Friday, October 24, 2014

Fitness Friday. Back on track

My Fitbit stats are back on track! Yay. Finally got passed that Thursday with the very low steps that dragged my 7 day figures down. So now I am back up the rankings and whilst still way behind Fixit Guy (darn those little legs that have to take extra steps to cover the same ground as me. Yeah and he is more active but I have to have something to blame) Sam and Terje, I have caught and passed most of the other people whose steps are usually less than mine.

Last Friday we packed up from my sister's home outside Newcastle and drove to Lane Cove National Park camping site which is in the middle of Sydney but with bush all around. We set up camp and I got my steps up with a combination of setting up camp and a bit of jogging on the spot Steps 10 110

Saturday my steps were gained in a much more fun way. We went to see The King and I at the Sydney Opera House (do go to a show there if you ever have a chance. A matinee show means you get the wonderful views but at night you get city lights and the Harbour Bridge alight as well so that is good) and that took some walking from car park to restaurant and to the show itself and back again. We also met up with a sister for dinner and due to a mix up (she gave me the wrong address initially) and then atrocious parking where we eventually did meet up we had a heap of walking to do there Steps 10 077

Sunday we weren't required to do much walking going to church or dinner at my brothers although we also went to the shopping centre just up the road from where mum lives. It has been extended yet again and is now massive. Trying to find our way around that added some steps but I still had to do some jogging on the spot at night to get my 10 000 steps in Steps 10 020

Monday was a pretty quiet day. I visited mum at her hostel and met another sister for lunch and spent more time with mum in the afternoon so steps were well down. We had dinner with yet another sister (I have 5 plus 2 brothers) Lots of walking about the campsite and jogging on the spot required! Steps 11 448

Tuesday we had lunch with mum and then in the evening we caught the train into the city and went to see Potted Potter. What a hoot. We really enjoyed it. We had to walk to the station and then from the city station to the theatre and then the reverse home so lots of steps acqured in a fun way. We stopped and had a deliscious desert and hot chocolate on the way home for a late dinner (and we shared a chicken salad as well) so undid all the good we had done no doubt. Steps 16 021

Wednesday we packed up the camp and left Sydney to come to Morton National Park, to a campsite near the little town of Bundanoon called Gambell's Rest. Morton National park is huge. Fixit Guy had a big sleep in the afternoon as he had a headache so we didn't try to go for a walk at all. Whilst he slept I paced around the camp kitchen area and got my steps up. I didn't want to go for a walk without telling him and I didn't want to wake him up to tell him I was going! Steps 12 575

Thursday we went for a big walk down into the gully to Bundanoon Creek. The sign at the top of the walk and the information at the info centre described it as "steep", "very step" and "not for the faint hearted" so we knew it was going to be challenging. And it was but doable. We made it there and back again. We were prepared to take lots of rest stops and not to push too hard but we did it in well under the advised time of 3 hours. After a rest in the middle part of the day (I tried to sleep but gave up and did some sewing instead.) we went for a shorter walk from the campsite to an old coal mine site. Erith Coal Mine. Since Fixit Guy has just retired from the coal industry after over 30 years we had to go see it. No need for any extra stepping to get our 10 000 yesterday. Steps 13 322






Friday again today. We were going to go for a few short walks this morning before meeting friends for lunch but it started to rain so we hung about the camp instead relaxing and I got photos uploaded from my camera. Then we met our friends for lunch at Kangaroo Valley, a very pretty little town with lots of cute shops and cafes - very much a little country town that the tourists visit on weekends. Lots of b'n'bs in the area and weekend cottages. A place that city folk "get away to" for weekend retreats. After a yummy lunch in the pub we walked about the village and then after our friends left we had an icecream - homemade... they were so good. Back to the camp we had to walk off our excesses. We did a series of 4 shorter walks. We had been going to do one of the longer ones but opted to see a little of a lot rather than a lot of a little.




ABanksia Man - eating an icecream cone!


