Thursday, 31 May 2012

BrisStyle and Etsy come to Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney is in full swing and Etsy is in town to make a major contribution.  How do I feel about this?  Like a startled kangaroo caught in the headlights.  It is coming home very quickly that in two days I will be helping my friend Belinda Harris conduct a workshop at the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

As part of the programme, BrisStyle, the most successful Etsy Street Team in the country, has been invited to conduct a workshop on effective Etsy team management. 
  Bel will be conducting the workshop while I will be doing my best not to hog the limelight by fainting.

Museum of Contemporary Art light show
Sydney is putting on a spectacular celebration, and many iconic buildings are joining in the fun, strutting their stuff with an incredible festival of lights. 

It's so exciting (and humbling) to be a minuscule part of such a brilliant event.  If you will be coming to our workshop, please do say hello.  And bring the smelling salts.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Canberra trip

Who doesn't loves surprises? Pleasant ones that is.  There we were on Friday evening contemplating the weekend ahead when the phone rang.  It was my brother.  He had been given a couple of corporate box tickets to watch one of the more important rugby games of the season in Canberra the next evening.  Would I like to join him, flying down, accommodation, meals, hire car, etc all taken care of.  I didn't take much convincing.

First thing the next morning I took the chili chicken out of the freezer for Mr Fudge's Saturday evening meal, with careful instructions on how to push the microwave button.  I secretly prayed that it was the chili chicken and not the frozen egg whites, as that could have turned out to be a very disappointing meal indeed.

Now, as a general rule I never to travel on anything flying through the air with less than four jet engines, so I really had to take a leap of faith when we were confronted with our aircraft of choice.  It was a twin-engine turboprop, and since my brother had earlier recalled a classic cartoon involving a spare propeller being carried down the aisle past startled passengers mid-flight, we had to laugh.  But the trip only took 45 minutes, so I figured if the worst came to the worst,we could probably glide into Canberra.

My brother had booked us into two separate rooms, so the second surprise was to discover that each room had been upgraded to a two bedroom suite.  Luxury. 

We were first in the dining room that evening.  We didn't want to be late for the game and only had time for the main course before hopping into the rental car for the drive to the stadium.  A few minutes after we settled into our seats, you can imagine our surprise (No 3) when our friendly host distributed the evening meal.  We felt like Hobbits having Second Breakfast and thanked our lucky stars that we didn't have the full three-course meal back at the hotel.

The game was very close and I think I must have been the only person in the stadium barracking against the home team, but after 21 years living in Queensland, the Queensland Reds had my undying support.  There was much delirious cheering during the final seconds of the game when the home team was given a penalty virtually in front of the goal posts.  As the never-miss goal shooter lined up in front of the ball, the final siren blasted and his boot simultaneously sent the ball on its way.  The delirium turned to stunned silence as the ball sailed slowly past the wrong side of one of the uprights.  In fact, the only sound to be heard was me madly cheering.  We won by one point.

There's nothing like a little drama to get the blood flowing through the veins.  The next morning, after a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we decided to get to the airport early to avoid any last-minute problems returning the hire car.  My whole life flashed before my eyes as it became clear that the car was lifeless.  The headlights had been accidentally left on overnight and unlike many modern cars, this particular model didn't automatically turn the headlights off after a few minutes.  Internal screams.  My second name is Chicken Little, so it's just as well my brother is the calm, methodical type.  After a couple of phone calls, the road assist people advised that we had been bumped to the top of the list and within 10 minutes the friendly NRMA man was there and the car very swiftly breathed life once more.

We arrived at the airport a few minutes before the aircraft was due to leave, only to be advised that there was an hour's delay due to local fogs.  So we had Second Breakfast.

It was such a grand adventure. 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sometimes a little incentive is all it takes

There are times when you need a nudge to get the creative juices flowing again.  I had been toying with the idea of making different shaped garlands, using a similar technique to that used in my hearts and bunny garlands.

During the week a lovely young professional photographer contacted me. She had previously bought one of my heart garlands to use as a prop for her photography.  This adorable little poppet is celebrating her first birthday cake smash (doesn't cake smash say it all?).

Blue Poppy Photography 

Photographer Christine was wondering if I could make a garland for her little son's first birthday cake smash. 

  After a little to-ing and fro-ing, this was my final design, which is now on its way to its new home.

 This was the incentive I had been waiting for and I now have similar garlands for sale in my Etsy and MadeIt shops.

Thank you Christine for setting me in the right direction.

Monday, 14 May 2012

I'm full up to my neck, but not my brain

This was our five year-old grandson's way of explaining that he still had room for dessert.  And as dessert was ice cream, who could blame him?

It was Mothers Day, fine but freezing, and my daughter and I were treated to the most perfect family lunch at a harbour-side beach restaurant.

The beach was all but deserted, but inside the place was a-buzz with activity.  So many mothers to feed!

We started with something pink and bubbly.

I am so pleased that the crafty gene has passed through to our seven year-old granddaughter, who taught me to finger knit while we awaited the arrival of our entrĂ©e.

For our main course, The Spouse and I chose to share pure Suffolk lamb shoulder which had been slow braised for six hours or six months - can't quite remember which.  It was served with roasted heritage carrots, mashed potatoes, salsa verde and jus. Oh my goodness.  Would there be room for dessert?

What do you think?  

She may not have the artistic talent of her older sister, but Middle Child is passing on her yarn skills to her own daughter.

With great success.

I hope you all had the most wonderful Mothers' Day.  I know we did.

Monday, 7 May 2012

As I was going to St Ives

What a difference a day makes.  Sunday in Sydney was one of those typical crisp Autumn days with not a cloud in the sky.  We could not have asked for a more perfect day to experience the St Ives Festival on the Green.

We were greeted by a pair of rather large grasshoppers, which looked as though they had stepped out of War of the Worlds.

The little kiddies ran for their lives.

But this gentleman was frozen to the spot.  Or maybe he was contemplating an early lunch.

The Dutch pancakes made a delicious snack while watching the outdoor circus.

The high wire clown was a hit with the children.

But their favourite act was the trapeze princess.

However, some of her hair-raising antics ...

... caused a little anxiety with the junior member of the family.

After lunch we settled in to watch the A Cappella choir Senisuara

Our daughter is part of this newly formed choir under the guidance of the young and talented Anna Humberstone who was featured in the highly acclaimed documentary Mrs Carey's Concert.

Ah, sitting in the sun on a mild mid-autumn day  What a perfect ending to a happy family outing. 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Keeping warm

It's the first Saturday of the month and it's really cold; well, cold for Sydney at this time of the year.  What better way to spend the day than to don the thermals and head to the Blue Gum Pub to meet up with the Sydney SCQuilters.

Sitting among fellow quilters, catching up on their news and seeing their latest works in progress is the ideal way to keep those autumn chills at bay.

Show & Tell produced the usual lovely variety of quilts.

I noticed that the gentleman sitting at the table behind us started to take an interest in our goings on.

He REALLY loved this pirate quilt.

I ordered a chicken burger for lunch.  What was I thinking of?  Well, it was cold outside and I needed comfort food.

Good food, good company, great day.