Friday 31 January 2020

January - A Final Wrap Up

I've just been tidying my photos and thought I'd better do a final wrap up for January.  It's been a rather full month.

The third block of Moda Blockheads was released yesterday.  I'm happy to say that it has been made on the day of release.  The fabric in the centre has inspired all the colours I am using.  Sadly, I only have a fat quarter of it, so will have to use it sparingly.  This block was fun to make and there wasn't even any reverse stitching.  You have to be happy with that.

I have been stitching black and white half square triangles as a leader and ender project.  There are now 42 squares ready to turn into nice neat blocks and then play.  I did some stitching this morning and really miss having a leader and ender project.  Time to cut something else out to sew.

I have started playing with my next UFO for Cheryll's WOOFA Challenge. This is the project from Girls Day in The Country at Nundle from 2015.  (I had to look it up.  I didn't realise it was from that long ago.)  Each year I say I will have it finished for our annual get together and do a bit more, but it still hasn't been finished.

I've pulled it out again and made a start.  The bunnies now have tiny patches added, I cut the next papers, covered them and have added three.  Surely, I can have it finished for Scrub Stitchin' this year.  Accountability always helps, so I am pretty confident it will  happen.

We had originally planned to have a week away at the start of the month, but when the weather was forecast to be stinking hot we decided against it.  As it turned out, the areas we were planning to visit were all on fire, so it was a good decision.

Therefore, Mick needed a project......

Something he has been planning for some time is to line our back verandah roof.  He has made a good start.  Now he is just waiting for the weather to cool a little before he finishes it off.

In the middle of this drought we have had a few storms.  We haven't received a great deal of rain, but on one afternoon there was a very short, sharp storm.  I was at work and we hardly got any rain.  Mick said we had the heaviest downpour he has seen since we moved here nearly four years ago.  We received 17mm, so not too destructive, unlike some in the area.

As a result of the bit of rain and some cooler temperatures for the last week or so, I was surprised to see this delicate little mushroom pop up in the back yard.  Our very dead lawn is now sprouting some green, which is lovely to see.  However, we are now in another heatwave, with temperatures up to the low 40s, which is expected to last for the next few days, so that will be hard on everything again.

When our guests arrived last week, they came bearing gifts.  He is enjoying playing with recycled timber.  The recipe book stand is made from an old falling down farm gate.  I love it.  So practical.

He also made some bookends for Mick.  They work really well with the coffee table we made over 20 years ago.  Mick has used one end to add a frog for a pen holder and uses the other end to keep tabs of his reading glasses.  They won't stay here, rather move to beside his chair, but they were the ideal gift for him.

And, when a mate comes to stay for a few days what do you do?  Find a project, of course.  They had a great time building a mezzanine floor in Mick's shed.  He now has plenty of storage out of the way, creating floor space to store "Snubby" the silver sidecar, while still having room to work on things.  

He still wants to sort a lot more things out, but he can do that at his leisure.  It's just a tad too warm up there at the moment.

They also removed some dead shrubs from the garden.  The garden beds are really deep and we've never been able to get to the back of the beds.  A few more shrubs will be removed, creating quite a gap. There is the possibility of yet another project in the future - a potting shed come green house.  Just in the scheming process at this stage.

While the boys played in the shed, the girls played in the sewing room.  Nothing to show for it at this stage. 

This week Bathurst has come alive for the Bathurst 12 Hour Race, which is held on Sunday.  There are practice days, with support races, today and tomorrow.  Yesterday, a selection of the race cars came downtown for a display.

We know nothing about this type of racing, but there were some very flash cars.  I'd hate to think of the value of what we saw.  

There was a really good crowd having a look.  Lots of autographs were being signed, but I've no idea who any of the drivers were.

The cars all had the driver's names and flags of the countries they come from.  Yes, lots of Aussie drivers, but so many internationals.  I didn't even recognise some of the flags.  The race is televised world wide and apparently has the potential to become bigger than the Bathrust 1000 Supercars race.  It can only be good for Bathurst.

Finally, there is no photo, but I tried a new recipe for lunch today.  

I made some rice paper rolls.  They were not too bad, but not photogenic either.  I'll definitely have another go at them.  As a result, I have a new respect for the shops that make heaps of them each day - fiddly jolly things.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

January's Goals Met

Last year I found that setting little goals for each month worked well, so we're into it again this year.

I had set myself quite a few goals for January and I am happy to report that they have all been met.

My One Monthly Goal for January was to complete two Splendid Sampler 2 blocks and select and purchase the setting fabric.

These were the blocks I wished to work on.

The weather here at the beginning of the month was stinking hot, so sitting in the air conditioning, watching the cricket was the best place to be.  I not only glue basted and stitched the hexies together, I even did the applique by hand.  Now, that is rather unheard of for me.  I'm pleased with how it turned out, and especially that I could centre those bunnies.

I found yet another relatively simple block that I had missed making, so that was my next one.  I think it is rather pretty.  The centre and blue fabrics are new additions to my stash.  They work well together.

I was then on the hunt for the perfect green for my skinny borders.  I had this spot in my stash, which is just the colour I wanted, so looked into some Kona greens to see which would be the best match.

I ended up with Kona Old Green, which is the closest I could get and a pretty good match to the green my Grandma painted on her kitchen dresser in the early 1930s.  It should do the trick.

Goal met!

You can read back here the details of January's RSC stitching in green.  Now it is time to start thinking about next month's blocks.


My Santa Mini Quilt met both Kris' One Project a Month and was a finish for Cheryll's WOOFA Challenge.  Not only that, it was a Christmas project for my little stitch along with Lou.

Of course, I also started the Blockheads 3 stitch along.  The first two blocks are done, with the next one out Thursday our time.  So far, so good.

On the non-sewing front I have also set myself a few little monthly goals.  I'm not sure how they will go, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Each month I would like to:
1.  Read at least one book;
2.  Go motorcycling at least once;
3.  Head off for a weekend; and
4.  Try a new recipe.

Yes, I read a book, albeit a very quick, easy read.

We went motorcycling on "Sophia" the Moto Guzzi one afternoon with the Panorama Motorcycle Club to the Royal Hotel and Lyndhurst.  The weather gods were looking down on us, as it wasn't excessively hot and was one of the rare days earlier this month where we saw the sky, without dust or smoke.

Mick was able to head off for an over nighter one weekend with the same group of people, on "Snubby" the silver sidecar, to the little town of Quandialla.  They had a great time.  Sadly, I couldn't join him, as my Mum had a couple of days in hospital.  (She is now back home and on the mend.)

I haven't tried a new recipe yet, but there are still a couple of days left in the month.  I WILL try something.

I'm happy with the start to the year and just hope I can keep up with it all.  Mind you, the idea is to have fun, so if things slide at times, so be it.

You can pop over to Elm Street Quilts to see what other goals have been met. Thanks Patty for inspiring us.

Monday 27 January 2020

An Australia Day Outing

A few years ago (back in 2017- I can't believe it is that long ago) Mick and I went down to Lithgow for Australia Day and had a lovely day out. You can read about it here and here.  Our original plan for that day was to dine at Secret Creek Cafe, but it was closed.  We have never got around to visiting since then.

Lithgow has been in the news lately as the nasty bushfires came right down into the back of the town and a few houses and other buildings were lost.  This reminded me of Secret Creek Cafe, as it is on a 200 acre wildlife reserve up one of the gullies behind Lithgow.  While a lot of their infrastructure was damaged, the cafe, their home and other buildings were saved.  We thought this Australia Day would be a good opportunity to finally visit and support a business that will have some recovering to do after the fires.  We were even blessed with nice weather.

This is the entrance to the property.  All signage has burnt.  As we drove up the driveway we noticed lots of people on a working bee to clean things up.  They were doing a great job.

I forgot to take photos of the building, but it is a wooden cabin.  They do lots of private functions and the previous day had hosted a wedding.  There were still some lovely floral arrangements on the tables.

The food was delicious.  This cafe serves only vegan food and on weekends has a fixed menu with five courses of share plates.  It was a lovely way to enjoy the food, especially when we were with our visitors from Queensland.

Hopefully, Mick and I can sneak down there another time to enjoy some more of their meals.

We also visited the Blast Furnace Park.  This is the home of the Australian Steel industry.  If you have a read of my blog post from 2017 you can see it when I first visited in about 2013 when it was rustic, then fenced off in 2017.  Now the site has been updated with board walks and railings etc. 

The first thing that greets you in the car park are gabion cage walls filled with old bricks and relics from the site.

It is really well done.

I was initially a bit dubious about the board walks, but as you got closer they were less obvious and certainly kept you away from lots of holes and other hazards. 

Let's go for a wander.

The buildings are lovely and rustic.  As you can see, the bush fires weren't far away from here either.

We took the scenic route home, via Wallerawang and Portland, where they were just finishing off their Australia Day celebrations.

The combination of didgeridoo and brass was a bit unusual, but they were very entertaining.

It was a rather pleasant way to spend the day.