Thursday 31 December 2015



We arrived home Monday evening after a long day of driving and it's taken me till today to catch up with a post of my own.
Our son and partner spoilt us with lovely food.

Lunchtime ham.

Teatime dessert.

Christmas afternoon was spent playing  trivia games and watching a DVD called Oddball, which I'd given to them.  Although they had actually seen it before (I hadn't), we all enjoyed.
Saturday afternoon, during a thunderstorm and downpour, we sat and watched a series of Shaun the Sheep and Wallace and Gromit which was showing on one of our local channels.
Sunday was spent down by the Cotter River having a picnic and playing in the water, but not hubby or I as we didn't want to walk on the stones in bare feet, so I played "with" the stones and took lots of photos along the river.  Some I can't show as they are of the grandchildren.

Just a few pics around the river.

I played with stones, whilst B1 and Little E splashed in the water.

My miniature cairn.

Pretty heart shaped stone.

A cicada shell I found.  I find this sort of stuff fascinating, and so did the kids.
As we drove back to J & D's we decided to stop for afternoon tea.  We stopped at Mount Stromlo, where there is an observatory complex along side part of the university.  I remember going here as a child.  The 2003 bushfires which hit Canberra, burnt through this site too.  A few photos below.

Back of this building had housed a cafe, which is now closed, so we had to go to the Arboretum for coffee, which I've blogged about before.

The view from the mountain.

Remains of one building after the fires.
The Original Directors House.

This house was built in 1929 and suffered bad damage in the fires, but they have stabilised it and if you click on the photo above you can see the pics on the mantel showing original, fire damage and now.  I could write more, but will leave it at that.  There is a lot more here than just these bits and we'll explore more next time we are in Canberra.


Monday was a very long day, quite warm and via a very winding back road.  Won't be doing that again.
Tuesday was loads of washing and shopping.  Tuesday evening I finally opened my parcel containing my 12 Days of Christmas Swap.  Oh, what a lovely surprise I had opening my first four little parcels.

My packages on the floor.

What I've opened so far (actually today will be 7, but I'll do 4 at a time).  The gorgeous tree decoration is Merry Christmas in Welsh.  Jo lives in Wales.  Along side this is a notebook with owl and cute pencil.  Then, oh my, Tunnocks teacakes and Yorkshire tea, which we drink when on special.  Jo knitted the 2 little face cloths and the pretty ball contains nail cream.  Who's a lucky lady?

Wednesday I made use of the cool of the morning and made some, you guessed, 'blueberry muffins' and a rather crumbly chocolate fruit slice.  I don't have a good time with this oven.  It doesn't even take a full size biscuit tray and I swear and curse having to cook 6 biscuits at a time, instead of at least a dozen.  Never mind.

Well it is now New Years Eve and our weather station tells me it is 40.3deg outside, but we have our cooler on and although there is no outlet in the study, it is a "LOT" cooler in the house than out there.
Sorry this is top heavy with photos, but I've 2 more to show.

Sorry about the quality here, but he kept moving.  We spotted this little lizard on some paving up at Mount Stromlo.  He's about 8" long and was so cute.

My Eryngium which I brought over from Ballarat as 2 little plantlets from one I had growing.  The other is just throwing up a flower spike.  Isn't it  a beautiful colour.

I'm sure everyone is now tired of my ramblings.  I had thought about doing a review of the year and realised Id set myself some challenges, which haven't really happened.  Maybe over the weekend I'll sort through some things and see what I did manage to finish.  I know one thing I've not shown, which is nearly a finish.
I do hope you all have a great start to the New Year.  Hopefully the rain and storms will ease up in the UK and our weather won't be quite as warm.  Wishes eh!
Take care all.

Wednesday 23 December 2015


Not a lot to tell, but if I don't reply to all my blogpals, it's because from tomorrow morning we'll be away for a few days.  We are off to youngest son and family to celebrate Xmas.  Looking forward to seeing them, but not the travelling in this heat.

buying grandsons present, I spied these on the footpath outside a lovely little shop in Traralgon, where we'd gone to find said gift.  We don't always go this way to find things, but will in future, instead of heading toward Melbourne.  I'd forgotten that it has a wonderful interesting array of shops.  Quite enticing to say the least.  Anyway I came home with these.

Actually there are 2 of each colour and were only 10 for $20, which is surprisingly cheap for any wool over here, although it's only acrylic.  I've already found something to crochet with it.  

A project which won't be too hot and heavy on summer nights.

This afternoon, hubby has been fighting with a timer for our newly set up drip watering system for our newer plants in the garden as the next week is forecast as VERY hot again.  This is the best method in this heat.
I did pick a few Kangaroo Paws that had been bent in the wind last week and placed them is this vase I once made in a pottery class, many moons ago.

