Diary of Desire Pt 1

It all started after Convention in January 2015. Texas Flower laid eyes on Peaches O'Day in her burgundy and gold natural form gown during Miss Tabitha's 'how to dress like a lady'.

The second phase of the desire? Winning the prize of the 1886 Garment Drafting Machine donated by Garnet Rose and Calico at the Victorian Tea,

Skip forward to Commancheria Days in Texas, I discussed the use of the machine for making this gown for Texas Flower and so began the acquisition of measurements to be able to set each piece of the drafting machine.

This is the desired outcome (some slight changes will be made for originality) – Peaches version, reconstructed in Burgundy but still using the original appliqué lace and gold fabric from the original gown. I am but in awe as we both viewed her gown up close and personal.


So….Texas Flower decided she would like it in blue and then I happened across the original (by chance) on Pinterest, to which Peaches advised that this was indeed a picture of the original gown – in blue!


Back to the drafting machine. The set has the original booklet explaining use and details in obtaining correct measurements. It also has the original measurement book, where a seamstress might take down a clients measure – there are measurements written in a delicate script inscribed within the pages of the book!


Now the book makes note that 'one should take correct measure to ensure a lady does not have to endure trials of said gown and should expect the finished product to fit correctly'.

So here goes nothing! Let's give it a whirl! What measurements do we need you might wonder. Well without divulging 'actual' measurements these are what is required according to the 1886 manual,

– neck

– back width

– under arm length R/L

– back length

– armhole R/L

– shoulder length R/L

– front length

– front dart height

– bust

– waist

– hip

– front dart size

– size of hip

– skirt length F/B

– safety measure (bicep) R/L

– size at elbow R/L

– wrist size R/L

– armhole to elbow length

– elbow to wrist

Now that I have all of these and we have decided on a colour, it is with colour in hand that I attempt to find the perfect fabric to fulfill the order.

At this point in the game I think I may need to consider turning to the learning library and attempt to dye fabric in the required colour.

The lace? Well the 'Mum' library has assisted with that. I've found a selection of patterns, threads in desired colours have been ordered and will be making said lace myself on the embroidery machine. The lace pattern will be different from the original keeping it unique from others and giving its intended wearer indeed, something original.

More on that later, suffice to say now the urgency comes back to the sourcing of fabric.

Keep your eye out for Pt 2!

Yours in creativity,

Kat xo



Ballarat – Goldfields, Eureka!

Ballarat, first named by a Scottish settler in 1837 (as Ballaarat) is known for its boom during the Goldrush days, transforming it from a sheep station to a large settlement.

Gold was first discovered in 1851 and before long thousands of migrants came to Ballarat in search of their own fortune. Gold yields here remained high for decades compared to other gold rush towns. The first prospectors were gettin half an ounce to 5 ounces per day. Way more than the average wage of that time.

The largest nugget (at the time the worlds largest) weighed in at 62.8kg/136.11lbs, called the Welcome Nugget was found in 1858 at Poverty Point.

Of course gold rush towns bought with them the usual riff raff, ensuing arguments and questions over taxes imposed by authorities. Ballarat was no different and in 1854 'Civil disobedience in Ballarat led to Australia's only armed civil uprising. The Eureka Rebellion (colloquially referred to as the Eureka Stockade) took place on 3 December, 1854. The event in which 22 miners were killed, is considered a defining moment in Australian history.'

The Eureka Stockade was essentially the rebellion of miners against the Victorian and Colonial (ie mother England) authorities. They were objecting to the expense of a Miners Licence and its associated taxes. After a half hour battle the miners came off second best with 22 or more miners being killed.

It is said that perhaps this led to the birth of democracy in Australia.

Anyway there is a whole other story behind that. The Eureka flag is still used and flown in Australia. It was actually designed by a Canadian miner, blue and white with only the southern cross and was said to be an act of defiance not having the British Union Jack flag on it as well. It was also known as 'the diggers flag' and 'the southern cross'.

You saw it in the Glenrowan blog post and pictured below through the dirty windscreen coming into town and flying proudly above the beautiful Town Hall building.


So, first stop after finding a car park, was Irish Murphy's for a pub lunch and a pint of Guiness!


We made a quick trip to the Tourist Information Centre, grabbed a couple of brochures about the Victorian buildings and architecture. To which I am most pleasantly surprised that all these facades and buildings still exist! I walked around most of the time looking up at the gorgeous details!


We walked down Sturt street snapping pic's of buildings and the gorgeous statues and monuments down the centre island. In its hey day, Ballarat was also teeming with trams.


