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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Twiddle muffs?

What are these you may ask? Well they are another clever solution to help calm dementia patients. Some are sewn, others are crocheted and some are knitted. Basically the design is a lined 'tube' and attached securely on both the inside and outside of the muff, are objects such as buttons, beads and loops/bows. The dementia patients 'twiddle' with these attached objects and apparently this action is very calming for them. 
Recently, Cheryl, a member of K4BN made some twiddle muffs for the group to distribute to nursing homes for use with their dementia patients. 

At last Monday's Scarborough Knit and Natter, the ladies had fun trying out Cheryl's handiwork. 
Here's Karen, the founder of K4BN modelling one for us. 

Great job Cheryl! 
There are a number of websites that offer a pattern for the twiddle muffs. Here is just one of many. But they are all fairly similar to each other. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mt Coot-tha Gardens...

This weekend at the Botanical Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, there is a big tropical plants sale. DH and I headed off there yesterday morning fairly early. When we arrived at the car park, there was already a steady stream of people walking back to their cars with boxes filled with plants. Darn! Would there be any plants left???? But of course there were!

In the part of the auditorium in the photos above, there were lots of cordylines, coleuses, begonias etc but I was more interested in the section outside...masses of bromeliads! 
I walked up and down beside the tables a few times to see what was there. The third time, I was ready to start picking out 'broms' to buy. Dear DH carried the box for me. I did end up buying a few 'more expensive' ones as well as small economical ones. In the last 16 years or so I've grown to love this plant family...before that, I hadn't thought much of them. 
The ones I bought...
I also bought a plant that was new to me...

This plant is on the right of the photos in the previous collage. It has long flower stems that are a mass of tiny pink flowers.
Now the photo below is in one of the collages. It shows DH pretending to be excited by a bromeliad. Lol. But in the background there is a young woman in a blue shirt. Her grandparents, Olive and Len Trevor, started the Olive Branch Bromeliad Nursery here in Brisbane many years ago. This young lady told me that she now runs the Nursery, so it's wonderful that it's staying in the family so to speak. 

It's a shame Olive and Len weren't there yesterday, as I like to catch up with them. I taught their daughter so we have her in common as well as a love of 'broms'! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Took the photos; never wrote the blog post! #2

Today we received an email. Because my brain 'often races at a rate of  knots', this email caused my thoughts to jump to remembering  a day we spent exploring Vancouver last August.
The email was from Ross and Ann who so generously took DH and I on  a guided tour of some of the sights of Vancouver. We had never met them before, but they were friends of DH's eldest brother and his wife from when they had been exchange teachers in Canada. And as we were part of Keith and Sonja's family, we were treated as honoured guests.
Here we are having a delicious seafood lunch with Ross and Ann
We saw lots more of Vancouver that day, but in this post, I'll share some photos that we took on our first stop...Chinatown.

In Vancouver Chinatown there is a very shallow building; it is 6 feet from front to back.

As you can see, the builders 'cheated' a bit with the first floor, by building bay windows!

Then we walked a little way up the street...

  And Ann led us to a delightful 'gem'; the Sun Yat Sen Gardens.

These gardens were built 1985-1986 and opened in time for Expo 86.
The gardens are so can read a bit more about them here.

Now, about that email that prompted all these memories and an eventual blog post...Ann wrote to tell us that the cruise ship that her and Ross will be sailing on, docks in Brisbane on EasterSunday. So now we have the opportunity to repay their kindness to us. Our sister in law and our nephew and his family will collect Ann and Ross from the ship and then do some 'touristy' stuff and then everyone will come to our place for an Aussie BBQ lunch!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A very impressive throw!

Regular readers would know that I am very much involved with Knitting for Brisbane's Needy (K4BN). This group provides beautifully knitted or crocheted items, toiletries, toys, sewn clothing etc to the needy of not just Brisbane but for the needy throughout the state. In this post I want to write about another of our members, Jocelyn. 
My friend Helen and I organise the fundraising raffles for K4BN that are run twice a year. Jocelyn is always one of the the first to offer prizes for these raffles. Jocelyn also makes items for the needy. And recently she made the most beautiful throw rug to donate to the group for distribution. Stunning isn't it?
This throw is crocheted in Australian indigenous colours; red, golden yellow and black. Sadly, a disproportionate number of the needy in our communities are aboriginal people, and items knitted/crocheted in those colours are highly prized by them. 

