Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Long weekend

We had a long weekend in Canberra for some random reason that escapes me now - the last couple of years we've had a holiday in September which has now moved to May. All gratefully accepted of course ... and I went down the beach. It was cold and cloudy but still very pleasant indeed. For something different, this is a moonlit beachscape.

I pinned up three quilts, and used up batting scraps. I normally can't be bothered sewing them together but they're bursting out of the cupboards so it was time to use them up. I hand stitch them together actually on the floor in a very large tacking stitch. It doesn't take very long at all, just a bit backbreaking.

I also practised on my guitar, although I'm still hopeless. I'm sure it takes me way longer to learn anything that it used to - I just can't seem to remember the chords!!! At least my fingers are getting callused, and it's no longer so painful.

Here are some very keen surfers. I wasn't tempted to swim at all, it was freezing. But apparently a decent swell. There was a lot of haze from hazard reduction burns. I like a hazard reduction burn because our little beachside town could, in theory, burn down in any summer. It's not very likely but there are not many places you can say won't burn, and the Tathra fires were a bit scary. But it made for a smokey weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Xavier Mertz

Remember the pastel solids I was making? It turned into this quilt, called "Xavier Mertz".

I got a bit arty with the photography and took one of it on a chair.

And one hanging off a tree. I'm not sure if that is entirely successful.

The quilting is baptist fans in the middle, and a squiggly thing with pea pods around the outside. I think I like the denser quilting better ... the idea was to give it some definition because it's all very similar across the quilt, but it may not have worked.

I called it Xavier Mertz after the explorer, because it was one of those coincidence things where you never hear of a person then hear about them half a dozen times in a week. It started off when I was listening to a Andy Irvine album (I saw him at the folk festival) and he has a song about Douglas Mawson, then I went to Hobart and went past the replica Mawson's Hut a few times and there were things about the expedition in the information centre, and then it came up on a quiz in the newspaper and I was the only one that knew it! So the quilt is Xavier Mertz ... and it looks a little bit snowy and icy. Maybe.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday in boring and unnecessary detail

I woke up at ten past nine and had muesli and two cups of coffee for breakfast. My husband went to the farmer's markets. I didn't notice he had left for the spare bed about four in the morning. We had people over for curry and red wine last night and he said he didn't sleep well.

After breakfast we went to Costco - leaving number one son swearing at his computer that was not responding well to a recently installed Windows update. Number two son was still at his sleepover. Costco was busy but we hadn't been for ages so it was quite fun. We bought a bootful of groceries , spent a lot of money and didn't get home until half past twelve. I bought an eight-pack of Frixion erasable pens which was probably unnecessary.

We had leftover curry for lunch. My husband left for a scale modelling afternoon (they are building a display stand at one of the guys' place who has a lathe. I don't know what that is.)  Before he left he pointed out a little grub crawling up the inside door of the pantry and said there had been quite a few over the past couple of days.

I rang number two son and checked he wasn't outstaying his welcome. I rang him again ten minutes later when his school weekly email came in and there was an overdue assignment. I said if he hadn't handed it in I would come and get him right now. He said it was a group assignment and one of the other people was handing in the paperwork. I decided to let him go unpunished. For now.

I sewed on my blue and brown quilt while number one swore at his computer, and the dog and the cat slept. After half an hour he asked if we could go for a driving lesson. We drove to our usual deserted carpark and practiced starting and turning. Neither of us knew how you are meant to turn the steering wheel so we googled it and watched a truly excellent video by an Irish driving instructor called Donald. We are now both much better at going around corners.

When we got home I pointed out the grubs to number one son. He said he thought it was from the bottom drawer (plastics and empty jars) so pulled it out and put it in the middle of the kitchen floor. There were no grubs underneath.

I went for a run. I saw four people I knew and waved at them. It took them a noticeably long time to recognise me. I do not think that people expect me to be a runner. I am quite fat. It was cold, but I was fine (fat = warm).

When I got home, number two son was there. He was falling asleep on the sofa, with a temperature. I asked him why he didn't come earlier if he was feeling so sick but I couldn't be too cross because he was quite clearly unwell. He went to bed.

We had leftover curry for dinner. It took my husband and I several minutes to get the drawer back into the cupboard. The grubs were in the pistachios. We threw out several other food items. My husband took in two baskets of washing, and hung out another one. I folded six baskets of washing and watched the news. I thought Meghan's dress was too simple, but I liked the veil. I refused to share my mother's day chocolates.

