Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stitches and Craft Show - Brisbane

Nothing beats a day at a good show with friends.
Here are Maggie and Sandra looking bright and perky (note the HUGE knitting sculpture behind them) - Merle is running late!We had the best time. Arrived at 10am, left about 20 minutes before closing time. It was great to see different ideas -
  • craft bars - belly up to the bar and try something new like knitting, stitching etc
  • incubator - the chance to see some cool new designers and their products
  • sculptures/art - funky and interesting art to inspire
The aisles were nice and wide, the vendors were friendly, and the atmosphere was easy-going. I loved it.

I found pure wool felt in yummy colours from Winterwood.
I bought a great wrap skirt pattern from ink&spindle.
I fell in love with this vest by Jane of The Fibre Hut (pattern to be published in June).
This is one of the art exhibits.
I was dying to see this dress in real life - just so fabulous!! Made by Jodie.
Even the loos had a fabric theme!

What I am stitching

I fell in love with this pattern last year - so I bought it! Pink of course...
I have finished stitching a few blocks, and have to redraw parts of some blocks to finish stitching them (the blue pen faded...).
This is the current one I am working on -
I have everything I need in a small plastic case and just pick up and go when I think there will be a stitching opportunity. Sooner or later, it gets finished....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Killing Floor

My first Jack Reacher encounter!
Lee Child's books never really made it onto my radar until some comments by different people in the past few months have spurred me to read one. Of course I started with his first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor. Absolutely loved the beginning of the book - one of the most intriguing and mysterious and amusing starts to a book in a long time. Then things got real complicated real fast. If you like a real hero, if you like lots of killing, some intrigue and some romance, then this is for you.

A bonus! I know YOU never write in library books - but I'm kind of glad these guys did. A fun little conversation on the side! I was hoping for more, but nope - just the one exchange! (Click on picture to enlarge).

Colour in the garden

I love these blossoms
I love the gumnuts
and I love the fact that these birds love them
Oh yes, the koala loves this tree too (haven't seen her in a while).

I have a thing against red and orange plants/flowers in my garden (OK in other gardens, just not mine). This isn't red, is it?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Richest Man in Babylon; How to Kill Your Husband

I had heard so much about this book so was very happy to find it at a thrift store last week. OK, a lot of the language is straight out of the KJV - thee, thou, wilt, didst etc - but the power of its truth remains. I see that even David Koch ("Kochie") quotes from it!
In the early 1900s Clason wrote parables about how to become wealthy. He printed them as pamphlets and they were given away by bankers and insurance agents to their clients. The stories became so popular, Clason put them together in this book.
What he has to say is so obvious, yet so true - even today we are all looking for the "get rich quick" and the "lucky" roads to wealth. But the richest man in Babylon got where he did by working hard, taking advice, putting money aside and investing it wisely - boring but true. All the characters in the book who succeed make mistakes along the way, and that's OK too. Well worth reading.

I skimmed a lot of this - I won't bore you with the reason, but it is the second time I have read it. Kathy's writing can sparkle and shine and she is extremely clever and funny. However, I didn't enjoy the endlessly graphic sex and I think I am a little over the "I do everything and my husband does nothing" lament.
The story is basically about three friends - one (Jasmine) is married to an inhumanly humane doctor who rushes around the world helping people; one (the narrator Cassie) is married to a slob, gorgeous though he is; and one is married to a man who is happy to be the baby of the household. The book starts with Jas in jail for murdering her husband. The rest of the book is Cassie's recounting of how it happened that Jas got into that predicament.
It is a light read, and enjoyable in parts - but I think I need to Lette myself read some other things!


About 10 days ago we saw some jive demos at the local shopping centre. We got enthused (and a free lesson didn't hurt) so Monday night was the night.
I have done heaps of dancing in my time, but for once I was all left feet. Gosh - that's OK, because it was a great atmosphere and a lot of fun. We'll be back!

Feet courtesy of other dancers....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday pleasures

First stop was the market at Chandler early in the morning.
Fresh fruit and vegies, people watching, then the reward of a thick slab of fruit bread with coffee for breakfast once I got home.

At a garage sale down the street I spotted 2 French bistro-style chairs. Perfect for the courtyard off our bedroom. I took a table we weren't using and added a freshly ironed vintage tablecloth - voila - an inviting spot for a cuppa and a book.

Bronte was at work so we walked over and ordered a coffee from her. Here is her handiwork!

Art quilt group and Lottery

Saturday was the 2QAQ meeting at Greenslopes - a very warm and welcoming group of ladies who like to play with fabrics, explore techniques and share their work. It's always amazing to see what people have come up with. Here are 2 examples of the journal challenge "a splash of colour". The first is by Carmel and the second by Lyn.

