Thursday, November 20, 2014


Fixit Guy and I went ziplining on Tuesday. It was so much fun! I thought we would be the oldies on the tour but in fact of the 4 couples there we were the 2nd youngest!

The venue was at the Otway Fly, in the hinterland of the Great Ocean Road. Its an Eco Tourism place and includes a Treetop Walk which can be done separately to the Zipline Tour. In all the Zipline Tour included 6 ziplines and 2  ladder bridges all between 20 and 40 metres off the ground and up to 50 metres long.

To start with we had a safety briefing - basically being told what not to touch when we were up there - and were strapped into our harnesses which were all then checked  by one of our 2 trusty guides Josh and Jo. We later found out that it was only Jo's 4th tour so she was pretty new but was very good and reassuring. 

It was so much fun being up high and a real rush zipping along the wires. I was sure I was going to stuff up my landings each time but I pretty well nailed each one and was told that I was very competent and looked very comfortable in the air. I know I would love to do it again. Here are all the photos I took whilst up the trees. Lots more of Fixit Guy than me but that's what you get when you are the camera person

FG being adjusted into his harness

All strapped in and ready to go

So glamourous

Our starting point

The Zipline

Our guide ready to receive a flyer

FG on a Cloud Station

FG ready to launch

Flying away

our guide Josh coming in. He makes it looks soo easy

FG is next up

And he's off

The two of us on the cloud station. Enjoying ourselves. Couldn't stop grinning

FG on a bridge

I look so dorky but I was having fun. I was always a bit worried about getting my legs up at the end

And I'm in

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIP Wenesday - more sewing in the camper

WIP Wednesday - probably 2 more after this one of updates from the camper. We will be home again in just over 2 weeks.. mind you that is still a quarter of our trip to go. I shouldn't  start to wish it away.

I hadn't done any work of my own on my sewing machine since our couple of days at Duck Point on Wilsons Promontory with all my sewing time in Melbourne taken up with making curtains for my oldest son, Massage Man. (or MM) I might have to change his pseudonym as I didn't get one massage whilst in Melbourne despite seeing him every day AND spending lots of time sewing for him. Humph.

Once we got to Apollo Bay I knew I would get some sewing time tucked in there some how. We were staying in a little cottage - fully self contained with a luxurious double spa bath. Man did we enjoy that. Mind you when you have been staying in camping sites for 6 weeks having an inside bathroom is luxury in itself!!

We looked at the forecast and the worked out that Saturday (the day after we arrived) was better weather. Rain was forecast for Sunday. So we took Saturday to do some touring down the coast, checking out some of the things we had driven past with the trailer on behind the day before (it does limit where you can stop). We had a couple of walks on our way down to Lorne and then once there we explored the main street enjoying two books shops in particular. We bought a children's book at one place, gift for my cousin's children whom we will be visiting this coming weekend. In the 2nd had bookshop we browsed in I got a patchwork book and my Fixit Guy bought himself a puzzle book. We had another lovely long walk along the pier because the sun actually came out and then on our way back to Apollo Bay we stopped at numerous lookouts and took in the magnificent scenery.

So Sunday was going to be our stay close to base day and I was determined to break out my machine... and I did. We went to church in the morning and 2 walks in the afternoon: one to the shop to get some spray starch for my half square triangles which were all cut on the bias and the other after dinner along the beach to get our steps in after a rather low step day.

That apart I sewed my hst for my hourglass blocks for the border of Vanishing Hours, my disappearing hourglass quilt. I had made 10 of the units that get cut  twice diagonally to get the 4 hst whilst in Duck Point. On Sunday afternoon I managed to get 44 more made and them all cut up and pressed and 10 of the hourglass blocks made. It was very productive afternoon. 

Our little cottage was delightful but it wasn't really set up for sewing. The only indoor table was a tiny round one that was just big enough for 2 to sit up to for a meal. There was an out door one as well but given that it was raining and a bit chilly that wasn't suitable. Instead I had my machine on the coffee table and I sat on the lounge and made do. Realised later that I could have gotten one of the camping tables out of the trailer but by the time I thought of that I was almost done and it really was surprisingly comfortable!

We left Apollo Bay and have been staying a little further west along the coast at a place called Princetown. It consists of a shop, a pub, 2 camping grounds and a house or two. It is a lovely little spot. Last night, after we got back from our fabulous day at The Otway Fly - where we did the zipline tour and the tree top walk.. so much fun... 

