a hero

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, You’ll never come up with anything original”

Sir Ken Robinson

I listen carefully to anything that Sir Ken Robinson has to say whether it is a talk from RSA Animates (stimulating talks often accompanied by the sped-up work of an artist mapping the talk and fascinating to watch just for this alone)  or on TED.com (Technology, Entertainment and Design).

It is well worth the 11 minutes and 41 seconds to listen to Changing Education Paradigms: the blurb on You Tube says, “this animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.”

Now I definitely wasn’t the product of an ideal system in the ’50s and ’60s however I think, as an educator, that I strive for the changes desired.

On TED.com there are several talks by Sir Ken however one of my favourites would have to be where he says that Schools Kill Creativity, with 10,704,880 views I think you might there are a lot of people who would agree that it’s worth 20 minutes of your time.

This is just a little insight to what I consider important.  Now, off to work to see if I can make a creative difference.

the day-job

After 4 weeks back at full-time work I can honestly say I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I think I may have said before that great colleagues and work that provides both an intellectual and creative challenge makes for an excellent combination.   I don’t even mind, and in fact I enjoy using my house at the beach as a weekend holiday home.   There is only one snag in all this.

So what is the one drawback?   I don’t get to do that much mucking around – and yes I know I’ll gradually pick things up from where I left them there on the back-burner – but I want it all, the day-job as well as the time to indulge in creative pursuits.

This week, I have been reading, knitting (it’s getting colder and I want to finish this cardigan for my grand-daughter), some journal writing but little else – I haven’t even finished the bear’s clothing!

The book I’m reading, or should I say drooling over, is on doll making and borrowed from the Palmerston North library.   I met Lynette Collis working there – I do so enjoy her blog All of Me.    The book is Cloth Dolls for Textile Artists by Ray Slater – just the cover made my fingers itch for wire, yarn, fabric and embroidery thread!  Check out her website – it’s now saved in my inspirational bookmarks folder.  I hope I haven’t breached copyright using this image off the web.

I arrived back home for the weekend to find not one, but two copies of Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed-Media Mapmaking by Jill K. Berry had been delivered by Fishpond – as I only ordered and paid for one copy, I’ll need to send the other back.  A while back I had a library copy and just had to buy my own copy so I guess you know what’s happened to much of my weekend.

Again, I’m not sure if I’m breaching copyright using these images but I don’t know who I should ask or credit – and I daresay the artists won’t object to the publicity – and it’s certainly well-deserved!

I do wish I had more time to just muck around she thinks wistfully!

inner critic bugging you?

Then listen to this: Brene Brown, Listening to Shame.  Take the 20 minutes and listen, come back and comment.

Excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

I’m just a beginner . . .

some weeks don’t go to plan . . .

. . . and this was one of them.  I intended getting the quilt finished but have hardly done any work on it at all.  Do you give yourself a hard time when thins kind of thing happens?  Do you forget about all the other things you’ve achieved?  Easy isn’t it?  Surely there are enough other people around who could do that but don’t, so why do we do it to ourselves?

So I didn’t do thing A, however I did do things B, C, and D.  What?  Not thing A.  Tough!

It’s enough that I have sorted work clothes for my new job, gone through boxes and boxes of resources from the job I left almost 8 years ago and am about to return to.  Oh yes, I’ve also had several long walks on the beach, read a novel and half finished knitting a cardigan for one of my grand-daughters.

At the beach

I have no idea who built this structure on the beach - lovely to see that it's been added to over the past week or two. Taken on my iPhone camera + Pic Grunger.


As I walked home, it was just me and the shag worshipping the last of the sun (or cormorant if you prefer) - aren't I fortunate living just a stone's throw from all this? Taken on my iPhone camera.

All in all it’s been a busy week – and it’s only Thursday!

the back burner

Do you refer to half-finished projects as being on the back burner?   I’ve been thinking about this saying recently, one reason being that I’m going back to work full-time in a demanding but satisfying job so I will need to put aside some of the creative ventures that take up my time and ideas I have for the near future.

To me, when something is one the back burner, it’s simmering, reducing to a wonderful, savoury, taste delight where flavours combine to make something wonderous.After the rain

I visited a glass factory in Yangon Myanmar where rejects were put out under the trees – definitely on the back-burner!  Eventually everything would be recycled.  The place sparkled in the sunshine and looked for all the world like an Aladdin’s cave full of treasure.  Recycling

My friends and I were invited to look for anything we might want – it was like a treasure hunt.    I bought a large, wonderfully lop-sided, bowl and a number of small paper weights.

