Sunday, 30 November 2008

Shadow Shot Sunday # 3

I'm afraid I've been neglecting Shadow Shot Sunday for a while, as I've had to travel interstate on family business.

Today's effort is courtesy of the wild weather we have been experiencing in Brisbane over the past couple of weeks. The first storm left us without power for five hours and we were forced to resort to using a battery operated little lamp. As Tony was creating our exotic evening meal (a ham sandwich), I was spooked by his shadow on the ceiling of the kitchen.

We decided to watch a movie on our portable DVD player, but the battery was flat. Then the batteries in the little lamp started to sulk, so we stumbled off to bed. Compared to how other parts of Brisbane fared, we were extremely lucky that we only suffered a loss of power.

Life for us this week has been particularly hard. My younger brother died peacefully in hospital yesterday morning after his life support system had been withdrawn. He was eight years younger than me and ten years younger than my other brother. He brought so much joy to our lives and now we are left with this huge hole which will be impossible to fill. Rest in peace, Phil.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Quilt Show

I KNOW IT'S NEARLY TWO WEEKS since Jems Quilt Sitters' Challenge Exhibition, but it was such a fun weekend that I felt I should write about it.

The weather was hot and humid - little did we suspect what appalling storms Brisbane was to experience over the following week. However, this car appeared to be feeling the cold - maybe it was the early hour. I have threatened to make one just like this for my son-in-law for his beloved Kombi Van, and I think I have him worried!

The birds woke us at their usual time of 4.30 am (who says we don't need daylight savings?), which was just as well, because I suddenly remembered I was rostered to bring a slice for the refreshments room. Eek! What's in the pantry? I found some cooking chocolate, dessicated coconut, a can of condensed milk (why on earth did I buy that?), butter, flour and eggs. A quick visit to produced the perfect recipe to match the ingredients.

Buoyed on by the promising image (above), I had the slice in the oven and it was time to get ready. Like clockwork, out came the slice just in time to leave for the Brookfield Showground. No time to cut it into slices as it was still hot, so it was a bit of a gamble what it looked like inside. However, more by good luck than good management, it turned out to be a bit of a success, so I have promised Tony the next time I find a can of condensed milk in the pantry, I'll bake up a batch for him. Fat chance.

If you would like a copy the recipe, go to

By the time I arrived at the showground, some very keen buyers had already raided the sales room, anxious to be the first in line to buy some of the quilts which were on sale. I had put my quilt from last year's exhibition up for sale, without much confidence, so I was somewhat gobsmacked to discover that it had been sold before the exhibition had even opened its doors to the public.

At our Christmas lunch every year, our founder Margot hands out a copy of the block which will become the basis of our challenge quilt for the following year. This year's block was called Lotus Flower.

The rules are that the block must be used in the central part of the quilt and can only be changed by colour placement and fabric choice. The quilt may be embellished after it has been constructed and borders could be added.

As usual, I procrastinated, causing the usual last-minute panic as the deadline approached. Using fabrics left over from my children's clothing range, plus a few gate crashers, I put the finishing touches to the quilt the day before the opening. And no, I was not the last to finish. One member was observed sewing the last of the binding onto her quilt as the men were rushing around on ladders setting up the show. That's what I call super cool!

Here is my quilt:

And here are some other examples from really clever quilters. It's hard for people who come to our exhibition to realise that they are all made from the same block, and they stand in front of some of the quilts for minutes at a time, trying to see the original block.

But the one that had everyone scratching their heads was this little masterpiece by my friend Joy. If you looked really carefully and held your tongue in a certain position, you could just make out the block.

The sales room was buzzing and items were eagerly snapped up for Christmas gifts. As is always the case, the early shopper got the pick of the goodies.

I had a successful weekend selling some of my Hot Fudge items and as a consequence I am now sewing flat out in a desperate effort to replenish stocks for our BrisStyle Christmas Market.

It was really good to catch up with three members of BrisStyle who came to the exhibition, so thank you Helen of Ruby Red Studios, Amanda of Twinkle Star Art, and Bec of Where's Becky Bean, who brought along her adorable little Kate, who really dug the jazz.

The lunchtime crowds were entertained by Stitched Up Jazz, who battled on bravely through the incredible midday heat.

By late Sunday afternoon, the first of the first of the green tinged storm clouds were gathering on the horizon, so the taking down of the quilts was achieved in record time!

And now we are eagerly awaiting the distribution of next year's block at our Christmas lunch. I have vowed to get an early start on it this time. Right.

Family and Friends

It's been an emotional roller-coaster of a week and one that has left us devastated. My younger brother suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage which left him in a coma. We caught the first available flight from Brisbane to Sydney to be at his side and together with his son and my older brother, we spent a week visiting the Intensive Care Unit, going through all the ups and downs that come with situations such as this.

My brother lost his wife three years ago to cancer. She was the light of his life and he felt the loss terribly. Had he seen the number of family and close friends who gathered at his bedside, he would have been chuffed. He is hanging on by a thread and there appears to be a lot of brain damage, so we hope and pray that he goes peacefully.

