Sunday, March 31, 2013

Regional Speciality

Central Victoria's signature dish:
Chips and gravy!

(Unfortunately the motto "Good food" on the side of the box isn't visible in the shot).

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scatterday - S

Our categories today:

Scruff. If only I could have persuaded her to sit in an empty ice-cream container.

Somewhere I haven't been for a while (so this is a screen grab from Google Street View), the Ice Cream Shoppe in the town where I was born.

And combining two:
A stash of empty spools.

Check out what everyone else came up with at Cinzia's blog.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First World Problems?

Last night when I got home I discovered that my wheelie bin was missing a wheel. Hit by a car, dropped, who knows?

When I got inside, I discovered I had no electricity. I spoke to the electricity faults line, but they threatened me with a charge of $400-and-something if they came and looked at it and it turned out to be just a cut-off switch that had tripped. It was too dark to really see what the problem was, and I didn't have a spare $400-and-something to give them so I waited until I could look at it in daylight.

This morning, I could see why I had no electricity. Here's a picture that has been on my blog before:
And here's how the same thing looked this morning:
Can you see the difference?

The "point-of-attachment" was still attached, but the fuse inside it was gone (The paler circular thing inside the black box in the upper picture). Had the electricity company removed it because they thought the connection looked dangerous? If so, why hadn't they told me? Had the fuse just fallen out? There was no sign of it in the garden bed below. So I rang the "Faults and Emergencies" line again.

How many times do you think you could listen to, "Thank you for your patience. Your call is important to us. You will be connected to the first available fault consultant.", before you were ready to scream? This message plays every 30 seconds, and by the time I'd heard it 70 times I was doubting their sincerity about the importance of my call!

A little later (and seemingly much faster than my call was answered) there was a knock at my door and two very nice gentlemen not only gave me electricity again,
they re-attached the point-of-attachment!
Hooray! (They also suggested that someone who had had their electricity disconnected might have stolen the fuse to re-connect themselves. Who would think of such a thing?)

Oh, and the wheelie-bin was much easier. The council have a form on their website where you can enter all your details. In less than an hour you get an email telling you the bin will be repaired or replaced within three working days.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Tilt your head to the right to see this photo with correct perspective (thanks for the neck exercises, Blogger):
Attempting to multiply the value of one pot of Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls'. I would have one in the other corner as well if I'd had another pot of the correct size handy.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Eucalyptus erythrocorys flowering in Queens Park, Moonee Ponds.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cordyline Australis

Now you see it:

Now you don't:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bus Stop

Contemplating the lack of shelter provided by bus-stops during a storm on the way home.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Scenes From MIFGS

A lovely day for a trip to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
A sea of tulips.

Treadle sewing machine hiding in one of the floral displays.

This decorative panel in one of the show gardens caught my eye. The pentagon shapes are bent forwards and backwards, creating fantastic patchwork effects of shade and reflected colours.

Interesting pergola roof on one of the "achievable" gardens, constructed of hundreds of soft-drink bottles filled with coloured liquids.

Restful colour scheme with lots of flowers in a cottage-style show garden.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

View From the Back

Car-pooling for a monthly get-together of quilting friends. This time we all fitted in one 7-seater.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Scatterday - D

Here it is, Scatterday again, and this time it nearly Defeated me!
Something Humorous
Quilty Display

I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone else handled this category. I considered linking to a YouTube video of babies laughing at dogs, because it was guaranteed to make almost anyone laugh. But it has been taken down due to a copyright claim, so no-one's laughing now. Instead, here's something that sometimes makes me laugh, and perhaps more frequently makes me shake my head in disbelief:
The Daily Show.

I'm calling these dragon's feet! Found on a cabinet at a second-hand store which hasn't been dusted or vacuumed for a while.

Found in the same place, an apparently fully-functional dentist's chair. Hard to resist at only $999!

