Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pomegranates/ greener (5)

0702 persimmons
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

Even before you cut them, they're beautiful - all the subtlety of their colouring, and that quirky topknot.

(note: I goofed on the original labelling of this post - thanks Ali for pointing out my error!)

greener (5)
An Inconvenient Truth won the documentary Oscar - yay!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dragon fruit

0702 dragon fruit
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
A different almost-as-well-lit fruit shop, and an entrancingly colourful and sculptural display of dragon fruit. They're beautiful and exotic, but the description I've had of their taste, as 'spongy mango' doesn't quite inspire....but that lime and hot pink colouring does.

Monday, February 26, 2007

'Truly Awful' Chocolate Cake

0702 silver cutlery
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Actually, this isn't - it's my adaptation of a recipe in John Thorne's book, Simple Cooking that works, although the ingredient list may give you pause.

1 small packet of chocolate instant pudding (stay with me, OK?)
1 packet of Betty Crocker Devil's Food cake mix (brand name items are a key part of Truly Awful recipes)
375g/12oz chocolate chips (you thought a chocolate cake was going to be low calorie? Get away with you!)
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sour cream (trust me...)

And then...
Mix it all well. You can cook it in a bundt tin, but I prefer two high sided 7in round tins - one cake for now, one to freeze for later. Grease, flour and line the tins. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake at 350degF/180degC for about 40 min.

You could try testing it with a skewer, but with all those chocolate chips, do you think there would be any point?

To serve, raspberries are good, and whipped cream. It's a dense, rich cake. You could also use the skewer to stick a few holes in the top and drizzle it with brandy, or rum, or suchlike.

John Thorne's version involves the instant pudding, Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake mix, 12 ounces of chocolate chips, 2 eggs and 1 3/4 cups of sour cream (American measures). 350degF and 50-55min, when cooked in a buttered and floured bundt tin.

If you aren't in Australia or the US, you'll have to make up your own version from this information - but it's a forgiving recipe.

The Truly Awful Recipes chapter in his book is a delight. Read it sometime.

Weekend notes (incl. greener 4 1/2)

Many years ago, when the world was young, I found John Thorne's book, Simple Cooking. (He now has an e-zine here, I find). The book has a fabulous chapter on those impossible recipes (often perpetuated by community cookbooks) with unnervingly mad ingredients but which yet, somehow, work - the chocolate cake recipe from that chapter is still a favourite, I was able to translate it into ingredients available here.

But even John might, with me, be wondering why, in the You Say, We Pay section of a Sunday paper, a lady from Kirrawee is after an old Sydney County Council recipe for a stew that contained minced steak, gingerbread biscuits and, she thinks, raisins. Can anyone help? they ask. Yikes! That was a recipe someone tried and KEPT? (Although, to be fair, bizarre moments like this are what keeps me glancing over You Say, We Pay.)

The Olé quilt top is sewn. Should I admit this? I'm just debating whether to add a border, and if so, what. The very assorted assortment of fabrics went together rather nicely. No pix yet - it's dark outside.

The Go Fug Yourself girls are live blogging the Oscar fashions. Yay! Can you guess which bit of this recent post had me laughing aloud? Their humour is sharp and black and fabulously skewering...

Now, as I said, I don't know her, so maybe she's a complete nightmare and likes to wash her dishes with bourbon and eats nails and uses kittens to scrub the bathroom floor. I don't know her life.

greener (4 1/2)

This house has 18 bulbs connected to dimmer switches. The minister for incandescent light bulb reduction claimed on Tuesday that compact fluorescent bulbs are 'available' for use with dimmers. I found out today what 'available' means, when like a good person I went to find them. They weren't at the huge hardware barn that has everything, almost.

