Wednesday, March 14, 2012

rainin' and rainin'

I've probably mentioned this fact before - I love sewing for people I love! - but I had to mention it again given the gorgeous set of tops I just had the pleasure of whipping up for one of my loveliest friends, Niki. Is she not a beautiful P&E model?
Her request for 3 tops and a bolero came one day when I was lamenting not having enough cash to buy the new Sal Kimber album. How gracious of Niki to buy tops from me in order that I could purchase some music! The creative cycle is truly a beautiful thing...
The tops were to be comfy, but smart, and vaguely related to the colours dusty pink, blue and green. This was pretty fun, as I love colour-themed requests, especially since organising my teatowels and fabric remnants. I am an absolute sucker for anything arranged by colour, especially op-shops. The colour-coded op-shop seems to be a bit of a regional thing, in my experience, the most spectacular ones I've seen being in Cooma and Wagga Wagga. A few weeks back, I had a pretty awesome few rainy days of sick leave, after injuring my shoulder, so couldn't go on with any 'big' jobs (ie. house-building related). I just had to snuggle down and colour-code my fabric. How dreadful, I know.
So the tops were easy.
The bolero, on the other hand, was to go with a frock she already owned. Niki had sent me the belt, as a reference, but I was all in a tizz about the colouring.
The dress, as you can see, is bloody spectacular, so I was really feeling the pressure to get it right. What to do when in such a tizz? Defer to your muse, I say. Pearlie (my muse) is extraordinary at picking out combos. Combos of colours, combos of accessories, combos of food. Whatever - she rocks them all. Including Niki's bolero's dusty salmon wool/bright turquoise bias binding combo, which I believe to be marvellous.
Niki was pretty chuffed too, which is always a bonus.
While we were in Sydney hand-delivering Niki's tops (a special service reserved for only my most special clients, sorry) Bega was a recipient of some pretty phenomenal rain, which managed to wreak havoc all over our pretty shire. Being massive proponents of the 1st permaculture principle of Observe and Interact, we were super-keen to see how our land was handling the big wet. Pearl, Oski and I (Olive was at school) trotted up at the first opportunity, and were pretty excited by what we saw.
Firstly, the dam was absolutely chockers. Awesome. BUT it was overflowing, and showing off a pretty dreadful spillway which had some significant potential for erosion. Spillways, as we learned in Harvesting Water the Permaculture Way (yep: we get into some seriously sexy night-time viewing down here) should follow the contour of the land for quite some way, so that any overflowing water is captured and carried along the land slowly and gently, so as not to create any erosion and to ensure the land receives the maximum possible benefit from the rain. Our dam, in contrast seems to
a. spill right over the dam wall, taking our beehive with it (the only time I've been happy that the bloody bee lure didn't work) and then
b. create a kind of mini-river over the side, evacuating all our azolla and making a lovely azolla-bog in the gully below the dam wall.
Not the best outcome, at all, but interesting to see. We're not that upset about the dam's performance, given that, come spring, we'll be draining it and excavating it to remove silt, increase our water-storage capacity and create a gorgeous swimming hole. And at least we know it doesn't leak.
Speaking of excavations, they were pretty much supposed to be done by now, given that our workshop is in LESS THAN FIVE WEEKS but have been delayed on account of aforementioned rain. Slightly stressful, though Pearl has been wonderful with her "Babe, it's the weather. There's nothing we can do about it so don't worry" and things do seem to be clearing. All going well, Moonie the bobcat/bulldozer/front-end loader driver and self-declared "Excavation Advisor" will be up at our place bright and early on Tuesday to gouge out great quantities of hillside. The feeling is... well... kind of huge.
PS. As I write this, I am enjoying, quite immensely, the sound of the new Decemberists album, which I received in the mail today. It's a double live cd and, well, let's just say Pearl and I are dancing/panting/exclaiming "Yeah Colin!" as we go about our evening chores. Fun times.
PPS. Post-major rain event, the far South Coast this early Autumn is a truly spectacular place to be and all going well we should have some beautiful building weather for our April straw bale workshop. The prospect of toiling away on our hillside, with so many loved ones, on bright, crisp Autumn days excites us big time.


  1. Bolero looks great! It was wet wasn't it. Brace yourselves for the same weather each Feb/March. Apart from the big drought a few years ago, our lovely Bega Valley floods every year at this time. Was the highlight of our year as kids. :-)

    Been having a little stalk about your blog. I'm amazed at how you've sunk yourselves into the community! Well done! I grew up here and I still haven't managed to achieve the same - and we've been back four years now. Note to self: take part in stuff!

    Take care. Perhaps we'll meet someday.

  2. Nicky looks just beautiful as the model. The clothes are just amazing. You clever thing you. Lv. It's Mags.