Monday, September 28, 2009

Mary Caincross Park and Rose Leaf Raspberries

Another dust storm on Saturdaynight/Sunday and although it was longer lasting it wasn't as heavy, still  there was a film of dust over everything, again, and the smoke from the bushfires mixed in with the dust made for a rather uncomfortable night,even the dog had trouble breathing and came looking for some comfort .

Sleep-over Saturday night for the Grandies,  up early Sunday, with the youngest a little disappointed we didn't get to see the sunrise.  (It was a case of nose to nose - and a little diget assisting an eyelid open so some real focusing could take place) With all the dust and smoke in the air I guess it would have been spectacular but I was glad for the 6a.m. sleep in.

They were convinced that a long drive would get us away from the smoke and dust and wanted to go to the park on the way to the yoghurt place (Maleny Cheese Factory)  Plenty of dust and smoke still around but they forgot their woes on this contraption at Mary Caincross Park, could barely make out the shape of the Glasshouse mountains across the valley from the Park for the dust/smokey atmosphere.

This was just before the littlest came a cropper, slid off but kept a very firm grip, and got drug around in a circle.  Much consternation and rushing to stop the contraption,  but he jumped up with the biggest grin on his dial and whooped 'That was fun' He would have gone again but someone said nope! no way! not gonna happen!  hope Mum can get the dirt stains out of the new shorts. ooops!.

Then off for a walk in the forrest, the littlest was the first to spy this sign and demand a reading. 

Well it was prickly, and yes there was a bush turkey lurking, but a bit early for chicks.  The raspberries looked delicious, but we resisted the temptation.  Didn't want the ranger after us!  We made do with ice-creams and coffees from the Kiosk, and a very disappointing $2 spent on the telescope, couldn't see a thing! thought that the telescope would see through the smoke.  Sometimes a little guy just has to have the experience instead of taking someones word.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Perfect one day, a wee tad dusty the next.

'Queensland, Beautiful one day, Perfect the next' was an old tourism advertising slogan that has stuck around for years.  Well today was not so beautiful and certainly not perfect.

Like so much of Australia today, we had winds, strong winds, and with the drought leaving so much of the country bone dry, tonns of topsoil became airborne.  All I can smell and taste is dust. The floors feel slippery underfoot with the superfine coating of dust.......dust dust dust.  It is going to be one heck of a clean-up and frankly folks, I'd rather be quilting!
This is the sun, taken at my local shops about 4p.m. this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Star Twinkles Restaurant in Nauru

Just found this pic in my e-mail box, sent by the Darling, talk about bring back memories.

Many Many Moons ago, like way back when dirt was mud just about, we were expatriates in Nauru, a tiny little Island just south of the equator, about 34 miles south from memory.  
Our second son - you know, the father of our Grandies - was born there, so yes, it was awhile ago.

On Nauru there were only 2 places to go for a meal out, one was the 'Club' where just about everyone went for Sunday lunch and the other was 'Star Twinks' a lovely little Chinese restaurant,  yeah, yeah, I use the term loosley - very loosley.

The big trick was to arrive after dark, so you didn't notice dinner in the form of Mum and Piglets running through under the tables and of course, or maybe especially, you didn't notice the cemetery next door. Right next door! Yes that Coral rock 'fence' along by the sign and track is the cemetery fence.

We enjoyed many a meal either as a family or with friends at Star Twinks and there are a plethora of stories, from mildly amusing to downright hilarious, but my first Star Twinks story was at the 'welcome to Nauru' dinner where I sat next to a Teachers wife who ordered a Gin and Bitter Lemon to drink, the waiter kept querying the order, he couldn't believe it, and when the drink came we could see why.  She took a sip, thankfully a sip and not a mouthful, it was gin, just gin and floating in the top was 'a bit a lemon'

The pic above comes courtesy of the Darling who was sent the original slide to be scanned and photo shopped by a chap who also was an expatriate around the same era.


How hard can it be for heavens sake. 
Have to have some blood tests done, fasting blood tests, and each morning in the wee small hours when I awake, what do I do, well make a coffee of course, still half asleep and there goes the fasting, well I think I could get away with the coffee, its the biccie I have with it that blows me out of the water............perhaps tomorow, perhaps post it notes on the jug, the coffee, the biccie barrel, it certainly didn't work on the bathroom mirror!

Quaint and Colourful Photo of the Day
A walk along the Maroochy River and you will see several of these little private jetties, all locked up, just waiting for someone to fish from them.  Some of them are held together with fencing wire and very little else.

