Thursday, May 24, 2012

Little Trip to the Wild West

My husband and I went to Perth for the first time in our lives last weekend.  I know Australia is a big country, but Perth is on the other side of the country - about 4000 kms away by road.  Mind you we did fly!  But now the kids are older we have decided to travel to all the capital cities in Australia.  We have been to Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and now Perth.  Husband has never been to Melbourne (not quite sure how that happened but there you are!!) and neither of us has been to Darwin.  So Melbourne next - when it gets a bit warmer and then maybe Darwin on the train - the Ghan - which travels from Adelaide in South Australia basically north through the middle of the country to Darwin.

 Husband is not a traveller really.....I don't know why I persist.  He is now in his 60's and I suspect he is an undiagnosed ADD sufferer. He was born before ADD had been invented, but he cannot sit still and cannot watch a movie on the TV all the way through and he HATES having to sit on a are you all getting the picture.  Once we got there it was better....I kept him walking and doing stuff the whole time, and when he had done all those things I bought him bottles of wine (Margaret River wines are excellent) - so he was happy.  But, I have decided,  there are two sorts of people - Tourists and Travellers.  The Tourist wants to go and see places and do things but does not really want anything to be any different from home, whereas the Traveller wants to experience a different part of the world as the locals experience it.  The Traveller wants to step out of their own lives and into someone else's.  The Tourist wants to drag almost all aspects of their own lives with them, they want predictable and neat and tidy, and everyone speaking their language.  Sad to say I have married a Tourist....I love him, but he does not have the explorer spirit, no yearning to extend the edge of his comfort zone....took some persuading to get him to ride a pushbike on Rottnest Island!  

I give you Exhibit 'A'
 But the City is lovely and lots of money has been spent on it....Western Australia is very big in mining - Very Big!! so they have piles of money, but it still has the relaxed feel of a big country town.  And they seem to have borrowed a lot of stuff, and there is quite a underlying Edwardian feel about it.  There is one of the five replicas of the Peter Pan statue from Kensington Garden in the Queens Park.  Here is a picture (sorry Peter chopped the top of your head off) but you can see one of the light towers for the WACA in the background.  For the non cricketers - the WACA is the Western Australian Cricket Association Ground where top grade cricket matches are played.

Detail from the Statue

Australians love to shorten names so we have cricket grounds the Gabba and the WACA and the SCG and the MCG - Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne respectively.
The famous WACA - with the shadow from the light tower, which must drive players crazy in the late afternoon.  In the background is the WA Police HQ.....nice and convenient when they want to go to a Test!!!
I am rather partial to signs and here are a couple that took my advanced a city is Perth.....Ladies have their own Darts Club!!!!

Did not test out this little bit of advertising hype.....but it is a wonderful name.....I wonder how many ornathologists go there for a beer?

Here is a lovely statue near the Old Law Court Building.....the pen nibs are about 10 feet tall and engraved....just stunning

This is the Swan Bell Tower, right on the Swan River. 

For some reason the City of Perth was given 12 bells from I have shamelessly cut and paste from Wiki......

Twelve of the set are historic bells from St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square in London; six others, cast in recent times by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, round off the set. The St Martin-in-the-Fields bells were donated to the State of Western Australia as part of the 1988 Australian bicentenary celebrations; the additional bells were cast with a subsequent donation of metals mined in Western Australia. The six newer bells include five which were presented to theUniversity of Western Australia, the City of Perth and to the people of Western Australia from the City of London, the City of Westminster and a consortium of British and Australian mining companies, and one bell commissioned by the Western Australian Government.

Can anyone tell me why St Martin-in-the-Fields gave away their fields anymore and no bells.

