Saturday, September 14, 2013


We started major renovations to our house at the end of June.
Tiles were ripped up and replaced, kitchen, laundry and 3 bathrooms were gutted and rebuilt.  Internal brick walls were removed/rebuilt in various rooms. Most of the contents were boxed up and stored in the garage. 
Every room has had some work done so far.  My bedroom has had the least work, but is used as a storage room. Luckily it is quite big as it currently contains the TV cabinet, oil heater, ironing board, sofa, old bathroom cabinet drawers, stepladder and vacuum cleaner, some boxes, bookcase, etc as well as the bed.
I sent the kids to their grandparents for the first 4 weeks until the new tiles were down.  The cat had to go to the cattery for this long as well. 

First day - discovered 2 layers of tiles

The builders split the work in 2 stages so we could continue living here.  Part 1 was the kitchen, laundry and main bathroom.  Part 2 was the remaining bathrooms.  The painting will be done when the renovations are complete and last will be the new carpet.

I've had some problems - the granite for the kitchen benchtop was cut 10mm too big for the sink but we've made do.  The oven didn't work and needed to be fixed.  The glass splashback had the holes for the rangehood cut incorrectly and needed to be redone, but looks fantastic now.

There is dust everywhere so my stitching is packed away.  There is no point getting it out until the painters have finished. 

Old kitchen, no tiles
 The 30yo old kitchen didn't look too bad but the benchtop was narrow, the cooktop was squeezed into a corner, the oven and dishwasher were on their last legs.  The tiles were getting drummy so we decided to replace them and discovered another layer of tiles underneath.

No kitchen, new tiles

New pantry

New kitchen

New kitchen

The new rangehood will be installed on Monday and electrical work should also be finished.  Still some more work to be done in the last 2 bathrooms.

DH has been travelling a lot during the renovations.  He has been home 1week out of the last 4, and is now half way into a 2 week trip to North America.  Two weeks ago he was in Taiwan/Singapore.  Kids have another week of school before the end of term break. 

I'm still reading blogs, just not managing to comment very often. 
I'm waiting impatiently until I can stitch again.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chart Winners

I'm back at last.  Sorry for the 2 week delay.  Everyone has been sick, starting with the kids,  but I'm feeling much better today.  We've had some computer problems as well, first with the internet, then I thought I'd killed the pc, but DH brought it back to life. 

So, onto the winners.  Not many entrants, but each chart went to a different winner.

Peppermint Twist - Sarah Beth

The Merry Skater - Carissa

That Kind of Stitcher - Cleejoow

If you could all email me your addresses I'll pop the relevant charts in the post to you.

I haven't done any stitching here for weeks and I'm missing it.  DH is going to Singapore tomorrow until Saturday so I'll try to pick up the needle again while he is gone.

Kitchen Renovations
I'm going to try to get most of the renovations done during the kids school holidays in June/July, but that means I have to have the kitchen appliances and tiles choosen by the end of next week, and a new front door settled on this week.  Yes, the front door needs replacing so we're going to do it with everything else.  Wish me luck. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Zoe's Sampler is Finished

Zoe's Sampler
Fabric - 32ct Pampas Lugana PTP
Threads - HDF silks
Designer - Le Grenier de Zoe

This was done through the Sticklounge group which sadly is closing soon.
Sorry about the photo, it is raining here today.

Another finish - just waiting for the button to arrive in the mail.

This chart will go in my 'to be given away at a later date' pile.

Now, I'm back working on Herz Yin Yang.
Here is my small start on part 7.

I'll see if I can finish parts 7 and 8 this weekend. 

The kids start back at school early next week so this will be my last free weekend for a while.

DH has gone car racing this morning (Friday) and will be back Sunday night briefly before flying overseas Monday morning.  He has to go to Sydney for a few days on his way home so he won't be back until the 24th.  He will be away for our wedding anniversary on the 16th - 18 years.  Now I feel old!  We met at uni when we were 17 and have been together since we were 18. 

Ok, looks like the rain showers aren't going to clear anytime soon so I'm going out to the shops to buy supplies for the weekend, then I can stitch the rest of the afternoon and tonight. 

Don't forget my giveaway in the post below this one.


I have 3 charts that need a new home now I have finished stitching them. 
Chart only, no fabric or threads.

1. Peppermint Twist - LHN
2. The Merry Skater - LHN
3. That Kind of Stitcher - CherryWood Design Studios

Photos of my finishes can be found here

I will do a separate drawing for each chart so you can enter for just one or two or all three if you like them all.  I will post worldwide.

Just leave a comment on this post telling me which one (ones) you would like a chance to stitch.

