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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year, 2020..





It is hard to believe it is a week since we celebrated Christmas and today we celebrate a New Year and New Decade. In most instances time flies so fast, while other times it drags. Not too much of the dragging of late. Life has been so very busy, with fun and pleasurable experiences.  We were  invited to share the festivities with family and friends, however we declined this time because of the travelling,  opting to be at home.   



The celebratory season  in the southern  hemisphere, is summer time.  Warm days  and of course the end of the school year, so many folk enjoy a long holiday break.




I  love Christmas and this time of the year. One can usually feel the excitement in the air and for many,  it is normally contagious. This year has had a very different atmosphere.  Sadly our country continues to suffer further widespread, raging bush fires, loss of property,  also loss of lives. Both gallant fire fighters and some who have lost their lives, after choosing to stay, to try and protect their property.  No Joy for these folk, their loved ones,  their towns and communities. We were blessed with gentle rain on our way home on Christmas Eve, What a delight to see it caressing parched ground, gardens and lawns. It fell softly through the night with a very heavy downpour at 6am Christmas Day. Not a drop of rain since, with none forecast anytime soon. The drought continues.

We had a delicious Christmas Dinner of ham, roasted stuffed turkey breast,
roast pumpkin, potato, local fresh king prawn and mango salads and dressings.


Our climate does not bode well for traditional Christmas Pudding. This year  I chose to  make a cold treat for our Christmas fare.  

 
A White Chocolate Cheese cake with  raspberries and shards pf pistachio, and pepita 
praline.

                    Only 357 days till we celebrate this event once again. Let's hope our scorched and blackened land, will soon be rejuvenated with cool and refreshing rain, to enhance regrowth and greenery. I wish for you all a Happy New Year with many joyful blessings.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

A Week Before Christmas and a Wee While Before.


Speaking of Christmas, how did it arrive so soon? I know I had a slow year accomplishing anything in needlework.  I was unable to concentrate on any stitching,  any counted cross stitch, or patchwork, without reverse stitching. By the end of September things had taken a turn for the better. It allowed me to  accomplished more than I thought, although not the major item I had in mind. It is what it is, onward from here.

 I managed to do some stitching for our quilt show 'Sale table"for next year. Tote bags, baby items Christmas decorations and such. There will be more to do before June next year, so I need to make progress with hand quilting on my king size quilt, before making more items to add to this project.

We established a rose garden earlier this year, in Springtime. The rose bushes are rewarding us with beautiful blooms, some of which are pictured below. The pink and white one, was a "ring in" in my order. I didn't much care for the look of it in the catalogue. I chose one listed near to it, the nursery folk must have decided it needed to come live at our home. In a bunch, in a Lalique bowl, it looks quite pretty.


We have had extreme and extensive bush fires around our country this year so far. Only 18 days into summer for us in the Southern Hemisphere, right now.  Our airport is located  in a peat area and a fire started there in late July. It has continued to burn, with flare ups,  still now.  There have been 55 days of smoke here, like the photo below, in the highly dangerous  category, equivalent to smoking a packet and a half of cigarettes a day. Thankfully we have been blessed with good lungs, hopefully they are not damaged


Years of unrelenting drought have taken our area to water restrictions at level 3, with the threat of moving, to level 4 early in the new year.  The view below is looking down the hill and across to the city, some 4-5klms away.




On November the 8th we had a very scary afternoon. the fires were only 3 klms from where we live. The smoke, combined with the red dust from the dry interior plains and the heat from the flames  caused such an arid atmosphere, leaves descended over all properties nearby. The leaves were black, although still very much intact.
Obviously all moisture from the stems had been evaporated, causing the trees to shed their foliage. The wind blew the leaves across the city, with green lawns covered with an odd looking black carpet.

  


These photos were taken at 2:30pm, from nearby, looking out to sea.  We needed the lights on indoors, the smoke and dust made everything very dark. Below are some of the leaves we collected from our front garden. They reeked of  burnt eucalyptus forests, even weeks later.




