Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New year!!!

2010 has gone by very very fast.
I can't believe it is over.
It honestly feels like yesterday we were celebrating the New Year in by a tranquil beach at the Town of 1770.

2010 for us has seen a few changes.
Nothing to drastic or unmanageable.
On review of the year quickly in my head, we have been fortunate and blessed.
It has been a 'stable' year.

2011 will be a different kettle of fish however (in a good way).

This family of (5) have enjoyed holidays in our caravan for (4) years now.
So much so that we are off on a caravan journey of a lifetime for (6) months around our wonderful country!!

Hubby has long service leave approved for the second half of 2011.
Come the June/July school holidays off we go!!
I still find it hard to believe that it is actually going to happen.

Fine details yet to be fully worked out but essentially:
  • Home will be rented out to subsidise holiday
  • Kids will do some form of distance education (Hubby used to be a Teacher which is a bonus)
  • We will go counter clockwise around the country heading north initially for the dry/cooler season.
  • I might need medication to control 'homesickness' as I am a bit of a homebody.
One of Hubby's Xmas presents. The research has begun.
The  'Jayco' Outback. Home for (6) months.
The planets are aligning and the preparation is beginning.
The O&E family is very very fortunate to have this opportunity available to us.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year.
See you in 2011!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back to Bangalow

Seeing as we were in the district over Christmas we made a quick visit to Bangalow.
It is such an interesting little place littered with vintageness and retroness.
There was a Vintage fair on in their quaint community hall.
Lots of gorgeous things.

I was inspired by this hanky quilt. (top left)
I bought some hankies from the fair to add to the collection.
Another new year project........
Vintage is getting a bit 'pricey' I must say.
I saw some vintage souvenior linen tea towels priced at $29!!!
I prefer to pay $2 at Lifeline thanks.
Got to pay the rent I guess.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Introducing our Blythe dolls (and new obsession)

Prior to becoming a tomboy at about nine or ten years of age, I was mad about dolls.
Baby dolls, cots, prams, Barbie and Ken dolls, Barbie townhouse, Barbie Camper vans etc etc were my prize possessions.
 They were rarely left idle for to long.
They were my 'thing'.

Having Ella made me all excited as a new parent about having a girl and playing 'dolls'.
I bought this doll and that doll hoping to see the mad passion for dolls I felt as a child.
There was a little bit of interest, but nothing was ever sustained.
Ella's 'thing' ended up being puppies, kittens, or any sort of animal.
I wisely gave up on the whole doll 'thing' and started buying her animals for Xmas and birthday presents.
 Happy days for Ella.

Several weeks before Christmas Ella stumbled across Amy's blog (Badskirt)  and discovered her Blythe doll.
Much to my surprise it was love at first sight for Ella.
A quick note was written to Santa which was great because Santa didn't know what to get Ella at this point.

So here they are.......
Ruby and Fern Blythe



The Blythe doll was first produced in 1972  by Kenner toys.
The doll was not very popular then because of it's 'eerie' appearance.
Blythe was 'revisited' in 1997 when a photographer (Gina Garan) took photos of her original Blythe doll and eventually published a book of photos in 2002.
This gave the doll some momentum again.
Takara toys of Japan then gained the licence from Kenner toys and started producing the doll again (NeoBlythe).
(sorry about the history lesson)

This is the original 1972 Kenner Blythe TV ad.
Very 'catchy' and entertaining don't you think? LOL.
Very very 70's!

Christmas done for another year...

We are back in town after a lovely Christmas spent with family in Northern NSW.
Lots of easy going eating, drinking, hanging out, playing with presents, watching the rain fall and watching the rain fall!!
Not that the rain impacted on us to much.
Luckily it had eased up today when we were driving home.
It can be a bit hairy towing a caravan (or sitting in the passenger seat) whilst trying to avoid large potholes on a slippery road.

Once again Santa was very generous and kind making Christmas wishes come true.
Thank you Greg, Lea, Madi and Dave for having us.
A wonderful time was had by all.

Lucy enjoying some caravan time

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!!

A quick post to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!
Have a lovely lovely merry time with all your family and friends!

