Saturday, August 27, 2011

new bag

For months (maybe even more than a year) I have been planning on making myself a hand bag. I finally chose some Ink and Spindle fabric I liked at a market last summer or autumn. I got around to buying fabric for the rest of the bag about a month ago. Last week I finally worked out a pattern for my bag and made a test bag out of some scrap fabric I got from work. I made a few adjustments (like decreasing the size by 3cm on each side), decided to add some pockets and then started sewing the bag yesterday. I needed to buy some different bias tape today and then I managed to complete my bag:

View of bag with front flap open:

(There are also 2 pockets inside the main compartment of the bag that line up with the 2 pockets shown in the photo above)
My sewing skills are pretty basic but somehow I managed to complete this with minimal errors and messes (you can see a few issues like not quite straight stitching and slightly wonky corners when you look closely but generally nobody but me will do that).
I also discovered it seems to be imposible to buy the pieces to make an adustable strap. Spotlight only had D shaped loops and I wanted square (rectangle) ones and Lincraft didn't seem to carry anything either (I just looked on their website but didn't think it would be worth the effort to go into the city to see if the store might have something). I found a website that carried the pieces I wanted but when I put together an order it only came to just over $8 and the site wouldn't let me complete an order for less than $15 and there was nothing else I needed or wanted from the company. I ended up just chopping the adjustable strap off the bag that I got this year from our yearly conference we go too (I just gave 4 other bags from that conferenence to the opp shop last summer) and sewing it onto my bag. I'm very happy with the results.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hepburn Springs

Last weekend we went to Hepburn Springs for the weekend. It was kind of my birthday gift (even though it isn't my birthday until next week). We went to see Henry Wagons (of the band Wagons that played at our wedding) play a solo gig at the Palais in Hepburn. We stayed at the Hepburn Motor Inn which was right next door to the Palais.
I love how vegan friendly Hepburn Springs and Daylesford are.
Saturday night I was hoping we could have the banquet at the Hepburn Retreat Centre (formerly the Continental) but they didn't have enough bookings so it was cancelled. Instead we went to the Electric Sitar in Daylesford (4/27 Albert Lane). It's an Indian cafe/take away place. They only have a couple vegan items on the menu but the 2 we had were both really good (eggplant masala and a chickpea dahl).
Sunday morning we went to the Harvest Cafe and Organic Grocery (29 Albert St. Daylesford) for breakfast. We both had the scrambled tofu which was good although I thought it had too many olives in it (and I like olives).
Sunday afternoon we discovered a new pub that we had never been to in Hepburn (in a part of Hepburn we didn't know existed--where a lot of the locals live and go to school): The Old Hepburn Hotel. A Melbourne band (The Brothers Grim) was playing there in the afternoon so we thought we'd try to find it and check it out. The pub had both Coopers Dark Ale and Pale Ale on tap (but no vegan food other than the veggie toastie without the cheese). It felt a bit like we were in Portland, Oregan when we walked in the pub. It was a great place.
Sunday dinner was at Jasmine Thai (right across from the Palais). They have all their vegetarian items that can be made vegan clearly marked on their menu (the ones with the asterisk next to them in the photo below). The food there is good and soooo filling (and no doggie bags).
Henry's gig was really good (and the 20 of us that had pre-purchased tickets had couches and chairs reserved at the front). It comes second with only the time most of Wagons played at our wedding being a better gig.

Monday morning after a bit of a battery issue with our flexicar (which we're pretty sure wasn't our fault but possibly an issue with their swipe card thing which could drain the battery) we headed to The Chocolate Mill before heading back to Melbourne. We arrived just as their morning demo was finishing and a woman was explaining that the chocolate they use (Callebaut)-- also the brand my parents used in their chocolate factory-- has always been fair trade but at the start of this year the became properly fair trade certified. The dark chocolate is vegan (Zac discovered this a few years ago at my mom's place so whenever we're there we go looking for dark chocolate things left in the disused factory) and they clearly mark all their vegan friendly chocolates in their display. I got a chocolate orange piece and a chocolate covered candied ginger. Zac got 2 mint chocolates. We then stopped in their cafe and got a vegan hot chocolate (the photo was taken before I stirred the chocolate through the hot, frothy soy milk).

It was the perfect relaxing weekend away.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

sick kids

In past years we've had a lot of problems with parents giving their sick child Panadol or other fever/pain meds and sending them in to kinder. Then they try to act surprised when we call them at lunch time to inform them their child is miserable and has a fever. This year parents have been much better (with a couple exceptions). Yesterday a parent came in and stated that his child had felt like they had a fever (they didn't actually take his temperature but he said he felt quite hot) so he had given his child Panadol and brought him into kinder saying he was fine. Upon hearing this both me and the teacher tried to explain to him that his child can't be at kinder because a fever means your body is fighting an infection and there are some nasty flu type illnesses going around. He seemed quite surprised when we said he would have to take his child home and the look he had was one that made me think that today he would bring his child in on Panadol but know not to say anything to us. Fortunately he didn't do that and the child was away today hopefully having a good rest at home and recovering from his illness.
This morning we were chatting to a parent about illnesses and we said that we do get parents bringing them in on Panadol and we don't find out until lunchtime when the meds wear off that the child is sick. His response was "That's not fair!!" Finally a parent that really understands the importance of keeping sick children home (and was quite upset that others may not do the same). He had actually had to cancel a meeting at work today so he could go home for a few hours in the middle of the day to take care of his possibly sick child that they decided they didn't want to infect others at child care and his wife who was sick as well. They also called into kinder about midday to make sure their kinder child was ok and not showing any signs that he may be coming down with what the rest of the family has had.
I spent half my planning time yesterday researching children and illnesses to try to type up a nice email for families stating the importance if keeping an unwell child at home (and how sick is too sick to bring them to kinder). I'm sure it is hard for working parents to keep sick children at home but it is sooooo important for the child to rest and that they don't share their germs with the children and staff at kinder.