Monday, April 21, 2014

For a Healthy Happy Job

I finally finished my Sewing for Victory outfit!

I was inspired by look of The Women's Land Army. 

The Australian Women's Land Army (AWLA) was an organisation created in World War II in Australia to combat rising labour shortages in the farming sector. The AWLA organised female workers to be employed by farmers to replace male workers who had joined the armed forces. (source:'s_Land_Army )

"The Land Girls" movie

"Land Girls" TV series

The trousers I made are from brown cotton drill & the top from a really pretty yellow with little brown flowers cotton. 
As you may have previously read I had a real prick of a time with these pants. 
First the pattern measurements was all wonky & then they shrunk in the wash.
It was a bloody nightmare... but.... I finally finished them.
They are a bit baggy in the crotch & I'm not sure this style of pant really suits me... being a short arse I think they make me look even shorter and because I'm short waisted & they are high waisted they tend to cut me in half. They are comfy though.
The pants pattern I used.
The blouse (once you've sewed it once) is really very easy & I LOVE the pattern.
(I forgot to take a picture of it)
I've now made 3 blouses from this pattern. I just love the puff sleeves & peter pan collar.
It was really great to have an actual sewing project & I hope that Lucky Lucille has another one.
(good excuse to by MORE fabric & patterns)
I love pants with a Pendleton look.

A Healthy Open Air Life

A Vital War Job

Pitch In and Help !


Monday, April 7, 2014

Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose kung fu skills were the stuff of legend. - Po (Kung Fu Panda)

On Sunday I was so very excited.
I had finally completed my outfit for the "Sewing for Victory" Challenge. I had sewed it, washed it, ironed it, foofed my hair, slathered on some 1940s style make up & instructed The Big Fella that he was to bust out the 'good' camera' & take some uber-flattering shots of me in the back yard.
I did up the buttons on the 1940s style puff sleeve blouse. Freaking PERFECT. (not pictured)
I looked (from the waist up) like something from The Sullivans. Awesome.
Then I pulled on my 1940s slightly high waisted wide leg trousers that took me SO frickin' long to achieve the proper fit and
I had either gained about 10 kilos AND grown another 10 centimetres taller in one week
(call Ripley's Believe it or Not!)
my previously fantastic trousers had shrunk in the wash.
I tugged at the zipper. I swore at it. I pleaded with it but it just wouldn't go up.
Before chucking them in the wash they fit PERFECTLY. They zipped up easily & I had deliberately made them so that the hems would touch the ground as I knew I would be wearing shoes with a slight heel. Now they came up past my ankle!
TBF came rushing down the hallway & abruptly stoppped in the doorway...
"Ummm are they meant to be 3/4 length?" He asks foolishly.
"GODDAMMSHITFUCKBUMPOOARRRRRRRRRR" I wail before ripping them from my body like an angry Chippendale stripper and throwing then rather over dramatically to the floor.
Geez.  This sewing caper is such a step by step 'learn from your mistakes' caper.
A big fat arsehole learn-from-your-mistakes caper.
What did I learn? 
When it comes to sewing......... DO IT RIGHT OR NOT AT ALL. Don't take short cuts.
SO, back to bloody Lincraft yesterday to buy some more cotton drill. 
If you know me on social media I have probably already spammed the shit out of you about being nominated for People's Choice for Australian Blog of the Year.
Look, I really want to win this ok.
I love to write about random shit & I like making people smile & laugh. I like to think that I'm alright at doing this. I'd like to do MORE.  I don't know what.  Maybe write a best selling book about cross dressing ferrets or a self help book for people who want to perfect the act of chucking hissy fits.
The People's Choice winner gets $1000 worth of courses with The Australian Writers Centre.
Going & doing some courses with the AWC would be so totes grouse because it would set me on my path to my REAL life. The life that I am destined to live. My dream life.
To be disgustingly rich, adored by millions, have stores throw their goods at me to promote, to own a mansion beach house on Fraser Island with a replica of Jane Mansfield's pink towelling bathroom in it and have 10 French Bulldogs.
I don't think that is too much to ask.
Anyway, all you lovely wonderful stylish gorgeous tasteful people need to do is simply click on this picture (top right corner):
When you get to the survey page, just keep clicking NEXT down the bottom until you get to the page I'm on.. I think it's about page 5.  Rayon Dreams in a Cheesecake World
It says you can vote for more than one blog but my advice is to just ignore those other crappy blogs.

Voting closes Monday 5 May at 5pm

Thursday, April 3, 2014

People Who love to Eat are Always the Best People - Julia Child

"It's like those jars of coloured sand at The Big Shell at Tewantin"
I thought curiously to myself as I stared at the jar of dripping on the side of the huge stove.  It contained many different layers of various meat fats and the odd fossil of meat that had been accumulated over months worth of roast lambs, beef & sausages.
Suddenly I felt a big warm hand on my shoulder and a deep voice whispered in my ear.
"If you go to the fridge and look in the side of the door you'll find a treat. There is a packet of Violet Crumble pieces. You can have ONE. Don't tell your Mother & for the love of God don't tell your bloody cousins."

