Friday, 29 September 2017

On Holidays!

Yes, I know, my absence must have been noted for those that read my blog but I have not been on holidays - yet.... now I am on holidays for a couple of weeks and thought I MUST update before heading off to hopefully warmer parts - not that it has been particular cold here on the South Coast! 
So....here is a quick update - as I still have to pack and this blog update is on my "to do" list before leaving!
I had been doing some secret stitching for the Fat 1/4 Birthday club I'm in and my "secret" birthday girl's birthday was in September so now I can show you what I made for her.....
Pattern: Vicki Porter

 I have read a few books..... this first one based on a true story and because of that I found it quite moving - a review said "Agnus will stay with you long after the last page is turned" and I did find this to be true.....
 Time then to read a more "light hearted" novel.....
Followed by a Di Morrissey book.....
And....another jigsaw puzzle finished.... a little "ginger"...ummm wonder why I should choose that one?
 Time for a very belated birthday lunch (not mine)..... with some very dear friends at St Isidore.... a lovely restaurant with it's own produce garden and through which we wandered after a very delicious lunch!
 Here.... looking back at the restaurant from the garden.
And..... a very special person arrived home a week ago with her fiance for a short visit (only 2 weeks) but so lovely to have them both here.......They  spent their 1st week here.... even cooking me dinner one night (both chefs!) 
I am heading off this weekend for the 1st week of my holiday to Burleigh Heads visiting Hayley and her partner - picking up my (mid North Coast) sister, Linda, on the way and.... how great is this .....Megan & James are also heading to Burleigh Heads for the 2nd week of their holiday (though they will be flying) and going through Bundanoon first to visit her other Aunt & Uncle - looking forward to this coming week and being together with both my girls and their partners - doesn't happen very often!!
I think I'd better go and pack - heading off to Sydney first to spend some time with mum & dad as well! 
Will be back when I return with some holiday "snaps" 

Till next time
Happy Stitching
Asta

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Birthdays & a Quilt Finished


We had a lovely family get together in July when my sisters and I got together in Sydney to celebrate our Mum's 88th birthday!! .....
 .... we laughed so much and took so long to take photos this is where the candles got to by the time Mum was blowing them out.... we all thought we'd be eating candle wax! 
With a little help (?) from Dora I managed to stitch the binding on this quilt - a belated birthday present for my sister Vivien and was able to give it to her when we were all in Sydney.......


 And.... as Vivien is a book designer we decided to take an "artistic" shot of the quilt!.........
Also finished one of my many knitting projects.... a lovely warm scarf.....
.....read a couple more books and finished another jigsaw puzzle (my new hobby)................



And....then August arrived ....and my birthday! Amongst lovely gifts from family and friends I also received these from my fellow "Fat Quarter Birthday Swap" members ......

....a lovely selection of greens as I'm collecting greens to be used for a quilt I plan to make (one day!) that will remind me of the lovely green forests we wandered through when I was in Europe last year......
This past weekend was spent with a little more hand stitching and decision making about the next quilt for a special person!  ...... fabrics being sorted and deciding on a pattern!
Till next time....
Happy Stitching
Asta

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

My! How Time Flies

Back again.... and before I go any further I must include this photo Megan sent me on Mother's Day - completely forgot to add it to my last post.... 
She has been away for 3 Mother's Days now and every year has sent me a photo....this year it was near Oxfordshire where her and her partner James are renting at the moment. 
Now back to June....and the arrival of Winter! A lovely wire basket and some little "pots of colour" and my back deck table was ready for the cold days ahead!
Early in June it was time for a hernia operation.... a hernia that I'm sure must have been brought on by some heavy gardening the year before.... maybe I should resort to the style of gardening that involves only "pots of colour"?...this of course meant a couple of weeks of recuperating at home - doing basically not a lot.... 
Lovely flowers were received from work.....
......Dora enjoyed my company everyday (for a change I wasn't at work).......
.......even watching over me as I brought out a jigsaw puzzle to while away the hours - though she did try to eat the pieces there were none missing at the end!
Have read a few books over the last month or so......
A couple of stitching projects were sorted out - one to start and one to complete....
 One did get started - a secret project....but the other one is still to be finished.....so I guess you could say I now have 2 (more) UFOs....
Lots of wool inspired projects to keep me going.... a scarf (wool and pattern a gift from a friend while recuperating), socks, a jumper for me and my ongoing crochet blanket....
And so - with friends calling in, reading, stitching, jigsaw puzzling, knitting I managed to fill in my 2 weeks at home before it was time to return to work towards the end of June.... 
Then one celebration became two.... the first being Megan's birthday (she had just arrived back in England from 5 weeks travelling around Spain - she has a very patient partner!......)

