Sunday, 19 October 2008

Help or hindrance?

I have been given several bags of clothing to pass on to the charity shops from my friend, who acquired them from someone else! So I now have a denim jacket. & a couple of tops, including a jade one. So do I rethink some of my colours for this SWAP or do I just consider these as extras? I love the colour of the jade one, & I remember seeing a cardigan the same shade in our local Asda (Walmart). Well it would fit in with the black of the SWAP would'nt it?!!!!! I was hoping to find something I cut deconstruct & create something new but just about everything was on the small side. However there were a number of boys jumpers that will do for Joe in a couple of years. A useful haul.

On a different subject - food.
I made some roasted tomato soup yesterday with the last of the tomatoes from our little greenhouse. It's all gone already. Good job there's some in the freezer for the winter. Tea last night was chicken stir fry, I found a pack of chicken on offer so that was good. Tonight was braised pork chops with apple & onion, jacket potatoes, roasted carrot & parsnip & broccoli. Oh & boiled carrots for Joe as he doesn't like them roasted & hates parsnips! I came across some forgotton dried beans in the cupboard earlier & I think a slow cooked stew of some sort is in the horizon. Not to mention the thought of buying a ham shank during the week to provide stock & meat to add to green lentils for a feel good supper with a French stick! Well it is a French recipe after all & one we all love.

First draft.

My first thoughts on my SWAP. Always with the option to change at every whim!
After a morning straining my eyes at the computer screen I'm off to walk the dogs in the cool fresh air of the countryside with a friend. time to wrap up warm it's wet & windy out there!

Friday, 17 October 2008

SWAP 2009

Bummer. I just caught some key or other on the keyboard & wiped the reams I've just typed. Note to self: Use "save" more often.

So from the top again. This years SWAP has been posted on Stitchers Guild. The catch this time? The clothes have to fit our current weight & lifestyle! Ha, I'm in the middle of a weight loss kick so I plan to concentrate on tops this side of Xmas & bottoms after. I should be around my target weight by then & I intend to stay there this time.
I took a serious look through my wardrobe. Good job I cleared some of it out last week! Anyhow, I now have some idea of what I'm going to need to replace a) what I've thrown out & b) what I'm going to slim out of.
Tops: 1 each navy, raspberry & cream long sleeve tees. And these are baggy on me now.
Jackets: I have no less than 3 although 1 is more summer than winter. And they're all black! Oh I do possess a brown tweedy one as well! Actually I just realised I have a black duster coat too!
Trousers: 1 black, 1 tiny black/cream check that I can wear now, 1 bottle green & 1 tiny brown/black check that I will shrink into. 2 pairs of denim jeans. I'm ignoring the baggy cargo pants & sweat pants.
Blouses: Lots of white & white/black variations & about 3 black. A lilac 3/4 sleeve that isn't the greatest fit but looks good on me anyway. All the blouses I tend to wear with the black & black/white check trousers. A heavier weight raspberry shirt that I tend to wear as a lightweight jacket.
Dresses: A black linen mix sleeveless sheath, a tiny brown/black check sleeveless sheath & a wool blend navy sleeveless sheath! Thes only get worn on occasions!
Skirts: 1 red trimmed with black lace at the hem & no tops to wear with it as I threw them last week! A black suit skirt from my daughter that goes with the jacket she gave me. It's a tad too small right now but will be OK soon! I don't really do skirts as I can't find any comfy shoes that suit skirts as well as my feet. If I do find any I'll be making skirts again.

So that's what I've got & this is the lifestyle:
Get up & pull on jeans & tee, fleece jacket / waterproof, cycle or walk & occasionally car to work via school drop off. Once a week smarter look to go to French class after work.
Teach one evening a week so smarter look. When not teaching, go to pub with the Anorak & meet friends, smarter casual look.
I've already decided not to make outerwear as up here requires good waterproofs & I haven't got the time to make a decent job of that type of garment.

So what do I need?
Long sleeve tees for starters. Trousers & jeans for after the weight loss stabilises, including black. Another jacket but not in black! Tweed maybe with flecks of red, purple & green?? So this leads into colours too. Obviously black plays a large 'ish' part in the existing wardrobe & as I can't afford to replace everything it will have to remain so I need to plan around the existing jackets as well. I'm ruling out a fleece jacket at the moment although another would be useful but I couldn't necessarily make it work with the smarter trousers, although I do have a Vogue pattern that would be nice. I'm in danger of digressing here & rebuilding the entire wardrobe!

The stash has some raspberry & navy cotton jersey, also a black with purple fleck wool knit. Long sleeve tees come to mind, maybe a wrap top as well. A white self striped cotton for a blouse. Some pieces of the tiny black/white check that made trousers may be enough for a jeans style jacket, but then it wouldn't go that well with the brown/black check trousers. I'm thinking maybe a black denim for jeans rather than blue as well.

First thoughts are black trousers & black jeans, then the existing blouses will work with them. Also as I'm not going to make them until January I have time to find a fabric & colour that will work with whatever the jacket ends up in. I think a jeans style jacket might be useful, or maybe the Vogue Divine Details jacket pattern I've got. Would it work in tweed? I don't know. I quite fancy a raspberry red jacket too. Decisions decisions. Actually it's really going to evolve around whatever I can get in the finish!

