2019 ideas

I actually think this is the first time I write ‘2019’ anywhere, and it is already the 10th of January! Yes, it is here. It arrived quietly in our house where everyone went to bed around 10 ish. I was awake at midnight to send messages to my children spread all over the world, and to family in South Africa

The year started with us giving the lounge and computer room a good clean. We washed the carpets, washed windows, polished everything, the new curtains (which I bought early in 2018) went up. Rubbish into the rubbish bags. It looks sparkling clean there. I then gave the kitchen a good clean too, although it is one room I like clean and tidy all the time

My ideas/plans for 2019:

  • Breadmaking! I want to bake bread and bread rolls and everything bread related and would love to do it at least once a week. I have never really been into breadmaking and used the breadmaker for dough for ‘vetkoek‘, a yummy SA dish I make about once a year. We love having it with mince meat, mustard and tomato sauce. But this year I want to bake bread in the oven. Mix it in the breadmaker, but bake in the oven. Of course, as it happens when you plan stuff like this, the breadmaker decided it’s not on and stopped working. I ordered a new one and it should be here tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I am going to get the ingredients for a basic white bread and bread rolls
  • Sew underwear. Since my breast cancer journey my breasts are quite uneven and I find it hard to find comfy bras. I tend to wear bralettes now, but they are not really very pretty. And I love pretty undies. No, I am definitely not going to attempt a fancy bra!!!!! But I have found several bralette patterns and tutorials which I am keen to try.
    I have also found several easy panty patterns, different styles and plan to try those as well. And when I decide which ones are the most comfy, after trying all these patterns I am going to make myself really pretty underwear sets. I started thinking about this last year already and bough stretchy lace and knit fabric for the big undie sewing year 🙂
  • I am going to sew for myself! I need new tops and  have several patterns I want to try out. My fabric is ready, just need the courage. When my children were small I made all their clothes, as well as my own. But life happened and I just didn’t get to it for many years. Not sure how well it will go, after so many years of not sewing for myself I have lost a bit of self-confidence
  • Sell online. Last year I tried one market, I didn’t enjoy the experience and do not even want to think about it again. But I have joined a FB group where members sell their goodies. It is open to the public, but they have quite strict rules to sell. Luckily my stuff past the test, my care labels are ready. I added my advert for Reading Pillows a couple of days ago and basically immediately received my first order. The pillow has been made, it has been paid for and will be posted tomorrow. Eventually I am going to add dolls clothes and other bits and pieces. But there is no rush


  • Hardanger. Yes, this is the year. Kathy, a fellow blogger is developing an online course/tutorial to follow as a SAL. My materials are ready. I am ready 🙂 Can’t wait!
  • I also hope to finish my SS2 quilt. Still 7 blocks to complete, then crochet the border rows. It won’t take long to complete, I think if I set aside a week and make a block or two everyday I can get it done quickly. I planned from the beginning to make a 7×7 quilt and I am happy with the size. Mollie is happy with it too
  • Finish the Honeybee quilt. The last block will be released this month, with instructions on how to complete the quilt in February. I should be able to have a completed quilt by the end of February. It is such a pretty design
  • Make cloth shopping bags. Here in our town there are no more plastic shopping bags at the supermarkets and we must take our own bags/boxes/container. I found a lovely pattern for shopping bags. It even has a lining which will make them stronger. The plan is to use cheap, but strong, calico
  • Make machine covers for my sewing machines. I do sew a lot, but there are times when, for example, my embroidery machine is not used. I am going to make pretty machine covers for the embroidery machine, the sewing machine, the serger and the cheap sewing machine

I have been keeping myself busy so far this year and made a few things. First a little dress with shadowwork embroidery, instead of smocking.


I had fabirc left over and decided to smock a little set for a 6-month old baby. After that I decided to embroider little sandals to go with the outfit. I’ve had this design for so long and always wanted to try it



I finished a doll’s dress I started last year when I made a similar dress for a little girl


And I smocked and embroidered a red dress, using my favourite ShweShwe fabric from SA. Love the little embroidered hippo design


None of these are 100% finished yet as I still have to add buttonholes and buttons and do some hand sewing to tidy it up. But I am quite happy with my efforts so far

I have a long list of things I want to sew, some in the above list, but many just random ideas or patterns I want to try out. I want to embroder the shopping cloth bags, I want to embroider the machine covers before making the covers. I need a new bag for my Hardanger supplies as I gave the one I made for myself away. I am busy making touletry bags for my daughter and her partner, to be mailed to Canada. I also want o make my daughter a zipped infinity scarf, to be mailed with the toiletry bags. I want to smock and make a rainbow dress. Maybe a rag quilt………



It feels impossible, but it is true, the end of 2018 is here.  My plans for 2018 were:

