Monday, March 30, 2009


0903 leaf
Originally uploaded by rooruu
I feel a bit like this leaf, I think. Some colour left, but a bit battered and tired around the edges. As you can likely tell from the rather intermittent nature of this blog in recent weeks, other things - mostly work and several demanding tasks there - have been taking time and energy and thought and imagination, and at day's end there's not as much left over for other things, or re-creation, however important it is (it is).
Easter's coming soon, and a break/holiday and a bit of time for work to sink back into a smaller role, other things to rise and take their place. Time to restore, renew. I know autumn's not spring cleaning time, but the holiday will be time to clean in that way - clean out what's not needed any more, make space for what's new. Let some things fall away, their time over. See what's come. Focus on the present, think about the future.
There's a certain peace to autumn that I don't find in summer. Perhaps it's the weather, more easily borne, more livable than summer's hectic heat, not as demanding as winter (although a Sydney winter is hardly the world's most demanding winter, I know). Perhaps it's the sense of the year underway, and then a break to restore and renew, gather energy to go forward.
It's almost time to think about dinner. Prawn (shrimp) and mushroom risotto, I think. Seafood's plentiful and reasonably priced right now, and it's a warm, comforting bowl of crunch and salty and sweet, and just a little rich that will give savour to the end of the day. It's started raining - they've forecast showers for most of this week - and comfort food will be on the menu.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Homemade Life

0903 book
Originally uploaded by rooruu
I've been reading Molly Wizenberg's blog, Orangette, for a while, and do enjoy her writing. She and Posy get Cozy's Alicia make you feel like you're sitting at their kitchen tables, having a lovely chat. If you want the flavour of either, their blogs are the place to start. Some successful bloggers I've found, over time, to have acquired an edge of smug that I don't enjoy, but not Molly or Alicia.
This week's been nutty-busy with work, and little else achieved in the evenings, partly but not entirely due to two power cut evenings. I know I COULD sew by candlelight, but I won't. And I needed the extra sleep, anyway. One of the two nights, the storm was violently spectacular.
So the weekend's going to include housework and sewing and family time and reading and more sleep and all the good things that the weekend makes possible. I hope yours is the same.
I got my copy of this book from The Book Depository, since I guessed it would be a bit of an obscurity here and I wanted it on publication. Rather like this photograph of it on the back of several unfinished quilting projects from my homemade life.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Here's an entirely silly and amusing game to play, which I saw here on Meet Me at Mikes.

Google LUCKILY and your name, eg. "luckily Egbert" (how happy I am to not be called Egbert).

And then blog the results. I added the italic commentary...  eg:
  • Luckily Ruth realised where she put it...sometimes
  • Luckily Ruth answered our requests...yes and no
  • Luckily Ruth suggested that we take things one step at a time...very sensible
  • Luckily Ruth agreed (or insisted) that she went along... I hope that was wise
  • Luckily Ruth remembers that the home had an old bomb shelter...don't remember remembering that!
  • Luckily Ruth got here first...not usually
  • Luckily Ruth followed my lead... smart thinking?
  • Luckily Ruth realises she's supposed to teach us...ooops - better not forget that!
  • Luckily, Ruth piped in with just the right big sister question..I have a good role model
  • Luckily Ruth saw the funny essential survival skill
  • Luckily Ruth paid more attention in her classes and was able to sort most things out...learning from experience (see above!)
  • Luckily Ruth believed me...guillible or kind?
  • Luckily, Ruth appeared...happens eventually
  • Luckily Ruth has a good friend...more than one.  Lucky me.
  • Luckily Ruth was at the ready to rescue us if we had problems and to answer any queries...a day in the life, that.
If you play too, leave a comment so I can go and read your ones!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Carrington

I went to two quilt shows today, one at Wentworth Falls in the School of Arts there, and one at the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba.  This is one part of the Carrington - as you can see, an historic hotel with some beautiful spaces - chandeliers, leadlight, etched glass, this dome...
Some beautiful, inspiring quilts to see too.  As there can be kerfuffle about showing images from quilt shows, I haven't put any quilt pictures here.  But well done to everyone - just lovely work.
EDITED later to add: Brenda notes in a comment that there is no kerfuffle if you ask permission from the quiltmaker or include a link, and this made me think about the issues involved.
In this case, there is no link available of which I'm aware that has pictures of the quilts.  Winners are listed here, but no pictures of the quilts.  As to contacting the quiltmakers - for the purposes of a blog (like mine here, which is day-in-the-life in style), this would take a lot of effort and indeed time, working through the quilt show organisers, waiting to hear from the quiltmakers etc, by which time the blog's moved on to other things.  I don't really want to blog "three weeks ago I saw this quilt...".  At this show, I didn't see any signage about photography - yes/no/limitations/policy.
Perhaps it would be useful if all quilt shows clearly indicated their photography policy and procedures, including a clear method of contacting quiltmakers (through the show organisers, I'd guess, for privacy reasons).  Some do, but not always fully, and some don't at all.  In the internet/blogging age, it's an issue that needs consideration.  On the one hand, quiltmakers want control of images related to their work.  On the other hand, an enthusiastic blogaccount of a quilt show may well bring more visitors.  This show had an airing of the quilts on the outside verandahs of the Carrington, and it would not have been inconceivable that a mug punter could have walked past, photographed what they saw and published this on the internet without going anywhere nearer to see a photography policy, if they even thought about a photography policy.
Also, any show with photographs on its site is most likely to present the winning quilts, whereas a blogger's more idiosyncratic view may include a different range of quilts, depending on what caught their eye.
Rant over.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


