Saturday, 27 December 2014

Another Lovely Gift

My good friend Loulee from the Isle of Man, who now lives in New Zealand, and I also swap gifts each Christmas.  This year Lou sent me a lovely parcel.

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It had a delightful angel looking after it.

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What looked like 2 parcels turned out to be five!

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Look what was inside.

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Happy is the heart

That holds a food friend

What a lovely sentiment.  The hanging is beautiful.  When I get my sewing room in the new house I will have to have a wall of mini quilts.  I have two now from Lou to hang. 

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Here is the rest of the gifts.  Yummy chocs, a sweet diary, a very handy bag in Kiwiana fabrics and a bag bag.  We were rather excited about the bag bag, as it was the first thing that I was going to make for our kitchen in this house.  Now I don’t have to and it is in Manx fabric.  A double win.

Thanks Lou for such wonderful and thoughtful gifts.

Secret Santa Christmas Swap

Now that Christmas has been and gone I can show what I sent to Isabel in Portugal.

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Firstly, the ornament.  I do love these patterns.

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And the gift.

I made a Sew Together Bag.  It was a fun challenge and I’m pleased with how it turned out.

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Here it is filled with goodies.

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I’m pleased that Isabel liked it.

Now to what I received from Katie in the USA.

Just a recap of the ornament.

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Now for the gift.

Here I am opening it. Mick decided to take lots of photos, bless him.

Janice opening SSCS 2014

Can you believe it!!! A Sew Together Bag in vintage motorcycle fabric.  There is even a sidecar.  How good is that!

Filled with goodies.

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There is also some extra fabric for me to play with.  Not sure what I will use it for, but it is something I haven’t been able to find around here and certainly won’t go to waste.

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I was going to make a bag for me, but now I don’t need to.  Bonus.

Thanks Katie for such a thoughtful gift.

Thanks also to Chookyblue for making the swap happen once again.  It wouldn’t be Christmas without a mystery overseas parcel. I know that this year it nearly didn’t take place due to life getting in the way, so it is extra special. Thanks a bunch, Chooky.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Although we have only been in this house for two weeks I did manage to find a few Christmas bits and bobs. Come for a stroll with me.

Firstly, we have the entry foyer.

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The kitchen.

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The dining area.  Joey makes a lovely extra decoration.

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The living room.  The wall hanger and the runner are both SSCS gifts from previous years.

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This runner was a Christmas gift a couple of years ago.

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I was delighted to find my little nativity scenes in a suitcase when we moved.  I thought it held doileys.  What great timing for the find.

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Here they are a bit closer up.  I can’t believe I found so many kitsch examples.  I have another one packed away as well.

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The little tree was the only one to come out this year.  The table runner was last year’s SSCS gift.  Joey is acting as guard cat under the coffee table.

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Here we are a bit closer.  Most of the decorations are hand made gifts.

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I’ll share a couple of gifts a little later on.

We had a lovely day with family, too much good food and lovely gifts.  Best of all, we received some nice rain this afternoon to give everything a drink and cool things down.

I hope everyone had a wonderful day as well.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Secret Santa Christmas Swap

I  have been rather remiss in my posts about participating in the Secret Santa Christmas Swap run by Chookyblue.

This is the fifth time I’ve joined in and it has got to the stage that Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a parcel arriving from somewhere over the sea.

I still can’t disclose where my parcel went to as it hasn’t been shared on the recipient’s blog, but I believe it has arrived safe and sound.  Here is a couple of little peeks.

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It was fun wrapping everything up to send on its way.

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Then the big wait begins. As usual, I seem to get so caught up in making the gift to send off that I forget that I too will receive a parcel from somewhere……..but where?

Well, this year it came from here.

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Yes, all the way from America……don’t get me started on singing the Joan Armatrading Song.

My swap partner was Katie, who’s blog is new to me.  She has presented her parcel so beautifully.

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As usual, I could open the small package now, to reveal the most beautiful Christmas bird ornament. 

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I have always taken photos of the ornaments hanging from my pantry door.  I took this one out while we were packing, so that it wouldn’t miss out.  The last ornament to be hung from there.

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Now I have to wait patiently (I’m not very patient) for Christmas to open the rest of the parcel.  I can’t wait.

Thanks to Katie for making such a delightful ornament.  I’m going to enjoy exploring her blog now.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

It’s All Happening

After seven months on the market our house has finally sold!!!

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After six months we changed agents and went to auction, which brought things to a head.  We accepted an offer a few days before the auction.

Contracts exchanged on 19 November and settlement is on 19 December, so a relatively short time.  Add to that, the local removalists were fully booked except for Thursday and Friday last week.  Therefore, we had a mad pack of anything that was in or on furniture, so the removalists could do their stuff.  They did a marvellous job.

We are still packing the last bits and pieces before doing the big clean.  One week to go.  All good.

