Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Few Days Away.


Last Wednesday Mr Daisy and I packed the car with too many things and headed out west. 

As we reached the upper Blue Mountains everything was covered in a white carpet of snow.... Snow?!?! It's well and truly spring here in Australia and snow at this time of year is very unusual. In fact it was this time last year that bush fires were raging throughout the Blue Mountains. 

The snow was a sight to see! A sparking, white, winter wonderland. I half expected to see Santa Claus go whizzing by on his sled pulled by reindeer.


Snowmen had popped up everywhere!! I thought this one was particularly handsome with his straw hair and black buttons.

We weren't dressed for snow so we soon hopped back in the car and headed on our way. After a while the snowy, cold weather faded away and it became a warm blue-sky afternoon. 

When we planned our holiday I'd hoped the timing would be right to see some canola fields in flower. My wish came true!! As someone who loves strong colour seeing that bright yellow extend right up to the horizon is food for the soul. 


By late afternoon we reached the lovely town of Canowindra. For some reason I didn't take any photos of the street scape which is a shame because it is such a beautiful town with a main street full of buildings from the late 1800's. 
I did snap a shot of this crazy patchwork paving...

...and some corrugated iron patchwork .

The next day we went to The Age Of Fishes Museum that has fish fossils that are 200 million years old. It's mind boggling to think of the world so many millions of years ago.
As we were leaving the museum a vintage car club drove into town. 
So we ordered some lunch at a cafe that had a good view of the street and we settled in to enjoy the coming and goings of the cars. 

 After two relaxing days we said goodbye to Canowindra and headed off down the road. There was a point where we came across a herd of cows. Just like snow, herds of cows are rare where we live so we drove slowly and enjoyed watching them amble on their way.

Our next stop on the map was Temora, the home of the Temora Aviation Museum. The museum has occasional flying days were they showcase some of their vintage airplanes.  The four planes on the program that day were a Boomerang, a Wirraway, a Meteor, and a Spitfire. It was such a great chance to see these beautiful old planes fly.
The museum was excellent, not only did it have all the facts and figures about everything to do with Australia's aviation history but it also had a great emphasis on the human stories behind the planes.



Time flies when you're having fun and as soon as the air show was over we jumped in our car and took off for a nearby town called Ariah Park. It just so happened that the weekend we had planned to be in Temora was the same weekend Di Ford was a featured quilter at the Ariah Park Annual Quilt Show.  

I was lucky that I got to meet Di and her husband Brian. They are the loveliest people! So down to earth and friendly. 

Di's quilts have been sent to Houston where they'll be on display at the Quiltmania Booth at the Houston Market and Show, so the quilts on show were ones made by her friends and members of the Secret Sewing Sisterhood, using Di's patterns. It was a great chance to see the patterns I know well from Di's book Primarily Quilts made in different colour ways. ( I got Di's permission to share photos of the quilts)


Deb King's version of Phoebe was beautiful. I fell in love with this pattern when I first started quilting. 

It's hard to capture the whole quilts in photographs because the patterns are so detailed so here are some random close ups. Note all the fabulous fussy cutting, gorgeous fabrics and perfect piecing.



On Sunday the main street of Ariah Park was going to be full of market stalls and buskers as part of a festival. It would have been wonderful to be there for that, but we were off again early on Sunday morning...



... to Bowral, not for planes or quilts this time but for a restaurant. Biota exceeded our expectations with interesting dishes served in creative ways accompanied by exceptional wines. The location and elegant, modern decor added to the experience.

This is where we enjoyed a pre-dinner glass of bubbles. On the other side of the lake is a kitchen garden full of herbs and leafy vegetables that are used in the restaurant.

As I mentioned there were lots of surprises during our meal. the first was when our bread arrived toasty and warm inside a furry pouch, with smoked butter on a rock.

I was having too much fun to photograph every dish but had to capture this dessert with real blossoms, once again served on a rock

and another dessert, there were so many delicious flavours to discover in this dish.

All in all it was one of those meals I equate with going to a great concert.


We were only away for a few days but by the time we got home it felt like we'd been away for a month!

45 comments:

Sujata Shah said...

What a trip! The pictures and reading your stories of the trip felt like I went along with you!

Those Quilts made by Di Ford look amazing, so are the others! I read about the Houston exhibit on Quiltmania site. I am looking forward to seeing them.
That meal sounds so exotic! Love the presentation. Closest I have eaten in anything earthy is, Terracotta bowls and plates made out of leaves.

Patchwork and Play said...

I learnt many of quilting skills from Di when she owned Primarily Patchwork in Canterbury here in Victoria! Lovely to see her beautiful quilts! You certainly packed a lot into your few days away!

Pinkadot Quilts said...

It sounds like a very fun trip! I love the canola fields and the blue sky, they were meant to be together.
The quilts are beautiful and I am sure they were even better in person, how fun to see the close up details.
Was that macadamia nuts in the second dessert? I love them.