DD did the cross stitch a long time ago, I made the runner and I CAN play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on my mini harp, but not much else.  One day (sigh)!

OK, that's all for now and hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and I'll catch up when we get back.
Take care, Susan.

Thursday 17 December 2015

HOT, HOT, HOT!!!!!!!

Wow, was it hot today.  Approximately 37 deg.  It is about to be the same tomorrow, 41 on Saturday and 35 on Sunday, with hopefully a cool change later in the day.  We are on total fire ban for the next 2 days and it is very, very dry, as we've had so little rain this year.
I've not got a much to tell at the moment, though I have been sewing, writing on cards and just generally catching up with all sorts.  We've picked a "LOT" of blueberries  which I've been giving to neighbours, friends and freezing for ourselves, as well as eating them nearly every morning on my porridge.  We also had some beans tonight, but they aren't as good as we've grown before.

I've filled this colander, probably at least 4 times so far.

Picked a few flowers from the garden and placed them in this bottle (one of my favourites) for the kitchen counter.  Not much flowering at the moment, as it has been so dry.

Buddleia and something else?
Last week I was fighting with a quilt on the machine and having computer problems with the pattern. Well I more or less sorted it and the quilt is finally off the machine and another ready to go on.  Below is a photo of the back with said pattern.  This is another for my longed-for book.  I'm not sure whether to show the fronts of them or not?

This pattern is Honeysuckle by P. Ritter.
Criss Cross Xmas Geese.
This is a little quilt I designed a couple of years ago to use some very old Christmas bauble fabric I had in my stash.  I am going to custom quilt it, though I'm sure it won't be ready to hang this year.

Not much decorating going on here as we are going to Canberra for a couple of days, but I have put this sleigh on the piano.  I filled it up some years back and still like it.  There are some other bits around too,

I'm enjoying reading again.  This year has been slow, but better than the year before.  I've just finished one, (can't remember the name) and am currently reading Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop of Dreams.  I'd put 2 Xmas ones on hold from other libraries and as luck had it our own library had this one which is the first of 2 about the sweet shop.

I've also been getting a couple of magazines again, namely Landlove, Landscape and Love Patchwork and Quilting (which I'm hanging out for at the moment, as it is late coming in).  I used to be terrible with mags, and I stopped getting them altogether, but missed  these ones in particular.  I occasionally treat myself to something special as well.

OK, enough from me.  I'm off for a cup of tea (hubby), milk (me) and watch the last half of the BBL, which is the 20/20 cricket being played at the moment.  It is 9.30pm and still 25deg outside, so probably not the best night for sleeping.  I won't melt tomorrow I promise.
Take care all.

Wednesday 9 December 2015


It's not Tuesday, but now Wednesday and I've only just finished making the snowflake and taking photos as I went.  We spent yesterday trying to track down a small, light craft cutter for me, as I find a Stanley knife too awkward.

Here goes!!!

I used a small craft cutter, paper scissors, a small craft mat and some double sided tape.  I also used a stapler to do the final part.

First I cut a 6" square from some coloured A4 photocopy paper.  You can use any paper with a little body to it, including Xmas wrapping paper.

6" square,

Fold in half diagonally.

Fold again.
Next I drew the lines so you could see them.  They are 3/4" apart and run parallel to the cut edge.
I started at the double fold edge and cut to within 3/8" of the two folds at the other side.  You could do this with scissors after drawing the lines.  I also found it easy with the craft cutter.

Next we start folding and sticking from the centre out.

Fold the small centre square and stick as shown.  I used small pieces of double sided tape, but you can use a small dot of glue.

Turn over and do the next one.

Turn again and stick the next one.

Turn once more and stick the last points together. 
We now have one piece done and need to make five more.

Join all  together as shown below.

Take 3 sections, and have all facing the same way.  I made sure the middle ones all faced to the right.
Staple together at one end.

3 sections joined at bottom.
 Next we staple the red to the white one at the widest point, then the white to the green.

Hope this shows how I did it.
Join the other 3 the same way, then place the two ends together, staple and also the mid sections.

AND TA DAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finished snowflake being held up by hubby.

I have seen this snowflake in a book, magazines and on Pinterest.  DD and I followed some instructions she had and I found it easier than the ones I had in the book.  The book only showed the square after cutting and being a bit "dim-witted", I couldn't fathom if there was an easy way of making the cuts.  Now I know and hopefully my pictures make it a little easier.
If anybody is muddled, please let me know.
Happy crafting.  Take care.

