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, 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...

I have linked to 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

End of an Era

As you can see from the piles of earth and temporary fencing, work on the new road began five day before hand over, limiting our access to various parts of the property, turning areas of ground into mush after recent rain, and upsetting my Mum with machine noise (which triggered traumatic memories from her time during WWII).  All because the head honcho read his work sheet incorrectly. 

The above photograph was taken on the 21st August, which was the penultimate day of my mother's fifty third year of ownership of the family home.
We were blessed, I believe, with our own personal rainbow extending from one boundary to the other.  (It was a double rainbow too but I'm not sure you can see it clearly in this photo.)
We experienced quite a few hassles with various authorities that day but the handover, which happened the next day went better than any of our wildest expectations.

Here I am airing our grievances to various authorities.  
We did get an apology I might add.

It has been a rough journey which has opened my eyes to even more knowledge about the world.  
Now that one door has shut, the family looks forward to another door opening and the start of an new era.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Break Time

Last night's sunset,  near Mum's house.
What once was a dairy farm, will now accommodate 400 new houses.
The Blue Mountains can be seen in the background.  I still remember the first time I saw the Blue Mountains, I was only eight years old and the mountains have  been the family's backdrop for 54 years.
In 1988 Mr H.P. and I moved to the mountains to live with our four children.

Just a quick post to let you know I'm taking a short break from blogging.
I have had the flu twice this winter and  I am slowly recovering from that.  On top of chronic health issues which prolong recovery, I've been helping my Mum move out from what has been our family home for the past 54 years. 
This task has taken up almost every day over the past two weeks - and is a mammoth task.  Hopefully,  we will have achieved completion mid-week, and then comes the adventure of helping her find a new home to live in. 

To remain positive and build my health and strength I walk and attend yoga classes twice a week, and meditate daily.

The experience of helping Mum move has forced me to deal with the realisation that my mother is a hoarder, and I am fearful of the effect the compulsory acquisition and resulting move will have on her once the sale is finalised. 

I guess only time will tell.

In the meantime, we do what needs to be done on a daily basis and the entire family is coping beautifully, and more importantly, Mum is still smiling.

Skylands Artscape Schofields Railway Station - Eagle - 350 kilograms and 6 metres wide.
While the developers try to put a positive spin on the land release, for those who have been long time residents of the area can only feel a deep sense of loss - mostly because this has be a wholesale desecration of a way of life upheld for at least a century...which will disappear in a matter of months.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunset Spectacular

I just wanted to share with you the most spectacular night sky I think I've ever seen.
Right here, in our back yard.

Skies such as these have been spotted all along the south east coast of Australia tonight.
I hope you enjoy the photographs.

Everywhere A Sign #2

On our road trip, in 2010, we came across a number of novelty road signs relating to our unusual wildlife here in Australia.

But until this year, I didn't know we had elephants at Scotts Head!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Everywhere A Sign #1

On our recent road trip Mr HP and I came across a few engaging signs which I enjoyed photographing.  
I'm going to share a few of them on my blog. Most of the signs have their own unique story behind them while I found others self explanatory but a little bizarre (in my humble opinion).

There's a place in Australia (well, one could hardly call it a town, or even a village... perhaps a settlement) called Innamincka. It's up the Strzelecki Track (yes, here in the desert the roads are called tracks)from Lyndhurst.  Mr HP and I visited Lyndhurst in 2010. That was an experience in itself. In the outback, communities are ruled by the elements and 2010 had experienced a late wet season. In the northern part of Australia it said that there are only two seasons in a year: the wet season, and the dry season.
The wet season occurs in the spring/summer months, and the dry season in autumn/winter.

 Because of the late wet, many of the roads were closed in the winter of 2010 and this  limited the places we could visit.  For us, in 2010, Lyndhurst was the end of the road (although I walked along it for about a hundred metres...I wasn't coming all that way to say I hadn't been along the Strzelecki Track!)

So four years later, we arrive in Innamincka along with what must be scores, if not hundreds of other tourists.  Here we find a Trading Post, and a hotel. There are coin operated showers and a toilet block in the car park.
 On the outskirts of the 'town' there is an 'airport' as well as a town common which is a free camper's haven alongside the Cooper's Creek.  It's a fisherman's dream to fish along the river's bank and entire families make this a destination.

At Innamincka, the hotel, not surprisingly, is called Innamincka Hotel.
The Innamincka Hotel has a beer garden which is called....outamincka bar & beer garden.

At Innamincka, there's a bar called Outamincka...

The play on words took a while to click but when it did, well, I thought it was cute!

Unfortunately, being not yet lunch time, the bar was closed so we partook of morning tea in the hotel, where everything comes with a sprinkling of dust...and an enormous amount of generosity as you can see from the size of the serve of ice-cream I received with my affogato...

I asked for an affogato....

...but then, the size of my serve of ice-cream may have something to do with the temperatures out here...in the desert...

You can see the shower block, on the right behind the screen.  A number of concrete water tanks have been transformed into 'buildings' to house the toilets and showers.

because it looks like the roads aren't only closed because of the wet,
 but also during the summer because of temperature extremes(40-50'C)!

And oh!...we have a saying here in Australia...avagoodweekend and don't forget the Aerogard.. the flies are so bad out here they would carry you away if you let them!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Winter In The Desert

We're back from our road trip and I've been neglecting my blog along with everything else.
Monday 14th July saw us back in Sydney.  
It was a great trip, but what can I say but it gets cold out there in that darn desert in the middle of winter!
Then we spent Friday night in the city...Sydney University to be exact, to attend our darling future DIL's graduation. If we thought it had been cold before...we were now experiencing an Arctic Blast!
So guess what...I came down with a flu so bad I've been in bed ever since.
I'm blogging this from my bed.
Mr HP has brought me breakfast-in-bed; porridge (screwed up face...I eat it because it's GOOD for me), and an affogato.  Thanks Honey!
Blogging while we were away was almost impossible...well impossible for about seventy five percent of our trip.  I know readers from other countries might find it incredulous that here in Australia there are places that are so remote that there is no mobile telephone coverage unless you use satellite telephone. Also our major telco appears to have a monopoly on certain regions of our vast country so that unless you have an account with them, well, you don't get coverage.  We had planned to buy a pre-paid  SIMcard from them before our trip but, well, we just didn't get around to it.  Even so, I'm not quite sure how much blogging I would have achieved via a pre-paid but in the end, well, we just made do.

So, I'll bring you little snippets of our amazing trip over the next few days, weeks, and maybe even months.

 The day before we started our trip, Tuesday 24th June, it snowed in the mountains.
Our first stop on Wednesday was in Lithgow.
Even the poor sparrows were feeling the cold...here they are, missing out on their usual tidbits because diners were all keeping warm indoors. 
The poor little things, all fluffed up, looked like pom poms.

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