Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I don't know about you, but I can't wait for Easter.  Apart from plans on Friday, I have nothing, absolutely nothing, planned yet for the other 3 days of the holiday. I'm thinking of devoting hours to my hexie quilt, sitting on my bed, watching dvd's in my pj's.  I am so excited at the prospect, I can't tell you.  Perhaps I'll mix it up a bit with some baking and the odd walk or 2 or 3 - oh and definitely some reading, some hand quilting and some knitting and crochet, although I am thinking of concentrating on one project - hexies!! My girls are working quite a lot, so it will be me and Tilly hanging out.

Back to my hexies.....I have a way to go yet before the quilt top fits my king size bed....so I hope to get it done this weekend!  I can't wait to sit and stitch and stitch and stitch....

Here's a few zoom in's....................aren't they beeee--ute-eeeee-full!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And yes this little witchy-poo will be very much in all long weekend.  Stop by for a cuppa if you're around and game - there may be a slice of something delicious on offer to boot :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Book Review

I have just finished Anh Do's (pronounced Dough) book The Happiest Refugee for my book club.  Simply put, I enjoyed it.  It's a light hearted read, covering some not so light-hearted times in his life.  He thinks himself so lucky and blessed - which I think he is - totally, blessed with a great disposition and outlook on life.

As he has a profile in the Australian media arena, it was interesting to know more about him and his background.  Also, reading the book in today's current political climate, where the media have a field day with the term Boat People, which I abhor. These people are not viewed as refugee's fleeing terrible war-torn countries or human rights atrocities, but as queue jumpers.  I cringe as an Australian, on our treatment of refugees. Every Australian would benefit from reading and knowing one refugee's story.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Think outside the box

Help!  I'm trapped in a box and I can't get out.  I feel totally helpless in this dark place.  I'm going through the motions of routine and I can't break free.  I'm no Houdini - I can't figure a way out.  I have a little sign up in the lounge room reminding me to think outside the box.  But I 'just can't seem to break free from my box.

I'm feeling like a crazed jack-in-the-box.  If I do break free - I won't emerge as some beautiful enlightened free being, but as this wild crazed screaming woman that everyone will scatter from as quickly as humanly possible.

How do you change your life when people depend on you, and your income is totally committed to housing, food, etc etc.  Sell the house and downsize and live in a dodgy suburb, with a lengthy commute in the car as it's inaccessible by public transport? Take a lesser paid job, work fewer days and kiss goodbye dreams of travel and other things? Spend my days off work, reading and sewing and painting and writing and cooking and walking and dreaming.

I'm so exhausted, I can only manage one day at time, and that is spent hanging on to my day job. I buy more lotto tickets than ever before, hoping the universe smiles upon me and showers me with enough to quit work for time enough to re-group, think and focus.  And yet, am I totally defined by my work and my earning capacity?  Who am I when I'm not the Account Manager, with a stable of clients depending on me?  Does my income define me?  It shouldn't but does it?  Am I a lesser person, if I take a job making coffee?  Is that a waste of my talent?  Do I have any talent?  I'm just the same as everyone else....or not - other people seem to have found balance.  Why can't I?

I have dedicated a page in Pinterest to "'words to live by'' inspiring me to keep hold of my dreams, never give up on them and keep working towards them.  Think outside the box, break the box down. Throw caution to the wind. But I just feel like a robotic human in the mass of human race.  I tiny little ant marching to the beat of someone else's drum.  Unable to make a difference. I feel misaligned with the world at the same time.  I see beauty in so much and yet I see ugliness everywhere too. Ugly, aggressive human behaviour and it depresses me. Unkindness.  Why?

I feel opposed to what mainstream life has become - mortgages, degrees, job progression, debt.  Modern day life is exhausting.  How do you co-exist with it?  I want to strip right back, but am I brave enough?  I don't think so.  Trust and be brave I tell myself.  Have a plan to let in some cracks of light to this box I'm in. Start with a crack, stop building curtains that keep the outside out.  Grant me inspirational thinking.  Turn the light on, damn you!! Come on conformist mind of mine..think outside the box, think, think, think.  There is a way, I just can't find it yet.

