Wednesday, 26 December 2012


We cooked our first ham as we had Christmas at home for the first time in many years, without the interstate trek. Following my brother's tip we used a lime glaze and it was delicious!

Lovely to have Merryl and Pete join us from the Gold Coast.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Knitting hats

I have started my fourth child's knitted hat (or beanie) for charity donation. My friend Philippa started me off during our time in Tasmania for the orienteering championships. The pattern is very simple in 3x3 rib and easy to do in the car (as a passenger!) or in front of a TV program. Here are the latest two hats.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Royal Botanic Gardens

What a great way to spend "Cup" Monday - a visit to te Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. It was a balmy warm day of about 27 degrees but with cloud cover and a gentle breeze ...ahh. We wandered toward the "renovated" Guilfoyle's Volcano which was an almost forgotten reservoir on the southern border of the gardens. It has been made over as an arid landscape and the design is brilliant! Many of the cacti were flowering as a bonus.

We had a lovely salad and glass of wine lunch at the Tearooms, then, as it started to rain, stayed on admiring the views and swans, with tea and coffee and a scone! Very relaxing outdoors under the verandah ... When the rain finished we walked the rest of the gardens, the perennials and rhododendrons were a highlight.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

St Arnaud and Swan Hill

This week we went travelling in our van to St Arnaud National Park and then on to Swan Hill, Victoria. We free camped at Teddington Reservoir for two nights first up. We had at most 4 neighbours in the camping area so it was very quiet and peacefull. We kayaked on the reservoir and walked round it and the next day drove the tracks to a lookout and on to St Arnaud township, taking a picnic with us. We thought the park looked like good orienteering terrain so emailed the details to the VIC president who is looking for new terrain in the Ararat/Stawell region for the Australian Championships in 2015.

At Swan Hill we were in the caravan park with a site right on the river, which was a very pleasant view each day. We visited the Pioneer Village and had a paddle boat ride, visited Lake Boga and the Catalina Flying Boat Museum (my uncle trained at the base in WWII), took a picnic to Nyah Vinefera River Murray Reserve and stopped at a winery where we discovered a rather nice old tawny port (Buller)!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Australian Orienteering Championships 2012

Held in Tasmania around the St Helens region on the east coast, these champs were great fun. My son was in the Victorian Schools team and stayed at a local caravan park with the other state teams. I stayed in a villa complex with many other club members. We had a great view from the balcony.

 The terrain varied and was quite challenging, we did 7 events in 9 days. Unfortunately I made a mistake (of varying proportions) each day except for the event on the junior girls course which I "aced" and for the relay where I learnt from my mistakes to complete the course quite well when many stumbled. I also had success in a couple of the finish split handicaps that our club runs - a bit of fun!

We had a little time for sightseeing as well and enjoyed the Bay of Fires, Pyengana, St Columba Falls and local walks and drives to and from events.

The kids did well with three selected in the Aust. team and two as reserves plus two silver medals for the senior boys team and a bronze for the junior boys. My son had his best champs yet.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Another Cushion Made

Another UFO is now completed. I had on my shelf four blocks from a class we did at Gail's in Ballarat long ago ... New York Beauty pattern made using foundation piecing. The original blocks had black and white spots, hand dyes and some Kaffe Fassett prints. While I was on a roll I thought to make them up into a cushion with the addition of some Heath fabric in black by Alexander Henry (I bought a couple of metres of this useful fabric a while ago). The result is quite dramatic I think!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Scarves finished

Last time we were at IKEA I spied the new blue and white range of textiles and picked up a "sari" size piece in very light weight cotton. My daughter suggested it would make a good scarf - well two scarves actually. Today I cut it in two lengthwise and hemmed the raw edges on the sewing machine - two scarves for $10!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Foundation Piecing

Recently my friend Louise and I did a workshop at Ballarat Patchwork on Foundation Piecing using freezer paper templates with the Harlequin Stars pattern by Emma Jansen. The class was really well taught by Pam Jansen and a fun day out. I liked the technique and my blue and white fabrics were a good choice, looking quite dramatic. Each star block was made of four identical quarters and we got two completed in the class - there was a lot of cutting first to get started. When I finished up my block it was quite hard to get the centre where the points all meet up looking perfect (mine's not!). I didn't think I would make another 15 stars for the 16 block quilt so I made mine up into a pretty cushion with a blue print on the back. I admire Emma who has made two of these quilts - one for the Victorian Quilters Guild raffle prize and the other for the shop sample.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Magnolia blossoms

Our beautiful magnolia has been flowering for nearly a week. While Spring is still a long way off, it always feels closer when the blossoms come out.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Quilt Show Visit

Louise and I had a big day out at the annual VIC Quilters Showcase and Craft Fair. I was very restrained in my purchases - a packet of magic bobbin washers (so we can all have a try), a remnant from Kelani fabrics for a cushion, a pattern that I just liked the look of and two pieces of Japanese fabric in rusty red to finish off the squares project.

I enjoyed the quilts on show and also the group challenge ones. There were quite a few older style reproduction quilts this year and fewer modern or art ones.

Sunday, 29 July 2012


Made a green and gold pavlova to celebrate the Aussies' participation in the Olympics.

It was delicious!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Snow Week

My family have been up at the snow - Falls Creek - for the week, which is why I have done so much sewing! They had mixed weather but skied and snowboarded (son) to the maximum despite it, and, in my daughter's case,  a very bad cold.