....ohh and pencils and paper

Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Year to Celebrate

Well today I have earned another page in the "becoming a wise old woman" book and I feel very blessed to be able to  celebrate another year. Before I left home on our trip  my gorgeous friend Helen gave me a lovely birthday gift beautifully wrapped with strict instructions not to open it until the day......I was a very good girl and only had the odd squeeze or two. When I met my gorgeous  blogging friend Melody in Victoria recently she also had a birthday gift beautifully wrapped and with the same strict instructions for me.
Helen knows I am a lover of dragonflies and I can quite often be seen wearing one on a chain around my neck. So inside my special well travelled gift was a beautiful quotes book about "Memories", sweet dragonfly earrings, a gorgeous silk scarf and beautiful lavender and neem soap. All capped off by a lovely message in a dragonfly card. Thank you so much my lovely friend for thinking of me I have missed you and look forward to catching up soon.
Inside Melody's lovely parcel was a bundle of gorgeousness too. A stunning vintage style book case with the sweetest bird on the front and inside more lovely birdie things....a beautiful original artwork on fabric by Michelle L. Palmer of a dear baby bird along with some pearl buttons, fairy wren tissues, notebook designed by Marg Low and two very yummy fat quarters "Papillon" by 3 sisters for Moda. Soooo pretty!! A gorgeous card accompanied it all with a special doggy smile to make my day.
Thank you Melody for also thinking of me, my special parcel made my heart sing this morning.
and inside....
I wasn't forgotten by hubby either and his gift was a beautiful art book of Hans Heysen work which is really special as he bought it at "The Cedars" when we visited there recently. It is so nice to have seen the originals of a lot of the works in the book. It is such a special memento to have of a wonderful day.
I also got my wish for my birthday to be near the ocean and it was wonderful to wiggle my toes in the sand.
We have the best of both worlds as our campsite is beside the to the ocean.
The ocean is just beyond the vegetation opposite and only a short stroll across a little foot bridge to reach it.
I love this spot and just had to take a photo from the rocks at the bar up river with the sun shining across the river.
Being beside the ocean is something I really love and I can sit and watch the ocean for hours and after a lovely walk along the beach that is just what I did. Look a bit windblown there. LOL!
Lastly just because it is my Birthday and I love native blossoms. I came across these beauties on my walk.

I shall leave you with a quote from my new birthday book.
"Back on it's golden hinges the gate of Memory swings,
and my heart goes into the garden and walks with the olden things" -Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Sunday, July 29, 2012

On the Down Hill Run

I have been likened to a horse who can smell the home paddock and just wants to head for home....not sure I appreciate the analogy although it is partly true that I am looking forward to HOME. I really enjoyed the drive from Bathurst up through Mudgee and on to Scone. Once again the landscape changed and there was something different to enjoy. Beautiful rolling hills and plains with wattle trees beginning to bloom everywhere.
As we had had a very early start we stayed in Tamworth last night and set out this morning for one of our favourite little towns on the New England Highway. Oh! It is so nice to see blue skies and the sun too. I had a bit of a drive this morning to give Gary a break and I must say it was much more relaxing driving in the outback with the road trains than with the lunatics who decided that today was their day out. Phew! Once we arrived in Uralla we headed straight for the home of Australia's best BLT.....
Which is housed in this gorgeous old shop building in the main street.
Despite many strange glances I was determined to take a photo to show you that we were not remiss in our assessment in giving their BLT top marks. Heaven!!!
  The coffee was very nice too and so pretty in it's red cup and saucer.
Feeling pretty good after our lovely and much anticipated lunch we (Gary) made the decision to cut across to the coast  along the "Waterfall Way". It is a pretty drive but we didn't realise it would be a bit hairy with the camper especially as the road was not in as good condition as the last time we drove it. I was decidedly seedy from the many kms of winding road and Gary was pretty weary from all that concentration.  The scenery is really pretty though.
   As you get closer to Grafton you pass the Nymboida  River and  Russell Crowe owns an historical hotel there with a museum of "Interesting Things" on the property, we had visited before so didn't go in this time but it is a lovely place to break your journey and have a coffee or a drink and the museum is full of interesting things!~!
This photo of me is on a previous visit at the back of the Inn over looking the river as I was not looking in any condition for a photo after that drive. Many famous people have stood in this spot for a photo.
    It is a truly lovely spot and it was great to enjoy it again after such a harrowing journey.
  Loads of people use the rapids  in this river for canoeing.
 We are cosied up for the night here in the town of Grafton and my husband has decided that I need some time by the ocean to complete this road trip so we will find somewhere to park ourselves for a couple of days before heading home.
Blessings Michelle xx                                                                                                                     

Friday, July 27, 2012

Girl Stuff.....

