid originated from the Wellington Blogger’s Meetup, in New Zealand, where they met up, exchanged sewing supplies and had many patterns left, with no takers.  So, Miss Joie De Vivre at A Charm of Magpies, began this Pyramid.  It then made its way to Anne from Pretty Grievances.  Next up, the lucky winner was Laurie and Kerrielee from Sew Exhausted who then passed it over to my predecessor, Laura.  Now, it’s my turn to pass it along to all of you!

These are the 3 patterns I am taking out: (I was quite thrilled that so many patterns were my size!).

Patterns I am Keeping

Patterns I am Keeping

There was a sailor style /diaper closure culottes pattern that is so fantastic!!  Version C has an inverted pleat at the sides.  I can’t wait to make these!  And, I’m also helping myself to a yoga collection and a pretty yet simple dress.

And, these are the patterns I will be putting back:

Patterns I am Giving

Patterns I am Giving

I have included the Vogue coat that I received in a giveaway from Mari at Disparate Disciplines which caused some definite excitement in this post.  But, the pattern is several sizes too big for me, and I am finding Vogue patterns difficult enough without the added stress of having to grade it down.  So, instead I thought I’d share it with those who can use it!  I also included a stylish Vogue skirt pattern with a yoke and pockets, but yet again, it is too large for me.  And, a McCalls blouse pattern that includes 8 different styles.

Bonus Patterns I am Giving

Bonus Patterns I am Giving

And, here are two Extra Special Bonus patterns that I will also be adding in:  Very cute 1970s wrap skirts with pockets.  The instructions are in French only and I have labelled them in case the winner does not read french.

Here are the patterns sorted by size:

Small Sizes 6 to 12 (32 to 40)

Small Sizes 6 to 12 (32 to 40)  That Threads dress is just beautiful!  And the New Look vest is really cute if you disregard the envelope styling.  The Butterick pattern includes the dress, jacket and pants.

Medium / Large Sizes 12 to 22 (38 to 48)

Medium / Large Sizes 12 to 22 (38 to 48).  The Simplicity pattern (top row) actually includes the skirt, top, jacket, pants AND purse!  A wardrobe in one.  And the Vogue Five Easy Pieces pattern includes zip jacket, top, skirt, dress and yoga pants.  An entire outfit.  That Simplicity dress / top is the Khaliah Ali Collection.

Mens and Accessories Pattern

Mens and Accessories Pattern.  Accessories are “one size” and the mens jacket is Size 38. 

New Wellington Pattern Pyramid

‘New’ Wellington Pattern Pyramid

The fine print:

  1. Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by Friday June 7, 2013.
  2. You must have an active blog.
  3. A winner will be randomly selected and contacted.  I will then post (mail) the pyramid to you.  Kitty is sharpening his claws in preparation for the next draw officiating ceremony!!
  4. The winner will then select a pattern(s) to keep and add a pattern(s) of their own back into the Pyramid.  (Adding a pattern is optional, if you add a pattern back in, the pyramid keeps going longer, but it is not compulsory.) The winner will then host their own giveaway on their blog and the cycle continues…

Good Luck to Everybody!  And, Happy Sewing.

Also, check out Kitty’s last winning entrant selection from our previous Pattern Pyramid win, Kaitui Kiwi from The Curious Kiwi.  She finally received the Pattern Pyramid and has it posted up on her blog, here.

So…..Many…..Thank Yous…..

thank-you-languagesI am very excited and privileged to be amongst such generous and inspiring company.  Over the last few months, I have won several giveaways, received some gifts AND have also been honoured with some awards.  I wanted to post the ‘goods’ with a link to all those who were so kind as to offer up gifts and bestow awards.  I am humbled by your fabulous, creative company.  So…Thank You.

GIFTS and GIVEAWAY WINS

  • A lovely rayon/linen blend ecru coloured fabric with matching thread and buttons and a McCalls summer top pattern from Dale at Finished Threads McCalls Pattern and Fabric
  • A cute and ’70s looking poufy sleeved Simplicity Dress pattern from Denise at Dottie DoodleIMG_3624
  • Fun retro top and shorts Simplicity Pattern, Project Runway Blouse Pattern and a luxurious brown silky satin stretch fabric  from Kristin at Sew ClassicIMG_3621
  • A small piece of very cute Yoshiko Jinzenji fabric and an Amy Butler pillow pattern from Kerry at VeryKerryBerryIMG_3623
  • A retro, frilly ’70’s blouse pattern from Carmen at Carmencitab IMG_3427
  • A vintage sewing book on CD:  Practical Dress Design – principles of fitting and pattern making.  Author, Mabel Deane Erwin. From Deborah at GraceDressmaking Vintage Sewing Book
  • Lovely winter weight plaid fabric and a whole slew of notions to match from Gillian over at Gilly MakesIMG_3622

Thank you so much everybody!  Cannot wait to sew up some fabulousness with these lovely items.

