Wednesday, 26 October 2011

And still no stitching

Some day soon I hope I get back into my workroom to do some stitching!  The painters have finished, yippee, but there are still heaps and heaps of boxes of china and crystal to wash and put away - after I have taken it out of its paper wrappings.

It is interesting to see some of my collections all together though.  Many years ago I bought a beautiful blue glass bowl - which I subsequently shattered, muchto my distress.  Since then, my family and friends have continued to give me blue glass. 

Bill bought the jar/vase on the front right in Isfahan when he was working in Iran for  a short while.  It is supposed to be very old, but who really knows - it makes a good story and brings back memories.

I really had to make sure this was all cleaned before it went back on the shelves.  Many of these pieces have come from Bangladesh - Bill also worked there - or were given to us by visiting Asian sugar consultants - so they all have a story. 

The two large copper plaques came from Bangladesh, the one on the left was supposedly buried during the independence fighting.  Bill's first trip to Bangladesh took place just after  the assassination of the President at the time - early 70's and I can't remember his name.  Martial law was in place, but the aid mission went ahead - the wives were not very happy about it!

This is a different collection - from my mother-in-law.  She had so many beautiful lace doilies and runners.  I am not sure what I will eventually do with them, probably cut them up and use them in stitching.  None of the younger ones are interested in them.
I have tried to show the very pretty blue the living room has been painted, but the colour has not come out properly at all.  We are thrilled with the painting - and very thrilled not to be having to get out of the kitchen by 7am in the morning!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

New Camera

I have a new camera as my old Canon would only take photos on very rare occasions and that is worse than useless.  I debated between another Canon and a Nikon Coolpix, eventually choosing the Nikon.  I am having second thoughts now - too late of course - as the Nikon is noisy.  It beeps when it is focussed and ready to shoot, then makes a very loud click as you take the photo!  I have discovered on the pet portrait setting it doesn't do that but I haven't experimented with many photos to see how they turn out.
I have just uploaded 4 photos and blogger has put them all above the text - it is being very contrary today, I do wish they wouldn't keep changing the way it works.
I was experimenting with macro and zoom photos - I love both on this camera.  The first photo is of the lovely Cape York Lilies in the Botanic Gardens.  I was very worried till I came home and checked that mine are still growing.  I had dug them up a couple of months ago by mistake as I had completely forgotten they were there.  I replanted them immediately, and sure enough, I have spikes appearing.  I am sure mine usually flower after Christmas so I have no idea why these ones are in flower now - mine came from the Gardens.  The yellow flower is such a glorious yellow and the leaves are a very dense, very dark green to make a huge contrast.  It is a Golden Guinea tree.
The next two photos were using the zoom, the first one about half way and the next one almost full.  they are incredibly sharp.  Now of course I need to study the manual - at least I have a paper one as well as the CD - and take lots and lots of photos to learn how to make the best use of the camera.
Our oldest son turns 42 today - where have the years gone - so I shall take some night shots when we go out there for dinner.  We were going to have a BBQ but the weather is horrid, blowing hard with gusts to 35 knots, and the occasional shower, so I suspect Nikki is having a rethink.
I think the painters will be finished in two days, that will be wonderful after three weeks!  We have moved the furniture back into the main rooms, but only a few books back onto the shelves so far.  All the crystal and china is still in boxes, too hard to get to while we don't have much access to the kitchen.  I will get done in time.

Thank goodness for Penny's comment on Doreen's blog - I have managed to get rid of that slideshow, much nicer just being able to clidk on the photos and have them enlarge!

Thank goodness for technologists in the family.  Dougal took away the sounds in the camera with no trouble at all.  Now I can use it in concerts or wherever without interfering with the programme!

Monday, 10 October 2011


Whoo hoo, the arthroscopy seems to have been a great success - I can walk without that telltale swinging limp!  My other foot has stopped hurting too, I am amazed, especially as the surgeon did not seem to hold out much hope - he was talking in terms of a knee replacement sometime next year.  I am being careful not to stretch my luck, just glad to get my life back again.

Look what wonderful goodies arrived in the mail today for me - I was lucky enough to win Dale's giveaway of black and white (and red) threads.  What a gorgeous selection, very hard to see all the lovely colours and textures, I can't wait to start using them - just have to get sorted for those pesky painters first!

