Sunday, August 31, 2008

Scatterday Challenge for August - "Wet" #3 Mosaic

1. Cooling my feet in a pond at the Villa Borghese
2. Elephant bathing at the Singapore Zoo
3. Ranunculus after the rain
4. Wet horse track at the park.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Italian Job: 'Bout wrapped up, guv!

The Italian Job is about done! I've snapped, sketched and stitched my holiday memories into a colourful, scrappy quilt, and at last the end is in sight.

We saw this huge ceramic jar, featuring vibrant sunflowers and lemons, outside a shop in Assisi (or was it San Gimignano?...)

Only one block to go - what do you think my choice of stitchery will be?

A clue - it's a very popular ingredient in Tuscan cooking.

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The Italian Job: A Tweetie from Monreale

This little birdie was carved into a column in the cloisters of Monreale Cathedral in Sicily.

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The Italian Job: "Jim" from San Gim

This magnificent fellow, a ceramic wall-fountain, caught my eye in San Gimignano. With foliage and fruit covering his head I think he is probably some sort of harvest fertility symbol akin to the Green Man mythology in England.

Though he looks quite fearsome, of course he had to go into the quilt.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

August garden

I know we're shivering, but surely spring must be just around the corner, when a quick stroll around our garden reveals all this glorious colour!
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Stop Press: Weather report

A rain storm moved through Sydney around an hour ago bringing small hailstones and freezing air. Of course your intrepid reporter grabbed her camera and rushed to the front door to capture the drama.

The hail was too insignificant to show up on screen, but I snapped something much more exciting.

This looks like a scene from around 4 o'clock in the afternoon, doesn't it?

Well it's not. This is how my street appeared at 8 o'clock on a dark, dark winter's night during a lightning flash! Yes, incredibly I managed to press the button at exactly the same moment the neighbourhood was lit up!

Am I excited? You betcha.

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The Italian Job - another block finished

After a 10 month spell 'resting' in a box while I worked on other quilts, The Italian Job is once again seeing the light of day. With only 4 more blocks to complete I hope to have it stitched together pronto!

If you don't already know about this project of mine take a look at my previous entries describing this quilt under tag "The Italian Job".

Basically, I'm stitching together memories of a fabulous trip to Italy at this time last year, with embroideries created from photos I took. I've selected design elements from buildings, as well as objects that were quintessentially summer in Italy, and as I work on it again the memories of Rome, Palermo, Taormina, San Gimignano and Assisi come flooding back.

This latest block shows an arched window from a building in Palermo, demonstrating the very strong Moorish influence in that city's historic architecture.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It's OK, you can come out from under the desk now. I just wanted to show you this very handsome fellow I met on my walk in the park today.

Monday, August 11, 2008

An Award? Moi?

Thank you, thank you, thank you... (bouquet presented here?)

Katie has bestowed on me this little piece of bling - an award for a "brilliante" blog!

You can't see them, but there are strings attached.

Here are the rules...

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog
2. Link to the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs for an award
4. Put links to those blogs on yours
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

So here are my picks for worthy recipients of this prestigious award -

Michelle W
and Michelle U

(And if you are just a novice at this blogging business, feel free to pat yourself on the back and keep your award. End of story. It's meant to be fun, so I don't want to give you a headache trying to do your homework!)

Congratulations to each and every one of you for regularly giving this reader the great pleasure of sharing in your thoughts and pics.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wet - or are they?

Not really an entry in the Scatterday August Photo Challenge, but I just couldn't resist sharing these photos I received in an email. Take a look at these amazing chalk drawings by Julian Beever, who has travelled all over the world creating jaw-dropping pavement art.

Using a technique known as anamorphosis he manages to give the impression of 3 dimensional objects when his chalk drawings are viewed from a particular angle.

Don't you just love this one? Happy landings!!! Not!!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cardigan with picture knitting

This is my latest creation - a hand-knitted cardi for a Special Little Person, which I designed myself. ( Click on the arrow to see different views )

It features sheep, flowers, houses and trees - some knitted in and some embroidered later - and I hope it will bring smiles!

...or does it recall special memories too?

I owe my passion for stitchery to my darling Grandma who lived in this house.

