Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting my house in order

I'm most certainly not the most tidiest person in the world but I generally know where to find everything I need. That said, a "rationalisation" of all my bits and bobs has been well over due. While Tommy has been away I took the opportunity to go through my bundles of craft supplies, beads, material, ribbons, thread etc and weed out the crap.
I got a couple of under-bed storage bins for all my fabrics... and set a new rule... I can keep what fits in the bins... if they are full I can't buy any more material unless I first use something out of the bins... use the old before topping up with new. There were a lot of memories as I sorted through my hoard... material left over from throw cushions I made for my bedroom when I was about twelve... pale lemony prints... yum... left overs from a dress I made to go to the Dalmation Ball when I was about eighteen... wine velvet... mmmm... gosh I hang onto some crap!! I was ruthless with a lot of the stuff and ended up with few bags to get rid of. These I took into work and they were soon claimed by a few crafty people for patchworks and other projects... and the remainder went home with someone that was going to take it to a local kindy... I feel much better passing that stuff on to new homes rather than just tossing it in the rubbish!
After that it was time to go through my collection of beads. I had a bin I use to store most of my collection... all in smaller containers, wee jars, etc. Not exactly the most efficient use of space. I must have done through at least 150 wee snap lock bags as I tipped all my beads into individual bags that I then was able to sort into groups according to color and size... and the whole lot is now living in it's own set of stack drawers... a much better solution!
After that I attacked my tangle of lace and ribbon. These I have also put into individual zip lock bags so that they can no longer contort themselves into one giant knot, making it impossible to find anything! As I slowly detangled it all I found wee scraps ... three inches here and two there... why had I hung onto these? Anything under about 6 inches was turfed... no more softy hoarder here!
All my threads were next... at least this wasn't so bad... I threw out a few reels that had very little left on them and the rest are all stored together.
After all that effort the house doesn't actually look much different but I now have a framework of storage for my crafty bits... and I feel much more motivated to carry on through the rest of the house.... it's about time I sort through my clothes and weed out the crap...

....but not tonight

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Like chips and dip...

... once you start it's hard to stop!
I've been spending time re-organising my sewing and craft supplies over the weekend. We had gorgeous weather yesterday and I felt a bit guilty spending most of the day indoors.
So after a jaunt to the markets at Browns Bay I decided to get out the weed spray and blast my neglected garden. I mixed up a batch of round-up and went around the entire section blasting the weeds all around the place. I may well have to repeat the exercise in a couple of weeks to catch anything I missed today but I felt pleased to have finally paid my garden some attention and it was nice to be out in the sunshine!
As I was putting the sprayer back in the garage the fan palm next to the drive caught my attention. It could do to have some of the fronds trimmed back, so I grabbed my pruning saw and went to it. These palms have nasty thorns and despite being really careful I still manage to rip a hole in left hand.... youch! Still it was nice to be outdoors and as I hacked away at the palm I cursed the hedge which was really getting beyond a joke... that could do with a haircut too. Perhaps if I just trimmed back some of the taller shoots at the road end of the hedge it wouldn't be quite so annoying.
Out came the loppers and I went at it... and went... and went... it seemed such a shame to only tidy up one end... I may as well carry on and do the lot. The further I got along the hedge, the harder I pruned it. And by the time I got to the end I had pretty much decided that the hedge would have to go altogether some time over the next few months. Since the neighbours put a fence in we really don't need the hedge any more, getting rid of it will make the front of the house a lot more open. It will also mean that when we eventually make it to the island and rent this place out it is one less thing for tenants (or us) to worry about maintaining... we find it enough of a chore ourselves which is why it gets out of control! I'd have poisoned it then and there if I could have found the Vigilant but I think I took it over to the Barrier so that was the end of that idea... for now... I'll let Tom have at it with a chainsaw I think.
I surveyed my handywork and felt quite chuffed with my effort. It's been a long time since I've had a session in the garden and the 3 hours or so I spent out there had flown by. Judging by the sounds of lawn-mowers and weed-whackers around the neighbourhood I wasn't the only one out taking advantage of the first really nice weekend we've had in a long time!
There's plenty of time to finish the indoor chores another day!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Feeling very grateful...

