Tag Archives: music



Sunset over the Crossroads tent on Easter Sunday

What an amazing week I have had at Bluesfest! The weather was perfect (no rain), the company was delightful, the music was great, and the whole experience was healing. While I realise that ‘healing’ is not a word that is normally associated with music festivals, in this case it is very apt. I have returned home feeling lighter in my soul, clearer in my mind, and more centred than I have been for a long time. My mother has likened it to a trip to a health spa, and if you ignore the beers and burgers that I drank and ate, she is right!


Blue skies, feet up in hammock – bliss!

The highlight of the festival was, of course, the music, but being with lovely people, having a good night’s sleep in my trailer tent, and being able to truly relax (the hammock got a work out) were all important. I saw some bands and artists I had never heard of, and others who I have been familiar with for a long time. Some I saw on my own, others with friends. Some nights I was content to go to bed early and listen to the jangling sounds of 6 stages all playing at once, while other nights I stayed to listen to the last notes. A dear friend of mine has attended each of the previous festivals that I have attended, and managed to attend for one day this time, continuing our great tradition – so we had to get a ‘selfie’ to capture it!


Our Bluesfest ‘selfie’


Elvis Costello on the final night

My musical highlights? Steve Earle (I saw both his sets), Charlie Musselwhite, Jack Johnson (his connection with the audience was the reason I stayed up to listen to every note), Elvis Costello, Beth Hart (powerful voice and rocking band), Jake Bugg (brilliant musician but too young to have a stage presence yet), Booker T Jones (such a great sound), Aaron Neville (so romantic and swoony)and for both amusement and musical memories, KC and the Sunshine Band (although I did object to his scantily clad raunchy dancers and their antics on feminist grounds). But my stand-out? An artist called ‘Passenger’. I had heard one of his songs on the radio before so went along out of interest. Wow. He had the thousands of people in the tent in the palm of his hand. One man and a guitar, getting the whole tent to sing along with him – including on a song he had written that morning. He covered “Sounds of Silence” and the tent was almost silent, and then at the end played a song he is about to release called “Whisper”, followed by a song called “Holes” and I was in tears! I highly recommend having a listen to his music – just a delightful, authentic voice and talent.


A very blurry shot of Passenger holding the crowd in the palm of his hand with amazing music and lyrics

I read, crocheted, slept, danced, and relaxed. At some point over the weekend I wrote a note to myself on my iPad that simply says “Be kind to yourself”. I can’t remember what prompted that, but they are definitely words to live by. I had all sorts of wise insights while driving, and relaxing, and remember very few of them, so I am glad that the only one that I wrote down is the best of all the thoughts!

My trip home had some added adventure with a midnight breakdown, two rides in tow trucks, a motel that my road side assistance service organised for me to check into at 3am, and some very helpful auto-electricians who fixed my car and allowed me to get home. Despite all of this potential stress I remained calm, and, apart from being extremely tired, wasn’t adversely affected by it all!


My car and trailer waiting for the second tow truck ride – one hour from home but so far away!

I have bought my ticket for next year’s festival already. They won’t start to announce the artists until August, but I have looked at the previous lineups for this festival and have never seen one that I wouldn’t be happy to attend. The savings of buying early well and truly outweigh the risk that there will be artists that I don’t want to see! Plus my festival friends will be there again (our group grows a little each year) and I will be encouraging all of you to join me!

And now I am home, the chicks have returned, and we have three more days until they return to school. In between spending time with them I am starting to get the house and the sewing room back into order so that I can get back into creating this week. My head is full of ideas and I am itching to start working on some of them! I also have this overwhelming desire to get more organised…… so stand by for some further de-cluttering, making up of schedules (that may or may not be followed) and some planning (of course) to get that urge under control!

Before I sign off I should add that the chicks had a wonderful Easter break too. Their father and step-mother took them down to Victoria for some time with their grandparents and cousin, then to Melbourne for a couple of days where they got to see some football games (the first big AFL game for the boy), go to the Zoo and the Aquarium, and ride the trams everywhere. They really had some great adventures.

I hope that you have had a wonderful Easter weekend, safe travels, and lovely adventures.


I am writing this sitting in the shade of my tent, listening to some guitarists in another tent and contemplating whether to go and pick up a fresh bag of ice, or lie in my hammock. Tough choices!

For the third year in a row I have travelled to Byron Bay to attend Bluesfest. This year I nearly didn’t come. The thought of the drive (about 13 hours before you factor in breaks), travelling on my own and attending a large music festival on my own was starting to overwhelm me. But…. here I am and I am glad I came.

I decided to stagger my trip so I wouldn’t be exhausted before I arrived, but I didn’t plan it at all! Just before I left home late on Tuesday afternoon I decided that I would drive to a spot just north of Sydney called Umina that I had heard good things about. When I rang the campground the receptionist talked me out of camping because of the late hour I would be arriving at – which was an absolute blessing when I arrived during a torrential downpour that was blooding streets and tents. Sleeping in a cabin was the best decision!


The next night I stopped at Coffs Harbour and stayed at the same campground I stayed at last year, set up my little tent and was asleep before 8!

A cup of tea the next morning set me up for a great start and I arrived with 20 minutes to spare before meeting my camping neighbours from last year so we could camp together again. The ridiculously luxurious trailer is set up, and our neighbours thus year include a family of guitarists who seem to be attracting other guitarists to them so we are being serenaded.

