Friday, 15 June 2018

Ambushed! ... Again!!

A croaky, sniffly, coughy hello to all of you gorgeous creatures out there in blogland. I hope you're all well ... Which is something I'm NOT at the moment ... DARN IT! I've been ambushed by my second head cold of winter & feeling rather miserable. I usually manage to get through winter with just one head cold but this one was sneaky. SIGH!

So, between feeling miserable, not sleeping very well due to breathing apparatus not functioning at full capacity & longer than usual hours at my grown up job, there hasn't been anything creative happening here. I had thought today might be a sewing day, but I keep having long blinks ... In between snuffling & coughing! So I've given in, put some "Easy Air" essential oil blend in the diffuser ...

... And am snuggled under my trusty flannel blankie reading a Nora Roberts book ...

... In between long blinks! I may just stay here til spring. :0) If only I had someone to bring me hot toddies & bowls of homemade chicken soup. Ah well ... Will have to make my own cuppas & settle for chicken noodle Cuppa-Soup, I think. :0) Hopefully this cold clears up soon so my sewing mojo comes back ... Maybe next week. :0)

I think it's time to crawl out to make one of those hot cuppas so I'll sign off for now. Have a fabulous weekend, everyone & watch out for lurking lurgies! :0) Til next time ...



Friday, 8 June 2018

Last Weekend!

A big hello to all you gorgeous creatures out there in blogland! Here we are, it's Friday again. Have you had a good week? I confess that mine has been another challenging & crazy-busy one with some big changes happening in my grown up job & lots of after-work errands needing to be run this week. It's been a bit of a topsy-turvy ride again, to the point where it's the weekend again ... & I'm just getting around to telling you about LAST weekend! I really am starting to meet myself coming as I'm going! :0)

So ... Last Saturday saw my Beloved Geek Boy & I crawl out of our warm cosy bed fairly early ... On our night-owl scale of measurement! :0P And we headed off down our 'hill' on one of our mini road trips to Nambour to meet up with my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette & her Sweetie to explore the vintage & collectable offerings at Collectorama. I think the husbands thought their presence might stop Lynette & I adopting TOO many goodies ... Not sure that theory worked! Tee! Hee! Hee! I wasn't TOO naughty ... But I DID find a few pretty treasures to adopt ...

Both Lynette & I seem to have a strange attraction to pretty jugs. :0) The little rosey jug is very close to the pattern on a couple of trios I've had for years, so it had to come home with me. The trio of jugs was a VERY good price, marked down a bit because the smallest is slightly damaged ... If you look very closely ... I just love the thatched cottages. :0) And the biscuit plate was too pretty to pass over ... I love the creamy background with the pretty flower colours popping against it ... Plus ... It's a nice practical plate for special afternoon teas.

After Lynette & I had adopted all of the pretties our budgets would allow, Lynette's Sweetie suggested a lunch destination he'd heard of in nearby Palmwood ...

Rick's Garage is a VERY happening place on weekends & we were fortunate to get a table ... Parking was a bit of a challenge, but after a hike up a VERY steep hill, I felt like I'd earned my lunch! :0) Rick's is a 50's/garage/mechanical themed eatery, with the decor & grounds sporting mechanical paraphernalia ...

... Like the penny farthing above the sign created from an old bicycle tyre. 

Here's the four of us ready to dig into our yummy lunch. (PSSST! Don't you think GB & Lynette's Sweetie look like they could be brothers? :0P Their birthday is even the same day, though a few years apart ... Pretty funny coincidence, right?!)

And the food?

... Was DEEEEEEEELICIOUS!! I had the chicken salad which was lovely & fresh & flavoursome. There were four clean plates at the end of the meal! :0) After a lovely relaxing time of chatting over adult beverages, we parted ways & made our way back up the 'hill', enjoying the lovely scenery along the way ...

It was a perfect day ... Sunny & warm, perfect for showcasing the Glasshouse Mountains.

Aren't the colours gorgeous? It's very dry & brown here, so we enjoyed the lush green along our trip. Thanks to my Bestest-Buddy & her Sweetie for such an enjoyable day.

