Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Mystery Blogger Award.

Hello everyone.  It seems ages since I last blogged, and it is certainly quite a few weeks - June 23rd was the date of my last post.

Life has been busy with practice work as it was the end of financial year.    I also suffered a little bout of the blues.  I knew this would pass, but I really only had enough energy for doing what I had to so, and no energy left for sewing or blogging.  Plus of course the usual backdrop of domestic chores, but we all have them. While life is still busy, I am on the up again, so am looking forward to resuming blogging, and a few other things as well - but more on that later.

I wasn't quite sure how to start blogging again, mainly because I think I want to change a few things in my sewing and blogging life. So I was thrilled when Lisa, who blogs at   nominated me for: 

Just to bring you into the picture, a description of The Mystery Blogger Award follows.  I have been a bit efficient here, and have just cut and paste the description from Lisa's blog, but changed the background to a light blue highlighting only the word. Because I do not do beige. And the original caption was beige.

The Mystery Blogger Award is:  "an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious post.  Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates.  They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get.  This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion."  Created by:  Okoto Enigma
The rules are as follows:

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 10 - 20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny one
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

So, I shall follow the rules - this is a nice easy way to get back into the habit of blogging.

*Thank you Lisa.  In a minute I shall include another link back to Lisa's blog, but first I want to tell you that Lisa's blog and her  Instagram account are both visual delights.  I really do enjoy looking at Lisa's blog - and yes, I do read it as well!  Lisa's blog can be found at

*  Three things about myself.  I never quite know what to say with questions like these!  Usually I draw a blank.  I don't really like talking about myself much. Plus, I think any facts about me are probably boring to recount; I prefer using my imagination rather than recounting facts about myself. I guess that is something about me!  Does that count?  No, I thought, not!  So, three things about me, and I shall keep them sewing related:

1. I don't take very good blog photos at all.  Partly because my house is really dark inside - and  is not always much better, and partly because photography has never really interested  me.  I always like drawing and painting as a child, but never photography.  But I do want my blog to look a little better.  So I purchased a couple of portable lights for AU$50 approximately.  This is one of them:

I think the photo is a little out of focus - but it gives you an idea. Behind the light and my photography screen you can see bits and pieces of sewing paraphanalia.

I have taken some photos as a trial run, and clearly there is a bit to learn about lights.  Where to position and where to stand:

The lights do improve my photos, but some photos are too well lit and wash the photo out totally, and some have me in shadow - more so than the photo above.  Also, there is shadow at the bottom of the photos - I think I have solved this - I have purchased a couple of small lights that can backlight up.

Oh, and none of these garments has yet been blogged.  Which brings me to:

 2. As some of you know, I have been quite busy this year when my husband needed my help in the  practice when we had a period with no receptionist.  Our new receptionist is a lovely lady but she has been out of the workforce for some years, so has needed quite a bit of support and training. I am gradually teaching her more aspects of her job, but of course, this all takes time and energy. And I have to do my practice work as well - which will never be in the receptionist's patch. I still have to sew because it is one of my needs, but I haven't been able to sew more that a seam or two a day.  Mostly very simple garments, or occasionally toiles which may be worked on later.  I have also made a little bra recently.  I find these quite handy to make when you don't have much time.  A little seam here, and a  little seam there, and voila, over time, a bra is finished.

I will write a blog post in the fullness of time about bra making. This bra is not perfect, it was my first attempt at working in micro scuba, so some seams are a bit wobbly!  Still, I know how this fabric performs next time, so sewing will be easier and seams a little less wobbly.

And, I also have 31 garments to show you - all simple little things made since about October last year.

 3.  Now, as I said above, I find it very difficult to talk about myself.  DH was just passing, so I asked him for facts about me.  He said " Highly intelligent, very attractive, good to know, creative and a good friend".  Oh to see yourself as others see you...Mind you, he is quite biased, I think...

I suppose this is why I have volunteered to do the practice scanning. 40 years of backlog that no-one has wanted to do:

A large credenza full of files:


And an overgrowth of archived files in the unseen storage room for all sorts of evils:

This should keep me well and truly busy.  We did consider sending it out, but then I would have to check it all out and check it all in.  I thought it was quicker and more under my control  to do the project inhouse.   So we now have a professional scanner that does 80 pages in about 1 minute.   I think a day or so of sewing is needed prior to starting this job.

