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

Friday, 29 January 2016

Small SAL 2016 - January Check in...

Time for the first Smalls SAL check in for the year.  What is the Smalls SAL?  It is quite simple, really - it is run by Heather of Silver Lotus (the SAL mama). Here are the main details:

  1. Stitch a small every month. You get to decide what a small is for you. 50×50 stitches? 100×100 stitches? It’s up to you. You just need to be able to get it done by the check-in day. (WIP smalls that you complete in time for the check-in are great too!) You pick your design, I do not provide designs.
  2. Post a picture of your completed small (stitching done, but the actual finishing is optional) on the last Thursday of every month, with the exception of November, which will be the last Wednesday.

First up  for my first Smalls SAL check in for 2016 is my spooky hello to you all, my January Winged Creature for the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL (which also doubled up for my Prairie Schooler SAL), and it is a Finished Finish - double yay!- so it fits into the new SAL I have joined OPAM (one project a month - triple yay! This is a SAL run by the lovely Kris and Peg) Also, it is not only my first finish for the year but also my first start and finish for Debbie's Ultimate Crazy Challenge - only 30 Starts and finishes to go! (So, am I up to quadruple yay, now?)

Thank you to my dear friend, Brigitte (gorgeous stitcher and fab blog, check it out) for the great idea of having 31 starts and finishes for the Challenge (to represent 31 starts in January).  Every year, I have tried to have 31 new starts (and one year 60) in a row over January with my dear friend, Linda, (another gorgeous blog for you to visit)  and each year I have failed (I would start really well and then go back to work - lol!). But last year, I saw on Brigitte's blog that she had committed to having 31 starts and finishes over the year, to honour Debbie and the challenge, so I have "borrowed" the idea from her, I hope that you don't mind, my dear Brigitte.

If you would like to know more about this challenge, check out the FB group.

Anyway, here is my first Smalls SAL/Hallowe'en Ornie SAL/Prairie Schooler SAL/DUCJFC2016 finish for the year, I made it up into a simple soft ornie.

I was lucky enough to find the perfect backing fabbie in my stash.

A close up of the stitching.

Design: Part of "All Hallow's Eve" by Prairie Schooler (Book *180)
28 ct linen "Rain"
Floss: DMC 310

A very quick, enjoyable stitch.

Next up is a piece I picked up for Friday Frolics and it is also a Gifted Gorgeousness SAL piece (if you want to check out all these different SALs either click on the links or there are buttons for each on the right hand side bar)

Proverbi 3 by Paola Gattiblu
28ct Flax Linen
My selection of speciality floss
(The two blues are WDW Blue Jean and GAST Cornflower)

Well, I worked on this piece for the rest of the weekend and into the week and now I have a finish!  Yay, yay and yay!

I am so thrilled with this piece.  The kitty cat is meant to be black but, of course, I had to stitch Furio!  There is a companion piece, onto which I will stitch Milo, naturally.

Anyway, if you want to see everyone else's Small's projects, please click on this link.

Thanks for visiting, 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Overseas Travel stitching.....

Travelling overseas can be a great time to get some stitching done - all that time waiting around airports, flying time, travelling on the bullet train in Taiwan, sitting watching the world go by in the early morning at a resort in Borneo, you get the picture!

So, on my recent trip, I took just one new stitching project with me - Measure of the Year by Prairie Schooler (you may remember that I stitched the Summer blocks last year for an exchange, you can read about it in this post.)

I started with this:   [oh my goodness, as I was just typing that I heard a Kookaburra laugh!  He was sitting in a tree just by my deck!]


Moved along a bit to this:

and accomplished this much by the end of the trip:

Unfortunately, though, it has languished by my stitching chair since our return as other projects have taken up my time - maybe a candidate for Friday Frolics this week?

Have a good day, today everyone, 


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Three great movies ....

I have been lucky enough to see some great movies lately (well, it is Oscar season).  

The first was Suffragette.  An important story from our past which deserves to be told.  Although, I was rather disappointed that Meryl Streep was only on film for less than ten minutes!  Carey Mulligan was great, though.  I would give this 4 out of 5 stars.

Next up was a very different film, The Revenant, violent in parts, quite gruelling (both to watch and to film, I believe) and both Leonardo Di Caprio (one of my favourite actors) and Tom Hardy were fantastic in it.  But, does Leo deserve the Best Actor gong?  No, I think that should go to the male lead in the third film I saw.  5 out of 5 stars for this film.

