Tuesday, March 29

More technical difficulties with Hello - I know a few others have had this problem to, so if you managed to solve it please let me in on the secret.

Thanks to Lisa who let me know that the word on my postcard quilt is the name Maya. As it was meant to say. Where would I be without the internet? I had horror visions of is it saying something like "you have big ears". Or worse.


We found these bromiliads growing in the garden - as you can see from the surrounding foliage, they are thriving on pure neglect and no water. Or sunlight for that matter. There is actually a pond amongst all that greenery, but we haven't put any water in it, since it would no doubt attract Cane Toads (vile, poisonous and feral) and not native frogs (slimy but cute).

Today while I was - and I use the term oh, so, loosely - studying, I noticed Sparkle peering out the window. Usually they sit on the window sill to watch the birdy show outside, but this was different. There was a Rosella in the tree outside, instead of the usual noisy mynas that visit every afternoon. Every time I tried to take a picture he flew away, so I had to take this one through the screen. Must have been something worth eating there, he came back a few times!



rosella Posted by Hello

Monday, March 28



molly Posted by Hello

Can you read Chinese?

I have RSI in my right wrist. Normally this would be a quilting related injury, like my shoulders from too much quilting. But it is not. It is from mouse clicking and typing. And boring typing too - I am writing an essay on leadership styles and how they apply to a case study. Some mid semester break this is going to be.

OK - Hello is busted again for some reason. I've stuck them in their own post - can't edit it or I lose the pictures. Anyway.... you know the drill, look at the pictures and then come back here. Ready?

There was a big storm here on Saturday night - lots of big hail, which we luckily missed out on. This is the sky as it was coming over, it was sunny in the front yard and dark out the back. I don't think I've ever seen a storm come over that quickly. It didn't even rain here for very long - 20 minutes tops, so the ground is still dry as anything.

I made this little postcard for someone as a gift. I hope Google hasn't let me down and that this says what I think it says. If you can read Chinese, I 'd appreciate a translation!

My sewing machine is playing up - the bobbin winder isn't winding, which is a real bugger. Looks like I'll have to take it in for a service. Last year I won a voucher for $400 from Bernina at the quilt show, so I can use some of that to get the service done. I don't have a Bernina though, but I think they can still service my Janome. If I had a Bernina, the voucher would have been a great prize - I could have gotten lots of different feet and attachments and stuff. I am having trouble spending the voucher at that shop because they only sell Bernina things and a small range of haberdashery stuff. And it irks me to "pay" $9 for a reel of rayon thread that I know I can get for a cone with twice the amount for $3.50. I guess I'll stock up on needles and variegated threads, and see if they have anything else of interest. Any ideas of what's good to have on hand? They don't sell vliesofix (I found out this is the same as wonder under, it is printed on the back of the box), they sell Heat'n'Bond, which I hate using because it is so temperamental with heat. Last time I was in the shop the woman there tried to convert me to Heat'n'Bond because she loves it.

This is Molly, the cockatiel. The cats love to sit on the cage, which you would think is a recipe for disaster, but they sit on top so they can look out the window at the birds in the trees. BTW, they have failed on every occasion to notice when a bird has flown into that window.

Tuesday, March 22

Ladies Who Lunch

I was invited to lunch by my friend Margaret - after much to-ing and fro-ing and trying to coordinate schedules on Sunday, today was the only day in weeks that we would both be free. Having settled on a day, we left the details to be sorted out later. Last night, I casually thought about lunch being today, and that I should ring Margaret and find out exactly where and when to collect her from. And then forgot to ring her.

So we sorted out the details this morning (v v early) and I went of to Uni for the morning - 2 hour lecture, break, then 1 hour tutorial, which would occupy me until 12, and then I could go and collect Margaret from her work at 1. Except the lecturer was sick and cancelled the tutorials, so I was free at 10 instead - Yay! What to do for 2 hours though? I couldn't really go anywhere, so in the absence of anything more exciting to do, I went to the library and pretended to study - ie sat in the computer lab, spent 15 minutes searching for journal articles on Marx and commodification and the remainder of the 2 hours reading blogs. (I didn't have the essay questions with me, so I really couldn't do anything more, honest!)

Went off the collect Margaret from South Brisbane, which is about 25 mins drive. And found out that we were going to Threads and More for lunch. Yippee!! I've never been there before - mainly because we couldn't find it on the street, it is very badly signed - but anyway Margaret has been there before so she navigated for me. I think this is the only specialist yarn shop in Brisbane. They have lots of embroidery bits as well.

I really must start carrying my camera around - because on the table in the cafe section was a basket containing a knitted jam tart, and assorted other biscuits. And over the counter they had a plaque with 5 knitted Paddle Pops (ice blocks) on it. Kinda like these ones from the place in Tasmania (there's more here - they've knitted a whole room). (Thanks to Mary-Frances for spying these - I love them because they are so kitschy!)

