31 December 2013

Another Year Over - A New One just begun ...

Here's to the Bright New Year
And a fond farewell to the old;
Here's to the things that are yet to come
And the memories that we hold.

Happy New Year !

21 December 2013

Scatterdays - Y

The First letter in our Scatterdays Quest was W - I had some fun with that as it is of course the first letter of my name. Coincidentally, the END letter of our Quest is Y.
So it is just as well I hung in there to be at the beginning and the end.
I did want to go out with a bang but how can I do that when our first category is:

Y - BEDROOM: all I could think of is Yawn, and the only photo I have of anyone Yawning is Spike - who loves to sleep in the middle of DS#2's bed
- whether he is there or not!

Y - WINTER: My wonderful friend from Alabama USA sent me this photograph last Year of Yellowstone National park in Winter.
I thought it an amazing shot.

Y - HOT: 
Yabbies straight off the BBQ
- Not just HOT but tasty as well - YUM

Y - Yahoo! It is done
 ... finished, over, completed.  A project I was happy to have finished? 
"Not quite Kazoo Strings"
This one was originally made for the impending birth of my first Great Nephew, from a pattern to showcase a fabric line called Kazoo Strings (not that I used that fabric of course). Adding to the pattern and tweaking it; I was ever so proud of my first attempt at a Flying Goose border (I loved the way I scooted the Geese around the corners). He never got it - it is still to be quilted - but I was very happy when the top was finished.

 Y - YELLOW SIGN - Couldn't resist it!  ;-)
It is now time to SIGN OFF on our journey through the alphabet.
My family and I have enjoyed searching for subjects and photographs that could correspond with the categories chosen to go with our assigned letter.

Some have been harder than others, but we have persevered and not one letter has been missed (albeit some have been late and all for good reasons).

Thanks go to Cinzia for launching us on this Quest and to Vireya, Cathy and Pauline for keeping me company until the end - It's been fun.

19 December 2013

What a Roller Coaster - - The Year that was 2013

I am sure a lot of you would have times when you sit back and say ...
"If someone had told me ... I'd have laughed out loud!"
So here is a snapshot of my year.

January - Not one but TWO engagements.
DD - had her "We've set our Date" Party and
DS#1 announcing his Engagement to his lovely GF.

And I embarked on a year long Photographic trip through the Alphabet called Scatterdays.
(The final post will be this Saturday!)

February - Saw me taking leisurely strolls, camera in hand, through our local parks.

March - My Fortune Cookie said - "You should be able to undertake and complete anything."
And I thought it was timely because of the quilt I was struggling to finish.
Hmm little did I know what was ahead!

April - My Dad (Who had taken seriously ill just after Christmas) Celebrated his 90th Birthday -
complete with Cake and a letter from the Prime Minister!

May - My Wedding Anniversary is always a "Special Occasion" this one was Number 32.
DS#2 and his GF Graduated University and This month also saw lots of things happening 'behind the scenes' - the first hint was my post about making a new carry bag for my tripod.

June - Nothing much this month.  Just my Birthday and OH - I jumped on a 'plane for the very first time and flew to America.  With 2 months notice to get everything together - Passports, Tickets, Flights, Luggage ...

July - First week of July saw DD & I visiting my dear friends in Huntsville Alabama and the second week at a Chemistry conference in Traverse City Michigan.
We went so far and saw so much!

August - Another Celebration - another Cake!
This time it was my Parent's Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

September - We were rocked by the loss of a little life, before we got to say Hello. Heartbroken we laid him to rest with his Uncle Mark.

October - At this point in the year I am now in full swing making Sugar flowers for DD's Wedding Cake, when a visit to the Car Service Centre reveals that DH's car is beyond repair and start the hunt for a new car.
 (Just another 'small' item that was NOT on the budget for this year.)

November - Was pretty much jam packed through with all things Wedding, culminating with "The Big Day" on the 22nd.

(I also managed to fit in a little ME time with a 3 part course on FMQuilting with the wonderfully talented Linda Steel).

December - Back into the swing of things with another Wedding Cake to make,
DS#1 moving OUT of home prior to his January Wedding
and DD & DSIL moving IN - until their new home is built.

The shops are full of bustling people and traffic jams and strange men dressed in clothes that are way too hot for todays 41c temperature -
Really? Red Wool and Fur?
I feel that there must be something?
Have I forgotten something ... What could it be?

Well I'm ready even if you are not!

Oh that's right - CHRISTMAS!
I wonder if I could postpone it until ...next JULY!

