AussieButterfly Designs Etsy Store

Wow it has almost been a month since I posted a blog and for someone that considers themselves a writer that is a little embarrassing.

Between job hunting, driving my nephews to school for a week, cooking meals and generally just being too tired to even be bothered to do much.  I was meant to speak at an event in Cooroy about inspiring people however mother nature dumped a lot of rain in a short space of time.

Now don’t get me wrong, the rain was a very good thing.  I had been visiting my parents farm every second day to fill a tub of water up and give them molasses.  The cattle got spoiled with bale of high quality legume hay and they certainly loved the fresh green grass that started growing almost as soon as the rain started!

I will admit that with the rain doing a lot towards breaking the drought and ensuring the cattle have water, not doing the talk was only a little disappointing but I am hopeful the event will be rescheduled and this time my family can come along …. just so I can show off in front of them of course!

In between all of the chaos (only way to describe it) I have been setting up an Etsy shop.  Which I created weeks ago but was too scared to open!  I still have more items to upload but whilst I have been searching for work I figured this was a good way to earn a little extra money while using my ‘sewing for sanity’ method of stress release.

So pop on over to my  AussieButterfly Etsy Shop   to shop for yoga mats and reusable sanitary napkins.  Calico shopping bags and Zafu meditation cushions are next on my list of items to have a practice sew.

The best thing about sewing though is using my nana’s sewing chair.  We are not sure just how old it is but given I can remember it as a little girl it is at least *cough* 30-40 years old.

Nana's Sewing Chair

Nana’s Sewing Chair – didn’t realise how messy my sewing corner is!!!!!!

If you have something you want me to sew that is simple and easy, let me know and I will whip it up for you! ……. Do I sound like a sewing wizard?

Blessed Be,

Robyn xox

Sewing for sanity…

Today I read Sarah Somewhere’s post Overwhelmed  about feeling, well overwhelmed of course.  As I read down her points I realized I have felt overwhelmed for literally months! I haven’t been writing, exercising or eating properly.  I have all the excuses in the world for feeling so unmotivated to write given that there has been 9 people in the house.  I have predominately written in a house by myself or with only one other person or a hip cafe, a library or even a park.  My sanity has been out the window with so many people.  The last time I lived with this many people was in Afghanistan but that still was much quieter than my beautiful three nephews at 0630.

Inside voice is not something my nephews possess at 0630……. I do wonder if all kids are like that…hang on come to think of it they don’t possess inside voices at any time.

So how does one occupy their time when the insanity of lack of quiet infects my personal space!?

Sewing!! Yes I have been sewing.

Little hats, reusable sanitary napkins and a pair of yoga meditation pants!  Ok before you back track to read, yes you did read sanitary napkins correctly.  To Much Information Warning but after a miscarriage you bleed A LOT and can’t use anything…… well inside you.  So after weeks of using chemical laden sanitary napkins I developed an aversion to them.  Thus started the internet search for something better.  After one Google search I found the light-bulb moment I was looking for in the form of a blog about cloth sanitary napkins.

While the first reaction maybe eeew, mine was! I quickly realized that I had to do something different because my bodies aversion to store brought hygiene products was causing far too much discomfort for this girl to handle.  So many hours of pattern research, design, deconstructing, cutting, pining (including several hundred pins into my fingers) I finally sewed my first panty liners.  In between this I also made a number of reversible bucket hats.  These were of far greater success than the napkins even if I did get the elephant print upside down on the first go.

My first reversible hat

My first reversible hat

I ventured into the local drapery store to purchase some fabric when I saw they had beginners sewing classes! $10 later I am learning that my machine has a slow down switch on the foot pedal.  Despite having the manual for my machine this is like the biggest light-bulb moment and I feel confident I can master (intermediately of course) my curve sewing oh and now that I know you need to snip the fabric around curves or it bunches up.  Who knew? Apparently everybody that sews!

Six degrees of separation occurred at the sewing class.  One of the other sewers was the mother of a women I used to play netball with.  As she told me what she’s been doing over the last few years for some reason the green eyed monster almost ripped me in two.  Working for an NGO in Mongolia, China and other distant lands I am yet to reach!   Ok ok I know I have traveled to many distant lands but my travel gene is strong and when I hear of places I want to go I get jealous, not a charming thing to do but neither the less it happened.

But back to more nights of sewing and I created more hats (even sold two) and a few ‘normal’ flow napkins.  I am now weening myself off store brought products.  For reasons only known to my crazy subconscious I have purchased enough products to last what feels like a lifetime I am using a combination of the both.  My growing frugal side can’t ration not using them up whilst my bodies aversion to them is begging me to just throw them out.

