Saturday, December 24, 2011

Skywalk, OPAM and Christmas

I had a very busy finish to the year in my little school bookshop. We had Orientation Day for the 2012 Year 8s. After they have had the day getting used to their new and very big High School, they have the opportunity to buy uniforms and book packs. This year more people bought the book pack than in previous years. I had to get my helpers to quickly make up more packs. The rest of the last week had me doing a stocktake, before I could finally close up for the year.

I've been touring blogland and it seems most of us have had a busy time of it, getting ready for Christmas. DH and I took some time out to walk the Skywalk at Mt Tamborine. The first part is a walkway through the tree tops and then a return via a ground level pathway.

This photo is DH on a high counter-levered platform over the creek. Next time I must remember to take my binoculars as there were many birds I could not quite see.

On the craft front, I finished this little wall hanging. It's by Anni Downs and called 'Peaceful Garden Wall Hanging'. It was one of the 2011 GDITC projects. Now all I have to complete before next year's GDITC is the felt wool purse and the Songbird Jewel box.

I made these brooches for the ladies in our old Primary School mums group. I tried out a label - Lucy May's Accessories - for an idea I have for 2012. I won't say more just now, in case I get slack again and don't follow through.

And lastly but certainly not least, on this Christmas Eve I would like to wish everyone a very

and a
May all your 2012 wishes come true.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

I've taken the Pledge.

For several years now, I've been saying I should get out of the ditch and be more adventurous with my quilting. I have done straight line non-ditch stuff. I have even taken a class. I look lovingly at quilts with all over designs and motifs.
Well, no more procrastination!
I am hoping this challenge will get me moving.
SalCalGal is hosting the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge. Hop over here to read about it and join in.
I can only hope it will help me!

Here are 2 more blocks for the SKoW Stitch-a-long.

Take care,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Silver Anniversary.

Well, 25 years ago today I did the best thing I could have done. I married my darling husband.

Happy Anniversary, T.

When you look at the photo, just remember it was the 80s! Why, oh why, did I not shout myself a new pair of glasses, instead of those daggy ones. And that perm! I did that for a wedding 8 weeks before ours. Boy, did it stay curly.

We were not going to swap presents. Instead, we went to town last Friday and bought ourselves 2 pieces of Georg Jensen. They are not silver, but look close enough.

Because they weren't, my DH broke the rule and gave me this lovely piece of silver this morning.

Thank you, T for 25 good years. I'm glad we have gone through them as a team.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Productive Weekend.

Amidst the chaos that is work at the moment, I have been able to find some crafting time. It is my sanity time.

I finished my Nellie's Needle Book by Anni Downs. It was one of the projects from Girls Day in the Country (GDITC) 2010, at Nundle NSW. I did the pincushion on the day - this took a little longer. These 2 projects were my first experience with wool and I really enjoyed working with it. I have kits for Anni's pincushions waiting to be done. I gave away a Larry the Lamb one at GDITC 2011 as a swap present.
I have finished my first block for the SKoF Stitch Along. I think I should have reviewed this DVD and reread the Thimblelady's Applique book before starting.

I've done that now and I am better prepared for the next block.

I had to sneak in this last photo of my Spring garden. This hoya has climbed through my mango tree. At the moment it is full of these hanging flower heads.

Off to start the umbrella block.

Take care,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Found Them!

Didn't think I wiped them. Mind you I have made a big mess of my bedside cupboard looking for a small plastic case and its SD card. Tidying that was on the to do list, just not today. Well I had better go and finish that job or I won't be able to crawl into bed tonight.


In My Garden - Spring 2011

I haven't shown you any of my garden lately.
This Spring has seen the gardens in our part of the world just flourishing. We have had the best flowering for many years.
I have a Chinese jasmine climbing over part of my front fence. I'd show you it in flower if I could find the photo on my camera, but it seems to have disappeared. The scent was heavenly.
Another photo that has gone walkabout is of my Cascade lillypilly. It had its first flowering this year with big pom-poms of delicate pink. The bees loved it and, so, I'm now waiting to see if we get any lillypilly fruit. They'll be small berry-sized fruit, maybe red in colour.
My tough old crucifix orchids did well again. They really are the most forgiving plants.

