confessions of a fabric obsessive

Monthly Archives: May 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (living in interesting times)

Today is my birthday and I’m 42.

It’s a bit of a cliché to review the previous year on one’s birthday, but I prefer it to getting morosely drunk on New Years Eve and crying.

This last 12 months has been interesting. Interesting as in the old chinese curse “may you live in interesting times”-type interesting.

11 months ago I was made redundant from a job I love, and spent a whole month catching up on sleep.

10 months ago my youngest left home to go to university and my oldest (of my two children, or should that be younger and elder?) didn’t.

9 months ago I started selling stuff (mostly fabric ) on ebay under the username  “Claire Bear Books and Fabrics”.

7 months ago I started a facebook page using the same name, and started showing off all of the sewing that I had done over the past few years.

6 months ago I opened two shops on etsy and the same 2 on folksy, 1 for the same stuff (fat quarters, and other sewing supplies) that I was selling on ebay, and the other aimed at finished stuff.

5 months ago I found out I am dyslexic.

4 months ago a friend volunteered to do some graphics for my online shops and we both had good fun thinking up logos and avatars and banners (oh my!)

3 months ago I revamped the cards I send out with purchases

2 months ago  I started this blog and then my computer died

1 month ago I developed arthritis

1 week ago it was diagnosed

At some point I stopped chemically enhancing (colouring) my hair and started to let the grey grow.



I can colour it again any time I like.

At some point I decided that life’s too short to work too hard for too long. That fewer hours, plus the chance to do something creative and colourful as well would work for me. That even working full-time in teaching I’m never going to be rich, but I need to be sane and happy (or at least not stressed and exhausted, see comment re “I slept for a month”).

I have discovered so much in the last year, most of it just understanding why I am who and how I am.

I already know some things that will happen in the next year.

My daughter will go to university, so I’ll be a long-distance mum for two adults.

I’ll move home so that Mr ClaireBear and I can live together at last. Without the ghosts of relationships past that haunt this house.

What else? Hopefully a university course for me, part-time.

Hopefully a teaching job for me, part-time.

Hopefully I’ll manage my health and pain issues better, although I’m going to be rolling with the punches on that one.

Hopefully Handmade by Claire Bear will go from strength to strength.

This year has been an interesting one. I hope next year will be too.

Couldn’t wait

sewing in no mans land - making your own pattern part 1

Just had to share this how-to from Sewing in No Mans Land on making your own patterns.

As I’m not a standard size, and can’t ever find anything that I am really happy with anyway (sleeves too short, don’t want buttons, etc) even if it did come in my size, I would love to be able to work up a basic pattern for tops/bottoms/whatever and then reproduce it in different fabrics and colours.

Can’t wait for part 2

Thanks Kelly

Claire Bear

A broken computer…

…is the reason why I haven’t blogged for a while.

Having my own PC is a fundamental of my life.

Other people may play on them, but I use mine a lot: as storage for photos, instructions and essays; as an anti-dyslexia tool (spellchecker rocks, plus I can look up the word I can’t remember by typing the meaning into a search engine), running my ebay/etsy/folksy shops; and blogging (plus a little bit of facebooking).

I also use my PC a lot in my “other life” as an adult numeracy teacher, and for the college/university courses that I am working my way through to get better qualified.

So losing my PC is a major moment, and I would just like to record its demise.

First it got a virus/trojan thingy (thingy being a technical term, obviously) that pretty much wiped my whole hard drive. So many photos, documents and pdf’s lost, I almost cried. I managed to save a few on to a series of memory sticks, and then promptly lost one.

Then, we (and by we I mean Mr ClaireBear, who is a computer geek for a living) got me a fresh hard drive and loaded it with almost all of the software that I had before.

This worked for exactly one week before the motherboard overheated catastrophically and welded the processor to a heat sink. Then, in a fit of independence, the processor unclipped itself from the motherboard and delaminated itself (split itself into two, like when you take the lid off a sandwich to see what’s inside).

If you have no idea of what goes on inside a PC, suffice it to say that this is bad. Very bad. Completely terminal, in fact (sorry about the pun).

A moment’s silence please for my old PC, now interred.

My new PC has been built (by Mr ClaireBear) and I am independently online again! Yippee!

College essays can now be completed, online shops updated and blogging can happen.



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