Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Part of the Florence Broadhurst display in the Design exhibit at the Powerhouse Museum. While some of her designs were wildly mod/modern, others have common ground with the toile and nature-inspired organic shapes of fabric such as that on the antique shoes from yesterday. Separated as they are by two centuries...
I've blogged about Florence Broadhurst before, and provided a bunch of links then, so if you're interested search my blog and you'll find that info.
As you can probably tell by now (and I haven't blogged or Flickr-loaded anywhere near all the photos I took) the Design exhibit at the Powerhouse Museum is definitely worth looking, and will occupy a significant and happy amount of time and attention. But if you can't see it in person, here's another way.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Eighteenth century, I think. From the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Wouldn't it be lovely, on a hot day, to be using a jewel like this? (I tend more to the nearest bit of A4 paper, which lags considerably in the style stakes....). There are so many ways to ornament your life, though, now as then. Choices, from little stuff like your coffee cup (or coffee) to larger stuff like how to spend a weekend, or with whom, or how to arrange/rearrange your house.
If you have a thing for fans, the Powerhouse Museum website has lots of its collection in images available online. (But I'm too tired to hunt out the link - I figure, if you're interested, you're just as good at googling as me, if not better...)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
- the touching, funny, grounded happiness and sadness of Truly Madly Deeply: the scene where her piano is joined by his cello, and he returns; and then when he asks her to translate the poem. The rats. All the sentiment that's skipped in favour of more authentic emotions.
- The clear and difficult and intricate and simple and not simple, and so beautifully acted work in The English Patient - the script, the direction, all that it gives your eyes and your heart.
- The shining, poisonous human interplay of The Talented Mr Ripley, Seymour Hoffman and Law and Paltrow and Blanchett and Damon.
- The restrained and desperate yearning of Cold Mountain, another picture of landscape and actors working to leave room for the audience to think - another one for eyes and heart.
January 1954-March 2008.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
We admired the brickwork, too the rising concentric circles. Maybe it's structural, but it's pleasing to the eye, too.
It's a popular path - you pass people of all ages, old, young, fit, less fit, friends and families, people on bicycles and on foot. One family was sitting on rocks at the river's edge, Mum holding the baby (maybe a year old?) on her lap, the little girl next to her clutching the remote control while Dad fished out the model boat for another try - they said it had been his when he was a boy. Looked like they were having a lovely morning in the sunshine, making memories of family time. As we walked on, the boat zoomed out towards the centre of the river, and there was a happy grin on the face of each family member.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
It's good, at Easter, to have time to listen to family stories. What is interesting the little kids (medieval times and dressing up; and another one and I played on the computer with a paint program, vandalising/undoing on a picture of her, seeing what all the buttons did No, I don't want to be blue!), how the older kids are going (one is reading vampire fiction - suggestions welcome beyond Anne Rice, the Day Watch series, Robin McKinley's Sunshine, and please, no vampire romance), asking the grandparents for stories of their childhood (we asked them about their 21st birthdays: she had had a dinner party for twenty at a hotel, including a dance and some nice boys from the university, the thought of whom still brought a grin to her face; he had been in the air force, during WW2, so there might just have been a beer or two to celebrate, but nothing else).
They're like Easter eggs, in a way - things to discover, unwrap, savour. Where the family's been, where it is, where it might go.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
How to make a nevvy very happy for Easter. Without mention of any chocolate.
- Know that he's hanging out to read the second Skulduggery Pleasant book
- Buy said book within hours of it being unpacked by lovely bookshop that phoned you to say it was in (and early)
- Phone nevvy so he can anticipate parcel
- Use an Express Post envelope to ensure next day and before-Easter delivery
- Remember how he's one of those kids who vanishes into a book, and remains utterly absorbed (and deaf to riot or revolution), and enjoy knowing that.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire, by Derek Landy. I'm looking forward to reading it too.
