Still no sewing, but… Pattern excitement!

Got to Spotlight (chain fabric/home dec/craft/party stuff store, for my non Aussie mates) today and raided the Vogue patterns because they were on sale for $7 instead of the usual approx. $30.

Had to call in Mr Beloved to be my sensible though, because I wanted to buy for my fantasy life, where I am glamorous, wear heels and gloves, and don’t own a dog with big muddy paws (in this life I am Grace Kelly?!) sigh. I reaaaaaaaaaaallllly wanted those vintage Vogues!untitled

(I do love this. Those curved seams would be a pain but they make it fit so beautifully….)


(I still want this. I have nowhere to wear it. Bit much for popping up to the shops, innit? And my fur stole is in cold storage, mmm hmmm.)


(This one has great reviews on, although most people say to raise the neckline a bit and use bias binding on the neck and arm edges instead of the silly instructed narrow hem. I will be using bias.)

Vogue 1312
Vogue 1312

(This one also has good reviews, and a possibility for using just the bodice and top part of the skirt as a tunic, interesting.)

But the two I bought are really much more what I really wear – a bit unusual and probably made up in fabrics that will stand up to the washing machine.

I used to keep a little book where I stuck a copy of the patterns I owned and the relevant info I’d need when I went fabric shopping, but I stopped sewing (and changed sizes, and packed everything away) and so of course forgot which patterns I owned.image

you can see how incredibly useful it would be? Especially for someone as…(ahem!) memory challenged as I am?

So when I had a chance to dig it out of the Big Box of Patterns, I was pleasantly surprised to find… My Grace Kelly delusion has been a longstanding one! 😂 I already owned Vogue 1019 (the curvy suit) and a few other Vintage Vogues I’d pulled out yesterday as well, plus some which are now out of print.

There are a lot of patterns I own which are now too big for me (yay! And no, I’m not grading them down, I will sell them on or op shop them) and some which are… Let’s say, only of historical interest?!  But there are a lot, especially the multi size ones, which I am really looking forward to playing with.

I also discovered that now that Spotlight let customers pull the patterns out of the drawers themselves (when did that start?) it’s much more efficient to just go through the drawers and hope things you want are there (especially in the second week of the sale) than look through the book, note pattern numbers, THEN hunt through the drawers. Much less disappointing that way. And you see things you miss in the books.

Now to save up for actual fabrics… The car is serviced (at long last, a HUGE worry off my mind!) and once my shoulder is fixed… Oh, but that’s a story for another time. X-rays and ultrasound tomorrow. What fun!

Still no sewing, but….

This was meant to post last week but we have been having LOTS of technical issues, grrrrrr.

Today (this would have been Tuesday 10th)I did get out to Spotlight, and had a lovely browse while Mr Beloved was off looking at plants at the nearby hardware shop. Didn’t know before I got out there that today was the last day of a four day sale of

40% off all fabric…and I’d previously eyed off this “almost Liberty of L0nd0n” lawn (so pretty!) and at that price?  Japanese printed, beautiful hand, down to $10.19 per metre? I would have bought more if I could, but I had a quick look at a blouse pattern and figured two metres should see me right for most things. (I also checked my current measurements against the pattern books and discovered that I most likely have multi-size patterns in my collection that I can use, bought when I was after the bigger end of the range, now I can use the slightly smaller. Some classic styles don’t need new patterns, yay!)

I actually went out there to buy the Simplicity pattern (1578) to make Emmalumpdogg a few clothes…she feels the cold already, and we’re supposed to be headed for a cold front, with predicted temperatures as low as minus four (C).

She seems to approve… Or at least want to interfere….

I haven’t done any sewing because I’ve been having tummy troubles again. Having an ultrasound on Thursday, then back to the Doctor. Hopefully it’s just gall bladder and they can get it sorted out, but I am right sick of it.image imageOh, I did buy one other pattern – Mum mentioned that Style Arc patterns were having a Mother’s Day sale on their Etsy shop, so I grabbed the Tania Tabard. I actually prefer the PDF patterns at the moment since I can blend the sizes, although the printing out and sticking together is a pain. Swings and roundabouts.

Wednesday was a very loooooooong day.

