About Me

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My name is Kaye and I am 58 years old. Unbelievably to me, at my age, I have now just embarked upon my third career - as a History Education Consultant! I love to cross stitch and quilt, especially with my kittens, Furio and Milo "helping" me. I also love to read, I have a passion for history and I have been cooking since I was about 12 - move over Junior Masterchef! So, this blog, which started out as a cross stitch blog sometimes morphs into a reading journal or a history lesson (sorry, I used to be a secondary teacher before I became a publisher and now a consultant) or a post about my cooking mojo. Whatever it is, this blog is alway about me, my family and my life here in Eaglemont, Victoria. I have been happily married for over 30 years to the most wonderful man and we are blessed with three beautiful grown up children.

My fellow stitching kittens

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Easter Exchange 2017....

Okay, I am trying to be more proactive and organised with my Stitching blogging this year, so in the spirit of this, I have decided to host my first ever Exchange!

Woo Hoo!  I hear you all say (hopefully!).  So, as Easter is on its way on April 14th to 16th (well, hot cross buns are in the supermarkets already!), I thought let's have an Easter Exchange.

So, here goes with the rules:

  1. Open to swapping worldwide (although make sure that you leave enough time to post overseas, if that is what you are doing).
  2. No need for a blog but you must be an avid cross stitcher/quilter/crafter.
  3. Post your gifts to your recipient so that it arrives by Easter.
  4. Open your gifts on Easter Sunday and blog about it asap.
  5. Comment on this post only and BE CLEAR that you want to take part in the Exchange and BE CLEAR if you are NOT willing to post overseas and would prefer to post only within Australia (however, depending upon the number and locations of participants, be aware that this may not be possible).
  6. If you are a No-Reply-Commenter, please include your email address in your comment or email me directly at kayedep@gmail.com - otherwise I cannot contact you.
  7. There is a strictly "No Extras" rule.  So if you feel like you're the type of person who loves to add extra items to your swap, then this is not the swap for you.  We want to keep things simple.
And, what are we sending?  Let's keep it simple - much easier and much more achievable.

  • A handmade Easter or Spring-related item (could be a cross-stitched bunny or chick or a mug rug, or a cross-stitched card, etc).
  • Some Easter treats (chocolates or the like)
  • Wrapped up in some Easter or Spring-like fabric 
(I know, I know, Easter is not in Spring here DownUnder but Easter and Spring seem to go together better design-wise).

Okay, so, if you would like to play.

Please comment on this Post only (take note of the rules above) BY SUNDAY 4TH FEBRUARY.

I will then try to get everyone paired up by Wednesday, 7th February, to give us plenty of time to get crafty.


P.S. Feel free to add the Exchange button (above) to the sidebar of your blog.

P.P.S. Don't forget to join in the fun of my second Girl's Nest Giveaway for 2017. Entries close on Feb 5th.  Good luck!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Lion vs Jackie

This week, TraderVic and I have been lucky enough to view two great films.  Interestingly enough, both are based on true events and both were incredibly moving films with the leads played brilliantly by Dev Patel (Lion) and Natalie Portman (Jackie).  Too hard to choose which one was the better film, really.


"Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home."

As I said, Dev Patel is absolutely brilliant as Saroo, and, oh my goodness, he nailed the extremely-difficult-to-get-right Aussie accent! (Apparently, he was coached for six months to perfect it).  Sadly, despite being the lead actor, he is not up for Best Actor at the Oscars but Supporting actor - this article explains why.  Also, the little boy, Sunny Pawar who play five-year-old Saroo is absolutely magic and so very adorable!  You can read more about him here.

We found it to be absolutely moving and it definitely brought a tear to the eye (even TraderVic - shhh!)



"A searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband's legacy and the world of "Camelot" that they created and loved so well."

Another stunning performance (Natalie Portman was so very definitely Jackie Kennedy) and the filmography and soundtrack were amazing! TraderVic and I have been watching this seemingly endless series about The Kennedys on the History channel - so this film played straight into our wheelhouse. 



I can highly recommend both films and if you could have a tie for Best Film, I would give it to these two.


P.S. Don't forget to join in the fun of my second Girl's Nest Giveaway for 2017. Entries close on Feb 5th.  Good luck!

Friday, 27 January 2017

Anyone for....

.... a long, long, long Australia Day Lunch? 

We started at 1pm and the last guest did not leave until 7pm - now that is what I call a successful long lunch!.

I cooked up a storm of salads in the kitchen, whilst TraderVic cooked fabulously crunchy potatoes and a butterflied leg of lamb on the barbie - Yum! Yum! Yum!

We started with blinis with cream fraiche, smoked salmon and dill and also homemade pita bread crisps with dips, plus a glass of wine, of course.

Then it was onto the main course (the salads came from "Salades" by Damien Pignolet and "Food from many Greek kitchens" by Tessa Kiros).

Coleslaw with a twist (red pepper on the side as it doesn't agree with TraderVic), I even made my own whole egg mayonnaise (in the jug).

Salad of Chickpeas, cucumbers and preserved lemons (very refreshing).

Risi e Bisi (Rice with peas and I even shelled fresh peas for this recipe - I haven't done that since I was a child!)

