2012: The year I participate in my first online quilting challenge

24 12 2011

I’ve signed up for the Free Motion Quilting Quilting Challenge here: http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/p/free-motion-quilt-challenge.html

I’ve never done anything like this before — I’ve always directed myself, not had the directions given to me, so that will be a challenge in itself! 😉 Two friends of mine have also signed up, so it will be interesting to compare notes.





Etsy Treasuries #75 to #118

24 12 2011

I’ve been very slack about putting up screen shots of Etsy Treasuries my items have been featured in. In fact, it’s March 2011 since I put up a gallery!

So here they are (click on a small image to show it full size):





We drove 700 km — for a steak dinner!

4 12 2011

I’ve got a birthday coming up in a week or two, but as it’s really close to Christmas and my Mum’s 80th birthday, we decided to celebrate my birthday early. How? By driving 700 km for a steak dinner! Actually, it was a 756 km round trip (for those in the US, that’s about 400 miles.)

Was it worth it? Yep! We did it last year too, though then we stayed two nights. This time we stayed just the one night, so we drove 4+ hours down to Albany, checked in to the accommodation, went out to dinner, slept, checked out of the accommodation, and drove 4+ hours home again! We were gone about 28 hours all told.

Other than the fabulous meal, wine (we took with us a 1997 vintage Penfolds Bin 389), and company, it was so nice to view the landscape on the drive down and back. It made a pleasant change for our eyes from focusing on a computer screen (or sewing machine stitching area) all the time. Of course, it’s summer, so the landscape was pretty yellow/brown. Some wheat had been harvested, but not all.

We stayed at a serviced apartment right at the bottom of the main street of Albany, directly opposite the new Entertainment Centre and below the old post office building, which has such great castle-like turrets! The apartment is one from Albany Harbourside Apartments. There are pictures below, but I forgot to take a picture of the kitchen/dining facilities in the apartment!

Dinner was at Rustler’s Steakhouse. We started with a single serve of four beef and field mushroom croquettes with a plum sauce that we shared. Then I repeated last year’s meal by ordering the rib eye steak on the bone, medium-rare, with blue cheese butter. My husband also had the rib eye on the bone, but with a mushroom sauce. Our steaks were just fabulous. They were cooked to perfection, had plenty of flavour, were tender,  and had a lovely (but not overpowering) char flavour. The blue cheese butter complemented my steak perfectly. It was a big meal, but we got through it 😉 Before and after pics of my steak, below (and with my husband’s bone that I gnawed on — he’s not really into bones!). Sorry about the quality of the pics — I took them with the camera on my phone (still not used to it), while holding the phone above my head, and with no flash!

After we let dinner settle for a while, we split a home-made lemon meringue pie for dessert, which was served with a very subtle and delicate chocolate honeycomb ice cream.

All in all, a great 28-hour break away from normal life!

(Click on a small picture to see it full size)

BTW, we saw a few animals along the drive to and from Albany, other than the usual suspects (cattle, horses, sheep, various native birds), including: a snake, a king skink, several bobtails goannas, a very fast and scared rabbit!, kangaroos, some emus, a paddock of ostriches, black alpacas, donkeys, etc.

And we also spotted a billboard advertising a shearing company called: “Peeling with Feeling” 😉





Smoke from Margaret River fires

1 12 2011

Last week, there were some devastating fires in the Margaret River region, about 90 minutes south of where we live. The smoke blanketed the entire southwest, including Perth.

Here’s the sunset from my home office window on one of the very smoky days. You can *just* make out the ridge of sand dunes in the far distance — they are normally in clear view — and you can’t see the estuary at all.

Here’s that same view on a normal morning, a week after the fires: