Thursday 13 February 2014

Catch-up - with epic facepalm :)

Yes, yes, my avid readers, it has been a while.

Last time, I was only allowed to post the one wedding - which, by the way should be entered into the bride of the year competition. BUT now I can post the other two weddings.

Bride Number One got hitched on the 6th of December in Malawi and it looks like an awesome wedding, with dancing barefoot on a lawn. My type of wedding :)

The second wedding took place just two weeks ago, on the first of Feb. Indian style with some "sokkie-sokkie langarm" thrown in on the side. Complete with a candy BAR - YUM!

First dance HERE

Here a few pics from the last fitting. "I don't want to take it off" :)

Stunning people,m, stunnign bride and stunnign groom!

And the epic facepalm: I went up to Johannesburg for the wedding, having booked my ticket in November or so. Flying in on the 31 Jan and back on the 2 Feb - right? NO had booked for the 2nd of MARCH and because I needed to be back in CT on Monday for work, I had to find a seat on a plane ASAP. Sorry, all flights were full until Tuesday morning. So, what to do? Well, you pay the difference, which worked out to more than I paid in the first place for a return, and then magically a seat opens up on the 6H00 flight on Monday.... Thank the LORD for a Credit Card.

So, then I had to find accommodation close to Lanseria ariport - not a mean feat, I tell you, but my friend R finally found a place that would fetch and drop (at 4h30 in the morning mind you). I arrived there, and got the BRIDAL SUITE all to myself
Come 4h30, the reception area is all dark, closed up and so I wait.... Turns out the driver was in a tizz, because the key to the car was locked inside Reception. Bit of tension on my side, but I made it to the ariport on time and to work only one hour late. Oh, and the "limousines" were an old skedonk of a BMW for the trip there and a 4x4 Double cab bakkie for the return trip. Seems they don't do it often - or the car was in the workshop ;)

Lesson learned - time to triple check everything. Your brain cannot be trusted :)

Currently working on Mother of the Bride desses and her sister's dress for a wedding in April.

Kids range.... well I have two pieces, a name for the brand, but no marketing amterial and packaging ideas, no logo etc. Still a bit unsure about how Import/ Export work with Etsy, but I will get there.

PS: International readers, here are the explanations for
Langarm = sokkie
bakkie = pick-up trucks

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Here is the reason....

Why I've been so quiet these past few months:
 Reason number 1: Knitting this jersey

 Reason  2: Embroidering this tapestry
Reason 3: Sewing a dress for CM (wedding in December) Anyway, this is WIP (work in progress). I am sure the official pictures will turn out much better than my attempt with backlighting.

Although the dress is done and dusted, I cannot post the pics until the wedding has actually happened.

 Reason 4: CF (now S) the most spectacular dress ever!! Contrats Clemmie :) I am waiting for the official pics, but these are what I found on facebook


Reason 5: JS dress in progress
Reason 6: Kids range coming soon (patterns in progress - ready to be tested on a certain RT soon)

Thursday 08 August 2013

What I would be doing if I didn't need to have a full-time job

Ok, I hear the groans: "Irene has reached her mid-life crisis"

Perhaps... But hings have been pretty crazy / hectic / frustrating / confusing and enjoyable at the same time. Can anyone relate?

SO, here my wishlist for if I did not have to hold a 9-5 jobby:

Embroider something like this
Or even, just because I can, start a project like this

Perhaps work on some other cross stitch patterns that have been lying around at home. One or two traditional designs will be in there - similar to these:

I would also finish my Quilt which I blogged about before, and definitely knit some more "holey" jerseys. In line with these patterns:

Ok, so, you can see where this is going... All crafty and stitchery and knittery, and even tattery
Most of these things will probably wind up in my cupboard, since I cannot ever be paid for the time it takes to produce them.Then agian, perhaps I would even be brave enough to sell some things online.

If I really was not working, I would love to travel here:

ahhh - Mexico.

I could also, something which has been swirling in my head for the past few years, start a mission to the ladies that stand on the corner at the traffic light, just up the road from me. Although, after Bible Study on Tuesday, this is something I need to start right now. The time is near and the lost are dying in their sins. Any volunteers to hand out coffee on a Sunday night?

Looking at my wish-list, or shall we call it my "what-if-list", most of it is quite superficial and really not that important, right? Well, ok, maybe the last one, but the rest is really ME-centered and selfish. Me, myself and Irene! Boy, do I want your prayers at the moment.....

Life is tough and taching is becoming more and more challenging, as I struggle to relate to the students. I don't mean I want to be their pal, but I struggle to know HOW to teach them, HOW to make them understand the things they will need in the fashion industry. It is all good and well to talk about things and methods that need ot change, I get that, but can someone please tell me HOW I can adapt my teaching to get through to them??? Anybody? At the end of the day I cannot do the work for them. Short of giving them the answers, what do you do?


