Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hot water bottle

0605 hot water bottle
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
I've been snivelling and shivery with a cold, so a hot water bottle is a good friend. It's one of those comforting winter things, the friendliness of flannelette sheets and your toes finding the hot water bottle's warmth.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


0605 shoes
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
I love the way you can find interesting shoes like these ones nowadays. The influence of overseas brands and styles, perhaps, like Camper Twins and others.

Monday, May 29, 2006


0605 jacket
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
This winter's fashion is full of military influenced jackets, so I succumbed to one, possibly influenced by the lovely buttons.

Last year's jacket was a tweedy one in pinks/browns. I wore it to work, and got at least two comments about it being nice, "and they were so popular last year...". Yeah, well, it'll be around for a few years more, as will this one. Does anybody just buy jackets for one season and no more? Not this little black duck.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ordinary buttons

0605 ordinary buttons
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
These are from an op shop button jar - mostly from the last twenty or so years, I'd say, and snipped from clothes. I've been working on a project using them, and it's come up rather nicely. Proving the point that repetition and patterning of even ordinary things can produce results that please the eye.

Buttons are just fascinating and engaging, particularly second-hand/vintage ones.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hunters Hill quilt show

Favourites from the Hunters Hill quilt show (still on till 4.30pm on Sunday 28 May at the Hunters Hill Town Hall, Sydney, Oz.)

The green/purple/orange fourpatch is by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession.

The subtle ninepatch is "Softly Softly", available from Material Obsession.

The cashmere rectangles are "City Windows" by Sarah Fielke of Material Obsession.

The blue/green vines quilt is my favourite of the show, and don't I wish I'd taken a photo of the label? Or obtained a catalogue? It's no. 67...

The New York Beauty is a delightful use of colour.

These are my favourite quilts from the show, which had lots of other lovely ones too. More photos here. Quite a lot of perle cotton quilting, some beautiful uses of Japanese fabrics and a wonderful range in styles, with more quilts for sale than usually seen at a local quilt show.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Fiery maple

0605 fiery maple
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
After holding out through autumn so far, the Japanese maple is on the fiery turn.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


0605 monochrome
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
We could do with the rain, but this sky decided to remain merely ominous. The white gum against the sky made a monochrome composition. Hooray for zoom lenses...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Gee's Bend challenge quilt

gee's bend challenge quilt
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Some friends and I are going to use this quilt, Roman Stripes by Willie "Ma Willie" Abrams of Gee's Bend as the inspiration for a two-month challenge.

A colleague came back from a US holiday and told me all about the quilts she'd just seen in Atlanta. She's not even a quilter, and she's seen the exhibition I've been dreaming of seeing for years!!!!! One day, someday, I'm going to see the quilts of Gee's Bend...

Years ago I saw Lit from Within, an exhibition of Pennsylvania Amish quilts, in Melbourne. However often I'd seen them in books, nothing prepared me for the impact of seeing them in the gallery. They had such resonance, such power. I'm sure the Gee's Bend ones will be the same.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Book: Buried Treasure

0605 book
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Another "I liked the first book" book.

Colour: travels through the paintbox, was a delight, for all I learned about the sources of colours and dyes. Colour and pattern are the main reasons I love quilting, and it was a book tailor-made to my interests.

This one's about jewels and looks just as promising.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Book: Dolce e Salata

0605 book
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

0605 book
Originally uploaded by rooruu. A thousand days in Venice, by Marlena di Blasi, was an excellent holiday book last summer, with her exuberant style and energy. Loved it enough to buy this without reading anything but the blurb. It follows her story - having moved to Venice to marry a Venetian, they then move to Tuscany, which is the narrative in this book.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Two clouds

0605 two clouds
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Fascinating to see how the contours of the hills behind lit one cloud and cast the other in shadow. It was a beautiful sunset.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Desk accessories & Bun-O-Vision's latest triumph

0605 desk accessories
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The kids like the mad stripey paperclips, but it's always the green jelly babies (or jelly beans) that are orphans.

It's a family failing, stationery. A wonderful aunt used to take us to stationery stores, when we were little, and mad stripey paperclips can still make me happy. It's good having something quirky amid the serious stuff.

Speaking of which, if you haven't caught the gems of the 30-second bunnies theatre library, my current Bun-O-Vision favourite is Brokeback Mountain (in 30 seconds, as enacted by bunnies). It's a hoot!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Afternoon sky

0605 afternoon sky
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Sometimes, all you have to do is look up to find something worth catching. This sky looks almost painterly.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Foggy road

0605 foggy road
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
On the way to work, this patch of pampas grass is silvered in morning sunlight. Even though it was foggy, there was enough light to outline them (it's been cloudy for the last few days, so finally today I was able to stop and catch the photo). On the way home, they look entirely undistinguished.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Vintage ninepatch revisited

0605 vintage ninepatch
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The vintage ninepatch quilt from a while ago is now clean, repaired and ready for a longer life. Some of the squares and fabrics were shattered and needed replacing, and the wadding and backing were unusable. But it was a fascinating exercise.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Tidying up autumn

Tidying up autumn
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Plenty more to do, but rugged up against chilly winds, they enjoyed filling up the cart and wheeling the leaves to the compost.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My mother's hands

My mother's hands
Originally uploaded by

I should have taken more, or realised that I hadn't got the focus quite right.

Photographic concerns aside, this seemed like such a wonderfully apt subject for Mother's Day.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Parallel lines

Parallel lines
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Natural parallel lines and man-made parallel lines.

Might be a quilt in this too.

Autumn colour

Autumn colour
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

There are so many beautiful trees I'm seeing while driving, and it's often not possible to stop for a photograph - so this will have to stand in for all those missed opportunities.

