Friday 30 November 2018

November One Monthly Goal - Rainbow Scrap Challenge Squared Away Sampler

Once again I have scraped in by the skin of my teeth to achieve my One Monthly Goal for the month.

I'm so pleased to have completed the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt "Squared Away Sampler".  I've been sitting in the sun in the back yard today, enjoying listening to some mellow music and hand stitching down the binding.  Rather a pleasant way to spend some time.

I've really enjoyed this project.  It's been fun and really achievable, which is what I like. I'll now wait and see what is on offer in 2019 before deciding what I will do.

In the background, I only achieved a couple of Splendid Sampler blocks this month, but that is OK.  I'll get to them soon.  Christmas stitching is ongoing, but hey, there is still 25 days.  Loads of time, but I had better not finish that by the skin of my teeth.  I think I will be playing this weekend.

I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the OMG, So Scrappy for the RSC and will be able to report in to Peg and Kris with a OPAM finish.  Winning all round.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Our Latest Adventure

After we returned home from Gulgong we went back to work for three days and then hooked up the van and headed off again. Poor Joey the cat will wonder if we will ever be at home.

This time we headed south, and once again our first stop was to admire some roses at Cowra.  A good place to stretch the legs.

Our lunch stop was a Boorowa, where we took the time to wander up and down the street.  It was novel to be there when the shops were open.  We found one lovely shop, which is relatively new, and housed in a beautiful old building with leadlight skylight in the ceiling.

Christmas decorations were just being displayed, so a couple are going home with us.

We then visited the community op shop and purchased some holiday reading material.  The op shop has a wonderful way of being run.  It is overseen by the Rotary Club, but members of lots of different community groups volunteer their time.  Periodically, the net profit is calculated and then divided among those community groups in proportion with the amount of time put in by members of each group.  So clever.

Many years ago we called in at this shop when it was trading as a newsagency.  It has been empty for a very long time.

We were delighted to see that it is currently being renovated and apparently is going to be  a restaurant.  I do hope it is successful, as it really is a stunning building that deserves to be saved and used.

We continued on our way through the countryside, ending up at the Bungendore Showground to camp for the night.  We stayed here last year and it is a beaut stopover. The weather had been lovely and warm all day, so when we hopped out of the car we had a nasty shock, as the temperature had plummeted since our lunch stop. No photos of the camp ground, as I forgot. 

When we were packing up in the morning I had my side door of the ute open.  What are the chances of a rather large bird hitting the bulls eye of the inside of the door.  Yuck!

We had a quick wander up and down the street of Bungendore the following morning before heading on our way.  It was nice to see a mural being painted on the side of the pub.  They were going to get it finished that day, so we look forward to seeing the completed work on our way home.

When we returned to the van a lady came and introduced herself.  She also owns an Atlantic caravan and is the moderator of the Facebook page for owners.  It was nice to meet a fellow owner, as there aren't that many of them on the road, but having said that, we have seen two others this week.

So, where are we now?  Batemans Bay.  For something completely different, we are camping in the one spot for eight nights.  That is very novel for us, who are usually on the move all the time.  

More soon.

Monday 19 November 2018

Exploring Gulgong

Just over a week ago we snuck away for the weekend to the small historic town of Gulgong.

Our first stop on the Friday was to have a cuppa in the park at Mudgee.  The war memorial garden was looking a picture in readiness for the centenary of the Armistice that was to take place a couple of days later.

The fragrance of this rose was just beautiful.  I've no idea what variety it is.

Once we arrived in Gulgong we set up camp in the showground under the shade of lovely flowering trees.  

Once again the fragrance was lovely, however it did give Mick a bit of grief with his hay fever.  Upon closer inspection we determined that the trees are white cedars.

After we had set up it was time to wander up the street to have a bit of an explore.  Our first stop was the Henry Lawson Centre housed in the old Salvation Army building.  No photos allowed inside, but it housed a very interesting collection of artifacts depicting his life and works.  Gulgong is known as "The Town on the Ten Dollar Note" due the depiction of Henry Lawson and some of the local buildings on the old paper $10.00 note.  Henry spent most of his childhood in the area and quite a few of his writings were influenced by that time.

After we enjoyed lunch in a local cafe we explored some of the gorgeous little shops.  We never get the opportunity to have a proper look around as a rule, but there does seem to be quite a few new ones.  I was particularly taken with this sideboard, as we have one very similar that was Mick's grandmother's.  Methinks that it could possibly get a bit of a makeover to take away from it just being brown.....we'll see......

Gulgong's Pioneer Museum is known to be one of the best around and we reckon it would be about 30 years since we last visited.  It really is incredible, taking up the best part of a town block.  There is so much to see and it is so well set out.  It makes you feel old when you see cassette recorders and early computers in a museum, but that is part and parcel of the past, not just the colonial relics.

I took some photos of sewing related you do....

I was surprised to see this old stroller.  When we were kids there was an old one in the shed that we used as a toy.  Ours was blue and grey and had a fabric seat back.  There is even a photo of us playing with it somewhere.  I've never seen another one before.

