Monday 31 August 2015

August Finishes

Once again I finished the month’s section of the Nature’s Journey stitch-along by the skin of my teeth, putting the last stitches in last night.  Phew, with a day to spare.

Firstly the pink and brown border were added, using fabrics from the stash.

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Then I had to make the decision as to how I would attach the diamonds.  I could do like the pattern suggested, ie basting over papers and hand appliqué, or I could baste  over papers and then machine appliqué with a blind hem, or I could do like the rest of the quilt and use Vlisofix and a machine blanket stitch.  After much procrastinating and the month very quickly passing I took the easy option and used machine blanket stitch.  It came together quickly and I don’t think the appearance of the quilt is compromised.

August SAP with diamonds

I'm loving how it is turning out.  It could quite easily be a wall hanging just like this.  I've cut all my coloured squares for next month.  There are now no pieces larger than a two inch square in my bag of scraps.  I then had fun pulling other fabrics from my stash.  Now I just have to cut the small blue squares and the pink pieces and get on with lots of piecing. 

Next month looks like it will certainly keep us busy if we are to finish the top, particularly as there is lots going on now that the weather is warming up.

I'm loving seeing everyone else's versions.  Thanks as always to the whip crackers.

What else did I do in August?……..not much.  There was lots I wanted to get done, but my get up and go got up and went.

My only finish for the month was two more butterflies.  A young friend who loves the colour green came to visit one day, so we each made two butterflies in her favourite colour.  They fit in nicely with my orange ones.

Butterfly magnets

While I’m going, I’ll show you some fun magnets I made a few months ago.

While we were travelling through Queensland in March we visited lots of op shops and antique shops.  We visited one, and I can’t even remember which tiny town it was in, but she had loads of stuff, too crowded to really see anything, and really expensive for what it was.  However, on the counter she had a tub of cute buttons for next to nothing, so I bought some.

What to do with them?  Stick a magnet on the back.

Heart of Magnets

While trying to find some round magnets I came across a pack of cute magnet buttons, so bought those too.  By the way, I finally found some good magnets at Bunnings. I don’t normally have magnets on the fridge, but there are quite a few at the moment.  The kids from next door have fun moving them all around.

I did make some progress on my knitted scarf, but that seems to be on the back burner at the moment.

I had hoped to make a start on putting the binding on my big drunkard’s path quilt, all 10 metres of it, but that has been put on the back burner for the moment.  I have challenged someone to a race to see who gets their quilt binding on first, so I must start soon.  It just may not be next month.

I’m disappointed that I didn’t get a Christmas item made this month.  The first month I have missed this year.  I will have to make up for it next month.

I have lots that I want to do next month, but I’ll just have to see how I go.

So, just two little butterflies for OPAM.  At least it is something.

Monday 17 August 2015

Catching up on July – Macquarie Towns Motorcycle Rally – Not Just Motorcycles

We have attended this rally a couple of time before and it is nice to pop down to Windsor, only two hours from home, and join in a rally in warmer weather.  We are always amazed at how much warmer it is so close to home.  Do you think we are feeling the cold?

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This year we opted to take “Sophia” the red Moto Guzzi.  Sophia is a bit of a home body, so this was a little unusual for us.  We used to use her for all our travelling, but we worked out that she wouldn’t have been used for more than a day trip since 2002, when we bought “Snubby”.  We also worked out that Mick and I haven’t done more than a day trip on a solo bike since 2008, when he put the sidecar on “Snubby”.

We travelled down on the Friday afternoon and proceeded to go for a walk.  There is so much to see when you are just strolling along.  You can have a look here to see our walk from last year.  This year I forgot to take my camera, so just took a couple of photos of the sunset on the phone.

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We were blessed with the best weather on the Saturday, getting up to 20 degrees.  Rather different to home.

There was a great roll up of bikes with some rather stunning ones among them.

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The format is that you go for a ride and stop somewhere for morning tea.  I have no idea where they took us, as there is a maze of roads in that area, but we ended up parking in a rather picturesque little spot.

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Our first stop was in the little hall to collect our Devonshire tea.  This motorcycling caper is rather civilised at times.  I loved the big old tea pot and crocheted oven mitt.

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After morning tea we went for a wander around and discovered we were at a lovely little sandstone church.

