Saturday, April 28, 2007

Vale Kathryn Sheehan

This morning we got the sad news that our beautiful friend Kathryn had passed away, across the world in America but so close to our hearts. She will be sadly missed by all her friends here in Australia, who feel utterly blessed to have known her.

On Mothers' Day (13th May here in Australia) my family and I will be doing the Mothers' Day Classic 5km Walk to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research. Our participation will be dedicated to Kathryn's memory. Anyone who would like to sponsor us or contribute in any way to this most worthy cause, please contact me or go to this website

Friday, April 27, 2007

Interview Thing...

Deb posted this interview challenge, and of course I couldn't resist the opportunity to be interviewed by Deb. Her questions made me think...

1. You've been told that you must leave the country and live abroad forexactly one year, but you have your choice of any other country in the worldto live in during that time. Where would you go for a year and why?
There are many exotic places I'd love to visit in the short term, but for an extended period I'd have to choose somewhere with comforts and standard of living close to what I'm use to here at home. Therefore, I think a year of travelling around the US would be wonderful - different enough to be exciting, with a variety of climates to experience (eg. the changing seasons in New England, a white Northern Hemisphere Christmas) but familiar enough that I'd not die of homesickness before the year was out. There are so many places I'd love to see in the US, I've only been to LA and Houston but that was enough to make me want to see more.

2. If I was coming over to your house for dinner, what would you cook? (Or if you don't want to cook, what restaurant would we go to?)
I'd scour my recipe books for something special, but I'd research your likes & dislikes more closely first. So probably easier to take you to my favourite Vietnamese restaurant "Mylan" in Wollongong - always the best wonderful fresh and tasty asian food.

3. If you could no longer work with fabric for some reason, what would bethe most likely way you'd channel your creativity?

I'd paint. And draw. And probably sculpt. As a matter of fact I'm doing all these things at the moment in my art classes, and I just love them, so the transition wouldn't be toooooo hard.

4. When I say "adventure" what's the first thing you think of?

Hopping on a plane to some exotic destination. Experiencing a different culture. Trying something new. ART school!!!!!

5. If you could briefly go back in time and give a bit of advice to youryounger self, what age "you" would grown-up-you visit and what would youtell her?

I would visit my 16 year old self and tell her to persist, be strong, go to art school like you dreamt instead of settling for secretarial school and doing the sensible, responsible thing that everyone expected of you.

Like all the meme's I post, if you'd like to do this one leave me a comment & I'll interview you!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Road Trip Roundup

Well here I am home again from my big trip. Much fun was had and many many laughs with my friends. I took lots of pics, but will post just a few to give you an idea of our journey. This is a shot of the back of the car at the start of our journey - a perfectly reasonable amount of luggage for the three of us who began the trip.

Let me tell you it did not stay like that for long. I think we stopped at almost every antique and secondhand shop we saw on our 800+km journey.

Janine met us in Bendigo, adding her suitcases. Here are the four of us at the SCQ Retreat 10th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday night. And below is a more realistic image - Janine, me and Cheryl on the bed knitting in front of the TV in our jammies. Glamourous, huh?

And this is what the car looked like when loaded for the final leg of our journey. Yes, that is an antique hand-crank sewing machine bottom-right and a genuine egyptian fez (in plastic) top-right.

We came.

We shopped.

We conquered!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Well, my bags are packed....

and I'm ready to go!

I'm off tomorrow to the 2007 Southern Cross Quilters Retreat in Bendigo Victoria. I'll be teaching my Opposites Attract class on Saturday, but otherwise I'm intending to relax and have fund with a couple of hundred of likeminded friends.

The large bag pictured above contains kits for the class as well as several relevant quilts for show and tell. I have chucked in some shoes but other than that it's all class stuff. The small bag is for my clothes. At least I have my priorities in the right order, don't you think?

As I type, I'm sitting here with a head full of bleach - must beautify myself before heading off. Tomorrow morning I'll put the kids on the train to their grandmother's (just for a couple of days, then they'll be home with their Dad) and then we'll hit the road. Thelma & Louise move over - Nic, Cheryl & Lorraine are going to have a roadtrip to write home about (& Janine will be joining us for the return journey).