We have had a week clear of smoke. What a relief for us all to be able to breathe freely and not have stinging eyes.  Not so for those wonderful fire fighters, who have done their utmost to keep most of us from harm, although sadly, 750 homes and buildings have been lost so  far. We are very grateful for all their efforts and are indebted to their selfless service.


Once again I participated in the international Christmas Ornament Exchange

 I've done so for over 12 years.  Prior to this group was one, 5 years ago, when I started exchanging . Below is my Ornament for this year along with two gifts I included. Enjoy.


















Saturday, June 8, 2019


Hello again,

Seems I haven't been here for such a very long time.

Over the last 2 years, life has been very confronting, presenting several challenges. Sadly some, one never wants to experience ever again.

. Moving countries, to return home to Australia, was an ambivalent experience at the time..  "There's no place like Home" is so true for me, however leaving loved ones, friends, special encounters and locations behind,  required some acceptance.  Selling our home,in New Zealand was somewhat distressing.




Several urgent  factors determined our new location in New South Wales.. However, this location has turned out to be very pleasant, apart from the high humidity of summer. Some of the many beaches along the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, are  truly beautiful.


Horse Shoe Bay
South West Rocks NSW

                             Parking at Tacking Point Lighthouse, looking to Lighthouse Beach .


               Looking South to Laurieton, with the three mounds of Big Brother, Middle Brother                    and Little Brother, just visible in the distance


Tacking point Lighthouse.


                                         Looking North at Port Macquarie Harbour Entrance.


                                    Lake Cathie entrance, to the South (pronounced Lake Cat Eye).

Our lovely back garden, is filled with Palms, Frangipani , Cycads,  Buxus hedging, as well as a great, flat,  Buffalo lawn.  It is a blank canvas, since removing the many Agaves Yukas and others, not wanted.   There is much to do, now the weather is cool enough for gardening outdoors.  

To the left.

                                                                        To the right.


We espaliered  five  citrus trees along the eastern fence just after we moved in last year, in May.  They were laden with small fruit soon after,  which we removed, to strengthen the trees. We have since harvested a number of blood red Grapefruit.




 In spring  two climbing roses were planted, one on each pillar at the front entrance. These have now grown to reach up to the next floor. They grow very quickly, love the northerly aspect and have prolific blooms with an exquisite fragrance.


My stitching has been a non event of late. I've not been able to concentrate on counting threads and stitching over one, on a special project, that was meant to be finished by November last year. After a   large quilting luncheon, down the coast last week, I was inspired to look at my abandoned,  current patchwork project. Hopefully I will remain enthused, to keep working on this quilt.
Photos next time.
 






Monday, April 2, 2018

Lucy's Birthday Gift..

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I knitted  a scarf for Lucy's for her birthday gift. She telephoned to say she really liked it and the wee silver ear rings that were included in the gift bag. It was a fun knit, with  yarn called Circus. I purchased the yarn some years ago with both girls in mind.
I was so thrilled to receive a call from Lucy to tell me how much she loved her gift. Lucy's sister received hers,  a lemon coloured scarf of the same yarn,last year..


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Commemorating the Beginning of Our Wonderful Nation.


 First fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain arrived in Sydney Cove.
  

Australia Day is celebrated on January 26th each year. It is the commemoration of the time that the Union Jack was first raised on the shores of Sydney Cove. This is where European settlement began, to bring us to the wonderful, accepting , multi cultural, nation, that we are today.  Sydney was settled as a penal colony back in the 18th Century, with the declaration of British sovereignty. At that time in human history the way of the world  operated very differently.  In that period of history, those who were the local indigenous inhabitants of this beautiful land, along with those other wretched souls, the convicts, times were indeed very cruel and despicable.

