Monday, 3 August 2020

Goal Setting for August

 
It's a new month, so time to set a new list of goals.  A big, long list may look like I'm turning this into a chore, but it is the opposite.  I find it is too easy to achieve nothing and miss the opportunity to have fun and look back at progress, however little.  I'm doing much more now and that makes me feel so good. 

Here goes.

1.     ONE MONTHLY GOAL


I'm enjoying playing with my new Trail Mix Quilt.  I had originally thought I'd use it as a leader and ender and make twelve blocks each month.  Well, I think I want to get stuck into it.  After working on quilts where every block is different and sometimes challenging (which I'm really loving), it is nice to do some simple, repetitive stitching.  


Therefore, my goal this month is to make sixty blocks, which is five rows, which will have the quilt half done.  Now, I do need to say that I have already made a decent start on this during a Zoom stitching party on Saturday, but still have quite a lot to make.  If I end up making more it will be a bonus.

2.    BLOCKHEADS 3

There will be another four blocks released this month and I hope to keep up to date.  We are now over half way there, which is exciting.



The colour for the  month is purple. I will make my pineapple block in pretty 30s reproduction fabrics and also my drunkard path blocks.



I had to have quite a think about what to work on this month.  Most of the obvious UFOs have now been completed.  The ones remaining are mostly from the very dim past, and are UFOs for a reason, or do still entail quite a bit of work, which I am not in the mood for just now.  I'll get around to them one day.  The project I decided to work on has decided to play hide and seek.  While searching through boxes I found an abandoned project I had quite forgotten about.


I started making this bag a long time ago.  I know I did blog about it at the time.  The pattern has vertical strips with an uneven top border.  I was going famously until I had it turned inside out to box out the base.  It was the first bag I have ever cut the corners out of before stitching.  You can imagine my dismay when I turned it right way out and found I had boxed the top of the bag!  Not happy Jan!


Despite being told it would still look fine, I put it away in disgust.  I had considered turning it into something else, but it never eventuated.

Guess what, it doesn't look too bad, even though it isn't nearly as nice as was planned, so I'm going to finish it just as it is.  Finished is better than perfect, right?



The grand plan is that my UFO bag will also be my OPAM for the month.

6. CHRISTMAS PROJECT


This month I've dug out a pre-printed Christmas bunting panel I bought quite some years ago and never got around to making. (I seem to have lots of such projects - more unstarted objects that unfinished objects). Hopefully, it will be a fairly quick and easy make. 


This is a little challenge Lou and I have going, although she has had to take  a short break.



I've only participated in this fun evening since the start of this year, as we generally watch TV on that night.  However, it is nice to join in with everyone else and enjoy some stitching.

7.    PROGRESS MY CROCHET SHAWLETTE

I really do need to get this finished.  Surely I can get it done this month.  Otherwise it will be summer before it is completed.

Phew, I make myself tired reading all that, but it is achievable and should be fun.


Now for the non stitching goals.

1.    READ A BOOK

As usual, who knows what it may be, but I will endeavour to read something.

2.    TRY A NEW RECIPE

This is always fun.  The extra challenge I'm giving myself this time is to try something that isn't baking.  We will continue to bake, as we are really enjoying that, but I need to try some other recipes.

3.    GO FOR WALKS

We did walk last month, but not as much as I would have liked.  Winter does that to you.  Hopefully, as the weather starts to warm up and the days get a little longer we will get our more often.

4.    GO FOR A MOTORCYCLE RIDE.

I do hope we can achieve this goal.  The group we ride with are supposed to be going out on Saturday,  but it is forecast to be wet, so that doesn't sound promising.  We'll see what their ride later in the month is like, or we will just have to head out ourselves.  Fingers crossed for some nice weather.

5.    HAVE A WEEKEND AWAY IN THE CARAVAN

I'd like to say we will have a weekend away, but realistically, who knows at this stage of the game.  If things stay the same as they currently are in NSW, it may be possible, but the situation can change rather quickly.  If we do get away, we have a sort of plan, which involves a relatively small town and keeping pretty much to ourselves and preparing all our own meals.  That doesn't boost their local economy, but keeps everyone safe.  Watch this space.

6. HAVE A FRIDAY FUN DAY

I'll make sure this happens.  We'll find some way to have some fun.  It will be a surprise, even to us, what it is.

So, there you go.  Lots of fun things to achieve throughout the coming month.  I'll report in at the end of the month to see how we went.







Friday, 31 July 2020

Round Up of July's Goals

Now that it is the last day of the month it is time to do a final round up of how I went on my goals for July.

