A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Halloween is becoming more and more popular here in the Blue Mountains.

Our little subdivision has been practising the tradition for a number of years now.

For some reason I have been feeling the need to be thrifty of late, perhaps there's a bit of anxiety behind this as Mr HP nears retirement.

My health has been an issue too and I'm not feeling motivated to do extraordinary things.

But not wanting to disappoint, I made an effort to be prepared for the children in the neighbourhood.

These little packages took me less than a morning to complete.

And here's where the thriftiness comes in;
these little packages cost me less $1 each to fill, and the packaging and crafty bits all came from my stash of scrap paper and craft items.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

More Wordless Wednesday Here and Here

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Some Rain Must Fall

Day Two of our mini-holiday and we wander down to Milson's Point via Luna Park. It's cloudy but we're brave and leave our umbrellas at home.

We see a cruise ship waiting to enter Circular Quay and think it's left the quay and for some reason is returning but later we realise that it's a different ship but from the same cruise company.

From Milson's Point a ferry ride takes us to Circular Quay once more and we head off to The Rocks again, only to find that the museum we plan to visit in Susannah Place does not open until 2 p.m.

So we wander around, a little bit lost as where to go.  We find some stairs that lead to the Sydney Harbour Bridge but instead take a less strenuous route alongside the stairs and found ourselves at Observatory Hill.

Little Miss and I spend a wonderful couple of hours inside the Sydney Observatory and take a tour of the telescope room.

 The domed roof of the room turns.

Not only does it turn, but it opens up too.

Outside, we are disappointed to see the clouds.

Clouds mean we can't view the sun through the solar telescope, so instead we look at the traffic on Sydney Harbour Bridge, which, weirdly, is all upside down!

Outside, the sky gets darker and darker, 

the clouds get heavier and heavier

..we manage to eat morning tea in the gardens before feeling the first drops of rain and make a dash for Circular Quay.

We make it in time to miss the heavy shower which lasts long enough for us to meet up with my daughter for lunch.
After lunch it's back to Susannah Place to visit the museum.
Little Miss is enthralled with the stories our tour guide tells us about families that once lived in the row of terrace houses that is Susannah Place.
Each room we visit inside remains as it was when it was occupied by various families before being turned into a museum.  We learn that initially, The Rocks was not necessarily a desirable place to live, and local residents would sometimes lie about their address.  My how times have changed!
Afterwards, we purchase lollies at the 'corner shop'.  (I can't believe that I've taken no photos of Susannah Place!)

Across the road from Susannah Place is The Big Dig which is an archaeological dig of an 18th century European development in Sydney which was demolished to prevent the spread of plague.

Around the dig is the YHA building.

And we return'home' without the need for our umbrellas!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

School Holidays

Here in New South Wales, it's school holiday time and my Grand Daughter, Daughter and I had the opportunity, last week, to spend a few days in the heart of Sydney.  We left the car at home and used public transport whenever we could and when not using public transport we walked.
Day One saw Little Miss Six and I spending most of the time together while Mum was at uni. The ferry took us from Milson's Point to Circular Quay and from there we took a short walk to Cadman's Cottage and the Overseas Passenger Terminal before heading off to meet my daughter for lunch.

We caught the train to Central Station and then walked to Broadway to the new One Central Park Building which has vertical gardens growing on its external walls.

I think it's pretty amazing don't you?

After lunch my daughter returned to uni and Little Miss Six and I walked to the Chinese Gardens of Friendship.  My grand daughter just loves the gardens and has been there three times in less than two years. For $5 children can hire Chinese traditional costume to wear while visiting the gardens. (Costumes are also available for adults)
  We had afternoon tea at the tea garden and then set off to the Powerhouse Museum.

Our second son designs and makes jewelry and a piece of his work has been selected for a jewelry exhibition called A Fine Possesion which is a rather extensive exhibition of jewelry through the times.

Here is his bracelet which is made from sterling silver juxtapositioned along side recycled plastic milk bottles.   I feel very proud to know that his work has been selected for such a prestigious exhibition.