Warning:epic post!image
Yesterday was a loooooooooong day. Not just for me, but for poor Mr Beloved – since I’m still not allowed to drive (stupid fainting thing!) he has to play chauffeur. He is the world’s most patient man.

First stop: J, the magic physiotherapist. Oh, I love her! 45 minutes of bliss. Things are definitely improving each time I see her, and even though I could do my exercises more (I try, I try!) my pelvis is more stable, I can bend forward and backwards with less pain, and this time she worked on my thoracic spine because my neck was locked up. Within my fibromyalgia limits, as always. But by the end of the session, I could turn my head so far I felt like an owl! Wonderful!

Rush off to the optometrist. Because the day before I’d been in to collect my two new pairs of spectacles – red for reading and sewing, black for everyday distance vision. This was after my second eye test and both pairs of glasses having to be remade because they got them completely WRONG the first time: the height was wrong, the curve was wrong, when I put them on everything was distorted and I just felt dizzy and seasick. They spent 45 minutes fussing with the frames, putting “tilt” on the frames, adjusting them. Made no bloody difference. Ugh. They tried to tell me that I would “adjust”, that I should “try them out for a few days”…. Uh, no. YOU got them wrong. And I was made to feel like the staffer having to fill out the paperwork ( paper? In 2016?!) was doing so under sufferance. Not happy.

Anyway, on Tuesday I collected my red readers. Small adjustment to the earpiece and voila.. Good to go. New prescription had been made correctly. BUT…. Black everyday glasses? Exactly the same wrongness as last time. Peripheral vision distorted, direct vision at wrong height, a complete mess. Useless. Unacceptable. I leave the store, unhappy, and silly young assistant promises to get in touch.

Which she does, half an hour later, when we’ve been to the grocery store, asking if I’m still in the mall, and would I like to come back in and try to get the glasses adjusted now? No, I tell her, I would not. Oh. Would I like to come in tomorrow then, and try for an adjustment and maybe another eye test if that’s what’s needed? Fine, I say through gritted teeth, and look at my calendar, and book in the appointment, in between the two I already have for Wednesday. Grrrrrrrrrr.

Which is why I’m at the optometrist yesterday, hoping to collect my black everyday glasses. But guess what? After keeping us waiting 20 minutes past our appointment time (grrrrrr) the bloke….

CAN’T FIND THE GLASSES. Which young assistant had just the day before. He goes to look for them. He gets other people to look. I helpfully tell him the name of young assistant, since they don’t have a decent audit trail. He calls her back to the store from lunch. She looks.

I am saying things like I’ve been a customer here for at least seven years, I’ve never had this sort if trouble before, this is very stressful and wasting my time, I’m really considering not coming back once this is resolved, blah blah blah. Shoulda gone to Specs$vers? Hmmm… Not so much….

In the meantime, he checks my new readers, adjusts my old ones, which Emmalumpdogg keeps jumping on and bending the nosepieces (new readers have no bendy nosepieces. For that reason.)

New glasses are lost. Vanished. Unfindable. Stupid young assistant has actually done me a favour, because rather than having the same mucked about frames used again, bloke has authorised new glasses altogether.

All that took over an hour.

We have time to get home briefly to check on Emmalumpdogg before the next appointment. Specialist dentist. He’s the owner of the practice and you only get to see him if your dentist refers you up. I have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues, have had ever since my first husband, 💪exacerbated by my tendency to tense my jaw when stressed and grind my teeth at night sometimes. (Gosh, what could have stressed me out that day! 😂)

Well! He is the chattiest the dentist I have ever met! We establish cultural credentials (everything from Shakespeare to MotoGP!) and somehow spend 90 minutes, of which maybe 10 are about the problem, with about 2 taken up with an actual poking around exam. Which hurt, and established beyond any doubt in his mind that I need a further consult with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, with the possibility of botox(!) injections to ease the problem. Who knew, eh? Said surgeon is down the big hill in Ipswich, so that will be an interesting trip.

So. Up to the pharmacy to refill my antibiotics script, since everything is closed today because it’s a public holiday (Show day! Whoopee!) and finally, home. Emmalumpdogg demanded her afternoon happy stick chewing time, poor Mr Beloved collapsed onto the bed to rest his aching back.

Loooooonnnnnnnng day.

