Archive for June, 2014


My thumb is still sore, so no knitting has been happening. I’m disappointed because I have a number of projects that are very close to finishing, but they will have to wait. We head to Australia tomorrow for a much needed mental health break and I’ll seek a second opinion there.

I did do a few scrapbooking pages this week. Here’s the one I’m most happy with.

school scrappage

Yes, I know that my title is crooked (sigh). This was a challenge to myself to try layering a little more. I think it works. I love my corner rounder from Stampin’ Up. The flowers are fussy cut from a piece of scrapbooking paper. I think this paper has contributed to three pages and a card now. I’m cheap like that frugal.

I probably won’t have much internet access for the next little while, going to try and disconnect a bit while in Australia. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the thumb issue resolved and be back to knitting and sewing as normal soon.

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A Palace in Poland

The next stop on our organised tour was a palace in Nieborow.

nieborow castle

This is the entrance. In the opposite direction there was beautiful green space.

greenspace Nieborow

Gorgeous Man ducked off quickly from the tour to dash down to the lake and see if he could spot any new birds.

Inside was quite amazing. We saw stoves like this in Neuschwanstein Castle, but were not allowed to take photos. Here photography was permitted, provided that the flash was switched off.


The tile theme continued into the stairwell.


All of these tiles were different and were scenes of rural life. The wall treatments were remarkable in a number of rooms.

wallpapergone wild

Love how the sofa is the same pattern 🙂 but it’s all a bit much for this simple girl. At this point in the tour I was starting to feel a bit hungry and I expected that sooner or later we would stop at a park and eat a sack lunch.  Imagine my surprise when the guide said, “Lunch is ready.” and we walked into this room. Oh my! Lunch in a palace!


Because I am a terrible blogger I quite forgot about taking pictures of the meal until after I’d finished the best cup of coffee I drank in Europe.


Don’t you just love the sugar bowl?

After lunch we wandered around the palace for a little while longer and then hopped onto the bus to go to a village to see how the other half had lived,  but that’s another post.

There hasn’t been any crafting here at Ruth’s place (good thing I have travel pictures to show you all). I had a severe and sudden onset of extreme pain when trying to move my thumb right. As this happened in the evening, and we don’t go out at night unless it is an extreme emergency I took some pain-killers and went to bed. It was worse in the morning, so we arranged care for Gorgeous Girl and headed into town to the clinic. Dr moved it around a bit (Ouch!) and then ordered x-rays (more ouch as I had to hold it in painful positions) and I came home with anti-inflammatory drugs, instructions to elevate and to put hand in  very hot water and move it gently. I’m as good as new now, but will keep resting it for a bit to make sure.

Honestly though watching TV without knitting, crocheting or sewing is difficult. I don’t know what people without hobbies do!


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The final day of the conference in Poland was a tour of Warsaw and the surrounding area. The hosts really packed a lot into the day.

(Warning photo heavy post ahead).

We started with a bus ride into Warsaw and then did some walking. I was a bit sore by the end of the day, but generally my foot held up pretty well.

Warsaw looks very old, but in reality most of its buildings date from after the Second World War as much of the city had to be rebuilt.

Our first stop was the Church of the Holy Cross.  Chopin’s heart is buried here. There was also an alcove dedicated to Pope John Paul II which I found very interesting. I didn’t take a closer photo than this as I didn’t want to disturb this lady’s devotion.


Here I am outside of the Polish Parliament.


I love the architecture of the old style building and my camera has many, many photos of them on it.

street scene

I was quite taken with this skinny building and would have loved to have been able to see what it looked like inside.

skinny building

After a whistle stop tour of Warsaw we headed for Nieborow Palace. But that deserves a post of its own.





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I have a very large pile of photos waiting to be scrapbooked. Recently I made two pages and reduced the pile a fraction.

First is a page from our trip to Zambia in 2011. We were stalled one evening by approaching dark and a washed out river crossing and a local family graciously invited us to pitch our camp in their village.


Title is hand lettered, tag is recycled from some clothing I bought a while back.

