Thursday, January 22, 2009

Spring summer

Tigger, trying to look ferocious

Today I cleaned out my wardrobes and dresser drawers. I have three large garbage bags to take to the charity shop! I feel guilty that I have so much to let go of. And there is still so much more there that it almost doesn't signify that I have taken so much out.

I also had to go to the optometrist for a check. I thought my eyes had deteriorated as I find it hard to see thing at night now and don't sew as much at night now as it is too dificult...but no, apparently not, according the the optometrist. I left my brand new (from last year) glasses to see if a new arm could be fitted. Tigger decided that she liked me so much that she ate them after I'd had them two days! They have been too spiky to wear since, with great pieces chewed by those very sharp little teeth! I really hope they can replace the arm!! I don't want to have to outlay money for a new set.

On the way back to the car I stop at Ewan Gardam's Fabrics, to get a pattern to make some boardies for Nic, from some gorgeous Amy Butler fabric. And they are shifting to the suburbs...very sad face. Little side trips into Gardams for fabric fixes was what made going into the city to my dentist and optometrist bearable.

Now it's time for bed...and it's raining! The grass is saved again...for a while. Maybe it will cool down too. It has been hot and muggy all day. I've been wishing I was at the beach non-stop.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Nearly ten years ago I went to Patches in Brisbane to do a Double Wedding Ring quilt class with Pam Hill...I'm still working on that quilt...I don't remember if I put into my NYRs that I want to finish that quilt this year, but it's there, at the back of my mind.

At that class I met some women who suggested that we meet up after we'd finished doing the class to see how each of us was going and to help each other to get our quilts finished. We duly started meeting up, and now, all this time later, we still meet up. After Christmas it has been weekly, as it has been school holidays and other commitments haven't been there. But it will revert to twice monthly from now on. We all got together yesterday, well most of us got together yesterday. One of us was recovering from having had a houseful of guests for some weeks, another two of us were away at various beach venues - huge envy in this heat!

We always laugh, sometimes we cry, but most of all, what the women in this group do is support each other. I have been the most absent of the group, having been overseas a lot when my husband was working away from Australia, and still away a bit as he now works in Melbourne, and like last week, I take opportunities to go there where I can - but it was a real toss-up last week...go to Melbourne and see DH, my darling DIL, and the Dickens quilt and also try to meet up with a scquilter friend, or stay in Brisbane, because that was our group sewing day and those days mean so much to me.

I don't know if the other women in the group know it, but they mean as much to me as my family does. They are there with a caring shoulder when any of us needs it, they are there with advice for both sewing and life problems, they cook great cakes and biscuits, they are fun and witty, they are adventurous. They are all intelligent and they have given me great lessons in commitment over the years. Commitment to their families, to each other, to projects, to helping others.

I don't know that my life would be so very different without them, but it would be so very, very much poorer without them.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Week That Was...& Why I LOVE Tiger Airways!

I have had a lovely week, flying down to Melbourne on Tuesday, to be picked up by my son's partner, Allana, and straight to lunch, at Sydney Rd, Brunswick. I love that area with it's wonderful quirky shops and some nice eateries. We had a great lunch at one little cafe...whose name now escapes me...but it had a big red and white Illy sign that I first had in Vietnam...and no, it's not the weasel shit coffee...

The weather was awful...39 degrees C...but we soldiered on and managed to browse almost all of the shops on one side of the road...inlcuding my favourite...Kinki Gerlinki...I bought some gorgeously weird little dolls there last year, and use one for a keyfob now...the other two went to NZ to the DGS and DGD.

Then I rang my husband to tell him I was in Melbourne...I'd omitted that little detail when I'd spoken to him in the morning...rang him (he works in Melbourne) and asked where he was taking me for dinner that night! :-) I don't think he was overly pleased...however, what is one to do, when faced with a $21 airfare when browsing the net and seeing what airfares were available...!!! Even with the drive to the Gold Coast from Brisbane it's still a damned cheap airfare!!! I hope Tiger Airways continues, but one has to wonder how they can give away seats like was literally one of their free seats...the $21 was the airport taxes and charges.