At the specialist lighting shop I learned why - there is apparently only one brand on the market so far, and the bulbs cost THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS EACH. The specialist lighting shop didn't have them either. Not much call for them, apparently - at least not once people find out how much they cost (they'd had other enquirers, none of whom had invested, and I use that term with some thought). I hope that will change. $630 is a lot of dough for 18 light bulbs (the minister is, I note in passing, a multi-millionaire).

As the specialist lighting shop lady pointed out, the way of the future is to divide one's life between overhead lights with CF bulbs (the circle ones last longest) for clear working light, and lamps (with warm white CF bulbs of lower wattage) to replace the dimming effect when you want lower light conditions. Fair call. But right now, this house has dimmers (which means that for many years it has been saving electricity and carbon, even if not as much as CFs would).

The non-dimmer bulbs here are being replaced with CF bulbs - need to take more notes before shopping again, to replace like with CF like ( wattage and with the correct fitting, screw/bayonet). Definitely prefer warm white to cold white, though. And they need to work out ones to replace fancy rounds and candle-like ones for 'visible' situations like chandeliers and other light fittings where the bulb needs to be small and understated.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Olé (dog whistle for quilters)

0702 quilt fabric
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

See, what happens is you go into the fabric shop WITH FABRIC IN HAND because all you need is two or three small cuts (20cm/8in of each maybe?) of pale aquas, because then you'll be able to turn the fabric WHICH YOU ALREADY OWN into a quilt.

And you've planned it, and written up notes so you know how to proceed, you found a block worth playing with that's not one you see around every corner, and so you're all set. Except for less than a yard/metre in total of some pale aquas.

Personally, I find Alexander Henry fabrics tend to have an unnervingly loud built-in YOOHOO, a kind of dog whistle for quilters. Well, for me and possibly some other quilters. I'm not sure how they do it, and it doesn't seem to wash out either. Very modern technology. Almost spooky.

What do I need with more fabric (apart from a small quantity of pale aqua)?

And what's with the matador/flamenco thing going on here, it doesn't bear any relation to any sort of decorating in this house (actually, it would probably work in the room with the dark bookcases and the red/mustard quilt on the bed) (and when is the last time you made a quilt because it matched the decor? Wouldn't that be never?).

It's mad and it's nutty and it's quirky (that would be quite possibly why it caught your eye).

I'm not sure I like it (yeah? You're spending this much time thinking about it, and you don't 'like' it? How are we defining 'like' here?)

And before you know it, the matadors and flamenco dancers are perched on a handy church pew in the quilt shop auditioning companions with you. Mustardy yellows, aqua blues (um, not the ones you were going to get for the other project which you've already half-forgotten), purples, reds, a touch of green. And a stripey fabric in black/yellow/red, verrrry Spanish for the binding.

The lovely quilt shop lady #1 is teaching Dear Jane in the background - you can tell by the secret code terminology that drifts past your ears as you ponder fabric... A1, A2, foundation piecing, 4in. blocks.

The lovely quilt shop lady #2 patiently cuts your fabric and doesn't laugh at your enthusiasm for this offbeat fabric (well, if they hadn't had faith in it, I'd never have seen it...).

It fits into the bag you brought in with you. (The one with the fabrics that just need a pale aqua friend or two. Still. You see them heave a sigh, and understand that they know that their turn has not yet come).

And your fingers itch, when you get home, to get the table clear, the ironing board prepped and the rotary cutter slicing these (a design, you ask? Heck, worked that out in the shop. Drew it up in EQ once I got home, took less than 10 min, the rotary cutting instructions are already printed).

As you can probably tell, I gave up washing quilt fabric before using it years ago - unless I am afeard of running dye, but these are all good quality fabrics, and no batiks/hand-dyes or other ones that might be suss.

We're good to go.

I'm sorry, what else was supposed to be on the agenda this weekend?

I haven't made a quilt for nearly a month, which for the last two to three years is some kind of record. I think that's about to change....

(If you post this to the blog today, Saturday, and post-date it to Sunday, you won't have to interrupt tomorrow's quilting to feed the hungry blog - you've got it all up to date now, so this will make it ahead of itself!)