Pantzarosalata or Beetroot Salad

Yummy, crunchy roast potatoes (made by TraderVic).

And also made by TraderVic, roast lamb - yum! yum!

Dessert was Connossieur Vanilla ice cream with blackcurrants soaked in Creme de Cassis (a liquer) and a cheese platter.

Both the wine, the conversation and the laughs flowed for hours as we sat out on our deck and counted our blessings for living in this great country of ours.

(That's me on the right, going for the Bohemian look with my head band, hearts on my tank top and flowing red-checked pants - that you can't see.)

I was lucky enough to receive a few hostess gifts, some gorgeous flowers, herbs from my friend's garden and some sparkling red wine (no photo as we drank it all - lol!)

So, a fabulous day was had by all and I declare Australia Day 2017 to be a great success in our house!

I hope that all my Aussie friends had as much fun as I did.


P.S. Don't forget to join in the fun of my second Girl's Nest Giveaway for 2017. Entries close on Feb 5th.  Good luck!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Happy Australia Day Swap 2017....

The lovely Anthea of Hibiscus Stitches organised an Australia Day Swap this year.  This is what she had to say about it:

"Let's show our love of our great country & have a good fun Aussie themed swap!

Here's the deal:
FIVE items are chosen & sent to your partner. They each must start with one letter from the word AUSTRALIA & at least one item must bear the Australian flag."

I was lucky enough to receive my exchange parcel from dear Julie (sorry, not sure of her blog as it wasn't given to me).  Anyway, Julie did a lovely job of giving me Australiana gifts.

A gorgeous Australia tin:

 Filled with lots of goodies:

Thank you, Julie, I love them all.

I sent my exchange gifts to Illene from Ret Dairy Queen.

First of all, I gave her a postcard of Melbourne's Flinders Street Station.

... and one of my beloved Anzac tins from my collection, filled with Aussie goodies WHICH I FORGOT TO TAKE PHOTOS OF - SILLY ME!  Illene hasn't posted yet, but once she does, I will update this post to show you what I sent her.  In the meantime, you can see that I covered everything in Aussie stickers!

UPDATE:  Illene posted what she received from me on her blog - phew!  She seemed very happy with her goodies - double phew!


  • Anzac Tin
  • Utterly gorgeous lace doilies
  • Threads in Australian landscape colours (browns and greens)
  • Liquer chocolates
  • Australian gym towel (with the required map of Australia on it).
So glad that you liked your gifts, Illene.


P.S. Don't forget to join in the fun of my second Girl's Nest Giveaway for 2017. Entries close on Feb 5th.  Good luck!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

It's Time ....

... for another Girl's Nest Giveaway (I have decided that I am going to try to have at least one Giveaway a month in 2017, if not even more frequently).

Why is it called a Girl's Nest Giveaway?  A very good question, my dear friends. Luckily, the answer is fairly simple.  The Girl's Nest is what my sewing room is affectionately referred to by TraderVic and my family and as I am on an eternal quest to tidy up,organise and streamline my what-seems-to-be-a-very VAST collection of sewing, quilting, stitching and knitting stuff goodies, I have decided that sharing the stuff love is one good way of doing this.

So, up for grabs this time around are two gorgeous items from my collection.....

Both of which were very excitedly bought online a few year's ago, after seeing them on, I think, dear Jo's blog (Jo, if you were not my enabler, I will happily delete "blaming" you) and I do love them.  #1 is so me, all medieval and historic, and #2 looks so useful and pretty but you know, apart from one pencilled entry in one of them (can't remember which one now as I have carefully rubbed it out), I have NOT USED them - hence the giveaway....


"A Perpetually Engaging Diary from the Collection of Michael & Elizabeth Feller"

"Ackworth Memory Book"


1. You must be a follower.

2. If you post about the Giveaway on your blog, you get an extra name in the hat.

3. Comment on this post only, be clear that you would like to be entered in the draw.

4. Open worldwide.

5. You may enter for either #1 or #2 or both prizes.

5. Giveaway closes on Midnight on Sunday 5th February 

6. Good luck!

Have a great day, everyone, 


Monday, 23 January 2017

First IHSW for 2017 .... Woo Hoo!

So, for my first International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (IHSW) for 2017, I continued with my FNSI and FF piece by Abbey Rose Designs.

After Friday night I was here:

And by the end of the weekend, I had made some great strides with it (despite a couple of visits by the Frog Prince - Grrr!)

Design: Do more of what makes you happy
Designer: Abbey Rose Designs
Fabric: 32ct Grey-spotted
Floss: Mixture of suggested and own choice over-dyed threads

And, our chosen snack for the evening was this surprisingly delicious, Kale and Quinoa popcorn!  (and yes, it is a bit green -that's the Kale bit, I think).

And, in case you are wondering what I am rabbiting on about re IHSW, here is an explanation from our SAL mama's blog, the darling Joyce from Random Ramblings.

"International Hermit and Stitch Weekend takes place every 3rd full weekend of each month, from Friday till Sunday. In our very busy and hectic lives, IHSW is a chance for us to squirrel some time away for ourselves and "Hermit and Stitch." It is a time set aside to take care of us and our love for stitching."

So, that is my first IHSW report for the year, have a great week everyone, 


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