Last stop: Sydney!

Catherine and I spent 2 days in Sydney. We had had a great view from our room:

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We walked and shopped (of course)…

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I was tempted to buy Han Solo in carbonite for my son, Chris, but thankfully he was not for sale. (Lorna, aren’t you glad this isn’t coming home to your house?!)

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We walked in the gardens… that’s a fig tree!

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We went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales where we got to view the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. There are 6 of them, each similar to each other, but different.

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The 2018 Archibald paintings were also on exhibit but we chose not to pay to go, mostly because I had a sinus headache that was trying to kill me. Not really ‘kill’ me, but it definitely slowed me down. Darn, right?!

Vivid Sydney is happening now. Once it gets dark, the city around the harbor is filled with light and music. It was lovely! We saw it from the water one night. Last night we walked the streets. So, this is the Opera House by day:

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And the same Opera House, lit during Vivid. The projected images changed, morphing from one thing to another…

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There were random displays…

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Catherine loved this one, that was all about microbes…

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And now it’s time to go home. I’m going to miss Catherine! We had such a good time together. It’s going to feel lonely for a while. I’m glad that we can FaceTime until the next time we can get together in the real world.

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Newcastle sites…

Catherine lives across the street from the Newcastle Museum — how cool is that! There is a famous/photogenic camel outside and I had to take a photo. (Honestly, the camel is best when seen from afar. He’s kind of scary up close.)

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The children’s area was way more fun than I expected. There were several good interactive exhibits involving magnets, and one where you could lift a real (small) car with a lever and ropes. Physics in action.

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The coal industry is huge in Newcastle and it was a big steel producer. The steel industry shut down but there is a big part of the museum dedicated to it. This is 1 ton of coal. It makes you wonder who looked at that rock and had the idea to burn it. That would not be my first thought.

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We hiked up the 136 stairs to the Newcastle Memorial Walk. It was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in 1915 and the commencement of steel making in Newcastle.

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The names of soldiers are inscribed on the metal figures.

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The views are amazing. Catherine says they are more amazing when it’s sunny but I appreciated them nonetheless.

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Coal Ship

Beach from Anzac Walk

A small memorial just outside the fence was peaceful, even with the chain link.

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The rain moved in and we went shopping. I really, really hope everything fits in my suitcase :-).

The Hunter Valley Gardens…

We went back to the Hunter Valley to visit the Gardens on Sunday. It’s been rainy but we were lucky and it was a beautiful day. Most of the flowers were dormant but that really didn’t matter to me. I enjoyed the fall display.

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The hedges are skillfully trimmed. I especially liked the cutouts that allow you to see through to another part of the garden.

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There is a formal garden, very nice.

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There is a lovely children’s area with a Mother Goose/story book theme. My favorite thing was the big red chair:

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There are rides, but it’s off-season here so they weren’t working. That also meant fewer people in the garden with us so, actually, it was not a bad thing.

This is the safest, least-scary Ferris wheel I have ever seen. It made me wonder if it’s as much fun as those where, even though you are strapped in, it feels like you could fall out.

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The Japanese Garden was serene, as you would expect.

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My last photo of the day. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen cut roses floating in water. I hope I don’t forget this…

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My Day with Becky

Hi Friends, my name is Amy Marson and I am the Publisher at C&T Publishing. This week I am visiting my good friend Becky before I head to Quilt Market. Today we went to the Dallas Museum of Art and saw the wonderful Infinity Mirror Room with Pumpkins exhibit by Yayoi Kusama. The exhibit was wonderful, the mirrored room is delightful and the effect of the infinite space is a bit unnerving.  The pumpkin, orange and gold colors were stunning and the dots are mesmerizing.  It made me want to appliqué a slew of circles.

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The other favorite exhibit was the Islamic Art installation, the miniature size of the paintings and ceramics required a magnifying glass to view. We felt like detectives as we walked from piece to piece looking at the detailed, historic works of art.

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More importantly we had a delicious lunch, Artichoke, Chicken Salad with a delicious glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  The day was filled with color, light and beauty and tomorrow we are off to the Dallas Arboretum. Cheers.

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Highlights from last week with Catherine…

These photos are from my phone. I haven’t had time to go through the photos on my big camera. They have to be turned into jpegs before I can post them. 

We shopped, a lot. For shoes, clothes, makeup, antiques, and more. Lots more. We both found Joy in shopping, but this little bit of joy came home with me :-).

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We went to see the pumpkins and flowers at the Dallas Arboretum…

I am so bad at selfies. I’m never sure where to look and my arm is not long enough. At least this time my eyes aren’t roving off to the side :-).

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We went to the Dallas Museum of Art to see the Kusama Pumpkins. The are in a mirrored infinity room and you only get 45 seconds inside, per trip. That’s really fast!

I think 45 seconds is right. It just enough time to be impressed and not so much time to get over the coolness of the spectacle.

And then there’s this, perhaps the most artful exit sign in existence.

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Catherine and I had a great time together and I miss her. We are lucky that we live now, when there is FaceTime. We can still visit from opposite sides of the earth.

 

I love quilters!

A wonderful quilter, Lynn, offered to send me a replacement ornament for the one I broke. Guess what came to my house a few days a go? A box of ornaments!

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None are an exact match to the one that was broken, but that’s OK because I love these just as much. In fact, I especially love the pink one, and the gold one, and the blue one… really, I love them all and will treasure them.

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I am really looking forward to putting up the tree! Thank you, Lynn!

Let it go…

I make quilts because I can’t not make them. But, once finished, I am more in love with the next quilt. Finished quilts tend to end up in my closet. It seems that I am not finished with the urge to tidy up because I can no longer ignore the shelves stuffed with quilts.

It began with the need to take better photos of my quilts. As I unload the shelves, I’ve found quilts that I haven’t seen in years, like this Amish pinwheel. It’s one of the few that I kept from before Linda and I started Piece O’ Cake in 1994. I had time to hand quilt back in the day!

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I gave away most of the quilts that I made before-POC. I’ve given quilts away since then, but I kept way too many made for books and patterns. I thought that I might need them in the future! Well, the future is here and I don’t need to keep them all. What to do with the quilts that need a new home?

Several are finding new homes with my friends. It’s easier than I thought it would be to choose the right quilt for a particular person — it’s a lot like the wand choosing the wizard. Giving quilts is one of the funnest things ever. I LOVE putting a quilt-smile on a friend’s face.

I know that I will run out of quilts before I run out of friends to give them to, but that’s OK. There will be more quilts. And there are quilts that don’t fit anyone I know — those are traveling with me and will be offered for sale. One this is for sure, I’m done stuffing the closet!

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The Daisy quilt, above, was made for a magazine article for Rodale Press. Or maybe it was for inclusion in a book.