I promised to tell you of some goodies that came in the mail to help with the Free Motion Quilting, Leah Day  whose tutorials I am following, sells and recommends the Machingers quilting gloves and the Supreme Slider.  Have had a go this morning, in the wee small hours of this morning, and I am sold. 

Would take a piccie to show you but the youngest Grandie was using the camera last night and gee, strange as it may seem, the battery is flat - so if you would like to see these wonderful gloves and slider, pop over to Leahs shop, they are the first two products featured so not hard to find.

Re-did day 1 'Shadow Waves' and am very pleased with myself, well, I was very pleased with what I did for the first 3/4ers of the sample, then things got very sticky, if you will pardon the pun, drat!.

My sewing desk is actually an old Office Works cheapie with a sewing table extension that our Son built onto the front so that I could recess my machine, unfortunately there is a tiny lip between the two surfaces, not much, but enough to catch the sample, double drat!, it will have to be fixed somehow, not sure how, but will ask the Son, he will know, he always has an answer, Mr Practical, Mr Fixit will fix it.  I am confident.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beautifully Decorated Boxes

It is school hols, you know, that time when Mum's search - sometimes desperately - for activities to keep the kiddies occupied.  These two have had a ball decorating boxes. 

There is a tiny pot planter on my kitchen window sill, with small shells that I collected a long time ago that the youngest Grandie has always loved to play with. 
Would pop him up on the bench while his brother & I were cooking up something delicious and while drawing breath from multiple asks to use the largest and sharpest knife, he would amuse himself with the shells, with us only occasionally having to fish them out of pots and piles of chopped vegies. Not sure if that is what started him off or not but he has been collecting shells each time he visits the beach for awhile now. 
Last weekend Grandad gave him this rather useful port presentation box that he had scored for his birthday, sadly the bottle is in the re-cycling bin now but it was lovely while it lasted.
The eldest didn't have a box, so a visit to the $2 shop was a must, and this is the result, two rather special boxes for the keeping of those special bibs and bobs that little boys collect and treasure.

They stayed for dinner and 2 movies last night, another run of those Peter Pan faves and an introduction to strawberry frozen yoghurt. Now that was Yum.
While scoffing down the yoghurt the eldest spied a young praying mantis, so as pic of the day, here he is, preening himself on a New York street, or rather on a pic of a poster.

And the Free Motion Quilting?  well that had to take a back seat to the days events, but the youngest Grandie did find something in the mailbox that will hopefully be helpful for the free motion quilting.  Will tell you all about that tomorow.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Free Motion Quilting and Photo of the Day

Day 2 of my Free Motion Quilting Adventure

You can see more of Leahs Day 2, Etch 'n' Sketch here

Off to Brisbane for lunch today, so while the Darling had a shower I practiced, men really don't spend that much time in the bathroom do they?
If I am going to conquer Free Motion quilting I am going to have to put in more time, perhaps after dinner each evening, you know, the wine thing.

Lunch was lovely, an antipasto platter on the deck and for dessert? Mulberries!,  freshly picked from the tree at the bottom of their garden, bit scarry at one or two points, there was a ladder involved - nuff said.

It was lovely to see the beginning of the Jacaranda trees flowering, just the odd panicle here and there, as you whizzed past the trees, a promise of the showing to come when every where you turn you are treated to a vision of blue lovlieness.  I'm kinda fond of Jacarandas, just in case you didn't know.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Photo of the Day

Captured this pic when we took the Grandies home.  There are several beautiful lavender bushes by the front gate.  We had to interupt our game and skedaddle back home because their Dad needed a little help.

There is a move a-foot to go a-camping and their Dad had the new tent laid out on the back lawn ready for a test run at erecting the tent.  Gee it was hard to find just the right words to get that meaning across.  It was a bit of a hoot all round, got a squillion great piccies.

Free Motion Quilting Designs

Leah's Day 1 exercise and my first attempt.
Bit hard to tell who's is who's don't you think?.............oh for heavens sake, get up off the floor.  I will do better tomorow.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Cunning Plan,

is coming undone..........Decided that I needed a bit of a break, best way to get that is to take a break from cooking, the one thing that takes up most of my daily time and effort, well thats the way I feel at the moment, and that fussy Shitzu who will only eat fresh cooked with cheese on top isn't helping. 

Oh yes, I can hear you thinking he will eat when he is hungry, why that was my thoughts exactly but really, 4 days, can you imagine it, 4 days with a little dog's tummy grumbling so loudly that he would wake you up in the middle of the night!

So I drew up a menu, shopped, drug it all home - and this is where I should have had a bit of a wake up call, it was hard to stuff all those ingredients into the fridge, but I thought not to worry, it will soon be dinners in the freezer, did I look in the freezer?, are there bears on the Moon? No, I didn't.  And now I realise that I am not cooking for us for a week, its more like a batallion for a month. 

