Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What a Cheek !!


A nice thing about Canberra is having plenty of wildlife around the place. How about this cheeky fellow helping himself to apricots off our tree. Its usually a race between the birds and us when the cherries come out but we don't mind them having a few apricots as we always get more than enough for our needs.
Now that I've worked out how to add pictures an easy way, I now have to work out how to add more than one per post. Stand-by to be deluged when I figure it out :)
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Still trying to figure out the easiest way to add photos to this blog. This is a picture looking up at the canopy decorating the reception room at the National Press Club where my daughter had her wedding.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yoo Hoo - I'm still here

Didn't realise how long since I've posted here. Guess life has just got in the way and I've been involved doing other things.

Seems its been tulip time - a dear friend of mine who lives in Burnie, Tasmania (Bev) sent me this beautiful picture that she took at Table Cape, which is just next to Wynyard, around 20 minutes drive from Burnie. It's called Van Diemen Tulip Farm and they grow tulips every year and sell the bulbs. They even export them to Holland, believe it or not. They export all around the world. It's quite a big industry because Tasmania has the perfect cool weather for them.

Canberra has also had its Floriade which is held annually from the middle of September for a month. Its a wonderful tourist attraction and no doubt brings heaps of money into the ACT but for the locals, driving anywhere near Floriade is a nightmare.

Not much to write about so I think its time for a few pussycat pics .. this first one is of Madison when she was about 7 weeks old. What beautiful blue eyes - Devon Rex kittens are born with blue eyes but they turn a greenish yellowish colour when they're a few months old.

Here's one with my grandson when she was a little older

Last one for tonight - "so what's the use of an empty shopping bag - where's the cat food"?

Next time Madison gets the opportunity she'd like to show you some pics of her first birthday party.
Till next time ..............

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New hobby

Over the years, through my various internet crochet groups, I've participated in many 'exchanges' where you are allocated a partner and each sends the other whatever the nominated article may be. For instance, it could be a potholder, dishcloth, bookmark, special day gift like Mothers Day - you get the idea ?? Its usually customary to also include a few other little goodies in these exchange parcels but with the cost of postage getting so expensive, it is becoming a bit prohibitive to take part, particularly if you have an overseas partner. Well, now I have discovered Swap-Bot and I can tell you its FUN. You have to sign-up but its free, and once you're a member, you can choose from hundreds of different swaps. I have done two now - both only involve sending a few postcards and its great receiving from partners all over the world. The first was the 08-08-08 postcard swap which had to be sent (and postmarked) 080808. For this swap everyone had 8 partners - these are the cards I received.
Two were from Texas, one from Canada, Boston, New York, Michigan, another from somewhere in USA (can't work out the postmark) and one from Shellharbour NSW.

The next swap I chose to be in was the D-recipe swap. For this you have 4 partners and have to write out a recipe starting with D on the back of a postcard. So far I've received two and both recipes sound yummy so I thought I'd share them here.

2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
60g butter
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup strawberry jam
2 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp butter, extra
1/3 cup caster sugar, extra
3 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 180 C and spray muffin tin/s with oil spray.
2. Sift together flour and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, mox together butter, eggs and buttermilk. Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
3. Microwave jam and sugar for 45 seconds until melted and combined.
4. Half fill muffin holes with muffin mixture and add a little jam before filling up with more muffin mixture. Cook for 8 minutes.
5. Combine cinnamon and extra sugar on a plate and while still warm, brush each muffin with melted butter and roll in cinnamon mixture. Eat while hot.

Makes 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins.

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbps Worcestershire sauce
2 cups pecan halves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Combine Worcestershire sauce and butter and mix well.
Add pecans, cayenne pepper and salt.
Stir and toss pecans until well coated.
Roast on baking sheet at 350 (180c) for 15 mins. Stir, or shake pan occasionally.

I like the sound of the donut muffins even though they're packed with kilojoules !!

The recipes I sent my partners were for Damper - a good old Aussie traditional recipe. I've received feedback from three and they were quite excited to get a recipe that was 'new' to them.

As I said earlier, there are heaps of different swaps you can get involved in but at the moment I'm sticking with the postcard ones - not only because of the cost of postage, but its good to get cards from other parts of the world and of course make new cyber friends. Just as well postcards don't take up too much room as my house is already crammed with stash from my other hobbies.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Knitwit or Mad Hatter

For a person whose favourite craft is crochet, I've been doing a lot of knitting lately. This afternoon I finished another beanie - this one was requested by my son-in-law so I was more than happy to oblige.

I've probably done a dozen or more hats over the past few weeks - most for charity but a couple for family. However, enough is enough ..... for now !! Time for a change so I've started a toddler's jumper which will be going to charity. I found this yarn at Big W - it will be interesting to see how it works up. Here's a look at the beginning.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

R.I.P Rosehill

I think the craft show as we know it has finished. I was quite disappointed with this years effort however I did enjoy the hands-on workshops and seminars I attended. There didn't seem to be as many stands this year - just the ground floor and a few in the pavilion next door. The second level had small tables scattered here and there with groups of four making various things but how or why they were there was anyone’s guess. There were also lots of mini hills hoists with craft stuff hanging on them – again no explanation - they were just 'there'. The third level was where the workshops and seminars were held. I understand a new company (Living Creatively) is now running the show - it will be interesting to see how it goes next year.

