Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Progress report for 2008

What have we bought new so far this year?
I thought I should do a list of the times we have broken our consumption challenge. Perhaps you guys could give suggestions for how to avoid these pitfalls in future?

Razors. What am I supposed to do? Go Amazonian? I can't think of a consumption-less alternative for me, and I am not about to suggest that Andrew should grow a full beard.

Glue, varnish, nails. Andrew has bought a few sundry woodworking supplies. He has restored a number of pieces of furniture and picture frames from op shops and garage sales (I really should be blogging about his stuff too, eh?) and there doesn't seem to be a way around buying a few consumables. It's not like these things can be bought second-hand since glue and varnish actually go off.

Hair ties. No, they're for Andrew. This one might have a solution. Any ideas? He uses pretty heavy-duty elastics to tie his long hair back.

Shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap. I'm going to be trying the no-shampoo challenge soon.

Deodorant. Oh dear. A "must have". It's the only part of being European that I dislike. Any consumption friendly alternatives which actually work?

Toothbrush. We've each had a new brush (and Elliot has his first) because I couldn't find any alternative which wouldn't send us broke.

Disposable nappies and wipes. Back in Jan/Feb Elliot got a staph infection and we had to use disposables for about 6 days so I could wash his nappies in a special solution.

Hot water system. Our 26 year old system finally died in the new year. Can't really go for a year without hot water just to prove a point. We got an energy-efficient system to replace the horrid old storage tank system.

Cleaning supplies. Well, technically these aren't "bought" because we don't pay for them, but they are still consumed by us. My mum is a distributor for a little company which makes perfume-free, colour-free dishwashing liquid and laundry powder and other cleaning items (I think shampoo and conditioner too) for people who have chemical sensitivities. Given my family's history of chemical issues my mum likes to bless us with free cleaning stuff. I haven't paid for dishwashing liquid or laundry powder in 11 years.

What if?
I have noticed a few things which may need to be bought one day.
Cds. I have been using my usb and mp3 to give information to other people wherever possible, and have barely used any cds. But I do need to backup info and photos. Any alternatives?

Unpicker. Bet you weren't expecting that. I used my unpicker to cut a hole in leather yesterday and it broke. I have another, but I'll be looking out for one at the op shop now. What will I do if I have no unpicker. I have a love/hate relationship with it, but I am not stupid enough to think I can live without it.

Consuming or not?
It's interesting for me to ponder the "consumption" issue. For instance, when I try the no-shampoo challenge, I will still be consuming something (bi carb, apple cider vinegar) instead. If I tried going without the few cleaning products I use, I would have to use something else. I love my bi-carb as a cleaner, but it can't wash laundry. And if it could I would need to purchase much more bi-carb. There are many things I am finding it easy to go without (new clothes, toys, entertainments, sewing supplies) but there are some things which seem vital to a healthy and hygenic existence.

I'm not sure what m point is, so if you know or you want to weigh in on the topic, please leave a comment.

Oh, temptation!
A quick thought to leave you on. I am having a great deal of trouble coming to terms with another 7 months without one of these.

This is the only thing which is testing my resolve about the challenge. What am I to do. I can wait, but it's going to be a tough road.

Friday, 23 May 2008

I'm shocked!

I posted on NC today about the fact that today I finally reached a milestone in my weightloss. I have finally lost 20kg since Elliot's birth. Now I am lighter than I was when I fell pregnant with Elliot, lighter than when I got married, and lighter than I have been in over 7 years. How cool!!!

The chickies on NC asked me for before and after pics, but I couldn't find any pics of me taken this year, so I asked Andrew to shoot of a couple of pics for me. The NC thread is in a subscribers-only area, so don't bother looking for it unless you are a paid-up member. It's all here anyway, LOL! Pretty much word-for-word.

Here is me, with Elliot, when he was 2 months old. We were on a Scouting-related camp, hence the uniforms. It's Flick's Wood Beads at Camp Birrubi, for those who know and care. Ha ha ha! That'd be only you Lornie. LOL!

Then at Elliot's dedication ceremony. It was over 42 degrees that day, and there was smoke wafting through from the immense bushfires across the state (December 2006). I'm pretty shocked at how big I look here. I was almost in tears as I looked through these pics. I didn't know I was so big until I saw them today.

That last one is the real clincher, eh? There's nothing so telling as a full-frontal shot with a goofy look on your face (mid-sentence). Elliot was only 2.5 months old so the boobs were still pretty full (who am I kidding? they still leak now and we're down to 3 feeds a day!) but the rest of me!?!?! Oh my, let's move right along shall we?

So, this is me today. Literally today. I decided to do a few modelling poses (HA!) since I look so %@&# hot! Ha ha ha! I love my new haircut - it makes pretty waves and curls all on its own. I like my skinny little waist which makes me look lighter than I am. I like my favourite pants which I have taken in at least 6 times.

So there you have it. 20 kilos of weight loss in pictures over 21 months. 3 more kilos to go till my next goal, and hopefully that 3kg will all come off my rump. That'd be nice.

And just to round off the joy, we went op-shopping today and I bought a (SIZE SMALL!!!!) Rusty brand jacket for $5. Fit's perfect!

Special thanks to today's wonderful photographer - darling DH, Andrew.

And a reminder that you can click to see the pics bigger. :)

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Tag Dag

Well, Theresa has tagged me, so I'd better be nice and play. ;)

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
Each player answers the questions about themselves.
At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

a) What was I doing 10 years ago?

