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Friday, 24 July 2015

This month's inter-web interesting bits.

This month's inter-web update is probably a little late. It's been a busy month. So let's get underway.

1. Something to put on your Christmas wish list or to buy for your significant other. 

Watch this little video.

I fell in love with Naja's ethos, "Underwear for hope … When you educate a woman, everything changes." How could we not want to buy this underwear? Cool underwear made by single mothers from underprivileged areas.

Have a browse of these collections. Found a favourite? I think this might be mine.

2. Ever left anything behind at the airport? Know how disappointing, frustrating, annoying that can be?

If this video doesn't melt your heart and make you smile, nothing will.

Awww. Isn't he just adorable?

3. Last year when MLP, my brother and I travelled to Paris and London, we used airbnb for our accommodation, but I didn't find anything as amazing as this when I was searching. Muffin Mansion really must take the cake (sorry!) for cute and retro airbnb accommodation.

Did you browse through the photo gallery at the bottom of the page?

I think I want to stay in Muffin Mansion … one day.

4. Are you guilty of singing along to your favourites while cruising the highways or dawdling in traffic?

TJ Smith sends road rage into oblivion with his crowd pleasing renditions. Build Me Up Buttercup anyone??

I know you sang along. Impossible not to.

5. The idea of renovating and living in a church, chapel or old school house really appeals to me. This little church and its lovely inhabitants have lived my dream.

What about that outdoor bath … Yes, please.

And to conclude, as usual, one of my photos … from a tour of the Sydney Opera House my brother and I took recently.

A slightly different view from the norm.

Sydney really is the most beautiful harbour city, don't you think?

So, which of this month's inter-web links was your favourite?

Which made you smile?

Pulled at your heart strings?

Friday, 17 July 2015

Tee Pee making … again.

I love to make Tee Pees, as you know. So when my Ralphie-minding-tweenage neighbour's birthday was approaching, it seemed like the thing to do. A Tee Pee for a Princess; her mum and dad's Princess.

If you haven't made a Tee Pee, they're really not all that difficult. If you remember I made them for my grand-nieces and grand-nephew two Christmases ago. You can read about that sewing adventure here.
That blog post gives you the link to a fantastic tutorial that I used as my guide while I sewed Tee Pees numero uno and due and a few hints of what I discovered in that first sewing adventure. (And which I used to jog my memory before I began this time.)

I strongly suggest you read all of them before you begin.

So, I hear you ask, why write another post about Tee Pee making?
Well, I made a few changes to my process, things I didn't think to mention last time, things I tweaked a tad this time and thought needed to be shared with you.

So, in making Tee Pee numero tre, here are my hints, bits of brilliance, deep knowledge.

Like last time, I used a single quilt cover. This time from K Mart. A much cheaper option than buying metres of fabric.


Use the width of the single quilt cover as the height of your Tee Pee pieces. 

I found it to be a fraction shorter than the pattern in my previous post suggested, but not enough to be concerned about. Keep in mind, it's a Tee Pee, not a wedding dress.

As in the photo, I folded the edge of the quilt cover until I had half the width of my Tee Pee piece, then, using a couple of rulers, I drew up my first pattern piece and snipped away.

I then used that first piece as my pattern for four more pieces and snipped away.

I like my front piece to have a join down the middle. I think it ends up looking neater and it's easier to add the binding.

So, I folded my pattern piece in half, added a seam allowance on the straight side and snipped out two front panel pieces. I overlocked the straight sides then stitched them together from the top down about 40cm.


Turn and sew a small hem at the top of each piece BEFORE you begin sewing the side seams. This makes for a much neater finish.

I created my binding for the front panel opening from 6cm wide pieces I cut from my remaining quilt cover fabric.

I didn't worry about trying to make bias binding, I just cut straight pieces because I was going to lay it on top of the front edge not wrap it around as I would with bias binding. It's not a wedding dress … remember.

Don't forget to add in the ties before you stitch the binding on.

Then the fun part sewing all the seams together. I used my four thread overlocker as it saves a lot of time.


Sew a hem around the bottom BEFORE you create the pocket for the poles. Again it makes a neater finish, I think.

Don't forget to close off the bottom of the pole pockets (like I forgot last time), this makes the Tee Pee sit snug to the floor.

I made a couple of flags for the top of the poles and …

I have a Tee Pee (and only scraps of my single quilt cover remaining).

Fit for a Princess's birthday.

With flags on top.

And a view to the sky.

Surely there's a small person in your family who needs a Tee Pee.

Are you brave enough to have a try at making one?

I still think I need one to while away some quiet time.

Can you imagine yourself relaxing in Tee Pee, wine and book close by?

Friday, 10 July 2015

Clothes de-cluttering, KonMari style.

What is KonMari style? Good question. In my retired life under a rock, I had not heard of KonMari or Marie Kondo. I can hear some of you saying, "What! Not heard of KonMari!" And others, like me, saying, "What? Who?"

So let me tell the story.