More details here and here.

Later in the evening I settled in to do some reading - and read and read and finished the book!

"Lottery" is about Perry L. Crandall. He is certain that he is lucky (his Gram always tells him the "L." stand for lucky) and he knows he is not retarded - just slow. You have to be 75 to be retarded and he is 76.
Perry has a family (Gramp and Gram, although Gramp is dead when the book starts); he has a good friend Keith; he has a job. He is indeed lucky.
When Gram dies he has to move out of the house he shared with her. But then he wins the lottery and suddenly people look him in the eye, they pay attention to what he says, they touch him for luck. It doesn't really change him, but it changes the way others see him, and sometimes that is more than he can handle.
It is Perry who narrates his story; we are drawn to him through his honest and simple view of the world. The book is funny; sad, maddening and eye-opening. It is ultimately a feel good book and the ending is just right. Highly recommended.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Unintelligent Design

This has taken me a little while. Perhaps because a lot of the scientific references are new to me - I had little pre-knowledge to hang my hat on. Also, I found the writing rather discursive and not always relevant...perhaps I like my science drier?
However, a good summary of the important ID test case in the States, and an insight into the man I have been listening to on radio for quite some time.

Trivia again

Yes, it was ANOTHER trivia excursion last night - but quite different from Tuesday. Different location, different team. Met some lovely new people - Kevin, Lou, Bob, Inge - and hung out with some lovely people I already knew - David, Alyson, David, Maggie. And of course Keith and me.

Oh yes - and different result - we WON!!! In fact, we won all rounds except for the one involving trying to guess people in grainy black and white miniature photos. Round one - we won wine for the table. Round two - beer for the table. Round three - OK, let'sh paashh on the alcohol.....

Here are the grinning winners
And here's the final booty per couple -

Friday, April 24, 2009

Birthday again - and The Uncommon Reader

It was another day of celebration on Thursday -
I received a lovely gift

and of course CAKE!
Not a true cake, but just perfect - lots (and lots) of custard, fruit, and whipped cream on the side!
Oh yes - what was inside the box?
In the evening I finished reading this-
Absolutely wonderful. Amusing and thought-provoking, with a wicked twist at the end. What happens when Her Majesty (accidentally) discovers reading? Of course, she has always read - Cabinet documents and the like - but not books! Reading (in fact having any hobby) represents preference and her advisers are dead against that. Not to speak of the difficulty they now have of keeping to schedules, and orchestrating those meet and greets. It used to be so easy - she would ask people where they came from, how long it took and how they travelled - now, she is quizzing them on Genet and Proust and all sorts of things - and lending books!
The character of the Queen is a delight - smart, witty, sharply observant, and quite ruthless in her charming subtle way...
Alan Bennett's writing style is a work of art - each word, each character is perfect. Very easy to read, but full of depth and thought.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Those who know me will be SHOCKED!! I am actually quilting!
Well, in my defence, let me say that it all started quite innocently when I wanted to do a little mindless piecing last week. I thought I would just stop at the four patches,
but then I found the perfect fabric for the alternate blocks.
(Let's just gloss over the fact that I miscalculated the border
triangles and had to recut all the four patches and squares - sigh!).
The top was so cute I just HAD to keep going with the project, so
here I am - and you know, I am quite enjoying it!
The nicest thing is that it is not for anyone - I am doing it just because....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Judging day and Trivia

This morning was the judging of the Queensland Quilters Challenge quilts - "twenty five" was the theme. I was asked to be a helper and I learned so much. More info about the challenge here.
Lots of interesting techniques and interpretations - such a privilege to get a glimpse into the creative minds of others. Of course the results are all hush hush at the moment, but here is a pic of the lovely judges, Lyn
and Sue (with Lyn and Jane - the Challenge Convenor - in the background).

This evening was our regular trivia night at the Capalaba Sports Club
- but we weren't very happy with the questions -
they kept asking things we didn't know........
I mean to say - who knows the year the London Underground opened, or the names of the tunnels in the movie The Great Escape, or where the world's largest ferris wheel is?
And if you DO know - then PLEASE join our team next time - we need you!!

Monday, April 20, 2009


After a lovely morning of gifts and cards and phone calls, I had morning tea with some friends and then we browsed some
art/gift/design shops.
I found a great red purse with cherries for ALL my cards!
And then I found this -a beautiful organic form - just like a pear (my favourite shape)!
The blossoms came from my tree at the front of the house - bright pink and so gorgeous!
I can look at it while I'm at my computer.
Tonight Keith is making dinner for me - I wasn't even allowed to see the recipes - so I'm quite excited.