Oh, and my new black glasses? Due on the 15th. We shall see. I can’t wait to get the feedback form in the email, cos I’m gonna let ‘er rip. 👿

Of sewing, cabbages, and silly Emmalumpdogg things.

So I bought a dress pattern for the first time in years… The Eva dress pattern from Tessuti. It’s one you download and either print at home and stick lots of sheets together, or take to somewhere like Officeworks who do plan printing . I’m trying the “at home” method first (cheaper, and Mum has used it successfully with Style Arc patterns.)Tessuti "Eva" dress

We went to Spotlight yesterday and bought fabric, but I think I bought the wrong thing 😕 It’s a lightweight denim, and after one go through the washing machine, it feels a little stiff. Online friends have suggested a vinegar rinse, so I’ll try that… It was 30% off, so even if I don’t use it for this project, it’s certainly 3 metres of very usable fabric for something else at a good price. The Black and white threads were 40% off, so I saved $8 each, only $11.95 per spool! And the panda tape measure replaces my treasured little woolly sheep that I  foolishly left within reach of Emmalumpdogg on her first day here.image

I haven’t cleared the sewing machine area yet, or got my sewing tools out, but one step at a time… Especially since I’m dealing with bloody mastitis again. Yep, last June I first found out that any boob can get mastitis, and now here I go again. I went straight to the doctor and got antibiotics, and I’m to call up in two days to check I’m on the right antibiotic for the bug I’ve got. Any sign of this turning into an abcess again and you bet I’ll be knocking on the doctor’s door first thing, I’m not doing that again! *shudder* First person to mention cabbage leaves as helpful gets a cabbage inserted. Sidewards. There are many things cabbages are great for, I am sure, but treating mastitis is NOT one of them! (I have no sense of humour about this, do I?!)image

Meanwhile, Miss Emmalumpdogg enjoyed her late afternoon supervised stick chewing. It’s her second favourite time of day. (Her favourite time of day is her super early morning-well, sometimes they’re middle of the night- tracking treks with Daddy.)image

Hmmm, could we have another trainee flautist in the family? Maybe a less toothy embouchure would  help?!image


A Day Out… and another birdy photo

So today we went for a little drive.  Out to Crows Nest, to visit an antique store. We took a writer friend with us, since she has a similar twisted sense of humour.

Green Jesus with Blood Red Nailz (tm)
Green Jesus with Blood Red Nailz ™

(You really must clicky for biggy on these, they’re special)

Cupid waves hello from a swan
Cupid waves hello from a swan

The shop was very hot (being, as most such places are, really just a tin shed with a nicer front on it) and we were overwhelmed by furniture lust after a while –  beautiful little writing desks and huuuuuuuge breakfront dressers, none of which would fit in our houses… not to mention all the odd little (overpriced) bits and pieces…

Then lunch at the bakery. Yum.

A quick stop at an op shop back in town to look for frames for our friend (who is an artist as well as a writer, and has an upcoming exhibition in February) then home.

You can see where Allie gets his pearl from...
You can see where Allie gets his pearl from…

(The photo is a bit overblown, but you should be able to see the pearl on Bolly’s wing – that’s where Allie gets it from.)

It was a windy day so my hair is extra frizzy – but I’m definitely having problems with my thyroid, even though the scan was normal.  Things are tasting odd, my skin is superdry, my nails are brittle, my throat is sore, my voice is hoarse, I’m TIRED, my hands and feet are cold, my memory is extra wonky… I could go on listing symptoms but it’s pretty pointless, since I can’t do anything about it except try and convince the Very Helpful Psychiatrist to order blood tests when I have a skype call with her on Monday.  I even know which blood tests I need.  This might sound like I’m being a bit of a hypochondriac – rather, we’ve been down this path before, LAST time I needed the thyroxine dose increased. *sigh*  And I need a referral to an endocrinologist, just to be on the safe side. BLOODY CHRISTMAS/ NEW YEARS, can’t get a thing done!  Everybody shuts down ’til the start of February!

Anyway. Enough of that. It was a lovely day.

Semester 1, 2013…

So the first day back at uni went okay.  I had an appointment with the Disability Resources Officer, who is lovely, just to update my details and check that everything was going smoothly.  Turns out she’s a Georgette Heyer fan too, so we had quite a natter about which of the Regency Romances were our favourites 1 and how the historical novels were admirable for their research but not really so readable 2 (Mum  – I seem to remember Nana June having Heyer books around – I wonder am I misremembering? Was she a fan or were they for guests at the B&B or…?)