... and really quite humbled by the responses to the news of our miscarriage. First off responses in the comments here on the blog... I didn't really think anyone was reading... but to get sympathetic and supportive messgages from complete strangers is really quite special. Thank you.
I've also had messages and phone calls from people I really didn't expect. My cousin's wife called me... I barely know her but she wanted me to know that she understood, having experienced miscarriages herself. Also from the daughter of a friend of Mum's who emailed me... I haven't seen her for many years and yet when she heard about it she wanted to offer up her advice and support... It's extremely touching and very much appreciated.
Other people have heard and shared their own stories with me and then there are many people haven't contacted me directly. I can understand that, but they have passed on messages through Mum, Tom and other family members.
It has been a real eye opener for me in terms of just how common miscarriage is. I guess it's not really something that gets shouted from the rooftops and it's hardly a conversation opener. For people that haven't been through it, it's an uncomfortable subject... what do you say? And yet there seems to be a real sisterhood amongst those who have and they all reach out to help others.
My thanks to all who have reached out to me!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A bit fuzzy around the edges…

Awesome!! The show went really well… at least so I’ve been told. My memory of it all is a bit blurry as I was starting to really come down with a nasty bug… blergh!!
I was feeling off most of the day on Friday, all over achy and tired. Still I trotted off for the dress rehearsal keen as a button.
There would be no cameras allowed on the night aside from the official photographer so it would be our only opportunity to get our own snaps. I’d left my good camera behind and picked up our little sport camera as I left home. My classmates’ daughter was going to watch the dress rehearsal as she had volunteered to help in the kitchen on show night and would miss the actual show. She offered to try and get a few snaps for me which was wonderful (and where the photos for this post came from).
The day of the show I was really starting to feel crappy. By the afternoon I submitted and slept on the couch until it was time to get ready and leave.
There wasn’t a lot of room in the backstage change area so I hung out my costumes in order and laid out my bags each containing the accessories I needed for each set in a space that was free. Then it was time to get ready…. The whole time slugging back energy drink and sucking on cough lollies.
The show got started and backstage we gathered around the TV with the video feed from the stage to catch what we could of the other performances.

The first dance I was involved in was a group sword number about halfway through the first section of the show. At the dress rehearsal it had gone really well, the sword balanced well for me and stayed on my head through twists and turns…. But not tonight…oh dear! It started out well but once I got the sword on my head it decided it did not want to be there… what a disappointment.

Still, there wasn’t time to dwell on it, I had to be changed ready for the next number. We would be winding up the first half of the show with a tribal number. I was really looking forward to this number as it changed each time. There was no choreography to remember and so there was nothing you could really get wrong. It was certainly fun to perform!

During the intermission I scurried to get my hair extensions in and the next costume on because we were on second in the next section with our wings number. By this stage I was starting to feel really awful, as we waited in the wings for our turn to perform again I realised I was still sucking on a cough lolly… I crunched it up as quickly as I could as tried to make sure all evidence was gone by the time we needed to be on stage. We had struggled a bit with this choreography. The first time I’d performed it we had nine of us on stage but tonight there was only four. Still the dress performance had gone okay so it should be a breeze…. And it was… that was until about half way through the dance when things started going haywire. I think at different points from here on in we all messed up at different points. I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened but it was an awful feeling…. To just be blank… and not know what came next!!! Gah!! I was most pleased to get off stage after that one!!

I had 16 minutes in which to be ready in costume for my next piece… my solo! There was no time to think about what had gone wrong with the wings number! I slugged back more energy drink and popped another cough lolly in my mouth as I hurried to get ready. I wasn’t really nervous… more numb… by this stage it was a struggle to stay upright! I was really pleased with the reaction from other dancers to my performance at the dress rehearsal. I’d been paid so many compliments but even so I still find it a bit hard to believe in myself. I know my music inside out so I wasn’t concerned about forgetting the choreography for this… if I did, I could just improvise… no-one would know any better! I needn’t have worried as it went without a hitch – my first solo in a show, my first solo performance for non-dancers!! Wow! I did it!

One more change of costume, one more performance to go… the finale! I love the number that we’d be performing to close the show. It is such a fun and cheeky number! Aside from not being able to hear some of the base notes to begin with it went without a hitch!!

Hooray!! It was over… all I could think about was getting home to bed which is a bit of a shame! Still, I have the DVD to look forward to!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Counting down...

... to the show!!

I didn't tell you about that did I? With everything else that has been going on I hadn't talked about this and yet over the last few weeks it has given me an alternative focus. The preparations have had me in almost meditative states as I've stitched, beaded, plaited ...

Tickets sold out last week so we'll have a full house... Wow!! Not long to go now ... 4 more sleeps!! Crikey... perhaps I shouldn't say that it's a bit daunting! Gulp!
I've been keeping busy getting costumes prepared... Five, count 'em, FIVE costumes!! I'm in 5 different numbers of the show... including my first on stage performance of my solo... no pressure!
I've found a lot of solace in getting existing costumes up to scratch and creating new ones. It's such a fun process... although the house is a looks like a bomb went off at Spotlight.
It's not just getting the actual costumes ready but figuring out how the changes will work. Organising all the bits required for each change and deciding on hair options that will work with each outfit and yet be easy enough to get ready between sets... potentially a logistical nightmare... and yet I think I'm almost there with it all. A coathanger for each costume with ziplock baggies attached holding the respective jewellery and accessories. I'm hopeful that my system works, but we'll find out at dress rehearsal on Friday night!!
Fingers crossed!