So, we are now living in town, in a small three bedroom house that we have owned for a while as an investment.  Timing worked out just right to enable us to do a bit of a renovation before moving in, without affecting any tenants.  We have lots of stuff packed away till we move into the house we are going to build, but we will be nice and cosy in the mean time.  I will even have a nice, light filled sewing corner.  I will share more with you once I get organised.

I have so much that I want to share from the last few months.  Blogging has taken a back seat to life for a little while, but that will all change once things settle down a little.  I will be doing a big catch up.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Yes, I’ve Been Sewing

However, most of my stitching has been of the secret variety.

The only thing I have to share for the month of October is another bib.


As you may guess, this was made to accompany the baby quilt I finished in September and I did get to take a better photo of the finished quilt before I gave it away.


They were well received and I believe they are being used, which is what I intended.

Friday, 31 October 2014


I’m doing a bit of back tracking with my blog posts at the moment.  We seem to have been rather busy, as you will see, and with little or no internet access each night.  Therefore, I’m going to try to prepare some blog posts of an evening and attempt to have them post in the early morning…..Fingers crossed I can get access then.

Remember a few weeks ago we attended the Trunkey Creek Show.  That was on the Saturday of the V8 Car Races at Bathurst.  On the Sunday we had to make a quick trip into town.  On our way home Mick mentioned that he would like to go out to Oberon sometime soon to see the dam.  Oberon Dam is a water supply dam that has not had any boating access for quite some years.  Last summer they changed the conditions to allow unpowered boats on the dam.  Mick has his kayak and wanted to see where the boats can be launched.

We aren’t avid followers of the car races, just watching the start and finish and popping in every now and then to see what is happening.  So, when I suggested we go to Oberon there and then it became a plan.    Nothing like doing it while we had the chance.  There are a few different roads we could take and I was trying to second guess Mick at a couple of intersections.  After then I said that I knew which way he was going as there were no further options…….. and then we both said “Yes, there is.  Let’s take it”.

This is the road less travelled.  We have actually only been on it once before and in the opposite direction.

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Initially the scenery was rather lunar.

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However, before long it became much nicer.

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The creek crossing is rather deep.  You wouldn’t want to attempt driving through it after rain.

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The area had been settled for many years with some lovely old relics.

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Once we crossed the creek the scenery changed again.

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Eventually we popped out at the other end of the road, not far from the famous Mayfields Gardens.

More interesting old relics.

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Finally we arrived at Oberon Dam, which was looking a picture. 

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The water level is down a bit, but the granite boulders are rather stunning.

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Mick was happy with what he saw, so hopefully we will get a chance to take the kayak up there some time this summer.

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I’d be quite happy sitting on the bank in the shade with some stitching or a good book.

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I’d never tire of looking at this scenery.

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After checking everything out, it was time for fish and chips in the park, (having been talking about going fishing on the dam – good trout). 

Once we returned home there was still plenty of time to see the finish of a somewhat eventful car race.  A great way to spend the day.

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Remember a while ago I shared all the birds I had seen or heard on a Sunday morning.

Well, since then I have seen or heard quite a few more.  There have been red rumps, galahs, a yellow throated scrub wren, white breasted triller, jabaroo, thornbills, swallows and dusky wood swallows.  I’m sure there have been others I can’t think of at the moment.

Here is one of the dusky wood swallows.  It doesn’t look much here, but they are so pretty.  Their colouring is “dusky”, just like their name implies and they have a white flash across their tail when flying.  We really enjoy their visits each year.

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The most exciting thing though, is our little robins.  Remember I hoped they would nest.  Well, the week after my post about them, there was lots of flitting to and from the cotoneaster, just below our verandah, giving us a bird’s eye view.  Pardon the pun.

Firstly we couldn’t see anything.

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Then Mick spotted something.  Can you see it?  A very well hidden nest made from wool, so it will be nice and cosy.  It looks very frail.

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After we had the snowy, stormy night a couple of weeks ago I checked and the nest was still there, but there was no sign of either Mum or Dad Robin, so I was a little worried.

Then a few days later I heard and then saw Dad.  Still no sign of Mum.  Then another few days later I thought I saw Mum.  Then we saw Dad flit into the cotoneaster again, so had a closer look.

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She is so tiny and the nest is very well camouflaged.  There is only one small gap in the leaves that you can see through.

We had a really wild wind storm again a few days ago and I was worried how they would go, but after checking, she was still in the nest.

Now we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the babies. I’ll keep you posted.


While on the subject of our feathered friends, our new chooks are doing well.  They have now filled out nicely and are giving us four eggs a day.  We are giving eggs away left, right and centre.  The eggs are getting to be a good size now and we have even had one with a double yolk.

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There hasn’t been much computer stuff happening here lately, as our internet connection is somewhat tenuous of late.  It is rather frustrating not being able to connect and then, when you do, everything going at snail’s pace.  No, we haven’t exceeded our limit, it is like this all the time.  It was never like this until recently. I wonder if the towers are just not coping with the volume lately?  Let’s hope things improve, as I’d like to comment on blogs………but at this stage I can’t even get to read them most of the time.