31 May, 2007

too far from home

I am in Melbourne for a few days for work, and am really wondering what the heck am I doing here. I want to be at home with my family. B rang me thi morning with the sad news that my dads procedure did not work. I spoke with my mum, which made my heart ache, and I just wanted to be with them. I am a bit of a sook anyway, and couldn't help but sob quietly for a few minutes in the workshop I was attending. I spoke with B this afternoon who once off the phone to me had taken the day off work to take my mum to the hospital. I am so thankful to have such a caring and selfless husband. My mum and dad were also grateful. I got to speak with dad this evening, he is now home not wanting to stay at the hospital any longer, and his main message to me was that I not come home, but to have a good time, and to reassure me that all was alright he sent me on a task to get the address of an antiquarian bookstore he had visited last time he was in Melbourne.

Kay Craddock Antiquarian Books, Collins St Melbourne

I found his bookstore with no problem and a shop for me.

Husk, Collins St Melbourne

necklace, Husk, Collins St Melbourne

Husk, clock and paper collage picture

Mirrored Glass Bird hooks

cute bird

30 May, 2007


Ok, so this is NOT a film review, but rather an updater on the F-I-L ... M (father in law)!

As you may have read, on Monday he went in for, what he told us, a small* procedure. However this was not the case, far from it actually!

Let me tell you a bit about its history. His heart has been beating an irregular rhythm for some time now leaving him tired and breathless. Also, extremities (nose fingertips etc) blue. After a procedure some months ago to try and 'shock' it back into rhythm, it returns back to his irregular rhythm a few days afterwards.

A return to the GP and Cardiologist and he was booked in to have an 'experimental' procedure. 'L's' favourite brother took him to hospital and after waving him off into surgery at 7.30am (told by nurse it will be about 90 min so he doubled it and came up with 3 hours to be safe) left for Westfield for some breakfast. Returned well into the afternoon (he did call throughout the day remember) and we arrived at the hospital at 6pm to find that he was still in surgery. 6.30pm came and we went to the ward to find he had just returned and was in Acute Coronary Care, wired up and heavily sedated. He still had the little pads they put on when they give the 'paddles' like in ER, Grey Anatomy, All Saints and just about any other medical show where there is a heart attack! He was very groggy and not making much sense apart from saying he was in pain.

Over night, his pain had escalated and although we thought he was due to come home yesterday, this was no longer the case and he was required for more tests. The procedure is this:
  • They need to get the heart into a normal rhythm, so they shock it into this.
  • They then had to identify which muscle on the heart was diseased. They will burn it off shortly.
  • They then stop the heart and burn the affected area of the heart muscle.
  • They then shock the heart to start it beating again, and this is where it all went pear shaped.
When they tried to restart the heart, it would not, at first, re-start so they had to increase the amount of charge. They eventually got it going (thank the lord) but left him in severe pain requiring increased sedation and medication.
We had a visit yesterday, L called me saying the M-I-L was quite distressed, so I left work to pick her up and go to the hospital. When we arrived, he seemed a lot better than the previous night, although still in pain. After a couple of hours, re-positioning and some lunch, he became a LOT better. He is under strict instructions from the doctors/nurse's, that there is to be no lifting of anything over 3kg, so the two grandchildren who have a tendancy to launch themselves at you, are out of bounds!!!
* After talking to the doctors, I do not think that this would be classed as a 'small' procedure, do you?

29 May, 2007

what were any of us thinking

there was no way my dad was coming home today. I had the day off work originally so that I could bring him home, but we quickly found out that he would not be home until later in the week. My mum was a bit of a mess from worry and a sleepless night. So the day became just as much about her as my dad. B, mum and I spent some of the morning with dad at the hospital, no visiting hour restrictions for us, we didn't stay all that long just the same, given my dad was very tired and a bit dopey on medication.

We came back to our place for a change of scene and to let dad rest. Mum made some calls to my grandmother and the littlest sister, the favourite brother had rung earlier, and I laid out the patches for the Circus in Central Park quilt. Then it was back to the hospital, where I stayed until the littlest sister arrived.

circus in central park

My dad improved tremendously over the course of the day, and we managed to gather a few more small bits of information. That: -

  • the procedure was experimental,

  • may take as long as three months before we know how successful it has been,

  • the success rate for the operation is not very high, and that

  • he may require further procedures, and if this is the case the earliest this can be done will be 4 months, as it will take three months for the healing to take place from this procedure.

28 May, 2007


it was a long day, and I am so thankful to the doctors and nurses at Westmead Hospital who have looked after my dad so well today. Whilst I fought off the anxiousness I am prone to experience, by keeping busy, and with a Rescue Remedy pastille or two, a team of medical practioners performed a 10 hour operation on my dad's heart, all without a break.

