23 May 2012

Robot Century

Recent work
Robot Century by Nina

Mr Puglo by Nina

Painting by Lily

Morning time by Grace

Girl with hair by Ruby

This girl is getting into trouble for wearing her hair out.

Cross teacher by Ruby

'It's just not acceptable' says her teacher in a Southern twang

Same girl with different hair by Ruby

'Well how about if I wear it like this?'

Ruby can spend hours drawing and narrating the story as she goes. She does all the characters and voices and draws over the same bits of paper so at the end it is usually impossible to really follow the action. That is not the point.

Cooking for the queen by Ruby

This is typical. The poor girl is forced to cook for the queen. Her little brothers and sisters hide in the corner of the kitchen in sacks and peep over the top (one clings to her leg).  Here's a close up.

Peeping out of sacks by Ruby.

21 May 2012


A friend dropped round on Saturday morning and deposited everything you see in this photo (except the cutting mat) in my sewing room. They were her mothers and my friend is not a quilter. I once thought I wasn't either, so I've promised to return them if she ever hears the siren song of patchwork calling....

20 May 2012

Sunday Arvo

We live across the road from a railway line and on the other side of that railway is a creek. Go down an underpass and there you are, in something like the bush. There are kookaburras and ducks and blue tongue lizards and even (yikes) tiger snakes. And it is just across the road from our very urban life. We walk here on Sunday afternoons sometimes, when we've left it too late in the day to 'do' something but need to get out.

19 May 2012

Old Dog

Pablo, our terrier, has gone blind. He can still find a pile of chiffon lying out to be turned into tutus.

Our dogs have grown old. Pablo is blind, Winnie is mostly deaf. Her arthritis prevents her from descending stairs. He gets confused if we move the furniture. Their lives have become a sort of fast forwarded version of our own. When the ailments of age overtake me I hope I'll also have a warm heater, and old cushion, a constant companion and a decent feed every night.

17 May 2012

The Seventh Birthday Party

Four friends, train to the city, up to Sky Deck at Eureka Tower, rode 'The Edge', wandered through laneways and arcades, watched the buskers, hot chocolates at Koko Black, train home, cake (actually pavlova), mugs filled with the makings for hot chocolates as party bags, home. Great day.

I'm a big fan of the 'invite a couple of friends and do something out of the house' parties we have been doing lately. Ruby took three friends to the Old Melbourne Gaol and out for yum cha in Chinatown for her birthday. Best party ever according to the guests.

16 May 2012

Sixteen O'Clock

Mother's day gifts from top:

The Sixteen O'Clock clock by Grace

Self portrait with mother by Ruby

Mum in bed by Grace

Lily by Lily

'Mothers' mini book by Nina
Does your mama sing you songs at night?
Does she cook you yummy meals?
Does she take you too the park?
Does she buy you icecream?
Does she take you out to nice places?
Does she buy you treats?
Does she get you lovely presents on your birthday
Does she read you books?
Does she let you stay up late?
Does she take you to dancing?
Does she take you to fetes?
Does she buy you toys?
Does she help you when your confused?
Does she draw with you?
Does she make you play dough?
Does she play games with you?
Does she give you huge and snuggly hugs?
Does she kiss you good bye?
Does she cook with you?
Does she help you find things?
Does she take you to the moveies?
Does she make things with you?
Does she make you breakfast?
Does she let you come into her bed when you've had a bad dream?
Does she ride you to school and kinder?
Does she take you to cafes?
I love my mummy.
Happy mothers day mummy love Nina 2012

15 May 2012


When you are seven you like nothing better than making things on your mother's sewing machine. Tiny little bags and pillows and jackets for your tiny little toys.

When you are seven you are sensing the world around you and it is interesting, but home is where you love to be.

When you are seven you are passionate in your hugs and kisses and your fury and rage.

When you are seven you really don't like to get ready in the morning.

When you are seven you are on the the brink of figuring out the power of 'I don't care'.

When you are seven you are a constant amazement to adults but kids seem to take you right in their stride.

When you are seven you are beginning to make your own friends.

When you are seven you are thinking and creating and questioning and reading and drawing all the time, even when you should be putting your shoes on.

When you are seven you like to explain things in exacting detail but you can also sum up an entire day with a shrug.

When you are seven your mother has to remind herself that you are still a little kid, really, despite occasional channeling of wise old sage.

When you are seven you are so unselfconscious, silly, wise, funny, kind, stubborn, extreme, loud, messy and individual that the future cannot help but be exciting.  Happy seventh birthday darling Noshi.

14 May 2012

Hong Kong Food

Lots of seafood in Hong Kong. I'm neither particularly adventurous nor particularly squeamish, but some things were just plain disturbing. Great food town, I'd go back just for the prawn and bean curd rolls in rice noodle.....

13 May 2012

Hong Kong - Doors and Windows

I didn't set out to take a window and door series but it's always a bit fascinating, isn't it, to imagine the lives lived behind the facades?

11 May 2012

Hong Kong Red

I got to deliver the quilt in person. What a treat, four days in Hong Kong with some of the people I love most. (And without some of the people I love most - the kids and Craig stayed home. It was bliss)

09 May 2012


Can you see how my stippling is improving?  There is nary a pucker on the back of this baby.

Once I would have thought that there was room for, perhaps, one quilt in my life. Maybe. Now, it transpires that there is barely an occasion where a quilt is not an appropriate gift. So, for example, if you are a not-particularly-newly-married-gay-couple, living in the tropics, with no interest in handicrafts, a quilt is obviously the perfect belated wedding present.

I think it is quite a manly quilt yes? Grey and orange. Bold pattern. Not too much stuff going on. Am I kidding myself?

In any event, my dear friend Bruce and his gorgeous Serbian husband Nenad, did a very good impression of people who like it. And I like it too.

Thank you to Sandra who showed me the cyrillic for 'Chestitamo Nenad i Bruce' (congratulations Nenad and Bruce, which I quilted around the edges.)

02 May 2012

Harvest Time

elf hats

matchbox mice

old suits - new bags

more suits into bags with embroidery

Such a very Melbourne day today. I woke during the night to steady rain and it continued on and off all day. Sydney is a stunning place, the soft sandstone colours, the gorgeous light, the sudden glimpse harbour blue between buildings, or from the rise of a hill.
But in Melbourne the ubiquitous bluestone is cold and punishing. The famous grid allows no surprises, can't fetter the wind.  From my office I watch darkness gather, the lights of the city blurring through the rain. Pushing into a crowded tram, crawling through peak hour, the Chinese tram driver is gentle as he asks people to please step out of the doorway. People accommodate. Everyone wants to get home.
Sometimes,on nights like this, I love Melbourne best. Riding through the back streets smelling the cooking coming from people's kitchens, or the smoke from a chimney. Hearing the rhythmic weekend roar from Princess Park (do they still play footy there?). Knowing that you're not far from home, and it's warm, and there is soup, or cake.
When we were kids we'd rake the fallen pine needles into the gutter and burn them off. You're not allowed to burn off anymore. Neighbour kids would gather at our little bonfire and we'd toast marshmellows.
We have nothing to harvest this year. We grew only a few sorry tomatoes and some lovely basil, both long gone.
But still, it's harvest time, and our school celebrates with a gathering over pumpkin soup, songs, lantern making and wine. I'll miss it this year, but have produced a minor harvest of my own for their craft stall. I'm sorry not to be there, but not too sorry. I'll be somewhere pretty exciting myself......