Sunday, 20 August 2017

Trying to keep warm

As always I cannot believe it has been ten days without posting so now it is Sunday afternoon and time to catch up and say Hi. We have just had a few days away in Victoria especially for Larry so he could watch his football team play. He has not seen them live for four years so last night was very exciting as they actually won their game by just one goal! We stayed with friends and were very well looked after but gosh it was cold as it is here back in Adelaide! We shared with our hosts the ongoing saga of power prices in our state and here is the proof of how expensive it is ........Yes....we are the most expensive in the world!!....

We are now both feeling a little sniffly with a scratchy throat (one of the down sides of flying in planes), so the heater is pumping while it is raining and cold outside (as we ignore the cost of keeping warm!) When we drove to the airport last week it was very grey and overcast and I was amazed at the lack of colour in the middle of the day from this image taken on my phone camera......
 It is currently our South Australian Living Artists festival and there were some displays at the airport which was ever welcome while we were waiting. I loved these birds that are pencil and acrylic on timber by Dana Kinter........

 I love our airport for many reasons - it is new and modern and so very easy to navigate and the bonus is their promotion of art. You can even see some of the glass art behind Larry.......

 While Larry was at the football in the freezing cold I was in the warmth in the company of six other quilters. We spent the afternoon and evening stitching (and eating!), while solving the problems of the world! So despite the chill factor it was a lovely break with the bonus of Larry's team winning! Arriving home today we discovered two packages tucked under the front door mat, one of them full of delightful Beatrix Potter fabrics from Heather at the Barossa Quilt and Craft Cottage. So now I need to find time to turn them into a quilt.........thankyou so very much Heather......
 and the other package was the book I spoke of last post so that is also exciting!......
Last week we did have a little sunshine and I managed to capture some of it on the camera this time on my walk at the nearby river while Larry was watching his other team play at the local football - and they won too!..........


 We have had so much rain that normally dry areas are now flooded and the birdlife has returned.........




















I have another flight in a few days where I will be joining more quilters at the annual Quilters Gathering organised by Marilyn's of Ulladulla, so I will be touch the other side of that (my very last class in Australia!) x

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Unexpected Adventures

My exciting and very Unexpected Adventure is at the end of this post! But firstly - it is almost a week since my cardiac adventure and despite moping about the house the week has gone quickly. I am so lucky that Larry only works one day a week and I've been very grateful to have him around. On Monday we decided it was time to get out of the house so we headed five minutes down the road to Pt Noarlunga. It was wild and woolly outside but the amble and a hot coffee were welcome......






 Even the pigeons looked chilly (Larry calls them flying rats!)...no idea where the seagulls were.......




 This floral wall mural nearby appears to be floating from some angles......
Since taking my Japanese bag class in July I have been after some fine cord for the zippers. Our teacher told us of a fabulous Japanese variety store where we can get packs. The cord is fine enough to put through a zipper end and also to thread beads, but the city store some weeks ago had none in stock. So today we had an adventure visiting their other store the other side of town in Hollywood (!!). It took over an hour partly because of major traffic works. Large over and under passes are being built and every time I pass the barriers I can't help but think of the families and businesses that were told they had to move for the construction. One hopes they were looked after and that they are now living in a much quieter location........

 These large walls encroach on homes that were previously some way back from the road so hopefully some of the noise is reduced........
 And then we arrived in Hollywood - now that is an adventure!..........

 yep...it is just the name of the shopping centre - "Hollywood Plaza"! And the store full of all sorts of bibs and bobs is the Daiso Japan store. I was surprised to read that their are 2,800 stores in Japan and over 4,000 worldwide! We only have two in our city but we heard of another that will be opening at Marion - much closer for next time!........

 When Beau and Maisie come to visit we try to have little surprises waiting for them so this is the ideal store to find little trinkets that are now waiting on their beds........
 The cord is tightly woven and with lovely shades but not sure about the Edinburgh stamp on the packaging though?......
 Then we headed to Pt Adelaide for another adventure and it is here we are reminded of Robert Barr Smith and his business success in South Australia allowing him to purchase so lavishly from Morris & Co in the 19th century (and that we can now view in our Art Gallery - well some of it!)........

This adventure was not so welcome though! I am a little disappointed that my allergy to surgical tapes was ignored and six days on I am still very itchy and uncomfortable on both my wrist and tummy (sorry it is so graphic but nothing like sharing to ease the discomfort!!)...
 But my sewing mojo is slowly coming back and I even decided last night to make a second version of one of the new Morris inspired quilts! This time it will be using that wonderful pearlised black background and lots of bright appliqué.....
 Larry put up my sewing machine a few nights ago in the family room in front of the telly but I have only managed about ten minutes each time.......I know that will change soon.......
This new quilt will also be one of the workshops at Quilt Norfolk next year - a great adventure. I am actually going to supply two choices and I have heard there are eight vacancies if you feel like joining me - such great value and such a relaxing week for all of us.......

My last formal classes are in New Zealand in October but Norfolk Island is a little different ..much less tiring and during those four days together there is quite possibly more laughter than sewing! So some handmade gifts for students to celebrate my retirement are all ready to go.........
I know of other tutors who are also retiring from teaching this year and we all share the same story. It is the constant need to create new ideas and then the many, many hours of typing notes, packing and preparing etc - it leaves little time for one's own creativity. The other thing that I have missed for many years is reading. So as my teaching winds down I have done a little more of that recently. It is nice to escape on an adventure through books. Hannah Kent's new book 'The Good People' is her second following 'Burial Rites". I didn't find this novel as gripping as her first but it is still an amazing read all set in 19th century Ireland. 'The Chocolate Tin' from Fiona McIntosh was an easy read and set post WW2 and a story woven around the chocolates that were sent to troops on the battlefields of France (and William Morris is even mentioned in the book - someone told me about that so I had to buy it!)........
Patrick Redmond's 'The Puppet Show' was all about mind games and the conclusion definitely made one realise how easily we can be manipulated by others. 'Longbourn' is what I have just started and I am looking forward to the retelling of the story of the Bennett girls of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' but all through the eyes of a servant (under the watch of a tough housekeeper by the name of Mrs Hill!!).......
And there are a couple of other adventures waiting as well.......
 Now to a very big and very Unexpected Adventure! I've been invited to the Craft and Quilt Fairs as guest artist in Wellington and Hamilton in New Zealand very soon! I've accepted as there is no teaching - just chatting and stitching and one evening each show I will share the William Morris story. (And Larry will be joining me as well!) So to all our friends across the ditch.....do come and say hello! (Wish the UK was as close as NZ Helen!)......
So thanks for dropping by - I will finish with this splendid photo of the adventure of Peter Rabbit being chased by Mr McGregor! Mim has finished her version of the bed runner from our class in Terang in May. I just love how Mim has brought it to life with her use of fabrics - the landscape has such depth and texture - fabulous! (And Hi Bronwyn from Castle Hill! I received your card and your gift is on its way!)