20 November 2017

Busy Weekend and Walk4Brain Cancer

We headed to the beach Saturday afternoon and spotted the shark plane flying overhead.  We don't usually walk on the beach I prefer to walk on the walkway away from the sand but Mo has blisters on her feet (from running think it might be time for new shoes) and she wanted to walk in the sea.

The plane was circling which was a bit strange then the siren started a shark had been spotted.  Luckily it was a coolish day so there weren't many swimmers that the life savers had to call out of the water.  Most people know to head to the shore when the siren sound anyhow.

Apparently the plane started early this year as there has already been sharks spotted in the last couple of weeks and last night's news featured footage of 3.5m menacing a boat off St Kilda.

Sunday we all got up early and headed to another beach down the way for the Walk4Brain Cancer.  We we doing it in honour of the son of a guy my hubby works with.  He is 6 and has been diagnosed with a brain tumour he is having experimental treatment and it is hitting his little body hard, he is currently in hospital with the side effects and wasn't able to make it.  The statistics for brain cancer a pretty scary, with  only 2 in 10 people diagnosed will survive in 5 years and there has been little change in the statistics in the last 30 years.

Hopefully the government focus on this cancer and these types of events can improve the survival rate and help find a cure.  

It was a bit warm but we enjoyed the morning exercise.  The dog was very well behaved especially with the number of people and dogs in the group.

13 November 2017

SACE and all the turmoil

We've had some angst this week with this one. A couple of months ago we all went to the school for subject selection.  We talked about subject selection possible need to pick another subject if he didn't get the appropriate marks etc.  His PE section was discussed and if he was prepared for the work involved and the exam at the end.  All was good he was prepared to put in the effort, it was a good fit for what he thinks  he might do at Uni.  They said there were only 20 places available.  We made sure that he kept PE a priority as he needed to be top of the class if he was going to get selected for those 20 places. As it turns out the marks weren't the problem, the problem was that the class didn't have the required number of student wanting to do it, it turns out the school has only run the class once in the last 7 years (if that had been mentioned we would have looked at other school alternatives or steered him away from the subject in the first place).

We emailed the school as he was not in the least bit happy PE had been on the radar for 2 years.  We all had a sleepless night as there was 3 week of school left, I started researching nearby schools to see if that was an option it was all to hard.  The next day the year 11 councillors recommended Tourism which didn't take into consideration his academic achievements or his interests but that was the only alternative offered, he left the counselling session despondent.  The response from the school was that as no Uni course required PE his tertiary options were not limited by it being dropped.

He then walked into the IT Unit upset and happened upon one of the teacher there that offered him an alternative a project in conjunction with the Uni of Adelaide.  This project is unique to the school, starting next year that can be counted toward Stage 2.  A select number of year 10, 11 and 12 students have been asked to join the project, the only draw back was Mo has been asked to join as a year 10 due to her academic achievements this year (she received a Medal for Excellence again this year).

He came around after a bit of discussion and the fact that I wasn't going to not let Mo miss it just because he thought she would lean on him to much.  Their academic approach is so different I don't think she will be leaning on him at all, I suspect what will end up working well together if they have to but I suspect that they will be separated to a certain extent.

I have spoken to the teacher coordinating the project and it will be a great opportunity for both of them that could lead them into a range of other tertiary studies.  We will have to keep an eye on Mo as she probably should drop some one of her lines of study to keep up but she doesn't want to.  I think we will play it by ear see how she goes, at the moment she thinks there won't be much out of school work for her choice line and she should be able to keep up.

So there is a silver lining, however I am less than impressed with the way the school handled the whole thing.  Maestro was lucky that this project came along he had studied Robotics and IT in the past  with good grades to enable him to slot straight into the project.  There were 10 other kids that have also been displaced and a couple of those were counting on PE even more than Maestro.

29 October 2017

EQ8 and All Things Vegan

Mo and I headed to the city yesterday for the Vegan Festival.  She had spied a flyer at a local cafe months ago and remembered it was on during the weekend.  I wanted to get there early look around before it got to busy, she was keen to have lunch there.

