Saturday, September 30, 2006

Reading: Jan Karon/Mitford

0609 Reading: Jan Karon/Mitford
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
For some, I'm sure, Jan Karon's series set in the (fictitious) small American town of Mitford would be Too Much, too sweet, too - just too too.

But I lived in a small country town for a few years, and her observations ring true, the characters and events of small towns, the small and everyday which can be more revealing than larger sweeps of history.

I rather like visiting Mitford. Thanks to eBay (the series in full isn't so easy to find here in Oz) I have seven books, and am in the middle of the fourth, Out to Canaan.

Amid all the oughta shoulda woulda must-do ticky-list stuff of a break, I plan to spend some time in a puddle of sunshine on a comfy chair, visiting Mitford.

Friday, September 29, 2006


0609 library research
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
I went to the excellent local library (as opposed to the scattered-over-too-many-branches-much-less-with-it local library - different council areas) and was able to spend some happy time researching doll house ideas, house inspiration, generally GAWjus pictures.... Dalmeny's book has some intriguing ideas, like a Shaker roombox (including instructions on how to make 1:12 scale Shaker oval boxes). As for the Rural Escapes book - there are several houses in that I'd rurally escape to in a rural or urban second!

Not a bad array for a library to yield, though, is it? This was far from all the books they had on doll houses, a fairly esoteric field I would have thought. Well done them. And I saved myself hundreds of dollars! (well, a bit less than I might have, Rural Escapes has gone on my someday oneday Amazon wishlist, along with Shabby Chic which I have been meaning to buy forever. I won't buy it here in Oz for $AU60 when it's so much less at Amazon. Pls note that there are, however, plenty of books I buy here.)

I'm still conflicted on phraseology. Doll house. Dollhouse (that seems more American). Dolls' house (sounds more English, but you have to type the apostrophe too). Doll's house? Nope. And ironically at this point my house ain't gonna have any inhabitants. They'll all have just gone out and be back soon. They're not the bit of it all that interests me most. The original 17/18th century English usage, "baby house" is too much lost in the mist of time to attempt revival - the meaning would be mistook. If you look at those book spines, they're all conflicted too.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


0609 loot
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
It's well past "Talk like a pirate day" so I won't, loot or not. Would you look at these yummy fabrics though? Berries and cream, the brown of good farming soil, the blue of a summer sky and those great alive, happy mid-tone purples. What's not to like?

What will I make from them? A quilt....but I've NO idea of a design as yet. It's percolating, and will require delightful research in quilt history books and block encyclopedias. My favourite fabric in the range is the fan one (the first link below takes you to a colour card of all the fabrics, if you want to investigate them further).

These fabrics are Civil War Anthem by Barbara Brackman and Terry Clothier Thompson for Moda.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Finished quilts

0609 finished quilts
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Two more quilts done - although now I realise that it is the backing of the far one that's showing, not the patchwork front. The front one is made up of sample blocks from lots of different quilts - very much a 'patchwork' patchwork.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pirates' gold

0609 pirates' gold
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
For a little while, coinciding with the release of the second Pirates of the Caribbean film, you could buy M&Ms in pirate gold colours. Despite the reservations of some (babypoo coloured peanut M&Ms?) I rather like the colour range. From a quilting point of view, it reminds me that a colour range from pretties to uglies (well, think of it as mustard) works, and this is a delightful combination of yellows. The bowl is one I got from Bison in Canberra. It's smooth and just the right size, grace in the everyday. Like the green cup I blogged about a while ago, it's happy in the hand.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Storm damage

0609 storm damage
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Huge winds yesterday - there were many fallen trees and branches. The electricity went off and it's still off. Amazing how it cramps your style - couldn't quilt! (no, I didn't get out the handcrank...).

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dolls' house

0609 house
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

I promised my dear mama a clue as to my latest vice. So here it is. (Hi Mum!)