So, to state fact 3 about myself succinctly, after this long winded preamble, I would say I put my intelligence, creativity and being a good friend, and even good to know!  (if indeed these are my attributes)  to practical use.  So, Fact 3 ; I am a Pragmatic Realist!  


The Next Part of the Mystery Blogger Task is answering Lisa's questions. As they are about sewing, I will find this part of the task much  easier.

1.  How long have you been sewing?

I have been fascinated by sewing since my very early memories of seeing a doll dressed in clothes that were all handstitched by my Great Aunt Catherine.  I decided that I wanted to sew things that were as good as Aunty Catherines handiwork. 

I have been sewing since about the age of 5, when I spontaneously cut out a dress for my doll and stitched it up. My mother was out of the house at the time. She contained herself well when I showed her my work - you see, I had cut up my best wool dress in order to create this masterpiece! 

 However, I didn't do much sewing  until about the age of  10 when I started to make clothes for my teen dolls.  I then moved on to making clothes for myself. 

2. What prompted you to begin sewing for yourself?

 It helped that I had a clever mother - she would not pay for fashionable garments, but she would pay for the fabric if I made it myself!  So I did.  By the age of 16 I made a set of school uniforms for the daughter of a very poor family. My mother helped me enormously of course.

3. What do you like to sew the most?

I am not sure that I really have any garments or fabrics I like to sew the most. They all have their time and place. Sometimes you only want to sew TNT's the most, sometimes you want to make specific garments for a reason the most, or sometimes you just want to sew what you feel like sewing the most. I do like to try new patterns and ideas - sometimes I really do just try a pattern and don't get past the try stage of toiling and problem solving.  I quite enjoy this, especially in between seasons when you don't really know what to sew.  

4. What other hobbies do you enjoy?

I don't really have much time for other hobbies, but I do like to do a few rows of knitting in the evening to unwind. I would also like to study something again - I am not yet sure what, but maybe something in the visual arts arena.  I think studying Art (or something similar)  later in life is quite a good investment because you have an interest that you can follow that is absorbing and also adapts to a life that is expanding mentally but decreasing physically, as my late father used to say. So did the philosopher Bertrand Russell, but in many more words. 

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I am not much of a traveller - I find crowded airports and jet lag very unappealing.  My husband has liked to travel though, and took me to Italy for our honeymoom.  I think I spent most of it feeling quite overwhelmed!  I think, and this is of course a fantasy, that travel would be wonderful if you had the ability to spend a long time in one place getting to understand the nuances of the place and the people.  Of course, money and practical aspects of life preclude this, but in your imagination you can travel anywhere you want and in whatever fashion you want.  I think this is where my travel would be!

Next, the five questions for my nominees are:

 1.  What is the first garment you ever made?
 2.  What is the worst sewing experience you have ever had?
 3.  How did you recover from this experience?
 4.  What bad sewing habits do you have?
 5.  Do you ban chocolate while sewing?

Now, I was a little stuck on which of my favourite blogs to nominate.  Many of you have already been nominated, because we are a small, close, community. But then I thought a little more.  I think the sewing blog community is actually composed of different types of sewing bloggers.  I would place myself in the ordinary sewing blog category who values relationships with similar bloggers.  And I also follow sewing bloggers who do not either have the time or interest to bother with an ordinary blogger such as me. And possibly even, no idea that I even exist as a sewing blogger.   This just reflects real life perhaps!!!

 In the end, I decided to nominate these blogs because I enjoy reading them. I doubt any of them read mine, so I don't suppose they will be answering my wonderful set of questions. Maybe I should save them up for a chat on the blog one day.  It seems a pity to waste them!

I am also going to nominate the following blog, because it is a good resource for beginning bra makers, so I thought some of you may be interested in this blog:

And, given my new found interest in bra making, I decided to nominate these bloggers.  Some of them only sew lingerie, and some sew all sorts of garments:

Well, that's it for now, I am going to be back next week with one of my 31 garments on the back blog list!

Thanks for reading everyone, and see you soon.

Sarah Liz