As is this Dancing Lady orchid. I have said before things have to be tough to survive in my garden. I don't do delicate and fussy plants.

I have a number of bromeliads for this very reason. I had told myself no more I have enough, but we visited my husband's cousin a couple of weeks ago. She had some truly unusual ones that I admired. So when I saw the Queensland Bromeliad Society Spring Show advertised I had to go. These four new ones came home with me as well some specialized fertilizer and a great book on Broms. The two on the right are more sun tolerant. I'll be able to put them out on show, away from under my trees, an area that is getting a bit crowded with the broms.

My daring hubbie is putting in another garden bed for me. Along our western side, we have 2 neighbouring houses that face the next street, so their backyards abut our side. Both are rental properties and over the years none of the tennants have been gardeners. It's a bit unsightly. So we are going to extend our hedge of Aussie Compact lillypillies to hide them. The bonus will be that we create for ourselves a private courtyard like area - just have to encourage the new plants to grow quickly before I'm too old to enjoy it!
Anyway that's my garden for this Spring. I will pop those photos in if I find them.
Take care and make sure you make time to smell the flowers of life,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Organised Chaos...

Or at least I think it is organised.
I've started preparing my first block for the 'My Favourite Things' quilt in Anni Down's book 'Some Kind of Wonderful'.
I think I'll prep one block at a time as I'm not sure the non-permanent pen I've used will stay around for very long.
These blocks don't seem as easy to prepare as the ones for the 'Gardener's Journal' quilt.
I am going to do needle turn that should be interesting. The little I've done using this method was okay, but there is lot of applique on this quilt. We'll just have to see how it goes.
Take care,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Storey Bridge Climb

Dad turned 80 back in August and although we had a family gathering, I didn't give him a present. I wanted it to be something special and maybe different.
So we climbed the Storey Bridge last Wednesday. There are only 3 bridge climbs in the world - ours, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Auckland Harbour Bridge (NZ). My DH and I did it about 2 years ago, so I knew Dad would be able to do it. He was a bit unsure but said yes anyway. We had an understanding that he would pull out if he felt uncomfortable. He was not sure as he has had a hip replacement.
We got there and filled out our forms - medical problems, indemnities etc. The rest of the climbing group arrived and Dad leaned towards me and said, 'I don't think I'm the oldest." He certainly wasn't.
We got changed and run over with a metal detector. The first 5 made it go off with all their replacements, including the lady with 2 knees and a hip done!
Of course, Dad had no problems. The climb is very well organised with plenty of chances for a rest and a good look around, and of course opportunities for a wind blown photo.
Till next time,

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend's Effort

Just finished the inside part of Nellie's Needle Book by Anni Downs. It's from GDITC 2010 not 2009 like I said a couple of posts ago. So I'm not as far behind as I thought! ;)
Only have to sew it together, do the scissor keep, and add the closures.
Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Skirt

Here is the photo of me in the skirt I just made, as promised.
One day I'll get braver and try to make a top.

Take care,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crafty Weekend.

Finally some show and tell.

I'm going to stitch along with the others in the 2012 SAL on the quilt in Anni Down's new book - Some Kind of Wonderful. I allowed myself to buy some creams and beiges and a couple of pieces of blue as I didn't have much of these in the stash. BUT I promised myself that every thing else has to come from stash! It was fun searching for just the right bits. I have pulled out more than I need just in case some don't end up fitting in colourwise.

Here is the project, all packed, ready and waiting for a few other things to be finished first.

One of which is this GDITC project from 2009. Only the centre to do then it just needs to be sewn together.

I finished this skirt on the weekend. I must remember to take a photo when I wear it out tomorrow night. It's a simple pattern that even I can do!

Time to start making dinner.
Take care everyone,

Friday, October 21, 2011

Brisbane Craft Show

Heavens to Bettsy and I went to the Brisbane Craft Show on Wednesday. As usually we were there from near opening to the close. In fact H2B was still buying stuff as the stall holders were putting up their curtains and leaving!!!
I, on the other hand, have to apologise to the stall holders for my poor buying effort. I kept thinking of all the things I had at home still untouched from other shows. I did manage to come away with these.....