I think it was a fairly major procedure, but my dad is not one for seeking attention, so none of us really knew much of what was going on until today. If he could have helped it, I don't think he would have told any of us. He had planned to catch the train to the hospital (which would take probably an hour or more) and would get a taxi or other form of public transport home, selflessly not wanting to put any of us out. But, I can say it really put me out. I felt I really needed to do something, and there is no way my dad would have allowed any member of his family to find their way to and from an operation. Bizarre, that he would think we would not help him out.

My favourite brother took the day off work, making sure dad got to the hospital, and accompanied mum for the day, meeting up with me for lunch. I wasn't really able to keep my mind on the job so had an early mark to wait at the hospital with them. I am grateful too that I have a manager/employer that is reasonable enough to provide me with a day off at short notice to be able to take my dad home, hopefully tomorrow.

And in respect for my dad, I shall end this post now, he is not one for this level of melodrama.

Suffice it to say, we won't know the success of the operation before two weeks, but early signs are good. Yay!

27 May, 2007

love thy neighbour

it has been one of the best weekends so far:-
  • Quilting class yesterday, and progress made on a couple of my quilts (if we ignore the rye neck).

  • a wonderful afternoon tea with our friends A, D, 5 month old B, and nanna. It was the perfect way to be spending an autumn Sunday afternoon. And Nanna, B tried to bring her home with us, makes the most sensational fairy cakes and jam drops. Ohhhhh, so lovely.

  • no mowing of lawns, one blessing that comes with the cooler weather, I guess.

  • our neighbour's 26th birthday, which started yesterday afternoon and continued right through to today, so many happy sounds; laughter, squeals (crazy people went swimming today), and glass bottles.
My dad goes into hospital tomorrow for a procedure on his heart, it has been the perfect weekend to relieve stress.

And a message from Macc to thy neighbour: it has been the greatest week with meat delivered on three occassions, and I thank you and promise to try not to growl at you as you pass by the passionfruit vine.

26 May, 2007


the small boys speedy quilt has progressed nicely, although I have the sorest shoulders now from crouching on the floor as I pinned the front, back and batting together. The tiles in the kitchen provided the perfect flat surface to work from although at the time it was a bit hard on the knees, and now for the shoulders.

I returned to quilting class today, this time with Judy at 'Quilt Love' in North Rocks. Two and a half hours and I managed to finish the cutting out for the 'Circus in Central Park' quilt I purchased more than two years ago and started easily two years ago when I was doing a class in Penrith.

Circus in Central Park

I am not sure I will make it next week to a class, but this is the great thing about the classes at Quilt Love, you can come and go as you please and you only pay for the classes you attend and not those that you miss. I also liked that everyone was doing a different project, not just quilting, although that accounted for about half of us, the others were doing embroidery, knitting, and crochet. Judy is a master of many crafts.

25 May, 2007

building blocks

'building blocks' fabrics with 'everything but the kitchen sink' (red)

i am on a roll now. In under half and hour I had the fabric for my small boys speedy quilting project. Not impressed, well that included the drive (five minutes each way) from the office to Fred the Needle in Penrith and back again at lunchtime.

I think all the fabrics might be 'Building Blocks' by American Jane Patterns for moda. This quilt is going to be simple, with these fabrics sewn together as is, in wide strips on one side and the golden holden fabric in a solid panel on the other, and all bound together with 'Everything but the Kitchen Sink'.

I am hoping to have it done by the end of the weekend (very quietly said).

24 May, 2007

golden holden

'golden holden' and 'everything but the kitchen sink' fabrics

i found it....

the golden holden fabric I was after to make a small boys quilt.

I was doing an internet search last night when I came across a quilting store in Leichhardt that had it listed. This was perfect timing as I had a breakfast meeting in the CBD this morning, providing the perfect detour on the way back to the office.

The red and white fabric was purchased at the same time, I believe it's called 'Everything but the Kitchen Sink', and I plan to use it for the binding. Next challenge will be to find the right fabric for the other side.

20 May, 2007

lulu my alter ego

lulu's alter ego

say hello to my alter ego, she has pink hair which I would love to have, is a bit flamboyant, likes a bit of sparkle, vintage, lace and crochet, and shares my fashion sense. Lulu is the product of one of my favourite artist's, Rebecca Cool. Until last Friday, I was not aware that Rebecca Cool made dolls, and now I have one. I have named her lulu.

Last week on Sunrise, a women with nine children was promoting her book Womenhood, and the cover was unmistakeably the artwork of Rebecca Cool. My obsessive compulsive tendencies were unleashed and I had to have me a copy which led me to Paddington Contemporary Gallery who had recently had an exhibition of Rebecca's, and were selling said book, and some of her dolls, and had one painting left. I wasn't too keen on the painting for sale, thank god, or the bank account would have required immediate resuscitation. But I did love the dolls and it was a real toss up between Lulu or a red haired one. But according to the gallery curator, the one with the pink hair looked like me.

