Sunday, August 30, 2015

Eight Down, One To Go

Yesterday's fires smoking away quietly today, along with the remains of several of the earlier fires to the right of the photo. Amazingly, there is still smoke coming from one of the first fires lit over three weeks ago. At least one of the stumps is still burning.

The remaining pile to be burnt is the largest one. We might be able to get it broken into smaller piles next week, as there will be an earth-moving machine on site to lay out the dispersion field for the waste treatment unit.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lots Happening

Three more fires lit today:
Only one to go after this.

The electrician installed a fan and some lights,
 so the house is starting to look like you could live there:
We had a bit of fun working out which light switch controlled each light. One is still a mystery!

The bathroom floor tiles were laid:

A quick trip to a hardware shop was required to pick up a longer hose, as the one we were using didn't quite reach as far as it needed to...
Yes, a couple of those trees might be a little blacker than they were this morning.

On top of all that, we had our first visitor other than family members or neighbours, but I didn't think to photograph the event. Thanks for visiting, Jeanette!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Timber Transport

Today's task was to pick up some timber from Urban Salvage, a timber-recycling yard in Spotswood, load it on to our trailer, and get it to Lal Lal:
This timber is for the awning across the front of the house. Jack enjoyed the unimpeded view from the parcel shelf during the loading process:

We all (including the timber) made it safely to the house. There we found Tony doing some preparatory work for our paving,
and a couple of big holes for an addition:
1200 deep, 600 across. Don't fall in!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Plant Rescue

Last October I posted about the house down the street which had been owned by keen gardeners, but had been sold. That post was about a pot of lovely orchids which was discarded on the nature strip when the owners' children were clearing out the house:

You can see a little of how the garden once looked in this Google Street View from August 2008:
A magnolia tree is flowering, and the spring bulbs were probably beginning, but detail is hard to see in this low-resolution image.

Here's a summer view from December 2009:
The magnolia, weeping cherry, and crepe myrtles are in full leaf, the roses are blooming, and there are bulbs and daylilies through the whole front yard. Again, you can't really see the detail in the photo.

By February 2014, the owners had both suffered health problems, and the garden showed the neglect:
It is over-run with weeds, and obviously hasn't been watered in a while.

That's how it stayed until it was sold in about September. Since then it has only declined, as the various short-term tenants there took no care of the garden.

About a month ago, the electricity and water supplies were disconnected, so it was obvious that the house was about to be demolished. On a few evenings since, we have raided the front yard to rescue what we could of the thousands of bulbs we knew were there.

The rescued plants are temporarily planted in the back yard here. They will go with us to the new house when we move.

There are lots of weeds amongst them, which we will have to weed out. As well as bulbs, we rescued daylilies, a herbaceous peony root, and iris rhizomes. They may not all survive being dug up at the wrong time in their life-cycle, (and then again in a couple of months) but they've got a better chance than the ones we couldn't get:
What the house looks like today. The yard has been scraped clean, with everything, including probably thousands of bulbs, dumped in a skip and taken away. It also looks like the replacement buildings will be pretty close to the front of the property, so there won't be any garden in future.

Happily, some of the rescued bulbs are already flowering for us:
Old-fashioned freesias above, and below some spring stars.
I'm happy to have got some of these, as I didn't think to dig up any from my old garden when I sold it last year.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Monkey for August

Finished just before the end of the month:
He needs an embroidered mouth and nose, but that will come later.

There is only one more block in the Quiet Play Zoo Animals block of the month project. But last week when Kristy had a sale on her patterns, I purchased her Woodland Creatures project. I'm going to use some of those creatures to expand my Zoo Animals to a larger quilt. Here's the first couple I'm planning to make:
I don't know how much sewing time I will get in the next month or two, so this project might stretch beyond the end of this year!

Linked to Quiet Play, where you can see a few other cute August monkeys.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Officially at lock-up stage, as the last of the cladding is in place!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Exploded Monkey

Today I finally had some time to make more parts of this month's Zoo Animals block:
Looks like I might get him finished before the end of the month...

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Today the carpenters were installing door frames:
The electrician installed more powerpoints, and as you can see, the protective plywood has started coming off the floor. Soon we will get a good look at the colour of the concrete. It is a bit too dusty to see it properly at present, but it looks good as far as I can tell.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Shadowline Cornices

While we've been busy in the city for the last few days, the plaster cornices have been installed,
and the electrician has started installing powerpoints:
You can see a couple of them in my sewing room. (There are eight more in other parts of the room).

