Ella and Grandma

Ella and Grandma
Home in Carcross

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Week of Sewing (Not!)

I am having a heck of a time getting any sewing done.  Maybe it’s because I’m too busy doing other things.  Like working.  Or spending my day off going to the recently reopened coffee shop…the dogs couldn’t understand why they had to wait outside…

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And skiing down the lake…  We saw 27 or more of these birds…

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Trumpeter swans…  We also saw three otters and two mountain goats but they weren’t close enough for photos.  We straggled home at the end of about four hours out… but we did get a tea break in there. Smile 

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Yesterday I did manage to get a bit of hand stitching done by tackling it at every opportunity…  I managed to finish the pathway on one flower for the Grandmother’s Flower Garden and I can now join it onto the three that I have sewn together already…

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Don’t you love all the movement in this flower?  I do! 

I have a goal to make the strip be six flowers long by next Monday.  Will I accomplish it?  Tune back in next week for an update.  Smile

Janet

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Home from Australia and a sewing post

You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything about sewing while I was in Australia.  That’s because I really didn’t do any sewing.  I took lots of hand stitching projects with me, but we were too busy most of the time for me to pay attention to them.  I’m not sure why I didn’t sew on the plane going to Australia but on the way home it was too rough for me to sew. 

I did get to sit out in the yard a few times, listening to the lilting song of the Australian magpies, watching the parrots swoop around, enjoying the sun and sewing.  I made two sets of hexie flowers for my February and March swap partners in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap.  Interestingly both Michele and Nora asked for 30s/40s reproduction fabric petals and yellow centres.  My LQS doesn’t sell 30s/40s reproduction fabric so I had to find some in my stash.  I think I did okay with these – I really like modern fabrics and haven’t paid a lot of attention to the reproduction ones, so had to sort of guess whether I was using the right fabrics.

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When we were on the train travelling from Armidale to Hawkesbury River I added second round hexies to one of my own flowers.  Look at all those dots!

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I only made it to one quilt store in Australia, EasySew in Hobart, Tasmania.  I guess sewing was really not at the forefront of my mind. Smile  But I was able to get some Australian print fat quarters, which I’m really happy about.  Animals and aboriginal designs, which I love.  My sister gave me the one with the Eucalyptus leaves for my birthday.

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The sewing highlight of the trip however was the opportunity to meet my blogging friend Lynne, from Never Too Hot to Stitch.  Even though they had sold their house and bought a new one and were working on packing their house for the move, Lynne and her husband Mark met us at the ferry docks in Sydney and we had a lovely visit.  They bought us dinner at a lovely restaurant, City Extra and we chatted into the evening.  I fear that we kept them out too late as they had a long trip home and Mark had to be up early for work, but it was so interesting to meet them and learn about their lives in Australia.  And I forgot to get a picture of us…

When I got home my second round hexies from my January swap partner, Celine, were waiting in the mail and I promptly sewed them onto flowers.

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I am behind on a few swap items – my February/March paper piecing blocks and my March Canadians Quilt block.  But today I finished up my last piece for the Get Your Hex On swap.  This flower is for Sara in Italy.

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That’s all the sewing I’ve done since we got home.  Jet lag, returning to work and all the catching up have kept me busy.  And this weekend I HAD to make Ukrainian eggs with my friend Donna…

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The  one on the top right is dyed.  I wrote words all over it with the wax, then dyed it, but unfortunately the dyes aren’t dark enough to be able to read the words.  So I made another one, bottom left, where I dyed the egg a light blue then wrote the words all over it with Sharpie pens.  The other two are dyed.  These are fun to make and always look so pretty.

That’s all for now folks.  I am back in the saddle, have a quilt retreat coming up later in the month and plan to get lots of sewing done in the next while.  And I am going to try and post a little more often to the blog. Open-mouthed smile

Janet

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A last post from Australia

We leave tomorrow to go to Dangar Island.  I am spending today tying up loose ends, one of which was having a closer look at koalas.  There is a woman in Uralla who belongs to an organization called WIRES (Australian Wildlife Rescue and Education Service) who keeps animals at her home and lets people come and see them.  She had 7 koalas and 22 wallabys, plus a goat – found as a newborn feral goat – and numerous birds.  Some of the birds are her own that she keeps for pets.  Of the koalas she said she will release four but the other three she won’t, one as it is too domesticated and the other two as they are blind.  The wallabys are all to be released but they are difficult to catch so she has to wait until the parks people can help her and she will give them a bit of sleeping potion on their food.  The goat will eventually go to live somewhere with other goats. 

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Wally – he is fully blind and likes to sit on the ground because of that.