After our very full Saturday, we had planned to have a quiet Sunday to catch up on our grown up chores ... But the best laid plans of mice & men ... We ended up hosting GB's folks for lunch & having a couple of his friends pop in as they were passing by. And during lunch GB's Mum received a call from the nursing home in a nearby town where her 102 year old Mother, GB's Gran Kent, resides, to say she'd been a bit low & perhaps family should visit ... Just in case. So, we jumped in the car & headed off.

GB with Gran Kent. She roused several times while we were all there & even ate some of her dinner, so that was good ... & this week she seems to have been a bit brighter. Family is precious, isn't it?!

So ... With several busy weeks being sandwiched together with equally busy (though lots more enjoyable!!) weekends, GB & I are planning a quiet catchup weekend at home for the next couple of days, though I think there might be some sewing snuck into the schedule there. :0) Speaking of sewing ... My GORGEOUS OPAM Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg has done the prize draw ... Have you checked in with her blog? If not, maybe you should. :0)

Right now, however, I hear the kettle calling my name. I think I'm going to snuggle under my blankie with a cup of tea & something to keep my hands busy & enjoy some episodes of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries ... I love the series starring Essie Davis & Nathan Page, as well as the books by Kerry Greenwood the series is based on. Murder mysteries with 1920's style, fashions, music, panache & clever humour ... Gotta love it! :0) I wish you all a fantastic weekend spent doing something you enjoy with the special people in your life. Til next time ...



PS I'm not sure if blogger/Google have sorted out the comments issue, but thank you to all who leave comments & visit my little corner of blogland. I do read & appreciate all comments, even if I don't get to respond. :0)

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

GRRRRRR! Technology!

Hey all! Just a quick pop in before I keep a long overdue date with my pillow to let you know that Blogger & Google aren't playing nicely at the moment & apparently aren't sending comments left on the blog through to blog owners via email the way they're supposed to. So ... If you've left a comment on posts in the last week or so & not had a reply from me, please rest assured I'm not being rude ... Blogger & Google just haven't passed your comments along. Now that I'm aware of the issue I'll work around it to get back to you all in the next few days. In the meantime, I hope you're all having a fantastic week. :0)

Til next time ...



Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Some Sewing At Last!!

Hello to all of you GORGEOUS creatures out there in blogland! I hope your week is off to a great start. Life here in the Meares' Madhouse still resembles two hamsters in a madly spinning wheel ... Hopefully it will slow down a bit soon or I suspect we'll be flung out of the wheel like a slingshot! Tee! Hee! Hee!

The good news is ... I've actually managed to do some sewing in the last few days ... YAY!! My Beloved Geek Boy is an audiovisual technician in his grown up job ... He didn't end up with the nick-name "Geek Boy" for no reason! :0) So ... His backpack is invariably stuffed with cords, cables & connectors like you wouldn't believe, which can make it a bit tricky to lay his hands on the RIGHT cable/cord for the job. 

It looked like an upended bowl of spaghetti in there! :0) During one particularly frustrating game of "where's the cable?" GB said ... "I should get you to make something to help organise these cables!" Hmmm ... Challenge accepted!

My solution was individual drawstring pouches, different sizes for different types of cables. GB was pretty chuffed! :0) Not only did he report that the pouches wee working a treat, he asked for a few more ... And said his workmates were just a bit jealous of his classy organisational tools. :0) Nice to have your work appreciated, isn't it? And good to get some finishes on my sidebar list.

Just in time for ... The end of the month OPAM tally. So, calling all OPAM gals ... Get those sidebar lists up to date & email your tallies through to me & my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg.

Righto ... Time to get the dinner on the table, so, til next time ...



Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Claytons Holiday!