Hence, I wish I was retired.

Things have also been enjoyable. I am busy with two wedding dresses, with a third one in the pipeline. Really great to go shopping and someone else is spending the moola :)
I am enjoying some awesome free brooks on my Kindle
I am knitting a jersey and embroidering some vintage pattern.
I cooked a mean chicken on Saturday - thanks to all the tips I gained from Master Chef Australia, while house sitting C + S's house a few months back :)


Tuesday 30 July 2013

So, there!!

On the wekend I went to see the new Superman movie. What struck me the most was not only how much they changed the story chronologically (which, by the way, is unacceptable for Superman fans like me), but how much they contradicted what was being said with the action.


There is one particular scene, where one of the Kryptonians (or is that Kryptonites?) goes on a tirade about evolution and how they have evolved into this superior race that now will take over earth and repopulate it. The statement goes something like this: "Evolution always wins." Trouble is all the action points to creation. First they try to terra-form earth into Krypton, then kill Superman and take his DNA, which has been infused with the genetic material from all Kryptonians, then grown a new generation of babies in a "Genesis Chamber" (what???) that will then inhabit earth - well, actually Krypton then.

Hence the title of this post. SO THERE!

It also struck me that people will buy into what is being said rather than watch the action and decide for themselves what the actual ideology and theory is. If we want to go a little deeper, the Kryptonites cannot start a new Krypton from nothing. They need certain things: Superman's DNA, a world and a bit of time and lots and lots of machinery. They also have to first completely and utterly destroy earth and then recreate it from what is left behind. They cannot form something from nothing.

Second observation: hatred runs deep, even in Kryptonians. What Superman's father has done is so foreign to them and goes so against their grain that they will not keep him or Superman alive in order to harvest the DNA. This also is a bit of a mystery, since they have drawn blood form him at one time in the movie, but still want him destroyed to gain the DNA. Correct me if I am wrong, but my blood contains my DNA, does it not? All of it, not just one part. In essence they could have started the process of a new population without having to destroy him. But to show their superiority and to prove how love is a weakness they intend to destroy Superman, but are destroyed in the process. Now to me this is still the gospel in all it's glory.

The bottom line? The world still needs a saviour!

PS there is not one bit of Kryptonite to be seen - Hmmm

Wednesday 29 May 2013


My life at the moment is in slow-motion. I go to work, I read, I sleep, I go to work. On weekends I see friends, pehaps sew a little, read some more and generally veg on the couch. Ahhhh, the life of a single person.

I have sewn the top of the quilt, but I need a bit of a contraption (or a volounteer) to hold it up to get a picture. I have also, after a few months of searching for the right fabric, finished my "I got wings" jacket. Soon to be worn in public.

(click on image to enlarge, or go to my deviantart profile)

At the moment I am helping out a friend while her husband is overseas. Oh boy, two nights of a screeming 2 1/2 year old hours past bedtime, is exhausting. Although, last night there was silence - blissful silence! It can get better in other words. And I know that C's and my prayers were answered.
After a few nights only, I honestly do not know how single mothers cope, either with one or with more.
I also understand the joys of motherhood slightly better and the funny things that kids can come up with.  Here is a gem:
C: oh, you are wearing dotty tights (to her slighly chubby daughter)
A: no, they are ovals!

Needless to say, I lost it ROTFL
Please don't misunderstand me, her daughter is a healthy toddler chubby. (and very cuddly)

Saturday 09 March 2013

"Flame war"

In light of what my borther calls "flame war" on his facebook page, for those of you are freinds with my brother. Here is a longer explanation of my initial statement (on the first post about religion haveing to stay out of classrooms) that I thought we were "debating" until some really hectic value statements were made. Now first, to be all on the same page when we use certain words, a few definitions are in order.

Firstly the word "theory" as opposed to "hypothesis". According to my brother, ALL religious people do not understand the difference.

