Monday, February 27, 2012


Over a year ago a possum found its way into our roof.  I quite liked hearing it scrabbling away up there.  But then a few months ago the screeching started and I began thinking about the damage it was causing, so James covered the entry hole.  It still visits - I've woken to it staring at me through my screen door, and I know it's been romping around our undercover area.  Last night I got a photo - so cute!!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Remember the post about the roti earlier this week?  This video shows how they get it so thin.  This guy makes it look easy.

Flight Home

Aside from a short delay because of fog (in February!!) I had a great trip home.  Lots of space
patchwork views
 and urban patterns

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Australia Wide Two

The Q is a performing arts and exhibition space in Queanbeyan.  I had no idea that art quilts - the Australia Wide Two exhibition - were on display here.  Seeing them in real life was amazing.  I took photos, but honestly, you are better off seeing the professional shots here.  They are going to be at Bunbury next, then Griffith NSW.  The image on all the publicity material is "Yellow and White" by Sue Dennis.

National Library - 2

The Library is BIG in so many ways.  It's the largest reference library in Australia, it has an imposing, classical presence on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, and the stained glass windows designed by Leonard French are huge.  These are some of the windows in the bookshop -

National Library - 1

The Handwritten exhibition at the NLA was on my "must see" list.  I am so pleased I had time to visit.  Imagine being able to look at books, letters and other hand written material from hundreds of years ago and from the most famous people in history.  Then imagine that you can do it for free.  There is an alcove full of music manuscripts, and as you move around the room the related music plays while you read the score.    Incredible.  Open until 18 March.  This is a flirtatious letter about champagne...or is it??
Part of a Handel manuscript.


On Monday evening I caught the Murray's coach from Sydney to Canberra.  I wanted to visit the cross stitch I sent to Mum for Christmas.  Yep - looking good.
Seriously, I had some work here on Tuesday.  It was a good catalyst for a short Canberra sojourn.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Sydney - Sights

Thong vending machine
Kinokuniya Bookshop
[Where do I find the time for not reading so many books]

Drown your thirst
[ship shaped ice cube trays]


Chocolate making

Sydney - Picasso

My main reason for being here -

Sydney - the Malaysian Food Experience

On Sunday I went to a restaurant in Ultimo called Mamak.  I'd never had roti before so I ordered the original.  It was at once light and a bit chewy and crispy, served with 2 curries for dipping plus a dollop of sambal olek - mmm!  From the street you can peer through the window and watch them roll and stretch the dough into impossible thinness.
Although not done in front of me, I could see into the kitchen and watched them make my teh tarik.  The tea and condensed milk mixture is poured back and forth between two jugs held a long way apart - hence the froth.
I finally got to taste assam laksa today.  The broth is more like a hot sour soup rather than based on coconut milk.  There were lots of veggies and herbs and chilli, plus small slices of pineapple to add sweetness. 


Checkin at Jetstar Brisbane on Sunday morning was a bit of a zoo - but I talked to a few nice people.  Bonus - sitting in row 2
 with a spare seat between me and the next person.  And the attendants were lovely...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Art Day

Broadstrokes had an honorary member for the day when we went to Cleveland to do some rubbings with oil sticks.  There was a lot of texture in the surfaces we found
 and man-made patterns reflecting nature
 even the sewer manhole cover was inspired by the environment.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Don't Cry Over Spilt....  Make art instead.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Swich Contemporary Art Space

191 Brisbane Street Ipswich houses the Swich Contemporary Art Space where there is currently a great exhibition called Salvage: the journey of a textile artist.  Annamaria Mays is the artist and if you're in the area, it's worth a look - interesting collages with the theme of "home".  The exhibition is part of the Emerging Artists Solo Series.  You'll find more details here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I had some time to kill in Ipswich last Thursday so did a little tour of one of the areas in town.  Deann's Coffee House
greets you with vintage-inspired bunting
and keeps you interested with vintage vignettes
A bit down from the art gallery is a walk through area called Tower Central - I just loved these rusted leaf screens
Ipswich Mall -

She Was Right

When I picked out a top I liked from the "Fill a bag for $1" rack at Boonah the other day, the woman next to me said "That's still got its tag on - it's new!".  I looked at the tag this morning...

Happy Valentines Day

How exciting!  I own some of the stars of the show!

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'll Take the Long Road...

...and you'll DEFINITELY be in Scotland afore me..

I'm a byway-taker, that's for sure.  My drive to Boonah is probably about 1/2 hour longer than it has to be, and that's without stops.  But I take pleasure in the route I travel, and it's part of the weekend.  I start to unwind and enjoy myself.  This trip I was serenaded by the golden notes of this critter
and I've finally had the chance to take pics of the poles in Beaudesert (2 of many).
Further along I saw a perfectly shaped hill covered in vibrant grass dotted with Fred Williams trees, just like this.

Test Block

After nearly 20 years in the patchwork/quilting game, I've finally become a little bit smarter than I used to be and have taken to making test blocks.  I'm glad I did for this twisting heart project which I found here on etsy.  Here's my test block.
I'm not sure the black and white fabrics work.  Either there is too much white on the black and vice versa, or there is too much contrast between them (ie, they are Light to Dark, rather than Light to Medium, or Medium to Dark).  So back to the drawing board.

More Long Weekend News

I had Friday off work so left home early to allow time for op shopping on the way.  I found a light green shirt at Beaudesert.  Then two shirts for 50c each at Boonah, plus two large pieces of fabric - meters in each piece - for $2 and $4 respectively.  AND I saw a whole bag of yarn for $3.  Perfect for a pattern I want to try.  But it was a mess - half completed crochet squares tangled with half undone cones of yarn.
I spent a pleasant hour or so on Sunday morning unravelling the tangle, and building a Wall of Wool
I do like the colour.

My Long Weekend - Part Thereof

Would you like to re-live the weekend with me?  I was on a retreat...usually that means drinking, eating, sewing, laughing, relaxing etc.  This weekend there was a LOT of cutting as well.  So, buckle up, here we go.

Cut 2 1/2 inch strips - one background, one main fabric.  Sew them together in strips.  Lots and lots of lovely strips that are then sprayed with Mary Ellens Best Press and ironed.
Oops - it could have been ironed it better.....but don't worry, there'll be lots more opportunities down the track to get it right.
Now, get out your handy dandy template (that you spent AGES measuring and testing at home), and line it up on the seam just so, to get the angle you need
Then CAREFULLY lay your ruler on the right hand side and cut...
  Then measure along every 3 1/2 inches to cut more segments
Then turn EACH piece, and put the 1 and a quarter and an eighth (OK, 1 and 3/8ths) line on the top seam, making sure that there is a straight line across the cut edge, and slice.  Then turn the piece and trim the other side to make a 3 1/2 inch square.
EXCELLENT!  You now have one quarter of one block.  Yay!!  Make a few (hundred) more,
then sew them in pairs ("twosies")
and then flip one of them and NOW you can see what the block is going to look like.
keep going
and going...
eventually you will have 121 blocks for an 11 X 11 layout, looking something like this....aaahhhh