Tuesday 31 July 2012

Oh Dear, I’d Better Finish Something

I realised this morning that it is the last day of the month and I have no finishes for July in my sidebar.

Plenty of sewing happening, but no finishes.

Better fix that.

So, after doing the groceries after work and cooking a quick tea I made another bib. I don’t need any for presents at the moment, but it will be handy to have in the gift box.

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It was nice to make a girly bib for a change, as everyone I know seems to have had boys lately.  I’m rather pleased with how it has turned out.

Now Peg and Kris can add another item to their tally.

I had a little chuckle when I took the photo……..a true blog photo.

Now, scroll down a bit further for a “Real Life” photo.





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Yep, a bit of a mess happening on the dining room table, groceries not put away and other stuff just dumped.

Just a big enough area cleared to cut fabric and take the photo.

I suppose I’d better go and do something about that now.

Sunday 29 July 2012

Macquarie Towns Classic Motorcycle Rally

At the Historic Car Club meeting a few weeks ago a couple of the fellows requested permission to take their bikes to the Macquarie Towns Classic Motorcycle Rally at Windsor.  Mick and I looked at each other and decided on the spot that we would go too and take “Olga” the old girl.  We had talked about it earlier in the year and then promptly forgot all about it.

We had heard it was a good rally and we had never really travelled the back roads around the Hawkesbury, so this was a good opportunity. 

We both finished work early on Friday and left home just as it was starting to spit rain.  Fortunately, the further east we travelled the clearer the weather was, although there was still a nip in the air as we rode across the blue mountains.  Yes, we had decided to ride too and from the rally as well.

To our delight, Saturday dawned the most glorious clear blue day.  Much better than the bleak, cold drizzle the others left in Bathurst that morning on their way down.  There were four bikes from our club, and three of us were attending for the first time.

We strolled up through the mall in Windsor, past the old water wheel to find breakfast.

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Another attraction of attending a different rally is to see the different array of bikes.  This rally had an incredible number of bikes from the 70s.  Traditionally, the 1950s has been the largest class, but that seems to be changing.

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Here I am, ready to head off.

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We have no idea where we were on the ride, but were amazed that so close to Sydney they could find quiet, windy, rural roads.  We were delighted when we had to cross the Sackville Ferry, although there were so many of us we had to wait for the ferry to go back and forward a few times before we were all able to cross.

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We ended up at Castlereagh for lunch and the voting for the bikes.  The decisions were rather difficult.

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Of course, red bikes are always popular as they go faster.

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We were fortunate to take out the award for best sidecar, although there was a rather tasty early model Harley sidecar that unfortunately ended up on the trailer with a flat tyre, so missed out on the voting.

It wasn’t all about bikes though.

This morning, after a rather decadent breakfast, us girls sent the boys off on the rally by themselves while we went up the street.  I think someone had been playing with the water wheel last night…… or maybe they were just cleaning it…….

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We had a nice stroll looking at the local markets, although we were strong and bought very little.

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We were delighted with this little shop.  Some rather tasty vintage items and some extremely creative recycling going on.  I especially liked the lampshades made from old tea towels and men’s ties.

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We left Windsor at lunch time and had another nice trip across the mountains to return home.  We travelled just on 500kms for the weekend and Olga went nicely, other than a couple of little misses, but you expect that with an old bike.  We’ll certainly keep the rally in mind to attend again.  It was great fun.

Monday 16 July 2012

February Finally Finished… and July and August

I have had a very productive afternoon and evening yesterday on my SKOW quilt.  All the small patchwork panels are completed and the long panels completed as much as I can.  I can’t put off those pesky petals any longer.

So here is what I have to show.

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February’s panels are now attached and the last column is completed with its sashings.

I just need to complete the stitching block and the tree with the pesky petals and insert them in their columns, which are otherwise finished.

When I was cutting my small coloured squares I came across a zip lock bag with some small “Scraps” in it.  A couple were big enough to cut a square out of, so I did.  I now realise they were the pieces for the little patchwork panels on the stitching block….Oops.  I’ll have to cut some more.

I now feel quite confident that I will be finished on time.

