Monday, December 31, 2012

Easy Street steps1-6

1212 Easy Street steps1-6
Originally uploaded by rooruu
This is steps 1-6 plus the extra bits such as the green QST.

On my practice run step 3, I goofed on the colours ( as I'm changing them from BKH's originals). Above is the correct version - orange HST, grey square.

Next step is revealed on New Year's Day, US east coast time.

I'm still liking my colours....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Easy Street steps 4 & 5

1212 Easy Street steps 4 & 5
Originally uploaded by rooruu
This isn't how I think the block will go, just a combo layout of steps 4 and 5. There's lots of lime that hasn't yet been used. But I'm happy with my colour choices and how they're looking together.

Easy Street step 5

1212 Easy Street step 5
Originally uploaded by rooruu
It's all looking happy so far.

Easy Street step 4

1212 Easy Street step 4
Originally uploaded by rooruu
I like the orange and grey together.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Comments & word verification

Recently a commenter asked me to get rid of the word verification on comments, and I have given this a go.  Unfortunately, the resulting tide of spam comments (which the word verification had prevented) has caused me to add it back in.  I'm sorry if it is a hassle for you - I'm used to it on so many sites I don't worry about it -  but I can't bear the botheration of that spam tide. Hope you understand. 

Now to get back to normal transmission, or what passes for it.  KLM to catch up on.  Bonnie's Easy Street mystery quilt.  A table runner to make before tomorrow... oh, and the usual weekend chores.  I'm off!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

J is for Just Beautiful

1212 J is for Just beautiful
Originally uploaded by rooruu
The scent of these gardenias is just beautiful. A summer scent, heavy in the air around the hedge of gardenias from which I was given a bunch.


Monday, December 10, 2012

I is for Interior Decoration

This doesn't match other things in the room; but it works with it all. And makes me happy. Which is really the point of interior decoration and making a home.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

H is for Honeysuckle

1212 H is for Honeysuckle
Originally uploaded by rooruu
It's a weed in the garden. I admire its persistence, for persistent it is. And the flowers do smell sweetly pretty. But it will still get cut back again.


G is for Gorgeous

1212 G is for Gorgeous
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Gorgeous boots. Leather and suede and that printed/embossed suede too. I love red leather boots. It may not be quite the weather for them right now, but they'll keep (and were on special, ha!)

(Naot Claudia is the brand/model info).


F is for Favourite

1212 F is for Favourite
Originally uploaded by rooruu
My favourite colour in nasturtium flowers is this unusual rich burgundy, rather than the more usual yellow/orange/red ones. Love the dark rich pop of its colour against the leaves' green. I like the stylized roundness of the leaves too. I can see why Clarice Cliff used them.

E is for Exquisite Embroidery

I bought this online a while ago, from the UK. The fineness of the blackwork embroidery is amazing/beautiful. I've never made anything like it, and don't know if I would have the patience. I'd certainly need a magnifying light.

D is for Drink

1212 D is for Drink
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Diet Coke is the most popular tipple around here. Don't notice the missing caffeine.

C is for Crochet

1212 C is for Crochet
Originally uploaded by rooruu
A vintage crochet granny blanket, found at an op shop for a mere $5. In places the wool (and I'm pretty sure it is wool) needed repIr where it had worn away. I think it's 5 ply rather than eight ply Lovely vintage muted colours - the outer border is midcentury kitchen green. You know that colour? I'm sure you do.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

B is for browsing

1212 B is for browsing
Originally uploaded by rooruu Reverse Garbage, with their most creative Christmas tree. And finding some super stuff for school.

Easy Street - a few more fabrics

I wasn't sure if I was a tad light on orange/tangerine fabrics, so I popped into a quilt shop on my travels yesterday. And bought more greens than oranges. Ahem. Cough. Ah well. I like 'em all. And the shop was closing ten minutes after I got there. (They had a 20% off sale on, too).

I do love how so many more 'modern' quilt fabrics are available now.

Decision: will I make my greens Bonnie's lime, or switch things around and make my greens her aqua, and my oranges her lime? Not sure... they're both about equal in value, in my fabrics, and similar in quantity specified. Dunno. I'll see what the next step brings. Won't know till the mystery ends if I've made the right call, anyhoo.

I saw several versions of an earlier Bonnie Hunter mystery, Double Delight, at a quilty gathering yesterday, and they were all lovely.  So I'm not madly worried.  I like all my fabrics, and I'm sure I'll like the quilt (and it's a big 'un, so I sure as eggs won't be making a second one if I'm stupid enough to think I made the wrong call on which fabric where - nope, I'll have cut my cloth.  Literally).

