Monthly Archives: April 2007



Sorry about the echo caused by my prolonged absence. It has been a VERY busy week. I worked for four days at the Townsville Craft Show. I presented a workshop each day about quilting with your domestic machine (workshop 2, 2pm if you’re looking for it). It was a wonderful four days of chatting and socialising with like-minded souls from all around the place. Take a look at Sussanah’s blog if you want to see me in action as a tutor. I spoke to over one hundred very keen and interested ladies over the four days. I handed out lots of business cards and hopefully picked up some new business.

Once the craft show had finished I swung into action to complete a quilt for the Down Under Quilts calendar competition. I had to stay up until 2am two days in a row to finish it. It annoys me that I do this. I started the quilt months ago and had the deadline in my head the whole time. I really didn’t have that much left to do to complete it, but I just dithered about and wound up having to do some LATE nights to finish it, kicking myself the whole time. Do you know how many ads there are for mobile phone sex after 11:30pm? It is sad, sad, sad.

I can’t show you photos of the quilt that I sent away (thank goodness for express post), but the very day that I posted it, the quilt which I entered last year returned home to me. This quilt was a winning entry, it is featured in this year’s calendar. It is a well travelled little quilt, having been to Japan twice for exhibition. It returned to me along with a Japanese quilting magazine. Luckily there was a post-it note in the magazine, drawing my attention to this photo

See that quilt just at the end of the pen nib, right behind that lady’s head? That is my quilt on show in Japan. Am I internationally published now? Hell, yeah. But without the post-it I would never have found it! Well, maybe with a magnifying glass.

In exciting news…. Today was the first meeting of the cool quilters club. The cool quilters are the beautiful Flo (get a blog so I can link to you!), the multi-talented Kirsty and me. Why are we so cool? Because we think so. We enjoyed conversation that was at times intellectual, other times ridiculous, we were silent at times as we worked and we were very creative and supportive. We had the radio on and listened to very cool music while we worked on our quilting projects. We share similar views of the world. It is so nice to meet such clever people with a similar, accepting views and opinions about art and life. There have been times in my life when I have felt very lonely in a large group of people because I cannot find any one with a mindset like mine. Not today. Thanks ladies.

It was very difficult for me to choose a song to commemorate our first meeting. but after careful consideration I choose this one. I hope that you approve!


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A New Blogger

My sister Sussanah is an amazing woman. She is loving and kind to all around her. She has such generosity that she will literally give away all of her own belongings, and several things that belong to me, to complete strangers. She makes me laugh constantly with her quick wit and astounding vocabulary . She has a razor sharp tongue that could reduce you to tears, but she would never do that. She has an amazing ability to sum up a situation in just a few short words when others have been wondering and unable to work it out. She is a fabulous aunt to my children, she will drive across town to get them anything that they desire, just because they want it.

She is married to a lovingly neurotic man, who knows that danger lurks around every corner, and together they are raising two children. Their children show a lust for life and an ability to find humour everywhere that they have inherited from their mother. She has an intelligence that is astounding, she actually knows what is going on in the whole world at any one time – I’m certain of it! She can offer you her opinion on everything, because we know she has one. She reads without fatigue and in such a variety of subjects that she is a fabulous conversationalist.

Saying all of those wonderful things has made me somewhat nauseous. so I will temper them with some warnings:

1 – don’t ever lend her a book, and if you ever stay in a motel in Cairns, ask them if they found my daughter’s first run copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban left behind circa 2005.

2 – don’t let her borrow a DVD on your video shop card, I’m still paying off the Gilmore Girls fine.

3 – don’t expect that you will be able to find a spot for your feet if you sit in the passenger seat of her car, by the time you have pushed all the diet coke bottles to the side you will have reached your destination

You may have noticed that for sometime my sister, Sussanah, has been attempting to hijack my blog. (and those of her friends) She has been making song requests and leaving insults disguised as comments.

She has finally succumbed to the peer pressure around her and started her own blog. Go there, I know you’ll find her a wonderful blogger. Maybe if we visit and leave comments for her she will be able to sustain her attention for longer than ten minutes!


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Today this beautiful girl received her acceptance letter.

She will be spending 2008 on exchange in France.
We are a little overwhelmed right now. When we have finished laughing and crying we’ll tell you what we are feeling.
I am just so proud that she was accepted. I know how remarkable she is. Now I know that others see it too.


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Hair of Red

Last night my Pete dyed my hair for me.

I used to get it done at the hair dressers, but it was costing over $150, then they would want to see me again six weeks later. When I thought about it, that works out to be $25 per week!!! I was spending that amount on petrol each week and thought it was expensive. So I decided that I would just buy the supermarket hair dyes that are about $15-$20 and let my Pete dye it for me.

My Pete is very particular and very focussed on details. When we painted our house he used an artists’ brush to finish all the edges. He is an absolute perfectionist and thinks nothing of spending seven hours on one wall. He may not be speedy, but I know the job will be finished to exacting standards. I knew that he would not do a dodgy dying job on my hair. When I go to have a hair cut the hairdresser always comments on the great job that he has done.

Part of the fun of having him do my hair has always been the side show that he puts on. The particular brand of dye that I buy supplies a pair of gloves. These gloves are too small for my Pete’s man-hands. He always has a rant about them. It is hilarious.