According to the Oxford Dictionary a theory has the following meanings:
1. A supposition or system of ideas explaining something esp. one based on basic principles independent of the particular things to be explained. (theory of evolution, atomic theory)
2. a speculative (esp. fanciful) view (one of my pet theories)
3. the sphere of abstract knowledege or speculative thought (this is all very well in theory....)
4. the exposition of principles of a science etc (theory of music)
5. Math. a collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject (probability theory)

And just so that we are all on the same page, some words need further explanation.
For one, supposition:
a fact or ideas supposed

suppose: 1. assume, esp in default knowledge; be inclined to think.
2. take as a possibility or hypothesis
3. as a formula of proposal
4. (of a theory of result) require as a condition
5. generally accepted to be so; believed
6. be expected or required (was supposed to write to you)

hypothesis: 1. a proposition made as a basis for reasoning without the assumption of truth
2. a supposition made as a starting point for further investigation from known facts
3. a groundless assuption

Propostion: 1. a statement or assertion
2. a scheme proposed; propose (which means put forward for consideration)
3. in Logic a statement condisting of subject and predicate that is subject to proof or disproof
4. colloquially a problem, opponent, prospect etc that is to be dealt with
5. in Math a formal statement of a theorem or problem, often including a demonstration
6. an enterprise with regard to its likelihood of commercial success or a person regarded similarly
7. colloqially a sexual proposal

Exposition: 1. An explanatory statement or account
2. an explanation or commentary
3. Music, the part of a movement, esp in sonata form, in which the themes are first presented
4. a large public exhibition
5. archaic exposure

now that we are all on the same page here are some examples:

I hypothesise that if I kick a dog he will yelp, turn around and attack.
Experiment: kick the dog
Observation: yelp, turn around and a attack
Now once is not enough, so I try it a few times. In some cases the dog does not attack, but runs away or does not react at all.

So, hypotheses partly disproved. Eventually I will form a theory "All living dogs will react when kicked". I will then need to qualify what I mean by "dog", by "kicked", by "living" and by "react".

So, Let's take it a step up. If someone else comes along and has formed a different theory, I will need to understand what the principles are, what the facts are, what the evidence is for their assumptions, right?

I will get to my initial statement now. I stateded (proposed, if you will) that science is based on faith. On a belief, on a way in which I view the world.

So, let's talk scientific theory: There are assumptions that form part of the theories. The theories are based on observation, repeated experiment and achievement of the same result. If an assuption requires more evidence, there needs to be one of two things: I can continue to assume without evidence AND I will continue to search for evidence or I will change my assumptions and still continue to search for evidence. Now if my assumption is without evidence, that means I will need to belive the assumption (have faith) that it the teory will hold true. If someone comes along with a different theory based on the same general principles, the same evidence (offers an alternative explanation to the general principles) are they worng? NO, they just hold a different assumption to be true (a different conclusion drawn from observation). These assumption may, as in case number one be without evidence, but again, I hold these assumption to be true (I have faith).

Now what usually happens, and in this I completely agree, on both sides, the assumptions are attacked and (quite vehemently, I might add). In that case one person (in my experience, usually the scientist) will make a statement to the likes of "you are an idiot if you believe THAT, it is complete and utter scientific rubbish" etc. At that point the scientific argument breaks down as emotions get in the way.

So, in order to keep it scientific let's discuss the following theories:
Theory 1: Living beings started off as a single cell and then evolved into different species.
General Principles: there is evolution
There are a variety of living beings
Just so we all know what evolotion means, another definition from Mr Dictionary)

Evolution: 1. the gradual development , esp from a single to a more complex form
2. a process by wich species develop from earlier forms as an explanation of their origins
3. the appearance of presentation of events tec in due succession (the evolution of the plot)
4. a change is the disposition of troops or ships
5. the giving off or evolving of gas, heat etc.
6. an opening out
7. the unfolding of a curve
8 Maths: the extraction of a root from any given power

Assumptions: the time it took for the changes to take place
Species can change from one to another

Observations of evidence: There is evolution on a small scale within a scpecies. They evolve quite fast at times due to circumstances, but then qickly change back when the circumstances return to normal (the finches Darwin observed)
There are earlier forms of species we have today.
The earleir forms died quite a while ago (they are fossilised). Etc.
Now, according to the evidence, there is no basis for me to assume the second assumption - "I require further evidence", but for now I will hold it to be true, because if I take long periods of time as my first ssumption, then it might very well be so.

Second theory:
Living beings started off as different species and have evolved with the different specied to keep with changes in environment.

General Principle: there is evolution
There are a variety of living beings
Species change within species.
At roughly the same time almost all of life was destroyed and reappeared again

Assumption: life started quickly
Species cannot change from one to another

Same Observation of evidence as above.
Do I also require further evidence? Yes, I do.

Two theories and two very different assumptions, the same evidence.

Now it get better: Based on theory 1, I assume that life is accidental because, in order for my assumption number two to hold true there need to be masses and masses of life forms with mal-formed characteristics until the real thing is formed. This is not what I observe, but I need to hold this as true, as basis for my assumption. Therefore life cannot have meaning. There can be no transcient being that orders the world.

Wait, what? Was that not just a value statement? When did "meaning" enter the picture? What bout transcient beings?