Saturday, December 01, 2012

A is for Agapanthus

1112 agapanthus 1
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Playing with A Month of Creativity A-Z in December seems like a nice way to be out and about noticing things and taking photos.

So A is for Agapanthus. Admission: I took this photo last year. But the agapanthii are just as lovely this year, right now.

Read more about this month of at Just B by Pip Lincolne:

Easy Street mystery quilt: step 2

Step 2 of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt. 128 flying geese with the background fabric and greys (BKH used purple). Not all made so far, but all cut out.

More sewing later this weekend, when this heatwave (over 40degC, around 105deg Fahrenheit!) will be past. I hope!

I planned to use the specialist rulers, but the store let me down, so I've made them as stitch and flip.

You can find my other Easy Street blog entries by clicking on the Easy Street label below.



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Easy Street quilt : step 1

1211 Easy Street: step 1
Originally uploaded by rooruu
The steps go up each Friday for the next 6-8 weeks. Friends have made super quilts with Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery quilt patterns, and the weekly format suits me right now. So here's step 1: 192 four patch blocks using the lighter background fabric and the cheerful 'constant' fabric.

When was the last time I made a quilt that wasn't my own design? Years? Years and years! It's kinda peaceful, just following instructions .... For now, when all else is so busy.

I do like both these fabrics. Happy happy.

You can find my other Easy Street blog entries by clicking on the Easy Street label below.



PS. I linked to this blog entry at Quiltville's first linky for Easy Street.  See my previous blog entry for my fabric choices.

PPS. The lighter fabric is Darls by Tanya Whelan/Grand Revival for Free Spirit.  The turquoise blue cherries fabric is from Denyse Schmidt, Daisy Mae collection (2011).  I like tossing modern-coloured Victorian flourishes against funky retro forties/fifties style! - it's working!

PPPS. Thanks for the kind comments! - very much appreciated.

Easy Street quilt fabrics

1211 Easy Street fabrics
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Fabrics for Bonnie Hunter's 2012 mystery quilt, Easy Street.

My colour choices are pale aqua/white background, turquoise pattern 'constant' (BH grey), green (BH lime), orange (BH aqua), grey (BH purple).

My greys look a tad cobalt/purply in that top left corner, but they're grey/muted blue grey (Hipstamatic was having some fun, I guess, muddling colours a bit).

Find the quilt info here:
(till June 2013).

You can find my other Easy Street blog entries by clicking on the Easy Street label below.



Thursday, October 04, 2012

Current reading

1210 current reading
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Julia Spencer-Fleming's series is just as engrossing the second time through. So well, and intelligently, and cleverly and thoughtfully written. The audio books are excellent too (current listening).

Can't understand why they're hard to find here in Oz, and hardly known as a result. They're murder mysteries and character studies set in upstate New York. If you haven't read

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Pink camellia

1210 pink camellia
Originally uploaded by rooruu

It's nearly done for this year, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

I haven't seen another quite like it, with that flurry of small petals in the centre.

Pink camellia bud

1210 pink camellia bud
Originally uploaded by rooruu
The best thing in the garden is this camellia bush. Flowers every year, beautifully and reliably.

Monday, October 01, 2012

'Moonlight' grevillea

1210 Moonlight grevillea
Originally uploaded by rooruu
The branches of this sway and spring back throughout the day with all the attention the cream-to-yellow blooms are getting from native birds.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


1209 basket/texture
Originally uploaded by rooruu
The Barbara's Storehouse shop at Mittagong had these large square baskets on their front verandah. Intended for firewood, I'd guess. Love that honest texture, the craft of the thick cane, the subtle colours, the feeling they already have of age and time and story. My kind of furnishing - rustic, real.

I remember many years ago in the 1980s when the original Barbara's House and Garden stores were a revelation in home furnishing, doing what other shops weren't - simple cane baskets, and plain white china, and striped cotton tea towels and so much more. They're all gone now; but those things are more available than they were then. (The chain apparently collapsed due to franchise problems).

I think the ones at Mittagong (mainly furniture) and Bowral (mainly china, kitchenware, cushions etc) are distant relations.

The Facebook page seems more active than the website, in terms of uploading examples of their stock.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sydney Swans, AFL premiers 2012

One for my friend Erica
(I think it's the first time I've watched an Aussie Rules grand final).

Friday, September 28, 2012

Grey skies

1209 grey skies
Originally uploaded by rooruu
The forecast said afternoon storms.

The colours here remind me of one of my current crochet projects, muted greys and blues and greens.

