Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Christmas 2011

I was lucky enough to have the whole family down here with me for Christmas.  It's lovely to have all the family in the one country for a change.

After the celebrations here, I headed up to Queensland to visit with my son and check out his new house.  He and Branden have settled in very well.  The traffic on the way up there was terrible,  but once we got ourselves onto the New England Highway, it was much easier driving.  It also gave Branden the opportunity to see a little more of the country side.  Even the drive home again on my own wasn't so bad - although I must admit it is a long way to go on your own and for such a short period of time.

Quilting 2012

Well, to the more interesting things.  Firstly, our sewing group each did a quilt made from a jelly roll.  The aim was to reduce our "stash", so the requirement was that it had to be made with something that you already had in the cupboard.

Very easy for me.  It was all finished and quilted and is now sitting in the cupboard, waiting for a reason to be used.  I am very pleased with the finished quilt.  In fact they were all lovely - and all very different.

No doubt we will do a similar project.  I certainly have plenty of fabrics to choose from.

I was lucky enough to have the assistance of Bob and have replaced small cupboards in my sewing area with much larger ones.  I now have a wall of cupboards for my stash. 

I have also used Fabric Organisers from  DeNiece's Designs to help me store the fabrics in a better way. Still have to do quite a bit of reorganising, but it is getting there.

As a result, I have given myself the task of completing some of the UFOs that I have uncovered.  I find I am great at making quilt tops ('cause I love to see the fabrics all come together), but not good at putting on borders and finishing the quilts.

So, here are some results so far.

Rhymes & Stars - made for a friend from work who has just had a baby boy.  No, it wasn't an unfinished quilt top, but it was made from fabric out of the stash.

Butterfly Windows - finished yeah!! This one was originally made for my granddaughter, but then decided it was a bit "bright" for a young baby, so it went into that UFO pile.  It is now finished and waiting for a home.

Mystic Pinwheels - Ok, not technically out of the stash.  The pattern was given to me by a quilting friend in Queensland and I just had to make it.  So I bought some fabrics on my visits to fabric stores while visiting in Brisbane and more in Newcastle and couldn't wait to get it started.  Very happy with the finished quilt and intend to give it to some friends as a wedding gift.  Hope they love it too.

Have another couple of things on the go, but I will keep those for another post - hopefully not so far away.

New Zealand Cruise

Sailing out of Sydney Harbour

Well December saw me take a much needed break from work and together with my Mum, headed off on a cruise to New Zealand.  Mum and I had a fabulous time and found the cruise on the Volendam every bit as good as we expected it to be.  I have come to the conclusion though that sailing on the open seas is not necessarily for me.  While the weather wasn't too bad on the way over, I still managed to get just a little bit sea sick - just enough to put me off my food until I could get the Kwells into me!!

Mum - Managed to climb half way to Oban

We did a bit of sight seeing at every port and lots of shopping.    First stop was Oban and although there was not much to see (big hill had to be tackled to get to the town on the other side).  We did manage to make it half way and I climbed to the top of the hill so I could get a photo of the other side.  Then we took off in a much smaller boat for a tour of Patterson Inlet.  It was very interesting.

Did a wonderful tour in Dunedin, complete with Scottish tour guide.  He told wonderful tales.

Loved Napier and thoroughly enjoyed getting a hire car and driving to Rotorua - even getting lost on the way back and seeing much more of the island than we anticipated.  Unfortunately the weather turned even worse and we weren't able to go to the Bay of Islands - we were both very disappointed.  Not to worry, lovely time was had and some very special memories I have now of this holiday with my mum.  
Old church - Dunedin (I think)

Mum and our tour guide in Dunedin


Napier - wonderful Art Deco buildings

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Catching Up

Can't believe it has been nearly 18 months since I have written on my blog.  Anyone would think I had fallen off the end of the world.  Well, that definitely hasn't been the case.  It has been more that things have been so busy, there just didn't seem to be time to do the updating in this spot.

