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  • This blog post is late. Ooops. Sorry. But, see – there was a flurry of unexpected activity yesterday, so blog writing had to wait! It simply had to. See, we bought a thing. And because we bought a thing, it had consequences, namely the rearranging of furniture across three rooms. Who knew the acquisition of a (very pretty!) desk could lead to so much happy upheaval. I’m excited about this, people. Very excited. I now have a desk on which I can permanently place my notebook computer. This is a hooray moment because it means my big, white desk that was meant to be used for the laying out of fabric (because garment construction!) can once again be used for its intended purpose. I’m amazed at how having a dedicated space for making actually encourages making. I have a space. It is good.
Table

My new little desk. Isn’t she lovely? 🙂

  • Also, bonus treat. The rearranging of furniture to accommodate new little desk has upended stuff, allowing me to rediscover bits ‘n pieces I’d forgotten about. One such treasure is a print that was gifted to me some 15 years ago. It’s entitled Galerie des Rois & Reines de France. Granted, I’m not French, but I do like the impressions of period costume that the print displays. I decided it needed framing, so we popped into The Warehouse. I happened to walk past the clearance shelf, and stopped at a basic white frame. The print in said frame is what drew my attention – a lovely picture of what looks like a thick hedge of bay leaf. I suddenly thought of a weird Alice in Wonderland-ish tea party with elaborate picture frames attached with ribbon to a towering garden hedge. Then I remembered I had some crochet lace tape, and a day later this happened:
Print

I’m a little amazed by how it all came together. This thing called creativity, it’s a fascinating thing, eh. Wow.

  • I had a bit of a flash-intuition-popping-into-brain-by-what-I-call-Spirit this week. You know how I’ve been bleating on about how I’m shit at dressmaking and how I have regrets about stopping my studies in year dot? (Yes, that.) Spirit posed this question: how do you know you’re shit at dressmaking when you’re not actually doing it? I’m mean, seriously. If I do the thing, I might actually surprise myself as to how good I can be at it. Ha. Now that’s a different way of looking at it. Thanks Spirit.
  • Getting angry last week was a good thing because it’s made space. I admit it – I love clothing (not in a ‘must-follow-latest-fashion-trend’ way, but in a ‘oh-wow-this-dress-is-so-cute-that-wearing-it-makes-me-feel-so-happy’ way).* Of course, this has it’s problems because shopping for clothing is difficult. I don’t quite fit into a size 20  anymore (because my bust is 4cm too big), but a size 22 feels too big. So, I find myself contemplating weight loss so that I can fit into ready-made clothing. This does not sit well with me. Loosing weight to conform to what is considered a ‘normal’ shape has never sat well with me. Mostly because it feels too much like changing myself so that I become ‘acceptable’. But what choice do I have, really? I love the clothing. <sad face> Argh.
  • Also, during this week, day two of exposure therapy happened. In order to acquire an aluminium muffin pan**, I had to go to Moore Wilson, which is on a very busy road in Porirua that I’ve never driven on. Ne-ver. Never. So, yes. That was a good three on the Prickly Scale. I’m so glad Russell came with me. He gives good direction. (Expect when he’s pointing out all the places of interest whilst my brain is trying to process the directions to the place I actually want to get to. His “turn right at the next circle” got lost in amongst the “oh, and if you want to go to Countdown, you turn left here and then go round into the parking lot. And there’s Pete’s Emporium if you need thread. North City is just up ahead. There’s the entrance to New World’s parking area.” My brain: “Wait. What. So where am I going now? Where am I? Oh, right. Oh shit, I have to turn right like now!”) I did feel heady once we arrived, on account of not breathing, but that soon sorted itself out after I shook out the prickliness that is adrenaline pumping through your veins. Shopping was fine. (I didn’t buy any cookbooks. So much restraint on my part! (No Russell – a little instruction booklet on how to make butter and yoghurt at home does not count as a cookbook! Although it probably will go in the cookbook library. Because food. Um.) The drive home was a little crazy because I had to get over two lanes of oncoming traffic moving in opposite directions, around lunch hour. I think I’ll just go to the round-about next time. My nerves.

 

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* I mean, I found these shoes that are advertised as being a wide fit and died a little, albeit exhilarated, death.

Symone_1_joe_browns

Pinstripes and rich burgundy velvet make these heels an absolute treat. Bar strap and a soft grey rose finishes the look. A perfect Winter season shoe.