 The painting above , is by  an English artist Algernon Talmage 1872-1939. it was painted in 1937 and is held by the Mitchel Library, the state Library of New South Wales. One would assume it is held in perpetuity for  ALL the people of Australia, with accompanying information for the world to read. See below.


  • Copying Conditions
Out of copyright: Artist died before 1955
Please acknowledge: : Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • General note
This work was offered for sale in 1999 by Hordern House, Sydney in their Rare Books, Manuscripts, Paintings & Prints catalogue, item no. 35. It had previously been in the possession of the late Douglas Hope Johnston. In 1937 Hope Johnston issued a printed version (ML ref. V1/1788/3). Another version was also published in 1937 by the Medici Society, London (ML ref. XV1/1788/3, 3a).
The Hordern House catalogue notes that: 'The selection of the artist and the responsibility for the historical accuracy of the picture were borne by Douglas Hope Johnston, the great-grandson of Lieut.-Col. George Johnston ... Hope Johnston was the founder of the Australasian Pioneers' Club and a keen student of Australian history.'
There are two finished versions of the painting, for which this is the preliminary oil sketch: In the Tate Gallery, London, dated 1938 and measuring eight by ten feet, presented as a Coronation Year gift to Great Britain by Mr M.F. (Frank) Albert of Sydney. It was loaned to the Australian Government for the 1938 Sesqui-Centenary Celebrations; the second large version, dated 1938, hangs in Parliament House, Sydney (colour transparency at ML ref. FM2/1803).
A tapestry based on the version of this work held by the Tate Gallery, London was unveiled in 1996 at the Royal Military Museum (Old Wardroom), Eastney Barracks, Portsmouth. The tapestry was woven by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop. (Information from Mr R.O. Albert, January 2001.)
Digital order no:a128112
  • Signatures / Inscriptions
Signed, dated and inscribed in black brushpoint lower left by the artist 'A. Talmage 1937 Sketch for Founding of Australia'.
Frame label lower edge centre with title and identification of (left to right): '1st Lieut. Newton Powell (i.e. Fowell)'; Lieut P.G. King R.N. H.M.S. Sirius'; Lieut George Johnston A.D.C.'; Capt. Arthur Phillip R.N.; 'Capt. David Collins Judge Advocate'; 'Commdr. H.L. Ball R.N. H.M.S. Supply'.
  • Name
  • Subject
  • Place




Australia has  become one of the most desired countries  for folk wanting to change their allegiance  and start a new life.  Australians are known for their friendliness, generosity and openness.  We welcome those who wish to share our culture and way of life, our fabulous country with exquisite scenery and our remarkable Fauna and Flora.

I am forever grateful for those folk be they aboriginal or, convicts who were transported to this far away land, and even those who were the custodians of that time. I am grateful, dare I say, for the cruelty, sacrifices,  for their collective hard work,  brave spirits and amazing ingenuity, which is instilled in most of us as part of the "Australians" we are today.


Our beautiful Australian flag, is an apt reminder of where we are in the world. The fabulous colour of our skies and oceans, the beautiful stars of the Southern cross, the Federation star to mark our unification as one land, along with the Union Jack to remind us forever, of our harsh and cruel beginnings for both  18th century Indigenous and European folk'
Flag of Australia. Vector.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Nothing like Blue & White in Most Treasures.




I found this photograph in my emails this morning, from the Quilt Jane website.
It brought to mind someone, who I think, likes chocolate very much. So the only thing to do was to encourage her with this picture. Enjoy, Marilyn & all those who  think chocolate is one of the major food groups. Not me, I prefer savoury items.:):) Fabulous dish 'tho. K.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

My Beloved- Song of Songs.


I managed to complete this piece  last week. It is my first cross stitch completion, for  2018. It was a relatively quick finish, although it was started 6 yeas ago
. I enjoyed stitching it and using the lovely hand dyed threads from Crescent Colours, known now as Classic Clourworks, Weeks Dye Works, along with Gentle Arts Sampler Threads and a DMC white.

