Friday, 29 September 2006

Quiet Times during Spring Break

The last few weeks have been very quiet, literally & figuratively. That Influenza A bug is a nasty beastie, let me tell you! I don't think that I've ever been so sick in my life.

Now that I'm on the mend, my kids find my almost non-existent voice rather fun. They've been merciless with laughter every time I open my mouth and nothing comes out. LOL

Unfortunately, being unwell meant that I missed out on a trip to Sydney with Paul. I was oh so looking forward to catching up with my sister from Canberra, Aldith, and my mother's sister, Genevieve. Visits to both women are few and far between. But this time couldn't be helped.

It's Spring break from school at the moment, so I am taking the two weeks extra time for recovery very gently. To all those other people who feel somewhat neglected, I offer you my apologies. We'll have coffee soon, I promise.

An up side to a quiet life is that I have had time to write a few personal letters. This is something I used to do a lot of when the sprogs were small. I'd get up in the middle of the night and write to my parents, siblings and friends who all lived so far away at that time. It's good to get back into it.

More news soon.

Happiness & laughter always,


Onwards and Upwards

'Gathering Honey' 'The Rose Garden'

Froggie & Just Another Stitch in Paradise have inspired me with their beautiful stitching! I've added two pieces to my stash list that are going to go to the top of the WIP rotation as soon as I have finished my 'Pooh's Seasons' sampler. Aren't they beautiful?

I couldn't get the suggested fabrics for either project, so when my husband, Paul, was in Sydney this week, he went into Tapestry Craft and bought me two fat quarters of 28ct linen in cream and dirty linen as substitutes. What a champ!

It will probably be a few weeks before I start either project, but look for progress reports.

Happy stitching!


Not Happy!

Buying stash here in Australia can be a pain in the bum! Products are hard to come by and are very, very expensive in comparison to the US market.

I have waited on the postie for weeks and weeks for two stash purchases which no matter how I tried, I could not buy here in Australia. One buy was an Ebay purchase; the other was from an online craft store - some fabric for projects I want to do.

Neither parcel has arrived.

I have been abused as 'whining Australian troublemaker' by one store owner, Joanne, for leaving a negative comment on Ebay about goods not arriving after 8 weeks. Joanne won't do a thing to help me find the parcel she says must have been lost in the mail but for which she would have had to fill in a customs certificate if she posted it. Lori at the other company has not answered the phone when I ring nor answered emails I've sent to find out the status of my order.

Not good business, if you ask me. So folks, in order that you don't blow your stash $$, here are two online shops to steer clear of: Cross Stitch Keepsakes & Cross Stitch With Me. Both look fabulous on paper, don't they? Sad about that!

There are many other good online shops to choose from. If you have a favourite, please let me know for the next time I need one.

Happy stitching!


Saturday, 23 September 2006

Happy Dancing & working on UFOs

Here's the finished product. Cute ++ It took just over a week to do.

I've started working on a few UFOs - French Flower Shop that I started in July '04 & 'Almost Perfect', started so long ago it was before I put dates on projects! I'm sort of marking time - I don't know why ... At least I'm still stitching regularly.

Here's where I'm up to on the FFS ...

Sunday, 17 September 2006

Notre Dame de Paris

Paul & I have just booked to go & see Notre Dame de Paris the comédie musicale in November. I'm so excited! Based on Victor Hugo's tale of Quasimodo and Esmeralda, Notre Dame de Paris has been a phenomenal success since it was unleashed in the French-speaking world in 1998. It attracted over 7.5 million spectators, breaking box-office records in France, Canada, Spain, Italy, Russia, Belgium and Switzerland. The musical is the creation of lyricist Luc Plamondon and composer Richard Cocciante, who have both won numerous awards for their works. The music has sold over 11 million copies so far - one copy to me when it was released in 1999.

There are probably people out there who read my blog who are now shaking their heads and wondering if the fever has finally fried my brain. No folks, not at all - well, not on this issue anyway. I spent four years at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, studying French language and literature and the final piece of work was an honours thesis based on the Victor Hugo novel Notre Dame de Paris and its various adaptations into films, ballet and musical. You could say that I'm an expert on the subject.

I spent the Winter 1996/7 in Paris when Disney had a huge exhibitionof The Hunchback of Notre Dame children's film at the Maison de Victor Hugo . Then in 1998/9, the comédie musicale was released in Paris and I was living, working and researchng in Limoges in France. There was stuff about the musicale on television, in magazines and on the radio all the time. I collected everything!

So folks, I'm going to be the one in the second row singing along to every tune! LOL. I can't wait!

Only question to ask is: what am I going to wear???

Happiness & laughter always,


Saturday, 16 September 2006

Hang in there

The flu makes Frederick too hard to stitch so I've branched out to this cute Ebay buy from Dimensions. (I'll post a progress scan in a day or two)

I've seen our 2.5 year old cat, Gypsy, get herself into this mess many times so it was a kit I just had to have! LOL

In some ways this design is a metaphor for my stitching. It's simple to stitch yet the kit has some subtle colour blending just like 'Frederick'. I get myself into seemingly impossible projects but the secret is to hang in there and stitch, stitch, stitch.