At the moment I am writing my blog, my husband is changing the sheets, number one is doing his homework, number two is asleep, the dog is asleep, the cat is asleep. Soon I will go and watch the new adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Ordeal by Innocence". I do not think it as good as previous ones. Several key characters are different from the book.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Blues and browns

Here is what I am working on at the moment. It is literally a two-colour quilt, even though there are dozens of colours in it, because I dyed all of them myself from two colours. So I know it's two colours, even though it looks like heaps. The two original colours are a light blue - close to the one on the right, and a brick red. I am just doing different sized triangles at the moment - I might mix it up a bit down the track but I probably won't.

It was cold and rainy and windy over the weekend. I went for a run (a slow walk/run) on Saturday afternoon and the sun broke through very dark grey clouds briefly, and the wind died right away. For a few minutes it was lovely ... unlike the rest of the weekend.

But it didn't bother me, because this is a picture of my Mother's Day. A selection of chocolate, as requested, and a decent library book, and some peace and quiet. The wind was howling outside so this was extra nice...

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Finished my lemoyne stars

And here is part two of the white-with-scraps ... the lemoyne stars. Points chopped off, no thought given to the colours and bordered with a random print.

I thought there were too many seams to do complex quilting, so went with a design that avoided the seams altogether. Circles in each of the squares joined together by a straight line. I called it "Please disregard my previous email" because my binding was being interrupted by having to respond to work things, and perhaps I wasn't always sending the right email to the right person. Oooops.

Winter has hit with a vengeance, which is a sudden sharp change, and one I possibly wasn't prepared for. I had to work late a couple of nights this week after not being outside all day, so left the building at 8.30 Thursday evening feeling  very grumpy and sorry for myself .... to be hit by two degrees and pelting sleety rain. I stomped to the car feeling very hard done by indeed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

48 hour beach escape

I quietly snuck off to the beach on Friday afternoon to get a fix of salt water, blue skies and a bit of much-needed serenity. I did ask if either of the kids wanted to come, but they didn't, so I just left. Ahhhh the peace and the quiet. It was absolutely lovely autumn weather - these are the poplars lining the road outside Braidwood.

I did intend to do some sewing and other useful things, but I ended up going for a couple of very long walks, and then I spent Saturday afternoon lying on the sofa, in the sun, with a book. All afternoon. Before cheese and crackers for dinner, and season two of The Durrells. Have you ever heard of such hedonism?
The water was too cold for me to think about swimming, even with a wetsuit. I paddled, and other people were in there enjoying themselves, but I couldn't be bothered. It was a very lethargic escape. We are back into the joys of budget week this week - I myself am not involved thank heavens but Parliament House is full of excited people....

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Sunset (with dog poo bag)

Here is a pretty sunset from Sunday evening. There had been a storm earlier, with hail and lots of rain (finally) but it cleared away into this pretty sky. I was trying to take number one son for a very overdue driving lesson but we gave it up after twenty minutes when the hail started. We haven't quite made it out of a big parking lot yet ... still concentrating on changing gears and turning corners at the same time. It is awkward.

Here he is holding a dog poo bag soulfully in one hand and a small fluffy dog on a lead in the other. I told him to gaze atmospherically at the sunset and this is what I got.

The weekend was spent mostly at home very quietly, which we were all quite grateful for. My husband had to go to the airport on Sunday to meet overseas participants for a course he's running, followed by lunch at the relevant embassy, but I didn't feel a lot of sympathy for working on a Sunday because I am not sure if "lunch at the embassy" is actually work. I went to book club - the book was "The girl with all the gifts" which most of us liked, but I didn't. It is actually quite a good book but it is zombie-themed and frankly it was too squishy for me. Too much eating of intestines and hiding in ceilings ... nothing wrong with the book itself but not my kind of thing.

I also did some fabric tidying. Having reduced my print fabrics from four cubbyholes to two, I am now on a mission to do the same with the hand dyed solids. I have three partially filled cubbyholes of solids, and on the weekend I took them out of colour order and arranged them in random order to get more inspiration. The plan was that there would be unexpected colours next to each other and I would get lots of ideas for new things. Instead it just looks like a complete mess ... but at least they are neatly folded now and I know what I have.