Thursday, June 30, 2016

Zoo Animals Quilted

Ready for binding:
My Zoo Animals quilt, made with blocks designed by Kristy @ Quiet Play. I haven't chosen a binding fabric yet. What colour would you use?

I'm happy with my quilting in the border. I used a ruler for the wavy line (after watching the Craftsy Rulers class on the weekend) and the rest was free-hand.

This was the unfinished project I worked on in April, then carried over to May, and continued working on this month. Because I worked on this, I didn't make any progress on June's UFO, my feathered star wall hanging. But I should at least have this one finished and crossed of my list before the end of July!

This post linked to Free Motion Mavericks here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Soaking Up Some Rays

I came in to the lounge room this morning to find Jack lying in the sun on the newly-finished window seat:
The seat now needs some cushions, which will make it an even better place for a nap.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Unknown Bulbs

A few weeks ago some green leaves emerged, presumably from bulbs included in the batch we rescued from a garden since demolished. The leaves are quite broad blades, and softer than gladdie or iris leaves. The frost caused a bit of discolouration on the leaves, but no other damage. I have no idea what they are. Now buds are forming:
Possibly some sort of white watsonia? This should be interesting!

Monday, June 27, 2016


Some years ago we planted a handful of fruit trees on the block, anticipating that by the time we moved here, the trees would be big enough to provide us with fruit.

Unfortunately, that didn't quite go as planned. Most of the trees died. Two of them struggled along and are still alive. This is a quince:

And this is a plum:
The stick in front is a stake, not the tree. The tree is the twig behind the stake. Neither of them have grown since they were planted. But they both had a few leaves this year, so where there's life there's hope!

Today it was time for those two hardy survivors to move to a new home:
where hopefully with a bit of care and attention they will actually grow, not just survive.

Here's our new orchard:
Including two apple trees moved from the city garden, and two new plums, a nectarine, and a feijoa. If they all go OK for a year, we will add some more trees next year.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Activity Tracking

An advantage of having a connection to the internet is that I can now look at the webpage for my Vivofit. And I can see that I have met my goal for 179 days in a row:

When I first got the Vivofit, I allowed it to set the goal for me. It increased every day, to the point where I was doing 16,000 steps. I met those increasing goals for 82 days, but then came Christmas Day 2014 when there was just not time in the day to do that much walking as well as meet family obligations.

Having missed the goal once, I found it easier to miss it again! So through 2015 with all the moving and disruption as our house was built, I didn't do too well. As things settled down at the end of the year I decided to set a permanent goal of 10,000 steps, instead of allowing the Vivofit to increase the goal every day. And I've met that target for 179 days in a row.

I'm also being less sedentary. Compare the breakdown above with this one from October 2014 when I first started using the activity tracker:

Back then I said I intended to get my "sedentary" time down to less than 50%. And I have!

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Can you tell I'm excited?

After the disappointment last night, when we thought the satellite service wouldn't start until some time next week, this morning it worked!

Speedy internet! Hooray! I let my computer download updates. I watched a couple of YouTube videos. And then tried this:
"Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine" is a Craftsy class I bought in a recent sale, in anticipation of soon having an internet connection to watch it through. And it worked!

There is some really useful information in the lessons I've watched so far. I didn't need to know about getting a ruler foot for my machine, as the Sweet Sixteen's foot is already a ruler foot. But after that introductory chapter, Amy Johnson gets into some really good info about rulers and what you can do with them.

How fantastic it is to have good internet access again!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Another Dish

Early this morning, an eagerly-awaited installation began:
I have been looking forward to this day since last October when we were told there was no signal from the NBN tower at the end of the road, and we would have to wait for the satellite to be commissioned. (It had just been launched then.)

After a bit of testing:

It was time to point the dish at the Sky Muster satellite:
But we couldn't start surfing the internet immediately. The installer said it could take up to 5 hours for the service to be activated. That was disappointing.