I think I shall have to phone the Darling to buy me a freezer on the way home, you can do that right?, Just pop into K-Mart and pick up a freezer, I'm sure I've seen them sometime or other.

I'm gonna take a break and visit some of the Gum Tree Designers, just for fun.
 I popped all of their individual blog buttons in the sidebar as well as the Gum Tree button, why not, gotta have an adventure every day, and I don't like my adventure so far today.
Oh, and for a pic of the day, the Bahinias are in bloom.  Arn't the colours gorgeous?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A little lusciousness and a quilters helper arrived in the post

Some months back one of my fave blogers, Gail from Gail Pan's Designs at
was introducing a new blogging duo, Del and Shirley from a quilting store in Warracknabeal in Victoria. 
Del and Shirley were launching their 'Mystery Small Project' Club, a quick trip over to  Quilters Harvest and I was convinced to join the Small Project Club, so now each month I find a little squishy package from them in my mail box.
Del and Shirley choose a beautiful small project each month for your enjoyment.  They provide the pattern, all the fabric, ribbons, floss and whatever else is needed to complete the project and pop it into the mail to you, and today this little gem arrived.  Just what I want, even the candy stripe on the pattern front adds to the feeling of decadent spoiling of oneself and this pattern can be made into either a notemaker or a glasses case. gee, decisions, decisions!
The fabrics and notions choosen by the girls for the Note Book or Glasses Case, I think I will make the note book, how pretty to have this in your bag to just pull out anytime to jot down a note or an appointment.
This little lot,  although not nearly as pretty, certainly got my pulses racing when it arrived yesterday, courtesy of fellow Scquilter Lorna.  As we Aussies know, Press 'n' Seal is no longer available in Aus and if you are in the middle of using this product to quilt a design, its a bit of a feat to change tactics half way through, Thank You so much Lorna, your fatties are winging their way to you in exchange.
The practice squares of free motion quilting are progressing, sadly not as well or as fast as I would like but heck, at least we have progress!.

Photo of the Day

In the not too distant past, took the littlest Grandie to the nursery, he had a ball, so did the patrons and staff, he kept them entertained with his running comments on everything green and all the flowers but his fave was the different fountains and water features.

He bought the house down when he spotted the Strawberry plants, with his description of the efforts he and his Mum have gone to to grow strawberries and failed.  So could we buy some huh Grandma?, as the Gent across the table said, it just had to happen and so it did.

I have the plant sitting on a stand on the back verandah,  yep just one plant - that is enough to be a worrying about, I have had to inspect the leaves on a regular basis for little grubs that were chomping through them, water it every day and feed it and still the berries are not all that chock hot, but I hope a small lad will think they are grand.  Sent him this pic via his Mum's e-mail, just in case the birds, lizards or any other disaster befalls the berries.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Its almost too much........

but not quite..........Yesterday while surfing for just a few minutes I found a site that posts everyones freebies and BOM's, and then I lost it!, silly me didn't bookmark the site before wandering away, but this morning Vikki, from Zen of the needle and thread at http://zenofneedle. wordpress. com/  posted a list of freebies, including the ones I found yesterday.  Bliss! so now all I have to do is turn the chair around and stitch instead of spending time on the computer, the joys and traps of having a L shape setup in the sewing room.

So for your viewing pleasure - yes and mine - there are some new lovlies and links in the sidebar.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Photo of the Day

Taken just after sunrise this morning from the front veranda

When we planted these 'Sheenas Gold' Durantas they were reputed to only grow to 1 meter high, well they are way past the first floor and still going.  Not sure if that is the rich Buderim Red soil or as so often happens with nursery purchased plants, we were sold the wrong variety.
The new foliage is a pretty goldish green and they do have pretty orange berries.
In copious quantities, and they just hand around until they eventually turn a yucky dry brown,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Lunches, Sunday in Noosa and Monday in Malany

Ooooh, what a bunch of gadabouts we all were this weekend, firstly Saturday lunch with the Eldest and his bride, we then went off to a Rheumatology Lecture, they to a movie.

