Rhetorical Questions

I promised Madamoiselle Tialys the Younger that I would take her to her favourite bookshop when college finished for the summer and, more importantly, providing she got some of the toot off her floor so I could walk across it and open a window to air out the health risk we call her bedroom.  Her favourite bookshop is one that stocks a copious amount of Japanese animé – or Manga.  Don’t ask.  Especially don’t ask her otherwise you will be trapped in a one sided conversation for several hours- a position I have been in many a time but have now become fairly well skilled in avoidance tactics.

Yoshiko Tsukioni

Roaming about the bookshop while she made her (extensive and expensive) choices, I must have had things Japanese on my mind because I spotted this book in the sale and, despite the beautiful young woman wearing what appears to be a box with sleeves on the cover, I had a closer look and discovered, not only was it in the sale but it held 26  patterns inside – 26!!.  I must like some of them surely!  So I bought it.

And there are some that I like.  This one for instance.


and this one


If only I were so cute and young and doll like.

But most of all I like these

Japanese clothing patterns

especially the one on the right.

Although I think I could shorten the one on the left and make it work for me too.  I was so pleased with myself that I left a huge sheet of 3mm cardboard that I had paid for on the floor propped up against the checkout counter and didn’t realise until I was nearly home – an hour’s drive away.

Just one question.  Why, oh why, did I have to buy this book the day after I saw these two cotton lawns and, not knowing what I was going to make with them, took only one metre of each and that shop is one and a half hours away.

Cotton Lawn

Either would have been just right for that blouse.  Grrr.

Actually, I have more than one question for you today.

Yellow Ironing Board Cover

Why did I take the trouble to make an ironing board cover when I only iron an item of clothing if not doing so would put the wearer at risk of arrest for vagrancy?*

Green Smoothie

Why does every smoothie I ever make turn out green, grey or brown?

Cat Face

Why does my cat hate me?

*  Of course, an ironing board (and iron) is an essential part of any sewing workroom which is where mine now lives so it must look pretty.  No more clothes will get ironed though!



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  1. #1 by Joan on July 5, 2015 - 16:20

    O, I liked your post this morning. Somehow it helps to know that I am not the only one to have things like this in my life. Let’s see, maybe you cat doesn’t just hate you….maybe it hates everyone. And perhaps the other things are challenges to see what you are made of….and how creative you can be. By the way those patterns looked so comfy and I know you will make something perfect with that lovely fabric.
    AND……Where did you find the ironing board cover?????? I LOVE IT! They are usually ugly, depressing, and make a person unhappy before I even begin that task. I have oodles of old linens and various clothing that must be ironed and can’t bring myself to haul out the board just because it is so dismal. I would be so happy with this uplifting cover.
    Happy Sunday!

    • #2 by tialys on July 5, 2015 - 20:26

      Thanks Joan. I made the ironing board cover. It was one of those times I wandered into my workroom with something on my mind and then ended up doing something entirely different. It happens a lot. No real skill involved – I just drew round the existing cover, added some bias binding, threaded a cord through and there it was. The fabric came from Ikea. I often buy fabric from Ikea that I fall in love with and then wonder what to do with it – especially such a big, bold, bright print such as this. It’s worked very well as an ironing board cover though!

  2. #3 by katechiconi on July 5, 2015 - 16:23

    I like that sleeveless trapeze line dress, myself. I have more questions, however: why is it so compulsory for models to look positively ill, to stand as if their stomachs hurt and never, ever, at any price, actually look as if they are enjoying themselves. Could you perhaps phone the fabric shop and see if they’ll mail you another couple of metres of the lawn – I love the dark blue one with tiny flying birds on it.
    I’ve been feeling fairly ordinary since Friday’s surgery, but hope to make a start on the hexagonal box tomorrow – I’ve picked a gorgeous fabric for the outside, and will not be giving the finished item away no matter how nicely I’m asked!

    • #4 by tialys on July 5, 2015 - 20:29

      I think the models are all just very, very hungry! I might phone the shop – good idea. Actually, they both have birds on but the focus went a bit haywire with the blue and white one.
      Don’t even think about starting the box before you feel ready. Having said that, I can’t wait to see your finished box – I just know it’s going to be gorgeous.

  3. #5 by Emmely on July 5, 2015 - 17:46

    Never buy less than 1.5 meter of any fabric when you’re not sure what you’ll use it for. There are not many things that will fit out of only 1 meter. I really like the fabric with the birds, that will make a lovely top.

    Use strawberries, not kiwis, celery or spinach to avoid greenness and no chocolatemilk (not really sure what else would turn a smoothie brown…).

    • #6 by tialys on July 5, 2015 - 20:31

      That’s probably a good plan Emmely. It was a bargain price in any case so I should have just gone for it!
      Every red or black fruit I put in seems to be overwhelmed by the spinach which I do try to use for the health benefits. I would much rather drink pure fruit smoothies but most of the goodness comes from the greens. I sometimes resort to beetroot juice (or raw beetroot if I can find them) and that seems to be the only thing that will overcome the green, grey, brown – ness.

