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Christmas Rituals

The ginger bread house has been made and consumed.  This year Jasmine decided it needed 3 bears outside.

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We also made lots of gingerbread people who all disappeared with the shout of ,

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"off with their heads."  (Notice no more braces the front teeth are straight.)

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Jasmine has a real thing for reindeer this year so we had to make some of those, which couldn't be eaten, yet.

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The first of the families arrived last night and we got them into a holiday rental, there were an extra 7 I couldn't handle.  It is hot, humid and there is rain around and the ants have gone mad.  I am out with the spray trying to secure the house against them.  If the rain keeps up my back verandah is going to be over loaded with people.  Still that is Xmas.


A bit steep!

My daughter borrowed my kayak and little while ago and took it down the track to the beach which is opposite our house. 

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She said there were no problems getting it up and down the track.  So today I though I would try that instead of walking around the road to the barge ramp.  Bad mistake!!  The track is super steep and the local kids have set it up to ride their bikes down so they can attempt to kill themselves.

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I wanted to go to the beach this way because I knew I was going to have trouble getting in and out of the kayak and I didn't want people laughing at me.  As it was there was an old boatie who has pulled his boat up on the beach to clean the bottom.  He nearly fell off his boat laughing at me.  I just couldn't get it up the hill and in the end it took 2 of us to get it home.  I will never believe my daughter again when it comes to physical challenges.  Easy for her difficult for me.

I also have been out to lunch with my old teaching buddies.  They served the most beautiful dessert.  It was a Pavlova to share.

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This is going to be on the Christmas menu.


That time of year

Time has caught up with me and I am way behind on where I wanted to be and other commitments keep crowding in on meYesterday was probably my last day of sewing until after the New Year.  Now that is a scarey when I think about what I want to get done.  I have family and friends moving over to the island from Xmas Day right through to New year and most are staying here with me!  Fiveteen extra people in the house makes for a lot of work.  My sewing room will be taken over as a dorm. for the kids.  Blow up matresses right up the middle. Still that is what Xmas is about.  Sharing your time with family and friends.  I hope the weather stays fine and they spend most of their time at the beach.

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My daughter in law has found a great way to introduce the girls to skating. I didn't think this was ice but it is. Those penguins are a wonderful way to learn how to balance.

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Sometimes you fall over though.

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Only 2 weeks

I am up to my neck in Xmas parties.  I thought I was organised this year but I still have things to finalise.  My little ones are organised.  They have their clipboards and pens and are at the shops writting their lists for Santa,  "should we write the bar code as well?"  (I wish I could bend over like that.  I would freeze and have to get someone to unfold me!)  They girls went to have their Xmas photo with Santa taken and the little one insisted that she had to go as Rudolph.

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Here she is with the red nose.  Jasmine is really her own person.

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My husband is putting up the Xmas tree, slowly.  I have my little stand- by tree plus the Nativity Scene in place.  But sadly one of the wise men broke.  New one for next year.

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I'm off to Toowoomba (again)

This time of year always calls for a visit to friends in Toowoomba, So today is the day.   I had my Xmas party for the cottage patchwork group last night and stayed in town at the apartment so that I could get an early start today.  I love staying here.  It is close to everything yet still a bit secluded here in the trees.

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 7.58.00 pmOn the other side of the apartment I look out over the roofs of the suburb.

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I have gifts to deliver including this lovely print  of skylines for Angela and little bundles of Xmas cheer for all the other ladies. 

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With all that has been going on I doubted that I would have all this ready in time.  But I made it.


Count down to Xmas

Now that kind of crept up on me.  Xmas that is.  I have been putting bits and pieces away all year and now is the time to pull them out and see what else I need to buy.

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Plus I have a Xmas gift to finish sewing for Thursday based on this design.   

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I have the fabric, just need to put it together.  (Just!!!)

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After that is the Xmas cards.  On top of all this I have to have the next Children's Class finalised for tomorrow.  Talk about tight time lines.





Sleeping, writting and getting my feet back on planet earth

I think I am back on planet earth again.  After arriving home the proverbial hit the fan and I was flat out just getting through each day.

The grandchildren were so eager to get their gifts, so they were first on the list.  Then I had to visit all the family and distribute their gifts.  Next came my quilting buddies and my daughter had to fly away to another job and I had to get the dog and fix the apartment for while she was away.  Then I had an assignment to write.  It was on a subject I know far too much about so I had to cut and cut my word count.  Then I just fell asleep and slept for 24 hours.  I hope the body clock is now back in sync.  OH. I forgot the washing.  I haven't got to the housework as yet.

For my quilting buddies I bought fabric in the USA that I was going to make into 'mug rugs' for them.  That was until I made one. 

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Then I decided they would 'much prefer' to make their own.  So I packed up some kits for them and 'showed' them the sample I had made. 