Thank you to everyone who has visited this blog and a BIG thanks to those regulars who leave lovely comments.
The blogging community continues to amaze me every day.
Thank you everyone for your sharing, inspiration, skill, laughter, support and kindness to those in need.

Tomorrow we are off to Northern NSW to have Christmas with Hubby's family.
The Caravan will be on the tow bar which always makes me happy.
Oh the simple life.
Bangalow is on the agenda again. Something 'vintagey' is happening there on boxing day.

2011 is bringing some very exciting adventures for the 'Olive and Esther' family of five. 
More of that to be revealed after New Year. 

Once again, have a lovely Christmas.
Take extra care if you are on the roads.

My first attempt at 'Bokeh'.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quilting mojo

I had an urge to quilt today.
Must be this cool, rainy, 'indoorsy' weather we are having here in Brisbane.

I went to quilt a smaller project but did not have enough wadding (sorry Jules).
So,  then grabbed a queen size quilt top that was ready to go!!

I have had this quilt top completed for a while now so am feeling good about completing it.
The fabric is from the 'Mendocino' range by Heather Ross.
Seahorses, Fish, Mermaids, Octopus, Kelp and Squid make up a nice 'under the sea' theme.

Ella has also had a productive creative day.
She decided to revisit crocheting which is fabulous.
This little red and yellow number is going to be a small blanket for something she is getting for Christmas.

Well done Elsie!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Framed wallpaper

Many thanks to 'Brismod' for the suggestion to frame this vintage wallpaper.
It looks lovely, I just need to find a spot for it now.
Still 1.8 metres to go........

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Handbag

I made this little crocheted handbag today.
The owner will be revealed after Christmas.

One family christmas done

We had my side of the family for a Christmas lunch yesterday which was lovely.
The weather gods were not good to us as it was pouring rain and a bit cool.
The Christmas spirit was not dampened however.
Lots of ham, prawns, turkey, salad, swimming, cricket games etc etc.

Ella and I whipped up a very 'fruity' pavlova for desert.
Any opportunity to turn on my 70's sunbeam mix master makes me one happy momma.
I bought this baby on Ebay about a year ago and it is the exact one my mother had when I was a child.
The sound and the smell of the engine whirring takes me back.

 Yep the Sunbeam did well.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cucumber harvest

Boy oh Boy we are growing alot of large cucumbers around here.
We can't give them away fast enough.
It's a shame I can't bribe the children to eat them.

Cucumber plants are 'taking over'

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday photo

I am very happy to participate in anything that involves the seventies. 
Curlypops is hosting a photo 'party' from the seventies (or eighties or nineties if you are really young).
This photo was probably taken in 1977.
My one and only flowergirl gig.
I was a real tomboy and rarely wore shoes.
I never wore a dress, so this was a very unusual occasion for me.
From memory I actually enjoyed it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas sewing

I had a bit of a sewing marathon yesterday making Christmas presents.
The older kids were great, entertained themselves well.
However, I was often interrupted by my little friend Charlie, "Can you help me catch some lizards Mum?".
At one point I found him digging under rocks with a fork. 
The desperation levels were at fever pitch.
Heaven help you if you are a spider, insect, or lizard around here at the moment.
If caught, your destination is Charlie's bug catcher, for at least a night.

The first sewing project was this bag made from a vintage 70's tea towel.
I made this one to test some measurements.

These (2) bags are presents for Sisters-in-laws.
I will be adding 'Body Shop" type of stuff as well.

This bag is for my mother.
She likes this Denise Schmidt fabric.

Finally, a pencil case for a niece made from an old experimental patchwork block.

Finally getting there with the Christmas gifts, thanks goodness.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Doily upcycling

I have been following Tif from Dottie Angel for a while now and have enjoyed her ability to 'upcycle' doilies.
I have used a free motion foot to sew these on.
Tension problems and broken needles didn't hold me back.
I don't think the Janome enjoyed this experience to much.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Vintage sheet fabric

Out and about yesterday and popped into one of the quilt shops I visit occasionally.
My heart skipped a little beat when I saw they had some of the "Dream On" range made by Moda Fabrics.
It is based on old vintage sheets.
Hard to resist.
Another project for the new year to add to the growing pile.

