Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stingray migration photos

This is the most amazing photograph - reminds me of Escher's work - but it's real!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tricks of the Mind

Derren Brown is a TV and stage performer - he is a showman who taps into human psychology to create the most amazing stunts and illusions.

In this book he explores magic, perception, and the psychology that allows magicians and others to do what they do to trick us, perplex us and manipulate us (in good and bad ways).

I absolutely loved reading this book. First of all, because Derren writes with an easy to read style even when dealing with complex and detailed concepts. Secondly, he explores each area he covers in great depth. For example, in Part Two - Magic - he fully explains how to make a coin "disappear" - a basic magic trick - but then goes on to show how to finesse the trick and why it works.

To quote from that section
" about entering into a relationship with a person whereby you can lead him, economically and deftly, to experience an event as magical. That experience has something to do with a rather child-like feeling of astonishment, but also contains an adult intellectual conundrum. It exists only in the head of the spectator; and though your skills may have led him there, it is not the same as those skills. It inhabits an experience the spectator has..."

The book covers memory systems; hypnosis and suggestibility (with the surprising suggestion that there is possibly no such thing as a trance "state"); unconscious communication, and anti-science, pseudo-science and bad thinking (including the work of mediums and psychics).

If you love to find out more about how we tick, if you are interested in exploring your beliefs, or if you just love magic as I do - you will love this book. Highly recommended.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sacking the Stork

This is the first book by writing duo Kris Webb and Kathy Wilson who are sisters. Kathy lives in Brisbane and Kris lives in Dubai and they both have busy lives - so writing a book together is some feat! They have also written "Inheriting Jack" and "Other People's Diaries".

The main story line is that Sophie and Debbie are friends who live together. Debbie is playing the field, while Sophie has a steady boyfriend Max, although the relationship isn't really going anywhere. After Sophie breaks up with Max, she discovers she is pregnant, but doesn't tell Max as he is off to San Francisco with his job. Sophie ends up moving into her own place, and much of the story revolves around her experiences as a new mother on her own (although she has a strong group of friends). She and Debbie come up with a great business idea, and juggling that, motherhood, and a new man add complications.

This is not a hard to read book, and I did finish it - but I found a lot of the writing rather wooden. The characters had a sameness about them and the dialogue lacked liveliness and spark. I guess I am not the right demographic - it probably appeals to readers in their 20s and 30s who have not yet had children or whose children are young. The writing seemed to pick up at the end, the plotting was good, and everything was resolved nicely at the end.

So - not a bad book, but not one I would recommend you rush out and read.

Block a Day

Last year I decided to do a Block a Day this year (mostly) following this calendar -

Of course, I'm behind - but I thought if I started posting some of the blocks I have finished, it will force me to catch up!! Good plan? Will let you know....

The first instalment of photos - how about 5 to start with?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Sewing Room - Part III

Final round, ladies and gentlemen!
The storage closet. Projects in boxes, neatly labelled (I'm sorry - I just can't help it!!).
I know you'll be shocked - but the drawers contain fabric....
More projects

and quilt tops waiting to be quilted.
My cutting table. If you don't have one, rush out and get one - the best thing I've ever bought.

Trivia Win(e)

It's necessary to lubricate the wheels and cogs when getting ready for trivia.
Yep - it worked!
We won a round on a tiebreaker - as it had jackpotted, we won more than the overall winner!
The question? What colour are the "g"s in "Google"? Well, I've only stared at them about a million times - I'll call all that surfing "research" - shall I?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Market Day again

The things you find at the markets.
I also bought some bush lemons and limes.

No Sewing at the Moment

Bronte finished her last exam for this semester on Wednesday. During the holidays she is planning to redo her room.
First step - remove all furniture. The handiest place for her mattress was across the corridor in my sewing room.
She started patching the walls, and then got her friend Katie to help. That yellow has to go!

They both started painting on Friday night. I cleaned the windows today - look what I found etched in the window frame and on the sill -

It has a resonance with the word "eternity" that used to be written on sidewalks in Sydney.
Or perhaps a child was sent to her room for not eating broccoli and she vowed not to give in...

Here is the new colour - a grey/gumleaf green colour. Very nice.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Idle hands

I came home Tuesday afternoon to the usual - a son sitting in front of the TV.
"How was your day?"
The usual.

"By the way, Mum, I got bored, and I felt like making something."
The "something" was a tiramisu cake. From scratch.
In my wide-eyed amazement, I scanned the kitchen - hang on a minute - the washing up's done as well.....

So they say nothing good comes from boredom? I respectfully disagree...

2QAQ Farewell

You've all been on Committees - right? Dull and boring, can't wait to leave - right? Well, when Sue Dennis is in charge, things are different.
L to R - Sue, Jane, Ros, Lexie, me, Suzanne, Mel, Kathryn.

Admittedly, this was a special photo as it was my last meeting with these lovely ladies - and the wine was VERY special (thanks so much Sue - it was yummy!!)
BUT - even at regular meetings there was wine and catch-up chit chat before the serious work began.

And work there was. A year's program to plan, a first-ever juried art quilt exhibition to organise, lots and lots of work.

