Lace Hydrangeas and floral fabric

A fabric designer asked me to make a smocked dress for a photoshoot, using fabric from her new designs. Since she asked me I have been planning and thinking and making the dress over and over…………I even embroidered small lace flower petals

And today the fabric arrived. It is beautiful; so delicate; so gorgeous …….. I am actually a bit speechless. She asked for a specific type of dress, but the fabric told me it wanted to be something else, luckily she agreed that I can use my judgement as long as it is flowy and beautiful


It has been washed, ironed. I am decided on the colours of the thread and piping, which is hard this time as I want the dress to be perfect. Tomorrow I’ll look for the absolute perfect pink and purple thread, and purple or pink piping, and pretty white or transparent beads to use in the smocking and for the flowers.

I cooked a big dinner tonight so that we can have leftovers tomorrow – I am going to have a smocking day. How exciting is that!!!!!!!!



Fatigue is very much like a headache or back pain – the invisible health issues people can’t see and do not always believe. But unlike a headache or back pain it can strike within seconds, changing a person from an energetic, busy human being to someone who do not have enough energy left to walk, or make a drink, or read a book. Sometimes it comes without warning, other times your body tells you to slow down or to take some time off to recover. But whichever way it makes an appearance – it is frustrating and makes you feel worthless, as if you have lived your life and the best is behind you

Fatigue is not something that is understood, it is also not something you can really describe to others. Healthy people cannot imagine how a human battery can simply discharge without a ‘low battery’ warning, and that it can sometimes take days to recharge

Fatigue means you can never accept an invitation, because you don’t know how you are going to feel at that time. It is sometimes easier to decline, instead of apologising at the time and say you can’t make it because you are too tired. Fatigue do not go away when you relax in the company of others……fatigue means you don’t have the energy to be in the company of others

Fatigue is not ‘in the head’ as some people think, it is not a ‘made-up’ excuse to get out of doing stuff. Believe me – if you struggle with fatigue you do not use it as an excuse for anything. Because, when you have the energy, you are happy to do simple things like vacuuming or cleaning…….because you can!!!!!!!

You are often told to exercise, when someone hears you struggle with fatigue. I get so tired of explaining to people that I am sometimes too tired to do anything and there is no way I can go for a walk if I am too tired to brush my teeth. And when I feel ok and exercise and go for walks and cycling…… can sometimes take days to recover. It is really a tricky situation at times. I am NOT lazy, I am not looking for excuses – but I hesitate sometimes to do things because I know that it is going to take a long time to recharge again.

I cycle, every time a bit further than the time before. And I am very proud of those little achievements. But I am often scared to do it because it frustrates me when I have no energy afterwards

I listen to my body and if it tells me to rest I won’t push myself. Because I know if I push my body too far I am going to pay for it in future

I am thankful for an understanding husband who can read me like a book. He knows, sometimes before I do, that it is time to take a break, to sleep, to sit, to just do nothing

But I hate it, I hate feeling like this, I hate making plans and then cancel it, I hate that I can’t walk fast and shop and clean and do the stuff I used to. I hate that it takes days to clean the house instead of hours, if at all. I hate the frustration, the helpless feeling, the feeling that I am not good enough any more

I am thankful that my battery lasts longer than what it did a few months ago. But it is so frustrating that when it goes flat it takes longer to recharge than what it did a few months ago

I am thankful for needlework for which I don’t need a lot of energy; that I can at least do something sometimes when fatigue hits me

Fatigue is horrible and I don’t wish it on anyone

Cyclone Gita dress

When I heard the first warning about Cyclone Gita I mentally made a list of things I had to do:

  • emergency supplies
  • kit for the animals if we have to evacuate
  • pack a bag
  • charge phones and iPads
  • water
  • food supplies
  • secure everything
  • prepare bedrooms just in case we have to make room for people evacuated from their homes (when we lived in SA the town was snowed in one winter and my husband brought 3 random families home who needed a warm bed)

But I also wondered about the house:

  • should I clean? If we get storm damage random people will have to do things in the house and I wouldn’t want them to go home and tell their families and friends how untidy I am
  • will cleaning be a waste of time? If we do have storm damage the house is going to be a mess anyway…….so why waste time to clean it

Also had other random, selfish thoughts:

  • do I have enough books on my iPad
  • do I even have a normal, physical book to read if I cannot charge my iPad
  • is there enough chocolate in the house
  • where is the best place to hide if the wind is strong, or not to hear the thunder – I am soooo scared of thunder it is not even funny

So what did I do during the storm? I smocked! I call this my Cyclone Gita dress


Cyclone Gita

The storm moved over New Zealand, causing less damage than expected, but also causing less damage where it was expected.We were lucky at our house as we were protected by the mountain just behind the house. If the wind changed direction it would have been a different story. But it didn’t

Properties in less sheltered areas were hammered, with a camper van blown over (with 4 people in it – luckily they only had minor injuries).

