my life in the land down under

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Slow and Steady (Wins the Race?)

Definitely slow, not sure about steady… and if there was a race I’m certainly not winning it! ūüė¶

However I do have some progress to report. This month I have completed the appliqué and stitchery for Blocks 6, 7 & 8 of the Made With Love quilt, and have now put together Block 6.

The friend I did the class with said she found it easier to do all the appliqu√© at the same time so I thought I’d try this, at least with the next three blocks, and it seems to be working. I also cut all the strips for each of these blocks, and have the outside borders cut for all the rest. There was a bit of time involved in planning which colours to use for each individual block, but I have an overall plan of the order I want to put the blocks in for the finished quilt, and that really helped.

For the first time ever (I think), I sewed a block together and all the measurements were perfect (or so close it didn’t matter). Woohoo! ūüôā

The original word stitched on Block 6 was ‘adore’; I’ve replaced this with ‘trust’. Its a challenge in any relationship to trust that the other has your best interests at heart as well as their own, and give them the benefit of the doubt when things don’t seem to be going well.

I especially liked the appliqu√©d butterflies on this block. They also reminded me of ‘trust’ – it’s something special to have a just-hatched monarch butterfly climb onto your finger! ūüôā

Block #6 appliqué and  stitching

Appliquéd butterflies

Word for the day

Block #6 – central part completed

Block #6 with borders

Block #6 complete with squaring-up borders

The Quilt Project so far:

1 –¬†Beginnings

2 –¬†Quilting Lesson #1

3 –¬†Attempts at Appliqu√©

4 –¬†Words

5 –¬†Quilting Lesson #2

6 –¬†Words II – To The Bride & Groom

7 –¬†Appliqu√© ¬†Again

8 –¬†Quilting Lesson #5 / Words III

9 –¬†Quilting Lesson #6 / Words IV

10 –¬†Out On My Own

11 –¬†Quilt Project – Colour Choices

12 – The Next Step


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Friday Focus: Agfa Isoly

This week I’m featuring the Agfa Isoly.

Like the Diana it photographs in square format. While researching this one on the internet recently, I discovered it may have been used as the model for the Diana! They are certainly very similar in looks, though I think the Isoly has it over the Diana in quality of images.

The Camera:

Agfa Isoly – front view

Rear view – with red window for viewing the film frame number

Front view showing apertures and shutter speeds

Camera base showing back release

The Stats:

Camera Name: Agfa Isoly
Where Made: Germany
Year of Production: 1960 onwards
Serial Number: Possibly 1101 / 56348 / 16 as theses numbers are marked inside the camera back.
Film Type / Neg Size:¬†Takes 16 4×4 cm frames on¬†120 (medium format) film.
Lens: Achromat
Shutter: unmarked
Shutter Speeds: B, 1/30, 1/100 sec
Apertures: f8, f11
Exposure Meter: none
Focusing: set distance manually, no rangefinder. 1m / 3.5ft – infinity.

The Photos:

These few photos were taken some time ago. I have more recent ones but they will have to wait for another time, as my scanner is sadly not working at the moment – I’ve had it away to be fixed and am hoping for good news soon!


Wharf and swimmer


Click on the links below for my previous posts on vintage cameras:

Friday Focus: Introduction

Friday Focus: Empire Scout

Friday Focus: Diana

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More Quilt Inspiration

This is a continuation of the previous post – I had too many photos I wanted to share!

Due to limited time I wasn’t able to get the details of many of the quilts, so my apologies to the creators for not acknowledging them.

Anyhow, here are some other creations that especially caught my eye at the Quilt & Craft Show, the weekend before last:

Best Bed Quilt

Best Bed Quilt – detail

‘Not My Colours’ by Ros Lusk

Others #1

Brights #1 detail

Brights #2  detail

Others #2 (denim quilt on right)

Denim quilt detail

Denim detail closeup

Others #3

Monarchs – how could we resist this one?

Others #4

Oh Deer!

Others #5


Pt 1 of the Quilt & Craft Show can be found here: Quilt Inspiration


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Instead of posting a Friday Focus today, I’d like to pay tribute to a wee boy with a fighting spirit.

Elijah James was born in Sydney on September 10th.

He defied the odds to even be born alive: Elijah had Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome).

Sadly he didn’t make it, leaving his loving family for a better place after almost 48hrs.

Don & Angie, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We didn’t get to meet Elijah here on earth but look forward to meeting him in Heaven.

We’re so glad that this life is not all there is; we have hope.

Cherry Blossom

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Life Cycle: Beginning

The monarch season has started.

We have had several butterflies laying eggs on our swan plants already, though it is barely spring, and the last monarch only hatched from its chrysalis inside in mid-August. I photographed two butterflies in early September (both faded and untagged) and John saw at least one other about a week before that (late August). So all going well we should have baby caterpillars in another week or two. I guess it depends on the temperatures – if cold they will take longer or maybe not hatch at all. Now we also have to be on the lookout for predators: ants will eat the eggs, and once we have caterpillars, wasps could be a problem again as they were last spring/ summer.

Some of the swan plants have grown very tall. We had intended to prune them back but waited too long (unless as John suggests, we go ahead but keep the cut pieces in a bucket of water inside until any caterpillars have emerged).

It was very windy yesterday, with some heavy showers of rain in between periods of sunshine Рpretty typical spring weather I think. Earlier in the day I saw one butterfly clinging to the swan plant out the front: it was being blown every which way. As the rain was blowing directly into the front door at the time I retreated inside and left it. Later I had to rescue another large swan plant: the gusty winds had broken one branch right off and the  remainder was splitting down the middle. I think I did a good job of binding it up Рtime will tell.

Update: Today the weather is gorgeous with sunshine and blue sky, but we’re going through another cold snap with predicted overnight lows of between 1-4degC over the next few days.

Monarch laying eggs on swan plant

Monarch laying eggs in the spring sunshine – this one appears to have lost part of a wing