Friday, 22 May 2009

It's official ... the drought's over

And how do I know? Our State Premier announced it over the radio as I was stuck in the middle of flood waters while attempting to drive home on Wednesday. I think she was Minister for the Bleeding Obvious in a former life. These images were taken by a friend of mine who lives locally. They are pictures of her driveway and she used it as an excuse for missing our quilting group meeting. Where was her pioneering spirit?

Mind you, this is what happened to her neighbour and he has no recollection of where he left the road or how long he was in the car before he scrambled free. He must have been a quilter.

Anyhow, it's been that sort of a week. Let's take a step back in time to Wednesday of last week, which we spent in Sydney.

Spot the difference?

Our daughter and son-in-law took us to lunch at Bill Granger's restaurant at Woollahra in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The memory of the of the main course was obliterated by the arrival of the cake ...

... and coffee.

Our two-year-old grandson was more interested in his new toy train.

We girls wanted to take in the new Donna Hay shop around the corner, and I was fascinated by these wonderful felt pebbles on display. They were very tempting, but I resisted and bought a box of yummy chocolates instead - far more practical.

That evening we stayed with our daughter and family, babysitting while she and her husband had a well-earned break . They had tickets for the Paul Kelly concert and left early to take in a meal before the performance. We had bought our four-year-old granddaughter a picnic set which she gave a really good workout that evening. We had high tea in the family room with some of Miss E's close personal friends ...

... after which we had to wash all the dishes before having a picnic in the children's room, followed by a party back in the lounge room, and on it went until it was time to go to bed.

The next day Tony and I spent time in the city, where we had breakfast in my favourite place, the Strand Arcade. It is the most beautiful arcade, with the natural light pouring through the glass roof ...

... and three levels of the most desirable designer fashion.

Our time in Sydney was a joy - staying part of the time with my oldest friend from our school days (we first met when we were 6). We did some serious damage to some bottles of wine and reminisced days long gone but so vivid in our memories. We caught up with family and friends and the five days went in a whirl.

Wednesday's flooding caught us out and after leaving a friend's home where a group of hardy quilters had gathered, I was stranded on the only road into our suburb. It was then I recalled that I had left my mobile phone at home, so I drove back to the nearest shopping centre to find a public phone to let Tony know that I was OK, before rejoining the ever-growing traffic waiting in the hope that the water would subside a little so that we could get home. Thankfully by some miracle the water level on the road did drop a little and we crawled cautiously through it and eventually arrived home safe and sound.

Fifteen Seconds of Fame

Thankfully by the next morning the skies began to clear a little and I ventured across the other side of Brisbane to be part of the crowd scene in a TV regular programme, The Great South East. They were doing a segment on local designers and BrisStyle was to be a major part of the story. There were six BrisStylettes and two delightful little four-year-olds, twins Charlotte and Riley, who were to model clothing made by their talented mother, Christine of Little Diva, whose home was used for the filming.

The charming presenter Sofie Formica immediately put us at our ease and the filming went without a hitch.

Left to right: Lauren (Raspberry Pink), Amanda (Twinkle Star Art), Moi, Christine (Little Diva) with Charlotte on her lap, Sofie Formica (show host), Sandrine (SM Boutique), Carole Horne (show producer) and Helen (Ruby 2 Go Go and Ruby Red Studios) - with Riley on her lap.

The film crew then departed to interview sisters Bec and Jade of Beckybean, who were waiting anxiously at Bec's home. Sadly we will have to wait until 5 July to view the show, which is the day after our market, but it should be well worth the wait.

After the filming I found my handbag to take out something out, but was puzzled by a box of Moo business cards which was lying in the bag. I asked if it belonged to anybody and was informed by Amanda of Twinkle Star Art that yes, they were her cards and in fact, I was rifling through her belongings - our bags were identical! Some time later Amanda bade us farewell, as she was to collect her little daughter from the babysitter. Within a few minutes the rest of us prepared to leave. I collected my clothing and quilt and unzipped my bag to get out my car keys. They were not in the usual place, so I proceeded to search a little more thoroughly. It was about now that the penny dropped. The car keys were in Amanda's bag. One of the girls rang her mobile number, but she had quite sensibly switched it off while driving.

I must admit my brain closed down for a few minutes as I tried to come to terms that for the second day in a row, I was being thwarted from driving home. Without hesitation, the lovely Helen of Ruby 2 Go Go offered to drive me all the way home to pick up the spare keys and back again to the car. Now, this wasn't a trip to the next suburb, but a drive of nearly an hour each way. I was overwhelmed with her great kindness, but wasn't really surprised - she's such a lovely person and I am indeed blessed to friends such as her.

All's well that ends well and the good thing is that Amanda, in an effort to find my keys, has discovered new and wonderful pockets in her bag that she did not know existed, so it was all for a good cause.

I wonder what next week will bring?

Friday, 8 May 2009

It was procrastination, I know

The pressure is mounting to get serious about the quilt I am supposed to have finished by late July. The problem is my mind is on building up my stock for our BrisStyle market on 4 July.

I once had a classy little t-shirt which had a line drawing of weeds, and the message, "So many weeds, so little time". Today I could do with that t-shirt, maybe with the "weeds" crossed out and replaced with the word "sewing".

