Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A rare treasure

Long time, no blogging. Long story why but I wont bore you all with it now.

I want to share a great give-away draw in another blog. Jan has designed this fantastic cross stitch chart and is giving one away to a lucky person. Below is a picture of the stitched design.

I think I will buy this one anyway :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A short stay in Melbourne

I flew from Cairns to Melbourne today as I am attending a conference for the next three days. The photo above is the hotel I am staying at but this is not a photo I have taken as the weather today was quite dull and awful. I have a very comfortable king room with all the luxury fittings, its a joy to stay at such a lush establishment.

Saturday, April 25, 2009



A quiet day for Robert and I. We don't go to any services or parades - Robert has been there and done that during his Navy days and does not feel any need to go back and experience as a civilian.

Running out of time to get ready for our New Zealand trip. 9 sleeps to go and we are off. I see that some stores are open after 1:00pm today, I think I need to buy some warmer clothes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stitching projects sent

My first mattress pincushion has been received by my Swapbot partner. The theme was a Lizzie Kate flip it word. I chose "create" for my partner as she is a teacher and I always see teachers as creative types - maybe its because they help create futures. Anyway my partner was very happy to receive the piece.

In another swap I was to put together a green biscornu - my partner for that swap liked deep greens so I chose a dark green aida and used a DMC variations floss. I used a bead in the centre rather than a button as I found a great one with gold scroll work around the bead.

I am quite pleased with both these projects.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow - progress

While we are on a lighthouse theme (refer posts below) I thought I would post an update on my progress on the Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. Above is my progress on block 1 of 12. Each block is approximately 5 inches square and I was hoping to get one block per month finished - so far I am running behind but I should have expected that. I am supervising an exam tonight so I will take the project along to see if I can get some extra stitching in.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Windy and squally Easter break

As predicted, the weather in Cooktown was quite foul for the Easter holiday. Fortunately for us we were staying in a cabin which meant that looking over the rain soaked camping grounds at huddles of wet and miserable campers really did not really place us in any mood to go out and have some fun.

Robert didn't like the look of any of the fishing options on offer so we limited ourselves to a few driving day trips.

Day 1 was a journey south of Cooktown to explore the hidden bays and jungle about. Robert really wanted to visit Archer Point as it was written up in the guide books as worth a visit and wow it did not disappoint. Archer point is an exposed headland with not one BUT TWO cute little light houses! One light house is located on a small island just off the coast and the other is on the headland. You may notice in the background of the photo below the haze - well that's actually a squally storm making its way straight towards us!!

Lighthouse on island off Archer Point

Mainland lighthouse at Archer Point.

The red and green panels in front of the lighthouse globe is meant to convey to ships at sea whether they are in a safe position - if the skipper can see a red light then that's not a good spot to be in and the boat needs to move further out to sea. If the ship's crew can see green from the light then they are in a safe position to pass by the rocks.

I won't make this post too long but I thought I would also share a photo of the crossing over the Bloomfield River which is on the way back to Cairns (via the coast road). There was only about 15cm of water over the causeway but even a simple slip if you walked over could be dangerous.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Its Raining - must be time for an Easter Camping Trip

In a long held tradition - the Easter long weekend is when Cairns locals try to go camping and traditionally when it pours with rain. This year is no different and everyone in our office is planning a damp weekend away.

Robert and I are planning a long weekend in Cooktown. It's a four hour drive north of Cairns and we are staying in cabins at one of the local caravan parks. Cooktown is a great little spot - its where Captain Cook beached the Endeavour to repair the hull after he ran into the reef on his travels north along the east coast of Australia in 1770.

We plan to do a bit of fishing, exploring and relaxing over the weekend.

Everyone else in our office is doing the real camping bit - hopefully the rain holds off for long enough to get tents set up at least - its really too much to hope for a completely dry Easter weekend :)

Happy Easter everyone, stay safe on the roads and don't eat too much chocolate (your own body's weight is enough).


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More matchboxes

Green matchbox sent to Helen in Canada. I used a metallic finish paint which reflected the light from the flash when I took a photo. I also sent Helen an unactivated geocoin as her Swapbot profile says she is a geocacher. I got to use some excess DMC floss for this creation - its so handy to have stuff leftover from finished cross stich projects laying around.
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Petrol-head kinda day

Originally uploaded by Jacinta H
Fantastic weather up here in Cairns today and so we jumped in the Trans Am (red one) to drive to the car club meeting. Roof off, sunnies on - yes this is the type of day we bought the cars for.

