Happiness is……..the perfect fabric

I saw a beautiful dress in the Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine over 20 years ago and I really wanted to make this dress

For many years I tried to find the fabric in South Africa. No luck. Twenty years ago we moved to New Zealand and I still looked for this fabric everywhere – always keeping an eye on shops wherever I went. No luck. I even looked in other countries as I traveled over the years – Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Cambodia, India, Myanmar……..no luck

Took a chance the other day and typed ‘Blue and yellow floral fabric’ in the Google search engine, went to the images and!!!!!!!!!!!


There it was!!!!!!!!! I was so happy and couldn’t believe my eyes. The link took me to an Etsy page and they had it in stock, and not extremely expensive either. I popped it in my shopping basket and then the message came up: ‘5 other people have this in their shopping basket’. And there was only 3 yards and I wanted at least 2. I quickly checked out and paid. And today the courier delivered a valuable parcel. The fabric is perfect, exactly what I wanted. Cannot wait to make this dress




After a year of refreshment leave, lots and lots of needlework and so on, I had a meeting with the Department of Education Thursday to discuss the marking process I am currently involved in. I mark external papers from students all over New Zealand and have just over 2000 allocated to me to mark. The marking started at the beginning of November and I have until middle December to get it done. This shouldn’t be difficult to achieve as I am a fast marker

At the end of the meeting Thursday I was exhausted, although we had heaps of coffee and snacks, and talked a lot about everything but marking. Still, I was so tired. I arrived home and just blobbed in the chair, didn’t even have enough energy to cook or do anything else

Woke up Friday without any energy again and realised the meeting triggered the fatigue to set in. My battery didn’t recharge overnight and it seems as if everything in my body were tired. I dragged my sore knee instead of walking properly – always a sure sign that I am tired. I didn’t even feeling like needlework of any kind, couldn’t concentrate on anything very long – in other words, no tv or reading either

My husband came home after work and asked me how I would be able to go back to work next year and expect to survive full time work again if I was this exhausted after a long meeting on a single day. His suggested it was time to resign and RETIRE!!!!!!

So here I am………I have officially resigned and won’t be going back to school. And I am not looking for any other full time position either, I am retired now 🙂 If I can find something here and there to do next year I will certainly give it a go, or do some volunteer work. And lots and lots of needlework

Not having to go back to school next year is wonderful. I think I am officially over school now and really didn’t want to put myself back into that stressful situation again. How do I feel about retirement an being dependant on my husband again? Actually wonderful. I am grateful and thankful that he is there and want me to put my health first, and able to provide for me

Life is good. And although I hoped that I was over the fatigue and tiredness, as I have been feeling very good lately, I feel more relaxed and less scared of the fatigue now…….now that I know I can allow myself a longer healing time and there is no pressure on me. Fatigue is horrible, you have no control over it and when it strikes you cannot push yourself or the fatigue, you just have to allow it to run its course and allow the body to recover


Lavender bags

Not my idea at all, and totally copied everything from the Sum of their Stories blog – but they were so pretty I didn’t want to change anything. Small little presents for special friends, to pop in the drawers or hang in their wardrobes and they smell wonderful – I actually had a proper sneezing fit after filling them with the lavender


And then I had some time left and wanted to try another little pattern I found to make Pocket Pack Tissue Holders – super quick and SOOOO easy to make


Floats and hospitals

My son had to undergo knee surgery so I drove over to be with him and support him (with his favourite meals frozen and ready when he felt like it). According to the scans he had some broken pieces of bone moving around in the knee, causing terrible swelling, inflammation and pain. But the surgery was not successful as they couldn’t find the pieces of bone and ended up draining the inflammation. At this stage, a week later, the knee is still very swollen but he is mobile, although it is very sore

With all the waiting at hospital – before, during, after surgery I did heaps of smocking and the end result is two pretty little dresses


I have also started with a scarf for the winter next year – we are currently moving into summer. But it is something to keep me busy when watching tv in the evenings. The pattern looks like cats to me, I hope others can see it too 🙂


We have also felt like the old-fashioned floats (soda and ice-cream) and is trying out different flavours. So far we’ve had coke, raspberry and lime. I think my favourite is still coke

A new arrival!

I new little baby girl has been welcomed into our extended family. Little princess Evie made her arrival a little ahead of time, but she is here and she is perfect. I haven’t met her yet, but daily photos are keeping me up to date

The best part is that I am now making dresses with her in mind. Next week my son will deliver a parcel full of homemade dresses and jackets and hats and booties and blankets, when he travels to Sydney to meet this little girl

This week I smocked three little shop-bought vests and made her a little dress, as well as a romper (the green smocking in the vest looks a bit wonky in this photo, but I am not sure why because it is actually straight)

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Yesterday and today I spent in the sewing room, making a little outfit for a six-year old. I am pretty happy with it. The beads came from an old necklace my daughter had, we actually found it in the garage a couple of weeks ago. I am sure she won’t mind that I used some of the beads for the top and pants (not that I am planning to tell her, of course)

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This week I also sold one of the smocked dresses. The first one ever. And the last……..I did not enjoy the experience at all. I always said I do smocking because I love it and will never sell it, I prefer giving it away. After selling one I am never going to again and will continue giving it to whoever I want to. The positive side of the whole experience is that the lady who bought it (as a present for her brother’s daughter) is delighted and loves it. It was the butterfly dress I made a while ago