Saturday, December 21, 2013

"R" is for Retirement...

Which is what I did at 5 pm on Thursday 19th December 2013.      I have been in the paid workforce for 40 years and thought it was time to leave and make a start on that long list of  "to do things" that I have been compiling for quite a few years now.     Hubby has been retired for the  last 10 years and has been waiting very patiently for me to come to this decision.     Me not working will also mean a break for him not having to drive around to the office, collect me for lunch, the return drive back after lunch and sometimes of an afternoon.    As you can see he has been doing a countdown for me each day

Below is a piccie of the cards that I received from family and friends, gift cards I received from the office and the flowers were from hubby.

The Westfield Gift card was very for an extremely  generous amount so I will take my time and buy something very special with it.

Retirement for me means not having to be at the same place at the same time everyday and instead of having to look at the day behind a window I can be out enjoying it.   It will mean the freedom to just look at the day and say lets do this or that.   Pack up and go off  wherever and whenever we decide and be able to join in for lunches out with our other friends who are also retired couples.    More time for sewing, gardening, shopping, reading, movies, blogging, friends, family and us.  

And of course as you all know I became a grandma 10 weeks ago and it will mean that I can spend more time with our precious little angel.

Well that was my announcement that I referred to in my previous post.

Back soon with some piccies of what I have recently finished.   In the meantime happy sewing.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nature in my back garden

As we head into the summer months Sydney is known for its thunderstorms which mainly brew up out west and drift across the mountains then head out to sea and as we are quite close to the water we are often in the line of fire so to speak.   I took the photo below from my patio mid afternoon a couple of weeks ago as we watched the storm clouds gathering overhead

I took the next  photo of a huge spider web which was  across a walkway in the garden.    As you can see it is rather large but we never did find the "builder".   Just as well I am thinking by the size of the web.    I often walk into webs around the yard and spend several minutes trying to detangle myself from their stickyness.  

Ever heard the expression flat out like a lizard drinking well here is one that I found just after sunset "drinking up" the last of the warmth from the bricks.

And of course summer in Sydney is not summer without the constant noise from cicadas which seem to go day and night depending on the heat.   Living in a bushy area sometimes the noise can be deafening and you have to be very careful not to stop too long under a tree as you will be "rained" upon by them.   Most unpleasant.   They are quite a strange looking insect with their big bulging eyes as can be seen below.

I hope that you enjoyed  looking around my back garden as much as I enjoyed showing you.  

I will be back later on this week with an announcement and some things to show you that I have recently made.

In the meantime happy sewing.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Baby sewing

I am finally back and as mentioned in my previous post my machine and I have been busy sewing up a storm while waiting for the new family addition.

New parents always need burb cloths and whilst we knew that bub was going to be a girl it was decided to keep fabric bright and non gender specific - I did sneak in a bit of pink here and there as can be seen.

Some bibs
Receiving blankets

When it came to making the baby bag it was thought as dad is also going to be a primary carer as well that it would be best to go more practical than cutsie so I came up with this design.   The inside fabric matches with the inside fabric of the stroller.   A big thank you goes to hubby who had to help me with the adjustable strap.    This is the first bag that I have made that the strap adjusts and I had terrible trouble with it.   Even with looking at you-tube for hours my brain could not work it out.

And of course very baby bag needs a change mat.

 I bought a waterproof fabric for the outside and also used it in the inside where approx baby's bottom will be which will hopefully make clean up time easier if there are any mishaps whilst nappy changing is taking place.  The flap at the bottom can hold things like nappies, wipes etc.

   Then  there is the cot quilt.  

And lastly a piccie of the back of the quilt.

As with every new baby plenty of clothes are always given by friends so I decided to go along the path of everyday items that new parents need.  I certainly had great fun choosing fabrics, patterns and making the items.

Back to sewing some Christmas gifts and a few other bits and pieces which I hope to have piccies of up soon.

In the meantime happy sewing.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

All my life I have been known as......

A daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, friend, wife, mother and today I became a grandma.  At 2.25 am our dear son and lovely daughter-in-law presented myself and hubby with our first grandchild.     Ten minutes after she made her way into the world our son phoned to congratulate us on becoming grandparents, all went well with the birth and "mum she is just perfect".    As soon as visiting time was allowed this morning both of us were at the hospital to be with the happy but tired parents and  to welcome the new addition to our family. He was right - she is perfect.     So without further ado I would like to show you all 3 kgs and 50 cm of our granddaughter.

That is me having my first nurse and I hope that there will be many more to come.   It certainly brought back happy memories of our children.  

Over the last nine months I have had my foot flat to the pedal - DDIL was very good and let me have free range in choosing fabrics for whatever I decided to make.

I will be back very soon to show you what me and my machine have been up to lately.

In the meantime happy sewing.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Making a start on.....

some Christmas sewing.    When I was blog hopping the other week I saw these adorable Christmas tree trivets and knew that I had to make one or two or 12.    I am sure that they would be equally as cute if you used autumnal fabric.

If you would like to make your own cute forest of  trivets pop over to

Last year I was shown how to make this cute Christmas tree by one of ladies at my quilting group.

I posted a photo of the tree on a forum that I belong to and had many requests to do a tutorial which can be found at

If you decide to make some of the trees and have a problem please contact me and hopefully I can help.

And last but not least is this cute stocking.   I can see a few more of these being made before Christmas.  I think that it is just the right size for a stocking - not too big to fill.