Why am I giving you a blow by blow account of my trip? Because three days on my own has not been scary nor overwhelming. Last night I attended the festival on my own and had fun. I could wander where I wanted, to my own agenda. I saw great musicians – Steve Earle, Charlie Musselwhite, Dyson, Stringer and Cloher, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I was exhausted by the time it got to Edward Sharpe and had retreated to a chair, thinking that there was no shame in sitting to listen…… and then they started playing and I was propelled from my seat forward to dance, confirming once more that music cures all ills!


My observations so far this year are quite irreverent – lots of young men with long hair and beards being escorted by girls with flowers in their hair, flowing skirts and bare feet – they look like they are reliving their grand- or great- grandparents youth at Woodstock – but with a lot more cash. There are also a high proportion of grey haired men who look like they have been sitting behind desks their whole lives wandering around in packs looking happy. You can pick the northerners – they are wearing jumpers in the chill of the 18 degree evening (scoffs the southerner who is loving the warmth!)

No post would be complete without a sewing report – I decided it was time to sew for myself so whipped up a Tova tunic using my birthday fabric from last year, and a bag and coing purse for myself (using the jeans I wore here last year!)



No kids, no agenda, and nothing to worry about. Just what I needed, and the reason I bought my tickets a year ago.

I hope that your Easter weekend is all things good for you.

New ideas in the quiet nest

The promised creativity bubble created by my quiet household has come to fruition!  At the same time I am able to spend a bit more time in the office, catching up on the work I feel I haven’t quite been getting to over the last few weeks.  The end result – I am tired but happy, and it is only Monday!

The weekend saw me finish the trio of bags in the lovely pug fabric, for a friend and colleague.  I discovered one of the downsides with using Spoonflower fabric – it changes colour when ironed with a hot iron – and of course the ironing is essential for adhering anything fusible…..  I didn’t come up with a solution to address attaching interfacing so had to just try to minimise the ironing as much as possible (of ourse this morning on my way to work it suddenly occurred to me that I could have just used a different fabric for that piece!) but instead of my preferred fusible fleece option I used bamboo wadding/batting and then quilted it to the fabric.  I am happy with the result.  Of course, as always I look at each piece critically and notice what I will do differently next time – definitely a longer flap on the satchel bag, and perhaps on the ipad.  But overall I am happy, and more importantly the person who ordered them is happy!


 So then I moved on to the next order I had waiting for me.  I have been thinking about this one for a while, after another lovely colleague asked me if I made aprons as she wanted one as a gift for a family member.   I found a number of patterns online that had pieces of what I thought an apron might look like, but none that had all the aspects I wanted.  So I designed my own!  As always it took about three times longer than using a pattern would, as I had to work out each step as I went , but I love that process of problem solving.  She had asked for a vintage style apron with a sweetheart neckline and a full skirt.  She chose fabric from my stash and then I suggested that it would be nicer if it was lined, so we decided on gingham to highlight the fabric and to tip the hat to the vintage styling.  So it is a slightly over the top apron in terms of effort – hand pleated ruffles and skirt, fully lined, and with two pockets with ruffled trim.  I wanted to have an adjustable neck-strap but didn’t want a tie as that gets annoying, caught in hair etc.  (I am short and have a short torso, so aprons never sit on me where I want them to – hence my desire to have an adjustable strap  -it is ALL about me after all…..!!).  Anyway – I finally had a brainwave and made buttonholes in the end of the strap that wasn’t attached, and sewed a button onto the lining.  It took a while to work out how to make buttonholes that wouldn’t see the strap rip apart at the slightest bit of wear – but then I decided on inserting a piece of interfacing into the strap tube and hey presto (I did feel a bit like a magician) it worked!


I am very happy with the end result – although working out what to charge for it is the usual problem.  My initial calculations of time and materials had it being charged as if it were a ballgown!  So back to the drawing board….  and while I still think it is high, I always think my prices are too high until I do some price comparison and realise that I am around average for Australian prices.  (And really if that is my biggest drama my life is pretty good!!)

Now for the first time in quite a while I have no orders waiting to be filled.  Time to think about what I want to make while I have the chance!  I will have to mull on it overnight I think!

The other thing I am mulling over is a rearrangement of the house, which also highlights a need for better fabric storage – the piles of plastic crates in my bedroom are beginning to take over and are ruining the zen vibe of the room (that is so tongue in cheek).  I am toying with the idea of finding an old chest of drawers and doing a Pinterest makeover with fabric or scrapbook paper.  Of course I am also toying with the idea of cleaning out cupboards, toy boxes, etc while the kids are away.  If I don’t watch out they will be home again and I will still be toying, and there will have been no doing!

One of the great things about my quiet house is the ability to listen to my music without negotiating with the terrorists children.  My playlist for the weekend has included the album “Get Up” by Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, the self titled album by Busby Marou, Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, a bit of restrospective listening to Indigo Girls, and a great shuffle mix that has everything from nursery rhymes through to hard rock – a little capsule of my life in a different form!  Such bliss.

I nearly forgot – I do have one new exciting creative endeavour coming up this week to share – I am doing a Beginner Resin Workshop on Thursday night.  I am looking forward to it – a whole new medium to play with!  The workshop is run by Canberra Creatives – and they are also building a creative directory, so tonight I took the plunge and submitted my details to be listed.  Getting to know people in the local creative community will be fun I think – all those new people to share ideas with in person, rather than just hiding online like the closet agoraphobic that I can be!

Off to dream about new creative ideas.  I hope that you have had a lovely weekend and start to your week.  (The weather here is so delightful it is hard to believe we are half way through autumn so it was hard not to have a great weekend.)