I’m dancin’, I’m groovin’, I’m smilin’ 🙂

Gone are the dark clouds…

The gloom has lifted, and it looks very much like we’re getting our new house after all. We both spent hours digging out papers, printing stuff out, putting together loads of financial information, and it’s been worth it. We have ‘in principle’ approval of a loan that’ll enable us to buy it without condemning us to a life of bread and water forever, and by the original settlement date. We just have to wait for a valuation and for full confirmation. And of course, for the funds to arrive in the bank….

Enjoy a classic, y’all: Jimmy Cliff: I can see clearly now





Decisions, decisions…

If it’s the beginning of January, it must be time for new glasses.

Every year since I turned 45, I’ve needed a new optical prescription. My already long sight is getting longer and longer, to the point where I can’t see the type on this blog at all without specs. My health insurance rolls over at the beginning of the year, and I tend not to delay getting a new pair because by that time I really need the upgrade. My triple progressive lenses are not cheap, but they’re vital to getting through life without bumping into things!

My other problem is frames. I have a wide head, and because of the progressive lenses, I need a large lens. My face also seems to demand an assertive frame style. Sunglass frames are the answer. I’ve found frames that are comfy and have a large enough lens. But they’re Boring. Black. Blah. There’s a great place up north in Cairns who’ll paint your frames for you. They do a beautiful job, are reasonably priced, and have a really good colour range. I’ve had navy, red and raspberry pink so far, but don’t really want to repeat myself.

So, here’s where I need your help. There are four colours I really love, but I’m finding it impossible to choose which one. I’m opening a poll to get your vote on which one to get. You get an option to suggest something completely different if you want to.

Too much choice… Any of these colours would be fine, they’re all in my wardrobe and would look good with what I wear. All would be fun with my now very grey hair. All would be bright enough to help me find my glasses if I put them down and can’t find them again 🙂

Thanks for your help!

‘Tis the season…

…. to get blowy.

And sure enough, here comes Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen. He’s not as big or as slow as TC Debbie, but he’s a bad boy, and just for a change, he’s projected to take an unusual path from west to east rather than the more normal east to west.

Currently he’s crossing the Gulf of Carpentaria, heading for Far North Queensland’s west coast. Once over land, he’s forecast to track south west over land, down the east coast of the state, hitting Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton, losing power as he goes.

We’re watching things very carefully, to see what actually happens. Things can change quickly, and while heavy rain and strong, destructive winds are inevitable in some form, it can all pivot on a direction change of just a few degrees. We have a plan of escape if things start getting nasty, stuff on the lower levels of the house is stored on shelves or in plastic tubs, and at the end of the day, we have insurance.

Meanwhile, I’m spending some quality time with the sewing machine, to see if I can get Go Teal it on the Mountain finished. It stops me compulsively flicking through the TV weather forecasts and constantly checking the Bureau of Meteorology updates online.

…. deck the halls with dripping rainwear, falalalala lalala

SAL #72: a big fat zero

That’s how much stitching I’ve managed to achieve this time round.

Too many other projects on the go, a deadline that should have been OK if I hadn’t been wiped out by the past week of jury service but is now becoming acute, and a back that is once again giving me a lot of trouble. Sorry people, I’ve had to let the tapestry fall by the wayside this time.

Do go and look at all the lovely work the others have produced. If you don’t see a post straight away, try again later – we’re a scattered bunch, all in different time zones.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
CindyHelenStephLindaHeidiJackie, Sunny,
HayleyMeganCatherine, DeborahConnie
and Clare

The next SAL is due on 23rd December, right before Christmas. Let’s hope I have something to show then!

Fire on the mountain

No, this isn’t a post about lovely mountain blocks for the quilt.

Today, our region hit 41°C/105.8°F. There are strong northwesterlies blowing, the ground is as dry as tinder, the air is full of dust and smoke, and one of our most beautiful National Parks is ablaze.

Fire on the mountain. Eungella National Park burns…

Up at the top of the Eungella Range, Dalrymple Heights is burning, a raging front of terrifying flame 12 metres (40ft) high in places. People have been told to get into their cars and go. Now. Leave everything. Houses and possessions can be replaced, but if you stay and the fire catches you, you will die and we cannot save you. Our volunteer fire fighters are battling not only the flames, but exhaustion. They are running out of available water as the reservoirs and dams are so terribly low. The flames are being fought on the ground and from the air – a water bomber is dumping 15,000 litres a time, and it’s still not making any difference.

