Monday, June 30, 2014

Another T-Shirt

I made most of this yesterday afternoon, but had to finish off the hems this morning before I could get dressed:
I used a different pattern for this version, Ottobre's Creative Workshop 303, Women's Best Tops. I think I will just use this one from now on, as the fit is much better. I was given the fabric years ago, in a bundle of sample pieces from textile printer. None of the pieces were big enough for an adult garment, but after watching the Craftsy class with Katherine and Marcy Tilton in their shirts made of multiple fabrics, it seemed perfectly normal to use different fabric for the body and the sleeves!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

T-Shirt Finished

Because I had cut the sleeves a bit short (or not lengthened them enough) turning up a hem made it look as if I'd grown out of the shirt. So I used the same binding technique as I used for the neckline (see previous post):
That added just enough I think. It's too cold to get undressed and try it on now!

I picked up a few tips and tricks in the Craftsy class (The Ultimate T-Shirt), one of which made it easy to get a nice twin-needled finish on the hem without the stitches tunnelling:
This is not the best fitting t-shirt I've ever seen. But if I had made it according to the pattern it would have been unwearable - baggy in the body, with sleeves too tight to get my arms into. For my next t-shirt I will use a better pattern and incorporate the ideas I gained from this class.

In general I would rate the class as OK. It did give me some good ideas, but the class description said that it would focus on making the shirt fit, and there was very little information given on that topic. In fact, the instructors just said to do another class on fitting, or consult books, to deal with most fitting issues. So I think the class description needs editing to reflect that.

I could have saved the cost of the class by using a pattern I already had, and consulting this Threads article:
Not Your Ordinary T-Shirt. It was written by Marcie Tilton, one of the instructors of the Craftsy class, and contains most of the tips she gave in the class. Watching the video classes was much more entertaining than reading a magazine article, though.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Neckband Done

This week, amongst all the other excitement, I've been doing a Craftsy class called "The Ultimate T-Shirt". I bought it when their classes were on sale a few weeks ago, but had to wait until the pattern arrived from the US.

As I'm watching the class, I'm sewing along with this remnant piece of fabric I bought earlier this year. This afternoon I got the neckband done:

This fabric doesn't have much stretch, which is why I cut the band on the bias. I'm hoping it will sit flat when it is on, but I won't know for sure until I get to the last lesson! For now, I'm up to putting on the sleeves.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Last night the agents presented me with five offers for my house.
As you can see from the red banner on the ad, I accepted one of those offers.

Won't celebrate until after the cooling-off period, but I'm very happy with the price, and a bit stunned by how quick it has been. Five days from the ad appearing on the internet to a signed contract!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Erected on Monday...

Blown down on Tuesday!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sewing Room

Did my first bit of sewing in my new, temporary, sewing room:
It was just patching a dog bed, but now the machine is set up and going, I'm ready to tackle something a bit more challenging.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bulb Bud Progress

The bud on the mystery bulbs is now starting to open:

We are getting closer to identifying it. It looks like the flowers are pink. But it looks as if something has been having a nibble at it already.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Orange Touches

Time to make a few decisions about which trees to keep and which will have to go. Orange tape for the ones we want to keep:
Which is as many of the biggest ones as possible. Marking the pink ones wasn't fun, because they are the ones which will have to go.

An orangey fungus bulging out of a stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua):

Not very clear as I had to zoom in to see it, the orangey breast of a robin:
It is either a flame robin or a scarlet robin, but I didn't get a close enough look to be sure.

Lastly, measuring 20 metres from the property across the road, to mark our property boundary for the electricity suppliers:
Nothing orange about the picture, but the boundary was marked with an orange stake.

Friday, June 20, 2014

For Sale

What's the collective noun for real estate agents? There's a few suggestions here, but let's be polite and say that a pack of men in black suits visited my house this morning, including a very tall one with a camera.

The combination of a tall photographer and a very wide-angled lens makes for interesting photos. All the rooms look more spacious than they do in real life. Tonight the ad appeared on the internet, and I've taken the liberty of "stealing" some of their photos for this blog post.

Here's my loungeroom:

My kitchen (I would have removed the black placemats if I had realised how dominant they would be in the photo):

The main bedroom:
Try not to notice that the "bed" is actually a stack of cardboard archive boxes draped with quilts.

I think they've made the house look pretty good, but I'm not sure I would have included this photo of my sewing room in the ad:
Would that make you want to buy the house? I think I need to cull my bookshelves!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Clivias on the Move

Clumps of clivias from my garden on their way to a new home.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Quilters in the Kitchen

I am one of a small group of quilters who get together once a month in each other's homes. Today, for the first time, we were at mine:
I even got a little bit of sewing done!

And here they all are:
Thanks, ladies!