But it is a beautiful city with lots of new architecture and thankfully they have preserved a lot of the old.  It is set along the edge of the beautiful Swan River - named after the famous black swans of Western Australia

This last picture is inside the Burswood Casino.  We wanted to see this of those tourist things, like the Eiffel Tower and the Hoover Dam I guess.  Not being a gambler I found it rather sad  - a great expensive palace, full of rather desperate glazed-eyed people forking out quite a lot of money to the roulette wheels and blackjack tables and Keno and Poker Machines.  I am sure there were some there who never saw the sun from one day to the next...because it is open 24 hours....lots of flashing lights and alcohol.....of dear.  Maybe I am more of a tourist than I like to think.  It was not a part of Western Australian life that I felt able to immerse myself in.  Too much Scottish blood to put too much of my hardearned into a machine with very small chance of it being returned!!

Happy stitching to all my followers and visitors!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Got to Share

Found these pictures a while ago and they made me laugh.....the cupcakes are a bit spooky actually, but wonderful.

We have had a few pugs over the years and Smooge used to sleep just like this........can almost hear his horrendous snuffly snoring.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May Wipocalypse - another Finish - Miracle!!!!!!!!

I have been a bit reclusive for a while now - no particular reason - just pulled my head down below the lip of the foxhole of life I suppose.  I have been sewing and reading and that is about it.  I find if I start looking at the web, nothing gets done....but having said that I have discovered Goodreads which is rather like blogs and Ravelry and the web generally - once you start you can't stop.

My middle son - who up till now has been the quiet achiever - is in his last year of school and seems to be a bit lost in the wilderness of the adult world.  He seems to have no idea where he is going to go, or what he is going to do.  He has the brains to do pretty much anything he likes, but his degree of application seems to be negligible at the moment -  in the last year of school, when he needs to apply himself the most. He keeps telling me "It will be alright Mum!".  He is a bit of a last minute type of kid, who seems to need that adrenalin rush of knowing that the assignment is due to two days to get moving on the writing of it.  The complete opposite of me, who needs to worry and research for ages to get anything done.....Oh Well, fingers crossed!!

But in the midst of all that I have finished something - again another relatively small thing.....BUT......and done some more on Golden Wood.  See...............................

You can actually see a suggestion of the other ladies who are lurking in Golden Wood there among the trees.  The only problem is that when all the black is done there is nothing but yellow confetti stitches.  That will keep me busy and my mind occupied!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April Wipocalypse - A FINISH!!!!!!

Actually finished one of the things on my list - mind you it was a small baby quilt...and a cheater panel at that.  But in my defence I did hand quilt around the individual pictures....and the baby I have made it for is only a few weeks old....which is pretty good for me!!  They usually get the birth gift when they are just starting to walk.

It is a flannel quilt and very cute....the animal faces are quite charming....and IT IS FINISHED!!

There has also been progress on The Bitterest Flower cross stitch.  I only have the basket at the bottom to do.  It will be finished by next month.

My husband and I went to the Royal Easter Show today. This is remarkable because my husband went with me. He really only wanted to see the wood chopping, which is a very small part of what is on offer at the Show.  (This event is a Sydney institution of rides and animals, agriculture generally,  sugar,  deep fried carbohydrate, fat and general fun and lots of money changing hands).  But husband actually went and looked at a few other exhibits as well....some horses and some cows (complaining of the smell all the way).  He did insist on sitting at the wood chopping while I went to the Arts and Crafts and saw amazing quilts and knitting and such.  Rather inspiring they were.  Watched a woman from the Spinners and Weavers Guild spinning with a drop spindle. She made it look quite easy.....must go and find the spindle I bought and give it another go.  It would be a big investment of time if you were intending to make a jumper that way though.

