Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Fotos

As promised, the Fryerstown Cemetery. This is the one that I was told was amongst the most haunted in Oz. If that's so they were staying out of the sun.

The temperature DID drop about ten degrees as I came through the gate [ cue eerie music ]

but that had more to do with the fact that I was passing from bright sunlight into the shade of tall gums than with the presence of anything supernatural.

It's certainly beautiful and dates from the 1850s or 60s and judging from the obviously recent interrments, is still in use.The more affluent denizens are, not surprisingly for the time, all in the Anglican section.

Many of the graves in the Methodist and Presbyterian sections are unmarked. Again, not surprising, given how many impoverished welsh and cornish miners ended their days here.
I thought this one in the anglican section was particularly sad. The family lost one son at 19 in 1902, then the mother and father passed away never knowing that their two other sons were both killed in France during the Great War... one of them only a month before the war ended. It doesn't seem fair somehow to come through all that carnage only to lose one's life when the end was in sight. Strange too, the wording of the first son's memorial : son of Henry and M. Sanger. Why didn't Maria get her full name on there? Did the stonemason run out of room or did Henry think only his name mattered?

There didn't seem to be quite as many graves of young children as I have seen at the Castlemaine Cemetery. This touching one for "our darling Roy" described him as "another little bud in heaven"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

bush ramble

Most of the native flowers [ other than the ubiquitous wattle ] on my bush block are tiny and easy to miss, but worth the effort taken to seek them out.

Sun Orchid [ about 3/4" across ] has no leaves .
Scented Sundew. I showed this carniverous plant a couple of weeks ago before it flowered. now there are hundreds thousands of them.
Early Nancy [ about 1/4" across ] This one is REALLY hard to find as there are only a few of them spread over the 10 acres and they bloom for about 2 weeks of the year. Last year I missed them completely. This one is a male flower and the female is similar with a slightly different centre and often only a single bloom. Apparently they occasionally throw up a hermaphroditic form as well. Who knew? Kinky floral sex in Central Vic!

[ now if I'd made that the title of this post, can you imagine the searches that would have thrown up?]

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hey lookit what I found!

It seems there is a growing trend of which I was until this past week or so completely unaware and I'm not quite so how the genesis of such a truly important trend managed to pass me by, seeing as the wilds of Central Victoria is usually such a hotbed of all that is 'new' and 'up-to-the-minute'[ that was sarcasm in case you missed it ]
Yes I'm talking about the cat yoga again.
You may remember that Suki is the one responsible for introducing Sophie to this esoteric eastern art
so I was rather happy when in a nice piece of serendipity, I found THIS waiting for me at my favourite second hand book store [ and before you ask, Val, not the one at Campbell's Creek ... Soldier and Scholar, the smaller one in Barker Street opposite the Library ]

Ms Caramel was seen practising what looked very like the cobra pose yesterday so obviously it's catching on. Currently Oakley is the only holdout Chez Catsmum.

HE says it's because yoga poses are not conducive to the gravitas required of the more 'mature' purrson.

Sophie and Caramel just think it's because he's too fat.


Sophie has pointed out that I am in error. She has been doing yoga for years and was originally taught by Swami Smokey [ sadly no longer with us ]

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hey Baby

Nadie and The Boy looked after Riley on Friday night and she was under orders to make sure that there was plenty of photographic proof [ as I haven't seen him since April, which is a whole other story ]
Being a thoughtful and dutiful daughter, and needing no encouragement whatsoever for the wielding of the camera, she duly obliged:
My grandson is now blonde apparently and no curls. Completely takes after his mum, that one.
In a showing of great restraint, I've just pinched this one photo from his besotted aunt so if you absolutely need to see more baby photos, you can follow over there.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mummy's little helpers

I think David got tired of seeing the same measily few feet of handspun sitting on the Ashford for the last six months few days. Being the subtle creature that he is, he appears to have hit upon the ideal way to draw my attention to the apparent lack of progress in the spinning department - he ever so carefully unwound the thread and rewound it like so:

Not to be outdone in the helping department, Sophie decided that the other yarn parked on the Ashford would look better worn as a head adornment. Very fetching.
and the end result?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sophie's five minutes of Fame

My friend 'Jane' and I have long known that Ms Moggie and Sophie are identical twins separated at birth - except for them being different ages - and back in May I left a comment or two on her Blog. Today, she decided to update that post by adding a photo of Soph. So now you can all judge the similarity for yourselves. That's Sophie at the bottom.
Meanwhile Caramel would like to introduce you to the new love of her life: BBB [ big brown bear ] She's currently spending hours a day giving him back massages. How do you feel about interspecies relationships? Do you think they have a future together ?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Are these ME or what?

