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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Australia Day

Today is Australia Day which is a public holiday which commemorates the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet which had been sent to establish a British colony in the country that would become Australia. The country was already settled by the Aboriginal people. Over the years Australia has become home to many peoples from all around the world and Australia Day celebrations usually reflect these different cultures.
In recent years there has been more and more discussion in the Australia-wide community, that January 26 represents Invasion Day to the indigenous people and that the date should be changed, so that the Australian national day is separate from the anniversary of the First Fleet.  And who knows if that will ever happen? Until then, the day will be filled with people gathering in parks, beaches, private homes to celebrate with BBQ s, lamingtons, pavlovas, TimTams, Vegemite, meatpies and all the other Aussie 'things'. 😉
I was fortunate enough to be born in Australia but I thought I'd show you 'what this Aussie is made up of'...

Still on the subject of Australia; the other day I saw a Swap that was coming up on Instagram. It didn't involve (frantic to get finished)  sewing, just send 3 six inch squares to 8 other people in a group you would be put in.

The fabric should represent your country in some way...

Too easy! I knew I had a zippered bag full of Australiana fabric, so I was 'half way there' 👍. I signed up and when email arrived with the details of my Swap buddies, I was the only Aussie with the majority being from the US, 1 from Sweden and 1 from NZ. Then...
A search through my fabric stash didn't reveal a bag of Aussie fabrics...oh dear! But I did find these...luckily they were categorized differently and in other zippered bags.
It needs a good iron, but this is a fun, novelty Australiana fabric...

A fabric design copying the style of indigenous art...bought at a craft show years ago and still in its cello bag.

A perfect representation of an Aussie summer...

A fabric design with maps overlaid with images of old Holden cars, FX and FJ models from the 1950s.

Australian placenames...

Aussie animals fat quarter in my 'Children's Novelty Fabrics' storage cube...

Often farm themed fabrics are not Aussie...but this one is! ( also in the Children's Cube)

And then I realised that I had some Jodie Carleton fabrics; a few 5 " squares and hexies have been cut out of each fat quarter but still plenty left to cut some 6" squares. Jodie is an Australian who not only designs a great range of craft patterns (especially her felt animals) but a few years ago she started designing ranges of fabrics. So fabrics designed here would be an excellent representation of my region.

So... Murphy's Law would suggest that as soon as I mail all these squares that I will cut out of the pictured fabrics, my bag of other fabrics will turn up. 😏. No problem though, while looking for it this morning, I found so many delightful fabrics that I'd forgotten about...especially some that I can do some baby/toddler sewing with. So that's always a bonus and time looking then, is not really wasted is it?

Sunday, January 21, 2018


My last post was about an old school uniform that I wore in my Grade 11 and 12 high school years. Well it just so happens that years ago I also found a diary that I wrote throughout 1968. I actually thought that I had thrown it out years ago. I toyed with writing about my life then by taking excerpts from the diary but then couldn't find it. Must have thrown it out after all, I said to myself and thought no more about it. 

But late last year I just happened to come across this tricky little artifact in a drawer and thought that 2018 might be a perfect time to write about what life was like for me 50 years ago.
When I reread some of the pages recently I wasn't particularly impressed with my 16/17 year old self. I seemed to be quite 'preoccupied with boys' and I reckon I was quite boring. Lol. But reading pages in the last week, it was interesting to note background happenings to my life. It was certainly a 'different time'; so different to the world my girls grew up in in the 1980s/90s!

So what sort of things did I get up to in January 1968?
It was still school holidays here of course as those long summer holidays here are December/January.
January 4 that year was the first anniversary of my father's death, but it only rated a single sentence in my diary entry...interesting?
I wrote about the weather being hot and that on January 1 I sunbathed for the first time in a 'two piece', and got sunburned down one side of my body. I remember these togs being 'hand me downs' from an older friend and they were yellow...and I thought I was just sooooo cool wearing them! Lol 😎.
On another day, a friend of my mother and her 3 children took mum and I for a day trip to the beach...Redcliffe. I wrote in my diary how we discovered we were swimming near a sewerage outlet with all sorts of 'things' floating by...eewww! 😕😕😕. I went on to write that we washed ourselves off and went to Shorncliffe beach where we got stung by sea lice. At least nowadays  those beaches on the peninsula  no longer have sewerage outlet pipes going out into the sea. Just as well!

