Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Australia Day....

We celebrated Australia Day yesterday with a beautiful warm sunny day. Luckily it wasn't as hot as the rest of the week is forecasted to be. For one small moment I was almost pleased to be going back to work so as to be in the airconditioning !! just for one small moment mind and then I thought about it - nope not ready, I kind of like this being on holidays!!! Oh well SH and I back to work today and the kids back to school next Monday. Apart from a special dinner we didn't do anything much to celebrate. Our dinner though was lovely, marinated lamb cutlets on the bbq followed by a pavlova. YUM!! Have been working on 'the' quilt, running out of time to get it finished ......will post about it tonight but without further ado I better announce the winner of my little Australia Day giveaway...............................April from New York.
April please contact me so I can get a parcel in the mail. Just wish I could of given something to everyone!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back to reality far too soon!!

It's the last morning of our holiday and in the next few hours we'll pack up and head home. At the moment I'm doing all of our washing as our washing machine died last week so one of the first things we have to do when we get home is buy another one!! It is still warm and we have promised each other that next time we will check for air conditioning before we book accommodation!!
Since I last posted we have visited the National Gallery of Victoria, years since I've been there but just as enjoyable as I remember. We've explored the Docklands area, had dinner with our wonderful friends and their gorgeous daughter who just happens to be my goddaughter ,had a little retail therapy and a fantastic dinner at a new Mexican restaurant in Lygon Street. Of course no trip to Melbourne would be complete without a chocolate experience or two so yesterday morning we enjoyed morning tea at 'Max Brenner', oh my goodness it was SO good!!! We also visited 'Haighs' and have a bag of goodies to take home and enjoy. This morning on our way home we will visit the Vic Market and fill our esky with fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta, fish and any other goodies that take our fancy. The quality is so much better than anything we can get in our local supermarkets and the fact the prices are more reasonable is even better!
Now that we are on our way we are all looking forward to getting home. The 'horsey' one misses Dudley, a long time since she hasn't ridden for a whole week and I really miss my own bed, my back is not the same at the moment, think it will take a while to return to normal!! We have been anxious about how Peter and Fred are, a friend is checking them and feeding them twice a day but am sure they will miss our cuddles and we are most anxious about our Jimmy. He has been boarding at the vet but while there he had his operation !! so will come home hopefully not too sore and sorry and maybe even a little quieter although I think that is wishful thinking!!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Australian giveaway......................

We celebrate our national holiday 'Australia Day' on Monday 26th January . It is a great day and I have put together a little package of Australian goodies, some of them quite quirky!!! to share with one of my international blogging friends to celebrate. I'll also include a few of my favorite Aussie recipes. If you would like to win this package just leave a comment on this post and I will draw it on Monday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I'm sitting in a very hot apartment (oops we missed the bit that said no air conditioner!!) in Melbourne on day 3 of our holidays , on SH's work laptop watching the US Inauguration. WOW!!! I did set my alarm to get up at 3am to watch it live but must admit I rolled over and decided my sleep would come first. The swearing in and speech has well and truly been replayed so I didn't miss that. I am glued to the tv, I have never seen anything like it. I am sure in the past Inaugurations have been reported here in Australia but never anything like this. I can only imagine how it would be to actually be in Washington. (If anyone over in the states has Obama souvenirs they would like to pass on let me know, I definitely have Obama fever!!)
As I have mentioned before most of my family (okay all of them except me!) are Geelong Football Club supporters - the Cats, and for that reason are very excited as one of their former players will be playing in the Superbowl for Arizona , Ben Graham. I think , but am not sure , that it is the first time an Australian will play in the final. It didn't matter which team won that game as another Australian Sav Rocco who used to play football for Collingwood played for Philadelphia .
Our first day of our holiday went well. We arrived in Melbourne and went straight to Ikea where we had lunch, looked at storage options for our living room, and generally browsed. I didn't buy a lot and only one piece of fabric . Will try and post a photo when I get home. The highlight of our trip to Ikea was stopping at the Swedish food hall on the way out and stocking up on Daim Chocolate!!! We love it and it is not easily available here. Must be my Norwegian blood coming out..... We went to a great Greek restaurant at Southbank for dinner - Yum!!
Yesterday we spent at the tennis. The 'horsey' one and I lined up for 1 1/2 hours to visit the Garnier tent (Garnier is a sponsor of the tournament, a skin care company, at their tent you can have a mini massage, facial, or hair treatment and receive a showbag with full size products worth about $70). We then escaped the sun and headed to our shady seats in the main stadium. We were lucky enough to see two of my favorite players in a row, firstly Serena Williams who won easily and then Lleyton Hewitt, an Australian who unfortunately lost. For dinner it was off to Chinatown, once again YUM! Weather has been very hot and sticky but it is summer so is to be expected!!
I think off to the Art Gallery this morning then maybe a little retail therapy!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


