Thursday, November 30, 2006

Summer Christmas

0611 Christmas baubles 3
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
If the hot hot days we've had recently (close to 40degC) haven't reminded us yet, Christmas in Australia is summertime. This lot look very summer like, with the bright colours - the turquoise/lime/pink is a fabulous colour combination (a future quilt, perhaps?).

I am, however, officially bored with 40degC days. Up to 30, OK, but higher is just 'orribly 'ot.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Year of Color: Violet Red

A Year of Color: Violet Red
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
A Year of Color is such fun - I do love the way it makes me go back through my photos and remember the context in which they were taken, what caught my eye then, what catches my eye now.

Bowl of scraps

0611 bowl of scraps
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
It's not really worth keeping scraps this size, is it?

(But they're beautiful, and some are from Amy Butler and were left over from the quilt on Sunday's blog entry)

Aha! There's that 12in square calendar quilt challenge for the Quilters' Guild of NSW which you had no intention of entering, having way too many other things to do.

(But wouldn't it be fun to play with them, just for a little quilt?)

It's due in the office on 30 November.

(Yikes! Where's my midnight oil?)

So, it's made? Don't forget to post it today. And you still have these scraps left over?

(Gosh it was fun to work again with virtually no rules, just letting the quilt evolve in whatever quirky way it liked. Got to do that more often).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


0611 chenille
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Some vintage chenille scraps came my way and were refashioned into a cushion which is destined to be a little girl's Christmas present. I think she'll like its colours, and the softness of it. Cosy, old-fashioned stuff, chenille.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nursery rhyme quilt

0611 quilt
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
This charming nursery rhyme fabric (from Timeless Threads) inspired a quilt. That's how it often (but not always) works for me - one fabric becomes a springboard. Although sometimes too I find that in the end, the springboard fabric is discarded as the other fabrics come together as a cohesive quilt idea.

Annie Dillard, in The Writing Life (a brilliant book) talks about this in writing, how that very idea which seems to be the essential pillar of a particular piece of writing is the one which may need to be ruthlessly knocked down as the work evolves.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Favourite magazine ;-)

Australian Patchwork & Quilting vol 15 no 2, just out...

(gee whiz it's a buzz to have your quilt on the cover! - for all sorts of reasons, including the memory of assembling the quilt top with a four year old girl's help (she kept picking the pink fabrics first!). Love the way quilts carry memories).

It was such a long while ago that I acquired the Amy Butler Charm fabrics around which I designed this quilt. Check out the 1 Feb, 29 March & 23 July blog entries - this is what they became.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


0611 gardenia
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
You smell their glorious scent before you see them. I don't care if the rain bruises them (well, if it did rain) - they're just wonderful anyway.

When I did wedding flowers one time, I tucked gardenias at the back of the vases at the front of the church - their scale was wrong for the (large) vases, but this way the bridal couple would have their scent as part of the ceremony.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Blue Christmas

0611 Christmas baubles 2
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Nice baubles. Isn't it grand to live in the age of fake permanent raindrops? We could do with a few real ones right now - the haze is smoky and persistent, although with backburning they're getting some control over the bushfires.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Party frocks

0611 frocks
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Today was spent touring/evaluating event venues - when it's finally held, party frocks will be the order of the day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


0611 bushfires 04
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

Looking west towards the Blue Mountains. The contrast between the smoke filled area and the clear blue sky with white clouds was striking.

It reached 38 - 40deg Celsius today - hot, windy, low humidity, none of it good for fires. The Blue Mountains fires now include threats to Mt Wilson and Mt Tomah, fire in the Grose Valley, fire near Blackheath, spot fires further down the mountains and a new fire started by windborne embers near Faulconbridge.

Fire updates on this link.

0611 bushfires 06
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Another view.

0611 bushfires 05
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Another view.


0611 bushfires 03
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

Tankers, assembled and waiting a few kilometres from the nearest fire. Another another view.

0611 bushfires 02
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Tankers, assembled and waiting a few kilometres from the nearest fire. Another view.

0611 bushfires 01
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Tankers, assembled and waiting a few kilometres from the nearest fire. You can smell the smoke in the air; even in the short distance seen here, the furthest trees are lightly wreathed in smoke, while the sky is a light, ominous brown.