In those days, town ( Brisbane central business district) was a shortish tram ride from my suburb. Suburban picture theatres had gradually been closing up through the sixties, so we tended to go to 'the  pictures' in the city. On January 4 that year I had an outing to the city...first an organ recital at the City Hall and then in the afternoon, I went to the movies. I don't mention who with but I wouldn't think that I  was on my own. The movie was 'Georgy Girl' starring Lynne Redgrave.

I'd forgotten all that until I read it in that diary! Lol. Reading on in that entry I saw that there was a tram strike for a few hours that day and that I was late home waiting for the tram staff to come back to work. Looking back, I think I know the reason for that short strike. It would have been announced that trams would be scrapped completely in 1969 and replaced by buses. There would be no conductors on the buses so the union was fighting for all the men ( and a few women) who would be left without jobs when the trams were taken off.
Here's an old photo of the main road through my suburb in the 1960s and there's a tram in the middle of the photo. Trust me when I say, that other than newer models of cars on that road, this road and the building on either side were still the same in 1968!
Source Brisbane Images BCC-B54-15239

Facing the other! You could park your car at the side of the main road then! 😮
Source Brisbane Images BCC-B54-15236

Source Brisbane Images BCC-B54-15237

Other entries in the diary talked about my love of sewing. I would often make a dress especially for a Saturday night...often beginning the process of cutting out on Thursday or Friday night and sewing up on Saturday! But the styles were usually simple shift dresses with just some bust darts for shaping. I used my mum's old 1945 model Singer with its knee control and just straight stitch. But that machine and I made many outfits, from nighties to ball gowns, from shifts to jackets!

An entry in early January 1968, I describe how I was making a shoestring dress, but sad to say, I have no recollection of what it was like
On Saturday, January 6 1968, it seems I had a busy day. Firstly in the morning, I went into the Valley (Fortitude Valley, once considered a must go to for shopping!), specifically to go to the free disco called TC's which was in the department store, TC Beirnes. That morning  Tony Worsley ( Aussie pop star of the 60s) was performing and apparently a pop group known as the National Reps. I do remember loving these performances and being so close to pop stars. :-)

In the afternoon, according to my diary, along with a number of other students from my high school, I stood outside the Enoggera Catholic church to catch a glimpse of my geography teacher Miss Mudge at her wedding to the maths teacher, Mr Mahony...oh lordy, such memories! I still see this couple occasionally at the local shops or school reunions!

In another entry I wrote about visiting a friend's home and being entertained there by her dad playing the rolls on their pianola. We would gather around the pianola and sing all the old songs with great gusto. I thought my friend and her parents were so lucky to have a pianola and I vowed to buy one 'when I grew up and got rich enough to buy one! lol. A few years ago I realised that I could afford one, but I decided I didn't want one after all. How fickle am I lol!!!
I think that throughout this year, I will tell you more about the year I turned 17.
(Do you know, according to my diary, I ironed for people to earn pocket seems I had about 6 clientele ( mum's friends, neighbours, married daughters of neighbours who worked fulltime and wanted husband's long-sleeved shirts ironed; seemed to be quite a nice little earner.)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Time to hand some things on...

About 6 years ago, while looking through items stored, I came across a school uniform that I had worn during the last 2 years of high school. I don't honestly know how, or why I still had that dress! It had obviously been packed up for the few house moves I had done over the years.
 I am still in touch with a number of my former school friends and when I told them of 'my find' there was a lot of banter about my being a hoarder...but all those girls enjoyed acquainting themselves once again with that uniform that we had worn for those high school years. ( note that there was no attempt to actually wear this old dress! 😉😉😉)

It was suggested that I bring along the dress to a reunion and one of my friends offered to bring along a mannequin that we could dress it up in my old uniform...and pose for photos...

That year we posted some of these photos on our high school's Facebook page and drew lots of nostalgic comments. Many of my former students at our local primary school were also former students of my high school so comments came from different generations. One former student of mine who runs a business selling vintage household/decorating items, as well as vintage clothing, was particularly taken  with the fact that my old 1967-8 uniform was still around. This lady decorates her home with lots of vintage items and has a real appreciation of such things.
So during last year when I decided that although I was 'attached to the memories' of that dress, it was time to divest myself of it. I have lots of photos of it and that is enough.
And Darlene would be an appreciative and excellent caretaker of it, I was convinced. So I posted it to her in Maryborough. D wrote to me privately, and with my permission, wrote this post on her FB page...