  • Have a market stall at least once. Sell dolls clothes – done. Hated it. Sold nearly nothing. Not happening again
  • Weekly cleaning plan so that I don’t have to go in overdrive during weekends and clean like crazy. Do it ‘gently’ – worked out, more or less. But easily tempted by my sewing machines. Will try to do better in 2019
  • Finish the few sewing things that is half-done, or so close to being finished – done. Have a couple of ‘new’ sewing things to finish
  • Improve my photography skills and participate in the Dogwood 2018 challenge. I joined the FB group and already planned the photo for week 1. But this is going to be hard as I have serious commitment problems – yep, as I said……..I have serious commitment problems. This did not happen
  • Smocking – yes, yes, yes! – Oh yes! I smocked. And smocked. And then some more 🙂
  • Join the Rotary club. A friend, who is a member, invited me. I think I want to do this as I will meet new people, do some voluntary work. And get out of the house at least once a week. (Which is actually huge for me as I am a real home-body/hermit and can easily just stay home every single day) – decided against this as, because of the fatigue issue, I really cannot commit to regular meetings and volunteering 😦
  • Finish this 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle I started a few days ago (a present from my youngest). It is very, very difficult and at the rate I am building at the moment it is going to take the whole year. I find myself staring at the pieces for hours at a time, hoping the one I want will just catch my eye. It doesn’t work that way……but I still stare – done!
  • Brush the cats on a more regular basis. They love it, and they love it when I spend time with them in the catio – nearly 😦
  • Ride my bike more than 3 times in 2018. Easy target? As if. I was so motivated this year but find excuses without much thinking – 3 times? Yep. More than 3 times? nope
  • Travel. This year I want to visit my daughter in Canada for a few weeks, and explore during the week when she is at work. Also visit my son in Hong Kong again, or meet him somewhere I haven’t been yet – done. And some more! Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, New York, Chicago, Canada, Australia
  • Seriously plan the trip to Antarctica – I dream of visiting Antarctica and have been dreaming about this for a long time – definitely still planning this
  • Research sleeping and try to find a way to sleep better. Not write a blog post at 3:18 am or buy fabric online – sleep is still a struggle 😦
  • Buy less fabric, use what I have!!!!!! 
  • Enjoy life, be grateful, have fun. Stop being so serious about everything. Stop being upset when the kids do not reply to my txt messages, although I know they are glued to their phones 24/7 – I think I have managed this a bit better this year. But definitely an ongoing goal
  • Do the Autumn colours trip here in New Zealand which I have been planning for years, but every year something happen and I don’t do it. [2017 – sick. 2016 – sick. 2015 – Canada. 2014 – India. 2013 – plan to do Autumn colours trip to the south in 2014] – 2018 New puppy. Maybe 2019?

I already have a few plans for 2019. A formal ‘list’ is in progress

Love travelling, love needlework……..

For someone who enjoys travelling, as well as needlework, my youngest gave me the best early Christmas present – a leather passport cover and a luggage tag. But both needs to be cross-stitched. For the luggage tag I cross-stitched my initials. For the passport cover you add crosses to the places you’ve visited! And add more as you travel more

I’ve done the luggage tag. The passport cover will make a bit longer as I have been travelling quite a bit over the years, there are quite a few crosses to add already 🙂


Crazy November

We had a lovely weekend with our two boys. These days, with the kids living all over the world, it seems impossible to get all three together at the same time. It feels like a bonus when we can spend time with at least two at a time. We rented a house for the weekend and just all relaxed and talked. I am so glad we managed it before Christmas

November has been good for needlework. I managed to finish a few dresses, as well as make a set for a work colleague of my son. She has a little baby girl and he wanted a little smocked dress. Of course I went overboard and also added some knickers and a bonnet – the first bonnet I have ever made and definitely not the last



The Splendid Sampler QAL is making good progress. I am going to make only 14 more blocks, for  7×7 quilt. Then to crochet a border around the quilt to finish it off nicely. I like the size of it, not too big and not too small. The SS 2 quilt has 100 blocks, I might be tempted to make more blocks for a second quilt next year, in another colour way, or not

I made a ‘twirling’ dress. I have been looking at this pattern for quite a while and just decided to make it. The good thing is that I used leftover bits and pieces to make the dress.

I also embroidered and made the men in my life toiletry bags. So far I have made bags for everyone and decided it is time for something for them

Something else I have been wanting to make since I bought the embroidery machine is a hooded towel. This can now be ticked off too

Marking is going well. Done just under 2000 papers and will be sending the boxes back soon, for the papers to be returned to the students. Results should be available just after Christmas to all the students who completed external examinations


And something for 2019!!!!!! My whole life I wanted to try hardanger embroidery, and it is time. Kathy, a fellow blogger, who does beautiful embroidery, is offering a Hardanger Mystery SAL in 2019. She just posted the supply list and yes, mine is ready! I am looking forward to this SAL sooooooo much and cannot wait!


Since breast surgery I have been finding it difficult to find comfortable bras. My body doesn’t tolerate underwire bras any longer. But I love beautiful undies; comfortable and beautiful. It is time to give it a try and make myself some. Pattern has been bought, I also found another one for a bralette online; fabric and elastic and pretty lace have been purchased as well – it is time to give it a try. If all goes well this will be my January 2019 project 🙂

Christmas is nearly here. We will have a quiet one with our eldest son and the normal roast meal. But I had a really nice surprise – an old high school friend will be visiting her daughter here in NZ and she will be in our town on Christmas day. I have seen her since high school and looking forward to meeting up with her again

PJs and pillows

For a long time I wanted to make smocked pyjamas and I found the perfect soft fabric the other day. It is pretty and delicate and I love how it turned out – French seams and all. I also made a scalloped hem as I now have a machine which have all these fancy stitches

Of course, I had to make a Reading Pillow to go with the pyjama set


Reading pillow

I don’t know who thought of making a reading pillow first, but I love the idea and wish they were around when my children were young. There is even a Reading Pillow FB group 🙂

Yesterday I took a break from exam marking and decided, to fit in with exams and marking, to embroider a reading pillow for a little girl. I have been thinking about making such a pillow for a while and purchased all the supplies ages ago, including the embroidery designs

Love the outcome. It has a pocket for the book and I added a handle on the top so that it can be carried around without the book falling out. I embroidered the design a bit low as I misjudged the placement of the fabric on the hoop. Will definitely embroider it a bit higher next time

Just want to make her some pretty smocked pyjamas to go with the reading pillow and will then send it to the little girl