Sunday 6 December 2015


Oh, blogging seems so far from my mind at the moment, and I'm not sure where the time is going.
Just at the moment, my heart goes out to my friend Jayne and all those people in Cumbria who are dealing with terrible flooding once again.
This post will take in a little of what has been happening over the past 2 weeks, which I seem to think, is not a lot.
I've received a parcel from my Xmas swap partner, which is great, and am now ready to start on sending cards near and far.
Last weekend we had a day out to a National Trust property, but oh dear it could have been better.  The house wasn't open due to lack of volunteer support and some of the gardens were quite neglected.  One bonus, was that it is free to get into the grounds/farm and you can take a leisurely stroll around.  It is called The Briars and is on the Mornington Peninsular east of Melbourne in a suburb called Mt. Martha.  Just a few photos.

Side of homestead

Part of the garden.

Overgrown veg plot.

Have been trying to get another one of the quilts for my book pieced and another quilted.  Well the piecing is going OK, but the one on Bubs, my "big" machine, isn't behaving, so it can wait till I can find time to breathe and then will sort that out.  Technology does quite often get the better of me.

I'm also in the throes of sorting out some things for my younger brother, who is mildly intellectually disabled, which is quite time consuming too.

Through the week I made a couple of slices, cooked a small turkey breast and made salad to take to DD's yesterday to celebrate an early Christmas as they will be away for three weeks during the festive period.
DD and I made these in the afternoon, whilst Master L and Missy Moo watched a movie.  Pop and SIL amused themselves.

Snowflake, paper decorations.
These were actually easier than I thought and may make some for myself.

The garden is getting by although it is very dry and quite warm at the moment.  Just two pics of my hydrangea which is hanging in there and the only rose I have in the garden, which we planted over winter.  I will remedy this at some time and plant more.

My lovely unusual hydrangea.

Julia's Rose named after one of my favourite flower arranging authors'  It is such a lovely colour too.
I have frozen some of the blueberries I've picked over the last few days along with giving some to my neighbor and DD.  There are plenty more ready to pick now.
Crocheting my Spice of Life rug is slow going due to the hot weather, so will try and show a pic during the week on my progress with that.
Tomorrow is another busy day, as we will head into the suburbs to buy Hubby's Xmas present.  A lightweight biker's jacket so he can go riding in the hot weather without sweltering till he's nearly melted.

OK, I feel this is a very "discombobulated"(don't you love that word) post, but it's done nevertheless.
Hope you've all had a good weekend and take care.

Wednesday 25 November 2015


Now where do I start?

Ok, we'll begin with the day out to the zoo, last Friday with DD and family.  I'd never been to Melbourne Zoo before and looked forward to seeing the family, but found some of it just a bit stressful.  I'm not sure I like to see large animals without lots of freedom, but that's just me.  I did love the butterfly house and although it sprinkled on and off, I did enjoy the day on the whole.

Peacock posing for many cameras, including mine.

Butterflies feeding.

Isn't this one beautiful.

Saturday saw us set off to Phillip Island to pick up the last of my "SWAP" gifts, which didn't go exactly to plan.  The place (not giving too much away), where we headed was in the throws of renovation and they are marketing their wares differently, hence not being to get exactly what I wanted.  I gave in and purchased something along similar lines and have made the best of it.
Next, we went on a mini adventure to the other end of the small island to see if we could spot seals on the rocks.  Even with our binoculars, I wasn't sure if I could make any out, but do have some great photos to show of the island and some wildlife.

The Nobbies, just beyond the main island.
Many headlands and coves along the island's coast.
Looking down to one of the many coves.

The penguin viewing area, where the Little Penguins cross the beach at dusk every evening on the way to their burrows.It is very controlled and no photos are allowed. 
Cape Barren Geese, one of the island's lovely inhabitants.

Monday I made a Lemon Shortcake and we picked our first blueberries.

Yesterday I finished quilting this.

OK, so this is the back.
I have a 'confession' to make.  I am trying to write a book, but don't know how to write patterns.  I design by using my Quilt Wizard software or on graph paper and just make notes for myself.  I've been asked several times if I have a pattern for something and my mind boggles as to how to put it down in understandable format.  I've produced quite a few tops that DD thought would do well as a book, so now I'll get them quilted and see if I can't do it.

Today I went to the Post Office with this.

Xmas Swap gifts should now be somewhere in the system ready to fly off to their destination.


"We have frogs in our pond".  Some of the tadpoles are now wee frogs.  I can't believe that they grow legs and lose their tales.  Amazing.  I'll try and get a photo when a little larger.  I find nature so fascinating.

So that has been our week so far and now will settle in for the night after having a lovely massage this afternoon.
Hope everyone is having a good week and take care.