 ....... the second coming a few days later (early July) when James got down on bended knee and proposed to Megan in the French Alps where they were holidaying!!....of course her answer was yes!!.... a big surprise for everyone! ........and a wedding in England sometime next year! (She does say that they will eventually move back to Australia!) 
Time to "send" another cake (not the same one)........
And that about brings me up to date....though at the moment I've had another couple of days off work after getting a mild case of the flu : ( .....have spent time reading but that was about all I felt like doing..... will be back again soon - maybe with some stitching updates! 

Happy Stitching
Asta

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Hello!!!

Well.....what can I say - it's been over 2 months since I last visited my blog - and I have been here - unfortunately not an overseas trip as an excuse! 
At the time of my last post I was just starting to stage manage another local theatre production - Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit" and that always keeps me busy as so many hours of the week are put into rehearsals - as well as working full time..... shame this theatre "work" is all voluntary as it would make a nice second income! Here is my back stage area in the early days when props were being sourced.....

Not a lot of sewing was being done while this was happening - but crochet and knitting fitted into my busy schedule as they were easily transported to rehearsals and while the cast were being directed I could keep myself occupied - well, at least till I was needed. 
First off I found a lovely crochet blanket on the blog site Attic 24 - loved the colours Lucy had chosen for her "Mooreland" blanket and a couple of weeks later they arrived from England..
Miss Dora instantly found a new place to take a nap!
Haven't taken a recent photo of my progress but this is where it was at quite a few weeks ago!
My local patchwork shop also sells wool so a quick trip between rehearsals and work saw this little bag come home.....
and the contents became.......
At the moment a second one is on the knitting needles after the first one ended up with my sister in Bundanoon!
Managed to fit in some reading......
And by the end of April the show was over....... cooler weather had arrived with Miss Dora always finding the warm spots.....even if it was on my ironing board!
......and a quilt top started in 2012 (!) re-surfaced to have borders sewn on......
......currently away being quilted but more photos will be seen soon........
Mother's day this year was spent in Sydney ..... going through Berry on my way some beautiful Autumn trees  ......

..... and a "must stop" at Sew and Tell..... resisted the embroideries but did come away with a  couple of balls of "sock" wool - to add to my wool stash, of course!
These are actually 2 different colours - but loved them both - how could I choose? They both had to come  home with me!
On the family front.... Megan and her partner finished off another Winter season working in the French Alps - with the occasional care package from home.....
... then it was back to England for a few weeks with Megan now heading off to explore Spain!
Hayley and her partner continue to enjoy life in "balmy" Burleigh Heads!
That about sums up what has been happening in my world..... I will finish off with some bright daffodils - "live" flowers bringing cheer to these cooler days!
As life has now quietened down a little I will be back to chat soon!

Happy Stitching
Asta


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Holiday Travels Pt 6

Just over an hour by train from Levanto to Genoa with a short break before the next train from Genoa to Turin....just enough time to take a rest in the park or in some cases do a bit of shopping......
......and after nearly 10 hours of travel by train and bus (from Turin) we arrived in Chamonix - in the French Alps......waking up to this early morning scenery from our window - Mont Blanc!
During the few days we had in this area we explored the delightful town of Chamonix......
Took a 20 min gondola ride from where we had amazing views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.......
..... and stepped "Out into the Void"......notice I wasn't too far out in the void!
Once more the girls got behind the wheel as we headed off for some sight seeing outside of Chamonix....... visiting quaint villages, beautiful scenery, forest walks and some locals!

Another day a drive further afield and we arrived in picturesque Annecy.......and it was market day!
And here we are enjoying our last night in Chamonix and the coming to an end of a wonderful holiday!
An early morning start the next day and we were on our way to Geneva and the start of our trips home..... Hayley & I back to Sydney and Megan back to England..... 
.....holding it together here but a few tears were soon to follow....
Megan was already "home" in England - and in bed! - while Hayley and I were still in transit! Flying via Helsinki and Japan can take such a long time that somewhere along the way we inevitably "crashed" - a 10 hour stopover in Japan was the place! 
And so after nearly 6 weeks this amazing holiday with Hayley and Megan came to an end.... but full of SO many wonderful memories to always treasure!!! 

Till next time
Asta