Our Bendigo weekend didn’t happen as planned since there were too few to have the traditional bush dance.  So although the actual weekend was cancelled, we still hosted our buddy Matt from Denver.  He arrived as planned on Friday after work.  Ariane and I picked him up from the train station and dinner was steak and all the fixings.  Matt doesn’t cook much, so we figured he would like a home bbqed meal.  In the evening, we found out Jocelyn and Mike from Edmonton were travelling here for the weekend, so we arranged an impromptu bbq for the next evening along with their hosts, Barb and Doug (former exchangees).

Saturday morning I made brunch with 2 different crustless quiches – one chorizo and cheese, the other asparagus, haloumi cheese and tomato.  Yum!!!  After brunch we went off to Milton and Judith’s house for the much anticipated jewelry making class while Leon and Matt went to visit Bendigo and the Deborah gold mine.  Milton explained to Ariane that even the simplest piece of silver jewelry would take quite a few hours to produce, so he encouraged us to find a simple design.  Ariane settled on a pendant that is basically 2 half-domes put together with a bit of pipe on top to hold the chain.  She got to help punch out the silver disks, press them into dome shapes and do a little sanding.  Milton did the rest.  We picked it up today and what a great piece of jewelry!  And so original.  He had put it in a delicate velvet bag, so it was like going to Tiffany’s to pick up your own design.  Really cool!

My design choice is a pinkie ring with a textured top.  I saw some of the textures Milton had been working on and decided that would suit me well.  We had time to make the basic silver band, size very small for my little finger and we’ll continue the rest another time as Milton and Judith as off to Malaysia for a well needed rest.  Poor Judith, she has a “shocking” cold!!

We returned to the house in time to prepare the bbqed hamburgers and salads.  Barb and Doug arrived with some more salad.  I cooked some chicken too, just in case, and forgot all about it after I removed it from the bbq.  Jocelyn and Mike arrived. We all had a great evening of chat and food and wine, topped off with a lovely, decadent cheesecake Jocelyn had brought along.  Great times!!!

Today was all about the White Wedding dress exhibit I had been looking forward to.  I picked up Sunnie, a school friend, and off we went with Ariane to see the exhibit.  So many lovely gowns, many 100-130 yrs old and so well preserved.  After that, we sat outside for a tea and scone snack at a local café.  The day was gorgeous!  It doesn’t get much better than this.

In the meantime, Matt and Leon chatted after our lovely brunch out on the patio, as they waited for Jocelyn and Mike to pick up Matt in the afternoon to return to Melbourne.  Leon planted some veggies in the garden and we even found our first red back spider in the composter.  No drama there, we were careful.  But they are very poisonous!

So now it’s almost 7pm.  I have rice and fish on the burner and Leon is helping with my marking.  Lots to do before another busy week.  I am away tomorrow night so I can attend a conference on Tuesday and on top of my usual teaching duties, I am doing a workshop for my coworkers on Wednesday afternoon.  No rest here….

using the press to cut the shapes
creating the dome shape
sanding the piece
close up pendant
finished pendant
Milton and Jude's fabulous reno