But the storm moved over NZ much higher than originally expected, with Nelson, Kaikoura and Wellington being hit directly – and not the West Coast as predicted

Funny how it suddenly became freezing cold. A couple of weeks ago I felt as if I was melting, last night it was lovely and cool when I went to bed. Perfect!

Here we go again …….cyclone watch

Cyclone Gita is on the way to New Zealand – and heading straight for the West Coast where we live. We had a terrible storm some weeks ago and it is said that this one will be much worse, with very strong wind and lots of rain

Of course my main concern is my cats and the dog. I have made sure to buy enough food for them, as well as putting water everywhere as all three drink quite a lot. I have also packed a backpack with emergency supplies for them, and their carriers are ready with their harnesses and leashes if we have to evacuate. I am sorry, there is no way I will leave without the animals

For the humans in the house I also have the emergency supplies close-by and made sure we have packed bags, with important documents and cash available. Torches, candles and so on are on stand by. All loose items outside have been secured or put away, the cars have petrol. Windows have been secured

Are we ready? I don’t think you can ever be really prepared for such a storm, but we have done what we could. It is now a waiting game, the next few days are going to be wild and stormy

Let’s talk market stalls

At the beginning of the year I placed having a market stall on my list of things I want to do in 2018. It is February and I am very thankful I can tick it off………..and never do it again

Yes, it was fun. Yes, we met and talked to people the whole day. We had ice cream and milk shake and other drinks.

I struggled with pricing, and then decided not to mark stuff too expensive, but I wasn’t willing just to give it away either. This morning Mollie helped me sort pricing out


Then packed up, ready to go


Our little stall looked lovely.


Lots of people looked at everything, not a lot bought much. As a matter of fact – I just made enough to pay my part of the stall for the day ($10), with a few dollars to spare. The good news is that all the stalls were not successful and didn’t sell much at all, except for the food and drink trucks


  • Market stall – tick
  • Fun – tick
  • Rich – nope
  • Do it again – nope
  • Good experience – tick

The list I made for 2018:


  • Have a market stall at least once. Sell dolls clothes
  • Weekly cleaning plan so that I don’t have to go in overdrive during weekends and clean like crazy. Do it ‘gently’………not getting far with this one yet
  • Finish the few sewing things that is half-done, or so close to being finished………working on this
  • 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 …………struggling
  • Smocking – yes, yes, yes! …………all the time
  • 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) …………… not yet
  • 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
  • Brush the cats on a more regular basis. They love it, and they love it when I spend time with them in the catio
  • 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 …………once already. I suppose that is progress
  • 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 …………planning the trip to Canada at the moment
  • Seriously plan the trip to Antarctica – I dream of visiting Antarctica and have been dreaming about this for a long time
  • Research sleeping and try to find a way to sleep better. Not write a blog post at 3:18 am or buy fabric online …………..this is still a bit of a problem…….not sleeping…….blogging in the middle of the night………..buying fabric online
  • Buy less fabric, use what I have!!!!!! ……… glad I never committed to this 🙂
  • 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 …………working on this and not doing too bad
  • 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. [2018 – new puppy. 2017 – sick. 2016 – sick. 2015 – Canada. 2014 – India. 2013 – plan to do Autumn colours trip to the south in 2014]  – just saw this one……….won’t happen this year as we have a new puppy arriving the end of February. I’ll still be toilet training the little bundle and it will be too small too leave in a kennel

Dress request

I love it when my children ask me to make dresses for pregnant friends and workmates. My eldest son asked for a teal dress for a girl who works with him. She expects a little girl in a couple of weeks. I finished the whole set today and will be sending it to him by courier. Hope he is happy and I hope the new mum likes the dress


The market stall is happening this coming Sunday. I plan to embroider some dish towels tomorrow and then I am done for the stall. Just have to put a prize on everything and make sure everything looks neat and tidy. Knowing myself I should just skip the pricing bit……..I am not good at selling stuff