Checking this special place from my childhood on Google Street View today brought back happy memories of my Grandma sitting beside me on a sun-kissed verandah, patiently showing me how to sew clothes for my dollies. She passed away 23 years ago, but her love of stitching, knitting and art lives on in me, and I am so very grateful for her precious inheritance.

It looks as if the doctors who bought the house from my family are giving it the tender loving care it deserves.

Google Street View - Is it a facade? (Pardon the pun :-))

Googled your house in Google Street View yet? And your parents' house? And the house where you grew up? Then all your friends' houses?

What next?

It all depends what kind of mind you have, doesn't it. For example, if you suspected your partner of infidelity with your best friend you might take a little peek at her house, just to check if his car appeared in the shot. If you were a cat burglar you might check out a whole street to plan a night of stealthy entry to houses well shielded by bushes.

Nifty little application, isn't it - with no end of uses. But is it a case of Big Brother watching us?

The internet is buzzing with tales of individuals captured on film in places they shouldn't be, or doing things they shouldn't do - the neighbour basking topless by the pool, young men leering at a shapely miss behind her back, or emerging from an sex shop, or urinating in the street.

I find it fascinating that I can pinpoint almost the exact date that the Google car cruised my street by looking at the church notice board and certain activities going on nearby, and I can clearly see a friend of mine industriously sweeping leaves on the path.

While it's fun and novel right now, I just wonder whether Google Street View has the potential to be used for more nefarious purposes. Is it another gift for identity thieves? Could it be more sinister than it appears?

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Christian the Lion

Back in 1969 two young Australian men working in London, John Rendall and Ace Bourke, made an unusual impulse buy - they bought a lion cub from Harrods because they were sad at the conditions under which he was being kept. They raised the cub, "Christian", in the basement of their furniture shop, but when he had grown from 35lb to 185lb after a year they realised they had a problem!

As fate would have it, one day the two stars of "Born Free" Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, came through the door. They offered to introduce the guys to George Adamson, and subsequently Christian was rehabilitated and released into the wild in Kenya.

In 1972 John and Ace travelled to Kenya in the hope of seeing Christian again. Adamson warned them that their lion might not recognise them, and indeed might not even turn up in the camp since Adamson had not seen him for 9 months.However, Christian did arrive, and the joyful reunion was captured in a much-viewed video clip.
(be prepared with the tissues!)

So why am I telling you this? My DD was privileged to be part of a select group of animal conservationists who dined with John Rendall and Ace Berg in the big cat enclosure at Taronga Zoo last Tuesday night. Lucky girl!

Want to read more?
Man in 'hugging'lion video reveals secrets

Monday, August 4, 2008

I've found a new toy - Scrapblog

I've been asked how I created my new header, so I thought I should share with you a very exciting and potentially addictive website I've found - Scrapblog.

It's not a new website, by the look of things, but wow! I wish I'd found it sooner.

Not only can you create digital scrapbook pages to blog, but you can save them as jpegs giving them so many wider uses. It's free, and there are themed templates or you can simply create your own scrapblog pages from the ground up.

Be warned, though, once you start looking through the thousands of scrapblogs that others have put together you'll lose all sense of time (ask me how I know).

[By the way, in case you're wondering why I've been unusually active in my posting today, it's because I'm in bed 'wid a cod id de dose'. Fortunately I have my Little Red Toy (aka my computer) to cuddle up to! I've done a little blog spring-cleaning and reinstated the naughty Sitemeter that has locked out readers using IE6 or 7 for a day or so. Hope it behaves itself now.]

... and more photos of snow in Sydney

Snow in Sydney? (once more, with feeling!)

On Sunday 27th July it snowed at East Lindfield. Just ask the children who threw snowballs, built snowmen and snow-surfed down the street on their boogie boards.

This is the 3rd time I've tried to post these pictures that I took shortly after the freak dump - each time all that my blog has displayed are those irritating little red crosses!

I blame those boffins at the Bureau of Meteorology, who are being decidedly dark about what we all know was a historic weather event in Sydney. They're insisting it was not snow, but "soft hail". Is this being a wet (and cold) blanket, or what?

So, that's my little conspiracy theory for the day, and with tongue planted firmly in cheek and fingers crossed, I'm giving it one last shot. Hoping my photos will be allowed through this time!

Those in the know say that for this white stuff to be called snow it must stick to the branches of trees. Well, folks, get out your specs and take a close look at this magnolia and you'll see it!