Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sobering Thoughts

This is a very small part of the big move. It's a slow process as we need to wait for someone stronger than me to help with the lifting. Could do it once, but the turning staircase gets me.
What's the sobering part?
Realising just how much stuff (read - fabric) I have accumulated.
Must get a new mantra - no more stash building!
Back to it or I'll spend all day playing with what I find.
Take care,

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Whales at Hervey Bay

At Easter, we had a good chat with the fellow who sold us our tickets for our Fraser Island day trip. The whale watching season here is quite long, but he suggested the best time was about mid August.
So as you read 2 post ago, we went up last week.
We had a wonderful day. It may have been windy and the water rough with heavy rain squalls coming across, but it didn't matter. We saw lots of whales.
When looking at the photos remember we were too busy just enjoying the day and whales, trying to keep the camera dry and making sure we hung on to a rail to stop falling. I won't tell you about going to the toilet on a rocking and rolling boat. Let's just say it was a challenge.

We chose Freedom III. It was a 3/4 day trip, much better than a 1/2 day morning or afternoon trip. You just get out there when it's nearly time to turn for home. Their need to return worked in our favour, but I'll explain later. The 2.30pm return time is a bit flexible. The trip, the day before ours, got home at 5.30pm. Our Captain Keith has no problem with going further out to sea and staying out longer if it means his passengers get to see whales. We were luckier in that we didn't need to go past Platypus Bay to see whales. We were still 'late' back at 4.30.

Here I am ready to go - a real bundle of style. As least I'm dry in this photo. There was plenty of undercover if I had wanted it, but not being a great sailor, I prefer to be out in the fresh air.

 You can just see the front of another boat in the above photo. The rules are the boat's engines must be off  when within (I think) 100 meters of a whale and they cannot be started until the whale moves away regardless of your need to go. The captain of that boat invited us nearer in the hope that the mugging whales would move to our boat as he needed go back to port to get his next tour group. This happened to us twice. See this is the reason to go on a longer day trip. Those other people missed out on so much.
'Mugging' is when the whales come to you. It happened to us several times. There is no feeding of these beautiful creatures to entice them close, very much not allowed. They come of their own accord. They are just as interested in looking at us as we are looking at them. We, the passengers, are encouraged to wave our arms and yell out to get their attention.No banging of rails as the noise upsets them, just lots of yahooing. The whales are probably laughing at our silly antics.

Tickle my tummy.

There are three whales in this shot.

None of the above photos are zoom shots. The whales were that close. One of them circled the boat. I think it was a game - let's see if we can get those humans to run about the boat.

 There was lots of peekaboo,

lots of tail waving

 and lots of breaching. We were very privileged to have a full body breach close to the boat. No photo of that one - too busy watching.
Next time we go, I'm getting a go pro camera stuck to my hat. That way I can just watch and not worry about the camera but still catch all the action.
I can recommend our boat - Freedom III. The captain is also a chef, so morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea - delicious, especially the profiteroles! If you do go with this group, don't plan to drive any long distance after the cruise. Plan to stay the night, as I said, the return time could be later than planned.
We were lucky on the day. Not every cruise see as many whales or so close. It is the luck of the draw.
Whales are beautiful creatures. It was wonderful to see them.
Take care,

Hervey Bay - Fraser Island (Very Late)

My next post will be about our trip last week back up to Hervey Bay for whale watching. Before that, I had better do the promised but now very late post about the day trip we took to Fraser Island when we were up there at Easter.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world or so I thought. I think that fact is now being disputed, but never mind it's the largest sand island I've ever been to.
DH and I did a day trip because, although we now have an all wheel drive vehicle with higher clearance, I don't think it qualifies as a car that can go on Fraser. Also I wanted someone else to do the driving, catering and organising.

 It was a very early start. We went over to the island as walk-on passengers on the vehicle ferry.

Moral of this tale now - if you are looking for a quiet, scenic, peaceful place - don't go at Easter or at any school holiday time. These are only a few of the buses that were working that day.

 We did all the quick day trip touristy things, including the stunning freshwater Lake Mackenzie.

 Fraser is now a National Park, but for many many years it was home to a large timber industry. There are some very tall trees growing on this sand island.

 Also some crystal clear creeks.

 The surf (eastern) side of the island is a highway with speed limits, police patrols, speed guns and RBTs (random breathe testing). It just doesn't have lane markings; they would only get washed away with every tide. The number of lanes depends on how high the water is. We were in what is really a converted but comfortable truck. We were bigger and stronger than the other 4WDs. We went closer to the water's edge and faster than everyone else. It was VERY disconcerting having, on that day, about 5 lanes going in what ever direction up or down you liked and the there were the caravans! There is no such thing as a quiet stroll on the beach.  Still there were lots of fishermen trying their luck both with the fish and traffic. I loved (not) seeing the 4WDs going around, past and between the fishermen and their kit.

 Like I said it was busy with tourists.

 We did get to see the wreck of the Maheno without the hordes.