To add to the pressure, we are trying to plan our trip overseas in August, sorting our way through the confusion of air ticket deals, accommodation, transport on arrival, and all such matters. Our journey will commence with a most unusual destination, as we will be attending the wedding of the son of very dear friends in Sydney. The son is working in London and is marrying a Scots lassie who lives in London, but comes from the Orkneys, and this is where the wedding is to take place. I have checked on the average temperature in the Orkneys for August - high summer. It's 15 Celsius, or 59 Fahrenheit - and we're talking maximum temperature here. We will be fleeing the fierce winter of Brisbane (average August maximum 21.8 Celsius, or 71 Fahrenheit). Eek! Despite the lack of warmth, we are really looking forward to this truly special occasion.

The rest of the time will be spent in the warmer climates of London, Dublin, Paris, Rome, Berlin and other delicious destinations. Oooo ... can't wait.

You can see that I am procrastinating yet again. I should be sweating over my sewing machine, but I think I'll call it a day for now. I have made two pretty little skirts which I am selling on my Etsy shop and I have completed a massive five quilt blocks, so my conscience is partly clear.

I have set next week aside to do some serious damage to the quilt, so Mr Fudge knows to steer clear!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Psst ... want something free?

There are more old drunks than there are old doctors.
— Willie Nelson

How would you like something for nothing - no strings attached? For example:

Bettsy Kingston

Or how about these:

Kitty Boo Boo

Aren't they absolutely adorable? For your chance to win, go to the BrisStyle blog and make a comment - it's as easy as that. But hurry - it's only for the month of May.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Shadow Shot # 50

I am so relieved. Poor Tracy of Hey Harriet had been having major computer problems and I feared she may not come back, but there she is today, large as life with a gorgeous Shadow Shot of her own, and her beautifully constructed collages of contributors' shadow images.

Here is mine for today:

I have to credit Hisself for this shot. He was walking past the glass table in our hallway at dusk and noticed the shadow cast by a Delft bell our daughter had brought back for us from Holland several years back. I was so impressed with his powers of observation.

Winter can't be far away here in Brizzy. It's only going to be 75 today. Brrr! Sorry. And now why don't you take a look at Shadow Shot Sunday # 50 here.

Friday, 1 May 2009

There's no Business Like ...

It's finally here - the Stitches & Craft Show hits Brisbane. I had volunteered, along with several other BrisStyle girls, to act as volunteer for the day. The incubators were a huge success and attracted many viewers and buyers throughout the day.

After catching up with some of the BrisStylettes, it was time to help out. First off the starting blocks was to look after Dear Fii's incubator while Melbournite Fiona Lech conducted a class on making a button bracelet in the craft lab.

Everyone loved her gorgeous softies - one of her designs was created from drawings by her young son. The patterns for these characters were a particular favourite and sold well.

Then it was a quick hop next door to caretake Justine of MixTape's incubator. If you haven't read this wonderful zine, do yourself a favour and subscribe - you won't regret it. Justine is such a warm and friendly character who has taken on the onerous task of editing and publishing her own zine and deserves every encouragement.

Here is the latest issue which Justine kindly gave me as a thank-you and I'd love to show you what's inside, but you will have to buy your own copy.

Justine is collecting embroidered signatures for her quilt in progress and I have promised to get mine to her. Eek! I haven't embroidered in yonks!

BrisStyle Den Mother Helen of Ruby 2 Go Go was scheduled to be interviewed, so Ali of Jellygnite and I toddled along to add support in the audience.

Naturally she carried off the interview with her usual grace and charm.

She even had her name up in lights. What a trouper.

And here she is at her incubator with its amazing set-up.

I fell in love with her signature brooches and couldn't resist buying this one, which came in its own little bag. It's not for me, but I can't reveal who the recipient is, because I suspect she may read this blog and that would ruin the surprise.

After catching up with fellow helper Sophie of Strat Designs ...

... I had a frantic cry for help from the effervescent Louise of Made by Miffy who was due to give a class on No Sew Fabric Flowers.

I had great fun minding her incubator. Her hot-off-the-press apron patterns practically walked out the door. I had been one of Louise's guinea pigs in making this apron prior to its printing and I feel like a grandma princess whenever I wear it. I will probably leave it to one of my daughters in my will.

The very thoughtful Louise gave me this gorgeous key carrier for my trouble. If you want one of your own, take a look at her store.

Among the Melbourne contingent were the very talented girls from Ink & Spindle whose hand printed textile designs I've long admired.

I couldn't resist buying this gorgeous fabric designed by Lara Cameron. I haven't made up my mind what to make with it yet - plenty of time for that. In the meantime, I'll just gaze at it for a while.

It was so good to catch up with the other BrisStyle girls who had their own incubators. Trish (along with her charming husband, Alan) of Trishalan Designs, Olivia of Scampsville who is leaving our shores very soon for a year in Italy - not that I'm jealous - and Christine from Little Diva were all very busy selling their wares and if you check out their shops/blogs, you will understand why they were so popular.

This augers well for our own market coming up in July. I can't wait.