Well ... Somehow the week has just about slipped by me again ... That seems to keep happening! It feels like life is a bit of a marry-go-round at the moment that just keeps going around & around, with a few ups & downs thrown in to keep us unbalanced. And to make it worse, my Beloved Geek Boy & I had originally planned to be on holiday now, but both of our grown up jobs going through some changes has put that on hold. SIGH! So what do you do when you wake up on a Saturday morning that SHOULD be the first day of your holiday ... But isn't? Why ... You go on a mini road trip, of course, kind of a Claytons holiday ... The holiday you have when you're not having a holiday. :0)

We put on our walking shoes, filled the water bottles, jumped in the Triton & off we went ... Heading east. There's something quite soothing about going for a long drive through pretty scenery when you don't have a timetable to keep to, don't you think? After winding our way down the 'hill' ... We climbed another 'hill' & found ourselves at Montville just in time for a late lunch ...

MMMMMMMMMM! TASTY! And the fresh seafood pasta was yummy too! Tee! Hee! Hee! And the bonus was ...

... This view!

Magical, isn't it?! :0) After our delicious lunch, we decided we needed a good walk ...

... Along the beach at Mooloolaba. It really was a glorious Autumn day. Look at the colour of the sky & the water ... Beach magic. :0) We enjoyed walking right out to the end of the walkway ...

... And enjoyed a different perspective of the beach. We had a bit of a funny moment while resting at the end of the rock wall ... It's a bit hard to see in the photo, but we could see a flotilla of canoes pulled up on the sand & as we stood there, loud tribal drumming came pounding out over the water. GB looked at me & said ... "Uh! Oh! Canoes, wild tribal drums ... This scenario never ends well for bystanders in the movies!" Tee! Hee! Hee! However, we took our chances & retraced our steps ... Discovering some Hawain dancers entertaining participants of some kind of regatta. We kept heading back to our starting point ... A round trip of about 9km ... My Fitbit was VERY happy with me! :0) And to reward ourselves, we visited our favourite gelato spot we discovered when we were on holiday last year ...

... & ate it as we watched the sun go down & the waves washed in. We literally felt ourselves relaxing. BLISS!

Aren't those colours magnificent? Sadly we had to climb back into the Triton & head home again, but it was lovely Claytons holiday.

Then Sunday brought a couple more Claytons holiday highlights. We started the day with an early visit to the annual Hampton Food Festival.

Being early meant crowds were manageable ... A plus for GB who's not a crowd fan. :0)

I had to get a snap of this cute retro caravan coffee stall. I LOOOOOOVE that aqua colour!

We checked out the art display, where one of my clever workmates had a piece on display, stocked up on some of our fave local produce, before toddling off to meet Mum & Dad at church. After the service we trundled down the hill again for a deferred Mothers' Day lunch outing at the Nash Gallery Cafe ... I can recommend it. :0)

GB admired a vintage Rolls on our way in.

Here's Mum & me about to dig into a DELICIOUS piece of barramundi with fresh salad. Followed by ...

... White chocolate & raspberry cheesecake ... YUMMO!

So ... That was the weekend we had instead of having the first weekend of our holiday. Ah well ... It will come around, we just need to wait a few more months until both of our work situations settle ... The countdown begins again. SIGH!

So ... What have you been up to? I hope you've been finding opportunities to stop, breath & appreciate the scenery. I'll be back with some sewing catch ups soon ... I promise. :0) Til next time ...



Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Wait! What Day Is It?!

Well ... DAGNABBIT! Someone has been stealing my days again! I'm not at all sure how it came to be Wednesday evening already! Next thing you know, someone will be helpfully telling me how many weeks/days until Christmas ... In fact ... My own beloved Mother did that to me today! EEK! It's just as well I love her so much or I'd have had to gag her with tinsel! :0)

With my week doing its disappearing trick (David Copperfield eat your heart out!) I haven't managed to do much sewing, but I DID find time to catch up with Mum on Sunday for Mothers' Day. 

There was a gale force wind blowing so we both look a wee bit ruffled, but I like this photo. And as per Mum's request, her Mother's Day giftie was ...

