Friday, September 27, 2013

A flying visit to the Cotswolds










 


 

 



 
My second last day of my holiday was spent visiting my old flatmate from my London days, who now lives in a thatched cottage in Oxfordshire.  My sister and I caught the train down from Hertfordshire, where we had a quick flit around Oxford itself, then headed out to Cathy's house in a little village for lunch.  We hadn't seen each other for 18 years, but it felt like yesterday. Isn't that the best when that happens?  In that time she has married and had 3 children, but it still felt like we were flats mates in London 25 years ago.
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tropical

I made another block for my Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt last night.  I think this one is from a tropical haven somewhere....blue, blue water, happy coloured beach towels, large colourful flowers, pretty birds flitting about and the coral, -that amazing underwater world you see when snorkelling the reefs.  It totally contrasted with the weather in Perth last night - it was wild, wet, windy and cold.  But I was snug inside my creative space, dreaming again of my trip around the world.  A hot chocolate to keep me company!


 
so this is my Fiji block.....

and here is Fiji beside Iceland!


2 blocks in....many more to go.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Scrappy Trip Around the World Quilt

I've jumped on board the Scrappy Trip Around the World bus or jet plane.  I made my first block yesterday and OMG it was so much fun.  I have another one nearly done...but I'm so time poor...my scrappy trip is going to be more like a slow boat around the world, but hey, that's ok, I get to savour every step of the journey.  No whistle-stop tours for me! I like to immerse myself in the different cultures of the world...so if I manage a block a week, I think that's close to a year to have enough blocks to make a quilt?

My trip has started in Iceland.  As I made the block, I thought about what the colours in the block made me think of - as in which country they brought to mind.  I settled on Iceland for my first.  Not sure why, I've never been there, but I thought the grey reminded me of the volcanic rock and the bleak landscapes I've seen and the green for the very green grass when it's not covered in snow.  they have those grass roofed houses there. The orange because I recall seeing bursts of colour in their buildings, mainly their rooves and also because I'm sure in Spring some beautiful wildflowers pop up and add colour and the birds chirp away. I imagine you hear the sound of seagulls a lot in Iceland. Perhaps one day I'll see it for myself...until then I'm happy with my thoughts and block making. Very happy.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Flower Power

So here's a few snaps from a funny old week.  Monday I was up bright and early to take Bridgie to have here wisdom teeth out - all four of them.  Lots of TLC required, including the making of lots of soft food...scrambled eggs, soup in an array of flavours, mornay, frozen yoghurt, drinks, regular icing and medication.  It's now Thursday and one side is giving her much discomfort. We watched a couple of feel good movies together...my all time fave...Mamma Mia.  God I love that film!  It is so much fun.  I love that age is no barrier to aphrodit√©!

Here's a pic of the patient - post op!  I had to snap a few (to store away for the 21st!)  I am a mean mother, remember?



Last night was a real treat - George is appearing in the play "'Illyria" a Curtin Uni production at Hayman theatre.  It's about war and new beginnings, quite intense and particular scenes incredibly confronting. Very well done.  George is a stand out in the production...of course!  It is absolutely incredible to watch your child perform.  She has such talent and I'm not just saying that :)).  It is so  so much fun to watch her theatre.  The roles she plays are so diverse.  She has great comedic timing too - not that last night was a comedy - her previous role was. Unfortunately, I forgot to take any post show photos (hopeless mother!) - hopefully on Friday night when I hope to see it again, ticket sales permitting - I was busy meeting all her co-performers and chatting about the performance.  The movement in it is very graceful in parts. 

This morning as I left for work I took joy in the wisteria flowering on my front verandah.  It is so true what they say about FLOWER POWER.  It is a great salve.  It is so beautiful.



And across the road is this divine tree, covered in flowers.  The delicate scent is beautiful.  I keep forgetting the name of it.....this time every year it puts on a great show.

 

 
Today I am off the funeral of a friend...2 deaths in 1 week...very sad. Dave was a very funny man, always making those around him laugh.  And so positive.  He was really pissed off he got cancer - he had so much to do with his beautiful Dorothy.  He leaves a great big gaping hole in a lot of people's lives.  What did he say...the glass is half full, and the other half was very nice...thank you!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

:(

I am struggling with myself right now.  Not sure why...do any of us know why we find it hard to be upbeat some days?  I came back from my holiday feeling so alive and grateful and inspired.  Now I feel the opposite.... Perhaps it's the recent death of my darling Uncle Al, one of my father's brothers.  I am so sad that he has gone.  He and I were very fond of each other.  There were always big smiles and hugs when we saw each other, which wasn't often as he lived in Brisbane and I in Perth.  I remember last Christmas getting an out of the blue phone call from him to wish me a Happy Christmas...he never rang me (nor I him). We just had each other in our hearts.  He had decided that this year he was calling the special people in his life. I've never been so touched!  He was never unhappy to see me.  I think through all the trickiness and ickiness  of my parent's divorce, the fact that he was always excited to see me, made me feel valued by Dad's side of the family, when I so often wondered as a child whether they were just putting up with me and my sister for Dad's sake.

