Thursday, September 30, 2010

Non-Walking Foot

A week ago my walking foot decided to stop walking. Today I was planning to take it apart to see if I can fix it, but that didn't happen because I was called in to do some extra time at work.

So it will have to wait for another day. Actually now I see the poor thing blown up to that size, I can see that maybe it needs a good clean while I'm at it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This is the Tree

This is an open flower on the mystery tree:

Isn't it beautiful?  The flower is about 5cm across, and the tree is covered in them.  Here's a taste:

Have you seen one of these?  It is a quince, Cydonia oblonga.

I love it when it's in flower, and jelly made from the fruit has the most marvellous flavour.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grevillea Groundcover

Grevillea Gaudichaudii flower about to pop open.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pink Bluebells

My bluebells are really a little more pink than they appear here.

I'm pretty sure these are Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What Tree? Update

A month ago I posted a picture of some fuzzy little buds and posed the question, "What tree is this?"

Here's that tree today. The fuzzy buds have turned into fuzzy leaves, and flower buds are everywhere. Some flowers are open, but I'll wait a while to show you one.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Someone once coined the term "blog-finished" for stuff that isn't really finished, but looks like it is in a photo, so you can blog it.

I still have to crimp the frame, but otherwise the purse is done.

I joined a couple of pieces of fabric to make the handle and I was pretty happy with how well I matched the pattern.  No-one will ever notice it.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Another flower whose perfume I love.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Testing

Today I did a bit more work on the purse pattern I'm testing. That involved a few more challenges, for one of which I used this sewing machine foot for the first time ever:
It came in a bunch of feet I bought on eBay some years ago, and I never looked into what it was actually for. It turns out that it is a blindstitch foot, but my machine doesn't do blindstitch, so maybe that's why I've never realised I had a use for it. Recently I saw on a blog someone using this foot to get even topstitching, and that's what I needed today. It was worth a try, and actually did the job quite well.  I can see this getting a bit of use in future.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vernal Equinox

They seem to be a little later than everyone else's, but my freesias are finally blooming.

Freesia flowers were the first I ever learnt to identify by scent, and I still love that smell.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today when I got home the postie had left me a nice surprise:

This was a prize in a blog giveaway.  The Gum Tree Designers group celebrated their first birthday this month with seven giveaways, and I was a lucky winner.  What a generous gift I received from Jenny of Elefantz!  It includes three of her own patterns, a metre of Rosalie Quinlan's 'Grandmother's Flower Garden' fabric, a cute owl panel from Saffron Craig, a ceramic owl button from Giggle Buttons, a hand-painted wood hollyhock button from Theodora Cleave, and a skein of hand-dyed thread from Cottage Garden Threads, all beautifully gift-wrapped and tied up with ribbon. Wow!  Thank you, Jenny.

Now I must confess,this is not the first blog giveaway I've won.  Back in January 2009, TrueUp hosted an Amy Butler pattern giveaway, and I was one of the lucky winners.  Which reminds me, I haven't made that bag yet.

And then in September 2009, Sewjourn celebrated their first birthday with a giveaway of a day there sewing.  I was one of the lucky winners, and had a wonderful sewing day in January.

So on top of all the other gifts I received lately (Kobo, bag pattern, cuttings), I'm feeling overwhelmed by others' generosity!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kiss Testing

I'm testing a new pattern for Nicole Mallalieu, the Kiss Purse. That's exciting, but it is also challenging because it involves a few things I've never done before. Today's challenge was purse feet:

Phew!  That worked.  However, not everything went smoothly.  I managed to cut a piece of fabric that I shouldn't have, so I don't have a big enough piece left for the handle.  I guess it's an opportunity for creativity...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gift from a Neighbour

Back in June I saw the Luculia pinceana at the Botanic Gardens in Hobart, and decided I wanted one.

When I got back to Melbourne, I discovered that a neighbour had a luculia in his front yard. I don't know if his is the pinceana or the similar gratissima. He told me he would prune it when it finished flowering, and offered to give me some cuttings.

Today I found this on my front verandah:

Thank you, neighbour!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day Out

Took a trip to Mt Macedon for the Plant Lovers' Market.