... A dwarf lemon tree in a cool replica wine barrel pot. We gave GB's Mum a passion fruit vine in the same type of pot. Both Mum's loved them ... So I think we're back in the will this week! Tee! Hee! Hee! Family joke. :0P To go along with the lemon tree, I baked an afternoon tea treat ...

... White chocolate & raspberry cake with raspberry sauce. If I do say so myself, it was pretty darn YUMMY!! :0) It's usually Mum who takes the time to make people feel special & loved, with a home cooked meal delivered on a birthday or when someone is unwell, with a card or a bunch of flowers to mark a special day ... So it was nice to give her the treat this time. If I turn out to be half the woman my gorgeous Mum is, I reckon I'll be doing pretty well. Love ya heaps, Ma! 

Right ... That's it from me for now. I hope you're all having a great week so far ... The weekend is in sight ... I might actually catch up a bit! :0) Til next time ...



Friday, 11 May 2018

EEP! Winter Has Arrived!!

Here it is, almost midday as I write this, & the temperature is just 14 degrees Celsius, with 45km/hr winds giving a "feels like" temperature of 12 degrees! BRRRRRR! We went from 14-24 degree days to THIS! SIGH! I think the weather is finally catching up with the calendar & this weekend will see our fire lit for the first time of the year ... DARN IT! You all KNOW how I dislike cold weather!!

So ... When winter shows up overnight & it's your day off, what's a girl to do? Why make a cup of tea, of course! Tee! Hee! Hee! And sprinkle some lemon essential oil in the diffuser ...

... And have a little play with someone else's pattern ...

Looking at my supplies, can you guess what I might be making?? It's a birthday giftie for a nephew with a wonderful imagination. :0) Stay tuned!

And it's also time to tell you who the lucky OPAM prize draw winners were for April. Thanks to everyone who emailed their finishes through & updated their sidebar lists on their blogs ... It makes the collection task much easier for me & my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg. The winners of the stitchery pattern for April were ...


Congrats gals! Email me & I'll send you the PDF pattern for you to get stitching. Have any of this year's winners started stitching their version of the prize stitchery yet? I'd love to see pics if you have.

But right now I'm off to huddle under my blankie & finish my tea before I go back to creating ... Til next time ...



Friday, 4 May 2018

Finally! A Finish!!

Happy Friday to all of you out there in blogland! I hope you've had a wonderful week. Mine has been a bit topsy-turvy at my grown up job, which is a bit unsettling, but on the plus side, I FINALLY had some uninterrupted sewing time & have a FINISH to add to my sidebar tally ... YAY! :0)

My designing mojo had been taking a break for the last few months, but last weekend I found myself back with pencil in hand, fabric all around me ... & STILL had to make a trip to the Quilters Angel for some supplies! :0) Remember this photo I shared ...

Well ... There was major progress, some head-scratching as I worked out how to get the look I was imagining & ...

...I'd like to introduce you to Holly Bear, one of Santa's BEARY special helpers! :0) I am SOOOOOOOOO happy with how she has turned out! While she took a slightly different turn during the designing process to what I had originally imagined, I think she is now my favourite design ... Though I say that with EVERY new design, don't I?! Tee! Hee! Hee! 

Her face has turned out to be so sweet & the holly leaf collar just finished off the dress nicely.

And I LOVE how her elf shoes turned out! I think I want a pair for myself! :0) I'm also really happy with her striped legs ... Don't you think they make it look like she's wearing stripy tights under her pretty lace-edged bloomers to keep warm? And a sprig of holly hikes up the hem of her dress just a little to give a glimpse of her pretty bloomers. :0)

Of course, now comes the not-so-fun part of writing instructions ... BLECH! But with a long weekend here in Queensland, I'll be making a start on that chore. If you think you'd like to make your very own Holly Bear to help Santa at your place this Christmas, stay tuned for the pattern being ready. :0)

Right now, however, I need to do a couple of grown up chores before I gather up all my BRAVE to head off to a dentist appointment. EEK! Did I mention I'm kind of phobic about dentists?!! At least I'll have a three day weekend to recover. :0P Whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope you manage to squeeze in some time to relax & create. To quote a well known skincare range slogan ... You're worth it! :0) Til next time ...