I hope all you Wipocalypse projects are progressing well and that you all have a peaceful Easter!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hello to my new readers and thank you for all the lovely comments.  Well the Crafty Princess and Auntie Nene and I went to the Craft Show at Rosehill yesterday.  Our royal personages were accompanied by the Crafty Princess' mum - better known as the Beading Queen and Jen B - better known as Australia's Answer to Martha Stewart.  The Beading Queen will make ANYTHING in beads - and we mean ANYTHING.  But she is a subject for another day....and a blog post all her own.  Sadly the Quilting Queen sent a text as I waited in the ticket queue that she could not attend as she had been nearly washed away in flooding in the City the day before and now had a horrible cold.  She must have been genuinely ill for the Quilting Queen to miss a craft show!!!  Kleenex and Vicks for you Coral.

Bright and early we got there, and thankfully the rain held off, and it was beautifully sunny.  Mind you as we spent all day inside flitting from one craft shop to another it really was off little significance - it could have been sleeting and snowing we would not have cared.

Bought a few things....wouldn't want the other thousands of things in the To Be Done List get lonely......

Kids are funny....I made a Advent Calender for my nephew and nieces....and then my son who is now nearly 15, was most put out that I had never made him above.  At least I have nearly 9 months to get it done!

Bought a lovely pattern for a sampler "Christmas Garden" - this will go on the pile.  The Thea Governeur kit is a large one of Pears and has a matching one of Apples.  They are both lovely, to be sewn on linen,  but sadly I could not afford both, even though they were on special. Will save up for the Apples.  Also bought myself a new 6" cutting square in luminous yellow,I simply cannot see the number on my old square anymore - my eyes are going!!

I have nearly finished a little flannel quilt for a neighbours baby and remembered how lovely and comforting flannel I found a lovely collection of flannels which I will put together (the collection on the right) - JUST FOR ME.  The other bundle of a selection of William Morris prints (another favourite of mine) and I am going to make myself a circular bag to put knitting and sewing stuff in for when The Quilting Queen and I go on our Stitches and Stately Homes I have until next September to get that finished.  Also bought a big chunk of cream 32 count linen for various projects yet to  be completed.

And saving the best till last.....Herewith The Crafty Princess and I visit the Lovely Boys aka Sewitall. Peter and Wayne sell a wonderful selection of linens and evenweave and Aida.  We have named them the Lovely Boys - they really are lovely and very knowledgeable about counts and weaves and colours and measurements.  Thoroughly recommend their website

Peter, mrsdibble, Crafty Princess and Wayne

So after a lovely day.....when even Auntie Nene bought another cross stitch project - we were basically turfed out of Rosehill Racecourse at 4.30.  Now I have even more things I need to get to......hope I can get something finished before June when there is an even bigger craft show at Darling Harbour!!!

Happy stitching to all!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Summer Passed Us By - March Wipocalypse

Sydney summer has been non existent - about 7 hot days - the rest have been rain.  Most of New South Wales is covered by water and people are being evacuated.  The huge Warragamba Dam has topped the spillway the first time in years.....But the silver lining of course is that we can use it as an excuse for sitting inside stitching where it is dry.  I have been reasonably busy with stitching.  The Wipocalypse has really focussed my mind on the huge range of stuff I have waiting to be started/finished.  I am please to see that this challenge is call Works in PROGRESS....I have lots of them.  Pity help me if they ever come up with a Focalypse - Finished Objects ..... I would be very much to the back of the pack in that race....Ah are some pictures.  Did get one small item finished - these Christmas ornaments were bought at the last Stitches and Craft show at Rosehill last April and were for Christmas 2011....but......(you all know what it's like)

The Crafty Princess and Aunty Nene and The Quilting Queen and I are going to this years show on Friday - so expect a vast number of pictures of our purchases!!!!

Other Works in Progress are as follows (in no particular order!)

This embroidery was dredged out of a Spotlight bag (Spotlight is our big craft department store for non Australian readers) bag.  The bag was so old it was starting the fall apart - not a bad effort for a modern plastic shopping bag!  So I added it to the list of things to do and I actually embroidered the hearts.  It is at least 15 years old and does not look too old fashioned (everything comes back if you keep them long enough).  But I can imagine it finished and in a lovely wooden frame.....sometime in the future!

