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.