Mum’s visit continued

Before mum and I headed south for our big road trip, we headed into the city and took a ferry over to Sydney Zoo – we were lucky that the rain held off while we were out, though sadly the downturn in weather was just the start of what was yet to come for the rest of our holidays. I took quite a few photos that day, so here are just a handful of my favourites – especially the view of Sydney cityscape from the Zoo, what a stunning view that is!

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Sydney Ferry Terminal, Sydney Harbour

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Part of the historic Rocks area of Sydney

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A view of Sydney Opera House from the water

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Above are a small selection of animals on display:
Giraffes, Bongo (antelope), Striped Lemur, Lioness,
Red Tree Kangaroo, Gorillas, Otters, Meerkat

One of the main drawcards of Sydney Zoo at the moment is the little baby elephants – and they sure are cute to watch while they’re playing! 😀

We had a lovely day out – and now, after more than 3 years, we can say we’ve seen Sydney Zoo!  Mum was a bit embarrassed at seeing the otters being very voyeuristic by attempting to increase the otter population in full view of the viewing window … 😉

The next morning we headed over to Alison’s for a stitching day with my some of my closest Sydney pals – then on Sunday we jumped in the car at the crack of dawn to commence our week-long road trip.  Thankfully I’d already investigated a shuddering steering wheel the week earlier, and found a bulging tyre so after having that replaced we were ready to rock and roll and hit the highway safely 🙂

Week one of Mum’s visit

Oh my goodness, has it been almost one week already since Mum has gone home?  Luckily she got her flight home just before flights were grounded due to volcanic ash cloud sent over from Chile (although I wouldn’t have complained if her stay was extended, as it was all over all too quickly as it is!).  This trip has been one of the fastest ones ever, perhaps because we were “on the go” all the time without a great deal of time to just chill out and relax (although we still did do plenty of that each day).

One of the first stops on Mum’s visit was to have a lovely cooked breakfast at Omero’s on the Beach … followed by an hour just sitting on a park beach on the beach and watching the world (and the local birdlife) go by … it was a lovely start to the holidays!

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P1040654It still never ceases to give me a thrill to see pelicans on the local beaches!

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Mum arrived in time to celebrate her 75th birthday, and we went out to Larousse French Restaurant in Brighton-le-Sands … I’m a huge fan of French cooking, their prices are reasonable and atmosphere cosy and friendly.  They also have the BEST Crème brûlée I’ve had since falling in love with it in Paris … probably not the best thing to fall in love with, but what the heck …  We started the evening off well, thanks to Tannia’s visit here last year, as we had a bottle of Moet champagne to crack open prior to dinner – I’d been waiting for a special occasion to open it, so this was the perfect celebration.

The next two days I worked, but on my first day off Mum and I hit the shops, starting with a couple of places in Alexandria I’ve been wanting to go to for a while – unfortunately roadworks made one shop impossible to get to (a kitchen warehouse shop), but I did manage a brief visit into The Remnant Warehouse where I picked up a Christmas quilting fabric for both Mum and I and some chiffon fabric for a work top – I also had to make a return visit to the sales counter when I spied a lavender blue dupioni silk on the way out the door, which I’m hoping will match my Quaker Friendship Book by With My Needle (I haven’t checked yet!).

We finished up with a trip to Dan Murphy’s … every Aussie’s favourite booze shop.  The first time I ever visited a Dan Murphy’s store in Melbourne I remember saying “oh my, I’ve died and gone to heaven” … to this day we still refer to it as ‘heaven’.  Never in all my life have I seen such an incredible array of alcohol under one roof – aisle after aisle of imported and local wines, beers and spirits make it my absolute favourite ‘adult supermarket’ 😉

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I can’t truthfully remember what we did over the next week (which has nothing to do with consuming the shopping from Dan Murphy’s!), except I remember it included some housework (always a topic I try to forget immediately after doing it!), a wee spot of cooking on my part and a fair bit of relaxing with stitching in hand (of which you’ve already seen the finishes).

The next ‘big day out’ was to spend a day at Sydney Zoo which was a first-time visit for both Mum and I … but that’ll have to be the subject of the next post! 🙂

Star-struck (picture heavy!!)

Yesterday it was the 90th Birthday celebration for my employers – and staff and family were able to get free tickets to an Open Day at the Sydney Jet Base.  Unfortunately the weather was dreadful and the rain affected a lot of the offering on the day such as food stalls etc, but we had the opportunity to climb onboard a number of different aircraft and enjoy some live music throughout the day … and of course the SPECIAL highlight was when John Travolta flew his Boeing 707 to join us for the day.  It was a real treat to see his plane taxi up to the crowds and watch him climb out of the plane in his pilot’s uniform.

Our CEO did the official opening speech, but John Travolta stole his thunder pretty quickly … JT gave a wee speech which was lovely, then he cut the 90th birthday cake and we all sang along to the Happy Birthday song with JT leading the group.  Quite frankly it was a really special day, and one that will always remain as a true highlight for me … even the pouring rain didn’t hinder our enjoyment that much, and thankfully the main pelt-down waited until seconds after JT was whisked away after signing autographs and having photos taken with some lucky staff members.