** I have not found pastéis de nata in Wellington. Sure, custard tarts exist here, but they’re more like custard slices. And they’re okay. I guess… Dear god, I miss the deliciously creamy custard centre and crispy pastry that are pastéis de nata. And that slightly burnt bit on the top of the custard. Yeah, I miss that. With hot coffee. And the warmth of a satisfied sigh that is biting into a pastel de nata. So dreamy.

Anyway. I’m going to make my own. Yes. I’m doing this. Hence the need for a aluminium muffin pan (because non-stick pans, apparently, don’t make for heavenly crispy pastry) and two pizza stones (because these babies need a super hot oven, like 270°C at least, filled with radiating heat to create that yummy burnt custard top). I’m smiling just thinking about it.

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This is one of my favourite pictures from our (very) Roman Catholic wedding. It gives me *all* the feels! The way we were (are?).

  • Tomorrow, 2 June, marks our 16th wedding anniversary. (This ceremony, unlike our handfasting, included the ‘legally binding agreement’, what most people think of when they talk about wedding anniversaries.) We celebrate both days as being significant to our being together. It is good, this marriage. <dreamy smile>
  • Also, marriage brought this ray of sunshine to us:
Smiles

Eight years, and so enthusiastic about stuff. 🙂

  • I’m reminded of how my mãe wanted to make my wedding dress. I remember her working late into the night, hand sewing the lace onto the white velvet, and then accentuating the detail of the lace by stitching beads to the edges. So many beads. Such patient work. I still have my wedding dress. I couldn’t give it away because it has so much of my mother in it. Perhaps one day, should my baby girl choose to marry, we’ll take pieces from my wedding dress and put it onto her wedding dress.  That way, she’ll have a little bit of me and a little bit of her grandmother… her bloodline, with her. (Is that macabre, or sentimental… or… perhaps just… symbolic?)
  • There is a lot of sentimentality in the ether at the moment. I’ve been pouring over my Portuguese cookbooks and listening to a lot of Mariza* lately. It’s odd because South Africa has a proud Portuguese community, but New Zealand does not. I somehow feel lost, like my Portuguese-ness has no place here. And that makes me sad. (Also, because I was never formally educated in Portuguese (my reading and writing ability is, well… pretty much zero), and I don’t have the opportunity to speak the “kitchen” Portuguese of my childhood, I’ve lost a lot of the language… I’ve lost much of my connection to the community. There is a weird heart connection there, though. But still. I’m an outsider.)
  • My thoughts have also turned often and much to the Self Esteem = ‘I am lovable’ + ‘I am capable’ equation, specifically the ‘capable’ part. I don’t feel capable at the moment. Far from it. I remember my mãe sewing so many items of clothing,  doing her crochet and embroidery. All of it, so detailed and magnificent. I don’t feel like I’m as good as she is… but I can be, I think (maybe?). My mãe tells me my grandmother was especially good at clothing construction. Better than my mãe. (<wide eyes>) And then I consider my skills as an instructional designer and how I feel like I don’t meet the grade here in Wellington. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t know how my diploma aligns to the standards required in New Zealand (which can be easily remedied by having the Qualifications Recognition Service assess my qualification… at a price, of course), or because I don’t have much experience with several software packages (e.g. InDesign, Storyline, Captivate) that are so typically used to develop online learning content these days (again, that’s a skill I could learn). But do I want to? Do I want to go to the expense and do I want to put in the effort and time to bridge what I think are gaps in my skills when I don’t know that I want to return to instructional design? (Or do I not want to return to instructional design because I don’t feel capable of doing the job anymore?) (Did I mention I’ve pretty much given up on the full time, permanent job idea because that would leave me with no time or energy to pursue the making of clothing? Well, that’s what I’m telling myself for now… hm.)

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* Mariza – a popular Fado singer.

In the haze that is death, and perhaps because I’m reaching for something that is hopeful, and holds the promise of creativity (read: life?), I wanted to tell you that I’m starting a thing on the 22 May 2017 – the 100 Days Project NZ.

The 100 Days Project has rules (so it’s very serious), to wit:

  1. I will repeat a simple creative task every day for the duration (of the project) i.e. 100 days.
  2. I’ll record each day’s effort.

The recording of each day’s effort will happen on Instagram, here and on the 100 Days Project website, here. Feel free to follow the creativity. 🙂

What will I be creating? Miniature costumes – period or fantasy costumes for dolls, more specifically.

As to the ‘why’. I’m stuck. I’m hoping this will be the start of me creating stuff; of me making stuff; me tapping into that long-held love of period and/ or fantasy costume, whilst relishing the happy feeling I get when working in small-scale. I’m hoping something shifts, and I can begin to feel connected to this strange place I’m now calling home.

I also have a lot of dolls that need clothing.