Thursday, 30 May 2013


"As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, 
you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you"

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

 Tomorrow I will be holding my first Chalkle class, and its going to be about my obsession, Pinterest.
I hadn't even thought about doing a class on this topic, until I showed the convenor of the Horowhenua Chalkle classes, Kerry. She had never heard of it at all, and once I showed her what it was like, she suggested that is the class we should start off with. Sorry, I think what I have written is bad English, but its late and right now I should be tucked up in bed and not writing this blog.

I want people to be as inspired as I am about this website. I want them to find what they really love, and maybe find things that they didn't think they would love, and find themselves in the process.  Isn't that what an inspiration board is all about?

And yes, I know it can be a HUGE time waster!
 Then, if they wish, I'd just love to see them take one or 2 interesting things, no matter what they are, and be inspired themselves to make or do or learn about the topic. And if they would like to share with the rest of us, come back next week, and show us what they have learnt.

Life can get pretty tedious at times, work, eat ,sleep, and repeat the process. Lets try to break the cycle, and have a little fun!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Spots before my eyes

I am feeling dotty, 
the answer is, you see,
Today I did some cutting 
at the factory.
The designer has a fancy
for cloth of brilliant hue,
polka dots a plenty,
 in pink and white and blue.

A cute wee dress called DUSTY
was first to be laid down
Inspiration from the 60's
but the pattern made me frown....
With Polka dots abounding
My eyes had got quite sore.

Once that one was finished,
I had to cut out more!
A swinging shift called WILLOW
with big white polka dots
Chiffon which was ORANGE
My forehead was in knots!

I know that dots are trendy,
I see them every day...
On ladies on the TV
In every colourway.
I hope somebody buys them,
Styles our designer picks.
But I just don't like them,
they make me feel quite sick.

Monday, 6 May 2013

me made may

1Photo: Pattern making
Photo by Bob Zuur
MAY 1ST Me made, but more like me-recycled
 The first day of May was the Chalkle launch. What does an old pattern maker wear to promote herself? I heard once that navy, red and white are good colours to wear to give an air of professionalism and  success. So, out came my old navy wool pencil skirt, originally purchased way back in 1996(!!!!) which I shortened a few years ago. In 1996 it was mid calf, and had a tight waistband, and so I had removed the waistband a while ago too.

Added to the ensemble was a felted wool jacket, also purchased a few years ago,not quite as old but it was a shapeless red block, so I have re-cut it to give it some shape. The white shirt is an opshop find, (old!)and I couldn't resist my red boots, called "kinky boots" at the last place I worked! I also had  made a wee bag to put my phone in, a few years ago I made a range of zippy bags and realised it would be good to have a small one for a phone.

Although I had my pattern stuff there, we are supposed to be starting with me teaching a Pinterest class. I thought I'd show people (who still haven't discovered Pinterest yet) how to navigate the site, and then make or do something from the things they discover, and bring it in the next week. Kind of multi craft/cooking/something else kind of class. However there's been a lot of intereest in the Pattern making class, which is good.


We had to get a load of worms ready for a home show , so the 2nd was a mucky clothes day. Jeans, and a red merino wool top (me-made) No picture!

The home show in Wellington. Jill and I have a great uniform which we devised when we started up our worm business. We love green and black, our labels are a wonderful green, and the black looks amazing with it! I made all the shirts.
This is what we were wearing, but I didn't get a photo of both of us at the show, so this is a photo of us both with Jill's grandson, Patrick, at a show last year
and here's Jill showing the people at the show how to set up a worm farm. See how great the green looks? The "We've got Worms!" sign is me-made too.

Whew! Saturday! Horse riding!
I had arranged a ride with Tanya, a lady who works at the same place as my husband. She is yearning for a ride on the beach, so she first had to show us that she could ride OK. So today the dress was, Jodhpurs (me-made !) t shirt (not me-made). It was supposed to be dreadful weather , but it was fabulous. We had a nice ride up the hill, but I didn't take the camera. And in the afternoon, I hit the garden and didn't bother to change, hell I was dirty already, why muck up more clothes?

A flop around the house morning, and in the afternoon I went to see my daughter Juliet. I wore an Ombre Broderie Anglais shirt (me-dyed) and jeans. I love the way the fabric dyed, and the anglaise thread didn't. Unfortunately the photo doesn't show up the ombre very well. It was my first attempt at ombre dying.

. Ugh. the weather was a bit changeable, but not as bad as other places where the rain came pounding down and trees fell, and there was flooding. I had to do some cutting at the factory. Jeans and a  green merino/nylon top I made about 6 months ago for Levana. Luckily I got to keep the sample! but then the wind came up,  and it was so cold, I ended up wearing a polar fleece Swazi sample I found under the cutting table. Very toasty and , well,... UGLY!I still find it amazing that the same chemical that makes a coke bottle, can produce a lovely soft and warm fabric. Sorry all you fabric purists out there...

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Have you heard of Chalkle?

Our wonderful new library and community centre, Te Takere  in Levin, has started a new community teaching concept called chalkle°   Originally started 7 months ago in Wellington, it is community education , but different to the past community education system, which was dissolved in a lot of areas by the present government. I really miss my cooking class that was held every week at the local school, where we made Mediterranean food, and then sat down and had a feast.

Silvia Zuur and Linc Gasking from Enspiral 
have teamed up to create chalkle°. Sylvia was at the launch tonight and explained how they sat down over a cup of coffee and were discussing the demise of community education, and , after quite a few cups of coffee, the concept of chalkle° was born. It has been running in Wellington for 7 months, and is doing very well. 

Levin is the second centre to start the chalkle° classes.The interesting thing is, anyone who feels that they would like to teach a class, on any topic, can join chalkle° , suggest a class, the amount they want to charge, and the days they would like to do it. The coordinator for chalkle° then puts it on the website and away you go!

I happened to hear about the project whan I went to the library and asked if they rented out rooms as I was keen to do pattern making classes. They whipped me in and are very keen for me to do pattern making classes. However, one day before the launch, I happened to say to Kerry, the coordinator, "do you know about pinterest?" She had never seen it before, and before I knew it, was asked to do a class on Pinterest. For a rather slow computer user, but luckily having a big mouth and a lot of enthusiasm, I am going to introduce people to Pinterest, and each week we will actually do or make something we see on the site. I do hope it works... it could be quite fun if I get the right people with the right attitude to come to the class.

And the pattern making? That class will pull in quite a few people I think, but has been postponed till next month.

If you are in Wellington, or the Horowhenua, look up chalkle°. Community education here we come!