Then it was into the car and did a quick drive around Lake Wendouree. I wasn't allowed out long lol! I found more beautiful statues awaiting photo opportunities in the botanical gardens. Did get a quick few though.


Sovereign Hill we did not do. Need a whole day for that and was way too expensive just for an hour or so. It is a whole village and gold rush experience with staff and volunteers dressed in period clothing around the town. There are mining tours, evening sound and light shows, a museum etc.

Anyway I can say I've been to Ballarat now! On with the road trip to South Australia.

Kat xo






North East Victoria

On to Mernda for the week where we stayed with Kaitlin. My biggest little lady.

Jack and I (with Kaitlin) weeded, cleaned, washed cars and helped out where we could. We watched movies (a couple scary!), played video games, did puzzles, some sewing and a bit of shopping. Damn puzzle and it's Autumn/Fall leaves just about drove us crazy!

The best part other than just being and staying with my eldest daughter? Having exceptional cups of tea each afternoon from her fancy tea set.

We had Ginger Spice Tea, Banana Bake Tea, Black Rose Tea, Sencha Vanilla and Turkish Apple Cinnamon Tea (pink in colour and a favourite) and last but not least Shimmer Punch. All coupled with a spectacular blueberry tea cake or date scones.


An impressive 'chef' is she! Baking delights her specialty but the morrocan roast chicken she made was to die for. Oh, Kaitlin? I need the recipe! Plleeeaaaaase!

Had an awesome week with my girl!


Thanks for having us Miss Kaitlin xo

Have a superb day folks!

Kat xo


Bushranger Country

On our drive down to Mernda, we are passing through farmland and countryside that once was home to bushranger's running wild, causing mischief and mayhem.

Chiltern, Wangaratta, Beechworth, Glenrowan, Benalla were home to the likes of one of the most famous bushranger's (outlaw) of Australian history – Ned Kelly.


Whilst the first convict bushranger's were running around the countryside from as early as 1790's, outlawed bushranger's (yet to determine the difference) during 1860's to 1870's – and could be shot on sight, to the Kelly gang shooting in 1880.

John Caesar aka Black Caesar, Martin Cash, Jack Donohoe aka The Wild Colonial Boy, Black Douglas, Mad Dan Morgan, Captain Midnight and Ben Hall, to name but a few, but our Ned has been the one most portrayed in art and film over the years.


Edward 'Ned' Kelly was born in 1855 and was first arrested at age 14. Over the coming years he had other visits to the 'lock up' and gained notoriety as a boxer in the Beechworth area.


It looks like Ned really wound up his bush ranging when his mother was placed in gaol for a 3 year sentence for supposedly shooting one of the local constabulary. Well…that'll do it I guess. Must have loved his Mum!

By 1878, the Kelly gang were still eluding police and trackers. They surprised four police at a Stringybark Creek camp, killing two, wounding 1 and 1 surrendering. For around 2years Ned and his gang carried on in this manner, robbing banks along the way and before too long they had a bounty of 8000 placed on their heads, being raised to 12,000 by 1879.

Much more happened between the latter part of 1878 up until the fateful day in June 1880.

The Kelly gangs 'last stand' took place in Glenrowan, Victoria where they held 60 hostages in a hotel. All wearing their (famous) armour made the year before. The shootout took place, three of the gang were shot and killed, the hotel was burnt to the groundby the police. After a half hour battle with Ned shooting at police, having snuck up from behind, he ended up being shot in the unprotected legs. He was arrested and charged with the murder of a policeman.


Ned was already known for his penmanship with the Jerilderie letter and during his gaol time wrote a long letter to authorities in regards to discrimination to Irish settlers.

In November 1880 Ned was hung, his famous last words – such is life!

All bushranger's had their heads chopped off after hanging and death masks were then made and sent back to England.


So there you go, we had 'outlaws' here in Australia too.

Whilst in Glenrowan we visited Bob Hempel's, Ned Kelly's Last Stand. An anamatronic show filled with, well, anamatronics, computerised robots, lighting and sound. That's where some of these photos came from.

Below is Jack and I with Ned and Ned with the Eureka Flag (more on that later).


Such is Life,

Kat xo

P.S. My Dad calls me Ned, 'cause my middle name is Kelli 🙂





Headin’ Down South

Back through Taree we headed via Mum and Dad's for Sunday roast. Caught up with my brother Chris, my cute little niece Milah, my cousin Craig and his lovely wife Fiona. Like I was only there yesterday when Fiona and I can just pick up and take off with conversations for hours.

