Thursday, January 21, 2010

South African Trip

I realise that I've forgotten to post photos from the trip, well wait no longer. I created a flickr set with the photos, because it was just easier to upload and label them this way.

South African trip Dec 2009 Flickr set

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Healthy Eating

One of my post vacation goals was to lose some unwanted weight. To achieve this I've followed a meal plan in The Pritikin Weight Loss Breakthrough. This diet as with most healthy eating plans focusses on reducing fat intake, increasing vegetable and fruit intake and replacing refined carbs with whole grains. The book has a 3 week meal plan and 60 recipes. I've often used this book for the delicious recipes.

You can browse the website for the Pritikin Longevity Center to get a better idea of the program. They've taken it to a whole new level that seems to cater to the wealthy and I suppose builds on the principles originally researched by Nathan Pritikin. As with lots of diets, it seems to have turned gimicky to bring in the money.

When I want to lose some weight, I like to follow a printed meal plan for a while to get myself disciplined again. So I basically don't put anything past my lips that isn't in the plan. This tends to work well for me.

I've been using the plan for almost 3 weeks and have dropped 5 pounds. I'd probably like another 10 pounds gone, so I'll be looking around for another plan to continue the weight loss.

I haven't taken any photos of the meals, but some of my favourites have been: Chicken Curry, Vegetarian Chilli, Red Pepper lentil Stew and Bulgar Pilaf (which I've made many times before) and tonight is a Harvest Vegetable Stew with sweet potato, red potatoes, butternut and cauliflower.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Look 6775 times 2

I've finished my first two items for the SWAP 2010. I chose to sew up the red garments first, so that ended up being two of the same pattern which made it quite easy. They are a blouse from View D in red silk and a dress using view C's sleeves in a red polka dot.

I'll be waiting till the end of SWAP to photograph myself in the clothing, so for now my dressform will be your model.

I'm thinking the top is a little plain, so I'm considering adding embroidery, beading or something to jazz it up.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I was sworn in as a Canadian citizen today and feel honoured to be welcomed into the Canadian family. The ceremony was extra special because my husband was asked to be one of the special guests and he was up front with the judge.
The ceremony involved 67 people from 29 different countries of origin. A truly diverse group!!

Thats me, centre, with my hubbie looking handsome in his uniform, to the left. Also pictured from left are two local MP's, a World War 2 Vet who I greatly admire for his volunteer efforts in our city, the presiding RCMP officer, the immigration judge, a local police constable and the clerk of court.

Friday, January 8, 2010

SWAP Plan Update

I ordered fabrics and patterns from Vogue Fabrics last night and can now show a more complete plan.

A look back at the original plan shows that a few fabrics, embellishments and fabrics were still to be decided.

Those holes have been filled as follows:


Purchased rayon crepe from Vogue Fabrics

Purchased purple satin for the shorter Burda skirt.


The LH tank in the crepe shown above.
The New Look blouse will be made up in a red silk I found in my South African stash.


I picked up a pattern I had in SA for the shirt dress and bought these beautiful shell buttons there. Hopefully they're destinctive enough for the rules. My local fabric store is having a Buy 1 Get 2 (metres) Free Sale, so I'll visit them for a fabric.

The knit dress will be made from either the purple or black cotton knit pictured above. These were kindly offered up from my mom's stash.

The embellishment option MIGHT get accomplished by using an embroidered fabric panel I bought in South Africa. It was embroidered by a lady in Swaziland as part of a social business venture to support the local rural women. It measures 11" square, with the embroidery measuring about 7" square. It depicts a flowering aloe.

I want to incorporate this into a dress, but am not sure how yet. Any ideas??? If this option doesn't work out, I'll bead the neckline of the red blouse.

General thoughts

I'm really liking the plan, although it seems that I'm not using any orange as I originally planned. The only hint of orange is in the knitted top. I considered using orange in the skirt, but couldn't see an orange looking good with the red silk top. I opted instead for the purple satin, I wanted a pretty colour and a luxe fabric. I looked at brocades, home dec fabrics and novelty fabrics, but decided I needed a solid colour to work with the knitted top as it already has a bunch of colours and didn't want a too crazy look. If I opt to embellish my blouse, I will need another dress so maybe a orange or a print with orange.

As for progress, I'm still busy with the floral dress and am furiously knitting my top....I'm even knitting while I wait for websites to load. Multitasker, YES I AM!!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back in Black

I've had a bias cut black skirt waiting on my dressform since before my vacation, so I quickly sewed up the hem today, to make way for my SWAP sewing.

The skirt is from New Look 6546, a one piece pattern on the bias with an elastic waist and a narrow hem. Despite sitting waiting for 4 weeks, it could've been sewed up in an hour. This skirt was my "bottom" in my 6-PAC. Although the sew-along is finished and they've moved on to the winter collection, I have 3 out of the 6 items now complete. I will still finish up the planned dress and coat, as they've both been cut and ready to go. They will have to wait till April though, as I will be concentrating on SWAP 2010 for now.