Thursday, 31 December 2015

Last post for 2015

It's time to update the last few days and post my last blog for this year. I reported on our Christmas gathering, and also that purple quilt. Thankyou for those who have offered their opinions re the binding to Sue, and I look forward to seeing what she uses.

 My Christmas gift was a voucher to spend in a garden store, and when the chance came for a trip to Mount Gambier with friends, I accepted. It was not hard to spend my money, and I will come back and post about my purchases in the new year. After we had finished our shopping, we did the "tourist" thing and went for a drive. I have been to Mount Gambier a few times and even holidayed there many, many years ago. My friends had lived in the area earlier in their married life, so they knew a lot about the area, and gave me a tour. We drove to the coast, and visited Port MacDonnell, which is you can see in the next few photos.

I know that the South East of our state is known as The Limestone Coast, and I now realise why. There is stone everywhere. The photo below is of a pit where they used to cut blocks of Mount Gambier stone, which is used as a building material. This was very interesting to me, because the house we lived in on our farm which was north of Bordertown, was made out of this stone. In earlier days it was cut by hand, but now they have machinery to do this.

The south east also has a few extinct volcanoes, the most famous one being The Blue Lake in Mount Gambier. I managed to get the following photo as we were driving past, which shows how blue the water is. We did not stop as I had been there years ago. This lake supplies Mount Gambier with their water.

I did not know that there was another lake, called Little Blue Lake, which is a few kms out of Mt Gambier ,near Mt Schank on the way to the coast. This is also an extinct volcano and filled with water, although more green than blue. It is a local swimming spot, as well as a cave diving site. The South East area has a lot of caves, and lots of limestone.

There is also another extinct volcano close to the Blue Lake, called Valley Lake which is also filled with water, and used for swimming and boating.

This is Valley Lake taken from the Lookout up above the town.

And this (?? forget what you call them??) is also up at the lookout and points to local landmarks and also which way to go to New York, and Tokyo!

It was a lovely day out, with beautiful weather and the company of good friends. Thankyou.

The weather since then has gone "down hill". By this I mean the temperature has risen to a high today of 41deg!! Much too hot for me. I have been doing some edge to edge quilts, and staying close to the air conditioner after early morning watering in the garden.

If you are into celebrating the new year in, I hope you have a good night. I will be having a quiet night. I wish all my readers a year of hope, joy, peace and many blessings for 2016.

Be back in 2016,
Blessings, From Jude

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

"That purple quilt"

Sue came to pick up the purple quilt yesterday. It has been awhile since I started, and seems like it has taken ages. But in reality I have had quite a few days of not working on it, and interruptions such as Christmas, hot weather etc has delayed completion. I announced in my "Twas the night before Christmas" post that the purple quilt was finished, and as Sue reads my blog she knew it was done. But then she was away, and it was Christmas so pickup was yesterday. She laughed about my calling it "that purple quilt". Actually it is a Michele Hill design called "Renaissance", and made with a purple background and not black. I must admit to being a bit unsure about the purple when I first saw it, but now it is finished, I think it looks very regal.

Sue knew she had some purple fabric left (somewhere!!), for the binding, and left yesterday to search for it. This morning I have received a text message, which says....."When you put "that purple quilt" on your blog, can  you please ask what colour binding people think would be best? I don't have enough purple"..... So my question to my readers is.. what colour do you think? Look forward to hearing your comments.

We are due for a temperature today of 38 and into 40 for the next 2 days, so not real motivating weather. I have started to load another quilt this morning, but spent a fair amount of time bird watching instead. I will report on that in another post.

Keep cool, (or warm in the northern world).

Blessings, From Jude

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Our Christmas gathering

It is a tradition that my extended family, that is my parents, brothers and sister and all their children and partners meet for our Christmas on the day after Christmas day. We each take a turn to host the day, and this year it was held at the home of my second brother and his wife, pictured below.

This year is was quite a large gathering, with only 2 of the cousins missing, and the addition of 2 new great grandchildren. I wonder if there will be any more next year?? We sat outside where they had set up a few tables and chairs. We had a barbecue and salads, followed by yummy desserts, and Christmas pudding.

My mother has decided that at 84 she does not need to supply the Christmas pudding and has passed on the "baton", and thankfully to my younger sister!!

The following few photos look like we played that game called, "Pass the parcel", but with the babies instead!!

After lunch it was time for the presents, and you can see the pile under the tree. As there is so many of us, we do the Kris Kingle thing and only have to buy one present. Except we still buy for the children. But once you turn 18, then you are on the "list"! And one young lad will be on the list next year.

As my immediate family did not catch up with each other on Christmas Day this year, we had our exchange of gifts after the other lot were done. A bit like all your Christmases coming at once??

 DD3 donned the Santa hat and acted as Santa.

 It was a lovely day, catching up with everybody, and the weather was just nice after the very hot Christmas day that we had.

We have had a couple of lovely days again, but the temperature is rising again for a hot rest of the week. Hopefully I can get some quilting done early in the day before I wilt.
I have had a few days of doing not much. I have read 2 books, sitting out in the pergola and watching the world go by. I have had a day trip out which I shall blog about separately later. The end of the year is coming up fast. Be back soon.

Blessings, From Jude

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Twas the night before Christmas.....

  • and the purple quilt is finally done (although the basting stitching still needs to be removed.)