The navy cotton jersey in the stash isn't going to get used for this SWAP as it isn't going to fit in but I will make it up anyway before the start to refine the self drafted pattern I will use. Neither is the black knit as I don't see it going with a red jacket but it will go with a tweedy look so again I may use it! The raspberry jersey will make it into the SWAP if I have enough as I love the colour & it works with several other colours as well.

So off the top of my head.

Jacket in a raspberry or maybe a bottle green colour or grey (?) tweed with flecks of colour in it.

Tops in raspberry, poss purple flecked black knit, cream, something with bottle green in it, maybe a pattern of some sort.

Blouses, 1 in white self stripe ( a girl can never have enough white shirts -right?) & maybe another in a print with raspberry & or bottle green in it.

Trousers - black, black denim, maybe a grey pinstripe & maybe a tweed so the potential tweed jacket forms a suit? See? I'm deviating from the main part of my casual lifestyle into smarter casual!! Perhaps I should make a second pair of jeans in a slightly different style or a pair of fine needlecord. I do need clothes to cycle to work in.

There what a lot of decisions to make & thoughts to dwell on. One thing I have decided however. Two in fact. I am going to be asking for accessories, i.e. gloves, pashminas, costume jewellery in the accent colours of raspberry & bottle green as presents from my loved ones this Christmas. Secondly I am going to do a mood board first with pictures from fashion magazines as I have loads of them that I used in my first lessons as inspiration for my students. I'm hopefully going to inspire myself!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A list

Of blogs I just came across that have been interesting reads. I've put them on my blog feed.

notes from the frugal trenches
beauty that moves
Caseys Musings this last one being fashion & clothes rather than how we should be living.

Soule Mama has got some yummy recipe links if you like pumpkin.

I am inspired once more to live better than I do now. I had already decided to join my best friend on her journey to re-instigate her veg garden along with another friend. The only drawback is that I have no option but to drive there as she lives out in the country but as I try & see her once every couple of weeks or more if I can putting the gardening gear in the car is no big deal. Right now I want to plant pumpkins! Thank you Soule Mama! However while I have grown them before along with lots of other good veggies, I'm not sure all my ( & my family's) taste in veg will be the same as Sue & Lynne who pretty much only have themselves to feed. Of course Sue's hubby still has to clear the overgrown hedge first & it could take a while to motivate him! There's simply too much work in that for us three girls.
The anorak & I had to give up our allotment due to lack of time but maybe between us all we can manage this "jardin potager"

Sunday, 12 October 2008

It's Sunday and.....

.............and not a lot really.

We've had Henry for the weekend while his Mum & Dad moved house. Henry being a large, rather portly black labrador. He's gorgeous & gets on well with our two mutts, although Jess thinks he's taking over her space a little. And I forgot to take pictures. I also took Henry up meet Simba,my daughters dog. She doesn't like other dogs but for most of the time she tolerated Henry. He's just so big & laid back nothing fazes him not even a bad tempered GSD look alike! Nor did a collision with a glass patio door. He hadn't noticed it was closed & bounced off it. I was in stitches on the floor!

Talking of stitches, I think my sewing class is going well, no one has compained yet anyway! I need to get off the computer & do some sewing. I need some long sleeve Tees as I threw out the tatty old ones. I have been making some blouses but it's the weather for long sleeve tees right now. I need more bottoms too but I'm not going to make any until I have shed some more weight. 9lbs so far & I'm aiming for another 21lbs to part company with.

I'll let you into a secret. I have a plan to hit 50 in January feeling fabulous & if I can possibly manage it, looking fabulous too. So there. My biggest problem is comfort eating & it's a hard habit to break but there a are good days & bad days so on a good day I'm being very very good & on the bad - I'm finding it so very difficult. Just have to keep focussed on the end result. The anorak thinks there's another man in sight. Humph, I should be so lucky? Doesn't do any harm to keep him on his toes.
Here's Jess in her usual "feeling sorry for myself" pose. There's no hope really is there?
Another week is looming with very little in the way of housekeeping. The anorak had to take two nights off work when the handbrake on the Passat failed so it's back to seeing what we have in the freezer & making do for a week. Good job I like a challenge eh?

Friday, 10 October 2008

Like I said...............

I will find time to keep this blog updated. Actually now I'm the proud owner of a shiny new laptop I may manage to get on t'internet when I want to, not when the house computer is free!! This pretty lake we found in France! Well we were directed to it by the fishing tackle shop & spent a happy day catching. Joe 7, the anorak 3, & me? Well I caught 9 just doing my own thing! We went back two days later to find the locals trying to catch their supper & were informed that actually we couldn't fish there at all & the info we'd been given was duff! Certainly put my French skills to the test trying to explain what we had been told to a rather irritated Frenchman who directed me to the local town & tackle shop to confirm what he had said ws true. Oh well. Joe & I then spent the afternoon at the campsite pool while the anorak went to fish a lake on site.