Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a tale of a sewing machine abroad

I think I mentioned in my last post about how much free time I have had these days, and I really have nothing new to say about that except that it continues...

Last week, in a moment of desperate energy, I decided it was time to sew a clothes pin holder.  We do not own a dryer, and I much prefer it this way.  There is something very elemental about hanging your clothes out to dry (with the exception of towels which get a bit crunchy at times, but I have been pleasantly surprised with how well our fabric softener works).  Anywho, it dawned on me pretty much right away that a pin bag was an immediate necessity.  And so for the first time in the great nation of the United Kingdom, I brought out my beloved sewing machine from the china cabinet, where it has been since the day I arrived, and with an  overwhelming sense of anticipation plugged it in... and it blew up.  It quite literally POPPED and then did absolutely nothing at all.  While I was shaking my head to clear the ringing sound from my ears I took note of two things:  1. My sewing machine obviously does not like the voltage level here or is not dealing well with culture shock very well, and 2. I still needed a clothes pin bag, like ASAP, because I had a load in the washing machine.  So in spite of my fury and frustration (and an overwhelming sense of sadness) I hand sewed this clothes pin bag.  It works like a charm just as I had hoped, which sort of makes up for the temporary loss of my sewing machine.  Here you can see it in action doing exactly what it was created to do.  Look at it hanging there proudly in the breeze, it even looks like it's smiling:)

While my sewing machine is being repaired I am very fortunate to get to work with this beauty, on loan from my mother-in-law.  It is SO fun to use and has a wonderful old smell and makes the most delightful spinning and whirring sounds.  

I have used it to make covers for some pillows we got from IKEA last weekend with some old velvety curtains that belonged to Sam's great-aunt.  They are a temporary fix but feel so so nice and were almost free since the pillows themselves cost about 69p each.  Sorry about the bad quality of this picture, I have limited resources here and am also quite lazy.  But you should be able to see 6 pillows in two wing-back chairs (the one on the left used to belong to the same aunt as the velvety curtains and the one on the right was Sam's grand dad's, I love them both equally and massively).  

My next job involves a ladder, some plants, a squeegie and the ability to overcome a fear of heights that has been with me for almost 26 years (i.e. my whole life).  Any guesses as to what this might be?  Well I'll tell you.  I am going to borrow a ladder, lower it down into the stream behind our house crawl down and plant some irises on the opposite bank that we can enjoy next summer, then climb up the ladder and wash the dreadful windows of our conservatory and yank down a bunch of ivy that is trying to come through the roof of our conservatory.  And if I still have time I might throw whatever is in our compost bin into the neighbor's yard because they were rude to me last weekend when our guests blocked their auxiliary gate with their car.  How horrible of me, I would never do that.  Anyway, for a better idea of what I plan to do see exhibit A.

Exhibit A
On the job front:  I have been hired on as a nanny for a family who are waiting for their au pair to arrive which they expect to be in the next 5 weeks or so.  This is great because the job I am hoping to get at the college in town will begin around the beginning of November.  So for the next month I will be taking care of a little boy named Freddie.  I also get a Land Rover, gas, insurance and food into the bargain.  So it's a bargain.  Except for the Land Rover part because these roads are skinny man.  


  1. Love the sewing machine and pictures!!! I keep wanting to look around more :) Thanks for updating your blog. Hey, be careful on that ladder! Mom

  2. B-
    You can TOTALLY handle this ladder thing...after all, you have handled uneven stairs extremely well. I'm looking forward to hearing more about this. Are you available to Skype sometime in the next week or so?

  3. P.S. Wisconsin is quite chilly and rainy right now. It reminds me of England. Today would be a perfect day for crafting.

  4. so many things going on! you're not lazy, you're very industrious. i love those chairs too!