Friday, December 27, 2013

More riding....

On Christmas morning my training partner and I went for an early morning ride at 6am.  We ended up having coffee (yes we found a place that was open!)  and was given a lovely home made melting moment... we decided we will return to this coffee shop as the service and coffee was good.  45km before the family woke!

Then Boxing day we decided to find some more hills to climb and rode out to unexplored territory (at least to us it was).  We did 47km today.  Some great hill challenges.... some people will know the area we rode..... Bannons Lane to Hurstbridge (awesome decent) then back around the back road  through Nutfield (so apt!) to climb back up Arthurs Creek road, along Yan Yean Rd and up the gorge road accent.... short but sharp!  When we got to the shops in South Morang we high fived each other grinning like loons and saying how far we have come with our riding in the last 18 months.

I have my big ride up to the top of Mt Buller in 12 weeks so my bestie is going to help me with my training rides.... gunna smash it!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas riding.... two types!

 Here is a few pictures of how I decorated my beastie for my Christmas ride the other week.  I got rather excited when I went into the cheapy Chinese shop and found bogun Christmas balls!
 They swung (is that a word?!) from under my saddle... my friends behind riding behind me said they looked a bit wrong hahahha.  I got crafty and converted a pair of dangle Christmas tree earings that flashed into front and rear lights by ripping off the earing bit and sticking double sided tape to it.  I wrapped a necklace that flashed around my top tube.

 I was pretty impressed with my efforts and won the price for best dressed bike.  A pair of socks!
 Then on Sunday I did a little riding of a different kind.... yep horses!  I have ridden on and off for most of my life so am comfortable on horse back.  I took the noisy one as she really enjoyed riding when we went to Scotland a few years ago.  I used to come here to Uncle Nevs and was delighted to find Glenn (above adjusting the noisy ones stirrups) was still here and remembered me!
 We stopped halfway for a drink and a bickie and had lovely views of Melbourne... if you look closely you will see the skyline of the city.
 and then the hills are the Dandenongs.  The day got rather muggy with all the cloud cover, but didn't rain so we didn't complain.
 My trusty stead for the day was speckle on the far left.  He is a new horse to Nev's crew and was a joy to ride.  To those who know horses, his trot was smooth and easy to rise to, and on our final canter up the hills he took off like a rocket and overtook all the horses!  very responsive little horse, I will be asking for him again.
The noisy one did very well on her first ever trail ride, she sat well in her canters and is looking forward to riding again next year.  I had sore inner thighs (think my butt is used to saddles due to cycling!)  but the noisy ones butt bones were also tender!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and spent it with those they love.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Grinch time...

 So the quilt continues, I started it weeks ago and thought it would be done in a weekend!
 I laid it out on the floor and was pleased with its progress.
This one is a little dark but I considered putting boarders around each of these larger blocks.

Then I laid it on the bed and discovered that I was 2 entire blocks short... So had to cut a few more bits, sew them etc.

Im nearly there, have them in 2 rows now... just need an hour or two to get them done.
 My best friend and I call ourselves team coffee, I was able to get these pendants made in Bali for us both (no I did'nt go, but another gym friend goes regularly and is kind enough to get them for others).  I was going to keep them for Christmas but could'nt wait that long.

 my eldest, the froglet turned 19 on Monday, she bought me these flowers last friday as I went into hospital for a day procedure, all seems to be fine so Im hoping when I ring for results tomorrow that I will be given a clean bill of health and can get stuck into training for my next event.

Cookie was christening my new ironing board cover that I bought at the market a few weeks ago.  I was getting a bit desperate for a new cover as the old one was getting holey  and the middle was crunchy!

The only problem with the new one to start with is that it was like ironing on top of a pile of pillows.

I have my christmas ride with my group on Sunday and we have been told that the 'best' dressed for christmas will win a prize.... always one to jump to a challenge I have as you can see put antlers on my helmet.... I have much much more but will reveal after sunday.... I am so pleased with my shopping skills and how I have adapted certain items to become 'bike bling'   I dont always get into the full Christmas spirit but my beast will certainly be looking the part this year!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cup weekend

My next challenge!  I will be riding 100km.  Done this before but not up to the top of Mt Buller!  15km climb at 7% gradient.

Today the girls that I will be riding with and I rode to Strathewen, I did a nice 64km it took us 3 hours as we had a nasty headwind on the way home and then got rained on several times.  I even copped some hail on my last bit home.

I'm hoping to get a little more done of my quilt on my day off tomorrow but I am working on Cup day.

