Thoughts on ‘homemaking’

I am a homemaker at the moment. I hate the word, but there’s not really any other way to describe it. I hate the word housewife even more and I think homemaking is much more than housewifery.

For the first time in 12 years, since I’ve started working, I am without a job. Well, I had a brief spell of unemployment when I moved to London in 2006, but it didn’t last as long as my current situation. Both times the unemployment was gone into by choice after moving country. This time round I’m very lucky we’re in a situation we can afford me being unemployed for a bit.

I thought it would drive me crazy, the not working. It is to a certain degree. I miss the structure to my day and I miss having my own money. I miss the human interaction an office provides and I miss the sense of accomplishment brought on by being successful at work.

I think, however, that some of this is replaced by feeling accomplished when looking after your home. And I am not talking about cleaning and tidying. I am talking about making your house your home by making things that reflect your personality. I have just finished sprucing up our dining chairs. We have two different pairs, making four chairs in total. One pair had awful cream loose cushion on them and the fabric was so stained and horrid. A few weeks ago I made some simple covers for them and today I made chair covers for the other set of chairs. I will post about this later.

My sewing skills are still very limited, but my confidence is growing and I feel very accomplished having done this. I have taught myself a new skill. And I have made the flat more homely and us in the process.

I read an interesting article in a Dutch magazine about women not wanting the big, high-flying career and choosing to work part-time or stay at home altogether.  It was a great read and these women decided that there’s more to life than work long hours. I have worked full-time all my working life and have never really had the energy to do creative things. Oh yes, I have knitted many a thing, but I now have the energy to teach myself new skills, like sewing and crocheting. And I am starting to see the value of homemaking.

I am very much hoping I will be employed soon, but I am also hoping I will have some time during the week that will allow me to do some crafty projects and some homemaking as well.

I sewed something and it hasn’t fallen apart… yet…

iPad Sleeve

iPad Sleeve

It was MrFoxyMakes and my first wedding anniversary a few days ago. I was a bit stumped for a present, so I looked online for some inspiration. You know those lists which tell you what kind of material your wedding anniversary is? Well, the UK thinks your first one is cotton and the US one thinks it’s paper. I decided on cotton, as it meant I could use my extremely limited sewing skills. Turned out MrFoxyMakes used the US list and got me something from paper! Oh well…

Anyway, the iPad sleeve. Now, it’s by no means perfect. It’s probably a bit wonky as I’m finding sewing in a straight line still rather tricky (you should see the stitching on a hem I did on a pair of trousers that were too long…). The little corners to keep the iPad in place are different sizes, because I thought I’d be clever and then turned out I was really quite stupid. But hey, the iPad fits and MrFoxyBakes is over the moon! That’s the main thing, right?

I used a lovely pattern from Craftsy, which worked well enough. I changed it slightly though as I only did one pocket, not three as in the pattern. I was a bit stumped by the instruction ‘make bias tape’. Uhm? How do I do that? I couldn’t work it out, as the internet just assumes you have a nifty little accessory that makes the bias tape for you. So, in the end I just winged it really. The result wasn’t great, but it keeps the sleeve closed and it fits round the button…

This project was my introduction to Fat Quarters and I found a lovely website called The Eternal Maker and they had this lovely Patty Young Just My Type fabric. It caught my eye as MrFoxyBakes loves his typography and he’s also just my type. Obviously.

Would you like to see some pictures? Yes? Good!

Oh look, the inside!

Oh look, the inside!

Cute as a button

Cute as a button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also been making cushion covers, but they’re not quite done yet, so more on those later.

Now I must go and stop procrastinating and do stuff…

Foxy Makes

Hello! Welcome to Foxy Makes. It is a new incarnation of my old blog Foxy Bakes. Foxy Bakes was really a baking blog, but these days I bake less and actually make more.

A few things have brought this on.

In July I moved country for MrFoxyMakes’ work. This sounds a lot more dramatic than it is. We had the opportunity to move to Holland from the UK. For me, this was great as Holland is my homeland, and I lived here until 2006 when I moved to the UK. This move meant I gave up my job and I am currently gainfully unemployed.

To keep myself entertained and to provide a break from writing job applications, I have turned to craft. I have been a knitter for the last good few years, and I am now adding crochet and sewing to my crafty skills. Well, I say skills… I am ok at crochet and very much a novice at sewing.

I am very lucky my mum is a fantastic sewer and she has been helping me lots so far. I have a few projects I will post over the next few days and also a tutorial on how to make a new cover for a futon mattress, which my mum and I painstakingly made these last few days.

So, I hope the blog change will allow me to actually update it more. For now, I have to go as The Great British Bake Off is on in five!