Thursday, 25 May 2017

Out and About in April - One Very Busy Weekend

The last weekend in April was crazy busy.

QUILTS IN THE SHEARING SHED

Firstly, we headed out to O'Connell to attend "Quilts in the Shearing Shed".  This was an exhibition of over 100 quilts made by Bridget Giblin and her students in a local shearing shed.


We were greeted by members of the local Rural Fire Service, who supervised parking and ferried everyone across to the shearing shed.


First stop was morning tea.  Very civilised, with beautiful china cups.


After visiting the pop up shops, we were taken over the road to the rustic shearing shed.


Inside, it was transformed to display the quilts.  Some amazing work was on display.

BATHURST SHOW

After lunch we then went to the Bathurst Show.  The Show is one of those events you go to every year, for the social side of catching up with friends and acquaintances as much as anything.

The local wholefood co-op always have a great autumn display.


One of the local nursing homes did a great yarn bombed bike for their winning entry.


And of course, sideshow alley comes into its own once it gets dark.


We discovered last year that our front verandah is a great spot to watch the fireworks, so once again we came home to enjoy the spectacle.

SPRINGWOOD QUILT SHOW

On the Sunday, we headed back down the mountains.  This time to visit the Springwood Quilt Show,  Rachaeldaisy had talked me into entering two quilts.  As always, there was a great variety of quilts on display.


I had to take a photo of a Lucy Boston.  This version by Mary de Bruyn.


There is always a great variety of stalls.  So much cuteness.


This quilt by Kyeen McPherson was one of the three viewer's choice winners.  Just gorgeous work.


Rachaeldaisy's quilt was one of the other viewer's choice winners.


The third viewer's choice winner was Ann Langley's Farmers Wife.


No, mine was not a winner, but it was rather exciting having it on display.


My other entry was my little Windmill Mini from some years ago.  Mick designed this one.

If you exhibited a quilt you were expected to make a contribution of  your time.  As we live a couple of hours away, I decided that the easiest way to join in was to help with the pack up on Sunday.  It was great how everyone pitched in to take the quilts down, get them folded ready to collect and then dismantle and pack up all the stands.  We worked solid for an hour and then it was all done. A great team effort.

So. by the time we got home on Sunday night we were somewhat pooped. I think we did well to fit in so much over the weekend.

PS. I just read the roundup blog post for the Springwood Quilt Show here and was surprised to see a picture of me with my quilt.  

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Out and About in April - Canowindra Balloon Glow

April is always a busy month in our area and we like to make the most of the local events.

Canowindra, about an hour and a half north west of us, hosts a Balloon Festival with the highlight being the Balloon Glow.  We have never attended, as it normally clashes with the Bathurst Show.  This year it didn't, so we hopped in the car just after lunch to see what all they hype was about.


The first entertainment was local dancing groups from Canowindra and nearby Cowra.



It was nice to see an aboriginal dance group as well.


Once it got dark a couple of fire twirlers provided the entertainment.


No one had any excuse for being hungry, as there was a huge night market catering for all tastes.


The highlight was the balloons.  They really were spectacular, lighting up in time to music.  We could see why it is such a popular event.  We'll have to try to go again another time, maybe taking the caravan and making a weekend of it.

The best thing is that it was really family friendly, being all over by about 8 o'clock.  We were home by  half past nine.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

What a month April was!!!

There didn't seem to be a spare minute, but it is always a busy time of the year, having the best weather.  Where does one begin?

The month was supposed to start very quietly, as Mick was booked in for knee surgery at the end of March.  Unfortunately, it was postponed for a week.  He had made all his arrangements at work, so there was no need to go in, so what does he do?  Refit the office, of course.

When we bought this house there were double doors from the entry into the room we use as an office in addition to a normal door.  We had the double doors closed in, but time ran out and the wall was never painted.  We knew how we wanted the office to look, but that it would have to wait for a little while.  In the meantime, we moved our big old desk in and proceeded to make the place a dumping ground.



Not pretty at all, is it.

We had seen an idea at a display house that we both liked, so last June, yes 10 months ago, we visited Ikea and there have been a pile of flat pack boxes sitting in my sewing room ever since.


Mick got out the paint brush (yes, that is very orange) during his week off and then on the weekend we dismantled the old desk, which we had built as an Easter project 20 years ago, (using my desk at work at the time as our inspiration).  It then took us a full day to build and install all the furniture.  A couple of cute desk lamps were found at the local lighting shop and a few bits and bobs added.  It looks so much better and will be so much more practical.


Wow!  It looks just a tad different from before.


The mail and charging table is an old wash stand that had been my grandmother's.  Mick did a great job of fixing it up a few years ago.  Of course Joey has to have his little spot while we are in the office.


On the other wall we now have a nice big shelving unit and filing cabinet.Still a bit of playing to do here.

It is still very much a work in progress, but we are getting there.  I just need to have a few weekends at home to play.

It worked out well to complete the project when we did, as Mick's knee would not have been ready fore crawling around putting furniture together for quite a while after.