Meetings are meetings...generally very dull but afterwards we had a "shed run" to Brian's place. (A shed run is a convoy of cars converging on a members home to check out his shed, contents thereof and any good cars he may be hiding).

Fortunately Brian's lovely wife Joy was aware of our planned arrival at her home and had put the kettle (urn) on and had organised an early lunch for us all.

Brian's son, Matthew also turned up with the fantastic truck in the photo - its a 37 Chevy hauler (car carrier) - part hot rod, part truck, part American and a fantastic vehicle to see. All of the club members were totally blown away to see it as well as Matthew's El Camino (click on the link to Flickr photos).

All in all a great day out and there were some fantastic cars out and about too.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Catching up with the Bot.

I have received a number of fantastic parcels over the past week but have been a bit slow in showing them on this blog. Above is a matchbox that I recieved from a Swapbotter in Canada (can you tell). The theme of the matchbox swap was "My Country". Mrs D did a fantastic job in decorating the stuffing the matchbox full of Canadian goodies including coins, mini hockey puck, charms, stickers and ribbons.

Next I have the fantastic parcel received from Liz, an Aussie Swapper who went to a lot of trouble to put together a selection of papercrafts, handmade items and craft items for me all in the colour red. Opening this parcel was like stumbling into Aladdin's Cave as each item emerged from the parce I was increasingly shocked and gratified at Liz's generosity and care.

Finally, but not leastly, this amazing selection of ribbons and buttons was sent to me from Christina in Portugal. Included was a fantastic handmade felt pin/brooch with sequins and beads. Christina makes an stunning collection of handcrafts and she has an etsy shop loaded with heaps of great things. This inspires me to have a go at covering my own buttons.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Brought to me by the letters.. J, D and H!

I received another fantastic matchbox during the week. Another Swapbot swap... this time the theme of the swap was our initials. My initials are JDH and this beautiful matchbox features Dark blue fabric, Hieroglyphics and a selection of J,D and H goodies inside including Jingle bells, January, June, July (my birthday month), Dogs, Dragonflies, Dinosaurs, Dog prints, Hearts, Hangers, Hat, Hope, Hand milagro, Hello Kitty, House button and letter H.

Breccamerie created this masterpiece and she has a fantastic etsy store.

Close up of the matchbox itself.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Colour me Silly - Red

Another Swapbot exchange - this parcel went out to Jullie (Shabby Jules) in NSW. Jullie has a thing for luggage so I found a little suitcase to package all the stuff into and then searched high and low for fun red stuff to fill it up.

Jullie has received the parcel now and was very pleased with it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Chaos Crystal

The Chaos Crystal The Chaos Crystal by Jennifer Fallon

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
The dilemma that Declan faces is made clear at the beginning of the book however how he is going to achieve his goal is less clear.

However while the climax to the story is quite thrilling the final chapters reveal a number of new twists introduced in the final chapters are the real highlight.

I enjoy the dry wit of the author as seen through the banter between the Immortals and especially in the "one liners" that are part of the conversation whenever Kentravyon is part of the scene or discussion.

This series does not deliver predictable conclusions or twee happy endings. I was left with the tension of wanting to know more after each of the first three volumes. The fourth volume winds this tension to a conclusion and then twists the story onto a new tangent.

View all my reviews.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Buttons and Ribbons

One of my favourite swaps to take part in is the Buttons and Ribbons series. This fantastic parcel was sent to me by Eadaoin in the UK. Pretty pink, green and crisp white and look out for the cool buttons in the background :). Thanks so much Eadaoin.

Another fun swap was themed "You are a Star" and was to swap stash items. The photos below set out the goodies that Joan sent me. In particular look at the little square buttons - they match the fabric very well so I will have to look at my projects to see what is crying out to be finished with star fabric and buttons.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hamish - the well behaved cyclone

A couple of days after the initial scare and I can now report that TC Hamish was a well behaved weather system. He did as the forecasters suggested - moved parallel to the coast and looks as though he will fizzle out without making landfall and create any excess damage. Yes the beaches are probably a mess but that's the least of the problems if a cyclone comes calling.

