Sunday 26 March 2023

Sunny Queensland

We’ve been in Queensland for a week now and are starting to head back home, after spending a few days with our good friends at Rockhampton.
An audio book kept us company during the many hour of driving.  We really enjoyed it and the lady reading was excellent.

So, what have we seen?

We love the northern architecture.
Timber buildings were very popular in the past.  This is a shop at Nanango.
Rockhampton was a prominent river port in the 1800s, being settled on the banks of the Fitzroy River.  The former Custom House building is rather impressive.
As can be expected, some rather grand hotels were also established.  The Critereon has an interesting history.
We enjoyed a cool beverage in the lovely old bar, complete with a large collection of Toby jugs.
We only briefly saw the beach at Yeppoon, and it was raining.  So much for sunny Queensland on that day.  However, on the whole the weather has been good, reaching about 30 C during the day and getting down the mid 20s overnight.  The high humidity is what gets us, as we are used to a much drier climate.  The air con and ceiling fans are in constant use.
A rather pleasant evening was had in the back yard, complete with fire pit.  Rather pleasant.
We had a little visitor.  Isn’t it lovely.  Fortunately, we didn’t see any cane toads.
We had a day out playing the tourist, visiting Kershaw Gardens, which had some lovely rainforest areas.  It was established as a bicentennial project back in 1988.
How cute are the leaves on one tree.  They looked just like butterflies.
There were lots of this flowering plant, appropriately called “Cat’s Whiskers”.
We also saw some beautiful hibiscus flowers.
The Rockhampton Zoo is another nice place to visit.    
The meerkats are their latest addition.
We were fortunate to be there just at the time the chimpanzees were being fed.  Apparently, fruit is bad for them and they were fed corn and tomatoes.  One tomato landed on the roof and the chimp got a stick to knock it down.  Not silly.
We visited a local op shop and I found what must have been a kit to knit a jumper.  There are ten 100g skeins of pure wool and cost the princely sum of $20.00. There are no bands, but a brochure for Willabaa Wool.  The company was in Ballarat and appears to now be defunct.  The colour looks brown in the photo but is actually a plum colour and I look forward to knitting a jumper with it.

We started heading south today, not knowing where we would end up.  We usually travel inland, but decided to follow the coast this time.  We drove out to the twin towns of Agnes Waters and 1770, having heard mixed reviews about the towns and van parks.  We were unable to find anywhere to park the caravan close to the coast and the caravan park we saw didn’t look crash hot and was pretty crowded, so we kept on our way.
At lunch time we called in at the little village of Rosedale.  There was a lovely park by the old hall.
Over the road there was the cutest little church.  We are glad it was lunch time, as we would otherwise not have turned into the little town.

The next town was Bundaberg, famous for rum and ginger beer.  Our destination was Bargara, just a bit further east of Bundaberg.  We have stayed here once when we travelled north in the car many years ago.  The caravan park is nice, so we have decided to have a couple of nights here.
There is a nice beach just over the road and plenty to explore in the area tomorrow.  It should be fun.

As you can see, we are back to sunny Queensland.
Oh, by the way, I have mostly kept up with my 15 minutes of crafting a day, having missed just one day this week.  All I have worked on is my knitting, only just reaching the 15 minutes.  Better than nothing, considering we were visiting friends.

My tally is:
15 minutes day/week = 6/7
15 minutes day/March = 25/26
15 minutes day/2023 = 82/85
Success rate = 96.65%

I am linking up with Kate at Life in Pieces.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

What is a Linen Prover?

Have you ever heard of a ‘Linen Prover” or “Linen Tester”?  I hadn’t until Sunday, when we came across one in a little, out of the way second hand and antique shop in Deepwater.

As soon as I saw it, I guessed it was for counting the thread count on fabric.  We were both intrigued, so we bought it.

A little Google search revealed very little about them, but I did find a very interesting article.  It’s worth having a read.
It appears that our version is the rare French one.  It is rather surprising how well the little magnifier glass shows up the threads of fabric.  The various openings show 1/4 inch for different countries, when sizes were apparently not standardised.  There is also a 10mm, 5mm, 4mm and 2mm opening.