 Eli Creek - millions of litres of fresh water pour out each day. Parking here was worst than our local shops, but it was a beautiful spot.

 We went back on the ferry as the sun set on a very enjoyable day. I was glad someone else did the driving. It was real 4 wheel driving territory.

One day we might get back there. I would love to bushwalk on it.

Now for the whales,

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Whale Watching

In about an hour we'll be on Freedom III in Hervey Bay. I'm hoping for calm weather!
From a very fair weather sailor, Cheryl

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sydney Craft Show

My Darling Husband travels a bit for his job. About the only benefit is the accumulation of Frequent Flyer points. A few of which I liberated this week.
I (I should say he) treated myself to an overnight stay in Sydney for the Craft and Quilt Show.
The old venue, the Sydney Convention Centre, has been demolished. When I saw it 2 years ago, it looked in great condition to me. The Sydney lady, I struck up a conversation with at lunch, agreed and rued its demise.
So I was up before a sparrow's f**t....actually I was up before a sparrow even thought about f***ing on Wednsday morning! The possum that lives in our garage was only just getting home. Let's just say it was really early.
The Convention Centre people have built a Meccano-style tent, albeit a very big tent on Glebe Island, in the next bay to Darling Harbour.

Transport is by ferry or bus. This was my ride on both days.

 You know you are in Sydney when you can see this bridge and waterway.

 I went because Kathy Doughty on her blog Material Obession (also from the shop of the same name) said that there would be over 400 quilts on show. There are strict rules down there and as I don't have permission of the makers/designers/organisers I won't be putting up photos of the quilts.  I did this little collage instead. The main photo is the 'Best of Show' winner, Coxcomb and Currants by Janet Treen, being studied by another show goer. I don't think Janet of the Quiltsalott blog will mind.
Congratulations Janet!!!!!!!
 This is another very well deserved win. Janet also won Best of Show last year. I also adored that quilt which was on display as part of the travelling Bernina State Best of Shows.
The NSW Quilt Guild will have photos on their website.
The quilts on show were fabulous. They ranged from ones I think I could give a go to the absolutely incredible. There was everything from the very traditional to modern, quiet colours to the very loud.

I'm glad I went. It was such an inspiration.
I enjoyed walking around the vendors. I was disappointed that a few I wanted to see were not there. I bought a few patterns and a couple of fat quarters. I really went for the quilt show.  ;-)
I had a great talk to Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched and her lovely husband.
Dawnie, I was able to get up close to the original  In My Garden quilt. More inspiration.
To the girls doing Gossip in the Garden, I saw the original. Nah, nah, nah-nah nah!
I have to get over being to shy to ask for a photo.  Anni gave me wonderful encouragement.
Ah well, back to reality. Looking after my darling hubby today as he had 2 wisdom teeth out this morning, especially as I want to use his frequent flyers points again soon. LOL

Talk later,

2014 Glenrose Retreat

Another successful retreat at Warwick's wonderful Glenrose Patchwork Shop's cottages and workroom.

 Maree presented us with a lovely welcoming gift bag. In it was a wine glass ring (all individually named), a Barbara Smith Designs booklet and a challenge. We all had to make the thread catchers, pictured below. Thank you, Maree.

 Some of us are just too vertically challenged to reach the top of the design wall.

It didn't stop Helen from getting her DH's quilt top finished.

 We did not starve! This is an example of one our morning teas. In the middle is the rest of my birthday cake. The night of my birthday was fun. I made dinner. Helen gave us all party bags with lollies and toys. De had us playing the children's game Pass the Parcel. It was a happy, fun night with lots of laughter. Thank you, girls.

 This is what I achieved on the first 2 days. I had all the squares cut, but that was it. I had to sew them together, then cut it up using the itsy bitty twister template and sew them together again. My glasses will give you an idea of size of the finished top.
I then worked on my Gossip in the Garden centre block. It's nearly done, just a few more words to embroider.

 There was lots of concentration. This tablecloth top by Alison had several people offering to take it home. It certainly would fit into my dinning room.

The quilt behind Marilyn is made from leftovers. Another quilt top that had offers of  a new home.

Teresa's bag - very unusual fabric that had us intrigued.

I have not shown De's quilt as it is a present for someone special. Let's just say that although it was out of her colour range comfort zone. It looks great.
 This was another challenge that several of the girls took up. It's the SewTogether bag.  Very versatile with all those zip pockets.

 Sandi gave us another kit. This is what we have to make before our next Christmas in July dinner. In the background you can see the remains of this year's dinner, cooked by Maree. Actually there's not much remaining. I think someone licked their plate clean.

It certainly was colder this year than last year.

 After much stirring (from us) and perseverance by Maree, her Anni Downs' bag was finished.

Her 'thumb's up' could also signify another successful retreat.

Thank you, everyone. I had a ball.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sydney Craft Show

This is a novel way to go to a craft show.  It's bought about by a change of venue. The old site is being redeveloped.
Off hopefully to a great day, especially seeing I've been up since 4am to catch the plane.
Take care,