8 December 2013

Scatterdays - C

C - Sunday.   Sunday Church service at Wesley United in Lonsdale Street in the City of Melbourne.
(If you are ever in Melbourne - check it out, they have the First pipe organ in the colony (1842) and it is played every Sunday, Wednesdays for recital concerts and also for Weddings)
Wesley has a thriving Cross Cultural Congregation.

C - Wet.  Clare Caravan Park in the Beautiful Clare Valley Sth Aus. (one of Australia's oldest wine regions) was a stop over point in a touring holiday some years ago.  We woke the next morning to the sight of a very Wet park around us. I was very glad we were in a Cabin, yet concerned for the folk who set up a tent at the bottom of the hill...

C - Round.  Hmmm - The next thing on my list of things to do is start making another Wedding Cake (for DS#1*) ... This one is going to be a much easier ROUND Cake.
(Photo is of round Cake dummies - used to add extra tiers to Celebration Cakes without the expense of making actual cakes, that may not get eaten.)

(* yes folks ... another Wedding and in less than 6 weeks time!)

C - Colourful.  One of the things I have had to do this week is to empty the bungalow at the bottom of the garden so it can be used as an extra bedroom for the next 6 months.  This gave me the opportunity of Collating my entire Collection of Quilt fabrics into one Colourful Cache.  I now have a Conundrum - What will I use first?

Before I sign off - Just a couple of shots from my day today -

C - Cake Decorating Christmas Meeting
with a Demonstration of how to make a Cyclamen.
(These are not real ones they're made in Sugarpaste!)

C - Children confidently playing Christmas Carols in the End of year Concert.

And next is the FINAL installment in our Year long Scatterdays journey through the Alphabet - so join me on the 21st December and see what I have found for our last letter Y.

25 November 2013

Scatterday - G (The Wedding Issue)

G - Today's letter Is for Gold Wedding Bands, 
Glorious Weather, Gleeful Guests, Grinning Groom and a Gorgeous Girl! - 
But those are MY Categories that can easily fit this weeks Scatterdays post.

But our Official Categories are:-

G - Body: A lot of Brides (and their Mothers) worry about how their Body will look on the day.
But no worries here -
And the 2 Ring-bearers (my Great Nephews) didn't look too bad either!

G - Hobby:
As you all know one of my Hobbies is Cake Decorating and my GRAND IDEA was to make her Wedding Cake and to decorate it with GARLANDS of Handmade Sugar Flowers to match her bouquet.
And I can now reveal that the Blue Flowers were actually the colours of the Other GIRLS - our Beautiful Bridesmaids!

G - Lunch: 
Ahh! Lunch... I don't think I had any, BUT our Beautiful DD did manage a GLASS of Milk.
And that other meal - Not Lunch but actually Dinner yet called Breakfast (Go Figure!)

G - Green: 
A GASTRONOMIC delight awaited the GUESTS at the wonderful
Sails by the Bay at Elwood.
And I was delighted to see that the Vegetarian Option was several glorious shades of GREEN!

Now for those few extra G photos ...

G - GOLD Wedding Rings

G - Grinning Groom and a Gorgeous Girl

G - Gleeful Guests..

Our friend Dave managed to 'photo-bomb' every camera in the house!
He had a ball!

and  last but not least...
The Good Lord gave us
a Glorious Day
and Blessed Us with
a Perfect Sunset,
complete with 'God-rays'.

and coincidentally sailing off into the Sunset - The Spirit of Tasmania...
But that is another story and not mine to tell!

20 November 2013

Things Girls get up to ...

The day started with  DD being presented with her 
Bridal Shower Sash and Tiara

and an elegant High Tea 
at the Melbourne Botanic Gardens Tea House

after which, the Bride to Be was "Kidnapped" and whisked away to the Peninsula Hot Springs at Mornington where the Girls had an absolute ball soaking all the stress and cares away in the Thermal Springs.

It was a beautiful day and the Bride was returned home VERY relaxed!

11 November 2013

Scatterdays - K

Oh my goodness - What happened here?
I must be a total Scatter-brain for forgetting Scatterdays this week!
In my defense - It wasn't on the calendar.

K - IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD: KODAK Factory - This place where dreams were developed has been a part of my neighbourhood for 50 years.  My Parents watched it rise from the ground and return to the dust again.

Now, with the advent of the digital age of Photography the factory is no more and this valuable land, so close to the City of Melbourne is providing a new generation a place where new dreams are once again being made.  I miss it's big chimney, for as it loomed into view - I always knew I was almost home.

K - EDIBLE:  KEWPIE Mayonnaise - It is the consensus of opinion from some members of my household that this may not actually be edible. But here it is... in my pantry, bought solely to compliment the Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancakes) I (try to) make occasionally.