We are quite pleased to add this to the collection of interesting sewing and textile bits and pieces we have.

Monday 20 March 2023

Last Week and On the Road Again

This is a short catch up on the last week’s stitching, as I shared my main projects in my last blog post.

Other than those projects, my crafting time has been spent on secret stitching and a bit of progress on my knitted scarf.  This last week has been incredibly busy, so just a little each day was all that I could achieve.
However, I still managed to keep up with my 15 minutes each day.

My tally is:
15 minutes day/week = 7/7
15 minutes day/March = 19/19
15 minutes day/2023 = 76/78
Success Rate = 97.44%

I’m linking up with Kate at Life in Pieces.
In non stitching happenings, we have been to lawn bowls twice.  
Sometimes we surprise ourselves with our brilliance fluke shots and at other times we are all over the shop.  At least we have a good laugh at ourselves on those occasions.

Thursday and Friday kept us busy, assisting with the set up of our local church fete.  Sadly, most of the parishioners are very elderly and not in good health, so a few of us get in and give a hand.  
The fete was on Saturday and was a resounding success.
I found one cute little item.  I would have loved this when I was a kid.

We did not help with the pack up of the fete, as we started on our latest trip with our caravan.  Getting ready to leave, also kept us busy this last week.

We weren’t sure how far we would get and ended up reaching Gunnedah.  We had initially intended to free camp, but our part of the state has been experiencing record high temperatures for March, reaching the high 30s C.  We amended our plans and stayed at a lovely little caravan park - with power for the air conditioner - and a pool.  Bliss.

We made a very early start yesterday morning to beat the heat.  The silly thing was that the further north we headed the cooler it got.  
What we also noticed was that from about Gunnedah, the landscape was so very much greener than at home.  Yes, there was lots of flooding in November in our area, but since then we have experienced very little rain, lots of strong winds and in the last couple of months. rather high temperatures, culminating in some pretty serious bushfires in the last couple of weeks.  The season is much milder in the northern half of the state.
We saw a few summer crops, mainly sorghum and cotton, as well as quite a few properties in the process of sowing this years wheat and other grain crops.  We wish them well.

Having left early, we aimed to reach Glen Innes for a late breakfast/early lunch.  There is a cafe that serves delicious fruit loaf and in recent years we have not been able to time things right to enjoy some.
I did enjoy my toast, while Mick enjoyed his smashed avo.

Further up the road, at Deepwater, we called into a little antique shop.  We found a couple of interesting things that I will share shortly, as they are in the ute and I am in the van.  One was really interesting.
I always love this falling down old railway bridge near Tenterfield and finally managed to get a decent shot of it as we drove past.
We crossed the Queensland Border in the early afternoon.
Before stretching our legs in a nice park at Warwick.
We called it quits for the day at a nice little caravan park in a rural area not too far south of Toowoomba. There are a few Model T Fords here, having participated in a rally over the weekend.  They are nice to see.

We will continue to head north today.

I won’t be doing the daily posts, like I did on our big trip last year, rather just the occasional update.

Thursday 16 March 2023

Ta Da! - Times Two

I’ve been playing with Monique and am starting to feel a bit more confident with using her.  I have quilted two small donation quilts this week and am fairly happy with how they turned out.  Mind you, I can see things that need much improvement, but I’m not telling you where those things are and you won’t notice them.  Each quilt is proving to be a good learning exercise, as I make mistakes and encounter problems.  I’m taking Jude’s advice - Practise, patience and perseverance.

Firstly, I completed the little gingham quilt.
The front.
 I used a free scrolly pantograph, which is quite effective.
The back, with the cute little dachshunds in flannel.  It will be nice and snuggly.  
The binding has been stitched down by machine, to be more durable.  I feel I’m starting to get the hang of this, but will always prefer to stitch the binding down by hand on better quilts.
Then, it was time to complete my One Monthly Goal and complete the Harry Potter quilt that has been waiting patiently in the wings for quite a few months now.
This time I used a free star pantograph.  The star legs are supposed to be straight, but that just wasn’t going to happen with me directing the machine.  However, I really think I like the curved effect better.  I can see me using this pantograph on more kiddie quilts.
The back shows the stars nicely.  When I started, I was worried about the colour of the thread, but once it was all done, I was really happy with it.
Another binding stitched down by machine.

