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.

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.

A Giveaway to Celebrate the Vernal-Autumnal Equinox!

Well, today is that glorious time of year.  The Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (first day of spring)

Spring has Sprung in Spain

Spring has Sprung in Spain

Autumn in Australia

Autumn in Australia

and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere (first day of autumn).  Both are excellent seasons and an exquisite end to the grey, cold snow and the sticky, humid heat.

An equinox happens twice a year and is the day where the terminator (twilight zone) is at 90 degrees to the Earth’s equator and the length of day and night is precisely equal!  Ooooh, the wonderful math and symmetry involved.  I get goosebumps!

To help celebrate this momentous occasion, I am giving away the sewing book Chic and Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes.ChicSimpleSewing

This book includes paper patterns, instructions and photos for 20 fashion projects that range in difficulty from 1 to 5.  There is a rating system applied to each garment so that you know what you are getting yourself into, before you begin sewing.

The first section of the book explains some sewing techniques ranging from patch pockets to applying bias tape and the rest of the book presents a variety of garments for you to sew with the full patterns included in sizes small, medium and large (measurements included).  The fun part of this book is that it is divided up into seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter with associated clothes and patterns for each season.  I thought this fit perfectly into the Seasonal Celebration we are having!

I have made several items from this book including the A-line skirt, fabric belt and belt loops, The Trench and The Date Dress (which I made into nightgowns).  I also have The Retro Shift Dress lined up in the queue to sew for this summer.

The Retro Shift Dress

The Retro Shift Dress

For most of these projects, I altered and embellished the pattern and sewing to add a bit more polish and finishing.  That’s one of the good aspects I found about this book: that it is aimed at the experienced beginner, but as you begin to climb up the levels of difficulty, or if you are already an advanced sewer, you can alter, embellish and add to the patterns and the sewing style to make your own, more tailored creations.

Also, this book is now out of print.  Christine Haynes just blogged about this recently, so you will no longer be able to order or purchase this book anywhere!

chic-simple-sewing-2

Projects from the Book

chic-simple-sewing-3

Projects from the Book

Projects from the Book

Projects from the Book

chic-simple-sewing-5

Projects from the Book

tulips

Beautiful Spring Tulips

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment letting everybody know what is your favourite season and why.  You can enter from anywhere in the world, no matter what season it is for you currently.  :)

The giveaway will close on Sunday April 7, 2013, so please be sure to have your comments in by then.  Kitty, of course, will be officiating the draw to pick the winner.  Drop by again for the, sure to be exciting, entrant selection!

Update:  See the official draw ceremony and the winning entrant here!

Good luck to everybody!  And please ensure there is some way of contacting you, if you do win.

Feel free to ‘like’ Gjeometry on Facebook and follow this blog so we can all keep in touch!

(Autumn in Australia pic courtesy of Reef and Outback Rail Tours, Projects from the Book pics courtesy of Christine Haynes blog)