I looked up into the twinkling eyes of my Grandad who seemed to fill the room with his bulking frame, dark skin & blue black slick oiled hair and smirked. 
He gives me a wink & a cheeky smile and tells me to "Go On".
I practically bolt to the fridge on my skinny legs & find the secret treat. I don't scoff it. I sit at the table & slowly eat the chocolate off the outside first before putting the honeycomb cube into my mouth letting it gradually deliciously melt in my mouth.

Most of my memories of my Grandad (Frank) seem to revolve around food. Shitloads of food.

About once a month the whole family of Aunts & Uncles & Cousins would descend upon my Nanny & Grandad's high-set house for an epic banquet.
Children under the age of 13 were strictly forbidden from entering the house and had to enter up the side of the house and go directly to the greenhouse outdoor pergola in the back yard.

Even though I wouldn't say that growing up we were POOR but we certainly were BASIC.
At home we had an immense vegetable garden where we grew everything you could imagine.
Dinners at the Wiemers house were usually things like Corned Beef with carrots, choko & white sauce (leftovers of corned beef fritters the next day), Steakettes with carrots, beans, choko & corn and Steak & Kidney stew.
Dessert (which was rare) was strawberry junket or lemon sago.

So, these monthly banquets at N&GDs were very exciting for my brother, sister & I.

Upon arriving at N&GD's,  Nanny would present the children with trays & trays & trays of party pies, mini sausage rolls and searing scalding hot cheerios' with tomato sauce. Children's arms & hands would be a blur of pastry & sauce as we decimated everything in sight. We would wash it all down with delicious cans of Pasito.

UPSTAIRS was always a mystery but as soon as I turned 13 I was invited up the stairs to sit at "The Big Person's Table". Needless to say, it was a pivotal moment in my life.

Grandad would sit at the head of the table with everyone packed around the table in this little dining room area adjoining the kitchen. Nanny would be in the kitchen busy preparing dessert while instructing us to "Don't wait for me! Eat Eat!".

Grandad had spent the day before & morning preparing the feast.
Roast Lamb or even better Roast PORK with CRACKLING. Oh the Crackling!!! Crispy crunchy roast potato, peas, pumpkin with litres of incredible thick salty gravy made from dripping. Loaves and loaves of super soft bread fresh from the bakery at 5am that morning, UNSLICED so that we could slice it to be about 3cm thick and top it with thick chunks of salted butter.  Every single thing cooked with lard, butter, salt and/or cream.
There was no way that you could just pig out though. This was The Big Person's Table where you had to sit up straight & mind your manners. Elbows off the table & cotton napkin on your lap.

Grandad would lead conversation which almost always revolved around that "bloody Dennis Lillee" or "those bloody crook politicians " or the "bloody stupid football refs".

AS SOON as we finished gorging ourselves, Nanny would quickly clear the table of everything and a big pot of tea would appear in front of GD along with a plethora of china tea cups & saucers.

Then it was my favourite time of all.... DESSERT!

While my Grandad was the Master chef of the house my Nanny was the baking Queen. Instead of a birthday cake, every year I would request her incredible lemon meringue pie.
Soon the lunch table was literally covered with an assortment of lemon meringue pies, caramel tarts, raspberry jelly, bowls of SPC peaches, tubs of FULL-CREAM Peters Vanilla Ice-cream, custard and thick pouring cream.
I would FILL my bowl with EVERYTHING knowing that it would be back to boring junket the next day.
Nanny would be in the kitchen washing up (if anyone got up to help her she would scold them to sit down & eat) and Grandad would pour himself the strongest cup of tea, lean back in his chair & then the jokes would begin.

My GD was a big man with a big laugh & a wicked sense of humour. He loved a good joke.
Most of his jokes were multiracial and involved an Englishman, Irishman and a Scotsman and after delivering the punch line he would roar with his booming laughter.
I liked it because some of his jokes would be slightly 'adult' in content & as he was telling it he would wink at me and give me that cheeky grin again.

Sometimes we would 'stay over' & that was the best. Nanny would let me put on some of her 'special' beauty cream (Oil of Olay) and let me put her rollers in her hair. I would sit at GDs feet in front of his recliner as he puffed away on his Winfield Reds before he fell asleep, his loud rumbling snores almost shaking the house.

On 26th of March my Grandfather lost his long battle with emphysema. He was 85 years old.

I am so grateful that I was blessed with a Grandfather who was, in all seriousness, the quintessential Top Bloke.  A hard worker who worked on the rail for 41 years.  A truly loving husband to Dawn (my Nanny) for nearly 64 years and a doting father. He loved a joke & was always giving somebody a good hearted ribbing. He was sarcastic & dry but never mean. He was cracking jokes right up to the end.

I will miss him dearly.

Each time I have a chocolate Clinker (I used to hate getting the green ones), a Violet Crumble piece or a strong cup of tea I will remember him and know that sneaky chocolate treat was our little secret......

though I strongly suspect that it may have been a secret with all of his grandchildren. :)

John (Frank) Evans
30 November 1928 - 26 March 2014