So my choice of who to pass it on to, was the correct one.
Darlene posted some photos of herself WEARING the uniform. This is someone who was in Year 7 in the late 1970s and unlike my friends and I, she can fit into my uniform from my teenage years. 😉😉😉

The following photos have been posted on a blog post a few years ago but I thought I'd share them again...
Year 11 Swimming Carnival at the Valley Pool. That's me leaning on the rail in the stand and looking at the camera.

And this photo is our Grade 12 cohort of  3 classes...

So that's one less thing for the girls to throw out when I'm no longer here! Whenever that will be! 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Still 'baby stuff'...

In my post on DsD1's baby shower, I meant to mention that DD1 wasn't able to attend as she is very close to giving birth and is just resting and complaining of boredom as she awaits her baby's birth. ( those of us who are mothers already know that this is just the 'lull before the storm'! Lol) 
I thought I'd share the meme that she posted on Facebook this week...

I bought a third 'nappy cake'  ( this one is the 'Bath time Nappy Cake' ) and had planned to give it to DD1 after her baby is bor But when she dropped in after her hospital appointment last Friday, I decided to give it to her then as a bit of a cheer up. Liz is the one in the family who collects rubber ducks, so this 'cake' just fitted the bill! It's only a single tier but there are still quite a few goodies hidden inside.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Another Baby Shower...

Last Sunday we gathered for DsD1's baby shower. It happened to be a very hot day so we were very glad of the aircon in DsD2's loungeroom.
The party started with some bubbles...😉

The guest of honour looked lovely...

There were some games, food and even some drawing! On the floor were some blank sheets of paper and some felt pens and guests were invited to each illustrate a page of what will become an alphabet book for the baby.

One game was 'pictionary' where each guest would have to illustrate a 'pregnancy/baby' related word that had been written on little pieces of paper and put in a container. The people in my group who had turns before me got some real doozies of words like, 'placenta' and 'post natal depression', so it was with a bit of trepidation that I put my hand in the container to draw out a word...and I got 'bib'! which even I could draw! Lol!
And the best part of the afternoon was watching the guest of honour open the gifts!

DsD2 wrote down a description of each gift along with who had given it; very handy when writing thank you s!
DH and I had earlier given DsD1 the money for a pram with a bit left over for whatever, so she didn't expect a baby shower gift from us...but of course I organised something else...

Here's a closer look at the 'nappy cake' which I had bought from a local young mum who makes these as a little sideline business. Because DsD1 and Dan had been staying with us I had had to hide the gift in my sewing 'cave' until the party...

The cake had nappies (diapers), towel, washer, muslin, baby lotion, baby soap, toys and some other items that I've forgotten 🙄. It looked lovely and DsD1 was charmed by it. I found this gift to be very cost effective so win win!
On the same afternoon, DD2's best friend was having her baby shower and I sent a nappy cake with DsD2 to that party too.

On Monday DsD1 and Dan headed back to the farm, 6 hours away from Brisbane. Despite having a large vehicle, they couldn't fit everything in their car. ( while here in the city they bought all their baby furniture, pram, pantry cupboard and were given a clothes drier by DsD1's mother and sisters)
So we have some 'overflow' items that were left here...and some stored under the house.

So the plan is that next Saturday DH and I are driving up to Toowoomba with these items to meet up with DsD1 and Dan who are driving down to there from Wandoan for an antenatal session. Toowoomba is where the baby will be born in early March as where they live is a long way from hospital. DsD1 will come to Toowoomba 3 weeks before the due date to await the birth.
City slickers like me have no real concept of what it must be like living in these more isolated areas and not being close to doctors and hospitals.
PS. DsD1's friends and family in Wandoan have another baby shower planned for her so the coming baby will certainly have lots of 'stuff'  by the time she arrives.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

During the Christmas break I noticed that when I cleaned my teeth, my mouth would bleed. I found where the problem was; way up the back on the left hand side of my mouth. It's where a wisdom tooth is just peeping through the gum. It has never come through any more than 3 little tips of the tooth. The other wisdom teeth have never come through at all.
Naturally the dental practice closes over Christmas/ New Year, so it wasn't until yesterday that I was able to get an appointment.

