28 July 2007

Happiness is

a blaze of yellow on a winter's day.

Today I walked past the place where I used to live. This wattle is in glorious full flower and was I moved enough to stop and gaze at it for a while. Some flowers stun me like this - their sheer beauty and intricate structure amaze me. The wattle is heavy with flowers, and to see the sunny colour against the blue sky is a cheering sight. This tree did not exist in that garden when I lived there seven years ago. I wonder how many days it might have moved me if it had been there when I was in residence.

24 July 2007

The lost girls

Do you ever have trouble defining what you like to read? I'm a huge fiction fan but I can rarely categorise the sorts of novels that engross me. It would be an absolute nightmare for someone to consistently choose appropriate reading matter for me.

I'm a huge fan of browsing. I love to chance across a novel that I would never hear about otherwise. I'm all for the serendipitous approach to reading. I've lost count of the wonderful gems I've discovered in the library or bookshop.

I digress. The Lost Girls by Laurie Fox is one of these gems. It's a puzzling book, yet magical. It is essentially the story of generations of women in the Darling family - the first of whom is Wendy Darling, she of Peter Pan fame.

The theme that's teased out is this: what happens to us after we are planted back on earth, having experienced the other-worldliness of a fantasy world? How do you cope after being able to fly to another realm? There's a fine line between fantasy and delusion; between imagination and madness.

The author has done what many writers do: she asks, what if?

22 July 2007

Working, working

This weekend, I have had to leave the sewing untouched as work deadlines got the better of me. I try very hard not to work on weekends because otherwise my brain turns to mush, but sometimes keeping all the balls in the air just becomes too hard.

However, you will be pleased to know I did manage to find time to purchase a replacement hot water bottle. You may not be surprised to know that it is blue.

Sometimes I imagine my brain is hard-wired to select blue things (do I have the brain of a Satin Bower Bird?). There were hot water bottles in at least five colours in the shop, but I automatically picked up a blue one. Never even considered buying one of a different colour. Just shows how influential colour is in my life and I bet I'm not the only person who feels like that. What colour automatically attracts you and do you ever try to fight it?

18 July 2007


I know it's winter. I know it's supposed to be cold. But it's really cold! (Helen don't start about us Aussies being wusses - rugby in the snow, now that's just being silly!).

Depending on where you live, you may laugh at my definition of cold. You may think that it isn't cold until you have to hack your way through the piles of snow from your front door. However, yesterday morning my garbage bins were coated in ice. Ice! In Sydney!

To make it worse, my trusty hot water bottle sprung a leak in my bed and I have had to resort to my too-good-to-use back-up h.w.b. with its super-duper hand felted cover that looks like the hide of a cow (just imagine). Well a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...

15 July 2007

Knitting along

Progress! It so rarely happens these days, that I feel obliged to shout to the world that I have actually done something. This is my scarf so far. Cheap yarn from Lincraft (it's called Romania) on 10mm needles. It is acrylic/polyester (I don't like wool on my skin) and it is so light and soft.

Now I'm off to the footy. Fingers crossed.

14 July 2007

Winter sun

The past few weeks have been lacking in sun. Today is a glorious winter's day in Sydney, with the sky an intense blue, the temperature in the low teens and a cold wind blowing from the south-west. It's good to warm in the sun and receive today's dose of vitamin D. First time in the garden for several weeks and I see that my zygocactus plants are in glorious flower. It must be time to prune the roses...

13 July 2007

More blues

Last year, I knitted this scarf but did not wear it often. This winter, though, I have enjoyed its snugness around the back of my neck, blocking any drafts of cold southerly winds that might sneak through the layers of my clothes. The yarn is variegated pale blue, mauve and grey.

Today I bought some more soft yarn to make another scarf, this time in blues with green scattered through. Neither of the photos show the colours as they actually are, but they are both delicious.

PS. If you have fallen in love with the floral pink and yellow fabric at the top of the previous post, it is one of Kaffe Fassett's new ranges, Bekah. Kathy told me I would love it as soon as she heard I was still in pink/yellow mode and she was right! I don't know the name of the other one.

09 July 2007

Pink and yellow again

This colour combination wants to be in another quilt. No idea what yet, but I have started collecting fabrics. Look at these two beauties!

08 July 2007


It was raining. It was 10 degrees. We won. Aah... winter at the footy.

I have just thawed out.

07 July 2007


Today I spent an inordinate amount of money buying 12 pairs of pantyhose. It felt more like an investment rather than shopping, but they were on sale for 30% off the normal price and I've been having difficulty buying the brand and colour I prefer so it seemed sensible to buy all they had in stock.

It's only now, after unpacking the bag, that I realise how truly peculiar panyhose are. Delicate and certainly not up to the rigours of my working week, I nevertheless wear them to work every day from about May until September. They snag, they catch on box edges, and don't get me started on how difficult it is to remove a piece of velcro from the leg of your panythose. It's not a pretty sight.

They are ridiculous things, but my lily-white legs look like the skin of plucked chickens without them. And that's a sight something no one should ever have to suffer in public.

03 July 2007

Energy returns

It's funny how time - simply time - is required before energy returns. It has taken until this week for my energy for new ideas and my capacity for new thinking to return after having been laid low with a bug. But here I am, full of enthusiasm for working through the exercises in Art Quilt Workbook by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston. A few friends are joining me in this process.

Chapter one is the basics. I have read it several times already, pausing where exercises are required. There are three exercises for this chapter, all involving drawing. This would have frightened me off a couple of years ago, but since I took a beginners' drawing class I have more confidence that this is a skill that we all can learn and it just needs to be nurtured. I will look more carefully at the exercises later in the week.

The book is about developing the quilt artist within and, to this end, we are asked to work in a theme to create a series of small quilts. Choosing a theme is an interesting task. I have decided to work with words. Let's see how this develops (I'm not peeking at the next chapter until I finish the first three exercises).

01 July 2007

Sydney Quilt Show

Well the show is over for another year. I visited again today to take in the quilts and do a little shopping. If you have the opportunity to view Mariya Waters' Best of Show quilt, Renaissance Revival, don't miss out. You can see a photograph of the quilt here, but no photograph can do justice to the real thing. It is the most stunning piece of work I have seen in a long time.

All the members of The NSW Quilters' Guild who contributed in any way to the show deserve congratulations for their work. All the work is voluntary and the result was a fantastic and well-organised show.

Not much shopping was done today. I only bought one piece of fabric - a yummy pink and yellow print. I still haven't worked this colour combination out of my system so I am collecting suitable fabrics for a future quilt. It may take some time...