The Cloud Station, the launch pads high in the trees from which the ziplines departed. There were 6 in all

There were two bridges as well. Fixit Guy handled them like a pro

I look like a dork in this one but it was fun. I felt like I had my arms out wide

Coming in for a landing. Nailed it

Tree Top Walk. So much fun

FG and I on the Cantilever which was hanging out over the creek

Some of the lovely mosses and ferns adoring the rain forest trees

I started to trim up the hst to make more hourglass blocks. I trimmed whilst I talked on the phone (on speaker phone) to our youngest son, Boyo, who has just finished his university year and is now back home. He started work on Friday at a fruit farm where the grape harvest has just started. It was good to catch up with him whilst I trimmed. After we had finished talking I started to sew them and got 24 made so that was productive. I had hoped to get some more made tonight but we had a huge day today. 

We left here at 8.30 to go view the Twelve Apostles in the early morning light before the hoards of tourists get there (see Monday Musings for my rant on tourists ironic cause that's what I am) 

Then we drove back East along to coast to the Otway Lighthouse where we spent several hours exploring the various buildings there and going up the old light house. 

So many amazing stories of bravery and daring, or terrible ship wrecks, of determined men and women battling isolation and danger. Did you know that the USA suffered its first casualty of World War Two in Bass Strait, not far off the coast of Cape Otway? A US ship struck a mine laid by a German U-boat. One man was killed in the incident, the first American of the war. 

We went from there to several different beaches and bays which we enjoyed exploring. On two of them were relics from ships that had been wrecked in Bass Strait - 3 anchors and another bit of ironwork. Not sure what it was.

The Anchor from the Marie Gabrielle, a French ship that was wrecked off what became known as wreck beach

The anchor from the Fiji, another wreck off Wreck Beach

I found this bottle on the beach. No message in it but it had stuff growing on it

It was 6.30 by the time we got home. I have uploaded my photos... 140 for the day on my camera and some more on my phone (which I can't get to upload. My phone has stopped co-operating with my computer. The only way I can access the photos is to put them onto Facebook and then download them from there. Most annoying) Now I am writing this. Its after 10 pm so I don't think I am going to get any sewing done now.

Vanishing Hours Progress
34 hourglass blocks made for the border. The hst for the remaining 20 blocks are made and ready to be trimmed before being sewn.

Tea Shop Quilt
I don't think I have done any applique on these blocks this week. I did do a little bit in Melbourne but think that was for last weeks report. I have taken it in the car with me incase I felt like doing it but I haven't got to it. I did buy some more buttons to go on it when we were in a little town near Ballarat on Friday.

Buttons for my Tea Shop Quilt

Linking up with

WIPs on Wednesdays and WIP Wednesday

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday Musings - Tourists

Last Monday I did a whingy post about going to the zoo and having to put up with hoards of school children and yummy mummies. Thursday night we went to Soverign Hill Sound and Light Show "Blood on the Southern Cross" We were there with 2 huge school groups (kids on school camp going to the late show... it started at 10PM. Smart teachers. The kids probably weren't going to sleep early any way if it was at the beginning of the school camp so they might as well have them out doing stuff. Saved the teachers having to yell at them and try to keep them in their dorms and going to bed) I like kids. I am a trained teacher but when I go visit things I really don't want to be swamped by masses of kids.

Today Fixit Guy and I packed up from our lovely 3 day stay at a self contained luxury cottage at Apollo Bay and moved to a little place called Princetown not all that far down the road, and very close to the main attractions of the Great Ocean Road (GOR) - the Twelve Apostles - some rock formations just off the coast between here and Port Campbell. After we set up our tent we decided to head in to Port Campbell to get some lunch and a few groceries. On the way we decided to stop off and have a look at The Twelve Apostles. That's when it hit us... well when we hit them. We had gone to visit these attractions right at the peak time - early afternoon when all the buses from Melbourne, who have bought people up here on day trips arrive. The place was packed. It was hard to maneuver our our way down the walk ways to look at the view let alone try to get a photo (that didn't have 12 other people in it)

We went on into Port Campbell and found somewhere to have lunch, had a bit of a walk around and then started to head back to our camp. We decide to stop in at Loch Ard Gorge as we had missed it on our way into town but when we saw the car park -- 6 or 7 buses and crowded walkways we gave it a miss.

I am glad so many people from other countries are visiting Australia and enjoying our beautiful icons. I just wish they weren't there on the days that I want to visit them.

