Sunday, 31 December 2006

It is Raining

It is raining.

Beautiful Rain.

And the radar shows it is even heavier over the fire area.

What a wonderful start for 2007.

Happy new Year, Everyone.

Can anyone name the technique???

I am wondering if anyone out there can give me a name for this technique, which is on an old dress I am trying to catalogue.


I know I have seen it around a bit, even in modern times. If it was on a cake, I think it is called Cornelli Work - we did it when I was at school, where you tried to do this continuous line of thin icing without ends. Well, maybe the end had to be at the start.

But can anyone give me a name for it in dressmaking????

Here is the whole dress:


The BIG picture, is HERE.

Saturday, 30 December 2006

Dolly Varden

I am spending my holidays hard at work trying to catch up to the work my cataloguing team managed while I was away before Christmas. So this one almost snuck past me. Then I thought - maybe the Crinoline Lovers out there might like to have a peep at these three Dolly Varden transfers.

Dolly was a particular Crinoline Lady - she was usually overdressed and wore a dress with polka dots on it.

These were printed in New Zealand, and I have not yet tried to date them.





There are slightly larger ones you can access on my Flickr pages.

Wednesday, 27 December 2006



Hello Everyone - I would like you to meet Tiffany - the Christmas Fairy my Beloved found for me at a market. Isn't she beautiful - he can't remember if it was the purple hair or the purple hair that made him decide on her.

The largest version of the picture is HERE. She is just over 20 inches tall.

We did have rain on Christmas Day, but not a lot. But it has quietened the fires down, allowed many of the firefighters (who are from all over the state), to go home for Christmas, and to allow more control liens to be established and some areas "blacked out".

But it is still there, waiting for the hot northerlies, so we are going to have a long, worrying summer of it. So we have stepped down the preparedness a little, but not much, and I am trying to catch up on the work stuff I missed ready for the New Year - we start again on 3 January with the Cataloguing Team, and they did a LOT of work I have to check before then.

So posts will still be a little sparse for a while, but we are feeling quite safe for the moment. There are regular town meetings, about once a week, for fire briefings, and the next one is tomorrow, so I will have some idea after that what is in front of us.

But right now - I am off to check out the after-Christmas sales!

Friday, 22 December 2006

Getting Safer all the Time

Hi Everyone.

Just a quickie - it is getting safer here all the time. Predicted winds are not as strong as expected and the control line / back burning are holding

We are not out of the wood yet, but feeling a lot safer. And there might even be rain on Christmas Day.

Which would be wonderful!

Have a wonderful Christmas, Everyone. And I hope the New Year brings both Peace and Joy for You.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Where to find information

Hi Everyone,

Just a little post to emphasise that we are all fine - we have fires to the north of us, but the next few days are fine. It is a hard line to walk, as some people know where I live, but it still isn't a brilliant idea to spell out on the net where you live, but I think I will.

I am at Briagolong, which is in the Heyfield fire complex. Valencia Creek is a less than five minute drive from us.

I have a close friend at Toongabbie, who was in a fairly tense situation the other night. I have a close association with Licola and Glenmaggie, and know most of the people at Cobannah, Castleburn and Dargo.

So, knowing those places, you should be able to tune into the DSE website HERE, and navigate your way around. If this page loads, we are the Heyfield Community updates, and the Mansfield Community map - way down in the bottom right-hand corner. It takes a while to load.

Again, we have the blessing of time (plenty of time to do the initial preparation), but also the curse of time, as it is a long, long wait.

So my major issue is getting my 80 years old mother out of there in time, or on the potentially bad days, and then facing the fire when it comes through. But we have a fantastic group of neighbours (we share all the three paddocks/blocks of long grass between us), and one neighbour has this on-call team of young men who come out on bad days and just wait with us ready.


This is my shed, including my stash shed on the left, behind the door. Everywhere around town is "sarking", an insulation hammered up to cover windows and open spaces, to guard against radiant heat (the windows) and embers (open areas, like this).

On top of the shed is my weather vane, pointing south, which is the safest direction for us. When it points north, we have problems.

Very early on, I had to mow most of my garden *including a lot of my irises), as it was a complex of long dry material and other flammable stuff. This bulb came up a few days later:


Fire and I are old foes - I went into Cockatoo after Ash Wednesday in the 1980s (that will only mean something to other Victorians), in charge of a work crew of young people. The whole landscape was black, except for the bright pink Belladonna lilies that came up through everything. This lily is a little like that.

It is a reminder that whatever comes, we will survive, and so will a lot of other things.

Saturday, 16 December 2006

Still here


We are still here - this is what it was like after Thursday - burnt leaves all around us, but the town escaped fire when the wind changed.

We have become expert on wind directions. We have a couple of quiet days now, and poor conditions expected again on Wednesday / Thursday. It is going to go on like this for weeks!

But we are fine - and have done all preparation possible.

(Just in passing - in my state especially, we are encouraged to stay and defend our homes. The word "evacuation" is no longer used. So we are really quite confident that if/when the fire comes, we will be ready)

Monday, 11 December 2006

Reporting in

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note - we are still here, it is just a long and waiting game. The fire front closest to us is about 15 km away, and it is all dependent on the wind directions.

Sharonb - it is nothing like it was for you - we have the luxury that you were denied, in that we have time, and we have a fair idea of what is coming, and will get notice when it comes. There is a small private army of young men camped with the family across the road, and we have developed the most marvellous swat team that will deal with ember attack, which is what we expect first.

You should see my stash shed - it is so clean around it, and so prepared to survive fire, that you would all be most impressed.

Be back in a few days time - probably not until at least after Friday.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006


Things are a bit warm around here at the minute!

Just to let everyone know (ie those who know where I live), that although we are in one of the more serious bushfire areas that they have not as yet reached us. We evacuated my Mother this morning (she is now at my other "home", giving my beloved as good as she gets), and she will be staying there until the risk is over.

We are still working out our plans, but I will probably be in the fire area from tomorrow afternoon until it is over, and don't think I will risk taking the computer. We expect to lose the power/phones anyway, so it won't be much use.

So this is just to say I am safe, intend to stay safe, but won't be posting for at least a week on current indications.

For those who do not know, a thunderstorm went through last Friday and lit about fifty fires in the great diving range near us. These fires are currently joining up, and are expected to come out of the bush near us over a very large front. The experts say they will continue until it rains or they run out of fuel - they are not able to contain them.

But my home is quite defensible - as long as there is someone there to defend it. So that is where I will be. Along with the rest of my community - seems like we face this every couple of years, but this one is getting just a little closer.

Don't think I will have time to do much sewing though!