Previous month:
February 2009
Next month:
April 2009

March 2009


I haven't done any patchwork, other than my add-a-line, for ages.  And now it is nearly the turn around time for the semester.  I am about to move from Foods to Textiles.  The whole focus changes and I have to get those students motivated and inspired.


The year 11 students have to make an item for their living environment.  So I am out it blog ville looking for ideas.  I'm not sure what sites will get through the fire wall for the students to look at but I hope Moda's Bakeshop  will.  There are tons of great ideas here.

And then I think that the disappearing 9 patch  would be something that teenagers would like.  There are so many tutorials out there for this one and the use of colour can change the end look so dramatically.


This one from "A quilt is nice" is bright and would be good for a boy.

6a00d8341eff0b53ef01156f911e6c970b-400wi While this one, from my friend Di Mill, which is still the same pattern but the palette is so soft


And then again it could be set on point.

Step Softly Mist 180

 I also found that Lakehouse Drygoods had some interesting free patterns on their site.  Even a beginner should get a good result from this pattern.

I can see that I am going to have to put together some samples,  good thing the Easter break is only a week away.


I have all this work I need to download off my camera and the cord is missing.  So is my daughter.  She might be missing permanently if I get my hands on her!!!

When I have practical cookery exams I photograph all the students work.  It is great for marking, because there are so many things going on in class having a photographic record is wonderful to mark from.  It is great for kids, because they can reflect on their work after all the stress of the exam is out of the way and its a great way to show parents what they did at school.  This is a meal prepared by one of my students who is only 13 years old.  Many adults would have problems reaching this standard.  She creatively designed, prepared, cooked and served a meal that would satisfy the nutritional needs of a young athlete.


I also use the camera to record progress of students who are developing a product.  At the moment we a preparing for a cookery competition and having those records to reflect on and evaluate opens up the creative processes for students.  The other thing I do, is to get students to use their phones to photograph their own work.  They are not dependent on me for a hard copy and they get into the habit of evaluation and reflection of their own work.

This leads me to the lecture I attended on Friday night called "Creativity and Education" by Professor Anna Craft  at Exeter University and the Open University.  I'm not sure what I was expecting but I think it was more than what was given. 


The things she was talking about I have been doing in my class room for over 20 years and I know that I am only one of many teachers.  I also know that there are just as many, if not more teachers, who haven't embraced creativity and innovation.  But this, of course, is only anecdotal evidence, not quantitative or qualitative research and as such of little if no value.  The other thing I found difficult was that 'The Arts' ' somehow have a license on creativity.  There is a TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson that discusses "Do schools kill creativity".  He is an eloquent speaker and very entertaining but it was all the negatives and non of the positives.  Yes, some schools do limit creativity but many teachers at the coal face do not.  Where are the researchers documenting best practice that is already going on? 

I see people from all walks of life being creative all the time.  The mother who prepares food for that toddler who is a fussy eater, the tradesman who develops a better way of doing the job.  Some people are born with a better set of genetic tools to apply creativity in their lives while others need to be nurtured, like a garden, to allow their natural abilities to flower.  What I was looking for from the lecture was other tools to nurture these abilities in my students. 

Also, I didn't see any cross disciplinary work yet this is often where break throughs are found.  The work at Stanford University Entrepreneurship is equally fascinating and could inform the work being done in education and there must be other work that I don't know about.  Teachers who are interested in this are so engrossed in teaching and interacting with their students there just isn't time to engage in research.  The present just overwhelms.

The Brisbane Ideas Festival

This Festival started a couple of days ago.  It is all about creativity in it's many forms.  I have the problem that I also have the State Culinary Challenge this weekend as well.  Luckily both events are on in locations almost next to each other at South-bank so I will have my running shoes on.

There is a long list of guests who include people like Geoffry Robinson QC and tonight I am off to hear a talk on 'Creativity and Education'.  I am really interested in seeing the public arts space project that is based on Graffiti art.  The publicity says;

A graffiti-style public artwork, representing the energy and flow that occurs in the emergence, development and reworking of ideas, will help visitors to the Ideas Festival visualise ideas.

Two accomplished Brisbane artists, Lee Harnden and Russell Finn, will create an aerosol art mural facing the river near the State Library of Queensland.  The artists will also include their visual responses to the question “What are the ideas that keep you awake at night?”

I have a 'thing' for graffiti and use it a lot in my work.

The other piece I want to see is by Chris Jordon . I love his thought provoking work.  You can also view and see Chris talking about his work in this TED Talk.