And a little bit of boy stuff.
Whenever dear Husband says lets go via Bathurst (so he can do some laps around Mt Panorama) I just smile and say sure that would be great, knowing all the while I get to visit my favourite Patchwork shop.
This frosty morning I got deposited on the footpath outside this marvellous shop, smiling as Husband sped off towards the sprirtual home of his Hero Peter Brock. I knew that lots of gorgeousness awaited just beyond the door of this charming Heritage building. Sorry about the photo but I couldn't wait to get inside.
And I was not disappointed. It is full to the brim with gorgeous fabrics, notions, books, patterns and beautiful examples of  talented owner and designer Anni Downs work to salivate over. Not to mention her own lovely fabric ranges that I just had to have a snippet of to bring home. Every time I visit it just makes me want to run straight home and start stitching....a very inspirational place. Anni has always been one of my favourite designers and I know a lot of you feel the same. I was very fortunate today as Anni was in the shop and I got to have a lovely chat with her. She is such a lovely lady and very encouraging with her kind words.
Of course I left with a little brown paper bag full of goodies to play with when I get home. Yum!
If you go through Bathurst treat yourself and pay a visit to "THE HOME PATCH".                                    Now for the "Boy Stuff". I didn't get out of a couple of laps of the Mountain as a certain somebody needed a photographer to record his visit to his Hero's statue.....
We even got to do a lap in reverse (yawn) which was exciting!!
After each of us getting to do a 'favourite' thing we decided it was time to go and do some more research into the best BLT in this country. Our test case today was a very high scorer but Uralla is still champ.
I have been managing a little stitching and now have 2 'frosty fellows' and a bunny stitched.
Although poor little 'Miss Merry Mistlemouse' has been complaining very loudly from my stitching bag that "she is never going to get her turn at being stitched". I keep assuring her she is Next! Better get stitching.
Good Night all, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Very exciting here the temp. is going up from -2 this morning to 3 degrees tomorrow morning....woohoo!
Blessings Michelle xxx

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Boy Stuff & a Beautiful Garden

Hi all. As I mentioned in my last post we were heading to Temora. We set out early and had a lovely breakfast in the town of Holbrook. What a lovely town. Lots of heritage buildings, antique and collectible stores and nice cafe's. It will soon be bypassed by a new part of freeway and it will be shame if people don't visit it.
Anyway it was another drive of varying vistas including lots of sheep, plains and lovely bright yellow wattle trees.
Eventually we hit Temora and Gary crossed another item off his 'bucket list.
It was very well run and beautifully set out and Gary was in his element.
All the aircraft in the museum are flown at regular intervals.
As we had made good time we thought we would continue on to the town of Young (famous for cherries) I know this as I used to have a flat mate who came from there and her lovely Mum used to send us up a case on the train (yum!) I digress, the cook (me) went on strike and so a trip to the Services club was made and as they say 'be careful what you wish for'. I had grumpily remarked to Husband I really felt like some lamb and with all the sheep I had seen on the way it had want to be good.....well, as all of you who know me well will testify too it takes a lot to leave me speechless but my meal did......5 LAMB CHOPS!!!!
When Gary managed to stop laughing he enjoyed his steak as well. It was very delicious at any rate.
We had an easy day's travel today and really enjoyed travelling along singing very loudly to our Keith Urban CD and wondering what was over the next hill. Travelling through the Aussie countryside singing to Keith can't be beat.
As we arrived in Cowra we noticed a sign that said "Japanese Gardens" and we both recalled that this garden was created as part of the "Cowra Peace Precinct" to commemorate those Japanese people who were interned at Cowra during World War 2. The war cemetery holding the Japanese dead from the Cowra Breakout was tended by the RSL in Cowra and it was decided in 1971 to create this garden.
It is truly beautiful even though we have visited when none of the flowering trees were in bloom.
An ornamental apricot tree was just starting to blossom and I spied a little birdie's nest up in the branches.
  Some shrubs graced us with some very pretty blooms....
There was water flowing into 2 lakes and the sound of the running water was so tranquil.
And I had to have a photo on the bridge (notice I have on my travelling uniform again tee hee) There are humungous Koi carp in the lakes HUGE! They came to the top with mouths open, expecting food when you went near the platforms.
I couldn't resist the most devine incense called Autumn Reflections in the gift shop or the porcelain crane incense holder. We had a very nice cup of coffee in the cafe and all in all it was a very lovely experience and hey anything that promotes Peace and Understanding I'm all for it.
We are nestled in our little camper tonight in the very chilly Bathurst with -2 expected in the morning....brrr!
This afternoon we had a storm but Mother Nature blessed me with a lovely sunset through the trees.
Good Night All.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More Boring Sunsets