I got so much out of being part of the team and learning from them - it was quite humbling at times. Still, it was time to go. They surprised me with this wonderful piece that they all worked on
- how special is that?
Making time to stitch and create for someone is a real gift.
Thank you ladies.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm a Winner!!!

You know how I said I was entering all these giveaways...
I won't leave you in any more suspense...
You won't believe it...
Because I can hardly believe it...
Really, truly....
I WON something!!
A book called The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer.
Here it is in black and white if you don't believe me!
(can you tell I'm a bit excited???)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Sewing Room - Part II

These selvedges are tucked in under my Horn cabinet. I do have an idea for using them!!

I love sewing with my Janome 6500 - and the Ott Light gives me extra light as it's a dark room.
The little ceramic dish holds extra feet, a viewer and scissors. The pincushion was made by a friend's sister-in-law's husband from Tasmania. The tall cylinder holds my pins, sorted into size and type. I just grab it and go for classes and retreats. All those safety pins have come out of a quilt that I have been quilting on and off for the past month - and I have now decided I hate what I've done - sigh!!!
If ideas strike or I need to do calculations I have plain paper handy, and tools are in the handy blue caddy, complete with somewhere to put my coffee.
There is a tiny bit of room between the cabinet and the wall - just enough space for a big light box and block roll.

To be continued...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Sewing Room - Part I

Here are a couple of pics of my sewing room. It's a small room - about 3 X 2.5 metres - but it's all mine!!

Coming into the room the ironing board is on the left. The cover is new - made by Ezi Iron. I love my ironing board cover - it doesn't move, and isn't too padded, and it's double sided, so once you wreck one side (and I DO wreck my ironing board covers), you can turn it over to the other side. No affiliations or anything - just a happy customer.

On the table I have my water and starch; the box that holds interfacings, stiffenings etc. There is a drawer below which holds my threads.

Under the table is the first machine I bought. In 1993 it cost me nearly $400 and is very basic BUT it's still going strong.

Straight ahead (opposite the door) is my Horn cabinet. I love that the machine sits flush with the top of the cabinet. These compartments hold my thimbles, bobbins, tape measures, hand sewing needles, machine needles.

Part of my thimble collection.

This is a fun tape measure!!

To be continued....

Friday, June 5, 2009

Buying a Piece of Paris - Ellie Nielsen

I listened to most of this book on my way to and from Laidley. I did the trip twice, so that's a lot of listening time. Listening to a book on a road trip means that if there's a hold up, that's good - you get through more of the book!

Well, my all time favourite city is Paris, so I could relate to Ellie's love affair with the place - although she is WAY more obsessed than I am! This is a true story, by the way.

Ellie and her husband Jack have given themselves 2 weeks to find the "perfect" apartment. They have some interesting encounters with real estate agents, but they are not totally doing it on their own. They are very lucky in that they have friends in Paris who have friends who know people who can help them.

The narrative wanders off into reminisces about previous visits and little vignettes relating to Ellery (Ellie and Jack's 5 year old son), and there is a lovely section about Ellie's loved mother-in-law whose legacy makes this all possible.

Of course, there is a happy ending!

This is a nice gentle story; the sort of book to read when you want to have a little dream of owning your own perfect apartment in Paris.

June and July 9 patches finished

I've been a busy little bee - and I used my Featherweight, too!! It was fun.
These are for the swap Christine is running.
Here are my finished swaps -

So that's 3 months down and 3 to go!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Caboolture Show

I went to Caboolture today to help with judging of the Caboolture Show patchwork and quilting classes. I enjoyed seeing what the locals are making up there. The stewards and other helpers were great. Here are Jan and Sharon who were the holders and folders and who made my life so easy - it was rather cramped and they did a great job.
As a thank you I got a nice bookmark and card - handmade of course! I collect bookmarks, so this is just perfect for me.

Treasure Chest

Last night was the last Committee Meeting for me as President. It is a sad/happy time. There are so many exciting things about to happen in the world of quilting I am sorry I won't be as involved as I have been. On the plus side, I won't be as involved as I have been...if that makes sense?
The committees I have worked with presented me with a box FULL of delicious batiks. A real treasure chest.

But what I will treasure more are the wonderful friendships, relationships, experiences and learning opportunities I have had. I am truly very lucky to have known these ladies.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


It must be giveaway season - every second blog is having a giveaway. I have left a few comments here and there in the hope that I win something. Wouldn't it be nice?

I started cross stitching about 2 years ago and couldn't resist entering the giveaway being run by Melissa -

Vinnies visit

I stopped in at Vinnies today. Books are normally $1, but today there was 50% off everything - sorry - everythink
- so I got 2 books for $1 total.

In passing when I was leaving, I asked whether they had any sewing patterns. The lovely guy behind the desk disappeared into a back room and brought out a huge box of patterns. And they were - wait for it - free!! because there is no guarantee all the pieces are there.

This box held someone's sewing history from the 60's on. What a treasure trove. There were hand written notes on the envelopes of some patterns, wedding dress patterns, playsuits, just wonderful. I left most of the patterns there for someone else to rummage through and enjoy. Here is what I brought home.