Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Gorgeous Girl is currently on school holidays. This morning she asked if she could go for a walk around the block. I decided to grab my camera and go with her. Here are some of the things we saw. Gorgeous Girl took this picture. It’s called a candle tree because it’s shaped like a candle. She says it’s her favourite tree.

candle tree

These trees are my favourite.

favourite tree

I love the shape of them. Around the corner we spotted some corn one of our neighbours has planted at the edge of their yard.


The hibiscus flowers all year.

yellow hibiscus

pink hibiscusred hibiscus

Gorgeous Girl took this picture of the frangipanis.


There are also lots of coconut trees around.

coconut tree

Then we were too hot and had to come home for a big drink of water and sit under the fan for a while.

Because this is really a craft blog, I’ll leave you with a picture of my current favourite block for the hexagon quilt.  I love the little toadstool houses.

toadstools block

I need to prep some more hexi-pieces to stitch together. I have a few big plane trips coming up and these are my go-to travel project.

I’ve been accepted to present a paper at a conference in Poland. Gorgeous Man is presenting at a (related) conference in Germany a few days prior to the Polish conference and then he is also presenting at the one in Poland. So we’ll be going to that together.

Crafting time is decreasing as I’m trying to get the paper written for the conference as well as keep chugging away on my thesis…


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So tiredness has sucked all my crafting mojo this week. Yesterday we went into town to do the grocery shopping. As Gorgeous Man pointed out roadworks plus 2 days of solid rain are a bad, bad combination.

The 20 minute trip took over 2 hours to get to the store.


The bumps in the road slowed things down tremendously, as did the giant potholes (this photo was taken on the way home). We did have something interesting to look at for a lot of the trip.

pigs in ute

Two big piggies going to market.

Anyway, on to the scrapbooking…I decided that I should try to stick to doing at least one page a week and so made up this very, very simple page. This was taken at a playground in Cairns, Australia last year when we were there on annual leave. I turned Gorgeous Girl loose to run around and suddenly I heard a voice from way up high “Look at me, Mum.” She was the smallest kid at the top of the structure (and yes, it is a high as it looks).

fearless page

I hand wrote the title and the journalling.


I added a white dauber ink around the edges of the page. It was a bit stark, so I overlaid it with champagne coloured ink to tone it down a bit.


Since there is handwriting and ink on the page I’m entering this in this weeks Frosted Designs Handwriting and Inks Challenge.


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On Sunday a group of us from Gorgeous Man’s work took a trip to Sirianamu Dam. We took two four wheel drives, a security guard and a two way radio so that we could speak between cars. After all that preparation the trip was uneventful.

It’s about an hour’s drive from Port Morseby. The drive is impressive, up mountains on narrow roads. When we got there we stopped and saw the dam overflow pipe.

This photo shows the surrounding scenery a little better.

Gorgeous Girl at the top.

Of course the high light for Gorgeous Girl was the chance to go swimming in part of the dam.

The sun was pretty brutal and there was no shade. We rigged up a temporary shelter for me.

It worked pretty well, though I did get terribly sunburnt on the lower 6 inches of my legs. I only have 10 minutes in the sun before I’m severely burnt… After some snacks in the shelter at the top of the hill it was time to return to Port Moresby. We stopped at a local market on the way home and picked up some delicious bananas and a pineapple (haven’t eaten that yet). It was a lovely day out.

The cat is progressing nicely.

Just one arm, two legs and an entire other cat to go. I’m not going to have enough white cotton left to make matching exactly cats, so they will be fraternal twins.

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A wedding

Hi. It’s been a while since I posted. Gorgeous Girl and I went to Perth, Western Australia for a wedding.

She got to wear a pretty dress.

Because it was cold we bought a cardigan and some leggings to try and keep her a bit warmer.

There was a beautiful hairpiece (thank you Target for accessories and shoes).

She tossed some flowers on the ground.

Vows were said

and the grooms danced down the aisle.

There was fabulous food and a stunning wedding cake.

A few days after the wedding, the quilt was finally delivered. (It took me longer to sew down the binding than anticipated).

It was just a short trip away, but there was still time for jigsaws with Grandma.

It was a long trip home; an overnight flight from Perth to Brisbane, with a 4+ hour wait in Brisbane airport. Fortunately Gorgeous Girl is a very good traveller, she didn’t get fussy or cranky, there were no melt-downs. In Brisbane she asked for fruit salad for breakfast and then curled up and slept for three hours.

Tip for travellers flying the Brisbane-Perth route: Virgin does not provide blankets or pillows and the air conditioning on the plane was freezing. We had Gorgeous Girl’s blankie to keep us warm (despite a row to ourselves she slept on my lap for the first 2 hours of the flight), the dog blanket in the picture was bought in Perth for the trip home…

The gate that the planes to PNG (and other smaller less common destinations) depart from has couches instead of chairs with arm rests, so I was able to put my feet up and read. The gate was used for a flight before ours and Gorgeous Girl slept through the filling up of the gate and the hustle of that plane boarding. Of course this meant that she was far more rested than I was. I fell asleep during the safety demonstration and woke up to Gorgeous Girl poking me to tell me that we had taken off.