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I hope they have fun making these.  I have another lot of kits I have to put together for my friends up at Toowoomba but that is not for a week or so. 

I also got the painting I bought in Guatemala back on a wooden frame and up on the wall.  I carried this rolled in a piece of plumbing tubing all the way back home, cursing it all the way. but I am so pleased with it now.

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But first I have to organise my work room.  What a mess!  I have a list of projects that have to be finished before everything breaks up for Xmas.  OMG, Xmas.  I had forgotten about that.

Some odds and ends from the past few weeks.

I didn't post most of the images from my trip to Toowoomba for the flower festival and some of them were interesting.  Like the number of the platform at the Railway Museum.  Even Muggles could see this one.  (This was from my second visit, my husband was miffed that I hadn't taken him so I had to do the trip again.)

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There was also our breakfast stop at the Picnic Point Lookout and the surrounding gardens.


It was a very hazy day.


And all the tables in the park were taken with people who had brought their own breakfast.

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I realised that I had never seen 'Xanthorrhoea plants" in flower before.  There are just there in the bush.

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But on this day they were in full bloom and the parrots were feasting.  I am told they are rich in nectar.

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There were lots of tulips at this years display.

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I always look out for that one flower that comes up as a mixture of the two colours.  And there it was.

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They also had a display of vintage cars and the wonderful old bus was back working again.

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After our breakfast we headed up to Laurel Bank Park to have morning tea at the Croquet Club.  Being that time of year there were warning signs all over the place.

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But the morning tea was wonderful and there were very few spare tables.  They had even put out plastic sets of chairs and tables for the extra customers.

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All the old wooden sets were quickly filled.  (It rather looks like a scene from an Agatha Christie Movie!)

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There was a new recipe for the scone but they were still good and there were proper china cups and plates.  The only plastic was for the jam and cream.

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And every table had that vase of flowers.

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The park was full of children, on school holidays, and visitors and music and flowers.  The bees were very happy.

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Again, there were lots of tulips.

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And native flowers as well.

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Every older woman had an ipad and a pleased smile on their face.

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But the prize for best dressed had to go to this dog.

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What a lovely way to welcome spring.





Two invitations

I got this great invitation to go to a dinner in Melbourne.  Very exclusive, very expensive.  It is on in conjunction with the Dior exhibition at the art Gallery.

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But I also got a 'better' invitation.  To go and stay a few days up at Toowoomba with my Embroidery Stitching friends.  It was a no brainer really.  So, while I am stressed out over the purchase of this unit and getting ready to go overseas, which is also stressing me out, they sent all my tickets and paper work to Boston USA, I have decided to leave it all and go away for a few days.

Now I have to decide what I will work on.  The small purse for the children's classes is one.  I have to finish that shawl is another and there is those dolls clothes still hanging over my head.  But just for fun and because I really don't have time to do it I thought I would crochet some toys.

At the Quilt Show, Kerry Lord was promoting her books and I bought  a copy of "Edwards Menagerie".  Over 40 animals, that should keep me going and I have a small bundle of alpaca wool that was given to me as a gift and I have been waiting for just the right thing to use it on.

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Looking on the Toft web page I see there are lots of other things as well.  There are lots of adorable kits.  Those dogs are tempting and there on the top right hand corner is Charlie.  Have to do that at some point.

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I think this could be the start of another obsession.    There is a great interview with Kerry Lord and some lovely images here

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Quilt Show

I am in the process of buying a home unit and settlement is today.  It is really difficult trying to juggle everything from the island and driving up and down to town sure takes time out of the day.  My daughter is studying for her Phd and has left her well paid job at another university to take a low paid job at the university where she is studying.  Parents to the rescue.  I want to be able to use this property as a city base also, so there are 2 women to satisfy.

We spent a day looking for furniture, which I will have to pay for.  The only thing I bought after a whole days shopping was the couch  and even then that was a compromise. With the rest of the furniture I wrote a list and then eliminated all the very expensive pieces she wants.  As this property could end up as a rental I think I will settle for Ikea.

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On Saturday I went up to town for a pre-settlement inspection and when that was complete I stopped off at the State Quilt Show.

The quilts were good, but not outstanding, with a few exceptions.  (And this is just my personal opinion.)  So over the next few days I will post some images. 

This quilt by Terri Ahrnes was one of the standout.  It was three quilts hung side by side to make a large image.

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She was very inventive with the piecing and used a raw edge technique.

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I also liked the way she linked her quilting to the fabric design, mirroring one against the other.

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The artist statement image had a terrible resolution. (Sorry I only had my phone with me.) I have put a link to her Web page which might be more useful and another link to the great story of her quilt which she has at this site.  She won at the Ekka  (State Fair) with this quilt.  Terri is from Gladstone in regional Q'ld  and this is a wonderful quilt.