Tuesday, 24 December 2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS & A QUICK EXPLANATION.

Here are Season's Greetings from Down Under and a small apology for being so absent from my blog.
Some know that we went for a lovely holiday to UK and it takes me some time to get myself together again after seeing my family who are so far away.  Just starting to settle, when the fires started in NSW & Queensland.  I grew up in Sydney and so many places familiar to me are blackened by the fires.  I know people in these areas and my heart is breaking for them.  Now we have fires in East Gippsland,  some near to Ballarat and through South Australia, as well as Western Australia.  I find it hard comprehending all the devastation and to blog about what must be mundane happenings by us, but hopefully I'll find the inclination to put words together for some posts in the New Year.
I have some ideas for raising much need money to help our rural and country fire services, which are mainly run by volunteers.  They are all exhausted and we do have help now from New Zealand and Canada.
THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. 
Enjoy your time all, spent with family.  Ours will be extremely quiet this year with just the two of us, due to distance & the ongoing circumstances going on in this large country of ours.
Take care and big huggles from Susan.   xxxxx

Thursday, 12 December 2019

FIVE ON FRIDAY - GRATITUDE

Linking with Kate at I live, I love, I craft, I am me, for her 5 on Friday - gratitude - linkup.

First up.................
1. Still being asked by your children if you are able to make something for them.
DDs idea was for a small table beside her couch for her device, glass of water & maybe a book.
DH took this photo on his phone after he finished it, before it goes.  DD has a birthday 3 days after Xmas & this will be her present this year.
DstepD was saying she'd like some bright cushions for her conservatory whilst we were in the UK.  She showed me some on Pinterest & when we got home, I'd booked into a techniques class & thought a cushion would be a good use for the block I was to make.  Ah, then I remembered a block I'd made many years ago & turned that into a cushion too & now they have been posted for her birthday, which is on Sunday.

2.. Still having good hearing.
On Sunday whilst eating my breakfast, I heard a strange noise, and as I got up to investigate, I remembered what it might be.  Out to take a quick look, back in again to grab camera & voila..............
A hot air balloon floating across our suburb.  I tried to take a photo with the flame rising, but missed it each time.

3.  Some warmth, though not a lot hear in southern Victoria.
Unlike the northern parts of Australia, which are suffering from severe drought, heat & fires.  The little warmth has been enough to ripen....
wait for it.............
Three blueberries.  There are lots more ready to ripen, but lack of sunshine & warm weather has delayed them somewhat.

4.  Having a strong sense of smell.
My Port Wine Magnolia (Michelia figo) has insignificant flowers, but the most intoxicating heady perfume, which on a sunny day in the late afternoon can be quite overpowering.  I love it.
Such small flowers for a very strong perfume.

5.  Wildlife, however small.
Some moths are tiny & not too noteworthy, but when 3 children are gathered around "something" on a verandah floor, I took notice and went to find out what they had found.
And this what they were mesmerised by.  Such a beautiful moth.  This happened on the day of the Hill Climb at our Car Club Rally in November (yes, not quite this week), and as everyone was filing from door of the reception centre after lunch, the children were worried it might be crushed under some feet.  Not game enough to touch it, I offered to see what I could do.  I put my finger close to it's feet & luckily, it stepped onto said finger & I lifted it off the floor & put it on top of the back wall of the verandah, out of harm's way.  Hopefully it lived  to see another day.

OK, this might pop up a tad early, but we have a busy day tomorrow and as I missed last weeks, I'm getting in now.  Thanks Kate for reminding me to be grateful for all around us and taking the time to appreciate it.
Take care all & hopefully I can do some catching up on my own blog and others.
Huggles, Susan.




Monday, 2 December 2019

FAVOURITE FINISH FOR NOVEMBER 2019.

Another linkup party.....this time with Meadow Mist Designs for our favourite finish of the month.
OK, I'm being a bit naughty this month & have 3 to show, though it is the first photo which relates to the finish.
As most of my blogpals know, I'm a bit on the wacky side or as someone once called me "a quirky quilter".  So here goes.................
JELLY JIVE.
This one seems to be well liked by all who have seen it, so it will be No. 1 for now.
I have actually been playing with jelly rolls & making two quilts with one roll & background.  As I love designing it has all been lots of fun.  This time though, 2 became 3.
The said jelly roll, which was really a Rainbows pack from Victorian Textiles.

My doodling in a graph book, which is something I use on a regular basis, along with my Quilt Wizard program.  The one on the left, was first designed back on plain paper in 2014, on an aeroplane coming home from a holiday to the UK, after visiting family.
The next few pics are some in-progress shots, which I may have shown before.

JELLY JAZZ
JELLY JIVE

JELLY JUMBLE
 I was trying to line these up across the page, but this will have to do.  Jelly Jumble was the first, then Jelly Jazz & finally Jelly Jive.  Below are the other 2 finished.

I took them away with me last weekend for some photo bombing, but it was so windy all the time, this was the best we could do.  They were all taken at Porcupine Flat near Maldon  where this little fellow below was watching what we were up to.
This wallaby was finding it very interesting seeing me trying to stop the quilts flapping in the breeze.
He didn't go till we actually took off in the car.

