Monday 31 May 2010

A Final Finish for May and Another Start

During the State of Origin rugby league game on Wednesday I made this very simple kitchen towel topper.  Mine are getting a bit tatty, so when I found this pretty tea towel I snapped it up.  The variegated yarn required only a simple pattern of trebles as anything fancier would have been too  indistinct with the yarn.


Then, on Thursday evening I popped into Spotlight for their Quilt Market night.  Unfortunately, it was a bleak old night and not many people came out. They had a quilt contest with a $100.00 prize.  The odds were good, as there were only four quilts on display.  I didn’t stay to see which one won, but this was my favourite.  It wasn’t displayed all that well, but it was really lovely.


Of course I brought some fabric home with me.  There was a new range in black and cream which rather took my eye, so  I bought 50cm of each.


I had a bit of a fiddle with pencil and paper, and on Saturday afternoon started a nice, simple quilt for the camper trailer.  I was cutting away merrily when I realised I had cut heaps of fabric too short! Doh!  So, we hopped in the car and made a quick trip into town for more.  Now I have extras to make something else, so I’m not exactly devastated. I nearly have the top pieced, so will be able to show it soon.

The weekend was bleak and miserable weatherwise with drizzly rain most of the time and, apart from the trip to Spotlight, we didn’t go anywhere.  It was such a nice weekend to stay home.  On Saturday I did lots of cooking, so we had yummy morning and afternoon coffee and banana bread. I even have some meals frozen for a change.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Flea Market Finds

For once I haven’t been anywhere to find any interesting bits and bobs, so I thought I’d share some older finds.

I was never all that fond of dolls as a child and never had many.  However, I always marvelled at the character doll collections that some of my school friends had.


These beautiful ladies were found at our favourite church fete a few years ago.   Now I have my own instant collection.  They cost next to nothing and are nice a colourful on our bookcase.

There are lots of other flea market finds over at Sophie’s.

Friday 21 May 2010

Making Progress

I have actually been working on one project.


I have finished the knitting for my cardy.  When I finally got stuck into it, it was nice a quick and easy.  The colour is actually more blue than the photo depicts.

I’ve never knitted a garment before where you work around the body.  (Mind you I haven’t knitted a garment at all for probably over 15 years.)  It looks rather strange.


Now for what will probably be the most time consuming part of the project, finding the wool needle to weave in the ends and sew it together. I’m just hoping it fits, as you can’ really test it  as you go.

Monday 17 May 2010

What a Surprise

When the girls went for a walk to look at the main street of Grenfell late on Saturday afternoon we noticed a shop that was still open.  It doesn’t have big picture windows, so we didn’t really know what we would find inside.  We were somewhat pleasantly surprised.


This is just not what we expected to find.


The shop has only been open since November.  Jan Parlett purchased the old Exchange Hotel building in the main street and is in the process of transforming it.  There were several rooms of delightful bits and pieces and a coffee shop.  The shop will soon be expanding to do high tea, complete with champagne and strawberries (she still has the liquor licence). There is also gorgeous jewellery, cute kichenalia, beautiful baby gifts and room dedicated to Christmas.


Another project Jan has in the pipeline is to refurbish the old pub accommodation upstairs to make a boutique, but still economically priced B & B.  The plan is then to also be able to make arrangements for guests to visit some of the places of interest in the area during their visit.  I’m thinking this would be a great destination for one of our bike rides, or maybe a Historic Car Club run in the future. 


While chatting, Jan and I discovered that we have actually met before.  She used to be involved with Rick Rutherford’s stores at Lawson in the Blue Mountains and Rick had introduced us once as we are both keen green depression glass collectors.  What a small world and what a treat for Grenfell that Jan has come along.

What did I bring home?


Just a couple of gift cards and this little sign to hang on the wall.  (Lucky we have the sidecar.)  It really captures the way Mick and I try to live.  We hope not to be one of those people who go about saying “When I retire I’m going to………..”  We intend to to things now and take retirement as it comes.  That’s not to say we don’t have dreams for the future.

I think another trip to Grenfell will have to take place to visit again.

Unfortunately, Jan doesn’t have a website or blog as yet.  They are also future projects, so if you are in the area you will just have to call in and visit.

Sunday 16 May 2010

A Weekend With Olga

We’re not very good at staying home. 

We spent this weekend out on the bike again.  This time we took “Olga” the old girl. The reason for this outing was that the Mid State Tourers were hosting a Dice Roll Run. 


It started at Parkes, wound its way to Canowindra, Cowra, Goolagong and finally Grenfell.  This meant another early, icy start on Saturday.  Five bikes from Bathurst attended.  As you can see, I was was well and truly rugged up.  It was suggested I should have a hot water bottle or two in the sidecar, not such a bad idea.

