13 Sep 2015

Dreaming of Orlando

We've been to the USA twice, and both times have involved a trip to Orlando. And for us, Orlando means DisneyWorld.

In 1999, we embarked on an epic trip around the world with our best friends. Two teachers were involved, so we flew out the day after school broke up for the summer. Straight to Las Vegas, then New York for Christmas, bus touring up to Niagara via Amish country, then flying down to Orlando on New Year's Eve. This was critical, arriving early on NYE since the world was about to fall apart due to the millennium bug (hah!)  We stayed at a Days Inn about 40 minutes away, where we were amazed by the complimentary  breakfast of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  We had five days in the parks, and had a fabulous time.  We also spent a day at Seaworld, and a day at NASA, Cape Canaveral. (We continued on touring London, Egypt and South Africa's Kruger Park, and it was the biggest marathon of a holiday ever!)

In 2011, my husband had the chance of going to a conference in Orlando. It was very uncertain for a long time, and his attendance wasn't confirmed until a fortnight beforehand.  Obviously, we wanted to tack on a family holiday if at all possible, so we paid last minute airfares, and lucked into a free dining period staying Disney's Pop Century resort.

This was so much easier staying on site, and the kids were a perfect age to be still on board with the magic, and old enough to go on nearly every ride they wished.

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to win a family trip to Orlando. We're so, so grateful and excited! The purpose of the trip was attend a spacecamp experience at NASA, which is thrilling in itself, Of course, we'll be adding on a stay at Disney, and it looks like  we'll go on a short (Disney!) cruise down to the Bahamas as well.  Adding in Discovery Cove, and Seaworld, and it's truly a trip of a lifetime.

I'm spending so much time planning. Between the Disboards, Pinterest, the Disney site, Cruise Critic and Visit Florida, my mind is buzzing with the possibilities.  Our promotional travel agent is taking care of the flights, some accommodation and car hire, but there's still so much to consider.  I'm having a wonderful time already!

7 Sep 2015

Belated exhibition roundup

The Canberra Quilters Exhibition was another great one this year, and it was lovely to see our quilts hanging.

My son's first quilt looked great;

I was very pleased with my finished quilt too;

And my daughter's quilt won a highly commended in the primary school aged children's section, and the Bernina encouragement award.

Yes, that's a Bernina as the prize.  She is so thrilled and excited -  and has even cleaned up her desk to make room for it.  Tidying doesn't come easy, so it's a true measure of excitement.

22 Jul 2015

note to self (quilt exhibition edition)

The Canberra Quilters fabulous exhibition is fast approaching, and I'm looking forward to it. Well, I'll be looking forward to it more after this Saturday, which is dropoff day.

This year I've encouraged my children to enter quilts.  My daughter's was done by the end of the summer holidays, and has been waiting in the cupboard ever since.  It's not perfect in any single way, but she loves it, and can't wait to have it on her bed.

My son is a different matter.  He ended up doing a quilt as you go method, since I thought it would be easiest given my scant skills in that area.   This afternoon we'll be trimming his quilt and binding it. With tomorrow as the backup day if things go wrong. Again, it's a far from perfect quilt, but he was very reluctant to undo any mistakes, so has just carried on regardless of any tension, folding or other issues.  He'll be very happy when it's finished.

I've also entered a quilt this year. It's for my nephew, and the main reason I entered it is to give me an external deadline to complete it.  I love making quilts, but I'm not actually very good at it. This is never more obvious to me than when I'm machine quilting. I've hand quilted the whole centre of this quilt, which has made the machine quilting around the edges more achievable. I'm expecting to finish the quilting this afternoon, ready to bind tomorrow. That will leave Friday for putting sleeves and labels on the quilts.

Come Saturday, my daughter and I will drop the quilts off, and then we'll enjoy seeing them hanging at the show.  Maybe they'll even inspire someone to give quilting a go.

So as I finish the quilting today, and try to fend off more performance anxiety, I'll be reminding myself why I entered in the first place; so Dylan can have his quilt.And that's a pretty good reason really.

22 Jun 2015

Wintery slump

It's been a busy time. A full month of work absorbed my energy and time. One advantage was leaving my husband to be in charge of the morning's routine.  He does it well, and when his work was pressing my wonderful inlaws took up the load.  Another advantage was getting to see the sun rise on  my way across the city. If only I wasn't driving, I could have taken some lovely photos of it. One memorable morning I got to see the moon set and the sun rise.

I've had to make some decisions regarding my exhibition entry. (Really, I should be having these thoughts in October or so, but I didn't.)  I've decided to enter the quilt I started in a workshop with Kathy Doughty using her modern wedges technique. Most bloggers would insert a link here to the entry they made about that workshop, but apparently I didn't blog about it.

So I've been spending some time hand quilting in front of various movies. This one is Russell Crowe's the Water Diviner, and a sobfest it is too.  There's a long, long way to go on the quilting.

The other thing that's been taking up a lot of space in our lives and minds is the high school application process. When I started high school, my country town had one high school. There was no choice.  Next year my boy will move to high school. There are so many schools he could go to it's been a bit intimidating narrowing the choices down.  And then there's the whole worry if he'll be accepted.  In the end, we applied for both public and private schools, and are hoping to receive offers this week. If we don't, my head will probably explode.