Sunday, 16 August 2009

Sunday markets at Windsor

Had a lovely relaxing morning at the Windsor markets. There's lots of great reasons to include it on your 'to do' list - one being that Windsor has the best fish and chips in Sydney! Just look out for the talkative parrot outside...

There's so much happening, with live music over at the pub and the amazing shire horses clopping past. That would be interesting, to dine in the restaurant as you tour around the area.

Windsor is home to a real working water-wheel that the kids like to stand and watch just at the top of the mall.

Time for a hot chocolate....

...and so to the shopping - ahhh, someone has to do it! I recommend starting at the English lolly shop, all my favourites here.

- and onto the markets. Some great stalls, from dolls houses, to home-made soap (the best in Sydney - super-size bars; if you can't make it to the markets get your supply from 'Backyard Abundance').

Organic fruit and vegetables..

..and lots of homemade preserves.

A great way to spend a Sunday morning, especially with the lovely sunshine we've been having just lately in Sydney.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Coconut Fudge Balls

Quick, yummy & quite healthy!

You will need;- packet of plain biscuits, cup of coconut, half a cup of cocoa or milo, half a cup of brown sugar, 1 tin of condensed milk, 500g bag pitted dates, half a bag (cupful) of pecans.
Or just use whatever ingredients (nuts-dried fruit-coconut) etc that you have in the cupboard.
You crumb the biscuits in a food processor or by placing in a bag and bashing with a rolling pin (think 'therapy')!. Put the crumbs in a large bowl with the coconut, cocoa/milo, sugar and condensed milk. Process or chop up the dates and pecans, and add to the bowl. Stir to combine. Press the mixture together with your hands. Form into balls and roll in extra coconut.

Working with Wood Show, Sydney

This was the show we intended going to last week but someone got the date wrong! Good news for me 'cause we ended up at the Stitches & Craft show instead. Even though I'm not a Woodworker (although I did work for the 'Australian Woodworking magazine for 6 years!) we all had a great day out and saw some really interesting stuff. Enjoy the pics.

This cute little cottage makes you want to take up carving!

This was an interesting display on Country Chairmaking - demonstrating the use of a handmade lathe. Beautiful chairs; an ordinary item that we take for granted becomes an art form when it's been handcrafted by a skilled craftsperson. Less is definately more...

Now for something really special. There was a fascinating bloke by the name of Ray Faull, who has created this miniature woodworking shed. He encouraged folks to pick up the tiny tools and even try them out - each one was an exact replica and actually worked! The attention to detail was incredible; and the entire project was an exact replica of his father's own woodworking shop. The following pics are all of Ray's masterpiece.
It was all you could do to stand and stare in awe...

The show is on every year at Moore Park (near Fox studio's) around mid-June.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Stitches & Craft Show, Sydney

Had a great day on Sunday at the Stitches & Craft Show at Darling Harbour. I have only been once before a few years ago. The show has many more stalls and the quilt display was totally awe-inspiring. Some extremely talented people.

Many different styles of patchwork and quilting. Incredible designs and colours, here's just a sample of the work on display. I love the design here...

..and the colours chosen for the quilt below.

I am still a great lover of the scrap quilts though, and the whole idea of 'making something out of nothing' as was the original concept to use up old scraps for bed covers. I'm sure many of us started a quilt like this one with cardboard templates, only to run out of patience and decide that patchwork wasn't for us!

How far they have evolved now though, to become works of art that you wouldn't dream of using as a simple bed cover.

Some very inspiring Australiana designs....

Some beautiful Japanese designs and fabrics.

This owl quilt was incredible.

A beautiful three-panel quilt which looks like a tribute to mothers everywhere..

I did spend alot of time looking at the 'fantasy' themed quilts.. can't imagine how many hours of intensive work they took to complete not to mention the creativity involved. Alot of them used different techniques and mediums which combined to produce a stunning work of art that was hard to tear your eyes away from.

There's no doubt at all, from the level of talent featured by HSC and TAFE students, that the boundaries will continue to be pushed in all area's of textile mediums to produce even more incredible designs.

Finally, I couldn't end the post without making mention of my absolute favourite quilt of the show - if I really had to decide. Wendy Bailye was the Guest Artist of the Quilt Show (presented by the Quilters' Guild of NSW).

The quilting detail as you can see below was awesome. Being a potter myself, I love the theme and the research that obviously went into the design of the pots.

Here's Wendy chatting about the quilts and her designs. Incredible to think that she's only been making quilts for 6 years. Prior to that, she was an artist in other mediums. The one featured above was created by bleaching out area's on black fabric, then heavy quilting over the entire piece.

It was well worth attending the show just to gaze in awe at Wendy's quilts which featured many different theme's, from Australiana to a beautiful African inspired quilt, and to hear her talk about her work. Very inspirational.

But of course, we ran out of time. So we headed back out of Darling Harbour with a head full of fresh idea's and newly inspired to dig out the sewing machine....

..past the ferris wheel...

..past Chinatown...

..and trying to remember where we parked the car!

Friday, 12 June 2009

New Website Launch!!

I’m very excited to announce the launch of my new website,

It will feature a monthly newsletter full of interesting articles, recipes, projects (including easy step by step tutorials), competitions and more.
There will also be a photo gallery and an online store.
One of the things I have found particularly frustrating is getting excited about a new project only to spend the entire allotted weekend trying to source the required items, leaving no time to actually work on the project itself. So, in conjunction with the project tutorials, ie. basic soapmaking; there will be a basic starter kit or project pack available for purchase as well as many other related items, for those folks that get hooked on a new creative pursuit and wish to explore it further.
It will be a work in progress (as funds dictate) so please be patient while I work on it! I look forward to sharing it with you and learning new skills myself, giving a new focus on life - worldwide recession or not!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Kathy Kelly at Lorelei

Love this song by Kathy. Probably the most awesome female voice ever.
This concert by the Kelly's took place about 14 years ago. Wasn't there unfortunately! Time for a reunion...

Amazing Grace

Awesome version by my favourite group - The Kelly's.