The next day Allana took me to see the block of land she and my son have is on a hill and looks out over all of Melbourne...absolutely stunning!! You can't really see that the spires of Melbourne CBD can be seen in the photo, but they're there. Then we did what most females do when they have some time to spare...we went shopping again! Or, in my case, looking...I was on the search for white footless tights, but every shop said the same thing..., I should have been there yesterday, or the week before, etc...

The following day we went to visit the new(ish) National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), at Federation Square. In my case, to see the E Dickens quilts. It was spectacular. I'd love to make something like it, but the idea of the work in it is daunting. The buttonhole stitch on the broderie perse is single thread and so fine! There are really beautiful fabrics in the quilt. If you love quilts and making them, and think you can get to see this quilt I'd really recommend it.
The next day I'd hoped to have to myself before flying home again with DH in the afternoon, but he decided to spend the morning working from home, so it was a quiet morning reading the papers. Then back on the lovely cheap Tiger Airways flight home.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekend stuff...

A kind of busy weekend...but now that I sit down to write about it I can't really think what we did! Slept in a bit...slopped round a bit...friends came over for some drinks yesterday afternoon...but I forgot to take photos... partner did some major polishing work on his 4WD after the salt and sand attacks of driving on Moreton Island...didn't take photos of that either...but did take photos of going to see/listen to John Cleary...what a great singer and pianist he is. We first saw him playing piano and singing with Maria Muldaur years ago. We loved them so much that we flew to Sydney to see them invited into Maria's dressing room for some drinks with her when she recognised us from the front row of the Brisbane concert..."hey, didn't I see you two just back up there in BrisBANE last week?!"...she really had some amazing stories to that one of those 15 minutes of fame things??

I added a row of snowball squares to my growing snowballs only quilt. I started making the snowballs to go between scrappy 9-patches but like the look of all the snowballs together instead...I think I'll finish at that row now - it has become a square - add the scrappy 9-patches around it, or maybe some scrappy flying-geese...not of those unplanned, just-growing-like-Topsy quilts...I'll post a photo after I have re-charged the battery and can download it.

We've had a friend of my son's staying with us for a month, while he is studying and converting onto another aircraft type (yes, he's a young pilot). Have to admire him, he studies non-stop every day and when he isn't studying he's in the simulator learning. His application is a great lesson in paying attention to one thing and that one thing only in order to get good results. He will be one tired person at the end of the month, when he will have to go to another city and settle into a new life there in a new job...and with a new baby due any day as well. His wife is doing the move on her own...and working, ...and with the baby due in only a few weeks. Been there...don't want to do anything like it again. I feel as though I should be looking after her, not her husband! They don't want to know what sex the baby I'm trying to find baby neutral fabrics that I like in my stash to make a quick quilt for them. Wish I knew what it is going to be...but, wow, don't we all take for granted that we can find out the sex of a new baby before it's born now and don't really understand the desire not to know!?!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A really nice day...

On Wednesday two close friends and I went to the Queensland State Art Gallery to revisit an exhibition we hadn't had time to see properly last year. The artist is a Brisbane-based artist, Eugene Carchesio. It took us a couple of hours to really look at all his amazing work. There are several works there that I would love to have – actually most of them! Most particularly his watercolours of dead leaves - some from Brisbane, some of leaves he picked up at various locations in Tokyo. I will try and upload an image of one of these beautiful paintings.

Vern, Me & Wendy at the Qld State Library

Before going in to see the exhibition we fortified ourselves with a great lunch at Tognini's at the Qld State Library. The food was delicious, and they have a really good wine selection too. Being school holidays there were people everywhere, children galore. It is nice to see so many families enjoying the amazing facilities we have here in the heart of Brisbane. The State Library is a wonderful facility, recently rebuilt, on the backs of the Brisbane River. Behind it is the new Gallery of Modern Art, and in front of it the State Art Gallery. In this same precinct is the State Museum, and over the road are the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Queensland Conservatorium. Set on the Brisbane River and surrounded by beautiful gardens, these facilities are world class and I am always proud to be able to bring visitors here.

