31 August, 2007

Some more flowers and garden art (and a cat thrown in as well!)

Double white Hellebours

Resting Buddha, who resides under a Cupressus macrocarpa in the front yard.
A 'Red Tulip' we have in flower at the moment.

'Jasmine' our cat enjoying the winter sun...

30 August, 2007

My first post!!!

Ok, so here it is, my FIRST post, on MY blog!!!

I captured this at the Garden Australia Expo held in Sydney last week, I hope that you enjoy it!

28 August, 2007

wordless Wednesday #5 Photography Class

City Skyline

Sydney Skyline through Park

Nth Pylon

Harbour Bridge & Palms

Opera House

Path & Skyline

Rocks at night

Lunar Eclipse 28 August 2007 Sydney

24 August, 2007

Flowers to cheer you up...

After the 'sad news' that we had last Friday, and after the compulsive purchases made in Myer, we took off for the day to cheer ourselves up, so we went across town, in a circle via home, to the E.G. Waterhouse Camellia Garden. So, here is what we saw through my camera lense:

Waterhouse Camellia Garden


Pink Camellia
And look at the size of THESE blooms... That's an arm!

Huge Pink Camellias
As we were walking around the Gardens, we came across this great looking creek

Camellia Creek
and Cherry blossom, oh how Spring must be close...

Cherry Blossom
Then on the Saturday, we decided to do some gardening around our own little house, it was feeling a little rejected. So we started with along the front fence to remove the purple fountain grass

Front Fence
and the Silk Bush is STILL flowering as well!

Silk Bush
I am glad the we had some 'cheap' hired help...

Garden Buddy
You might remember that we had Nan's 90 something birthday at Eden Gardens a couple of weeks ago, I liked this statue (or Garden Art, as it might be known...)


Eden Fly Away
The one 'weird' plant that I came across on the day was this one. It is called an 'Udder Plant', and I was not allowed to get it unless I could say where it was to be planted. I think that this is a new rule...

Udder Plant

22 August, 2007

thursday thirteen # 9... things to get completed by the end of the year!

Thirteen Things that we would like to get completed by the end of the year!!

1…. We need to get 'L' pregnant. After 2 years of medication to bring this to a conclusion, and after an IVF cycle, we think we might be nearly there until some not so good news last Friday. If we need to go through this again, so be it, but hopefully not as it is a very emotional trip which may not be so bad this time around, as the 2 SIL have had Rosie and Riley now, so the thought of not being able to get pregnant when everyone around you is, will not be so apparent!

2…. Ellerslie Flower Show in Auckland Botanic Gardens. This will be in November, and we are thoroughly looking forward to going back. We went last year and had such a great time, we decided to go back, and can be read in the following one, two, three, four & five posts! Except this time, we are taking L's Mum and Dad! This is of course, no worries as we spent nearly a week together in Noosa Heads & Toowoomba when L graduated in April. We enjoy taking time with them, and all they need to do now, is to get their Passports in a hurry!!

3…. Finish the Verandah! We (sort of) finished it back in late Feb or early March. It is not that there is much to do, just the fascia and 'barge boards' then it is finished... Not to mention to install/finish the drains which are a set of 'Rain Chains' that L won on eBay!

4…. Screen doors to living room! We were at Bunnings (sort of like a Walmart, but more hardware) a couple of months ago, and they just happened (as you do) to have four, yes 4 matching screen doors that are in keeping with our heritage Californian Bungalow styled house. These doors normally retail for $200 each, and they had them marked down to $50! So what did we do, L stayed at the store holding them, whilst I drove home to measure where they were intending to go to ensure that they will fit. They will with a minor trimming of them, a BARGAIN! So we need to prepare, paint and put these on before summer.

5…. Convert our Laundry. We (L) wants to gut out the laundry, and then install a second toilet and a shower, whilst maintaining the normal laundry bits and pieces as well. I am still not sure that there will be enough room, but I am willing to go along with it at this stage. I am sure it will look great all the same! We have seen some fantastic rimless shower screens that are quite cheap, and there is most certainly the need to have a second toilet let me tell you...