Although today I've got a bunch of quilting that HAS to be done, (a flannel quilt! and it's an unseasonal 33degCelsius today!) so nothing's happening in da house today. It might get some lights next week. Impatient though I may be to wallpaper and furnish, (there are some GAWjus scrapbooking papers out there with which to wallpaper!) I've learned that lights come first, so you can hide the wires (will this become the most expensive lamp in the [big]house?).

The art supply shop had some unbleached linen @$14.95/m (dirt cheap for linen, I wonder if the cross-stitchers know?) which could make elegant flooring.

It's not going to be a Victorian crammit house, either - I fancy the idea of something more contemporary, incorporating vintage and modern. And a chance to play with textile possibilities - quilts, rugs, curtains, more.

(That whirring sound you hear is my brain in overdrive).

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Workplace art

0609 workplace art 1
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

This muriel (ok, ok, mural) is in our workplace - something to look at and ponder on, something to give you space for wonder amid the busy day. It's inspired by Australian Aboriginal work, although it was part of a group work involving Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

(No guarantees I won't find more photogenic shrubs and trees, but this is a change from Nature!)

Friday, September 22, 2006


0609 azalea
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
It's not subtle, but it is common, dead common; and yet there's something endearing about its brash, take-it-or-leave-it pinky purple. It's the kind of colour small girls adore. (I remember).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

May (in September)

0609 may bush
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
More spring has sprung - in this case may in September (of course - September is spring, aTISchoo! sniff. more hayfevCHOO.). These are just exploding in neighbourhood gardens. Rather like my sneezes.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More table napkins

0609 table napkins
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
New at Ikea (no they aren't paying me) - but having these in our work tea room just makes the table more happy and beautiful.

The irony is, they're so nice we're leaving them and still using the plain vanilla ordinary boring ones. We'll have to get over that....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


0609 jasmine
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The common or garden rampant stuff, smelling fabulous. I don't think it's what's giving me the spring sneezes... {aTISHchoo! sniff. reach for Another tissue.}

Monday, September 18, 2006

Spring maple

0609 maple
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Seeing the Japanese maples in spring reminds me of a Philip Larkin poem, The Trees:
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said -

There's a NPR series about majestic trees here, which quotes Larkin and another of my favourite poets, Wendell Berry.

A Year of Color/Colour: pine green

Playing with the weekly challenge at the Flickr A Year of Color group has been a lovely journey through my Flickr photos, revisiting ones from earlier in the year and remembering the context in which they were taken.

This week's colour is pine green. There's a link to A Year of Color in the right hand sidebar, if you want to enjoy some beautiful photos.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Quilt for a country baby

0609 quilt
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
What country baby doesn't need boots and sheep and cows and tractors and the planets of our wider world? Brenda was blogging recently (21Aug06) about the usefulness of baby quilts to try ideas. She's right.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Reading: Bryson & Marchetta

What riches! Two of my favourite authors each popping a sprog.

Bill Bryson's travel books are enduringly wonderful, so after the taster from the Lost Continent, "I was born in Des Moines. I guess somebody had to be." here is his memoir of childhood.

Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca are favourite teenage novels - Melina Marchetta has such an ear and pen for creating a voice. She's not prolific, so each new work is to be savoured. Hear an interview with Melina.

Phooey! - NO time for reading this weekend. They'll just haunt me till I can start. And then, which first????

This is one of my favourite quotes about reading:

I read because the words that build the story become mine, to build my life.

I read not for happy endings but for new beginnings; I'm just beginning myself and I wouldn't mind a map.

I read because I have friends who don't, and young though they are, they are beginning to run out of material.

I read because every journey begins in the library, and it's time for me to start packing.

I read because one of these days I may want to leave this town, and I'm going to go everywhere and meet everybody, and I want to be ready.

(Robert Peck)

Friday, September 15, 2006


0609 sunset
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
There was the most amazing sky late yesterday - the wash of redpink went right across, not just in the west. By the time I could stop and reach for the camera, it had retreated a little. Quarter of an hour later, all was greying into evening, not a trace of fire left.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The big salad

The big salad lunch
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The cornerstone of a happy lunch is the big salad.