Comments close April 20.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Winner Is..


SoCal Debbie

You have won a $50 gift voucher to 123stitch.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

3 Little Finishes

Happy Easter

DH is away but family came over here for dinner last night.  Pizza and chocolate cake from the cheesecake shop.  Leftovers for lunch today!

These three were started last year, then not touched until recently.

1.  That Kind of Stitcher

That Kind of Stitcher

That Kind of Stitcher - CherryWood Design Studios
32ct Calypso Linen
WDW - Chestnut, Watermelon Punch
GAST - Kiwi, Orange Marmalade

2.  Peppermint Twist
Peppermint Twist
Peppermint Twist - LHN
30ct Natural Linen
Recommended threads
3. The Merry Skater
The Merry Skater
The Merry Skater - LHN
32ct Tumbleweed Linen
Recommended threads

It doesn't feel like I've done much stitching since my last post.  I missed the March IHSW - Saturday was kids sport, DS's last cricket game in the morning and DD's first netball game of the 'winter' season in the afternoon.  It was a rare hot sunny day (no rain) and I got too much sun and didn't drink enough water so ended up dehydrated and not good for much on the sunday.  Yes, I do know better and I was careless so I belonged in the naughty corner.  Especially as during DD's netball game they had a drinks break half way through every 15min quarter and we were using water spray bottles to help keep them cool. 


I've been talking about getting my kitchen redone for years and kept putting it off.  It's about 30 years old and DH has fixed the oven, the dishwasher leaks, the built in microwave is dying, benches are narrow and the gas cooktop is crowded in a corner, etc, etc.  But, last year DH pointed out that the tiles are cracked and lifed in places and loose in others and we needed to retile.  Well, that's a huge job, the kitchen is open plan and the tiles go from the entrance hallway, kitchen, meals, laundry, main bathroom, another hallway.  Did I mention all these tiles are marble? So, recently I got a friend (award winning kitchen designer) to come and do up some plans.  If I'm going to renovate I'm going to go the whole hog!  So, we are doing kitchen, laundry, all three bathrooms (the bathrooms are in original condition so the renovation is overdue).  Also, knocking out some internal brick walls and changing doorways.  The only rooms untouched in the plans are the kids bedrooms.  We might have to move out for a few weeks!
My friend is coming back soon with the plans and samples (and costs -gulp).

It's school holiday for the next 2 weeks, so more stitching time.  I've finished 5 of last years starts so I've added a new chart to my WIP list - Purrrrr Like You Mean It.  First, I'm trying to finish Zoe's Sampler.

I'll draw a winner from my Easter draw tomorrow but now it's back to the chocolate and some stitching later. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Easter Giveaway

I'm looking forward to Easter - the start of 2 weeks of school holidays, cooler weather, chocolate!

I'm offering a $50 gift voucher to 123stitch for one lucky person.
Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.
Closing date is March 31 (Easter Sunday)


Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Winner, and Update, Froggy Visit

First, the winner of the He's A Flake chart is

Stress Less

Congrats.  Can you send me your snail mail address.

Froggy Visit
Arrived home late Friday night after picking up DS and saw this beside the front door.

Dainty Tree Frog

I googled the species name as it is different to the tree frogs I am used to. It is a Dainty Tree Frog, but this one should be called Fearless as it was very curious and jumped onto my hand and climbed up my phone while I was trying to take photos! Didn't pee on me or my phone thank goodness!
Does that mean good fortune with stitching for the next year for me?

Started stitching again a few days ago.  Here's progress photos.

Herz Yin Yang part 6

Zoe's Sampler part 4 - blurry photo, sorry


That Kind of Stitcher - nearly finshed

Well, DD comes home from Canberra tonight.  She left early Monday morning and we had a quick trip to the Dr on Saturday to get some antibiotics for her (bronchitis).  I hope she has been taking them!   The house is quieter without her and is staying strangely tidy.
Camp seems to be a bit different now days.  The teachers set up a twitter account and sent dozens of tweets each day with lots of photos.  I know what she did before she gets home and I've seen photos of her with the Governor-Gerneral of Australia, and the Australian Treasurer, and at parliament house, museums, rock climbing, breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc, etc.  She was going to go on a scout camp this weekend, but there are no female leaders going and she was the only girl, so she can't go.  I couldn't go as a helper as DH is away in Singapore and gets back on Saturday.  He has managed to get out of going to the US next week. Yes!

DH and I were both sick last week.  Not badly, just a weird virus that seemed exactly like a cold without the sneezing and running nose.  We both had a sore throat, mild fevers, and a  'fuzzy head' was how DH best described it.  I had a week of not doing much at all except resting, so caught up on my blog reading while I couldn't stitch.  I was better on Monday.

