About Me

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My name is Kaye and I am 58 years old. Unbelievably to me, at my age, I have now just embarked upon my third career - as a History Education Consultant! I love to cross stitch and quilt, especially with my kittens, Furio and Milo "helping" me. I also love to read, I have a passion for history and I have been cooking since I was about 12 - move over Junior Masterchef! So, this blog, which started out as a cross stitch blog sometimes morphs into a reading journal or a history lesson (sorry, I used to be a secondary teacher before I became a publisher and now a consultant) or a post about my cooking mojo. Whatever it is, this blog is alway about me, my family and my life here in Eaglemont, Victoria. I have been happily married for over 30 years to the most wonderful man and we are blessed with three beautiful grown up children.

My fellow stitching kittens

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Oscar Wilde, a mishap with a cup of tea, a happy dance and afternoon tea with my blogging friends.....

On Friday night, TraderVic and I went out with some friends to the Heidelberg Theatre Company's (HTC) production of Oscar Wilde's fabulously witty play: "The Importance of being Earnest." It is the HTC's 50th anniversary this year so they are putting on some great plays.  So far this year we have had "A Lion in Winter" and "An Inspector Calls" and now the Wilde play.  Next up is the iconic Australian play "Summer of the seventeenth doll" and the final play of the season will be one of my favourites "Arsenic and Old Lace".  I can't wait!  Here are some pics of the fabulous actors from HTC's production.  For an amateur theatre company they have excellent actors, gorgeous costumes and absolutely wonderful scenery and props.

The other night, DS2 was kind enough to make me a cup of tea - lovely boy.  However, it was not so lovely when he accidentally spilt it on my arm (it was freshly made so the tea was boiling hot!).  To cap it off, DD and DS2 thought my reaction of squawking like a strangled bird was hilarious and were ROFL  instead of helping me!  Eventually, they realised that it was actually a bit serious and pampered me with icepacks, etc.  Here is a picture of my burn - scroll down quickly past it if you get a bit squeamish at burns.

Now for my Happy Dance, I am part of the Santa Sack swap organised by the fabulous Cheryll from Gone Stitchin' and I have finally finished my Santa Sack for my partner Jeanette.  I am quite pleased with myself as I took my ideas from a number of places to create a unique santa sack for Jeanette.  I will be posting it tomorrow - I hope that she likes it (she gets to see it as soon as she gets it, so no worries with posting about it now).

This afternoon I had afternoon tea with Parsley and her daughter and a number of other blogging friends, thanks to Anne for "inviting" me to come along with her.  I made Orange shortbread and had it with a lovely cuppa.

Here is the recipe, for those of you who would like to try it:


225g butter, softened
115g caster sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 Tablespoon orange juice
225 g plain flour
115g cornflour

1.         Preheat oven to 180o C fan forced.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter and         sugar in a large mixing bowl until very pale.  Add orange rind and orange juice.      Beat to combine.
2.         Sift flours into a bowl.  Beat flours into butter mixture until a soft dough forms.     Transfer to a lightly floured surface.  Gently knead until smooth.
3.         Roll dough out until 5 mm think.  Cut into desired shapes.  Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper.
4.         Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and firm.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Instead of cutting out shapes, you could press mixture into a greased 20cm round cake tin and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden and just firm.

... and just to finish, here is Furio showing his entirely feline lack of interest in the London Olympics.  Unlike myself who got up early on a Sunday morning to watch the Opals beat Great Britain at Women's basketball.  Later on, we were treated to seeing our first Gold medal win  - the 4 by 100m freestyle relay in women's swimming.  Yay! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oy! Oy! Oy!


Saturday, 28 July 2012

A happy occasion....

Me, DD and TraderVic
Last weekend we had my DD's 21st birthday party at our home.  We had around a 100 guests.  A lot of planning went into it and I am pleased to say that it was a really happy occasion.  Here are a few pics which I would like to share with you:

The flowers, all ready to place around the house.

The cake: a croquembouche, filled with chocolate and vanilla custard - it was a great hit.

DD and her lovely BF.

The Speeches 1

The Speeches 2

The Speeches 3

My DS, DN and DBIL

DS1 and a friend

My dear friend, Kim, DS2 and one of his friends (whom I taught when he was in Year 8)

I hope that you have enjoyed the party.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

How rude.... do you agree?