Active bushfires in the state of Queensland, as of today

In Mackay itself we are watching the sky and trying to fight the urge to cough. There are over 80 catastrophic bush fires up and down the Queensland coast, and our firefighters are stretched beyond belief. Further south, the situation is even more grave. The smoke can be seen from space….

Mackay is 2/3 of the way up that section of coastline, where there are two plumes of smoke close together and then another a little way below.

It’s not on anything like the scale of Paradise, California. But looking at that map above, it feels like our whole state is ablaze, all 7,000km (4,300 miles) of it… 

Two weeks with idle hands…

You’re not allowed needles and scissors in the courtroom.

I have no idea why (well, I do, I suppose), but I’m quite capable of listening while my hands are occupied, so it means that when my Jury Service starts tomorrow, I am faced with two weeks unable to sew during the day. This is a bleak and unpleasing vista. It assumes I will be a) selected for a jury and b) cannot excuse myself on the grounds I know someone involved in the case. It may be that c) the whole thing is over in 2 minutes when someone changes a plea to guilty. But having been summoned for 2 weeks, I then have to turn up when requested and offer myself up to the mills of justice, and the whole circus starts again the next day.

There’s a foot note to this page: “Jurors are advised to bring a jacket as conditions in the Court room may be cool.” Yay!

This puts quite a crimp in my planned sewing program for the rest of the year and the early part of next. I have Go Teal it on the Mountain to progress and bring to completion by the beginning of February. I have three blocks for F2F each month. I have a hatbox block to hand quilt for the end of each month, I have needlepoint to progress every 3 weeks, and I have sewing for Days for Girls. To top that lot off, yesterday I got a phone call from the head of the Trudy Crowley Foundation, asking if the memorial quilt for Trudy could be ready for April, as they have a Twilight Dinner and want to auction it then. Well, I had to say yes, didn’t I?  (I Will Never Learn).

Oh, and did I mention we’ll probably be moving house some time in March…? No?  Well, more of that another time, but it’s all good 🙂

So this afternoon, I went up to my sewing room, cranked the aircon down to 21°C, put the ceiling fan on High and cut backing and batting squares for Go Teal it on the Mountain like grim death. It has produced results, though: I have got the job done, and can start taking those beauties down off the design wall, sandwich the three layers together and get quilting. When they’re all here, there will be 30 squares; I think I just have to sit down, grit my teeth and plough through, setting myself a target for each day. Whether I can stay on target is going to depend on whether I have to sit in court every day; if I do, will I still have the energy to quilt in the evening? If I don’t I’ll regard it as bonus/’free’ time and will use it for quilting.

So anyway, if I don’t respond to your comments on stuff as quickly as usual, or Chiconia goes a bit dark and silent, that’s where I’ll be. Listening, deliberating, and possibly gnashing my teeth…

I suppose there’s one upside. The weather forecast for the coming week is 37°C/98°F. The courthouse is paying the air conditioning bill!

F²F³: October round-up

October was Moira’s month in F²F³.

Moira’s colour palette combined creams and various shades of brown, with a touch of greyish light blue, based on a décor fabric she’s selected to use in her home. It features beautiful barred feathers combined with delicate pale blue speckled eggs, and the effect is lovely.

This month everyone was a star and got their blocks off in good time.

November is Robin’s month. She’s chosen cerise and a darkish royal blue, with a touch of orange, and white backgrounds if necessary, and she’s also put up a block she’s already made in the Gallery to give everyone a bit of colour inspiration. She’s happy with any shade of those colours, whether it’s vivid or muted, so I’m happy, as I have plenty of bright pink and orange fabrics left over from my current quilting project!

If you want to see the finished blocks, go to the F²F 2018 gallery here, and if you want to check out the colour palettes, go to the Members/ Colours page here. F²F reference and finished block images are now maintained on a separate blog due to their image-heavy nature, and the home page is here, if you want to bookmark it or follow it. The galleries are a useful library of colour and block designs, and the previous session is also stored there.

Pink and orange: tick! Now, time to rummage for a bit of blue…