Gee, I don't know ...

beautiful ceramic buttons ?
blue and white ?
japanese motif ?
locally made ?
reasonable price ?
yeah I thought so too :]

Found these buttons at the Central Goldfields Gallery, Maryborough for $3 a card of two. The maker is Jean Taylor from Bendigo. No email or website details but there's a phone number.
I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with them but I don't really think that's relevant. They are beautiful objects in their own right. For the time being I'll probably just add them to my bowl of japanese blue and white beads and balls.
ETA [again] well there weren't any more at the Gallery on Wednesday this week but I've just come back from an event there tonight where I met the button lady herself. I've ordered another two cards and she's also okayed putting the phone # here for any of you aussies that might be interested. So : [03] 54418070

Monday, August 20, 2007

monday musings

Spring is waiting in the wings but Old Man Winter hasn't quite given in yet. He's a stubborn old beggar, quite capable of giving us freezing temps into October.

This morning's minimum temp was minus 1.9 C for the second day and it was a bracing .1 [ yup point one ] when I went out to chop firewood before breakfast in an attempt to resuscitate the fire which had almost, but not quite, expired during the night.

Once the sun came out it turned into the perfect [almost] Spring day, so after dance class this morning and a timely migraine tablet, I spent the afternoon milking Rosie, pulling umpty-gazillion weeds and admiring the new colours in the garden.

The irises are just days away from opening, the jonquils are out, and today I found the first of the daffs.

I may have put Sophie's nose a wee bit out of joint the other day when I enthused to her about how limber her 'niece' Suki is. I caught her surreptitiously practising her own version of feline yoga this morning. Not too bad for a middle aged moggy... and stretch that paw ... arch that spine ... and hold ... and
... relax.
and this is what I knitted over the weekend when I should've been doing other quilty related stuff.
Hand dyed 4 ply [ fingering ] machine washable baby wool from Bendy.
3.25mm needles
started off with a vintage Patons pattern and then sort of went my own way - mainly because I wasn't paying attention - and repeated the lace pattern row an extra time and then decided 'what the hell' and just made the rest up as I went along.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fryerstown Friday Fotos

Fryerstown is a very small hamlet about 15 minutes drive from here. It's one of those faded little places that time and fortune have pretty much passed by, a relic of the glory days of the Victorian goldrush left to languish after the gold ran out and the miners moved on - which is probably why so many of the mining era remnants remain. Surrounded on all sides by State Forest,and with more sheep than people, it's too small to even boast a general store any more, and in fact about the only thing that keeps Fryerstown on the map is the Antiques and Collectables Fair held there on the weekend closest to Australia Day. Chris and Maz have a permanent 'booking' at my place for that week each year.

I trot out to Fryerstown a couple of times a week for dance classes and the drive is a pretty one, so I thought that today I'd take you with me. Not to class per se. I may be a dag but I don't really have to provide you with visual proof ... but just a wee taste of the surroundings.
The deep gullies caused by mining :

the Duke of Cornwall Engine House

interesting old stone walls.

Some years ago I was told, apparently in all seriousness, that the Fryerstown Cemetery is the 'most haunted' in Australia and that the temperature drops by ten degrees as you enter the cemetery gate... I haven't as yet had reason to check that out for myself. Colour me somewhat sceptical!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday meanderings

This weekend has been full of stuff to Blog about but I don't think there's a hope in hell of crafting anything that flows so you're pretty much going to get the ol' bullet point ramble, okay?

  • After I spent Saturday morning murdering what seemed like a few thousand coffeebush seedlings, Nadie arrived at lunchtime and after curried veggie soup and homemade bread, there was the baking of bikkies [ cookies ] while we settled down to await the arrival of Val . I exercised supreme self control and didn't immediately dive head first into HP and the Deathly Hallows that Nadie had brought up with her. See. I WAS brought up correctly, all other evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

  • Caramel obliged with some purring and chin nuzzles to be duly videoed for her real mum in Melbourne who is currently not well and in need of some positive news about her baby's relocation.

