Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Another New Hat?!?!

Nah, not really! This is my colleague's hat. Long story, but she leant it to me to wear because I was going to lunch with Gus and I looked good in it when I tried it on. Plus it matched my dress perfectly. LOL

The little wooden butterfly is gorgeous. She's really into butterflies and apparently she brought this one from a wood souvenir shop near where I live. I know the shop and love walking through it smelling the wood and wishing I had money to buy the gorgeous furniture and homewares there! Who knows, I might just pick up a butterfly for myself too. :D

But back to why I was wearing the hat. Today I headed into the city to meet Gus, picking up some really yummy pasta and chocolate dipped strawberries from David Jones (DJs) Food Hall for lunch before heading over to Hyde Park to bask in the sun as it was an absolutely gorgeous day. Sorry, no pictures of the pasta - too hungry! LOL Here's a strawberry though - or half a one!

I could have sat there all day, and quite possibly lay down to have a nap too, but eventually we had to go back to work (booo). Our departure from our idyll was also hastened by a huge mob of school kids who had descended on the park behind where we were sitting. >:(

I love these gorgeous sunny winter days! Bliss!

Oh, and it was a wonderful hat. Very warm. Very trendy! I might just have to get one myself. LOL


Monday, 28 June 2010

Some Crafting at Last!

For about a year and a half, I have had a Kaisercraft wooden Funky Frames pack sitting in my craft stash waiting for me to make them pretty. I had the idea to give them as gifts to my sisters-in-law for their birthday. Well, last June came and went but I didn't get them done. This year I had a couple of days free so really didn't have any excuse!

Do you like them?

This is the first frame and matching card:

(Materials used: Christina Re Mia Collection papers, Kaisercraft rub-on, Kaisercraft pearls, Green Tara mini flowers and some metal butterfly embellishments that I coloured in with permanent markers)

 (close up of butterflies)

(Materials used: Christina Re Mia Collection papers, Martha Stewart Doily border punch, Green Tara Flowers, jewel brad, peel-off sticker)

The second frame and matching card:

(Materials used:  Kaisercraft Gypsy Sisters papers, Kaisercraft wooden flower, Green Tara flowers, Kaisercraft gems)

(Materials used:  Kaisercraft Gypsy Sisters papers, Fiskars Apron border punch, Green Tara flowers with Kaisercraft gem, Nestabilities small Circles and Labels Three, Zig pen for border)

Stay tuned for a possible layout later in the week.


If I find the motivation for it.  LOL


Thursday, 24 June 2010

Australia's First Female Prime Minister

I don't normally like getting into politics as it often results in me just getting angry and annoyed! But I thought this was a special occasion (and probably will be a one off).

Australia now has its first FEMALE Prime Minister. Woo hoo!! See newspaper reports here.

I'm really excited that we finally have a woman in the top job, but I will admit I'm not overly impressed as she is still a Labor candidate and I'm very much of Liberal bent. :D

Chalk this one up for the girls. Go Julia! LOL


Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Off to see the Wizard - AGAIN!

I'm so excited!!! I've just booked tickets to the last Sydney performance of Wicked. I'm really stoked to be seeing it again. You can't half tell I'm obsessed, can you?!? LOL

The only problem is that now I have to wait until September. *cry*

Monday, 21 June 2010

Winter Magic Festival 2010

Every year, there is a local festival around this time celebrating the Winter Solstice and the eventual coming of Spring. It is known as the Winter Magic Festival.

Since we're newbie locals (and we'd never heard about this festival before), we didn't know what to expect, even when we read about the festival and saw the programme in the local newspaper.

So on Saturday morning (in weather more suited to polar bears - windy and freezing, but at least it was sunny), we headed up to Katoomba at around 10.30am, ready to watch the Opening Parade. We were suitably impressed and awed by the transformation of the main street of Katoomba into a veritable hive of people and market stalls. Taking up our positions, we watched as the Grand Wizard came up the street with his entourage leading the parade:

Then came a long line of other interesting characters and local groups:

When the last of the parade moved past us, and the crowd started dispersing, we made our way slowly up the main street looking at all the wonderful stalls full of hand-made goods (although some had cheaply imported fakes) or information about local organisations. There were so many people that this proved a very slow endeavour!