Apart from the extensive array of vegetables, there are four secret ingredients. The ham, if ham is used, must be at least double if not triple smoked (more flavour). The dressing is a secret combination including lemon, lime, pepper, mustard and honey. And finally a small amount of peanuts and fetta add crunch and yet more flavour.

Prepared in advance by the in-house chef (that would be me), it transports to work with ease and when fully assembled and tossed in dressing, represents a decent half hour of crunching (there's a whole carrot julienned in that lot).

Highly recommended. Lotsa veges. Real food. Deeeelicious.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yellow banksia rose

0609 yellow banksia rose
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
There I was, pootling around the streets noticing other people's blossom trees and magnolias, and I miss the turn of the banksia rose, from green sprays one week to floral arches the next. I've always preferred the yellow banksia rose to the white - it's a great subtle creamy yellow.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Purple and silver

0609 purple and silver
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
This carpet of silver leaves has been growing and spreading for months over winter and when I walked past it today, had sprung forth with purple daisyflowers. I'm sure they're loverly when open, but I rather like them furled in the fading light, like this. It suggests fairy skirts, or a glorious umbrella to shade the Great Panjandrum.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Arum lilies

Arum lilies
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
A surprise gift, and one of my favourite flowers, elegant unfurling sculptures.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

July 2006 mosaic

July 2006 mosaic
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Something of a red and green month, partly to do with Christmas-themed projects. Bananas - coming down a bit in price, but still around $7/kilo and sometimes a bit bingled.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


0609 river
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
If it wasn't raining cats and dogs and other assorted small quadrupeds today, the view of the river would look just like this. But it is and so it doesn't. It's welcome rain.

Friday, September 08, 2006


0609 beadstrings
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Took this photo (with permission) at a craft show recently. All those colours! - I could look at beads for hours just to enjoy colour and texture. The number of bead traders at craft shows has exploded in the last 12 months.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

United 93

0609 United 93 film poster
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The most extraordinary, sad, brilliant film I'll see all year.

I brought a hanky, and then needed it sooner than I had expected. In the end, it wasn't the end one knew which brought me to tears. It was the ordinariness of people boarding and settling into a routine flight, and then the moment, after delays, when the plane took off, and you knew those people would never land alive.

As they found their seats, put bags in the overhead lockers, ignored the flight attendants doing their safety advisory I thought, I've been on that flight. It looks like most any flight I've ever been on.

Paul Greengrass, who wrote and directed it, his actors, his crew did an astonishing job of putting us there. The participation, as themselves, of a number of people who were a part of the day's events in control rooms shows their trust, in him and the film he was making, trust which was justified.

Roger Ebert's review describes this as masterful and heartbreaking. He's right. I wanted to see it on a big screen, in the darkness and focus of a cinema, and that was right too.

As the fifth anniversary approaches, the television documentaries are multiplying: The Falling Man, 9/11 (combining re-enactments with real footage). It's still not possible to do anything but shudder at the burning towers, the breached Pentagon, the scarred Pennsylvania field.

And wonder, without ever being able to know, how it could have been avoided, how else world affairs might have been conducted to avoid this.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Pink blossom

0609 pink blossom
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
So many beautiful trees in the streets and gardens now - thought it was time to add a darker pink one to last week's array. It's been so warm, the last couple of days - 27degC - but there's a cold front coming for the weekend, so winter's sending a final greeting before spring takes over.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


0609 carwash
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
If it's Father's Day (and it is) then best make sure the car looks clean.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

To market

0609 today's market specials
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
It felt quite French (or Melburnian, if you live near enough to the Queen Victoria Market) to decide dinner on the basis of what's on special, fresh, good and thus probably seasonal at the greengrocer's. Leeks 3 for $2, strawberries 3 punnets for $4. Yum. Potato and leek soup, followed by strawberries and cream. Both the leeks and the strawberries smell differently wonderful - they fought for supremacy in the car on the way home.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rowing course

0609 rowing course
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Blue water, blue sky, a rising moon, reflections on the water, a quirky shed, the first (calendar) day of spring warm and sunlit. What's not to like?