  • The lovely Val arrived mid afternoon with a CD from Meow aka Connie. Some time ago Meow asked all her blogging buddies to suggest favourite songs and she compiled an mp3 album with absolutely HOURS AND HOURS of eclectic music choices. In the interests of saving her postage, I suggested that she pass mine along to Val. I figured that way we would finally get around to meeting. Cunning, yes? I'm currently listening to it... some familiar stuff to revisit, some new to discover. After that it it will be back to one of the David Hobson CDs from Alice. I will confess that my contribution [ Sara Evans: Born To Fly ] is a favourite clogging song. It's the track playing at the moment and my mind is half on what I'm typing and at the same time I'm mentally cueing the dance. Multi tasker, c'est moi.
  • It seemed like Val had barely arrived before she looked at the time, nearly had a heart attack and had to depart. We will definitely need a longer visit next time.
  • As well as the CD I scored a gorgeous little handmade book from Val. She knows of my love of all things Japanese so she used a ginko punch on the cover. Little did she realise that my quilt that's in the current issue of Down Under Quilts is called GINKO. I think I'll be writing some of my favourite quotes into it.

  • Nadie was terribly tired so I packed her off to bed for a nap when Val left. The fact that there was HP sitting on the coffee table had absolutely nothing to do with my insistence that she needed to rest. Nothing at all. I did put HP down when she resurfaced for tea and only picked him up again when I went to bed around midnight. Needless to say at that time of night, and after a rotten night's sleep the night before, I didn't get terribly far.

  • Potter reading resumed when David got me up at the crack of dawn and continued until DD surfaced late morning. After lunch we went into town for shopping and coffee and to see Nadie back off to Melbourne so I got back to reading at about 5 pm and finished the book at 10 pm. One does have to stop for dinner and a modicum of housework occasionally.

  • Nadie's comments [ spoiler free ] are what I would've written if she hadn't done it first.

  • Milked Rosie again this morning and got about half a litre this time . I'm pretty sure there's more there but she'd had enough, so I'll have another go tomorrow. At this stage until she actually kids in four weeks, she really only needs milking about once a week assuming the person milking knows what they're doing, whereas I'm still learning. It's so not like milking a cow! For those of you that commented on the disturbing colour of the first lot, you can rest assured that today's output was a pale lemon colour rather than radioactive yellow.

  • Nearly didn't go dancing this morning at Fryerstown because I was feeling a bit creaky from gardening and woodcutting but then the meds kicked in so off I trundled. At least it was a way to warm up. Clogging tonight at Daylesford will probably require a top up of pharmaceuticals ... and for those that don't know, the run to Daylesford is 45 km each way over the spine of the Central Highlands over frequently foggy, winding, narrow country roads - glorious in daylight but a bit hairy at night.

  • It was bloody cold this morning. 1 degree when I went outside to feed the girls and retreated in very quickly. Minus 2.9 overnight. Very odd too. We got rain late yesterday and yet there was a heavy frost. Not here so much but I could see silver all the way up to and along the highway.

  • finished object [ apart from weaving in the ends ] - a variation on a [no longer available] seamless top down baby raglan from Knitting OnTheNet, 4.5mm needles, 4 strands of laceweight held together [ handyed in Landscape 'sasparilla' over vintage dusty pink laceweight to produce a heathery purple/mauve ] Usually I put buttonholes in both bands until I know the sex of the baby but this is so obviously a girly one that I didn't bother this time.
  • What colour buttons do you think? White? Navy? Purple?

Friday, August 10, 2007


I was going to tell you a heartrending tale of great tragedy tonight. There would have been weeping, wailing, the gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments. Instead I'll just tell you ever so casually that I broke one of my faithful 4.5mm Ivore casein needles... and the reason I am able to face this loss with calmness and lightness of spirit, when all others would be crushed :
The lovely Linda has nominated both Maz and I for the

How cool is that?

Anyway I'm supposed to nominate a further seven. Maz would've been on my list, so now who else?



Sheepish Annie


Rose Red


and can I nominate

Good Yarn karma ? [ which is my sneaky way of nominating Donni, Jae and Nora ]

Moving on :

this is the wee hat I've made for my new great niece Olivia. Is she cute or what?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cats, goats and triffids

If you've ever wondered whether miracles do happen, wonder no more:

Sophie, Oakley and Caramel all sitting calmly in the same room. I wasn't game to get closer [ or to remove the detritus ] in case I spooked Caramel so apologies for the crappy pic. Now maybe as miracles go, this is not quite in the same league as Jesus appearing in a piece of toast or the Virgin Mary's face in a MacDonald's bun but I thought it ran pretty damn close... and it's a hell of a lot more real!
Note to self ... can you use 'hell' and 'damn' in the same sentence as 'miracle'?