Movember II: A Hard Day's Moe...

The second iconic album cover from the Express Publications photographers. For more information, see the Australian Country Threads blog here. The guys have raised nearly $500 so far.

To sponsor them o to enter their Rego number which is 20247 and your credit card details. All donations of $2 and over are tax deductible.The money raised by Movember will be used to change the face of men’s health by creating awareness and funding research into prostate cancer and male depression. For more information visit .


0611 cherub
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
A verandah guardian.

(I don't know what else to say! - it's on the verandah, it's a present from some years ago, I kinda liked this angle and the fall of the light.... hey, enjoy the pic!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


0611 plumbago
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Plumbago: just delightful on the table for a summer evening - it's so free flowering you can pick and pick and there's still more. Don't even need a vase, just trail it around the glasses and dishes on a pretty cloth. Another summer favourite.

Monday, November 20, 2006


0611 sunset
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Soon after, the sky reddened and reddened, the smoke from the bushfires in the Blue Mountains making the sun a blood-glowing ball of sinking fire.

Wasn't that just so poetically poetic? It reminded me of years ago when the Mt Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines belched so much smoke the sunsets here in Oz, an ocean away, were just as red.

Busy weekend!

Very busy weekend, between family and quilting, so no posts. Maybe later today. The air is smoky, the bushfires in the Blue Mountains covering them in an ominous pall (I'd much rather their usual fog or clouds than this dirty brown sky). Backburning continues, but the forecast of hot dry weather for the next couple of days will not make the firefighters happy.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


0611 agapanthus
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
What's not to love, as the agapanthus begin their summer explosion?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Orange vine

0611 orange trumpet vine
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Every spring it's back (campsis, I think it's called), climbing cheerfully over fences and hedges, flowering freely until it's claimed by the cooler weather of winter - but it always returns.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Glass jewellery

Another one from the weekend's festival - pendants made from glass. Love the colours and designs within the glass.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


There are two serious fires in the upper Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, today. It isn't boiling hot, but it has been windy. This RFS T-shirt and its owner may well be there. Without rain, it's another summer where the dry conditions could prove dangerous. Time to make sure the gutters are clear of debris.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Summer colour

Are these the colours of summer 2006?

This is one of the photos from the weekend festival - I like the repetition (I often like repetition of images - a quilter's weakness, maybe? or perhaps a quilter's strength?).

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Year of Color/Colour: Red

A Year of Color/Colour: Red
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
A favourite colour!

The images are: a white star and red carpet from a now demolished theatre; an old Union Jack; strawberries; a red door in the inner city. is the cause...

0611 festival 08
Originally uploaded by rooruu. is the cause, it is the cause my soul...

As I've been sewing the aqua/chocolate quilt this weekend, I've been listening to DVDs (well, I can't watch or I'd sew over my finger or something icky like that! - and besides, they're usually films I've seen before, so I can replay them on my mind's widescreen). I revisited Stage Beauty, Richard Eyre's film about Restoration theatre, with Billy Crudup and Claire Danes. Excellent film: Billy plays Ned Kynaston, one of the last of the men licensed to play women on stage, before Charles II decreed that women could play women. It oscillates around Othello, particularly Desdemona's death scene.

The "it is the cause" line does get an airing - I remember it from studying Othello, at school. So the weekend's photo of 'cause' badges from the festival co-ordinated with the film. Well, that's my version of events (it's my blog and I'll draw a long bow if I want to, or something like that!).

I studied Othello, as my final year Shakespeare (the syllabus rotated through the tragedies, I still wish I'd landed on a Hamlet year - but then I did get to also do Romeo and Juliet in the advanced class, and that was great fun).

