Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A.N.Z.A.C. Day - April 25, 2012

At Dawn, in 1915, in April 1915, Troops from Australia and New Zealand landed on an improbable little beach in far off exotic Turkey. However, it was War-time and this improbable little beach was heavily defended by Turkish soldiers. After 8 months of carnage - the Allied troops withdrew and the name Gallipoli was forever entrenched in our combined Nations hearts and national image. The mateship, fighting spirit, sacrifice and bravery of the cream of our National Youth was forged into an unmistakable icon that will forever be known as ANZAC - our diggers. 

The original ANZAC's are long gone, but their spirit lives on. We honour all servicemen on this day - whatever conflict they were involved with.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's beginning to look a bit like a Xmas Tree Farm . . . . .

I admit it - this year I seem to have fallen into a complete heap when it comes to theme or any form of stitching discipline.  And I'm enjoying what I pick up!
I've been working in dribs & drabs (if I can push myself away from fb and words with friends - I find myself in a chair with needle & thread - imagine that!!) and the piece that has currently captured my attention is VS - Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm.   Until I picked it up at the very end of March, I had only stitched most of the very top scene.
I remember quite a dither I  had about replacing all the speciality floss with DMC or nearest affordable variations - and the help I received from members of the 123 message board.  Well I'm NOT using all the silks and speciality floss - I'm using what I can afford and some local over-dyed and I'm still very happy with my own results.  I don't have any perle floss in white, so I'm staying with B5200 and occasionally adding extra sparkle with Kreinik sparkly stuff.  I've decided to add all the beads at the last point, because I don't like catching beads in my hoop and dragging the fabric.

I thought I'd better post a progress pic, because the way I've been stitching this past few weeks, who knows what will be the next stitch that catches my eye.

Happy Stitching everybody!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Daylesford - TUSAL - WIPcalypse .....

Settle down now with a nice cup of tea (or beverage of your choice), this is going to be a L-O-N-G post ......

I've been off and about and really meaning to post for a couple of weeks, but just have not had the oomph!  Today is a public holiday and I am going to spend it with you.

First - Apologies to my blog winners of my fobs - I still have them here - waiting to be packaged and sent out to you.  Have you emailed me your snail mail address?  I seem to remember that I've only heard from a couple of you.

My head has been whirlwinding through with so many thoughts for the past month - I even forgot TUSAL time - and here it is, around to WIPcalypse again!
So here is my TUSAL for March - bit late - even has a wee bit of April in it.  It does not seem that it's growing much - at least this year there is more colour than white for sheep....speaking of sheep, yes that is a new addition to my flock.  It's harder to kick the obsession than I thought. This little sheepie was found on my weekend away  - I just couldn't resist him.

All I've been working on, and not much stitching seems to have happened at all the past few weeks, has been this little quilted cat project.  It was a kit sent to me by somebody - at least I found it while rummaging around all my other WIP's for the last WIPcalypse post.  I dragged it out and started stitching on it at night - aida is so much more forgiving at night than linen.  I have a plan for finishing it off.  I just need to add my name to it and it's done......oh.. and the mouse needs an eye...drat!  The pattern called for 3 strands of floss for the stitching, more than I'm used to - and there was plenty of floss left - enough to stitch the chart again with only two threads though.  Anybody interested in the chart and leftover floss?  You know the drill - just make sure that your email address works so I can contact you.  