Good Golly Miss Molly it was very chilly here last night. So glad to have the old electric blanket plugged in. It was great today to just sleep in  and not have any where to go or anything to do.....except a little stitching and I look oh soooo glamorous!!!
We took the opportunity for one last walk and a look at the sunset and we managed to get a couple of pics of some of the very elusive Bowna Bunnies....
And then they turned tails on us and hopped away.
There has also been flocks of Galahs and it is something we don't see at home. We used to see the odd one or two when the west was in drought but not like this. It was lovely to hear them calling to each other and then see them swooping down to feed on grassy banks near the lake. There would have had to have been 50 - 60 of them. This is just one small portion of them. I wanted to show the girls overseas how pretty they are.
I fancied taking a photo of this log protruding from the lake and as I got closer I noticed another little birdie I am very fond of.... "Willie Wagtail" perched on the top end of the log. I thought it made a pretty picture.

I know I am being boring but I love nothing better than watching the sun set and over water...even better. Then if you add in a tree or two, even dead ones.....especially some sculptural looking dead ones...LOVE it!
And then another.....
Ok you twisted my arm just one more.
I have loved being here in this beautiful spot. If you don't like peace and quiet, wildlife, no shops or traffic then this is not the place for you but it was for us and we are certainly putting Bowna and Lake Hume on our list of  "Must visit again"
Not sure where we will be tomorrow probably somewhere near visit the Aviation Musuem. A young girls dream....Yay! But my travelling companion is excited.
Goodnight all,
Blessings Michelle xxx

Monday, July 23, 2012

G'day Cockie Country (NSW)

NB: "Title refers to the fact that we call New South Welshmen Cockies because in State of Origin they are the Cockroaches and we are the Cane Toads"
We left by the back door this morning along the road less travelled up through the Yarra Ranges again. Gary remarked the other day when we drove this way how lovely it would be to experience the drive with the sun filtering through the trees. This morning he got his wish. It was truly magical with misty droplets falling from the tree ferns and the sun sending gorgeous rays of sunlight through the canopy.
Everyone thinks my husband is such a quiet man but those who know him very well will tell you he has a very warped sense of humour and many a beautiful moment viewing natures treasures has been shattered as I said yesterday by  these words.....
Now I admit it was funny the first 2,003 times but then it started to wear a little thin. I couldn't believe it as I plotted our course this morning to discover we were going to go through a town called "Bonnie Doon" which all Aussie fans of the movie "The Castle" will know features in the film. I thought to myself what a coincidence that we actually have a town by that name.......never dreaming it actually was the town in the movie and Lake Eildon was where the famous boat drive was. Well of course we ( I actually mean him) just HAD to do all the silly touristy stuff so I apologise but here we go.
All about the movie.....
Two idiots "feeling the serenity" down at the lake.
Wife doing as she is told and getting a photo by the lake.
I am the best scone sniffer outerer there ever was and I found these beauties in Bonnie Doon. Served to us by a lovely couple who run the local post office, bait shop, motel and cafe (glad they didn't get our order mixed up)
After all this frivolity and nonsense we headed out of town, across the bridge over Lake Eildon and it was pretty as was the rest of our drive to Glenrowan.
Glenrowan as most of you know is the place of bushranger Ned Kelly's last stand. We stopped here for our lunch and of course you just have to take a photo don't you. Well they did make Gary "stand & deliver" and hand over his cash for yet another T-shirt.
We didn't really think we would get as far as we did today as we really took our time but a decision had to be made and we decided on a park 30 kms outside Albury called Bowna beside Lake Hume and I mean beside Lake Hume!! We are the only ones here tonight besides the owners and little rabbits, wombats and beautiful birds. It is delightful! Very chilly but a sky full of stars. We wandered down to the lake to watch the sunset.
And of course you knew there wouldn't be just one photo.
I loved the reflections in the lake.
and one more......
It is so peaceful here and we are going to stay and extra day and do a little relaxing, reading and of course some stitching.
Blessings Michelle xxx