I am pointedly ignoring the fact that this apparent serenity was shattered shortly theafter when Sophie and Caramel had a rather loud and pointed exchange of opinions as to each other's anticedents and habits which culminated with Caramel bolting under the spare bed and refusing to come out for four hours.

There is no connection at all between the cats and this adolescent 'triffid' that I found on a dead twig while I was over talking to PeteNextDoor's goats. I just think it's interesting. Some sort of lichen thingy. Likewise, these scented sundews[ drosera whittakerii ] Very primitive carniverous plants. In about a fortnight they'll be covered with the most delicate little white flowers completely at odds with their ferocious nature. I've got thousands of the beggars.

and to finish up the first herald of Spring.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Mental Overload.

I'm a bit not-quite-over-the-migraine fuzzy today - or maybe it's fibro fog fuzzy - or woke-up-with-a-wry-neck-and-a-headache fuzzy. Whatever. Codeine is my friend :]
Meds on board and into town to drop off David followed by a trip to the Post Office where my head duly exploded.
Okay, so not literally 'mess all over the post office carpet' exploded...BUT
there was just SO much STUFF that my poor old foggy brain couldn't cope. There was:
count 'em: one, two, three, four, five, SIX David Hobson CDs from Alice [ currently listening to 'J'ai perdu mon Euridice' from The Live Album, thanks for asking ]
There was David's Licorice Allsorts quilt safely back from DownUnderQuilts [ project in next month's mag !!! woo hoo ]
There was a copy of THIS month's DUQ with a photo of Stephen and Christina's wedding quilt plus another japanese one done in one of my classes by Wilma Ladiges.
There was my first delivery from Unique Stitching
I signed up for their Art Quilt Collection where you get a little bag of goodies every month along with product notes, etc. There was extra in this first delivery because they were having a promotion when I signed up so my freebies included a silk hanky, cocoons, throwsters waste, and seracin fibres. You get to choose one of four colourways and it will probably come as no surprise that I went with the sea colours. This month's offering was a decent sized hunk of hand dyed silk tops and some fine tulle for the making of silk fusion/silk paper which Felicity and I have already had a play with but that's okay. Now I've got extra supplies to add to what I bought at The Wool and Sheep Show. I have to say that the cocoons freak me out a bit because they have a dry sort of rattle so one assumes there's a dead silk moth in there. Erkkk. Yuck.
...and in a piece of flawlessly seamless segue: here's what I did with the first piece of silk paper that I made with Felicity's help when she was last up. It's only a cheap $20 frame and I probably should've glued it in just a wee bit higher but I think it looks pretty damn good. I could see some more of these being birthday/chrissie pressies.

and there's another FO to be admired:
Ripplicious Crochet Baby Blanket
4mm hook

generic 8 ply / sport yarn
20 hours of labour [ love job for a friend to give as a gift ]
roughly a metre square [ 40 x 40"]
Not too damn bad considering the yarn I was supplied with was ACKrylic from S*******t [ big souless craft chain that shall remain nameless]
Now what do I do with the half dozen balls left over?

and with no segue whatsoever:

Madame Rosie wishes it to be known that she is pleased with your kind comments about her blogging ability. She also wishes you to know that she was milked for the first time today. Her kid[s] isn't/aren't due for another month or so, but she comes from such a good line of milkers that umm, let's just say that she has recently developed a pretty impressive set of boobage and it's all in working order. Umm, too much info?
The first milk has been duly frozen because the kids will need the protection it provides and yes, it really was this colour.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

and the winners are ?

After a chilly night, my Daylesford friends, Paul and Robyn came over today so I could help Paul give Rosie and Robbyn a pedicure, and also to drop off two huge sacks of goat feed so, before we sat down to a lunch of moroccan sweetpotato and lentil soup and the biggest loaf of fresh-from-the-market rye bread you ever saw, we attended to the drawing of the Blogiversary prizes.
Drum roll please Maestro:
Robyn in her Silk Garden jumper [sweater ] does the honours
and the winners are Mehitabel


Elspeth. I was the recipient of E's largesse earlier in the year. How's that for a coinkydink?

In other fast breaking news, Ms Caramel has deserted the Linen Press for the equally soft and squooshy delights of the Yarnstash cupboard and her level of anxiety seems to be dropping a bit. I still wouldn't say that things are normal at La Maison des Chats but we're a weeny bit closer.