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Double feature

0702 film posters
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Not only an excellent double feature, but a journey into very strongly thought out colourings, very distinct palettes.

Marie Antoinette first: and that was right, for all the inevitable ending, it was more of a confection, as the colour choices tell you - a froth of aqua and pink and pretties, enough to make a shabby chic enthusiast swoon. One apparently historically accurate moment was when she reached the French border and was stripped of everything, possessions, clothes, apparently to not only confirm her gender but also leave behind everything Austrian for her new life in France. Makes you wonder if someone once did manage to trick 'em....

Volver second, and only gradually do you realise how dark its allusions might be. But stronger, Kaffe Fassett-drenched colours, reds and limes and turquoise. The final credits run over an ever-changing set of designs I wanted to have as yardage. Interesting to see how this film let Penelope Cruz be a strong woman in a way that Hollywood might find harder to achieve.

Both recommended.

Monday is the Oscars. The only wish I'll make is that I would so like to have Paul Greengrass win the Best Director Oscar for United 93. But I fear the sentimental never-won-it favourite, Martin Scorsese, will win for a violent film which, in the longer view, will matter less to the world than Greengrass' achievement. But nobody said the Oscars were anything but the Oscars, so I doubt my wish will be realised.

Friday, February 23, 2007

greener (4)

This week, the Federal Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that the government would be phasing out the use of incandescent light bulbs in favour of compact fluorescent bulbs. Read more here (minister's media release .pdf) and here. This is a world first, apparently.

And I'm fine with that, but with a house containing a bunch of dimmer switches, I hope compact fluorescent bulbs suitable for dimmers (most aren't) can be found in the shops - I like dimmers and the lighting choices they offer! Likewise, I gather that movement-activated lights don't like compact fluorescents much either - they have a more limited life in this form of use.

So while it's undoubtedly a positive move (a compact fluorescent uses 1/5th of the electricity), it would have been good if issues such as these had been visibly considered ahead of time. In an interview I heard with the minister on the day, it didn't seem as if they had. For safety reasons alone, it's important - the wrong compact fluoro bulb in a dimmer-switched socket can cause a fire.

A few days later, there is a government FAQ site about some of these issues, here.

Scissors sign

0702 vintage scissors sign
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The third and final sibling of this triplet of signs. I figure you can either look at that ordinary brick wall and its industrial embellishments - ducts, airconditioners - or you can see these charmingly cheerful signs (they're advertising an alterations business nearby) and smile.

I smiled. Hope you did too.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Needle sign

0702 vintage needle sign
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Yup, the sibling of the thimble. Equally cheerful, but looks a bit scatty, with all those twirled and twangled threads.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


0702 limes
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The richness of colour of these limes is just a joy to the eyes.

(They work well thinly sliced in a G&T, too!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thimble sign

0702 thimble sign
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Got some sewing done today (the sewing machine, which I haven't used for an unprecedented period of days, wanted to know who I WAS?). Another project made, written up, done and dusted. Turned out nicely!

I can't work out how to photograph the project without showing it and I can't do that yet - so isn't this a cheerful sign? They don't make 'em like this any more...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Catching up / greener (3 1/2)

Yup, I know the printer one's at the top of the blog and has been for a day or two. But if you scroll down, there's been a bit of reverse engineering, or blog time travel, with some new entries.

If you want some more info on buying a printer, there's a page here with general advice and a glossary, another page here with an interesting graph showing printer unit cost plus per page cost, an article here explains the useful comparison device of 'cartridge duty cycle ratings' and a BBC article here comparing the real cost of four big-manufacturer printers and quoting a consumer survey which found that some printer ink costs more, per millilitre, than vintage champagne...

More soon!

