Monday, 28 June 2010


Well on Thursday, hubby asked me to make him some socks and he wanted them before very early Sunday morning!!!

Now hubby doesn't particularly like to wear knitted items. He is a fairly warm person and he usually overheats in knitted items that I have made him before. So when he asked what could I do .......

Socks, originally uploaded by Aussie Maria.

except oblige ☺

He even went through my stash looking for the colour he wanted - Black!!! This is not a colour I keep - I hate working with dark colours nowadays. But he was in luck and found a few balls. I added the blue - sneaky

No, no, no - hubby is not "Jake the Peg" - giggle

Here are the socks on ........

Were you confused??? ☺  ☺  ☺

Bye for now

Friday, 25 June 2010

Forbear Friday

Saw this title on another blog while surfing (sorry can't remember exactly where) and thought it was an idea for me to use.

I have been researching my genealogy / family history for about 13 years. Some I know a lot about, and others barely the basics.

I was lucky enough to make contact with a person who had researched one of my lines fairly well and she had contact with family who had photos and paintings of various family members - this is one of them

This photo is of my great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Nora COLLINS, with two of her children. The children have not been identified positively. As per all good Irish families, children were very close in age and there were 7 in total. It is believed that the photo is around the late 1850's. This still gives us a few choices as to which children they are. Is it a little boy or little girl on her lap???. Remember the times and clothing around then ☺

Mary Ann Nora COLLINS nee FOLEY was born in Moyasta, Clare, Ireland abt 1826. She married Michael Martin COLLINS in 1845 in Carrigaholt, Clare, Ireland. Mary died in 1915 in Delegate, VIC, Australia.

Both the COLLINS and FOLEY families immigrated to Australia in 1855 and settled in the region called "Monaro". Monaro is down south between Canberrra and just over the Victorian border. They settled a bit inland, round the Currawong area (yes, we have a native bird of that name too).

Now what I find interesting is that my Dad used to always comment that the family had Spanish connections. I was finally given a clue as to where this story came from, cause I could find no connection anywhere to Spain.

The story I was told was that Mary Ann would sit on the verandah in her rocking chair and sing songs to the children. Many of these songs were Spanish!!!!!!

Now to wonder where she learnt them - Spanish Armada connection????? She certainly seems to have the look

Hope I didn't bore you to much, but I just may make another family connection if I write about them

Have a great weekend

Saturday, 19 June 2010


Ok, now after the market on Saturday, we made a short trip to Berrima.
We have been here before, so I will have to dig out some of the old photos to share of the historical places as I did not take any this time around.

Berrima was initially earmarked as the hub of the southern region around the 1830's, but then the railway went through to Moss Vale abt 1860 and that was the end of Berrima.

Well not entirely, Berrima still has its goal, which is still in operation.

Actually, just as an aside, I have found records listing an ancestor of mine being here -
Honorah/Norah/Honor CONNOR/CONNORS/O'CONNOR nee COLLINS with 2 of her sons
No - they were not incarcerated (I think that is spelt right).  Berrima Goal was used as a overnight stop for those travelling between Sydney and further south.  The CONNORS & COLLINS family lived in the Monaro Region, which is south of Canberra.  Both families were from Ireland, but different counties.

Ok back to Berrima - well it has 2 sides to a street - ok not unusual, most streets have 2 sides, except that between the two sides is a lovely, very large park.  It would have been impressive if development had of progressed.

Berrima has quite a few little touristy shops - lollies, cafes, bakeries, nick-nacks, cafes, jams, ice-cream, cafes, christmas shop, cafes, clothing, alpaca shops and lots and lots of antique shops.  Actually the Southern Highlands is renown for the number and variety of antique shops - from junky bits and pieces that would be perfect in your home to internationally old, old pieces of beautiful, quality furniture.

Yes, I visited just about as many as I could squeeze in - hubby loves the timber pieces, so its not a chore or boring for him.  Just we tend to go in different directions and gets a bit frustrating wanting to show each other pieces we have found  ☺

No I did not buy anything, self-control all the way.  But next time ...... well he has been warned

One of my favourite shops has no furniture.  Sorry no photos, I was in a hurry to get inside and look.  Next time - promise. 