He and my dad were very alike and were very close.  He missed Dad every single day.  They shared a special bond and friendship too. Uncle Al's death brings up the loss of Dad - it feels so raw again.  They are both gone from sight now. I last saw Uncle Al in February.  I dropped in on him on my way to Brisbane airport to surprise him.  He was surprised and happy.  He didn't seem himself at all though, and I left knowing I wouldn't see him again.  Tears fell as I drove off.  I'm so glad I dropped in. Death is a sad reality of our life.  I know that.  And the sadness is a reflection of how much they meant to you and will always mean to you.

√ć can't go to Uncle Al's funeral.  It's times like these I wish I was closer to family.  Just being with family is comforting, but I am without extended family here  - without anybody that knew him in the same way I did, so I'm feeling very lonely in my grief, but then grief is a lonely thing isn't it?  It's so incredibly personal and you never  know how you're going to be with it. It doesn't matter than you knew it was coming.

As Winnie the Pooh said to Piglet, "If there every comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever".  Uncle Al, that's where you and Dad are now, right there in my heart forever. I like to think of them together again. The barefooted farm boys in that photo Dad had at his computer. Sharing their beloved beer and reminiscing.  The world has lost a couple of rare gems.

But also, I feel my own mortality.  What have I done with my life?  I'm just on this treadmill that I really want to opt out of...but how do you do that when you have family to support, commitments.  All this stuff about creating the life you want and yet why do I feel like I just ended up here?  And it's not really where I want to be? 

 


Thursday, September 05, 2013

Day in Doha - Part 2 - Sensory overload at the Souk

Just in case you're wondering if I was ever going to continue with my Doha post...yes!  Sit back and enjoy..... here is my second instalment of photos....
 
Great flooring in places
 
 
Souk fabric shops...I was not allowed in :) my sister kept me moving....
 

 
 
Perfect refreshments

 
Pet shop ... Bunnies for sale

 
Camel wool anyone?


 
 
You will never guess what this shopper is doing? She's withdrawing money from an ATM.  All of them are elaborately encased in these fantastic structures.  On my next visit I will photograph the various styles.  Absolutely brilliant ..


 
 
My fantastic nieces...so much fun...
 


 
Sweet treats...check out the nougat...yum!


Choose your weapon! 


 
Waiting for the obligatory cheese pancakes...


 
Souk colour

I so regret not buying my Arabian night slippers...


Legumes, nuts, seeds, spices, lollies....
 

 
 

 
Pipes
 

Tiles...oh the tiles...somewhere deep inside me is the burning desire to live in a Moroccan tiled mansion.  I know I was in Doha, but I see tiles and simply SWOON...
 


Building fretwork
 

 
 
Men in white, women in black
 

 
Gorgeous hats
 
 
Honestly, the vibrancy of life was so infectious...our conventional lifestyle seemed so flat amongst the night market.  I felt stimulated and excited and so lucky to be in a position to experience another culture.  It fed every creative fibre of my being.
 

Monday, September 02, 2013

Bits and bobs

 
My weekend was busy with bits and bobs.  I had minimal time for my crafty pursuits and spent time dreaming of an extra day at home, just to be and sew.  Anyhoo, not to be...so here's a quick reflection of what I did have time for.
 
New cushion covers for the day bed seat in the lounge room.  The colour scheme is aqua/blue/red to match the kitchen colours so I went on the hunt for some cushion covers, even though I am making some.  I've bought half a dozen inserts from Ikea, along with the red sheet that covers the mattresses.  I do plan to make an aqua/red quilt, but a $9 sheet will do in the meantime.  You know me, it could be years before the quilt is ready for action!  I found these great Union Jack covers on special at Bed, Bath and Table, my all time favourite store in the universe of the world...and thought 'YES'.  After my fantastic holiday in Scotland and England, I am honouring my heritage and love of the country!  Don't they look great?  I am happy, happy with them and love looking at them.
 
 
The smaller Hare-y cushion came from Kelso, Scotland as a gift from family when I celebrated my birthday with them while I was there.  I have a very soft spot for bunnies, rabbits and hares.
 
Now here's a pic of the first of the cushions I'm making to add to the Union Jacks.
 
 
They are going to be so fun...I'm going to quilt around the large flowers...eeek it will be my first attempt...wish me luck :)
 
And all I managed of the hexies was about 4 this weekend, but I did spread it over the bed to guage the size....still a lot to go really!  Lucky I LOVE making it.  Yep totally addicted to hexies....
 
 
 
Looking good, don't you think?