Corella pears

0702 corella pears
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
The winter clothing is starting to creep into the shops (yup, it's still summer-hot here, 33degC most days, that's enough to make your steering wheel too hot to touch when your car's been in the sun all day). I was eyeing off a three-quarter sleeve T-shirt (I tend to tug my sleeves up anyway, so these are a good compromise) and thought of buying two, a red and a green, so I could combine them like this. It's such a zingy colour scheme, lime and red.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

greener (3)

Printer thoughts.

The inkjet tankmakers (and I use branded ones) have an evil conspiracy - seems like I've only just put in a new ink tank and bingo! it's running dry. If you're buying a new inkjet printer, then do your internet research and compare the cost per page - it can vary wildly. Printer prices at the lower end of the market here have plummeted in the last few months - clearly, the money's in ink, not hardware...

Anyhoo, I worked out Quite Some Time Ago that the warning on my computer (bells! whistles! all auto-provided from the evil inkjet tankmakers!) that the ink tank was running low and oughta be changed (accompanied by nice graphics of empty tanks) is as premature as Peter crying WOLF when said wolf isn't even a twinkle in daddy or mummy wolf's eyes. Premature is not the word.

So I've taken to waiting till the page actually dies - the ink fades to nuffin on the page and that one page needs reprinting - before I change a black ink tank. And have I had lots more pages between the first (and oft-repeated) warning, and said faded page? OOoooyes. Is it any hassle to reprint that one page after replacing the tank? OOooono.

Colour's a bit trickier, particularly if you have one tank with three colours in it, rather than separate tanks (I think I'd deliberately go that way, next printer). HOWever, the same game applies - you get a bunch more full colour fine and dandy pages before the ink tank starts running dry of one colour and your printouts look odd.

I edit a guild newsletter which involves some colour pages, and I've been finalising the latest issue - which means checking and fixing my goofs and getting a final hard copy to have proofread by others. And it occurred to me, as the colour ink tank began to set off said bells and whistles, that for my purposes, it was irrelevant if the colour page was a bit off - as long as you could read the text, the colour was just an indicator that it was a colour page. And yes, friends, the quality's not 100% but I haven't put in a new tank yet - for what I'm doing, the old one can expire all the way. It's still going.

The other ink-preserving strategy worth trying is printing in draft, by habit, unless you really do need high quality. And maybe even check out what draft is like on your printer and see if it's good enough to be high quality for some of your purposes. These newsletter pages, with shifts and changes and layout fiddling certainly don't need to be anything but draft, and it's a long way off the faded dot-matrix printer draft of earlier computer days. Unless you had a draft page from this printer side by side with a high quality one, I doubt you'd know the difference. It's sharp, black, legible, usable - and involves less ink. Click on Properties in a Windows print window and you'll see draft as one of your options.

When I'm printing photos for scrapbooking or albums or whatever, I think out whether I need to do them at home (eg. to get particular sizes/cropping/greatest control over image) or whether I can be making do with the kiosks at the big stores or other photo-printing services. They charge around 29c per 4in x 6in print - if 4x6 will do the trick, their ink's cheaper to me than my printer's ink (and paper). (I know petrol's involved, but it's usually part of a multi-purpose trip).

On an earlier computer, the printer was connected all the time. It was a laser printer, fairly economical. But did I print stuff? Ooooyes. Emails, and patterns, and all sorts. Nowadays the printer isn't connected all the time. You have to bother to plug it in and power it up. Does less get printed? You'd better believe it. Save stuff electronically and only print if you're feeling like you want to bother is the way of things now. Saves a lot of paper, ink, electricity.


0702 parsnip
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
They're a bit pricey at the moment, but when they get a little cheaper, mashed neeps (with a spot of cream and a dob of butter) are a treat with a roast dinner. And when the weather cools, I ilke adding them to leek and potato soup, or pumpkin soup, where their slightly sharp sweetness adds a lovely frisson to the flavour.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


0702 pistachios
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Fresh pistachios. Suffragette colours (purple and green) and (you saw it coming) how good a colour combination is this for a quilt?!