Of course I was SOLD!

18 May, 2007

what the

as if enough km's hadn't been done this week, I spent the day with mum and we decided to head west (first though I had to head east to pick her up).

On the agenda for the day was an exhibition of recipe books at the Lewers Gallery in Penrith, and the 'Veiled Elegance, a Century of Weddings' exhibition at the Woodford Academy. First stop however, being a pot of tea, with scones, jam and cream at Mamre Homestead. The day started to unravel early however, five minutes into the drive, mum inspecting the details on the promotional postcard for the Mothers' Cookbooks exhibition, asked me "what date did you say it was?" referring to earlier when my father had asked me the date as I walked into my parents house to collect mum. In a lightbulb moment I realised we were a day early, the exhibition wasn't due to start until tomorrow. Aargh!!! Now before we get too committed to travelling west, we doubled checked the Sydney Morning Herald write up for the bridal and wedding apparel exhibition. The details were a bit sketchy ... on until June 17, so we decided to keep going, satisfied that all was not lost. And to cut a long story short, the most important piece of information had been omitted from the editorial, that is on until June 17, open the third Saturday and Sunday of the month. Well that is our guess anyway, it was not open when we had made the almost two hour drive to the Woodford Academy, as one sign read 'Open Saturday and Sunday' whilst the more permanent signage read 'Open the third Sunday of the Month'. Anyway, it wasn't open today.

Our Shop
Not to waste a precious day off work, we headed for Wentworth Falls where I discovered 'our shop' a great little shop that is closing down. What the heck was going on today? Anyhow, I bought a feltle which looked a bit like I was feeling; soft, warm, fuzzy, and a bit messed up.

With new discoveries made, the day felt slightly back on track. Next stop was Leura where further discoveries were made ...

mrs peel
and the purchase of a fine pair of vintage shoes. The day had definitely been recovered.

vintage shoes

16 May, 2007

soothing patterns

I'm just home from a trip to country NSW and having made a quick check of the email. I have discovered tucked into a netletter, a link to a new local online fabric store, Duckcloth. Although many aspects of the site are still 'coming soon', there is enough there to soothe the senses. Any other day it would probably stimulate the senses, but after driving five and a half hours yesterday to reach Lachlan Shire (Condobolin), then doing a 3 hour plus round trip to Tottenham and returning home with another five and a half hour trip today I was feeling a little edgy. This was made worse as I have come down with yet another cold, and the cold and flu tablets have really dried me up, I can't seem to drink enough to loosen my throat and wet my mouth, add to that airconditioning and dust, so much red dust.

I had a great time, albeit brief in Condobolin, and would like to go back for a more leisurely visit sometime, The open space of wheat and sheep country, clear skies and colours, dirt roads and kangaroos, are also soothing yet stimulating.

13 May, 2007

happy mothers day

mothers day cake 2007

Happy Day to all mothers and mothers to be. Mothers Day was held at our place and we had so many mothers; my grandmother, auntie, my mum, and two expectant sisters. Everybody brought a plate which was a lot of fun, and made a lot less work for one person.

And at odds with my reputation I managed not to burn my contributions; a no cook chocolate cake, and sri lankan yellow rice which had lots of burning potential. The chocolate cake was a great success, with a couple of the family suggesting I could make this for other occassions.

Burning things on the day was however, out of the question anyway, as the newish oven kept tripping the power whilst B was cooking his sticky chicky, also causing a slight problem for the reheating process of the dishes that others might be bringing. Thank god for the microwave, it wasn't a big problem. There must be some law of nature that causes these kinds of disasters (ovens to combust, hot water systems to leak...)to happen.

12 May, 2007

all things skyward

winter hanging basket

I had planned to start a quilting class today, instead yesterday I was hit with environmental consciousness regarding the halogen lights in our lounge and kitchen which, saw me head to the lighting shop on the way home from work to purchase some megaman light globes and fittings that of course couldn't wait to be installed. They also turned out to be a bit more work than at first anticipated, requiring the existing holes to be increased.

A trip to
Bunnings early this morning, because I am impatient about these sorts of things, to purchase a gizmo that would cut circles in the gyprock. A trip to Bunnings is not complete without a trip to the nursery, big mistake, this led to punnets of seedlings (pansies, lobellia, allsyum) for the hanging baskets I also purchased yesterday. Only problem I felt an extra basket was also required so next it was off to Big W, and then about a dozen other nurseries to find coloured lettuce and Miss Lou Lou pansies, the coloured lettuce because I needed some added texture and colour, and this was a great suggestion of B's except for the amount of time it took out of the day. Mind you, whilst I visited the nurseries B installed the lights, if B had been with me he would have put a stop to my obsessive compulsion after about the third nursery. Anyway, as he was preoccupied I don't think he realised how long I was actually gone for, the gizmo for cutting holes didn't work, although he found a steak knife did the trick. So many good ideas.

