29 October, 2005

Michelle, don't look!!

The unfinished works. The top picture is a quilt I am making for my sister. It's hard to judge how big this is (it's king size at the moment). Michelle, if you want changes to it, tell me now.

The second quilt is one I started making for a friends baby. She doesn't know what sex it is (so clearly it hasn't been born yet!!), so I started making it unisex - but it looks pretty girly now. I think I'll make her a different one (I have until April to get it done) - in mauves, lemons and limes, I think. And really babyish fabrics - elephants and giraffes or something. Purple giraffes...? But I'll get this one done first. The green striped fabric underneath is what will be the backing fabric. It's been taped to the floor for two days, ready for basting. I'm just not bored enough to actually do that right now.

26 October, 2005

Pest free... for now

It's been almost a week and no more snakes. That I've seen. I have no idea how long the last snake was visiting and I have no idea how many more there may be lurking in the corners. As long as we never meet, I'm sure we can live together quite comfortably. A couple of years ago a friend found a snake skin in her garage. It was about three metres long. And as snakes shed their skins when they're growing, my friend had no idea what size it was up to when she found the skin. Scarier, she had no idea where the snake was - whether it was still living in the garage. Actually, now that I think of it, I lived in that house for a short while (before anyone was aware of the slithery tenant). Maybe it's me... maybe I attract the snakes. Anyway.

The council have organised a pre-cyclone clean up of the whole town. Anything that (usually) resides in the back yard and could become a potential missile in a cyclone could be put by the road and the council would come by to collect it free of charge. Everyone in our area took this opportunity to get rid of their broken washing machines. Without a word of exaggeration (would I ever?), every street that I cycle past now has either a washing machine or fridge or microwave - or several - in it. Because the council decided that they didn't want to collect white goods. I sincerely have never seen so many washing machines in my life. Shame you can't do anything with them when they're broken. I cycled around the neighbourhood looking for treasures that people were discarding, but there was nothing. Well, the great things that I saw and told myself I would come back for (several chairs, bookcases, small tables) were always gone by the time I came back. I'm sure there is a lesson there. The rest of town will be "de-missiled" next weekend, so there is still hope of scavenging something worthwhile... fingers crossed.

20 October, 2005


Okay, I know it's coming up to summer and the weather is getting warmer. Flowers are blooming, animals are procreating... and all of that. But summer doesn't seem all that exciting to me when I wake up at 5:45am, stagger into the kitchen and find a snake snoozing next to the telephone. In the kitchen. IN MY HOUSE!!! So I took a good look at it (from a fairly safe distance) and noticed it wasn't a python. So my second thought was, being that this is Australia, it's an elapid (think whip snakes, tiger snakes, brown snakes, sea snakes, etc). Being that these are among the most dangerous snakes in the world, I was a little nervous. So I got on the internet (the snake was snoozing on the phone book) and found the Environmental Protection Agency 24 hour hotline. Called them on my mobile phone (the snake was snoozing next to the land line) and went through all the prompts:

"If you are calling about a pest that needs to be removed, press 1."


"If the pest is in bushland, press 1. If the pest is around your house, press 2. If the pest is inside your house, press 3."


"If you have a possum in the house, press 1. If you have a snake in the house, press 2."


"If you live in Brisbane metropolitan area, press 1. If you live in Beaudesert, press 2. If you live on the Gold Coast, press 3. If you live in Toowoomba, press 4. If you live in Maroochydore, press 5. If you live in Noosa, press 6. If you live in Rockhampton or Bundaberg, press 7. If you live in Mackay, press 8."

WHAT ABOUT IF YOU LIVE IN TOWNSVILLE??? So I pressed nothing. And eventually got another automated message:

"The business hours of the EPA are from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday. Please call back during those hours."

So much for the 24 hour hotline. So I called a friend. Admittedly it was about 6:30 by this time, but this was a life or death emergency. And I knew he was the perfect person because he's studying sharks; and sharks and snakes are both ancient, dangerous creatures that should not be messed with. Plus, a herpetologist friend is in England at the moment and that's too far to come back to save my life, I thought. So, I explained my predicament to my shark pal. And he laughed. LAUGHED!! And told me to call the EPA. Cheers!