6…. Fix cracks and paint the inside of the house! These have been there since we purchased it a couple of years ago. The previous owner, according to the building report, was not the best with these cracks and that they are easily re-decoratable. So getting these done plus the wardrobe painted as well, would be nice.

7…. Bathroom renovated! Our bathroom was renovated (rather badly) and is stuck in a 1970's time warp! There is a big box like 'Vanity Cupboard' that has the same tiles as the floor, which takes up WAY to much space! This, coupled with the suspect plumbing where sewer fumes comes up through the bath drain and when you flush the toilet, you can hear it go down via the bath drain as well. So once number 5 above is completed, then we can get this done.

8…. Get a spa! This would be very nice indeed for my bad back. When we were in Rotorua last year after the Ellerslie Flower Show, we went to the Polynesian Spa. They had many 'spas' ranging from 34 degrees C, up to 41. We spent a little time in all of them, and it gave me the BEST relief for a couple of days. I was pain free, YEAH!

9…. Win Lotto, or a lottery! Come on, wouldn't you? The only thing is, we do not play in either, and at the moment, the Lottery is at $8 Million dollars!!!

10…. Get a new car! Ok, so I know that this is NOT going to happen to MY car, but I suspect it might with L's car. It is a company car, and it has nearly done all of the required klms needed. It has been a dog of a car really, and lately more so since it has had three counts of damage, all from across the road, one was admitted too but then retracted, and the other two were suspicious with no definite evidence. I can't figure out how, our car being white, ends up with a silver scratch on the corner of the bumper bar from a silver car! And, hang on, there is a similar scratch (white) on a corner of the silver car...

11…. Get a new bed! I am finding it more uncomfortable as the days (nights) go on... It is just about killing my back.

12…. Getting a Gardener to look after the gardens at home! Mind you, he/she would never do it to my standards, so maybe this is not such a good thing...

13…. Work less for more pay! Not sure how I am going to pull this one off, but if I do, it will remain a secret indeed!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

21 August, 2007

woman hood

library thing has let me down with a picture of my new book, however I did find this webpage which has a picture and a brief description of Woman Hood by Sally Osborne. The arrival of this book was quite timely. I grabbed hold of this sentence
Well, today, if you are young or old or in-between, I urge you to grab hold of some of those heart's desires and experience them.

and know that tomorrow will be a better day and that next week will be even better. It was a better day just getting this book. B had ordered it a few months back from Paddington Contemporary art gallery after I had seen the author being interviewed on Sunrise, and recognised the art work to be one of my favourite artists Rebecca Cool. RC depicts women/angels, with cats and birds, and children using vintage fabrics and paint. After seeing Sunrise the search was on, which led us to the Paddington Contemporary art gallery who'd had a showing of Rebecca Cool art, which had all sold, although I was lucky enough to score a Rebecca Cool doll, and an order for the Woman Hood book signed by RC and the author, although mine is not actually signed by the author as B was getting a bit impatient and the gallery was having difficulties getting in contact with the author. Never mind, mine says best wishes Rebecca Cool and I couldn't be happier.

I would also like to say thank you for all the best wishes from those who have commented in previous posts. I am not a great commentor on other blogs, made worse because B is the complete opposite. But your words have made a big difference, given me strength and confidence in the future.

18 August, 2007

A sad day, and a tense week ahead...

Some sections of this post may make those with weak stomach, a little ill. Please accept our apologies..


Now on with the post...

On Friday, we had to be a the Northern clinic early (7.20am) and to save time, we decided to stay at the in-laws as opposed to fight the morning peak. We arrived a little early and parked out on the street. It is amazing what you see outside an IVF clinic once you have been through the process. Guys walking in with a little brown paper bag, and some very sad ladies walking out shedding a tear. Today, it would be our turn to walk out, not so much with a tear as these will be shed later in the day, but with both optimism, hope and and despair.