K - CONTAINER: KLIP IT Containers - A New Zealand product that has certainly cornered the market for storage.  I pick these up whenever they are on half-price special and have many now scattered across my various hobbies.  I am sure there is not one room in my home that does not have at least one of these containers in it - I even have one with my (meagre supply) of makeup in it in the bedroom!

Hmmmm does a King Size Mess count? or perhaps a King Size Headache? What about a King Size project for next year?
TWO Wedding Quilts, already booked in to be custom quilted by Christmas 2014 and I haven't even started yet!  At least I know what DD wants, and DS#1 - well I think maybe he will get whatever it is I feel like making...

Well, that it it from me for this week, it has been a fairly long post.
Next Scatterday, brought to you by the letter G, may be late as well as it is due the day after my DD's Wedding.
Can I work up these Categories along with Wedding Themed Photos?

31 October 2013

Flowers, Flowers and more Flowers

The Wedding cakes are now cooked and smell incredible.
Now they just need some flowers.

I feel that Ivory flowers on an Ivory cake can look very bland, and the photographer side of me is always thinking of how a cake will photograph and to photograph well - it needs colour.

So I made LOTS of filler flowers in 3 shades of blue.
Because all Brides need "Something Blue".

I made a dozen or so small Orchids
(because I really wanted to learn how to make miniature Orchids)
and dusted them a lovely golden yellow.

And I made lots of petite Calla Lilies.
That hung around the kitchen like a family of Field Mice for a week while they dried.
And then another week until I could get around to dusting them in the chosen colours.
(Using a Pasta Drying rack certainly kept them all out of mischief.)

And now the fun part starts...
Wiring them all into THREE bouquets to sit on the Three tiers of The Cake.

Will they come out OK?

I don't quite know -
But I was happy enough with the sample spray that I attached it to the cake knife and promptly ticked THAT job off the list!

Now of course, you all realize, that you are now sworn to secrecy and that none of this can get back to any of the wedding guests!
It is just between you and me... OK?

28 October 2013

Scatterdays - P

When I think of the letter P- I think of Pirates,
the ones that come from Penzance of course.
But todays categories are not from a
Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta.

Today I had to locate a Piece of FURNITURE . The photo that I have chosen is of  a PICNIC Table. Hmm The PERFECT PLACE to boil the billy while keeping an eye out for Pirates.... ?

I also had to find a BOOK the title of which started with the letter P - What better choice could I make but J M Barrie's PETER PAN?
If ever you have the opportunity of reading an ORIGINAL copy of this wonderful novel - you will certainly find the description of the notorious Pirate Captain Hook one of the most eloquent pieces of literature ever written.

I was going to post a photo of a Porcupine Quill for the next category which is ANIMAL, but I can sense a theme going on here ...
so I thought another sea themed photo of these PELICANS that we met at the Pivot Point of our adventure holiday at a town on the South Australian Coast called Streaky Bay.
(I'd like to see a Pirate with one of these guys balanced on his shoulder!)

And that just leaves me with a P category from my sewing room that is P for P.I.G.S no, it is not another animal but the Quilting term for Project in Grocery Sack...

A collection of fabrics or kit that is still in the bag it was brought home in - no matter how long ago that may be!

I don't have any Pirate Themed fabric (I do have a lot of Nautical fabric ... somewhere) But I will leave you with the very beautiful PINCUSHION kit (by Helen Dafter) that I couldn't resist - yet here it lies like buried treasure, in the bottom of my PIGS drawer.

Join me in a fortnight ...
... What can I come up with for the letter K ?

24 October 2013

Bye Bye Barina

He had only got his licence a few days earlier and was off to Church for a Youth meeting when the phone rang...

"Mum? - I think I broke Dad's car"

Well, at least he had the sense to pull into a side street. By the time we got there the steam had dissipated but the trail of radiator coolant was still glowing green for much of the length of the street.

We patched the burst hose with Gaffer tape and nursed them both back home.

The young lads across the road stood in silent reverence as the car pulled into the kerb giving a credible impersonation of Puffing Billy.  Then one quietly said "Bye Bye Barina" before returning to the engine they were working on.

That was last November... and we have been patching and filling and gaffer-taping the car ever since.
At 19, it was way past its USE BY date and I had been unhappy about my Sons driving it let alone placing someone else's Daughters in that car as well!
So I was not sad to see it go.

And from the look on his face ...

... I don't think DH is sad to see it go either!

HELLO MIRAGE!... Now What are we going to call you?