For the first time, H2B and I saw the prize giving for Queensland Quilters Annual Quilt Show that is held in conjunction with the Craft Show. It was many talented people....a wide range of styles and colours. The Qld Quilters web site has a gallery of winners and place-getters. You can click on each one for a bigger picture. Their site will give you a better look at them than the photos I took.
Except this one.... My old pointer finger might help to give you an idea of just how small the machine quilting is on this Pam Hill winner.

Also check out the pictorial winner (I think it also won best wall hanging). I don't think photos do it justice. It is amazing. Really it is a great painting using fabric not paint.

Must go. I'm trying to get something finished for OPAM. Can't have another empty month!

Take care,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

England - the driving bit.

With a friend's GPS and the AA road map book of England, we were able to drive ourselves around some very beautiful parts of England without getting too lost.
I was able to see the things I learnt about at school.

Anyone would think we ate our way around England. My waistline is certainly telling me we did!
The black stuff in the above photo, taken at Jamie Oliver's Italian Restaurant in Oxford, is squid ink risotto - delicious my husband said.
We enjoyed the afternoon tea in the top photo in Windsor at the Crooked House.

We were lucky to be able to stay in a 17th century National Trust cottage at Stouton, the home of Stourhead Gardens and House. This is an absolutely stunning garden. At the house, we took a 'cellars to attic' tour for a unique view of backstairs life in a large country house.

Hadrian's Wall has always fascinated me. Although it is a treasured part of Britain's history, they are not precious about it. We were able to touch it, hug it, sit on it and walk all over it. Seeing it was very much on my to-do list.
Something different was the pencil museum at Keswick in the Lake District. Yes I know I find enjoyment in some odd things at time, but it really was interesting to see how pencils are made.

The famous white cliffs of Dover did not disappoint.

We took many more photographs. They will be used to keep our memories alive of a wonderful trip. DH is currently putting together one of those computer generated photo albums. But don't worry, I won't bore you with any more.

We hope to get back one day. Now isn't there a big Lotto draw next Saturday; must get my entry in!!!!!

Take care, everyone,

Saturday, October 8, 2011

London Part 2

That was a quick but delicious pasta meal. There was a Jan Power's Farmer's Market today at the Powerhouse. So we had fresh pasta, yummy heritage tomatoes, olives, hot sausage and baby octopus.
Several years ago, we went to the old Sydney Observatory. We found it fascinating, so a visit to the Greenwich Observatory became a must. Here's hubbie with one foot in the East and one in the West.
St James' Park was an oasis in the middle of London - peaceful, green.

Went shopping at Harrods, of course. It turned out my perfume was cheaper at Harrods, than duty free!
The one breakfast we didn't eat at the bed-sit was spent at 'Fifteen' - Jamie Oliver's restaurant. It's the restaurant he set up to train homeless/disadvantaged youth. Our waitress told us the 10th group had just gone through.

We had nearly a week in London. We will have to go back as there is still so much to see.
This is the little car we hired for the remaining 2 weeks of our holiday, but that's for another post.
The dishes are calling for their wash.
Take care,


Well, we have been home a week after having enjoyed a 3 week holiday to England. The flight over was way better than the one home. I was able sleep and arrive in London ready to hit the sights. We flew over Tibet and Europe in daylight which was an extra treat. Yes, it was my first trip to England, so I was a tad excited.
We were typical tourists trying see as much as we could -tick all the boxes, as my husband said.

This is where we stayed. Cartwright Gardens in Bloomsbury contains hotels, guest houses and B&Bs. We stayed in Studios2Let. I can recommend it. The only problem was the 58 steps up to our bed sit, no lift. See the windows at the very top. Two of them were ours. We had a kitchen, and ate breakfast there, but the area around us had heaps of cafes and pubs so we ate out every night. Transport was a breeze with 2 Underground stations nearby.

The hop-on hop-off bus was an excellent way to get our bearings.

