I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Slap Some Gingham On Me

You know when something totally obvious dawns on you, and you waste time thinking how completely stupid you are for not realising it earlier? This very thing happened to me about a week ago.

When I first moved to Australia, I went to loads of job interviews. At every interview I would say the same thing, which was that I could care less what I did as long as a) I didn't have to dress corporate, b) I could work with young(ish) people and c) I could have loads of small attainable goals and then enjoy the fruits of my labour.

Okay, so it took a good 7 years or so before I realised that the place I wanted to be was not the office environment I had set myself up in. It's taken a further 3-4 years to work out that the reason I enjoy my job so much is that a) I don't have to dress corporate, b) I work with younger people and c) I work with my hands and hence the goals are both achievable and immediately gratifying.

For a while now I've been thinking about getting a new hobby - something which is not food related and yet could be both fun and useful. Knitting was out as my various attempts left me with a tangled mess and a sore neck. Painting also out as I was useless at it. Various forays into mosaic work, creative writing, tie-dying and pottery were all mildly amusing, but that's about where it ended. Sewing is something which has appealed to me for quite a while now, but I've never really had the chance to try it properly. I'm surrounded by ridiculously crafty and clever sewing friends - The Baker's Wife, and Matching Pegs to name just two.

I mentioned this interest in sewing to a friend of mine who is a proficient sewer - a woman of my IL's generation for whom sewing was part of their school curriculum. She offered to give me a few lessons, and since then I've been having a grand time sewing straight lines on scraps of material. Some weeks into this venture and I happened upon a bargain sewing machine (50% off!) which I dutifully lugged home, wondering if this was yet another foray into a useless craft.

This purchase brought me into the realm of, well, being someone who knows how to sew. I had the machine, I had vague ideas of what a bobbin does, and I had the desire to suddenly go all Problem Like Maria on my kids and make them matching clothes out of curtains and let them hang from trees.

Much to my delight I've discovered that I adore this new skill of mine, and can see how it would quickly become both addicting and overwhelming. This week I found myself needing to ration my sewing, as I was doing it to the exclusion of all else. "You want a cake? No, sorry, can't do it. Maybe next week when my quilt is done?"

So here is where I had the "Well, DUH!" moment. Sewing is something that a) you can do if you're not wearing a power suit, b) you can do and young people think you are uber-cool, and c) you can see immediate, attainable results which give you instant moments of "Oh well aren't *I* the bloody clever one!"

Project One was a set of coasters, which I'm gifting to my sewing teacher as a way of saying thanks:

Front of the coasters

Back of the coasters

I originally made 6. One died a painful and knotted death, and one came out, well, a wee bit smaller than the others. Overall, though, I'm feeling ridiculously proud of these five little fabric coasters. Clearly, what the world needs now is not love, but more fabric coasters.

June Cleaver, eat ya' damn heart out. Emzee Cleaver is in town, and she rode in on a bobbin.


Claire - Matching Pegs said...

Well done my friend. It's a good feeling isn't it.

c) you can see immediate, attainable results which give you instant moments of "Oh well aren't *I* the bloody clever one!"

That is one of my main reasons as well - You make much more visible progress making something than you can cleaning the house!

emzeegee & the hungry three said...


It's a great feeling! Plus it wins out over the house tidying because the kids can't destroy my hard work inside of 10 seconds. (It'll take at least a minute to unpick! LOL!)