Classic Colourworks were, Dandelion Stem and Blue Beadboard, which I substituted for GAST Morning Glory.
Weeks Dye Works, Kadzu.
Gentle Arts Sampler Threads,  Cidermill Brown.

The fabric is  28 ct, Country French Latte from Wichelt Imports.
Enjoy.


.


Friday, January 5, 2018

A Christmas item from the 2018 "to do' List.

This is one of the three, Just Nan items, from my current Stitching 2018 Goals.
I hope to get it started later in the week.  It is not the  Christmas item I planned to stitch  first.  It is the one to hand for now and it has been waiting for attention for some many years.
I thought it might be too much however, on reflection, it is made up of small parts so not too daunting.
Kay.


First Stitching for 2018

This year I have decided to have a goal plan for my stitching projects. I have a few  projects that  have been started & filed in the "to do" folder. Maybe that should read the "to Complete " file.
A collection below for both files.

First & foremost I have a large quilt to be hand quilted.
Two, a small sampler see below. started years ago.
Three, a large Moira Blackburn Sampler,  fabric gridded only, threads organized.
Four, a Just Nan, Halloween,  3D piece, not started.
Five,  a Just Nan, Halloween, 3D piece, started 10 years ago, 30% completed.
Six,  a Just Nan, Christmas 3D piece , not  started.
2 small Halloween ornaments yet to be chosen for exchanges.
2 small Christmas ornaments, yet to be chosen,for exchanges.

 It seems like an ambitious list,  so  nothing better than a challenge to see how one travels.




This is 'My Beloved' from Country Cottage Needleworks. It has been waiting for completion for some years. Why it was abandoned way back then, I can no longer remember.   As I work on it,  I am thinking it is a quick stitch. I hope to have this one completed and removed from my "to complete" list  by the end of the weekend. Enjoy, Kay.

Monday, January 1, 2018

First Day of The New Year, 2018.

This is the day to reveal one's efforts for the ODW Challenge for December, 2017.  It was once again my choice for the theme. I chose a Christmas theme, for others who maybe don't celebrate Christmas, whatever December theme appealed.
This is my stitched piece for December. A Shepherds' Bush Christmas stocking. Yet to have trinkets & beads attached, then made up into an actual stocking. I was keen to get this posted, so it was not  pressed before the photograph.


This is the final of the ODW Challenges, for me.  It has been an interesting time, sharing
 alternative months with another stitcher. It is now time for us both to move onto other challenges for 2018.  Enjoy.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Ornaments Received.


I've neglected to post the photos of my Christmas ornaments, from my exchange partner for this years' exchange.

I was blessed for 12 or so years to belong to this exchange, luckily I was  the organizers' partner for this year.
Sadly she has decided, that 14 years of organizing this event, has been enough for her. Thank you Sue & well done. You have brought many folk together, encouraged us to exchange our work with others around the world & brought the Christmas Spirit to me, at an early stage for longer enjoyment. Your efforts are well & truly appreciated. Thankfully someone else has picked up the mantle, so, it will continue.  Here are mine  from Sue, for this year. Two beautiful ornaments to adorn my ornament tree.



Thursday, December 7, 2017

Warm Summer Days.

We have been experiencing very hot and humid days over the last couple of weeks.  The best part, for me is,  that there are cool breezes during the bright sunshine, along with cooler nights, perfect for sleep. The city is very dry & I heard this morning we are into the emergency water supply.
Hopefully rain will deliver us from further restrictions.

I've managed to complete three partially done TSS blocks in the last week. My hand quilting schedule is not happening.

This one is block #12, titled Checkerboard I'm not sure if I will use it as it is or, do another take on this design.



 The second one is Block #56 "At home Anywhere" this is my own design & interpretation for this pattern. You can tell where I feel at home.



The third one is #40 Flights of Friendship. Enjoy.