So many colour possibilities there are to play with, in yarn or fabric or thread. Endless inspiration all around.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blue curtains

1209 blue curtains
Originally uploaded by rooruu
New curtains. A dusty teal blue. It's interesting to see how these change the room. Their predecessors were pale linen, these are a more definite block of darker colour. They are beautiful*, and simple (eyelet curtains, installed in seconds!) and useful* (to keep heat out or in as the season requires).
*So they pass the William Morris test.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


1209 Tulip
Originally uploaded by rooruu
There were tulips today. Beds of dark purple ones edged with lower growing annuals (bellis perennis, I think), and barrels along the main street of Bowral planted with these beautiful blowsy variegated pink ones.

There were also chocolate brownies shared with favourite people, and good conversations, and several quite wonderful spring blossom trees.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


1209 Brownies
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Yesterday there were brownies. Triple chocolate brownies. Been trying recipes and mixes, and these are the best of all. Fudgy, chocolatey and yum.

Yesterday there was also good company, lively craft and quilting stores, fragrant and delicious Thai chicken & cashews for lunch and sone yarn that followed me home. A wonderful holiday day.

Colour me happy

1209 Colour me happy
Originally uploaded by rooruu
My friend said I made HER buy yarn. I dunno. I came home with yarn too. Doesn't it crochet up into a blanket nicely? It's wonderful mindless hand-busywork. With these yarns doing the work, as a run of one colour blends into a run of the next. Colour me happy.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


At least once a year, there is a local council cleanup collection around here. I am always very amused by what happens. People put out their unwanted stuff on the verge by the roadside, ready for the council workers to collect. But only a fraction of what goes out remains when the council truck comes by. In the meantime, utes and small trucks and vans (as well as cars) suddenly start driving slowly by, cruising, assessing and stopping. Piles reduce, 'treasures' are loaded up and taken away. The community 'recycling' means a lot less for landfill, which is good. However puzzling some of the choices made may be. Another nearby council area does pickup on request, which isn't the same as the smorgasbord of everyone's stuff at once. One person's trash.....

Sunday, June 10, 2012


"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there." Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Friday, May 18, 2012

Landscape with crochet

1205 Landscape with crochet
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Vintage crochet granny blankets adding a handmade touch to make anywhere feel like home. Great colours! They're worn a bit and warm and soft and the woollen yarn has had time to mellow (well, except the gold lame, which remains as defiantly individual as you would expect!). A happy find, beautiful and useful.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Progress & wool fumes

(this would be better with a photo or two. I'll post some soon. For now you'll have to believe me...) I have just managed to overcome the intoxicating impact of wool fumes ( the Yarn Harlot has commented on the phenomenon of wool fumes) and can report that the Rose Garden granny throw is a dozen small (5 round) squares from all the blocks being made. That's 18 big (10 round) squares done, and 60 small. Not bad going for February and March. When the last ones are done, there's blocking and sewing together and maybe three rows to crochet around the outside. And then it's done. It's been decades since I crocheted or knitted. It's been fun to play with them again, and play with colour in yarn, and feel those rhythms in my hands, the small happy satisfaction of a row completed. And there is so much inspiration on Ravelry! I should (should I?) do but one project at a time ( who says? And am I likely to break the multiple-project habit of a lifetime?) so it gets done and doesn't stay a WIP. But I KNOW the red sofa will be sporting a finished Rose Garden throw this winter. And I have only just started my version of the Blooming Flower cushion from Lucy's wonderfful blog Attic24. And the wrap in those madly beautiful colours in that Lincraft Big Wool ( uninspired name, lovely thick and thin yarn) is more than half knitted... Excuse me while I succumb to those wool fumes again......!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rose Garden crochet granny squares

I learned to crochet as a teenager, from my older sister (who's a better knitter than I will ever be and also better at crochet.  But I'm better at quilting, which doesn't interest her at all: we each have our pecularities).

Granny stash: olive/chartreuse greens (and friends).

I remember a small throw, granny square round and round  (except it was rectangular, because I botched the middle), in Patons Totem 8 ply worsted whatever that I would probably have bought from a Diskins wool shop, because back then there were Diskins wool shops.  I used it on my bed, and I remember that though it was only about 3 feet by 2 feet, it was suprisingly warm on cold feet, despite the holes.  I think I also made a 'vest' of granny squares - bright colours edged with black, the front probably 3x3 squares, joined over the shoulder by two strips of squares - you know the kind of thing, I'm sure.  Not hard to find in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

Granny stash: olive/mouse browns

As a girl I also learned a bunch of other needlecrafts - tapestry, dressmaking, knitting, patchwork, quilting.  And I've pottered about with various ones over the years since.