This all began because I made the decision last week to spend as much time as necessary clearing out my emails. Decluttering. They were out of control. In the process, I became a little sidetracked … well, okay, a lot sidetracked … like reading numerous blog posts, watching copious youtube videos, downloading an e-book … Why? Well, this book title, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, popped up in an email I was decluttering and my little Virgo heart skipped a beat. This is a "Libby" book. I love being tidy … or, at least trying to be tidy.

"Life-changing", "magic", all those blog posts, all those youtube videos, I thought this was worth a try.

So, I read some, the first two and a bit chapters. 

KonMari would be horrified. I should have read ALL the book before I started. But I had read all those blog posts and watched all those videos ... I had gained a lot of knowledge.

I started on my clothes because that's where KonMari says you're supposed to start and because they needed doing.

My clothes storage was breaking a number of KonMari's rules. Like, store all similar items in the one place.

I had clothes in my bedroom, 

 the back bedroom wardrobe (my winter coats and special dresses),

a box (some summer clothes) and a few still in the washing basket, which was a good thing because it meant all my clothes were clean and ready to be KonMari-ed.

It's not necessary to store similar things in different places, she says. We have enough room to store our clothes in one place and it is best to store similar things in the one place.

Oh yeah. I was sure she hadn't seen the pathetic wardrobe space in our rental.

My clothes were relatively tidy … not perfect … but I knew where everything was. I never used the coats in the back bedroom because, like KonMari says, you forget they're there and it's too hard. And the summer clothes in the box … not a good idea, she says. Same reason … you forget about them and it's the middle of summer before you think, "Where is …?" and you could have been enjoying that item from the beginning of summer.

The most important rule I was breaking was having things in my clothes stash that didn't "spark joy". Yes, spark joy. 

KonMari also treats all objects with a degree of spirituality. Talking to them, thanking them, greeting them. Cute. Treat them well and they will treat you well. 

A little bit out there, but, I was willing to give this a go.

Step One.
Put ALL of your clothes. Everything. Every little single piece of clothing in one spot on the floor. 

I used my bed because it was easier.

Effect. Wow! I didn't think I had that many clothes!

Step Two.
Handle each piece of clothing. Those that spark joy stay; those that don't go. 

Work quickly. Don't take time to think ... or try on … or ponder. Make swift decisions. Spark joy? Yes … No?

So, I set to work.

Spark joy. Not spark joy.

It was amazing how quickly I went through my pile of clothes. Every ... little … single …  piece of my clothing.

This is the almost final not-spark-joy pile. (I added two other pieces from a suitcase that holds old bridesmaid dresses and my wedding dress and a couple of things I cannot bear to part with. KonMari would definitely NOT approve of this suitcase.)

Those in green basket will go to the Salvos. The pile on the right on the floor will go to the bin. And that one white top, I am keeping because it does still spark joy. I love the lace, but it needs to be remade.

KonMari would not agree with me keeping it but … One day I will remake it. I promise.

Step Three.
The KonMari method of storing. Store and stack things vertically. They take up less space and with clothes they are clearly visible and easier to access. Hang only things that are "happiest" hanging. Yes, happiest.

So using the KonMari method of folding … the youtube videos showed me how to do this … I set off on my adventure to put all my clothes back in order, keeping in mind to keep similar things together and keep everything happy.

And ta da! T.I.D.Y.

In the past, I have hung my T-shirts. KonMari says ... no, fold them.

So I fold. And then I think I have nowhere to store them. MLP has to have some space for his clothes.

Then I have a light bulb moment. In my guest room is a dresser which is empty and used rarely. Why have it sitting empty in the guest room? It can't be happy being unused.

I move a few pieces of furniture and I have enough storage space, as KonMari said I would. The guests have enough too. The dresser is happy. Win, win, win.

My new-to-our-bedroom dresser

with KonMari folded T-shirts, tights, scarves, sarongs, loungewear (A KonMari term. I call them my play clothes.)

Clothes are done, more quickly and more easily than I expected. It was so easy to offer something to charity having thanked it for its time with me. No guilt, just happiness.

So I tackle my jewellery and shoes.

Spark joy … not spark joy?

From this …

To this. T.I.D.Y.

Now it's time to confess to my non-KonMari outcomes.

I still have three wear-to-weddings-and-special-dinners dresses and my beautiful red wool coat in the back bedroom wardrobe. You've seen the size of our wardrobe!

I have one dress which still sparks joy … but I need to try it on. I'm not sure it will fit me. KonMari would not agree; it would be gone.

My hanging clothes do not rise up to the right … another KonMari-ism. It just wouldn't work in this wardrobe; I wouldn't be able to see half my clothes in that terrible corner space. So, they rise up to the left. Best that I could do.

I did finish decluttering my emails.

I did finish reading the book.

I do intend to hit the linen and the office supplies next.

I don't think I will ever meet all of KonMari's rules. Some seem a little too OCD and OTT for me.

My clothes and jewellery and shoes are happy. Oh, and the dresser. Yes, happy. And me. I'm happy. Such an easy guiltless way to declutter.

Have you heard of KonMari?

Have you KonMari-ed your belongings?

Are you a tidy freak or more relaxed and casual?

Are you about to run off, like me, and read the blog posts, watched the youtube videos and buy the book?