Margaret bought the makings of a mohair jumper - really sheer and light as a feather. It's knitted in stamen stitch, so it looks really lacy even though it is just a variation of stocking stitch. I resisted all temptation. It was not easy.

Another thing that is popular is freeform knitting like these pieces by Prudence Mapstone:

They have handbags made out of this style of knitting and they are very glamourous. I want one really badly, but cannot justify the price at the moment. Plus I would have to learn how to do it.

Thursday, March 17

Is it just Me?

Yesterday Frances and I went to the supermarket, just to stock up on a few things that we can still eat while doing Weight Watchers (sigh, we both have a sweet tooth, so not much). So we piled in the salad ingredients, checked out the 97% fat free salad dressings (the WW brand one was not the lowest in fat and sugar, and it was much dearer as well - the swizzers). Off we went to the dairy section to scrutinise the desert selection. And we spent a good while comparing Fruches to Yoplait to Nestle to Ski for levels of fat and sugar content. They vary widely. We settled on chocolate Aeros, and some diet yoghurts. Off we went to the checkout, talking about nothing in particular and waited to be served.

So while we are standing there, minding our own business, this older lady in the next line comments - loudly - to us:

"You two have to be sisters, don't you?"

We glance at each other in surprise before nodding and smiling at the lady, and then muttered to each other about how we don't think we look alike. And thought that was the end of it.

Then this lady comes over to us, and babbled something about family reunions, and then breaks into song, something about sisters (I don't know what it's called, but on Mad About You many years ago Helen Hunt and her sister sang it because it was a family tradition or something). So now we're really uncomfortable. And then this woman HUGS me and PATTED me on the lower back area several times. I am not a hugger. So I was really weirded out by this stage.

We managed to get through the checkout, and on the way to the car Frances comments that she seemed like a sweet lady. And I replied that I had seen this lady earlier "god blessing" the lady demonstrating toilet ducks, and thought that the demonstrater must have known her, but maybe she didn't know her either.

Frances replies "You didn't know her??? I thought she was one of your quilting ladies!!"

I hope she didn't know me, because I sure didn't recognise her. I am pretty sure I have never met her before. Is this the first sign of Alzheimers?

Tuesday, March 15


Comments! Comments! I love comments! Makes me think I'm not here just talking to myself, which, as someone told me the other day, is the first sign of madness.

I tried to reply to some, but the mail was undeliverable for some reason. But I really like getting them.

Today I found a blog by Pam Holland - of 1776 Heritage, Heartache and Happiness fame. She's actually in Brisbane at the moment. If you haven't seen her quilt in person (it won at Houston in 2003) it is mind boggling, and photos don't do it justice. I drove to Toowoomba last year to see it, and it was well worth the 2 hour drive.

And if you haven't had a look at Jenny Bowker's blog, have a read of that too. She is living in Cairo at the moment, and is sharing lots of her wonderful experiences ("You want nothing? We have nothing, what colour do you want?".)

Anyway, Pam's entry about Brisbane was interesting for me because of the things she noticed - the Queenslander style houses and Jacaranda trees. Which I take pretty much for granted because I see them all the time. Queenslander houses are unique in Australia, and built to cope with the tropical climate - timber, highset, wide verandahs & 12ft ceilings. I've always loved them. And it must have been a late blooming Jacaranda, as they are normally at their best in November - exam time!

I must start carrying my camera around, I keep seeing things that are great inspiration like the bit of burnt out bushland (after 5 days - and rain - there are logs still smouldering there), and there is great purple plant at Uni that I love. And a poinciana tree that has not been trimmed, so it looks like a gi-normous green umbrella in someone's front yard. And an old horse resting his head on a fence post in the middle of a paddock.

I'm a Bad Mother (or Auntie, as the case may be)

I am not the pickiest of housekeepers, but there are some things that drive me CRAZY.

One of these things is Leaving Dirty Knives On The Kitchen Bench. And not just dirty, but slathered in Nutella or Peanut Butter. It's disgusting. And wasteful.

So, the other day, one of these dirty knives was left out. Granted, it had made it to the drainer on the sink, but still. I started my lecture on wasting Nutella, and that it was so delicious (and expensive) that none should be left on the knife at all. Then, I told Jerome that he should lick the knives clean after he made his sandwiches.

That's right - I told a child to lick knives. Apart from the unsanitary-ness of this activity, there is the danger issue!

In my defence, they were butter knives!

And then I see my boy - who is old enough to know better, cutting up and eating an apple. And then he licked the knife clean. A Steak Knife.

They're like wild animals sometimes.

Sunday, March 13




Posted by Hello


Hello is not cooperating with me at the moment, so go and have a look at the pictures and then come back here. I'll wait.


OK - The challenge quilt is due soon, so I have been finishing off the last bits of that. Here is a closup of the wings:

(Pretend the photo is here)

And this is the fabric in the original state, before Lynnie Scissorhands transformed it. I wish I had used fusible web under the fabric before cutting it up, because some of the little pieces are starting to lift.