Now Jocelyn's throw has gone to a very special recipient, an Aboriginal Elder who is 'doing it tough' health wise. 
Karen, the founder of K4BN, wrote :- 

'This  magnificent blanket is now with its new owner, an elder in Murgon. She has been battling cancer for a few years but still volunteers at lots of different places, especially schools! We have been told she cried when she was given this. Couldn't believe someone would donate something this beautiful to her!' 
Thank you for all that you do for the needy and vulnerable in our communities in Queensland, Jocelyn! It is very much appreciated. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Good Grief! Some of the things I've kept!

During the last couple of weeks I've been going through boxes of photographs looking for just one little photo. I haven't found that photo but I found heaps of others that I've sorted into categories. And look what else I found...blasts from the past definitely. ( I have gone a bit crazy with quilters' tape to cover up DoB and signatures and former name, as you just never know with Identity theft)
One ID card from when I went back to studying in the 10th year from when I  started work. I wonder if I was asked specifically not to smile! Lol

My Season's Pass ID for Expo 88

Back to study again in 1995 and another Student ID my old Teachers' College had been upgraded to a university.

2003 Back to uni again and yet another ID card...and another slightly different hairstyle! 

Only  one ID card missing. In 1992-1993 I worked on a Bachelor degree through External Studies with Central Qld Uni. Even though we were external studies students one of the lecturers made such students do one 3 hour exam. We needed our photo ID cards to get into the exam room. 

So there you have it, the detritus in with the photos. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Library books...

I had to return some books to the library last week, but Instead of my local library I went to a larger library a few suburbs away. I looked for the returns 'chute' outside...
One, similar to this one in the photo below, is at my local library. You slide the books in one at a time and the beam 'reads' the data from the barcode label on the book and it's recorded as a return.
Couldn't find the return chute that day so I had to end up asking the librarian on the desk for help. She led me to another section of the library where the large sign said 'Return'...hmmm, how did I miss that sign!!!???
The librarian very kindly showed me how to return books. You place the books that you are returning on a shelf on the left of the photo. And then, as if by magic, the titles appear on the screen to the right of the shelves and the books are marked returned. You learn something new every day! 

So what library books have I been reading lately?
I tried a 'new to me' author last time I borrowed...
The book is set in Cambodia with a holidaying French detective being seconded to work on solving a crime by assisting the local police. I really enjoyed the book in which historical and cultural themes were interwoven with the crime. 

Another book I was returning that day is set in the UK, in the Sussex countryside. It's a 'ghost' novel and I didn't think I would like it, but it was a real page turner! As a result I finished it in record time as I wanted to know that ending!! Lol. I had borrowed this book thinking it was one of James's 'Roy Grace' novels. 
And the book I have to finish soon as it is due back on Wednesday. 

I have grown to really love the series of books by Martin Walker; set in France in the rural town/village of Saint Denis. Reading these books, I've learned much about historical aspects of France and also the different levels of policing, eg local, Police Nationale, Gendarmes. 
 Bruno is the local policeman and what an interesting man he is. A former soldier, he has become a much loved part of the village, with his horse Hector and his pup Balzac. Bruno also likes to garden and cook, so in some of the chapters I find myself salivating at the description of some of the meals he is preparing. 
In this particular book, the theme of radicalisation of some young men/boys is explored. The world knows of  the recent real life events in Paris which are linked to this problem so it was interesting that Walker wove this theme into his book. 
I get to read more novels these days than I was ever able to read while working. One of the perks of retirement! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Finally handed over!

Today was the first Sunday Stitchers meet up for 2016! That means lots of chatting, laughing, stitching, Show and Tell of projects and of course, eating. 
We had our last get together in December, when we had celebrated one member's 70th birthday in style with a high tea at Parliament House...Helen, the guest of honour, is sitting in the middle.
Another thing we did for Helen's special birthday, was each of us made a quilt block with the theme of 'Teapots'. 
A few weeks ago, Helen laid out all the blocks she had received...
They are all so beautiful...mine isn't there.
But today, I finally handed my block over. It's very plain but as I said to Helen, the plain will balance the stunning ones!!! Lol

The design is from Urban Threads. The threads are Cottage Garden's 'heliotrope'.