I then called out to my neigbour and asked if he knew anything about snakes and if so (and if not, help me anyway) could he come over and save my life. So he came over equipped with a huge shovel and a broom ready to do battle. I hid behind one of my quilts (I knew they'd be useful for something one day).

Okay, to cut an already long story slightly shorter, he managed to get it out of the house (by this time it was hiding in a cane basket I had near the phone and the phone book) where it slithered away, no harm done to any being, snake or human. I was a little embarrassed to realise that this killer was about 30cm long and it's mouth probably wasn't big enough to get a decent bite in anyway. But it pays to be cautious. At work I got on the internet and looked up elapids. And couldn't find any that matched the description of this one. I did however notice that a little green tree snake matched the description perfectly, and they are very common around Townsville. And they are completely harmless. Which, thinking back, I would have known if I wasn't in a panic when I first saw it. I figure it must have entered through the airconditioner, searching for geckoes for dinner last night.

Ah, always a drama round here!!!!

19 October, 2005

My needs...

I just got this off pea soup's site. Go to Google and type in your first name followed by "needs" and write down the sentences that are listed. Some of mine seemed almost prophetic. Others were just plain mad. I DO NOT have a huge forehead, nor do I draw on my eyebrows!! I do sometimes think I ought to go shopping for eyeglasses, however... So here were my hits in the order that they appeared...

Tanya needs to think about why she did what she did at the party.
Tanya needs to go shopping for a new pair of eyeglasses.
Tanya needs to get her ass across to the uk and rock the house.
Perhaps what Tanya needs most is a love.
Tanya just needs another party.
Tanya needs to decide what she wants and stick to it.
Tanya needs money.
Tanya needs to get into the Kremlin to capture Romanov.
Tanya needs to get a hair transplant on her HUGE forehead.
Tanya needs to stop "drawing on her eyebrows."
Tanya needs to suspend her worries about both plagiarism and error.
Tanya needs her ride pimped to the max extreme ...

Try it - it's a great (see, this is what I do when I don't need to study....).

Relieved and relaxed

The second interview is over, though I've no idea how I went. How can a successful interview be conducted over the telephone, last 20 minutes and consist of two questions?? I don't care anymore, though - I'm just loving the fact that I can relax and do whatever I want without the stress of thinking I should be doing something else (reading up for the interviews). And now I have all this spare time... what will I do????

17 October, 2005

Guess what.....

I got the job! Woohoo!!

15 October, 2005


Today I built a table and four chairs. Okay, it was flat-packed and I had to put it together. But that was a challenge in itself. Instructions are a pain to follow at the best of times, but when there are only pictures and no actual instruction - and the pictures are hand-drawn and not very clear - well, there lies the challenge. But it's done. And it looks good. And no-one will notice the mistakes (maybe until they put too much pressure - such as a backside - on the dodgy chair....).

I also finished the quilt top for my sisters' quilt. It looks really good (I think), though is still a bit small, so I'll have to sew in a couple of borders or something. Photos will follow some time.

I now have five canvasses to paint to hang on a bedroom wall.... Maybe I'll start that tomorrow.

