Last night we spent a very enjoyable evening at an outdoor concert. The NAC and other orchestras do a series of free concerts in the park in summer. Last night’s featured Nikki Yanofsky, a sixteen year old singer from Montreal. We packed a picnic and lay out our blanket to enjoy the show. As we arrived 75 minutes before the concert we were able to sit near the white sound tent which put us in front of two thirds of the audience. The support artists, Time for Three were great, playing some familiar Stellae Boreales repertoire but with some interesting twists such as both violinists playing the same violin simultaneously. Nikki Yanofsky has an amazing singing voice which you wouldn’t expect to hear if you only heard her speak. As she chats to the audience she sounds like a sweet young girl, but as soon as the music starts she blows you away.
For the girls it was their second concert of the day as they attended the Chamberfest Rising Stars concert where two Stellae Boreales members performed.
A14 turned…well 14 this week. We didn’t do anything fancy but enjoyed a bunch of things that she likes to do. In the morning she opened a few cards and a FIFA soccer ball and chatted on the phone to family and friends before finishing watching Akeela and the Bee with B9. Watching a movie about a spelling bee made her want to play Scrabble so we did that until, just before the last round, B9 dropped a ball on the board! In the afternoon A14 and her friend E(almost14) spent the several hours shopping. Apparently the few purchases they made were made only after lengthy periods of indecision. I can easily believe that after watching them try to choose a movie to watch after dinner! Birthday dinner was a BBQ followed by “Kate’s Aussie Mess” from last year’s MasterChef recipe book.
The first thing I made from scratch this year was a blouse. I was shopping with A13 for a birthday gift for one of her friends. The shop where we were does not usually have much which appeals to me. This time however I saw a bunch of blouses and tops in styles I really liked. After studying them I came home and designed a similar one myself. I had the perfect piece of white linen/cotton fabric already and only had to buy buttons to finish it.
I have a project going this year which, although the year is already half gone, I will finally write about. I decided early on in the year that I wouldn’t buy any new clothes this year. Instead I would make do, make over or make from scratch. Like many women I have plenty of clothes in my closet and only a fraction of them get worn on a regular basis. There are some I can get rid of but others I like too much only they either don’t fit or don’t suit my current state of mind! I was mentioning to the children recently that I would need new runners soon and B9 exclaimed, “But aren’t you on a clothing diet?” His words not mine, but it describes the general idea so that is what I’m calling it. Shoes, by the way are not part of the diet, I cannot make shoes.
I have done this once before. In 1989 I spent the year at Theological college doing a 1 year Diploma of Bible & Missions. I had worked for two years and saved in order to study that year and decided not to spend any money on clothes from January to December. I did not know when I began that before the end of the year I would be preparing for my wedding. I stuck to my commitment regardless and made my own wedding dress, something which I had always planned to do anyway.
So far this year I have turned one dress into a skirt. The dress was one I bought in Melbourne while shopping with my dear friend Alexandra. She convinced me to step out of my comfort zone and buy a green dress, a change from the blue I usually wore. I bought it from Monsoon, which was for a long time my favourite clothing store. Fortunately they had very impressive sales twice a year otherwise I could never have bought anything there. I realized too late that I should have taken a “before” shot, so I could post it beside the after. L15 was not impressed when she saw that I planned to cut up the dress, she thought it was much prettier the way it was. She was probably right but I felt I would wear it more as a skirt and it would fit me better. Just after I converted it I was given a “hand me down” blouse which matches beautifully. Hand me downs are totally acceptable in this diet, in fact they are encouraged.
There are two sides to this challenge of course, one is making or remaking what I want or need. The other is not buying; the best way to not buy is to not shop, but I do see things when I am out shopping for the girls. I saw a pink sweater one day for $20. It was calling my name, despite the fact that I have two in that colour. They have zips, but this one was a pullover, an important distinction. I walked away. Harder was the day I saw a swimsuit. I will need a swimsuit very soon and the one I saw was precisely the style I like, exactly the colour I wanted, and on sale. It was however, not my size.