Sunday, 26 September 2010


Spring Sunday mornings in the garden is the best time. So much colour and so cool to see flowers unfolding.  And looking at the bottlebrush and other native plants, it's so easy to see how May Gibbs was inspired to create Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

silly silly

Okay so I tried the job for less than a week and gave it up.  Too impossible, even for me. :)

Have applied for a 2 day a week graphic design job in the Eastern Suburbs, which sounds much more like me.  Hoping that I hear back from them.  I know God's got it under control, I just have to trust, trust, trust.

If anything, though, it helped me to realise how much I like my graphic design work.  I have stuff up on my website, but when I put together a little portfolio thing I realised it all looks pretty amazing together.  This is a big realisation for me!  But I was talking to Jess today and I think maybe it's just a creatives thing, you never are completely sold on the work you do, but if you get a chance to step back and look at it a bit more objectively then that can be helpful!

And just cos I can, here's is what I sent to the employer:

[tabs slidertype="images" fx="slide" auto="yes"][imagetab width="510" height="857"][/imagetab] [imagetab width="510" height="857"][/imagetab] [imagetab width="510" height="857"][/imagetab] [imagetab width="510" height="857"][/imagetab] [imagetab width="510" height="857"][/imagetab] [imagetab width="510" height="857"][/imagetab] [imagetab width="510" height="857"][/imagetab] [imagetab width="510" height="857"][/imagetab] [/tabs]

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Busy busy

So I got some work! Thanks to a contact from the delightful Elsie, I'm now doing 30 hours of website content writing work per week. If you read that and went "30 hours? I thought she was at college", you would be echoing the sentiments of my brain, which is quietly battening down the hatches in the case of total meltdown. But I really needed to be earning some better money and contributing more to my household, and this job is only til early December.

So I'm grateful to God for throwing this opportunity my way, and now praying he'll give me the energy and stamina to make it through! Also that I'll remember how to play well with others - first time in 18 months that I've worked in an office (for 15 of the 30 hrs each week). And that somehow I'll have time to study too...and do church stuff leading up to Christmas...and...

I'd better go to bed!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


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Just finished a little wristlet pouch/purse thing for LD's birthday.  There was a lot of angst with this one because I kept jamming up the sewing machine - something to do with the thread I was using I think.  But I like how it turned out, even though some of the corners aren't as rounded as I'd like.  Used a pattern from the excellent Keyka Lou her stuff.

Monday, 13 September 2010


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Yesterday I finally won my battle with a bed base.  In an effort to recycle and save lots of money and have a neat looking garden bed, I had kept an old bed base from a bed we'd had since we lived in Singapore, and thought it would be easy to rip it apart and turn it into a garden bed.  Well, some of it was easy.  But those things are surprisingly well-made!  I just couldn't get the springs out from the base, as they'd been nailed and stapled in very firmly.  In the end I just took to it with a hammer and whatever brute force I had and pulled it apart. [insert Amazonian roar here]

And so I replanned my existing garden beds, extended them a bit and laid some more no-dig garden beds.  So you can see in the pics, there are already some mature plants alongside the seedlings.  We've already got maturing spinach, leeks, red onions, spring onions, parsley, broccoli and rhubarb.  I planted tomatoes, basil, capsicum, zucchini and eggplant.  Doesn't that sound like a delicious salad?

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

the Rocking Man Bag

I made this one for Lachy, who is affectionately known by Elijah Peters at Wild St as Rockran.  So we called this version the Rocking Man Bag...

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Click on any of the pics for a close up view.  I took them in a bit of a rush, so no time to make them especially artsy!

It has a more man-friendly colourway than my last one, as well as double brass pop snap closures and an internal pocket with zip.  It also has piping around the flap!  My first attempt at piping...and it went pretty well I think.

The fabric is 'latte' denim for the body (that's what it said on the roll!), checked taffeta for the back lining, and a cool grey London print for the feature fabric and handle .

(you can see the print detail if you click on the image above, but it has two quotes on it, as well as a bunch of Londonesque images.  One is from a favourite childhood rhyme of mine: 'Oranges and lemons / say the bells of St Clements / You owe me five farthings / Say the bells of St Martins'. And the other made me laugh: '"When a man is tired of London he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford" Samuel Johnson')

We had fun at the Remnant Warehouse yesterday looking at everything and trying to make good fabric combos.  There is so much choice, the possibilities just reel through your mind.  (Also, little shout out, I just have to say I love the staff in that shop. They are truly awesome.)