The old dredge & other interesting bits are scattered here from the gold rush days.
As I've been trying to do this post, the weather has brightened a "LITTLE", though there are still a lot of black clouds banking up again. The wind is still quite boisterous & cold, & the weather station says it has climbed to 11 degrees outside.  Wow!!!!   Been running in & out to the kitchen as, I'm also baking a couple of slices to tide us over the next week or so and listening to some CD's on a louder than usual volume as DH is at his woodworking club.
Well best get myself up as there are cushions to finish for a birthday present, 2 aprons a friend has asked me to make & quilts to keep working on.............Ah, to be retired!!!!
All from this funny old lady for now.  Have a good week, take care & huggles.
Susan.



Saturday, 30 November 2019

NOVEMBER PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT & APOLOGIES..............!!!


Linking once again for the last hunt of 2019 with Kate from I live, I love, I craft, I am me, who hosts this wonderful monthly get together.
Firstly, I would like to apologise  for being so absent & hope that I do keep at least a few followers.
This "i'net" age is doing my head in...................my old laptop (which I use all the time), has decided it no longer wants to connect to the internet & my tablet has many issues too (it's not old), the worst being deleting my emails before I even get to read them.  Hence, I need to do everything basically on the PC in the study & that cuts into my daytime chores etc.  Anyway, enough from me, except a great big SORRY!!!!!!!!!

This month's hunt..................
1.  SEASONAL VIEW.

Hay being baled & then wrapped for silage.  These photos were taken on Thursday on the way home from errands we had to do near Melbourne, so definitely "seasonal" for now.  The ranges in the background are very hazy due to smoke from NSW fires (we think).  It's been raining here overnight & is still cooler than it should be for so close to summer.  Southern Victoria is experiencing some weird weather with snow forecast "again" for our high country areas.

2.  OOPS!!!
This one has a bit of a funny story to it, so bear with me.
DH was asked by our car club to make a board to display our life members names.  Seeing a chunk at his woodworking group, he bought it.  It was about 12" wide, 36" long and 2" thick.  It then became shorter after cutting & was cut through the centre thickness to open out like the pages of a book.
He glued it through down the middles, turned it over & OOPs..... showed it to me & I just started laughing.
Can you see what we saw..........................😊.  It has now been stained & doesn't look half as funny.
We'll take it down to the club on Wednesday for the committee meeting & see what they think.

3.  SEASHORE.
                      Betka Beach on the east coast of Victoria, taken whilst on holiday in 2015.
                                   I had so many to choose from, I couldn't make up my mind.
4.  CARD.
Paint colour "cards" being made into quaint bookmarks & maybe popped into Christmas cards as a tiny gift.  These are fun to make if you have any bits'n'bobs leftover from scrapbooking or cardmaking.
You can even decorate bought tags for pressies.
 
5.  STRIPE/D.
I have a very large stash!!!!!!  Sorted into colours, novelties, animals, large florals etc., there is even one for all sorts of "stripes".  It's not surprising that I love fabric & am a FABRIHOLIC, as a small child I loved collecting all my Mum's sewing scraps & hoarding them away until she found them again and were tossed into the bin.

6.  MY OWN CHOICE.
I took this photo whilst away in September on a trip to Canberra to see our son & grandchildren, then on to Orange to see my oldest friend.  On a day tripping around the Orange area, I spotted this gate & as I got out of the car to take the photo, this horse came trotting over to the fence for a pat.  I obliged by rubbing his nose & I'm sure he wanted me to stay longer. 
OK, I've done it and hope to be back in blogland a bit more, as I miss the comraderie & seeing what everyone has been up to.  I'll make time to hop on the PC & maybe try & sort the laptop & tablet to working order somehow.(ha,ha). 
As well as all the hoo-ha above, we've also been busy with other things.  I spent a lovely day at AQM (Australian Quilt Market), then a scrollsaw demonstration with DH on the Sunday and last weekend saw us take the caravan away & spend 4 days in Geelong with a quilt techniques class in Torquay with Emma Jean Jansen for me.  Fun times.
Take care all, have a great weekend & huggles from Susan.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

UK TRIP (Part Two).

YORKSHIRE.
My posts of our trip away, could be a little top heavy with photos.  Sorry.
Ah, here we are now in Yorkshire & some lovely photos from a day at Bolton Abbey.

        A view towards the Abbey from the terrace of the cafe, where we had a morning cuppa.

                               A walk along the path above the river netted me these photos.
                                                                          Wildflowers.
                                  A stile plus a little hole for maybe wildlife, a dog or even a child.
The monument along the path after we'd crossed the river & no, to those who know the area, not on the stepping stones, but the bridge further upstream.
Another view of the Abbey from the above path showing the river with it's sandy type edges and so many people enjoying a great day out.
 Looking over beautiful lawns to the lovely.................Um, not sure whether it is a hotel, reception centre or just a house, but it is beautiful.  Maybe someone could help me with this one?
                                              The pretty black face sheep, that I truly love.
                                        For me, such a quintessentially English looking scene.

