Sunday, 26 August 2012

City of surprises and an exhibition

When the winds of August die away, we are left with days of perfection.  The air is crisp, the skies blue, and the vistas are spectacular.  Yesterday was such a day.  We travelled to the city by train, swishing past streets full of blossoming trees and over the Harbour Bridge.  I am constantly surprised at how, after all these years,  the Harbour view still takes my breath away, no matter what the weather is doing to it.

We were heading for the Art Gallery of New South Wales to see a particular exhibition - more on that later. After lunch, Tony (AKA Mr Fudge) took me on the scenic route to Wynyard Station for our trip home.  He steered me through some little back streets, promising an unusual surprise.

Bird cages - dozens of them suspended overhead, with the sweet recorded sounds of birds drifting down.  I cursed, for the sixteenth time within an hour, that I had left my camera at home.  However, I did have my mobile phone, so I clicked away, hoping that some would come out.

I don't know whose idea it was ...

but I am so happy they came up with it.

I love the element of surprise and the fact that it's off the tourist track.  It's simply there, waiting to delight those who come across it.

Stepping back a couple of hours, this is what brought us to the city on such a brilliant day.  The Art Gallery had just opened its latest exhibition, photographs of Old Paris by French photographer Eugène Atget (1857-1927).  It is an extraordinary exhibition and we spent an hour or so slowly taking in the beautiful images.  They are not glamorous, but rather a history of Paris as it was from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.  If you have a love of Paris, history or photography, it's not to be missed.

This scene of children playing in the Luxembourg Gardens immediately reminded me of one of my favourite pictures which I took in the same spot three years ago.

I was taking shots of the passing parade when this little boy suddenly stopped in front of me, staring curiously.  He is such a typical little Parisian boy and I thank him for appearing before my lens.

Yesterday turned out to be a tale of two cities - two beautiful cities which I love.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


What do I love about Tuesday?  It's the day I run off to play with my quilting friends.  

Add to the mix a perfect late winter's day with the sun gently warming the bones, and then to arrive home and find a parcel waiting for you; that makes it a perfect day.

I felt a little like Howard Carter discovering Tutankhamun's sarcophagus as one envelope opened to reveal another.  Peeling back the inner layer with a little more haste than perhaps Mr Carter would have preferred, the inner treasures were revealed.

Fabric.  Lovely fabric.

This little dress has proved to be a big seller, both on line and by word of mouth locally.  As a consequence I very quickly ran out of the sailing boat fabric, so I was desperate to replenish my stock.

While I was putting in my order, I noticed these two fabrics which I knew would make such a pretty dress.  Well, there was room in the envelope, so how could I resist?

To complete the theme, I opened my MadeIt shop this afternoon and discovered that I had sold this heart garland to a young bride-to-be.  It is to be used as a backdrop for her wedding photos in December.  

Ah Tuesdays.  Feeling in the pink.

Monday, 20 August 2012


It's the coldest month of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, but August is special in our family.  Three baby boys were born in this month.  In order of seniority they are my brother, my son-in-law, and my son.  Each in his own way has added so much to our lives.

Image: The Cook's Garden
The Spouse and I met up with my brother yesterday for a celebration lunch at a local restaurant.   We were blessed to have one of those crisp, clear, late winter days which added to the pleasure of the occasion.  It was through my brother that I met my husband when we were all teenagers, so there is a lot of history shared between us and we still delight in each other's company.

Our son's birthday was a few days ago, and it only seems like yesterday that he came into our lives - our only son after two girls.  And now he has his own beautiful boy, as well as three delightful daughters.

To complete our day, we helped our son-in-law celebrate his birthday last night.  As the father of our three remaining grandchildren he is, of course, perfect.  While he fired up the barbecue the rest of the clan eyed off the cake.

 The boys were so happy to help Dad celebrate his big day.

The weekend was special in so many ways.  The five-year-old grandson started it off brilliantly by leaving it to the last soccer game of the season to score his first goal.  And it was a real goal, not an accident.  Happy times and happy memories.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


I don't know about you, but colour and fabric play a big part in my life.  So naturally I was thrilled when I received the latest fabric chart of Robert Kaufman's Kona Cotton Solids.  Who would have imagined that so many colours could be produced just for me to lust after?

There are 243 colours available and I want them all.

Look at these delectable shades.  So many foods included without the guilt of weight gain.

Cool palettes, warm palettes, so many shades to choose from. 