No excuses I'm afraid for not posting more regularly except for I've been on holidays this last week and all routine has gone out the window!! I'm afraid I don't even have piles of sewing to show off. We've had 2 unexpected lots of visitors which required a major house clean and food preparation , mix that with late nights chatting and I was very slow for a day or two afterwards catching up.... All I can promise is that with February comes the return to school and the return to proper routine!! I tend to really try and concentrate on my resolutions from February to November - from experience January and December are write offs!! I spent a very pleasant afternoon with Oz Country Quilting Mum, we spent a lot of the time talking but we did make a wonderful bag each. She seems to whip them up in no time and I have always been a bit scared of them so she very patiently gave me a lesson!! You will have to pop over to her blog to see them as when I went to take a photo I realised I've packed it! I have started the quilt for Skye's 18th birthday, actually have 5 blocks all finished (out of 15!!) but then got the phone call to say visitors were on their way so the sewing machine etc all had to be packed away. I need to go fabric shopping (what a shame ) for the sashing, I had originally thought I could do a scrappy sashing but it isn't going to work.

Big excitement this week as after almost 20 years we have finally agreed on and ordered a new bed!!! It is timber and made locally so will take about 6 weeks. I have just ordered a linen set online and then later in the year will plan a quilt that is worthy of it. Of course I have told SH it would be nice if we could paint the bedroom and get new curtains in preparation!!!!! I won't report his response!! There will be plenty of photos when it arrives.

This last week we welcomed one of the stable kittens into our home. Peter is settling in very well. Jimmy is almost killing him with kindness, doesn't realise his strength when he tries to cuddle. Fred is tolerating him and occasionally giving him a smack to remind him of his lowly place in the pecking order! He is sleeping in the bathroom and doesn't even complain. He is very very cute!

When I was trying to spend a few sneaky minutes blog reading this morning I found out that I was the very lucky winner of a 'puppet theatre' pattern in a giveaway on one of my favorite and most inspiring blogs 'Don't look now'! I am looking forward to adding it to my list of things I want to attempt this year - think it will be a great christmas present for my two little nephews!!

We are off on a 'family' holiday tomorrow until Friday to Melbourne. We will spend a day at the Australian Open Tennis tournament and enjoy some meals out. We are booked into a wonderful greek restaurant for tomorrow night that I have been to but the rest of the family haven't. Might just manage a little retail therapy along with some sightseeing!! The 'horsey' one has a city experience week in Melbourne as part of her school year in February where they have to manage to get themselves around the city and use public transport. We will give her a few tips this week so it is not entirely foreign to her. Although we go to Melbourne a few times a year she is certainly not street smart!!! HS is bringing a friend for the first three days, apparently that may make the family holiday bearable!!!

Well I'll be back in a week with hopefully a lot to tell you!

P.S Apologies for not putting links in this post, takes me ages and I am running out of time to pack!!

P.P.S The 'horsey' one and I are currently both reading the same book and fighting over it!! Twilight - not something I would normally even look at twice but after several bloggers recommending it I picked it up and now neither of us will put it down!! Loving it!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Home alone!

