Friday, May 29, 2009

In further news...

Look what's finished, and heading to Victoria tomorrow.
I'm really thrilled with it. Its the first really scrappy quilt I have made. There are more than 55 different fabrics in it.
This is Lesley on the phone to Frogdancer having a phone blogmeet the other night. We'd just put the binding on and Les had started the first stitches to turn the binding.
While we were on the phone to Frogdancer she told us Jaryd went to Canberra this week to meet the Prime Minister and to speak to primary schools in the ACT about the impact of the fires on someone his age. Unfortunately some place callled North Korea decided to explode a bomb somewhere and the PM was unable to meet Jaryd, but he did meet a minister or two. He told them and the schoolchildren about the blogging community and the support he and his family had received, along with the support from the rest of Australia through many appeals etc.
This quilt started back in early February when Victoria in eastern Australia experienced the terrible fires that wiped out whole communities. Frogdancer knew someone, Judy, who had lost everything. She and her son were wiped out. House, clothes, books, homework, guitar...the lot.
Frogdancer asked her readers if they had spare copies of books that a 17 year old avid reader might need to restock his library. Books turned up from all over the country.
I didn't have any books Jaryd was interested in but my stash was certainly good for a quilt. I'm really enjoying sharing my non-perishables lately, and the stash is , ahem, quite substantial, so I can't even see where its been taken from.
Frogdancer had more than 65 fabrics in her quilt bundle I sent her. It turns out Jaryd's Mum has that quilt now...which is really great. Widget has about 20 fabrics in the back of her quilt. See Frogdancer's quilt extravaganza page for photos. I'm tickled to think of them being together. I wonder if the quilts will recognise each other as coming from the same fabric stash stable?
I chose a stash of colours I thought he would like and set to work piecing the top. Les was en-route home after living in USA for 3 years, but was lined up to help with the basting and quilting.
There were a few hiccups along the way, but Les put the borders on it and finished the stars, then we basted it. Then Lesley quilted it. Then it got swore at a lot, and got a new back and basted again. Then it came to stay at my house, where it behaved much better, having learned its lesson in what happens to misbehaving quilts. Meek and mild, it submitted to quilting, then finally binding.
Lesley has just unpacked her Harry Potter complete set, and it is about to head to Jaryd along with the quilt.
Its the first big quilt I've made for ages, and has been a nice refresher for the big quilt I plan to make for next year.

Good little quilt. Your two mummies are very pleased with you now.
Off to Jaryd you go, keep him warm, and share a hug or two from us.

Shall we keep the door as a shade of green?

Note the chunks of wood showing through the previously painted door frame.

After all the hassle and tears yesterday...I woke up this morning and decided I didn't hate it after all.

In fact, having almost gotten over the disappointment of having to paint the whole door frame again, we are quite tempted to paint the door a shade of green to tie in with the marble feature tile.

It will reduce some of the sterility and 'public toilet' nature of the expanse of white tiles and glass bricks. Although in the daylight, the glass bricks really make it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

High and dry and still out in the cold!

I'm fuming.

I've been working every day since Tuesday. Its been a long and tricky week. I'll tell you about it when I calm down.

TODAY the door was finally installed. By pulling apart the frame that we had just painted with 4 coats of paint.

And putting crap all over the tiles that we have taken great pains to protect throughout painting.

And then the shower screen was installed unexpectedly, again with no-one home to supervise. Spreading more sealant and crap on the floor, in a shape I hadn't expected that means the shower head now seems to be pointing in the wrong direction. I can't even get any water onto the corner glass shelves to clean all the wood dust off them. I tried. Not knowing that I shouldn't be letting any water into the shower screen area due to silicon drying time until Saturday morning. Sigh.

No major damage except that there's a significant chip in one of the floor tiles right in the middle of the floor.

And there's still no glass in the door (raw green ), which still needs to be painted along with the frame - AGAIN!!!! When there is gloss enamel painting to be done or dried the bathroom cannot be used. Including the bath.

When I came home today the bathroom looked like a scummy shabby 10-year-old tiled disaster. with the door frame paint all ripped off and peeling - the carpenter has shifted the whole centre plate of the doorframe. I have told the bathroom contractor that he can stick the carpenter up his jaxie cos I'm not impressed with him at all. Tears were involved. I scrubbed and swept ( I can hear you laughing at the thought of me cleaning, stop it!) and rubbed at sealant crap and swore - a LOT.