The variety keeps your eye moving and moving, not one identical. Like that.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Prickly pear revisited

0702 prickly pear 6
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Back when the world was younger (and so was this blog) I saw prickly pears for sale at the large, well-lit fruit shop. Last weekend I saw them 'in the wild'. Yay for the camera with a zoom - for more photos, click on this one and see the rest on Flickr. I think it's my favourite - but I'm not sure.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Memorial rose

0702 memorial rose
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
After yesterday's funeral, I sought out this part of the chidren's garden at the crematorium. I knew the baby whose plaque is under this white rose. He had a great and cheerful grin, even at only seven weeks. He liked tigers, according to his parents. The names they chose for him reflected his Irish heritage and honoured his grandfathers.

He would have been a teenager now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


0702 mortality
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
On Valentine's Day, these were the red roses to make me cry.

The two things to tell you about this lady, which will bring her clear and plain to you, who never knew her and never will: her husband's work meant they had to move quite often. She had plants from the garden of her childhood which she replanted at each new home. One of her daughters, who gave the eulogy, now has some of these plants in her own garden, so those plants have now travelled miles and generations. And, she sang beautifully, using her music as an instrument of joy and worship for others.

The last lines of the hymn sung at the end of the service:

Changed from glory into glory
Till in heaven we take our place
Till we cast our crowns before Thee
Lost in wonder, love and praise.

Enough for today. I'll catch up on the missing daily photos soon.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


0701 beetroot
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
I once ate the most delicious borscht at a dinner party, delicately flavoured and elegant on the tongue, made by a charming gay gentleman whose taste in needlepoint sometimes verged on the risque. I never quite got up the courage to ask him (while 'we girls' ,as he phrased us, were having show and tell of our needlework) if he chuckled while petit-pointing the wobbly bits....

There is always an education to be had in the world!

Isn't that purple and green wonderful?

Monday, February 12, 2007


0702 lychees
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Look at the wonderful colour variation among these - cream, yellow, pink, apricot, red. Aaaaaaaah.


It's been raining in a thoughtful, steady way on and off all day. Not the thunderstorm rain-in-hurry that comes then goes and pelts the ground, but rain that must be soaking in and will hopefully reach the catchments and dams - Sydney's dams are hovering around the 35% mark, uncomfortably low. Some of the rain is staccato on the skylights, while other times it's arrived like a rush of wind.

Picture later!

Also pics of some late summer stone fruit - the apricots and peaches are scenting the kitchen, smelling wonderful. Did I buy them a) to eat and b) to photograph? Or a) to photograph and b) to eat? I'm not saying...

Oh, and the 10,000th visitor was from Padstow, in the southern suburbs of Sydney. Most amusing that despite visitors from exotic places around the world (see the map over on the right), that number should be someone in the same part of the world. Hello Padstow!

Sunday, February 11, 2007


0702 cauliflower
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

You'd probably not call it elegant, but there is a rustic beauty about cauliflowers, even with the hacked leaf-stumps. Sometimes on my way to work I've passed fields where they're being harvested.

A while ago I discovered that the dish one of my siblings hated most while growing up was cauliflower cheese (cooked cauliflower drizzled with cheesy white sauce and topped with rashers of bacon). What's not to like about that?! (My most hated dish was a dessert, peeled whole bananas drowned in custard and baked in the oven. Hot drowned bananas - shudddddder!).

Sorry Ma! (she sometimes reads this blog, as I remember when she shows an uncanny knowledge of something I haven't mentioned in conversation....) - there's plenty more that I liked.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Plant in window

0701 plant in window
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
I saw this and was struck by the fall of the light and the great variation in leaf colour. No idea what sort of plant it is. But look at that teal, and rust, and mustard. And the not-whites of the window and frame.