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The interior was simple but nice and bright and well maintained.

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I got chatting to a lady and discovered that we were actually at the oldest church in Australia and the first Presbyterian church in Australia.  It was built in 1809.  Previously church services were held under a tree across the road.  The tree is still standing.

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Next to the church is The Schoolmaster’s House, which was built in 1817.  The church itself was the school and is the oldest existing school building in Australia.

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You can enter and view the schoolmaster’s house.  The stairs are nearly like a ladder they are so steep.

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The two upstairs rooms have very low ceilings, which of course, are no problem to me.  I liked the fact that there was a patchwork quilt on the bed.

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Once outside we had  a wander around the lovely grounds.  The reason the church is here, is that the Hawkesbury River is just behind where I took this photo.  This was one of the very first areas along the river to be settled.

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The graveyard is also very historic, with a few First Fleeters buried there.

We really enjoyed our little break at the church.  The Schoolmaster’s House has a tea rooms and craft shop in it.  I picked up a brochure with a self guided tour of the Church and grounds.  We’d like to visit again some time and have a proper look around.  It was an unexpected peek into our early history that I had no idea about.  What a bonus.

Once back on the bikes, we continued to wander all around the place and crossed the Hawkesbury River on the Sacksville Ferry.  I love these old car ferries.  They always make me feel like I’m on holidays.

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The cliffs along the river were stunning.

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And that is all the photos I took.

We enjoyed lunch at a small local school, where we were spoilt and then had the afternoon to ourselves so wandered around Windsor again.

There was a presentation dinner in the evening with some fun trivia games and “Sophia” was lucky enough to be voted second in her class of 1986 – 2005.  This was a surprise as it was a rather large class with some beautiful bikes.  Then again, Sophia is rather lovely and there are only two in Australia that look like her and the other one is in Western Australia, if it still exists.

The organisers of this rally do a wonderful job and we hope to attend again.  It is also just a good excuse to have a nice weekend away.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Catching up on July – Bathurst Continues to Celebrate

I’m jumping all over the place here.  Remember I have been sharing about Bathurst’s 200th birthday, well the party continued in July.

One of the big plans was to celebrate and embrace Bathurst’s cold winter and boy, did they do it well.

The centrepiece was an ice skating rink in one of the parks in the centre of town.  It ran for 9 days during the second half of the school holidays.  The cost was $5 per person for a 45 minute session.  7000 tickets sold out very quickly.  $2 per ticket was then donated to the local cancer cottage.

Ice Skating

Although most people had no idea how to skate, they all had the biggest smile on their faces. 

On the first night of the festival there was another big street party.  The opener was a display by some professional skaters.  They make it look so easy.

Once again the local foodies and winemakers treated us to their wares.

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As a part of the winter’s theme “Frozen” was featured.  They had the move running with a heap of bean bags for people to sit in and a highlight for all the kids, and there were heaps of kids out and about, was Queen Elsa on her ice throne.

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Elsa was played by a local lass who runs a princess party business.   It was a delight to see her interacting with all the little kids.  And yes, she is wearing very little and sitting on an ice throne with only a thin cushion.  I don’t know how she did it, but she was perfect.

One of the local high schools has a circus troupe who entertained us throughout the event.  This time it had more of a street performer style to it.


Here are a few more random photos of the evening and night.

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Once again a feature of the party was the switching on of the next stage of “Illuminate”.  This time everything worked perfectly.

Court House Lights

You may notice people in one of the above photos.  There was a silent disco in the Court forecourt.  How it worked was you collected a set of headphones.  There was a switch on the side which changed the LED colour from red, to green to blue, each colour playing different music. Only you could hear the music.  It must have looked rather strange to the onlookers.

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Together with a group of friends we had a great time bopping along, even taking silly selfies.

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It really was a fun night.  The weather played right and everything went off without a hitch.  Most of all, the community embraced it.  Apparently the local council is hoping to make this an annual event.  I hope they do, as it really could be a way to celebrate our wonderful part of the world.

By the way, by the end of the week the weather turned feral, with snow in the area.  However, it didn’t stop people from getting out and skating.  Imagine if they had been skating in the snow.  Now that would have been special.