Here in Melbourne we are in our spring carnival for horse racing  and on Tuesday the entire nation stops for this race (so they say!)  Bit like some of the big overseas horse races, I'm not going to complain about the extra money!

A lot of people have taken Monday off as an extra day to extend their weekend to 4 days, the roads have been empty and Cole's was incredibly empty, so good!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

ride to conquer cancer

Today some of my friends that I ride with regularly completed the ride to conquer cancer.  The four girls had to raise $2500 each. They rode 100m from Albert Park to Hastings on Saturday and then did the return journey today.

They did sausage sizzles, lots of sausage sizzles and a big dinner with great auction items.  They raised funds together and individually.  It was a hard slog but they got over the line and some.

They along with 1600 other riders raised funds to hopefully help find cures to the many cancers that people die from daily.

I drove down to Brighton to cheer them and the other riders on.  I wore my Team Lynne t shirt in honour of my friend who lost her fight a few months ago to cancer, I was touched when one of the girls told me that she thought of Lynne while she rode.  I managed to meet one of the riders who is doing all 5 rides along with a bunch of other ambassadors I see her on facebook regularly but hadn't physically met her until today.

Most of the events that I do raise funds for something, have you done an event because of the personal challenge or for the fund raising?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

the quilt continues

 I have made several quilts now with my collection of pretties which are predominately Robyn Randolph's.  I found it hard to cut into some of these fabrics but then thought to myself these are for MY quilt so I will be able to see them forever.  I had started to put the left overs in messy piles then it dawned on me I could bag them into measurements... So started the 1", 1.5" etc bags.  I bought a new pattern at a show recently and I can see much of these pre cut strips going into that quilt, which will cut out a load of cutting time.
 Cookie loves sitting on the ironing board.... I on the other hand dislike this intensely as he leaves his calling card all over it (long fur).  His beautiful blue eyes showed up well in this photo.
 Milly often perches on the cat tower on the first level while there are cats above.
 And I cant leave out the beautiful lyelo Lill.  She loves coming inside now which is great as I know she is safe at night time and so is the wildlife outside!
 The days are getting so much nicer now to sit outside... Milly loves sunning herself in the mornings out on the veranda.
 My squares are now all sewn together and since taking these pictures I have sewn on the rectangles.
 I still haven't counted them nor have I figured out how big this quilt will be at this point in time, I truly am just seeing how it comes out.  I have large squares of fabric that needed to be showcased more than in the smaller cuts and laid out a few of the pieced squares next to the larger pieces and it looks very pleasing to my eye. 
 Of course tomorrow is ride day.... should have been today as the weather has been magnificent!  A new route for me with some challenging hill climbs (of course).  Next Sunday is round the bay in a day so if you are thinking of driving to Geelong, catching the ferry to or from Sorrento and driving along Nepean Hwy or over the Westgate bridge to Altona or Williamstown... don't.  If you really have to please drive very carefully as you will be amongst over 10,000 cyclists of all standards.  you have been warned.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

fruit loops and new quilts

 I mentioned in my last post that my friend and I were about to do the fruit loop ride which too place in Shepparton.  Did I mention that it was a flat ride?  the morning started with the sun coming out and the hundred or so of us doing the 115km ride took off after a short briefing.
 We rode out towards Dookie and our halfway break.  We had the choice at that point of riding the extra 15km which was some hill climbs, we decided to do the extra 15km as so far it had been all flat (did I mention how flat it was?)  We finished the ride in 5 hours, an hour longer than we expected but it was harder going as being so flat you had to pedal all the time.  We both were sore across the shoulders and neck but we recovered quickly and were pleased with our efforts.
 As previously posted also I had a bedroom makeover.  I can now access my fabrics so much easier and have been inspired to make a quilt.
 I have a decent sized stash of Robyn Pandolph's and similar style fabrics so this seemed to be the perfect choice for a quilt for my bed.  This will actually be the first quilt I have made for myself.  My mum said but you have ones in the front room and hanging on the walls... yesss this is true but not a bed quilt!.
 The froglet has gone away for the weekend so I don't have any taxi duties until Sunday night so I though I would simply chop up some fabrics and start to sew.... wrong.  Ive been pressing fabric and chopping since last night.  I have an impressive pile of scraps!  I'm also taking time to sort out my off cuts into bags according to size as it makes it easier when needing that 2" bit.
I'm going to do a simple quilt using squares and rectangles.  Then I decided to add some larger squares to showcase some of my favourite fabrics.  Its going to be one of those quilts that will just hopefully come together, I have no idea of how many blocks I need so stay tuned as this little sucker comes together.