Just heard that Google Reader is closing in a few months.  This is how I read the blogs I follow so I'll have to find something else.  Any suggestions?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Some finishes, chart giveaway

I've just finished part 3 of Zoe's Sampler (sticklounge SAL).  New parts come out weekly so it's going quickly.  I did part 2 on Saturday and part 3 on Sunday.  Looks like part 4 is slightly narrower, then the top half is done.

I've been slowly working my way through my crazy 15 starts from last year.  I've told myself that when I finish 5 old wips I can add a new start to my current list of projects.  Of course, I'm doing small ones first.

So, I have another finish - He's a Flake by LHN. 

I used the recommended fabric - 30ct Dove Linen from WDW - and threads.

I'm looking for a new home to send this chart to, leave a comment if you are interested and I'll draw a name next Monday(11th)

We had another very wet weekend here, good for stitching! 
DH was in Germany last week and got back on Friday morning.  He was meant to have a car racing weekend so packed up and was on his way again Friday midday.  Had lots of rain overnight where he was, so he decided to come home Saturday morning as the creeks were rising and he didn't want to risk getting caught out there for a few days.  He may be going to Singapore in another week, then back to the US soon after, and he is racing at Bathurst over Easter!
DD is obviously her father's daughter - she had a scout camp this weekend (yes, in the rain), she has a school trip to Canberra leaving on the 11th, back on the night of the 14th, another scout camp on the weekend starting on the 15th.
She and DH are both home today with colds!

This week I am hoping to finish the next part of Herz Yin Yang, and do some more on my next wip - That Kind of Stitcher, photo here

Better go and check on the patients and start thinking about dinner. 
Hope everyone stays warm and dry.

Monday, February 18, 2013


At last I've managed to join the IHSW this month.  See here for the details.
Here's what I managed to do.

1. Finished Pinapple Sampler.  I only had the last quarter to go.

Pineapple Sampler

2. Started and finished part 5 of Herz Yin Yang.  Most of my stitching was on this over the weekend.
Ready for part 6 later in the week.

Herz Yin Yang part 5

3. Finished knitting a dishcloth - Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth. I used Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn in Country Sage Ombre.   Didn't take long to finish, I had done more than half before the weekend.  An easy pattern but next time I'll use a solid colour yarn.
Yes, I've started knitting again and next I want to make a scarf.

4. A new start. Zoe's Sampler through the sticklounge group.
Designer - Le Grenier de Zoe.
I got the first part on Friday and started it Sunday afternoon, after deciding on fabric and threads.
I'm using HDF silk on 32ct Pampas Lugana by Picture This Plus.
I love working with this silk, it goes through the fabric so nicely.
I'm playing with different colours this time.

Floss toss

This shows the green fabric better.  I have to admit I added the blue this morning (Monday) - wanted to see how it looks.  I'm hoping to finish this first part in the next few days.
I think this is my new favorite project.

Zoe's Sampler

Wow, I can't believe how much I've gotten done.  Lots of happy dancing going on here!
I hope you all had a great weekend.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Giveaway Winner is...

The winner of the Good Things chart is ...


Congrats cucki, drop me an email with your address and I'll get it in the mail tomorrow.

Well, we survived the storm with little damage here.  Official it was an ex tropical cyclone, but I'm calling it a category 1 cyclone.  I've been through a few up north while I was growing up and it was exactly the same.  The wind was at its worst in the early hours of Monday morning and I got up at one stage and watched the kitchen windows flexing, then decided I couldn'd do anything if they broke so went back to bed and listened to the roof creaking and groaning.  The wind was still gusty until Monday lunchtime.  Power went out in lots of places, some friends lost power for 2-3 days, but only a few flickers here.  Terrible floods up north in Bundaberg and other smaller towns.

Kids are back at school so we are slowly getting back into routine.  DH is away for another week.  I'll be glad when he is back.  I had to relight our gas hot water system yesterday morning after a cold shower.  It is outside and goes off every week or so - don't ask.  It took me 4 -5 goes to get it going again - lying on the ground holding down one button with one hand then pressing the ignition button repeatedly with the other hand while pressing my face into the grass and peering inside the system looking for a tiny flame, stopping when I smelt gas, turning everything off then waiting 5 minutes and doing it all again.  I was just glad it didn't go out while we were getting all the wind and rain, or it would have been cold showers for all of us for a few days.

Well, DS has nearly finished mowing the lawn, so I'd better get started on dinner.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Good Things Finished

This was one of my crazy starts last year. 