Then continuing with the Zambian theme I used some photos I took of Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl’s butterfly hunting efforts.

butterfly scrappage

Butterflies were fussy cut, title was hand lettered.

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There were 4 of us at the conference in Germany who were also going to the conference in Poland, so the organisers of the Polish conference sent a mini-bus to collect us. I crocheted for most of the 6 hour trip and enjoyed the occasional sighting of deer from the windows of the speeding van.

Given that at the moment we rarely go above 60 kilometres an hour due to the poor condition of the roads it seemed very odd to be travelling at speeds of 140. 😉

We stayed on the grounds of the university in this lovely old building.

poland accommodation1

poland accommodation2

Our room was the pointed window at the very top at the far end. Being rather a tall person the sloping ceilings gave Gorgeous Man some challenges.

The campus was beautiful. I was charmed by the trees.

poland accommodation3

We arrived a day before the conference was due to start so we had time to go for a walk and enjoy the scenery.

poland woods

This is a local park. I was thrilled to find these little flowers.

poland snow drops

The conference itself was pretty intense with lots of papers in English and Polish. I found the simultaneous translation with ear phones difficult. But the papers themselves were interesting.

After the conference the organisers had set aside a day for sight-seeing. More of that in a later post.


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It’s a long weekend here in Papua New Guinea and Gorgeous Girl also had the Friday off school as well (she gets a 4 day weekend). So we did a little more yarn dyeing together.

She asked for some blue and pink yarn for a hat. 3 packets of Kool Aid later.

pink and blue stripe yarn

While that was on the stove I took some handspun alpaca and popped it into a pot with some cherry kool aid. The original yarn was a dirty cream and I was never going to use it the way it was. I’m happy with how it turned out.

overdye alpaca

There are very subtle colour variations in the yarn.

overdye alpaca 2

I’ve also done some scrapbooking. I did look at the usual scrapbooking challenges that I follow, but none of them really appealed this month. A lot are too prescriptive when you don’t live near a scrapbooking store. I don’t have 50 co-ordinating embellishments or the right combination of papers to follow a colour challenge.  🙂

So a simple page of photos that have been waiting far too long to be put into the album.

feeding scrappage

Those brilliant blue eyes are now a hazel/green…

Yesterday I had the urge to sew. I laid out my current leaders and enders project on the design wall bed

leaders and enders

and pulled out my current piecing project. To my horror my sewing machine would not sew. All it did was pull long loops of thread to the back of the work. I did all the trouble shooting I could think of, I cleaned the bobbin case, changed the needle, rethreaded everything, but to no avail.

My machine is computerised, so there is no way to manually adjust the tension. I started researching sewing machine repair stores in the town in Australia where we will spend our winter holiday. I consulted the hive mind on facebook. One of my friends suggested that perhaps the heat and humidity were causing the machine to act up. It was an exceptionally hot day, even for here. So I stepped away from the machine for a few hours.

By late afternoon the temperature had dropped (slightly) and it was certainly less humid. In great fear and trepidation I turned on the machine and it sewed perfectly…

I managed to add another border to the Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt as well as piece a few blocks of the leaders and ender quilt together.

VHC 2 border

Next I’m going to add the pieced border to either end of the quilt and then I’ll add another pieced border on either side to make it wider. I’m really happy with how this is coming along.





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More Germany

The conference was intense. Lots of papers in English and German with simultaneous translation. But it was very interesting and great to meet up with people we already knew and make some new friends.

On the last day of the conference the organisers had scheduled a tour in the afternoon. We all piled on a big bus and headed to Wittenberg. Wittenberg is the centre of the Protestant Reformation, so for a group of historians this was pretty exciting. Unfortunately 90% of the buildings connected to Martin Luther are currently covered with plastic and scaffolding as the town prepares for the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg church in 2017.

Even so, it was an amazing place to visit.

There were lots of pretty buildings.

pretty buildings

I love the details around the window.

We did get to see Martin Luther’s house, which is now a museum.

Martin Luther house

I’ve always thought of Martin Luther as looking like this.

old Martin Luther

Rather large and stout, so it was interesting to see this sketch of him in his much younger years while he was still a monk.