Also popped into Lifeline to make a quick visit to the tea towel section and found this rabbit number. 
Was planning to make a bag for one of Ella's friends similar to this vintage donkey one I made for her.
Just not to sure about the donkey and hedgehog???

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Flea Market finds

Snuck away from the kids last week at Mon Repos with some of the girls to check out the Lifeline in Bundaberg.
Picked up this lovely linen cross-stitched number with crocheted edging.
Someone has put alot of time into this, so out of respect I had to buy it.

As a child I  watched 'Lassie'. That show had me in tears a fair bit from memory.
Found this old Lassie book and bought it thinking Ella would enjoy it.
She is an avid reader and has read alot of books (including old novels).
She read a few pages and that was it, didn't like it, which surprised me.
Oh well, it has an appealing vintage appearance.

Lastly, Ella's flea market find from a few weeks ago.
  Our neighbourhood had a council curbside pick-up.
Pickings were pretty slim, but she did manage to bring home this 'boom box'.
We found a cord that fitted and yep she works and sounds pretty good.
It conjures up an image in my head of someone skating/ rollerblading down the road with this thing on their shoulder.
80's style.

Peace baby

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Summer fun and holidays

Summer fun and craziness at home.
Thank goodness hubby likes swimming and playing marco polo.
Don't ask me what Ned Kelly is doing.
Being a 5 yo I guess.

THE most AMAZING turtle experience

Our (2) previous visits to Mon Repos were later in the season (January) and on both occasions we saw baby turtles hatch.
The kids had a great time standing in a line, legs apart, shining torches at the ground, whilst watching the hatchlings head down to the ocean guided by their light.
Great experience.
A bit harrowing at times as Charlie nearly stood on a few.

So this visit was earlier in the season so we felt confident about seeing a mother lay her clutch.
I booked us into the turtle centre for a night time turtle experience with the rangers.
We didn't need to go because we had the better experience of seeing a turtle lay in broad daylight.

Our turtle (tag number OA 9011) came up about 4-4:30 pm whilst some of our kids were swimming further down the beach.
 We arrived just as she was digging her hole.
OA 9011 picked a great spot for us all to see her laying.
So here is our turtle laying.

The lady in the white shirt is collecting 'mucous' for a research study. Lucky gal.

The kids then lined up and helped relocate the 144 eggs to a safer nest further up the dune.
The kids felt very important and fortunately none were dropped.

OA 9011 was taken back up to the research centre to see if she was suitable for a tracking device and other 'researchy' stuff.
The tracking devices are rare and expensive so an ultrasound was performed to see if she was going to lay another clutch this season. They then take the device off when she returns.

The chap in the pale blue shirt is the 'turtle guru' who established the turtle program over 30 years ago. The following day he allowed some of the kids into the research centre to look at our turtle having her device fitted. 
He graciously answered a few questions from the kids. 
What an experience!

 The next day we all saw our turtle released. 
Tracking device and depth measurer 'thingy' insitu.
Thanks OA 9011 for our great mother turtle experience.

I still can't believe our good timing and luck.
Very lucky children.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mon Repos

Well we have spent a very special (4) days at Mon Repos with some great friends.
(14) kids, (7) parents, and (2) grandparents. (23 for dinner, no worries)
A great time was had by all.

Kids were kept busy and happy by long hours spent swimming, boogy boarding, building dams, running races, turtle watching, rock collecting, insect collecting, bike riding, keeping an eye out for snakes, eating, and sleeping. 
Not to forget an occasional movie and DS game for the sake of physical rest and parental sanity.

Early morning walks were a highlight. 
The first morning Ella and I counted 25 turtle tracks from the night before. 
The rangers and volunteers had had a busy night.

Seeing this turtle head back to sea after laying was very special. 
She was heading back just after 5am.

A quick walk up to the Conservation Centre to take in a bit more information about turtles and find out what the nightly groups saw was part of our morning ritual.

Special place.
A special holiday not to be forgotten in a hurry.

U2 360 degrees

Trust me, hubby and I haven't been to many concerts over the years but like I have said before it has been like a concert smorgasbord recently.

Buying any sort of event tickets on Ticketek makes me utterly shake with anxiety. 

We have been extremely fortunate of late, to have great friends that have been brave enough to logon to ticketek and get us tickets while they are there.
Many thanks to them.