Back down to Canberra again for appointments. Caught up with a few people from my old workplace – apparently I haven't changed a bit. Was great to see them and see some of the guys from the 'poo farm' (Sewerage Treatment Works).

Thursday 15th was Curstin's birthday, a 19th birthday lunch with her on base was a great opportunity to see her briefly again.

Saturday we started the trek to South East Australia. Travelling through Gundagai, we went past the Dog on a Tucker Box. Now this is an interesting poem/fable and part of Australian folk lore that was changed over the years.


Originating in 1830 by Bullocky Bill under a pen name of 'Bowyang Yorke' he wrote the poem and how the dog 'shat' on the tucker box – long story, check out the link for more info. The poem was then redeveloped by a newsagent/businessman and a reporter and then read 'sat' on the tucker box. This was now 1880 and this version featured on souvenirs and matchbook covers throughout the land. 1923 however, saw Jack Moses change it even more as he thought it was rude and crude. It was his version that became famous throughout the Australian bush and cities alike.


Then it was on to Wagga Wagga and caught up with my Rori boy. Holy Moly! Has he grown! I feel like a midget, lol!


Was so good to see him and get to chat with him for the day. Love you boy.

Then it was on to Wodonga, just over the border where we bunked down for the night. Started Sunday with a nice brunch at Cafe Grove and by mid afternoon we will be at Kaitlin's.


Kat xo

18th October


Clarence Valley, NSW

After a brief stay at Dug and Trixie's getting washing and ironing done we headed for Lawrence in the Clarence Valley river district and spent a few nights with Paddlewheel and Emerald.

It was so good to catch up with them again after such a long time.

We caught the ferry across the river that afternoon to reach their place.

Drinks and stories ensued, as you do!

Thursday was a little overcast so I headed out with Emerald into Grafton, hitting the fabric shops during our excursion. Had the second roast pork for dinner in as many weeks! Spoilt much.

But not before the making of margaritas with pistol tequila Haa haa haa. I love the new circular couches that also swivel. They were good for movie editing and sipping on margaritas.


With the views to the river, the evening was topped off by a sugar cane burn. The photos don't really do it justice though.


Friday was a casual, get your exercises done, late breakfast kinda day. Watching the first qualifying round for Bathurst races in amongst Emerald and I cutting out corsets.


Now the evenings antics ramped up a little here as we caught the local courtesy bus to the tavern picking up another couple of locals before arriving at the waterfront Lawrence Tavern.

There's folks hanging out in 'Marlboro Country' aka the smoking corner and inside, the place is jumping with all manner of people. We ordered up a couple of beers and found a table.

Now when you order drinks you get a ticket to put your name on and it goes into the tin for a draw.

Crack me up, this is local Aussie flavour at its best. First draw done and old mate wins 10 schooners! A little later and 'Mavis' (a little lady in the bus group mob) picks a card from the board and wins 10 middies.

Lord only knows if she made it to the bus! Better catch the late one or shout the cane farmer, blackened wih soot, from the last burn or to the high vis clad guys from the ferry or farms.


I see the bar staff having a drink this side of the bar and assume their shift is done! That's what you get for good old 'locals'. Aaahhh what it's like to be back in small country towns, what an eye opener – you little ripper!

We thank our friends for their hospitality and today (Saturday) the trek south goes on. We will be in Taree again for a couple of nights, Newcastle and then Canberra again.

Stay safe!

Love Kat xo


Chisholm Trail 2015

Chisholm Trail 2015 commenced this year with a changing of the guard due to health issues. It was different not seeing our usual patrons Morgan and Alvira there getting things rolling. However, R C Shot had stepped up taking on the task of Match Director and successfully saw it through.

For many years Morgan and Alvira have been the drive behind Chisholm Trail – Australian SASS Regional and what was once in conjunction with the Single Action National Championship. To ensure our sports succession into the future it will take people like R C Shot and many others support and assistance behind the scenes to ensure this game still exists.

I for one will definitely be contributing as much as I possibly can for years to come to ensure the growth of Single Action Shooting Australia.

Fast forward to the actual week. Jack and I arrived at the range getting set up in our cabin and set about helping where we could with both range prep, packs etc.

Sunday participants trickled in slowly, Monday bringing more in and the commencement of Long Range was underway.

Monday was also a large night of drinks and chit chats with folks,….. just as well it was only Monday…………..