We were shown some films to enhance our understanding of the play, but the one that has stuck in my mind starred Sergei Bondarchuk in somewhat erratic blackface. The scene that made the greatest impact happened to be Desdemona's death - mostly because he had dark hair when he tottered behind the filmy draperies to smother her, and it had gone completely white by the time he emerged. I also remember a lot of highly coloured chocolate-box sunset scenes, although I'm fuzzy on what they had to do with Shakespeare's play. Ain't the internet wonderful? It's listed on imdb, including a review by someone who probably isn't a high school brat, and therefore may have more appreciation of Art circa 1955.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


0611 new quilt
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The makings of a new quilt - aqua and chocolate. Do you think it will work? I'm liking the mix of it all, everything from Amy Butler to Jane Austen, spots and dots and stripes and scales from small to large - all the fun of the fair! The deadline's looming, so I'm sewing like mad to get it done.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


0611 festival 01
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Juggling seems to be the daily pattern right now - juggling deadlines, commitments, attending to friendships and relationships, keeping work on track as far as possible...feeding the hungry blog...

Village festival

0611 Village festival mosaic #1
Yet more eye candy colours. The soundtrack to the festival? The babble of voices, the boom zipzap of the hiphop music played for the dancing school dancers in lurid lurex, announcements about charity sausage sizzles, thanks to sponsors, the rapid heartbeat of bongo drums. You could decorate your house or yourself, be political in a multitude of ways, buy charity raffle tickets, join railway societies or plant growing societies, consider breastfeeding or fire service volunteering or joining a brass band or just eat (Australian) macadamia nuts while juggling colourful balls and going with the flow. Your choice!

Original photo is here. Set of photos from the festival is here.

Blogger and Flickr aren't talking right now (why do they do that when I have two photos/entries to upload?) so I'll fix this properly when THEY let me.

Village festival

0611 Village festival mosaic #2
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Juggling balls and clothes, Caramello bears and campaign buttons, jewellery and beads and buddhas, baskets and macadamia nuts and toy cars, Christmas baubles and sunglasses and singlets, petitions and kits and critters, woodturning and laughing clowns and leadlight - whatever you might want you might find at the festival.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mohemian Rhapsody

It's MOVEMBER! When men grow moustaches and it's an opportunity to talk about men's health issues such as prostate cancer and depression. The photographers at Express Publications are entering into the spirit of it by reproducing classic album covers - this one, Queen's Bohemian, er, Mohemian Rhapsody - featuring them with their mo's.

For more information, see the Australian Country Threads blog here.

To sponsor the guys go to enter their Rego number which is 20247 and your credit card details. All donations of $2 and over are tax deductible.The money raised by Movember will be used to change the face of men’s health by creating awareness and funding research into prostate cancer and male depression. For more information visit . Spread the word!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Little shop

0611 little shop
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
It may be a little shop, but it's working hard to catch a local clientele with the offerings on this window.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Life is like...

0610 cherries
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
If cherries are abundant, it must be coming into summer. The last few days have been grey and thinking hard about rain, although they haven't done much about it (and so the catchment levels fall and fall and the government discovers that Water Is An Issue).

There's something very fresh and cheerful and, well, reddish about cherries. They seem to be one of the fewer fruits that remain resolutely seasonal (barring imports) - enjoy 'em whle they're there.

You never know what you're going to get.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mini album ornament

0611 mini album ornament
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
A little while ago I signed up for this (closed) swap and while I've been doing all sorts of work and other commitments, it's been simmering. I need to make ten mailable ornaments, and at the moment this is my plan, an adaptation of the accordion mini album Carrie Utley of Chatterbox Inc taught on the weekend.

The scrapbooking shop didn't have any Chatterbox Christmas papers (sorry, Carrie!), but these deeee-licious Basic Grey ones were growing legs and running out the door (you think I'm joking? They had 1/3 less of them than they did on the weekend). They're from two lines called Dasher and Fruitcake.

So while I can sew or quilt or do any one of a number of things, I like the idea of this little album with pages pretty enough to leave as they are - or else you can paste in pictures of your best beloveds. It would be rather nice each Christmas to pull out the album as you're decorating and see those special faces.

It was so much fun to just be able to get off the deadline treadmill for an evening and fiddle around with papers and adhesives and make this prototype. I was almost whistling a happy tune.

PS. for those who know today was Melbourne Cup day, my nags in the office sweep were as usual called Glue Factory and Dogfood, and performed accordingly.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Year of Color: Green-Yellow (Chartreuse?)

A patriotic lamington (iced sponge), leaves in the light, cooking mangoes and washing baskets. Unity in diversity!