You see, this morning we were to have an ultrasound to show, either conclusively pregnant or not. The blood tests over the last week had not shown the appropriate levels of Beta HCG development, although a positive result. This should double with every day. In our case, it was slowly going up.

With a sheet covering the embarrassing bits, and a 'rubber' over the scanning tool, the doctor started to investigate what was happening. He was able to find and show clearly, L's uterus, which had a very clear black egg shape in the middle. This is good I thought... He went on to say what we were looking at, and that he would want to see at this stage, a fetal heart beat (at 6 weeks). he needed to 'zoom in', as if he wasn't already 'in' enough! He was now able to see the contents of the 'pregnancy sac' and that he could see clearly a 'yolk' sac within, but still no heart beat. This was not looking good. L was being considerably stoic, I am proud of you L.

The Dr then went to measure the pregnancy sac, and it only measured to be 4 weeks, instead of the 6.5 weeks he estimated it should be according to the implantation date. Discussions were held, and whilst he believes this will not be a viable pregnancy, he is willing to give it the best possible chance and re-scan in another week. If nature does not take it's predicted course by then, then L will be 'booked in' and a clean out will be ordered. A follow up attempt will be done in about a month from now...

L is very upset about all of this, whilst I am trying to be positive. The one thing that I clearly remember the Dr saying was, I am extremely happy with the fact that I can get you pregnant. I remember this because really, I got her pregnant, it was MY 'swimmers' and her egg after all!!! So, how did we cheer each other up? We went shopping of course! We went into Myer, and fond two tops for L. These not only looked fantastic on her, but the second one was on the rack in the change rooms, a complete compulsive buy! The remainder of the day was to be a car trip over to the EG Waterhouse National Camellia Garden, to which, I will post a multi-photo, Wordless Wednesday dedicated to the day.

14 August, 2007

just delivered mk II

Wordless Wednesday, next post down... Sorry, but again we have some breaking news...

Well, its happened again...

This time, it was the next sister downs turn. At 4.37am this morning they welcomed the safe arrival of Riley Joseph. He was 49cm long and just a tad under 3.5kg, 7lb 6 ounce!

For this arrival, it was far less traumatic in the delivery room, and in fact after a day of house cleaning and the cooking of a roast dinner, the trip to the hospital was delayed due to the fact that the soon to be dad HAD to watch Boston Legal! Not to mention that upon getting home mid afternoon, in the front screen door there was a 'calling card' from the local police following up a complaint of somebody reporting moaning from next door, and this could be a case of spousal abuse. Spousal abuse it was, as in the baby was trying to bash and kick his way out!!!

Riley Joseph

Riley Joseph

wordless Wednesday #4 twisted


12 August, 2007

'god' what a day...

Yesterday, we did so many klms in the car, it was silly (thought to self, thank goodness, as it is being replaced soon by 'L's work, and this has been a bit of a dog...)! We were originally going up to both the Hawksbury Harvest Farmers market up at Castle Hill Showground, and then to the Organic Growers Market at Balmain/Lilyfield. This was in order to get some 'Lemonades' which are sweet (very sweet when compared to it cousin, the Lemon) as L is having wild cravings for citrus!. So the night before, it was decided that since she (we) have been waking at 3-5am, we will leave at 5.30am.

So, as it was now Saturday, 7.30am, I decided that we had clearly failed in the almost mad panic to get dressed and off to the amended plan of ditching Castle Hill. You see, we have been going to the Organic Market for a couple of weeks trying to get the Lemonades as they have the tendency of selling out early (8am), not to mention that they have THE BEST, Honey & Port Cured Bacon & Egg rolls... (drewl...). We arrived at the markets at about 8.10, and just short of them, I stop and let L out to try and beat the hoards to the lemonades and I parked the car. By the time I caught up, she had them and left the vendor with 3 or 4, and after noting how ridiculous this was, we took all of them, all 3 kg of them!

