Thursday, 26 July 2012

Grandparents' Day

The invitation came from two of our grandchildren to attend their school to celebrate Grandparents' Day.  So there we were this morning in the parish church which was packed to the rafters with that wonderful mix of old and young.

After Mass we grey brigade had time for a quick cuddle of our grandchildren before the smell of fresh coffee lured us to the assembly hall for morning tea. Ah ... real coffee and home-made cakes and pastries.

The school string orchestra entertained us with the Three Minute Waltz which, while it was probably more the Five and a Half Minute Waltz, was warmly appreciated by the audience.

The assembly was then delighted to be entertained by the Kindergarten and Grade 2 classes.  We Fudges were extra chuffed, having a grandchild in each of those classes.  I won't embarrass them by pointing them out, but they are the cute ones.

I had to sneak out early as I had an appointment I couldn't break and was brought up with a jolt when I saw this blossoming tree. Could it be signs of an early Spring?  Probably not, but it was the perfect ending to a delightful morning.  You wouldn't miss out on being a grandparent for quids.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The colour purple

As I finished wrapping a dress order to ship today, it occurred to me that it is sometimes advisable for me to look at colours I had previously considered unsuitable for children's clothing.

Take purple for instance.  I love using it in moderation in my quilts, but had avoided it in children's clothing.  No particular reason - I guess it never really appealed to me.  But I became a convert when the penny dropped and I realised that like all colours, purple comes in many shades.

This is the dress which is lying inside the purple tissue paper.  You may think of it as lilac, but to me it's purple - albeit light purple.  Here is how it all came about.

A lovely customer contacted me expressing her desire to buy this dress, but her little girl wanted it in purple.  My immediate reaction was, I have to admit, not one of joy.

However, I searched fabric ranges from my supplier and after consultation with the client, we finally settled on this combination.

I was so pleased with the result that I will be adding it to my Etsy and MadeIt shops in the next few days.  In the meantime, this one will very soon be on its way to the little nearly-five-year-old miss who suggested it in the first place.  Thank you for broadening my horizons!

I was so smitten with the fabrics that I added the extra two to complete the colour range. 

And that's how I came to love the colour purple.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

How to keep warm on a miserably cold Saturday in Sydney

After being spoiled with some beautiful, crisp winter's days, with the dawning of the weekend came the most miserable weather imaginable.  There was only one way to cure the blues and hide the depressing skies - visit a large shopping mall.

I remember some time back when we were in the market for a new television, we searched a large electronics store desperately looking for someone to take our money. Today, entering a similar store, we were immediately pounced on by not one but at least six eager young salesmen who practically begged to assist us.  I like to think that in a parallel universe the opposite is happening.

It's the same with clothing.  A few weeks back I was looking for a winter outfit, all in vain.  I had a certain colour in mind but there was nothing I could find within coo-ee of it.  Naturally, today, with funds low, there they were taunting me - dozens of co-ordinates in the exact sharp lime/lemon colour I had previously lusted after.  Murphy's law.  Ah well, an early lunch was called for - comfort food is always good for the soul, if not the body.

We heard an excited buzz and discovered shoppers eagerly waiting in a queue.  We could see that the source of the excitement was in the middle distance, so we edged in for a closer look.

Outside the shop there was a frenzy of TV and press cameras which only made us more curious (well, perhaps not so much Mr Fudge).

I caught a brief glimpse of blindingly red hair and the mystery was solved.

It was The Voice finalist Sarah De Bono who was officially opening a new shop.  Maybe I should invite her to my online shop!

I guess we were showing our age, as everyone around us looked a couple of generations younger than us, so we hopped in the car and headed for the highlight of our day, the Mosman Art Gallery, where our daughter's painting was hanging.  There was a No Photography policy, the meanies, so here's one I found on Face Book taken at last night's opening.

Although she didn't win, we were really pleased to see that her entry is hanging right next to her favourite artist Wendy Sharpe, who also missed out on the awards, so she is in esteemed company. In addition her entry is hanging in the same space as the major prize winners, making us suitably chuffed.  The exhibition goes until 26 August, so if you are in Sydney, it's a very worthwhile place to visit.  And Mosman is a shopper's mecca with streets full of boutiques, cafes and restaurants, which means you can make a day of it.  As Arnie says, I'll be back.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Artist

I was going through the bottom drawer of my bedside table; you know, the one that holds all sorts of treasured memories - photographs, birthday cards, the odd press clippings, etc.  I came across some Easter and Christmas cards drawn by our firstborn when she was in her teens and they brought a smile to my face.

Move forward to 2012 and the firstborn is a finalist in her second major art exhibition this year.  On Friday evening the winner of the Mosman Art Prize will be announced. With the major prize of $30,000, we are all keeping our fingers crossed!

Maz Dixon art - detail

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Hello Eccles

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full sort of a person?  I guess we fall under the second category.  Or in our case yesterday, it was more of cake tin half full.

I wish you could have seen the cake tin in its full condition, but the contents disappeared for a good cause.  You see, Mr Fudge underwent a particularly nasty surgical procedure to remove some skin cancers from his face on Tuesday.  We left at 7.00 in the morning for the drive to the hospital and didn't return home until 3.30 that afternoon - a very long and stressful day.

Yesterday morning the outer bandages were able to be removed, revealing a nasty black eye and even more surgical dressings underneath.  However, the prognosis is good and in a week or so it should be possible for the spouse to once again walk the streets without scaring the horses or children.

Later in the day the apartment buzzer sounded, announcing the arrival of our daughter with three children in tow, each of them holding a get well card for Granddad and daughter holding a cake tin with freshly baked Eccles Cakes, Mr Fudge's all time favourites.  They were wrapped in a tea towel featuring a Queensland steam locomotive, such a lovely thought, knowing how much the patient loves his steam trains.  There was also a tub of scrummy, decadent ice cream to accompany the cakes and some chocolates to carry us through to the next morning.

Here they are in their half-full glory.

I'm so glad we are of the half full variety, but after tonight there will be no avoiding the Cake Tin Empty syndrome.  As I say, all in a good cause.

Friday, 6 July 2012


This post is a couple of days late, but after watching 4 July celebrations in the States on television last night, the Statue of Liberty came to mind.    

If you had the opportunity to be in the United States on 4 July 1986, there was only one place you would want to be - New York.  That was the day America celebrated the Statue of Liberty's centenary.  And we were there, with our young family.

There were only two hotels still taking bookings when we were planning our trip and we now know that the one we chose had 10 minutes before our arrival been a brothel.  As we walked into the lobby, they were still cleaning up, arranging indoor plants to distract the startled new arrivals.  The lift was attached to an elastic band which all added to the excitement.

But we were there. What a day.  Looking at the video now, I know the patriotism shown in 1986 may appear a little quaint, but the memories of that day still give me goosebumps.

Happy birthday Miss Liberty.

Monday, 2 July 2012


I want to go to Australia.  Oh, hang on - I'm already here.

I confess to being a little smitten with this TV commercial.  What a voice.  The singer is Tasmanian  Dewayne Everettsmith, who co-wrote the song with American viola player Jasmine Beams whose beautiful playing can also be heard in this video.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Quilting weather

The year's half gone and here we are in Sydney in the middle of a cold winter.  It's perfect quilting weather, which is just as well, because the Gems Quilt Sitters' 2012 challenge quilt deadline is almost upon me and I've yet to miss one.

The machine quilting is finished, but there's a fair amount of hand quilting to go.  Nothing like a fast approaching deadline to get that rush of adrenaline started.