Hit by a Bus & Kicked by a Camel Whilst Down

What good thing can I say about having the Influenza Virus A bug that has kept me more miserable than the wet outside?


My elderly doctor has recommended rest in bed (hard to take after a week when you are me); drugs (anti-viral, anti-biotic, anti-emetic, anti-pyretic), chicken noodle soup (it's a fluid and doesn't taste too bad coming back) & lemsip with honey and whiskey (at least 4 times a day).

Needless to say nothing hurts any more. LOL - Hiccough!

Hopefully, more bliss than this next week. Happiness & laughter always,


Monday, 11 September 2006

An adverse influence of the stars - Influenza A

Dear Blog Reader,

I am making a request of you all!

Remind me next year before our Australian Winter to go and get a flu shot. Also, make an appointment for you to get your own! Believe you me you who think that you are allergic to needles, one flu shot is better than the 5 jabs or more I had on Saturday and far less painful than contracting influenza itself.

This weekend, I feel like I was hit by a bus. The term 'flu' is often misused to describe a range of mild respiratory bugs, but true influenza is a potentially serious condition that can spread in epidemics and kill large numbers of people. Fortunately, there are treatments as well as that vaccine.

Quite possibly on Saturday morning somewhere in the haze of my 40C/104F fever, massive headache and sore throat, I probably wished that it was a bus. With the fever almost gone this morning, I'm glad I wasn't!

Flu has a short incubation period; the gap between exposure to the virus and development of symptoms is two to three days. You become infectious about a day before you begin to feel unwell, and the symptoms last for three to seven days in total. Thereafter follows a period of convalescence during which sufferers often continue to experience tiredness, and occasionally depression, for up to three weeks.

Although infection with flu is confined to the respiratory tract (nose, throat and airways) it produces generalised symptoms throughout the body as the immune system gears up to tackle the virus. Most people complain of chills and a high fever, muscle aches and pains, feeling very tired, headaches, sore throat and a cough.

Yes, I can tick all those boxes.

Flu circles the globe every year. As it spreads, the virus is slowly changed by mistakes made when it copies its genetic material. These changes make it very difficult for our immune systems to recognise the infection for a second time, explaining why a previous bout of the flu does not prevent subsequent infections.

The virus gets its name from the Latin word 'influentia', meaning 'influence', because 14th century Italians thought that the 'distemper', as flu was also known, was due to the adverse influence of the stars. But records show that even the ancient Greeks, two and a half thousand years ago, recognised it. Indeed, Hippocrates, the forefather of modern medicine, clearly described the symptoms of flu in 419 BC.

Sunday, 3 September 2006

Happy Fathers' Day

Stanley Graves (25th April 1928 - 5th January 2002)
Janet Graves, née Duffy (27th June 1930 - 6th June 1993)

Dear Mum & Dad,

It's a long time since you have had contact from me but rest assured that you are often in my thoughts and memories. I also see you in my own actions and in members of the family - in their mannerisms, their facial expressions and in the sounds of their voices. While physically you have gone from our lives you are not forgotten.

As I sit here and type, I'd like to think that you would be proud of me and the life I am living. I know that I am thankful to have had you as my parents. I believe it's thanks to your cultural beliefs, mentoring, sometimes downright bullying and, most of all, your belief in and love of me that I have turned out so well

Thanks to secure beginnings & the encouraging lessons about change being an adventure to embrace rather than a peril to be avoided or endured, I achieved my childhood dreams of going to uni, playing piano well and travelling to Europe. In fact, I have surpassed all those dreams and gone further than I ever thought possible. I have lived in varied and interesting places and have met a wide variety of fascinating people. I have managed the good and the bad that life has offered and I'm still planning projects and new beginnings well into my 40s. I am also well loved by my husband, family and friends, liked by colleagues and associates and respected by students.

Thank you for letting me get on with my own life as an adult. Healthy neglect and a blind eye was really good for letting me learn by my mistakes. I was an independent miss from an early age and therefore don't pretend that all of our interactions were smooth sailing. I never realised until I had children of my own how difficult it must have been to stand on the sidelines and watch me bumble my way through my teens and twenties to find my own place in the world. I hope that I manage to be as wise as you in that respect.

Thank you for showing love and genuine liking for each so often in front of us kids, Mum and Dad. Having 7 children in 8 years must have been difficult, especially during our teenage years when we were 'expressing ourselves'. There were times in my idealistic youth when I could not see what you two saw in each other. What kid does? It's funny the things you remember. There was a day in my mid-thirties when it struck me that it didn't really matter what you saw in each other from my perspective, the point was that it must have been something really good for two super intelligent people to still agree about it nearly 40 years after you were married. I remember at the time thinking that that was pretty cool. I always loved you as my parents but that day I realised how much I liked you as people in your own right not my parents.

I miss you, Mum & Dad.

Lots of love to you wherever you are,

Felicity xoxo

Friday, 1 September 2006