Well, so what have I been up to since February 2011 - lots.  Bob and I had a wonderful holiday to Canada and Alaska in May/June of last year - my how quickly that time has gone.  We went with Scenic Tours and had the best time.  The organisation of the trip was extremely well done and we thoroughly enjoyed our time away.  The scenery was just so amazing and we were able to get some really incredible photos.  I will post just a couple.
Lake Louise - sunrise over the Glacier

Sunset over the Inside Passage

The fabulous Buchhart Gardens in Victoria

When it was time to come back to work - pandemonium broke out.  Well, not quite, but it certainly did feel like it for the next few months.  We went through some major changes which included closing a Blast Furnace and putting off nearly 1,000 people.  Needless to say I was kept very busy.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Years Eve of course was spent in bed!! What an auspicious start to a new year. I think it took me about 3 days to get over the travel - but maybe there was a bit of acclimatising to the heat again after the cold.

My daughter was staying with me and she organised a family get together. We had a lovely lunch and a much needed catch up with everyone. My grandson played havoc with the hose - but guess that was my fault - I gave it to him. Lots of laughing done, but unfortunately no photos taken. Ashleigh was thrilled with her quilt, and even managed to pack it into her carry on luggage to take back with her - darn it, it looked really nice on her bed in my placed!!!

I spent a couple of days with a girlfriend down at Batemans Bay and managed a quick trip to Moruya - and
Stephs Patchwork and would you believe bought fabric there. I laughingly told her about being in the States and not buying anything!!! Oh well, doing my bit for the economy.

When I got back home, it was to just relax some more before returning to work on Tuesday. Unfortunately at work the air conditioning wasn't working, so that didn't really help me feel better about going back to work.

I did manage to get some more work done on my Meadow Sweet blocks - the machine is still on the dining room table, where I can benefit from the comfort of the air conditioner. Still not close to finished though - work in progress!!
Well, it is already the middle of January - where has the time gone. Despite really good intentions, I wasn't able to keep up the detail in this blog. Just didn't seem to be enough time to write up my "diary" for my own benefit, download my pictures, check facebook and write in the blog. And the photos seemed to take forever to upload.

I have been back in Australia since New Years Eve, back at work since 11 January and I have no idea what happened to the time in between. I do know I haven't done any of the things that needed doing around the house - oven cleaning, shower cleaning and tidying of cupboards and drawers. Good thing (I guess) they are still there - there are no fairy godmothers in my house!!! Not to worry, I will just have to leave them until the next lot of holidays and see if I can get enthusiastic then!!

So to backtrack - Christmas was lovely with no snow on that day, but plenty a day or so after. Lots of havoc created in places I had been to, but we seemed to be rather fortunate in Portland. I was assured it was because the weather was not unusual for them, so they are prepared for it.

On our way to Mt Washington, the boys were persuaded to take me to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor (North Hampshire). What an amazing store that was. So much fabric. I still can't believe I spent nearly 2 hours in the shop and came out with absolutely no fabric. It was just a case of fabric overload I think. I'm sure if I'd had the opportunity to go back I would have succumbed, but considering my bags on the way back, I guess it was probably a good thing I didn't get that opportunity.

After the snow storms, Peter insisted that I had to have a turn taboggoning down the hill. That's me in the photo - hanging on for dear life. It was great fun, although there was a little panic when the thing started turning and I couldn't see where the one rock in the paddock was!! Peter followed me down, just to make sure I didn't get into any trouble (what a good son). It was fun - shame about the walk back up the hill. The one trip down was sufficient for me. I left the fun to the "younger" ones.

The cold eventually got the better of me and I ended up reading in the car until they had finished with their fun. Managed to catch the snow blower clearing the sidewalks. Wondered how they got such lovely neat mounds on the side of the roads.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Arrvied in Portland on Sunday night, just after they received some fresh snow. Went on a tour of the lighthouses in Portland - it was VERY cold and windy.

Lots of wandering around the Old Port area - wonderful craft shops. Have also been eating rather well - can you imagine having lobster sandwiches for lunch!!! Then topped it off with a half a lobster for dinner as well. Figure I wouldn't normally eat it at home, so best make the best of it here where it is so cheap! Don't you just love the "hat hair"!!!

My son is taking me to Mount Washington Resort as my xmas present - how spoilt am I?! Spent a wonderful Christmas Eve being pampered in the Spa while Peter went skiing. What an amazing resort this is - so picturesque. And yes, it is very cold - but beautiful. Looks just like a postcard doesn't it?!

Back in Portland tonight and there is a snow storm warning for tonight. The cars are not to park on the side of the road, so that they will be able to clear the roads of snow. Must admit, it is pretty blowy out there at the moment, I will be interested to see what it looks like tomorrow.