Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Report Card on Di


Three words describe Di’s quilt-making efforts this year: Can do better.

In the entire year she has finished just six quilts.

These were the Whirligig quilt, Daisy a Day, Ben and Sunny’s Wedding Quilt, two Blankets of Love for RPA Newborn Care and one child-sized quilt for the Marcia Burgess Kindy for autistic little ones. The seventh “quilt” here is really just a cushion top, her entry in the Dots on Dots blog hop in September, and as such doesn’t really count – it’s just there to complete the collage.

Perhaps if she were to spend less time reading blogs, pinning to Pinterest and playing Words with Friends she might be able to turn more of those quilts floating round in her imagination into reality. Somehow, though, I don’t think that’s going to happen since Di loves keeping in touch with her cyber-friends all over the world and gathering quilt-making inspiration from the blogs she follows.

She could also benefit from not setting such unrealistic goals for herself. Just a thought.


Smaller Items

Di has scored better in this area, with around 40 finishes.

The friends who helped Ben and Sunny’s wedding day in August go smoothly were very happy with their “thank you” gifts of cathedral windows pincushions.

In June Di’s efforts were boosted by an extremely productive collaboration with Di B. She made sock monkeys and owls, crocheted teddy bears, travel trays, luggage labels, applique baby singlets, tea towels, golfers’ hand towels, baby shoes and a growth chart. Together Team Di, along with others on the Rose Bay Committee, were able to raise $3,500 from craft table sales for St Luke’s Hospital.

In a strong finish to the year Team Di (and a friend) knitted seven fat googly-eyed sheep for their neighbouring church, St John’s Darlinghurst, to use in their Messy Christmas Nativity Trail.

The observation must be made that without Di B urging and encouraging her Di would not be nearly so generous and outward-focused and could easily spend far too much time navel-gazing.

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Final Comments

The last four months have not been easy for Di J, and she has lost the plot somewhat, as far as her handwork is concerned.

However she has received so much love and support from her family, friends and fellow bloggers that we are hoping to see her finding renewed joy in her all her creative endeavours over the coming year.


May God bless you all in 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Enough is enough!

angry woman 1

They began arriving in my Inbox as a trickle, blog comments written by “Anonymous” pretending to commend me on my “remarkable” blog, agreeing with my “views expressed”, even asking me for advice on how to achieve such a superior blog.

But over the last week the volume of these irritating “Anonymous” emails has swelled to a torrent, in their pathetic broken English. I know they are not from genuine blog readers because they always end up by inviting me to click on a link and visit a website on erectile dysfunction, weight loss, share trading or such.

Enough is enough!

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I’m sure any fellow-bloggers are familiar with having to moderate this rubbish, especially those who have, like me, unticked “word verification”.

I’ve been a staunch advocate for getting rid of “word verification”, the bane of genuine blog commenters, with its almost indecipherable scrawl that we are expected to spend 10 minutes translating into letters and numbers before Blogger will kindly allow us to send our feedback.

Many is the blogger I’ve advised to turn off word verification and just moderate their readers’ comments.

Well folks, I’m eating my words now. EatmyWordsI admit it - “word verification” is useful.

I’ve turned on “word verification” again for this blog. My sincere apologies if deciphering those silly jumbled letters defeats you when you want to leave me a comment, but there is another way - Just click on the words “email me” below my profile photo and you can send your comment directly to me.

I know I ought to take this small irritation in my stride, but right now my tolerance for such things is rather lower than it ought to be. Please forgive me. Life is too short even to sit here hitting that Delete button Steaming mad

Red rose  Di

Just added -

Apologies for my dummy-spit, dear readers. I’ve calmed down now (that rant did me a power of good Smile) and have taken Lynne’s excellent advice. I’ve simply excluded “Anonymous” comments and have turned word verification off again.

Ahhhhh, the coast is clear now, if you’d like to leave comments on any of my posts. Here’s to a less stressful New Year. Red heart

Friday, December 28, 2012

Love in action

The quilts were all hung from the columns with care,

T’was time for our beautiful handwork to share

It’s been three years since St Mark’s Quilters decked out the church for Christmas with our quilts, and Di B and I felt it was about time we held another airing of the quilts. Fortunately our Acting Rector agreed, so last Sunday many willing hands transformed the church in time for our service of Lessons and Carols that evening.

Perdita balanced on a pew to hook up some Blankets of Love.


Caroline helped us to choose effective combinations of colours and quilt designs to hang from each column.


Moo attached dozens of safety pins to the corners of our quilts so they could be hung from their points.


