Monday, January 31, 2011

An Invitation

This is a screen shot of an email I received today:
I replied and told them they had an incorrect email address in their records, but it sounds like an interesting convention!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Seven Fruitboxes

Not an exciting picture, but these fruitboxes are the basics for this year's Tree Project Re-Tree Scheme kit.
Each one contains potting mix, native fertiliser, and gravel for mulch. Each one will contain 48 tubes of seedlings. Unfortunately the seeds weren't available to be picked up today, so there will be a little wait to find out what they will be. I'm hoping for a little more variety than last year.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Joining QAYG Blocks

Started to sew together my pink and blue QAYG blocks, using a dotty pink fabric for sashing. I've got the first row joined:

I'm doing it completely by machine. Below is what it looks like as two blocks are joined together.  It probably won't make sense unless you've done this! The bit of sashing you can see under the foot is the front of the quilt, and the piece off to the left will become the back sashing later:

Here's what the joins look like at the moment.  You can see that the sashing on the back is only joined on one side so far.  Later I'll be pressing it into place, then stitching-in-the-ditch from the front to get that last piece sewn down, but I want to get all the rows assembled to this stage first.
I made the sashings a little too long because it is easier to start sewing them to the blocks that way.  Once the back one is sewn into place, I'll trim the sashing flush with the blocks, and then I'll be ready to join the rows together using the same method.

Friday, January 28, 2011

QAYG - Green and Yellow

I made these a couple of days ago, on Australia Day - but the colours are coincidental! I was cutting strips for the QAYG working bee I'm going to next Tuesday, and got carried away and made these 9 blocks.
They are not cut to the correct size yet - I don't have a square ruler in those old-fashioned inches!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Name That Tree

Can anyone identify this tree for me? It's a very large deciduous tree, growing in a neighbour's front yard. Here's what the trunk and leaves look like:
It is flowering at the moment. The flowers are a long way up in the tree, so unfortunately this picture isn't as clear as I might have liked.
I first noticed it a few years back when it flowered on bare branches in summer - perhaps it didn't like the dry hot conditions? That year it grew new leaves after flowering. Normally it is in full leaf when it flowers, and so the flowers aren't particularly noticeable.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Different Kind of Working Bee

My lemon-scented teatree is flowering at the moment, and this year it is covered in bees.
The bees are probably very happy to find this rich source of nectar only about 10 metres from their hive. With such a short distance to fly they can probably make a lot of trips per day.

Another plant attracting the bees is the crepe myrtle:
I didn't manage to get a photo of a bee in a flower, though.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Working Bee

Helped out a little at a working bee to make QAYG blocks after my regular quilt group meeting.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Little India Trip

A fun day out visiting Dandenong's "Little India" with some friends.

I didn't buy much, but did take the opportunity to get a copy of Peepli Live which I missed at the cinema last year, and a couple of my favourite things from India - Medimix soap and a tiny packet of biscuits.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Busy Bees

Just under a month since the second super was added to the beehive, they have filled it.
That's at least 20 kilos of honey made in a month!  So today a queen excluder (that yellow grid on the left) and a third super were added, so those busy bees can keep at it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Impressive Dragonfly

A work day where I didn't photograph anything, so here's an Australian Emperor Dragonfly, Hemianax papuensis, in someone else's garden last weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pretty Tree

At La Trobe University today I noticed this little flowering tree. I don't remember ever seeing one of these before.

A closer look at the flowers and leaves:
Even closer look at one of the very soft flowers.
A bit of an internet search leads me to think it is an Albizia, possibly julibrissin, the Persian Silk tree.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dusky Rose

Charles de Gaulle rose at dusk, with the low sun making it look more dusky pink than lilac.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

QAYG Again

This is 20 QAYG blocks spread out on a friend's floor to see what they look like.
They aren't trimmed yet, and there are various other ways they can be arranged, but at least this gives me some idea how they are going.  After I got home I completed another 8, so now I only need 7 more to have enough for a single-bed quilt.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Canna "Tricolour" is enjoying this year's rain.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Started making some quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) blocks to send to Jan Mac for her Oz Comfort Quilts appeal.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Breathe In

Busy busy day, with hardly time to stop and draw breath.  But as the sun was sinking, I managed to spend a moment in the garden.  The pink trumpet vine flowers are opening:

Friday, January 14, 2011

For a Friend

In the morning, your roses were looking beautiful, so I should have photographed them then, but I had to get going to work.
After a bit of rain battering during the day all their heads were hanging down in the evening.  Still lovely, though.

Your dogs will be happy to see you when you get back, too!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Noticed this tenacious bamboo while I was waiting for a bus:
About half a dozen stems have grown up inside a tube of steel fence. The top of the fence is about 2.4 metres from the ground.  That's a long way to grow in the dark before you reach your reward!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First Day Back at Work

I was on the tram behind the one which is "Not in Service". Apparently the driver of that tram became ill, and the ambulance was called. I hope the driver is OK.
Trams can't overtake each other, so three trams banked up behind the stopped one before all the passengers were rescued by the tram on the left, which shunted back rather than completing its run. A bit of excitement for the first work day of the year!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coaster Set

Completed this set of coasters featuring her logo as a gift for Nikki.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

All Together

The hem is still to do, and there is a little internal finishing to go, but at least it's in one piece now:
Still not quite sure how I feel about it...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

After the Cool Change Arrived

My dress is taking shape.  Once the temperature dropped I ventured into the sewing room and started on the collar.

The dress is now in four pieces; the main bit, the collar, and the two sleeves. However, there are seven buttons to sew on, so perhaps it's really in 11 pieces. Does anyone else count down the pieces when sewing?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas Lily

It's a little late, but the Christmas lily (Lilium longiflorum) has just flowered.
Apparently it's the Easter lily in the other hemisphere. I was given a pot of these bulbs a couple of years ago by a friend when I cared for her dogs while she was away.  Coincidentally I'm looking after her dogs again at the moment.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


A fuzzy, unidentified echeveria basking in the sun in my garden.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bee Storage

This is a piece of the comb that was removed from the lid of the bee hive:
It's been sitting near the hive so that the bees could clean it up. They've removed every trace of honey. What is left is extremely light, and yet obviously strong. It's a marvel of engineering.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ready to Pop Open

The pink trumpet vines which had such a severe haircut in July, are growing as vigorously as ever, and this year's flowers are developing:
The leaf behind the buds is actually not from the vine, that's the philadelphus growing beside it.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Fortunately I did not awaken to a house filled with angry wasps today.
The only one I saw was lying dead on the veranda.

Edit: It is not a native wasp, although I can't tell from this shot if it is definitely the European Wasp, Vespula germanica, or an English Wasp, Vespula vulgaris. I think the marking on the first section of its abdomen looks more like the European one. Museum Victoria have a few pages of information, including a comparison between the two northern hemisphere invaders, and a page of pictures of native wasps. Apart from the way it looks, native paper wasps don't choose wall cavities for their nests.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Death at Dusk

Some pictures may be worth a thousand words, but probably not this one!
This is a small gap between a weatherboard and the top of the frame of my front door. A couple of days ago as I was closing the door, two european wasps (Vespula germanica) arrived and crawled into this gap. Not nice! Although normally I don't like to kill anything, sharing my house with a nest of european wasps is a bit more than I can handle. Tonight at dusk a can of wasp killer was sprayed into the hole, and the hole blocked up. Now my fear is that in the morning they will find an alternative way out, and be inside my house...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Begins

A very quiet start to the year; some weeding, some stitching, some pruning, and some reading.
Red Hot Poker - Kniphofia of an unknown variety - is looking cheerful.