My 7 day total as of right now is 85, 050 which has me 4th behind Terje, Samantha and Doug

I have done no running - apart from some jogging on the spot and jogging around the clearing on Wednesday for a few minutes at a time. Nothing flash. And the diet. We are on holidays! I have no scales. I am hoping that by keeping up my daily steps that the extra indulgences I am having won't be too disastrous. I can only live in hope.

a lyre bird, the emblem for NSW Parks and Wildlife, on the track coming back from Bundanoon Creek


Fairy wren about out camp. The females are a drab brown but the males have beautiful blue plumage There have been quite a few of these about out campsite. Also some very colourful red and blue parrots but I haven't been quick enough with my camera to capture those

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WIP Wednesday

As I type this we are heading out of Sydney We are up to Day 19 of our camping adventure. We've spent the last 5 nights camping in a National Park in the heart of Sydney. The view from our annexe was of a treed valley and a ridge covered in gums of all sorts. Flannel flowers were blooming in abundance amongst the bushes and shrubs close by. 


But on the ridge on the other side of the valley we could see sky scrapers and at night the lights that dotted the tree covered slopes showed that there were multiple homes down there. Scrub turkeys abounded around the camp and we had to be sure to zip up our annexe when we left it as they would come in scavenging for a feed. Fixit Guy forgot one time and one had a feed on our bread table. Mind you it ignored the apples, pears, bananas and carrots that were also on the table. We saw many other birds, a possum and a rabbit. The rabbit isn't good news. They are feral in Australia and not a good thing in a national park

I have made some progress on both of my projects that I have with me.

Jean's Jeans Quilt. 
I have had a few days where I have worked away on this. All 42 of the 4 circle units and the one 9 circle unit have been completed and 6 of the13 6 circle units. I have the coloured squares pinned into the 6 circle units ready to be zigzagged down,



I have been trying to work out the best way to join the units together so as to be able to sew them successfully on my Janome Gem. The harp on it is not all that big so won't cope with too much fabric squished under there. I will join them into strips and add one strip at a time to the bigger unit. If I do the zigzag stitching all in the one direction I should be able to keep the bulk of the fabric to one side and I just may be able to complete the whole thing on my little machine. Stay tuned. Its still a way off yet. We are going to be camping in Morton National Park at Gambells Rest camping ground for the next 3 nights. 

The sites there are unpowered so we will be running on solar power and the generator so no sewing machine work. I do have some pinning to do so I will be able to make a little progress still. The reports were that mobile reception and internet access was patchy but I think that was across the whole park. Our camp ground is quite near the township of Bundanoon so hoping it will be better. 

Breaking News. We are now set up in our campsite and whilst the sites are unpowered there is a camp kitchen for campers use and it has power including power points so if I get desperate/really keen, I can go over there and sew. There is only one other lot of campers in the camping ground at the moment and they have a caravan so thinking that maybe it won't be in high demand. Oh and we have internet access too)


The denim side of the quilt showing the flowers that the zigzag stitching produces. This is 2 of the 6 circle units sewn together but the joining seam hasn't been zig zagged yet


The completed 4 and 6 circle units piled on my camping table.
Tea Shop Quilt.
Whilst staying with my sister Midge on Thursday night I was able to use her iron and ironing board to prepared some more applique blocks for me to work on since I had finished all the ones that I had bought with me. Spending time with Mum here in Sydney, sitting in her room with her or joining her at her various activities I have got 2 of these blocks almost completed as well. I do have another 6 or so. The other residents were very interested in what I was doing and many commented that I take after my mother because she too has always been a needleworker. Now she does a lot of knitting - simple squares that are crocheted together by one of the volunteers who comes to the facility on a weekly basis. The finished items are then sold in a sale of work and the money goes to benefit various projects that the group support. 
Fixit Guy with my Mum having dinner at her residential facility


Fixit Guy and I went to see this show on our last  night in Sydney. It was so much fun


James and Ben fooling around on stage. That's Dobby, the House Elf


After the show we went to the Guylian Cafe for a late dinner. Of course we had hot chocolate and desert too. This is the Belgian waffles with fruit and dipping sauce and praline ice cream. I had milk chocolate. FG had dark chocolate. It sure was good

WIPs on Wednesdays WIP Wednesday

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tuesday Museday - Doctor Who and stuff

Fixit Guy and I both enjoy watching Doctor Who. We are old enough and coming from Australia where the show was aired back in the 60s,  to remember the original Doctor Who. My siblings and I recall watching it whilst growing up. This week I am on holidays in Sydney and seeing my family so with a number of them (ok 2) the subject of Doctor Who came up. 