So, after the markets, we drop over to see P with her two children, L2 & A7mths for a quick cuppa, catch up and garden consultation.

Then it was off to pick up L's silk screen Handy work from Prints Charming from last Sunday. I am sure you will agree, she did a fantastic job, and she is waiting with baited breath to attend the 'Drop in Saturdays' where you can go in for a couple of hours to screen away!
Off to have lunch with the M&FIL (Mother & Father in law), and off home to finish removing the Purple Fountain Grass from the front garden which we had started last week. We had a flying visit from the favourite brother (in law) and the family, wife S and kids M5&W2 (2 years ago, I was luck enough to be asked to be W's Godfather). All M wanted to do was to play the PS2, Junior Jungle Party, but dad was here to pick up our edger to do some gardening at home, so this was just a very quick visit.

We were expecting B&K, with B's daughter B2 (my God-daughter) at any stage, and had a quick cold drink as it was very warm today, 26C, and it is supposed to be WINTER! I was asked to babysit her a couple of weeks ago, as they were off to see the Swans match, which were celebrating Pink Lady day, for support and celebration for women with/surviving Breast Cancer.
Pink Lady Telstra Stadium (courtesy Sydney Morning Herald)
So, after about an hour, it was time for dad to go, and we had minimal tears. For about 20 mins or so, L & I were changing the beds sheets as it is getting warmer now, and little B was walking around asking for 'daddy'. To cut a long story short, we had a lovely time, she was no bother at all, (mind you, she was walking around holding everything of hers as much as she could hold in her little hands)and went down to sleep really easy!
Bre Bag
Bre Yoghurt

09 August, 2007

just delivered

TT #7 next post down as here is some breaking news...

the first neice; Rosie Florence born 12.10pm, 47cm, 3.595 kilos or 7 pound 14 ounces in the old scale.

A lovely baby, she behaved and slept whilst we nursed her and champagne was drunk from hospital teacups. Apart from a few scratches and a bruise on her head she didn't look any worse the wear for the drama of her delivery which was sped up due to a racing heartrate and blue colour. In fact by the time we visited she was remarkably pink.

Rosie Florence

Rosie Florence

thursday thirteen #8... where is the craft?

Thirteen of my favourite craft shops

In collating my favourite craft shops I have quite a few states (Australian that is) covered; New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia. The challenge now is to extend the list to cover South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory. I know there are a couple of good ones in South Australia, but it is quite a few years since I last visited there.

When we were in New Zealand last year, and happened to be in Borders Bookshop we came across a book that was basically a travellers guide to craft shops in New Zealand. Maybe this could be the start of a travellers guide to craft shops in Australia.....

  1. Prints Charming, colourful fresh fabrics like nothing you will have seen before. I've mentioned it before here, these gals are great. And they're in Sydney. They also do a silkscreening workshop, and you get to use their screens, paints and studio. Check back in after the weekend and I should have some pics of my efforts from last weekend.

  2. Patchwork on Central Park, a must when visiting Melbourne just a short tram ride from the CBD. They inspired my love of fabric.

  3. Material Obsession, Sydney, they have great fabrics and innovative kits, and one of the best websites, including a blog.

  4. Ballarat Patchwork, located in historic Ballarat, their store is a little gem. The first quilt kit I completed was purchased from their store. It was a clever combination of ginghams, ticking, spots and floral fabric.
  5. Amitie, a short train ride from the Melbourne CBD, their store can be a little overwhelming with the range of fabric, and is it cheating to make mention of Broderie, which stocks traditional and contemporary embroidery; they share the same roof.

  6. Calico n Ivy, I have never been to their physical store although if I ever get to Western Australia I am there. I have however been to their online store many times. I am going to make this and this one day.

  7. Sarah London, where do they get their vintage chenille? So many great patterns and colours, their quilts and stuffed toy kits can be purchased via their blog shop.

  8. Stitches and Spice, sometimes stitching on linen can get really boring, these hand dyed linens are just the thing to make cross-stitches a little more individual. Some of the colours are really amazing and change the look and feel of your cross-stitch completely.