Semester 1 2013

first day
It was raining too hard to take the traditional ‘first day of school’ photo outside – the laundry had to do. What a scenic backdrop!

Here’s what I wore, and here’s a link to the model wearing the same dress.  I am going to have to sell off my clothes from last year (possibly even on ebay) because they are MILES too big on me now.  Very frustrating.  I know, it sounds like a nice problem to have. The shops assistants at my favourite shop (for curvier ladies) keep commenting on how narrow my shoulders are.  Probably because all my current clothes keep falling OFF my shoulders!

Right now I am very cross though – just had a call from the hospital and they have me all booked in for the colonoscopy and gastroscopy 3ON THE WRONG DAY.  Grrrr.  I had thought it was all organised so I wouldn’t miss uni: nope, they’ve booked me in to go in on the Tuesday and I have to be there by 2pm.  That buggers up going to a class that runs from 1 til 4 pm, doesn’t it?!  Oh well, it’s only one week.  And I know I can catch up and get the lecture notes online and the in class notes from someone.

And it’s such a GOOD class. We have a new lecturer 4, and she was brilliant yesterday.  She took feedback really well and seemed prepared to work with the group – only about 10 us on campus, I’m not sure how many are studying externally – in giving us challenging work and a better idea of what is actually expected in the assessment.   YAY!

We have had a little break in the weather today, and Mr Beloved got some washing out on the line – yay for Mr Beloved! We even –shock horror – saw some SUNSHINE instead of this constant grey gloominess and nonstop rain!  But more rain is predicted for the rest of the week. Boo, hiss.  We have had 592mm of rain this month in the rain gauge at the airport and I am CONVINCED that we get more rain here than there.  600mm!!  That’s a lot.  That’s REALLY a lot.  No wonder everything feels soggy and damp.  I think I’ll go get whatever feels dry now off the washing line before it gets rained on again…


  1. The Grand Sophy, Arabella, A Marriage of Convenience,  Cotillion
  2. I defy ANYBODY  to say My Lord John is Heyer’s best work – it lacks the witty dialogue and humanising characters that make Heyer sparkle.
  3. or as we keep calling it round here, up periscope and down periscope
  4. the uni has hired on casual rates again, boo hiss, I strongly disagree with this sort of hiring practice, but what can you do? This is, sadly, the reality of the academic world in 2013

Very long time no post…

So, where have I been?

Let’s just say, depression SUX. To the point where I had to withdraw (after the cut off date, which now involves additional paperwork to fix, groan)  from my Semester 3 unit for Uni, which really upset me; my psychiatrist was away over Christmas, and when my lovely and helpful GP and mental health nurse tried to help by getting me on to an antidepressant I had a VERY bad reaction to the first one (5 days of severe nausea) and then a fast swing back towards mania with the 2nd one just before Christmas… then my Dad got crook and had a quick 5 day trip to hospital in the week before Christmas (he’s doing much better now).

And I’ve been sick. On top of the depression I’ve developed this interesting new weight loss thing where things I used to be able to eat now make me sick.


Onions? FORGET it. Okay, if it was was just no onions I could live with that. But now it’s milk.  I made tuna pie (an old family favourite) the other night (without the onions) and spent hours curled in a ball on the floor in agony. Last night I tried a couple of tablespoons of light ricotta cheese  – big mistake.
A few nights ago we had some lamb stir fry – let’s just say the results weren’t pretty.  So no animal fats, onions, milk… nothing tasty. I am rather bored with what I can eat – small portions of grilled chicken breast, lettuce, and tomato.  Small amounts of things with gluten or baaaaaad things happen. I am having blood tests and an ultrasound and then I’m going back to the GP to see what happens next.

I now only weigh 86 kg.  Which would be LOVELY if it was intentional weight loss but it’s not so nice when you don’t really know why.  (Apart from the not being able to eat FOOD thing, I mean.) None of my clothes fit but I have nowhere to go out, so that doesn’t really matter.  For the first in time YEARS the doctor doesn’t have to use the fat chick cuff on the blood pressure machine (yes I know the proper name is sphygmomanometer, could you be bothered typing that?) even though I have wobbly upper arms – but the normal sized cuff fits anyway.

