....ohh and pencils and paper

Friday, August 30, 2013

A fun Morning in Breezy Ballarat

Hi everyone. We are here in Ballarat and I have to say it is decidedly chillier. We nearly got blown to Kingdom Come yesterday when we arrived. We did venture out in the afternoon after a shower of rain to visit the famous Eureka Site where disgruntled miners on the 3rd December 1851 clashed with dire consequences with Soldiers and Police over unfair mining licenses which were 30 shillings per month a Kings ransom in those days.
Allegedly 3 miners wives constructed and stitched a flag which is known as The Southern Cross flag. They pledged allegiance to the Southern Cross and each other. We visited the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka and found it very interesting. We especially loved seeing the remnants of the original flag. I tried to take a photo but it was not very successful so I have borrowed this one from the Government Heritage site.
I did however get a close up of the star.
The stitching was so neat and tiny and amazing when you think it was all stitched by hand.

M.A.D.E was well worth the visit to help understand this important event in our history.
Now on a less serious note but seriously fun note, today I was able to meet long time blogging friend Shez...picked up at my door almost. What a beautiful fun girl she is and I was so touched that even though she has had serious illness in her family she still insisted on sharing some of her favourite places with me. We first visited a shop which is closing down. Such a shame as it was a sweet shop but as they were having a sale 30% off I bought some lovely background fabrics, felt and buttons...very happy here.
The next place was a darling little coffee and gift shop Such & Such where we had a good look around before settling down with a nice cuppa and exchanged gifts. Look at this gorgeous little bag Shez has made for me....I just love it! It has sweet little birdies on the fabric and the stitchery has other favs like cupcakes and a teacup. Beautifully stitched too...
I gave Shez some sewing charms, knitting wool and my new Birdie in a Teacup tote bag pattern ( you would have seen my sneaky peeks) which I will be releasing when I get home...Shez seemed very pleased to have her own copy.
Next we were off to Gail's Patchwork Emporium Oh my goodness! I was in love when we drove up the drive...I had always wanted to go there!!!!
What an adorable place. I just loved every square inch of it. The fabrics and notions, not to mention gorgeous braids and laces...did I mention buttons and threads and beautiful gift line objects sprinkled so loving amongst all the other gorgeousness. Vintage china and clothes, I also found a new piece of Cranberry & White china ( a lidded butter dish) to bring home...needless to say a donation was definitely made here....
Every time Shez and I walked around it we found something else to wonder at. If you are ever in Sebastapol  near Ballarat you just have to visit. You will walk out smiling and with a little package or three...
Gail the owner is a delightful person and I was thrilled to have a piccie with her.
And I just had to have a photo with my lovely friend Shez too.
Thank you Shez for a very special morning and for showing me your town...loved every minute!
Off now to do a little stitching...I have been doing a bit of redwork and a little work on my French General Dresdens but not anything to take a piccie of just yet.
Blessings Michelle xxx

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Well as promised I have my lovely gift from Cheryl to show you..better piccie this time.
How cute is that and it is so beautifully stitched in variegated thread. Can't wait to find a spot for it come Christmas...and it came with a gorgeous little hanger too...very spoilt here.
If you thought the nature pics were over...Sorry!
Today we thought we would visit some of the more sedate and easily accessible lookouts. We began with the Boroka lookout and the views were quite stunning and such a lovely vista over the valley.
It was quite windy hence the 'windblown and carefree' look.
The next on the agenda was the Reid lookout which has a 1km walk there and back to a spot called "The Balconies" problems thinks I, 2kms is not far and another great view.
I was struck along the way by these little pink bell type beauties which seem to be just coming into bloom.
Now as we were powering along and enjoying ourselves we thought that we would make the Mackenzie Falls our last stop and we also had it on good authority that we could view the falls from the top and it was not to strenuous walk. Here is Gary looking cheerful on the path to the falls.
The view of the falls from the top was wonderful..
Isn't this lovely I thought and then I heard the voice beside me say 'it would certainly be some thing to see from the bottom and you know seeing as we are here'.....I groaned but off I went. I then find out there are 300 steps down which means there are also 300 steps back up. Did I think to turn around and say NO! Of course not....down I went...
Following the smiling sadist..

