Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Happy Days

What funny weather we have had over Christmas! This photo was taken at Medlow Bath on Christmas Eve.

And this one at Blackheath.

Not the sunny Aussie Christmas we are used to and expect!

Our family went to the Hydro Majestic on Christmas Eve to celebrate our daughter's partner securing a new job in Hartley. It was a wonderful night. The misty weather did away with the view, however, this didn't really matter as we have seen it many times. The Hydro has been restored in grand style and no expense has been spared. The art deco interior is beautiful.

Seb, Erin and Rhys
It was a great backdrop to some impromptu family photos.

Christmas day was hectic but very nice. Way too much food was prepared. I think we could have fed twice as many people. Dessert was so impressive I had to take a picture!

Pavlova, Toblerone cheesecake, banana Christmas pudding and fresh fruit. With custard and cream of course!

This gorgeous and very tame Kookaburra came to visit our house this afternoon. We first saw him at a neighbour's place on Sunday where he patiently waited for some pieces of chicken.

I have never seen a Kookaburra this tame! I gave him two pieces of meat and I suspect he will be back tomorrow. Last seen heading off to another house in the neighbourhood.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Cheer

Here we are only a few days before Christmas. It always seems to come around so quickly, before all planned preparation has taken place.

Now that I am retired I had planned to have several handmade gifts ready and to have done some cooking above and beyond my usual Christmas cakes. However, I am sad to admit that none of these things have materialised! Maybe next year!!

These cheerful Chrismassy bottlebrush were trimmed from a tree that was damaged by the snow in October. They were too pretty to toss onto the rubbish pile and made a lovely show. It has never occurred to me to pick bottlebrush before.

This spectacular eucalypt is flowering in a nearby garden. Who said natives are dull and boring!

We have already had two bushfires here in the Blue Mountains. The first one was on Cliff Drive in Katoomba back in November and it sadly destroyed one home. We drove past the area on the weekend and the stark contrast between the burnt bush and the remaining scrub was evident. Already the burnt trees are sprouting new shoots at the base.

The next photos were taken on Narrow Neck Road in Katoomba. Unfortunately, my battery ran out so I could only take a few shots.

I have lived in the Blue Mountains for most of my life but I must admit that I tend to take the bush for granted. Its time to get out there and explore it some more. There are so many breathtaking places to visit right on our back door.

Thank you for reading my blog. Happy Christmas and a safe and healthy 2015.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Bits and pieces

Some time ago I made this quilt. It's called Red and White Delight from one of the first editions of Quilters Companion magazine.

I had lots of lovely little bits of fabric left over from the flying geese...

I knew that one day I would find a project to use up these tiny little lovelies.

A long time ago I also bought this pattern with pre printed foundation piecing squares. I think I have had it for about 15 years! When I bought it I had no idea about how to do foundation piecing, nor did I have until fairly recently after going to classes with Chris Jurd.

A few weeks ago I had a lightbulb moment and put them all together and this is what they look like.

They are so cute! Only 3 inches square. There are 16 altogether. I think they look like sparkling glass jewels.

There are 20 pieces in each block so lots of little seams but they are lots of fun. Sewing them onto fabric instead of paper works well with the tiny pieces as you dont have to remove the backing. It gives them a bit of stability too. I'm half way there, only 8 more to go!!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Natural Beauty

Just a quick post to show some pics of beautiful Shoal Bay which has become a favourite place of ours. We spent three nights there and enjoyed some beautiful weather.

Sunset at Shoal Bay Beach
It was so hot on Saturday, 35 degrees, that we were moved to venture into the water. It was freezing! Absolutely freezing! It was so hot on the beach and so cold in the water, there was no inbetween. However, we did it twice! Invigorating, that's the word I was looking for!

We visited Box Beach yesterday, which is not far away from the town beach on the ocean. Its only small but completely unspoiled and beautiful.

We also visited Newcastle for lunch on Sunday taking the short ferry trip from Stockton over to Newcastle. It only takes a couple of minutes across the harbour. When we returned to Stockton this huge ship came through the heads. It really was enormous. These sized ships come and go all the time from Newcastle.
Hope you had a great weekend too!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Surprise Treasures

I couldn't wait to show off these beautiful quilts which were made by Jean, who was a dear friend of my friend, Grace. Jean  passed away some months ago at the age of 90. She made these beautiful quilts out of scraps in the true spirit of patchwork. I was fortunate to be given some boxes of sewing things of Jean's which revealed all manner of sewing notions including thread, zippers, elastic, buckles, needle cases, braid, pins, all kinds of needles, patterns, sewing kits etc etc etc.

I was stunned and delighted to see this gorgeous quilt emerge from one of the boxes!

Its made of hundreds of suffolk puffs, or yo yo's if you like, and they are all sewn together with the most delicate stitches and then stiched onto a piece of curtain fabric. It measures about 35" x 67".
Here are some close ups ......

The second lovely quilt is not finished but it seems to be the centre panel of a single bed sized quilt.

I'm not sure what Jean was planning to do next. In the box were a lot more hexagon flowers already sewn together and a lot of the pink hexies already done too. So maybe she was going to add these to either side of the completed panel. The pink is a quite thick upholstery fabric. The bright pink highlights are thin cotton fabric that you would use to make a blouse or dress. There is more of both of these if needed. There are also a lot of single hexagons and half hexagons so I will have to have a play with it and see what I can work out. Jean was a very frugal lady who used up all her scraps. She also reused the cardboard hexagons.

Also in the box were a few lovely tea towels, linen of course. My favourite is this one.

I think it is a similar vintage to some others that I was given that I posted about back here.
There were also a few things in the box that I had no idea about such as these!

They are beautifully made, the top one looking like a closed umbrella. I have no idea what they are for. They both have holes in one end so maybe for weaving?

Another treasure was this book which was published in 1947 and sold for 2/6!

It has instructions for just about everything to do with sewing so I think it will be quite useful, especially for dressmaking.

I especially love the language used in these old publications. The caption on the top right hand photo states 'The needle and thimble are partners in efficiency.'!!

I love these glimpses into the domesticity of times past. I find it fascinating. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Leadlight love!

My leadlight window is finished! I am very happy with it and excited about getting it fitted into the new door at Mt Victoria. It was a lot of fun and I have learned a lot along the way. Many thanks to my wonderful teacher Petra who is a whizz with leadlight.

Last week we had a heavy snowfall at Mt Victoria. Unfortunately, we were not there to see it (again!!!!) but we can certainly see the results. The trees could not cope with the weight of the snow and many of them have broken and/or drooping branches.

Many more snapped off altogether and we were lucky that nothing was damaged.

Even the caravan escaped unscathed.
The plum tree is split into three. Looks like its been hit by lightning!

Maybe next Spring we might see the snow! Its better than bushfires!