It's been a busy week...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Leaf pile

Leaf pile
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Am I besotted with autumn leaves and leaf piles generally? Maybe.... but the texture and shapes have a pleasingly irregular regularity. Or something.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Picket fence shadow

Picket fence shadow
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Yesterday the picket fence, today the shadow it threw across the path in the late afternoon sunlight. There's a quilt pattern in this....

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Camellia fence

Camellia fence
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Although there's autumn colour in other places, this japonica camellia was flowering cheerfully as it peered at passers-by over a white picket fence.

Coming up to dawn and daylight

How wonderful to wake this morning to the news that Todd Russell and Brant Webb have been rescued from the gold mine at Beaconsfield where they have been trapped since the seismic tremor on ANZAC Day. The joy of their recovery is tempered by the sadness that their workmate, Larry Knight will be remembered and mourned at his funeral today. But it's such a reminder that material stuff matters so little, when it comes down to the wire; people matter. More on the story from the ABC.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Autumn leaves

0605 autumn leaves 16
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

Lots of yesterday's leaves have settled. What surprises me, when I take care to look, is all the different colours among the leaves. First look, I see light brown. Second look, I see a considerable, richly varied palette including greens, yellows, reds, burgundies.

A starting point for a quilt, perhaps.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Autumn gumleaf

0605 autumn leaves 4
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
It has been a windy Sunday, encouraging trees to drop their autumn leaves. Eucalypts aren't deciduous (they drop leaves whenever they please, much to the despair of neatnik gardeners) (of which I am not one). This leaf amused me because it sums up the Australian autumn: some autumn colour, but plenty of evergreen trees too.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

French quilt

0605 quilt
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
My current project, involving semi-reproductions of 19th century French prints. They are all from one range, but it's a tremendously varied collection in colour. That's a different approach to many of the very carefully co-ordinated ranges coming out now.

I've made a number of 'range' quilts for magazine projects, using only fabrics from one range. Sometimes from half yards, which gives you 40in options for strips/borders, and sometimes from fat quarters, which requires a different approach to borders. Either way, it's fun to make them work to showcase the fabric but not look too predictable.

These fabrics are Promenade II by Free Spirit Fabrics.

Friday, May 05, 2006

April 2006 mosaic

April 2006
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
One of the accessories to having photos stored at Flickr is fd's Flickr toys, including the mosaic maker. And can you have fun with that? Oh yes!

This blog aims to include a photo a day. The mosaic here is April's photos all together - I'm interested to see what has occupied/preoccupied me, to see if I can discern themes or trends. Nature. Quilts. Creativity. The ordinary. The everyday-beautiful. Shapes. Colours. History. And I KNOW that without carting a camera about every day, I'd have missed most of these, or forgotten them. I can't help wondering what my grandmother or great grandmother would have seen, if either one had done the same (and had a portable camera). I wonder what future generations will make of our blogs, and the way in which we can detail and illustrate our everyday lives. I know I'd much rather read yarnstorm (currently with pics of beautiful tulips) or yarn harlot (currently wrestling with a heavy cold) or any one of a multitude of other blogs, to learn about the early 21st century, ahead of Hansard.

We've been having a balmy autumn, with little or no rain, and we need it. The dam levels are still dropping - Goulburn's town dam is officially dry, and the dams serving the Sydney area are falling too - and one tends to bend a suspicious eye on anyone with lush grass. Just this week I've noticed the deciduous trees changing, bright yellow or rich russet against the blue skies. It's a bit tricky to catch them then and there when you're driving though. Perhaps on the weekend.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Adorable covetable shoes

If I had my choice of all the shoes (I know about) in the world, I'd want to shop here:


Look at them. Sculpture and imagination. ALL of them. Instant Imeldification!

Mouse hunt resumes...

I found out where all the meeces fled - to work. We're all setting traps and baits and hoping they don't scuttle across our desks. Eeek!

But what they have done occasionally is expire in inaccessible places (eg. wall cavities). It's a special moment when you get that whiff first thing in the morning. And it stays for a week or two. And then a week or so later you are infested with flies...

Essential sewing tools

0604 essential tools
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

The tools I always have by me: pincushion, snips and a pot for threads and bits. The pincushion was a gift (thanks, Stephanie), the pot originally for spices, perhaps - the lid's long gone. The background is a little quilt made for me from vintage materials (another gift - thanks, Gillian).

I prefer the ball-headed pins - easier to wrangle. On the back of the pincushion are my favourite crowbar needles for binding. I can't sew on the machine without snips, and these ones fit the hand well.

Another 'catch' of the daily stuff around me.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


0604 pink
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
My favourite tissue box design. Cheerful colours!

It's amusing to document the stuff we normally pass by, the objects we choose to surround us in daily life. I catch myself hunting the shelves for this particular design, not just contenting myself with the same product (white tissues) in a different box. I like the gerberas, the colours (and the contents are perfectly fine tissues...!)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gumleaf tiara

0604 vintage headpiece
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
This early 20th century ?headpiece ?tiara is just delightful, incorporating native flora into this sort of formal decoration. It is in the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney) as part of the Inspired: Design Across Time exhibition.

There is something so quirky and pleasing about the grandeur of a tiara and the occasions on which it would be worn combined with the natural form of a gumleaf: and the suggestion of pride in country. The Sydney Town Hall has some wonderful old decoration on the ceilings based on waratah, wattle and other native flora.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Cinnamon quilt

0604 cinnamon quilt
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Cinnamon browns and roses - just needs the binding on and it's finished. I was drawn to work with this warm autumnal palette, set off by the pink chrysanthemum print.