Tuesday 30 June 2015

Ho! Ho! Ho! – A Finish for June

OK, just another little origami Christmas decoration, this time in more rustic colours.

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I’m really enjoying making these.  Next I think I will have to try a red and white version.

So far I am on track to finish one thing each month for Christmas.  Mind you, they have all been small projects.  Maybe I’ll have to be a little more ambitious, as I have a few on my wish list.

Sunday 28 June 2015

Finishing a UFO For June

I have quite a collection of UFOs.  I keep saying that I will do something about them, but it never seems to happen, despite my best intentions.

Well, after I purchased that skein of rather lovely yarn recently I thought I had better finish the scarf I had on the needles.

This was started quite a few years ago now.  Initially, I just knitted it in garter stitch, but wasn’t really happy with it.  Then I found a pattern that I liked the look of, so simply pulled the needles out of what I had started and commenced the new pattern on the second ball of yarn that I had.

I didn’t get very far………..

It has languished in a box ever since……..

Until now……..

I looked at what I had on the needles now and knew that I wouldn’t finish it and even if I did, I wouldn’t wear it.  Fashions have moved on.  So, I turned my attention to the length of garter stitch knitting and picked up the stitches.

After a couple of evenings of knitting (great for while we were watching the first State of Origin footy game at Mick’s Dad’s) I had a nice long length.  I had a little read on Ravelry and discovered that somewhere about 54 inches was a good length for my needs. 

Next, sew it into a circle and I now have a nice, snuggly cowl to wear and don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about starting a new knitting project.

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I might make a start while watching the final of the State of Origin series.

Happy dance.

Saturday 27 June 2015

This, That and Every Other Thing

There are many little things that I haven’t shared over the last couple of months, so now is as good as any time to do a little catch up.

Button Border Firstly, around home we are well and truly settled here until we get ourselves organised to have our new house built.  We should have final plans soon, so will then start talking to builders.

We don’t see nearly as many birds as we used to, but after hearing a different bird call recently, I was delighted to see a King Parrot high up in the neighbour’s tree.

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We can’t have Mick getting bored while he is without a shed, so he has found a couple of little home improvements to do here.  The front porch and back landing have never had any cover, so he has built a little verandah on each.  The front garden was pretty well non existent, so we have now planted a small area with easy care plants.  (We do have another little garden down the side of the house with plants that we brought with us and will then move to our new place.)

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Ah! That’s better.  They should start to grow in spring.

Front Verandah

The weather had turned decidedly wintery, as it should here at this time of year.  We have had some big frosts and also some pea souper fogs.  This was the view out our back window a little while back.  The spires of St Stanislaus College were shining in the one little bit of sunshine peeking through the wispy fog.

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On Mother’s Day we gave both of our Mums a lovely maiden hair fern.  They looked so nice that I treated us to one as well.  I’m not very good at looking after indoor plants, despite the fact that I had a bedroom full of them as a teenager, but this one is going really well so far and looks so fresh on the table.


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I have joined in a birthday fat quarter swap this year and I still haven’t shared the wonderful selection of fabrics I received back in January.  Woops!  I requested Bonnie and Camille.  I love the way they all coordinate so well and can’t believe that there were no duplicates.

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I have added two more coordinating fabrics and a grey to go with these to make the Swoon quilt.  It will be a nice, fresh quilt for our bed.  I probably won’t start until I have finished Nature’s Journey. 

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My Blog Header was looking a little tired.

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So I had a play around and freshened things up. 

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I even figured out how to add some pages at the top.  If you have a look in the “Our Motorcycles” page there are a few photos and stories.  I’ll gradually add some more pages to tidy things up further.

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Earlier this month three Tibetan monks visited Bathurst to create a Sand Mandala at the Art Gallery.  You can read about it here and here.  They have been here on a few previous occasions, but we have never had the opportunity to see their work.

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We visited on the second last day, so were able to see the nearly finished masterpiece.  The Mandala is created from crushed limestone coloured with vegetable dyes.  They pour some sand into a long brass funnel with a fine tip. They tap the funnel to get an even flow of sand onto the work.

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The design is named “Tara” .  There are lots of different designs and the monks have them all committed to memory.  It was smaller than I expected and some of the wriggly sections of the design were really intricate.

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Apparently, on the following day, once the Mandala is completed they hold a ceremony and dissolve the piece.

It was really peaceful, sitting quietly watching the monks at work.  We were really pleased that we took the opportunity to visit.

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So, while I haven’t been blogging as often as I’d like we have still been out and about doing things.  I commented recently that I thought things may settle down a bit now it is winter, but that hasn’t happened as yet.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Bathurst Fibre Muster

On the same weekend as the Car Rally the local Hand Spinners and Weavers hosted Fibre Muster.  This was a two day event showcasing  the work of rather talented and creative ladies and gents and included workshops and lots of interesting stalls. It is hosted in different towns each year, so the locals took the opportunity to include it in all the festivities for Bathurst 200.

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This is the group that my Dad was, and my Mum still is quite involved in.

Mick and I only had the chance to have a quick look on the Sunday afternoon, after we were all finished with the rally. 

There was lots of knitted bunting adorning the auditorium.