There was a lot of knitting as we did a lot of running around and I knitted in the car. Pictures as soon as the ends are woven in.



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This year marks Papua New Guinea’s 38th year of Independence. Each year Gorgeous Girl’s school puts on a concert celebrating the cultural diversity that makes up PNG. Each class dresses in traditional clothes from different regions and does a dance or sings a song from that area. PNG has over 800 different languages, so there are a lot to choose from.

Here’s my Gorgeous Girl dressed up. I snapped this after her performance. Her class was performing a dance from New Ireland.

With her class.

Some of the other classes.

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into our celebrations here.

I’ll be offline for a week or so. Talk to you when I get back.

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I felt a little bit inspired with the scrapbooking recently (and the hundreds of photos waiting to be done were starting to look at me accusingly). So I decided to work on a mini-album from Brazil. I chose to just use pictures from the Pantanal. The photos from other places will get scrapped in a 12×12 album.

This was a nice easy way to ease back into the scrapbooking since I made the album before we left for Brazil. All I needed to do was add pictures and a few embellishments. Here’s the cover page.

The tag on the album cover is ancient. It’s made from paper that I dyed using shaving foam and instant coffee, then on a holiday with my SIL she taught me how to do a collage type look with stamps and this is the result. This happened before Gorgeous Man and I left for South Africa, so it’s at least 9 or 10 years old. Do any of you have stash that old? Or is it just me with the hoarding gene?

A sample of a few pages from the album. Don’t want to bore you…

This last page is one of my favourite photos of Gorgeous Girl. It really shows how fearless she is and how she will grab life by the horns and tackle it head on.

After being attached by a rope to the lead horse for about 5 minutes Gorgeous Girl insisted that she was able to ‘steer the horse’ on her own, and she did. Her main complaint was that her horse did not move fast enough. I need to find some more rings to hold it together, I’ll do that when I’m in Australia next week.

It’s been a bit of a sad day here at Ruthsplace. On Wednesday we came into ownership of a very young baby dove which had been found on the ground. It was very weak and we tried to prepare our animal loving Gorgeous Girl that it probably wouldn’t live through the night. It did, and it perked up a bit. We managed to get it to drink some water, but couldn’t get it to eat enough.

It flew a little bit around the house and so this morning Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl took him to some protected bushes and turned him loose to fend for himself. He wasn’t in the little nest they had made for him when we went to check this afternoon, so hopefully he’s found some food and somewhere safe to roost…

But Gorgeous Girl is most upset at losing her pet.

Gorgeous Girl and I are flying to Perth next week. I’ll be offline for most of the time, so this will probably be my last post for a while. I’m expecting to have lots of “so cute you can’t it” photos when we get back.

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We are privileged to live in a culturally diverse community. This weekend the students from Vanuatu held a fund raising event and so Gorgeous Man, Gorgeous Girl and I went along.

I love that we can take Gorgeous Girl to an event and she’ll hear songs in 6 different languages/dialects and see dances from two additional countries. After the speeches we had a traditional dinner.

There was kaukau (sweet potato) cooked in banana leaves under the ground.

The darker purpley ones are cooked banana.

When I was at university (for the first time) I had a lot of Polynesian friends, so I was happy to see taro on the menu. This was cooked in coconut milk and was very nice.

Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl are not fans of taro.

This last one was interesting. I went back after everyone had finished eating to take pictures, so it’s a bit of a mess.

This is yams which are mixed into a paste and then cooked in a ring around the bowl in the centre. (The cooking container is made from banana leaves and is also cooked below ground). The bowl in the centre is filled with onions and coconut milk. You slice a piece of the yam material off and dip it in the coconut milk.

I love that Gorgeous Girl is an adventurous eater and will try new foods.

After the food there was dancing and singing. Firstly the girls from Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) danced.

There was some Samoan dancing as well.

I had some very good friends who were Samoan. Both of whom have passed away, so this dance made me smile and brought back many happy memories. I have better photos than this, but I’m trying to respect people’s privacy while at the same time show a little of what we experienced.

I also have pictures of the garden, but will save them for next time.

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We’ve just arrived home from two lovely weeks in Cairns. We rented a little unit (under the flight path) not far from the beach, we were mostly disconnected from the internet and had time to just relax and spend time together as a family. I also went shopping for fabric for my hexagon quilt, and backing fabric for my brother’s quilt. I posted the quilt top and backing fabric off to the long-arm quilter. She is mailing it to my Mum in Western Australia, so I don’t get to see it in person until September. The photos she’s sent through look fabulous though.

It’s interesting taking Gorgeous Girl back to Australia for holidays as she gets to do things that children living in Australia take for granted. She was happy to eat MacDonalds and sushi – we even purchased a sushi maker to attempt to recreate her favourites at home. We also took her along to local shopping centres so she could take part in the free school holiday activities on offer.

It’s winter in Cairns at the moment. The first week we had pretty good weather.

