Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Its been so long....

I can't believe that I haven't written a blog post since September 2015.  Really, I can't.  10 months!  I had to pack it away for the sake of my mental health, but I had no idea so much time had passed.  And while I am feeling better, I still am not better - more that my husband and I have developed ways to manage me so I can be as productive as possible.  I can't hold down a job, I can't sew all the time, and I often can't get out of bed, but when I am feeling ok I can do small amounts of work for my husband's business, do a bit of sewing, and feel useful.

But I want to catch you all up on the exciting things that have happened in the last 10 months!

As you know I was working on a wardrobe for the Art Deco Weekender in Napier in February of this year.  I got a lot of things made, but it was touch and go whether I would actually be able to get on the plane.  I went, even though I wasn't feeling all that great, and I made the most of it.

Why yes of course I purchased duty free french champagne on my way there!

Here is an outfit I made for our fancy night out - a lace evening dress lined in nude chiffon.

By far my most successful outfit (and the one I worked hardest creating) was my beach pajamas.  I wanted to recreate ones I had seen in an old photo from the 1930s.  This is the photo:
I loved the outfit on the left the most
So I went about making the closest thing I could to that outfit, and honestly, I think I did awesomely!

I made it in colours to compliment the amazing 1920s hat I found.

And here we all are on our last night in Napier.  It really was a fun event and I would definitely go again - especially since I have outfits half made that I didn't get to wear!

Just before this event, we moved house.  Moving is stressful at the best of times, but when you have bipolar, it has the potential to be an absolute disaster.  I got a lot of help from my parents, and from Steve's parents, and for a few days either side of the move, I went and stayed with a friend.  I then had help from Mum unpacking.

I love our new house - it is amazing, but there is no room for a sewing room.  Luckily, we had a plan.  More on that later.

In April, a new fluffy bundle came to join my family.

Meet Dita von Schauzer!  Here are a couple of photos I took as I travelled home after picking her up from the breeder.  She came from a cattle property just outside of Mendooran in New South Wales, which is a bit over 3 hours from where I live.

 I will be honest - Stella wasn't much of a fan when Dita arrived.  Especially because Dita needed fairly constant attention from me.  But I made a concerted effort to spend quality time with Stella too, and in a couple of weeks she came around, and they are great friends now and play constantly.

Miss Dita is a rambunctious and inquisitive little character and often gets into trouble for doing things she shouldn't.  For example, yesterday she managed to find a small sachet of rat bait in my Dad's garage (where she shouldn't have been).  Luckily, Stella (who is a dibber-dobber) barked loudly for my Mum to come (its true, she's done this to me too) and Dita was caught before too much of the rat bait could be consumed.

I love the look on Dita's face "I know we all know I'm the devil, but I'm cute so its ok, isn't it"

So today they both ended up at the vets having blood tests to make sure they were going to be ok.  This is just the current adventure that has seen her end up at the vets.  But I wouldn't swap her for all the tea in China, she is a wonderful little character, and I look forward to seeing her grow up.

Right, now back to my sewing room.

Luckily, the house we moved in to is just around the corner (like 100 metres away) from a holiday accommodation property that Steve and I own.  The property has two buildings on it - at the back is the lovely two bedroom house, and at the front is the garage with a little flat on top.  My husband runs his business from the flat upstairs, and the garage was given to me to have as a sewing room... with one condition - it must be able to be turned back into a garage if we ever sell the place.  So therefore no carpet, and no removal of the garage door.  I was, however, allowed to have air conditioning (thank goodness!)

After we moved all my sewing room stuff (and some other stuff) was left in the garage for me to deal with.

I'm sure you can see how daunting this is

And it has taken me from February until two weeks ago to get the space finished. 

First of all a lovely builder friend of my Dad's cut a hole in the bricks and put a door in so I had my own entrance, and some natural light

I could not believe how much difference this door actually made in regards to the amount of light in the space.  Amazing.  Thanks Laurie!

Then I painted the bricks and the back plasterboard wall.  And with so much stuff in the garage this wasn't straight forward.  I had to move everything to one side, paint the vacant side, and then move everything to the painted side and paint that.

Look!  Normal Beccie!!!

And of course, I painted it lilac.

Then I moved everything on to the driveway so I could sweep and vacuum the years of dust and dead bugs and leaves and yuck off the cement floor.

At this point, a lady and a man rode past on their push bikes and said "Ooh - garage sale" (yard sale).  I called out "Ahh - No!"

Then I put the rugs down, and put the furniture in approximately the places I thought it would go.

And then I started unpacking - which took forever - and bought more shelving from Ikea, and organised Dad to create a bench tops for the draw units (on the right), and help me hang the curtains I made to hide the ugly cupboards and the garage door, and pick up furniture from here and there, and blah blah blah.

But somehow it got finished.  And it is wonderful!  I am so proud of this space, and so thankful to have it.  It may have taken almost 6 months, but it was worth it.