This is mostly because the new season is currently airing here but since FG and I are travelling in our camper trailer we don't have access to a tv so we missed the previous week's episode so this week, knowing I was in close proximity to my family I put out an appeal for someone who would have us to dinner on Sunday night and watch Doctor Who with us (or at least let us watch it at their place.) My brother George answered the call (yay for big brothers) and FG and I went there, had dinner with him and then we watched the latest episode. We still have to watch the previous week's episode. We could watch it on iView - the web site where our ABC has the shows from the previous 2 weeks for people to catch up on. However as we are operating on data from our phone we thought that might chew through it at a rate of knots.

Last night (Monday night) we had dinner with another sibling, my sister Patricia. Brother George came too (Well we gate crashed his weekly dinner with them) The subject of Doctor Who came up again. What did we think of the new Doctor?This question had also come up when we were having dinner with my friend Allison (waves again - she reads this) the week previously, and also at dinner with George. Then listening to Nonie on The Quilting Pot, she also mentioned watching Doctor Who and not being taken by this new guy.

This current doctor is so much more abrasive than the affable, lovable, almost buffoon like Matt Smith's doctor. As we discussed it - his abrasiveness, his rudeness, is bluntness to the point of nastiness it seems, I mentioned that initially I hadn't like Matt Smith's doctor very much. He was to silly and such a ... well buffoon. He grew on me. The common consensus we reached was that it was deliberate. Some of us oldies recalled that the earliest doctors weren't warm and fuzzy types either, so perhaps he is a deliberate throwback to those times.

And we were all intrigued by the mysterious woman who keeps popping in now and then at the end of the shows with little comments about Paradise and Heaven. This week she made allusion to Clara, as having been chosen well. Who is she? What is she going to contribute? She is the continuing story arch in this series, just like Bad Wolf was in another series, the crack in time in another series and the weird woman with the eye patch who kept appearing to Amy in yet another series. Intriguing and will definitely keep us watching avidly when we can.

The new series has inspired a few new projects by my daughter Fangirl. She has designed some new cross stitches based on sentences and themes from various episodes. She has heaps of other Doctor Who themed cross stitches as well as ones from Diskworld, Harry Potter, and other geeky tv shows, books and games. Check out her Etsy Shop here or her blog  Fangirl Stitches here

Doctor Who Peter Capaldi Scottish Eyebrows Quote Cross Stitch - PDF Pattern - INSTANT DOWNLOAD

Doctor Who Peter Capaldi A Good Man Cross Stitch - PDF Pattern - INSTANT DOWNLOAD

This one doesn't have the new doctor on it but its very cool
Doctor Who Alphabet Quotes Cross Stitch - PDF Pattern - INSTANT DOWNLOAD

Doctor Who Clara Oswald Season Seven 7 Run You Clever Boy And Remember Cross Stitch - PDF Pattern - INSTANT DOWNLOAD

Are you watching the new series? What do you think?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday Musings - October Goals check in

We are 2/3s the way through October so time to check in on my monthly goals. Always good to do this to see how I am travelling. I had 5 this month.

1) Work on my Jean's Jeans Quilt

I've been working pretty steadily on this since we left home on October 3rd. I've had a big day or two working on it but mostly its been for just snatched time here and there, especially over Synod. I have finished over 40 of the 4 circle blocks. The remaining 16 (or so) blocks are ready to have the coloured squares to them. Once they are all done they have to be sewn together.
2)Finish all the blocks for Vanishing Hours
I have left this project at home so haven't touched it since early on but I have a feeling that I did complete the  blocks  for the extra row both ways that I added to the quilt when I decided to go without sashing

3)Finish prepping Hand work on Tea Shop Quilt. Cut all the squares for the appliques squares. Start work on it

I got all the blocks ready to go and so far in the trip I have managed to finish all the blocks that I had ready to go. I have also prepped a heap more to keep me occupied for the handwork time while I am away

4)Make some mini quilts as gifts.

