Sunday, 30 November 2014

Crossing the Nullabor

I'm finally getting around to posting about the rest of our trip. This was a remote lookout in the Port Lincoln area. Then finally we reached the long awaited Nullabor.

The Nullabor - Latin for no trees
Head of the Bight
Painted dragon
The Great Australian Bight
It may look boring but there was always something to see, if you stopped the car to look closely at the plant life...
This one plant had three different types of flowers!

or the wildlife (hubby nearly stepped on this goanna!)...
or took little side tracks to the coastal edge.
You don't want to get too close to the edge!
New Holland honeyeater
A Nullabor snowman made of rocks
Emu with three chicks
Cute stripes!

The road houses sometimes had some very surprising elements, like this museum at Balladonia where pieces of Skylab space station fell to earth in 1979.

Old Aussie kitchen

An old Jones sewing machine
I wasn't too sure about using the toilets here but I'm afraid there wasn't much choice...

 At the edge of the Nullabor we stayed at Fraser Range, a huge sheep station (500,000 acres!!!) that is surrounded by the largest hardwood forest in the world.

Even though it had rained the night before, the surface quickly dries out.

This was our cottage on the station, where I managed to make some more Gossip in the Garden hexies.


We then travelled to Noresman and did a short mountain-top walk amongst beautiful flowering gums.


Now for a bit of a sewing update, I recently finished CCCQ block #24 to swap with Chris. I used the back basting technique for this block and, unlike the pattern, I did the green section as all one piece.

And some more sewing for Gossip in the Garden.

I've also been sewing lots of DJ blocks and working on AWS with the G'nT Sisters but more on those next time.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Swimming with sea lions

I've been madly sewing lately rather than having time to blog. Anyway here's the next instalment of our trip across the Nullabor. After leaving Port Augusta we travelled south to Port Lincoln. This is a fishing town where many prawn and tuna fishing trawlers leave from.

Port Lincoln marina

From here I also went swimming with sea lions. The day I booked was cancelled due to bad weather but luckily I was able to go the next morning. The sea lions were very curious and as soon as we dropped anchor near their beach the teenage seals came out to play. The captain of the ship kindly lent me her underwater camera and I managed to take these shots.

As you can see they came very close and touched me with their whiskers (known as vibrissae).

We stayed in a beautiful stone cottage.
Hermitage Garden Cottage

There was a trilingual library and a perfect chair where I could sit and sew.
Port Lincoln also had a beautiful patchwork shop - The Patchwork Pear.
I bought some fabrics for Aunty Green, Gossip in the Garden (GiG) and I'm collecting yellow and grey fabrics.

On the trip I mostly worked on hand piecing hexies for GiG. I don't like the glue method so I thought I'd try and just use paper clips - they look great but totally unworkable when it came to sewing them together :D
I ended up tacking the fabric down without going through the papers.

Since I've been home I've done a bit more catching up on the Gossip BOM.

We farewelled Port Lincoln and it's wildlife (I mentioned in my last post that my bird photography improved) and headed for our next stop at Ceduna.
Along the way there were some interesting rock formations...

Murphy's Haystacks
...and more interesting plants.
Grass trees

Next instalment - the actual Nullabor!

Friday, 7 November 2014

I'm back!

I have returned from our trip across the Nullabor, we had a great time and I took many photos so I think I'll break up my journey into a few posts with some sewing in between. We started by flying to Adelaide, the capital city of Australia and where my mother lived. I have fond memories of shopping in Rundle Mall with mum, where the famous Haigh's chocolates originated.

The Button Bar shop in the Adelaide arcade had a cute display of knitted tea cosies.
I really love the old stone buildings that Adelaide and the country towns in South Australia have preserved.
We hired a car and drove up to Port Augusta. It was very hot there at 38 degrees Celcius (100.4 F) so I was very glad our accommodation had a swimming pool.
We saw quite a few creatures on our journey including this shingleback lizard. His markings looked as though he had crawled through yellow paint.
He was there on the side of the road to welcome us into the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden

This is a must see for all of our wonderful native plants and birds.
Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden with the southern Flinders Ranges in the background
Singing honeyeater (sorry about the blur)
My bird photography did improve with the journey. 
I also had the best breakfast of the journey here, pancakes with lemon myrtle ice-cream and quandong sauce (a native fruit). Quandongs have twice the amount of vitamin C so it was a healthy meal!

I paid a brief visit to Jane's Patchwork and Sewing (a bit too hot for browsing!).
Patchwork shop outback style
I did a small amount of appliqué on AWS... 
...and then finished off the piecing back at home.

Almost completed, must say I just love this block. 
The colours remind me of the outback. 
I just need to add four circles in the background spaces. Why haven't I done this? I don't know how big to make the circles as sadly I left my Primarily Patchwork  in the hire car,it was signed by Di Ford and had lots of my handwritten notes on the pattern sheets. I've contacted the car rental company to no avail, there's a slight chance that hubby packed it into a portable car fridge that is being shipped back from Perth. I'll have to wait and see - keep your fingers crossed.
Next instalment - swimming with sea lions!