Thursday 30 January 2014

I’ve Got Mail – Lots of Mail

Before we went on our little trip south we prepared our next door neighbour to expect a couple of little parcels for me and I was duly advised of their arrival, so it was with a little bit of excitement that we received our bag of mail today, which contained not two, but three packages for me.  Happy dance.  There is nothing like parcels in the post.

The first one that I was expecting was from Peg.  I was one of the lucky ducks to have my name drawn out of the hat for December’s One Project a Month, so received a little package, beautifully wrapped.

January 2014 Phillip Island 167

This is what was inside. Thanks Peg and Kris for an unexpected gift.  I just have fun joining in OPAM each year and have joined again for 2014.

January 2014 Phillip Island 174

The second parcel I received was also one I was expecting.  It was the Australia Day Swap. I was delighted to discover that my swap partner was Tracy from Sunny Corner Farm.  I think she had as much fun as me coming up with little gifts for each of the letters.

January 2014 Phillip Island 168

Mick decided to keep it real, taking a rather unflattering candid shot of my opening all the little parcels, on the verandah in the cool.  Very glam.

January 2014 Phillip Island 171

This is what Tracy put together.  Zoom in to get a better look.

January 2014 Phillip Island 173

A for Allsorts – Mick has announced that Tracy is now his new best friend.

U for Umbrella on a notebook.  Beautifully covered by Tracy.

S for Stationery and Stickers.  I’ll be right for those little notes now.

T for teatowel. Once again, beautifully worked and with a cute button.

R for ribbon.  I think we probably all chose that option.  This is super cute.

A for Apple notes.  This is even cuter than the ribbon.  I love things with apples, what with Mum coming off an apple orchard and all.

L for Lavender Soap, Lip Balm and Lotion Bar. – I’ll be all bootiful now.

I for Iced Vo Vos.  That is so clever.  I’d have never thought of it and Mick has already snavelled them for his lunch box.

A for Australian Afternoon Tea.  I had to laugh, as I had also included this in the parcel I made up.

To top it all off, there was a little card with highland cattle.  Even if I hadn’t seen who sent it all, this would have been a give away.  You should see the cute calves they have.

Thanks so much Tracy.  Also, thanks to Julie for arranging such a fun swap to kick off the year.

The third parcel I received was a bit of a surprise.  I had been warned by Loulee to look out for “a wee box” in the mail.  Well, there was a box, but I wouldn’t have called it “wee”.  Inside was a lovely collection of bits and pieces for my birthday. 

January 2014 Phillip Island 176

There was a collection of charm squares cut by Lou from her fabric stash.  She is working on a “Chop Suey” rug.  I might have to make a “Chop Suey” quilt.  There was a cute flower pincushion, some buttons and bakers twine and a gorgeous little cross stitch hanger that Lou had made.  I’ll be keeping that to hang in a special place.

As you can see, it was like Christmas around here this afternoon.  All I can say is a very big thanks for all my lovely gifts.

Friday 24 January 2014

On The Road Again

On Wednesday Mick and I once again ran away from home.

We headed south through this wide brown land of ours.

Phillip Is January 2014 007

Then we started to head fro them there hills, hoping it wouldn’t be quite as hot.

Phillip Is January 2014 016

Phillip Is January 2014 023

We set up camp at Bright in the Victorian high country for the night.  We thought it might be a little cooler there, but it wasn’t.  There were heaps of people enjoying the swimming hole in the river.

Phillip Is January 2014 050

The local brewery was a rather popular venue to while away some time and try some different beers and ciders.

Phillip Is January 2014 032

Yesterday morning we headed further into them there hills seeking the elusive cooler weather.

Phillip Is January 2014 054

We climbed up to where the mountain ash were killed by a bushfire last year. (They don’t come back like most eucalypts.)  They are still stunning, being so stark.

Phillip Is January 2014 065

Finally, we reached the top of the world, Mt Hotham.

Phillip Is January 2014 092

You can see forever, although there was a fair amount of smoke haze.

Phillip Is January 2014 082

One small patch had escaped the fires.  It was full of birdlife and wonderful little alpine plants and flowers.

Phillip Is January 2014 084

Phillip Is January 2014 091

Then through the resort.

Phillip Is January 2014 109

And having a break at Dinner Plains.  This is a lovely, quiet village nestled into the bush, unlike the glitzy Hotham.

Phillip Is January 2014 123

We enjoyed delicious coffee and cake, with the water jug in a cute cozy.

Phillip Is January 2014 110

And met a wild bush horse.

Phillip Is January 2014 115

We then headed down the other side of the hills to the flat country,  Drought! What drought??  It was green in places and we’ve never seen so many bales of hay per acre.

Phillip Is January 2014 132

Finally, we saw the sea.

Phillip Is January 2014 134

And arrived at our destination for a few days – Phillip Island.  Mick looks rather settled in our campsite.  We are here for the Island Classics motorcycle races to be held over the weekend.Phillip Is January 2014 139

Once we were all set up we headed off to have some dinner overlooking the water.  A terrible way to spend the evening.