I've covered some of these earlier, so will just pop in a link.

1.    I completed my Tea and Cake Runner, which was my One Monthly Goal, my WOOFA Challenge Goal and my One Project a Month.

2.    My Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks were dark blue - all done, here and here.

3.   There were five Wednesdays this month, so five Blockhead blocks to complete.  A couple are here.  




Last week saw us reach the half way mark.  There are fourteen blocks in each quarter. This is the second quarter.  It's going to be a nice, happy quilt.


I finished the fifth block today.  Just in the nick of time.

4.    I have my little Christmas item challenge happening with Lou.  Sadly, she has been a little delayed with hers,  as her stitching light needs a new tube and it is being very slow in arriving.  I know she is rather frustrated not being able to work on her hand stitching.


My project this time was only little, but at least it is something.

5.  I only did a few rows on my crochet shawlette, but that means it is a little closer to being completed.  The silly thing is that it won't take much at all to finish it.

6.  I did complete my 12 blocks on my new Trail Mix quilt.  I'm itching to get a wriggle on with this one.  I hope to achieve quite a bit tomorrow.

7.  I also joined in with Friday Night With Friends at the beginning of the month.

So, overall, my stitching goals were met.  I can't believe how well this goal setting is working for me.  Mind you, restrictions on being out and about do help.


Now onto the non stitching goals.

1.      READ A BOOK


 I enjoyed this one.. I picked it up at an op shop because I liked the cover.

2.  TRY A NEW RECIPE

Firstly, we made a Caramel Walnut Slice that was a recipe that Mum had given me years ago.


Then, we made some ginger nuts.  I had pulled the recipe out of a magazine in 1995.  You can't rush these things.  The recipe didn't say to squash them, so they ended up as balls.  Other than that, they were a success.  Nice, hard biscuits suitable for dunking.

We've continued to be baking at least once a week - biscuits, slices, muffins.  They never seem to last long.

3.  GO FOR WALKS  

There have only been a few shorter walks this month.  I'll blame the weather and a few other factors.  Hopefully, this will get ramped up as we get better weather.

4.    GO FOR A MOTORCYCLE RIDE

This is our one total failure.  We were supposed to go on an overnight group ride to the Armitree Hotel last weekend.  However, Gladys (NSW Premier) is trying to discourage unnecessary travel, and our group was going to be greater than ten people, so we pulled the pin.  As it turned out, that wasn't a bad thing, as the weather was rather dismal and wet for motorcycling.  Hopefully we can get on a ride of some description in August.

5.    HAVE A WEEKEND AWAY IN THE CARAVAN

You know what they say about the "best laid plans of mice and men.....".  Well. our plan was to head off yesterday for the weekend to a rather small, non touristy town. As you can gather, that didn't happen. 

We ended up having an unexpected weekend away - back to Lake Cargelligo, of all places.  You don't visit in years and years and then you visit twice in a month.  This was sadly for my 100 year old aunt's funeral.  It was a small affair, given the current restrictions, but we caught up with a few of my cousins, which was nice.  It was a celebration of a very full and interesting life.

We still made the most of our time away, which I will share shortly.

6.  HAVE A FRIDAY FUN DAY

Yes, we had two.  


Our art gallery visit and our day out around Blayney finding the Sculptures in the Bush.


So, overall, most of my goals were achieved.  The one big failure was understandable.  I'm enjoying looking back and seeing what we have got up to.

Now I have to put my thinking cap on for next month's goals.  I will have to take into consideration that the COVID-19 restrictions could possibly be tightened, given what is taking place around the country.  Victorians all now have to wear face masks when out and about and even here in NSW, Woolworths, Dan Murphy's and Big W want you to wear masks when shopping there. The powers that be also want us to restrict unnecessary travel, not that it seems to be stopping many.

A case was reported in Orange today (about half an hour up the road from us), so it is getting a bit close to home.

We will all have to be guided by the situation and stay safe.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

One Monthly Goal Completed for July

There's nothing like leaving things till the last minute.......

My goal this month was to complete my stitcheries from a workshop I did many years ago and turn them into a completed table runner.

If I achieved my goal I would tick three boxes - One Monthly Goal, One Project a Month and the WOOFA Challenge.



Ta da!  

I really didn't know how I would set it.  In the end I made a rather simple setting.  The fabrics around the edge and the stripe were provided in the workshop.  I found the floral in my stash.

I'm not in love with the finished product, as it is so busy, but it is done, which is the main thing. I can see it being brought out when we have afternoon tea with a teapot and pretty cups.

I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts and Gone Stitchin'.  Pop over and see what the other girls have achieved.