Again this photo does not do the page sent from Helina justice.  All the pages are so different, I will have a wonderful variety by the end of this swap.
Very hot and dry here today with a horrid northerly wind blowing - probably blowing up a storm.  We could do with the rain, but I have polished furniture stored on a verandah where the wind could blow in - another couple of days yet before I can move it back inside, then the painters move into the kitchen - and I would love to move out!  I hate the thought of being completely out of the kitchen area by 7am - especially having to be dressed ready to go out for the day by then as well, because they are doing the hallway into the bedrooms and bathroom as well.  Ugh!  I know it will all be worth it in the end, but..................
One thing is certain, this is the last time we will be going through this process, the previous paint has lasted 35 years - I don't think we will still be around in another 35, and certainly would not be worrying about a coat of paint.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Cezanne and some flowers

This is my October page for Fibre Fever - an interperetation (?) of the Cezanne picture below.  Some of the swap partners choose very difficult subjects I must say - however they make me stretch so that is a good thing.

Still no camera, but thank goodness for my mobile phone.  The ardisia is flowering magnificently this year, the little begonia beside it looks pretty also.  Everything has been shoved together to get out of the way of the painters.

This pandorea was planted after the tree disaster last year - we started off with two of them, but one died - thank goodness - we need to chop back half of this one it is growing so profusely!  Won't happen for a few weeks yet as I am not chopping while it is flowering so well.
We have been packing boxes frantically all day.  The painters should be spraying the roof tomorrow but the forecast is not looking promising so they will probably be in the living dining room instead - we are just about all clear in there but can hardly move anywhere else!
I am off to day surgery tomorrow morning too for an arthroscopy on my knee to see what is really wrong with it.  The doctor is not hopeful of a quick fix, but at least he will have a picture of what the inside of my knee looks like and can see what to do next - I am still hoping for the quick fix!  Not sure when I will be back to the computer - it is a desktop and up a lot of stairs.

Monday, 3 October 2011

More Brisbane photos

One of our visits was to Roma Street Parklands on the site of the old Roma Street railyards in the centre of the city.  What used to be an eyesore has been turned into a very beautiful and much used area with lots of water features as well as exhibition lawns. Click on all the photos to get a better view.

I loved these pots of petunias

This water dragon is real - we came across 8 of them basking in the sun together a bit further on.  Some of the overseas visitors get very frightened, but they are completely harmless and not a bit frightened of all the foot traffic!

We also visited Mt. Tambourine Botanic Gardens - formed in 1982 and planted and maintained completely by volunteers. they have done a superb job, clearing lantana infested land and deveeloping a blend of sub-tropical rainforest and carefully planned exotic species.
I love camellias, but I have no idea which one this is.

there are many endangered species of palm here.

I have never seen this fringe flower before, the photo doesn't do it justice - too much very bright sunlight.  Thebotanical name is awful - loropetalum chinense 'rubrum'.

The contrast with the wisteria, bromeliads and tall gums in the background was wonderful

I had to show you this yellow clivea - another favourite of mine, probably because it is too hot to grow them here!
My camera gave up taking photos after this - maybe just as well or there would have been lots more photos!  I am really cross though and haven't solved the problem yet, it may be terminal and I shall have to get a new one.  Our washing machine died two days before we went away - that was really devastating, but thank goodness we could get another one and have it delivered that same day so I could wash everything in sight.
I am just wondering what will be the third thing to give up - the bank balance does not like any of this!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Photos at last

This is ancient history for most of you, I have been absent from posting for so long - and if you don't want to see lots of garden photos, log out now!
We started the conference by visiting the City botanic Gardens - hard to believe they were under nearly two metres of water in the floods in January.  they look magnificent again now.

This lovely creek is in the children's garden at Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens - established 40 years ago on much higher ground to ensure they could not be flooded like the City BG.

If you click on this photo (and all the others) you will get a better view of these sculptures of the fruit bats (flying foxes) which inhabit the Gardens - and many people's backyards.  There was very bright light behind, so they were hard to photograph.

We visited this lovely 7 acre garden at Mt. Tambourine, south of Brisbane.  The owners have only been there for 5 1/2 years - it was a steeply sloping area with cattle and horses and a few mature gum trees!  They have done nearly all the work themselves - putting in five levels of terraces and planting up all the areas.  The area is a volcanic plug so everything grows while you look at it, but we were all still in awe.

This is looking throug the trees in one of the 'rooms' created.
The bluebells are in full flower, the oak avenue in the background is still to get leaves.  Until a couple of months ago, there would have been about 500 lavender bushes visible too, but a severe hailstorm smashed the lot - how sad.

Unfortunately they have had a plague of hares so they decided to make a keepsake statue!
These rose terraces are full of Queen Elizabeth roses, still coming into bud.

I loved this waratah, just so sleek and shiny.

They have no reticulated water, so excavated these ponds and installed a pumping system - money appears to be no object, lucky them.  They still did most of the work themselves though, and have wonderful vision for what they will create.

A White magnolia.
I love this sleek and shiny telopia (waratah).
Last look before we left.
Perhaps some more photos tomorrow, now I need to keep one step ahead of the painters - never a dull moment in this house.  Cheers.