Sunday was a small family luncheon at the Waterfront in Noosa with our youngest and the Darlings Cuz.
We have been to the waterfront several times before, it is in a wonderful location on the river just off Gympie Terrace and they have the most amazing food including fab pizzas, now I can hear you cringe right there, pizzas - fine dining - has she lost her mind?  No it's true, they have the best Tuscan menu including lovely light pizze, cooked in their wood fired oven, and folks I am not a 'Pizza' lover, not even a pizza liker really, but these are rather special.
To check out the restaurant and their menus  follow this link and check out the gallery of restaurant photos while you are there
The Noosa boat club is next door, and as you can see in the background of this pic the Noosa River is just a short float away, so you are treated to an endless parade of rivercraft, tinnies to luxury and a lot in between.
Some people, knowing just how yummy the dessert menu is, shared a pizze and lovely Mediterranean roast vegetable platter just so they could share this.  Heaven, Bliss, Yum.

Today we decided that a trip to Maleny was a 'must do' to stock up on our yoghurt supplies, they have the most luscious yoghurt at Maleny Cheese Factory, not to mention a lovely array of cheeses and other gourmet goodies.
We stopped off at the Maleny Pub before the Factory for a quick bite, they do rather a pleasant steak sandwich that I always enjoy and the Darling enjoyed a bowl of pasta.
While we were waiting for the food to be served I snaped this pic of the Carnations on our table for my Photo of the Day, no fragrance but a pretty soft pink. 
When the food arrived we were so hungry - that's the worst of a late start to the day - we tucked straight in so no piccy - sorry!
But this is will make you envious, beautiful fruity creamy thick yoghurt, something that is wicked and good for you too.
The yoghurt is so wonderfully thick and creamy it lends itself beautifully to a low fat dessert topping instead of cream.  There is a Naturally Sweet version that is my fave and goes with everything you could think of dessert wise.  That spoonful was lifted from the tub and turned over to take its time to drop.  Now that's thick and creamy!
The smaller tub is for the Grandies, not allowed to get the giant economy size as someone, who just loves the berry yoghurt, will eat until its all gone! No restraint that 5 year old!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A little too much wine for a little green bug.

On the way to the dining table, this little chap landed in my wine, he did look rather pretty with his gossamer green wings floating on the surface of the wine, but he wasn't on the menu so I flicked him out onto my napkin, where he did a bit of wriggling, or maybe that would be writhing,.... how drunk was that bug? was he poisoned? gasping his last gasp? I left him to it.
Imagine my surprise at end of dinner to see the napkine vacant, where was he?, found the little bug on the side of the table, trying to unstick the last pair of wings, in pretty short time he took off for the ceiling, hastened I suspect by the camera light, it really did seem to upset him, waving his ever so long feelers around every time the light went on. 
Wonder how he is feeling this morning?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo of the Day

Viola Seedlings, the flowers will be lovely on top of summer salads

Variation on Photo of the Day

Photo of the day is supposed to be something lovely and inspiring, well this is far from lovely, and more frustrating than inspiring, but... I'm reasonably pleased. My first attempt in a very long time at free motion quilting. 
Found a very interesting blog by Leah Day here at
Leah has a project, to create a different free motion design for every day for a year.  So far she is up to day 27.  There are quite a number of videos to show you how and extensive tutorials on each design.  Each days post has a difficulty level, an explanation on directional texture and suggestions for use.  I've got myself a little stack of sandwich samples and plan on practicing a little each day, who knows, maybe one day I will be get a few of those WIP's turned from flimsies to quilts.  Ohhh, the dreams one has.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Photo Of The Day

Quite a bit of rain last night and these delicate blooms got a bit knocked around.

Someones house stayed dry and snug.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Photo of the Day

Can you be just a little legless I wonder? I guess so.....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Photo Of The Day

Not a good day, so for a cheer up two pretties from the side garden.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Photo of the Day

Quite a few butterflies flying around the yard today, dozens of these little guys, well it would have to be guys and gals from the butterfly dances that were taking place, very pretty to watch but they didn't sit still for more that a few seconds, I was just lucky to get this pic.
Then this beauty, the only one I saw of him/her with beautiful vibrant colours.
Now I know that as a pic it leaves a lot to be desired, but it was the best I could manage without any help from the wretched butterfly.
Firstly it insisted on staying up high on the bamboo, even gently bending the bamboo closer to the ground didn't work, anything near 6' low and off he flew.  I got this one by standing on the trailer and pointing the camera on full zoom, the whole thing was a bit of a feat that I don't want to repeat.
If you squint at it, with your head tilted just right and possibly your tongue in just the right place, you can make out his little lime green body and a couple of legs, or maybe thats just wishful thinking.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Strawberries, the promise of lovely spring days

Just oven dried these little beauties, some for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Photo Of The Day

Margurite, one of the Patchwork Group, grows beautiful Freesias, she bought these in today to cheer up our little table. 
Took this pic at end of day, after the tablecloths had been removed so Fran popped one of her hexagon blocks under them.  Thank you Frannie.