Below is the path of TC Hamish over the past day or so -he is just playing by himself out to sea.

Below is the satellite image of the weather system - you can see a smude of clouds to the east of the continent - that's Hamish playing in the waves :)

Disaster averted, for now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Swapbot - Brought to you by the letter ...

S! I created this matchbox for Sunnysidey (Sam) who lives in Perth. I picked out nice bright colours which match Western Australia's climate and covered it with spots. The contents included stars, stamps, sequins, silver, spots and spotty stars. Sam noted that she thought the package with great :)

More reading.

The Palace of Impossible Dreams (Tide Lords book 3) The Palace of Impossible Dreams by Jennifer Fallon

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hmmm, what a funny book this one was - there is another volume after this so its another situation where the plot marks time while the players set themselves up for their next big move. While there were plenty of twists and turns for various characters the story seemed to work itself into a circle and the status quo at the start was not a lot different from the status quo at the end.

However I still enjoyed the exercise of reading this book and have now started the fourth volume.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More bad weather - TC Hamish

Another cyclone formed off the coast to the north of us yesterday. However this time it looks as though its going to cause havoc to the south of us. This tracking map shows what the Bureau of Meteorology thinks the cyclone's path will be. Its already a Category 4 storm.

The satellite map also shows just how big the storm is and you can distinctly see the eye of the cyclone. The last time we saw a Cyclone with such a defined shape and eye it was three years ago when Cyclone Larry (category 5) crossed the coast at Innisfail.

Looks like the Whitsunday Islands might cop a direct hit this time - here's hoping for a sharp turn out to sea.

Red biscornu

This red biscornu was stitched by me for a Swapbot swap and sent to Robyn in New South Wales. I used red aida for the fabric and deep purple and silver floss. The silver was metallic and a total pain to stitch with so it might be a while before I get that colour out again.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

January 2009 biscornu

January 2009 biscornu
Originally uploaded by Jacinta H
Dee let me know that she received the January biscornu for the Swapbot exchange. I was getting worried that perhaps it was lost in the mail.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Swapbot Tube of Surprises - sent to Michelle

Michelle posted a note to let me know that she has received her Tube of Surprises. Lots of pink and girly stuff for her incorporate into her sewing and crafts. Pleased she liked the package.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book review

The Gods of Amyrantha (Tide Lords book 2) The Gods of Amyrantha by Jennifer Fallon

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Even though a large part of this book was spent setting up the scene for future volumes and hopefully and epic finale I really enjoyed the twists and turns in the plot towards the end. I liked the fact that its not certain that the good guys are, in fact, the good guys and maybe there might not be happy endings for all of our favourite characters.
An Aussie author I enjoy.

View all my reviews.

Voucher savings

Life is good - during the week I received a voucher from Spotlight (chain craft, homewares and fabric store) that allowed me to save $40 if I spent over $100. So I carefully went though my list of things to do and took a long list of things to buy - I knew that it only makes sense to buy stuff you were going to buy anyway and not buy stuff just to get the discount and I watched the total add up to just over $100 (after my VIP) discount so bingo - save another $40!!

Now I am not allowed back for weeks!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Biscornu - sent to Carol

Carol wrote today to let me know that she received the biscornu that I sent for her birthday. I used an Aurelle pattern on 18ct Aida cloth and a rich red DMC thread. So pleased she likes it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Creative Collage - received

I have received my creative collage from the fabulous Niss. This collage is personalised to my tastes including my name in purple (which is a great conicidence because my name means "wearer of purple". Thanks Niss, love it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Year Long Prairie Schooler Exchange - sent round 1

It also seems that the post out of the flooded north is also working! Rebecca reports that she has received my Prairie Schooler stitched piece and I have not embarrassed myself in the stitching or finishing stakes. I am always nervous when exchanging as I am never confident my pieces are good enough. It was nice to receive some positive feedback.

The mail is starting to flow again!!

Australia Post is working through the backlog of mail and today could only be called a Swap-bot extravaganza!! I received a number of fantastic parcels that I had been waiting on.

Drum roll please...