Well, as I said bevore, I need to believe something in order for my assumptions to be true. My assumptions need to be based on something... I need to have faith.

Ok, defenition time:
Faith: 1. complete trust or confidence
2. firm belief esp without logical proof
3(a). a system of religious beliefs
3 (b) belief in religious doctrines
3(c) spiritual apprehension of divine truth apart from proof
3(d) things to be believed
4. duty or commitment to fulfil a trust, promise etc.
5. Concerned with a supposed ability to cure by faith rather than treatment.
Faith requires an object (I need to believe in something or someone).

Let's park it there for now.

Theory number 2. Life is no accident, it appeared all in one go and has changed over time. The time can be long periods or short. From what I observe, (evidence) the time can be pretty short, shorter at least than what theory 1 assumes. I therefor assume that life has meaning, because without meaning life is unnecessary. Therefore I need to search for meaning and that implies a purpose. What is my purpose, why are we here? I further assume that life is created by a transcient being, who tells me what my purpose is.

Wait, what? Again a value statement - meaning, circular reasoning, purpose, religion... The lack of evidnece here is the actual transcient being. (I will return to this point later)

Now we have established that both theories have some pretty wild assumptions. (Sorry value statment.)The question is therefore not are my assumptions right or wrong, but are they plausible? By plausable I mean "something reasonable or probable".

Well, one seems more plausible than another depending or the exact same assumptions. And thus, if we were having a debate, we are arguing about plausibility of an assumption.

Here is how it usually goes: the scientist will reject the (plausible) assumption that there is a creator because, "let's face it all religious pleople are idiots", and to quote from the "flame war":

"Religion is the absolute opposite of this method. It has been and continues to restrict understanding of our world in favour of keeping people in the dark, dumbed down and under permanent control of what amounts to notihng better than the obviously petty and flawed scriblings of primative, bronze-aged sheep herders."

Wait, what? How many value statements were there? And oh, a book that will explain some of the reasons why I make my assumption is rejected because it is unscientific in a few things, not taking the time it was written into account. That same book, however can form the basis for every escientific disciplne, not only Biology and Geology. It can form the reasons beind Anthoplogy, Archeology, Scociology, Philosophy, Psychology and probably a whole lot of other "ologies" I have not thought of. (Please note I said "CAN" not should.)

Unfortunately I did not fare too well in that "debate" either, because I started then requesting evidence for the assumptions. Oops. Now, if I rejected scientific textbooks (let's just talk school books here) on account of one or two errors (scientifically proven by the way) there would be no Bioloy writings no Geography and we would escalate very fast from there. I.e. I cannot take any writings of humans into account. Where would that leave us? Well, we would need to do science from scratch.

But my initial statement was "that I base any of my observations of the world on an assumption (on a belief)." Something we have just established. Now, on to the lack of evidence - yes, it needs to be physical evidence.

Here is physical evidence for theory number one to still be be found: Transitionary life forms.
For theory number two it gets a bit more complicated, because I need to find a person (a transcient being, a designer, if you will). That implies a means of contacting that person to talk to them to ask questions etc. "Wait", the scientist says, "that is not possible to talk to a person that does not exist, because I have proven that such a preson does not exist."

Wait, when? How? Evidence? Scientific method: I observe no transcient being, no audible voice, etc. therefore the being does not exist.

True about the "Observation" but not about the conclusion. Just becaue I do not see or hear someone does not mean they do not exist. If I do not see a person on the other side of the world does not mean they are not there. etc.

So, if I require evidence, where can I find that evidence about the transcient being then? Well, in a book that was dismissed as being unscientific. The book comprises a set of documents in which people who have heard, at certain points in time, an audible voice, recorded what the voice said, predicted and instructed. So that means that at times there was no audible voice? Yes, very few people have heard it, but I can read the documents. It is the same as when I do not hear an audible voice of my friend on the phone but they write a letter.

And off we go into a religious debate.

I could go on and on but I will NEVER convince you of my theory unless we both are willing to consider the other's point of view. If I start off the debate without being willing to listen, the debate is useless. I will not hear what you have to say and will only get all emotional about it. We will eventually fight (or kill) each other and leave as enemies.

Unfortunately in the "debate" mentioned that mistake was on both sides, and I'll be the first to admit that I reacted unscientifically and unreasonable. So, sorry for that, but I hope this exposition of my initial statement is better.

I should have listened to the advice given by a very wise person:
"It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
    but every fool is quick to quarrel."

Tuesday 05 February 2013

WIP (Work in Progress)

H (!) here is a bit of what I have been up to with the fabric from your mom.
The cutting stage....
I think I am crazy to tackle this, but once I started going, it will become easier and quicker.
So, here is one of the corner pieces.