What’s in a name?

You know you do it. We all do. Whether conciously or not, we name the machines in our lives. Our mighty family wagon was deemed a ‘Charlotte’ (most commonly called Lottie), and the Honda Civic that preceeded her was most emphatically a Charlie, although the gender of Charlie remains unknown even to this day. S/he was a curious beast.

I’d say I spend most of my spare time in the company of Olive, my great hulk of an industrial straight-sewer. Anyone who has helped me move in the last six years can attest to her solidity; this baby will be hanging with the cockroaches after the End Days have come, so I’m not sure how a Singer 491 that weighs about as much (if not slightly more) than me came to have such a dainty name! Also dainty is my wee overlocker Penny, named for the lovely friend who passed her on to me. We’ve had stern words, as all good friends do, but always manage to see eye to eye in the end.

My mannequin, while not a machine also has a name; I guess this actually makes more sense since she’s vaguely humanoid. When I proudly hauled her from the backseat of my car after spying her in the back of a Silverstream Op-Shop, my mother said she reminded her of Nancy Reagan. How anything can look like someone without having a head is another topic altogether. Nancy stuck immediately.

And finally we have my special piece of forbidden treasure. It’s time Marcie here sees the light of day, even if it leads to a substantial investment of the two wheeled variety . . . you see, I’m only allowed to keep as many sewing machines as my husband is allowed bicycles. It’s a cruel system that simultaneously keeps both of us from going off the deep end, but it means Marcie here has been living in Little’s wardrobe for a couple of years, ever since she *accidentally* jumped into the car at a white elephant sale. She came with the original instruction manual, “bits” box, and fetching white leather suitcase with green velour lining for transportation purposes (although you would NOT want to lug this puppy around too far if you value the use of your back). Who could say no to that?!? Not me.

Marcie – my forbidden love.

Anyway, I have a sneaking suspicion that there may be some secrets being kept under the house – secrets of the peddaled variety. We’ll see I guess.

I’d feel much better if I knew I wasn’t the only one who does this? Maybe there’s some sort of support group I can join? ‘People Who Name Their Implements After 1950s Housewives’ Anonymous, that sort of thing. We live in hope.

j xx


Lomo Wednesday.

In our house, the television dosn’t work on Wednesdays. It’s easier to explain to a toddler that it’s broken once a week than to go into a convoluted, one-sided “discussion” on why he can’t watch Monsters Inc.

It’s really more for my sake anyway, as Isac isn’t really fussed on tv – like all small boys he’d rather be outside getting grubby, and more power to him. Every day I tell myself I’m going to knuckle down and get some serious sewing done during naptime, and every day I get waylaid by something else; at least on Wednesdays it’s usually more productive than watching Dr Phil! Today I have taught myself how to fake a Lomo.

Lomography is a style of photography which, thanks to its explosive cult following, we’ll all be well familiar with by now. It’s the over-saturated, vignetted product of Russian made cameras from the early 1980s. You can find out more about it here:


Rather than track down and shell out for an original or replica Lomo camera (I hear you can even get an ap for your iPad/iPhone now which will do it all for you!), I found a really user-friendly guide to converting your digital photos using Photoshop. I’ve already forgotten more than the average bear about Photoshop from my tech days, but even I could follow this one. Hallelujah!


First in the experimentation line was a pic of a wee dress I made on Sunday. I don’t know about you, but over Christmas our house was covered in homemade bunting (which I have only just, very begrudgingly I might add, taken down), and man, don’t I just love this stuff. It seems to be on my mind all the time, possibly because it’s so easy to make you can do it with your eyes closed. So when I found myself cutting and sewing up a run of  l i t t l e sweatshirting dresses for the upcoming market season that were in need of something special, bunting was the obvious choice! Perhaps these are all destined for the Manawatu/Wellington region however, as we seem to be losing some flags . . . Voila! The Fly Away Dress was born!

j xx

So terribly, terribly tempted.

Today on Onceit there is a sale on Papercut Patterns! Beautiful garments to make yourself at home, rather than the usual off the rack garments they feature. This Watson Jacket called out to me – it’s been years since I’ve bought a pattern, since I always seem to modify them in some way or go off on a tangent, or not understand the crazily worded instructions it’s much faster and cheaper for me to make my own patterns off my tech blocks. I could be willing to make an exception for this little beauty . . . and have one in wool, one in a light demin, a black drill, a jacquard . . .

To buy, or not to buy? Not as elementary as you might think.



I sold a dress today.

This dress, to be exact. There’s something wonderful about people shopping for your clothes online while you spend the morning in the sun with your family at the carnival. Isac had his face painted for the first time! He was a tiger.

FINALLY! I’ve gotten on board with this blogging doohickeywhatsit!

Although I’m aware that, right now, I’m clearly talking to myself, hopefully soon that won’t be the case. Pehaps I should use this precious alone time to think about some of the things I’d like 2012 to hold for me . . .

1. Learn to make macarons. $2 each?? This is more expensive than smoking.

2. Lose 5kgs. Should go well, considering this next one is also on the list:

3. Have another baby. Yikes.

4. Grow  l i t t l e  into a larger business, but not so large that I have to look at daycare to get everything done, nor only sleep two hours a night.

5. Continue to grow our Little into a caring, responsible and individual human being.

6. Write more letters. Take more photos. Call, don’t text.

7. Go on a family holiday! One that doesn’t involve a funeral, someone elses wedding, or sleeping on a relative’s couch – just a pre-planned, quiet trip away to be together in a place that isn’t our house.

8. Grow a pair and redecorate. At least one room, anyway. Grownups live in houses that look less like flats.

Should keep me busy for a while . . .