Room with a View

There was an amazing storm last night – the light was magic… “like in the movies”!DSCN9023

We are having the floors sanded in the rumpus room. This means the big teenager has to move out of his private retreat for one week. We moved all furniture and his belongings out on the deck. He politely declined moving upstairs temporarily… he had set up a Room with a View just behind the BBQ and the beehives – bedside table and light fitting included… Necessity is the Mother of Invention!DSCN9037

… more, higher, better, faster

School’s back, after a really nice and mellow holiday… I am back at work… as a family, we have experienced some stressful time. My father in law has been relocated into a nursing home – which is a huge adjustment for him, of course, but the rest of the family goes through some major adjustments as well… In addition, my mother in law had a terrible fall, subsequent surgery etc… so all of a sudden all of us carry a major responsibility in addition to ‘just the usual stuff’, which seems – on a regular day – just plenty enough. Nevertheless… life goes on and it is so important to see all the beauty in the everyday.

MORE I did put my hands up to do a few costumes for the school play… and I did know that I would most likely end up doing 3 times as many as I originally volunteered for. Yes, of course that eventuated… but it’s been lovely to host sewing bees here at our home to set up production lines for Indian girls, mermaid tails and Hook…

Patrick made an awesome canon for the play. There was the smell of burnt wood, machine oil, spray paint… I think he may well still add some flash/ bang/ smoke effect for when it goes off in the play… I am holding my breath!!!DSCN9020

I get a lot of nice ideas for knitting and patchwork, but have to restrict myself to sketch and make samples… no time right now…none… not a moment.DSCN9018

Work has been huge fun. All the qualitative data (interviews) I have been transcribing and coding over the last 6 months is coming together, since I am preparing a workshop and a paper on consent in surgical innovation with a colleague. It is very much like a patchwork top that is been put together and then quilted… endless bits of information starting to make sense and creating a bigger picture that informs us about the core issues and hopefully can contribute to the discussion about best practice, future policy and regulation.119731_600

HIGHER The one thing Lena really wanted to do in the holidays was climb the Harbour Bridge. I thought this was a nice idea, so I promised Lena and Jo they could do it. Little did I know that 14 year olds need an adult to go with them… urgh… moi… I had done it 10 years ago and didn’t enjoy the experience at all, I was just so scared! But this was entirely different. We went early one clear Sunday morning, before it got hot and we could see the entire world!!! Awesome!DSCN9019

BETTER A real whirlwind change occurred with my oldest child’s schooling. Tuesday afternoon he returned from his first day back at school – deeply unhappy, not being sure how on EARTH he was going to get through his last year at school at that particular institution… no fun, no engagement, no mojo… and within less than 48 hours we had researched, applied, been interviewed AND accepted at a different (a senior) college where 50% of his subjects will be visual art related and where he is the boss and I will retire as his personal ‘whip cracker’… Happy Days. Let’s hope THIS is the right environment for this bright kid to flourish. Go Vincent!!!

FASTER I finally had my first little sail on our own boat yesterday (started Twilight sailing on the Barubi last Wednesday)… so I dressed as I do when I crew on the Barubi… T-shirt, jeans – whatever was I thinking? This little Tasar goes like a rocket, you certainly cannot answer your phone, have a cup of tea or knit a few rows as you wait for the wind to come up. Within no time my bum (which was hanging waaayyyy out there) and the rest of me were klitsch nass (soaking wet) and I kept aaaaaaayyyyyyy:ing and OH NOOOOOOO:ing for the entire duration of the sail, since everything happens very fast on the Sparrow and the BIG DARK water is right there, only a few inches away… ok – yeah – this is not Patrick and myself, since… we didn’t have a camera, nor did we have a free hand to take a photo, but you do get the picture, right???

Walk your dogs, kiss your children, tell your partner you love them, call a friend in need, forgive people who have hurt you, cherish every moment. We are here only once.

Not keeping up at all… but proudly presenting Random Rhythms of my Soul

I love school holidays… so much more time to do stuff, lovely to see how the kids relax and adopt a slower pace that allows them to explore new ideas and things. We have finally left the house on a few occasions, the weather has been glorious and I am determined to get down to doing some (paid) work this week… in the middle of this chilled groovy atmosphere at home that is going to be hard.