BLOGGING AWARDS

veryinspiringbloggeraward

  • Very Inspiring Blogger Award:  Bestowed on me by the experienced and always helpful, Brooke at CustomStyle She’s always ‘game’ for answering my questions or some wonderful sewcialist chat on Twitter.  Her blog is rife with sewing information.

I was blessed to have received the Leibster Award by four (FOUR!!) extremely fantastic and talented bloggers. This award requires that you answer 11 questions given to you by the presenter.  For purposes of brevity, I have opted to answer 3 of each person’s questions.

I did not make any nominations as I was recently nominated for 3 blog awards here and nominated some wonderful folks at that time.   liebster-award-elephants-picturebook

  • Sarah at Sarahmshultz.  Sarah hosts some fun blogging parties on her blog and is also adept at organizing as well as sewing.

1. What made you start blogging?  My new-found love for sewing and my desire to record my journey and be able to interact with others.

2. If there were to be a zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?  My wits.

3. Do you actually have that weapon easily accessible?  Sometimes, depends on the day :P.the-liebster-award

  • Cherry Pix from Cherry Pix.  She makes some super fabulous things for her cat, including a matching mom and cat outfit!  Kitty is already in love with her.  She has also made some simply lovely garments and her blog is so much fun to read.

1.  What is your number-one favourite sewing gadget?  My rulers.  I have many, different styles, lengths, curves, squares, triangles, metric, inches, see-thru.  Bliss!  Going to do a blogpost on them in the future.

2.  Are you a pattern tracer or a pattern cutter?  I trace, trace, trace.  Often while utilizing my rulers. :)

3.  Which of your own sewing creations are you most pleased with?  My Ikea Butterick 5285 Skirt.the-liebster-award

  • Amber at Miss Parayim.  Amber makes beautiful outfits and may, indeed have a fabric fetish.  (Don’t we all?)  She always seems to find JUST the right fabric for JUST the right outfit.  Note to self:  I must go fabric shopping with her one day!

1.  What kind of machine do you use?  A Janome My Lock overlocker / serger and currently borrowing my mum’s Kenmore sewing machine.  I’m in the market for a new sewing machine.  Any opinions or advice would be much appreciated, feel free to comment! 

2.  What inspires you?  A fantastic book or a terrific song with lyrics that amaze.  A spectacular warm, sunny day by the water.  Selflessness in others.  And, the underdog.  Always, the underdog.  

3.  What do you want to make next?  Summer dresses!  A long, flowy halter style made of silk and a shift dress made with cotton. 

the-liebster-award

  • Kacie at Thimble and Cork.  Kacie calls herself a beginner sewist, but I don’t think she can be!  She must be practicing on the fly, when she is supposed to be sleeping because her stuff is top-quality.  She also has the kindest things to say to my Twitter posts.

1.  Do you do most of your fabric shopping in local stores or online?  Local stores.  I have only just VERY recently (this week) ordered my very first ever mail-order purchase!!  There is likely to be more of that.  I was warned…

2.  Which new sewing skill are you most excited to learn or perfect?  Tailoring and altering clothes and patterns to fit properly.

3.  Is there a movie or TV show that you think has particularly inspiring costumes?  Well, my answer is not theatrical and dramatic nor overly technically complex, but, for outfits that I would actually wear, I rather  like Mary and Rhoda’s wardrobe on the Mary Tyler Moore show.  And, it hasn’t opened yet, but I’m fairly confident that The Great Gatsby is going to have some stunners. 

Leilande and Millicent Thank You

Equinox Giveaway Winner! And, Your Favourite Season.

Update – April 15:  Christine Haynes, the author of the book, tweeted today to thank me for hosting this giveaway of her book!  She was excited about it and I added her tweet into the comments section.

We had a total of 70 entrants for the Equinox Celebration Sewing Book Giveaway!  The book is Chic and Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes,ChicSimpleSewing and is divided up into sewing projects designed for the four different seasons.

The entrants were from all across the globe and were asked to tell us their favourite season.  It was so exciting to find out where everybody was from and why they chose their season.  I compiled the information into a chart.  CHART!!  (The science and math geeks just perked up :)).  Some people chose all the seasons as their favourite.  D’oh!  Way to skew a chart! LOL.

Favourite Seasons Pie ChartSpring was the clear winner with autumn/fall and summer (the dry season in the tropics) practically tying for second and third place and winter (the wet/monsoon season in the tropics) coming in a distant fourth.