You know, I have no idea what I had in mind when I put this in as a goal. No idea at all and so have not done anything along these lines. If I work out what I meant I might get something done but not so far

5) Practice some of the stuff from Photography class on Craftsy

I am ashamed to admit that so far this trip I have taken very few photos and what I have taken have been on my phone. Oops. Going to have to try to sort out my good camera at some point. I have my little one here too but its flat atm so  need to get it charged. Oh dear

So I would say I'm running at about half strength for the month. 3 goals completed but the other 2... yeah. Ok. 


So I have fessed up. What about you? What are your goals for this month? Did you set any? How are they running


Sunday Stash Report

No fabric purchased and no projects finished again this week. To me the good news is that I am holding firm and not buying fabric that I don't have a project for just because it is there. Of course this resolve has been assisted by the fact that I haven't gone into a fabric shop this week... but think of the resolve there as well

I have been busy sewing though. My hand stitching at the meetings I attended kept up a pace to the extent that I finished off all of the applique pieces that I had prepared for this trip.



 I was very pleased then that I had the foresight to pack the materials I needed to make some more blocks. I had ironed the backing onto some fabric at home that featured cups, mugs, cakes, coffee pots and tea pots (from an assortment of fabrics) I had also cut out the backing fabric to the appropriate sizes) so whilst staying at my sister's overnight Thursday I was able to cut out the various items and iron them onto the backing fabric all ready for the times when I will need hand projects on this trip, such as when we are in National Parks camping without electricity (or internet!!) or when I'm sitting with my mum in her hostel room. It is lovely to just sit and stitch with her there and share some quiet time together.



I have also been working on my Denim circles quilt "Jean's Jeans" As of last night I have 35 of the four unit blocks done. I have another 6 pinned and ready to sew. I decided to sew the 2 unit blocks that I needed to make onto the 4 unit blocks as they will be easier to manage that way. I have pinned them and will join them before I add the colour squares to them. I also worked out that the corner one which was going to need 2 of the 2 unit blocks sewn to them will be made into a 9 unit block instead.

It sounds silly and confusing but makes sense to me and that is good. It would be very sad if I wasn't even making sense to me. I might get some photos taken to add to this and that will make it clearer. I have made such great progress on this quilt that I feel it might get finished on this trip. In fact it probably will get finished... almost definitely. There is no quilting as it is quilt as you go. I didn't put any batting in behind the coloured squares as the message I was getting from people is that denim quilts are really heavy and don't need it. I hope it is warm and not just heavy.

my sewing space in the camper trailer



So my unchanged stats for this week are

Used this week:                               0.00m

Added this week                              0.00m

Year to Date Used                       123.13m
Year to Date added                      90.82m
Net Used                                          32.31m


Linking up with Stash Report @ Patchwork Times

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fitness Friday

How has your week been? Have you been meeting your own personal fitness goals be it diet, exercise or making sure you take care of your self in other ways.

I had meeting running for 5 days this past week but I still tried hard to get  my 10 000 steps a day and I managed fairly well inspite of the  all day meetings. There was a bit of jogging on the spot necessary on a few days at the end of the day. I had a couple of notable failures, specifically yesterday when we were driving from Grafton where we had overnighted to my sister's place near Newcastle. That necessitated 6 hours in the c ar. There was still enough time once we got to Midge's place to get the steps up but instead we sat and drank tea and chatted and caught up with each other. Their two local their daughters and families came for dinner so more catching up and chatting went on. So my steps yesterday were abysmal.

Today I haven't made any effort to get steps either. More sitting and catching up and some hand craft took up the morning and now we are on the road again heading for Sydney. Perhaps once we get the camper trailer set up we shall be able to go for a walk in the bush surrounding the camping

Last Friday was a huge day. I ended up with over 18 000 steps. That has kept me bouyant all week. Today though that figure has fallen off my 7 days average and with yesterday's very low steps (under 2 000) I have plummeted through the ranks going from 4th in my friends to 13th. Oops. Anyway I shall rise again

