Saturday, 18 March 2017

A new peace......a catch up.


Hello, .........calling from the other side.....if you listen to Adele's lyrics you will appreciate what I am trying to convey. 

I have been on the other side, just trying to put myself back after my many worlds were somewhat shattered. I have allowed myself a period of mourning.

I have lost many things, some physical, some spiritual, some things I never had but thought I did......and in my quiet place I saw how many other things I still could count as blessings.

Stuff is just stuff, I am not mourning stuff, stuff doesnt make you happy.....but it can be caught up in the grief.

But from the other side, I see calm and beauty and a new happy. 
I was fortunate to have people close and from afar reach out when I was low, people like Denice who has empathy and a kindness that just made me feel less alone. 
My friend Denice has a cool blog that I stumbled upon and we exchanged many an email. I felt safe telling her my story. 



One of the things we lost was my husbands father. 
(This is my husband by the way)
This is always a reflective time when we have to say goodbye to our parents. 
A few tears were shed and the occasion marked on my 365 circles project.
I will have a bittersweet reminder of this time and grateful that it is marked in such a personal way. 




Another anniversary was marked. I am blessed to have a strong silent and practical partner in my life. 
When we married and I saw him waiting for me in the church, a strong feeling of peace descended upon me, and a voice in my head said...."You are home now"....
This marriage is my home and it has kept me safe in all my turbulent times.

I had to mourn the loss of what I used to think of as my family of origin. 
Many events over many years culminated in a last outrageous act of disrespect, bullying and scapegoating. I had to walk away from and mourn a very dysfunctional family dynamic. 
Every time I hear stories of domestic abuse, I am only just now realising how toxic my family was. I accepted behaviours because no one told me that it was wrong. Besides are not parents supposed to nuture and protect?  
I am an intelligent woman but it took 55 years to realise how children can be programmed to accept abuse from the ones they look to for security......never judge anyone who is caught up in abusive situations.....it is complex......just be there to support and the sufferer will see their way out if kindness is shown and you listen and believe their story. 







So in my quiet place I sat and looked at the simple things that are around us. Saw beauty where ever it was. 
And I regained myself. 








 



So now my story emerges.........








Saturday, 4 June 2016

May peace be with you...and also with you





I am not even going to pretend, I was lagging behind greatly in May.
Suddenly I hit a slow patch, but not...I mean I was churning through projects in my head somehow it meant that my hands didn't catch up. 

It felt like I was a busy ant preparing for Winter, I dithered and darted trying to get things under control before the weather closed in. It is madness because I live in a climate that is quite benign but maybe I have ancestors that lived in snowed in cabins and it reverberates in my DNA. Who knows, I mean the one lesson this life has taught me is we think we know but we don't.



So there it is APRIL circles...and I have finally got around to showing them. I am keeping up to date and I will continue.
But it is quite the commitment, I actually got ten days behind in May. However I am nothing if not stubborn and if I say I will follow you, I will. Not a fair weather friend, even when I stumble I will pick up and be there. 



A close up of one little circle that I quite like







 And again....yep I was playing with 1/4 inch hexies and they found their way into the circles. Bit proud of that I am!

 This represents the 
25th of April which is Anzac Day.
 A day we remember all our service man and women who served in wars around the world. Represented by the Flanders Poppy.






 Vintage fabric scrap from a dress I made

A piece of Australiana





I found this fabric in the stash, cannot decide if those blobs are sheep or clouds. 
But I am determined that I do not repeat a fabric, and somehow I think I will find 365 pieces to use.....lol. If not I will just have to buy up to make sure. 

I was also back in April getting seeds in to grow some veggies. Now I am not working I cannot afford seedlings....not really.... but to be really effective and a proper gardener I thought I would try the seeds.

 Those specks of green are my French carrots. They are a little gourmet variety and I had to grow them inside first and then transplant. 
They are tiny, and as I fretted about them, my daughter quipped..."Mum they are FRENCH carrots, therefore they will make an entrance only when they feel like it" 
Had to laugh. They did make an entrance and they did feel like it obviously.


The first signs of my peas....there see...I found myself each day bum up head down searching the soil for any sign that things were growing. Its quite exciting.....do I need to get out more? Or am I just only now discovering what life is all about and channelling the curiosity that children find in the everyday. 

The broccoli had to be caged it is so wild and rampant. No of course not but it did keep the neighbourhood cat from digging it up.  

 Self seeded pumpkin. My compost always delivers some surprises.



Dreaming of Spain, I finished covering this pot with broken tiles and realised that quilting with scraps of fabric is a little similar.
Agree? 






And finally.........I was challenged to take a photo of nature each day for ten days. This was what I discovered in the cherry tomato punnet. 
I got the macro lens out and really nature in all its guises is a fascinating thing. 

Linking up with Audrey at Quilty Folk





Monday, 4 April 2016

March Circles and Life

Wowsers I thought time flashed by when I was tied to a quarterly accounting schedule in my past life.

I (in my past life) had to account to the government all the sales and tax collected less the depreciation, wages and purchases to arrive at a figure that we either owed or needed returned....don't ask me I was just the book keeper!!!! Anyhoos the months whizzed by and each quarterly reporting period seemed to get closer and closer together. 

Now I have this circle project to mark my days, and I am still loving it.







 31 days has March!











I am still managing to find the fabric each day that speaks to me, some days I will pass over a piece because its not doing it for me. Then the next day it will shine and that's the fabric for that day.
No rhyme no reason, just is.