PS Flickr is driving me nuts as any 'blog this photo' I've done for the last couple of days has resulted in no photo, no text, only a title with no entry. So I've had to do these last few entries the long way. I've been 'blog this photo'-ing for yonks, and am not doing anything differently from what normally works...if you have any answers, please let me know!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Scrapbooking papers, fonts from http://www.scrapvillage.com/ (library/fonts) and it's Harmony Day badge making time again at work - they look good, don't they? Although the concept of Harmony Day is apparently under review by the new Federal Government, so whether it's around next year is anyone's guess.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
But some you do remember - not every day, but when circumstances call them to mind. Maybe ones with whom you spent more time, over time, because they were in your class, or one of your mentor students, or in the year group to whom you were a year adviser, or because they picked you as a teacher to whom they could tell their stories, from whom they could find a greeting, mooch a jellybean, whatever.
I knew last week that one of our ex-students had died in a road accident, but among all the hundreds who learn at this school, year after year, I can't always fix a face to a name - on the other such sad occasions (thankfully rare), it hasn't necessarily been a student I knew. This time, somehow, I just didn't hear the name.
Until today. And this was one I knew, a sweet-natured girl, quietly independent in her ways, only out of school a couple of years. I can see her now sitting in my office with that wonderful grin on her face, talking with me of cabbages and kings, burgling a jelly bean or three (I wish I could remember her favourite colour - was she one of those who do like black ones? or did she prefer the red ones? It's not at all important, but I'd like to be able to conjure that information. But I can't). I know she brought me photos of her all dressed up for the Year 12 farewell, but I can't remember her dress. Was it red? I know she came by to shoot the breeze a couple of times, the year after she left school, and it was good to see her.
We went back to the year group photo, the year she finished high school, and there she is, near the back because she was one of the taller girls, and it's hard to believe her life is finished, now, when it should just be blossoming out. She was one who would have explored the world, with her own quiet determination, given back with quiet grace, mothered children with kindness and thought. If that had been possible.
So these roses are for her, offered with my memories, incomplete as they are, scraps become sharper. Among the many names and faces, some you do remember, and a few, sadly, mourn.
Monday, March 17, 2008
One of the Powerhouse Museum's longest-term attractions is a version of the Strasburg Clock built in Sydney. It does its thing on the hour throughout the day, and always gathers a crowd. This photo was taken during the procession of the Apostles, at the point when Peter was there - because the cock is crowing three times, and the devil's window is open.
More about it here.
Such things fascinate me for the mind behind them, that said, hey, I'll build one of THOSE - and does. Amazing intricacy - the clock has so many features. It must have been an engrossing challenge. It is all too easy to be deterred, to think yourself out of something being possible rather than just going ahead and seeing if maybe it is... and sometimes things don't work. But sometimes they do.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Last Sunday's lunch.
I didn't go to Harry's Cafe De Wheels (a Sydney institution) but the source of its famous pies is right near the Powerhouse Museum. This is known as a 'tiger'. Something to do with the 'stripes' of pie, mashed potato, mushy peas and gravy, I suspect. You have to be quite cautious in consuming it because the plastic fork is a tad flimsy, and the gravy capable of flooding off the plate...but not, as is usually the case with pies, because the content is suspect. Nice chunks of meat. Not a daily health food, no, but fun for a change.
Here's someone else's blog entry with lots of info about Hannah's Pies, from whence this came.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I'm just sayin'.
The saturated colours and the design of this reminded me of Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Would I buy meterage/yardage of a fabric like this? Oh yes!
(But now I'm off to play with reproduction blues, a much more subdued and restrained palette).
Friday, March 14, 2008
Felix appears at the door. "Yuk," he says, standing there in his suit and slightly loosened tie. "Dinner?"
You preside on the kitchen bench, gumming a rattle, sometimes laughing at the silly noises your dad makes to you as he chops and stirs.
You raise me up, both of you.
More info on You Raise Me Up. Josh Groban's version would be my favourite.