So, I think the the Best Actor is Eddie Remayne for The Danish Girl, and this is my favourite film of the three - 6 out of 5 stars (lol!). Again, an important story, so worth telling. The film is so beautifully photographed and Eddie Remayne is absolutely incredible in it.  Now, whether he will win back-to-back Oscars is the question and, of course, Leo has been nominated many times and never won, so maybe this year the voters will think, "Poor Leo, we had better give him an Oscar, it is about time."  But, my vote would definitely go to Eddie!

Love to know what you all think,  Have a great Australia Day, 

(Yay!  A day off - to stitch (and do housework), watch the tennis and did I mention stitching?)


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Terrific Taiwan Part One ....

Continuing on with my posts about our latest overseas adventure ...

[you can read about my DS1 and DDIL1's 12 hour photo shoot photos and then the Pre-wedding rituals and ceremonies, the wedding itself and then the post-wedding shenanigans, if you follow any of these links]

.... Well, after all of the excitement of the wedding (and the karaoke) you would think that we would all have taken it quietly after that.  But no, not at all.  The next day, my DDIL's mother organised for us to visit a huge Buddhist monastery complex which was about an hour or two away.

So, the next morning, she turned up in a big bus (for about 10 or so of us) which happened to include a special facility - you guessed it!  Karaoke! - to take us all there.  DDIL loved the Karaoke (did I tell you that is how DS1 and she first met, at a Karaoke party), so it was Taiwanese singing all the way there and back - lol!

When we arrived, what was the first thing we saw in the bus parking area - the toilet facilities built to look like a bus!

The entire complex was only built a few years ago and is quite enormous.  These next few photos are just the entry way.

Of course, once we got inside, as Food and Eating are the other Taiwanese favourite pastimes apart from Karaoke, we had to stop for lunch  - $10 for an all you can eat vegetarian buffet prepared by the Buddhist monks.

Then it was off to explore all of the towers and to find the giant Buddha.

Stunning vista, isn't it?

There were also some gorgeous shops in the complex, selling these beautiful glass pieces.

[Updated: Quite a few people have asked me if we bought one of these lovely pieces of glassware (the blue one seems to be everyone's favourite).  Unfortunately, no, it was very expensive and also, TraderVic and I were worried about how we would get it home in one piece - so sorry, no new glassware is gracing my home, these days.]

Then, on the way home, we visited one of the oldest street markets in Taiwan.
Now, what you need to understand about Taiwanese street markets, is that unlike all of the other street markets I have visited during my travels in South-east Asia, the Street markets are all about the Food, there are not a lot of stalls selling trinkets  and other bits and bobs as you might expect to see.

These are glazed strawberries - absolutely delicious!

This stall holder is cooking quail eggs.

I hope that you have enjoyed this visit with me of Day Four of our time in Taiwan.

Stay tuned for further posts of our adventures over the next few weeks.


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Trixie von Purl......

.... this post is for my knitting friends out there...

The other day I stumbled across Trixie von Purl ... one of my colleagues at work had been given one of her knitting books for Christmas - "Pride and Preju Knits". It is full of gorgeous Jane Austen figures, scenes and objects to knit.

BUT, this author also has a slightly naughty side, as her earlier knitting book is called "Knit your own Kama Sutra" - what a hoot!

If you want to learn more about Trixie (she is the alter ego of Geraldine Warner), you can read all about her in her blog post here.

Have a great weekend, 


P.S. Last night was Friday Frolics, so if you want to see what I and all the other Frolickers have been up to,  you can check the SAL blog out here.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Post-Taiwanese wedding shenanigans.....

Continuing on with my posts about our latest adventure overseas ...

[you can read about my DS1 and DDIL1's 12 hour photo shoot photos and then the Pre-wedding rituals and ceremonies......  and then the wedding itself, if you follow any of these links]

...... but today I am going to tell you about the After Party - yes, TraderVic and I actually went to an Afer Party!  lol!

The wedding was over, all thirteen courses consumed, DDIL had worn many wedding gowns and hundreds of photos had been taken. So, do we all go and put our feet up?  No, this is Asia, what do we do?  We go to Karaoke!

Now, TraderVic and I have never ever performed Karaoke but it was so much fun!

However, I do have a confession to make.....