Saturday 14 July 2012

Mudgee Small Farm Field Days

Today we went for a drive over to Mudgee to visit the Small Farm Field Days.  We first visited back in 1986 just after we were married.  It was held at the local showgrounds back then and was much smaller.  We made some big purchases that year – Mick bought his chainsaw, which he still uses, and we spend some wedding present money on a beautiful timber butcher block trolley, which we jammed into the back seat of my little Corolla.  It was VERY expensive, for our meagre budget, but we are so pleased that we bought it, as it is still our main work surface in the kitchen and has never dated.

The Field Days have grown so much over the years, and we continued to attend every year, until 5 years ago, when we were overseas.  We haven’t been back since, so thought it was time to see what they were like now.

It started out very foggy this morning and this lovely spiders web caught our eye on the back verandah.

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One thing we always look forward to on our drive to the Field Days is seeing our first wattle for the season in one small patch near Ilford.  We were not disappointed this year.

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Right next to this bush was a lovely egg and bacon bush as well.

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Excuse the dirty windscreen, but I had to take a quick snap of Lake Windemere in the sunshine and looking nice and full for a change.

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We weren’t looking for anything in particular at the Field Days, just having a general wander around.  Mick always likes to see the old tractors on display and this one caught our eye – early broadacre farming.  It is a 1964 model Case and came from Nyngan.  It had cost $20,000 when purchased new in 1965.  That would have been some investment.

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I was delighted to see that the Coolah patchwork shop had a stand in the main pavilion.  I’ve never had the chance to visit, as they are only open a couple of days a week.  Their display was really pretty and they had a nice range of goods for sale.

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Yes, of course I made a little purchase.

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Due to all the rain we have had over the last week the car park was a quagmire. There was a tractor at the ready to tow out the vehicles that got bogged.   Fortunately, most of the roadways in the grounds were fine.  It was dry today, but cool and a bit breezy, so not too bad at all.

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Gum boots were the footwear of choice, but I just wore sturdy walking boots, which were fine.  I pitied the poor people doing the complementary boot cleaning to sell their products.

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After we had finished having our look around we went into town for lunch and a bit of a walk.  Another first for the season were some daffodils in the park.  It is still too early for them at our place.

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Our plan was to drop in and visit some friends after lunch, but there was nobody home, so we took a detour home instead.  This was something we also did in those early years of our visits.  We would get over to Mudgee nice and early and then have a leisurely drive home, trying a different little dirt road each year.  Believe me, there are lots of little dirt roads in that part of the country.

It would probably be 20 years since we have driven home this way.

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No offence to anyone that lives along this route, but it is banjo country.  Steep, rugged, scrubby country.  There are lots of little old cottages, shacks, weekenders and what Mick referred to as “Complexes”, consisting of various sheds, old caravans, shipping containers and broken down old vehicles.

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I don’t think I have been on a road with so many causeways.

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Most of them had water over the road.  It was so nice to see full dams and all the waterways running nicely.

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We reached the thriving metropolis of Windeyer and had two roos jump across in front of us, right in the village.  You can just see one scaling the fence here.

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Windeyer has a camp ground and a rustic old pub.  It would be a nice place to go and camp for a weekend getaway.

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It is hard country out this way, and as a consequence, is also the home of many of Australia’s best fine merino breeders.  Lots of interesting looking shearing sheds.

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After a while we came to this intersection and knew that we had come the right way.

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I always love the view from this point.  Those hills look so wild.

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We arrived home just before dark after a really enjoyable day out.

Tomorrow we intend having a leisurely start to the day and to stay home, which will be just as enjoyable.

Monday 9 July 2012

Making Slow Progress

My last post was at the end of February, where I shared  my finished section for January.  Since then, there have been no more finished sections according to the plan.  However, I have been plodding along, just not in order.

In March I did lots of machine appliqué.  I still feel a bit of a fraud using this method, but I do want to finish the quilt in this lifetime and I know it would never happen if I used needle turn.  I also read “Pride and Prejudice” while we were on holidays, as I haven’t read it since we studied it for the HSC in the early 80s. That was research….