THE LAKES DISTRICT.
A few days away in the Lakes with my brother & sister-in-law saw us take them to places we've visited, but they haven't.  Odd!!! 
Again just some photos of where we went, my happy snaps & trying to remember where they were taken.πŸ˜–
 Driving in such beautiful countryside.  Not a great deal of luck taking photos this particular day due to dreary weather & not being able to stop, with so much traffic on the roads.
 Honister Slate Mine, a place my friend Jayne introduced us to in 2016.  The in-laws were well taken with it and thanked us for taking them there.  I do find it fascinating too.
                                            One of the little engines towing a lump of slate.
From the parking area of the mine, you can see this creek (or should that be beck or stream), flowing down the hillside and forming a waterfall.  Gorgeous!!!!
Another stop was Castle Rigg and as there were a lot of people around, I didn't take many photos.  I do have some good ones I took back in either 2014 or 16.  This is part of the remarkable view you see from this lovely spot.
The day after A&J had departed, DH & I took ourselves for a drive and ended up at Lake Windemere.
Again, way too many people about for many photos, but we did see this...................
A simulator for a motor bike ride.  Our grandson Master L. would have been blown away.  He is a big Guy Martin fan, (as are we, lol).  We didn't partake, but photos are worth remembering.
            On our last day in Keswick, overnight rain had made the river run very high.  Quite scary.

OK, I am catching up & will definitely do a couple more through the week, as I need to start getting my butt into gear with more happenings both here and on the crafting front.
Hope you enjoy some of our adventures (more to come) and thanks for visiting.
Take care all & huggles from Susan.
BTW.  Weather wise, here in southern Victoria, it is cold, wet, windy and oh so miserable.  Not a bit like late Spring, even snow on Mt. Donna Buang (not far from the outer suburbs of Melbourne) & Mt. Baw Baw, just north of us.The big thing is, that I'd like to send some of our rain north, as they are in severe drought and ravished by bushfires.  Such a difference in weather patterns in our large country and I'm feeling for them.
xxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 4 November 2019

FAVOURITE FINISH FOR OCTOBER 2019

Joining in with 
Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs for our favourite finish for the month.



Crystal Geese.
I designed this quilt last year some time in my Quilt Wizard program and decided earlier this year it would be my project for the Christmas raffle where my younger brother participates at the Sheltered Workshop.  I started it in May and am on the home straight, hand sewing the binding.
Most of the fabrics were in my stash except for the background fabric which I purchased at Amitie Textiles last summer.  It is quilted with a pattern called Blooming Stars by Beany Girls.
Having a slight problem with blogger today, so will leave it at that and join the link.
Take care all and huggles.
Susan.

Friday, 1 November 2019

OCTOBER PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT.

 Once again linking with the lovely Kate at I live, I love, I craft for a photo hunt to go with the words she has chosen.
Now how we go...................

1.  UMBRELLA.
Pretty umbrellas hanging in the glasshouse at the Ballarat Botanic Gardens.  I snapped this many years ago & may have shown it before.

2.  WET.
Taken on a dismal day in August whilst holidaying in the UK.  We intended to walk down the steps beside the 5 Rise at Bingley, find another crossing place and walk up the other side.  It didn't happen, as it was pouring down, but we spent a nice half hour chatting to the folks from The Rivers & Canal Trust.  Notice the very 'wet' dog on the left.  This is the very top of the locks, where we also watched a narrowboat navigating said lock.

3.  PUDDLES.
After spending a few days with our son & grandies in Canberra at the beginning of this month, we traveled further along to see my BFF in Orange.  Whilst there we decided to drive to the top of Mt. Canobolus ( the highest point between Sydney & Perth) to enjoy the view.  It was amazing, 360° of countryside, but most of NSW & other states are in severe drought at the moment, so where did this puddle come from.  Well, there had been a few scattered showers over the past days & left this little legacy, but nowhere near enough to combat the need for proper rain, to boost our dam levels, green our pastures for livestock & beat out some the bushfires already burning in parts of Australia.

4.  OVERFLOWING.
A large pot on the paving out the back, just "overflowing" with a pretty pink flowered plant.  I've forgotten what it is called.

5.  SPLASH.
Last year in August, we made our way to Queensland to see all our children, gathered from around Oz & UK.  Whilst staying at the caravan park, they had lots of facilities that could be used by patrons visitors, so our family took advantage one day.  This splashing by the grandies, playing "Marco Polo" in the pool.  This about all I can ever show of my grandchildren for security reasons.  They did have fun in the pool, on the bouncing pillow, playing mini golf, having a game of tennis with Nana and watching the bird feeding.

6.  MY OWN CHOICE.
Out for a walk on Wednesday, around our block, I actually took the camera to snap for my nephew, how our town is growing rapidly and noticed this in one of the gardens, done for Halloween.  Lucky I took the camera!!  I though you might all get a laugh.
That's my lot for this month & as we have a very hectic schedule for the weekend, with our car club rally, I'll be off.  Enjoy the weekend, wherever you may be.
Take care all & huggles.
Susan.