It's too much pressure, I'm caving, sticking to the conformist conservative road I'm set on. Stop putting pressure on myself, it's exhausting.  Things will happen in time, but when I wonder?  When, when, when?  How, how, how?

Susie the crazed jack-in-the-box!

I would so love to have met and known this man and so many other great thinkers!
I'm trying Einstein - I really am x

Thursday, March 27, 2014

An interesting read....

My sister Angela sent me this link to an interesting read that I thought I'd share with you.


Apart from knowing myself that my creative time is positively ESSENTIAL to my physical and mental well-being, the article is particularly pertinent as I am currently reading ''The Fibromyalgia Solution'
by Dr David Dryland, in an effort to understand and fight the condition myself. His theory is based around the fight or flight response which is on overdrive in people suffering from Fibromyalgia. This response totally depletes the body's dopamine levels.

I completely recognise this in myself.  But perhaps the article articulates why, in our busy lives with sensory overload, the "craft movement", and return to skills that modernisation rejected for a time, is experiencing a renaissance?  It talks about "flow", which many of us identify or call  ''the zone''.  I enter another world/level whilst I'm creating and come back to the daily world much calmer, happier and able to cope with what it throws at me, (translated to a much more fun person to be around).

I'm still puzzled by my forgetfulness/dementia/foggy brain though!!

Enjoy :)

another block for my slowing emerging 9 patch quilt.  Block number 26 I think.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Strippy Liberty quilt finish

Quilt No 13!  Finito!  My Liberty Strippy quilt is done.  I finished binding it last night.
The top is all strips of Liberty Tana Lawn in varying shades of blue.  I think I will call it my Blue Lagoon quilt.  I do rather want to dive in it or under it and float around daydreaming with it.  It is divinely soft and has a lovely drape.  I think that's the combination of the tana lawn, and the hand quilting which I've kept to a minimum of just one row of stitching per row of fabric. I thought about quilting it more, but it didn't need it as it sticks well to the wadding, and I want the fabrics to speak for themselves - they have such a lot to say, can't you just hear them from where you are?  
I can't believe in my 35-40 years of collecting and loving Liberty, this is my first all Liberty quilt!  That's it now though...the lid is well and truly off my stash box and my mind is whizzing with ideas for more Liberty quilts.  Often, I've included bits of Liberty tana lawn in my quilts, but I've never devoted a whole quilt to Liberty...well I've broken through that little barrier, and the stand off is OVER.   

the binding

The rest of my weekend was lovely.  I saw a great film at Somerville - "Short Term 12". It's an American film about a home for children awaiting foster care or unable to live at home.  Some people do such good work in their lives - they give so much to those in need.  Watching the film, made me think about that.  I am in total admiration for people that have the capacity to work with fragile beings and work to empower them when they have suffered so much. Carers are incredible.

I had a lovely catch up with a few girlfriends for lunch on Saturday.  Lots of laughs. And yesterday a friend and I went to Homecraft Textiles as they have a gigantic sale on for the month of March.  I picked up the backing fabric for another quilt.  I've blogged about this shop before - you enter another world when you step inside.  You could be in Turkey, or a souk or market in some faraway dreamy place.  I love it. They are stocking a lot more 100% cottons - the minimum cut is 1 metre though, but for the month of March, they are 1/2 price at $7.50 per metre!!

And I started my next book for book club...'the autobiographical "The Happiest Refugee" by Anh Do. Very easy read by the looks of it.  More about that when I've read more.

Happy Monday to you all! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's done!

Quilt No 12 is done! I'm so happy with it and that's exactly what it is....a happy quilt!  And I think my smallest yet.  And my first quilt finish for 2014.  I just realised that I only fully finished one quilt in 2013.  I was busy piecing a few and completed several tops - but they remain unfinished - so that is going to change and there will be a positive flurry of finishing happening.  Just watch!  Last night I started hand stitching the binding on my Liberty Strips quilt.  It's my symphony in blue.  I can hear music as I stitch. :)

Strange I know - talking on which I have had THE most interesting dreams lately. 