So we have been to Kirribilli Market, where Patrick had a performance. DSCN8996DSCN8994

We took the opportunity to walk part of the Harbour Bridge. DSCN9003We had a BBQ at Clifton Gardens with dogs and Lena had her first swim here in Oz. Some of us jumped off the jetty at Redleaf Pool in the Eastern Suburbs, made mermaid tails out of sand, chilled and chilled some more. We marathon watched ‘Dance Academy’ (an entire season in a few days) and squealed with delight as we recognized locations, especially if we had been there already with Lena. And we certainly have not tidied up the lounge room… DSCN9005

oh no – too many works in progress… projects being added daily… floor being used as ‘design wall’ so dogs can participate and roll on quilt layouts and shuffle and ‘improve’ Lena’s design.

And I finished the quilt. Here it is. I am very pleased with it. DSCN9008Random Rhythms of my Soul.

 

Unfinished Business

I posted the previous in a hurry and forgot to show off the reverse side of Esther’s cushion!DSCN8985

It’s a bit smaller than the front, there you go – we all learn about seam allowances, the sooner the better! I think we will put a color all ’round to make the pieces the same size.DSCN8986

As I unearthed all those fabrics I also found some unfinished business, and I was delighted to come across this mystery medallion quilt cover. I started it in 2011, I think. I got this far and completed maybe 4 clues, then school holidays began and my flow of thoughts (and compositional coherence) were interrupted. I think I will just leave it as it is, frame it and find a good home for it.DSCN8989

Amongst the hidden treasure was also a sample of a Dresden Plate (the big one) and an old applique block (no idea what it is called). I cut a number of small Dresden Plates (and sewed just the one) out of some old squares of red/ black and white fabrics and am wondering how to turn them into something nice… DSCN8987I love it, when things just grow organically…

 

Craftomania Galore

It’s school holidays. The big girls had gone bush for 4 days with a bunch of boys (20!) from a local boys high school, who were going for their Duke of Ed Gold award. Once they got back, they were happy to just hang out and chill for a bit. I took the opportunity to NOT clear away my sewing machine and just do more and more stuff… invite people over who were interested in just doing stuff involving fabrics and sewing. This “stuff sewing fest” culminated in a bunch of lovely ladies coming over to compare notes in regards to the costumes for the school play. Here is a fraction of what we got up to:

Cloud cushions and DSCN8979

Doris the Dog.DSCN8980

Jo helped Chia to make a girl robot.DSCN8978DSCN8983

I couldn’t resist a bunch of fabrics at a local sale (40% off!!!) and had to arrange, fold, toss and wash them – and then cut them up with Lena.DSCN8974DSCN8975

 

 

Covers off!

Spring is here, well and truly. The light is magnificent. The covers for the table and seats have come off. It’s warm – the verandah is the centre of the universe again. This week I have used it 3 times for meals and the entire feeling of living here has totally changed.DSCN8315

In the absence of a work bench, I even mounted the quilt layers together on the floor of the verandah… until the light was fading… while some pixies slaved away in the kitchen.DSCN8317 Ready to quilt…

 

Portal to my Soul: Random Rhythms #1

Sorry boss, I didn’t work today. Sorry my loved one, I did not grout the bathroom floor. Sorry kids, I did not make biscuits for the fete tomorrow.

I finished all the blocks for THE QUILT.

Yes. And that’s ok. I was compelled to do it. Why? Well… To be honest (and I love honest blog posts!) I am confused and achieving the completion of this quilt top made me feel sane and un-confused. Looking at it, life makes sense. There are so many demands on all of us (we are parents, workers, children of elderly parents, partners, friends, dependable community members) – and all those demands seem to get the better of me every now and then. NOW. So – here I have something to look at, that in a funny kind of way really represents how I feel.

Random. Rhythms. Light and Dark. Round and Square. Striving towards a routine that makes life predictable and sensible. Frogs/ Giraffes and plain colors… randomly combined… squares singing their own song… DSCN8312

I did go to the gym today (6am!) and found out it’s “R U OK? Day” here in Australia. So, ask the person next to you if they are OK! I would love to know if YOU are OK!!!

I am OK, having completed all those blocks today. Yes, I am definitely OK. My mojo is alive and singing. Sometimes we just have to leave all the responsibilities behind and GO to our mojo… make sure it’s ok.

Best,

Swantje