Lachy also managed to find a +$200 pair of scissors and when the lady was cutting our fabric, asked her if her scissors were the expensive ones.  She said yes, and that they were amazing - I held them and yes, they felt incredible.  Lachy said it was just as well sewing wasn't his hobby or he would have bought so many toys by now.  I am only restrained by poverty, I must say - there are so many bits and pieces you could buy.

And now to start planning the two commissions for bags I've taken on as a result of my crafty endeavours...

Monday, 6 September 2010

it's all grace

My Bible reading today was Mark 3:7-19, when Jesus calls the 12 disciples.  One thing struck me as I was reading; that Jesus calls Judas Iscariot, knowing that he will eventually betray him. Judas was with Jesus from the beginning, so he saw and heard Jesus' earthly ministry first hand, and yet he didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of God.  He was right in the thick of things, and yet ultimately couldn't see what was right in front of him.

I've been thinking people I've known in churches, or people who call themselves Christians, who are right in the thick of things and seem fully committed, and yet haven't actually 'got' it.  It hasn't clicked, they haven't understood, they take on the label of 'Christian' and they join in the community and get involved, but they haven't allowed the word of God to transform them, to change their hearts, to turn their lives around.

It's not for me to judge, by any means.  And, until Jesus returns, it's never too late for people to get it.  But I thought it interesting to realise that right from the beginning of 'church', of people gathering in Jesus' name, there have been people who looked like the real deal on the surface, but underneath were just the same as they had always been.  But that Jesus knows who we were, who we are and who we will be, and loves us anyway.

The SU notes that went with today's reading talked mainly about Simon Peter, the disciple who would go on to be the rock of the early church, but who displayed some very human stumbling and mistakes on his way there.  I've always been encouraged by Peter, because he is so real in his responses to Jesus, being broken by sin and then by the grace of God being rebuilt into the man Jesus knew he was. He is a great encouragement to persevere, to not be destroyed by missteps and failures in the Christian life, but to trust in Jesus.

I'll just quote the last para of the notes by Steve Bradbury including a cracking quote from John Newton:
Simon was no Peter, at least not yet, and it would be some time before the trust Jesus was placing in him, and the re-creative and restorative forgiveness God kept pouring into his life, made Simon into the rock that Jesus could already see.  How wonderful that we, too, can intimately know this transforming love, expressed so poignantly by the one-time slave-ship captain John Newton: 'I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be.  I am not what I hope to be in another world.  But still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.'

Encounter with God, Scripture Union, Jul-Sep 2010, p94

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Okay I know I didn't have to stay up til 2am on Saturday night to do this, but once I got into the swing of making stuff again I just wanted to keep going til I finished.  And I don't have to get up early tomorrow.  And I'm really happy with how this bag has turned out...

Fits a 14" laptop, has two pockets at the front (that can fit a large notebook) and a giant pocket at the back, which would fit magazines or whatever.  I used some green denim-like material (which you might remember from the Ramona bag) and some leftover bits of heavy fabric I bought at Ikea ages ago.  I modified the pattern from here (I changed the feature/plain fabric combos, omitted an interior pocket, made it larger and left out the zipper and magnetic closure because I didn't have either and I wanted to finish it).

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I don't know I why I keep forgetting how good it is to make things.  Just about anything, whether it's a card or a cake or something a bit more complicated like this bag, but to actually create something new is immensely satisfying.

And now, to bed.

new status

Had a fun afternoon with Mr Street. We had lunch at Bourke St Bakery, wandered around and bought bits and pieces that he needed, and some cheap interfacing I needed to make some new bags with.

[caption id="attachment_165" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="A couple of muppets at Bourke St Bakery"]A couple of muppets at Bourke St Bakery[/caption]

Then we came back to my house and...I gave him a haircut. First time I've ever cut anyone's hair! (except my own fringe, which doesn't count) I think my grimaces and strange faces were probably not very confidence-inspiring, and he said he'd tell me he liked it regardless.

[caption id="attachment_166" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Before...looking a little nervous perhaps?"]Before...looking a little nervous perhaps?[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_164" align="aligncenter" width="375" caption="Before - back - didn't realise just how long it was!"]Before - back[/caption]

I think it ended up not too bad really, except for some of the side bits around the ears, which we won't talk about (I think the combination of ears and sharp implements made me nervous).  It did take me a really long time though...but I guess it's one of those things that gets quicker over time, once you've figured out what you're doing.

