Saturday, December 29, 2007

Southern Christmas

Here is what our Southern hemisphere Christmas looked like very hot tree which made the air smell so strongly of pine....Amy & Lena only just awake, still wrapped in their Doonas/Duvets.
After unwrapping pressies, we went on to "The Wellses" for the traditional Aussie breakfast of prawns and beer & ham. They have a great Chris Kringle present giving game where everyone gets a number (from a sadly depleted lotto ball dispenser). The person with number one has to choose a present from the pile. The second and following people can choose to either unwrap the present they've picked up or steal the previous present. The advantage is to go last so you can snaffle any of the presents opened so far. Luckily we were last. Ricardo wanted the mozzie zapper and morrocan hat but I got in first knowing we had very little room in our suitcase for such paraphenalia and zeroed in on the large lolly/sweets/candy pile that someone had already chosen. Yay violet crumbles all round.
Here's a little visitor we had. Flattening out his tummy on the back porch...a blue tongue lizard. Very welcome as they usually keep snakes away.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Australia has been in the grip of a drought for about 7 years now.... Well until we came that is.
We went to my absolute favouritest spot in the whole world, Wilson's Promontory National Park.
To quote from their website...." The southernmost point of the Australian mainland, Wilsons Promontory (affectionately known to Victorians as 'the Prom') is arguably the most loved national park in Victoria. Its 130 km coastline is framed by granite headlands, mountains, forests and fern gullies. Tidal River, 30 km inside the park boundary, is the focus for tourism and recreation. The park contains the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria."
After a few days the rain abated a bit, just enough to get out of the car and take some photos to make you all envious....
This is the view from our balcony at the Wilson's Promontory Retreat...which Roxi managed to book for the weekend before Christmas. Thanks Roxi. It finally felt like we were on holiday. The rain was actually good because it made us stay in and do nothing....well nothing but Yarnuff that is. There is some weird phenomenon happening here in the southern hemisphere which means everyone except Ricardo is winning. Maybe he should buy a lottery ticket here seeing as that never ever wins in the UK.
Phew, knackered now....too many Tim Tams. Those Canadians just can't keep up with all those new varieties.

Aussie Icons

No gold leaf and images of Mother & child here but cuddly animals. Just to prove once and for all we are actually in the Land of OZ.and the infamous Tim Tam. We went to Healsville Sanctuary with Richard's daughter Roxi and her boyfriend Mat, and his parents from Canada, Guy and Arlene . They were very pleased to be away from the minus 20 degrees temperatures and all the snow shovelling.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Greensborough pool

How long have I been dreaming of swimming in an outdoor pool? Suze & Lena & I went yesterday to a nearby pool at a suburb called Greensborough. We used to swim there when we were small. On hot nights Mum & Dad used to take us there & I've never forgotten the excitement of swimming at night.
The pool felt a lot smaller but it was twice the fun with Niece Lena and Sister Suze. They could make watching paint dry, fun.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Finaly I got to the computer. ...
Here are a few shots that prove we are here in balmy temperatures in sunny Melbourne. I'm terribly jet lagged whereas Ricardo uses the "Denial" technique which seems to work quite well.
We went to the Vic market on Saturday morning, the largest and oldest in the Southern hemisphere. These are all bottles of balsamic of mangoes anyone?
You can get anything here you can think of including kangaroo meat. (Ricardo was accommodating my photo requests here but really wanted to comply with his own coffee needs)
The Yarnuff play-off is progressing very nicely and guess what.....Richard is winning. I can hear it in the other room as I sit & type. Imagine sitting at the table with the window open in a summer dress.....wowee kazowee.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


We made it.
I haven't been able to get online so it's been driving me blog crazy. There is a backlog of photo's and a backlog of fun to be written up.
For now here are some images that pretty well sum up our days here in Singapore...Chilli crab complete with daggy paper bibs.
Beautiful hybridised orchids at the botanical gardens.
An amazing display of chillies at the Fullerton Hotel where Jono & Robbie took us for the most spectacular lunch I've ever eaten.It is hot and wet and I'm very happy to be both. It's so completely the opposite of what we've come from. we swam in the pool yesterday and saw monkeys today in the jungle just out of town. No bellringing or 15th century churches any where to be seen.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

...and Ricardo is DONE too

For more than a week now Richard has been fitting a kitchen that he made for a friend's house in Blakeney in North Norfolk. It is absolutely gorgeous. He's a talented bunny...The worktops are recycled teak. He stayed up there for a couple of nights but we missed each other so badly he had to come home....
The doors and the rest will be painted.
There is this fab plate rack. I've always wanted a plate rack. It's enough to make you want to buy your own house..(better up our hourly rate). last he can pack ......


