Thursday, 27 June 2013

I have been sewing again for over a month now.  So far I have made:
  • A dress for daughter number 2.  (Made from old material I have bought years ago.)
  • A dress for daughter number 1.  (Made from material bought very cheap from a local shop.)
  • A dress for me.  (Made from material bought in a charity shop.)
  • A wrap-around skirt for me.  (Made from material I was given a long time ago.)  I used the techniques found on this blog but used a dress pattern that I have.  Thanks to Tilly and the buttons for the very clear instructions, it really helped.  If you want help learning to sew, then this is a great place to go.
  • A wrap-around dress.  (I got the material from a market stall in Plymouth.  And it isn't finished yet.)
  • A reversible bag.
I bought a stack of cloth from an online web shop and have found other places that sell cheap fabric.  I just need to work out how I can get to them.  The material I got has been earmarked for lots of different projects; and whilst it was good I may not buy a 'Lucky Dip' selection again.

I have learnt lots of lessons since starting to sew.  Here are some of them:
  • Read the instructions until you understand what it is saying before going anywhere near the sewing machine.
  • Measure twice, cut once.  To be fair, I learnt that one years ago but it is a good one to remember.
  • I need to replace the light bulb on my machine, it only went over 15 years ago!
  • Pressing the seams is a great thing to do and makes the clothes a lot easier to work with.
  • There are a load of fantastic sewing blogs out there, they are a great read.  They make beautiful clothes.
  • I have realised that I like clothes from the 1940s era.
  • Sewing goes way beyond clothes as I have found a bag and hat pattern that I will be trying soon.
  • Once you start it is difficult to stop thinking of different items that you would like to sew.
  • Youtube is like the village teacher as there are many different videos out there with instructions on how to make lots of great garments or how to get a certain technique correct.  
  • Sewing is a creative outlet for me.  I enjoy watching the fabric turn into something useful and good to look at.
  • It does one's soul good to make something you can be proud of.
So finally, my old sewing machine is getting a good workout and heres to many more projects.

Let me leave with photos of the latest item:

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Stereotypical Pastor's Wife

I am a Pastor's wife (or should I say a wife whose husband happens to be a Pastor) and have been for a long time.  All my married life my husband has been in Bible College or Church work.  For the first part of my marriage I tried to fit the stereotype; working alongside my husband in his ministry, all my activities being church-based, sorting out the food for many different church events, arranging Ladies events etc etc.  I enjoyed a lot of what I did but something did not always seem to fit.  I found that I went from being my parent's daughter to my husband's wife; one church wouldn't even use my name when we went to visit - we were always introduced as 'Insert my husband's name and his wife.'  I lost my identity.  And in retrospect my husband and I contributed to that in a whole myriad of different ways. I did not find a job because we were always going to have a baby which took a long time coming.  And I carried on and my identity slipped further away.   I had only ever wanted to be a wife and mother so had no other life goals.  Over the years my whole being was bound up in my husband's job of Pastor, so much so that many years ago when we went on holiday I was asked not to say what his job was and I was unable to tell anyone what I did.  Nothing I did was outside of his role as Pastor's wife.  It somehow got that bad. 

Thankfully, after that things improved slightly as I went back to College to study Child Care.  As part of that Course, I did a few hours placement in a local playgroup and school.   I enjoyed that and the small feeling of being me.

We moved churches and I was unable to do the Pastor's wife things as the church had a female worker who did them.  So I was once again in a position where my identity was not defined.  I drifted through days with not a lot to do; housework and cooking did not fill up all of my time.  So I got a job and for someone who was going to be a stay-at-home mum until my children were 16 that was a massive departure from the life I thought I would lead.  For various reasons the job did not work out, but I had got the taste of doing things outside of the role of Pastor's wife and I had enjoyed that part of it.  I was off work for about 6 months before finding the job I am in now.  Well, not exactly the same job but the same Employer.  I love my job and it is a good place to work. 

Over the nearly 5 years we have lived here I have slowly and painfully found my identity.  I am a Child of God made in His image, a wife to my husband no matter what his job is, a mother to my children, a friend, a daughter/sister amongst a few hats that I wear.  I am no longer trying to fit myself into the role of Pastor's wife although I love my PW friends online and in RL.  I do not feel the need (most of the time anyway) to try and measure my myself against other Pastors' wives.  God has used a great many life lessons to teach me that He has created me to be me and for this season of my life it is to work outside of the home, as well as create a place inside it.  I will not have the time to do all the things at church I used to do but I am using computer skills I have on a regular basis.  And there is no need to feel guilty if that is all I decide to do. 

