Friday, January 13, 2012

transforming treasure

I love it when people are not too organised and Christmas parcels keep arriving mid January. A dear driend of mine works in a charity shop and knowing my love for all things textile sends me the occasional treasure. A couple of days ago I received a beautiful embroidered tablecloth. I went to my workshop to rescue my previous epic fail, but feeling rather deflated I could not resist testing how this material could work out for making a dress. 
The curved lines of hole embroidery look deliciously feminine placed on the body. I love the look and the length but feel a bit timid to bring out the scissors. I'll need to sleep on it... for a while.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

pattern fail

It has been a while since I've made and worn a new dress design (one has been nearly finished for...2 years, ouch). I had a browse through the patterns I have drafted in the past and felt like trying something new. Jo has kindly lent me a couple of interesting books, Pattern Magic Vol.1 and Vol.2 by Tomoko Nakamichi.
I chose a simple crossover design that is cut quite differently from what I've done before.
I modified a pattern I've drawn before and made sure it would fit me the way I prefer. The cloth I used was just a bit too seethrough, so I decided to fully line it with plain cotton. I thought it would give some extra fullness for the drapes as well...
Looks very girly... The silhouette is very flattering. BUT!
From the side it makes me seem 8 months pregnant, not a good look. The way the left and right slip into and through each other is classy, but this action creates fullness on the wrong part of the body. 

Major FAIL!

What was I thinking?? This should have been totally obvious. Now I need motivation to unpick the front and come up with a way to rescue the good stuff that is there... Perhaps keep the crossover fullness on the top half and flatten the skirt part? That would make a wearable dress but completely lose the clever coming-through-the-rabbit-hole idea.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

year ahead

I journal on and off. Sometimes the off lasts for a few years, sometimes the on has a theme that morphs into something else. In my life diary, notebook, inspirational quotes, goals, ideas and channelling all have been mixed together between same covers on a steady pace for a couple of years. During 2011 I filled 5 notebooks that will be worth going back to, since many a gem is lurking there among the chaos.

On New Year's eve I dedicated the whole evening for quiet reflection. I had a special candlelit meal all by myself that I started by giving thanks to everything that came to mind about the year that was ending. A few days earlier I had written a list about completions that I wanted to work through: projects, attitudes, situations and relationships that I have no desire to take along throughout 2012. I also wrote new agreements I want to make with myself and feelings I need to acknowledge.

Some of these techniques I've learned from Gay and Katie Hendricks and Marci Shimoff, just a couple of the inspirational teachers whose writings I keep following.

I took time to read through what I wrote in my journal a year earlier. I spent time in meditation and wrote about the year ahead. It's very empowering to create a New Year's ritual that I can actually use as a guide as months go on. If I feel a bit lost I can check back to see how that relates to what I intended, whether I'm off track or if I've already grown further that I could foresee.

Five days into 2012 I saw the above illustration of Durga in a Facebook post by Awakening Women Institute. She stopped me in my tracks and the caption seemed to refer to my key goal for this year:
Playing a role that’s not made for you will sooner or later distance you from your life-force, your creativity, your connection to the sacred. In the Goddess mythology, we find fresh models of spiritual embodiment that embrace the full range of feminine expressions.
I reckon the image of Durga is all I will need to remind me about staying aligned with my authentic self in 2012! I'm the only one who can give myself permission to climb on the lion's back and follow my dreams. Nothing is gained by playing small... Our gifts were given to us for using and sharing with others. To learn to fully embody the power and shine the light within... Fierce, compassionate, nurturing and creative.

On this journey,
from my world to yours
I wish you a New Year lived with exitement and joy, challenges met with ease, prosperity in all it's guises, gratitude and love... 

How do you start a New Year? How do you finish one? Do you have a ritual? Do you set goals and if so how do you keep track of them?