"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mission Beach weekend away...

Fourteen months ago Cyclone Yasi ripped apart the little seaside town of Mission Beach. They were ground zero for Yasi, with the nearby communities of Cardwell and Tully hit equally hard.
This weekend marked the return of the Mission Beach Monster Markets, a monthly market run by the Rotary Club and held on the village green. It was the first Monster Market since Yasi, and to encourage tourists back to Mission Beach a number of bike clubs were invited to come stay and display their bikes for the locals to see.
A few of us from the Townsville Ulysses rode up on Saturday to participate.
Cassowaries are native to the area, with warning signs everywhere. This one was quite large, but fortunately quite harmless. Mr E and I don't often get the opportunity to be in the same photo but one of our member's wives kindly stepped in to snap a few with us together. 
Mission Beach is as named, a town on a beach...
After 14 months there are still a great many homes waiting for a roof, windows, repairs...
...and some houses deserted or demolished.
Apparently 1700 residents left the area after Yasi and have not returned. Every second home has a for sale sign, and the valuation of property there has fallen dramatically.
But the people still there? Lovely. Friendly, smiling, and welcoming. Made us wish we could move there.
After the very windy ride from Townsville we booked into the motel, changed, and headed for cool drinks near the beach...
On our return to the motel for dinner, Mr E and I found two locals waiting near our room. Kookaburras are my absolute favourite bird, and I get such joy whenever they cross my path...
After dinner we finally gave in to sleep, our thoughts on an early start to the Monster Markets the next morning. 
Bikers from Cairns, Innisfail, Ingham and Townsville set a spectacular sight at the entry point to the Market, with around 50 different bikes on display for the locals and visitors to check out. Mr E and I also caught up with a local Mission Beach biker, Matt, whom we'd met a year before on our trip up to Cooktown...
We found a cappuccino stand before taking the opportunity to play tourist and do the rounds of the market stalls. With a fully loaded bike already, we couldn't buy much, but I wanted to get something small to take home to Blossom (she was babysitting Princess Sophie and Bob-the-dog, and the house).
What a surprise to find this very friendly young lady selling genuine 1970's jewellery and hair clips!
These were all hand painted in the 70's! Things have certainly changed now...
I knew Blossom would LOVE these bobby pins, so I got her a pack...
...and she did love them!
By 11am it was time for all the travelling bikers to say their farewells and get back on the road for home. We waved goodbye to Mission Beach, with a promise to return. 
Next stop was coffee and lunch at Cardwell...
...before leaving two of our group at Ingham. The rest of us continued south towards Townsville, but made sure to pull in at the Frosty Mango for some unbelievably good gelato. 
Final goodbyes were said - next stop HOME.
I had a fantastic weekend away with Mr E, and can't wait for the next trip! I never get tired of being on our bike. :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are they jelly beans??!!

My sweet friend Fee sent me a parcel the other day, and inside was a surprise for me!
Ooooo, are they gourmet jelly beans??!!
My tastebuds were dancing! But then I took a closer look and removed the lid...
Ha ha!! Not jelly beans - better!! 
Twenty cotton reels in goregous colours! 
What a fantastic gift - thanks so much, Fee. 
You know, when I showed Blossom she thought the same as me...jelly beans. ;-)
I finished the fourth design for the magazine this morning. Yep, I am running close to the wire with this issue!
~Shabby Roses Candle-Mat~
I used more 80 year old lace...
Maybe an early Christmas project? :-)
The fifth "Promises & Borders" block is on my knee for stitching tonight. Loving the mother bird guarding her eggs, and another favourite Bible promise...
What is your favourite Bible verse or promise?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Maybe I should have called it the Romantic Issue?

Because the projects all have that really sweet romantic look about them. What do you think?
~Shabby Roses Alphabet Runner~
I used 90 year old lace along the top and bottom borders...isn't it divine?
~Broken Hearts Mend Hanging~
Against my white walls it looks as though it's flying on angels wings...
~Something Special Evening Bag Hidey~
Adding more of my vintage lace stash, this lace is 80 years old...
The perfect place to hide my vintage evening bag...
Can you see why I think it's the Romantic Issue?
Only one more project to complete, then the writing, and I'll have Issue 11 of Elefantz HOME Magazine finished. Yay!
What have you been doing over the weekend?

