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!)

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Hot Wired (!!)

Larry and I are feeling very lazy snuggled in the warmth while it is wet and windy outside with an expected max of 12C. So while he is stitching his tapestry I decided it was time for a weekly post. "What shall I call this post?" I asked him...."Hot Wired" was his answer, "why?" I replied..."because of the vision I have of you having a wire in your heart - waiting to be hot wired like when they start a car"!! Well there you go.......so yes I did have a wire sitting in the heart (via the groin) in case my ticker decided to play up and even more tubes sitting in my heart (via the wrist)......and it is not something I want to go through again! Lying on a cold slab trembling for one and half hours is no fun! I was terrified and excuse the language but the specialist said to me he would be "scared shitless" if it was him! Was that reassuring?? The worst part of it all was being wide awake through the entire procedure - no sedation at all so not something I wish to repeat. But it is behind me now and we will move forward with whatever options we are offered. I tried to find a picture of what it was like and did find this somewhere on the web when I googled 'coronary artery provocation test' which is what the team called it......and it looked just like this with the size of a cricket team in there too!.....
Thankyou to each and every one of you for your lovey messages and phone calls - amazing how much it helps. I am a tad slow at the moment and feel like I've been run over by a truck but lots around me to be thankful for. Your cushion is still used and treasured Deb and I am sure it must be about 30 years old....today it is supporting the wrist that the angio wire went through while I type.......

Helen in the UK told me to 'Try and relax while you are having the procedure done and just drift through the English countryside in your mind and those willows blowing in the wind along the Thames at Kelmscott'  and that is exactly what I tried to do....so many wonderful memories of such a special part of the world........






 The William Morris Memorial Hall now has a brand new roof thanks to generous donors like Helen..........
 and what fun we had that day as William and May Morris looked down on us.....


 And always the exclusive behind the scenes viewings are special - this time the work of May Morris at the William Morris Gallery.......








 There is much going on in the UK at the moment with May Morris. The William Morris Gallery will soon be having an extended exhibition including a conference which will be exciting - sorry I can't be there. Included in the display will be a Valentine letter sent by May to George Bernard Shaw. You can read about this 'mystical betrothal' at this link
I am so pleased I took this photo of Morris' Membland Tiles at the V&A as this will be one of the projects in my third William Morris Appliqué book.....and it will eventually live on Helen's wall as she serendipitously lives on the Membland estate (Yes I am doing it Helen!).......
 While lying on that cold slab experiencing extreme discomfort in my heart I also tried to take myself back to the amazing Wightwick Manor and how lucky we were to be able to take photos inside on this last visit too........




While mentioning the new Morris book I thought you might like to see a little more of some of the projects 'in progress' - first a couple of the large appliqué quilts.....

The 'Trellis' blocks are all pieced and ready for borders and for the wool felt flowers and birds that will be attached after the piece has been quilted to reflect Morris' original pattern.......


And I must also share a picture that Lisa sent me during the week of her Mum's Beatrix Potter quilt from that book. You could tell Lisa was as proud as punch of her Mum's efforts and so am I....Lisa did say she was sorry the quilt needed a press!....(thanks Lisa - it is gorgeous!)......
A couple of weeks ago a friend (thanks Delma!) alerted me to an interview on the radio. It was with an Australian author Kate Forsyth about her soon to be released novel "Beauty in Thorns" that I can't wait to get my hands on! Kate's knowledge and research on the Pre-Raphaelite women was astounding and I am especially intrigued with the life of Jane - William Morris' wife. The novel is based on Edward Burne Jone's 'Legend of the Briar Rose' paintings and how lucky we were in 2014 that we could take photos inside of them at Buscot Park and all because we were personally escorted around by the owner - Lord Farringdon!......












 Helen and I will never forget our trepidation at members of our group sitting on the antique furniture behind the ropes...but Lord Farringdon had told them all "To plonk themselves down"...what special memories.......
and here is the novel we will be waiting for - due for release soon and coincidentally Kate is giving a lecture today in the New South Wales Art Gallery! I just saw that here.......(and a quick update - you can buy the book now!)......
 So finally these lovely pictures of Maisie who spent a day with me last week to help keep my thoughts of the pending cardiac procedure at bay.....how nice that is behind us now......
and the jonquils that pong a wee bit inside, but gosh I love them.......thanks again for dropping by and hope all is well in your part of the world x