Granny stash: rose reds

Perhaps inspired by the blogosphere, and people's gorgeous photos of what they're doing, on blogs like Alicia's Posy Gets Cozy and Lucy's Attic 24, and having recently nearly finished a tapestry/needlepoint (more about that another time) - and also being required to spend significant amounts of time resting the most inconvenient sprained ankle... I acquired some wool/yarn and a crochet hook.  I've also been reading Mollie Makes magazine via Zinio (as a digital magazine) and it has crochet in it too.

Granny stash: the extra latecomers

It's thirty years, give or take, since I last crocheted anything of consequence.  My fingers haven't forgotten - the turn of yarn over my left pinky, the raised left finger over which it travels, the right hand wielding the crochet hook.

Some of the grannys...

And granny squares.  Easy, simple (and not yet blocked, so they have a bit of a curly look which blocking will fix), portable.  Alicia's granny square throw is here as a work in progress, Scandinavian-cool yet warm; one of Lucy's granny throws here, with clearer, brighter Kaffe Fassett kind of colours.

Some more of the grannys

You can finish a granny square, and feel a glow of satisfaction, and then start another and play with more colours.  I found myself choosing the wool like a quilter, by colour and the interplay of colour.  Definitely wanted some variegated ones.  Kinda knew I was working to an impressionist Rose Garden theme - burgundy to pink, greens in the olive/chartreuse spectrum, some olivey greens that ended up including some mouse browns.  And a little purple.  Tried this wool with that.  Aimed for slightly murky rather than clear colours.  Bought some that were close in colour, because I like that slight shift for the eye.  Gave the wool shop lady slight conniptions by not actually being entirely bothered if every wool wasn't exactly the same  - they're mostly DK weight, 8 ply or so, but a couple shade up to around 10 ply.  I'm tending to use the thickest ones in rows one/two/three so they have less impact on the final size of each granny square.  The composition of them ranges from 100% wool to mixes which include combinations of wool with alpaca, mohair, silk (and a little acrylic, when it was a yarn that I just had to have).
I'm thinking of making some of the squares four times the size, so I can have one big square next to four smaller squares - fourpatch, in quilting talk.  Less ends of threads to weave back in, fewer blocks to sew together and variety for the eye.  At the moment I'm planning a blanket/afghan around 60 inches square.  These blocks are around 5in square, so if I make them all small that's 144 blocks.  If half of them are big, that's 72 little blocks and 18 large blocks.  Don't know if I have enough wool, but if I don't, there's more in the shops... At present I have about 1.6kg, around 27 colours.  Because just like when I'm quilting, I like a little of a lot of colours to play with.  I'm aiming not to make the same colour combination twice.

In the late afternoon, at this end of summer, the sunlight filters through the window by the big red sofa, and it's a peaceful and happy thing to be parked there (ankle on ottoman) with colour to play with, the rhythm of the needle and the wools growing into something more than the sum of their parts, stitch by stitch, afternoon by afternoon.  And when winter comes, there will be a warm blanket there to wrap any occupant of the big red sofa.  And what is finer than being able to have the work of your hands produce something that fits William Morris' dictum - useful and beautiful?

I've also been exploring Ravelry, and have added this as a project there.

There are a gazillion granny square patterns and tutorials out there to explore on blogs and YouTube and Ravelry.  I'm using mostly DK/8 ply yarns, and a size 5mm crochet hook (it's a nice shiny slippery metal one from the local wool/yarn shop, labelled Boye brand and H/8 - 5.00mm, and its slippery shine makes it easier to use than grey metal or plastic, I'm finding). Purl Bee has a good tutorial on granny squares here, and Pip Lincolne at Meet Me at Mikes has Granny Squares 101 here.  There are granny-a-day groups too, and lots of various patterns based on the granny square.  I'm going plain vanilla, the chain centre and trebles.

When I finish this, I have my eye on two other ideas from Lucy at Attic 24.  This gorgeous Japanese flower scarf and this charming retro blooming flower cushion.

But for now, I'm grannying, inspired by crochet from Portland in the Pacific Northwest, the Yorkshire Dales, New York and Melbourne.  Bless the internet for the crafting inspiration you can find.  Aren't those squares lovely?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Empty nest

1201 empty nest
Originally uploaded by rooruu
For the third time this summer, the nest is empty. It's the same sort of bird that's laid eggs and raised chicks in it (not sure what kind, haven't been able to identify it).