  9. Fred the Needle, carries a comprehensive range of Amy Butler fabrics and patterns, plus others.

  10. Berrima Patchwork, is located in such an interesting little town, making it a great day trip from Sydney.

  11. The Crewel Goblin, the only place (locally) I know where to get Weeks Dye Works threads and Birds of a Feather cross-stitch patterns. They also do mailorder.

  12. The Quilters Angel, when in Toowoomba, a regular spot for us to visit, both (B & I) being students of the uni (by distance) and having a sister who used to live their. It is worth a visit, have lunch at the cafe, and take in the view.

  13. Timeless Threads, Mittagong, have some great quilts but it is the nifty haberdashery items such as pin closers hand made from beautiful Australian woods that ensure this store makes the list. I have one made of huon pine that is so lovely to use as it is really smooth.

I would love to hear of your favourite craft shops in the comments, include a web address if you can.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

06 August, 2007

WHAT?!?!? I've been tagged!!

I´m somewhat concerned to announce that Genesis from exPat Mom (Mum) has tagged me for my very first tagged meme EVER!

Ok, so the meme is to bring back some older posts and was started by Mimi Pencil Skirt. I have gone back through some of our old posts, so with seats returned to the upright position, tray tables returned to the seat in front, and please fasten your seat belts, here we go:

Link One: Family - Heartache from when the FIL was having his heart procedure. It WAS a very major procedure, where 49 'spots' on his heart were burnt off so as to bring it back from AF, to normal Sinus rythm. Oh, and on a light note, here is the nephew, and his 'sleeping' friends!

Link Two: Friends - On this very old post, it was announced that P&M were having a baby! Liam, is now 2, how time flys, and now he has a sister!.

Link Three: Yourself (umm, as there are TWO of us, I will only do me and save L for another time if SHE gets tagged!) - This is from when I had my spinal surgery. And here is the scar. What should have been a discectomy, ended up with an additional Laminectomy and a reduction of the central canal to allow more room for the nerves. Instead of a quick 90min operation, turned into nearly 5 hours!

Link Four: Something I Love - My 'on the buses' post form when I was in Llandudno was fantastic, so enjoy it again...!

Link Five: Anything at All - My Graduation... I never thought I would ever get here, but after some hard work, here I am! Also, some photos from when we went to Queensland (Australia) for L's graduation.

Ok, I have to tag 5 people, but I can't think of any so far, but you are ALL on notice...

Ok, after thinking about it for the day, here they are (in no particular order):

Dakel Princess
Written Inc.

Each of you have been selected for your own very unique wordsmith (and I would really love to learn something a little different about YOU! So please, play along!

05 August, 2007

gold star day

or should that be 'colour my day'? I have spent the day getting creative in the studio/shop of the talented Kirsten and Cath of Prints Charming. In a sentence it was a fabulous day on my feet silk screening fat quarters using Prints Charming designs. I think I may have completed sixteen fat quarters, aqua on white, red on white, and combinations of the two, as well as royal blue on white, lime and brown on white, fuchsia on linen, navy on linen, lime on linen, and royal blue on linen. Birds, flowers, star bursts, rockets, stripes, spots, dots, and lines, exuding the day's fresh air and sunshine, company and tutelage with perfectionism left at the door.

fat quarter list
I would really like to share my efforts however, as I forgot my camera this morning, and the finished work requires heat setting that will be done by Kirsten and Cath through the week, we shall all have to wait.

It was soooo much fun, next time (yes, next time) I shall be a little more adventurous and do more of the overprinting with more colours and patterns. Mixing it right up. I was not ready for that today, being in a bit of a monotone mood, but even working with the monotones it was a bright, colourful day with the crafting possibilities endless.

Definitely a gold star day.

03 August, 2007

No firm news yet I'm afraid!!

Sorry, but at this stage there is not much to report...