A highlight was a visit to Buckingham Palace - the Palace, the Queen's Gallery and The Mews. It was a good day. The organisers have it all down pat. We were even able to get lunch, sitting on the back terrace looking over the garden. Check out the coffee art.

There were so many 'old' places. We were a bit awe stuck. Here's some contrast with the new architecture.

I had fun looking for all the typical British icons - these phone boxes and the red double decker buses for example.

Blogger won't let me put up any more photos, so I'll do another post after I cook dinner.

Back soon,

Friday, October 7, 2011

OPAM Win and Thank You.

We're back from our trip to England. It was great!

I'll be blogging about it as soon as I can edit my photos. I've just realised we (read - my personal IT specialist) have not transferred over the photo editing programme, I use, to my new laptop.

Still I can show you these.
I was lucky enough to win the August OPAM draw. This prettily wrapped parcel arrived at start of the week. Notebooks are always needed here and the cute little sharpie has already been put to use. The book from Art to Heart contains great projects.


The only downside to my holiday was a 3 week craft drought - no stitching and I only saw 2 wool shops and no quilt shops! So I was glad to get back Sisters of Stitch this week for a good dose of craft talk and to do some work on my woolly needle book.

Take care everyone,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Waiting, waitng.......

For QF 97 to start boarding. Then my darling hubbie and I are off on our holiday to England. I've been wanting to do this trip for ages.
Sorry he's side ways, but here he is enjoying Qantas Club . Our son took us to the airport early. I think he wanted to be rid of us.

Next stop Hong Kong then a quick plane change and onto London. Now I'm starting to think we really are going. I'm excited!!!
More later,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Bag

I have surprised myself. Last week, I went with friends to a sale day at The Patchwork Tree. First surprise - I only bought one piece of fabric (and it was not on sale, unfortunately). Second surprise - I used it to make a bag for my upcoming holiday. Started yesterday and finished tonight. That has got to be a record for me!!!!!!
The pattern is 'Romantic Rose Bag' by QH Textiles (Studio Mio). It nearly looks like the photo on the pattern. To anyone making it, I would recommend a jeans needle. It helped when the going got thick.
Catch you later,

Friday, August 19, 2011

Catch Up!

Well, it has been awhile since I last blogged!

I have a new laptop. While I have been transferring files and programmes from the old one to my new baby, I have been cleaning up and deleting a lot of accumulated rubbish. It is a baby compared to the old one in both size and weight.

This last month saw my father turn 80. We gathered up in Gympie so the brand new baby was not travelling on the highway. Dad didn't want a big family gathering, just his immediate lot. This photo show our mob plus a couple of ring-ins. We had a pleasant day and a delicious lunch at Gunabul Homestead.
The trip north meant I could deliver the little quilt I made for Miss S.
Another finish is this little bag - 'Precious Things' by Leanne Beasley. It has been a WISP, for along time. In 2009, Heavens to Bettsy and I went to Melbourne for a Girls Day Out at Glenharrow with Leanne Beasley and Rosalie Quinlan. It was a wonderful day- lovely company, fabulous and very 'atmospheric' location, good projects and scrumptious food. I finished the project I started on the day shortly after coming home. This one lingered, part done, ever since.

I have a new system now. Six projects of varying types, written up on cards and stuck on to my craft cupboard. I can work on any one of them. A new project or a WISP can only be added if one gets finished and its card taken off the cupboard. So far so good.

Now for the exception to the rule. Yes, it didn't take long before I broke my own rules. LOL.
Knitting and I don't get along - bung arm and too slow. But I can crochet. I have always wanted to make a cardigan or similar. Crochet patterns for garments are not common. The lovely ladies at Yarn Over put me on to some American magazines.

I made this! I'm rather proud of myself as it didn't end up a UFO and was done in fairly quick time. The pattern is from 'Crochet Today'.

I have replaced the small bag's card with GDITC Nundle's wall hanging. I have told myself I cannot go on another Girls Day Out or similar until I have completed all the projects I have accumulated from the 3 I have been on. Let's see how long that resolution last!

Catch you all later,