Mr Beloved is losing some weight too because he’s been eating less along with me – so I guess it’s not all bad… Miss Constance, on the other hand, is looking decidedly porky because I haven’t been walking her.

Today is the second anniversary of The Flood.  And it is a stinking hot day. We may get a thunderstorm later.  There have been bushfires across Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland, with a total fire ban across at least three states tomorrow.

Apart from that… not much to report.  Our wonderful Christmas pressie (thanks Mum and Dad) will be delivered on Tuesday arvo – a much needed and anticipated new mattress.  I’m a little nervous  – how can you tell from such a short lie down in the shop if you’ve chosen the right one? But Mr Beloved was so pleased with it, he could get up and down off it and we (crucially! and unlike the current old one) didn’t  annoy each other every time one of us turned over – something to do with pocket springs? Anyway, let’s hope it sorts out my sore hip.

So. More later. Ish.


So. Tired.

Ugh. So I just LOVE having rapid cycling Bipolar Disorder.  Yep.  Love it.  Because now I have moved into what the psychiatrist calls a ‘mixed state’ which translates as ‘don’t know if I’m going to be ok or burst into weepy tears’, and it’s very NOT fun. It’s the worst part of Bipolar, the mixed state, because it’s both mania and depression at once. It’s the most dangerous state.  But I’m okay. Sort of. Just really tired and scattered.

And I’m so damn sick of my brain waking me up with useless chatter at 2:30 in the morning.  I just want to sleep through the night so I can get up and concentrate on my school work like NORMAL people, you know? And get to classes and appointments without looking like a zombie and wanting to come home and collapse across the bed without even taking time to take my clothes or makeup off afterwards (it’s not pretty waking up crushed and with the remnants of mascara ground into the pillow.)

So I get to try some new med1cation tonight, yippee. The Very Helpful Psychiatrist reckons it will make me sleep.  It’s a short term fix only. I said I don’t care I JUST WANT TO SLEEP AND BE NORMAL.  The doctor asked if I wanted to go to hospital ‘just for a little while’ but I don’t want to.  It’s such a hassle.  I want my own stuff around me and my own ice packs and my own uncomfortable bed, not to mention Mr Beloved and Connie… I worry that if this med1cation doesn’t work that I might have to go but I’ll fight it all the damn way.


The lovely vet came over to see Connie today -we have to buy a rug for the bedroom floor and build some stairs for the bed, because at 8 years old poor Connie’s knees and back are starting to wear out from her constant exuberant jumping from the bed to the slippery floorboards and back up again.  She also gets to have a yummy fishy powder supplement to help ease her joints – and if that’s not helping fast enough she goes back onto some meloxicam, poor little mite.

Tomorrow Mr Beloved gets his eyes tested and new spectacles organised; I did that last week and so should be picking up my new specs this week.

The black-ish pair is actually much darker in real life, if I remember rightly. Not so tortoiseshell-y. The red pair are that red. (Turned out my vision problems are mostly because I’m tired and stressed.  What a surprise, right? At least it’s not the start of a brain tumor or anything horrible. Except for the persistent floater in my left eye which is just a damn floater and there is nothing to be done about it.)

And here’s a compare and contrast for you:

On the left: at the end of February;  on the right (in winter plumage, but having lost some weight) at the end of July. Is university good for me? Perhaps.

I finally got an official result from last semester: I got an HD. High Distinction.


And my first piece of assessable work for this unit is due on the 13th and I already feel like I’m falling behind so if you’ll excuse me… I have some writing to do. And I have to read the first Harry Potter book again before Friday as homework and look at the way it is structured (yep, really.)

Living in the panopticon*

Recently some cards inviting me to become part of the latest massive customer loyalty scheme for one of Australia’s supermarket duopoly arrived in the post.

I will NOT be participating.

You might find this surprising, given that I live my life so openly on the web.  Anyone who reads my blog or is prepared to do even a minute or two of online searching (off you go, I’ll wait…) can find out any number of things about me.  I’m very open about my mental illness, my health issues, about the places I’ve lived.

