Wednesday, 28 December 2011

red and black

[feel free to hum strains of the song from Les Mis as you read*]

Christmas is over. People are away. Everything's quietening down. So that means - time free to sew without procrastinatory guilt!

My favourite colour combo at present is a bold black and white IKEA print with a plain red for contrast (though they don't seem to have the print I've used on their website anymore). I love their fabrics for bag making, as the prints appeal to me, the weight of the cotton fabric is heavy but not upholstery-fabric-heavy, and the fabric is reasonably cheap.

I've made two tote bags out of this combo, and two cushion covers that Karen commissioned. I had just enough left to make a camera tote bag for my new Canon 60D!

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I don't much like having to deal with zips or velcro when carrying a camera about. I like to just be able to pull the camera out at whim, shoot, and put it away with a minimum of fuss. Of course that means that the bag isn't so great from a security perspective, but with the short straps it will always be close to my body so I'm not bothered by that so much.

I also used the padded, velcroed inserts from an old camera bag to create the partition, which can be removed if I need to use the bag for bigger things. The red lining is some old fat stripe corduroy that gives the whole thing a nice, cushiony feel.

This is probably the first successful bag I've made up completely out of my head. Woo hoo! Seems the skills I have learned from other bag making patterns have stuck!

It's not the first total original I have attempted - I still have a bag for Little that's 3/4 finished and a bag for Hendry that is pretty much done. I made both of those up, but I'm not completely satisfied with them...they're kind of prototypes I guess, but since I don't really do factory-line assembly I guess every bag is unique, so to call them prototypes wouldn't be quite correct. I think it was more that both Little and Hendry commissioned me to make them, and I felt like the workmanship needed to be better than my usual efforts if money was actually going to change hands (cushion covers are a little simpler!).

But I am very happy with my camera bag. So maybe it's time to finish these other bags and release them to their owners!




* I remember seeing this in London, and previously I had overlooked this song, much preferring the twittering of the female roles** to the militant dude songs, but on this occasion was particularly captivated by Marius's verse: "Had you been there tonight you might know how it feels / to be struck to the bone in a moment of breathless delight". I was such a romantic, swoony teenager.

** though Cosette always was a pain.

Friday, 23 December 2011

making music

So we made a CD!

I think everyone was surprised that I actually managed to keep it a secret, given how much I go on about every tiny little detail that crosses my mind. But Lachy and I decided to pool our collective talents and make a Christmas CD. He had written a couple of Christmas songs a couple of years ago, and talked about recording them for his mum as a present, but never got around to it. So we added our favourite traditional carols, mucked around with them a bit and came out with a pretty pleasing finished product. I did some nifty graphic design, we sent it all off to a secret laboratory overseas and in less than three months, voila! The Christmas Project!

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It makes mothers and grandparents cry! You know it must be good!

We've given out a few copies as Christmas presents, but if you would like to hear previews or download it yourself it's even available on iTunes and CD Baby (the latter is where we got it made and is cheaper).

Get it now! You only have three days left until it becomes irrelevant for another 11 months!!!

(Lachy just pointed out that Jesus' birth is not irrelevant, but listening to Christmas carols out of season may not be your thing, and, indeed, may be a social faux pas.)


Friday, 16 December 2011

Plastic fantastic

So! My Tupperware business is up and running. I had my first solo party/demonstration last week at Elsie's place, and I think it went really well. I'm waiting for the delivery to arrive today and then I'll be able to distribute all the lovely bits and pieces people ordered. But it's all real and happening!

Here's a fairly unflattering photo of me at said party, with the contents of my Quickstart kit:

My First Party

(my hair may look odd, but I look cheerful!)

Tupperware is one of those funny things that goes in cycles...a lot of us had it growing up, and our mums would have gone to Tupperware parties. I know that happened a lot in the church circles I grew up in, to the point where people kind of got party overload. But now I think a lot of people in my generation and younger are starting up homes, looking to get their kitchens and households set up, and Tupperware fits neatly into that slot (so to speak).

I'm actually pretty keen on the stuff, to be honest. I guess I wouldn't be selling it if I didn't like it! So...if you want to have a party or even just buy some Tupperware without a party, get in touch! :)

One thing that has struck me, though, is the strategies we're taught to use in selling this product are similar to how we should/could evangelise, and yet we don't often promote the gospel this way. So at TW we have weekly sales meetings that aren't compulsory but are recommended so you get a sense of the team and support and grow in your knowledge of TW. Those are many of the benefits of going to church each week. At TW we are encouraged to tell everyone we know what we're doing, to carry around catalogues in case anyone wants one, to use every opportunity to talk about our business. Being a Christian, we're also encouraged to tell everyone we know the gospel, to have literature on hand to give to interested people, to use every opportunity.