Susan C. said...

What a trip man! We got a little cold here in Melbourne but I think NSW got the worst of it, snow in spring, this late! It's tres cray cray.
The photos are so good, love all the colours and textures, in nature as in the quilts. Tell me did the waiters in said restaurant have big well defined arm muscles? The say eating is as much through the eyes as well as the mouth, love how people are prepared to push the expected to give us a little delight now and again.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

What a wonderful holiday! Snow, canola fields, a quilt show and fine food. It does seem strange to have snow mid spring - better than bushfires! Did it really just 'so happen' that the quilt show was on or did you plan to go while it was there -it looks like an amazing quilt show too.

Every Stitch said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your photo tour - across different seasons and different towns! I've never heard of Ariah Park - or their quilt show but will mark it on the calendar now - what a treat to see all the Di Ford quilts! Great idea to have the same pattern side by side in different fabric choices. As a Bowral local I've heard Biota mentioned as an amazing 'dining experience'...I wonder if the rocks go in the dishwasher?!

Katy Cameron said...

It looks like another wonderful trip. I'm rather jealous that your weather lends itself to strong, bright colours, and ours lends itself to, err, strong, dark greys ;o)

Sew Many Quilts said...

I really like your tree in the canola field picture. Would it be ok to use it to paint a picture?
Thank you

Rachaeldaisy said...

Hi Sew Many Quilts,
Thank you for completing my photo of the tree in a canola field. I think it's a wonderful idea to use it to paint a picture. Cheers, Rachael

Kyle said...

Glad you had the opportunity to get away from it all for a few days. I had to mapquest all the beautiful places you visited. Loved seeing Di's quilts made by other quilters. They're always so inspirational

shez said...

Wow Racheal what an awesome post,I so enjoyed reading it all,you fitted so much in ,in that short time,Thankyou for sharing my friend.xx

O'Quilts said...

This blog post takes the cake for happy happy happiest posts!

smazoochie said...

RD! Your photo of the canola fields took away my breath! And snow, bread in a fur bag, quilts, planes -- you two had it all! Well deserved, thanks for taking us with you!

Mary said...

What a fun adventure! I love that blue, blue sky touching the yellow fields! Amazing color! I will be going to Houston...I will look for the quilts! Wow...you just have the best little adventures with Mr.Daisy :)

Heather said...

What a lovely treat to see those quilts and meet Di in person. I just love her work and wish I was heading to Houston to see her quilts in person. That meal sounds just wonderful. Nothing better than wonderfully prepared food enjoyed with a loved one!

Nifty Quilts said...

Wow, wow, wow! I loved your tour of some of Australia's sites, meals and Di Ford's incredible quilts! Thanks for sharing your trip. I almost feel like I came along.

tracie @ beets+birch said...

nice trip lady! really spectacular all the way around. i was dying over the food served on a rock.

Sharon said...

Thanks for taking us along on your trip! Love the snowy pictures. What a difference a year makes! The quilts were fantastic, and aren't you clever to be there at the right time? :) The food pictures are amazing! Served on a rock - how cool. And I LOVE that picture of the canola field! Wow! Sounds like you had a wonderful vacation.

Paula said...

What an amazing trip and it looks as if you will have so many wonderful memories. The quilts were stunning, the food looked divine, and the colours and contrasts of snow and spring were just breathtaking.

Deborah @Patchwork Atelier said...

What a wonderful holiday, dear Rachael!!
I love the snowy pictures - I miss the snow here in Italy ;)
The quilts are so beautiful - amazing works!!
Hugs
Deborah

Karen said...

What a wonderful break! I am glad you felt you had been away longer as that means you got to unwind. What a great cross section of things you saw. The quilts looked so beautiful. We saw lots of canola fields when we were driving around Victoria. How lucky were you to be in town when the vintage car club came through. Sometimes those unexpected things can really add a special touch to your trip.

Di said...

Can I just say what an absolute pleasure it was to meet Rachael in Ariah Park ... she is as gorgeous in person as she sounds in her blog posts. Di xx

Barb said...

Amazing getaway! wow you two really know how to search out amazing places to visit. I loved seeing the painted plane.
Is snow always unusual? or just this late? i don't remember ever seeing a snow photo on your blog.
My mouth was totally watering looking at those amazing food shots. What an experience! I love how things were served on the rocks.
That cheese plate looks like it was amazing, it's one of my favorite things - that and bubbly.
Thanks for sharing another amazing getaway!!

Barb said...

p.s. Oh my - forgot to say how amazing Dis quilts are - absolutely beautiful!!

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Wow! I was thinking what an amazing trip you were having and then ... THEN, you hit the quilt show. I LOVE Di Ford's quilts and now I'm SO sad I'm not going to Houston -- I would have loved to have seen them in person.

Oh, and when I saw the snow, it made me question where you really were, thinking maybe all this time I'd been mistaken that you live in AU LOL!!!