Mini scrapbooking albums

0611 mini scrapbook albums
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The fruit of the other scrapbooking class I did on the weekend, with Carrie Utley of Chatterbox Inc. Clever ideas, plenty of product to play with in class and later (so you didn't worry about goofs) and Carrie was great. These are ideas I can use again - I got a lot from this class.

The pink one is three sheets of scrapbooking paper folded to create pages/pockets, the blue one is an accordion and the paisley, chipboard covered with papers.

None are embellished yet - there was only time to make the basic albums. So there is more fun to come.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Elsie Flannigan scrapbooking class

Towards the end of the class (a year in photographs journal - some photos are on Elsie's blog) there were lots of photo ops asked for with the star teacher.

On the right, Elsie's computer which ran a slideshow of her images throughout the class. On the table on the left, some of the threads available to us.

I scrapbook less than I quilt - scrapbooking and using scrapbooking techniques have been functional, roads to catching family moments for calendars, for instance, and I've drawn on them for quilting projects (eg tags, and using brads). I don't have a zillion albums or pages done, so I'm no expert.

I'm rarely overwhelmed in a quilting shop, in that I always feel (without really thinking about it) that I can manage the cornucopia I see and so create happily. Scrapbooking supplies offer an almost overwhelming choice - narrowing myself down to actually making something is more difficult, as my brain keeps whizzing with "what if?" and "what if?". The other scrapbookers at my table were far more experienced, and efficient, than me.

In some respects, including retrospect (!) what I'd probably find more useful for me would be a techniques class rather than a project class - practising doodling, and handwriting variations, for instance, to expand my repertoire for use in my own work. This is no criticism of the class - Elsie's project was a great idea and much enjoyed by the ladies there - but rather an observation of my creative journey. The ladies went away with a terrific array of journals in funky felt bags.

What did I learn? Although the class requirements didn't specify it, I bought/brought a white pen, as Elsie's work uses these. Writing on my photographs - which I haven't done before - was a good step on my creative journey. Thanks, Elsie!

Saturday, November 04, 2006


0611 departure
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
One third of the way up, in the centre of the picture, is the last image of my friends' plane taking them to a new country to live. It was a grey and cloudy day with spitting rain, after many days of relentless sunshine and endless blue skies. A pathetic fallacy if ever I saw one.

It's far from an arty photo - I regretted not having a better zoom lens. But with what I had with me, and the circumstances, it may look like a photo of grey clouds, but it's got significance. So it's here.

Friday, November 03, 2006


0610 artichokes
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
One day a designer of aliens for Dr Who will realise the possibilities of artichokes...

You kinda wonder who first looked at them and thought, Yup, that would be edible!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Year of Color: Dandelion

A Year of Color: Dandelion
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Well, that visit to the greengrocer's was handy for this week's colour!

Jacaranda street

0610 jacaranda street
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

It's not actually called Jacaranda Street - but aren't those clouds of purple wonderful? I've taken some photos of individual trees and so forth, but I was trying to capture here the way they are beautiful en masse.

Suddenly, at this time of year, a corner here or garden there or, like here, a street, catches your attention as doesn't happen the rest of the year.

So many trees here are evergreen (eg eucalypts) that a deciduous with this sort of flourish is a particular joy. Jacarandas are one of my favourite trees. Their shape is elegant, and they carry the flowers with grace.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween pumpkins

0610 Halloween pumpkins
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Ah well, I'm a day late. Never mind. I've not seen these for sale before locally, sold specifically as Halloween pumpkins. More expensive than other pumpkins too, such as Queensland Blue or Jarrahdale. I can't help thinking there would be a LOT of hollowing out work required on these.

I saw, driving past, some very Australian trick or treaters setting out this afternoon - I doubt there would be many in the northern hemisphere who teamed their fright wigs with board shorts and thongs, or who were attended by fairies who were not quite sure if they were good or bad, so had settled for quantities of eye makeup (which didn't really clarify the situation, but they probably enjoyed trowelling it on!).

I read somewhere that the most popular Halloween costume in the US this year is khakis, with a stingray barb attached to the chest, alluding of course to Steve Irwin. Hmmmm. That's a bit sick puppy queasy-making for me.