Mo toyed with doing the Vegan thing last Xmas holidays but she just lost too much weight so we ended up making her add meat to her diet to try get her weight back to a healthy range.  She is gradually reducing dependence on meat only eating fish, she still has some diary and eggs and is keeping her weight steady.  It probably helps that due to problems with her knees (to do with a growth spirt) she isn't running as many km as she was and the physio has limited her distance runs and introduced road running to help mix it up.

Mo had a ball checking out all the food, she got a vegan t-shirt and we tasted quite a bit of food both sweets and savoury.  We both had Mac and No Cheese for lunch which was amazing and bought home a couple of sweet potato and lentil pies for lunch today a couple of raw sweets and some yummy baked goods.

Do you EQ?  I decided to update to EQ8 it this week and take advantage of the early special.  I'm really happy with the improvements that I have found so far.  I have started designing my next BOM using the program and I am toying with the idea of a row by row this time round with each alternate row Appliqué.

I have never designed a row by row in Eq7 so I don't know if the same feature were present, but I was amazed at how easy it was to do in EQ8, have different sized rows, add and delete rows.  Insert pieced rows specify size and no of blocks with little effort.  I would have thought I would need to do a custom set but this was all achieved in quilt layout with little fuss.

I can't wait to start appliqué design, there are new shape makers that are going to make designing appliqué easier.  Hoping to get some more time this afternoon to play around.

22 October 2017

Port Clinton and back to the old routine

School went back this week.  I wasn't there to get them going Monday morning as I was still at Port Clinton, where I had spent the weekend at a sewing retreat.

Mo went off on camp to the Coorong.  It was almost the first hot weather for spring and I was expecting her to come back like a lobster, but she was good with the sunscreen and although very tired not much worse for wear.

The weekend retreat was lovely and relaxing, although the beds were a little hard the accomodation was really nice and it was lovely to wind down stitch and talk at night.  The drive was a little nerve  racking as I am not use to driving distances on my own, but I had an audio book going so it wasn't too bad.

Port Clinton really doesn't have much just lots of shacks and its quiet.  When I went walking and everyone just says hello or waves to you as you walk by I'm used to everyone ignoring you when you walk.

The low tide sends the water all the way out leaving mangroves and mud flats it took me back to spending time at a friends shack at Stansbury further down the peninsular.

The retreat was held in the old School House which was fun, we did what I think was described as improve fabric collage and embellished the it with embroidery stitches.  Using cut up Kantha quilts as background.  I used some of my liberty prints as well as some from the scrap basket.  It was all very civilised and relaxing.

It was hot in the city when I returned, it meant waiting till it cooled down and hubby and I went for a twilight walk Tuesday night.  The sea breeze was wonderful down there.  

07 October 2017

OMG Where did September Go

All cheer for the school holidays and we have slowed down finally.

September is THE month at my work.  It is extremely busy and even with the extra hours I now work I did extra hours on top and to add to the stress our system (internet) went down for a week in the last week of September.  Our IT support kept telling us that they would have someone come in so I headed into work everyday only to have to use my personal mobile data to login and no-one turned up.

We had no office phones, my boss was doing seminars with clients for 2 of the days and had to field all the phone calls that were diverted to his mobile.  By the end of the week we were both fed up with our head office IT people and we both ended up blowing up at them.  Our main concern is that something has slipped through the cracks, all the urgent stuff has been caught up .... we think.  I still have a stack of printing and scanning to catch up on.

I had a finish this week Jen Kingwell's Spring Fever is done.  Since taking this photo the skinny blocks with 2 flowers on them have been added to.  They just weren't right and when I looked at Jen's finished quilt there was more detail than were in the pattern instructions.

I am hand quilting this one and started stitching last night if I keep up the pace it shouldn't take too long to quilt.  