I'm forever grateful to the ladies who run these challenges, as they really give me the drive to get things done.  Otherwise, it would be all too easy to put them off till another time.

I'll pop back tomorrow with the wrap up of all my goals for July.  

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Mid Month Stitching Update and a Few Other Bits and Bobs

I have been doing a little bit of stitching this last week.


My pineapple block in dark blue has been completed for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.



Block 25 of Blockheads 3.  This one is 8 inches.



Block 26 of Blockheads 3.  This one is 6 inches.



I have made my first twelve blocks for Trail Mix.  I have been cutting lots of strips ready for some more blocks, but really should do some other things first.  I won't stitch them together yet, rather I will wait until I get a better mix of fabrics.

No photo, but my stitchery for my Tea Time Table Runner is completed.  Now I just have to work out how I will make it into a runner.



Despite our delay due to exploring Farm Art around the Blayney Shire on Friday, we did make the next batch of Tomato Relish on Saturday.  There has also been baking each week, just no photos.  Mick even made Anzac biscuits himself yesterday.



Finally, I have to share the yummy breakfast we enjoyed on Friday.  There is no need to go to cafes when you can have something tasty and not get out of your jarmies.


Now, just for my record, an update on Covid-19.

On 10 July Queensland opened their border to NSW, but aren't allowing Victorians in unless they could prove they had been in NSW for two weeks.

The outbreak of cases in Melbourne has caused all of Melbourne and a neighbouring shire to be in total lock down again and the border between NSW and Victoria has been closed for the first time since the Spanish Flu back in 1919.  They are getting over 200 new cases each day and there have been some deaths, mainly linked to an aged care facility.

There has now been an outbreak linked to a hotel in Sydney, which has triggered tightening of restrictions for hotels.  There can be no more than 10 in a group (reduced from 20) and regardless of how large a facility is, there are to be no more than 300 people on site.  Apparently, the hotel that has been linked to the outbreak had 600 patrons one night last week.

It has certainly been a wake up call to us all.  We cannot be complacent, regardless of where we are, as people are travelling and you don't know where they have come from and who they have been in contact with.  Let's just hope that the new restrictions can once again bring this thing under control in Australia.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Bathurst Winter Festival - Covid-19 Style

If life had not thrown us a curve ball, Bathurst would be busy with ice skating, night time street parties, illuminated buildings, a Ferris wheel and carousel for the annual Winter Festival, which was getting bigger and better each year.

Fortunately, there was a bit of lead up time to do things differently this year, although on a much smaller scale.

There are no street parties, markets are on line only and no ice skating.  The illuminations have gone ahead as has the decorating of a lot of shop windows.  There are small musical events in a few cafes, which have also been live streamed.

Of course, we still had to participate in some way, and went out the other night to see the illuminations and shop windows.  It was not a bad evening, weather wise, and fairly quiet.




The Court House is always the main feature.


This year there were a few new buildings illuminated.  The old Masonic Hall, now a function centre was rather spectacular.


This was another new illumination. "Webbs Building" was originally a department store, but now houses a variety of businesses.



These were on a wall near the Art Gallery and Library.



The old Tremains Flour Mill precinct is being converted into a vibrant space, with a coffee shop, function centre and with several other uses in the pipe line.  This was the first time it has been illuminated and there was a series of images from the McKillop Girls High School.  So much talent.


The railway carriage at the new Railway Museum was also colourfully lit.

We then went for a wander through Machattie Park.  This is normally the venue of the street parties, so it all seemed rather quiet.




The uplit trees looked a bit eerie.  We did see a few possums, which was fun.  They wouldn't pose for a photo, though.

Then, back to Kings Parade, where the large trees had their trunks festooned with coloured lights.



As we were  heading back to the car we noticed a fellow playing with fire.  He was rather entertaining to watch.  He wasn't busking, but just doing it for fun.  We enjoyed watching him for a little while.

Next, we wandered the streets checking out the decorated windows.


The Antique shop always does a nice window decoration.


As did a small gallery


Even the cathedral got in on the action.


As did the preschool


In Keppel Street there were some nice wintery clothes.


The bakery had an nice little display.  I'm not sure how long those snow men would last beside the fire.


And another nice wintery display.


We think this was our favourite though at Bake Table Tea.  It was clever with all the little groupings of winter treats.

Some shops do have a bit of an advantage with beautiful facades.

You have to commend our Council for making an effort to have at least some of the features of our Winter Festival.  I'm sure that when they can hold a proper festival again, people will flock to it.

After all that wandering around in the cold air it was time to go home for a nice warm supper.