I have few words to describe my fury at the waste of time, and the lack of sleep due to paint fumes, not to mention the fact that I am still showering outside in the cold wind (much to the cat's amusement this morning)

I am really over this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stitch by stitch

Do I ....

A. Attend work 8-4 driving all over the metro area and flop in a heap at the end and watch the idiot box?

B. Contribute to the Painting of the Wonder Bathroom?

C. Stitch madly at the binding of Jaryd's quilt? (I love doing the binding)

D. Cook my family's dinner?

E. Try not to consume my bodyweight in chocolate at a sitting? (number of sittings may vary per day)

F. Combine all of the above?

Yeah...I thought so.

Photos to come.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Christening with bubbles

Well, there was no-one home to take photos...but I had the first bath this morning. It was chucking down with rain and wind outside and I just couldn't face the outdoor shower. So I turned on the tap.....

It. was. gorgeous. The bath is HUGE. Plenty of length and breadth. And so deep!
It will never look this gorgeous again. The new green towels are now on the rails. And there are candles on the deep window sill.
We don't have a door yet. There's been a few carpentry errors. It has been promised for Monday. And the shower screen will be installed hopefully by the end of the week, so we can't yet take a shower but (I think) it looks wonderful.

We're (the favourite husband and I) painting architraves and the new cornices, and of course the ceiling. But on the whole...we're thrilled to bits with it. :) (Please forgive the squashy nature of the 'paragraphs' below - for some reason blogger won't allow better formatting)
Update...door on Tuesday/Wed now, and the shower screen is still not in either. So STILL showering outside in 3 degrees. I was right. It IS getting a bit old now. 4 full weeks and counting. Just a door would be nice so I could at least feel I could use the loo in privacy.
What have you been up to?
P.S. Apart from painting, plans for the weekend include finishing Jarryd's quilt, after a hiccup or two.
P.P.S. Went to see the movie Angels and Demons last night and unfortunately there were some sound glitches and the last 25 minutes of the film was without sound. We had piped muzac over the climax of the film, including Fleetwood Mac Rhiannon (taken by, taken by the wind, occurring at exactly the right spots surprisingly) the Star Wars theme as Ewan MacGregor was involved with some flames. We got freebies to return but I'm not sure I want to sit through it all again. 7/10. FRUSTRATING!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

So busy (now with photos)

Busy week! Work was good.

Seeing friends from (now) over East and meeting their new baby, Willow. Delightful!
Making a new bag. Very nice too. Great fun. I used some long stashed ingredients.
Attending afternoon tea for a friend. Delicious. She loved the bag.
Dinner party for friends. A great success.
Attending the craft fair. Stash building never goes out of style. Plans abound!

It seems I didn't win the raffle quilt. Sigh.

Bathroom nearing completion. All tiles applied. Oohs and ahs expressed by all visitors, especially after seeing the beautiful marble feature tile, which looks gorgeous after sealing.
This week will include: grouting, fittings, cornices, painting and finally...bathing!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Thought you may be interested to hear about this budget news as it affects the great majority of midwives in Australia in some form or another.

Australian College of Midwives MEDIA RELEASE
“Mothers and Midwives Budget winners”

“Today is an historic day for childbearing women and their families in Australia,” said Associate Professor Hannah Dahlen, National Media Spokespersons for the Australian College of Midwives.
“Not only has the Rudd Government made the welcome commitment to parental leave to better support families with newborn babies, but they have also provided for:
mothers to receive Medicare rebates for midwifery care,
access to PBS for midwives,
national collaborative maternity care guidelines,
increased access at state level to birth centres,
indemnity for midwives
measures to enhance the access of rural and remote women to maternity care as close as possible to their home community.

A national telephone support service for pregnant women and mothers of newborns
“These reforms will together make it much easier for women living anywhere in Australia – from the middle of our largest cities to remote communities - to access continuity of care by a known midwife” Assoc Prof Dahlen said. “They will also be vital in helping to close the gap on disadvantage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies in partnership with Indigenous people themselves.”

Continuity of midwifery care involves a pregnant woman being cared for by a known midwife throughout her pregnancy, labour and birth. It also involves follow up care in the home for up to 6 weeks after the birth of the baby to provide professional support with the all important transition to parenting.