The plastic tubs on the right hand side are no longer there - it was my trouble corner, but I fixed it.  And note the very large curtain (actually 4 curtains) that hide the garage door.

My desk and kitsch shelves

 The girls also come down to my sewing room with me, and they have bean bags to sleep in.

My sitting area, where I can sit and hand sew (or unpick) or have people visit for tea.  I have since purchased a new/old lounge suite which is exactly the same as these chairs, but with different upholstery (see couch photo below) 

As much as I was happy with the chartreuse chairs, I really wanted a matching lounge, so I chased down a three-piece set and found this one - the blue fabric is VERY pretty.  Stella approves and now sleeps on the lounge rather than the bean bag.

My sewing shelves!  And a better view of trouble corner, which was fixed by.....

...buying an amazing art nouveau style edwardian wardrobe!  I have named it Narnia (for obvious reasons)

 My front door!  And another huge curtain hiding the back of some very ugly metal cabinets.

Thank you for hanging around and waiting so long for me to get my act together.  I hope to get back to blogging now - but not regularly - it will have to be in a more haphazard fashion, but at least I will still be here.

So, what have you all been up to in the last 10 months?



  1. Fantastic to see everything you've been up to. It must be such a challenging tiring struggle for you and yet you have made fantastic progress.
    I loved your Deco outfits and am sad that you couldnt enjoy yourself as much as you would have liked. Maybe next year.......
    Wow...okay no carpet allowed but you got around that one beautifully...the whole kit and caboodle is in that garage! What an awesome space for you and the dogs to "unpick" in...lol x
    Ruth from Napier x

  2. I'm so glad to see you're back! (Though please don't feel pressured to continue if you aren't feeling up to it.) Mental health problems knock us on our butts sometimes, but thankfully developing those all important "coping mechanisms" (ew, psychobabble talk) can help take a load off.

    Your new space looks so innovative and beautiful. I love what you've done with it!

  3. Oh Becci, so glad to see your writing again! And so what if its not all the time. Your sewing room Looks terrific. I am "sew" very happy to see it is finished and you are doing somewhat better. It's a process, you'll get there. You are a creative vibrant spirit and thank you for including us all in your adventure. I look forward to seeing And hearing more.

  4. Your beach pajamas are fantastic, your dog's are adorable and your sewing room is an amazing transformation. Enjoyed this post very much and hope life continues to improve whether you blog or not.

  5. It is good to hear from you again. The blue lace gown is spectacular! You were spectacular in it! Love both of those cute dogs, give them head rubs for me.

  6. Wow! Your new sewing space is amazing! I'm glad to see you back on your blog, but I've been following you on IG. I'm so glad your life has improved. :)

  7. Wow! Your new sewing space is amazing! I'm glad to see you back on your blog, but I've been following you on IG. I'm so glad your life has improved. :)

  8. Fantastic. What an amazing space and such a great accomplishment, Beccie! Love the new pup and her name. Adorable. It's wonderful to read about your adventures - I especially like the lace and chiffon dress - gorgeous. Love from America. -Lori McCarthy

  9. Great to hear from you again! You have two gorgeous dogs and a fabulous sewing room. I am looking forward to seeing more of your makes x

  10. Dita is adorable. Those eyebrows! :D You worked some real magic on your new sewing space. It is fantastic!

  11. Wow! I love your lace dress and those beach pajamas are just gorgeous! You've recreated that photo perfectly :-) Your furry new addition to the family is a real charmer! And that sewing room is fantastic - I've just pinned several of the photos to my Sewing Room Inspiration board. I think the large curtains are brilliant, they really turn it into a welcoming space. The picture of your sofa makes me think of a terribly upmarket dressmakers from the 1920's! Of course I've never actually seen what one would have looked like, but this is what I would imagine. The potential client lounging on the sofa, drinking tea, and models parading around wearing the latest designs! You should be very proud of all that you've achieved :-D

  12. Your sewing space was worth the wait and hard work you put into it. It is beautiful. Enjoy your sewing. Sewing can be very therapeutic. But that adorable puppy is very therapeutic, too!! Enjoy your life!

  13. Your lace dress and beach outfit are gorgeous!
    Dita is so adorable - that little furry face! So sweet!
    I'm having serious envy over that amazing sewing space. It's functional and luxurious and beautiful.

  14. Wishing you well from California. That sewing room conversion would have exhausted a troop of Marines.

  15. That is amazing work you have done on that space and it is looking fabulous! So much lovely stuff you have been doing in the last 10 months :)

  16. I am so glad you are back to blogging!

  17. Hey Beccie, it's great that you are back! Your sewing room is fantastic, what a lot of work that must have been!

    I spent the last 9 months being... a mom :) my son arrived in the middle of october and I don't have much time for sewing left anymore, but I hope to see more of your fantastic makes. This is almost as good as sewing :)