Friday, August 29, 2008

Catching Up...

Last week I didn't post much because I was busy doing interesting things. This week I didn't post much either, because I was busy doing less interesting things. Mostly, what I have been doing this week, apart from working, was putting magazines in envelopes, printing renewal notices, invoices etc, and carting box loads of magazines to the Post Office.

Now that they are nearly all mailed out, I thought I would take a break and write a blog post or two. I even took time to download last week's photos so that I could add some to my blog.

It's university holidays and my middle daughter, who went away to complete her last year of her bachelor's degree in another city, is in town. So I arranged to meet her for lunch one day at Memories Coffee and Quilt Store.

The owner of the store is Korean and makes beautiful quilts all by hand, many of which decorate the walls. She also sells fabric and all sorts of handcraft bits and pieces such as leather handles for bags. I tend not to buy fabric here. The colours of most of the fabrics on sale are rather muted, which is not what I usually go for. Interestingly, her quilts do often have brighter coloured fabrics in them, so I'm not sure why she doesn't sell any of these. There is a good range of indigo dyed Asian fabrics, though. The prices of the fabrics are quite reasonable, so I may return to buy some, since I'm thinking of trying out a more subtle colour scheme if I ever finish the current purple/fuschia/turquoise creation.

S was inspecting the detail of this quilt when I took the photo. She's carefully not looking at the camera.

This hexagon creation is stretched and framed and is not quilted at all. It takes up most of the wall of a side room which can be booked by groups who want a venue for "stitch and bitch" sessions.

A couple more quilts. I rather like the unstructured arrangement of the one on the right.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Does My Computer Have Alzheimer's?

It seems that no matter how many times I tick the "remember me" box on Google Reader and on Blogger, it still asks me to log in again every few days. I guess my computer has a short memory. (Which reminds me, it is high time I backed up my hard drive).

I find this mildly annoying. Also mildly annoying is the fact that I chose a cool user name on Blogger, and then when google took over, they insisted I use my e-mail address as my user name instead.

I haven't been blogging much, because surprisingly, I have actually been doing things this week (apart from work, laundry, cleaning etc, that is). Which gives me more to write about, but less time to write it. Further information may come in the next few days. Or it may just turn into such old news that I'll start afresh.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Magic of Cloth

I thought I was ready to start putting my quilt blocks together, until I counted them and found I only had 40 instead of the planned 48. And I just couldn't bear the thought of putting the same fabrics together over and over. What could I do? I went shopping.

I'm trying to use up my stash really, not add to it. But I managed to find a couple of shops that sold really small pieces of fabric - in one case, the discarded samples fro the fabric companies.

I came home with a good range of purples, turquoises and pinks, given the small amount of money I spent. One piece with stylised flowers in blues and greens suddenly reminded me of a top I had in the sixties. I made that top myself, as I made all my clothes then, in the days before cheap Chinese imports. It had stylised flowers in several sizes and analogous colours of cobalt, turquoise, apple green, and violet. It was satin cotton, smooth to the touch. The remnants probably disappeared into one of my very early quilts, now long lost. Perhaps it was the "quilt" I made for my Girl Guide thrift badge - made from pockets of fabric stuffed with old nylon stockings, joined together with long strips of fabric appliqued over the joins. A pity. If I still had the scraps, they would be perfect in the current quilt.

I look at the army of people out there wearing black, and consider whether they have moments like these. Do they ever think "oh, look, black fabric. That reminds me of the black top I had when I was seventeen, and the black dress I had when I was twentyfour, and the black coat I had when I was thirty?" Somehow I don't think so.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Bloody Blog?

I've been trying to keep my computer time down for the last few days as I had a sore back. I sit all day at work so I took Friday off and made it a long weekend, and did lots of baking as I can do that standing up.

It seems to be a lot better now, and my boss swapped chairs around so I have a much more comfortable chair to sit in.

I have volunteered to help at the upcoming Writers Festival. This involves standing at the door taking tickets for a session or two, and has the bonus of free admission to that session. I'm always on the lookout for freebies these days, given that our income is not what it was a couple of years back. It's amazing how many ways there are to get little treats. I'll probably buy a few tickets once I know what sessions I have been allocated, especially for the poetry sessions.

One session I am not planning to attend is the session on literary blogging
- called "Not Another Bloody Blog". It's amazing how snobby writers can be about blogging. You don't for instance hear Olympic runners complaining that there are too many joggers out there. But I have heard writers express the idea that many blogs are worthless.

Well, certainly some deserve a wide audience, and others don't. But then, many are not written for a wide audience. They are written for friends and family , or just for the pleasure of writing. And probably for many more reasons besides. For instance, after our big trip last year, I recorded it day by day on my blog, with photos, mainly to fix it in my mind while it was fresh. In telling your life you get to experience it all over again - once by doing, and once by retelling. Of course, I peek at my site counter to, just to see if anyone else is reading it. And I have made some connections that I treasure through blogging, but I no longer worry about attracting dozens and dozens of readers.

It doesn't matter whether the whole world thinks my blog is "worthless", it is not worthless to me, any more than going for a walk would be - it improves my mental fitness just as walking improves my physical fitness.

Actually, many (not all) writers' blogs seem to be as boring as most of the others. "I have finished my first draft" or "my publisher has sent the cover mockups" is no more inherently interesting than "my first grandchild has arrived" or "I had scrambled eggs with chili peppers for breakfast".

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Little Craziness

Crazy weather we are having - click here

and some political craziness here

Hopefully the politicians will come to their senses and amend or repeal this legislation which seemingly puts an end to satire (how would "The Daily Show" get on if produced in New Zealand?)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Someone's a Little Confused

In New Zealand, roadside stock warning signs tend to show sheep and cattle. In Australia, they are just as likely to show kangaroos. In England and Scotland, especially in Scotland, they warn most commonly of deer or red squirrels (much rarer than the introduced grey squirrel and therefore worthy of protection). We also saw one sign which warned of badgers.

We didn't see the animals nearly as much as we saw the signs, and when we did finally spot a deer, it was in an area where there were no signs. The same happened with the squirrels. Which may just possibly explain this sign, which left us scratching our heads a little...

(Yes, it's a little blurred, since it was taken from a fast-moving car).

Carmi at Writteninc has posted the topic of Signs for his "Thematic Photographic" this week.