Six or seven hours later, we were advised by our ISP that it might be some time next week before NBNCo do whatever they need to do to activate our internet. Much more disappointing!

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Today I met up with some quilting friends. As we were showing each other the projects we were working on, we found this:
Three colourways of the same fabric. The blue and yellow fabrics are mine, the purple one is Fran's. That might not be unusual if this was a current fabric. But this design was produced 16 years ago, and we have both had it in our stashes since 2001!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pink Heath

Victoria's floral emblem, growing just around the corner from here:

Epacris impressa. There are three varieties growing close together; some this pink, some white ones, and some hot pink ones. But I haven't seen them growing anywhere but that one little patch of roadside.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Two More Doors

Two more doors were installed today!

Cavity sliding door to the walk-in wardrobe:

The first of two cavity sliding pantry doors:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Four Seasons

On a walk through the Ballarat botanic gardens, there were remnants of autumn
although most deciduous trees were bare and wintry.

A surprising sign of spring:
Apricot blossom.

But no signs of summer except in the conservatory, where the Craft Council of Ballarat's exhibition "Four Seasons" was open.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Christmas in June

This is the cute little decoration I received in the "Christmas ornament swap" today:
The first one I received as an embroidered pinecone shape, which was also very cute, but it was stolen from me in a subsequent round of the game. I then stole Rudolf from someone else, and managed to hang on to him until the end.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Crocheted Christmas Tree

Tomorrow I am going to a "Christmas in June" lunch, and part of the fun involves a swap of hand-made Christmas ornaments.

Here's my completed offering:
I'm not totally happy with it, but it will have to do.

I found this picture on Pinterest:

which linked to the pattern on Annoo's Crochet World. However, my tree is not the same shape as the ones in the picture. It is much squatter. I can see that both the red and white trees in that picture have more rows than specified in the pattern, but I think they must also have less stitches added in each row of increasing, to give a narrower taper.

I don't have time to make another one right now, but if I ever try it again I would experiment with the increasing a bit, and also make the base a bit smaller than I did on this one.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


When we moved into our house, there were only two internal doors fitted - the rather important ones on the bathroom. My sewing room got its door a little later (Christmas) to keep the dogs out. And today two more doors were fitted.

On the main bedroom:

And the guest bedroom:
My camera has given them both rounded sides which they don't have in real life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Crochet Progress

I've got a bit further with my crochet thing than the last time:
But I'm not sure it looks like what it is meant to be turning into. It's not finished yet, though. so we'll see...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Future Flowers

A beautiful spring flower open a little early:
Anemone (a word I have great difficulty with. I always want to pronounce it anenome.)

Thirteen roses planted along the driveway:
A bit hard to see yet as they are just twigs. Wait until summer...

Monday, June 13, 2016


On Friday I bought myself a couple of day/night blinds at a 50%-off sale, and today they went up in my sewing room:

This setting is useful for cutting glare:
The winter sun is so low that it shines uncomfortably right into my eyes at times.

And for night-time:

These are the first window-coverings anywhere in the house. And the first hole has been made in a wall - to hang up my Indian Singer lady.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Day Trip to Daylesford

I didn't think to take any photos of the highlight of the day. Too busy enjoying myself, having morning coffee with Maria of The Next Stage and her husband! Maria contacted me last night to let me know they were in Ballarat, so we met up at the cafe at M.A.D.E. (The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka).

My main destination for the day was the Spa Quilters' show in Daylesford, stopping at a couple of nurseries along the way. First was Newlyn Antiques and Cottage Garden nursery, where they have a fantastic variety of unusual fruit trees. They specialise in heritage apples and pears, and had dozens of varieties. Next winter we might be ready to buy some fruit trees.

A wonderful discovery was the Spring Park Nursery at Eganstown. They specialise in roses, although their bare-rooted ones aren't ready just yet due to the rain they've had recently. We picked up a couple of other shrubs, but we will have to go back in spring or summer to see their rose garden with 1000 different varieties!