NOW I can show you some pictures because David has come & whisked away his Christmas Cope. He looks devilishly handsome don't you think?
He says he'll wear it specially for weddings so the bride wont feel so stressed trying to be the best dressed person at the wedding any more.
Bless you David. Patron saint of seamstresses everywhere....
We did have a celebratory cake but I forgot to take a photo in my excitement and this is all that's left.
At last all my work is done. We just have to pack now and catch the bus down to Heathrow where we fly out on Saturday morning......Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Elf Burping scene

When Roxi came to visit us a couple of years ago she MADE us watch ELF. I'll be forever in her debt.

I think I can COPE

I have been working from dawn 'til dusk here...well even more than that because dawn is at about 10am and dusk happens about 20 minutes later.
I've been working on this mystery project...for my lovely friend David Hill. It's a gloroius Cope (which is like a cape only...well I don't really know what the difference is, if Jeremy is reading this could you enlighten us please).
I can't post the finished pictures yet because David sometimes reads the blog, but here is the back of the hood with it's cartoon of Saint Edmunds crown. Complete with arrows as he was martyred by being shot full of them.
It's taken miles & miles of gorgeous gold silk damask and even more red crushed velvet. Very Christmassy really. He's coming tomorrow afternoon to pick it up...maybe I'll get my act together & make a celebratory Cope cake.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Southwold cushions at Craftco

On a beautiful sunny winters day we drove an hour and a half away to Southwold.
I'd been asked to make some cushions for a shop there called Craftco for their Christmas exhibition. We dropped off the cushions, had lunch there with a load of other tourists and then meandered home.
Here are a few shots of the finished items....I'm hoping the pink bolster doesn't sell. It's so divine I want to keep it....(even if I do say so myself)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Finally the kids have left the pool...

Our darling Roxi sent us a great quote from Richard Ackland's article in the Justinian.
The Justinian is (and I quote) "Australia’s most revered and disturbing law journal. For over 26 years, with loving attention to detail, it has chronicled the exquisite finery and the dirty linen of the legal profession. We report notorious instances of flair and fumbling at the bar, failures in judicial rectitude, secret correspondence from lofty sources and who is acting for whom and for how much".
Ackland's talks about the now EX Australian Prime minister John Howard....
".......humourless, witless, unprepossessing and leaden. Devoid of any literature, theatre and suspicious of creativity. A small-minded, cackling dwarf ......... Howard's entire view of the country is that it is simply "an economy". Not once has he exposed a bigger vision of what we could be as a people. ....... One of Paul Keating's earthy metaphors is that it's impossible to be rid of Howard because he's like the "nasty turd in the toilet" that refuses to be flushed. "You keep flushing and flushing and still he bobs up every time." "Come on now Australia. One more gigantic flush.
And we did and here I present to you Australia's new Prime minister. Kevin Rudd.

Picture courtesy of ABC news

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cushions of the week

In the blink of an eye (well in Blogland anyway) I made these cushions. One (the red one) for our lovely friend Kate's birthday and the purple one for our lovely sister-in-law Mary for Christmas....(she doesn't read the blog so if you see her don't tell her). I can't bring myself to cut up the gorgeous silk kimono fabric yet but I'm working up to it.....maybe a bolster so I don't have to cut it too much.
Meanwhile we are getting mighty excited about going to Oz for Christmas. Only 2 weeks and 4 days to go. We stop off in Singapore and Jono (our cousin twice removed that we're staying with) says it's 36 degrees (that's 96.8 for you non celsius gang) every day. Crikey I haven't been 36 degrees for years now. What am I going to wear????? It's been so grey & miserable here that I've got scurvy.....oh no that's the one from not enough vegetables......I've got a vitamin D deficiency then.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

You Beauty

Today some fabrics arrived that I had bid for and won on Ebay. You know how it is....Will I??? Wont I ????? Going to Australia, can't afford to spend any money.....need to make some cushions before I go.......they look pretty good but are they as good as they look.
Well all I can say is I wept when I opened up the parcel. Not only were they individually wrapped in white tissue paper, with pretty lucky kitten stickers....they were absolute beauties. This one that looks 100 times better in the flesh. It has tiny Shibori in stripes like a subtle rainbow with cranes flying through the colours. I can't work out how they are much work in them they must be hand painted. You would need a very steady hand, there are such tiny tiny lines of silver through it all. How on Earth am I going to cut into them???
These ones are rich and bold and will be fabulous for cushions. A red one and a Purple one. Half an Obi in each.We went to the Sudbury silk shop on Wednesday too and I bought some truly gorgeous Tie silks to match the purple fabrics that I knew were coming

Keep your eye on the blog for what gets made from these and more......