They did look wonderful against the sandstone columns, with the bright coronet of lights above them.










We even hung quilts from the baptismal font


…and from the pulpit.IMG_0508

In fact, we were quite inventive in searching out fixtures where our quilts could hang. Even though we didn’t have enough Marcia Burgess kindy quilts to fill the gallery at the rear of the church, Moo and Gail mixed these larger quilts with our tiny Blankets of Love.


This was the view from St Mark’s gallery once we’d finished – very pretty!


A panoramic view from the sanctuary end of the church looking back towards the gallery.


In the evening, though, it was even prettier, filled with worshippers standing beneath our quilts, singing Christmas carols.


Now that Christmas is over we’ve carefully packed our quilts away ready for delivery to RPA Newborn Care in the next few weeks, where the parents of very ill or deceased bubs will be given the opportunity to choose a baby quilt to keep.

Which one would you choose?

Red rose  Di

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Access all areas

Our outdoor Carols in the Domain in Sydney is one of those annual traditions I hold dear, not least because it’s run by my friend Robyn Hobbs who has raised millions of dollars for the Salvation Army over the years.

Every year Robyn invites a small number of friends (including our little Princess and her parents) to enjoy the concert with the benefits of VIP reserved seating, and before-and after-show refreshments, usually on a balmy summer evening.


This year was just a little more special for me because it was the 30th Carols in the Domain and Robyn asked me to take photos of the evening with her new iPad so she would have her own personal souvenir slideshow of the night. Look at my title for the night!


Clothed in a very brief authority indeed – a serious photographer would have used a DSLR instead of an iPad Be right back - I was able to go backstage and take photos of performers like the Wiggles and Captain Feathersword with the Princess.


When Robyn took to the stage with her short message about the real meaning of Christmas, and dedicated this year’s show to her mother Betty and my husband Boak, both of whom passed away this year, I was behind her capturing part of the amazing 100,000 strong crowd.





I was able to take photos of the performers from right in front of the stage. That’s Robyn in blue, standing behind Georgie Parker, Jay Laga’aia and Santa Claus during the exciting finale.IMG_0463

And as always the fireworks were spectacular!


Well done, Robyn!

Red rose  Di

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Three little words

The moment I saw them on the supermarket shelf I knew I had to have them to decorate the lunch table at our final St Mark’s Quilters (Darling Point, Sydney) Saturday workshop for the year.4-St Mark's Quilters Nov 20123

If ever there were three words that sum up the message of Christmas, here they are.

While we enjoyed an al fresco lunch together I took the opportunity to share how, for me, believing that the baby born in a shed to a poor Jewish couple more than 2000 years ago was indeed God “with skin on” gives me hope for the future, and peace here and now.

SMQ 023

Nobody manages to sail through an entire year without some challenges, but this year has thrown up some biggies for a few of us. I think a good measure of hope and peace was on all our Christmas wish lists, so you can imagine we were all a tad emotional by the time I’d said my short piece (or rather, read it from my DiPad ‘cos I’m not too clever at speaking and I  was afraid I’d forget what I wanted to say!).

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But just when I thought I could sit down Di B thrust a bundle of Kaffe fabric, in the shape of a book, into my hands, and as I lapsed, mouth gaping, into a half-decent impression of a stunned mullet she explained what it was all about.

Over the previous 2 months she had mobilised these amazing women to make pages for a fabric book of messages to me. She had done it entirely without my knowledge, and everyone had managed to keep the project a complete secret from me. My ears weren’t even burning!


Such a unique and special gift deserves its own blog post (soon) where I’ll show you the beautiful pages in detail. This is one incredible gift!

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But it must be said these friends of mine are quite remarkable women.


As usual we weren’t short of delicious sweet treats to keep up our energy levels!




There was even some creative activity going on. Ruth, who came all the way from her new home in Canberra just for the day, attached the binding to a kindy quilt.


Kirstin, who is knitting a baby quilt in the finest, softest cotton yarn, settled on a layout, and I helped her to package up her knitted squares in labelled rows for storage, to make the stitching together easier.


IMG_0253Helen, meanwhile, was making great progress with her pretty and fresh hand-pieced hexagon baby quilt.


“Santa Di” made an appearance too, with our Christmas gifts of pincushions – even for the naughty ones!



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Wherever in the world you are reading my blog right now, the St Mark’s Quilters, along with Di B and myself, want to wish you a Christmas full of hope, peace, and the unshakeable belief that the God who made the universe cares deeply for you.


Yes, you!

Red rose Di