Phillip Is January 2014 143

After dinner we went for a stroll.  Every man, woman and child seemed to be on the pier, enjoying the glorious evening.

Phillip Is January 2014 147

Phillip Is January 2014 157

This fellow was even lucky enough to catch a squid.

Phillip Is January 2014 169

By now it was nearly time to call it a day.

Phillip Is January 2014 161

Phillip Is January 2014 167

Time to walk back along the street.

Phillip Is January 2014 170

Buy an ice cream and head home.

Phillip Is January 2014 171

It was the perfect way to start our holiday.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

It Arrived

I’m happy that the parcel I sent off for Julie’s Australia Day Swap has arrived safe and sound.  As it has already been opened, I’ll share the contents.

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 037

My partner was Gina, Julie’s daughter, who doesn’t have a blog. 

This is what I sent:

A = Adorable Apron

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 033

U = Unpicker and Ugly Fabric

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 012

S = Super Sharp Scissors

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 018

T = Tasty Treats (but too hot for Tim Tams or Toblerone)

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 027

R = Red Ribbon

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 016

A = Applique

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 026

L = Linen and Lace Loveheart Lavender Sachet

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 001

I = Inches (and centimetres)

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 024

A = Australian Afternoon Tea and Australiana Fabric

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 030

I also sent a little extra for Gina’s children and I believe it has already seen some use.  You can’t go past a frisbee for fun.

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 035

It was a fun swap to take part in and I also enjoyed playing with some alliteration. Thanks so much Julie for making it all happen.

Now I am waiting patiently for stalking the post for a parcel from a mystery person.  Great fun.

Monday 20 January 2014


Yesterday morning we left home before sparrow fart and headed over to Goulburn to the Motorcycle Swap Meet. 

We dodged I don’t know how many roos on the way over. (Fortunately, we were in the car.)  However, it was worth it to see the stunning sunrise, as it changed over time.

January 2014 001

By the way, don’t worry, no extra motorcycles came home with us.

We were back home before lunch and the hot afternoon. A great way to spend the morning.

Friday 17 January 2014

Shock! Horror! I Made Bread!

I’m the first to admit I’m not very creative in the kitchen, so when Lucy at Attic 24 posted about the very easy Artisan Bread that she made I thought I might give it a go.  She often shares great, easy recipes.  Then I saw that Susan at Thimblestitch had successfully made a loaf, so that inspired me to buy some yeast.

Yeast!  As soon as I see it mentioned in a recipe, I move on.  I’ve tried hot cross buns a couple of times and they weren’t good.

Here it is.

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 005

Saturday 3.30pm

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 008

Sunday 7.00am

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 010

Sunday 8.00am

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 011

It was OK, very easy, but I kind of rushed everything and didn’t measure all that accurately.  I think my mix was probably a little dry. Also, you use a very hot oven, but I think mine was actually too hot.  It was definitely edible and good with lots of butter.  I will certainly have another go, but when it is soup weather, not in the middle of a heat wave.

Thursday 16 January 2014

Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi on its Way

Today was the day to send the Australia Day Swap parcel on its merry way.

January 2014 Australia Day Swap 039

I had fun putting this little collection together for someone out there in the ether.  I wonder where they will go?

All will be revealed on Australia Day.    I can’t wait to see what everyone came up with for the different letters in “Australia”.

Jewells has done a wonderful job organising the 15 ladies who have joined in.

Monday 6 January 2014


Boy! Does the world throw some extremes at us. 

Pop over to Chookyblue’s to see the gorgeous summer weather she has been experiencing.  I’m sure it will be the summer holiday destination of choice for next year.


On the other hand, our favourite island – the Isle of Man has really been copping it over the last few days with more to come today.  They missed the worst of the weather over Christmas but are making up for it now.  My friend Lou has posted about it here and here.

Here are a few comparisons – photos we took in August on the left and ones I have borrowed from Lou’s blog, taken on Friday and Saturday, on the right. Castletown, where we stay, and Ramsey, where Lou lives, were the worst affected.  Our cottage would have been OK, but the street behind us copped the worst of the flooding.


IOM Storm Castletown


IOM Storm Ramsey

Ramsey again.  The shop on the bottom left is the patchwork shop.  There was a radio interview with the owner to say that the community had pitched in to help move her stock out of harm’s way before the flooding.

IOM Storm Ramsey again

Douglas and  PeelIOM Storm Douglas and Peel

Our mate has his boat moored in the Castletown harbour.  We hope it was OK.  The other thing I wonder about is “Peggy”  She is reputably the oldest yacht in the world and lives in a boat house under the Nautical Museum in Castletown.  When we visited they were trying to arrange to move her prior to predicted record high tides in the coming spring. I found an article dated Christmas Eve about her restoration, and at that stage she hadn’t been moved.  See a break in the wall on the right of the photo on the right, well she lives in behind there.  I hope she is OK.


The Isle of Man is expected to cop it again today.  I’ll be thinking of them.

We, on the other hand, are having rather pleasant weather at the moment, only in the high 20s, much better than the 40 we had on Friday.  Now we just want to be greedy and get some rain.