I did put a few stitches into Inspiration, but this really needs working on during daylight hours.  I just know that I'm going to enjoy the finished project - I always think that I'm going to get flustered changing the floss every 8 or so stitches, but it doesn't bother me as much as I think it will - it's quite relaxing....(except that I had to frog the outer border because I missed the double stitch in the middle of the top section.......)  I was therefore off by one stitch!!
and on to Daylesford .........
I have a very generous girlfriend - W- she gave me a weekend away to the Victorian Country Spa town of Daylesford last weekend.  I took the Friday off work and we set off at 9am - we were off to do some serious 'Picking'.  We are both collectors of vintage and antique wares and we were on a mission.
One full car...
no space for more
We went from Pakenham to Garfield - (beautiful morning tea), to Bunyip, to Koo Wee Rup, grabbed a quick bite for lunch; then realised that as the car was already full of stuff, we'd have to make a slight detour back to W's house to unload and free up the space for more 'picking'. (via the Pearcedale Op-Shop because I've never been there and that's where I found my new sheepie!)
I managed to lock W out of her house while we were there - fortunately she was able to eventually get back in, but for awhile, I thought the weekend was going to be off.  She eventually semi-forgave me and started to talk to me again by the time we got to Aunty's Other Place in Lang Lang for a browse.  Headed back down the highway to Wonthaggi, to collect H, because she, poor thing, could not get the time off work.  A quick cuppa while she grabbed her gear and we were off back on the road.  By now, all the oppies were closed, but we were on the freeway and not stopping by this stage.
(For all that they develop into carparks during the workday peak hour, they are so very convenient when travelling to the country for a girly weekend away. ) We lobbed into Daylesford at 8pm, our hosts greeting us by torchlight.  A guick fling of our bags into the rooms and off we went in search of our evening meal.

Anshumann Da Dhaba - a lovely Indian restaurant way up the top of the stairs greeted us - brilliant service.  We had Poppadums with some spicy red dip and some really nice green oil dip.  We picked  for our main meal,  Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Tikka Masala, and I think it was Shahi Paneer - I'd show you a picture of what it all looked like, but I forgot to bring out the camera for that... here are the empty bowls instead.  A satisfying meal if the tabletop is anything to go by.....
Saturday Morning found us enjoying our complimentary Croissants for breakfast and investigating our home for the weekend - Elsewhere in Daylesford - I cannot recommend this place highly enough.  The accommodation is delightful, the gardens so restful and relaxing, it has it's own pond (with ducks) and the conservatory is a perfect place to rest and relax after a hard day's bargain hunting.  Our hosts live in their own home, just behind the greenery and we were never aware of their presence.  It was such a restful, rejuvenating weekend.

Yes, it DID taste as nice as
it looks ....
Of course, Saturday morning tea was at the Chocolate Shop in the main street.  I remembered my camera before tucking into my hot chocolate and lemon tart.  Oh delish!

More and more vintage shopping, both at the Mill Market and the Bazaar and anywhere in between.

Pate - minus the conserve
  Lunch was at Cliffy's - an organic eatery - W had some lovely duck pate while I tucked into a lamb pie (with the most delightful mint relish)  

We checked out the vintage shop up the road - I loved the re-purposing of broken glass in the doorstep.  Is it Ruby-Lin or Rubi-Lyn - I can't find the card (sorry - somebody help me!) - where I found such a delightful mish-mash of retro colours and textures.  By this time, both W & H were convinced I was completly mad, taking photos of cushions!!

We did the touristy thing and visited the Convent Gallery  - I'm not really into modern art, so it was a bit of a let-down - but I got some great autumn pictures in the garden.  Back to Elsewhere for a bit of down-time - where I did manage to put in just a little bit of stitching into Inspiration. 

 Once awake, we collected ourselves and tried to find our evening meal, but the Pub was doing a roaring trade, so we opted for the local Pizza Shop, where we watched the populace go by and I think I saw ghostie activity.  W & H are not into that sort of stuff, so I didn't make much of it at the time.

Another blissful night's sleep, before changing our clocks for daylight savings, then W & I dashed off to the Sunday Market for entertainment.  Three hours later we were back, packed up our bags, made our fond farewells to our hosts and tootled off down the road.  Lunch was at Creswick - the Lemon Tree Cafe - and what a lunch!  W & I each had the Ploughman's Sandwich - great value - it saw H suffering 'menu-envy' yet again.
Is it any wonder, after such a full weekend, that it's taken me a week to sort out my photos and post about it all?
Thank you so much to our B&B hosts, the city of Daylesford, all the people who cooked all my food, the shop owners and stall holders that all contributed to making such a wonderful weekend.  Many, many thanks to my girlfriends H & especially W, for making it possible.  I don't know how I'll pay you back, but I will.