Friday, 27 April 2018

Still Here & Stitchin' !!

Hello to all you GORGEOUS creatures out there in blogland! Just thought I'd better quickly pop in to let you know I'm still here & stitchin'! :0) Sorry to be a bit absent, but there are a few things happening in both my & my Beloved Geek Boy's grown up jobs that have taken our attention in the last few weeks. Have I mentioned before how unqualified I am to be a grown up?! :0P

So, there hasn't been a lot of creativity being exercised around here lately, but this week my mojo finally showed up (possibly realising I was down to the last few marbles in my bag! Tee! Hee! Hee!) & I put my designer hat on. This is what I'm playing with ...

Can you guess where my muse has taken me?? :0) I'm hoping to sneak a bit more time with this new project over the weekend .. In between the have-to-do grown up chores ... BLECH!! :0)

Hopefully more of you lovelies out there have been creating more than I have ... Which reminds me ... OPAMERS ... It's nearly that time of the month again when you need to update your sidebar lists & email your finish tally to me or my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg  Then stay tuned for the random prize draw ... Have any of this year's winners so far started stitching their version of the prize stitchery? I'd love to see them if you have. :0)

But right now, I'm off to follow my muse for a while before I get ready for our fortnightly Friday Night Sit N Sew session. Looking forward to seeing all my crazy stitching tribe! :0) Have a fantastic weekend everyone! Til next time ...



Saturday, 14 April 2018

A Rainy Saturday!

It's overcast, cool & drizzling rain, so how do you think we're spending our Saturday?

Yep ... MOVIE MARATHON! :0) And some relaxing stitching on my Butterfly Garden quilt blocks. Can you guess which movie series my Beloved Geek Boy & I are revisiting? Feet up, blankie tucked, kettle boiled & the diffuser going ...

... Not a bad way to spend a Saturday. :0) Poor GB has picked up a head cold so today's oil of choice is "Easy Air"  blend from doTERRA. Hopefully it will help GB's cold... & kill the germs before they catch me. :0)

I hope you've had a great week & that you spend time doing something you love this weekend. Til next time ...



Sunday, 8 April 2018

When Friends Pop In For A Visit!

Hello to all you gorgeous creatures out there in blogland! I hope you're having a great weekend. I'm currently sneaking in a little rest between gardening chores to give my aching back & legs a rest. With all the lovely rain we've had, the garden is thriving. Unfortunately ... So are the weeds! So my Beloved Geek Boy & I (& my wonderful parents yesterday!) have been excavating the jungle to give the garden a chance. Periodically I feel like I should put on my best upperclass English accent & say, "Dr Livingston, I presume?" :0)

But ... My weekend actually started with some of the Friday Night Sewing gals popping in for a stitching visit. Of course that meant I spent most of Friday running around like a crazy person cleaning & tidying so it looked like two reasonably responsible grown ups live in our house ... I'm not sure I fooled anyone but at least there was a clear table to sit at ...

I decided to keep it simple but pretty with some of my pretty vintage linens (which I probably should have ironed ... But I'd packed the iron & board away! )

... My pretty-but-mismatched plate collection came out, along with some of my crystal glasses ...

... And a bunch of cheerful gerbra daisies that were 'rescue flowers' ... Marked down at the supermarket. :0) And the finishing touch was one of my vintage cake plates with mini cupcakes ...

... With rainbow icing. I had a little play after seeing some cake decorating videos on Facebook ... I find them mesmerising. :0) I decided that the multi-coloured icing idea looked easy enough for this novice cake decorator to tackle ... And it was ... Once I worked out that the icing really had to have been out of the fridge for a little while before trying to squeeze it through a piping bag! SHEESH! I don't think I have a career in cake decorating ahead of me but I like how they turned out.

Here we all are around the table ... You'll notice that even though we're eating our yummy potluck dinner here, a few of the cupcakes have disappeared from the plate! Tee! Hee! Hee! We had a fun night of chatting, laughing, eating ... And maybe a LITTLE bit of stitching happened. :0) In amongst the shenanigans, of course ...