This will be a very quick post tonight as I am home alone!!! enjoying some peace and quiet. SH has taken both the kids to Melbourne to the cricket. HS is a member of the Melbourne Cricket Club and we have not taken advantage of this in the last 12 months so thought we would try this year to get our worth out of the membership. To become a member you have to be nominated and basically wait on the list until someone dies to be offered membership. HS was nominated at 2 and received his membership at 16 so quite a wait. Their ground (the MCG - Melbourne Cricket Ground) is where the football grand final is played each year and cricket test matches etc. HS may take a certain number of guests depending on the event and as long as they abide by the dress code. It will be in the years to come that he will really appreciate this membership. Not quite sure why but SH has never thought to put an application in for himself and maybe because she was a girl we also never put one in for the 'horsey' one. We have decided to do that this year and one day they may be lucky enough to reach the top of the list!! Anyway they have gone to see Victoria play Western Australia in a 20/20 match, first a womens game followed by the men. I just spoke to them and they are having a great time although very cold now that the sun has gone down!! They won't be home until about lunchtime tomorrow so I am forgetting the housework and doing what I want!!! About to go to bed to watch some tv with a coffee, some chocolate and a new magazine - Homespun - no less, my favorite!!
I am so thankful for the companionship of my furry friends while I enjoy a quiet house. There are 2 bloggers out there whose husbands are both battling serious health issues. Please pray for them and their families.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A little further...

Well I am a little further with the quilt......mmm......sort of!! The fabric is out and the pattern is chosen.....mmm.....slight problem I still haven't cut into it! Oh well there is always Friday, see I am learning , I know there is not a chance of doing it tomorrow after work! The fabric is Moda's 'Woodland Bloom' and I have got the pattern from one of the magazines Anita sent me in the SSCS, 'Quiltmakers Favorites' - 'Wild Thing'. Sooner or later there will be progress!

This is another of my favorite Christmas presents sent all the way from the UK for me from my sister. She also knows me well! It is a set of 3 new cake tins - red and white spots , it also came with red and white spotted tea towells, tablecloth and napkins. To continue the theme are red silicone cupcake moulds - stars and hearts and a gorgeous red notebook.

Loved these fridge magnets when I found them before Christmas and loved them even more when they were reduced this week ( I love a bargain!). One of them sums me up perfectly ' Behind every successful woman is a cat and a fridge full of chocolate' and any cat lovers can relate to the other ' Dogs have masters, Cats have support staff'!!!!!
Tonight I am giving thanks that I have a nice warm comfy bed to fall into (ASAP) and I pray that I will have a good nights sleep uninterrupted by furry friends!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My favorite Christmas gift!

I thought I'd share my favorite Christmas gift with you all. Yes it will take up room we don't have , no it's not very practical, realistically will only be used once or twice,it has nothing to do with quilting and everything to do with my healthkick failing but I love it!!!! A Chocolate Fountain!! SH was so sweet to think of it , he obviously knows me very well! I haven't tried it out yet but I have chocolate (good quality of course) on the shopping list for tomorrow as well as strawberries, marshmallows and wafers to dip into it. I did think a straw may work too but the rest of the family thought that was just too bad!
I had other photos to post today but blogger decided it hated me so it was just too hard. Think I'll leave it for tomorrow.
Absolutely nothing achieved on the craft front today, it was hot and by the time we cleaned out and rearranged the furniture in HS's room I decided a Nanna nap was called for!!
Today I would like to give thanks for a husband that enjoys and is happy to cook !!! Prayers for those who are not as lucky as me to have a wonderful family.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oh so cute kittens ....

The school that the kids go to has 2 different campuses, one for the junior students and one for the senior students. The junior campus is 2 blocks from our house and is where the Equestrian Centre is based where the 'horsey' one spends many hours. Earlier this year 2 cats appeared and were adopted as stable cats and promptly named Tiddles and Molly. Unfortunately the teacher in charge was a little tardy with them visiting the vet for their operations and Tiddles while still a baby herself became a mother to 5 little kittens. Even sadder just a week or two after they were born Molly was run over. While it is school holidays it is the 'horsey' ones responsibility to look after and feed Tiddles and the kittens twice a day. A chore the whole family has come to relish. They are SO cute and all have such different coloring. Tiddles has gone missing since the day before yesterday and SH and I think perhaps she was hit by a car. Luckily the kittens are about 5 weeks old now and will survive. There is Mo (black), Sylvester (white and black), Jaffa (black with some orange coloring), Indi (white, black and ginger) and Peter (who I named , tabby). At this stage we think Peter will come home with us when he is a little older to be a companion for Fred and Jimmy although I have said tonight I will take all of them if new homes can't be found. SH had a little to say about that!! I keep reminding him that when I outlive him as an old lady I will be found in a house full of cats!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven't managed to get photos of all of the kittens but the ones I have will show how cute they are.
I survived the first day back at work and luckily for me I don't have to work tomorrow. As I am tired and they are showing another episode of 'America's next top model' tonight I am afraid it will just be knitting again!
I give thanks for super cute little kittens which make me smile and I pray for their mum Tiddles and hope that wherever she is she will rest knowing we are looking after her babies.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to work tomorrow!