Mo went for a job interview on Thursday and got a Christmas Casual job down at the local shopping centre.  She was on a high after the interview, and although she was really nervous she said she did really well.  We went shopping today for work wear... I dread having to find prescribed clothes for her, as she is small and still in kids sizes but we managed to get a black shirt (ladies 6 ... still a bit big but looks ok tucked in)  and black jeans (only her second pair of jeans she has owned) and we were able to get them in girls wear with an adjustable waist ... she has super long legs for her height so the adjustable waist is a must.  

Maestro has been away camping and has coming home this afternoon worn out but having had a great time.  We 3 have been enjoying the quiet of not having him around over the last 4 days because he really is very noisy with a booming voice, gaming and talking on Skype with his friends.  

I'm heading away next weekend for a sewing weekend with the girls and I can't wait. 

03 September 2017

August has been and gone

August has been a really long month.  Sewing wise I've been doing lots of slow stitching working on Spring Fever by Jen Kingwell.  I have 7 main blocks to finish, I'm about 2/3rds of my way through.  This morning I am cutting the 1½" strips to make the checkerboard blocks for in-between I don't think I will start stitching these until I am putting it all together.  The quilt has a scolloped
edge but I think I won't bother with that as I have other designs on that fabric for another project.

Last month I bought the starter kit from Amitie for Bakers Dozen and yesterday I sorted through my stash to find fabrics to go with it.  Each fabric I have chosen to add I have cut down to the same size as the Amitie Kit just to make sure that no one fabric overwhelms the quilt.  I plan to make this quilt for Maestro so I am trying to keep fabric selections as masculine as possible though there are a few small florals but I think the pieces will be small enough that it won't matter.

School has been a main focus this last month Maestro has been picking his subjects for Year 12, thankfully that is done just have to cross fingers that he gets into those classes.  Mo had to pick her subjects for Year 10 which was easier but she did agonise a little over it and worried that her friends had dropped Art, I told her to continue with it as she truly enjoys the subject and she needed to not worry about who was doing what and to follow her own path.  She is coping better with school this term and we haven't had to battle anxiety over workloads as yet and she is just taking it all in her stride.  We know that it is not something that will go away but we know what to look out for and we can get help again if we need it.

My MIL ended up in Emergency a couple of weeks ago and Drs pretty much had written her off, she had unexplained swelling in her neck and a cat scan was inconclusive they decided it was a tumour and she was just fading away.  Turns out she has a stone in the salivary gland which became infected and abscessed.  It ruptured and with IV antibiotics she came good, however the only option is surgery to remove the stone(s) and her sons have decided not to do that as another general anaesthetic would either kill her or reduce her mental capacity further.  I've come to the conclusion that we treat our animal's better than we treat our old and incapacitated.  Her quality of life is slowly being whittled away bit by bit, with each infection she loses a bit more physically and mentally.

We have had changes at work and I have increased my working hours, at least I can do them at home and work a full day on Tuesday, picking up the kids in my lunch hour then continue to work a full day.  So far it has been ok but I don't seem to make anymore headway with the workload.  To be honest I haven't enjoyed my job for a long time, but I like my boss and we make a good team and we need the money... I guess I'll be at it for a bit longer yet.

Mo set up a small fish tank in her room over the last month we just finished stocking it with the maximum no of fish the tank will allow, then on Tuesday she woke up to the fact that her female Molly (she only has one) must have been a bit of a hussy at the fish shop so we have 15 babies in the tank.  I thought natural selection would cut the numbers but they have stayed constant.  We are going to have to do something as they get bigger.

06 August 2017

Finished Quilt Top Celtic Tree of Life.

Last week I finished the top for Celtic Tree of Life.  I will work on the final putting it together instructions this afternoon and have them posted for you to download.  They will be there for 1 month before they come down again as per the usual arrangement.  I will also be working on another document to go up with hints and tips for doing the celtic knot work that I have worked out along the way.  Hope you enjoy the quilt.

I need to get my machine serviced before I can start quilting it.  Once that is done I can take some better photo's of the quilt.  I also have a couple of other quilts in need of quilting so I see a lot of time behind my machine in the next few months and I have to check out the stash to see if I have a voile that will fit the back.

Final instructions have been loaded on Tree of Life Page, do your final download available till 6th September 2017.