Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I, bag

Made this one yesterday arvo for a friend of my mum's – it's shown off brilliantly here by my svelte house model.
Mum's friend wanted a version of the bags I made for Christmas (see a couple of posts ago) that could take an iPad. So I added a few centimetres to the width and length of the original pattern, and put in another pocket on the front, made the shoulder strap a little wider and more substantial, and hey presto. It also has a mobile phone pocket inside.:: The Perth festival concert we went to last night, Striggio and Tallis: Music in 40 Parts — I Fagiolini at the Perth Concert Hall — was utterly beautiful. It's a rare thing to be able to see and hear a stage full of 60 choristers and musicians singing a Mass written in the 16th century. One of the Striggio pieces, the Agnus Dei, actually had 60 parts. At several points, it was so divinely beautiful that David would grab my hand, or I his, and we'd sit there like stunned mullets as this amazing sound rang and reverbereated around and through us. Lucky us!

Monday, 27 February 2012

The reds

I was looking at my fabrics yesterday and came across a piece of something fabulous and red, and told myself to put it away for The Red Quilt.
Then, realising I had been hoarding red fabrics for – my best friend Laura tells me – about eight years, I thought I'd just better drop everything and start making it.
So I did.
It will be a very simple quilt, with four-inch squares, randomly spread. Some of the reds are very loose interpretations of the colour but are in there because I love them.
It has used a sheetload of my hoarded material, which is a very good thing.
It took me forever to cut it all out, remembering where and when I'd got hold of some of the fabrics. Lots are from the US, plenty of others are from friends who have contributed and must be wondering when this wretched quilt will ever appear.

:: The crocheted stones were made from this tutorial, partly to see if I was capable of crocheting anything other than granny squares, but mainly as a gift for Laura, who has always loved them since she saw Canadian artist Margaret Ooomen's amazing collection on her blog.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Swedish and cooool

I'm pottering today. It's sunny and breezy and I'm about to hang out my third load of washing. Bliss!
I'm finishing off a dress I'm making (for me) out of one of the famous Japanese books.
I'm planning a bigger version of the bags I posted about in my last post.
I'm trolling through real estate websites.
I'm contemplating getting back to Julia in Sienna, and maybe making her a younger woman.
And on top of it all, I'm listening to the Nick Haywood Quartet (Australian, fab and a very new find for me), and my ultra-absolute-favourite Esbjorn Svensson Trio (Swedish), who are playing live in the video above. Love love love it.
Svensson, the brilliant pianist, died in 2008 in a scuba diving accident, when he was only 44. Whenever I listen to the album ths track is from, Seven Days of Falling, I can't help but think of that and how sad it is that he's gone. And I wonder what the other two guys are doing now.
:: Oh, must tell you - I got an email a few weeks ago from an Australian living in New York who wants to feature one of my Our Lady of the Immaculate Tea Strainer tea cosies in a book she's writing! I said yes!

Sunday, 19 February 2012


... about sneaking back here after such a long absence, and so many other absences. But I find I really don't want to give up my blog, so I'll just have to get cracking and post. Even if life does seem routine and mundane.
I hate to post without a pic, so this is of some of the really cute shoulder bags I made in the weeks before Christmas, all as gifts (though a whole heap of them were... ahem ... unnecessary, as without my knowing, certain family members had ... ahem ... called for a secret Santa, so didn't actually need individual gifts).
The bag is a brilliant design by Jane, in Singapore, who blogs here. It really takes about an hour to put one bag together, go to whoa, and takes very little fabric. The best thing, though, is there is very little fiddling and yet the corners all end up perfectly, it's lined, and there are no raw edges anywhere. A miracle!
It was a lot of fun to make them all, and everyone who got one from me at Christmas seemed really delighted. I have an order to make a slightly bigger version for one of Mum's friends who wants it to carry her iPad in. Jane says she's happy for you to sell these bags once you've bought the pattern, so that's great.
Life has been a bit of a blur since my last post. Before Christmas work was intense and all-encompassing ... then there was Christmas itself with my parents here from Albany. This was closely followed by a wonderful visit from my cousin Susan and her husband, Paul, from Norwich; Will's birthday; my grand-daughter's second birthday; a couple of weeks' holiday down south; a book to edit; a visit from my brother and his new wife from New Zealand; another long weekend with them down south; and, finally, time to feel as though the year proper has started.
On top of all that, David has been in a flurry of theatre and show-going for the Festival of Perth, and the concurrent Fringe Festival – about 40 events in a month. He's reviewed about half for the West Australian (have a look at his account of Faustian Pact!) and the rest on his blog.
A lot of my friends have been his dates (I'm so grateful!), though I went with him last night to see Raoul, and we're off to see Peter Brook's A Magic Flute tonight, and the amazing-sounding Striggio and Tallis next week.

A big year ahead at Schloss Zed ... Will starts uni this week, Lily has signed up for a second year in Japan - which has spurred the teachers she works with to devise new programs and challenges for her to get stuck into, David has a few new projects to start once the Festival is over, and I'm just planning to keep on going. And, I hope, blogging. I've missed it. See you soon!