The following are a few of the simply beautiful and poetic quotes for each season, written by YOU!  The comments really allow everyone to see why you love your favourite season and made me appreciate seasons that may not be my favourites, by being able to see them through your eyes.  I was right there with you!  I thank you for that.  Your thoughts were truly lovely, you poets you!  A book or song should really be written; read on to see what I mean. (Can you find your comment?)

WINTER – Wet / Monsoon SeasonWinter Scene 2

The storms are so wild and huge and you feel so small in a good way.  The monsoon, it’s hard to comprehend.  There is just so much water in the world, all raining down on you at once!

I love the look and the sound of snow.

I love when you’re all warm and cozy next to a fire with a nice hot cuppa and u can hear pitta patter on the window.Winter_wallpaper 2In the tropics, the monsoon is in full swing. Nothing like falling asleep to the rain on your roof and the sounds of distant thunder!

I like the beautiful view after a snow storm, when everything is blanketed in pure white.

SUMMER – Dry Season

summer_sunflowers 2It feels like the climax to my year…. I adore the long evenings and early morning sunshine, I can walk the dog and have had my breath of fresh air by 6am… wonderful stuff!!

If I had to pick, I’d go for the last days of summer, with the plentiful fruit, the somewhat tired heat, the foreboding of darker days.

It’s warm and sunny and if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, it peaks in mid-July.  We cycle and swim outdoors, we go mad because winter will begin again in November.

I love hot and humid weather, iced tea, pools and ocean time.summer_landscape 2

I get to sleep in as much as I’d like and my children are all home with me. What could be better?

I love sitting in the garden sewing. We live beside a river, so a glass of wine outside as the sun goes down is just lovely.

The rains stop for a while and we get to have sunshine.

Lucky for me I live in the desert, constant summer!

It means BBQs, hikes, camping and swims.

AUTUMN / FALL

I think, it’s the most beautiful time of year, full of colour and charmFall 2.

I love that it’s still warm but the colours are changing.  It often brings the best of the weather.  It also feels ‘new’ to me; a hangover of the new school year starting, I guess!

I love the trees shedding their leaves not to mention the beautiful warm colours that are associated with autumn- orange, chocolate, tan, coral, khaki, cream and cinnamon.

I love the change, the drama, the unpredictable weather.

I love Autumn, the crisp air and the changing colours of the leaves. The chilly mornings where fog lies low in valleys and the smell of woodfires is on the breeze.

My favourite season is early autumn, where it is still warm but not too hot, and late flowers are still blooming but the air is already getting an earthly smell. It just gives me a happy warm feeling.

Cool nights for snuggling.autumn 2

Perfect weather for watching the amazing sunsets over the ocean!

The smell of autumn leaves is delicious.

Autumn always feels like a big relief that the heat is over.

The hot winds of the desert blow through the basin. The air is clear and the heat is sharp and by this time the garden is bursting with color and fragrance.

 SPRING

I love the freshness.. the new growth… planting a garden… daffodils…Spring Kitty

I’m big on light layering and I love to see the new growth appear.

I love that it’s hot and sunny, and seeing all of the flowers blooming after a dreary winter.

Cherry blossoms in the spring. That is what I’m waiting for.

I love spring because it’s fresh, new, and hope for what’s to come!

The days are getting longer, and everything is still green from the winter rain.

The grass starts to turn green, the leaves begin to bud, flowers start to bloom. Bliss.spring - baby animals 2Spring is so full of new beginnings for so many things. There’s always new baby birds flying around and all the plants come to life and are blossoming everywhere, I just love it.Everything is bright and beautiful and it leads to summer.

Cool crisp mornings and evenings and the newness of Spring with leaves emerging on trees & flowers blossoming everywhere.

I love spring, when all that has been sleeping in winter comes back to life. Warm days and cool nights that usher in refreshed fields of color and the wonderful perfume that springs from it.spring flowers 2

Days are getting longer, but it’s not too hot yet.

I love Spring the most because the newly appearing rays of sunlight after a long winter make me happy and make me feel alive.

After a cold, wet & snowy winter, the flowers are beginning to bloom, the trees are turning green and the birds begin to sing. The temperature is not too hot & not too cold and it is so nice to be able to go out and get my garden started. I love the colors of spring as well, the yellow daffodils, the red tulips and purple pansy. I love to get inspiration for my sewing from the flowers.  You can see many colors in one flower.

The transition from cold grey wet days into slightly less cold, occasionally blue wet days here in Manchester is always welcome.