Saturday, June 14, 2014


I took down my kitchen curtains to wash them, but that left me feeling a little exposed. Through this window I can see into a yard where a group of old blokes sit around drinking and watching TV. And they can see straight into my kitchen.
Some cheap interfacing to the rescue! Draped over the curtain rail it let in lots of light, and allowed me to get on with stuff without feeling that I was being watched.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Budding Bulb

Back in April, the hard rubbish collection yielded this pair of pots:
At the time, we thought the bulbs (which were just beginning to sprout then) may be some type of crinum. Since then I've noticed the same bulbs coming up in gardens all round here. It's funny what you notice when you are paying attention. I had the chance to ask the person living in one house what they were, and he thought they were agapanthus. I'd say that's not right though.
Once this flower opens, it should be possible to know for sure.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Environmental Assessment

Back to the block again, this time to meet the people doing the environmental assessment which will form part of the planning application for our new house. The architect had marked out the huge area that will be affected by tree clearing to meet the bushfire regulations. If you enlarge this picture you might be able to tell how far away the rest of the tape marker is:
But you have to be there to see how shocking it looks. Having to clear (or at least drastically thin) the trees for 50 metres to the north, and 40 metres to all other sides of the house, makes a big hole in a block 100 metres across. It looks like we will have to remove about 90-odd trees.

There is a strange contradiction that you have to clear the trees to meet the bushfire regulations, but if you do clear any you have to pay for offset areas somewhere else to compensate for the environmental damage you are doing. The bigger the trees you remove, the more the offset will cost. Unfortunately the thousands of trees I've grown for TreeProject over the years don't count towards the offset.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Compare and Contrast

Sam and Jack back in February:
Sam and Jack today:

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dry Feet

I first learnt about Gore-Tex thirty years ago when I was studying Textiles, but until now I've never experienced its ability to let water vapour through while stopping liquid water. On Saturday I found these Gore-Tex-lined shoes for sale at a bargain price. The shop only had my size left, so I think that meant I had to buy them. I've been wearing them ever since.
So far they are amazing! Let's just say that I'm enjoying finding my socks at the end of the day just as dry as they were when I put them on in the morning.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The View from Google

I was surprised today to discover that Google Street View has been updated again. That makes three times they've had a drive around here. That's surprising when there are lots of other places in the world they haven't been at all yet. I don't know how much of Australia they've re-done. My sister's place in Queensland has had 3 versions too, but it looks like some remoter areas have only been driven past on the original trip in 2008.

So, here's my house as it appeared in February this year:
It seems to have a couple of strange joins, and for some reason Google thinks the front gable should be blurred. But it's nice to see the crepe myrtles and roses in flower. Shame I wasn't out in the garden at the time to wave to you!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mid-Century Modern at the NGV

Took a break from house work to visit the NGV's exhibition Mid-Century Modern: Australian Furniture Design.

Whoops! Wrong gallery:
These colourful bears are part of "You started it...I finish it" an installation by Paola Pivi, at the NGV International. I really wanted to be at the NGV Australia, a short sun-shiny walk away.

This is more like it:
Above are "Contour" chairs and settee designed by Grant Featherston in 1953, with a blow-up of a November (didn't note the year) Home Beautiful cover featuring them.

Below, a "Form Line" dining chair designed by Fred Lowen c1955, in front of the August 1956 Home Beautiful cover:
The cute drinks trolley on the cover is also in the exhibition.

There are lots of interesting and stylish pieces on show, but some would be hard to live with I think. For example, take this room designed by a leading interior designer of the era, Marion Hall Best, for a Sydney client:
"Rondo" chairs designed by Gordon Andrews, with a rug by Mona Hessing, and "Industrial Revolution", a wall piece by Jack Meyer. This wall piece looks amazing, but its flashing lights and accompanying clunky-whirry sounds would drive me nuts after a while. I hope it had an "off" switch somewhere!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Too Many Teeth

Jack's adult teeth are arriving, but his baby teeth are hanging on as well. So he has a lot of teeth at the moment! He is such a wriggly dog that it is hard to photograph his teeth, but you can see the bottom canines here through the fog of his steamy breath.

Monday, June 2, 2014

What's in Flower - June

Here's everything flowering in my garden today. Winter has arrived, but there's still plenty to see.

Cymbidium orchid - Peter Pan X Snow Eagle "Malcolm":

Vireya "Chayya":

Vireya "Clare Crouch":

Grevillea "John Evans":

Tree dahlia (Dahlia imperialis):

Unknown callistemon:

Bergenia bud just starting to open:


Rose "Queen Elizabeth":

Crassula ovata:


Violets (Viola odorata):

Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha):

Sasanqua camellia  "Showa No Sakae":

Can you see the tiny orange spider or mite on the right-hand flower?

Bethel sage - Salvia involucrata 'Bethelii':

Another lavender:
This is a seedling that came up in my garden last July. It would have been nice if it had been some amazing new variety, but it looks pretty much the same as my other lavender.

Salvia "Indigo Spires":


Fringe flower, Loropetalum chinense var rubrum:
I had to get under the leaves to see the open flowers. But there are lots of buds, so the full display should happen by next month.