Saturday, January 25, 2014

5 Simple things to do on Australia Day-the Earthmotherwithin guide!

1. Go for a walk on the beach or in the bush. Go carefully. Slowly. Notice things! This is an ancient and precious, fragile ecosystem. Think about how we can protect and care for it.

2. Watch Paul Keating's speech on 10 December 1992  in Redfern

3. Learn the words of the National Anthem -both verses.

4. Watch the speech of the Australian of the Year 2014:

5. Read an Australian novel,  or watch an Australian movie, such as:

Red Dog

The Rabbit Proof fence

Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

One of our Human Rights Commissioners wrote about patriotism and Australia day here:

He said".. patriotism needn't mean blind loyalty or ethnic chauvinism. You love Australia not just because it's your country, but also because it has qualities that make it worth celebrating. When your country falls short of its best, it may be your obligation to criticise it. If you truly love something, you will want to improve it" .

Happy Australia Day!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Summer entertaining

This month of January is a good time to catch up with old friends. Many of us don't have all of our diaries full yet, and the weather is just perfect for being outdoors in the evening.

We have been entertaining people who haven't been to our place in a while-either the last time we met it was in a coffee shop, or restaurant, or it was 'their turn' to have us to dinner at their place. It has been a great opportunity to show them the result of our renovation and gardening efforts. Bathroom renovation, ensuite renovation, new heater and mantle piece in the lounge room, raised vegetable garden beds, new carport and panels, water tank ..the past few years have made a big difference to this place.

Each morning as I shower in my lovely new en-suite I am very grateful for the lovely space I enjoy. The best part is the big glass block window, which lets the early morning sunshine in. The shower now faces this window so you can be bathing in water and sunlight!

Anyway, the afternoon is moving on. I am turning this harvest pictured above into food for friends to share tonight.  Gazpacho and tziziki soaked up some of the many cucumbers -but there are lots left! We are having baked potatoes and  fish with tomato, onion and olives.

My friend is bringing dessert tonight. We will sit outside and talk and  eat and enjoy the evening together. Hope you have a good weekend to look forward to!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Morning Meditation on the wall

Morning Meditation -my first finish for 2014.

My DH made a quilt hanger for my new quilt to hang in our entrance hall. I think it is terrific, and he now has the job of making a whole lot more, for other quilts that I would like to hang.

He stained the wood the same colour as the front door, so it all looks very coordinated and nice.

Now my problem is: what to start next? 
I have a 'leader/ender' scrappy project on the go. It is a Jan Mullens design called "Stargazy". I find it fun to do - I have already made a lap size quilt. This one is soaking up quite some scraps, and I want to make it queen size. As a 'leader/ender" quilt it is great -I just sew another block as I am making something else- it is not a complicated design. That is how I have already got over 80 blocks finished, whilst I was making "Morning Meditation".

I don't want to turn this project into my MAIN project, so that leaves me with my Inspiration List of quilts I want to make and have (mostly) the fabric for:
  • Disappearing Pinwheels. I have been cutting 10" squares and have enough for a small project.
  • Earth Blessings -using a fun graphic print of a gardener, and adding blocks to make a wall hanging
  • Black and White -I have a small collection of fabrics I would like to use, but no design in mind at the moment
  • I have the "Innovative Piecing" book published by Rodale -lots of new techniques I would like to try here. There is a design called "from rectanges to stars" which I have had marked for AGES -and wanted to use my lovely collection of dark grey/brown batik fabrics...This could turn into a lap size easily. 
  • "pink and yellow " - I have a collection of modern flower prints in pink and teal and yellow. Some of these are Moda fabrics from a few years ago.  Up to now not had a particular pattern in mind but would like to see these in a quilt.
  • Japanese fabric -still have LOTS left so would like to use these up. I have a Material Obsessions book with a pattern in it -could work well with these fabrics.
OR I could do another scrap-busting quilt to tame the scraps further, before I cut into more fabric and make more scraps.

Decisions, decisions!