The "voice" was right and it was certainly something to see from the bottom...
Couldn't resist a photo mainly to show you the size of it and this is only one section of the falls....his and
These are a few of the 300 steps it took to get down here and that I had to then walk back up.
The "voice" then discovered this was not the end...ohh noo! There was more yet to see and walk too...
Oh wait and then there was this..
and then thankfully the end was in sight and as they say the peasants were revolting and so I viewed the end from afar...
Then the mighty journey up all those steps and pathways to where it all began..oh my! You know how you get really silly and incoherent when you have over exerted yourself...well that was me. I even came up with a name for us as we moaned and groaned our way to the top..."The Mutant Whinger Turtles" being not myself by this stage I thought that was hilarious and hysterical laughter insued.
Finally we reach the blessed, beloved top and head for the carpark only to be diverted by "him" to look at "Broken Falls"...
I tell you I was not only broken I was shattered..I just know I will be thrilled I went to see these wonders of nature...when the pain subsides. That's the Grampians for us folks. I will leave you with a few of Mr. R's friends that he couldn't resist playing with.
Gotta fly,
Blessings Michelle xxx

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Lovely Catchup & The Grampians

Well folks as hard as I try and cull the photos I still end up with a stack so once again this post is very photo heavy and I make no apologies as "The Grampians" are worth every shot.
Most importantly I was very excited to meet up with my long time blogging friend Cheryl from Cheryl's Stitching's . We became friends before Cheryl even had a blog (and she has just had her 1 year blogaversary). Cheryl and her hubby are lucky enough to live around this gorgeous area and so they very kindly came to meet us and we went to the local pub for dinner complete with toasty open fire. We had the best night with lots of laughter and travel tales and Cheryl was even my gorgeous than I thought she would be in real time. Of course as we all opportunity!!
Cheryl was very naughty and had a surprise Birthday pressie for me. Look at this gorgeousness.
That's a choccy little frosty fellow in there! Yum! Now I am going to keep you in suspenders about what is in the package because the photo I took is a shocker and all blurry and I want to show you how beautiful it is.
Thank you so much Cheryl for being so naughty and nice and so clever.
Earlier in the day we achieved one of our holiday goals and that was to walk to "The Pinnacle" via the Grand Canyon track which takes you through beautiful rock formations and water is either trickling or flowing around you or beneath you and it is so wonderful.
Being a rock fancier I was in awe of these cliffs and boulders. Mr R. on the way up (much more respectable in his Queensland cap)
The walk had many steps and much clambering over rocks leading us forever upwards..
And I was not allowed to say "are we there yet???" There were a couple of flatter bits..very few though.
and as a reward of more climbing you come to another little waterfall called "The Bridal Veil Falls"
Everywhere you turned was magnificent...
This was our prize at the top. What a view!!! (side note: we missed the arrow and ended up out on a little cliff facey thingy that was extremely scary. Plus another couple followed us out. Better signs folks please)
and did you notice in the shot above the very brave and young at heart perched on the edge having a snack..eek! That's what being young is all about!!
and can you see the lake to the right (Lake Bellfield)...that is where our campsite is, on the left hand bottom end ....beautiful! Lots of kangaroos, even some deer, corellas, cockatoos, currawongs and crimson rosella. Recommended to us by Cheryl I might add Thanks Cheryl!
Here is Mr R. at the top being very brave as he is actually terrified of heights...and it is a very long way down! I am not showing my photo as I was so red in the face I could have lit up a darkened street.

Now you may say well done! Job done! But I have to say the walk down was even more harrowing and a few too many Tim Tams and I wouldn't have made it through some of those rock crevices..
This part of the track was so gorgeous...
But then someone always has to ruin it...
More stairs....going down!
By now I was getting a little weary with more than a few hurty bits I can tell you...but almost there!
and then the beautiful end arrives...
If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Grampians National Park you should seize it with both hands.

Beauty surrounds you at every turn. It has far exceeded our expectations and they were pretty high.
Well as they say "Thats all Folks"! If you are still with me I thank you.
Blessings Michelle xxx