Lucky again

I must say, I have won a number of raffles over the years… sometimes (twice!) even the BIG prize. This Monday I won a minor prize at the Knitters Guild’s Biggest Morning tea, while I was at work! A gift voucher, a skein on beautiful alpaca and some lovely hand creams. Aaawww…image

Our family has grown again, my daughter’s friend has moved in for the week because they are doing work experience. Wow, one extra kid seems to add to the workload exponentially, but also there are more hands with cooking and washing up – overall it’s wonderful, the extra chatter and carry on…image

I took the TAFE girls to an excursion at Opera Australia yesterday. It was so wonderful – they all want to do work experience there! I worked there 15 yrs ago, when I came to Australia, just about everybody I knew back then has left now. But they are looking for tailors!!! And my contract at uni comes to an end in July… Hmmm…biblebraidwigs

And when I took the train home, I was able to enjoy the Vivid festival in Chatswood – funky light installations and very loud music that sounded like Whale song…   light festival


… 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.

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



Getting onto the stage

Here is another little walk down memory lane. London in the early 90s.

I finally made it – a job at the English National Opera. This was before the austerity measures… costume makers were allowed to take the train from the workshop to the Coliseum and attend the dress rehearsals! What a treat to track the progress of operatic performances and to just enjoy the music. My love of opera was definitely fueled in this job! I stayed for 3 years and then went free lance. This is an assortment of pictures from Don Pasquale, The Mikado, Carmen and Der Rosenkavalier.

I think this was just about my dream job. No day was the same, everyday a creative challenge, everyday work with my hands, trying to improve my skills.

Thoughts from within Plato’s Cave

It is cold and wet, very hard to get out of bed in the morning, not surprising that the kids cannot get up at all, even I am dragging my heels. Plato finds it even harder, as you can see… But once one ventures out of the house – the beautiful colors of the autumn leaves are thrilling, even in this weather!

It is hard to stick to the plan of the week, my schedule balancing study (one day a week, on a day where I don’t do any shopping, any kind of cleaning in order to maximize on the hours the kids are at school) work (one day at uni, any other time from home) and stuff around the house and food shopping and cooking and laundry and music lessons and swimmming and dog walking and helping with high school assignments on transformation and time travel… it is hard, because I have it all mapped out on a Sunday night – nailed the plan of my activities down – but then get thrown by kids taking turns in getting really sick or just feeling unwell and needing extra encouragement or nursing… so it’s hard, but all works out well, if one just goes with the flow!

The flow thing happens most reliably, if I get that 1 hr or 1 1/2 hr of knitting in at night, preferably with a glass of red.

Talking about going with the flow – we are used to the fact now that our house may be pulled down in 6 – 9 months time. Our home! But protests against greedy developers didn’t work, hiding our heads in the sand didn’t either, so now it is just something we have gotten used to. The trucks are rumbling on the building site 3 houses down every morning at 7am, 6 days a week. The street looks really uncared for: unread local papers and rubbish are littering the sidewalk. Never mind, we will pack up and go when we are told to and then we hopefully will get a house which has a bit more space and bigger rooms for children that have grown substantially in the last 13 years. Big deal. It’s just a house.

An what would a post without something textile be?

See Scary Spice? I made that coat for her in the mid 90’s for the Spice Girl’s first performance in the Royal Albert Hall, London!

And this is a coat for Richard E. Grant – nice, eh?