Monday, 30 December 2013

Our Holiday in England-- Part 1

We tend to put a lot of thought and planning into our holidays, so it was most unusual for us to decide in September, that we were going on an overseas holiday in October.

London was our destination and we stayed in a lovely B+B is East Putney, which was very conveniently located for travel to and from the city.  I just loved the sights of London and here are a few of them.

Liberty Shop in London
Cooking paella at the Chelsea Markets
Yummy chocolate coated strawberries

Hanging baskets with lovely flowers all over the city
Guard outside Buckingham Palace
An interesting shopfront
China town
The fresh flowers at Harrods

 We did a daytrip to Hampton Court. I was delighted to find a small patchwork shop at the village of Hampton Court. It was the only patchwork shop I found on the whole trip.

 Hampton Court
We left London by train and went to Yorkshire, where we hired a car. We stayed in a B+B just outside of York.  The village was called Linton on Ouse.

The Shambles in York. Loved the narrow cobblestoned passage with interesting shops.
Halloween was around the corner
Bettys Tearooms in York. I went to the original Betty's Tearooms in Harrogate 30 years ago.

 We did day trips into the countryside and we visited one of the national Trust places called Fountains Abbey. It is the ruins of an old abbey-- beautifully kept grounds and very interesting ruins.
Fountains Abbey
 The first sighting of a pheasant for me-- seen in the grounds of Fountains Abbey
Green fields and old stone walls

We drove over the Yorkshire Dales admiring the lovely scenery (which was impossible to photograph). I admired the craftsmanship involved in building the stonewalls  which still stand today.
The next destination was The Lakes District. We stayed in the best B+B in a small village called Troutbeck ( near Windermere. Would you believe there is another place also called Troutbeck near Penrith).  I hope to return there one day. There are lots of walks and very interesting places to explore--- we need a lot more time there to do them.
View from  a walk out of Troutbeck. Lake Windermere is in the distance.
The colourful fruit platter at breakfast
Birdfeeder outside the breakfast room of our B+B in Troutbeck
Old stone bridge
We caught a ferry at Bowness and crossed Lake Windermere to Far Sawrey.  I went to Beatrix Potter's House, Hill Top Farm, 30 years ago, and I enjoyed it just as much this time round. The house and gardens and surrounding countryside was delightful.


Hill Top Farm-- Beatrix Potter's house

Robin in Beatrix Potter's garden
A Bunny in Beatrix Potter's garden

We went on a walk and found this waterfall.
We went on to Derwent water and did a walk along the lake's foreshore. 

Geese on Derwent water

Wordsworth's garden in Grasmere-- Dove Cottage

National Trust building-- Wray Castle

Wild Forget-me-nots

Pretty hydrangea

View from the B+B in Troutbeck.
The views of the countryside in Yorkshire and the Lakes District, with the stone walls and woolly sheep with black faces, reminded me of my "Day in the country" cot quilt. I guess I got the inspiration for my quilt on my trip there 30 years ago. I had wanted to capture that scene all these years-- only took me 28 years to do it! I feel inspired to make another quilt with the country scenery-- hopefully in 2014.

A Day in the Country-- Cot Quilt
Woolly sheep with black faces
Country scene wall hanging
I will return in 2014 with the second part of our holiday.
Wishing each and everyone  a Very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year. May we all continue to find enjoyment and relaxation in our craft.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A Nestling

We have a Tuckeroo tree in our front yard, and this year, we have a little nest in it. I watched as the Wattlebird parents frantically search for food to feed this very fast growing nestling, and the nestling, very quickly, outgrows the size of its parents!

The nestling, is not a Wattlebird baby, but a Koel.


Koel baby
The Wattle bird is a native bird and lives around her all year round. It has 2 sets of nests each year--thankfully, otherwise   there would not be any wattlebirds left .
The first nest is built is early spring and produces their own offspring. The second nest is built in Oct/Nov and usually produces a Koel baby.

Koels are migratory birds. They fly here each year from Asia ( New Guinea and Indonesia) and usually arrive in early October. They are cuckoos--- laying their eggs in other birds' nests. The koel usually lays their egg in the Wattle bird's nest, and when that egg hatches, that nestling kicks out the other eggs and nestlings and is the only one left. It grows very quickly and ends up being double the size of the parents--- and yet the parents are not aware that it is not their own baby. Rather amazing, I think. Because it needs so much food, the Wattlebird parents are frantic, flying around looking for food for this permanently hungry creature.
The koels then leave this area in March and migrate back to Asia.

This year, we have had nestlings from the Wattlebird, Koel, Butcherbird, noisy Miners, and Rainbow Lorikeets visiting our yard. The Magpies that live here have not had a baby this year-- the first year that that has happened. Some other creature must have raided their nest. Poor things.

Until the next post. Hopefully, I would have had a chance to go through my UK photos and do a post on our UK holiday.