Well it is back to work tomorrow and even though its only for one week before I take a fortnight's leave I'm not looking forward to it!! especially when the rest of the family are still on holidays. To ease the pain I have made a list of jobs for them to attempt should they have any spare moments!!! I'm cross with myself because since getting home Friday night I have done absolutely nothing!!!! The house is a disorganised cluttered mess but I am determined that tomorrow is the start of a new week and time to bring some order into my life. My main resolution for this year is to complete my 'house detox', easier said than done, the cluttering gene has been handed down for generations. The 'horsey one' has promised to clean her room this week so that is promising.

Still no further on the quilts, had hoped to start cutting one of them today but not looking promising now. Think it will be more knitting while I watch one of my favorite shows 'America's next top model'!! Had a few comments wondering how I knitted in the car, not sure, think it is only because it is a plain scarf that I managed. I do get car sick normally and definitely cannot read but small amounts of knitting the other day were okay.

This is the stitchery that I made for my SSCS partner Becky - "Whosies". It is called 'Santa's Workshop' and had ceramic buttons on it. I found there was a lot more work in it than I realised and I was really fighting the time to finish it . I was really pleased with how it turned out though.

Thanks today for Lindt chocolate reindeers reduced in the post christmas sales and prayers for my Aunty Judy as she supports Jan in her battle. She has always been my 'fairy godmother' and the love and caring she is giving Jan is just amazing.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My SSCS parcel!

I felt so spoilt when I opened my gift from Anita at http://anitas-bedofroses.blogspot.com/ on Christmas Eve. So as not to tempt myself I hadn't even gone into the box until then. I got this great thread catcher / pincushion. It is in the cutest chicken fabric. I have looked at these on other blogs and it is something I wanted but would not of attempted myself. I also got some dishcloths, another thing I haven't tried but am very excited to own!! Anita also put in some fruit and nut candies, will be a lovely change from the 'chocolate'!! There was also 2 magazines which are already looking very well loved. They are very different from what we have here and one in particular is full of quilts I would like to try. Thank you again Anita, it was a very special present. I will post some photos of what I made for my swap partner tomorrow, I think this parcel deserves a post all of its own!
There has been some knitting again today, seemed the easiest thing to pick up. I did though choose fabric and patterns for 2 quilts which I want to get going on. One will be for my nieces 18th birthday and the other for my friend who is expecting her 2nd baby soon.
I am so thankful for the special people I have met and friendships I have made in this blogging world . I am today praying for John Travolta and his family as they try to cope with the death of his son.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

We are tonight home safely after a 1000km + / 15 hour drive and boy oh boy home looks good!! Jimmy and Fred are very happy we are home, think we will be paying for leaving them for a while although Jimmy certainly enjoyed his holiday on a farm!! Having a quick bite to eat then we will head for bed.
Managed to keep knitting the scarf in the car - a little progress!
Lots of posts to come in the days ahead and lots of blog reading!
I would like to give thanks today for my home and pray that I will learn patience.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


As 2009 begins ........ Remember , life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile........

I received this message for the New Year from a special friend and thought it summed up just how I would like to spend this year - fully and not wasting a single minute! I wish this for all my blogging friends along with good health and happiness.

One of my many! resolutions is to try and post daily even if it is just a line or too, this will give me a real record of my year and hopefully the wonderful crafty treasures I create!! I have started the new year well with the beginning of a scarf I am knitting to send to Africa for a primary school to give students to keep warm in winter. I am not a fast knitter so it may take a while but it felt good to have busy fingers today!

I have not yet posted the photos of the wonderful SSCS parcel I received but that is because I am away and have limited computer access. We are travelling home tomorrow so there will be lots to share on the weekend!

Today I would like to give thanks for a wonderful family, and I would like to pray for Jan xx