0903 mushrooms 03
Originally uploaded by rooruu
We've had some bits and pieces of rain recently, and so afterwards, sometimes, when you look down, there are some remarkable geometries to observe. What I like about this is its imperfections - not the indentation so much as the fact that it has such evenness and yet it's not even - the ruffles around the edge vary, and the rays from the centre, too. Symmetry without symmetry.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kiva: meet Luis Alberto Torrez Gutiérrez

Luis Alberto Torrez Gutiérrez is 63 years old and is married. All of his children work independently. Don Luis has a tailor’s shop. He has had the business for 22 years, and he began because he needed work and needed to contribute to the family expenses and in this way help his wife. Don Luis’s goals are to become more well-known for the production of his suits, for which he waits day after day to improve the quality of his products and offer his clients the best. This loan will be used as working capital so he can buy necessary products such as thread, fabric, scissors and pins. Don Luis’s greatest desires are to establish a dressmaking workshop to create jobs for those who really need them. He is requesting a loan for 10,000 córdobas.  See more info here.
This is my tenth Kiva loan.  Will I admit to being swayed by the sewing machine? (he's sewing suits with a treadle machine) - well, that, and his cheerful grin.  And the sewing associations.
Kiva involves lending to the working poor, entrepreneurs in the third world, and it's such fun!  Once I've loaned, I don't take out the repayments, but loan again. 
There's a Kiva widget in the sidebar.  Why don't you lend to the person whose info is there?  Or browse the Kiva site for someone else you can help?

Monday, March 16, 2009

This morning.....


Also, its friend, equally large, on the wall above.  Huntsman spiders are much better outside, eating insects.  Don't see them in the house often, thanks be!


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Another Sunday catchup....

Listening: in the car, to the audiobook Sunshine by Robin McKinley; at home The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon - finally managed to get hold of a copy of this to listen to.

Writing: quilt instructions and budget submissions.  And the odd Facebook entry.

Watching: tonight, Lost in Austen on ABC TV.

Making: finished a quiltlet this week, O is for... well, wait and see (a glimpse above).  Making banners for work.

Celebrating: with friends last night we unexpectedly celebrated Barbie's 50th birthday.  Because she-who-hosted the long-planned dinner gathering collects vintage Barbie dolls and because the men's faces were a Treat to see when the cake came out... The icing tasted very Pink.

Reading: I'm up to the last book in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the most recently published one, Teatime for the Traditionally Built.  What's on the reading pile?  Lots of things.  Always.

Visiting: went to DFO (discount factory outlets) Sydney yesterday with a pal.  Hmmmm.  Not sure I'll be busting a chop to go again, didn't find much there.  But Ikea up the road?  Ah, some bits and pieces for work.  Always something to find at Ikea.

Appreciating: the kind sender of issue 2 of the Irish Quilting magazine.  A couple of beautiful bits of handmade costume jewellery I've bought to support the Victorian bushfire appeal (pics to come).


Sunday, March 01, 2009


What's been happening?  Work.  Busy busy. Putting together a strong argument for a larger budget for my area of responsibility, currently notably underfunded in comparison with similar areas.  I know.  I've been doing the research....

Visited a friend yesterday - her sweet baby is about six months old, a smiling and very interested in everything girl who thinks BOO! is just one of the best and most original games EVER.  And is there anything much sweeter than a little one, tired but not wanting to sleep, who you rock and rock, and croon boring things to, and rock a bit more, and then you feel her getting heavier, and her eyes droop to half mast but spring open, but then they're half mast again, and she's getting heavier, and then you look and her eyes are closed...and you keep rocking like the grenade will go off if you change anything, and then you walk carefully to put her in her cot and the grenade doesn't go off, she doesn't wake, but has the nap we were hoping for..... so there was time to play with the baby, and talk of all sorts of things too, and sew down a quilt binding.

I've been catching up with a few quilting projects - have to put up some pictures of the more recent quiltlets, H is for Humpty Doo and I is for Innamincka have both been out, and I believe Joadja is visiting the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne as we speak - but as I don't have them to hand I'm waiting to photograph them with their respective issues of Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  I'm wrangling O is for.... and P is for.... this weekend, just finished quilting (and binding, see above) a repro fabric quilt for APQ and have another to quilt for Australian Country Threads, plus two going off to the machine quilter, one for Handmade and one for Australian Country Craft and Decorating.   Plus instruction-writing for them all....

Still thinking about a quilting studio, not the little sewing room that's just too small, but something larger...2009 feels like the year to do it.  More later, after I've mulled.

In the last few weeks I've read all the Alexander McCall Smith "Sunday Philosophy Club" series; all the "44 Scotland St" series (can somebody tell me if The Unbearable Lightness of Scones is the last? It goes to ep. 99 and the series ran for 110 eps, apparently), I'm up to In the Company of Cheerful Ladies in "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series and have finished La's Orchestra Saves the World. And after I'm done, they go off on journeys to be read by friends/relatives.  It's been an AMcSfest around here.  By way of contrast, I've been watching True Blood, based on the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse novels (vampires &tc in the American South) - a different kind of amusing.  The music/images of the introductory credits are among the cleverest in creating tone and atmosphere that I've ever seen.  Current audiobooks are Sunshine by Robin McKinley and The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (I've read them both in print more than once, and am enjoying another view of them in audio).

Photos will follow, but I've acquired several lovely bits from Etsy, all but one from the Handmade Help blog's listing of things for sale where the money goes to the Victorian Bushfire Fund.  Go and look at what they have, and what you can do.  The button is at the top of my sidebar.

Now it's back to O is for... and P is for.... I need some fabric stabiliser for some oriental charmeusey fabric that's as slippery as all get out, and to think out how I'm combining hand-dyed felt and hand-dyed cotton.  Washing on the line, the sun's shining, it's autumn thanks be! and so the weekend goes.  Hope you're having a good one too.