We had a fire alarm in our apartment building yesterday, ordering us to evacuate the premises immediately.  My first instinct was to throw all my fabrics and computer (in that order) over the balcony before leaping after them.  However, sanity prevailed and I followed Mr Fudge as he processed leisurely down the fire stairs, which was just as well, as it was a false alarm. 

When the all clear was given and the fire engine trundled home, I was able to finish off this dress which I had to desert so hastily.  It reminds me that a new season is just around the corner with the promise of Spring blossoms and new life.  And colour.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Winter doesn't last forever, does it?

Yesterday we braved the elements to watch our seven year-old granddaughter play her final game of Netta (Junior Netball) for the season.  A worse day to be outdoors could not be imagined, unless you added a downpour, which thankfully did not arrive.

Images: Boutique Baby Photography
Not long before heading off for the game, I received the most delightful surprise - images of my latest dress from Boutique Baby Photography, obviously in a different hemisphere.  

Back at the netball courts, our little team fought valiantly against not only the opposition (complete with the father from Hell who actually hopped onto the court during the game to shout instructions to his unfortunate daughter), but the howling winds and freezing cold temperatures.

Drinking coffee coming at you horizontally is a new talent added to my repertoire.   

I'm afraid my mind was elsewhere - I was California dreaming and wishing our long winter would soon turn to spring.

On a happy note, our little team won (yay - not that it matters).

 If you are planning your warmer weather wardrobe, this dress can be found here and here.  Mmmm ... lobster ...

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


What a beautiful, golden day.  I knew if we kept the commentators away from the sailing events, we were in with a chance and it worked a charm.  We have a Gold Medal in the Laser sailing class to keep company with our only other Gold, and this morning I received the most beautiful images of my latest dress from Boutique Baby Photography, coincidentally with a nautical theme.

Even though it's a beautiful, crisp winter's day, this image makes me yearn for the summer to come - I am not a winter person.

I grew up in a beachside suburb and have such fond memories of carefree summer days when my brother and I would run down to the beach in about three minutes.

We would meet up with my best friend who lived on the other side of the beach.

Our method of communication was to wave our beach towels to each other across the valley as we ran to meet up on the sand.

Off-season still brought happy occasions, such as watching whales travelling north from Antarctica to spend the winter months in the warmer climates of Queensland.

Thanks so much to Sara of Boutique Baby Photography for these adorable images.

And thank you Tom Slingsby for bringing home the gold.

If you like the dress, you can find it here or here.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Saturday Morning Quilt Fever

On the first Saturday of the month there's a buzz of excitement as the Sydney branch of SCQuilters (Southern Cross Quilters) meet for a few hours of sewing, conversation, coffee and comfort food.

I was the first to arrive and immediately ordered a Latte (à la skim of course).  The tardy arrival of the others was perfectly understandable on a cold, clear winter's morning.

However, before long the room was full and the fun began.

Not everyone was hand-sewing - this delicious collection of fabrics is being cut in preparation for a colour wheel wall hanging.

Show & Tell was, as usual, inspirational.

Having fed our creative souls, food for the body was next on the menu

Some chose the healthy options.

But on a cold day like today, many succumbed to the temptation of comfort food (mea culpa!)

All in all a lovely day.

Friday, 3 August 2012


You have to be keen to follow the Olympics from Australia.  Staggering out of bed at 5.00am on a cold winter's morning is not for the faint-hearted.  We are a tad shell shocked and are in desperate need of some comfort.  I blame the Australian commentators who with their every prediction of a gold medal bring down the Kiss of Death.  So far they don't appear to realise that we are actually doing quite well in the sailing and I am happy to keep them in the dark.

Earlier this week I was invited by my quilting group to bring along a selection of my quilts and to give a presentation of my quilting journey.  A couple of the girls asked me to include some of my Hot Fudge clothing to complete the story.

It hadn't occurred to me that some of the grandmothers in the group would want to buy what I had brought along, so I was quite surprised when I finished my talk that I was rushed with sales and orders. Keeping in line with the Olympic sailing theme, I had just completed a nautical dress which was snapped up quickly, with orders for another two, which are now ready for delivery next week.

As the Olympics descended into further gloom, the latter stages of the week were considerably brightened by two deliveries of fabric.

I love the top three fabrics in the image above - they say Christmas without being overtly so.  I have a couple of custom orders to complete and then I can set my mind to creating new dresses in time for our Aussie summer ... oh how I love summer.