The quilt show was small but nice, but photos weren't allowed for internet publishing. So here's a quilt-like tile mosaic on the wall of the primary school where the show was held:
It was made by students in 2004. They'd all be adults by now! I wonder if any of them are interested in quilting? There are some striking designs there.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Road Trip

Took a drive to a different Plantmark nursery:
where we picked up a few fruit trees, a dwarf bay tree, and an ornamental shrub not in this picture:

On the way home the GPS took us on the roads less travelled. Some I don't particularly want to travel again. But this was a highlight:
A large mob of kangaroos!

Friday, June 10, 2016


I need to make a small something by next Saturday. I found a pattern for a crocheted item that might do, but then I had to search for a crochet hook (found in a box in the shed) and some wool. I found a tiny amount of wool in a box in my sewing room. I have no idea how old this wool is, but this is as far as I got before the wool just snapped:
So then I went to visit my mother, who has a stash of left-over wool. I chose a couple of bits, and will try this pattern again tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Fortunately we were home when an unexpected truck-load of bricks arrived this afternoon:

because I don't know where they might have been unloaded otherwise. They were only unexpected in that we weren't expecting them yet. There are several different colours of bricks. They are for our garden walls, and will be bagged, so the colour wasn't important.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mineral Water

Stopped off at Ballan mineral springs to pick up some mineral water:
It is not bad mixed with cordial, but it doesn't taste great on its own. It's like soda water with extra salt.

I'm not sure why the shire council webpage about the springs is in the past tense:
"Adjacent to the Bostock Reservoir this small 1 ha reserve had spring water comparable to that of Hepburn Springs."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

More Frost Casualties

Some sad garden pictures today, results of our cold night on 30th May.

This was a red-flowered salvia that I had never photographed before the minus three night:

The leaves right underneath look OK, but most of the plant looks destroyed. I don't think it will survive. There were about 8 of these small plants, but this is the only one with any sign of life left.

This was a dogbane, Plectranthus ornatus:
 Now it's just a mess.

This plant was under the verandah, but obviously should have been inside:
That's the latest leaf that was unfurling on my Monstera deliciosa, which grew from a cutting rescued from a skip over 6 years ago. All the older leaves are turning brown, too:
I think I will have to cut off all its leaves, and bring it inside in the hope that there is still some life in it that will re-sprout.

The white-flowered salvia that the rosellas loved is turning brown:
Looks like this one isn't worth propagating cuttings from. But the blue-flowered ones seem to have survived so far.

I've never lived anywhere where the temperature drops below freezing before. It's a learning experience!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June UFOs

I still haven't completed the Zoo Animals quilt, which was my unfinished project to do in April (and carried over to May):
I have made a lot of progress since the start of April, when it was just a pile of blocks. (The blocks were designed by Kristy @ Quiet Play). Now all the sashing pieces are quilted, and about half the blocks have some quilting. I have to decide whether to keep working on it, or put it aside and concentrate on this month's project/s.

June's UFO numbers are 2 and 33. Fortunately I don't have a 33, but this is my 2:
As you might guess from the number, it is an old project. I started it in February 2009. It is the centre of The Quilt Show's Block-of-the-Month for 2009, Stars for a New Day designed by Susan H. Garman. I didn't want to make the whole quilt, but I had wanted to make a feathered star for quite a while. So here it is!

And it has been in its current state for at least 3 years. Some of it is already quilted, but there is a bit of work to do before it will be ready to have its binding put on. When I pulled it out, I was glad to see that I had put the binding fabric away with it. The quilt is a bit creased from being folded up in a box for so long. I've hung it up for now to see if some of the creases will drop out of it, but I think it will probably have to be ironed before I can work on it.

Can I get both projects finished this month?

I'm linking this post to Esther Aliu's Works-In-Progress link-up. Check it out here.