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.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

No Need For Words...

Friday, 22 November 2013


Highly edited photograph ahead....

For so long I have been attempting to photograph the elusive bower birds that frequent our garden.
Never in the past thirteen years have I seen one eating from the lorikeet feeder.  
To spot one this morning, only metres from our dinning room window, was certainly a surprise.
The fact that the bower bird has come to the feeder might be a reflection of the reduction of food in the wild - due to the dry weather and the recent bush fires.
But, the bird did not stay long and I had to creep around the corner of the house to take photographs.  The result...another bad photograph of the female or young male satin bowerbird. (The mature male satin bowerbird is a beautiful shiny blue-black).

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Making Do

Recently, I unpicked a stretch cotton nightie I no longer wore.

I carefully unpicked the seams.

 I kept the hem intact to save me time later, and, using this pattern 

I made our Grand Daughter two new nighties - one lilac and one soft green.

The original soft green nightie had short sleeves but there just wasn't quite enough saved fabric for the sleeves so I had to ad lib a little.

The original lilac nightie was sleeveless and a bit shorter than the soft green so I opted for a mauve cotton print for the sleeves because there just wasn't enough of the original fabric...but I don't seem to have a photo (oops).

Little Miss Six has been wearing them non stop since I made them. 

Because it's a nightie I omitted the elastic from the sleeves and later I added buttons to the front of this nightie just so Little Miss Six knows front from back.
To the front of the lilac nightie I added a little pocket which I'd unpicked from the original.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


There was a queue.

Damian Ryan was there too.

They waived to the crowd.

Then they had a media huddle.

 They were mobbed by the crowd.

 They were hi-fived, 
...and mobbed some more.

There was a Red one,

And a Blue one...

And a Purple one.

And of course we can't forget the Yellow one.

The local area command was called in for crowd control. (LAC also handed out balloons and bracelets to the pre-schoolers in the audience).

Welcome Wiggles On Wednesday...W.O.W.
They came to put a smile on the faces of some children affected by the recent fire storm. 
They presented Serge Rosato, the principal of the school with a new guitar to replace the one he lost when the family home was destroyed. 

Not only did the children smile and get in on the act, but so did the parents.

Thank you to the Wiggles for helping with the emotional recovery of our children.

And afterwards...while Yellow Wiggle, Purple Wiggle and Red Wiggle signed autographs for the pre-schoolers, Blue Wiggle rushed off incognito, carrying his own guitar, to meet other obligations.


Although the children at St Thomas Aquinas School range in age from five to twelve years of age...the Wiggles made it age appropriate for all the children by introducing 

Justin Bieber and 1 Direction into their act...ingenious...
Also, the Wiggles were once known as the Cockroaches...yes that's right...and during the eighties the Cockroaches played to adoring crowds consisting of many a teacher in training...so as you can imagine - some old memories were revived for a number of the school teachers present this afternoon.


Besides the fact that today is Wear Orange Wednesday...we have another WOW surprise coming up...I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


November is turning out to be quite a 

For Little Miss Six and my niece (who turned fifteen)I baked a rainbow cake which they shared...
For our Second Son I baked the now  traditional Black Forest Brownie cake. He turns forty next week but we had a group celebration last Sunday.
I tried my hand at making macarons...a big fail...but hey, I mis-read the recipe (which I'd studied for a whole week prior), and it's a miracle that they turned out as well as they did. I will attempt again sometime in the future I guess. I would have to admit though...I'm not a macaron fan and don't really understand what the fuss is all about.  But our son is and I thought I'd make some for him.  He said they tasted quite good...even though they got a big fail for appearance.
I also made boeuf bourguignon (beef burgundy) for our group celebration and vanilla ice cream just because and because I've fallen in love with home made ice cream. 
Have you ever tried avocado, raw cacao powder and maple syrup all mashed together and served as a dip?  Delicious.
Somewhere in amongst all that we had an engagement party...did I mention?
Well, it was last month actually...our Youngest Son proposed to the love of his life and she said YES.
 It was a Halloween themed party and everyone was encouraged to come fancy dress or to wear orange.
Our family being of Dutch decent...seemed to opt for the orange option!

Mr Honey Pie's talented niece made the cake for the engagement as well as for a double 
Baptism!  Yes, Little Miss Six and another of my nieces (Little Miss Seven) were baptised last Sunday.  The priest that baptised them, by sheer coincidence also baptised our Youngest Son twenty six years ago...Father Paul was flabbergasted when we told him.  He is quite new to our parish and our family was overjoyed at him being able to celebrate a second (or is that a third?)baptism with us. 

And...do you know what?
I'm secretly dreaming of a really, really boring week or two ahead...

Sunday, 3 November 2013

My Favourite Things

Yesterday, we started unpacking the car after we self evacuated because of the fires.
I'm not sure if we're a bit ahead of ourselves because the fires, although 'contained' are still burning.  The forecast for today is another hot day with total fire bans.

Before the big fires of October, someone advised me that it's a good idea to take photographs of everything in the house in case of an insurance claim.  Of course you then have to make sure you take the camera with you or transfer the photos to 'the cloud'. 

Stories are already hitting the press about how some insurance claimants are being told to list every item (e.g. toys) when putting in claims for contents, even though everything was destroyed.

I remember my parents having to do exactly that same thing some thirty odd years ago after a major house fire.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, they were under-insured and received a full payout for their contents.  The building insurance claim, though was a completely different story and the payout received was a pittance.  But that's another story.

Going back to the days before our self evacuation last month, the items I was most anxious about facing the prospect of losing were my African violets.

Yes...I know...but all I could think about was the time I had invested in these little living things...we humans are strange creatures.  I wasn't even worried about all the quilting paraphernalia I was leaving behind, even though I did pack a quilt or three.  Strangely, even though I've made many, many, quilts, I only own three or four and these were great for packing around fragile items. 

I couldn't pack the violets because it just wasn't practical.  At one point I was going to give them away to a little coffee shop in town to hand out to customers who had already lost their homes but I just didn't have the time to do this.  

Happily, everything survived, including my African violets.

After this experience, I realised time has changed my perspective on material goods and my obsession to list every item in every collection we own has passed.
After all...if we were to lose every vinyl record in our LP collection would we replace every single one? In fact would we even bother to replace any? 
I know that once upon a time I would have.
But not anymore.

 Above is about a third of my African violet collection.

On the top shelf of our display cabinet stand some little sailing ships. Three of them were hand carved and assembled by my Dad.  In my opinion they are irreplaceable.

People in the community are now talking about 'stuff'... "it's just 'stuff'" is now a common phrase overheard in the street...spoken, written...

More stuff...some sentimental...the magnifying glass belonged to Mr Honey Pie's parents.

A newer collection of stuff - and still growing.

Stuff is replaceable, lives are not.
As a community I know we are thankful that during this recent disaster, no lives were lost.  It could have been so much worse.

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