In the first I was in Italy, driving the Amalfi coast in a little beachy jeep thing.  Admiring the colour of the ocean and totally awed by the view.  It was stunning and the sun was shining and glistening and twinkling on the clear azure water.  There were dolphins playing in the waves, frolicking and jumping.  The beachgoers were totally spellbound  by their performance, as were we. Then we drove on and I saw what I thought  was the biggest dolphin EVER, only to realise to my absolute HORROR it was a great white shark eyeing off the swimmers.  I could clearly see what was about to happen and was powerless to stop it.  I did try.  I screamed and shouted and waved, conscious that I had no Italian language skills and what was the word for shark?!!!  At first people just waved back, but then realised that this crazy woman was trying to tell them something and they needed to respond a certain way.  I tried humming the music from Jaws, and trying to make the shape of a fin.  All this from my cliff top overlooking the beach. Slowly it caught on and they started getting out of the water, even the very hairy chested Italian closest to the shark, made it to the shore alive.

The shark was NOT happy with me, spoiling his fun and clocked me with a look that said "if you ever, ever get in the water, anywhere in the world, I will find you and ruin your fun".  Although if looks could kill I'd have been a goner right there and then.

Now I've not been to that part of Italy and I'm pretty sure Great White Sharks don't inhabit those waters.

The second dream was much tamer.  I had a surprise package arrive on my doorstep.  I opened the door to find a kayak wrapped in airbag packaging sitting out the front of my house.  I didn't have to unwrap it - I could tell from its shape.  That's all I remember of that dream. 

On that note, bye for now xo

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Year in Books

I have joined up to The Year in Books.  I stumbled over it via Millefeuilles

I'm in a book club, but I'm always looking out for more books to read, and to diversify my reading.  I am only too conscious of how my little world is only a micro dot in the greater world, and I yearn for knowledge of the greater world, new surroundings and to open my mind to all the different lifestyles and worlds out ''there''.  I worry that in my comfortable western life, I will become too narrow in my thinking.  My upbringing was conservative, middle class (I am totally blessed for this and so thankful for it - please don't think for a minute I'm disappointed by it). I lead a comfortable life is suburban Perth, a very isolated city.  It's not easy to leave Perth and experience lots of varied cultures. Everywhere is a flight of several hours away and with only 4 weeks leave a year, not readily accessible, so I fuel my senses by reading.  It's the only way of immersing myself in other's stories and lives in my day-to-day world.

So I'm excited to hear of lots more books, that I may not ordinarily stumble across and add to my reading list.  Thank you!

Here's what I'm currently reading and enjoying. 

It is perhaps particularly relevant as we read of the theories currently surrounding the missing Malaysian airline.

and here's what I've been doing in my craft world this weekend

putting the binding on my retro squares quilt.  I'm nearly done.  It will be my first FINISHED quilt this year.  Hooray!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hand quilting

I got busy hand quilting last night.  The time flew by and I had to tell myself to go to bed as I could have spent the whole night stitching away.  It is pure heaven.  It's so rhythmic and rewarding.  I woke early, such is my level of excitement, and quickly got in another half hour before work.  Bliss I tell you, sitting stitching and sipping my morning cuppa.

I've put a row of stitching in half the quilt. I'm using 5 different Perle 8 thread colours.  I'm stitching each strip of fabric once, then I'm going to review and decide whether to put in more rows of stitching.  I've tacked the layers together, which I'm finding easier than negotiating pins, but a bit more time consuming in the preparation-to-quilt stage.  I've had abandoned the hoop and I'm not missing it one little bit.  I found it to awkward and cumbersome and moving it all the time, well hats off to those of you that have that patience!  It sure ain't me!  Partly because so far I've used fairly big stitches and I like to just get on with a whole row.  I'm too clumsy with the hoop and don't get any rhythm up.  I like rhythm.  My hand quilting feels absolutely melodic in a very organic kind of way.