Friday, 6 December 2013

The winners of the Gingerbreadman decoration

"Thank You" to everyone who has taken time to visit my blog, and an extra big "Thank You" to the bloggers who have taken the time to leave a message.

As I do have extra Gingerbreadmen, I have decided that each blogger who left a message is a winner!
I do have your addresses, Chooky and Koala.  Could Meredith and Kucki68 please email me with your snail mail addresses at and I will post them out to you as soon as I have received them.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Back Home again, Gingerbreadmen and a Magazine Project

We have been home for the last 5 weeks, and I don't know what I have done with the time-- it seems to have flown by and the holiday is a very distant dream.
We had a wonderful holiday in England. The last time I was there was 30 years ago and I have been wanting to return there ever since. We had 3 weeks there in total, staying in London, Yorkshire, The Lakes District, The Cotswolds, Somerset and Devon. The scenery was beautiful and very restful. And the colour Green-- well, very different to the Australian green.

A view from our B+B in the Lakes District

In the next post, I will have photos from all the different areas we visited.  I keep looking at the photos and would love to be back there again. My dream would be to live there for 1 year and experience the changing seasons-- the colours of the trees, the birdlife and the flowers. Of course, that will always be a dream.

My daughter is a school teacher and last year she had me painting Santa hats, ( Christmas decorations),as a tiny gift for each of her little students.  You guessed it! She has asked me to paint another set for each of her students for this Christmas. This time we chose Gingerbreadmen. And here they are "straight out of the oven".

Gingerbreadmen Christmas decorations
She needs to write their names and a message on the back of each of them, then I will have to varnish them.
I have a couple spare, so if you would like to leave a message, you have a CHANCE TO WIN a Gingerbreadman decoration for your tree .
I popped into the Newsagents today and found the latest Australian Homespun magazine ( the December issue). It was with great excitement that I turned the pages and this is what I found:
My patchwork quilt in the Australian Homespun magazine
English paper piecing and embroidery
I had made this as a lapquilt using EPP and embroidery and added some of my buttons to the completed quilt. I wanted to have a "frame" around the embroidery-- and came up with this idea. I used elongated hexagons and squares for the EPP and then appliqued it to the fabric and  added the embroidery in the middle. I was happy with the completed quilt and happier to see it in the magazine.
I had popped into my local quilt shop for some retail therapy, and the owner of the shop informed me that someone had already been in to buy the elongated hexagon paper pieces to make the quilt. ( the templates are in the pattern ). I left the shop with a feeling of being on cloud 9! I also bought some new fabric and new DMC variegated threads and I have  lots of  ideas zooming in my head.
Do leave a comment for your chance to win a Gingerbreadman Christmas decoration.  I love it when I get comments  and would love comments from new visitors to the blog too. It gives me an opportunity to visit your blog as well and email each other and develop some lovely friendships along the way.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

I'm leaving on a Jet plane!

I am home today with the tune of  "I'm leaving on a jet plane" (although I do know when I will be back again) going round and around in my little head! That is because we will be off tomorrow on a holiday to the UK.

This has been my dream for years ( I will not say how many years, as you may fall off your seat when you hear it!) and it was decided at short notice-- which is most unlike us. So in a very short space of 3 weeks we have  bought the tickets, planned a driving holiday and booked accommodation along the way.

Now I have to pack my bags to get ready to go on that Jet plane.

I will miss reading all your blog posts but look forward to reading them when I get home again.

Take care.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Spring is here

We have had a beautiful day today here in Sydney. Spring is well and truly here and the flowers are all out and the scent of freesias  in our garden is a constant reminder that the warmer weather is here.
My birthday was ages ago, and I received this gorgeous gift for my birthday from a blogging friend, Margaret, who lives in Spain. The sewing is exquisite and I just love them.  I meant to blog about it, but having been away from blogging for awhile, it slipped my mind. However, it is better late than never, and here is a big Thank You to Margaret ( for these lovely gifts which I am using  and will treasure always.
Gifts from Margaret
The lawn in the garden has the spring grasses growing and the rosellas love them. The rosellas are timid birds so they are not often seen close up in the garden like this.
A crimson rosella in the garden
We do hope that the lovely weather continues as my daughter is getting married next weekend and the wedding ceremony will be held outdoors.
Until next time,

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Winners

The winners are:

For the Blue Heart Cushion:         Koala

For the Blue Heart Wall hanging:         Shez.

The patterns will be in the snail mail to you both shortly.

Thanks to all for visiting my blog and an extra Thanks for the ones who have taken the time to leave a comment. It is extra special when someone does take the time to do so.

Have a lovely weekend. It is promising to be glorious sunny day here in Sydney.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Pattern give away and an exciting order.

I am still in the "go slow" mood in relation to my craftwork. I keep telling myself that I have to get a move on-- but it is easier said than done.