Lots of interesting plants for sale, but no vireyas that I could find.  I did buy some Dragon's Eye, Ginny Mitchell and Huckleberry Candy daylilies.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Going, Going ...

I've mentioned before that I wish I knew when demolitions were going to happen, so that I could grab plants or take cuttings from the garden before the whole thing was flattened.
Maybe not, this time.  A couple of years ago the people in this house turned their front garden into a "beach"; no plants but that plastic palm tree, and the ground covered with sand.  Quirky, yes, but no thanks. Since then all that's grown is weeds through the sand.  Today everything went.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Sometimes only this works:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


After walking to my new job a few times, I'm finding the best route to avoid traffic. This set of right-of-ways takes me away from the noisiest road for three blocks.

The surface is a bit uneven, but there is no traffic noise. I like that! In the distance the sun sets behind a large gum tree. When does daylight saving start?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

UFOs and Stars

Today I did a bit of work on a few unfinished quilt projects. I now have backings made for two quilt tops I completed some time ago, and some quilting done on another. Backings don't make very interesting photos, so here are some Ipheion Stars (Ipheion uniflorum) enjoying the sunshine today.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dusky Coral Pea

The dusky coral pea (Kennedia rubicunda) creeper which grows amongst my native garden has just started flowering:

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Lots of rain and increasing amounts of sunshine mean that all sorts of plants are just shooting out of the ground.

Spent a bit of time today removing some of the ones I don't want.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lazy Saturday Afternoon

I sat in the sunshine and read a book that is too heavy to read in bed  (Bill Bryson's At Home).  A dog lay asleep at my feet.

A couple of metres away a chook kept an eye on us as she enjoyed the sunshine too.  She's that black blob in the background - enlarge the photo by clicking on it if you want to see her more clearly.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Morning

I walk through this small park on my way to work.  I wonder how long this tree has been here?

I expect it has seen a lot of changes during its life.  Trees amaze me; they are so huge, and they live for so long.  What would it be like to be a tree?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cheery Chard

A tiny chard plant looking very cheerful in the sun.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Champion Breakfast

I don't remember which cereal used to advertise itself as 'breakfast of champions".  Whatever it was, it wasn't as good as this:
Bread, home-made, toasted.
Eggs, home-laid, scrambled.
Orange juice, home-grown, freshly-squeezed.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Looks like there could be a good crop of nectarines this year.

The bees are very busy in the nectarine tree today.

And it seems we finally have a government as well.  Apparently a productive day all round.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Today's Project

What's this appliqu├ęd and slightly quilted object?

A cover for my Kobo!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Water Everywhere

There has been quite a bit of rain, and here's the proof:
Water flowing across the block at Lal Lal. It almost looks like a creek.  This is only the second time we've seen this, and there was a lot less water the last time it happened.

The mosses and fungi are loving it. This fallen twig is bursting at the seams with tiny fungal fruiting bodies.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Toy

Today I was given a Kobo eReader:

Now it is all charged up and ready to go.  But I think it needs a hand-crafted cover of some kind before I cart it around in my handbag, so that might be my next sewing project.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Walking Home

On my way to and from my new job, I enjoy walking along this street with nature strips on either side of the footpath.  Quite a few people have extended their garden onto the nature strip, but interestingly the garden is on the part closer to the road, rather than the part close to the house. 
It's like one long garden.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Double Blossom

A street nearby has ornamental prunus as the street trees.  They are looking very pretty at the moment, with masses of pink flowers and the beginnings of their burgundy-coloured leaves.  As I was photographing the blossom, I noticed this strange double flower  - it has 10 petals instead of five, and also appears to have two stigmas.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wattle Day

Today is the 100th Wattle Day, and the first day of spring. It was also a bit grey and rainy, and by the time I left work it was nearly dusk. So this isn't my wattle, it's just the first wattle I could photograph on my walk home:

This branch isn't quite in flower, but you can tell from the background that other branches are. I just liked the raindrops. I think it's the knife-leaf wattle, Acacia cultriformis, but if I find out it isn't, I'll correct that.

Happy Wattle Day! Happy Spring!