Sorry about the blurry pic, but I had to be quick to catch Gail taking my broom for a test ride! Tee! Hee! Hee! Just kidding! She had actually ducked down the side steps to grab a potted parsley plant I had spare & the broom was to relocate a golden orb spider who insists on building her web between two trees either side of the path down the steps. Thanks for a fun night, gals ... & special thanks to the sneaky "Easter Bilby" who left a Lindt bunny & eggs on the counter ... I'm sure GB & I will enjoy it! :0)

That's about it from me for now. I'll try to get some nice garden pics to share with you soon so you know all our aches & pains from weeding are worth it. :0) Have a fantastic week ... & remember to be kind to yourself. Til next time ...



Friday, 30 March 2018

Easter Greetings & OPAM Reminder!

Hello to all my lovely blogging buddies! I hope your week has been a good one. It was another busy one here ... But I think if we had a week that wasn't busy we'd worry that we'd forgotten something. :0)

This will just be a quick stop in (did you hear Chookyblue's sigh of relief?! Tee! Hee! Hee!) to remind all you clever clogs OPAMers that it's time to update your sidebar lists & email your March tally of finishes to me or my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg  I confess my tally is a bit sad again this month, but as soon as I finish this post, I'm planning on reminding my sewing machine that I'm still here. :0)

I would also like to take the opportunity to wish all you lovelies a "HOPPY" Easter! :0) Sorry ...couldn't resist! My Beloved Geek Boy & I are looking forward to the full weekend at home to catch up on the cleaning, tidying & gardening chores that have been a bit neglected over the last few weeks ... I think I just heard my Mother cheer! :0P But we're also enjoying a bit of quiet down-time ...

... A cappuccino made by GB, who has just unearthed his coffee machine from where it was stored when we moved four years ago ... & a toasted brioche hot cross bun ... In front of the Tilda bunnies I made a few years ago. Sometimes it's the simple things that make you happy. :0)

Whatever you're up to this long weekend, please stay safe, especially if you're traveling. As a Christian, Easter has a particularly special meaning for me & I thought I would share my favourite Easter song with you. The song is my a group called Petra & I first heard it when I was about 14. The video accompanying it is pretty confronting, but the words are powerful. The YouTube link is HERE. Til next time ...



Monday, 26 March 2018

Birthday Bonanza!!

Hello to all of you gorgeous creatures out there in blogland! I hope your week is off to a fabulous start. I meant to be back here a little sooner but then the title of this blog post happened & I got a wee bit sidetracked. :0) Just a warning to my buddy Chookyblue ... This could take a while, so grab yourself a cuppa! Tee! Hee! Hee!

In case it's still early in the morning while you're reading this & you're not quite as quick on the uptake as usual so haven't worked it out yet, it was my birthday last week ... & it seemed to kind of last all week. :0) So ... Tuesday was "B-Day" & I think I spent most of the day eating ... Lunch with my usual Tuesday lunch-buddy Lynda at one of our go-to cafés followed that night by dinner with my Beloved Geek Boy & my folks at Toowoomba's Park House Cafe ... Another go-to spot for special occasions. Apparently we were too busy eating to remember to get a photo. :0)

Then on my day-off-Friday, I went with Mum & HER Partner-In-Crime Marg to the cute historic railway station of Spring Bluff for lunch at the Spring Bluff cafe  where we all had a snack-size first course so we could save room for the DEEEEEEEELICIOUS Dutch pancakes on offer ...

Not only did we enjoy the pancakes (even Marg managed to finish the huge yummy serve!) & chatting, we were also treated to a symphony of one of my favourite bird calls, the bell birds' song. Just magical!

I barely had time to scoot home after our leisurely lunch & throw a few things into a bag, when GB arrived home to whisk me away for a weekend at a B&B. Yes ... I'm keeping him! :0) We didn't have a long journey to arrive at our weekend destination ... Just 15 minutes' drive, in fact, as GB hadn't wanted to go somewhere that ate up a lot of time in traveling to & from, so he had chosen Anduramba Homestead B&B  just north of Crows Nest. On arrival, we were welcomed by the official greeting officer ...