Saturday, August 15, 2015

House Progress

The house cladding is almost complete:

Inside, the plasterers have put two coats of plaster over the plasterboard joins, and sanded everything smooth:
The cornices will be next.

Dot leaps over the cornice pieces as she and Jack play chasey around the house:

And the fires lit on Tuesday are still smoking and smouldering:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

I can't believe the number of decisions you have to make when building a house. So many things that you just take for granted when you move into a pre-existing house.

In the last week, there have been questions like: Should there be cornice in the bay window? I decided No. What light fittings will go in each room? How low should pendant lights hang? I've asked the architect. What size/style laundry trough? How will the kitchen be tiled, and how high should the tiles go? Still working on those ones. Paint colours? I've collected charts from about seven different paint manufacturers which may have only added to the confusion.

But at least today the colours of the kitchen cupboards and benches were decided:
There are so many different laminates available, but the vast majority of them are grey. The cabinet-maker told me that grey is the new black! That makes it a bit tricky if you would prefer warmer tones in the kitchen. Anyway, these are our choices!

Thursday, August 13, 2015


I really did laugh out loud when I read the name of this house in the neighbourhood:
Click on it to enlarge it if you can't read the small version.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Slow Sewing

I am very slow with this month's Zoo Animals block:
I chose the fabric a week or more ago, but today was the first sewing I did, and this is all I managed.

You can possibly tell from its tail what animal it is. But there is a long way to go! I hope I get him finished before the end of the month.

Kristy, the designer, is having a 30%-off sale until the 16th. I picked up a couple of patterns. Details on her blog here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Smoke Gets in Your Lungs

The plasterers are making great progress:

Two more fires were lit this morning, but they created huge amounts of smoke:
which made working conditions very unpleasant for our poor tradies. Not to mention the cabinet-maker who arrived to measure up for our kitchen cupboards, who suffers from asthma. No more fires on working days!

By the end of the day the forecast rain had not arrived and the fires were still quite active:
So someone had to sit with them until the rain arrived at about 9pm.

Five fires down, four to go.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Soaking Up The Rays

Jack and Dot enjoy a touch of spring:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Baker's Dozen

This is what happens when you go away for a few days:
The chooks have laid one dozen eggs, and have started on the next one!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Basting Bee

The Ballaarat Quilters have a stand at the "Old Trades Exhibition" in Ballarat this weekend. I volunteered to bring along a quilt to be basted on their basting frame.

With lots of help and advice the back I made yesterday was pinned to the frame,
then we laid out the batting and the top, and several lovely ladies did rows and rows of basting
and in a very short time it was all done!
Now that I know how to use the frame, I will borrow it at some stage to get my large quilt basted.

After the show we went to look at house progress. My sewing room now has a ceiling!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Backing Take Two

Basting the large quilt tomorrow has been cancelled. Oh well, at least I now have its back made, so it is one step closer to completion.

Instead of the large quilt, I've been asked to bring along a smaller one. Everyone involved needs practice before tackling a large one. So I decided to take this one:

So this afternoon I had to quickly piece a backing for it, which was complicated by the fact that the quilt top is 100kms away and I didn't remember exactly how big it is. Fortunately I found this picture, so if I have remembered correctly how big I made the individual blocks (I think the stars are 20cms), the quilt is 115cms square.

I pulled out a collection of odd-sized pieces a friend gave me a while back, and seamed them together until I had a square which should be big enough:
Now I just have to hope that when I collect the top tomorrow, I'll find a big enough piece of wadding to go with it.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


This morning I was told that I could be able to get some help basting this huge quilt on Saturday:

(picture taken before it got its borders. It's even bigger now.) That meant I had to quickly sew together a backing for it:
It would be fantastic to get this basted so I could start quilting it. I'd like to put it on the bed when we move into the new house!

And here's how our first three bonfires looked by the end of the day:
 Three down, six to go.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Two More Alight

Fire number one was mostly ash, but still smouldering this morning:
So fires two and three were lit:

Another smoky day at the building site!

It was also very cold and rainy. I spent time sitting in the relative warmth of the car, playing with tiling designs for the shower: