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November 2008

A wet Saturday

I have been sitting around planning sewing projects that have to be finished this week.  Why do I always leave things to the last minute?  So, I have been trolling through my bookmarks for pattern inspiration and I found this talk by J.K. Rowling.  I know that I mentioned it before on this blog but I think that it is a really inspiring lecture and I know when I showed it to students in our Amnesty International group, they were all deeply moved.  So here is the link again. 


What a mess!

I got home from work today to find my bedroom floor covered in white poly fill, what a mess.


That puppy must have become bored although she has been paying this cushion a lot of attention lately.  I should have seen this coming.

We went over to Coochiemudlo Island on Sunday and Charlie had run herself ragged.


There was a strong wind blowing but that didn't stop the Nippers from swimming and going through their paces on the main beach.  Parents sat under the trees and everyone seemed to have a great time.



It is against the law to take photos of children here so I have tried not to take any recognisable faces.  But having said that, I love this photo from the Surf Life Saving site.


The end of term

Only three weeks to go and it will be the Christmas holidays.  Gee this year has gone quickly.  School is starting to wind down.  It was the Senior Formal on Friday night and all those beautiful young things partied the night away.  I find dancing all night exhausting and when I got home at 1am found my daughter and her friends playing "Rock Band".  My recovery rate has really slowed down!

This week the year 10's all finished making their toy as part of there study of childhood.  Those toys looked so cute all lined up on the table ready to go on display in the school library.



Living in the land of Oz (the one down under) has been interesting this week.  The storms, now this incredible humid heat.  Walking to the shops this morning had to be undertaken slowly.  All the walkers flitted from shade to shade to escape the sun and the humidity rose out of the ground to envelope you like walking into a sauna.

I finished reading the book  Wicked and was quite sorry when those final pages were reached.  I knew it was a tragedy but I was hoping against hope for a different ending knowing it wasn't coming.77e412bb9da064598853c010._AA240_.L  
Now I have to see the stage play.


Then there was the premier of Australia the movie by Baz Luhrmann.  Everyone said,'Oh it will just be a beat up', but after viewing the clips I'm not so sure.  I always knew the true story of the bombing of Darwin as my grandparents had family and friends who lived there at the time.  Asian and European Australians accepted each other and had close friendships, which wasn't the norm in the south.  I remember my grandmother visiting an Asian family and taking them things.  My gradfather had had a mine with one of this family and they were close friends.  They lost everything in the bombing, including some family members.


Wild weather

We have had a drought here fore years.  All water is rationed and the city's dams dropped to below 25% capacity.  All the gardens have died, houses have cracked because the soil is so dry and when I was in the USA I couldn't believe that people hosed their paths.

Well all that has changed.  These huge destructive storms have been sweeping in over the state of Queensland bringing more rain than we have seen in years along with occasional tornado.  The storms have swept in from the west.


The colour of the clouds told us we were in for trouble.


Then the wind,rain, hail, lightning and thunder hit the city.


Some of the lightening strikes were spectacular.




Along with the damage that came with the storms.



Then more storms came through.  The winds were not as destructive but there was lots of rain.  At Ipswich outside of Brisbane the river rose 15metres over night.  In the city the tunnels have filled with water and there is traffic chaos.  The trees and logs coming down the river has caused all the ferries to stop running. Rail lines are broken and buses can't get through.  There are still more storms forecast so it is battle stations.


(I don't know who took these photos, they were Emailed to me from a friend who had forwarded them on from somewhere else.)

A great find.

I have been researching material for a new unit of work I am planning.  One of the topics in this unit looks at advertising and in my surfing I came across a wonderful resource At Dukes University's site.    This is data base of over 9,00 items relating to the emergence of advertising in the USA from 1850 to 1921.

I love this needle book which advertises against the perils of liquor and drugs.  I don't think that this would work today.


And some of the goods advertised for sale in this shop make those offered in my local patchwork shop pale into insignificance, especially the fire arms.


Dress Goods, Linens
Collection:    Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920
Series:    Advertising Ephemera (1853 - 1921)
Company:    J. A. Slater, with Bulkley, Weld & Andrews
Product:    dress goods, linens, white goods, hosiery, fancy goods and small wares
Source:    Advertising Ephemera Collection, 1850s-1980s.
Year:    Undated
City:    New York
State:    NY
Format:    card

I did however find some of the ads in the 'Broadsides' section disturbing.  I was amused by those adds for the sale of sewing machines and farm machinery but was shocked when I came upon ads  for the sale of slaves.  It was truly shocking to read about people being described as though they were live stock.  We all know about slavery but when I came upon those ads it was suddenly tangible and real and I was shocked.


I have to admit that I am an adrenalin junkie.  I love being on the go and rushing from one high to another but I really have to find balance in my life.  I can't live on the heights all the time.   My way of finding balance is to stitch.  It might be a simple or complex design but the rhythm of stitching balances my emotions.  I am currently stitching a tree.  Being from the Danish Embroiderers Guild it looks quite simple but in reality is rather difficult.

I bought this little kit from Scandinavian Stitchery whilst at the Houston show.  Another really good product I bought were these great little bags to keep your project in.  They are sturdy yet you can bend them and best of all you can see through them.

Project Bag  

To much to do!!

Going back to work so quickly after returning from the USA has really caused me lots of angst.  Trying to switch my mind from marketing and travel back to teaching has really been difficult.  There are only 3 weeks  to go before the end of term and so much marking!  Added to this is the fact that the computer system will be down from the end of the week so all reporting will have to be finished by then.

We had a huge storm come through last night.  The worst that we suffered was a leaking roof and all the kids coming around to play 'Rock Band' because they had no power.  That was nothing in comparison to others.  Especially those that live out near the school,  I'm not going to see some staff for a few days.

I was reading Sharon B's new blog, where she was talking out becoming bored with blogging.  Her response to this is to give things a bit of a shake and put more energy into it.  I like that.  Life sometimes seems to just get too much at times and one can't see the forest for the trees.  A bit like my backyard, you can't see that for all the trees.


Back Home

I have had the most wonderful time over the last few weeks.  It has been filled with quilting, fun, travel and most importantly, friendship.  After the Houston Quilt Show my friend Pam Holland and I traveled down  to El Paso.  Pam took the time to show me the most amazing places.  To introduce me to American culture and was the best traveling companion any one could ask for.


Di (Mill) and I give her a bad time about being famous, sling off at her and make light of her achievements.  But we do so knowing that she is a person with unique talent and the kindest heart.

Now it is back to work. Those teenagers are keeping me on my toes, I will never be bored in my job.  My seniors are just about finished, it is exam block at the moment.  The year 12 Hospitality students have been doing cake decoration while is was away and all have made a good effort.  Non of them have done any cake decorating before.  All made their own fruit cake to start and now want to know when they can take them home.  I think they are a bit surprised at their results.

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Last post from the USA

Time to go home.  I don't know when I will pass this way again, if ever.  With the state of the world economy life is going to be back to basics. No more travel for a while and it looks as though I will really have to look at using my stash.

What is that saying, 'it was the best of times, it was worst of times', looks like that is what we are looking forward to for the present.  Buckle down and work for the next few years.

I would like to have taken time to travel through the National Parks here in  the USA.  Yesterday we went out to the desert to where the atomic bomb was developed and tested.  Stark and beautiful.


The White Sands National Park is unique.


And traveling with Princess Pammy has been great fun.2008_1107Houston20080050a