Melissa P said...

You have a knack for turning the smallest trip into a big adventure! What gorgeous food and natural beauty. Great inspirations for creative thinking!

Quiltbenaco said...

Una bella vacanza!
Grazie per il reportage!
Ciao

Diane said...

What an amazing adventure! Thanks for sharing the stunning photos and the gorgeous quilts.

Marg said...

Wow you packed so much into a short time. Thank you for sharing your trip away. Your photos as always are beautiful and interesting. I too, particularly love the photo of the canola fields. Living in Queensland, i love the intense colours of the wildlife, skies and plants here. The jacarandas are out here now and they are stunning.

Shay said...

Seeing snow in Australia in October just blew my mind.

Your mini break looks absolutely fabulous – you sure packed a ton of things in . Im sure it was absolute coincidence that there happened to be a quilting display on where you ended up . Those quilts are truly works of art. (just sent the Phoebe quilt picture to a friend who makes quilts like this to see if she could be tempted to make it )

I love it when you get food served on non traditional “dishes”. It adds a lot of ambience to the experience I think.

Dasha said...

I haven't been to Temora. Must put that on our bucket list. Thanks for showcasing it. Loved the photos of the canola. The contrast in colours is spectacular and completely Mother Nature. Those quilts you photographed were magnificent. The detail on them!

Lynne Shandley said...

What a great trip! It made two sorts of geeks happy :) I think I'll always think that canola crops smell of fish. Why? Because the first time I saw them, I had some fish sauce triple bagged in the boot. It still managed to escape. Lol. Took a lot of washing to remove the smell!

rebecca said...

Whoa! You really pack a punch with a holiday, it had everything. The canola fields are wild arent they. It is hard to believe that nature makes a colour that intense. We saw lots on the way to Adelaide. I did enjoy your corry patch pic...there is something rather wonderful about patched corragated iron.

Terry said...

GreT trip. Snow to fils of ripe canolla . Did you also see fields of Patterson's Curse. ? Nice quilt show in a quaint country town. Glad you both hadma good break.

Janice said...

Wow! I wish I had been carrying your suitcases. What a great trip. The snow would have been stunning to see and I'm glad the canola was still out for you to see. Love your photos. We love Canowindra. You will have to try to get there one year on the October long weekend when they have a quilt display up the main street. Temora and Aviation Museum is one of our favourite places to visit. We've been a few times and always stay at the pub at Ariah Park. Now that quilt exhibition would have been worth seeing. If you time it right there are also jetboat races just out of Temora. They are an eye opener and not what you expect to see out that way.I'm jealous of your dinner at Bowral. It sounds like a meal to remember.

Vickie said...

You go on very interesting trips to very interesting places and restaurants ! Bread from a furry pouch cracks me up ! Your picture of the canola fields looks like a painting..My goodness, what beautiful quilts!

Karen said...

You sure packed a lot into one short trip. It looks like a wonderful time. Can't believe the snow - how crazy is that?
I love seeing the canola in full bloom. It is such a glorious sight! Your photos are stunning.
And the restaurant looks amazing, too.
Glad you had a great time.

pandchintz said...

What a fabulous break!

the girlfriend gap said...

Rachel, Since I will probably never get to Australia I enjoy your adventures through your pictures. The quilts are beautiful and very detailed. I think it would take me a hundred years to make one :) I am not familiar with Di's work. I will have to do a bit more investigating to learn and see more. I enjoyed some of the comments on the rock dishes. That is creative! I wonder what my husband would say if I served him some supper on a rock tonight ! I'm sure he'd think I was off my "rock"er. Ha makes me smile though. I sure do love amazing food!
Take care . Janita

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

Thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos from your vacation! I especially enjoyed the close ups of the medallion quilts. Spectacular!

As for the furry pouch...that's a bit strange. But then the rocks made me realize there's a theme of nature going on here. Sounds like an interesting meal.

Sunna Reyr said...

A big thank you for sharing the trip with us and a BIGGER THANK YOU for the fabulous quilt show. Oh, my goodness how I would have loved to spend a day looking at every detail of these quilts.

Where the West Things Are said...

Those desserts look mouth-wateringly amazing, in particular the blossom covered dessert served on a rock! So cool.

Would you mind sharing the Blue mountain's cafe or restaurant in which you ordered them? We'd love to visit it so we could feature it on our blog too!

Cheers,
- L
wherethewestthingsare.blogspot.com

Rachaeldaisy said...

Hi L, The restaurant was called Biota and was in Bowral.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hi Rachael....what a fabulous few days away you had! Phoebe is just beautiful...,I've not seen it before! Imagine bread coming in a fur pouch...very Paleo ll!

leanne said...

thanks for sharing your holiday - looks like a good one ! and you were sooo close to me - you'll have to visit one day to see the Pioneer Women's Hut museum :)

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