This is Theodore ... Better known as Ted. :0) Isn't he handsome!! And his mate, Mimi, was just as gorgeous. Did I mention that I LOVE West Highland Terriers, or Westies as they're most often called?! It was love at first sight with this furry duo ... & they're bigger fur-siblings, Thomas the Border Collie & Geoffry the Blue Heeler ... Who was actually a girl ... I never did find out the story that just HAD to be behind a girl dog being called Geoffry. :0) After lots of pats, licks & doggy cuddles, we finally checked out our room ...

... Fresh cream & green colour scheme with pretty poppies on curtains & cushions as well as ...

... A lovely bunch of native flowers & some Ferraro Rocher choccies because GB had told our hostess Sandra that we were celebrating my birthday. NOICE! :0) After settling in a bit & kicking off our shoes, we were invited to relax in the lounge room & enjoy ...

... A complimentary cheese platter & a glass of port. A lovely way to end the work week.

Saturday morning, after a HUGE home cooked breakfast, we embarked on one of our "where does this road go?" exploration mini road trips & ended up in Blackbutt, where we stopped to visit the gallery of local artist Janet Skinner. Janet holds the Guiness World Record for designing the world's largest 'paint-by-numbers' mural & she has written a number of books, as well as sketched & painted many historic railway stations. There is a lovely display of her work to enjoy, including ...

... Larger than life pink mushrooms ...

... With a resident elf. Hmmm ... Probably too big to be an elf! :0P After a naughty sweetie-treatie at the bakery two shops down from the gallery, we hit the road again ... & some time later found ourselves at Bunnyconnellan to taste some locally produced wine & olives, as well as check out the lovely gift shop ...

It's not the best photo, as the sun was in the wrong spot, but boy did we have fun there! :0) Bunnyconnellan also has recently added cottage accomodation to their repertoire ...

Don't you love the rustic charm of the guest cottage? We then decided to head back to Anduramba Homestead for a cool drink & some quiet time & took a wander through the inviting garden,

The first view you have on arrival at the historic home.

The circular garden from the other side. We'd like to do something like this one day at the front of Edward House ... Perhaps on a slightly smaller scale. :0)

The homestead is actually two historic houses joined together, which leaves plenty of scope for hidden nooks & outdoor spaces like this garden room. Have you ever seen a staghorn as big as these two specimens?

Another outdoor room & lush lawns to meander over.

You pass through a gazebo to ...

... A platform deck where you can take in some of the panoramic views ... No, I don't mean GB ... Though I do think he's pretty picturesque! Tee! Hee! Hee!

...and looking back at the house from the look out deck. We were joined Saturday night by another couple who were celebrating their wedding anniversary, so hostess Sandra cooked a delicious special meal for us all. We felt VERY spoilt!  But sadly, all good things must come to an end & Sunday morning (after an even bigger breakfast than the day before!) we said our last farewells to our furry friends ...

Did I mention we were in doggy-lover's heaven? :0) We thanked our hosts Sandra & Andrew (toast cooker extraordinaire!) & headed home ... Via a very round-about & circuitous route. :0) We can HIGHLY recommend Anduramba Homestead B&B if you're looking for a relaxing rural retreat ... & love doggies! :0)  And big smoochies & bear hugs to GB for spoiling me for my birthday. It almost made up for having to admit to being another year older. :0)

A big thank you to everyone who sent emails & Facebook messages for my birthday ... I felt very loved! And while I am very aware of it always, it reinforced to me how very BLESSED I am to have such wonderful family & friends around me. :0)

And after that epic report of our adventures ... It's time for me to do something about cooking dinner, so I'd better sign off for now. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, too ... Even if it wasn't your birthday. :0) Take care & til next time ...



Anduramba Homestead for a cool drink & some quiet time & took a wander through the inviting garden,
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