Across from the front door, it's been a quiet source of fascination for the last few months. I'll be keeping an eye to see when it's next occupied.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Three films

Yesterday was one of the last cheap film Tuesdays these hols, and the chance for some catchup.

I was looking forward to this.  Came out of the cinema having enjoyed it; but in retrospect, not quite as impressed.  Apart from some riot footage, it skimmed over the divisiveness and social impact of some of her policies.  It didn't really explore the central concept which was presented, about how her interest was/is in ideas, not feelings: and the impact of this on Britain.  The film spent a lot of time with Mrs Thatcher in her (imagined) present day age, with hallucinations of Denis.  I was interested throughout, and Meryl Streep does what Meryl Streep does better than anyone; but will it last in my memory? Not especially, I don't think.  Andrew O'Hehir has a thoughtful review on here; the tag line reads:
The ferocious former prime minister becomes almost likable in "The Iron Lady" -- because it ignores her ideas

Watching it, I was struck with the comparison (not shown in the film, just a thought which came to me) between the Queen and Mrs Thatcher; the longevity of the Queen's work and duty, and her ongoing vitality and busyness of life even in age; whereas Mrs Thatcher, more affected by the ailments of age, is now a widow whose public life had to be grasped rather than being granted and who now leads a quieter, more confined life.  Not a better or worse comparison, just an interesting contrast to ponder.

The Swedish original films with Noomi Rapace are still in my memory as very good films.  This was very good too: not better or worse, but very good in its own presentation/version of Stieg Larsson's book.  Still struck by those landscapes at the beginning of the film, in both: the monochrome of a snowbound winter.  In both versions, the faces are landscapes too.

I read one review which commented on Daniel Craig's Bond-like competence and calm as Mikael, which implied a rather too Bond-like competence and calm for a journalist; but in the book Mikael has done military service, he knows his way around weaponry from that time, so I didn't find this incongruous or unlikely.  I didn't feel or think as though I was watching Bond solving the Vanger family mystery.

It's a couple of years since I read the books, so I don't remember exactly precisely what happened when (and nor do  I want to; it's really tedious to be watching a film and ticking off book 'moments' that are there or are not).  But this was a good version of the story I remember, well written, well acted, well done.  (And no Spain pretending to be Australia...!)

And for a change of pace....

I don't especially hunt out 3D films - I saw Avatar in 3D at the multiplex and then later in 2D at a little local cinema, and it was quite as satisfactory in 2D.  Reviews had said, however, that Scorsese had done wonders with 3D with this film, so I took the funny-specs line.  I know of the book, but hadn't read it all the way through, so the story was a mystery to be unravelled (and I wouldn't know plot points to tick off). 

A delightful film.  Again, well written, well acted, a pleasure for eyes and imagination.  Asa Butterfield is excellent as Hugo.  The automaton was an intriguing character, not just a plot device (and I was fascinated to learn, with some googling, that what it does in the film was not CGI: it was built to do that complex task - amazing workmanship by its builders) (I'm avoiding telling you a spoiler.  See the film before you google!).  Some people had brought very small children to the cinema, and I'm not sure that it's quite the film for them; but for older children and adults who enjoy thoughtful stories...lovely.

A diverse trio of films.  Exploiting cheap Tuesday is a good thing when there are films worth seeing (which is not always the case in school holidays).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Being a statistic: radio diary

1201 radio diary
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Yeah, yeah, who knows ANYONE who's participated in radio or TV ratings surveys????

But a nice young chappie came to the door last weekend and wasn't trying to get this household to swap telcos or electricity providers.

Listening has to be recorded for every fifteen minutes for seven days. Without giving too much away, let's just say this house's radios are pretty much rusted on to 702ABC Sydney...

Sunday, January 15, 2012


1201 brunch
Originally uploaded by rooruu
It seems as though brunch has become a lot more front and centre on weekends in the last ten years..super. It's not just the time to savour food like eggs Benedict (dilemma: smoked salmon? Or crispy bacon?) or, as shown in this pic, proper made-from-scratch baked beans (here with chorizo and a UFO/poached egg . It's the leisurely time to sit and converse with friends. That's the best thing about brunch. Long may it last.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cafe Lunch

1201 Lunch
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Salmon, ricotta & dill cake with (equally yummy) salad. Seasoned with good company.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holiday companions

1201 holiday companions
Originally uploaded by rooruu
Based on personal experience, I would not recommend spraining your ankle a week before Christmas. Especially when, in the southern hemisphere, this is also your summer holidays. Sigh.