Saturday, July 31, 2010

Five-Petalled Beauties

I couldn't pick just one of these for today, so here are three beautiful five-petalled blooms.

First, almond blossom looking dainty. The bees were coming and going, so I hope that means we will have lots of almonds.

Almond blossom
Next, a more unusual plant. This is a native sundew from our block at Lal Lal, transplanted to a tub in the backyard 3 weeks ago. It's still alive, and is flowering today.

Drosera whittakeri flower
Lastly, my vireya "Chayya" has opened for the first time since being scorched by a high temperatures in early 2009.

Vireya ChayyaBeautiful!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Plenty of Time!

Today I sewed my first ever bag:

It is the Nicole Mallalieu "Day Bag". I bought the pattern when I did the straps workshop with Nikki back in March. Then a week later a friend was giving away this fabric on her blog, and I thought it would be ideal for testing the pattern and making a bag for my niece whose birthday was months away. Guess when that birthday is? Tomorrow!

So between other commitments today, I managed to get most of the bag done. I still have a zip-pocket and the lining to construct, but I'll get those done in the morning. Of course if I had done this yesterday, I could have entered it in Nikki's competition, but we won't mention that.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Camera Settings

Today I tried changing the colour settings on my camera to try and fix its dislike of purple.

Automatic setting:

Adjusted setting:

That is a little bit warmer, but it is still nowhere near the colour of the actual flower. But at least I've learnt something today!

Meanwhile, I dropped off the raffle quilt for the next person this morning, for her to add the binding and the label. Here's a not very good shot showing what I did with the borders. Not much, just straight lines and a flower-like thing in each corner.

I've had positive feedback from the people who've seen it so far, which is a relief. Now I suppose I should get stuck-in to my own little pile of unquilted quilts.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Darker Star

Last week the first light-blue Ipheion Star (Ipheion uniflorum) was open, and now it is the turn of the darker purple variety. My camera doesn't like warm purples, and has cooled down the colour here.
I think I need to learn how to change the colour balance settings, and try this one again.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Getting There

This afternoon I did some more quilting on the raffle quilt. I took this picture before I'd finished, as the sun was getting low and I wanted to get the shot without using the flash. Afterwards I finished quilting all the stars. Tonight I'll be running-in lots more thread ends! It is quite nice having a quilt draped over your knees on a cold night.

Then tomorrow I better quilt the border, which is what I was meant to be doing in the first place.

Monday, July 26, 2010


This afternoon I was handed the raffle quilt. Three other quilters have worked on it so far, sewing the grid and the diagonals to outline the stars. My job is to do some quilting in the borders. However, the whole thing looked too flat to me, so I decided it needed more than just the grid quilted. I quilted for a while before it got dark, then spent the evening running-in ends while watching TV. The ends took much longer than the sewing! Back view so far:

These little flower shapes are between the stars, which will also get some extra embellishment. I better find out when this needs to be done by...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Open House 2

Second day of the Open House weekend, and a chance to visit more buildings I've walked past and wondered about. This is a light-well inside the building which was the High Court from 1928-80, the Federal Court from 1977-99, and is now part of the Supreme Court.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Open House

It is Melbourne Open House weekend. Years ago I worked near the Mission to Seafarers building in Flinders St, and I've often wondered what it was like inside. Today I got the chance to find out, and discovered that the domed area is not part of a chapel as I had assumed, but it was once a gymnasium. The actual chapel is at the other end of the building, and features many stained-glass windows and this wonderful nautical pulpit.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Be Prepared

Yesterday I added a "label cloud" to this blog (it's in the right sidebar), and noticed the garden was becoming quite dominant. Perhaps it is time I did some sewing? So today I did a little practice free-motion work, and sorted out the bits I need for a couple of other projects.

A little wobbly, but it looks OK from a distance

Later that same day...

In two days the Myki system will apparently be usable to pay for travel on trams, trains and buses. Hooray! Today, for no apparent reason, a person who already had two Myki cards received four more (in four separate envelopes, four stamps, four cover-letters with no explanation).

Why, Myki, why?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Damp Star

One brave Ipheion Star (Ipheion uniflorum) open despite the rain.

Blue Ipheion uniflorumI have dozens of these scattered around the garden. As well as the blue variety, there are white ones and a darker purple. However, this is the only flower open so far.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wattle and Bee

Since the bees arrived, I've taken a lot more notice of what is flowering when, and which plants the bees are interested in. It is fun to watch them coming and going from the hive, then walk around the nearby streets to try and find what is attracting them. As I walked past this wattle in flower today, I noticed the buzz of bees and stopped to take a look.