Its regularities and irregularities remind me of Gee's Bend quiltmaking. Between these two cultural ways of seeing, I'd like to find for myself a way of graphically representing ideas, as they do. It's a journey; recognising that is one of the steps, and not rushing it, but letting your mind stay open and thoughtful.
I didn't stop for photos on the way home this afternoon. I could have caught, for you, the reflection of eucalyptus trees in a pond. Or cattle, their shapes outlined in the calm golden light of late afternoon, with the mountains turning blue behind them. Maybe next week. Sometimes, I do stop. Sometimes, I just want to get home. Busy weekend, lots of quilt deadlines crowding in.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The soaring notes of Handel’s Messiah, the sharp and engaging observations of Dickens, my mother’s stories about Laurence Olivier in his prime, the impact of his Henry V film in World War II. Gerard Manley Hopkins, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, TS Eliot, two Bronte sisters, Blake…in this winter crowd of tourists, I engage in a literary stations of the cross, here in Poets’ Corner.
Above, the stone arches rise and meet each other. We can be astonished by words, by buildings, but in the end individual imaginations let us soar. Thank you.
The name of this piece is: "You can't lay down your memories".
This is the Powerhouse's page on this item from their collection:
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
No, I’m not.
Francis Xavier Bartholomew O’Leary, if you’re making this up…
I know. But it’s true.
He really said it?
This morning, while we were having coffee.
He doesn’t drink coffee.
Chai and coffee, know-it-all.
Except he told you first.
I’m telling you second.
Mary Margaret Therese O’Brien.
And our Patrick?
Patrick really said it.
But I thought he hated her.
So we all thought.
And he’s promised? No going back?
No going back.
Let me get this straight. Patrick has finally agreed to claim little Tom as his?
As his son.
Green is a stage, too. Green, growing, not yet ripe, not yet finished, but necessary for that ripeness to come. Sometimes I get too impatient with process and want product, want the result. But when I get lost in process, caught in the productive zone that can be close to meditation, it's good too. I need to remember that.
Love the fresh, sharp, slightly uncompromising smell of tomato leaves. I bought the vine-ripened hydroponic ones the other day, with stems and leaves, to savour that scent.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
“We live in the Ritz!” he’d say, surveying the kitchen, and the view of the vegetable garden beyond. She still grew herbs, and tomatoes, and energetic scarlet runner beans, with help from the boy next door. I’d be scared of somewhere grand, she thought. This is home.
And who knows. Because I do, and I did, and it was an evocative conjunction of humble boards and colour-stained sunlight.
Which I caught on the weekend. Today? Running around all day like a mad thing, similar to so many other days at work. Fizz and run and hope that it's all holding together, trying to focus enough on one thing to be able to say at day's end, that's done, amid a zillion other things that you flit and answer to and help with and flit onwards. Although I did manage to eat lunch in one sitting today, not four...(that was yesterday).
Monday, March 10, 2008
I finally realised that it wasn’t just the sugar, but the almost-certainty of the cheerful greeting, potent as sugar, feeding your soul.
Julie made this office work. Now I realise, as the gaps start appearing, things are left to hang, unfinished, uncaught. She knitted us all together into something we are not on our own. I wish I’d thanked her more, before she left.
The jar is now on my desk, empty, waiting.
I rather liked the geometries in this picture - the fluidly organic shape of the lounge and the rectangles of windows and walls.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Lots of women there - very few men. At the (approx 5 min running loop) videos of the wedding and the funeral, there were people with surreptitious hanky-dabbing, reminded of their happiness and sadness.
It was fascinating to see the wedding dress up so close, and the sheer length of the veil and train (St Paul's would dwarf any gown...). Lovely handpainted detail on the underside of the wedding shoes. Extraordinary embroidery on others of her evening gowns, also on display - cornelli, and beading, and beautiful fabrics cut so cleverly.
After Diana, we spent just as long, if not longer, in the design exhibition on the entry level of the museum - some of the items are on long-term display, while others rotate, so there's always something new to see. It covers centuries of design, from eighteenth century gowns to Droog Design's drawers held together with a mover's strap.