Above is the necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, (the movie) and is also in the exhibition.
There is lots more to see at the Powerhouse Museum, from cars, to trains as well as kids' activities and museum.  When Little Miss had had her fill we headed towards Central train station once more but made one more visit on the way.

At Ultimo, we found the ABC Building where we found a Doctor Who Portal.

We also watched ABC 24 News live (my favourite) and got a wave from the news team!
Little Miss' favourite was the ABC Shop (of course) and I purchased a Peter Rabbit DVD for her. (She is obsessed with Peter Rabbit and can recite huge chunks of dialogue from Peter Rabbit episodes!)

By now, our legs and feet were so sore it was a bit of challenge making our way to the train station (with a stop at the supermarket to pick up supplies for dinner).

We caught the train back to Milson's Point and flaked in front of the TV until dinner time.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Two (2) Make-In- An-Afternoon Projects

I'm desperately trying to get my sewing/crafting mojo back after weeks of resettling our Mum from her big move.  She has moved out from what has been the family home for over half a century.
At the end of it all, Mum had a bit of a health scare.  What could have been a drastic outcome, she is now being treated for what the doctors call 'a mini-stroke'.  My sisters and I now are coming to terms with the realisation that Mum, despite her resilience, is aging and will become more and more dependent as time goes on.

In her younger years, Mum was an enthusiastic seamstress and I was into my teens before I ever owned a dress with a 'label' stitched into it. Believe it or not, my first 'label' was a gift that was sent to me by an uncle who lived in England.  The next one was probably one that I bought with my own money when I started my first job as a sixteen year old.

So, I found out recently, that Mum's stash of fabrics (which amounts to a couple of hundred metres) was in fact a 'revenge' stash.  Back somewhere in the middle of the last century, my Mum would buy tobacco, cigarette papers and safety matches at the end of her work week to support my Dad's nicotine habit. In revenge, she would buy herself some fabric to add to her stash.  It's a bit sad that she didn't get to enjoy her stash which I have now inherited and am pondering what to do with.  I am trying to sell some of it for her but as yet not having much success.

My sister wants me to make some cushions for her so I will be going through the stash to see if there's anything suitable.

In the meantime...here is a little skirt I whipped up for Little Miss Six from a sequined stretchy fabric which I found in Mum's stash. 
I have made this skirt for her previously, from a piece of leftover cotton print but I adapted this great little tennis skirt to make a dance skirt.  I used the largest size pattern and added a quarter inch all around to allow for a bit of extra length and to add a touch of twirl to the skirt. The last time I made the skirt, Little Miss six was probably only four years old, and she'll be seven very soon.  

I hemmed the skirt using a 1.5 inch wide strip of the selvage folded in half and stitched to the bottom edge in the same fashion as the waistband.  I used the selvage because it has no sequins on it.  This gave me a little bit more length too, especially since hemming it in the normal method would shorten the skirt.

When using knit ribbing, make sure it is knit fabric that is intended for ribbing and not for making tee shirts. Tee shirt knit will not give you enough support for a waist band.  I learned this the last time I made this skirt and the resulting waist band was way too lose. 

On Tuesday afternoon, I made an entire quilt top for our niece who is expecting baby number three in November.  For niece's baby number one I made a quilt like this and for her baby number two I made this one.  Both are boys...they are now expecting a little girl and I fell in love with the cutest quilt top kit/panel which I found in a quilt shop in Cobar on our recent holiday.  

Isn't it just the best? And yes, Cobar has a quilt shop!

I was very surprised at the speed with which the quilt top came together.  It is very easy to make and the only thing I wasn't happy with is the length of the quilt which I altered by adding a strip of sage green polka dot fabric from my stash top and bottom to make it a longer quilt.  I like to make my cot quilts large enough to be used as a bed topper once baby is old enough to go into a toddler bed or even for a single bed. 

I hope this inspires others to get back into the swing of sewing after a major life event which has thrown you off course.  Sometimes we just have to take little steps...

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