I arrived home safe and sound last Wednesday afternoon after a fabulous week in Adelaide, Australia. I literally hit the ground running as I have my last retreat of the year coming up on Thursday and leave for a Featured Artist/teaching engagement at MQX in Portland next week. There's still a lot to do but I needed to take a few moments and share my wonderful trip with all of you. It's quiet...I'm in my jammies...coffee is good...and I'll start my day right with all of you! :)
Unfortunately I didn't get very much down time to check out the surrounding area. My world was limited to my hotel room, the convention center and the Rundle Mall. This is the first time that the Australian Machine Quilting Festival was held at the convention center and it was wonderful! I've posted a few pictures of some of the inspiring work that was showcased...
One of the fascinating and very fun things about Australians is the way they talk! I was told way too many times that it was "I" that talked funny...had the accent...had the odd things to say...they dubbed me the crazy American. Whatever....and they talk soooo fast! I lost track of the number of times I just looked at them glassy-eyed not understanding a word they said...or they said something and it turned out to be completely different from what I thought I heard. I had to keep asking them to slooooow down...it was all very good fun.
There was something that one particular class had over all the others...no other class will ever come close to this! I was about 3/4 of the way thru my Open Thread Bar lecture and everyone was sitting in a couple rows in front of me. I have no clue what prompted this...must have been something funny/odd that I said...but about 4-5 quilters broke out in the "Happy Little Vegemite" song...hand motions and all. I was speechless...and then the whole group did it again...perfectly! I had to sit down..I was practically in tears I was laughing so hard...it was fabulous. The first class that ever sang to me! I have included a link to an old Vegemite commercial on U-tube in case you're interested!
In my down time I explored the Rundle Mall which was just a couple blocks from my hotel. This is a huge open-air mall that has every type of store you could imagine and was always packed with thousands of people. I had loads of fun exploring but was particularly fascinated with some of the beautiful details that surrounded me. There is design inspiration everywhere we go...you just have to stop long enough to appreciate it!
I had a "down day" on Tuesday before leaving on Wednesday and was a little bummed that everyone would be gone and I would be left with packing and icky things. On Monday night one of my new Australian friends, Sharon French and Jenny (sp?), mentioned the magical words "bead store" and I was all over them. I joined them Tuesday morning for the search down Rundle mall and found a small bead store that was closing their doors and everything was half price. Seriously???? OMG. We got there early of course and had to kill 45 minutes and spent a lovely time at a coffee shop perched on their porch with a wonderful coffee and scone. Life is good. Thank you Sharon for including me in on your day and for ending my trip on a wonderful note.
And of course, I have to thank my dear friend, Julie Woods, for taking such awesome care of me. I met Julie about four years ago while teaching at Superior Threads. She is the Australian Superior Threads educator and was there for classes. She flew to Adelaide, stayed in the same hotel, and was there to help with anything and everything I needed. She learned how to talk slowly for me so I understood her...hauled suitcases...helped to set up and tear down my classes...took care of the phone so I could call hubby...gifted me with some beautiful linens for quilting...and was a fabulous friend. Thank you ever so much Julie!!!
Thank you, Australia, for taking such good care of me...for appreciating the classes I taught you...and for making my very first "passport trip" over the top. Big hugs, Cindy :)