This cute little cottage and the adjoining blacksmiths shop were moved to the site. 

The interior of the cottage is rather cute and I suspect the bedroom is rather similar to what my mum grew up in as a girl, complete with corner wardrobe with fabric curtain for a door.  Mum and her brother had a cradle that looked just about identical to the one in the middle of the room - yes, their cradle was a wooden box, and they had hand hooked rugs on the floor.  How times have changed.

The christening robes were exquisite.

Our next stop after the museum was the shop "Stacks Down Under".  I had visited here in May when we travelled through, but Mick didn't come in.  This time I told him he had to come and have a look.

The front of the store is actually the local supermarket.  You enter Stacks down the side street, under the little awning.

It is an Aladdin's cave in the basement of the building.  You can just make out the stone wall at the very end of the shop.

Mind your head if you are tall, not that it bothered me. The photo above is now looking across the shop.  It is huge.  You can get just about anything here, and it wasn't expensive.  It is like a $2 shop on steroids.  There are some good quality items as well.  Our big purchases......a silicone stirring spoon for the van and some lollies for Mick.

Back on our walk we enjoyed seeing the historic streetscape.  Holtermann took lots of photos during the gold rush days, known as the Holtermann Collection, which have provided an wonderful record of those times and it is fun to see some of the buildings restored to that look.

That completed our walk for the afternoon, but we did stroll back later in the day to have a delicious pub dinner.

We had a second purpose for visiting Gulgong, being to have a stall at the annual Swap Meet.  It was to be held on the Sunday, but we were quite surprised to see many stalls already set up by Friday lunch when we arrived.  We weren't in any rush and gradually got ourselves set up on Saturday.  The Swap Meet was really large, rivalling Bathurst with the number of stalls.  

The Swap was nice and social too, as we caught up with people who regularly attend the Bathurst Swap, without being in an organising capacity.  To top it off, the weather was nice and warm, without being too hot.

On the Sunday there was also an impressive display of all manner of cars, tractors and bikes, which brought a lot of people to the event.

Mick had to have a good look at the above bike as it was a Rickman Honda.  Mick has one and they are rather rare.  Unfortunately he didn't get to meet the owner.

We were pleased with how our little stall went, helping reduce our clutter and we thoroughly enjoyed exploring the town.

Bathurst Open Gardens

On the Sunday after the Bathurst Blog Meet I had my annual outing with my good friend Lisa.  We have been visiting the Bathurst Open Gardens for well over 20 years without ever missing a year.  It is something we both look forward to.  This year, as is often the case, Mick joined in as well.  He's always on the lookout for ideas for the garden.

As usual, there was a mix of country and town gardens.  We started off visiting two at Yetholme, to the east of Bathurst.  This has an altitude of 1,100 metres, so the climate is quite cool and suits different plants to in town.

Beautiful azaleas.

A stunning white wisteria on the back deck.

More azaleas and alpine phlox beside a lovely winding path.

It's not the bet picture, but this waratah was huge and in full bloom.

I always love to see a nice vege patch.

Our next two gardens were in Glanmire, a bit closer to town.

We were entertained by a small ukulele group at one of the gardens.

A lovely banksia rose.

The second garden had some rather formal areas, including this pond.

However, they still had a vege patch, and a rather lovely one at that.

Next was a very formal walled garden.

Just lovely.

The crab apple was beautiful and played host to many bees.

Glimpses of the distant rural view was a nice backdrop to the garden.

Next it was a quick bite for lunch and to check out the town gardens.  The first three were all on the same road in a subdivision of properties of about two and a half acres, so not your average suburban block.

A lovely Japanese inspired space.

This garden also featured a wide variety of irises.

A nice shady place to sit quietly.

The owners of the next property filled in the swimming pool which wasn't being used and used the space to create a lovely big vege patch.

Another nice shady spot.

The third property obviously had young children who had the best ever play area and cubby house.  Please humour me with the next few photos.  I was just a tad jealous.

The view from the front of the house was rather stunning and framed beautifully.

Mick liked this idea.

Then we visited a cute cottagy garden around a simple house on a normal sized town block.

Love those golden irises.  So unusual.

This garden was realistic but had so much to see.

The following garden was the complete opposite.  The block was small and hidden away behind older  homes.  The house was very modern and the garden angular and structured, but so very peaceful. The home had been designed for all the rooms to have views onto the garden courtyard.  It really was well designed and we feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to visit.  Unfortunately, my photos don't do it justice.

The final garden was Bishop Court which is a boutique hotel and cookery school.  It is open every year, but there are always changes.  This time the little kitchen garden was rather cute.

Finally, there was a theme of Fairy Gardens this year.  Each garden had fairy garden somewhere.  Some were obvious while others were hidden away.  Here are just two, as I've put up more than enough photos already.

We are so lucky to have so many gorgeous gardens in the district and are privileged to be able to visit them.  They do compare very well with their more famous Blue Mountains counterparts.  To top it all off, the garden club raised $19,000.00 which has been divided among several local charities.

Now we just have to wait until next year to do it all again.