So we decided to go for a late afternoon/sunset trip to see them again and it was so worth it. No where near as many people about (not one coach load) It was just beautiful

On another positive note. I found my camera cord. It wasn't in the tent pocket when we unfolded it but I found it in the car.... after I searched the tent. It will be good to have the little one to use again as it is easier to handle and gives better cuddle. And no I will be able to get the photos off it that I took in Ballarat... all the gorgeous birds and babies by the lake. Yay

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Stash Report More movement

I have had some significant movement in the stash numbers this week AGAIN. thats 2 weeks in a row.

In Melbourne this week I bought fabric for my son's bedroom in his  new flat and sewed them for him whilst we were there. He wasn't able to come with me to choose the fabric so we did it by phone! I took photos of the suitable fabrics available and messaged them to him and he chose the one he wanted. He chose the one I liked best too. What a good boy. I wasn't going to count them but since they accounted for most of the sewing I did this week I thought Why not?However I couldn't get them to go into the spreadsheet correctly so decided to leave them out.

 I bought 65cms of cream tan on tan to go towards making pinwheels for the border of my Vanishing Hours Quilt.

Until today I haven't worked on them at all since leaving Wilsons Promontory. However today I got down to it and sewed away happily in our lovely little cottage here at Apollo Bay. I didn't have a proper table I could sew at (I could have gone out and used the outside picnic table but the weather didn't allow for that. The table in the little cottage was a tiny round one. I was able to use the coffee table though. So sitting on the couch I was able to get through making all the hst I will need for the border of Vanishing Hours.... sweet!

Thinking about this I decided that I would really like to break 50m net used by the end of the year but somehow I don't think I will make it. That's another 8 metres. I will only be home for a few weeks before the end of the year. I doubt that I will be able to get Vanishing Hours completed in that time especially since I am planning on sending it off to get long armed by a good friend. The postage time involved would probably restrict my chances not to mention Kym probably has a backlog and maybe coming up to Christmas has other things to do as well.

I did take a photo of my fabric and some cute buttons I also bought but can't find the photo and in the interest of getting it posted before it gets later will forgo posting them atm

My numbers for this week

Used this week:                               0.00m

Added this week                              0.65m

Year to Date Used                       133.31m
Year to Date added                       91.47m
Net Used                                          41.841m

I found a new Linky party this week. Its a link up for Scrappy Projects at Mrs Sew and Sow 's blog. Of course I linked my Jean's Jeans Quilt blog post to it. Actually I linked a few projects from during the year and then thought I should check if that was ok given there was a prize draw. I couldn't see anything about limiting the number of entries but I emailed and they replied that only one entry a month was their limit. I told them to take down any links they didn't want to include. Its a bit late as it ends on 17th November but some of you might want to join in the fun if you're quick

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Fitness - not the best of weeks

Its that time of the week again when I report in on my fitness aims. My weightloss aims have bitten the dust for the time being since I'm on holidays and no scales... and I'm on holidays... and enough said.

I have been keeping up with my steps. Well I've been monitoring them anyway. Can't say I've been keeping up with them. My aim is to maintain 10 000 steps a day as counted on my fitbit. I;ve been doing really well up till this last week, making that goal plus most days and on the days when my steps were low I would do some on the spot jogging to get me over the line.

This week in Melbourne... things have been a little... meh. Well a lot meh. For a starters we were staying in a caravan park with in the city of Melbourne... Coburg actually. It was a nice park, with a goodly amount of space per site and lots of grass and trees and greenery. But there was no lovely beach close by to walk along, nor walks through the national parks. Our activities were a lot more sedentary. Suffice to say my steps this week have been down... well down. 

Friday We packed up camp at Duck Point and Moved to Melbourne Set up camp, met up with our son and had dinner out with him at Grill'd Steps 8 714

Saturday MM (our oldest son Massage Man)  needed to do some shopping. He had only just moved into his new flat that he is sharing with his cousin. He wanted to show us Costco and he wanted to go to Ikea to check out some furniture. We didn't buy anything much... a few bits and pieces for Christmas stockings. Despite out big shopping day didn't get as many steps as would have been good  Steps 7 421

Sunday. Church, lunch out with friends, making curtains for MM and then dinner out with MM and his new girlfriend... not a big step day but late night meant I didn't feel like jogging on the spot to get my steps up. The curtain making I did was just sewing a hem on some sheer curtaining we had bought at Ikea to go on a glass door.Steps 4 812