When things are laid aside, it’s not necessarily the end for them.  Partially finished projects, plans or ideas can be refined, redesigned and invested with new life – they’ll wait for you.

Creative Queue Challenge

Tammy Gracia over at Daisy Yellow started the challenge and the idea of getting all those started but incomplete projects out to finish off was seductive.  Sometimes a project may be little more than the germ of idea or perhaps all the materials may be there just waiting to be used or assembled.  The latter was how it was with me.

If you look back over the past few entries, you’ll see what I was up to.

Creating a quilt with someone in mind is a labour of love – and I’ve been blessed with good reasons to labour.  My first Chinese brocade quilt was for my daughter, the second for my daughter-in-law’s birthday – I’m going to have to work full-time to get it completed in time!  I bought the fabric in Sampeng Lane, Bangkok in early 2010 so it’s taken a while to get under way.

You might have noticed the quote I use as a sub=title to my blog, “you don’t need to catch up, just start.”   Tammy usually begins her posts with interesting quotes from a variety of people however this was one of her own and for me, it was a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious).  It was one of those messages that caused me to stop putting things off and start putting things into action. Take that first step whether it’s a new project or completing something you’ve already begun – it doesn’t matter if it’s late – it just matters that you take it.begin now

some progress

I did it, got started on the quilt, and would love to continue today but I have big plans that culminate in a party!  The very best of plans hmm?

For those of you who have never sewn Chinese brocade, it’s what I call ‘skiddly’ in that it slips and skids all over the place when you cut and sew it.  Cut with care, sew with caution, and keep to the KISS principle – Keep it Simple Sweetheart!  HA!  It’s more like, lay you sanity on the line however my sanity is really questionable as this is the second quilt I’ve made in this material.

Sorry about the lighting - it was a brilliant sunny day in Bangkok.

It was a simple square made up of 6 small squares and a rectangle - there was the occasional big black square thrown in. All random - which is hard to arrange!

The first was a luscious queen-sized creation in red, black and gold for my daughter – very dramatic, the quilt, and gorgeous, the quilt and the daughter.  It was made to the accompaniment of many expletives and fine fluff floating off in all directions into every corner of the room – with traces found for weeks afterward.

The blue sewing machine thread s the middle shows how fine the fraying fabric is.

I thought I’d do a test yesterday using my overlocker.  So what if quilts are not sewn on an overlocker – who said they couldn’t be?  I’d try it with some sacrificed fabric and if it didn’t work, what would be lost? Just 10 cms of material and a couple of hours.

There is no 'give' in this fabric. While it slips sand slides out of square there is no stretch whatsoever!

The experiment was reasonably successful although lining up seams is nigh on impossible – I have shown the best of a 16×16 square section!  I recall this being a problem the first time around and, for the most part, managed to disguise the offset seam intersections when I tied the quilt – I am not so insane that I’m about to sew the layers together!   Machining would be impossible given the skiddly nature of the fabric and it’s against my better judgement to even consider hand quilting a queen-sized quilt – I know my limitations!

Well, do I continue on the overlocker or sew another sample on the regular sewing   machine?  And while I’m pondering this choice, I think I might give some consideration to a pattern where there are no seam intersections.

I don’t think I have ever used so many exclamation points – better than expletives I guess.  And yes, I use dashes a lot – I know but I don’t care – there comes a point when it ceases to matter what people think of such idiosyncrasies!!!


Today I have two interviews for jobs.  Great – or is it?  I have become very used to this life of leisure and can live on the smell of an oily rag if I have enough to play with – and we all know that stamps cost nothing.   I need a job – sort of don’t want a job – I need a job to save so I can have choices in my life of leisure which I shall embrace with all my heart in a few years time!Meg as Tinkerbell

And then I get to go and celebrate Tinkerbell’s 4th birthday.

Coming up – lions tails, pumice faces and a stairwell.

a contradiction?

Does anyone else find this a little bizarre?

I mentioned it to a woman in the shop and that most people want a laptop because they’re small and portable – she just didn’t get it and was not the least bit amused poor thing.

The best advertising I have seen was an outdoor supply company that had a sign the said “Now is the summer of our discount tent.”   Clever eh?