They may not be our bees, as this is about 2km from home. Although that would be within their range, I think they find plenty of food closer than that. Either way, it is interesting that there seems always to be food available for them, as long as the weather is warm enough for them to fly.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fringe Flower

My fringe flowers (Loropetalum chinense var rubrum) have a few flowers appearing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Agave Flower

This agave attenuata a couple of blocks away has sent up its amazing floral spike. The highest point is at least 3 metres from the ground.

Individual flowers are gradually opening along the length of the spike, and the bees look set for a feast for a while to come.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

White Jonquils

My lovely white jonquils are opening up.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Busy, Busy.

Lots of tidying and organising today, including giving the pink trumpet vines (Podranea ricasoliana) a severe haircut. I posted a picture of them in flower back in February. Here's one of them before I started today:

And here it is an hour or two later:

Now I have a blister on my secateuring thumb.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Colourful Bargains

Today I finally spent a gift voucher given to me last Christmas. I took advantage of some end of season markdowns to buy these three garments.

The floral is a linen skirt which I had seen in the shop and loved for a while. However, when I tried it on I realised why it hadn't sold since summer. The waistband is designed for a person of a very strange shape. Fortunately I can sew, so I can fix that. I bought the largest size to give myself the most fabric to play with, and I will remodel the whole waist to get a wearable skirt for a lot less than what the fabric would have cost me.

The orange-red is a linen dress which was even more of a bargain - already reduced, and now 75% off the lowest marked price. It will be a few months before a short-sleeved linen dress is appropriate for the weather, so in the meantime I can wear the rust-coloured wool knit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Heading home feeling crushed and crumpled after a gruelling day, I was reminded that my day could have been worse by two little white cars who met in the middle of Franklin Street.

WZQ700, meet TDX731!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fractal Vegetable

A beautiful romanesco broccoli forming in the vegetable garden.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy-Looking Jonquils

Jonquils brighten up a grey day.

They're still jonquils to me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Looking a Little Sad

Not everything in the garden is rosy. My Brunnera macrophylla "Jack Frost" plants are gradually dying down for winter.

Don't panic, it's a perennialI don't know how long it will be before they shoot again, as this is their first winter in my garden. When I planted them in early August last year, they were just starting to put out new leaves. Will they keep to the same timetable in the garden as they did at the nursery? In less than a month I may have my answer.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

So Excited!

Look what was sitting in a tree at Lal Lal today!

Ever get the feeling someone is watching you?
It's a few years since the last time we saw a koala, and it is wonderful to discover that they are still around.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


The hardenbergia is just starting to flower.

Hardenbergia violaceaI originally planted three different coloured cultivars (pink, white and purple) along my back fence, but over time they all died. This one came up of its own accord on the south side of the house, where it gets very little sun. The flowers are actually the same purple colour all over, but the camera didn't seem to like the low-light conditions.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fabric Desire

A friend introduced me to the Beautiful Silks shop in Fitzroy. This wall of printed Indian cottons and silks first made me want to go back to India, but then reminded me that I still have a large quantity of fabric I bought on my last trip that I haven't done anything with yet.

Indian printed fabrics
Then we walked down Brunswick St to The Fabric Store, and drooled over their wonderful range. I'll definitely be going back there!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Right Place, Right Time

Returning some paperwork to the office after a class, I found myself just in time to participate in devouring a yummy, chocolatey, birthday cake.

Chocolate indulgence
Happy birthday (for tomorrow) to the lucky recipient, and thanks for sharing the yumminess!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Top Complete - Hooray!

Today I finished the borders on my Red Delicious quilt. I'm pretty happy with the way it has all come together. It makes me smile.

Red Delicious - or Berry Delicious? It is still looking for a name, although I'm leaning towards one friend's suggestion, "Berry Delicious".

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Sewed a border to my Red Delicious quilt.

Attaching the inner borderNow I have to decide how wide the last border should be.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Sign of Spring?

First blossom of the year on the almond tree.

Almond blossom It is missing a petal, but it is definitely a blossom. There are many more swelling up behind it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day Trip

Fountain in the middle of Gisborne, with the "Olde Time Market" in the background.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Walking at Dusk

The flowers on a male sheoak street tree look a bit like fireworks in the camera flash.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Fantastic bark on Acer palamatum 'Senkaki' trees at Plantmark today.

Acer palamatum Senkaki bark

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Warm colours of the remaining grape leaves, although the day is cold.