A magnificent biscornu from Jenna in the US for a Swap-bot Valentines Day Biscornu Swap. Love this one - especially when Robert also bought me a cute cupcake to enjoy with my lunch today also.

...but wait...there's more...

This is from Round 1 of the Year Round Prairie Schooler Exchange - a decorated Altoids Tin. I have always wondered just how big these tins are because we don't get Altoids in Australia. Well know I know how big this one is - its perfect for a needleholder (need to pop a magnet inside). Thanks so much Julianne for stitching this for me.

Don't go away...there's more...

A matchbox shrine from Niss in Brisbane. Another Swap-bot exchange - Niss picked up on my thing for shoes and made this magnificent piece of mini-art. I can't stop playing with it, opening it up and smiling. Thanks so much Niss.

I have also received other things - will post more in the next day or so.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lizzie Kate Valentine Swap received by Nancy

Nancy received her Valentine's day swap from me in time for Valentine's day. She said that she didn't know much about Australia so I also included a book of photos.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A helping hand

This photos is doing the rounds on the internet media sites at the moment. Its a reminder of what a fantastic job the CFA and other fire fighters are doing in Victoria. Its also a reminder that even the animals need rescuing from the fires. I saw this koala on TV this evening - he has been taken in by wildlife carers and has had his burns tended to.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tea time biscornu

Jenna has received her biscornu for the Tea Time Biscornu Swap so I can also show what I sent to her. The biscornu has beads on the teapots as well as the centre instead of a button.

Buttons and biscornu

I am so pleased that Jenna is happy with the piece she received - I also included a book on Australian rainforests for her family to enjoy.

Biscornu to Pirjo

I heard the Pirjo in Finland has received her Valentine's biscornu in the mail so I am able to post a picture. More photos can be seen on my Flickr site (links on the side bar).

The photos below show the contents of the package and the detail on the underside of the biscornu. Long story about the detail - when I stitched the biscornu together I realised that the hearts were upside down - so I unpicked the detail and then stitched it back in without unpicking the sides of the biscornu. Very time consuming but a lesson learned to think things though :)

Package sent to Pirjo in Finland

Detail on the underside of the biscornu.

detail on the upper edge of the biscornu - I was pleased about how this turned out - it was an adaptation of the original Blackyrose Creations pattern.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Updated my Look

Well I have learned how to customise this blog using a background designed by another. I also managed to work out how to include code for a flickr badge. Not bad for an old dog who is not all that into playing with code (hooray for cut and paste).

I thought that this tropical look would brighten my day up - its been constantly raining here for weeks now so I can guarantee that the water does not look blue and lovely now. Picture brown and filled with debris washed down the river. During the past week our outrigger paddling coach has fished out three large empty drums out of the inlet while we have been training.

We went for a big paddle again this morning - Tuki, our coach picked out 6 of us who he thought must not have worked hard enough during the week and sent us off on a paddle around Admiralty Island - about 18km. He took the remainder of the gang (12 paddlers in two canoes) for a lighter paddle and the idea was that they travelled around the island in the opposite direction to us - when they saw us they were to turn around quickly and it was our brief to try to catch them on the way home. We sneaked up on the other two boats and overtook one of them but the one that we would have liked to catch stayed about 50m ahead of us all the way home. I was wrecked at the end of that paddle.

I have now paddled around the island three times this year. Only three of us have done that - which while is not bad going - is exhausting!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Swapbot Lizzie Kate Valentines cross stich swap

I received this cute little hanging pillow from Courtney for a swap-bot swap. Courtney also sent some bobbins with floss and she made a beautiful beaded scissor fob (shown on my scissors). I have always wanted to try to make a scissor fob myself - now I have a bit of inspiration to go with.

I sent off four swaps today - three to the USA and one to Europe. Heres hoping they get to their destination without any dramas.

January 2009 biscornu received

Received this biscornu from Doreen for the Swapbot January biscornu swap. Doreen used a Lizzie Kate pattern. Its a nice addition to my collection.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Match box shrine

Swap-bot has introduced me to a number of new crafts - the latest being matchbox shrines. I created this shrine using the theme "birds and nests" and sent to another Aussie, Julie. The shrine includes an oversized golden egg and a hanging bird charm.

I was happy to hear that Julie received the shrine last week and it was a good fit for her interests.