Another recent visit to Ikea provided a further pile of flat pack boxes to store in my sewing room until the next project comes to fruition.  I wonder how long that will take? 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

What a Lovely Day We Had

This Easter weekend has been planned to be nice and slow, while Mick's knee heals.  The weather has been absolutely glorious, with cool, crisp morning followed by nice, warm blue days.

We had in the back of our minds that on one day this weekend we might go for a drive and have a picnic.  Today seemed like the perfect day.  We phoned some friends, picked them up and off we went......to Burraga Dam.  I blogged about the dam back here back in 2011, when we went for a bit of an explore.  We have been back one day with the kayak, but I don't seem to have blogged about it that time.


We weren't sure how busy it would be, what with it being the Easter long weekend and all.  There were heaps of people in tents and caravans, but it didn't feel too crowded.  You wonder how they all hear about it, as it is secluded and doesn't even have a sign at the top of the road.  However, apparently it rates a mention on quite a few of the free camping sites.


We found ourselves a nice spot close to the water and enjoyed our picnic lunch.



The dam was built for the tin mine about 100 years ago.  It was looking a picture.  I love the little water lily growing near the reeds.

Mick tried his hand at catching a fish off the dam wall.  No luck, which meant he didn't have to deal with cleaning a fish, so he didn't mind at all.


We wandered down below the dam wall.  The water cascading down was so very sparkly.  Just lovely.


We noticed some slippery jack mushrooms near one tree.  This is prime time for mushroom foraging in the forests in the area.  I don't know enough about them to have a go.


We went for a wander along the foreshore.  You can see that there is still room to move.

We will get out there with the van one day, hopefully later in the year.  It was the first place I mentioned as a destination for a weekend, so we must make it happen.

Meanwhile, today was really relaxing, just lazing around.  It was a pity we had to come back to town.  I think there would be nothing better than sitting around a camp fire out there tonight.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Reconnecting in March

It is time once again to reflect on my word "Reconnect" for the last month.  I'm quite enjoying actually thinking about what is happening and breaking it down into categories.  Anyway, enough guff, this is how I went for March.

READ MORE BOOKS

I still haven't finished "Wind in the Willows", but I will.


One book has been completed, though.  I took a couple of books to Nundle, but they didn't see the light of day.  However, when we were at the little antique shop in Nemingha the lady was going to have to find $1 change.  It was easier to find a $1 book.  This old copy of an Agatha Christie classic fit the bill.  Yes, I've read it before, probably in my teens, but I couldn't remember the outcome, so it was good entertainment. Don't you love the 50s dust jacket.

EXPLORE

Yes, I think our trip to Nundle fitted this category nicely.  We are so pleased we had the time to have a good look around, seeing as it turned out to be the last Girls Day in the Country.

CREATE

I really am not having much to show for this since the beginning of the year.  My efforts for March were my little swap project and my project that I worked on at Girls Day in the Country.  Better than nothing I suppose.

ORGANISE

There have been two good finishes in this area.

Firstly, my office at work has got somewhat out of control.  There never seems to be time to finish filing etc.  Anyway, I spent a weekend in there, in the quiet, and had a big sort out and tidy up. It is so much nicer to be in now. There is an ulterior motive for this, but more on that later.

Secondly, we attacked the garage.  The plan is to have the car, a couple of bikes, stuff for the swap meet and a bit of other stuff stored here.  Well, there were two dressing tables and a treadle sewing machine taking up a lot of space and boxes of "stuff" from Mum's had just been dumped wherever it would fit.  What a mess!

We took everything out and started again.  One dressing table was moved to a bedroom and the other taken to the charity shop.  When we could get to the cupboards around the walls, most of them were empty or didn't have much in them.  Mick had a set of shelves not being used in his shed so they were put together and it turned out they fitted perfectly over the top of the sewing machine.  The machine will get moved inside eventually.  Things were put away in cupboards, chucked out or some moved elsewhere.  We ended up with a sidecar and a bike fitting in and being able to move and get to things.  A great result.

It also proved timely has we had a huge storm which blew rain in under the roller doors.  I had boxes on the floor in that area and the contents would have been ruined.  Phew!

NURTURE

I suppose the garden has been the main feature here.


We planted eight climbing bean plants in spring, only to have black birds destroy all but two of them.  They grew well and flowered profusely during the hot weather, but no beans.  Finally, in March, once the weather calmed down, we started to get beans......loads of them.  Thank goodness we only had the two plants.


This is only a small portion of them.


We planted sweet peas, both perennial (in the garden by the shed) and annual (on the other side of the arch to the beans).


The little garden out the front is thriving, especially now the sting has gone out of the sun.  Lots of pansies have been planted to provide winter colour.


Mick didn't want any roses in the garden, not wanting to get scratched while mowing.  I wanted at least one rose.  We compromised.  One standard rose in a garden not near a lawn.  But what variety?  We chose "Peace" in the end. Mum had one in our garden when I was little and Mick and I had one in our first garden.  It has taken a while to get established, but it is really doing well now.  Lots of growth still coming, but the cold weather will put paid to that before long.