And yet...why does it seem easier to talk about a plastic box that will save your food for a few weeks, and yet so hard to talk about Jesus, who will save your life for eternity?

I've been convicted about this. I'm going to read Promoting the Gospel by John Dickson to give me a kick in the pants.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Masterfully carolled - postscript

We even got a photo in the Southern Courier (local paper)! Totally famous now. :)

But...the BBQ was before the event, not after. And the journalist was supposed to come the week before so the photo would serve as publicity for the event. And then we were hoping he would mention our Christmas day services in lieu of being printed on the right date, but he didn't. I guess you can't make specific requests on free publicity, can you?

MasterCarols in the Southern Courier

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Masterfully carolled

MasterCarols happened last Sunday, and even though it was pouring rain for half the day, we still had a full house! There were plenty of visitors, and the singing was joyous.

I love it when people really get into the singing. When you're standing up the front leading, it can be quite flattening to see a bunch of blank faces staring back - not even staring at you, but gazing off into the middle distance, completely unengaged. With Christmas carols, because they're so familiar, people usually join in with great gusto, and it makes me so happy to see people moving along to the music as well. We had an excellent band this year, who all worked well together and made good music.

I've been really struck by how much solid gold gospel and worship there is in many of the Christmas carols. I'm always trying to encourage people to think about what they're singing, but I think with Christmas carols I'm as guilty as anyone of mindlessly singing them half the time. But even though you get dubious lines like "little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes" in Away in a manger (doubtful!), you also get things like this in O come all ye faithful:

God of God, Light of light
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin's womb
Very God, begotten, not created
O come let us adore him!

That's a credal statement, right there. Or how about, from O Holy Night:

Truly he taught us to love one another
His law is love and his gospel is peace
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother
And in his name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise his holy name
Christ is the Lord, o praise his name forever
His power and glory evermore proclaim!

And to finish, some majestic Charles Wesley in Hark the herald angels sing:

Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings
Risen with healing in his wings
Mild, he lays his glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
Glory to the new born king! 

So many people sing these words every year, or even hear them in shopping malls, and don't give them a second thought. They're just the aural wallpaper of the season. But wouldn't it be wonderful if people singing these words this year could actually understand them for the first time? Pray that God moves mightily in people, and that those of us involved in church gatherings and events would not get caught up in rushing around, but would point to the glorious Prince of Peace.

Monday, 5 December 2011


I'm heading into the city for an informal interview for some casual work. I wish I could be excited about it. But it's only a treading water step so it feels like nothing, even though it's important I earn money and it would be doing good work.

All morning I've just felt anxious and useless, though I know I'm not. I read my Bible. I got some things done for this weekend's MasterCarols at church. I spoke to my Tupperware area manager. I did my washing.

But it feels like I'm just asleep. I wish I could wake up.

Friday, 2 December 2011

running while standing still?

You know it's time to post when your mum tells you it's been too long between posts...

I've been wanting to write a reflection on my time at college, but I haven't quite felt up to it yet. Since finishing exams, I feel like I've been doing heaps and yet not much.

Things at church have gotten extra busy as they always do at this time of year, and I seem to have lots on my plate - puppetting for the Kidschurch celebration, doing music for our Mastercarols event on 11 Dec, probably doing an item on Christmas day, doing the artwork for all of the above as well as a January sermon series and trying to fix the church website! It's all good and fun and rewarding stuff to do but kind of relentless and exhausting at the same time.

I don't have much paid work at the moment, aside from a design job through December (which I won't be paid for until January). I've been applying for anything and everything that seems to suit me in the way of design and editing jobs out there in the Real World, but so far nobody's contacted me. I find that a bit disconcerting, how you can send out portfolios and resumes and not even hear a peep from anyone. I also wondered, as I updated my portfolio, what a non Christian recruiter would think, opening the PDF and seeing nothing but Jesus and Christian work. Even though I suspect it would turn some people off, the idea tickled me, I must say.

There are possibilities of some ministry work but I'm not sure what that looks like yet. A job for a children's worker came across my radar today, but it would mean changing churches as their service time clashes with Wild Street's. Haven't thought through what that would be like yet.

And in the meantime, to hopefully earn some money, I've started Tupperware demonstrating. Hilarity and excitement abounds! Well, tomorrow I start, actually, with my first party. No doubt you will hear all about how I'm going as I get further into it. But needless to say, I'm your gal if you want a Tupperware party or even just to buy any...

What I really need though, is a proper break. I was saying to Lachy I feel like I need a break where I disappear for a week, don't take any technology at all, just my Bible and a novel for entertainment. He agreed, but didn't think I'd be able to do it. Sadly, I think he might be right.

But when? Where? How to afford it? Maybe I just need to rest well while I'm not working full time, even if I'm still pottering about at home. But even

For now, I think it means bedtime. Goodnight!