Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First Day At School

My eldest boy went off to Middle School today. No longer is he in the classroom next door where I would often pop my head in during the day to say hi! No longer would I see him at recess and lunch where he would try (in vain) to swap lunches with me!

I fretted. Lots. And fretted some more. And then it was 3.00 pm and he was bouncing in the classroom door to tell me he had a fantastic day. He made a new friend. He likes his teacher. His cricket mates are in his class. He checked out the full size AFL oval at lunch. He caught the new school bus back to the Primary campus, all on his own. He was hungry, what’s to eat? Sigh…


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Ross has just turned eight and is wearing Jacob’s uniforms from last year. Who would have thought there’d be three and a half years difference between the two? My food bills are enormous!

Ross is in the classroom next to mine now. I popped my head in to see how he was going and he was so engrossed in his activity he didn’t see me! He rated the day as a 10/10!

I too, had a great day. My 2008 class has left for the Middle School Campus and I missed them terribly. I thought enthusiasm would be hard to come by in my second year teaching, but I found it in spades today! My Year Fives are fantastic with lots of quirky personalities and awed by the fact that they are now the leaders of the school.

I overheard one of my new students say today “ she’s really mean, but in a nice way…” and another said “Wow! The day went really quick. I didn’t have time to watch the clock even!” When I asked what made today different and go so fast he said “ we did so much work, I was too busy to clock watch!” I am trying hard NOT to smile before Easter!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day

We celebrated Australia Day by having a lamb roast with mint jelly and roast vegies, followed by lamingtons smothered in custard. (I know, it’s a boy thing I’ve been told!)

The front of the house is decorated with Aussie flags and we had a hit of cricket in the back yard. Sadly, it looks like Australia has lost the One Day Test Match against South Africa. However, hooray for Jelena Dokic who is through to the next round of the tennis after a nail biting game last night.



Fabric fondling….

I have pledged to make a bag a month from a fabulous book I purchased at Polkadot in Alice Springs on my way through in 2006. It is called ‘Bag Boutique’ by Amy Barickman and published by That Patchwork Place.

I am making the Sara Louise Bag this month which needs five fat quarters. I found some fantastic bargains online at and the parcel was here within days. I purchased five half yards of a range called Cotton Blossoms by Moda and the colours are stunning. I wish I had bought more as these colours would make a great summery top to wear.


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I also bought two packs of the Charisma charm squares and a yard and a half of coordinating fabric to make a table topper for my dining room table.


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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday!

My birthday this year seems to have fallen off the calendar as no one seemed to be able to remember it! James and the boys remembered midway throughout the day, but there was no effort to purchase cards or a cake. (I know they hate shopping, however…) Friday went by, then Saturday… no phone calls from Dad or my brother or sister to wish me happy birthday. I checked the phone and it was indeed working. I went to work where we always have birthday cake, but no the calendar at work seemed to be in sync with the calendar at home!

So, in honour of my non-birthday I gifted myself these goodies. During the Christmas sales online I discovered two items I have been wanting for ages. The first was a light box to trace stitchery patterns and the second is a Cuttlebug to make die cuts for scrapbooking. As both had huge reductions, what’s a girl to do? I ordered both and some embossing plates and dies for the Cuttlebug.

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Pincushion Finish!


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I have just finished sewing this dear little man. I was rather looking forward to keeping him nearby whilst I was sewing, but my youngest has decided to lay a claim to him with the declaration that ‘you never make ME anything!’.

Well, I thought, perhaps he has a point as I wandered past his brother’s bedroom and saw the finished quilt on his bed and thought of the younger’s two unfinished quilts languishing in a basket somewhere. Then scooting around his room I stumbled across Rufus the frog and Jed. Poor Ross, his claim has fallen on deaf ears! He is ALL mine!

Here’s Rufus…


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and here’s Jed…


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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Home Sweet Home

As promised some photos of our new house. Come inside…

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The gardens at the side of the house are planted with Crepe Myrtle, a rather old fashioned plant that Mum and Dad had in their garden in Toowoomba. It looks beautiful. I can’t believe it grows in the tropics.

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We have boys!

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Who spend a great deal of their time in here….

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The verandas, front and back, run the full length of the house and are fantastic in the Wet. For years we had a trestle table and plastic stacking  chairs for our entertainment setting. James promised me when we stopped moving we could buy a new one. Within weeks of moving I had purchased a nine seater from The Outdoor Furniture Specialists. Arrived on the last day of their sale, procured 20 % off and had numerous flat packed boxes delivered. That’s right! Poor James had to assemble eight wooden chairs and wrestle a black granite insert into the centre of the table. It looks great though and we spend lots of time relaxing out here.

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After three Christmases here in Darwin with a winter weight feather doona encased in an ecru doona cover with a chenille throw, I gave up and bought a light weight quilted coverlet.

Look what happens when the quilting bug hits!


Inspired by my trip to the Dragonfly Fabrics yesterday and the fact I had matching thread for the fabrics I planned to use, I started sewing today. I whipped up this bag in an hour. I made one last night to work out any problems with the pattern – yes! there was a bit of reverse sewing, which made today’s sewing a breeze. I now have a pink and purple butterfly bag for gift giving and this one for ME!

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I love the Japanese fabrics and bought the same in the red colour way to make another. Iron on pellon makes it far easier to manoeuvre the bag through the sewing machine. The pattern, a freebie, is here at All People Quilt.

Then I whipped  up this little number using a FQ left over from the 2007 Birthday FG Swap. Again, the pattern is a freebie from Lazy Girl Quilting. This bag is intended for a gift. It was so easy, I’ve cut out a few more.

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Tonight I plan on cutting the blocks for the Slice Twice quilt kit I purchased yesterday. Or perhaps I should sew up the peg bag, a quick finish is always nice!

Tonight for dinner we are having French Bean Casserole. The smells wafting from the kitchen are delightful. It’s lovely served with a glass or two of Dolcetto and Syrah and warm, crusty bread.



500 gm cubed rump steak

2 rashers bacon, diced

1 onion, sliced

150 gm fresh chopped green beans

tsp crushed garlic

1 1/2 tbs gravy

1 cup water

splash of red wine

pinch of mixed herbs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place beef, bacon and onion in dish. Make up gravy with garlic, wine, herbs and pour over dish. (You may need to add extra water or wine to gravy.) Bake for an hour until meat is tender, stirring twice during cooking. Stir in beans and cook for further 15 minutes. Yum delicious!