Monday, November 29, 2010

Jacaranda is 1.

I started my blog a year ago today.
Many thanks to all those who read and comment on what I have shared with you.
I appreciate it very much. Hope you have enjoyed reading it all.
Over the next 12 months I will have several things on the go.
*A holiday has been booked.
*I have set myself the goal of having my Dear Hannah finished by Australia Day, 26 January 2011.
* My blue/brown "Coffee with William Morris" is nearly ready to be hand blanket stitched.
*Work more hours volunteering at the State Rose Garden.
*Lose some weight and stay healthy and happy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's been about 10 years......

...since we have had enough rain to open the flood gates of the Exford Weir.
The overflow flows into the Werribee River.
The Cottrell Street Ford, which joins one side of our town to the other side, has been closed this weekend and it is a sightseeing experience for the residents of our town.
This afternoon the road was overflowing with people and their cameras.
Our overflowing river ends up in the bay.
The main road and bridge that crosses over the river is thankfully high enough to still allow the trains and cars to cross.
Prior to this, there is usually a very steep bank on either side of the Werribee River.
We have a large population of ducks, but unfortunately they are no-where to be seen.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bit early for the Easter Bunny.....

Not really sure what this was about.
Noticed him at the NGV as I was coming down the escalator.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

National Gallery of Victoria

At the NGV, an exhibition is on at the moment called Lace in Fashion.
There are some beautiful pieces dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries
from Italy, Chantilly and England.
The workmanship is exquisite and the fineness of the cotton is stunning.
A must see exhibition.
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Rose Garden

Petal A.
Overnight rain will do wonders for the Rose Garden.
The roses are looking magnificent.
Volunteers deadheading the blooms.
First stage of deadheading is to cut to the first leaf consisting of 5 leaves
As time goes on during Summer, we cut further down the stem.
One of the avenues. The garden is designed in the shape of the English Tudor Rose. There are 4 shaped petals with the small rotunda in the centre.
At the top of the garden is the Bud which consists of David Austin Roses and at the side is the leaf shaped rose garden.
If those in Melbourne have an interest in Roses, it is well worth a visit.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I am a volunteer at the Victorian State Rose Garden at Werribee Mansion.
We have approx 50 volunteers attending each week. Our tasks are to prune, maintain and deadhead the 5,000 roses.
This morning I photographed just a few of the blooms in our garden.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Houston Class

Class: The Patchwork Quilt Sketchbook
Traci Baurista.
I wasn't really sure what this class was going to be, the description was intriguing.
We were asked to bring 1/2 yard of quilters muslin, rubber brushes, a rubber brayer, scraps of fabric, textas, sheets of paper and imagination.
We spray painted our fabric which was then overlayed with stencils.
Now I get the picture!!!
Plastic kitchen strainers were cut into circles for stencils. Numbers and letters were made.
Rubber stencils of leaves were used.
We spent the morning working on the fabric and also painted and stencilled scraps of paper that we were asked to bring.
The afternoon was spent cutting up our sheets of paper, painted muslin and stitching it altogether to make a cover for a sketchbook.

I enjoyed the class, as you didn't have to think about it. It was very relaxing.
I will finish it, now that I know the principals of making the cover.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)

AAQI at Houston were selling small quilts to raise money for research.
I saw this one and and bought it in memory of my Mum.
It is made by Mary Andrews, Grand Blanc, MI, USA.
"Iguana Spikes"
Quilt No 5802
8" x 11"
Materials/Techniques: Hand dyed fabric and yarn, machine and hand quilted.
Dedication: To all the caretakers.
Seeing it on the wall, I didn't know it's title. What I saw in the quilt was green earth and blue sky with brown, withered and dying leaves growing from the earth.
I felt that this was like Mum, she was such an active woman in her life and she eventually withered and died. Mum also had a passion for gardening.
Mum passed away in October 2009 from Dementia Pre Alzheimers.
I contacted the AAQI hoping to get Mary's email address to write and thank her. Ami Simms contacted me and I found out that Mary was her close friend. Mary and I have since contacted each other.
I told her my theory of the quilt before I had realised what she had called it, and she is happy to go with that.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Heading Home
Foyer light at the Hilton Americas Hotel, Houston

Tree house at the George Ranch. Would be nice to sit and sew here on a hot summers day.
Wacky sign I happened to see.

Halloween display at quilt shop
Class with Lynda MH Faires.
(Cecile Whattman from Unique Stitching in the grey jumper)

Tray and letters of apology from Matt Stoddard, Services Manager of the Hilton
(We handed him back the wine when we checked out, he was very impressed with us, scored brownie points. Have already received an email asking me for my booking of a room for 2011.)
Looking at a small part of the booth floor from one of the 2nd floor portholes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Back - Julie Robinson and Jan McFadyn

Front - me, Lisa Walton and Rachelle Denneny

Back - Marselle, Julie, Jan and Susan

Front - Sue and me.