On my way home from a conference today I happened to drive by one of my LQS, one which I had not visited for quite some time, maybe two or three years.  However, I have driven by it many times as it is on the way to my sister's home, my best friend's home and most recently it was on the way home to my parent's house from the hospital where my mother was a patient.  Every time I drove by on those trips to visit family and friends, I thought that it was looking rather shabby and a bit run down.

Well, today I actually had a spare ten minutes or so, so I thought that I would actually pay the LQS a visit - and now I know why it is looking so rundown.

I walked in the door, to find some beautiful looking fabric in bolts on the shelves and I thought to myself - "ooh, lovely" however my initial joy soon turned sour by what I think is rudeness by the shop owner or at the very least very poor salesmanship.

Because I then heard this voice from the next room call out "Are you right just to browse?".  I turned around and saw sitting back in a deck chair (inside?) the shop assistant/owner, with a cup of coffee in her hand, obviously not interested in getting up off that deck chair to assist either me or the other lady who had entered the shop at the same time as me.

I said to her, "Well, actually, I am looking for a few things."

"Do you have any cording, I am making a bag?     "NO!"

"Do you have any christmassy fabric?"  "NO!"

"Do you have a quilting service? I have made a quilt for a friend that I would like to get professionally quilted."        "NO!"

And that was that, no sorries, no suggestion of where else I could go for those things, no further conversation and NO MOVING OFF THAT DECK CHAIR!

I left the LQS, feeling deflated and dissatisfied and I thought to myself "How rude and I am never going there again!"

What do you think?

P.S. Update re my Mum:  She is home again and feeling much better, thank goodness.  Thank you so much everyone for your support, kind wishes and prayers.  They helped me so much through this stressful time.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Mislaid TUSAL jar, some stitchy progress and a Happy Dance

Hi everyone,

I will begin with an update on my Mum, she does seem to be on the improve although now she has an infection in her legs.  She is still in hospital but we are hopeful that she will be back home with Dad in the next day or two.  Thank you so much for all your kind wishes and continual support.  It means a great deal to me at this rather stressful time.

Now, on to some stitchy news:

I seem to have "lost" my TUSAL jar temporarily, so here is this month's orts in the little tin which I collect them in whilst I stitch - a variety of colours this month.

Here is something which I am stitching to place on the Santa Sack which I am making for the Santa Sack swap. I am running a bit late with this but just to prove that I am on my way, here are the two panels I am stitching for the front and back.

I also had yet another new start - this is the letter "K". Sorry the first photo doesn't do justice to the lovely green overdyed fabric I am using.  I am really pleased with my progress on this - this is what I have accomplished in a week and a half!

And finally, my Happy Dance.  My friend's baby was born on Monday so I was able to finish Noah's Ark for her - here it is:

Off to continue getting ready for my DD's 21st party tomorrow night and then off to the hospital to visit Mum and look after Dad.


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Update re my Mum, an even bigger thank you and Weekend away in Olinda - Part 3

An even bigger thank you goes out to all my blogging friends for the kind prayers and good wishes you are sending to my mother and father.  It is still a worrying time for us, as the coughing and hacking which accompanies pneumonia is putting a greater strain on her heart.  So, all we can do is continue to pray and hope for a good recovery.  I do so appreciate the support of my stitchy friends at this time.

I am stitching but not up to taking pics, so I thought that I would show you some more of our Olinda weekend away - it seems an oasis free from worry, now. 

This is Miss Marples, a gorgeous teahouse all  done up as if it were in St Mary Mead.  Miss Marple herself and Agatha Christie would be proud.

There is a teas shop, Tea Leaves, which sells hundreds of types of tea plus absolutely gorgeous teapots and cups.
A unique antique French work table for ladies:

Sunset from the balcony of our apartment:

Dessert from the fantastic restaurant we went to on Saturday night, Wild Oak

The view West from the top of Mount Dandenong (if you squint hard enough you can just see our house - lol!).  There is a great restaurant, cafe, gardens, maze, you name it at the top aptly  called Skyhigh

The gardens around the peak of Mount Dandenong:

TraderVic and I at the Wishing Tree:

Wishing tree

The legend of the wishing tree began around 1900.
This area was heavily wooded and a 4 year old boy, Billy Langton became lost.
His father searched everywhere and finally came to this spot.  He wished he could find his son and as he looked through the circle in the tree he saw young Billy squatting beside the creek.
Local legend says if you wish hard enough and look through the magic circle your wish will come true!

This lady was brave enough to pick up this kookaburra who was trapped inside when he flew in to steal people's food!

Here he is again,  no worse for wear:

Well, that is all for now.  Take care all my dear blogging friends,

all my love,
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