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I’m not a spinner and I only do a very little knitting and crochet, as I don’t seem to have the stamina to spend the time required to make a garment.  (There are quite a few UFOs lurking in a box in storage.)  However, seeing all the wonderful yarns and beautiful creations really does get you inspired.

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Here is one of Mum’s friends spinning some super fine yarn.  Just beautiful.

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Of course there had to be some yarn bombing.  I didn’t get a chance to take a photo, but they even had a yarn bombed car down on the corner from the venue.

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OK, I succumbed!  One hank of rather scrummy yarn came home with me.  I just love the colours, although they aren’t my normal go to range.  Now I have to do something with it.  I don’t really know what, but I’ll think of something.  I’ve borrowed Mum’s wool winder, so the first job is to get it into a ball.  Watch this space.

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The weekend was a great success with lots of good feedback.  I know that we certainly enjoyed it.

Resurrection of a Quilt

Back in 2008 one of my very first blog posts showed a quilt I was working on for my uncle’s 80th birthday present. 


Here are a couple of more photos I never shared at the time.

The quilting featured apples, as my uncle was an orchardist.


Here I am handing over the finished product.  The outer border fabric is a William Morris design with birds and pomegranates.  Both appropriate, fruit and my Uncle’s surname is Bird.


After my uncle passed away a couple of years ago the quilt was returned to me.

I was a little shocked at its condition.  It was absolutely filthy and some of the binding was coming undone and the label was coming off.  It looked like it had been used as a dog blanket.  As so much was happening at the time I just put it in the bottom of the dirty clothes basket and left it there……..for about a year!!

Finally, when we were getting our house ready to put on the market I pulled it out to see what I could do.  Yep, it was filthy, but I thought it was probably from a farmer coming in from a day’s work outside and keeping warm under the quilt. 

The more I thought about it the better I felt.  I made the quilt to be used, and it had been.  So much better than being folded up and put on a shelf.

So, what to do? I didn’t take a “before” photo, as it was just too awful.

I really didn’t have a lot to lose so I put it in the laundry tub and filled it with hot water and Napisan to soak for a day. You should have seen the water.  Yuck!  Then I repeated the process.

The batting is cotton, so I then put it in the washing machine on a long, hot cotton cycle and crossed my fingers.

To my absolute delight the cream returned to cream and the quilt looked bright again.  Some colours had faded, but that was to be expected.

So, I then folded it up and put it away….for about another year!

In autumn this year, as the weather cooled down Mick requested his “Blankie”.  Sitting on top of it in the linen press was the quilt, so I pulled it out.

I sat myself down to do some running repairs.

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The binding seemed to be coming off along one side only.

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It didn’t take all that long to have it looking much better.

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I love the quilting.

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So now we have a lovely quilt to be used.  It has a nice, crinkly, faded, aged look about it.  It is a quilt we won’t be precious about, but will be happy to curl up on the lounge under, or take on a picnic, and each time we use it we will think of my uncle.

Speaking of the lounge, after I finished it I threw the quilt on the arm of our old club lounge.  When I came in later Mick had put it over the back of the lounge.  It looks like it was made for the spot.  The colours couldn’t be better.  Guess where it lives now?

Lounge with Quilt

Gold Country Car Rally 2015

May is always the month that the Bathurst Historic Car Club hosts its “Gold Country Car Rally”.  We have been involved in this to varying degrees over the last 25 years.  Here are a couple 2014 and 2013.

This year was the first year that we were actually able to enter the rally, as it has always only been for cars.  Now motorcycles are able to enter, so we jumped at the chance, taking “Olga” the old girl for the run.

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The starting point is always at Mount Panorama.  We were delighted when the day dawned warm and blue.

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Mick is always involved in the marshalling of the cars.  This year some natty little signs were introduced, rather than the fellows just pointing.  Mick had to test it out.  I worry about that boy at times.

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We marshalled at the first corner so that we could then jump on the end of the line of cars and enjoy being a part of the rally. Of course we had quite  wait till the first cars came through, so I had a play with my camera.

Wild flowers

Finally they started to come past.  There certainly was a variety of vehicles – about 70 all tolled.

Rally Cars 1 Rally Cars 2

Rally Cars 3

Rally Cars 4

After we had done our duty we tagged onto the end of the rally.  There was still lots of autumn colour in the trees.

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It was nice just plodding along.

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The marshalls did a sterling job keeping everyone on the straight windy and narrow.  Some of them really did it tough, sitting back in the sunshine.

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Mind you, I  think a couple of them may have been taking the micky out of us.

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The route we took this year was one that was new to the rally.  Our mid morning regroup was at Lake Canobolas, which was looking a treat.

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It was rather glorious travelling among the orchards and vineyards.

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Our lunch stop was at the historic village of Millthorpe, with the cars parked in the school grounds

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The museum provided us with lunch.  If anyone went hungry it was their own fault.

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There is even a little craft shop in the museum grounds.

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And some rather clever sculpture as well.

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It was good to see our little band of bikes on display.

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Once again I had fun playing with my camera, taking photos of car grilles.  What a variety there are and how different the cars look from this angle.

Grilles 1

Grilles 2

Grilles 3

And you have to have a few badges thrown in for good measure.


I think this was one of the best rallies that we have had.  The committee is fairly new and came up with a terrific run and perfect weather.  It goes to show that new blood is often good, keeping things fresh.