Cloth Sanitary Napkins

Cloth Sanitary Napkins

The sewing bug has apparently now fully trapped me.  I am watching less Grey’s Anatomy re-runs and finding myself at 2200 in internet overload research mode.  I am finding websites and amazing blogs about women and men sewing fantastic clothes and all sorts of sewing techniques.  It is a technique that catches my attention and I attempt, note the use of the word attempt, bias binding to make the napkins look rather polished! Well it would seem that I am no where near ready for the world of bias binding… it rather looks like chicken scratching to be brutal honest!  Guess I won’t be winning any awards for my sewing technique.

I did make a gift of five postpartum napkins for a friend who just had a beautiful little boy and her feedback was, ‘Girl they are brilliant and work perfectly. I just rise them and wash them with the nappies!’ So I am loving that my sewing adventures are helping others.

Postpartum Napkins

Postpartum Napkins

Perhaps my best achievement, so far, is sewing a rather funky looking pair of hybrid yoga/meditation/harem pants without a pattern !!! That is right I didn’t have a pattern but I looked at a pair of harem pants I have from Morocco and figured I could work out how to make a pair.  I measured, cut, and got it wrong DAMN IT! So I then sewed away and low and behold they are almost perfect.  The fisherman’s pants style top could be 10cm shorter, I should have used backing for the waist tie, the colors and pattern could have been less bold but they are still perfect!!!

No pattern Yoga Meditation Pants

No pattern Yoga Meditation Pants

Sewing however has kept me from facing the fact I am feeling extremely financial insecure.  My writing work has all but dried up and I haven’t felt passionate enough to search out more.  I send out resumes for jobs I don’t actually want and get the lovely rejection email or no feedback at all.  Given I don’t actually want these jobs I am fast wasting my time and energy applying for them.   I set up an Etsy shop for my sewing but have been crippled by fear to open it, I have a Facebook page ready to launch as well but working out the pricing scheme is harder than I expected! Don’t want to charge too much or too little so I have information paralysis.

For now my sewing is keeping my sane, well as sane as I ever am, and I am thoroughly enjoying the creative process.  Who knows maybe this week will be the week I finish the pricing chart and get my store up and running!  Oh and I have to make a prototype yoga mat bag!!  Good times!

Has sewing ever been your key to sanity?

Blessed Be
Robyn xox

More reversible hats

More reversible hats

Cute Reversible Bucket Hat

Cute Reversible Bucket Hat


5 Simple Steps to Happiness….

Despite all the modern conveniences we now have to make life more efficient sometimes it seems hard to be happy amongst the concrete jungles, responsibilities and never-ending list of things to do.  These 5 simple steps will help you on the road to a happier life.

Step 1.  Smile more

When you are hurting and not feeling very happy, a smile can make all the difference.  As you go about your daily life simply walk around with a smile on your face.  It can feel awkward and a little uncomfortable at first but as you relax into smiling other people will notice your face is soft and welcoming.  Nothing makes another persons day brighter than a smile from a stranger.  The return smile may just make your day.

Step 2.  Drink more water

Just like a plant the human body needs water to survive.  A plant that hasn’t received the required amount of water starts to dry up, shrivel and die.  The human body is more resilient but not by much.  Water makes up between 58% and 70% of the body with the brain being a massive 85% water.

Headaches, poor concentration, sluggish bowel movements (eew right!) and fatigue are all signs of mild dehydration.  Include an additional glass of water when you rise and before any meal to increase your intake to 2 litres a day.

Step 3.  Practice gratitude

Not every one wants to or even likes to mediate but taking a few moments of quiet time to reflect on the day the is coming or just past.  Take a few deep breathes and focus solely on what you are grateful for.  Some days this can be extremely difficult but everything from the ability to read this article or even sit in the morning sun while you practice gratitude is something you can be grateful for.

Step 4.  Find your passion

Life is not a dress rehearsal.  If you hate being stuck in an office from 9-5 but your responsibilities mean you can’t break free just yet find something that drives you.  Take a course in creative writing, photography or even a yoga class.  Find that something that excites you and use your free time pursuing that passion.  You might be passionate about comic conventions and spend your time planning your costume.  It doesn’t matter what your passion is just find it and enjoy it.

And finally:

Step 5.  Have fun

Life is not meant to be a constant chore.  Grab a ball and kick it around the park or play with a pet.  Laugh with friends over a coffee.  Go to the movies and see a good comedy.  Dance around the house to your favourite singer.  Go for a walk along the beach and watch the surfers.  Read a good book.
Practicing these simple steps will guide you towards a healthier and happier life.  The more you regularly follow these steps you will also be naturally guided to other avenues of a healthier life thus making you happier.  Like when you are having fun and it leads you to finding your passion, hours of countless happiness will follow!

Blessed Be

Robyn xox