Tag Archives: practice

Overcoming obstacles.

Though I was not as appreciative as I should have been, Sunday was a glorious day. The temperature was almost perfect – in the mid 20s (deg Celcius).  I am not a big fan of pigeons but their cooing does have a relaxing regularity to it. The honeyeaters were also in full voice as they took up residence in the bottle brush again.

I did however have another agenda, so did not really have time to enjoy what nature had Hobbitess2laid out for me. Instead I managed to complete a task I have been trying to finish for several months – tackle my new overlocker. Before my husband purchased it for me (last year), I had never used an overlocker before.  It was wonderful the first time I used it but for a long time I did not want to bother with it again!

I used it to make my Hobbitess skirts and blouse for The Hobbit movie opening. It was quick and easy… until the thread broke.  For the next few weeks I dutifully took it out, read the instructions, fought with the tension and thread before replacing the overlocker back in its case and continue on sewing with my trusty old sewing machine.

I don’t like change. I don’t think anyone does. But I must admit I was relishing the idea of quick sewing without having to edge each seam separately making the equivalent of three passes on each seam. No such luck for me.

13 summer skirtOn Sunday that was going to change. As regular readers will know, I have a current mission to upgrade my everyday clothing wardrobe. I have managed a skirt/blouse vaguely vintage combo and now am wanting to make a light, summery A-line skirt in a lovely purple flower patterned material. However my sewing machine really (really!) needs servicing. What do I have left? My overlocker. Can I get the threads and tension to behave? No. (of course not!).

To the rescue – my friend Abi (shameless plug for her business here…. Seams Nostalgic… soon to be in Brisbane!) Abi is the overlocking goddess in my eyes! Patiently, she took me under her wing and tried to teach me the basics in one sitting.  A major obstacle to overcome!

For a while it looked dire. Even Abi the Overlocker Goddess could not pinpoint why the threads kept entwining and unthreading. Finally, Mandy (another plug, this time for A Rare Notion) – she of the more mechanical mind – found the culprit. ‘Twas the thread not being pulled into the tension ‘spool'(?). Something simple, yet was causing so much problem.

I think I have more of an understanding of the dreaded machine now and this is a good thing as I am planning on using it for gobs of rolled hemming on chiffon, in the near future. Eep.


Some Nonsensensical Fun.

Yesterday I was having some fun doing ‘story line’ battles with my friend Alonya. I write a line or two, then she does etc. Last time we ended up with escaping zombies (in Kitty Vs the Zombies). This time we have a love story…

Neville the Frog. (by Karen Carlisle (K) and Alonya Cullinan (A).

(K): There once was a frog called Neville. (A): He was thinking that his lilypad was too small for him and the girl next door, Cecelia. (K): But Cecelia was a bit of a toad. Neville wasn’t overly fond of toads. He preferred… (A): South American Poison Arrow girls. He liked them dangerous
K: But that was a bit problematic as he lived in the tropics. A holiday seemed to be in order, a Cecelia was eyeing him in a most unattractive way. (A): There are only so many miles a folded lily pad will take you on the warm updrafts. He wasn’t sure of the supply of reasonable sized ones between his and the tropics.’ (K): It was too far to swim and frogs didn’t qualify for frequent flyer.

(A): Suddenly there was a ripple rocking his little world. He launched himself into the water to investigate. (K): Cecelia thought this looked like fun; she followed, positive that he had been giving her ‘google eyes’. (A); Neville saw Cecelia follow him and ducked between the roots of 2 mangrove trees to try and hide. He watched and waited to see what she would do. While he waited, he listened for any noise that may have caused the disturbance to his lilypad.

(K): Slowly from behind the mangrove trees a long dark shape slithered through the water towards Cecelia. (A): Neville saw the shadow passing by. Concerned for Cecelia, he turned sideways and started tapping out a warning with his flippers against the root. This was something they had worked out as children (*tadpoles).

(K): ‘B-i-g-s-l-i-t-h-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g-b-e-h-i-n-d-y-o-u” he tapped furiously. Thank goodness he had been good a spelling at school. Oh dear, he thought, spelling was not Cecelia’s strong point. (A); Quicky, he tapped out S-N-A-K-E. Sure that she would understand the danger. and the simple spelling. He knew that she would never get A-n-a-c-o-n-d-a. (K): But Cecelia was a bit dim. Instead of snake, she thought Neville had spelled out snack. She turned to face the oncoming intruder with glee abandon and ravenous stomach. (A): She realised her mistake when she saw the open jaw of a giant coming right towards her.