I am pleased to say that I did make a bit of a dent in the Christmas fabric scrap pile.

How is your Christmas sewing going???

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Spring break

I have just had two weeks off work and not sure where those two weeks have gone.   Spring in Sydney is a lovely time of the year and during my time off we have some lovely weather and were able to make the most of the outdoors.    A must every spring is a trip into the city to see the David Jones flower festival and the flowers are always a delight to see.

Just prior to my holiday we purchased a new chariot which can be seen below

My how cars have changed over the years.   We were parked next to this old girl the other day.   A 1928 Alvis

And this 1955 Holden.   Our car can be seen on the other side of the road.  

Those pesky parrots are at it again.   This time at ground level.    For  some reason known only to them they have decided to dig a hole out beneath the gum tree.

Checking on progress

And the result is..........

One day we spent very local - enjoyed a lovely lunch at the local Tavern in the courtyard

And on the way back home we were reminded of the  dangers of bushfires that are a constant threat in our bushy area during the summer months
Next stop was at McCarrs Creek to enjoy the water views

And to finish off the last day of my holidays we drove to Leura today to enjoy the scenery and  gorgeous spring blossoms

For real reason for going to the mountains was for hubby to give the car a country trip to see fuel consumption and all those things that men talk about when they lift the bonnet on their cars.  
I am glad to say that he was pleased with its performance.    So he now has bragging rights.

Tomorrow morning at 6 am will be a reality check for me when the alarm goes off and I have to get ready for work.

I also managed to squeeze in some sewing but not a finish so I hope to be back soon with some Christmas trivets to show you.   In the meantime happy sewing.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bandicoots for sale

If you are unlucky enough to have bandicoots in your garden you will understand what I mean.     There is nothing cute about a bandicoot.     They dig DEEP  holes in the lawn and leave ticks.    We have been plagued by these critters for many years - each morning  we wake to find holes like these

So it is a daily ritual to grab the rake and broom to fill the holes back in before one of us falls into them and twists an ankle or worse.   If they keep this up they may "hit" oil one day.    Perhaps we need to invest in a guard dog.  

Are you unlucky to have such nightly visitors as we are?  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

An advanced showing

Of my mystery quilt  that was a challenge  issued by one of our quilting groups former presidents.   This was run over 6 months and at the beginning of each month we were emailed another clue - each of these clues were to be interpreted in our way.  The first clue - the "star" of the quilt, the second clue - did it need squaring up, the third clue - curves, the fourth clue - do you embellish, embroider or applique, the fifth clue - triangles or diamonds and the sixth clue and final clue  "You can go on your own way".

Our reveal date is at our August meeting and as none of the group are readers of my blog I thought it was safe to share with my other readers.    This is the way that I interpreted the clues

The star of my quilt is the middle of 81 squares and made up of two triangles appliqued together to form the star.    I have curved the quilting on the corners of the white border and when I was told to go my own way I decided to finish off the quilt with a colourful binding using up some of the fabric that made up the squares.

I hope that you enjoyed my interpretation of those clues and I look forward to seeing what the other members of the group come up with.

I have spent today packing my machine and sewing bag as it is time for my annual quilting weekend next week.   I am so looking forward to catching up with the other ladies of EPQ.  

See you all soon and happy sewing in the meantime.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Winter is..........

Lorrikeets feeding in our neighbour's back garden - a morning ritual that I like to watch from my kitchen window as I am preparing our breakfast each day.   I was lucky enough to be able to grab the camera and put on the zoom  without frightening them off.

A garden full of fallen coloured leaves

Warm fireplaces

Misty mountain walks and finding unexpected things along the way

Like giant mushrooms and

Bare trees with  raindrops.

I would love to hear what winter is for you.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

It has only been 12 months since......

I was at a quilting retreat and managed to get my head around foundation piecing.    Whilst I was at the retreat I did start a bedrunner using up scraps I had left over from another quilt that I had finished several years ago.   As previously  reported back in March I had spent many nights removing the papers from  my crossed canoes and I can now proudly say that it is completed and sits at the end of our bed keeping our toes nice and warm on these rather chilly nights that we have been having lately.

The only fabric that I had to buy for this project was the offwhite and the blue border fabric which depicts water.  

The first picture is a close up of the canoes and in the second one it is pegged across several garden chairs showing the length of the bedrunner.

I am also just about at completion stage of a mystery quilt that I am working on for a challenge issued by my quilting group.    I hope to be back very soon with piccies of that.

In the meantime happy sewing.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

On a moonlight morning

Hubby and I woke up last Saturday morning to find the moon still up and seeing as it was going to be a clear day we thought we would head off on our annual trek to Mt Wilson to see the autumn leaves and this year is the most spectacular we have seen the colours in the trees.

We parked the car and walked down shaded  lanes
   And along grassy walk ways
To be amazed at the colours in the trees - particularly the reds

After a few hours of wandering around and admiring the scenery it was time to head home.  What a shock we got when we started heading back down the mountain - there before us was Sydney - no wonder they call it "the big smoke".     The pollution hanging over the city nearly made us turn the car around and head back up the mountain to the peace and freshness of Mt Wilson.

I look forward to returning to Mt Wilson in the spring to enjoy the springtime blossoms.

I have been doing quite a bit of sewing lately and hope to come back soon with some piccies of what I have been finishing off.

In the meantime happy sewing.