Thursday, July 26, 2012

Five Big Days

DH came with me to Maitland - for 3 nights - while I spent 2 long days with 3 other candidates in a Level 2 Croquet Coaching Training Course. So much concentration, thinking, playing, note taking etc. Just exhausting - I couldn't believe that I went to bed at 8.30 and slept through till sunrise.

Next day was a drive to Sydney to conduct a Laws day! Everyone seemed very pleased with the discussions and practicals. I was pleased with the thoughtful input from all who participated.

This was followed by 2 days of coaching. Association Croquet players attended and along with our trainer, the candidates spent 6 hours each day passing on techniques and styles and corrections that had been learned.
We still have to write up 3 x 1 hour lessons on our chosen topic, teach the lessons to willing players, write our assessment of the lessons and submit the written work to the Directors of Coaching.

There are moments when I wondered why I had taken this on, but I think it is a worthwhile effort and am looking forward to my accreditation as a Level 2 Coach.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sunshine ............

After what seems such a long time, we have sunshine today, and a good breeze. The ground is so wet that a light shower causes water to lie on the surface and make mud. Everything has been wet to touch - yuk.
Today the clothes line is full and the doors of the house wide open.

Tomorrow is enrolment day with U3A - I'm going back again for Tai Chi and Circle Folk Dancing although my right knee joint doesn't enjoy either.
Last term I taught Croquet to a class of seven for 9 weeks. Three of those beginners have chosen to join the Croquet Club, and four other newbies are learning the game.
I have been asked to be part of a Cooking class this term. I will do two sessions of vegetarian cooking. First one with an Asian trend - Tom Yum Soup and Rice Paper Rolls, second with an Indian flavour - Dhal, Samosas and Lemon Rice - yummmmmmmmmm.

In a way I am quietly looking forward to next week being finished. I am going to Maitland and Sydney to upgrade my Croquet Coaching qualifications from Level 1 to Level 2. Two days of training, 2 days of practical, a Laws day in between, then written assignments to hand in. It feels like I'm back in school.

My eldest daughter has a birthday next week. Can't believe how much time has passed since she entered the world. I made a pair of co-ordinating pillow cases [from All People Quilt] from some glorious, earthy, batik fabric, and a reversible tote bag from calico and a lovely Indonesian sarong. The four pockets on the bag each have a special treat in them.

This is a mug rug I received in a swap with The Patchwork and Quilting Cottage -
I love the purply blues, and adore butterflies.

Black and white is always safe when colours don't come together for me. This is the mat I made for my partner.

I have just finished 6 blocks for a Block Lotto event. I won the 'In My Garden' blocks, made a set of Owl blocks and Seaside blocks, and have just finished a set of Black, White and Red Blocks.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christmas in July

I have joined a CIJ Swap Group, and my partner and I have decided to swap candle mats.
I am not happy with the commercialism of Christmas which tries to begin spending and celebrating about September. This completely puts me off the red and green colour schemes. I do not understand why so many still go with snow and reindeer and lanterns and all that Northern Hemisphere scenario.

I am happy to allow children to understand that Santa - in a Coca Cola red suit - is just a fictional character like so many others in so many other stories. But to encourage children to believe is irresponsible and wicked.

With all that off my chest and out of my heart, I will show the candle mat I made for my partner Bobbie. She asked for yellow and green with perhaps some burgundy.

The pattern is called Rotunda on the list of 9" blocks. It is stunning as a square block, and comes up well as a round block for a candle mat. I have requested a mat with purple included and am so looking forward to it arriving.

This month's Bundaburg postcard is themed "Postage Stamp". Instead of designing a postage stamp I made a mini postage quilt - 96 squares of fabric.

My cards for April and June have not arrived - I love making and exchanging fabric postcards, but may not continue if I am disappointed again.

Today's sewing is to finish the quilt top I am making with blocks I won in a Block Lotto with The Quilting and Patchwork Cottage. All the blocks are based on the theme 'In My Garden". The background and sashing is pale grey - I'll put up a picture when it comes together.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Block Swap Blocks ............

I have been swapping with quilting block swaps Australia for nearly a year now and, with a couple of blocks I made for myself,I have enough blocks for a quilt. Here are my most recent blocks -

from Chantell

from Helen

from Kerry

from Linda

from Lorna

from Sharon

In return I made and sent these -

for Chantell

for Helen

for Sharon

for Lorna

for Linda

for Kerry

I plan to sash my blocks in a crisp white and bind with a tiny print multi- colour that blends with the blocks - I'll have to wander Spotlight till the right fabric jumps out at me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chooks ....

Late last year my daughter had a broody hen.She gave her some eggs to hatch, kept one pullet and gave me a pullet and a rooster.

Hornsby and Hetty

I have a small flock of 13 birds. Now that we are past the Winter Solstice the days are gradually lengthening and the hens are laying with a new energy. I collect 7 to 8 eggs a days, definitely more than we can use, but I have eager customers who appreciate fresh eggs from healthy, happy, free-range hens.
Our neighbours on both sides keep poultry, as do others further down the road, and we hear the roosters trying to out-crow each other at any time of the night or day, specially when it is full moon. We are not distracted by the crowing but visitors tend to hear nothing else.

I love my 'girls' - and the boys Marcus and Hornsby.