(K): Now at this point children, I should let you know that the snake does not eat Cecelia. It is just that you were looking a little worried. Instead it saw the big fat (less hideously lumpy) fish behind her.

(A): Cecelia in a start darted to her right (or was that left), just in time for the snake to pass right by her and devour the fish. (K): Even snakes knew that toads were poisonous and were best avoided before teatime. (A): Neville heaved a great sigh of relief when he realised that his friend had narrowly escaped the anaconda. What was that? he thought as there was another ripple in the water, that was coming from the compete opposite direction the snake had gone in. Neville tapped out a call to Cecelia so they could investigate together. Two pairs of eyes were better than one, even though he was trying to avoid her advances.

(K): Cecelia squeaked as she felt the ripples. Then realised that Neville had eaten baked beans for lunch. (A): At that point Neville realised one of the sets of ripples was of his own making, but there was another set that was a little more perplexing. Rhythmical even. (K): They both swam further into the mangroves. All the while Neville tried to avoid Cecelia’s attempts at holding flippers.

(A): Cecelia noticed a change in the light. Her toad eyesight was good at picking up light changes. (K): As they rounded the next mangrove root, they saw a small group of frogs laughing and singing. One was using a smaller mangrove root to ‘twang’ music. Another was thumping on a remnant of shedded snake skin that had been stretched between roots. (A): The beat was ‘flipperistic’ (K): but the resulting sonic booms, as the ripples grew in intensity, was enough to induce nausea. Neville decided that if he was ever to fly to South America, he would have to have his ear drums intact. Cecelia however, was lured closer to the mezmerising beat.

(A): Neville noticed that as she moved forward towards the sounds that she was wiggling her flippers in a manner that he had never noticed before. (K): Her eyes glazed over and she had the most peculiar smile. As she swam closer, he finally noticed a large throng of like-mind-numbed amphibians… all cooing in unison. (A): Upon closer inspection Neville realised that they all looked a lot like Cecelia. Pale green/brown and nobbly.

(K): For a second the mangroves shivered (to a completely different beat). There it was again. Too late Neville realised that is was a trap as the lightening reflexes of an alligator scooped up the toad-groupies and they were gone. So was Cecelia. (oh! it was alligator skin, not snake skin, he thought as he darted out of sight)

(A): Relieved by his narrow escape and sorrow at the loss of this friend, he slowly made his way back to his lilypad. (K):The band kept playing, oblivious to the surrounding terror; they had destroyed their ear drums long ago.
‘I really need a holiday’ Neville sighed.

(A): After hearing the South American beats from the band he decided that a trip to the dangerous girls was maybe not for him as he started to make his way across the wetlands to the nearby pond. (K): Boring was sounding quite attractive and less dangerous, he thought. As he climbed back onto his lilypad he noticed that Cecelia’s previous abode had already been occupied. (A): By a cute yellow frog.  She was eyeing him up with googly eyes. (K): and not just because she was a frog. Her tongue darted and caught a passing mosquito.She offered it to Neville.

(A):He was smitten.
(K): ‘Who needs holidays anyway?” he thought as he accepted the gift.

The End.

First Day of Spring; a Photographic Record

After a busy week of writing tasks and costuming, I decided today they would be best avoided. This brings me back to one of my other passions; photography.

irises 0109

I started close to me, around my garden.  Today was the hottest  first day of spring for some years, being 27 degrees celcius. It was a perfect day. The birds were singing, there was a heady smell of freshly cut grass on the breeze. The sun was gentle on the skin. Yesterday my irises were naked; today there were flower buds just waiting to burst open!


The broccoli was just about ready to be picked and, seemingly overnight, it started to flower. I will have to save what I can but, in the meantime, it is looking beautiful in my front yard.
Last year I planted some calendula. At the end of the season they died back and I was not sure if I would need to replant. No need; they have sprung into life with some of the happiest looking flowers in the garden.


Later we drove up into the Adelaide Hills to collect our daughter from grandma’s. I decided to take some more shots ‘on the road’ to practice trying to focus quickly to capture transient scenes and objects. This is not an easy task.

Going up the hill in the early afternoon:

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and down the hill in the late afternoon…
1308greenhillRdPMI took a few when we were up at the vineyard. This was my favourite, looking into the cow paddock next door.











and a few on the way home again. The last one was an interesting fluke… There was a vapour trail from one of the airforce planes. Serendipity is wonderful; the powerlines (out of focus) followed the line of the vapour trail beautifully.

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