Friday, April 20, 2012

The best of days...and some Show & Tell!

I spend almost all my waking hours inside my cave; cooking, preparing Mr E's special diet, cleaning , washing, cooking, mopping etc - and of course, stitching and sewing! I go out to take Blossom to work, and again later to pick her up - but apart from that my Monday-Friday existence is spent here at home.
Yesterday I did something different and after dropping Blossom at work I kept on driving - about another 95 kilometres! I headed south to Brandon for a day with my gorgeous friend Wendy. I call Wendy my 'happy friend' because she is a natural ray of sunshine, and someone who lifts your spirits with just one infectious smile - but Wendy smiles constantly, and by home time I was filled to overflowing with love and happiness. 
I think God will have her manning the Happy Booth if they have a fetes in heaven. ;-)
I couldn't believe it had been over 2 months since we last caught up, but when she handed me a belated birthday present it really hit home! 
Look how she spoiled me!
Lots of gorgeous gifties, but knowing I have a thing about pears, her choice of a small quilt kit was perfect!!
Beautiful Robyn Pandolph fabrics (swoon, swoon!!....), to make this Pear quilt she saw in the magazine she'd given me...
Blessing is spelled W-E-N-D-Y, in case you didn't know.
She made us YUMMY chicken and corn pot pies for lunch (her handsome lad, Nick, joined us in his lunch break from work)...
...and then we spent a good 20 minutes taking photos with her phone! Honestly, we were like 14yo's in the photo booth at the local Show!!
See what I mean?! 
Mr E rang just after we'd finished our photo shoot and suspiciously enquired, "Hey, you girls sound like you're having too much fun!?" LOL!! Yep, we sure were. 
We actually took these photos (and many others of armpits, necks, noses...we are not professional photographers okay, and we do have some goof ups) to send to our buddy Dawn, because after I caught Wendy with a happy face whilst reading a text from Dawn...
...we started sending photos back and forth. (Dawn, I wish you'd been there in person, hon!! Can you see how happy you make our Wendy-girl?!)
It was a really great day, and we DID get a little bit of stitching done between the laughter and food. ;-)
Of course, Miss Sophie was not impressed at being left behind at home. She strategically placed herself next to a 'home' pillow to get her message across to me...
Wendy and I are going to do this regularly from now on - no more months between visits!
 How about I share some Show & Tell?
Margaret used Block 1 from my "Promises & Borders" BOM to make a cushion. Honestly, it's just beautiful, Margaret!
Margaret has also been busy re-purposing! (see the blog posts about Re-purposing in 2012 HERE).
Aren't those owls adorable!?
 Katherine used part of my "All You Need Is Love" design to adorn this needlebook set as a swap gift - so pretty!!
Kristen stitched my free "True Love" stitchery onto a cushion. What a beautiful reminder to us of the love Christ has for all!
Jeanne made a table cover using one of my "Promises & Borders" blocks as the centre. She added a second bluebird, enlarged the design, and added the wider fabric border - it's so lovely!
Arianne finished her Shabby Roses quilt and kindly sent me the photo - ooooo, love it!!! This was my very first Shabby Roses design and will always be special, so seeing how others have used it makes me so excited.
Lynelle has just completed Block 3 from "Promises & Borders", and when she sent me the photo she was so eager for Block 4 to be released. Thank you for your excitement and encouragement, Lynelle!!
I would love to sit and chat with you a bit more, but if I do there will be no setting for the Shabby Roses Alphabet. The original idea I had is no longer appealing to me, so this afternoon I will be experimenting with something different...love that word "experimenting" - it's a great excuse when something doesn't work out the way you'd hoped. ;-)
Just for fun, leave a comment and share with us your worst experimental failure. 
Mr E will tell you that my latest one was a gluten-free banana & apricot bread last week. I won't say anymore. It was THAT bad! ;-)