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This week has seen a massive growth in my understanding of technology! I’ve been reasonably computer savvy but in the last few days: I’ve updated a lot of my website, started this blog and now I’ve joined the 21st century and got a Facebook page. I’d like to say I know what I’m doing but it’s still a bit new and I’m sure to hit a few wrong buttons and either delete something or someone or post something I didn’t mean to post! It could be funny or disastrous – we will have to see!

Having said that its been fun connecting to the world. I love living on the mountain as we do. I can spend days not coming off the mountain and lived an almost hermit like existence and could get on with projects without being disturbed. That was one advantage, another is that we often get snow in winter. Only last Friday we had snow on here. Actually we had snow in Ballarat but it lasted longer here on the mountain.

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We are at 680m so it makes quite a difference to the weather – our summers are noticeably shorter and our winters longer – we often still have a fire going in November and need them in late March. With the colder weather in Autumn we get the most amazing colours in our trees, particularly the Manchurian Pears on the driveway.

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Marcus was looking for some documents in the filing cabinet and discovered that we have been here 10 years last month. We have done quite a bit of renovating since moving in but for me the biggest thing has been the making of a studio where I can work and quilt. Until we built it I took over the dining room and had fabric stashes (yes I have more than one!) in every bedroom – moderns in the main bedroom, batiks in one guest room, notions in the second guest room and civil war fabrics in the dining room next to the buffet.

I am so lucky now that I can keep all my fabrics in the studio – moderns and batiks in the store room and civil war under my cutting bench. I also have a custom built quilt storage rail in the store room which sure beats having layers of quilts on the guest beds!

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There is quite a story about the building of the studio. Initially we planned to convert the double garage into the studio but only on Day 2 of the build we had to stop as they discovered a septic tank. After having it pumped we discovered that it was the septic tank ie it was the operational septic tank and you can’t build over them. So the build was aborted and we were back to square one except of course we needed to put everything back to normal and redesign how we were going to accommodate the washing machine and laundry sink.

A full year later with another set of plans we knocked the wood shed and garden store into one large room and extended out the back to make my slightly smaller studio. Originally the converted garage was going to be 7m x 6.5m. The second plan was 6m by 5.8m but I could still get two really good sized tables in there, plus cutting bench plus ironing boards and a sofa. I eventually moved in in May last year and I now spend most of my day out there. Its got reverse cycle air con so it’s warm in winter and cool in summer. In the heatwave earlier this year I lived in there even sleeping on the sofa bed for seven nights. I don’t cope well with the heat so it was a lifesaver for me.

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I am so lucky to have such a wonderful space – my friendship quilting group meet there every last Sunday of the month, I’ve taught in there and I regularly have friends round for quilting days in there. Basting a quilt on the big tables is so much easier than crawling about the floor.

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I think the best thing of all about having the studio is that the house is now just a home. When I leave the studio I can leave work on the table, on the cutting board and I can come back to it in the morning and its still there just as I left it.

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The commute to my home is all of about ten steps to the front door to my house! When I walk thru the door, I walk into my home and not a dual purpose home and workshop. Yes there are quilts on the walls and the odd quilting magazine lying about, and of course I think about quilting there, but no boxes of fabric everywhere and the antique dining table is now a dining table not covered in cutting boards, fabric, half finished quilts and a sewing machine and its not a major operation to have guests round for dinner.

I know I am so lucky and I always like to share my good fortune with my friends and we do all use the space. The plan is eventually to have regular classes in there particularly as I can’t teach as often as I would like to at quilt stores. I worked on the assumption, as did Kevin Costner, “Build it and they will come”. I’m sure now I’m out there connecting with people like I never have before, thru all the new technology, they will indeed come! I hope so!

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