My lovely dentist diagnosed an infection in the wisdom tooth ( which though a bit uncomfortable didn't warrant antibiotics) and discussed options.
1 Remove the wisdom tooth. This would be difficult as most of the tooth is buried in the gum. After the extraction there would be some discomfort.
2. Instead of pulling out the wisdom tooth, remove the tooth beside it. The benefit of this is that there would be quicker healing after the extraction...less pain etc. Apparently this next tooth is preventing the wisdom tooth from emerging out of the gum and this is the primary cause of the discomfort and also making it easier for infection to invade.
The idea is that the wisdom tooth would then gradually grow upwards in the gum. But my dentist said that sometimes the wisdom tooth doesn't emerge...ever. Another 'con' is that by removing a perfectly good double molar tooth, my lower matching molar would have nothing to match up with, thus affecting my bite/chewing.
By this time my head was reeling with all this information...but I decided on option 1 so on February 1, that pesky wisdom tooth will be history!
So it will be back to that funky waiting room!

PS All my other teeth passed inspection and the 'clean and fluoride treatment' was over in a flash 😁

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Wool on Sunday

The first 'yarny' post for 2018; joining in with Janine over on the Rainbow Hare blog. Janine's post was a bit about Christmas and of course some of her projects. The shawl that Janine made is stunning. Check out her blog post Here.
I've started the year with 2 big bags of blankets made from crocheted and knitted squares which 3 wonderful ladies have given me.

Most of the squares had been joined up into blankets late last year, but most of those still had some ends to weave in. And there were still some bags of squares that needed joining. The perfect opportunity arose in the week after Christmas. DsD1 and her husband were staying with us and she enjoys the opportunity when staying with us, of some 'binge' Netflix viewing.
A series she had wanted to watch was available, so taking advantage of the aircon in the lounge room, I sat with her, and joined squares, edged blankets and neatened ends while DsD1 watched some monster terrorise a group of US teenagers. It took a couple of days to 'watch' the 9 episodes which meant that soon 13 blankets were finished ready! 😄
(The show was Series 2 of Stranger Things; DsD1 loves her sci-fi 😉)

Possibly I will make use of my stockpile of polar fleece to make blankets for K4BN as that will clear some shelf space in at least one cupboard. And sometime soon I need to make an effort to start some knitting for some expected new arrivals. I do tend to knit all year round; just smaller projects in summer.

Friday, January 5, 2018

November 2017 passed in a blur... 

Last November, Queensland had a state election and once again I had some paid work.  DH had been quietly working away for months before the election was called, organising an electoral district, but my work was concentrated into just over 2 weeks before Election Day and then just over a week later. In the 6 1/2 years since my retirement from teaching, this was the 5th time of my being an electoral assistant. And this time those 8.30-5pm days were a bit of a shock to the system 😉.
A shop was rented in a local shopping centre.

The premises have to be big enough to provide not only office space and a training venue, but also warehouse space for all the equipment which will go out to all those polling booths (21 this time!) on Election Day.
Furniture has to be hired...very basic obviously!

Pallets of equipment are sent out which have to be checked...

These days a lot of the equipment is electronic so lots of charging up is required plus formatting of devices...

This time I got to help more in preparing the boxes of equipment ready for the polling booths on Election Day...lots of checklists to make sure everything is there ready.
One task was cutting lengths of string...over 100 metre lengths. The pencils in the voting screens are tied to the cardboard screen by a length of string! I just cut the lengths of string, the booth supervisors had to tie the pencils to a piece of string.

Boxes of equipment ready for Supervisors to collect after their training session...

For the 2 weeks before Election Day, the office would become a prepoll centre where people could come to vote early...and that is the main job that I do.

The assistant who worked with me was a dab hand with a vacuum cleaner and duster...

And after that day it's back to clerical tasks and packing up...all ballot papers are check counted...that's thousand and thousands counted again. And then there are the postal votes which arrive...

Have you ever wondered what happens to those Absentee votes taken at polling booths on Election Day? They all come back to the office in those envelopes and are sorted into electorates. Then they are couriered back to the appropriate electorate to be opened and counted. That sorting and envelope labeling takes hours...
There were 92 courier envelopes to go out....

Lots of cardboard comes back to the office...

And this time, it all got taken to the Recycle Area at a local Resource Recovery Centre...which used to be fondly called the Ferny Grove Tip by us locals! 😉
I finished work on December 1 and November was just a vague memory! Lol