It really brings you up short when such terrible events touch you and you realise what is really important in life. Family and friends.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Quilt Exhibition Time

Well, despite all the gremlins set in my path, I finished the quilt last night, just in time to take it to the set-up tomorrow. I'd love to show it to you, but it's a secret and if you saw it, I'd have to kill you. But I can show you some of the children's clothing I will be selling.

I am now frantically doing the hand-sewing on three new dresses and somehow I still have to make a label for the back of the quilt, sew it on, and make four pairs of baby shoes. Lots of deep breaths and one step at a time does it.

So if you will be in Brisbane over the weekend, a trip to beautiful semi-rural Brookfield will do you the world of good. The historic Brookfield Hall is so cute it looks like a Hollywood set. Add to that a fantastic quilt exhibition, oh-so-tempting things to buy in our sales room, scrumptious refreshments, and a great jazz band to entertain you at lunchtime, and you have the perfect day. Please say hello if you if you come - it'd love to meet you.

While we are talking about exhibitions, next weekend Reverse Garbage will be holding their popular annual end-of-year pre-Christmas exhibition. There will be some wonderful and innovative pieces of art and craft on display and better still, they will be available for sale. What’s particularly exciting is that three of the participating artists this year are fellow BrisStyle team members. Included in the “Renaissance: a rebirth of recycled materials” exhibition are Helen Berthold (ruby red studios and ruby 2 go-go), Ali Chisholm (jellygnite) and Rebecca Hollis (wheresbeckybean). For more information, please go to the Reverse Garbage link. Good luck, girls!

And finally, don't forget our BrisStyle fabulous give-away parcels - three gorgeous packages of goodies - each one valued at over US$100, and you know what that is in Aussie dollars! Time is running out, so don't delay.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Come Blow your Horn

What's a party if you can't blow your own trumpet? Well, the guest of honour at a 70th birthday surprise party on Saturday certainly did just that.

Mind you, the biggest surprise for him was not the guests assembled to help him celebrate (the 50 odd cars parked on the property was something of a give-away), but the party balloons festooning the house. You see, Birthday Boy has recently retired as Chairman of the Board of a particular bank ("Impeccable timing, Dad", as one of his sons commented) and there he was surrounded with balloons bearing the colours of a rival bank (which bank?). No one owned up to being responsible for that blooper!

The gathering of family and friends who came to take part in the celebrations knew that they were in for a treat when they arrived to see a make-shift stage had been constructed across the creek in the backyard. You see, the guest of honour heads a band which plays for the sheer joy of it. They do gigs around town in their spare time and they certainly make great music.

It was a joyous occasion, with the youngest of children mixing quite freely with the adults.

They also enjoyed cooling off at the creek.

After the speeches and the viewing, cutting and eating of the cake ...

... it was time to have fun ...

... and let the balloons fly.

If you would like to hear the band live and you will be in Brisbane next weekend, come on over to the Brookfield Hall in the Brookfield Showgrounds where Stitched Up Jazz will be entertaining the lunchtime crowds at our Jems Quilt Sitters' exhibition. As well as a stunning quilt exhibition, there will be a fabulous sales room, just in time for some early Christmas shopping. And don't worry, there will be delicious refreshments and real coffee. I will be there with my Hot Fudge clothing, so please come up and say hello.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Shadow Shot Sunday # 2

I can't believe it's Shadow Shot Sunday so soon. Thank you everyone for the lovely comments left on my first attempt.

My shot for this week was taken on Friday at our grandson's school assembly. He's in Prep and his two younger sisters had the urge to get some fresh air and put in a bit of serious running time.

It was a hot, muggy day, but despite this everyone loved watching their little children/grandchildren put on a show. There is nothing cuter than a group of Prep kids dressed up to entertain. Our grandson was a piece of pink tissue paper - I know, I know, what was that all about? But he's man enough to carry it off with aplomb.

He even managed to get in a couple of waves!

Oh, and don't forget to pop over to for your chance to win one of three fantastic gift packages valued at over $100 each. It's so easy to enter. Simply click on to the comments and say where you found out about BrisStyle and you will be in the running. How simple is that?

Monday, 3 November 2008


LOOK AT ALL THESE wonderful goodies from BrisStyle. Guess what? They are our Christmas gifts for three lucky winners, and one of them could be you! Pop on over and see how easy it is to enter the competition. The giveaways from 17 members of BrisStyle have been divided into three lots with a total value of over US$300 - that's over $100 each (you know what that is in Aussie dollars!) - and it's all free, no tickets to purchase, no obligations.

So get your Christmas shopping off to a flying start - there's something here to suit any member of your family. It's open to all comers, from all corners of the globe. Why don't you pass the link on to your friends so that they can enter - you never know - they may even give you one of the gifts!

Memo to my husband: You are not eligible to enter.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Shadow Shot Sunday

I have been following Hey Harriet's Shadow Shot Sunday for many weeks and thought it would be fun to give it a go. I'm cheating, because I took it last week and it has already appeared in an earlier post, but I do love the shadow effect.

It was shot at Noosa Heads, a beach resort in sunny Queensland. I fell in love with the glass awning etched with eucalypt leaves and the shadow it cast across the shop below.