Monday, February 28, 2011

Different QAYG Blocks

Almost finished these quilt-as-you-go blocks to send to Jan Mac (they just need trimming).
The backing and wadding were donated at the neighbourhood house for this appeal. The tops are assembled from smaller blocks I made after a workshop nearly four years ago, so it is great to find a use for them and send them on their way. I have a heap more in other colours, so will probably use them up the same way.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Acacia Melanoxylon Seedling

Finally managed to get one in focus!
Blackwood seedling - there are about 7 of these up now, and one or two wirildas (Acacia retinodes). 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Belladonna Lilies

They seem a little later than last year, but the lilies (Amaryllis belladonna) are opening again:
They also seem pinker than they were last year. 

Friday, February 25, 2011


On my way home I was surprised to see this wisteria in flower.
Is it confused? Or is there a variety of wisteria that flowers in late summer rather than in spring?

There are still only two acacia seedlings up, but it was too dark to photograph them by the time I got home. Maybe tomorrow!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another Damselfly

This one is a bit sharper than the last one.
It might be a Cup Ringtail, Austrolestes psyche.  It's sitting on the furled flower of a Mirabilis jalapa.

In other news, the first of the acacia seedlings has emerged, but I didn't manage to get a good picture of it. I'll try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Who Did This?

In a park I noticed what appears to be a nest a long way up in a very large gum tree.
Does anyone know what sort of bird may have built it?  It looks like quite an elaborate construction. It is in a much more exposed position than it appears to be in this shot; all those leaves are on different branches in the background.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Seed Raid

The various eucalypt seedlings are all progressing well, but there's no sign of any acacias yet. However, a couple of acacia tubes looked like this today:
Obviously something has had a dig or scratch in there. I'm hoping that the fact that only two tubes were attacked means either that the bird found the seeds but didn't like them, or it didn't find any seeds so gave up. Whatever the situation, I'll have to find some bird-netting. For now I've covered the boxes with fabric, which I hope will protect them for the moment.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Propeller Flowers

The red buds from last week are opening nicely:
Propeller plant (Crassula falcata)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Succulent Flower

I don't think anyone would grow blue chalk sticks for their flowers:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eucalypt Seedlings Appearing

Look! It's a tiny forest of Eucalyptus ovata:
Only a week after the seeds were planted, these are coming up by the dozen.

The Eucalyptus rubida are making an appearance here and there:

And the Eucalyptus viminalis are also popping up by ones and twos:

It is so exciting to see them emerging.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Patterns to Test

Today I was given some patterns to test, so I popped into a well-known fabric chain on the way home to look for some cheap knitted fabric. Don't want to use good fabric in case my efforts are a complete disaster! On one of the clearance tables I found this soft, drapey rayon/lycra for $1 per metre. 
I bought the whole roll (which isn't as extravagant as it sounds, as there was only $3.50-worth left).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Red Buds

These buds on my propeller plant (Crassula falcata), are about to open.
And apparently this is my 500th post!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trip to Work

For some reason a few people ran into each other as I was heading to work this morning. The roads were dry, the visibility was good, so who knows how these two met each other:
I got onto a tram as the ambulance, fire brigade and tow trucks were approaching.

A little way along the traffic became very slow.  As we got closer, I could see why:
Hard to see but the brown car facing the tram appeared to have hit something. The police had half the road blocked, which was slowing down the traffic.

Glad I travel by tram!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blue Blocks

Spent some relaxing time with my sewing machine, and made some more QAYG blocks.

Monday, February 14, 2011


This damselfly was very difficult to photograph - it flew whenever I got close to it. Those huge eyes were watching out.
It may be a Wandering Ringtail, Austrolestes leda.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Planting Day

Three boxes of acacia seeds planted. Two blackwoods (A. melanoxylon), and one wirilda (A. retinoides).
Grow strong, little seeds!

Then a bit of planting to replace some drowned trees and shrubs. Callistemon "Burgundy Jack":

Callistemon "Mauve Mist":
Notice the stump of my Silver Princess on the right.

And a few days ago, in the famous hole, I planted a callistemon viridiflorus:
This is to replace the Red Flowering Gum (those are pieces of its trunk protecting the new plant).

Grow well, little plants!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Four Boxes Planted

The first four of those seven fruitboxes have their seeds sown.
I got my wish for a bit of variety. These four are Eucalypts - 2 manna gums (Eucalyptus viminalis), a candlebark (Eucalyptus rubida) and a swamp gum (Eucalyptus ovata). The remaining three will be acacias. Those seeds are soaking in hot water today, and will be planted tomorrow.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ironing Board

Snapped through the bus window (thus the reflections) on my way to work.
Who knows?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All Together Now

One of those sashing strips isn't sewn down on the back, but I was impatient to see it all in one piece so I hung it on the line to have a look.
It is a bit bleached out by the sun, and the shadow of the clothesline doesn't help, but it looked OK in real life.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Robyn Gordon

Grevillea "Robyn Gordon" is flowering, apparently unperturbed by the damp conditions.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Soil Drainage

Today I was going to plant out some callistemons that I bought to replace the eucalpyts that died.

Step 1: Dig a hole.
This soil is very wet. Just as well the callistemon I bought says on the label that it withstands waterlogging.

Step 2: Take a closer look.
Is that water running into the hole?

Step 3: There is definitely water running into the hole - it is pooling in the bottom.

Step 4: Wait half an hour.
That didn't help. Now there is even more water! The hole is filling up.

Step 5: Give up.
The hole eventually filled with water to about 5cm below ground level.  Six hours later it was just as full. No wonder the poor Western Australian eucalypts died!  They like to live in sandy soils, not under water.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Joining QAYG Blocks - The Next Step

Today I got back to the QAYG blocks I started joining last Saturday.

This is how I'm finishing the backs. First I press the sashing to the correct width:
Just a reminder, the back sashing was attached on one side in the first step. In this photo the side further from us is already stitched in place, and now I'm going to do the side closest to us.

Then I flip the work over to the front, and stitch-in-the-ditch to catch the back sashing:
The ditch-stitching is visible along the bottom edge of the sashing.

If all goes well, this is what the back will look like:
One visible line of stitching along the edge of the sashing, holding it firmly in place.

If it goes not so well, and the back isn't caught in the stitching, it's a sign that it is time to stop for the day.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Touch of Rain to End the Week

I've had a busy week, going to work every day. I'm out of the habit of that! I'm missing my sewing machine and my garden. But tonight is for quietly relaxing and watching the rain.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wind Change

I left work today just before 3. The air outside was like an oven, and a hot wind from the north made the walk to the station less than pleasant. I'd been waiting for the train less than a minute when I was surprised by a cooler gust of wind on the back of my leg. I turned around, and saw that the wind was now coming from the south (left in this shot).
Hooray for the cool change! It made the rest of the day much more bearable.