Good Things
Designer: Lizzie Kate
Finished 27 January 2013

I'm going to give away the chart so leave a comment if you would like it.  If more than one wants it, comment by Friday and I'll draw a name next weekend.  Chart only, no fabric or threads included.  I will post overseas.

I needed to do something to distract me from the weather.  It's Sunday night and we are expecting several more hours of strong winds, heavy rain.  Still under a (mini) tornado watch - never expected that in Brisbane!  Not sure that a watch is very helpful as they are over in less than a minute and can't be seen coming!  Nevertheless, we are advised to stay indoors and this morning I moved all outdoor loose items into the garage.  We have had nearly 250mm  (10 inches) of rain in the last 2 days - most in the last 24 hours. The wind started getting unpleasant from this afternoon, but luckily the only issue I've had is a leak in the kitchen window so I've got a couple of towels on the kitchen bench which I wring out every hour or so.  The pool is overflowing but it can wait until tomorrow.  I did duck outside to empty the raingauge because I was worried the wind would blow it over. 
Up late again tonight to keep an eye on things.  Maybe I'll be able to do more stitching!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Australia Day and Tassie Photos

Happy Australia Day to any other Aussies.

That means a long weekend!  But, we are battening down in preparation for Ex tropical cyclone heading down the coast towards us.  Up near my Dad at Yeppoon they had 550mm (22 inches) in 24 hours till Friday morning.  
They have forecast up to 400mm rain and stroung winds over the next few days for us here.  Showery and windy already.  I went out yesterday morning and now have enough food until Tuesday and the car is full of fuel, kids have books and computers. 

I've done some stitching.
I've finished another section of Herz Yin Yang

Herz Yin Yang part 3

Here is my start of the Pineapple Sampler from the Sticklounge group

Pineapple Sampler part 1
Cloudberry Samplings

Here are some Tasmania holiday photos from last month.  We flew into Launceston, hired a car and drove clockwise staying at Freycinet national park (east coast), Hobart, Strahan (west coast), Cradle Mountain national park and back to Launceston in 10 days. It was wonderful!

Freycinet National Park - Lots of hiking, gorgeous weather.  Saw dolphins at Wineglass Bay beach and a wallaby on Hazards Beach.  It was a steep walk down to Wineglass Bay from the lookout.
Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park
Hazards Beach, Freycinet National Park

Someone wanted our lunch, but went away empty handed.
Wallaby, Hazards Beach

Sleepy Beach, Freycinet National Park

Sunset, Freycinet Lodge

South of Hobart we went to the Tahune Airwalk in the forest canopy and also hiked over suspension bridges.
Tarkine River
Strahan - weather turned cold and wet, but it was still fantastic.
We went on 2 boat cruises, 1st to see the little penguins on the smallest boat, and 2nd up the Gordon River in the largest boat.

Strahan, Macquarie Harbour
On the cruise to see penguins, we went to an island near the entrance to the harbour.  Only 10 of us were on the boat - another family, tour guide and boat skipper.  It was cold and wet but saw lots of penguins so close we were almost tripping over them!

Little Penguin, Macquarie Harbour

Macquarie Harbour entrance - 'Hell's Gate'

Fish Farms, Macquarie Harbour

The Gordon River is a World Heritage area and the cruise was a highlight of our trip.

Gordon River, Strahan

Cradle Mountain National Park was another highlight of our trip.  It was sleeting as we drove into our accommodation.  Cold and wet while we were there, but we hiked around Dove Lake at the foot of Cradle Mountain. 

Saw lots of wildlife in this area - wallabies, echidnas, wombats, pademelons (a type of small wallaby), native hens.  We visited the Tasmanian Devil park and saw devils and quolls. Patted a devil!

Cradle Mountain - Dove Lake

waterfall - Dove Lake

I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse of Tassie.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sad News

Sad, but not unexpected.  DH's grandfather passed away just hours after I last posted on January 10th.  He would have been 93 on January 26 (Australia Day).  His funeral was last Wednesday - yes, DS's 16th birthday.  My mother in law has lost both her parents in the last 12 months.  At least DH was in Australia, he leaves tomorrow for nearly 3 weeks.  We didn't tell DD until she arrived home on the Sunday before the funeral. 

DS passed his learner's test on Thursday and we've started taking him out to quiet car parks to get used to starting and changing gears before we get him on the roads.  He has to log 100 hours of supervised driving and be 17 before he can do his practical driving test. 

DD had a wonderful time at the scout jamboree.  I took her to a podiatrist last week because she has been complaining of a sore foot - the one she hurt at netball 18 months ago - she has a damaged ligament and needs orthortics.  Now, she has her instep taped up.  I saw 3 different medical people when she did it and while they all said different things, none picked up the ligament damage. It didn't slow her down or stop her running, playing sport, etc.  Only now she tells me it has been hurting all the time!  We did an 11 km hike in Tasmania and she was running ahead all day.