  • the gifts have been purchased (but not yet wrapped).
  • food has been purchased and placed in the fridge,

  • the (plastic) snakes in the mail did arrive (we are hoping that they deter the birds from leaving their mess on my pergola chairs!!) - Thankyou to the sender

  • but there is not a decoration or tinsel in sight (although the Christmas cards are hanging)

  • the wedding quilt is not yet pieced (but hoping that the top is put together by Saturday morning??)

  • the heat has arrived again, after a respite of a couple of days, and there is a weather alert for Christmas afternoon, with strong winds and possible damage and a high fire risk.

  • And I have called it a day and have put my feet up to read a book, and watch the carols on TV, and hopefully get into the Christmas mood.

A report on the news this evening stated the millions of dollars that has been spent on gifts and food this week. It seems like a lot of money, far too much, that is spent on one day of the year. The gross commercialisation of what should be a simple day, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ is sad. Especially when there are so many people who have so little.

 I have tried not to get caught up in the hype this year, and cut back a lot of things that are not necessary to reduce the stress. It does help by not having Christmas at my house, as I had my turn last year. (My biggest stress this week was getting the quilt finished). Tomorrow I will attend church and have a quiet day, lunch with friends and get ready for celebrations with family the day after Christmas. And hopefully have a few quiet days in the next week, doing things that I have not had a chance to do in my busy, busy last little while.

I would like to wish all my readers a Happy and Peace filled Christmas, and many blessings for 2016. My thoughts and prayers are especially with those for whom Christmas is not so happy. Maybe they are remembering loved ones, maybe facing medical treatment, or in financial trouble. There is that expectation of a happy day, when sometimes it is not.

Blessings, \
From Jude

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas is coming, ready or not.....

 I am still here working on that purple quilt, and trying to decide whether I should keep going to get it finished, or whether I should do something about Christmas shopping and come back to the quilt. Decisions, decisions. I think there are only 3 days until Christmas, so maybe......??

I did get my Christmas folder out on Sunday afternoon, and consulted my list. This folder has lists of who I send Christmas cards too, and who I have purchased gifts for, from way back in 1973. It also contains copies of my Christmas letters which I started to write and photocopy back in 1999. So it is a bit of history to read those letters. And a bit sad to read names of people who are no longer with us. I have done the cards and posted them, and made out the gift list, so that's a start.

It was lovely to see DD2 and family on Saturday.They were in town for a family Christmas on their dad's side. And I had the pleasure of GD1 spending the night with me. Sunday we went out to lunch with her other grandma, and it was good to catch up with her too.

After the long hot spell, it has been much cooler for a couple of days, and I have enjoyed the respite. But apparently it will be heating up again for the rest of the week.

Time to get back to Max, and do some more SID around the applique and think about this afternoon, and whether I should do some shopping or not??

Blessings, From Jude

Saturday, 19 December 2015

This week's happenings....

It has been a busy week here with lots of happenings. On Monday I greeted 2 lovely ladies from the city, who came for a few days of R & R. They are my first "official" retreaters on this side of the road! They were joined by a few locals who called in to visit, and one local lady who came for 5 days of sewing. In between the chatting, the cuppas, and the visiting, some of them (maybe only one!) achieved a lot of quilting!  The weather has been very warm, and is now very HOT, with today's temperature expected to be 44 deg!!!! The mornings have been busy with keeping the water up to the plants in the garden, and enjoying the early morning cool. But this morning, there is not even a breeze and is stifling already. Needless to say, the airconditioner has been running a lot.

We enjoyed brekkie in the pergola 3 mornings this week.

I usually send out a few (?) Christmas cards to those on my database, and had hoped to finish this task weeks ago, before I went away for the wedding. But it did not happen, and they were all still sitting on the table waiting for my attention. Thankyou very much to the angels pictured below, who got busy and almost finished the job for me. 

And then another lovely friend called in to visit and here is the tub, all finished and waiting to go to the post office. Might just make it in time for Christmas now.

We have spent a part of the week birdwatching. I have put a birdbath and a feeder just outside the front window of the sewing room, and the birds have appreciated the water this week. In the photo below, it is a bit hard to see, but there is a honeyeater sitting on the edge of the basin. We have been visited by a parrot also, but by the the time I went for the camera, it had gone. There are lots of blackbirds and sparrows coming too. It's a bit hard to get sewing done when you keep watching the birds.

This week also saw the arrival and fitting of my new screen door. It will be so lovely to have the door open while I am quilting, and look out at the following view. Well, when the weather cools a bit it might be!

This is the view from outside, looking in to where Max is situated.

I have started sewing the "wedding quilt" together, in room that is a bit cooler in the afternoon. As you can see in the following photo, I bought a couple of new sewing chairs, which are a bit of fun.

This is what I am working on this week, but I have to admit that the weather is not very conducive to production, so it is taking me longer than it should. This is made by Sue, from Michele Hill's Renaissance pattern. The purple background and bright applique fabrics are a change to others I have seen.

Time to shift the water to the next area, and have my second cup of coffee, before I sit on my stool and do some more SID on the above quilt. With the expected temps this afternoon, I might retire to the lounge and find a book or just wilt. There is a family reunion happening about 2 hours from here today, but I decided that it was too, too hot to venture out. Which is a pity because 2 of mum's brothers from Queensland are in SA for a visit.

I can see the date is already the 19th of December, and except for the above Christmas cards, I have made no attempt yet to shop for Christmas. I am not even got the list out, so maybe next week I might need to do something about this.

Blessings, From Jude