“Who has hands this small? These gloves are made for pre-pubescent girls! How am I supposed to put these on? F@#*!” (That last comment is the point where his giant thumb tears through the plastic glove.)

Of course I offer him my sympathies, I need my hair dyed after all, but inside I am chuckling to myself. It is one of the primary reasons that I ask him to dye my hair.

Yesterday we opened the box of dye and discovered that a new type of plastic glove has been packaged. A large plastic glove. One that fits a man-hand.

“Well. Look at this. A glove that finally fits. Isn’t that great, now I won’t tear through it.”

Quite frankly I was disappointed – a nice hair job, but no show.

A fabulous song about hair dying.


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Times are a-changing

Today I bought these:

for her:

Well…my daughter is not five any more, but it is hard not to think of her like this at these life-changing moments. When I look at her sitting in the car she looks tiny.

Can she actually see over the steering wheel? Can she actually reach the pedals? Just barely! She is only starting the car for me to drive here. She has told me that it won’t be possible for me to teach her to drive because when I get into ‘teacher mode’ I annoy her. I know that this is the point where our personalities are similar and, therefore, clash. If my Pete tries to tell me how I should do something I will immediatley ignore him and try to work it out for myself. He may be right in the end, but I will come to that conclusion alone, thank you very much! I wasn’t offended that my daughter said this to me. Far from it. I was impressed that she could be so self-aware as to know that this was a trigger for conflict. I’m also happy to avoid the responsibility for teaching her to drive!

My beautiful, articulate son seems to have completely lost his ability to talk. He sounds like he only has half a tongue. What could have afflicted him so? He has become obsessed with Weebl and Bob. It is pretty funny and it suits his off-beat humour. All day today he has asked me questions which allowed him to respond to my answers with “make sure you are”. (but say that like you have half a tongue) He has always laughed so easily. He finds delight and humour in all situations. He reminds our whole family of why it is a joy to be alive. This photo was taken by my sister six years ago. It is one of my favourite photos of my son and his cousin.

Finally I have been listening to this song quite a bit in the last few days while I have been quilting. It is a song that makes me very happy. It must do good things to me, because I am VERY happy with this client quilt that I finished with my brand new machine.



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Poor Ken

When my daughter was young my mother-in-law made a bridal gown for her barbie doll. She thought it was beautiful.

“Who is she marrying?” I asked her.
“Ken,” she replied. “As soon as I find his head.”
A metaphor for life, don’t you think?
When our son was born we thought we were so tricky. We had one child of each gender – it felt like hitting the jackpot! My daughter was almost four when her brother arrived. The long time between them was not all by choice, sometimes nature makes these decisions for you. It was good for me to have one child who was independent before I had another.
As time has gone on I have at times been a little sad about having a long gap and different genders. My children love each other, but have often existed within their own worlds – separated by maturity and gender. They each have their own circle of friends.

Recently I have started noticing them having conversations about life, quoting movie passages to each other, remembering funny experiences and laughing together. I like it. My daughter can still be bossy toward my son, but he just mocks. My son can still be gross to my daughter, but she is usually able to ignore.
Yesterday I could hear them chatting. Intrigued by the smell of toasting hair I went looking for them. Could these be my children? Have I entered a parallel universe?

I’m fairly certain that this was her idea to straighten his hair, but he willingly went along with it. He has to bend right down for her to reach. By this time next year he will be looking at the top of her head. The relationship will have to be renegotiated then!

He patiently allowed her to play Ken dolls until it got to the hair spray.

She sprayed once, he yelled, “That smells like crap! I’m out of here.”

She spent the next ten minutes chasing him through the house. Balance was restored in the universe.


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My Quest

My quest for a decent photo of the elusive Ulysses butterfly that lives in my backyard continues. Today I took this

Pretty damn fine photo! But I stood still for SO long to take it that my arms hurt form the wieght of the camera and I may have some sunburn! Steve Parish, I am in awe of you!


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North Queensland in my own backyard

Today I have spent many hours watching a Ulysses Butterfly dance across my backyard. I took about 100 photos and managed to actually capture it eight times. They fly like are drunk a in wild erratic way. We decided that it might be a strategy to avoid being lunch for a hungry bird.

Prepare to be amazed at the quality of my photography….

Do you see that flash of brilliant blue???

Try again.

A little fuzzy, but you must see that!

Here is my Pete’s barramundi. He started with six, but they are carnivorous and happy to be cannibals too. Now he has one. It is about 25cm long (9inches). They are delicious, but there are strict bag and size limits. I doubt that this one will ever be lunch. It is much too loved for that.

Two icons of NQ found in my backyard. What do you have in your backyard which is typical of your area of the world?


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Right now we are under a tsunami warning! This is the first time that I have ever heard such a thing. We live away from the water and on high ground, so I am not in the least concerned. The media are alert and prepared for a disaster, but as likely as not it will amount to very little. Well, I certainly hope it will amount to very little.

I have finished the music quilt which will be raffled by the high school to make money for the senior music tour. Certain rude people in my family like to call it ‘band camp’ a la American Pie, but be assured, this is music tour – entirely different!

Generally I photograph my quilts inside against a wall with full flash and holding my camera. After doing some reading I took this photo outside with a tripod in natural light. I don’t think the result is any better! I’ll go back to taking them inside the house.


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