It looks just like a very old house from the front, the front room (which is an entire old home) is filled with all those little bits - there are drawers and boxes and drawers and boxes full of cutlery, kitchenware, tools - so much.  The next large sheddy-type room has nothing but linen - again, drawers, drawers, shelves, shelves and shelves - so much

And the next large sheddy-type room has books, books, books, books and oh yeah books

When you go outside and look sideways at the property, it looks like a HUGE farm shed attached to a house at front

Oh yeah - they also have the longest running hotel licence in Australia - The Surveyor General Inn.  There are lots of other older pubs in Australia, but not with a continuing running licence.  Did not stop in this time as we had just had yummy pies and coffee at Gumnut Bakery

We would love to take this on as a project

Friday, 18 June 2010


Just a couple of photos of a few of the birds we saw and heard down on the farm.
Morning was always wonderful with lots of bird music
They were unusually very considerate
As the sun was well and truly up before the carrolling began

Most were quick and just the flash of colour and the whirr of wings were to be seen and heard.
So I didn't get photos of Blue Wrens (love them, so sweet, we used to have lots of them visit at our old home and I do miss them), Currawongs, Crows, Lorikeets, Rosellas, White Cockatoos
that's only a list of those I can name and remember

Others were so tiny and so well camoflauged that the photos just do not show them - unless you have super detective eyes and can blow up photos and know what you are looking for.

And I know that there are 20 - 30 finch type birds in this photo and I can only see one and I know where to look!!!!

Ok I know its difficult - supremely so
So I zoomed the photo and marked those I could see
There were more though still hidden
And the big square has 3 birds in it!!!!

A pair of Black cockatoos
These birds have a distinctive call
and they are HUGE (wing span 60-69cm/24-28in)
much bigger than the Yellow Crested Cockatoo
I think their nest is here as they are usually in hollow logs

White Wagtail who we have always called Willy Wagtails

As for animals
Well, unusual in that we did not see any Kangaroos or Wallabies
I did get to see a VERY, VERY, LARGE wombat
But he was dead
Thought I would spare you the photo  - VBG!!!!!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

I'm baaaccckkkk ....... well sort of

I just want to go back!!!!
I fell in love!!!!
It called to me
I felt completely and utterly "at home"

Ok, so I spent the weekend at Moss Vale in our Southern Highlands
About 2 hour drive from home
Hubby and I have been before
This trip just reconfirmed our love for the area

Our home for the weekend was "Sugar Glider" (a native animal)
more info here about the property,
but my photos are better
(me with very smug look and probably half closed eyes)

Sugar Glider
The original part of the house (the front) was built c1913
The place is tiny - dining, lounge, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom/laundry
And it was perfect for us!!!!!

The weather was perfect
Yes it was colder than we are use to, but we quickly adapted
Actually I spent Sunday in a singlet top (in the middle of the day) soaking up the sun

We had breakfast out here on Saturday morning
but Sunday and Monday was inside in the sunny dining room cause

we are a bit woosie and loved the warmth inside

Sorry about the blurry photo
It was taken after lunch on Sunday  ☺

Saturday morning we went to the local Farmers Market at Moss Vale,
sorry no photos
I was too busy taste testing
Coffee, Jam, Cheese, Bread
they came home with us
but I should have also got some
pumpkin, goats milk soap, chicken, fruit & veg
there was even some beautiful hand-woven alpaca items - so soft

Then we went to Berrima
But that's another story .......

The property is a cattle farm which has these beautiful, friendly, very quiet animals
Angus Cattle
They came up to have a chat

And there were birds !!!!!!!
Hard to get photos
Some were only about a foot flying above my head
And I was too slow to get a photo
Currawongs, Crows, Rosellas, Lorikeets, Willy Wagtails, Finches, Cockatoos
many more that I can't name
so my bird book has come out to identify them

Enough for now
you will be bored and sleepy

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Pumpkin, Teapots, Weekend

Hi everyone

Pumpkin Fruit Cake
For those who asked so nicely for a slice of cake - Sorry!!!!
The cake barely lasted a day!!!!
And that was not me and hubby pigging out!!!!
Daughters dropped in and insisted on taking some for their morning tea.
So this is definitely a keeper recipe

Forgot to mention in the post
I did think some may not have teapots,
so how about your coffeepots
or even your favourite mug/cup

Long weekend in Australia - well in our part anyway!!!!
Queens Birthday Long Weekend
The start of the ski season down south

Hubby and I are having a extra long, long weekend
And getting a way for a few days
And yes its south
But not to the ski-fields

So I will catch back up with everyone about the middle of next week

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Hi everyone

Found myself with an excess of pumpkin and while I do eat lots of it baked, mashed, stir-fried, I wanted something sweet.

