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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

25 Days of Christmas Project.

In December 2013 one of my friends invited me to join her in a little Facebook project that she had devised. Jenny called it 25 Days of Christmas and the idea was to post a photo with the Christmas theme each day from December 1 right up to Christmas Day. I seriously doubted I could come up with enough photos but still agreed to join Jenny. Well...I ran out of days before I ran out of photos! 
My friend decided that the one year was enough for her, but I've kept going and here I am in my 4th year. I thought I would share some of those 2016 photos on the blog.
Day 1 
DH standing beside the Christmas tree in the foyer of the Geebung RSL club. We were there last week to play Trivia.

Day 2
Most of our Christmases were spent here in Brisbane, but a few times we spent Christmas with our Melbourne family. My girls were probably 7 and 10 that year.
Day 3
This ornament has already  been written about on my blog; De, my Secret Santa at Sunday Stitchers made it for me. 

Day 4
This photo is of DsD3 at 2 months with her big cousin on Christmas Day 1986.

Day 5
This photo is of an animated Christmas tree that I saw at Costco a few months ago. I loved it but didn't buy it. It was cute though...that little train running along the little track and beautiful music and lights.
Day 6
This day I posted a collage of some of my favourite Christmas projects over the years using hexagons. I've masked out most of the new project on the left as it's a Secret Santa give for someone in Blogland. 😉

Day 7 
This is another photo collage from the family archives...1983; DD1 received a Fisher Price Musical Carousel toy from her dad and I. As you can see in the top photo, I loved playing with it too. 
The photo in the bottom right hand corner is 'borrowed' from the Internet. The original toy also included 3 little people figures who sat in the little seats that spun out when the handle was turned to play the records. We loved that toy! Unfortunately when Miss DD1 was about 5, she poured cordial into the mechanism and it never worked again. My budding scientist wanted to see what would happen if a liquid was added...😒. All wonderful memories and what family stories are made of. 
The pictures I've posted in the previous 3 years have prompted some lovely reminiscing from both family and friends...and that's what Christmas means to me...memories and special times with family and friends. 

So that's the first week of my 25 Days of Christmas for 2016.

Oops! Where did they all come from? 😉 (Wool on Sunday)

Today I gathered together in one place all the squares that a number of lovely people have recently knitted or crocheted ready for me to join into blankets for K4BN.
Hmmm...There's a few! 😉
Just a few are my handiwork...either making little donated squares larger by a few more rounds or a few started from scratch. That's what I do at Knit and Natters. 

So I would like to 'order' some rainy days where I can sit under the fan ( or the aircon) and just turn squares into blankets...I always find it so satisfying. It will be lovely having a big bundle of blankets early next year, all ready for when the requests for warm blankets start to come in later in the year.

So many people knit or sew for K4BN and today we were given 52 Trauma Teddies that were knitted by a lovely lady called Val. My friend Helen took a photo...it is amazing! 
A big thank you to Val!
Linking with Wool on Sunday on the Rainbow Hare blog.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Valley of the Giants...

After writing a post yesterday about our holiday in WA, I thought I may as well do a back to back WA post. So today's post is about our stop at the Valley of the Giants near Denmark. ( yep! There is a Denmark in Western Australia). 
Even the carpark area had interesting things to look at...
A sculpture...on the top left of the sculpture is a Tasmanian Tiger ( thylacine).  In WA I discovered that this creature also lived in this part of Australia at one time. I had thought it was only found in Tasmania but this wasn't the case...sadly it's extinct now.

A huge felled tree...


And we made our way to the Centre...

We took a guided tour along the walkways that wound their way between these magnificent trees...





And there were interesting plants at ground level...

The majority of the giant trees in this area are Tingle trees which are the largest species of eucalyptus; most are 400 years old. Tingle trees only grow in this relatively small area due to the fact that these trees need an incredible amount of rainfall each year...1 metre! or 39.37 inches. http://www.rainbowcoast.com.au/areas/walpole/gianttingle.htm
The tree in the next photo is known as Grandma Tingle...400 years old! So older than white settlement in Australia. 



The guide pointed out the protuberances on some of the trees...they are known as burls.


Many of these huge trees are hollow...sthere result of fires burning out the heartwood but the tree survives because its living parts are just below the bark...amazing? 
What great cubby houses they would make! Lol

Despite it being a very cold day, we both enjoyed the experience of visiting this area. After the ground tour, there was a treetops walk as well. Great experiences! 

Albany Museum...

It is nearly 3 months since DH and I had our holiday in Western Australia...time has certainly flown! While we were in Albany we visited an exhibition at the museum. 

The museum precinct has lots of lovely old buildings...

And even a post box that dates back to the reign of Queen Victoria.
A friend had told me of a special exhibition that had opened at the museum which focused on Adoptions. 
Near the entry was a video of a former PM, Julia Gillard, and her speech of apology for the forced adoptions throughout our history.
There were lots of information boards including these which documented adoptions decade by decade.
It made for harrowing reading. As did many such boards spread throughout the exhibits.







How poignant were these 2 next items?


Very moving and sad though this exhibition was, it was wonderful that so many women could tell their story...their heartbreak and often never knowing how their child fared. 
And there was even a section devoted to the fathers...

What a photo...all those babies in that hospital nursery waiting to be adopted.




My mother put up 2 children for adoption; one found his mother. The other child we know nothing of. My aunt not long before she died, mentioned to my cousin that her sister had had another child but she gave us no details, so perhaps she didn't know any more. I can but hope that he or she has/had a good life.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wool on Sunday...

My Wool on Sunday post this week is about my new ( and very appropriate for me!) Christmas ornament  that my friend De made me. De was my Secret Santa at the Sunday Stitchers Christmas party last Sunday. 
It just so happens that I was taking random photos of Sandi, who had stepped up for the role of Santa's helper at present unwrapping time...and she was actually carrying my gift at the time.



And here it is and I love it!!

De has wound yarn over a styrofoam ball and made knitting needles from skewers cut to size, with beads glued on the end and then sprayed. Such a thoughtful gift. 
Our Secret Santa gifts this year at SS were an ornament ( which could either be handmade or purchased), and a bag. This is the gorgeous bag that De made for me...



So now a little bit more about our final gathering for 2016...
Setting up the room. As you can see in the photo a lot of the ladies brought along Christmassy themed projects to decorate the room. It gave the room such a lovely 'feel'.
Gifts too of course...this is my 'haul' from the other ladies...noting this doesn't include the Secret Santa gifts!! 
 The Birthday girls...each month those who have celebrated a birthday receive a fat quarter from everyone. Last Sunday we had both November and December birthdays. 
After the birthday parcels were unwrapped, the Secret Santa gifts were put on that small table ready for distribution after lunch.

Mentioning lunch...this year we used some of the money in 'the kitty' to have lunch catered by the local IGA. It was a lovely lunch but I only remembered to  take a photo after we'd filled our plates...

And what is Christmas party lunch without bonbons and paper hats! 😉

And these wonderful friends of mine also have been very generous to the less fortunate in the community. Last month they collected and donated sweets for K4BN's mini Christmas stockings project and again this month, I was given some more lollies. And 2 of the ladies had also made some mini stockings! These, plus some stockings knitted by a friend at Sisters of Stitch, meant that K4BN received 76 filled stockings on Monday. 
Linking with Janine over at the Rainbow Hare blog for Wool on Sunday. Janine has knitted a beautiful jumper but unfortunately one of her 'nearest and dearest' has made the following comment which I don't agree with by the way...“That is horrific! It’s the worst Christmas jumper I’ve ever seen!”