Here are a few token photos from the day – if you want to see more, you can check out my Webshots album (yeah, there is a bit of overkill with JT LOL).

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John Travolta, Qantas Ambassador at Large

John Travolta, Qantas Ambassador at Large

John Travolta, Qantas Ambassador at Large

John Travolta, Qantas Ambassador at Large

A380 on display

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Then last night we had an early Christmas drinks party in Newtown – it was an entertaining end to a wonderful day, especially as my absolutely favourite person from work (or ex-colleague to be exact) was there, and it’s always a treat to catch up with him.  All-in-all a blissful day … and today I intend to put a couple of stitches into ‘something’ while I catch up on some TV, I just can’t decide what to put stitches into! 😛

Photo Hunt – Framed

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This week’s theme is ”Framed” – this is the view through a ‘window’ in the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour, Sydney, providing a natural framed view.

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And here are some Framed photos that are stitching-related, from my very first attempt at making my own frames and framing my own work.

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Boo!

Boo! Scissors Purse and Fob by The Drawn Thread is my current Work In Progress – so far I’ve managed to get almost halfway down the scissors purse, and about 1/4 of the scissor fob stitched.  I’m still really tired in the evenings, so my stitching is going r…e…a…l…l…y s…l…o…w…l…y.  Here’s my progress to date – once again, very washed out under the daylight bulb and even Photoshop Elements is struggling to get the colours right with a ton of manipulation!  I started this one in about the middle of last year, but hated the feel of one strand of silk, and just never found a rhythm … I stopped halfway through completing the little pumpkin on the ‘flap’, and it’s only this last week that I’ve pulled it from the depths of my WIP basket and decided to give it a little bit of love again.  And before you ask, yes, the “Boo” part at the top is supposed to be upside down … you see, it’ll fold over and then be the right way up again 😀

On Sunday I had a really lovely day out with my favourite Sydney ladies – Alison and Amanda … as always it was a riot, and much laughing and chattering was to be had.  We went to the new craft show that was held out at Homebush at Sydney Olympic Park.  I was on a stricter budget than normal, and there wasn’t too much to tempt me this time, but I still managed to come home with some great wee treasures … more in the shape of BIG floss rings for my threads (which are like hens teeth to find here!) and some more scissors (hey, a girl can NEVER have too many!!).  I also bought a strand of beads that I think will be awesome as a scissor fob for the Gingher Roberta scissors … plus some necklace ‘thongs’ to put together some chunky style necklaces for myself and Katie.  Hmmm, sorry about the green shopping bag that was used for the photography … not the best choice as a background to show off stitching scrummies! LOL.

And just LOOK at my favourite splurge of the day … I’ve been drooling over these Eiffel Tower scissors for the looooongest time, and that was my parting gesture to the show … and without doubt my very FAVOURITE purchase – I love, love, LOVE them, and don’t begrudge the AUD25.00 it took to procure them! 😀

Saturday was spent doing a bunch of tidying up in my pigsty of a bedroom, and tidying up my threads and stitching things – I finally grabbed a few of my kitted up projects that actually have DMC in the bags and entered all those threads into an Excel spreadsheet.  It seems that these days I’m constantly putting projects on hold part-way through stitching ‘cos I’m one or two threads short, so hopefully this will help me know where to start rummaging when I’m hunting for an elusive thread!  One other GREAT thing about tidying up my thread inventory is that I found the teeny tiny bag of embellishment beads for my January Accent Sampler by Periwinkle Promises … which also means I now have no excuse not to get it finished.  All I need to do is to add the little beads, and my initials/year, and stitch the back-stitch border on the backing linen, and I’m all set to do the finishing … not much, right? … well, let’s just say it’ll get done some time soon either before or after I finish Boo! 😛

I’m hoping to take Friday off this week so I can run a couple of errands like FINALLY picking up a bookcase from Officeworks that I bought late last year (they didn’t tell me it had arrived then shipped it back to their warehouse again … bless them!) … which also then means I get to play DIY with my power drill (LOVE that thing!), and I also just might FINALLY finish unpacking those final boxes in my bedroom that are full of embroidery books etc … which will then perhaps FINALLY lead me to putting a bunch of my books I no longer want on Ebay … perhaps 😛

Work has been ‘challenging’ over the last couple of weeks – just for a change LOL.  I’ve had it hinted from my boss that there could be a sort of new opportunity on the horizon that I should put my hand up for as it could be good for my career (and builds on the good relationship I already have with this group) … not really any different to what I’m doing now, just more focused on one area … time will tell if it actually pans out and goes ahead, and if so whether I get it or not, as there are obviously no guarantees.  I have already stated openly to him, though, that I would be interested if it went ahead.

Anyway, talking of work, I guess I should hurry up and post this and get into beddy-byes … an extra half hour of sleep just could make all the difference for me tomorrow 😉

The next finish you see will hopefully be my Pin Pillow exchange piece, which is hurrying across the oceans as we speak, and hopefully won’t be too far away from its destination … 😀