Then we headed over to Kinokuniya, catty-corner from Town Hall. Ah. Bliss. Didn't emerge for three hours...Their range is absolutely huge, great depth, wonderful for browsing and planning what to buy now, what to buy next time. How could the internet ever replace books? - the smell of them, the satisfying heft and physical existence of them, flicking back and forth without waiting for a server or electricity, being carried away to different places, with pictures to engage your mind, ideas to engage your imagination.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
We agreed that this shop would stay on the must-visit radar (another couple dropped off the must-visit radar on this jaunt up the mountains - you never quite know with antiquey-junky shops).
Friday, March 07, 2008
JAMES??? Garbage night!
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Five children. Two mine, two step, and Bellybump.
One mother, three mothers-in-law (an inelegant oversufficiency).
Five fathers/fathers-in-law. Don’t ask. Too complicated.
Assorted siblings. Assorted sibling partners. Assorted food allergies/preferences/fussinesses (vegan, darling, but we make an exception for cow’s milk and fish. I refuse to enquire further).
All Rabbit’s friends and relations (ie. the rest of the family).
Darling boy’s work commitments. Darling children’s comings and goings to be managed with military precision. Bellybump’s morning contribution to my health and welfare (Still queasy? says current MIL in That Tone).
Two words: Family Christmas.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
And now it’s a waiting game. Is there a twang, still? An ache? A small echo remaining of how it was? They won’t finish till this is gone, the nerve is gone. And so I wait, and pay attention. The root canal tango, a game of hide and seek.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Nice green hat.
Best red pants I’ve ever seen.
Are those pointy shoes comfortable?
Would you rather change them?
(Is it just me, or is this conversation flagging a bit?)
So, Owen, why are you an elf today?
Not Owen. Olaf.
Ah. Olaf the Elf, yes?
Okaaaay. what do elves do, on a fine day like today?
Oh really? Why icecream?
It’s for magic.
Well, I can see how that’s handy. What sort of magic?
We make things disappear.
Like what, Olaf the Elf?
The last one, My Year Off by Robert McCrum (author of The Story of English) was one I hadn't planned to buy ($5). An older man who was also browsing the books turned to me and said, "You should buy that one, it's really good." I don't know what prompted this - the other books I was carrying, or his recognition of a favourite book that he wanted someone else to enjoy, who knows? I sorta couldn't leave it on the shelf, then. He was so enthusiastic about it, in a diffident way, it would have been rude not to respect his recommendation. So, ah well, it's now on my reading pile too. I'm not sorry. It's about the stroke that felled him in his early 40s, and the process of recovery following it.
All up, not a bad haul - there be gold, among the dross, some days.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Lead, two bowls (labelled ‘food’ and ‘water’, but I suspect that’s for the literate humans, not the dawg), collar, tag, microchipping, vet appointments for shots and such.
"Oh honey," said my best beloved, surrounded by three (additional) pleading sets of eyes. "A dog will be no trouble at all."
Sunday, March 02, 2008
I'm rather enamoured of its possibilities for storage/display. For my rotary cutter and sewing scissors - the care-less dressmaking ones (that can cut wadding as well as fabric, but not paper), the best-fabric ones (no wadding for these) and the pinking shears, you need a container with enough heft not to fall over. For example, a delightful vintage silver water jug, like this one. Not breakable, like china, and heavier than some other choices might be.
And elegantly beautiful, vintage, a grace note, not just storage. My kind of 'stuff'. (nod to William Morris: I know it's useful, and believe it to be beautiful - it ticks the boxes).
Saturday, March 01, 2008
This particular practice has the cows (for which I can offer no explanation, as the immediate connection between cows and teeth eludes me, except that they clearly do have teeth) and also the very smart idea of a small library. Not just magazines, but some browsing books, if gossip or cars or National Geographic isn't what you want to distract yourself with.