There's a quilt in the colours here. But then I would say that. Although it's not necessarily a game I've tried yet - I tend to work from the fabric I see, not start with the world. Probably simpler, but I'll have to play the other game sometime too.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Old brick wall

0701 wall texture 6
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
It's a wall with a story, if only you could hear it. Still standing, despite the cracks. Think of a modern brick wall, neat, clean, orderly - this one has so much more to say.

I photographed a few textures like this with the idea of possibly using them as backgrounds for photographs in scrapbooking, or printing onto faric. Haven't tried it yet...still thinking....

Thursday, February 08, 2007

oh me oh my...

I got serious about this blog in January 2006 but didn't put a counter on it till about April 2006. And now I see that it's almost at 10,000, which is just staggering. Even if half of them are me....

Wonder where the 10,000th will come from? I'll let you know, if I can work it out.

Swimming pool

0702 pool mosaic
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Carnival day today. Found myself, like last year, interested in the lane line refracted through the water - this time it's shifting in the wake of a swimmer.

You could have stood there for five minutes, snapping away, and never found yourself with an identical photo. I like the abstractness of these.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Clearly I have a thing for old doors and windows, and the way sunlight casts shadows. What can I say? If it's a character flaw, I'm OK with it.

We had plenty of sunlight today, it was another hot sticky February summer day - but in the late afternoon, a welcome thunderstorm darkened the sky enough to need headlights at 5pm to find a way through the dim, uncertain light on the road home.

At 8pm, as the light began to fade, it was a delicious post-rain pink, almost as though you could see the air. Looking up, there were high clouds scudding across the sky but every leaf was still in the trees and there was not a breath of wind to be felt.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Current reading

0701 current reading
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Today I hope to catch a train and have time to read one of these. I started The Time Traveler's Wife and it's kinda annoying me at present. But I want to work through that, as I've heard good reports. Plath and Hughes? I've loved Ted Hughes' poetry since high school and 3 unit (advanced) English, and this sounds like an illumination of their relationship and the book, Birthday Letters. Sarah Dunant writes with wonderful humour about travelling in the US by Greyhound, after she unexpectedly wins a Green Card.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Other doors

Three fine blog entries...none of them mine, but ones I've saved to reread.

RS Out of Hand on 20 directions

{A} on one little word

Breed 'em and weep on I might have loved him once

These are all doors, too. Thank you.

Red gingham door

0701 Susannah Place door
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Monday, the door to a new week.

This door is from Susannah Place (yup, I'm still mining that set of photos - but why not?! - it's my blog and I'll mine if I want to...). (Besides, I liked the weathered wood and cheerful red gingham.)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sugar plums

0702 sugarplums
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Yup, OK, like you I've heard of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet.

But this is the first time I ever remember seeing sugar plums. I always imagined they were glace plums, or plums somehow otherwise cooked/preserved. Wasn't it plums that Amy got into trouble for at school, in Little Women? That she bought with Meg's hard-earned?

So there at my favourite well-lit fruit and vege shop was this array of sugar plums. They were distinctly smaller than usual plums, their colour a wondrous range from chartreuse through deep red to, well, plum. There's a hand-dye crossover worth trying (as I'm sure it has been).

I probably should have bought some. But I went for two punnets of blackberries instead, because they're divine with sweet plain yoghurt, and almost equally rare (certainly they are rarely $2.99/punnet) and brought the sugar plums home in my camera.

I might go back next week, though...I'm conscious of the seasonality of all this wonderful stone fruit (had some white peaches last week that were fresh and singing on the tongue), and that it won't last. Already mangoes are becoming dirt cheap, and when they become dirt cheap they're coming to the end of their time - a huge change from the first box of mangoes at the Sydney wholesale fruit markets in spring, which is traditionally auctioned and raises a significant sum for charity.

But then, the flip side of the seasonality is that when they're here, they're good. It's all very well having apples, for instance, available all year, but not when they're not worth eating because they're soft or boardy or not properly apple-y, crisp and with sweet-sharp juice.