Young Martin Luther

There was also a statue of Martin Luther’s wife.

Mrs Martin Luther

During the tour I spotted a yarn store and detached myself from the tour for some quick yarn purchases.

German haul

I haven’t decided what I’m going to make with it yet, but I’m pleased with them. These yarn purchases did result in the loss of the tour group. Gorgeous Man and I did manage to find them again after about half an hour. We knew where they were going to end up, so we were never in any danger of being left behind…

The day ended with a concert in the Leipzig concert hall. It was a great end to our time in Germany.

Then it was time to head to Poland.



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Kool Aid dyeing

A few months ago there was a discussion in one of the Ravelry groups that I belong to about dyeing yarn with Kool Aid. I happened to mention that I had seen Kool Aid in the stores for a short time here in PNG but hadn’t bought any due to the price and that now it had disappeared. A very kind Raveller offered to post some to me. It arrived last week and so Gorgeous Girl and I popped some yarn into a pot.

Firstly I used a packet of cherry to over-dye this hand-spun skein from this

purple yarn before

to this.

purple yarn after1

Another picture.

purple yarn after2

I’m rather impressed with myself.

We then used Mixed Berry and Blue Lemonade to dye some electric blue yarn. This turned out delightfully mottled, a real kettle dyed look. However, my camera is unable to capture it’s true beauty 😦

electric blue

It’s much more vibrant than this and I’m really, really pleased with it. It turned out exactly as I wanted it to. I’ll have to try and take another photo at a different time of day. This was over-dyed over a cream yarn base.

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Onward through Germany

We decided to stay in Garmisch Partenkirchen  and we were totally charmed by this town. Our guesthouse was lovely. We really enjoyed the bread rolls at breakfast. One thing we miss living in Papua New Guinea is access to a variety of bread.

This was the view from our room.

view from hotel

The other direction.

view from hotel 2

We had wanted to take a chair lift up one of the nearby mountains and experience the alps up close and personally. Unfortunately, the weather was against us and so instead we wandered around the town and just soaked up the atmosphere.

street scene GPK

Beautiful buildings nestled at the foot of the alps and gorgeous plantings of spring bulbs and other flowers.

See, tulips!


I love that I can grow orchids easily in Papua New Guinea, but I do miss the bulbs that come with colder climates.

hotel GPK

Such a charming building.

I was very excited to see an electric car charging station in the parking lot.

electric car

We only had one full day here before we had to head to our conference, which was the reason why we went to Germany in the first place…

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There’s been a little bit of crafty goodness happening here at Ruth’s Place.

I finished Brickless and wore it in Germany. It’s now in a ziplock bag in a box waiting for our next visit somewhere cold…

brickless finish one

brickless finish two

I’m pleased with how it turned out.

Needed to make a thank you card and I came up with this.

thank you card

I fussy cut the motifs from some paper. Leaf placement on the right could be a little better, but I think it works overall. Now just need to write in it and pop it in the post.

There has also been some scrapbooking. I am trying to use some photos of myself and Gorgeous Man, so that not all the scrapbook albums in the house are of Gorgeous Girl. These are very old photos of my graduation from my first degree. When I graduated I never expected that life would lead me in the direction that it has. For this layout I used the layout by Gisele Julien shown on the Let’s Capture our Memories blog for sketch 69. It was perfect for the photos that I had of this event.

graduation scrappage

I hand wrote the title and coloured it with water-colour pencils.


A slip of the cutting knife meant that an embellishment was needed. Fortunately I had the perfect one left over from when I did a page for Dr. Gorgeous Man’s most recent graduation.

grad embellishment closeup

I suspect I must be the ultimate simple scrapbooker with only one embellishment on a page.

In real life the green leaves in the background paper and the green in the title match perfectly, but my camera didn’t want to play nice.

Right now I have some yarn cooling on the sink and some cooking on the stove. A very generous Raveller sent me some Kool Aid, so I’ve been experimenting with that. The over-dyed yarn is looking great, I’m reserving my judgement regarding the yarn on the stove.

Stay tuned for yarny photos.


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