Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Om nom nom

Some delicious treats to share with you! These are from our newest cookbook Vegies by Simon Bryant. A mixture of almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried figs, dried apricots, hazlenuts and puffed rice, held together with honey and maple syrup then dunked in dark chocolate. I classify these as a healthy treat.... right? RIGHT?

Here's them on a windowsill with our cute teapot. If only all food looked this attractive.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Put a bird on it

What's this? I finally finished a dress?! About bloody time.

I've been in such a sewing funk lately and finally got my sewing mojo back. These past two weekends have I've gone sew crazy.

I'd seen a few versions on Simplicity 2444 floating around the blogsphere that I really liked so I ordered the pattern a few months back. This fabric is actually an old bed sheet I picked up at an op-shop during our Walcha trip, for about $2. I really loved the patterns on it and although generally white and brown colours don't look these best on me, I just couldn't walk past it.

It's finally spring! I was actually warm in this dress and sandals today. Hurrah for warm weather!

To try break up the print a bit I put some leather bias piping in the waistband (picked it up from fabric cave months and months back and finally had a chance to use it!). I also purposely centred the bird on my chest, it was just my favourite part of the print.

For this pattern I made a muslin and ended up having to take about 1.5 inch out of the centre front and another 2 inches from the back, sloping down to nothing at the waist. I'm still working out this fitting thing but I think I have a small chest and potentially rounded back? Either way I'm really chuffed with this fit, it's a tiny bit tight (particularly in the armhole), I think because I chose to put an invisible zipper in but decided to handpick it, to try that technique and because I just wasn't feeling up to the invisible zipper sewing challenge.
Inside the dress (unironed and straight outa the wash) and the picked zipper.

My favourite thing about this dress? The insides! So neat and tidy. I decided to line the whole thing with some left over fabric I had and boy oh boy and I glad I did. The bedsheet had that slightly see-through thing happening so it's great to know it's not at all see-through now!

My boss at work has this thing about hipsters putting birds on things. He always says to make something hip just 'Put a bird on it'.

VoilĂ !

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Tour de Timor

Holiday snaps time! Well not actually a holiday, a work trip. I work for an international development organisation and occasionally get the chance to go on field trips like this to visit our projects. Last week I travelled  to Timor Leste, just an hour's flight from Darwin, to visit some of our water and sanitation projects. I'd heard some things about Timor and was aware of it's history but had no idea what to expect. 

I wanted to share just some of the beautiful pictures from the trip. We spent a day and a half with one community following them from sunrise to sunset as the girls collected water for their homes, walked an hour to school then returned and spent the afternoon helping their families on the farm.

I had no idea Timor was this mountainous. The capital Dili sits on the beach and then everything behind it is hills. The roads are mostly dirt and incredible difficult to drive on. It took us 1.5hours to drive 26km! The small building on the hill top is the local school. The children in the village we were at walked about 1 hr 15 min each day to get to school. The school was in quite good condition but the big problem is around resource capacity. While the school had 8 teachers only 2 were paid, the others were all volunteers. When the volunteers couldn't show up the principal would have to teach the extra classes.

This is the village of Mate Restu that we spent the day at. In the first hut lived 2 families about 16 people.
The girls as they walked to collect water. They each carried two 5 litre jerry cans. The girl in blue in the foreground is called Elezete, she's just 9 years old and collects water 3 times a day.

At the water point the children do everything. They wash themselves, brush their teach, comb their hair and then fill up the jerry cans. This is a natural spring and it's flowing out of a cut-in-half piece of bamboo.
The walk down to the water point is crazy steep! I helped carry some jerry cans up and almost fell over a lot of times. For someone half my weight I can't imagine how they do it every day.

This is Erlinda, 12 years old.
I love older people's faces. This was Manuel, one of the oldest men in the village. We spoke to him about how the country had changed over the years.

These two girls were at a different village where our organisation had installed water taps for the community. The little girl in green had the most beautiful smile and walked the whole time arm in arm with this other girl.

Me at work.

The beautiful sunrise as we left Dili on our final day.
All pictures are credited to James Alcock.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Patterns and Postcards

There's nothing like a good spring cleanout and with spring sprung just last week it's a perfect time to participate in the Patterns and Postcards swap over at The Perfect Nose.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I have a tendency to buy patterns and then let them sit on my shelf gathering dust for months and I um and ah about their potential. It's time to share the potential! The swap rules are easy. Below are pics of all my patterns up for swapping. I'm interested in dresses and tops but happy to take a look at whatever you'd like to swap! If you see anything you fancy please leave a comment or send me an email: dana.szydlik at gmail dot com

If you'd like any more details on the patterns, a bigger picture of scan of the back just let me know.

Happy swapping!

Butterick 6325. Sizes 8,10,12 (bust 31.5, 32.5, 34)

Butterick 6480
Size 14, bust 36

Butterick 6548
Size 12, Bust 34
Swapped with Beata

Butterick B5032
Size 14,16,18,20
Bust 36 -42
Swapped with Sew Squirrel

McCalls 9526
Size 12, Bust 34
Blogged here
Swapped with Busy Lizzie

Simplicity 6946
Size 12, Bust 34

Simplicity 7451
Size medium 12-14
Swapped with PoppyKettle

Simplicity 3299
Size 14, Bust 36

Simplicity 8348
Size 12-16
Bust 34-38

Simplicity 8676
Size 8-18
Bust (finished garment) 38 - 46.5)

Style 2377
Size 10, Waist 64cm

Vogue Anne Klein
Size 6,8,10
Bust 30.5 - 32.5
Swapped with The Perfect Nose
In other news, apologies for the recent absence, I'll be back later this week with some pictures of where I was...