April – no inclination, stitching group on a break - no progress.

May – ditto.  I was starting to wonder if this was going to end up just another UFO.

June – inclination returned.  Finished hand stitching some blocks, more machine appliqué  completed, stitching group resumed.

July – more of the same.

So, this is where I am up to now…….

This block needs to have the cat machine appliquéd, along with the flowers with all those pesky little petals (I need to be in the right mood for that), then all the appliqué on the quilt is finished. It then needs to be hand stitched.

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I still need to do the hand stitching on this block and then make the little patchwork blocks to be appliquéd on.  Yes, I will needle turn those. Did you notice that I have left the fiddliest blocks till last.

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That is all that is left to do on the blocks - the rest are finished.

The sashings are all made, except for the section which needs some hand stitching.

I still have to make the little patchwork panels, before stitching it all together.

Still quite a bit to go, but I think it is doable.

Sunday 8 July 2012

One Perfect Day

Today was just a glorious winter’s day.  We had a bit of a sleep in, so by the time we got up the frost had melted.  Mick suggested that it might even be OK to eat our breakfast on the verandah, which what we like to do on Sundays, and to my delight it wasn’t too cold at all.

Once breakfast was eaten we sat soaking up the SUN, which even had some WARMTH!!!.  Mick went and found the book he was reading and I went and found my SKOW stitching (yes, I am making progress)………and there we stayed…….for hours…….still in our jarmies…till after lunch time……… in the WARM SUNSHINE!!!!! It was more like spring than mid winter, even the slight breeze wasn’t cold.  Joey (our cat) and the chooks were even looking for some shade.

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I did venture in to do a couple of loads of washing and hang them and Mick did make us some nice coffee.

I had planned to do a bit of houseworky stuff in the morning and cut and sew some of the little patchwork sections of my quilt in the afternoon, but when the weather is this good, it is best to make the most of it.  Inside stuff can wait till later.

We didn’t stay there all day, though.  Once Mick finished his book he went and cut a load of firewood and when I finished this block I went and cleaned the bathroom, so there was a little something productive done.

ShabbyBlogsDividerKJust so you know why I am so excited by today’s weather, this is what most of our mornings have been like lately……..-5 degrees has been the norm……Brrrrr.

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In other news, when I heard that Kayly was in town on holidays there was a quick get together arranged.  This consisted of early morning coffee, before I started work and Kayly headed off on more of their adventures.  It was lovely to catch up, seeing as we didn’t see each other at the Sydney Quilt Show.  Of course, with all the yacking, I forgot to take a photo…Doh!


The Alice Springs Beanie Festival exhibition is on display at our local art gallery at the moment, so on Friday I ducked in during my lunch break to have a look.  Firstly, there was a local section, and you could vote for “People’s Choice”.  It was great seeing the talent we have around here, and to see creations made by people we know.

Then it was on to the main exhibition.  It was such a bright, cheerful display.

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It is hard to imagine so many interpretations of a beanie.

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I wasn’t sure if photos were allowed, so I just took these when I was tucked around a corner.

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It’s great that we have to opportunity to see such great works locally.


Finally, I heard on the radio that this year is the final year of Wraps with Love.  I’m not sure if that is the whole project, or just the ABC’s involvement.

Anyway, I like to participate each year, not a complete rug, but a couple of squares to drop in at the library.  We always watch the State  of Origin football in at Mick’s dad’s place and on Wednesday I quickly grabbed the first wool and knitting needles I could find, popped them in my little Hexie Bag and started knitting.  One square down, another to make in the next couple of weeks.

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Thursday 5 July 2012

Farewell Biggles

We had to say Goodbye to our best little mate on Monday.

Biggles and Mick Biggles

10 August 1999 to 2 July 2012

Although he has been blind for about two years and started having siezures about a year ago, he was still his happy self until a couple of weeks ago, when his condition rapidly declined.

We have been so blessed to have such a friendly, happy, gentle little dog in our lives for all these years.  He will be very missed by both of us and his best friend Joey, our cat, who is seeming rather lost at the moment.

It has been a little sad and quiet around here this week.