Make it University Trading ATC Wall

Make It University Class with the Graffiti Wall where I signed my name with the gum leaves and blossom.
The Tunnel from the Houston centre
Welcome to the Festival
At the George Ranch
Log Cabin at the Ranch

One of the Bedrooms of the George Ranch Homestead.

View from our 15th Floor of the Hilton Americas.
Looking at the George R Brown Convention Centre and the Baseball Park
Pokey Bolton
Satan 5 model at the Houston Visitors Centre

Some photos

Monday Lecture Luncheon Table Setting.
Display at the Houston Visitors Centre

George R. Brown Convention Centre
Level 2 of the Convention centre
Halloween Mask

I'm Home.

Friday, I ran as the doors opened at 10am to put my name in the barrel for the 10.30am class of the Make It University to make a necklace using sari threads, silk ribbon and cocoons. 25 names are drawn and you have to be at the site to go into the class. I was chosen and enjoyed the one hour workshop. After, sat in the park for a change of scenery and enjoyed a coffee and a turkey wrap. Mind you, I'm sure the whole turkey was in it, counted 12 slices in all.
Saturday was spent in a class all day with Traci Baurista. We painted and stencilled fabric and paper that will become a scrapbook for Houston Memories. Thoroughly enjoyed her class. It was small with only 7 in it, Marcelle from Sydney was also doing it. Met a lovely girl from Greymouth, NZ and caught up with her Sunday morning in the park across the road from the Hotel.
Also caught up with Cynthia from Canada again and we also sat and enjoyed the sunshine. I'm sorry I didn't get to swap email addresses. The thing that is so fantastic is that, no matter where someone is from, they always stop to talk. I have met some wonderful quilters from all over the world.

Saturday, during the 2 hour lunch break, did some more of the Quilt Exhibition and a few last minute purchases from the floor. Quick dash to Macy's was also on the agenda. I bought some fab stuff, fabric, patterns, gadgets, but the weirdest of all was a Tequila lolly pop with a worm in it for DD.

I swapped my 5 ATC's on the Make it, Take Wall of the Quilting Arts booth and have already received 3 emails from those who decided to take my cards.

Saturday night was Gala on the Green, not so green as it was moved into the Ballroom due to the weather. The night was clear with a slight breeze, but the organisers felt that it was "inclement". Lots of dancing, drinking and catching up with the Aussies to say goodbye. Sue, Jan, Julie and Robyn and I ended up sitting outside chatting. Lots of photos were taken.
Sunday morning, finished packing, checked out and we headed for the airport. Houston - LA - Auckland - Melbourne.

Arrived home today at lunchtime after the most fantastic time in Houston. Sue and I had a ball and I am so glad we went together. She was a great travelling companion. Sadly we got separated at Melbourne airport coming out of arrivals, I waited, but couldn't see her. I can also proudly say that I didn't get her lost the whole time we were away.
As we flew into Melbourne, it was great to see blue sky, green pastures, water in the reservoirs and most of all Melbourne.
Like they say "it's great to go on holiday, but it's nice to come home".

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Houston 5

THAT IS IT....... I have done the show floor 3 times. I have this afternoon free so will spend it walking the quilt exhibition. I am hanging out for a lamb chop and some mint sauce but most of all , I want vegies, lots of them. Think I might head over to the Houston Centre for a subway loaded with fresh vegies.

I have started packing, haven't bought a lot for myself, seems my quilt shopping has been for others. Never mind, will come home with lots of cash. But will have to wait for the $ to drop. Good excuse to come back again in a couple of years. Have spoken with lots of people about Paducah, think that will be next on the list.

Quilt wise, there doesn't seem to be any new bits and pieces out. A lot of Batiks and the return of the Baltimore quilts are around. Textile are also the big thing at the moment here, especially with the Quilting Arts booth. Pokey Bolton wears the most amazing high heeled shoes.
She told us that her middle name is Pocahontas, and that is why she is called Pokey. She has a Graffitti Wall at her Make it University Stand and if you do one of her workshops you can sign her wall. I signed with some gum leaves and blossom.

The sunshine is beckoning outside, might go and sit in the park with some lunch. Hope I am not boring anyone with this episode of blog. Will add photos when I get home.