Of course the food stalls were some of the best, and there was a huge range of cuisines to choose from - Chinese, Thai, Peruvian, Mexican, Spanish, German and of course, the traditional Aussie BBQ stall! Although the food was great, it was so windy and cold that anything hot we bought turned cold in a matter of minutes. :( Ah well, at least it was still good food! We did have to go in search of some coffee afterwards to warm us up. Sorry for not having taken any photos of the food as we were so excited with the food stalls AND so hungry that we forgot all about taking photos of what we ate OR of the food stalls!!! LOL

After lunch came more stall browsing and shopping, stopping every so often to watch the entertainment, such as a juggler on a very tall Unicycle:

A pig playing bagpipes:

With his partner playing a Hurdy Gurdy:

And my favourite of the day, watching and listening to two awesome Samba bands:

The music was so catchy that you just HAD to bop along, if not launch into all-out dancing, as some did!! LOL

There was also a steam train that took passengers further up the mountain and back, the old fashioned way (if you ignored the two diesel engines bringing up the rear helping to push the train up the mountain!!!):

Later in the day, I couldn't stand the cold anymore and bought a hat. Do you like it?

Close to nightfall (which at this time of year was around 5.30pm!), we headed up to the Carrington Hotel at the top of the street as that was where all the action was going to be. We saw some fire handlers practicing for the finale show:

And after a very cold hour later, a great Swing band started up on the Hotel balcony, with the fire handlers around them. Three songs later, the fireworks exploded against the inky night sky!

Sorry for the poor fireworks photos. Gus didn't bring his tripod knowing that he wouldn't have anywhere to set it up, and he was right! There were so many people that there wasn't room for a tripod as well! So we had to content ourselves with hand-held photos.  Those two were the best!

After the fireworks, we staggered home, exhausted after a very long, but extremely enjoyable day.

If I had one word to describe the festival (and indeed the people of the Blue Mountains), it would be ECLECTIC. From the Gothics and Bohemians to the Burlesque (and even Gothic Burlesque!!!); from the Knights and Wizards to the Princes and Princesses; from the Australians to the Asians to the South Americans; from the locals to the Sydney-siders to the foreign tourists. It was such a melting pot of cultures, religions and people that it was mind-boggling! But there was one thing that linked everyone - the participation in (so many people dressed up!) and pure enjoyment of a community festival and having fun in a very simple and casual way. I definitely think we've made the right choice in moving up here. *wink*


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Colour in Winter - A Photo Safari

I was inspired to do something different this weekend by Color Me Katie's walk around her Brooklyn neighbourhood.

Thus was born my "Colour In Winter" Photo Safari!

Gus and I have wanted to do a Photo Safari for ages. We never really got around to doing it in our old Sydney suburb, and being in the Mountains seems much more inspiring and interesting than where we used to live. When I saw Katie's photographs, I immediately thought of all the wonderful sights in the village and just had to embark on this little adventure.

Since it's winter here in the Southern Hemisphere, I thought it would be a great challenge to walk around the local neighbourhood and find "Colour in Winter". Much to my surprise (and delight!), I found heaps more photo opportunities than I had initially imagined! (In fact I took over 100 photos and it's taken me quite a while to go through them and pick out the best ones!) :D

So, Gus and I set off early on the Queen's Birthday holiday Monday and we were both so excited that we didn't even feel the freezing cold 5C temperature! It was a gorgeously sunny morning, which really helped us to get some great photos AND keep us warm. LOL

Anyway, that's enough chatter.  Let's see how much colour we found on this gorgeous winter day, shall we??

Beautiful red tinged leaves on a succulent hiding in my front garden:

A tree standing tall against the deep azure sky:

An old green truck:

A red hydrant cover:

Watch out - School Zone!!

Brightly coloured street signs:

A mural in a bus stop shelter:

Autumn coloured leaves still clinging on:

A purple building!

Oranges in The Deli (our breakfast stop):

Faeries in the toy shop window:

Santa Claus!  Just in time for Christmas in July celebrations!

Bunting at the markets:

Go Socceroos!!
(Despite the fact that I am NOT a soccer fan of any sort, I am still refusing to acknowledge the awful/embarrassing/depressing thrashing they received on Monday at the hands of Germany.  Hopefully they will do better next game! LOL)

Mug display in the gift shop window:

A Japanese Garden mural:

Yellow footings on the construction site fencing:

Quick!  Better move the car - parking police!!

Shop signs:

New shoots:

A pink Galah!

Confused Jonquils flowering at the beginning of winter?!?!

Footprints in pink paint!

Spiky red/green leaves:

Green school gates:

And finally, all the pretty flowers we encountered along the way that refused to be defeated by a little cold weather!

So that's it! Thanks for joining us on our Photo Safari of the local area to find Colour in Winter.  I think we were pretty successful, don't you?!? :D


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