And, something to be said for the beauty of ALL seasons:

There’s something grand about the circle of life, and the different feelings the change of seasons evoke that I enjoy more than “just” a single season.

I love every season, especially when they are beginning.  The blooming flowers in spring, the warm summer nights, putting on the first cozy sweater in fall and I love a good snow fall.  By the time the seasons are changing, I’m ready for the new one.

In NZ, colours are so much greener all year round, so these wonderful changes are a little more muted.

Missjoiedevivre from A Charm of Magpies, also shared an interesting seasonal factoid for us:

“Here in New Zealand, we mark the turning of the seasons on the first of the month, not the equinox/solstice. So it has been autumn since March the first!”

I had no idea!!  Does anybody know why?  Please, do share.

Because this Giveaway induced a very contemplative, calming and thoughtful vibe, Kitty thought that he would take his initial draw officiating ceremony idea, down a notch and also relate it to the seasons.  (However, do not fret, Kitty fans, I have just won the Wellington Pattern Pyramid from Laura over at miymdiary, so for the winner of that draw, Kitty is going to put his original plan into action and let loose his boisterous side).

The Draw

spring buds 3

Inspecting Spring Flower Buds

I listed numbers from 1 to 70 on tiny bits of paper, that looked like hopeful spring flower buds.Spring flower buds  Kitty inspects the flower bud numbers, and they are then placed at the beginning of the Kitty Tunnel, which depicts the hot yellow sun, clear blue sky and calm blue water of a gorgeous summer day.  names in tube, blow dryer set up 2

A blow dryer was then set up and aimed at the flower bud numbers.  The blow dryer was turned on and Kitty delighted in watching as the flower buds create a lovely winter storm and swirled around frantically and hypnotically inside the windy tunnel.

Tunnel Eye View

Tunnel Eye View

Kitty then bravely enters the eye of the hurricane.  Oh, our gallant and fuzzy beast.  Will he persevere over natures elements?

Kitty stands strong, never taking his eyes off the prize.

He grabs fruitlessly in the air, on the ground, in the tunnel; so many paws, so much paper, such wind.

Winter Storm

Winter Storm

Kitty Tasting Names

Kitty tasting the paper numbers

Kitty Inspects Names 2Kitty leaves no sense underutilized and even tastes the spring flower buds, to ascertain which paper holds the possibility of being the winning entrant.  Kitty then exits the tunnel, patiently watching his targets fly out of the tunnel and flutter delicately to the ground.  Like gentle autumn leaves, departing their spring and summer homes on the trees, they fall softly to the ground. Kitty Emerging from Tube to Capture Winning Name of Fallen Autumn Leaves

Kitty waits for the bewitching autumn leaves to land while contemplating his next move. Whcih Name Will Kitty Select He inspects the items, never quite pinpointing just one, moving effortlessly between all the spring buds/fallen leaves, until…..his eye sees what it wants.

Kitty does it!! He hones in on, and dutifully captures a solitary flower bud/autumn leaf!  He gets his paws on the winner!!!Kitty Captures the Winning Flower Bud Name

The paper is unfurled like a beautiful tulip in Spring,

Name Unfurled Like a Spring Tulipand……

You are Taking Too Long, Let Me Help You!!!

You are Taking Too Long, Let Me Help You!!!

A Spring Tulip

Ah, Sweet Smells of Tulips

Ah, the Sweet Smell of a Lovely Spring Tulip

…the winner is…..Entrant Number has Been RevealedNumber 33!!  Which corresponds to……Elise Lin from What the Dormouse Sews, whose favourite season happens to be:  Autumn.

Elise LinCongratulations Elise!! Kitty and I are both so happy for you.  Please email me with your specs so that I can mail/post you, your brand new sewing book!

-Thank you to everybody for stopping by the blog and entering the giveaway, and for your engaging commentary on nature’s finest hours.- 

I will leave you with Nick Drake, metaphoring on the seasons with the hauntingly beautiful, The Time of No Reply.  You’ll thank me (after you’ve finished rocking back and forth in the fetal position, while weeping gently.)  You’re welcome. (click on the song title to view it, you won’t regret it).

Kitty retiring to his tunnel tube with the winning number to contemplate Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kitty retiring to his tunnel, with the winning number, to contemplate Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness…….and Tuna.

photo and comment credits:  Giveaway entrants favourite season comments, quoted in this blogpost, have been edited, by me, for grammar and spelling as well as for brevity and are the sole property of the authors.  The original comments and their corresponding authors can be found on the Giveaway sign-up post, here, in the comments section.

Photograph of the four seasons courtesy of:  winter, summer, autumn, spring Photograph of Kitty in Spring courtesy of Halo Pets.