I had made up 2 designs earlier this year and Marilyn, from The Patchwork Teahouse, had them in her stall at the APQ Show in Melbourne in April. I realised that I have not had a pattern give away for these 2 designs. So, if you would like to win one of the patterns, please leave a comment for a chance to win.
Blue Heart Cushion

Small Blue Heart Wallhanging
A few weeks ago, I decided that I needed some new fabric therapy. I love Lynette Anderson's fabric designs(  and decided I would visit her online shop and buy some fabric. I bought  The Candy Cane Angel angel delight bundle, a bundle of Yoko Saito's style of fabrics, the Applique rod and some wildflower ribbons. When Lynette saw my name with the order, it jolted her memory that she used to have my brooches in her original patchwork store many years ago. I must say that Lynette kept me very busy painting all those years ago, because her original patchwork store sold many of my brooches and some of my buttons too. When I checked my emails, there was an email from Lynette requesting more brooches for her new store. I was delighted to have my brooches in her gorgeous new shop and  madly  started painting again. So I managed to get a few different brooches together and I sent off a parcel last week for Lynette's new shop, Little Quilt Store ( .
Some of the brooches that went off to the Little Quilt Store
It has been a glorious day today and a walk along the esplanade was much needed. The day did not start off well as I had to have an urgent visit to the dentist. A tooth had broken off whilst I was having breakfast on the weekend! I was glad when that visit was over.
Cheers. Until next time,

Monday, 22 July 2013

A return to Blogging

I don't know what has happened to me lately--must have lost my craft  drive somewhere along the way. I have not been visiting many blogs , nor leaving comments-- like I usually do. Yesterday,  I received an email from a blogging  friend wondering what has happened-- so it has jolted me into doing a post today and will look up the different blogs that I normally visit to see what is happening with everyone out there. Thank you, Margaret, ( Solstitches), for getting me started again.

I did have something exciting happen-- a , lapquilt, made with EPP and embroidery, has gone off to a magazine, to be published at the end of the year. That went in June and it has been difficult getting started on something else. I have started a blue and white quilt for a bed in my daughter's old room-- using EPP-- so rather slow in getting going, I am losing interest in it already!  I need something to get my teeth into--might have to start something else instead. Mind you, I do have so many UFOs-- I should not be starting another project.

The weather has been beautiful these last few days. It is chilly, but the sky is blue and the sun is shining. The sunsets have been gorgeous. I went for a walk along the esplanade and this was a reflection in the eastern sky as the sun was setting in the west. I had my phone with me and was able to get this photo.
Sunset in the eastern sky

We have had some very inquisitive rainbow lorikeets come to visit us lately. My son and I were in the garden and these lorikeets just flew very close to us. My son brought out an apple to feed them. He bit a piece of apple for the birds, and went on munching on the rest of the apple himself. These 2 cheeky things decided that they wanted the apple that my son was eating-- just landed on his arm and started chewing at his piece!
2 cheeky rainbow lorikeets munching on some apple

These were not game to come any closer, but were watching the other 2.
Bye for now.

Monday, 6 May 2013

A few days in South Australia

We spent 3 days in the Fleurieu Peninsula and stayed in a B+B which was 8 km away from Yankalilla in the Inman Valley. Here are some of the views form our B+B(called Rattleys Cottage at Pear Tree Hollow).
View from B+B
Beautiful early morning sky
Quilt hanging on the wall of the hosts'cottage
Each day we drove around to different places, doing short walks along the beach and in the National parks.
Yaccas and stringybark trees in Deep Creek Conservation park
These are there to clean our shoes before going into and after leaving the conservation park ( to stop spread of a fungus)
The start of the Heysen Trail ( the trail goes for 1200km) at Cape Jervis
We walked a short distance along the Heysen trail
Ferry going to Kangaroo Island (seen in the background) at Cape Jervis
Horse drawn tram along the causeway between Victor Harbor and Granite Island
An old stone cottage in the Inman Valley
Maslin Beach
Jetty at Normanville
We left the Fleurieu Peninsula and made our way north through the Adelaide Hills to the Barossa.
Church at Strathalbyn
An old watering can outside The Cedars--- Hans Heysen's home near Hahndorf
Flowers outside a shop in Woodend in the Adelaide Hills
A Penny farthing outside a pub at Mt. Pleasant
Our B+B at Greenock in the Barossa. It was the Old Telegraph Station.
A plaque on a Lutheran church on the Kidman trail in the Barossa. It is in German as many Germans settled in this area years ago.
 We were going to the Barossa Farmers Markets on the Saturday and nearby was the Barossa Quilt Shop which was also on the agenda. However, it was not to be as we had to head home earlier than planned. We were going to stay on a sheep property in the Clare Valley--- there is always a next time.
The weather was very pleasant and both B+Bs had a slow combustion heater which we lit at night, and it kept us snug and warm in the old stone cottages.
Take care.