But a lot of days were kind of cloudy with some rain (I even got to wear a jacket – very exciting for this person from the tropics :D ).

On this cloudy day Gorgeous Girl and Gorgeous Man dug for clams.

Then popped them in a bucket of water and watched them open up. Love having a naturalist in the family.

I also love this photo I snapped of Gorgeous Girl.

Expect to see it scrapbooked at some stage.

One thing that we really miss is public play areas. So I spent a lot of time sitting and watching Gorgeous Girl do things like this,

and this

and this.

Have I mentioned my child is fearless?

Of course sitting in parks meant that there was lots of time for me to work on my hand-pieced hexagon quilt.

I’ve increased my stack quite a bit and now need to start working these into the main body of the quilt. I also finished a lace scarf, but it needs to be be blocked before having it’s blog debut.

One last photo which sums up the holiday.

Me taking photos of Gorgeous Girl while Gorgeous Man confirms his latest bird sighting.

My foot held up pretty well. There was really only one day that I had a lot of pain and that was after spending several hours on my feet at Kuranda. I found some fabulous yarn and fibre in a little market stall up there. Gorgeous Man has purchased some and put it away for my birthday.

While we were away three lovely packages for me arrived, but they deserve a blog post of their own. I also have some cards I made before I left and a knitted scarf to show you.


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I was very, very happy to be able to spend my week in Michigan with one of my oldest friends. She was very gracious about running me into the University every day and bringing me coffee and food to keep me going. The days were full of research (mostly – I did take a morning off to go with her to a local elementary school to talk to the Kindergarten kids about Australia), but in the evenings I got to do a bit of sight-seeing.

One of the first places we visited was Lake Michigan. Biggest lake I’ve ever seen.

These two got married at the end of this pier(during summer time several years ago), so we took a walk. Despite the cold, it was a beautiful day.

I was glad to have my hand-knits.

I loved the ice formation on the lighthouse.

I also made sure to stand well clear as large chunks of it were melting off.

After our walk we had hot chocolate to warm up.

My most decadent food for the trip :D

I was delighted that there was snow while I was there.

I suspect I was the only one who was happy to see it. lol

This last photo was actually taken in Nebraska but I thought I’d share it since it is something that we never see here.

This was my travel knitting. I had to finish it when I got home because I ran out of yarn while I was away and had left the coordinating yarn in my stash.

I love how this has turned out.

But I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to wear it. Right now it’s safely packed away with my other winter woollies waiting to make it’s debut.

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So, I’m back from the USA, and currently sweltering in the unrelenting heat and humidity that is Papua New Guinea. We took a very long plane ride. Port Moresby, PNG to Brisbane, Australia (you have to fly to the US from Australia and we needed to drop Gorgeous Girl with relatives). After an overnight stay we then flew to LA, US, and then caught a much smaller plane to get to our destination. I did some crafting on the planes.


I’ve had problems getting knitting needles through security at Brisbane International Airport in the past, so a small quilting kit is my go to travel project. I did pack knitting for my US flights as the TSA there has different rules.

My foot held up really well while we were in the USA, though I did get wheelchair assistance at the airports. I knew there was no way I could walk the mile between gates during our Minnesota-St Paul transfer, for example.

The first stop was Lincoln, Nebraska where Gorgeous Man and I were to attend a conference. Gorgeous Man presented a paper, but I just attended the sessions.

On our first morning there we woke up to this.

This was taken on the grounds of the university we were visiting.

Given that it was late March in Nebraska, I think that Gorgeous Man and I were the only ones smiling about the snow.

At one point I may have spun is circles crying “Wheee” but it can’t be proven :)

We had a full day before the conference began and I managed to sneak in a visit here. This is one place I’ve always wanted to visit, but never thought life would take me to a small town in Nebraska… funny how things turn out.

The quilts were amazing, and as a historian I found the thought behind the exhibitions and the history that went with them really interesting. What really struck me about a lot of the quilts was that they weren’t perfect, but they  worked. They were stunning and the imperfections didn’t really matter – and a lot of them couldn’t be seen from a distance.  It seems that modern quilting has become very fixated with the perfect 1/4 inch seam and precision points. I’m hoping that this revelation will see me spending less time with my seam ripper.

This quilt was a great case in point. (Photography was permitted, as long as the flash was switched off).

The centre of this quilt had a diamond that was a full quarter inch out of line. It would have had me running for my seam ripper, but from a distance, you can’t tell and the quilt is visually stunning.

After the conference, Gorgeous Man headed back to Australia and I caught a lift with some academics to Michigan. The friend we were staying with (who also happened to be one of the conference organisers) had put me in touch with them and vouched for their sanity…fortunately, the driver of the car turned out to be very funny and a delightful travel companion and the 9+ hour trip didn’t seem that long at all. I also broke out some knitting for the trip.

I was to visit archives in Michigan to find evidence for my thesis. A bonus was that I got to spend a week with one of my oldest friends (we met in high school in Australia) who now lives in the area. I’ll bore you with pictures of that visit in my next blog post….:)


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