“This is not about substituting doctors with midwives” Assoc. Prof Dahlen said. “Obstetricians will, of course, continue to have a vital role in maternity care. Midwives providing continuity of care collaborate with obstetricians and allied health professionals throughout the episode of care, in response to the individual needs of each woman and her baby.”

Research evidence shows a range of benefits when women are cared for by known midwives from early in pregnancy till well after the birth. These include fewer admissions to hospital antenatally, less need for epidurals or for any pain relief, fewer episiotomies, more normal births, reduced need for their baby to be admitted to a special care nursery, more success with breastfeeding, and less vulnerability to postnatal depression or anxiety.
“Health Minister Nicola Roxon is to be commended for listening to Australian women during the recent national review of maternity services and for acting on the evidence that their needs could be better met with greater access to continuity of care by midwives, said Assoc Prof Dahlen

“These reforms pave the way for tens of thousands of women and their families to benefit from continuity of midwifery care while maintaining Australia’s solid record of safety for mothers and babies,” said Assoc. Professor Dahlen. “The confidence the government has expressed in midwives through these major reforms will be embraced by the profession around Australia.”

“Today the government has honoured women and motherhood in this country and recognised that ‘the hand that rocks the cradle’ does indeed ‘rule the world,’ and that we as a society need to support women and invest in the future– our children,” said Associate Professor Dahlen.

For further information contact the Australian College of Midwives

Monday, May 11, 2009

Report card

The bathroom now has some black floor tiles. Tomorrow there will be some plain gloss white wall tiles. The feature tile of cut green marble chips was sealed today (stinky and sticky work). It looks FABULOUS!!!!!!!! The colour is divine. I'm very excited. It will be another week or so until he is all finished, then the ceiling and door must be painted. Luckily the weather is holding and the outdoor shower (hot) is not palling yet.

Mother's Day was had. I have a lovely double yellow hibiscus in a large pot. I will try not to kill it. The gardener (not me) has made a similar vow. I arranged a picnic at Matilda Bay for my family. Some of them came. Long story. Food was eaten, photos were dutifully taken (but not yet uploaded). The Bag was much admired. No comment was made, or the 'feature' even noticed by the recipient. The lining was a special hit. Contractual obligation met. Tick.

My husband chivvied one of my offspring into delivering breakfast in bed. I walked past my hibiscus and the cards 9 times before they were actually proffered towards me. Sigh. One of them had other plans for lunch that involved playing cards, with like minded men. I cooked the picnic lunch, texted everyone madly to arrange a meeting point and tried not to cry that my family will never all be together again. It was all quite pleasant in the end, if smaller than I had pictured. Everyone brought their manners, which is not always guaranteed. Long story.

I went home and had a nap. No, not just a nap, an excellent nap. Dinner of lamb chops was cooked by the guys (now home from playing cards) and I watched some TV before retiring to bed and reading the last of the 4th Twilight book, which series I have just enjoyed re-reading.
I am now reading a charming midwifery memoir set in London's East End in the 1950s.

Today I have cut out a bag for a friend's birthday next weekend. Much planning involved. I also plan to give her a lovely vintage frock that I just know will suit her beautifully. She's having a rough time lately, and needs a boost.

Its only 5 weeks until we go to Europe. EEEKKKKKKKKK! DO I have the right shoes to stomp around Amsterdam?

Ah, the perpetual question....and I'm lovin it!

Where has the midwifery content gone, I hear you ask? Well, to be honest I barely feel like I have been at work lately, but I promise there will be some soon.

I did save a baby from a sticky name last week. It was an entirely culturally appropriate name for this little girl...but I'm sure her parents wouldn't have willingly named their daughter anything that sounded remarkably like "Shitty", even if it didn't look like that when written down. I carefully broached the subject, and made the comparison for them, clarifying the implications. They were very practical about it, and quite horrified at the near disaster. Phew. Welcome baby Lakshmi, nice name!

In other news on the naming responsibilities faced in the world..... I really look forward to hearing what twin boys 'Lefty' and 'Righty' resolve into when they are named by their sweet parents.

Be good, or good at it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blogging bliss

My favourite husband has an old laptop. He spent hours last night configuring it so I could use it instead of the limping desktop. Internet, printer, email - you name it. Sigh. He is my favourite (and only) husband. I still keep automatically reaching for the mouse, but I'll get used to it.