I'll surely have a story or two to tell on my return!

Monday, April 09, 2007

50 questions...

I picked up this meme on Deb's blog - it's been a while since I posted one, so here goes.

1.Whats your name spelt backwards?
Cin (sin? I can be bad…).

2. What did you do last night?
Picked up a pizza and a DVD, watched “Casino Royale” with Rob & Adam.

3. The last thing you downloaded onto your computer?
An audiobook – Water for Elephants (great story, too).

4. Have you ever licked a 9 volt battery?

5. Last time you swam in a pool?
On holidays nearly a year and a half ago (that’s bad, isn’t it?).

6. What are you wearing?
Jeans, black t-shirt, green crocs.

7. How many cars have you owned?
4 or 5 – most of my cars have been co-owned with Rob, or a company vehicle.

8. Type of music you dislike most?
Heavy thrash metal – my son listens to it sometimes and it just seems like noise (and makes me feel old that I can’t find anything redeeming about it).

9. Are you registered to vote?
Yes indeed – here in Australia it is compulsory to be registered and to vote on election day. Not sure whether that is a good thing or not, but I would vote regardless.

10. Do you have cable?
No – we used to, but found that we rarely watched it so it was a waste of $$$.

11. What kind of computer do you use?
A Dell laptop – love having the laptop, even though I rarely take it anywhere.

12. Ever made a prank phone call?
Yes – it’s compulsory at 14 isn’t it?

13. You like anyone right now?
I like most people – life is too short to invest energy in feeling negative about people (unless they are really awful and piss me off).

14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
I have done a bungee jump (two actually) way back in my early twenties. Can’t say that I’d do it again now, but I’m glad that I can say I’ve done it. Our funniest memory of bungee jumping is the horrified response of my late paternal grandmother – she declared that I’d surely go blind from detached retinas, and would never have children. I was pregnant within a year, and my eyesight is still pretty good 16 or 17 years later.

15. Furthest place you ever travelled?
Houston, Texas for quilt festival the year before last. Loved it and would go back in a heartbeat.

16.Do you have a garden?
Yeah, although it’s more yard than a garden. I’m a lazy gardener and plants have to be pretty tough to survive my lax care, even when we’re not in drought. I’m happy to say though, that my rosebushes (which are very old and were transplanted from my late maternal grandmothers garden) have survived wonderfully to give me a living link with my beautiful Nan, who had the world’s greenest thumb.

17. What’s your favorite comic strip?
Hmmmm – Dilbert, or The Far Side.

18. Do you know all the words to the national anthem?
Yeah, though nobody needs to hear me sing, so I usually mime. My singing voice is horrible.

19. Shower, morning or night?
Morning always.

20. Best movie you’ve seen in the past month?
Casino Royale (also the only movie I can recall seeing in the last month – I’ve been busy)

21. Favorite pizza toppings?
Last night we had a calzone with ham, pepperoni, mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, cheese – it was delicious, so that’s my current favourite. If I’m making my own pizza at home, I love sweet potato, feta cheese and caramelized onions.

22. Chips or popcorn?
Chips at home, popcorn at the movies.

23. What cell phone provider do you have?

24. Have you ever smoked peanut shells?
What????? Of course not.

25. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?

26. Orange Juice or apple?

27. Who were the last people you sat at lunch with?
My family – Rob & the kids, mum & dad, my sister Sarah & her son Cooper (and Georgia, though she wasn’t eating) – Easter Sunday lunch at Mum’s house.

28. Favourite chocolate bar?
Darrell Lea Ginger bar.

29. Who is your longest friend and how long?
I’ll have to follow Deb’s lead and say my DH Rob – we’ve been together for 23 years and he’s still my best friend.

30. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato?
Couldn’t say – it’s been a while.