[caption id="attachment_167" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="After...too cool"]After...too cool[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_168" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The cat inspects the curl carnage"]The cat inspects the curl carnage[/caption]

I think this means I have attained real proper girlfriend status. You know it's serious when your boyfriend lets you near his head with a pair of scissors. :)

Friday, 3 September 2010

How long, o Lord?

Each day is a fight, to varying degrees.  A fight for joy?  A fight to stay afloat?  A fight against this silly black dog, who I forget about even though he's always skulking along behind me.  Some days I don't notice the struggle, it's just part of the momentum of the every day.  And other days it feels like to even see beyond the next five minutes is impossible, like I'm stumbling around in fog.

I've been sick for a while with some coldish thing, got better, went away for the weekend, then got sick again.  It's been dragging on for weeks now, with headaches and nausea and aches and pains and the blah blah blah of symptoms that are so boring to describe because they are just so mundane.  They sound, even to me, like excuses, like hypochondria, like psychosomatic nothings.

But today I woke up feeling much more okay than I have for a while.  I felt like moving.  I felt like doing something.  So I did some yoga to ease back into things (not that my exercise is ever what you'd call strenuous!).  I felt great.  Had some yummy food for lunch.  I was starting to feel like just blobbing at home but no, had things to do!  I was up and energised!  I could achieve them!  I got in the car and drove to the inner west...

And then my brain kicked in.
"What are you doing? Why are you at college? Why did you think you could do this? You're only part time now, what's it going to be like when you're full time? You shouldn't be at college.  You shouldn't be at college.  You haven't even done the readings for the last couple of weeks.  You've only been to half the lectures.  You shouldn't be at college."

And on. And on. And on.

Eventually my common sense kicked in and went "hey that's the depression talking, snap out of it." So I rang my mum for a reality check, and wise as ever, she reminded me I'd been sick, run down and tired from the weekend away.  And that whenever I felt like that I had to look after myself and remember that I needed lots of rest.

But by the time I was sitting in my class at college I felt the nausea and headaches start to hit again.  I thought I could tough it out.  I mean, it's only two hours, right?  But at the mid-class break one of my friends walked past and said "Bec! You look terrible!" and I thought "right. I'm going home."

The drive home seemed to take forever.  But eventually I got home, put on my trackies, got out my Old Testament textbook and did the readings for class while in bed under my blanket.  After a couple of hours I still feel a bit blah but much better than I did.

Sometimes depression feels like a tangible enemy, to the point where I feel I can echo David's words in Psalm 13 and cry to God, wanting to know when this season of my life will end.  It's been years now!  Will I always feel like this?  Maybe, maybe not.  Will I ever have boundless energy and stamina and ability?  Maybe, maybe not (though all signs point to no...I mean who does, right?).  Does suffering depression mean that God loves me less?  Of course not!

As much as the enemy is prowling around, the closing stanza of this psalm is ever true.  May I ever trust our gracious God, and go wherever he leads me.  He'll give me what I need to do the work he wants me to do.

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul

and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;

light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”

lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the LORD,

because he has dealt bountifully with me.

(Psalm 13 ESV)

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Engage 2010

Went up the mountain to Engage 2010 last weekend.  It was a beautiful weekend, with clear cold nights and crisp sunny days.  I was a bit out of it most of the weekend, so found it a bit hard to get a grasp on the talks and as a whole.  But from what I could hang onto they were thought-provoking; what stuck in my head is that we should work for good, and live as God's people in the world together, not isolated from one another.

That sense of community and fellowship was really strong in the house we stayed in over the weekend.

[caption id="attachment_148" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hanging out on Saturday night"]Hanging out on Saturday night[/caption]

There were 17 of us, not all from Wild Street, staying in this lovely house called Greenhills at Blackheath.

[caption id="attachment_136" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The lovely (huge) house, Greenhills"]Greenhills[/caption]

Lisa and Dave had organised all the delicious food beforehand, and there always seemed to be people ready to help prepare and cook.

[caption id="attachment_147" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Dave, the gourmet burger master"]Dave, the gourmet burger master[/caption]

There was enough space that you could lie in the sun, or play pool, or toast marshmallows, or just sit around and chat.

[caption id="attachment_141" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Anna and me on the lawn"]Anna and me on the lawn[/caption]

It was just a great weekend building on existing friendships, making new ones, serving one another and hearing God's word.  It's been a long time since I've come home from a conference weekend and wished I was still there, but I definitely felt it this time!

[caption id="attachment_149" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="School photo (sadly, minus Lachy)"]School photo[/caption]