  4. #8 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on July 5, 2015 - 19:11

    I’ve never bought 5 metres of anything except curtain material. I can make a dress out of 2 metres, piece of cake! As for quilt fabrics, I tend to buy fat quarters and the occasional metre for sashing etc.

    I like all the patterns, so I think you had a good buy with that book, and an excuse to re-visit the fabric shop: can’t be bad!

    • #9 by tialys on July 5, 2015 - 20:32

      I like it when there’s a silver lining.

    • #10 by tialys on July 6, 2015 - 08:54

      Well, Viv – they look a bit like milkshakes but the really healthy ones contain green stuff, like spinach, then you can add fruit if you want – banana or avocado give a creamy texture. Some people add milk but, again, the really healthy ones tend to just have water added or something like cold green tea. You can use a blender or, like I have, a sort of pulverising machine that reduces everything (including nuts and seeds) to a pulp. It’s a good way to get your 5 a day. Mine tend to taste better than they look 😉

      • #11 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on July 6, 2015 - 09:39

        Thank you for that. I’ll have to try this green version. Is it sweet?

      • #12 by tialys on July 6, 2015 - 19:43

        It depends what you put in it Viv. The fruit sugar is the only sweet thing unless you add something else but sugar would defeat the purpose of a health drink. Honey would work. I sometimes use those ‘milk’ drinks you can get such as almond milk or rice milk instead of water for the liquid which seems to make it a little sweeter – and thicker. If you Google some smoothie recipes, the internet is awash with them and you could try one that takes your fancy.

      • #13 by http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com on July 6, 2015 - 19:45

        Thank you very much, I will.

  5. #14 by lovelucie1 on July 6, 2015 - 14:19

    Yes, its the spinach. I made us all spinach, berry and flaxseed smoothies this morning. They tasted better than they looked but my OH asked if he could add sugar!
    I know what you mean about one single reasonable purchase leading onto many more purchasing and trips into town! At least my town is only 15mins away but I hate wasting my precious time on further errands than planned!
    Just about to email you.

    • #15 by tialys on July 6, 2015 - 19:39

      Mr. T. makes nicer tasting smoothies than me but that’s because he goes easy on the green stuff. I try to be healthier. I think, because they look like milkshakes, people expect them to taste sweet and it’s a bit of a shock when they don’t. I suppose it’s just a matter of adapting and drinking them out of a cup rather than a glass if the colour puts you off.

  6. #16 by Jan Marriott on July 6, 2015 - 17:34

    I can see why you had to have those new fabrics…lovely. You do not need an excuse to go into a town 1 1/2 hours away, surely they have a market day?
    No idea why your cat hates you ( smirk) cats are just like that sometimes.

    • #17 by tialys on July 6, 2015 - 19:36

      Well, the town is actually a city Jan – Toulouse – so it’s a bit more of an outing than a trip to the shops. I have four cats and it is just this one that seems to hate me. Mind you I think she hates everyone.

  7. #18 by jendavismiller on July 6, 2015 - 19:34

    Funny post! We have 2 cats, one for me and one for my husband. Actually we share Frieda, but Jasmine is all mine. And they are both pills! I love the dark blue with flying birds and think it would be perfect made up in the shirt (Y). But they are all lovely, just have to picture them “rounded out” a bit.

    • #19 by tialys on July 6, 2015 - 19:49

      We have four cats and this is the only female and the only one with attitude. We got her from a shelter when she was a kitten and my theory is that she was taken away from her mother too young – although she’s such a baggage I wouldn’t be surprised if her mother kicked her out. She goes by the name of Betty but I have several others for her.

  8. #20 by Lily Lau on July 6, 2015 - 23:22

    Hahah, that’s right, why does your cat hate you? 😉 Nice choices, doll!

  9. #21 by sew2pro on July 8, 2015 - 14:50

    The cat is probably just insecure, and has one of those faces that prompts builder-types to say “cheer up love, it may never happen” which deepens the frustration and misery. Or maybe animals are like people: most are ok, a few are lovely and the odd psycho spoils it all!

    • #22 by tialys on July 10, 2015 - 13:39

      She is a psycho because when we have visitors she makes a big fuss of them and they think she’s very affectionate and beautiful. When she’s not giving me the evil eye, she is actually very attractive and her eyes look like they’ve been outlined with an eyeliner.

  10. #23 by dezertsuz on July 17, 2015 - 16:29

    Love your sense of humor! That’s one reason I don’t make smoothies. While I love the color green, drinking something that color isn’t in the cards, if it isn’t limeade! I liked the same ones you showed, and laughed at your description of the cover outfit. Your cat has a cute face, but looks seriously displeased. Perhaps a bite of salmon would help? I always thought a garde-robe was a bathroom, maybe in a castle. I guess not!

    • #24 by tialys on July 18, 2015 - 08:38

      I have managed to make a pink smoothie and a yellow one now. The trouble is I achieved this by not adding any green stuff and we all know that’s the sort of stuff that’s good for you 😦 I think I’ll just start drinking it out of china mugs so I don’t have to look at the colour.

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