Monday. A big steps day! We went to the zoo and spent about 5 hours walking all over it. Then in the evening we went down to St Kilda Breakwater to see the fairy penguins that have a colony there. We grabbed a park as soon as we saw one and ended up walking for ages to get to the peer and then the breakwater... but it was great for my step count Steps 15 619

This Zebra appealed cause she looked like she was a bit sunburnt so matched my quilt Sunburnt Zebras

Tuesday. Another pretty slow day. We went to a fabric shop Spotlight and bought fabric to make MM curtains for his bedroom. I took photos of various ones and messaged them to him to choose the one he wanted. We then went to his place and I spent the rest of the day sewing the curtains. When MM got home from work I had managed to complete 2 of 4 drops (without hems) We drove into the city to meet up with his friend again for dinner to celebrate his 27th birthday a couple of weeks early. We ate at the Portland Hotel which we particularly went to cause it has its own micro brewery and MM wanted his dad to try some of their beers. . We gave him Ikea vouchers... 3. 1 from us for his birthday, one for his Christmas and one from Fangirl for his birthday. He is going shopping on Sunday to choose a few things! Anyway not many steps (but some yummy food) Steps 4 857

Wednesday. Lunch with a friend, sewing curtains... afternoon tea out at MM's favourite coffee shop and then later dinner at one of his favourite local restaurants. I got the curtains for the bedroom finished and cut the other sheer curtain off and hemmed it to go on the back door which has glass just at the top. Not a lot of steps but when I got back to camp I was determined NOT to have a slack number again so I jogged on the spot for about half an hour and got the 4500 steps I needed to make 10 000; Steps 10 079

Afternoon tea out with my gorgeous son

Thursday. We packed up the camp and moved to Ballarat. We visited a fantastic exhibit called M.A.D.E.. Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka. The Eureka Stockade is famous in Australia for being the start of democratic government. The miners rebelled against what was seen as unfair, tyrannical practices by the colonial government of Victoria. Their list of demands included votes for men, regardless of property or rank amongst other things. The rebellion was put down but most of the miners demands were met over the next few years. Although a number of men were charged with treason, none were found guilty and in later years several of the rebels ended up in parliament. It was a wonderful exhibition, not just about the Eureka Stockade but about democracy in general. 

We both had hot chocolates in their cafe... cinnamon spiced hot chocolates. The chocolate was made by a local chocolatier and have to say it was the best hot choc I have ever had. 

Later we made our way to our camp and set it up and then went off for a drive. First stop was a quilt shop listed in the local information booklet. FG's idea... what a sweetheart.  It was called Eureka Patchwork and they have an online store as well as a shop front. I bought some cream tone on tone to make hourglass blocks for Vanishing Hours. 
The Shop at 143 Victoria St Ballarat
Then we went to the local lake, Lake Wendouree and had a walk. We had thought we would walk around it but it was 6kms so we only went along the foreshores for about 2kms. Lots of waterbirds about with their young. Heaps of energetic people around... there was a sailing class on the lake, several group s of rowers and then on the track with us lots of joggers, bike riders, walkers with their dogs.... it was busy. We were walking late afternoon so were too late to visit the various attractions in the area like the Tramways Museum, or the Adam Lindsay Gordon Cottage  but we were able to enjoy the lake, the Olympic Rings display (the lake was the Olympic course for the rowing, canoeing and Kayaking for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. We also visited  a lovely children's play area based on Aboriginal traditional stories and symbols. It was a great walk. Steps 13 601 

Friday We have packed up and  headed to Apollo Bay. We have 3 nights booked into a little cottage there so we don't have to unpack the camper till Monday night. We drove part way along the Great Ocean Roads. This is one of the most famous roads in Australia and the most scenic. The weather wasn't the best... its cloudy, windy and overcast but even so the scenery was magnificent. I took lots of photos.... but..... I think I have left my camera cord in the internal pocket of the tent. So at best no photos uploaded till Monday night. At worst no photos taken (if it goes flat) Stay tuned for that. At least I have my phone which takes reasonable photos on it. Oh and I have my bigger camera which I haven't used at all this trip. Might be the spur I need to get it out and get moving with using it. When I can access my photos I will upload them for you to see. 

Anyway with the walks we did along our way down the coast to a few view points, plus packing up, unpacking etc I was just 1500 short of my daily aim of 10 000 so I jogged on the spot and have got my 10 000. Yay.  Steps 10 028

With my few slack days this week I have slipped down the ratings somewhat but managed to regain a couple of positions. I'm 11th (I was 13th at one point today)

So how about you? What have you been up to this week?