Saturday 15 August 2015

Sneaking Away for the Weekend

Last weekend  we snuck away. 

Green Hill

Initially it was just going to be a day trip, but Mick had a great idea and it turned into an over night visit.

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We don’t often get to Canberra as it is not on the direct route to anywhere we tend to go, so it was nice to visit our nation’s capital.

The reason for our visit was to attend the Quilt and Craft Show, somewhere we haven’t visited before.  We travelled down in convoy with some friends.

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Just inside the door was a wonderful crochet collage celebrating “50 Years of Flower Power”.  This is only a small section of it. Very creative.

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Another feature was a big collection of mini quilts commemorating the Centenary of ANZAC.

We had a wander around the stalls and a little few fabrics came home with me, however there wasn’t a great deal to catch my eye.  I had hoped to buy a certain ruler but there were none to be had.

The Canberra Modern Quilter Guild had a display of their works.  There are some rather clever ladies down that way.  Beautiful work.  Here are a few.  Yes, photos were allowed.

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Firstly, “Orange Peels are the New Black” by Crystal McCann.  I think this was my favourite.

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“Aneela Hoey Petals” by Liz Hoyland was the raffle quilt.  I’m still waiting for the phone call to send it to me…….Maybe someone else received that phone call.  It really is lovely.

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This was Mick’s favourite.  “Displaced” by Tracey Oliver.

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They had a collection of black, white and grey minis.  I thought they looked fabulous grouped together.

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And finally, “Modern Medallion in Rainbow” by Amira Ameruddin.

There were also several more.  Lovely work to see.

Mick and one of his mates were real troupers, tagging along while us girls oohed and aahed at all the bits and pieces.

Mick and I were heading out at lunch time, thinking that there wasn’t as much to see as we thought there would be……… that’s when we noticed another door……….. and that’s where the quilt exhibition was.

So, we proceeded to spend a couple of more hours wandering around oohing and aahing at the incredible talent out there.  Unfortunately, no photos allowed to be shared on the blog.

There was a wall quilt challenge with the theme “True Blue”.  So many variations on the theme.  There was also the best of the best from around Australia.  Wow!  Particularly “Eleanor Jean”, a rather large quilt made from quarter inch hexies. Not to mention all the other works.  This made the trip worth while.

Button Border

The reason Mick had the great idea to stay longer was to visit our niece who moved to Canberra a couple of years ago.

We went to a lovely restaurant on Saturday evening in the middle of a residential area.  We’d have never found it ourselves.  Lovely food and a great chance to catch up.

On Sunday morning we found a cafe just next to the Exhibition Centre on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.  This was the view from the deck.  It was a bit chilly to sit outside, being a rather frosty morning, but what a lovely day.

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Finally, as we headed towards home the tower on Black Mountain was looking spectacular.

Black Mountain Tower

We had tons of time to get home, so broke the trip with a wander around Boorowa. 

Boorowa Shop Fronts

There are some lovely old buildings in the town centre.

Tiles in Boorowa

I love seeing old tiles on shops.

Boorowa Old Newsagency

Once, years ago, I think in the late 80s, we went to Canberra for the weekend.  I remember calling into a newsagents at Boorowa in the building above and being blown away by the staircase and gallery upstairs.  It was rather run down then, and sadly is empty now.  At least it is still standing and not gutted.  I do hope something is done with it one day.

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Over the road there were two antique stores.  This one has a gorgeous interior, being the old Guild Hall.  Both this one and the other store, next door, were a joy to visit.  Their wares were displayed beautifully.  They weren’t cluttered and everything was nice and clean.  They were a credit to the owners. We will definitely make a point of calling in again. Yes, a couple of little things came home. 

I know, we are supposed to be downsizing, but we are hopeless.

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We had a bit of a “wobble tour” around the town on our way out and thought this bell tower at the church was rather unusual.


The scenery was lovely as we drove along.  Everything was so green, dams were full and lots of lambs along the way.

Shearing Shed

There were lots of interesting shearing sheds and stock yards but rather difficult to photograph while doing 100kmh.

Dirt Road

Don’t you wonder where little dirt roads go off to?

We had a great weekend away and were spoilt with perfect weather.  It is so nice to be able to do this now we are in town, without feeling guilty about all the things that need doing.