The weekend

Last weekend I went to the wedding of our friends son.  I have known Jason since he was a few days old.  Were did those years go?  The wedding was at The Mantra Resort at Salt Beach which is just south of Kingscliff.  We booked a suite so that we wouldn't have to drive home and could have breakfast with the other guests.  It was a relaxed happy wedding and the bride a groom  (Susan & Jason) enjoyed themselves as much as the guests.  For their honeymoon they are taking a trip around the world stopping off in Jamaica for Jason's uncle's 70th birthday.


Of course I took my little camera with me and rose early in the morning for a walk on the beach.  We are so blessed with our wonderful beaches.  Here was another pristine environment.  As I walked down the track over the sand dunes wallabies jumped across my path, rainbow lorrikets screamed in the tree tops and I could hear the sea birds on the beach.


I am always just a bit wary walking to the beach on those tracks having surprised a snake there more than once, but this morning there were non around.  (Thank God).  When I first arrived there were just a few early risers there and the sun wasn't quite up.  Over the next hour the weather went from a storm to bright sunshine and everything in between.


It seems all too perfect or is this how the world should be and with all the strife and stress, that is part of everyday life, we have lost sight of it?  Then, when it appears again it comes as a bit of a shock, this perfection.

I love the Casuarina trees (She Oaks) that grow along the coast.  They give shade and when the wind moved through, this wonderful soft music.


In the morning light the surf looked like lace spread out on the sand and then the clouds came over and it became dark and threatening.  All this in the space of 30 mins.


Drawn & Pulled

I have been away for the weekend at the wedding of our friend's son.  The weather ranged from violent storms to bright sunshine.  Luckily the sunshine came in the wedding part.  I also finished a small piece which included both pulled and drawn thread work.


Stitch Explorer 2009 - Trellis stitch

I know that I'm a bit late, but better late than never.  I have finally got my piece for the February challenge finished.  I just couldn't get any inspiration.  Then I saw Susan Kay's work I saw what I would have liked to have done.  That just was fantastic.

So I drifted through February starting lots of thing but getting nowhere.  Then last weekend I visited The Gallery of Modern Art here in Brisbane.  They are preparing for a new exhibition called 'The China Project.  It wasn't set up completely but it was red.


 As I wandered around the exhibition I saw again Anish Kapoor's 'Untitled 2006-7.  I find this piece fascinating, it just pulls me in.  Where does that centre lead too?  Will picture come flashing in that space?


So I decided to put the two elements together and came up with this.  As I am so far behind I used red wools, the stitching went a lot quicker.  If I was doing it again I think that I would make a donut of foam and stitch over it using a thick rayon crochet thread and I would like it to frame a screen that showed many images.  Maybe one day I will have lots of time to complete my ideas.


The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet

I have managed to pick up some terrible bug this week and am unable to move too far away from my bed.  I think it is some kind of virus as the Teachers Aide had the same thing as did a friends son.  All that aside, being confined to bed does not sit well with me but I found a book to keep me company.

Colleen Mc McCullough has been a favourite author for some time.  I find her style 'reader friendly' and in her 'The Masters of Rome' novels, well researched.  'The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet' takes the reader into the world of the Bennet sisters some time after the conclusion of 'Pride and Prejudice', especially the life of Mary, although, all the sisters and their partners are characters in this book.

The book doesn't read like a Jane Austin novel but is entirely believable and entertaining.  It is clearly written by someone imagining events at that time but the story flows at a pace that keeps the reader engaged at a level that one overlooks those 'modern views'.   I found it light and easy to read and felt well pleased when I had finished.  I don't think it is a mans' book but woman will love it.  The book is published by Harper Collins.  ( ISBN 978-0-7322-8722-1 )



I have been looking at this on-line shop called Funky Fabrix and then realised that it was here in Brisbane.


 So quite a bit of money latter I came home with these goodies.


Now this isn't the cheapest fabric shop around and there is a minimum cut of 50 cm on fabric from the bold.  But, they have some of the best vintage soft furnishing fabric I have seen in a while.


On the weekend of my son's engagement the other members of my patchwork group, Maberley Quilters,  traveled to Melbourne for the quilters convention.  


 The lovely thing about this was that they thought of me and brought me back gifts.  This little note book was one of them.

I also received CD's of photos of quilts from the exhibition.  These two from Junior quilters were good.



Unfortunately many do not include the name of the maker but I am going to attempt to find out who they are so that I can post them here.