I have another identical Harry Potter quilt cut out, ready to stitch.  The only difference will be the backing fabric.

Both these quilts will be donated to Ronald McDonald House.

I’ll be linking up with Elm Street Quilts later in the month.

This week is rather crazy busy, so I will report back with the rest of the week later on.
Finally, I have updated my little kitchen shelf for St Patrick’s Day with a few little cuties.

Monday 13 March 2023

Another Busy Week

This idea of blogging just once a week is working well, except that the posts are turning out to be very long.  Grab a cuppa and see what we have been up to.
I've definitely managed my 15 minutes of crafting each day.

My tally so far:
15 minutes day/week = 7/7
15 minutes day/March = 12/12
15 minutes day in 2023 = 69/71
Success rate = 97.72%

I'm linking up with Kate at Life in Pieces.

So what did I do?
My first job was to make the table runner that I needed to finish this week to gift.  I was to start on Tuesday, but kept second guessing myself, so read a book from cover to cover, as you do.  Finally, I made a start, still not sure if I would like it.  I was going to quilt it in navy, but very quickly realised that was going to be too stark, so changed to grey.  
Finally, as I added more and more quilting lines and it developed some texture I decided I liked it.  
I hand stitched the binding down at Patchwork on Tuesday and it has now been passed on to be gifted shortly.
Next, I added the binding to the little koala quilt that will be donated.  
It has a nice and soft flannel on the back.  It was a quick little finish.

I decided I'd better get a wriggle on with my RSC blocks, as we will be away for a couple of weeks.
The colour this month is green.  

I'm linking up over at So Scrappy.  Pop over to see what other green creations are in the works.
I'm not sure if lime will come up later in the year, so have just stuck with the dark green this time.

At my stitching morning on Friday I started work on some secret stitching, so no progress was made with my Dresdens this week.  
The little gingham quilt was next on the agenda for Monique, with me trying a different pantograph this time.  I quite like the swirly design.  I'm starting to feel a little more confident.  I will add the binding in the next couple of days.

Finally, I did a few rows of knitting one day when I had very little time available.
Now to other things…
As I mentioned earlier, I did read a book.  "The Bullet that Missed" is the third of the Thursday Murder Club series and are a nice, light read. I do rather like them. Apparently, there will be a fourth published this year.

We've been playing in the kitchen again, but no new recipes at this stage.
Our tomatoes have finally got a wriggle on, so another batch of relish has been made.  We had some bananas needing using, so a batch of muffins and banana bread are now in the freezer.  Also, another roast has been cooked in the camp oven.  It really is a nice way to cook meat.  It ends up so lovely and moist.
Mick had a nice morning kayaking on Chifley Dam one day.  No fish were caught, but he still had a good time.
On Sunday we had an early start, as we went out to Oberon for their Swap Meet.  We had a stall and continued to sell some bric a brac.  It was a beautiful day for it, although rather warm towards the end.
Naturally, we brought something home as well.  Another little German toy sewing machine for the collection.  
It is similar to one I have, but has a couple of different design features.
The other find was rather unusual.  It is a trailer to tow behind a little dinky kiddies bike.  We've never seen one before. We have a dinkie with a pot plant sitting on the seat.  Once Mick straightens out the wheel and adds a connecting bar, we will also have a pot plant in the trailer.  
One other thing we have been up to for the last five weeks is attending "Learn to Play Lawn Bowls".  I wasn't going to learn, as I am the most unsporty person given breath, but Mick talked me into it.  There were initially six of us, but we are down to four.  We have two good bowlers teaching us, which is wonderful.  It is so good to be taught the right way to go about things from the start.  We are all really enjoying it, but need loads more practice.

So that wraps up another busy week.