I’ve had an online presence for a very long time.  And waaaaaay back at the very start of that, back when I had a livejournal account – gosh, way back before then, when I used to play on bulletin boards – alt.rec.whatevertheheckitwas, etc, multiple boards – I made the decision – a very consciously taken decision – to be ME online.  Not some hidden identity, not hiding behind aliases, but searchable me.

Does this mean I put my real life residential address in an easily findable format? Of course not.  Nor do I hand out my phone number.  I try to protect the people around me to a certain extent – Mr Beloved and my family are not so easily identified.

So why am I so annoyed about the arrival of these cards in the mail?  What could possibly be so upsetting about the WONDERFUL offer of “shop with us and we’ll reward you with these lovely, lovely things”?

Because you don’t get something for nothing, folks.  Every time you sign up for a store “loyalty” card, sure you might “get” some sort of discount.  The best ones might give you, say, 10% off the retail price on every purchase, and if you’re happy with that, great.  But what about the ones that make you wait until you have a certain number of their “points” until  you can claim a “reward”.  What’s happening there?

While you’re waiting for that great intangible, there’s a whole lot of data collection and processing going on.  Every time you buy something, there’s analysis about what else you bought at the same time.  How much you spent on a Tuesday.  Whether you bought more or less compared to last Tuesday.  Did you buy the product that was on the aisle end display, did you buy something that was advertised on the tv last night.   Did you pay cash, use your credit card,  ETFPOS, and did you take cash out with your purchase. It’s all there – whether the big store actually uses it or not is unknown.

The point is, they could.

If you let them.

*The panopticon was originally designed by Jeremy Bentham as a structure where inmates of an institution couldn’t tell if they were being observed or not. (Creepy, huh?)  You might think I’m paranoid.  I am at least aware of being (potentially) “observed” (by camera or by data) at all times,  given my local town’s “city safe” camera surveillance system, various store security cameras, and my willing participation in some store loyalty card programs.

Do you know who’s watching YOU?


It’s been… a week.

So I got my assignment in on time, Yay.

After wasting YET ANOTHER HOUR of tute time going over the assignment AGAIN!  *headdesk*

Fair dinkum, there had better be close to full damn marks for EVERYONE for this bloody thing.

Then – lessee.  Saturday I made a cake (Rose Levy Beranbaums’ fabulous Chocolate Domingo cake, with masses of chocolate ganache icing) to take to the girls I usually see during the week, but we had to hold our get together on a Sunday because everyone had other commitments and we had to celebrate Tammy’s birthday.  That was ok – fun with the cake and pressies.

Monday, Tammy and I went shopping – not something I normally do and it was EXHAUSTING!  Just trying on clothes at one shop. For three hours!  I bought a dress and a long sleeved top to wear under it, and a scarf.  Lay-by-ed another top (and it was on a better price than shown on the web!)  Just wanted a couple of pieces that weren’t so – daggy, you know?

Then uni on Tuesday – the lecture actually made sense this week, and it was such a relief to get back into the course CONTENT instead of the !@^(%# library assignment!  We have two weeks uni break now, so I’ll be using my couple of hours of uni work per day to try a get a little bit ahead and start writing the essay, which is worth 40% of the mark for the course.

Wednesday was group therapy, which is always very tiring.  Ugh. Especially so this week – stuff came up that I didn’t cope well with, and I got left til last, so I was wrung out when Mr Beloved came to collect me – Ia cup of tea and then had lie down, put my CPAP mask on and just sleep for three hours.

Thursday was Toowoomba Show Day, a public holiday, so no uni.  And I slept. A lot.

I was supposed to meet with the girls to celebrate my birthday (which isn’t until next week but one of them was going out of town) but I just COULDN’T.  I was done.  I just can’t do things that many days in a row. Just can’t.  Physically or mentally.

Which brings us to today.  I slept in again, then ran a few errands (post, library, supermarket for a couple of essentials) and now I’m worn out again.

Both of us are in the grips of allergy season – I don’t know what’s flowering but I wish it would stop already, it’s costing us a fortune in antihistamines!  And I’m back on the asthma preventative.  Blaah!

So that’s me – tired, grumpy, sniffly, menopausal, and several other of the dwarves Disney didn’t want to mention.

Next week: More trauma therapy.  Oh goody.