I'm keen on echo quilting at the moment - I want to explore different ways of filling in background with quilting, stippling is highly over used, so I haven't been doing much of it lately.

(Double Ditto)

You didn't want to sit here, did you?

(insert picture of Sparkle lounging on my recently vacated seat)

Anyway, I just have to remove the cat hair and add a hanging sleeve and I am done with the challenge quilt. I haven't seen anyone else's yet, so it will be interesting to see the variety of quilts that people come up with.

What else?

Not much in the way of sewing, but I have managed to finish the back, 2 fronts and half a sleeve on my cardigan.

Thursday, March 3

Monkey Mood = Happy!

Very little being done on the sewing front. I have managed to finish the back of my jumper, and make a start on one of the fronts. And of course, the leftover pieces are being put to good use:

Please don't look at the mess! This was on Sunday night, and I see no reason to tidy anything on the weekends, because boys will just mess it all up again. Monday is (theoretically anyway) housework day.

That's my son Nicholas - he discovered that Sparkle is fascinated by the wool, so he has been playing this game with her all week. There is now a wool waving stick, and a feather has been added to the end for even more kitty pleasure. And we were watching Law and Order.

The Saga Of The License Renewal

A few weeks ago, my sister got a letter from Qld Transport. A sight to be feared usually, as the contents could well be a picture of you speeding down some road, and the accompanying fine notification. But it was OK, just a reminder that her driver's licence was going to expire on the 28th of Feb, and she needed to renew it.

Well, she forgot about it and it expired last Thursday. Add unlicensed driving and no insurance coverage, and it gets a bit more serious if you are pulled over or have an accident.

To renew an expired licence is a bit more complicated than a simple renewal. You need to provide your ID documents again, to prove you are not some fakester trying to pull a swifty.

So Frances had to find either her passport or birth certificate, and a couple of other documents to prove her identity. Easier said than done, considering she had not seen them since we moved last July, and she still has unpacked boxes downstairs. Lots and lots o boxes.

So, since Tuesday, she has been turning the house upside down trying to find these documents. No luck. Not in her bedside table, not in her dressing table, not in with the mortgage documents , not in her office boxes downstairs. Nowhere to be found.

This morning she rang Qld Transport to see what else could be done - she had found an old passport and birth extract, but a name change was complicating things. She actually spoke to a helpful person, who told her to take it all down to the office and it would be OK. So off we went - I had to go as the "Legal" driver!

Halfway there, Frances commented that she should probably take a rates notice, as it had the current address on it and did I want to turn around and go get it? No, I did not, and kept driving.

When she was finally called to the counter, she gave all the documents and information to the Not Very Nice lady behind the counter (I know they have horrible jobs, but is it really necessary to treat people like they are idiots?). Well, we ran into problems, because Frances didn't have something with the current address on it. DOH!!! But we averted that crisis, because I have a drivers license with the right address on it, and I vouched for her. They are very picky! New license issued, and off we went to a well deserved morning tea (more on that later). As we drove off, Frances said to me, "How much do you want to bet that I find that stuff when we get home?". Unfortunately, I declined to bet.

We had been home less than 1 hour, and she found them, with her superannuation documents.

Morning Tea

We went for morning tea, and decided on muffins. I was torn between the Macadamia and the Strawberry, and dithered for a while, before finally deciding on the Macadamia muffin. I went and sat at our table while Frances waited (and waited and waited) to be served. Not having eaten breakfast this morning, I was looking forward to my lovely macadamia muffin. So when we finally were served and seated, I looked at the muffin, and on top of the spodge of icing was a macadamia and a suspiciously orange chunk o something.

It couldn't be, could it?

I looked at it, my lip trembled, and I showed it to Frances, who knowing my declared aversion to ALL THINGS MANGO, tried to reassure me by saying that it was probably only that one piece on the top. For colour.

It wasn't. It was all through my formerly lovely muffin. Rendering it inedible, at least to me.

So we swapped muffins, and I had to eat the chocolate one instead. And wished that I had chosen the strawberry muffin.

Really, is it too much to ask that mango be listed as the flavour as well as macadamia? Is it? I don't think so!

Retail Therapy and Monkey Moods:

After we recovered from the muffin debacle, we went shopping. I spied these stylish pyjamas:

Comprising my favourite colour combination of hot pink and flaming orange, flannel pants and a matching knit top AND matching socks, how could I go wrong? Add the cute monkeys and they are irresistable!! And they were a bargain for $19.94!

When I got home I noticed that the writing on the pants is all upside down - but it will be the right way up for me when I am wearing them. I wonder if that was intentional or ignorance?

I also spied another pair of flannos in a lovely aqua and purple combination, with an equally irresistable kitty cat motif. I might have to go back for them next week.