Posted by on March 9, 2011  Personal
Mar 092011

Do you write lists?

I am a list girl. My daughter is a list girl. My mother is a list girl. My son is a list boy … we are list people. Lists appeal to the total control freak side of my being. I like the idea of writing the list, then ticking off the tasks as I achieve them. There is a certain smugness associated with a completed list.

I have written several lists for the organisation of heading off to Sydney tomorrow (my time). I have a list for things I need to achieve before I finish the day job today. I have a list of jobs that my son and my Dad have promised to do (feed the cat, make sure the budgies have water and seed, etc) whilst we are away. I have a list of things that need to be achieved for my stitching life before I leave, and a list of things I need to pack and take with me.

Of course because I am such a control freak I often worry about what I’ve left off the lists I write. I have even caught myself thinking about writing a list of forgotten things … I haven’t actually done that one yet … but one day that desire will get the better of me I just know it!

My family know that once I start writing lists I am serious about achieving whatever the ultimate goal is. They nod sagely at each other … and mutter about Janie and her lists! When Em says she’s written a list I know she’s on track and getting organised. When my Mum writes a list I know the job in hand will be achieved successfully. I know if I give Tom a list he will follow it to the letter.

Funnily enough even DH has started to write lists.  He never used to … he used to just try and remember what he was supposed to be doing. Often the remembering didn’t quite stretch to the entire number of things that needed to be done. The list-writing achievements of the rest of the family obviously indicated the need to write lists. He’s good at lists now. I feel a certain sense of smugness knowing that DH is now a list writer like the rest of us.

I’d love to know if you write lists. Or not … and why.

So now I can cross  ‘write blog post for S4L before I go today’ off my list!

Feb 242011

Deborah, Zakariyya, and Rebecca meet Christoph at his Johns Hopkins lab to examine HeLa cells and discuss their commerce.

  1. Christoph told Deborah and Zakariyya, about their mother’s cells:  “Once there is a cure for cancer, it’s definitely largely because of your mother’s cells.”  He then used an analogy about ownership rights of finding oil on property.  Discuss your thoughts about the Henrietta Cells and Oil Rights Ownership conundrum.
Feb 232011

Hands up all those readers who are left-handed stitchers!

I am waving my hand around madly … any more of you out there?

Have you ever had trouble trying to interpret diagrams in stitching charts? Or sat in a class wondering what on earth is wrong with your brain because everyone else is busily stitching away at a new stitch and you just can’t seem to make your stitches work?

Well, for those of you lefties who struggle with new stitches that were obviously charted for the right-handed majority … salvation is at hand! (oh dear … sorry about the pun!)

Yvette Stanton of Vetty Creations (another left-handed stitcher, and fellow Aussie) has written and published a wonderful left-handed stitch guide called ‘the left-handed embroiderer’s companion’. With over 170 embroidery stitches explained in ‘left-handed’ speak it is the best book purchase I have made in a long time!

If you head over to Yvette’s website here and click on ‘lefthanded’ on the top navigation bar, you’ll even be able to flick through several pages of her book to see how amazing it is. Full of wonderful diagrams and photo examples of stitches, Yvette gently and efficiently guides even the most challenged left-handed stitcher through both easy and complicated embroidery stitches.

Now, I know all of you right-handed embroiderer’s are now starting to feel a bit left out. Well don’t feel down, because Yvette has thought about you too! Due to the success of her left-handed stitch guide, and the constant nagging of right-handed stitchers for their own version of this wonderful publication, Yvette has also published the ‘right-handed embroiderer’s companion’.

When I teach class I bring these treasures with me. I am now able to show stitchers, whether they be left or right-handed exactly how to execute the perfect stitch.

You don’t have to be a teacher to enjoy these books. You just have to be a stitcher!

Cyclone Yazi

 Posted by on February 2, 2011  Personal
Feb 022011

I was going to do something light and frothy today for my blog entry.

But instead I am compelled to write about the very nasty cyclone  heading towards North Queensland, which is due to hit the coast late this evening or early tomorrow morning (Australia time).

Queenslanders are getting quite a battering (and this might be the understatement of all times by the time Yazi hits tomorrow) at the moment. First floods, now this.

Cyclone Yazi is being compared to Cyclone Tracy which hit Darwin in the Northern Territory at Christmas, 1974.

Except the Bureau of Meterology is predicting that it’s going to be a whole lot worse!

The pic above was taken by an unknown photographer in the week after Cyclone Tracy hit. I remember vividly, watching the TV footage of the devastation over the Christmas holidays that year.

I’m not big into doom and gloom, and I truly believe that every cloud has a silver lining. So I’m not here to make you feel miserable or helpless. But I am here to ask that as you read this post you send  love, good thoughts and prayers to the people in the path of the cyclone.

Who knows, if we all try hard enough we might be able to get the darn thing downgraded a notch or two before it hits!

I promise a fun post next Wednesday …

Holiday Math

 Posted by on November 29, 2010  Personal
Nov 292010

Pay attention. There will be a test at the end.

Pumpkin pie


Ice cream

Vanilla soy milk




Pie, ice cream, milk in the blender


Pumpkin pie milkshake

Let it be said she kept Thanksgiving well.

Test: Do the math.

I Am Here

 Posted by on November 14, 2010  Personal
Nov 142010

See? A lot like yesterday’s image, no?

Of course you all knew to interpret “almost heaven” as a clue. It was fun to see what you did with that; you’re all so smart and creative. Here’s the rest of it:

Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River.

I think most of you will recognize those as lyrics from John Denver’s song, Country Roads, which was written by Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert. I suspect our Norwegian friend was at a disadvantage here, but don’t you love what she did with the clue? Woot, Harriet!

So, “Almost heaven, not directly adjacent to it, but nearby” means not WV, but the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River. We were on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, VA. Sunshine, blue sky, warm temperature, windows open, autumn smells–almost heaven, to be sure.

Becca said, “This has the look of the Smoky Mountains to me,” and that’s exactly what I thought as I gazed out over the hazy valley. The Smoky Mountains are part of this range, so I call that a winning guess.

What’s the prize for winning? There should be some sort of payment, don’t you think? So I will pay Becca a compliment (sincerity required).

Becca, you are fun. You are always up for an adventure or challenge, no matter how busy you seem to be. You’re willing to take risks: You’re not afraid to be silly, make a mess, be wrong, or fail. I like you!

Thanks for playing, Everyone.