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August 2008

One more line

I have finally got my add-a-line completed on the round robin quilt.  Actually it wasn't as difficult as I thought and it went together without any dramas.


This weekend is the culmination of the River Festival here in Brisbane and last night saw the river alight with fireworks.  My son decided to have a party on our front verandah, as we live only 5 minutes walk from the Storey Bridge, where one of the main displays was to take place.  After I had washed the verandah and made sure there was seating and tables he and his friends arrived and took over the place.

I think that everyone must have come into the city for the event.  The streets were parked out and Charlie had fogged up the window trying to see what was going on.


The F111 flew up the river and did a dump and burn shaking the house to it's foundations and scaring the dogs and little children.  And, I could see the lights from the fireworks up the end of the street.


So, like everyone else in the city I tuned my radio tuned to listen to the music
that accompanied the fireworks and got a great view looking at the TV!  Wow! What a show.


Caught by surprise

The weather has been chilly.  At school I have had to rug up as the wind whistles around and through the buildings.  So imagine my surprise when I went to trim the wisteria vines only to find that they had started to flower!  I shouldn't have been surprised because Monday is the first day of Spring but I have been working so hard that life has moved on as I have beavered away.


I visited my friend Di and her verandah was awash with colour.


Life sort of moves on around you.  What a shame I have missed this while my head was buried in my work.  I feel quite put out by my treatment of my employer. 

But on a brighter note, I managed to get to my cottage patchwork group this week and have been given an invitation to the opening of a Textiles exhibition.


The textile art group always have interesting exhibitions and some of the group are friends.  I am always inspired by their work.


Year 2

I have come across a number of blogs in my travels that talk about teaching sewing to children.  Most seems to be from parents wanting to encourage their children because they like to sew.  As a teacher I have been teaching kids to sew for over 20 years and I have noticed a gradual change in the skills that children bring from home to the classroom.  It is now quite common for children to have no-one in their family that sews.  There isn't a sewing machine in the house and they have no model, other than their teacher, to help them learn a love for sewing and textiles.

In my current grade 8 class I have one child who has access to a sewing machine at home and this belongs to his grandmother.  I thought back to my own childhood and although there was a sewing machine in the house my mother didn't sew, yet, I wasn't allowed near that machine.  I hear from students that same tale. "Oh Mum won't let me touch the machine".

It was my grandmother who was a Tailoress who inspired me to sew.  I admired her so much and wanted to be like her.  My father was her youngest child so she was quite elderly when I was young.  I found this photo of her taken in the 1890's.  We forget that our grandparents were once young.


So thinking on this I have decided to put together a set of tutorials that might help others along this road.
I might not be able to start if for a while, because of work pressures and I would like to include video.  I don't own a camera or know how to use it but I will learn.

Happy Birthday to my blog!

Happy birthday to my blog.  One year old today.  It is frightening how quickly that year has flown by. 

The most amazing achievement is that I have recovered from Post Traumatic Stress after being attacked by an intruder and that I have managed to return to full time work.  This time last year I didn't think that would happen.

I have had the support of my Doctors and my family but the thing that has made the difference is the support and love of my friends.  So to all of you thank you.

To Di and Pammy , thank you for your love and support and onwards to Houston this year.


To all the ladies in the Tuesday group from the Queensland Embroideres' Guild , thank you.

And, the ladies in my cottage patchwork group, Maberley Quilters, thank you.
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That magic one year of blogging is only a few days away.  It has been an eventful year and I thought that over the next few days I would reflect on some of the lessons learnt.

A few years ago I started to read the "Harry Potter" novels.  I did this, in the beginning, because many of my students were reading them and talking about them and I didn't know what they were talking about.  I was just going to read one, then, got hooked.   Some books take you through 'that door at the back of the wardrobe' into another world.  This was one of them, a bit like 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The lion the witch and the wardrobe'.  I suppose that this is tired up with my trip to Europe last year where I visited some of the places in the books.  Hogwarts is supposed to stand on the right hand side of this loch.  My daughter told me I couldn't see it because it had a spell on it that made it invisible to muggles.  So, the imagination is still able to embellish reality.

I found a link to a talk by  J.K. Rowlings  on Sharron B's blog, 'In a minute ago' .  It gives a wonderful insight into some of her inspiration for the books.  It is the graduation address at Harvard University and looks at failure and creativity.  I can't remember any of my graduation lectures.  I hope these students will remember this one.


A visitor

We have had an unusual visitor in our backyard, a bush turkey. We only live a couple of kilometres from the centre of the city and to see a bush turkey here is a rare sight.


My little dog was super brave and chased it out of her yard onto the fence.  I rushed inside to get a camera but only managed these distant images.  Still, a bush turkey is better than the python we had before.  Charlie would have made a good meal for him.



I have an interview tomorrow for a Head of Department Practical Arts and the nerves have suddenly kicked in along with Murphy's Law.  My husband is booked for surgery tomorrow as well.  Not good timing.

My friend Angela Langdon sent me some photos of her latest quilts.  I have to wait to show some of them, they need some more finishing, but this one is allowed.  I love it and look at that even free stitching in the quilting.  Now that is impressive.



The weekend

I haven't achieved much this weekend.  I did the shopping and ran into an old friend, had coffee and talked.  That kind of finished off Saturday.  Today I went with my son to look at a house he is interested in buying and then out to lunch with the Chefs to celebrate the Competition that was held earlier this year.  It was a wonderful lunch at a Thai restaurant.

The Entree was a work of art consisting of muscles and prawns, just wonderful.  The next course was crab with deep fried lime leaves.  It was so good I forgot to take a photo!


Just the rice left on the plate and that was delicious.


The main was this wonderful tender beef with chilli, just look at those potatoes.


The dessert was a lychee sorbet.


Back to work tomorrow.

Half time

We are half way through the school term.  Does that make it half full or half empty?  I am so far behind with my sewing that I wonder if I will ever catch up.  I am still spending most of my time in lesson preparation but now I have to add marking.  Bundles of it!!  I have an interview on Tuesday for a Head of Department job so hopefully I will gain some control over my life if I get the position.

It hasn't been all bad.  I am learning so much and have found that I know a lot more about English and Math than I had given myself credit for.  Just shows you what a lifetime of reading can do for a person.  We have been studying narratives in English and in an effort to inspire my students I went looking for unusual books.  In the process I came across the work of Shaun Tan .  The next unit is centred on poetry.  I never understood why we studied poetry but I love poems.  Shaun's illustrations blend words and images.  I find his work moving and interesting.


From his book "The lost thing"


“Darkness overcomes you”, oil and acrylic on paper.

This is from the book "The Red Tree".  I found that teenagers really related to this book.  It is dark and yet positive.

Things we overlook

It's people's day at the show today so we have a holiday.  I don't have to rush to work and have time for a bit of reflection and catching up on jobs.  One of the top jobs is to do the bookings for my trip to Houston for the Quilt Market and Show.  Must do that one.

I was looking through past photos and realised that I had overlooked some of the familiar things I see everyday.  I love the door knob on my front door.


I love the windows in my entrance hall.


I love the old American clock that sits on the mantelpiece.


But, at the moment I have mixed feelings about Miss Charlotte.  She has chewed all the buttons off my Aran cardigan that I bought in Ireland last year and she steals my crocheting all the time.  Who would think that something that looked this cute could be soooo naughty!