08 October, 2005

Quilt Show Ramble

I found out this morning that the Craft and Quilt Fair had moved to Townsville. So I jumped on the phone and called a friend who was already about to go. So we had a good look at all the quilts that were on display - I couldn't stop myself from looking for mistakes in the quilts. But not because I wanted to find fault with them, no, it was because I think a mistake in a quilt brings a human touch to it and a perfect quilt is never quite as nice as one with a couple of faults. I was impressed with the number of quilts so far north. But there was so much of everything else as well, which got me inspired (for a while, anyway). Lots of ceramics (I want to get into pottery - there must be a potters wheel and a kiln sitting somewhere waiting for me to make use of), knitting (must learn how to do that), crocheted jewellery (need to learn how to do that too), and even spinning yarn (wonder if I can pick up a cheap spinning wheel somewhere - and the wool, and the time to spin the stuff). There was a lady with a big weave maker thingy which produced such beautiful fabrics - but I was not inspired to start that (far too much time and patience involved). Sewing machine stalls (I could pick up a do-it-all sewing machine for a cool eight grand) and of course the regular quilting, stamping, scrapbooking, embroidery stalls. Bought a few chilli fabrics (hence the -stolen off the web, don't sue- picture above) from a man who was at the Canberra Craft and Quilt Fair (I was there as well). He was from Brisbane, so we both lamented at how cold Canberra was at the time (which was the middle of winter after all, but being from the north, it was just too much for us). Britt also picked up some fabrics for her next quilt. Yes, her next one. I'm teaching her to quilt and her first one is pretty intricate (for a first quilt), and she's already talking about the second, so she must like it a bit. Although, she hasn't started the actual quilting yet, so she has a hideous surprise in store about how tedious it will be. Anyway, I'm not sure what I'll do with the chilli fabric. Everyone who has seen it has suggested pot holders or placemats or an apron. I'm thinking more along the lines of a quilt I can hang on a kitchen wall or something. I'm sure it will be a while before I get to it anyway. I have my sister's quilt to get started on, then my mother's to have a go at. I also have a baby quilt top that I have started for a friend and a stash pile that is flowing over the box I bought (from a garage sale) and painted especially for spare fabric (it looks good when all the fabric fits in the box). But, I will have time for all these projects now that....

....I had my job interview!! It didn't go too badly. I was warned before I went in that I would be prodded and heckled for answers that I couldn't give, that I would hit a wall and come up with a blank - and I did. But I think I probably has less blanks than some of the other applicants, since I've been doing very similar work for almost the past year. What would you do if one land owner was complaining that his neighbour was getting more water than him and there was conflict (man, do I ever hate that word). I said all the usual stuff, even some of the stuff that they wanted to hear, but they were searching for words that, if I knew them, they were not going to come out of my mouth that day. Anyway, it's over. And this is the best weekend I've had in so long. I'm so relaxed. And happy. Although.... does anyone want to come over and clean my house???

Okay, this is probably the longest post ever (for me), and it's time to go and paint some of the stuff I've papier mached (spelling?) recently (would provide pictures, but alas, no camera - still).

Oh, and as a postscript to one of the previous posts, the Cowboys lost the rugby grand final last weekend. Townsville has been surprisingly (and thankfully) quiet ever since, which it wouldn't have been had they won. Like I said before, I'm a fair weather supported and, while maybe not proud of it, I'm at least honest about it.

03 October, 2005

The Green Quilt

Yay- I finally uploaded these pictures. It's only taken my half my life. Alright - maybe about half an hour... This is another quilt - my most recent. It's called Indian Summer and it was a free pattern on the internet. I had decided to use a heap of fabrics from a stash that I had so cut out many pieces and sewed a block - and then realised that the colours looked awful together. So a quick dash to Spotlight (when you make as many mistakes as I do, you can't afford the expensive fabric) to get fabric that matched better. I now have about 120 triangles waiting for something they do look good with... I'll probably find them in another five years. The quilt was machine pieced and hand quilted. I would have machine quilted it, but still don't have the hang of that yet. I'm not really sure what shape this blog will take. It probably won't be a quilt blog (since hand quilting takes me forever, it will be a long time between quilts...) but these are the images I took the other week using a friends camera. I'll post other stuff once I get my own camera.

My pedestal fan just spontaneously fell apart. One minute it was standing as it should, the next it was on the floor. What is it with me and appliances? First the fridge, now the fan. Maybe it's a sign that I should be doing work instead of blogging. Or that I shouldn't buy cheap fans from discount shops. Or that I should keep my receipts and warranties (well, I started doing that religiously after I bought the fan). As long as the washing machine, sewing machine and computer decide to stay intact (touch wood) then I shall survive. Though I don't know that I'll do well at surviving the upcoming summer without the fan.