I have subtle background differences and I will also make a conscious decision on them. I fully intend to have this quilt emerge in a chronological order. A lot like a diary. Good and not so great days. I have had a few. :-(


This was made from crumbs that I rescued from my scrap bin, I wanted to see how small I could go. I enjoyed tinkering but have realised that small crumbs can result in a muddy colour.
From a distance it just doesn't translate, it looks meh...muddy and confused. Lesson learned.

This was an extremely painful day, the day my sister sold our family home....somehow she neglected to tell me she was doing this.....a long story, and a very dysfunctional family. It hurt like he## but it has taught me that I have survived and I wont go back. This quilt will be testament to my personal journey.
I chose the words "kind" and "love", and the fact that now I have had "quite enough" of the bullying and abuse.


 This has been a long dry start to the year and rain is required.
 And I bought this fabric to make a shirt, never looked good as a garment and only really shines as a focal fabric. Again lesson learnt, but I do still love the design. Perfect for this project.



 Back in 2011, I started collecting strips for a project.....








 Tadahhhhh.
Now honey, could you please hold up this quilt so I can photograph it.
OK, step a little away from the door, more into the deck.

 Yeah that's good...I would have liked to close the screen door and position it somewhere else, but I was only given 2 mins to get this done.
 No, thanks honey, wont keep you much longer, looking good...1min 30 secs down.







 Thanks!!! and with that he runs back inside drops the quilt on the table and scampers back to his man cave....you have to time these things and act fast folks.

But I am mighty pleased with this creation, the planning took a long time, the execution was steady and there its done and done.



The left over strips, perfect for the dolls size postage stamp quilt, wall hanging...I may actually get that quilted sooner rather than later.


 You know I never see all the loose threads and lint until after I have taken the photo. I am blind to them, which explains my less than pristine home.

 Could not for the life of me get this shot in focus, may be the light, maybe my bad eyesight. But I loved this project and could see a full quilt made this way maybe.



 What I do in the evening, bright huh? Bought this to do on the plane when we were travelling now I must finish of course. Watching "House of Cards" on Netflix.
I know I must be the last person on the planet to be watching (OMG...can you believe that Frank Underwood!!! No don't spoil it for me I have just got to the bit where he is being nominated to VP. I am sorry if you have no idea about the side shoot of this conversation but I do love a good script and intelligent acting.)


The other slow burner project. The circle applique has given me confidence again to keep going. This project is exacting and gives me headaches trying to keep it all from wobbling. 

I am getting there but its not relaxing.


So I also decided to add this to the list.
Great progress is being made. 







There is more but I think we will leave it there for now, go make that cuppa tea now.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

For my pal Ms Daisy....because she asked so nicely!


After you have torn your eyes away from the ceiling, you start to take in small vignettes, details.
There is still a place for the traditional features, harking back to the history of churches, stained glass, Gothic windows. 


 Then you look towards the altar. I found this so beautiful.








This is a Catholic church, so the crucifix looms large. But I found the figure of Jesus more in the spirit of new beginnings, than the agony of death. The figure is already looking upwards, striving to reach heaven and be with his Father. The canopy is also adorned with a rich harvest, a promise of new life. (phew that was philosophical wasn't it but it was how I felt)












 The sun comes out to play, casting light onto the pillars







Each side of the church is adorned with stained glass, one side being coloured primarily in greens and blues....the natural side, new beginnings
The other side being coloured in reds and oranges, signifying pain, destruction and endings. 










These are the doors to the other entrance, whereas the doors we entered were pretty and natural, these were more austere.
They were textured to look like carved wooden doors but they are heavy cast bronze.
I have forgotten exactly what the words mean, but if my memory serves me right I think it is religious expressions written out in all languages.  
 

 We are now standing outside the doors looking up over the entrance. A complete contrast to the other side. Here we have the Passion of Christ.
This was commissioned and completed after Gaudis death, the artist has looked at drawings and concepts that Gaudi had started on and interpreted them.

St Peter, refusing Jesus three times

 Judas with his hand after accepting the coins.
 This is a clever mathematical thingy, every line adds up to 33, the age Jesus was when he died. There were some other clever maths symbolism to do with dates but I sorta zoned out a little....as I always did in class too!

 The artist made one of the statues with Gaudis face....and the soldiers helmets have a reference to the design on some of the chimney pots on Gaudis buildings






 We got to see a reconstruction of the workroom where Gaudis genius was translated to plans
 



 I really struggled to get the best shot of this building. But this was the school house Gaudi had built for the workers children. He could quite legitimately put up 4 slab walls, peaked roof. Quick and easy. 
But no! There were no straight surfaces, the walls and roof undulated. Again no computer aided design, I don't know how the bricklayers managed it. The roof has steel beams.....again how advanced was this man? There are only one or two pillars inside so floor space is maximised. The children must have been so happy to work in this magical space.

(took this image from the internet)

(and this is from the internet too!!)
 Under this magnificent church is the original church. A window allows the visitors to peek in to what is still a working place of worship, this is where the regular parishioners come to seek peace, and light candles for this extraordinary man, whose crypt is placed where he lived and died making this world a little more beautiful.




 Quite an appropriate Easter posting. I hope you enjoyed the tour.

(I guarantee these are all my own pictures....except the two I did get from the internet.....because I could not illustrate the whole beauty of that school room)
I encourage you to seek further pictures, you will probably see more professional shots but this is my online diary, and my interpretation of a wonderful time on my holiday.....thank you for joining me here.