Um, I was 19, heading towards 20. I was living in Shepparton, VIC. I was studying Disability Studies at TAFE in the evenings. I think I would have been living in the 5th of my 11 share-houses in Shep. Living with a friendly gal called Natty-Patty, her dog, and my kitten, Chewey. Chewey still graces our presence to this day with her incessant meowing and annoying habits.

b) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today:

I was supposed to go to my mothers' group, but E is asleep. I suppose I will do some laundry, eat some lunch and finish some stuff for Andrew for Scouts tonight. Maybe even post some pics on my blog. Pretty laid back today.

c) Snacks I enjoy:

Dried fruit, nuts, fair-traid choc, anything with sugar, almost any fruit.

d) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Start up Andrew's small business idea.
Build an architecturally-designed enviro-friendly house on a few acres in Tassie. Obviously also live there.
Give lots to Wycliffe and MMM International and other like-minded organisations.
Buy dozens of Itti Bitti D'lish fitted nappies and have 100s of kids. ;)

e) Places I have lived:

Outer suburban Melbourne.
Innsbruck, Austria (only 3 months, sadly).
Outer suburban Melbourne. Again.
Now a little town outside Melbourne.

And who am I tagging?

I'll be asking K and S if I can tag them. Should be interesting to hear what these sisters come up with.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

May Challenge Update

Let's see... what has been done so far during Fix or Finish Month?

I fixed Elliot's leather shoes where there was some skipped stitching inside. Did I tell you I made him some new leather shoes? His black ones were worn out because I used too-thin leather on the soles.

I learned how to fix my holey socks. I asked my neighbour to teach me how to darn socks, but first I borrowed her darning mushroom. A few hours later Andrew had turned me my very own mushroom on his wood lathe. It's made from an off-cut of American Ash, I think. I love the two burn line embellishments on it, but Elliot thinks they are joins and he desperately tries to unscrew the handle from the top. Oh, he gets so frustrated!

Yes, I can now darn socks. Something I can do while bumming around in front of the TV with Andrew. I'll post a pic of some darning once it doesn't look like something a dog has mauled. Practice, practice, practice.

I finished sewing the tape onto 7 Scout Scarves. It took 3 hours! This has been on my to-do list for 2 or 3 years. A group of our friends who are all Scout and Cub leaders have been getting together to go camping for a while (the only kids there are our own children, hooray!) and we decided to make a mock Patrol and have some good old Scouting fun. It really is true that Scouting is more fun without the youth! ROFLOL!

Here Elliot is receiving his scarf for our Patrol. I'm on the left and 12 year old T is on the right.

I finished Elliot's second pair of pants. They're made from some tencil denim I bought at an op shop in Seymour and they've been waiting for the second hem to be hand-sewn for two weeks now. Action shots will follow soon in another post.

I finished some mock-up shoes for Xavier. He's 9 days older than Elliot, but 5kg heavier!!! And his feet are a little hefty. I made some shoes out of old wool felt Brownie hats. Ugly as anything, but I was able to see that the pattern I developed was big enough. No pics. The shoes are too ugly. I will use that pattern to make some leather shoes for him soon.

I finally finished some shoes for Theresa's daughter.
Read about them here (ie: just below this post).

After making those shoes I let myself play with the bamboo fleece Theresa had sent me. Oops! Before I knew it I had made a 4 layer fold out bamboo booster for Dinnae to use in Xavier's nappies. Tut-tut! I'm not supposed to start new projects this month. But at least it only took 30 minutes.

Shoes for Theresa's daughter.

I made these shoes for Theresa's younger daughter who is just a little bit older than my Elliot. It was a huge challenge to make something girly, but I loved the adventure.

These shoes are made from what used to be a hideously ugly 1980s leather jacket. Also some nice thick Italian leather (upholstery scraps from Andrew's old job) for the soles, and the ribbon is from my vast collection. The elastic was op-shopped some time ago, and the thick quilter's thread is left over from my teddy-bear making days. Nothing new at all.

I wanted to make these shoes in response to a generous gift from Theresa. She recently sent me a stash of booster-shaped bamboo fleece pieces. Just like that. I was blown away, and even more so when she told me there's some bamboo velour off-cuts coming in the future. I offered to make the shoes and then told myself I wasn't allowed to pat the bamboo fleece until I had made the shoes. Ah, I'll have to pull out the fleece tonight for a pat. I can't wait to make a cotton velour nappy with this scrumptious fleece inside. Thanks Theresa!!!

I couldn't let T's older girl go without something fun in the package, so I sent her a little notebook I'd made some time ago and a rainbow pencil I bought in a cute little Japanese gift shop in Box Hill last year. I loved those pencils when I was little.

Theresa tells me the girls really like their gifts.

I was inspired by my own first pair of baby shoes. Awwww!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

May Mini-Challenge - Fix or Finish

My Mini-Challenge for this month will be "Fix or Finish". I have so many unfinished projects. I seem to start a new one before any previous ones are finished. So this month my goal is to start no new projects! I don't know how I'm going to do it. The second part of my goal is to fix something or finish one existing project each day. I have started a list of all the things which need fixing or finishing and I will choose one thing from it each day to have a go at. I will also be nagging Andrew to fix and finish things this month. Let's see how that goes down, LOL! I will post pics of fixed and finished things each weekend if not before.

Oh, yes. I did do a mini-challenge for April, I just didn't post about it. When I get a spare moment to breathe I will write about it.