My stats for this week
Saturday 10 477. I walked to and from the conference centre. There was also a few trips across to the ablutions block from the camp site. And some jogging on the spot to push me over the line
Sunday 10 875 Walked to and from confence centre twice. Apart from our going to and from for the days events a friend came back to our campsite and we walked out to find a dinner place and then walked her back to the conference centre afterwards. She was staying on site (Waves to Ali cause she reads this blog She admired the quilt on our bed and called it by its name, Sunburnt Zebras having recognised it from this blog. :)  )
Monday 10 148 Walk to and from conference, a lunch time walk and some jogging on the spot
Tuesday 10 143 Walk to and from conference centre plus a walk at dinner time down to the sea front with Ali (waves again) and Suzy
Wednesday 10 304 Packed up the camper trailer which earned a few steps, drove to the conference centre. Some walking about during the day, a bit of a walk to find dinner that night after we had driven for a few hours and then lots of jogging on the spot whilst I watched Frost on tv back in the motel room
Thursday 1 981 Such a slack day. We were in the car from 6.30 till 2 apart from stops for breakfast and lunch but no walking to speak of. Sitting and chatting when we arrived and no jogging on the spot before bed. It was a bit late and I knew that my numbers were so low it just wasn't going to make much difference. Ho hum
Friday 10 078. Lots of running on the spot to get over the line just a few minutes ago




The Moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod Rev David Baker with the presbytery minister of Calvary Presbytery at the closing communion service for the synod (Photo courtesy of UCAQld Facebook page)

Me offering communion to another synod representative. (that's me on the left)
 (Photo courtesy of UCAQld Facebook page)
Standing with a sign giving support to the muslim people of Australia (I'm behind and slightly left of the moderator)
 (Photo courtesy of UCAQld Facebook page)


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Log Cabin Christmas Tree and Doctor Who cross stitches

My friend Dawn has the most magnificent Christmas Quilt. It features a huge christmas tree made out of log cabin blocks and decorated with appliqued toys, all needle turned, and a beautiful bow. There are also elves dancing around the tree. Its superb... and I don't have a picture of it. It fascinated me, not so much for the gorgeous embellishments but for the tree itself, and the way it was shaped by the log cabin blocks, a combination of green, cream background, red pot and brown for the trunk. Some were all one colour and others were a mix of the two. I loved it. Dawn no longer had the pattern nor could she remember the name of it. She had made it many years ago in a workshop/class situation in another town. So while it was hanging in our club rooms for Christmas decorations, I took careful note of it and recorded the arrangement of the blocks. I didn't want to make mine as big as hers. Mine was to be a wall hanging. Hers was big enough to be a bed quilt. I was also not interested in the embellishments... just the tree itself.

With Dawn's tree details as a guide I worked out my own pattern for a tree. I decided on my scale  (1 inch cut squares coming down to half inch finished) and worked out how many of each sized piece I would need for my blocks in each colour. I cut my pieces and stored them in individual zip lock bags till I got to sewing them up. I got the tree finished in the lead up to Christmas 2012.


 At the same time I also finished an advent calendar Christmas wall hanging with pockets for you to put whatever you liked in. I decided that I would put Christmas decorations in the pockets and "hang" them on my log cabin tree. (using little gold safety pins) I  started to look for suitable small decorations for me to use.


Our daughter, known on the blog as Fangirl had been living in the UK for 13 months and flew home for Christmas. She is an brilliant cross stitcher and designs her own patterns around her geeky interests of Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Diskworld etc Her dad, Fixit Guy, also loves Doctor Who and she had made for him a set of Doctor Who character Christmas Decoration. She had made them on plastic canvas and we realised that they were perfect to go into the pockets of the Advent calendar and hang on the log cabin Christmas tree. Fangirl has her own blog here and an Etsy shop where she sells her patterns by PDF download. She has some great patterns available for the Geek in you life. There is a selection of her patterns on this page in the side bar


She hadn't made enough different characters. Over her time in Australia before she returned to her job in the UK we brain stormed what other Doctor Who characters she could include. Her knowledge and love of Doctor Who was mainly centred around the new series ie from the 9th Doctor. Her dad and I have a more extensive background in it so were able to come up with a few that she didn't know about.

For Christmas the next year there were more figures to fill all the pockets. Such fun. My photographs aren't the best but hopefully you will get the idea. I tried to put them in orcder but when I then went to label them they all jumped out of order again and not sure how to


The 1st Doctor
the 2nd Doctor
The 3rd Doctor
The 4th Doctor

    
The 6th Doctor


The 7th Doctor
The 8th Doctor

The 9th Doctor
The 11th Doctor
                            





















Donna
























Ros

River
The TARDIS
 
Martha

 Quiltin Jenny