The country was quite different from last weekend.  This week we were in the Central West Slopes and Plains with wide expanses and distant hills.


There were just over 100 bikes on the run, with everyone overtaking us.  We were by far the slowest bike on the run (we poke along at about 80kph). This is backwards over the top of the helmet cam!


Once again the autumn colours were spectacular and the weather glorious.


A big line of bikes always looks spectacular in front of an old pub.


Mick was quite chuffed to receive the award for the oldest bike on the run.


And it was good to see Fiona and James with a group of riders from Dubbo on the run. It was great to catch up with them.


We finished up at the Railway Hotel in Grenfell in the late afternoon. 


I love this shot Mick took of our bike from the balcony.


On Saturday afternoon, us girls went for a walk up the street. We just looked in windows and didn’t expect anything to be open, but  we found a shop open.  What a gem! A little something came home with me.  I’ll show you tomorrow.

A lot of us stayed overnight at the pub, enjoying a delicious dinner and breakfast.  A great value pub to stay at.


Today we had a very leisurely trip home via Greenthorpe, Koorawatha, Cowra and Canowindra.  Once again it was great riding on quite roads through the wide open countryside.


We spotted this bus in Cowra, what a beauty.


I didn’t expect to spend any money this weekend, but just as well we have the sidecar.  In tiny Koorawatha there were two garage sales.  I found this lovely old cake tin.  I love the old Willow ware.


There was also a large selection of old paper patterns.  I thought these kids patterns were really cute.  I can just imagine the simple little dresses in vintage sheet fabric. It’s a pity I have no tiny tots to sew for. The bottom two patterns are a stitchery cushion and candelwicking iron on transfers.  I couldn’t leave them there.

2010_0516GrenfellJaniceMay100050 I forgot to take a photo of some old bias binding that I also found there.  It is a lovely soft 30’s green.

You will find more flea market finds over here.

Just lately I seem to be spending more time with motorcycles than craft, but we don’t have any more trips planned for a little while, so I might get something done.

Monday 10 May 2010

It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination

(A Sidecar Eye View)


Last week Mick was reading a bike magazine and noticed an ad for a “Motorcycle Muster” at Gloucester.  “We’re not doing anything this weekend, are we?” he asked, so we decided to head north.  Another couple decided to come along for the ride as well.

Saturday dawned not only very frosty, but foggy as well.  Yuck!  There is nothing worse than having helmets and glasses fogging up. When the fog cleared it was the most glorious clear blue day.


We travelled through the Bylong Valley Way.  This road links the beautiful Central Tablelands with the Hunter Valley. It has only been fully sealed for about eighteen months.

We then wound our way up through Dungog where you feel like you are on top of the world.


We had a nice break here and visited a beaut antique shop.  Lots of lovelies, but too large to bring home on the bike.

And finally to Gloucester.  We arrived at about 2.30pm and the bike event was just about all over.  Oh well, not to worry.  We didn’t so much as take one photo.

We found the caravan park, which is right in the middle of town, set up camp and went for a wander up and down the street window shopping.  There was a rather nice looking craft and book shop, but it was closed, I might have to have a bit of a look next time we’re through this way (whenever that is).

The following morning there was a very light fog and best of all, no frost.  It was quite a bit warmer than home.

Gloucester Campsite

After a leisurely breakfast we started heading back south.  A nice stop at Denman for lunch, where everyone said we should have been there last week for the food and wine festival.  We might have to put that on next year’s agenda.

Then it was back across the Bylong Valley Way.  This time I took lots of photos from the sidecar.

A bit of background.  During the Great Depression there was a work program created to build a railway through the valley.  Nearly everything was completed except for laying the track - bridges, embankments and best of all, a tunnel.  Then WWII started and the project was never completed.

Fast forward to the early 70s, when I was a little kid. We often travelled this road when heading north to visit family.  The road was nearly all dirt back then.  We would leave home really early and drive through the tunnel just as it was getting daylight.  It was most important to turn on the headlights and sound the car horn in the tunnel.  Great excitement for little kids.  At the other end of the tunnel there was a rest area where we always stopped to have our packed breakfast. Mick’s family travelled through there fairly often as well.

Then in the 80’s they opened the Ulan Coal Mine and finished the Ulan Railway to service the mine.  The road was then diverted up over the hill.  It just wasn’t the same.

The valley is spectacular, starting at the north with vineyards and horse studs.  Then there starts to be some craggy hills, and the road follows a lovely river. It was just the perfect day for riding, temperature in the low 20s, no wind, not a cloud in the sky.