I wish I could say that I would live my life the same way again, but alas there are many things I would do differently.  However, I am grateful for what I have learnt.  I see my husband in a different light now we are two individuals with lots to contribute to our marriage and it is much healthier.  We are still a duo just not in the way we imagined in our naivety back in the day. 

A side note:  As part of my recovery people had to look after me for a long time.  I could not cook, clean or even wash my hair to start with.  (Still cannot vacuum but I am not complaining.)  I had no control at all, I had to ask for everything.   The need to always be in control was soon taken away, thank the Lord.  And believe it or not this helped me to be more comfortable in finding my identify. I learnt to be proud of some of my achievements as well.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The question is .....?

Does anyone else ask themselves random questions?  Here is a selection of the ones that float through my head.
  1. Why can my husband hear supersonic sounds through walls but cannot hear me when I ask a question?
  2. What age should females stop wearing mini-skirts?
  3. Or does it matter if we show are wrinkly knees?  (I hope not because my most recent sewing project is shorter than I planned due to a lack of fabric!)
  4. If my phone is in my pocket, why does the alarm to alert me to the fact that I need to take my Warfarin still make me jump after all this time of taking the drug?
  5. Why do you not have time to read?
  6. Why does my laugh sound like it would be at home in a fish market?
  7. Why do slugs like beer?
  8. How can my youngest daughter sing for a hour non-stop?
  9. What have spiders done to gain their bad name?
  10. How can Dr Who regenerate again when he has used up his regeneration count?
  11. Did Rosencrantz and Guildernstern know they were dead?
  12. Did Sam Beckett ever make it home?
  13. How did someone decide that Salty Caramel would be a good flavour to try?
  14. Why does English English use more letters than American English?
  15. How come I can never find the right word when I need it?
  16. Why are jokes about flatulence always funny no matter how old you are?  (They aren't, is that just me then?)
  17. Why does everyone have an artistic talent of some description?
  18. What did I come into the room for?
  19. Do I always get to embarrass my children?
  20. Why did I write this blog post?

And  now a homage to a little boy who asked lots of questions:

Sunday, 9 June 2013

What's in a name?

I love names.  I love the way they sound; how different ones blend together perfectly.  I had names all planned out for my children, but it did not work out that way.  I am just grateful our children were able to have one name from us, and also that their given names are wonderful.  If I had had a boy he would have been called 'Benjamin Theodore', it sounds so grand to me and goes well with my surname..

Last year, a very good friend of mine sent me a book about the names of God.  I read about one of His names each week and have been greatly encouraged by it.  It mostly covers Old Testament names.  The author has written another book with the names of Jesus.  I have enjoyed thinking about the names of God and therefore different aspects of His personality.  I have made a 'Wordle' here of those names in their Hebrew and English forms.  I would like to say I have remembered them all but I just copied them from the book!

Wordle: Names of God
 Wordle: Names of God2     

Monday, 3 June 2013

So Long, Farewell.

No, not to the world of blogging, but to my Surgeon.  Today is 16 weeks since my Surgery and, I went for my 6 week check-up.  I am glad their surgery was better than their administration!  :)  In fact, I did not even get to see the Surgeon as I was seen by one of his Registrars.  As I only have met my Surgeon twice (technically 3 times but one of those I was somewhat anaesthetised. :) ), I did not mind one bit.  It was nice to see the Registrar's familiar smile.  He asked a lot of questions, checked the state of the scar, listened to my lungs and the valve.  I was then sent for an ECG, after which I was discharged. 

So, all being well that will be the last I see of that Surgical team.  I still have an appointment with my Cardiologist next week but am hoping the same thing will happen; a quick turn-about appointment with no further follow-up necessary. 

I like that sort of goodbye. 

I was not so keen on the one the other day though.  Last week we went on holiday to a quaint little cottage on the edge of Dartmoor.  Dartmoor is a wonderful place to visit.  I love being back home but really miss the rugged countryside that we drove past every day.  I  miss the sheep and ponies that decided a road was definitely a good place to sit down and rest.  We had a lot of sunshine on our holiday; Dartmoor is exquisite in the sun.  The drama of the place is seen during bad weather.  I love Dartmoor and it is the only place that I would happily return for a rest.

Auf weidersehen,  Dartmoor National Park.  Until the next time.