31. Have you ever won a trophy?
No, never won a trophy. Got a few quilt show ribbons though.

32. Favorite artist?
Frida Kahlo.

33. Favorite computer game?
I don’t play computer games. Except maybe Sudoku.

34. Ever ordered from an infomercial?

35. Sprite or 7-UP?
Diet Coke, actually.

36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school/work?
Yes to both.

37. Last thing you bought at the store?
Paint for Emma’s bedroom, Scarlet Rose to go with the bright lime green.

38. Ever thrown up in public?
Yes, unfortunately. The less said the better.

39. Would you prefer being a millionaire or finding true love?
Deb said: I’ve got true love, so I’ll take the million, thanks. I’ll second that!!!

40. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I don’t think so – lust and chemistry, but not love.

41.Can exes just be friends?
I have one ex who I have remained friends with, although we don’t talk frequently.

42. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
My friend Linda, following the birth of her baby boy.

43. Did you have long hair as a young kid?
No – I have very fine hair which is very hard to handle, so it has always been quite short – shoulder-length or shorter.

44. What message is on your voicemail machine?
Nothing very interesting – business-like message with my mobile phone number.

45. Where would you like to go right now?
On holiday – a luxurious resort somewhere, all expenses paid by someone else preferably!

46. What was the name of your first pet?
Spike (mutt)

47. What kind of back pack do you have, and what’s in it?
I don’t have one.

48. Last incoming/outgoing call on your phone?
From my friend Cheryl, discussing plans for our road trip later this week.

49. What is one thing you are grateful for today?
My wonderful husband

50. What do you think about most?
I don’t know – constant random stream of mundane thoughts mostly. (Deep, huh?)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Art School Update

Whew!!! A busy week at art school this week - it's the end of first term so we have been sort of wrapping up some of our projects.

Here are two of my Printmaking efforts - the first is from a sketch of the view from my spare bedroom window, towards Mt Keira and Mt Nebo.

And this one is based on a photograph I took at the Nan Tien temple, one of their gorgeous Buddha statues. I really enjoy the etching and aquatint - very process-driven, which suits the methodical side of my nature.

This set of drawings of Briony resulted from Tuesday's Life Drawing class. We did four 10-15 minute sketches in different poses, then one longer pose (the larger drawing in the centre). I have seen a definite improvement in my approach to figure drawing in the past ten weeks.

This colour exercise was fun. We collaged prints of photographs taken around the campus of objects in the three primary colours. Yellow...


We've spent a couple of weeks working on these large coil-built heads in Sculpture class. To give an idea of the scale, I'd say this piece is around three times bigger than life size (in other words, quite big - I had to stand on a box to complete the top of the skull). I'm thrilled with mine, and will stress out about possible damage occurring over the two week Easter break.

Contemporary Techniques Class

This week I began a new set of my Contemporary Techniques Classes with Illawarra Quilters. The first of the basic six classes introduces fused applique and the wonders of Vleisofix, as well as a tiny bit of free-motion quilting and colour theory. Here are the ladies hard at work...
And here are the finished results - these A4 sized samples build a display folder of different techniques and ideas, with the aim of participants having the tools to begin making their own contemporary/art quilts.
It's lovely to see everyone's different colour schemes displayed at the end of the day.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A weekend with the In-laws

I've been away for the weekend to Tamworth (north-west NSW) to visit with my husbands family. In particular, we were there to celebrate BIL Aaron 's 21st (he was born on my 17th birthday - how's that for a circumstance to make you feel old?).

It was the first chance in a while to get all the kids together for a photo opportunity. They're all getting to be so grown up. From left to right, you'll see my daughter Emma, my son Adam, neice Cara (17), little neice Ella (2) and nephew/godson Joshua (15).

We also took the opportunity to celebrate Ella's 2nd birthday. That time has gone VERY quick indeed - she lives in QLD so we tend to miss out on a lot.

Family gatherings are so rare these days, with Rob and his brother and sister living so far apart, that we made sure we got a family photo. There was mass techno-action trying to get all the different digital cameras set up on my little tripod with their various time-delay functions, but eventually we got there.

I'm sorta tired today - not used to the 1200km drive in a 36hr period anymore.