There has always been lots of black Angus cattle in the valley, even before they became such a popular breed.


The valley is always so lush.


The craggy sandstone cliffs are stunning.  If you know where to look there are caves with aboriginal art in them.


Then finally we climb up through this gap in the hills back to the Central Tablelands and Rylstone . Once Mick and I saw an elusive lyrebird up through here.


Wouldn’t this cliff look stunning with the morning sun on it.


Then into Rylstone with its lovely old sandstone buildings.  By the way, there is a little craft shop in the two storey building. Rylstone is always a nice spot to stop.  It is increasingly popular with motorcyclists now that the road is all sealed.  The pub puts on a great counter lunch and there are several nice coffee shops.  There is also a couple of antique shops and a great little op shop.


Beautiful Autumn colours coming out of Kandos.


Back up onto the Central Tablelands.


The shadows were getting quite a bit longer and there was a definite nip in the air as we got closer to home.


Down into our glorious O’Connell Valley.


The sun was just sinking over the horizon when we got home.


Sunday 9 May 2010

Happy Mothers Day

I hope all the Mothers out there had a lovely day.

I haven’t had the chance to see my Mum today, just chatted on the phone a couple of times, but tomorrow I will see her to give her this little gift.


The pattern is from Joy Patch and is shared on the Among The Gum Trees. It was so quick and easy to make.  I knew I didn’t have time to complete a stitchery, so just appliquéd a round fussy cut bouquet.  It looked quite bland, so I added the ric rac with little french knots, which looks much better.  I hope she likes it, as it is usually Mum giving me covered coat hangers.  They are so much nicer for hanging your clothes.

A little bit of recycling that I do is use thin strips of batting (about an inch and a half wide, or whatever I have), that have been cut off the edges of a quilt when trimming before binding, to wrap the timber coat hangers.  (I throw away nothing!)  Then just another smoother piece over the top of that gives a lovely plump finish.

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Check out This Amazing Creation

When I visited the Springwood Quilt Show there was a stall which had a framed hexigon miniature quilt. The hexies were tiny weeny ones and there was also a star quilt in progress made out of tiny diamonds. Pop over here to Miss Leela’s brand new blog to see her creations.  A very clever and patient young lady indeed.

Monday 3 May 2010

First Finish for May

When the Narromine girls came down to Bathurst to visit Anni’s shop I bought a flex frame, knowing that I wanted to have a go at making the Puffy Pouch following Pink Penguin’s tutorial.

Last night was the night to try it out.  The tutorial was really easy to follow and the pouch was nice and quick to make. You can use velcro as the closure if you don’t have a flex frame.


I love the way the black and white has worked.  I lined it with a vintage fabric Mum gave me somewhere along the line.


It would also be nice with a natural linen as the main fabric and something bright peeping out of the pleats.

Who knows what I will use it for, maybe carry threads for a project?   It was fun to make and that is all that matters.

Sunday 2 May 2010

Flea Market Finds From Yeovil

This morning we hopped up bright and early  and headed off to Wellington to attend a clearing sale and hopefully purchase another old motorcycle with sidecar.   Some friends of ours tagged along as well.  They are Kiwis and lived near Wellington in NZ.  They have been in Australia for a couple of years, so thought it was about time they visited Wellington in Australia.

It was the perfect day to go for a drive, blue sky, temperature in the low 20’s and all the autumn trees changing colour.  Unfortunately, I didn’t really get the chance to stop and take photos.

Well, the stuff at the auction was such a load of rubbish that we left before the bidding had even started.  There was absolutely nothing that any of us would have wanted, which is really unusual.

So, we took our friends home the scenic way, via Yeovil, Cumnock and Molong.  We stopped in Yeovil and called into a little craft shop.  There were a few magazines and old craft books.  I found this treasure, I’m guessing from the late 70s or early 80s.

2010_0502May20100015Check out this bag pattern.  In the right colours it could look quite good.

2010_0502May20100017Now can’t you just see me wearing this down the street!

2010_0502May20100019I couldn’t leave the leaflet behind.

They also had some fabric fat quarters and remnants.  Among it all there was this panel. 



It was only $5.  You could just add a border and quilt it or cut it up and add a few extra blocks to make it into a small throw quilt.  I don’t know which would be the best way to go.  The colours work really well with our living room.  

Mick even made a purchase.  He added to our collection of old bobbins.


I then found the old cake server in another little shop which had some interesting old things out the back.  Yeovil did alright out of us as our friends also took a few collectables home with them.

We then finished our drive off with a yummy pub lunch before heading home. 

It was not the day we had planned, but aren’t they often the best.

There are lots of other interesting finds over here.