By the time I arrived home, going to a quilting class was out of the question, I had hanging baskets to assemble. Now on a roll, lawns got mowed, and the house name hung. We must be having guests here tomorrow.

09 May, 2007

dovecote cottage

dovecote cottage

my head is back in Toowoomba and in particular the cute little B&B we stayed at 'Dovecote Cottage'. It was so cosy and had the most fabulous avocado tree out back, that provided mum and I the opportunity to practice our pinata skills. I don't know what the neighbours thought with two pj clad women balancing on a chair, wielding and waving a broom at the branches, early in the morning and giggling crazily.

avocado tree

I am indulging (or is it torturing) myself by posting the following photos also from our recent trip to Toowoomba via Noosa.

pearls for girls

A trip to Noosa would not have been complete without a visit to Pearls for Girls, it was also very appropriate given that my pearl earrings that were a graduation present from B, came from Pearls for Girls. And how about this cute planter box, which looks like it may have been made from old decorative fencing.

planter box

My all time Noosa favourite was the locals, in particular this lolly chomping brush turkey. There were quite a few brush turkey's mingling on the main street, this one though had a green sticky lolly that it was very much enjoying, you can probably make out the lolly under its left foot.

lolly chomping brush turkey

Not much in the way of crafting experiences although, once in Toowoomba we managed a trip to Highfields and the Quilters Angel. Where I purchased wool flannel, and a kit to make a needle book. I am such an impulse buyer, and they join the list of unstarted projects lining up behind the unfinished projects. Just outing myself now, I think is encouraging me one step closer to signing up for a quilting group.

the quilting angel

And even if I don't get to a class, I really want some of this fabric, so Australian with its holden cars and a map of Australia. Unfortunately, the shop that housed this quilt was closed as it was a Sunday, as with most of the shops. Country Australia.

holden fabric quilt

A quilt like this one is more to my standard with a single piece of fabric and complementary binding.

04 May, 2007


over the last few weeks, the favourite brother graduated from the University of Melbourne, the littlest sister graduated from University of Sydney, I graduated from the University of Southern Queensland, and yesterday B also graduated from University of Sydney.
hood, gown and trencher
It has been a busy few weeks, especially for my parents who have attended every one. We all had a laugh when mum recalled a discussion with the favourite 5 year old nephew that morning.
Favourite 5 yr old Nephew (FN): Granny where are you and Pop going?
Granny: Pop and I are going to watch B graduate from University.
FN: You won't be able to come to my graduation, because you will be dead by then.
B's graduation was an early one, being at 9.30am, after refreshments in the quadrangle, photos, and framing of his degree, mum, dad, B's mum, B and I headed over to the Queen Victoria Building for High Tea at The Tea Room to celebrate. It was so good, mum and I were planning our next visit for my next flexi day and B was inviting himself along. With the Craft and Quilt Fair at the end of June at Darling Harbour, I may not have to wait too long.

the great hall
For now though congratulations to us all, and I am so proud of you b.

03 May, 2007

fly by melbourne

early morning view from my room at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne

I woke this morning on my 'fly by' visit to Melbourne to this fabulous view. It was raining, which was a welcome sight given dam levels in Melbourne had fallen below 30%.

The rain continued all day and continues to rain as I sit at the airport waiting for my flight which has been delayed by half an hour.

Unfortunately, I cannot bring you any fun shop windows this time round however, the Adelphi Hotel in Flinders Lane has an unusual feature. A glass swimming pool seven floors over the street.

Adelphi Hotel
Here it is close up.

glass swimming pool

01 May, 2007

momentary touchdown

I have been in a whirlwind, and have only momentarily touched down enough to do a day in the office, three loads of washing and type a sentence or two here before heading off again. This time it will be down south, back to Melbourne where I was only a couple of weeks ago.

Unfortunately, the whirlwind from which I have returned from that travelled through both Noosa and Toowoomba did not permit internet access even though the trusty laptop was dragged along.

I would like to share more of my whirlwind tour of Queensland but think I will save that for the weekend. Instead I post a 'tribute to flora' mosaic, because we are into plants here as you know. These photos were all taken in Noosa and surrounds. Toowoomba and surrounds made my heart cry, it was so dry, and the countryside was brown, brown, brown. I know we are in drought, but it is really shocking when you see it and realise how grim things are. I feel a bit guilty that I did not take any photos of our drought stricken land for some balance.

Plants from our trip to Qld