Tuesday was a continuation of Long Range events and for some of us Cowboy Fastdraw and Buffalo shoot. A storm blew in but it certainly didn't stop people enjoying themselves.

Wednesday was time for Pat Garrett match and for those who may not know of this, the match includes use of a large calibre rifle 30-30 and above. Match categories are Mens and Ladies Modern Lever, Classic Lever, Modern Single Shot and Classic Single Shot.

Thursday rolls around to more spectacular weather and it's time for Warm Up Match, Speed Events, Hannibals Challenge and Derringer Match.

What a brilliant start to Chisholm Trail!

Thursday evening is also Saloon night, so there is bingo or poker games to be had. Five lucky winners won prizes at bingo and if recall correctly Kat Balloo one the poker challenge.


Friday begins the start of main match with Billy The Kid speaking on behalf of Morgan in his absence – we thank you Billy for making an excellent presentation. Blaze A Trail was awarded the Spirit of the Game Award and the lovely O.K. Carrol was this years recipient of the Palmer Kate Award. Congrats to both!

The Mayor of Toowoomba Region was invited to give an address and declare Chisholm Trail open wi a rendition of our anthem, Advance Australia Fair before turning it over to R C Shot for safety briefings etc.

La Chica Pistola (aka Sarah Jacob) of Gun Girl Downunder has spent a couple of days speaking with the ladies, interviewing and getting photos. She is writing a piece that will go into Aus/NZ Pistol mag or Shooting Australia and will feature the ladies of Single Action! Thanks La Chica it will be good to have a little exposure for Single Action Shooting! We look forward to you taking up this sport with us and seeing you on range real soon.


The first six stages were done and dusted with Jack dropping 1 shot on the last stage and I finished clean with a shotgun reengagement. All in all a good day!

Friday night of course is time for Redneck Games and Mary Lou July made an appearance rousing guests to laughter or disbelief! You never know what the rednecks will get up to. Mary Lou June was definitely missed as she was off in some 'glittery fairyland' place (Sweden) and Billy Bob May was also out of action.

Mary Lou July sent me a video that's up on Facebook if you get a chance to watch it – check out The Adventures Of Jack n Kat FB page for that one.


Congratulations to CTM who took out the redneck games cornhole toss this year.

Saturday and we are back into the last 6 stages of main match!

I was privileged to be a Posse Marshall this year with Match Director, R C Shot, our posse Ricochet (Jackaroo), Big Mac, Billy The Kid, Capt. Augustus McRae, Captain J C Jackson, Dixie Bell, Dug Deeper, Jack Hays, Mad Dog Tannen, Outlaw James, Rea Coyle and Rick O'Shay. Sharing posse duties with Posse 2's Posse Marshall Frank James, Bisbee Kid, Breedin The Kid, Cro, El Rio, Gypsy, Hannibal, Ruby Redsmoke, Trinity, Trixie, Whiskey Rae and William (Bat) Masterson. (Absent were Phil Graves and Sigaterror)


Saturday evening was Banquet night, some Side Match Awards given out and Top 16 Mens and Top 8 Ladies announced for the Sunday morning shootout.

In the final wash Jack had a P and an extra few misses, however he placed 19th overall and 1st in Senior category with Bordello Baz in 2nd and Deslaredo 3rd.


For me on the other hand, it was the 'if it hasn't happened to you already, it will one day' Stage DQ and to top it off a P and a miss on the final stage. BUT it is what it is! And despite this am very happy with my other stage rankings, finished 20th overall, 1st in category. Congratulations to my fellow Lady Wranglers, in 2nd Place Ex Sighted and 3rd Place, Amazed.

The Top Gun Shootout was won by The Terror for the Men's and Amazing Grace for the Ladies. The Open was won by The Terror and Ruby Redsmoke and the Australian SASS Regional, R C Shot and Amazing Grace. For full results check out the link below.


Congrats again to all involved in putting on Chisholm Trail, look forward to next years, Happy Trails pards!

Kat xo

Gun Girl Downunder


Chisholm Trail Results




Not Happy Jan….

Sitting in Maccas near Port Macquarie, adding final link and edit to a larger post on Chisholm Trail. Internet drops out and I lose the whole freaking article!!!!! Not happyBlogsy his is the second or third time I have lost a whole post and since have learnt to save all the time but it didn’t save me this time.

Couldnt even post the Clarence Valley blog.

So sorry dear readers as I’m entering perhaps non internet zone for a couple I days the process is now delayed further. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

love Kat xo