I have not tried pumpkin scones, will one day, but I like my scones fresh and warm, not long out of the oven.  What I was after, was something that would keep, to eat a little at a time.

So I started browsing the net to find options and came up with this one of Best Recipes site

The photo was very quickly taken before hubby disappeared with more slices of the cake  ☺
then  I would have had nothing to show, along with him muttering about me and my taking photos taking of weird things  ☺ ☺

An absolutely delicious, moist cake and the colour is wonderful.  It will definitely be on my keeper list

Pumpkin Fruit Cake
1 cup warm mashed pumpkin
1 cup sugar
2 cups Self Raising flour
2 eggs
125g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
250g dried mixed fruit
Pinch of salt

Beat pumpkin, sugar & butter for a few minutes.
Add syrup and beat until creamy
Add eggs, flour, fruit & salt
Pour into cake tin
Bake in moderate oven for 1-1/4 hours

Managed to sneak a slice for me now with morning tea - yummo


Hi everyone

While browsing through blogs yesterday, Lady Helsie's Happenings was doing house-cleaning, dusting etc and decided to show us her teapot collection.  I loved her frog and her nudie one.

Well I was having a bit of a think last night and decided to show you my teapots.  Nothing compared to Helen's, but I thought it would be fun

The flowered ceramic one I bought a Christmas because I love the colours and pattern.  Does it remind anyone else of African Flowers?
The metal one was a christmas gift from my daughters a few years ago.

Anyone else willing to share their teapots?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

African Flower beanie

African Flower beanie, originally uploaded by Aussie Maria.

Hi everyone
Playing around with scraps of cotton and came up with this - yes, I know it is 5 petals not 6. That was accidental but in the end it turned out nicely in the end. The beanie will fit a small infant and its off to a charity

And not showing his lovely face is ........



Hi everyone

Fairly sure that anyone who is reading my blog would already know about By Elizabeth Cat's Blog.  The blog may be new, but Elizabeth has a HUGE following on Flickr as well.

Now yesterday morning I was thoroughly enjoying Elizabeth's photos - the colours, the craft, oh my!!!!  I so wanted to touch and feel a lot of the items, noticed immediately a few things that would have come straight home with me.

But something kept niggling in my brain and I just could not work out what it was.  So I got on with the rest of my daily chores - blog reading, email reading, ravelry, flickr etc  :-).  But the niggling stayed right there at the back of my mind.

Well I settled down to my D1's blanket last night with hook in hand and while working away the light came on ......

The niggling was not because of the beautiful colours I had seen on Elizabeth's blog.
It was not the beautiful crafts I had seen there either.  It was ..........


Ok by now you probably think I have totally lost it.......
Too much hooking time, not enough brain time.....

But no there is a reason for this madness ........
A family madness actually .........

My great-great-great-grandfather (and his parents) were from LATVIA!!!!!!!!!!!
Town - Meta???, Mitau????

Now I will tell you a little story about them ......

Julius VICTORSEN and his wife Rosetta (nee KAUFMANN of German origin) escaped from their home on board the ship "Ocean".  The 'Ocean' was aka 'Wolga'  and left from Hamburg in 1849. The ship evaded the Danish blockade of the Elbe by assuming a Russian name (Wolga) and flying Russian colours.
Both Julius and Rosetta died on the same day 25 January.  Julius in 1875 and Rosetta in 1891.

They settled in Clare, South Australia, which is near the well known wine district of The Barossa Valley.  They did not have a vineyard, but were shop-keepers who did very well in the area, owing several different shops and businesses during their lifetime.  They were also the first Jews to settle in the region.

Here is a very bad photocopy of a photo of Rosetta

Now I have an extra reason to read Elizabeth's blog, just to see what the country is like where my ancestors came from.

Also a little secret  ssshhhh.......

While I love reading the blogs of so many wonderful crafty and amazing people, if they happen to live in areas where my ancestors originated, well then I have the bonus of looking at the area of their origin.

Now off to find some Irish Crochet Bloggers   ☺