When we arrived in Taiwan on the Thursday morning, my back had gone out something shocking - I was in a lot of pain with it and had limited movement.  Despite going for a Chinese massage on the Friday, by Saturday morning, the day of the wedding, I could barely move.  I was actually in the shower, crying, I was in so much pain.

However, my Mum and Dad did not raise a quitter and, as they say, the show must go on and there was no way I was going to or could even consider missing the wedding, so popping three nurofen at a time, I went and got my hair done, got dressing in my finery and made it to the wedding on time.

Now, as you can see, I am looking very happy in the wedding photos, that is because once there, for some reason (quite unknown), I started drinking whiskey (must have been the pain meds as I am not a whiskey drinker - or maybe the fact that white wine is hard to get in Asia).  I can tell you, it helped relax my back immensely - as you can tell by the silly grin on my face!

Hang on, there is more confession to come.  As I said and as you can see above, in the evening, Karaoke was on the agenda.  There were over twenty of us, in the end, half DDIL's Taiwanese friends and half DS1's friends and us.  Now, if you have never been, Karaoke is WILD!

Why is it WILD?  Well, apparently, the drink of choice at Karaoke is Vodka.  So, trying to blend in with the crowd (and relieve the pain in my back), I switched to Vodka as my tipple!  Well, I can tell you, I had a ball (as you can see from the photo above) and my back gave up being the ghost of Christmas Past and stopped hurting altogether - probably numb from all of the alcohol.

Luckily for me, everyone else was drinking vodka, too, so no one will remember my singing!  lol!

Anyway, after several hours of Karaoke, we eventually made our way back to the hotel to get some sleep for the next day's adventure. A great part about all of this was that I did not have a hangover the next morning, it was a turning point for my back (it steadily improved after that) and now have a newfound love for Karaoke!

So, that is my drunken confession.  Shh! Don't tell anyone.  lol!


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Friday Frolics, FNSI, IHSW and Gifted Gorgeousness ...

Last night's Friday Frolic...

... true to the spirit of Friday Frolics, I went to my Girl's Nest (as TraderVic calls it) and I chose a WIP at random to stitch on last night and over the weekend for Friday Frolics  (FF) and Friday Night Sew-in (FNSI) and International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (IHSW) and for my Gifted Gorgeousness (GG) post - talk about making it all work for you!

It is a sweet design called Proverbi 3 by Paola Gattiblu, which had been sent to me as a gift by a fellow blogger a year or two ago (unfortunately I did not keep a very good record of who sent it to me or even of when I started it, so if the lovely blogger who did reads this, please let me know, my dear).

This is my before photo:

I plan to stitch some more on this over the weekend, so watch this space for a further update on my progress.

How did you all go with your Friday Frolics?  Have a great weekend.


Friday, 15 January 2016

Taiwanese Wedding - Part Two ......

... in my  earlier posts on our trip I showed you: some of my DS1 and DDIL1's 12 hour photo shoot photos and then the Pre-wedding rituals and ceremonies. Well, this post I will tell you about the actual wedding day.

This is the foyer outside the reception room in the hotel:

One thing I have learnt about Taiwanese weddings is that it is ALL about the PHOTOS!

Yes, that is broccoli that one of my DS1's friends is holding - it is the guys' equivalent of catching the bridal bouquet (I never quite got to the bottom of the significance of it, though).

Now, I must tell you a funny story.  When TraderVic and I first arrived in Taiwan, my DDIL's mother upon meeting TraderVic for the first time commented to her daughter that "He is a very handsome man", a compliment which TraderVic was happy to accept.  Well, at the wedding, when we were doing the rounds of the tables with the happy couple, when we arrived at the table of my DDIL's young girlfriends (all in their mid-twenties). Each and everyone, took one look at TraderVic in his navy suit, called out 007 (the new James Bond movie had just come out in Taiwan) and each one had to have a photo taken with TraderVic and put it on their FB page - lol!  Well, does TV have swelled head now! lol!  Although you must admit he does scrub up well.  Here he is, with me (on the right) and my DSister1.

... and, of course all about the FOOD!  A thirteen course banquet!

Believe it or not, this dish below is Frog ovaries!

Well, that is all for now, this post has taken me a few days to write (I always find it takes ages to get the photos together), but I am eager to get it posted online.

Have a Happy Friday everyone, 


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