Sugar plums are probably nice with sweet plain yoghurt too.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pachelbel rant

This one had me laughing aloud. And I LIKE Pachelbel's Canon, clichéd though it may be...

This is by comedian Rob Paravonian (and posted by him, or so it seems - here's the YouTube URL for it).

If you want more on Pachelbel's Canon, try Wikipedia's entry.

Film: Becoming Jane

It's not released yet, but Becoming Jane looks like one worth seeing. Trailer here, imdb entry here. It's a biopic about Jane Austen. Or, if you want to be cynical, a bonnet drama. Lot of fun to be had with bonnet dramas...

Picture source.

And spookily, I only realised after posting that both of today's images share a palette - blue, yellow, browns.


0702 shoe repair sign
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Isn't it nice to know, that whatever else may be going on, reliable shoe repairs are just around the corner?

Friday, February 02, 2007

6 weird things meme...

0701 kohl rabi
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
6 weird things, 6 weird things... the weird bit is trying to come up with six things that might be considered weird, since the world is so full of people who might indeed find your weird anything but weird.

So these things may not be considered weird at all. I make no promises.

1. I have a terrible time in large, well-lit fruit and vegetable shops, because the colours and textures and shapes just pull my digital camera out of my bag and so you get photos like the kohl rabi one. I've never had a staff member stop me taking photos there. So I keep doing it, from time to time (seasons change, fruit and veges change - and I'm always happy for an excuse to buy their sweet plain yoghurt).

2. Apropos of 1., I always carry a digital camera with me. It means I not only catch all sorts of things, significant or insigificant, that I might not otherwise catch, it also means I look and see more than I might otherwise. Like kohl rabi. I'm not sure how it feeds my inner designer or my creative soul, but somehow it does, although I can provide no empirical evidence.

3. In almost any op shop I can come up with a collection of garments which will go together to make an interesting quilt. Shirts are easy, but there are trousers and jeans and dresses... and ties. Actually, probably any op shop (op shop/Oxfam/Goodwill/charity shop).

4. My favourite colour for shoes is red.

5. I can do a reasonably authentic Scots accent (does it have to be Glaswegian? my mother wanted to know) and an Irish one (does it have to be so Bog Irish? my mother wanted to know). And can twist a few words in a Northern Irish accent. And I've passed for Cockney , English and American when I needed to, but only briefly. And I once used sign language (Auslan) to get rid of a beggar in San Francisco, but that's another story.

6. While I can and do make 'collection' quilts with fabrics from one collection/designer, I equally believe that fabrics from all over go together far better than quilters assume. I believe we should be game to play, to try new and unexpected combinations, to take courage from what vintage quilts show us of what can and does make a happy quilt. I don't believe quilts have to match decor. A quilt can just be itself. It doesn't have to match a house - it expresses an idea.

OK, who to tag?

YOU, if you haven't done it yet - consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

6 weird things meme

I've watched this one travel the blogosphere, and now I've been tagged by the Material Obsession girls. I'll get to it....

Vintage textures

Particularly at Susannah Place, textures and decay have been left as they are, as they were when people occupied these houses. I enjoyed catching the variety of textures on walls, doors, a ceiling, although I don't know if I could live with all of them at home.

Love the effect of authentic patina like these examples. I thought they could be interesting for scrapbooking or to try printing on fabric, to engage with reworking them.

Metaphor for work: a busy week full of various experiences. Lots to think about, plenty to do, some stuff you can change, some you can't.

Poverty bedroom

0701 bed, Susannah Place
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
This is from one of the houses at Susannah Place - they were working class houses, this bedroom also had a double bed in it and the room was shared by 3 sisters at one time. One of them remembered that they were not permitted candles upstairs, so she read at night by leaning out the window and using the streetlight.

(Metaphor for work: first week back is very tiring, you fall asleep VERY easily at day's end!)