Have you ever just winged a project?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

finished quilt!

Found this pencil case the other day and knew I had to have it.  Will be perfect to keep a small project in!

 Here is my latest quilt that I have been working on... finally all quilted and bound.
 Milly inspected the workmanship.  My friend Anita from quilted it for me and did as usual an excellent job.
 Nothing like the satisfaction of a finished quilt.
 I used a pre made bias binding which worked really well for me.
 Here is a little peek at my new robe, filled with boxes of fabric... I now can access all my fabrics easily and see them too... so much better than the messy piles I had.  This is now a new work in progress, today I was sorting out a box of my pretty fabrics ready to do a quilt for ME!  I got so involved I forgot to go to my osteopath, and I really needed to go.

On Sunday my bestie and I are riding 115km up in Shepparton in a ride called the fruit loop ride... everyone keeps telling me how apt the name of the ride is for me, I just don't understand... heheheheh.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


 This weekend my guild goes on retreat, but alas I was too slow in getting my form in and missed out. First time in over 8 years I think.  But I did have a birthday last Monday and was rather spoilt.  Gift vouchers from my friends for massages, a day spa voucher from my girls and the fisherman to be pampered.. money from my mum to buy some new cycling knicks that I have been banging on about getting.
 My bestie and training partner knows me too well and bought me this awesome coffee cup... we call ourselves team coffee so this was pretty apt.  Apres Velo means after cycling and no ride is complete without a coffee at the end.
 One of my other friends from the gym bought me a beautiful bunch of flowers, what girl doesn't like flowers on their birthday?
 And of course my beastie didn't miss out with the gifting and received a new bag for under the seat, my bestie got me a large size so that I can fit in her favourite killer pythons!
Are you blessed with good friends?  I know I am.  My life would be incomplete without my looney friends to make me laugh, drink coffee with and be there when I need a hug.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

binding quilts and a road trip

 I was asked a while ago about 12 months ago to make another quilt for my cousins next baby.  Once I found out it was a boy I set out to find the pattern and material.  I made the top and then had my wonderful friend Anita quilt it for me.  All I had to do was but on the binding.
 I decided to try out some pre made binding so it was all done for me.  I procrastinated for a few more weeks then last weekend I decided to finally sew it onto the quilt.....

 Disaster struck... I was 10" too short.... and it was 4pm on Sunday night and I had to work the next 3 days so the froglet drove me to the shop (thank goodness they had plenty left).  I decided to buy the entire length as I didn't want to be messing round with attaching it to the bias binding... how good was this, the shop rather than having to buy the entire length plus the extra, cut the new length and only charged me for the 1/2 metre extra.  They took back the shorter length!  I never expected that so it saved me many dollars!
I have now sewn it on and am ready to stitch down the back while watching the tour de France tonight!
 Of course no post of mine is complete without something about my bike, these are toe thingys.  I kid you not!  They slip over your shoes and help keep your toes warmer in these cold winter months.  they have a hole under neath that allow me to clip in to my pedals.  I received these for mothers day from the girls and they have been used well in the past months.
 The fisherman and I took a little road trip (in the car, he doesn't ride!)  We went to our nations capital, Canberra.  Of course we had breakfast, the toast was enormous!
 We visited the war memorial, I had been here as a child but the fisherman wished to pay his respects being an ex submariner.
 along the wall are these wonderful concrete gargoyles.. I find that with the digital cameras we all take many more photos of objects and in different ways to how we used to with film (who could afford them!!)
 I should have asked the guide if they meant any thing or represented something.
 There are the lists of all of those who have fallen and hundreds of Poppy's are tucked in the cracks.
 My fisherman had his sunglasses on when we went in side to the museum, he doesn't get very emotional but I doubt many people can visit places such as this and not be moved.
 Opps the poor sailor is sideways.  This is one of several enormous murals created using little tiles, they are in a huge area with a high ceiling.
 When we came home I organised to get new carpet in the girls rooms, so everything had to come out of both of their rooms.... Milly thought it was great being able to climb this stack of shit belongings.
I had to sit surrounded by this and more on the other side overnight, I know what hoarders feel like now.  The 'stuff' is now sorted out, returned to their rooms or to where ever it needed to go.  Carpet is in, now in a few weeks time my bedroom needs to be cleared out, painted, a new wardrobe put in and then the carpet that same afternoon so that I can put everything back!

The fisherman detests painting and has been putting this off for months so I ended up just going and booking in the dates and telling him that its happening!