I managed to finish off this beanie the night before the show which was probably a good thing because I was planning on doing two knitting hands-on workshops the first day. The first was Knitting on Circular Needles with Biggan Dups of Biggan Design. I shared a table with Biggan at lunch-time before the workshop and she’s a delightful Swedish lady. We were to make a neck-warmer but I decided to make my grandson a beanie (I’m really into hats at the moment) so I bought another ball of yarn in a complimentary colour so I could do stripes.

The Biggan yarn is 100% merino and is gorgeous with an amazing range of colours.

The next workshop was Socks on the Magic Loop with Janette Medcalf of Yarns Galore. This was a little more challenging for me but very worthwhile as I don’t think I’d ever be able to handle those double-pointed knitting needles. Magic Loop is a method used to work a small circular project on about 120cm circulars. There’s a good tutorial on YouTube which explains the technique much better than I could.

Another workshop I did was with Brother sewing machines where we made a tote bag. It would have been nice to have had some scrap fabric to play with the machine for a few minutes before starting on our bags - just about everyone, including myself, had the blanket stitches going the wrong way so had to unpick, barely minutes into the project. Oh well, the workshop was free, the bag is usable and I’m sure will come in handy for something.

I don’t need any more ‘stash’ so instead of buying lots of little things, I decided to treat myself to an Ott Light and three embroidery cards for my sewing machine. I’ve had my Brother Super Galaxy 2100 for a couple of years but haven’t played around with the embroidery part much. I went to the Floriani stabilisers seminar and now feel ready to venture into the wonderful world of machine embroidery.

Noticed this on a quilt which was on display …


Our Lager
Which art in barrels
Hallowed be thy drink
Thy will be drunk
I will be drunk
At home as it is in the tavern
Give us this day our foamy head
And forgive us our spillages
As we forgive those who spill against us
And lead us not into incarceration
But deliver us from hangovers
For thine is the beer
The bitter and the lager
Forever and ever

Back at the motel carpark I heard the roar of a helicopter barely above the tree-tops. I knew there was a heliport somewhere close-by at the back of Westmead Hospital which is opposite the motel, but I didn’t realise just how close it was. Here are a couple of pics I took from the front of the motel.

Till next time ........

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tuesday - Fog and Ice

Tuesday morning in Canberra was foggy and there were reports of black ice on the road so it was a good day to stay in bed just that little bit longer. I think it was about 10.45am when I set off for what was actually quite a pleasant trip.

Where the Federal and Hume Highways meet about 12kms south of Goulburn there a ruin which has fascinated me for ages so today I stopped for a better look. There is a small, old graveyard nearby and I'm assuming its a ruin of an old church. A newer slightly bigger graveyard is a few more meters along the road - must investigate that next time I'm passing by.


I love the new M7 motorway in Sydney - it takes quite a chunk of time off the trip and is so much more pleasant as far as driving goes. Even though its fairly expensive (I think my return trip will be around $15) its worth every cent. From the M7 I join the M4 just west of Blacktown, then onto the Great Western Highway near Westmead which is where I stay. Spent the rest of the day at the motel, watching some of the Olympic games on telly.

In my next post I'll tell you all about the craft show.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

The countdown begins

Bags are packed and ready to leave in the morning for my 'annual holiday' to the Rosehill Stitches & Craft show in Sydney. I have studied the programme and in order to attend all the workshops, seminars and hands-on classes I'm interested in, plus check-out all the stands, I'm going to have to go to the show for three days. On the first day I'm doing a class on magic loop knitting so by the next time I post here, hopefully I'll have something to show off !!

There was just a weather report on the radio and at the moment Sydney is experiencing rain, hail and sleet - just great !! Fingers crossed it will clear up overnight.

Till next time ..........

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Practice makes .......... maybe a little bit easier

Still trying to figure out the easiest way to post pictures here and am trying a different way today.

I found this cute picture of my daughter's cat Oscar - I took it while I was at her house looking after my grandson in the school holidays. The heater was on and Oscar's rear end was half-way up the side of the lounge - the rest of him you can see here ..

Aren't the colours in this picture gorgeous? This is a close-up of a lovely arrangement sent to me from a friend in New Zealand.

And here's a little taste of Canberra's annual Floriade which is held in September every year. I have some more beautiful shots which I'll save for another day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A few of my favourite things

Its now time to learn how to add pictures. Here's a close-up of that 100% alpaca neck-warmer ......... this one's for me !!

I really should introduce a couple of the furkids - here's our Devon Rex, Madison when she was just six weeks old. Look at those beautiful blue eyes - she won't have them for long though as they'll change colour as she gets a little older.

and this is Madison all grown up. She was shown until she gained her Triple Grand Championship and then was allowed to retire and enjoy the contents of the pantry which is probably her favourite passtime.

Here's our little Tasha - she really thought we got that little bed especially for her ... oh well !! If you want to see more of our beautiful Japanese Chins, have a look at my daughter's website

There's got to be an easier way to do this picture thing - I'll finish this post now and check the help section.
Till next time .....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Welcome to my little part of the web

This is my first attempt at blogging so it will be very much a learning experience for awhile. I hope to post often about the things that keep me amused, and to share some pics of things I've made, places I've been and the odd one or two of our little four-legged friends.

My latest project was a knitted garter stitch neck-warmer, done in some beautiful alpaca yarn I bought from Prudence Mapstone's stand at the Craft and Quilt Fair held in Canberra last week. It was wonderful to work with and is so very soft. I'm going to the Stitches & Craft Fair at Rosehill in Sydney next week so I hope Prudence will be there so I can get a few more balls.

While looking at other people's blogs tonight, I came across these cute, easy crochet slippers which I have put on my to-do list. They're towards the bottom of the page so scroll down.

Till next time .......