28 April 2015

After the storms

A couple of weeks ago, I planted a row of snow pea seeds in my garden. As always, the advice is to water the seeds and then do not add any more water until the shoots come up.

The day after I planted, we were hit with torrential rain and wild winds for the next three days. Trees fell over and places flooded. In my suburb, more than 300 mm of rain fell in those three days. I mentally said goodbye to the chances of my snow peas emerging.

As I cautiously stepped into the garden a few days after the onslaught had eased, I was astonished to see this beautiful scene.

I snapped this photo last Saturday morning. Later that day, we endured another massive storm - this time, with large hailstones that smashed down from the clouds and covered huge areas of Sydney. The hail was piled up across my ground.

Again, I inspected the damage in my garden. The leaves of my sweet potato plants were shredded, as were the leaves of other smaller plants. I cautiously turned to check the snow pea seedlings. They were still there, looking quite healthy. I smiled, and marvelled at the resilience of these seedlings - they really wanted to thrive! 

26 April 2015


I love hearing stories from people I meet. Every time I hear another story, I think how it adds another layer of complexity to my perception of the storyteller. 

Last week, I was talking to a 90 year old woman who was keen to share her story of a nocturnal malfunction of her fire alarm the previous day. It is a hard-wired one, so not easy for her to access or control. The fire brigade came along in the wee hours of the morning to assist. She admired the firemen who responded to her call ("very handsome").

This woman uses a walker to get around; she does her own shopping and cleaning; and she has a most wonderful attitude of positivity. I see her around a couple of times a week; sometimes she stops for a chat, while other times she simply waves and continues on. I have had to rescue her from the disabled toilet several times, when the locking system has failed. She thought that was an adventure.

These are the stories that enrich our interactions with others. They have been shared in every culture throughout the world to entertain, inform or preserve unique memories. If you ever see me wandering around, be sure to stop me so we can have a yarn and, in the process, get to know each other a little more.


25 April 2015

Anzac Day 2015

This day, I am remembering how many people have been killed and damaged by wars. We may not forget but neither do we seem to learn from what has gone before us.

21 April 2015

Playing with words

I have rarely played Scrabble during my life. I knew about it and played the board game occasionally at the homes of friends but I never became an aficionado until I discovered I could play with letters and words on my tablet.

Classic Words is my app of choice for three reasons: it's free, I can play it offline so there aren't any annoying advertisements, and I don't have to wait for an online opponent to be available. Playing against the droid is fun (I have won 59.1% of the 1209 games I have played) and I can change the level of difficulty if I choose. Happy, happy!

Do you have a favourite word game? Let us know!

18 April 2015

Citrus in autumn

We're having comfortable, cool nights now that autumn has arrived. That's telling my citrus trees that it's time to start ripening the fruit. As I prowl around my garden each day, I can see the colour changing, ever so subtly.

First the blood oranges lose their greenness and become tinged with yellow.

Not to be left out, the mandarin also changes. Soon the juicy citrus fruit of winter will be ready to be savoured.

14 April 2015

Textiles Tuesday

Here it is again: my monthly collection of links for you to explore. Enjoy!

* The Real Deal on Tartan, Kilts, and Outlander Costumes - a fascinating article by Brenna Barks, an expert on Scottish dress and 18th-century fashion, about the accuracy (or not) of the costumes created for the Outlander TV series.

* Lisa Walton has just released the second eBook in her Creative Journeys series: Beading on Fabric. It's available for purchase from Amazon.

* Here's another take on quilt pricing, this time by Jennifer Moore.I think the more discussion we have about this issue, the better educated we all become about how much our quilt making actually costs.

* Do you want to design your own fabric? Spoonflower has made its popular and very informative Basics class available online. You can download the class kit with an instructor’s guide and student handouts. Use the materials to teach yourself or a group.

* Do you like sewing hexagons? You may like to follow this hexagon blog hop

* Here's another thoughtful post by Abby Glassenberg, this time about a publisher's right to sell individual patterns from books they publish.

* See photos of the finalists in the AQC Challenge 2015: True Blue

* Art Quilt Australia 2015: call for entries. Details here.

* For your diaries: 3 July - 22 November 2015, War Quilts Exhibition curated by Annette Gero, Manly Art Gallery & Museum, NSW.

07 April 2015

Lucy Boston continues

I wrote a few weeks ago about the templates I bought for the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses quilt. Here's progress!

I've hand-pieced four blocks and decided I would join them as I go, instead of waiting to make all the blocks. This way, I can see whether my fabric choices please me, instead of leaving it until the end.

I'm so excited about the way the patterns are playing together and the pops of blue. Now to cut some more fabrics...

05 April 2015

My book of the month: April

I need to tell you straight away that this thriller is not for the squeamish. Without giving a spoiler, I can't give you the reason but please be aware some readers may be revolted by the exposed crimes.

However, the reason I was engrossed by the story is that I didn't see where it was going until near the end. That's always the sign of a great plot, I think. I thought I knew what the crime would be, since it was set in a care home, but I was wrong.

You can read more about The Exit by Helen Fitzgerald on Goodreads.

03 April 2015

One more sleep

Finally, the AFL season has started and it's one more sleep for us until we go to our first game this year. I know anticipation is half the fun of any event but I'm ready to scream and applaud again - hooray!

To celebrate, I  created this small piece of digital fun. Go Swans!

01 April 2015

Hello April

The days and nights are cooler, the leaves are starting to turn, and the footy season starts. What's not to like?

Such a lovely month in Sydney. We can sleep comfortably because the temperatures have dropped and, as I write this, it is raining. Proper rain that will wash the dust from the trees and roads and replenish the water stocks beneath the earth in my garden; none of those 'light showers' that do nothing except dampen the roads. It's wonderful. April, I am so glad you are here!