Houston 4

Another day down. Finally sleeping through the night.
Last night attended the Quiltalapooza which is a fundraiser evening run by Pokey Bolton (Quilting Arts Magazine), Ricky Timms and Ammi Simms.
Great night of laughter. Jan, Julie and I sat with Susan DeVanny from Melbourne. We had to wear a handmade nametag. I made one with gum leaves, gum blossom and a Kangaroo pin - I won the section for the quilter that had hopped the furthest to Houston. On the stage the prizes were rolls of batting!!! Oh Oh I thought, how on earth do I get one of those rolls home on the plane. They gave me a small roll that has fitted into my case. 50" x 60", all rolled up with the air sucked out.

This morning I am hoping to get into the Make it University workshop with Pokey to make a fibre fabric necklace.

The weather is great, about 73 degrees. There was a competition on line to workout how many steps are taken on the floor of the booths. Anything for free so I decided to give it a go. Gave up after I realised I needed a calculator. One isle took 1060 steps. Now, that was covering both sides of the isle and 10 steps for the ends of the isles and 20 steps for the cross isles. 20 isles all up, you can work it out and do the maths, and that will tell you how big this place is. And that is not counting the area of all the quilts on display.
to be continue.......

Friday, November 5, 2010

Houston 3

While Sue had a Nana nap with her feet up, I took the tunnel to the Houston Visitors Centre. DH needed a new NASA mug, and they threw in a Space Shuttle pen for him. Rather cute with the Shuttle on top of the pen about to be launched. The Discovery was supposed to launch on Tuesday from Orlando but due to an electrical problem has been delayed til Friday (tomorrow).

I must have a trait of my Dad in me, once I have been somewhere I always know how to and where to go again. This happened with the underground tunnel. There a very few people on the streets in Houston, everything is connected with tunnels because of the heat.

Got to the Houston Centre, went down the escalator and followed my nose and instinct. Next thing I knew I was there. Then turned around and came back. I think I was on automatic pilot.

The weather is a lot cooler today. The rain has stopped and it is supposed to be 73 degrees. I also bought a small quilt from the Alzheimer's stand in memory of Mum. The little quilt was "dedicated to all carers". I have a free day tomorrow so will look at all the quilts. This afternoon I have Mixed Media Miscellany.

This is for 2 hours where we enter the ballroom, and there are 20 teachers around the room demonstrating their textile techniques. Will probably catch Linda Steel and Cecile Whattman there as well.
to be continued.......

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Houston 2

Tuesday was spent in a day long class with Lynda MH Faires doing Fabric and Stitch Collage. Enjoyed the class. Cecile Whattman from Canberra was also in the class. I sat next to a lady from Vancouver Island, Canada and we spent our lunch break together. Amazing how we were so alike personally as well as quilting wise. Hoping to catch up with Cynthia before she heads home on Friday.

Tuesday night was the IQA Winners Circle where all the Quilt Category winners are announced. Sue, Jan, Helen, Julie and I sat up the back with our Aussie flags waving and yelling as each Australian won a category. Anyone would think we were trying out for the Collingwood Cheer Squad.

We were acknowledged at the end of the ceremony, as the audience was told that the Australian Winners were well supported. I was standing chatting to Linda Steel, who I had met a couple of weeks ago at the ATASDA meeting, and as I had my flag in my hand, the official photographer took our photo. Us Aussies are well loved at Houston.
To be continued.....

We all went to dinner after and celebrated with drinks and Deep Pan Apple Pie, Triple Icecream, Key West Pie and Banana Bread and Butter Pudding.

Today was spent on the shop hop. It rained all day, but we still had a good time.
Festival opened to night and I have walked the entire floor consisting of 2060 booths and 20 ilses. Don't ask me to coujnt the steps!!!


From backing out the driveway to arriving at reception of the hotel, was 27 hours. Unfortunately they had overbooked rooms and we along with 30 other quilters were sent to another hotel for the night. NOT HAPPY... but in the end we came out of it on top. Free room for the night, 1/2 price for the 2nd night when we arrived back at our original hotel booking, free breakfast for our stay and complimentary wine, chocolates, cheese/fruit platter and a letter each of apology from the manager.

As DH said, "don't complain, you have saved a couple of hundred dollars and that is spending money". Sunday was a quiet day acclimatising to the 91 degree heat and 80% humidity.
Monday morning, recovered and added to the US economy with a visit to Macy's. Massive savings on top of out 10% visitors discount card.

Monday night met up with Jan Mac, Helen Evans and Julie Robinson for drinks and dinner at the Hyatt. I think Jan should be packaged as a diet supplement. They say that laughing uses up calories and hopefully I will come home slimmer.
Cosmopolitans, champagne and Baileys on Ice, not in the same glass, got us going. Our drinks waiter was called Chuck and we had great delight in telling him that Chuck in Australia has 2 meanings, CHARLES and VOMIT.

We left the bar superstars as the Texans love our giggling and the sound of our accents.
To be continued.......