The bathroom is proceeding fabulously. Ooh, hang on, I'll see if I can get some photos off the amongst yourselves.......Done.

For the first few days after demolition I felt like I was seeing a maiden aunt naked. It just didn't seem quite right, too exposed, like I was looking up her dress. We can even see into the roof space throught the exposed cornices.
Before -the old timber cabinet and window. This frame was incredibly solid.
View from outside as the window is enlarged.
After - 3rd row down, second from the right. Laid by yours truly.
The bath in position. It was bricked in today.
Now don't show Mum...but here's the bag I've made for her for Mother's Day. I hope she likes it, it looks a little more sombre than I expected. The lining fabric is really lush. When I photographed the bag at night there seems to be an angry person hiding among the big pattern central to the bag. Can you see it when you squint? Tell me NOW if you think it is a bad omen and I shouldn't give it to her....I'm not kidding. I'm on days off now. I'll still have time to make a different one.
The kids indulged me and allowed me to take some photos on Tuesday. I'm quite pleased with them. The snootiest cat in the world was even restrained briefly to pretend to be a real cat.
Today Stephanie has had some minor surgery. It is her first operation in about 5 years (and her 18th one) and she was not looking forward to it, but was really brave. The anaesthetist was very kind and understanding (and well briefed) and it went well. She slipped off to sleep briefly, and all the scary stuff was done while she was asleep. She was back with me within an hour, with a bandage on her arm where the stitches are. Hopefully that pesky mole will be benign, but its best to be safe!

Our anniversary dinner was lovely. We went to a French place in Nedlands, old and family owned. Wonderful food and terrific service. Only one small glitch, a freebie appetiser of seafood bisque cappucino! Served in a little espresso cup with foam on top! It looked cute, but unfortunately tasted vile. We both love seafood bisque normally, but the balance was really off. I mean really off. All the stuff from the prawn and lobster heads that one normally ...washes out... was obviously left in there and had flavoured the bisque much too heavily, so basically it tasted like....well...the stuff you would normally wash out. We had one sip, nearly gagged, and pushed it aside. We sent it back. The rest of the meal was superb. Utterly superb. Highly recommended.

I've also made another Wild Woman (in yellows and orange) for someone special. No, you can't peek.
Lesley and I are nearly finished Jarryd's quilt. If I'm not remaking a bag this weekend (cough, but seriously, tell me if I need to) I'll be stitching on the binding. Then it will be off!
The outdoor showers are going well, the coldest morning has only been 9C, so not too bad so far. Everyone is still enjoying it.
Woo-hoo! Days off and a quilt to finish, craft to do and a bathroom to enthuse about! See ya!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Its International Midwives' Day.

And our 24th wedding anniversary.

We're going out for dinner tonight.

I took some great photos of the kids just now....I'll have to load them and show you later...still borrowing other people's computers (sigh).

We've got a bath in today. And a spout. And pipes from all the walls in the right spots. And drainage pipes. And a glass block window. I even put one of the glass blocks in myself.

Photos to come. If I can be patient about it, so can you.

Many stories to tell from a very eventful first few days on visiting midwife duty. Cute babies. Lovely Mums, Dads and families. Did I mention cute babies?

My back is not good. Not at all. Very dodgy for the last week or so. Just what you need when driving all over and hauling bags and scales everywhere. Not aided by having a solid fall from a tiny wall yesterday. Don't ask. I'm just glad no-one had a camera on me. Thank God for woodchips, and no roses. Legs in the air, shoes, hair and bag everywhere. Half-in, half-out of the garden bed. What a dork. Luckily no real damage done.

I hope to have the computer dramas sorted in the next week. Who needs a bank balance?

My Make it in May is progressing quite well. I have done a bit of clay sculpting, made a bag, cut out some other stuff for another. Can we count thinking about things? Planning stuff? I've had a great idea for a Masters thesis! Today my blog posting may count as my creation. Its writing innit?

Ciao for now

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh My

We apologize for interruptions to this service...

It seems my computer is dying. GULP. (quells panic). I really hate seeing 'dumping core memory' blue screens and endless loop messages. sigh.

Typing on daughter's computer. Off to call Dell.....