I still have to track down the Tassie photos - they're on DH's work computer so I need to get them tonight.

I haven't done any stitching to speak of.  It has been hot and humid, not good stitching weather and I wasn't in the mood for it last week.  Only another week until the school chaos starts and I am out 4 nights a week with various kids activities. 

After last year I've decided to limit my stitching commitments this year and not do any SALs.  I haven't even set any goals, just to do what I can around family obligations.  I will be having a giveaway soon to thank my readers.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 First Finish and New Start

Ok, I'm back blogging after a very busy end of 2012. 
First, I'll do the stitching news, then all the rest below.

I have finished my Many Years Ago sampler on January 5. Designed by Gudi Kolden and done through the Sticklounge yahoo group.  I used a custom HDF silk on a pale violet Jobelan from Stitches and Spice.

Many Years Ago Sampler

I have a new start, also on January 5 - Herz Yin Yang designed by Jean Louis Grandsire, also through Sticklounge.  I am using mauve and gold DMC on 32ct Fog Lugana from PTP.  The inner hearts are a slightly lighter shade.

Herz Yin Yang - part 2

While I'm waiting for part 3, I've pulled out a UFO from last year - Good Things by LK.
I hate the fabric I'm doing this on - 32 ct Tumbleweed linen from Wichelt, but I'm going to finish.

Good Things  - LK

Well, on to other news.  We had the usual end of school year chaos in November.  DS got a chess award at his schools annual awards night.  DD and I weren't well but DH was overseas so we both had to go.  A few days later DD came down with gastro and ended up missing over a week of school - seemed like every second person knew someone who had that nasty virus which started as a sore throat.  DD missed a lot of her specialist lessons exams which she was happy about.

DH and I had a weekend up at Coolum with the car club for our Christmas party.  We went up on Friday night this year and had two nights away.  We stayed at the same place as last year - lovely and relaxing.

Twin Waters Resort

The next weekend DS finished school and had a venturer (scout) camp at Noosa. DD and I ended up taking a car load of teenagers up there on the Friday night - 10 minutes notice for a 3 1/2 hour round trip.  I did stop at home on the way to grab some water for DD and I.  DD was sick with a fever the next day and ended up missing 3 days of her last week of school.  I got her on antibiotics quickly because she had a nasty cough. 

DD had a scout camp which started the Friday night she finished school.  She wasn't 100% well but she needed to get more nights camping before the scout Jamboree in January.  We picked her up at 8am on the Sunday morning and she had time to shower at home before we had to leave for the airport and our flight to Tasmania.

Our 10 days in Tasmania was so good I'm going to make a separate blog entry.

Just before we left, DH's grandfather had a serious health scare.  He is in a nursing home and on a pureed diet, but he was accidently given the wrong meal and choked on some meat.  The doctors in the hospital prepared the family for the worst, but he pulled through. Now, however, he has a damaged lung and is on oxygen fulltime.  He is around 95.

We got back from Tasmania on the Wednesday night before Christmas and my dad arrived on the Thursday to stay for a week.  DH and I did all the Christmas present shopping on the weekend before Christmas, the tree went up on the Sunday afternoon, the only cooking done was a fruit cake and the pavlova I took to the Christmas family lunch.  On Christmas day we drove down to DH's brother's place on the Gold Coast.  Had the big family lunch with cold meat, prawns, salads and pavlova, cheesecake and fresh fruit for desert.  Here is the view out their apartment looking over the broadwater. They have glass windows all along the front.

After Christmas I was busy getting thing ready for DD to go to Jamboree.  It's just a few hours up the road at Maryborough this year.  We were waiting for the bus at 6.30am on New Years Day!  She comes back this Sunday (13th) after 12 night camping in a tent.  I've seen a few photos of her on facebook which has been great, and photos of the things she will be doing.  She is one of 11,500 scouts taking part.   I was worried the weather would be wet but it has been hot and dry, but at least not the heatwave conditions they are getting in the southern states.

When she gets back she has 2 more weeks of holidays before school starts again.  Time for the dentist, eye check, haircut, etc.
DS turns 16 on the 16th (!) and will be able to get his learner's licence and start driving.
DH has been home since late November but goes away again in 2 weeks and will be gone for nearly 3 weeks overseas. 

I've been relaxing this year - sleeping in, reading and stitching.  A few more easy weeks, then back into the usual grind.
Ok, the next post will be up soon with lots of Tassie photos to make you all jealous!