Back to our nice the forecourt near us was a big tent, where children were being taught to be clowns and performance artists. We were finishing lunch when there was a parade of costumed children through the courtyard, performing and having masses of fun.

A really nice day.

Children learning to be street performance artists

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year Resolutions 2...

I forgot to add a resolution that I am trying very hard to accomplish....manage to put my contact lenses in, on my own.... my son and husband used to coach me into them,...'up a bit, down a bit, straight in, now!' but they're either not here, or too busy, or just plain sick of me most of the time!

All those of you who wear contacts and have no trouble putting them in, well... :-P.... I have always had great great difficulty, and have more times than not just given up and persisted with my glasses. I decided that enough was enough, and this year, come what may I was going to get those @^%$#!!! lenses in, come what may. Well, I'm into day 8 and now getting them in almost first thing each morning!!! Yay for me! It is so great not to have to go and find my glasses all the time. I'm still not sure how I am managing to get them in, but
I decided that no matter how many times I had to try and get them in, no matter how many appointments I might be late for or miss, I was not going to leave the house without getting them in! On day 1 just didn't go out. After an hour and a bit of trying to put the damned things in I gave in, had a good cry, and sat and sewed, cancelled all appointments!! Day two, took 45 minutes, and I was only a bit late for what I had on that day...Day 3, about the same, Day 4...I was amazed...4th try!! Day 5...2nd try!! Day 6...1st try...Day 7...1st try...Day 8...1st try, but I had an eyelash stuck under one...what pain! So here I am... a happier, long-sighted, short-sighted astigmatic...I have to have different kinds of contact lenses in each eye, one for the long-sightedness, one for the short-sightedness, and of course, each one has different astigmatism correction as well. But wow, it's much better than hunting for my glasses all the time!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A list of what I want to complete this year.......

Since starting up the blog I have been thinking about what I want to be able to tick off the list when I close the shutters on here goes:

  • Create a new garden in the wreckage of the one we used to have before my partner decided we needed a pool. [very eco-conscious person!]
  • Go to the gym at least 3 times a week, walk every day – firm up by at least 2 inches everywhere, get flattish belly!
  • Finish the Kaffe Fassett inspired quilts [2]
  • Make a quilt from ever-increasing patchwork squares made as leaders and enders
  • Make up dresses from the numerous finished pieces of smocking I completed [number...what is the goal here? Maybe 3?]
  • Finish quilting old hexagons quilt
  • Make new director's chair covers....soon!
  • Begin to play a musical instrument
  • Begin to learn to speak Spanish...have a passable vocab by 2010
  • Finish my degree...only a few subjects to go...must get this done!
  • Have completed a majority of my hand-pieced hexagonal jewel squares
  • Complete double wedding ring quilt....

That will be enough to go on with, except I have left out lots of stuff I really have to do...tidy the office, file everything, get a job, do the tax, ...sleep!! And of course, there are all the really fun things, like going to concerts, and picnics, and dinners with friends, travelling, and digging up interesting Neandertals...48 hour days would be really nice...

What is this blogger's life?

Hmm, why blog I wonder?

To say how good it was on Moreton Island the other day? To reinforce New Year's Resolutions? To record the daily hohum? Probably all of it. But for now I will try to record some of the daily happynings so that I can get my proposed YearQuilt done in print if not in fabric! One person has decided to record her year with a daily photo that reflects that day for her...the Yearquilters do it with fabric...I'll try for either at present, never having been a good journal keeper of either the bound diary sort or any other sort. I have lots of diaries with snippets of life in to find when I'm tidying up...but I do kind of wonder what happened the next day, or the day before!!

Back to NYRs...get fit, keep the yearquilt diary, if not the quilt, up to date; finish a bunch of quilts already underway; get the officework up to date; dwell only on the happy things; meditate; do fun stuff; do something scary; do something adventurous, (the previous two probably being one and the same!); learn a language; learn to play an instrument; go the art gallery more; finish my that enough?