Still going with Golden Wood...get used to this dear readers you will see it for some time.  But I have got to the right hand side edge....yet another black tree trunk with an elfen lady lurching behind it.  Looking at the picture it gives the impression that I have made some dire error and the right hand end finished below the left hand end.  I looked at this when I took it out of the Qsnaps and nearly died of fright (I HATE unpicking)....but followed the bottom row across and they DO meet just doesn't look like they do....heart went back to normal rhythm.

And the last one is this little sampler from Birds of a Feather, and it is going to say "The Bee makes honey from the Bitterest Flower".  The pattern actually says the bee sucks honey from the bitterest flower....which apart from being biologically incorrect sounded ugly so I am going to change it.  I love samplers, they are quick and charming.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Well there have been a number of items shuffling themselves about on my sewing table, shoulder charging each other out of the way, trying to gain the upper hand to be the poster girl for Feb.  And to be fair I have not been exclusively stitching one particular thing - God Forbid!!!! I did take up some Christmas ornaments that I had started at the beginning of last year, and then had to do some unsewing (which I hate) - so put those to one side, then there was the swan tapestry. Then there was an embroidery thing that I uncovered in the sewing room, in much the same way that an archaeologist would in Time Team.  But in the end I decided I would put in the one that I enjoyed stitching the most which is the tapestry............

Happy full moon to all wipocalpysers!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Happy Birthday today to Robbie Burns The Bard of Ayrshire.  One of the things on my list is to be in Scotland for Burns Night and go to an official Burns Supper.....but until then I intend to drink several large whiskies to his blessed memory.  He was a man who lived his relatively short life to overflowing....lots of hard work, lots of shagging, lots and lots of drink, creativity, pain and sadness, some fame, but he has lived on far beyond his relatively sequestered life in Scotland in the late 18th century.  He was a pagan in a very restrictive repressive society, who created some very beautiful poetry.

My love is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June :
My love is like the melody
   That’s sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
   So deep in love am I :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
   Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt wi’ the sun :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only love,
   And fare thee weel a while !
And I will come again, my love,
   Thou’ it were ten thousand mile.

I would recommend to anyone to read some of his poems....or better yet download them onto your iPod, and have a Scotsman read them to you with a beautiful Scottish bur.  I have a collection by Alex Norton of Taggart fame.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wipocalypse - January

Well here we have a new year and hopefully....on my part.....a newly envigorated blog.  Got a bit sidetracked at the end of last year with all the Christmas stuff and just got if the year was taking its toll....Anyway few days off....and a lovely family Christmas and the warm weather returning to Sydney after weeks of rain.....I am ready for another year.  And Wipocalypse.  I have not made a list but I have it in my here is my first post for the year.  I have made progress on Golden Wood (the reason for this blog) and that is going to be my first entry in Wipocalypse.

Have also finished a couple of quilts.  One for my stepdaughter Tina and one for me which had been around for years as a top.  The  Flying Geese started life as a jelly roll which my daughter Bee bought at a quilt show.  Rather surprisingly she offered to take me to the show and she got sucked in by the lovely jelly roll.  She used to stitch when she was little and I have hopes that her craft side will spring back to life (she is now nearly 20 and it does not seem to be cool to stitch) but I have faith that it will rise to the surface again at some is in her blood, my mother and grandmother and I are (and were) addicted to craft -- so I say "Blood will out".  When Bee bought the jelly roll she said she would make something for Tina and I swore that I would not do it for her.....well you know how that went.  After the jelly roll sat in my sewing room for nearly 18 months I capitulated and made this quilt...just got it finished in time for Christmas...........

The trouble with making a quilt as a present, by the end of the process you want to keep it for yourself....I particularly loved this selection of fabric.....oh well!

So to all who happen upon this blog and read, may we all have a positive and creative New Year and may we all be able to throw off the sorrows and difficulties of last year (if we had them) and start afresh.