Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas presents and a piece of history

When my mother moved into a nursing home about twenty years ago, we found a tablecloth which she had partially embroidered before sh was married and had never completed.  The threads were all still there with the cloth so I brought it home thinking one day I would complete it!  that was wishful thinking, but finally my sister took it to a specialist on the Sunshine Coast who suggested she cut out the two completed corners and frame them.  Here is the result, now hanging on my kitchen wall - a reminder of my mother every day!

Barb also added this cushion cover to the present - she made it up from a panel we did in a workshop with Lesley Riley earlier in the year at Textile Fibre Festival in Brisbane.

This is hard to see in the photo, but the buttons she added for the closure are enamelled and I seem to remember they were in Mum's button collection.  Buttons were never thrown out, they were unpicked and saved for future use.  We divided the collection between us when we packed up the house, and I have contunued to save buttons as well.
I hope you all had a very happy day yesterday.  We had a lovely time with our family, the weather was perfect, sunny and not too hot.  We even came home mid afternoon and had a snooze for a while without even needing the airconditioning on in our bedroom - the first time I remember that for many years.
Today I plan to do some stitching, listening to the cricket, then maybe relaxing with a book.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Carols and a birthday

Well, Blogger has finally let me load some photos - this is my third try in 24 hours!
Last Saturday night was the annual Christmas in the Gardens event and you can see the crowd was enjoying it.  The weather was balmy - till we were about to draw the raffle when there was a quick shower that sent lots of people home.

This is a very blurry photo but you can see the effect of all the children waving their glowsticks madly in time to the music - magic.

Two small boys were thrilled when the reporter asked to take their photo to appear in the local paper - and this featured both here and in the Rockhampton paper published by the same company.  We had several texts from friends down there who saw it.  They are becoming real media tarts, always seem to be in the right place at the right time. 

Hamish turned six at the weekend as well and of course had to have a party - and present opening is very important.

As is cutting the cake!
Christmas is looking good, even though I still have lots to do.  I had photos of my eyes today after the latest injection last week and there is a definite improvement, yippee.
I also had a session with the physiotherapist today - lots of massage and heat and some funny strapping on my leg.  My leg, and especially my knee feel so much better I am tempted to try for a short walk again.
If I don't get back before Christmas, I hope you all get everything you wish for, have a very happy time and we will be in touch again after the festivities.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Grandkids' activities

The two boys attended an activity session at the Botanic Gardens yesterday morning to make Christmas cards and decorations with Maya, the Education Officer.  She always has full classes and the kids have so much fun.  They were all concentrating very hard, in fact there was almost no talking - how amazing is that!

This photo does not really show how good the decorations looked - all the gold paint and glitter is on the sides of the leaves not visible!

Then there was a lot more concentration as they decided where to put decorations on the tree.  This was in the very early stages, LOTS more went on the tree after that!  They thought it looked beautiful when they had finished, so of course we did too - and I am sure they will not be visiting when I have to pack it away!  That is not nearly as interesting.
I have discovered the tree which I thought was a miserable specimen of the Hymenosporums with which I grew up is not that!  It is actually a tree ixora, I have no idea of its Latin name, and I don't know where it originates, but it has a glorious perfume.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

What's flowering in the Botanic Gardens

I was on roster today at the Gardens and ventured out of the air conditioning for a short time to take these photos.  The Cassia javanica is putting on a lovely show.  It is immediately below the cafe so the patrons have an extra special view.

This is a slightly closer picture of the flowers - I was going to get really close but the ground is very uneven and I could feel the knee protesting! 
I love these Christmas orchids (Calanthe Australasus) - and I only know the Latin name because I read it on the label!

This is not a very good photo of Hymenosporum flavens flowers - a very strong northerly wind was blowing so you can see I was trying (not very successfully) to hold it still.

If you click on the photos to enlarge you should be able to see this miserable specimen of a tree with the flowers on it.  they have the most heavenly vanilla custard sort of scent which carries for a long way.  We had these trees growing in our garden when I was growing up.  The trees are native to the coastal ranges behind Mackay, but this tree does not look nearly as strong and healthy as our used to look.  The flower clusters are bigger, but the flowers themselves are only about half the size as those on the trees in my home town.  I find that interesting as the climate there is supposed to be all wrong for them.  I remember seeing dozens of them when we were in Adelaide a couple of years ago.  I haven't heard thatthere are different varieties, so shall have to inquire further.
Huge storms all round Queensland for the last day or so.  We had a massive electrical storm last night, but only 36 mm rain and thankfully no wind so no damage.  Jock couldn't care less thank goodness.  More storms everywhere today - I hope they all vanish before next weekend.  We are scheduled to have Christmas in the Gardens next Saturday night and we don;t want it washed out for a second year

Friday, 9 December 2011

Cards sent and received

Our fibre Fever group has a Christmas card exchange taking place.  The card above is the one I received from Margreet and the one below is what I sent to Janny.

I have also received a very early birthday card from Margreet (wrapped separately) with instructions not to open it till 14 January!  Margreet's cards are always so lovely I am going to be sorely tempted long before then!
There is not anything else I can show you yet - I am still struggling to find my way with this wretched fibromyalgia, I was fine a couple of days ago and today I can barely move, no idea of what is different.  Very frustrating, I want to work on Lynda's book some more and I desperately need to get out into the garden to attack the weeds!  We have finally had about 16mm rain so everything is looking lovely and green again.  Just showers and storms in our area, if you were lucky enough to be underneath one.  Some people recorded anything up to 60 mm! 
No Christmas decorations up yet, the grandkids will be with me for the day next Tuesday so the tree will go up and be decorated (or overdecorated) then.  Last year it was way over the top, but who cares - Christmas is for children and they thought they had done a beautiful job!  I will post a photo when they have finished.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

It must be Christmas

These wonderful Flame trees, one of the Brachychitons, are in full flower along the footpaths around our area.  They are making a magnificent display.

Also the poincianas are a blaze of red all round Mackay

and even the Cassia Fistulas are coming into flower - nearly a month earlier than they used to.  I love the brilliance of the summer flowers.
I have been off to see a specialist and have at last come up with a diagnosis, I have Fibromyalgia.  It is incurable, so I will live with it for the rest of my life, but at least I can understand the aches and pains and work around them - just another fun (?) part of growing older!!!!
I received my copy of Lynda Monk's scrumptious new book Fabulous Surfaces yesterday and now I am sorking out whether to start on that or her article in Workshop on the Web this month - that is fascinating too.  Lynda is such a talented lady, we are spoilt for choice.