Tests from Tuesday, show that there was a positive result, albeit a low one. The upshot was, however, that the Progesterone was still high, thus not about to cycle. So it was to be repeated today, Friday morning at 7.15am.

A call from the clinic just now, did not carry good news. The Beta HCG level has increased (73 when should have been between 80-100), however, the progesterone is dropping, now at 48 (down from 53) and this could be leading to either a cycle, meaning the IUI did not work, a 'Bio-chemical' pregnancy where the egg was fertilised but did not bury enough into the uterus or an ectopic pregnancy. Luckily enough, the clinic has an on call nurse that you can ring and chat about the process and results further, and I suspect this might be the case. We will know more, and most likely a firm result, on Monday afternoon. A big thank you to all the emails/comments of well wishes, they a greatly appreciated.

So, now how do I cheer up a very sad L? I am thinking of the movies tonight, maybe Harry Potter... She has a Silk Screening class all day Sunday, (we have an 'assignment' on Sunday evening at the Casino High Rollers Room...) so it is only Saturday I have to pick her up. Suggestions please...

edit 9.25pm Fri evening: just back from watching, Licenced to Wed. A bit happier, but still a bit down... Will keep on trying...

further edit, 9.39pm Sat evening: spent the day at the organic markets, then to the hospital to visit nan who's heart is mucking up, and then some gardening. Curry sausages for dinner, and some DVD's, Notes on a Scandle(L) and United 93 me!

02 August, 2007

thursday thirteen #7... favourite websites/blogs

Thirteen Things about our favourite websites...

In no particular order...

1…. Michele! Great site, and it is all about spreading the 'comment cheer' with her great tag line, Hello, Michele sent me. She gives a wonderful insight to the how we are all so very close via the web, yet being separated by distance. I suggest you visit her, and add a tag line from me, and say that burntofferings sent you, OK!! She will love the visit.

2…. eBay Australia! Where would we be without it?? Go on, I know you are addicted to it as well...

3…. Sydney Weather Radar! I love looking at this for when storms are approaching. I used it a lot when I was a greenkeeper, and just the thought of knowing (in advance) when and where a storm was coming from, made it all the easier with the cricket wicket covers at hand...

4…. Pitchcare! As a resource for work, lame I know, but it is fun to see how other Turf Managers are going all over the world...

5…. Blue * Monkey * Jammies! An old, very old (not as in age, but as long term OK), friend from school, and we were even on stage together! She is a bit unwell at the moment, and has been so since Christmas. Get well soon BMJ. Please visit her, and wish her well (and remember my tag line...burntofferings sent you...)!!!

6…. Airliners! Ok, I know what you're thinking, what is he on... But I like flying and would one day like to learn how, so this is about as close as it will get! I am also learning photography, and I think this will be a good medium to work on, apart from Macro work with bugs and flowers...

7…. burntofferings! Of course, in our humbled opinions, the best blog around... falling off chair in fits of laughter can be heard right now!!! Even from here!!!

8…. Fluid Pudding! L is a regular here, has been for some time. Angela tells it like it is, and that is great!

9…. Flickr! A free hosting site for all of our photos for you to see. We have two, one for L and one for me!!

10…. Mundane Super Hero! Oh MSH is a lovely blogger. We were lucky enough last year to receive a package from her. We, naturally of course, sent a true blue Aussie one back full of all things Aussie, Vegemite of course which I hear is illegal in the USA! How RUDE!!!

11…. A Little Bit Pregnant! Used for a resource, both information and reassurance for the whole baby thing we are trying for. L has a very similar bond here, unbeknownst (sp) to the site owner!!

12…. Haloscan! We have to have somewhere to comment don't we?? And I love to read all of your comments...

13…. Technorati! Just a fancy site for blogs listings...

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

01 August, 2007

Wordless Wednesday # 3 Aalborg Tree Carvings

Tree Carving Knot

Tree Carving Man Sitting

Tree Carving Singing Dogs

Tree Carving Merman

Tree Carving Scary

Tree Carving Freaky