So just hours after getting home from Mon Repos yesterday we headed off to U2 at Suncorp stadium.
Oh boy, Oh boy

It is difficult to put into words the 'amazingness' of seeing such a great band live.
Bono oozes grateful 'Rock Star' from every part of him.
The Edge is in his own class of guitar greatness.

I saw them 20 years ago when they were here doing the 'Rattle and Hum" concert, so I am feeling extremely lucky today to have seen them twice.

The incredible Rocket ship stage. There were 2 moving bridges that moved between the (2) circular stages which the band moved around on. Incredible.

The centre 'screen' moved up and down throughout the concert while constantly projecting images of the band.

The best part of the concert for me was the constant references to human rights issues, which has been the crux of the band since the beginning.

It was very touching and thought provoking.
Goose bump stuff!!

They showed graphic images of the suffering of the people of Iran whilst singing 'Sunday Bloody Sunday'.
The Burmese political prisoner situation featured heavily.
Bono payed tribute to the released pro-democracy leader Aung San Sunkyi and the remaining 2, 200 prisoners being held in terrible conditions.
Desmond Tutu featured on the big screen mentioning AIDS in Africa, apartheid, and human rights in a somewhat humorous fashion.

They are here for a reason that band.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

There has been a death in the family

Breaking news!!!!
There has been a sad tragedy this morning.
The carpet snake from this post has obviously been still lingering around.
Unfortunately one of Ella's guinea pigs was on its menu this morning.
Poor Ella was the one to find it as she went to top up their food this morning.
Very traumatic for my animal loving girl.
She was just recovering from having a 'bush mouse' die in her hands yesterday despite resuscitation attempts. Poor darling girl.

Holiday time

Our three kids have finished school now and to enjoy 'Catholic Week' we are heading to one of my favourite places- Mon Repos- with several other families.
Mon Repos (french for place of rest) is near Bundaberg and is home to one of the largest loggerhead turtle rookeries in the South Pacific Ocean.
We have stayed here several times and have really enjoyed the laid back, low key, unpretentious, nature of the place.
The turtle experience is always wonderful. Ella is very much Bindi Irwinish so she aspires to work  as a ranger in the turtle conservation centre every time we visit.
We have only seen baby turtles hatching, so am hoping to see Mama turtle lay some eggs this time.
A bit of quiet relaxing time with family and friends before the Xmas madness begins. Lovely.

Early morning turtle tracks from previous night and a daytime turtle escapee.

Cherry on top award

I have been tagged for a 'Cherry on top Award' from Carmel (Make mine mid-century) which is truly lovely and greatly appreciated. Thanks Carmel.

To keep the ball rolling, I need to list (3) things I like and forward the award onto (4) other bloggers.
So here goes. I like:
  • The BeeGees. Not many days go by when I don't listen to Barry, Maurice and Robin and their 'harmonious' melodies and disco beats.
  • The 70's. There was no 'technology' back then that was updated every (5) minutes.  As a child you walked home from school every day and rode your bike wherever you wanted.  Let's not forget the brown and orange decor and crocheted ponchos.
  • Owning a caravan. Holidaying in a caravan allows me to feel like I am a (sort of) parent of the 70's. 'Go to the kiosk and buy some milk, lollies and ice please, stay together and don't talk to strangers!!" Housework is minimal (making beds and sweeping out the sand). There is something good about washing up in a bucket (and getting the kids to do it for something different).
Mon Repos 2009

Now to forward this award on:
  • Fun and VJ's Brismod's great style, simplicity and minimalism ticks boxes for me. I aspire to be a minimalist when I grow up. Bit hard when I keep going to op shops. I have loved following the renovation of a lovely queenslander home. These homes are full of character and very charming.
  • Love Sundays . Renee and her family have made a sea change to the country. As well as making great quilts Renee sews great clothes (something I gave up on doing in my 20s). I love her fabric choices.
  • The old Boathouse These (2) ladies buy and sell antiques and vintage items. What a great job! I love looking at the stuff they have for sale on line and at several outlets in Brisbane.
  • The Royal Sisters Michelle is one great 'crocheter'. She makes great stuff and is lovely enough to write great, easy to follow patterns that she shares online.
Thanks again MMMC for tagging me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

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