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My hubby had his first experience of texting yesterday.  He was in the car with our nephew, who was driving, when the nephew’s phone rang for a text coming in.  With detailed instruction from our nephew my hubby was able to read the text to him, which came from a female friend.  The instruction for responding did not get through as well.  Hubby was supposed to say ok and was told to push the m three times for o.  Instead he pushed the m three times and got mmm which he promptly sent off.  He then tried to correct his error but sent a second text which was blank.  At this point my nephew pulled over and sent the ok text.  Moments later there was a phone call from the perplexed young woman who received “mmm”, blank, “ok” and hubby had to explain that he is text – and almost totally cell phone – illiterate.

A few more shots from Armidale.  My niece, who has been home for a few days, hoeing the garden beds

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The chooks

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Beau, the border collie puppy

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and a shot that my sister got of the dolphin in Port MacQuarie

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Janet

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tasmania

We are back from our week in Tasmania.  It has been like going from a strange land to another strange land!  Charles Darwin opined about Australia that “Surely two distinct Creators must have been at work.”  Our trip started in Hobart, relatively tame but insightful for me as my triple great grandfather was a lieutenant governor there.  We had a private tour of the governor’s mansions public rooms; although my relative didn’t live in this house, he was in the former mansion which no longer exists.

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We stayed in the Old Wool Store apartment hotel, quite interesting

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and walked through the botanical gardens where my ancestor had a wall built by convicts. 

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The next day we went to the MONA, Museum of Old and New Art.  What an eclectic mix!!  Some fantastic modern art…

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And equally fascinating old…

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Then we were off to Cradle Mountain Natural Park, a whole new world where we saw more interesting animals and astounding vegetation…

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An echidna

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A pademelon

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A poteroo

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And a wombat ( he was huge, bigger than I expected anyway.  The size of a small pig)

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A skink (about 6 inches long)

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A black currawong

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Kookaburras

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And a Huntsman spider (non-venomous – about two inches across when folded up like this)

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Sometimes it felt like we were on a different planet…

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Now we are back in the relatively tame environs of Armidale.  The moon is full and we are relaxing for a couple of days.

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Janet

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day 2 at the Coast

The morning air was filled with the shriek of birds.  My sister Susan said “I woke up when that bird was yelling “food, food”.  And indeed these birds, rainbow lorikeets, are the loudest birds we’ve heard.  Unfortunately I haven’t got a photo of them yet, but I will.  We had another dip in the waves on a different beach.  The waves here were rougher and more chaotic, but I took the boogie board out and had a couple of good rides.  It is definitely quite the workout too!  I’m not in this photo because I was snapping the camera, but I could have been.

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After we headed to the rainforest walk and had lunch at the restaurant there.  I ordered a smoked salmon Caesar.  Geoff had his second round of fish and chips – we had them for lunch the day before.  My salad came and I had a couple of bites, declared the salmon delicious, then noticed a long hair sticking out of the opposite side of the plate from where I had been eating.  When the waitress came by I said to her “there is a hair in my salad”.  She responded “What kind of hair?”  I must have looked confused because she then said “Is it light or dark?”  I said “It’s right here, so you can decide for yourself” and pointed it out to her.  She took my plate away and came back about five minutes later.  At that point she apologized about the hair and said they were making me another salad. 

The rainforest walk was fascinating!  So many different plants and trees.  I recorded and remember a few of them.  Since my friend Dahn was interested in palms, here is the Walking Stick Palm…

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And the cabbage palm….

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My favourite tree is the amazing Fig Strangler.  A seed for the plant alights in a branch of a host tree.  From there it puts down roots to the ground and grows branches above.  The fig doesn’t eat off the host but gets its own nourishment from its roots and branches, but eventually it does smother its host tree. 

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These trees were just beautiful.  There were also other plants which grew on host trees, again finding there own nourishment but perching on the other tree.

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Not the best picture but you get the idea.  The biggest excitement of the outing was the goanna which climbed a tree two feet away from us.  Again not the best picture.  He was moving fast and I was too excited to think about focusing… This fellow was about two yards long…

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Here we are having fun in the rainforest walk…

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Next we took a dinner tour in the harbour and river on a Chinese Junk.  And ate fish and chips.  The fish this time was perch and was grilled and it was my favourite so far.

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Canals have been built off the river and there are million dollar homes with million dollar boats parked in front.

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We saw dolphins in the harbour on our return trip but no pictures… they are much too quick.  Next was a stroll along the path on the water’s edge.  This bird captured our attention for quite a while…. a little Sherlock….

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We eventually decided he is a Black Bittern.  We have spent lots of time with the bird book on this trip.  So many new birds to identify!

The last excitement of the day was when cloud after cloud of bats flew overhead.  The show went on for about half an hour.

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We spoke later to a bat expert who told us these were blue-headed, black-headed and red-headed flying foxes, heading out to sea to feed.  Spectacular!  I slept well at the end of this day. :)

Janet