This red rose is a miniature.  There were two straggly specimens in the front garden when we arrived and they were unceremoniously pulled out.  Well, we obviously missed a bit of root as this little rose has come up.  It has the sweetest little blooms.  The colour here isn't a good indication.  They are a much deeper red, not pink at all.  Anyway, we will keep it pruned to a nice shape and enjoy it.


I did bake some Anzac biscuits one day as well.

NEW EXPERIENCES

This year has turned up some surprises.

Firstly, a recap on my bicycle,  We have been using them a lot and really enjoying it.  Mick has put a rack on the back of the van and we took them to Nundle.  They travelled well and it was a great way to explore another town.  They will certainly come away with us on a regular basis.  We are having a little break at the moment, as Mick has had knee surgery, but when he feels strong enough we will be out there again.  It will probably be mainly on weekends now, as the days are closing in.

Now, for the biggy...Da Da Daaaaa!

After Mick and I had a little chat about Mum needing a bit more help and me ducking out of work to go to appointments etc, I've approached work to see if I can work three days a week and make my job a job share role.  To my delight they have agreed and they are in the process of recruiting someone.  I will be working Monday to Wednesday, which will leave time to spend with Mum, give us the opportunity to go away for long weekends and maybe even enjoy some stitching time, or horror of horrors, get the housework done.

I'm quite excited and nervous about it all.  Hopefully, the new person will be trained up by the end of June and I will be able to go to the shorter hours then.

ENJOY FRIENDS

Well, Nundle features here as well.  We've also spent time with friends at home too.  An unexpected lunch with someone you haven't seen for some time is always a nice treat.

CARAVANNING

Nundle again.  Fancy that.

TAKE TIME

And once again, Nundle.  It was a lovely few days spent together.  One thing about going away with the van is that you have to take time.  We travel relatively slowly, so you get to really enjoy the scenery, rather than just have it whizz by.  We just have to factor in extra time to reach our destination, but that is just fine.

Now we just have to see what April brings.  I can't wait.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Nundle - Girls Day in the Country

THURSDAY

Once all the girls started to arrive this was a common sight.


Yep.  Tears of laughter.  So much laughter.

FRIDAY


Friday saw quite a few of us venture out to The Cottage on the Hill for a little retail therapy.  Notice how the nice sunny blue day of Thursday has vanished.  This was more like the weather we had for the rest of the weekend.


A kit for this quilt, plus a bit extra for borders to make it larger may have just come home with me.


There is always so much inspiration here.

Friday evening saw us all gathering in the camp kitchen for nibblies and  a little show and tell.


Deb's.  


Dzintra, Jo Jo and Kerri's.


Jenny & Chooky's.


Dawnie's.


Sandy's


Susan's


And mine.  (I'm sure Chooky won't mind that I borrowed her photo).

There is so much talent among this group of ladies.  I know I certainly wouldn't have the patience to do so much of the work they do.

SATURDAY


As usual we gathered at the Town Hall.


This is what we received on our table.


And just some of the lovely ladies on our table.


We were introduced to the lovely Bonnie Sullivan who then revealed our project for the day.


Wow!  Rather lovely.


Inside is a pincushion made from upcycled bedspread.


We received pre printed fabric with a lovely saying.  It was so easy to just stitch straight over the printed text.  Here is mine ready to applique to my circle of antique quilt.  How much use must this quilt have had?  The colours so soft and faded.  Yet, it has been beautifully created, with lovely, even, small hand quilting.  I wish I had taken a photo of the back before I stitched through it.  This is a great way to add life to something that would otherwise have been just put at the back of a cupboard.


This is as far as I got on the day - although the bird was stitched down before I left.  I also completed my pincushion.  I love that each sewing box will be different due to the unique scraps of quilt. I opted to have my steamer painted a French blue which should go nicely with the quilt piece.  It won't take long to finish the project.  That can be my Easter project.


There was a trading table of Bonnie's projects.  They really are lovely. 



As always there is a swap on the day.  We were given a design of Bonnie's and could make whatever we liked with it.  I came up with a little sewing holder.  


I received a lovely pin cushion made by Deb to add to my collection.


At the end of the day there was the usual group photo of all the bloggers.  

This one is rather special, as it is the last.  Yes, at the end of the day, rather than announce next year's tutor, Kerry announced that this, the 10th Girls Day in the Country, would be the last.  To say we were sad is an understatement, but we can understand that it is time for Kerry to move on to other things. To achieve what she has over those years is something she should be so proud of.

However, this will not be the end of our get togethers, as plans are afoot for something for next year.  I can't wait.

SUNDAY


So, while most of the girls were tucking into a yummy breakfast, Mick and I were packing up our campsite, ready to drive back home.  We'd enjoyed our stay in Nundle very much.


We travelled home the same way we had come.  I was hoping to see the other big cliff, as you drive out of the Bylong Valley, all lit up with sunshine, but alas, it wasn't to be this time either.


One thing we did notice coming home is just how dry it was on the tablelands, compared to where we had visited.  We had been missing out on all the rain.  Fortunately, that has now changed.

Hopefully, we will get to visit Nundle again in the future, despite the fact that there is no more GDITC.