Quilty display:
I did actually go to a quilt show yesterday, which I thought would provide a photo for this category. But then I saw this cross-stitched picture which includes a display of quilts for sale at a market.

You can see how everyone else handled this challenge by checking the links in the right-hand margin of Cinzia's blog.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Seachange Show

Yesterday I discovered that the Seachange Quilters' show is on at Barwon Heads this weekend. That was lucky as I was considering going to Ocean Grove today, and the quilt show helped me decide.
It was a nice show, with lots of variety. I didn't sample the devonshire tea, but if you want to check it out, it is at Hitchcock Avenue Community Hall, on Saturday and Sunday between 10 am and 4pm.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Checking Google Reader after work, I was confronted with this:
Google Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013

First time I've felt the need for an interrobang.

Is anyone happily using a Google Reader alternative to keep track of blogs? I'd love to hear which you would recommend.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


When I planted this penstemon in December 2011 it had flowers, but I've been wondering if it was going to flower at all this year.
It hasn't let me down. This is the first to open, but there are lots of buds developing. I'm not sure what I've done with the tag, but when I find it I will edit this post to add the variety name.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Welcome Home

This little mantid was sitting on the door frame when I arrived home tonight to welcome me.
Ninth day over 30 degrees; already the longest hot spell since records began, but will we make it to 10 before the cool change arrives tomorrow?

Monday, March 11, 2013


Popped in to my "local" Spotlight to take advantage of their 30% off everything offer and pick up a couple of items I needed. I was dismayed to find that all their metric quilting rulers are being cleared out. I guess it means that inches have won.
I didn't have a ruler this size, so grabbed it while I had the chance. The 30% off brought it down to only $7, which I'm not complaining about.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pretty Blue

Morning trip to a special plant sale at the Growing Friends nursery at the botanic gardens:
This shrub caught my eye because apart from being a very pretty blue, it was covered in bees:
It is Caryopteris x clandonensis. I didn't buy one today, but might be tempted at the next public plant sale in April.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Southern Cross Quilters Melbourne CBD group have included me in their challenge this year, despite the fact that work stops me attending the monthly meetings. I received this piece of fabric in the mail today:
The challenge instructions are that we should:
"Use it as a starting point for something, totally free choice on the item eg hat, bag, clothing, runner, quilt etc. You can use the fabric or not, but you must reflect the work in your final piece. The finished works will be revealed at our Christmas lunch, and then it is a free swapping among participants. If you like someone else's you can ask for a swap."

I don't know how many different works of art are represented  One member posted hers on her blog here:  Degas.

Mary Cassatt was new to me, so I had to do a bit of googling. She was an American who lived from 1844 - 1926. Most of her adult life was spent in France, and she became well known as an Impressionist painter. Lots of her works feature women and children. I must admit that the image on the piece of fabric isn't the most beautiful picture. But when I searched for the original I discovered much more depth and subtlety in the colours. It is from painting called Summertime, which she painted in 1894:
I found both the image above and below online. Which one's colours are most like the original I wouldn't know, but either of them look nicer than the fabric interpretation.

So sometime between now and Christmas, I need to produce something inspired in some way by this work. It will be an interesting challenge!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

An Insect Did It

One evening this week I saw just the head of the occupant of the hole I was wondering about a couple of weeks ago. It seemed about to emerge but retreated when I tried to photograph it.

I think it was this beetle:
Possibly Dasygnathus trituberculatus, a type of rhinoceros beetle. They are nocturnal, so the fact that this one was out during the day (and lying on its back when I found it) suggests that it may not be going back to the hole.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Seedlings Update

The drooping sheoak, Allocasuarina verticillata (stricta), seedlings which began emerging on 20th February are starting to look like sheoaks already:
Sheoak leaves are just scales on their stems. If you enlarge this picture you may be able to see the individual scales. I'm finding them fascinating because I've never grown them before.

And because my first picture of a messmate, Eucalyptus obliqua, wasn't quite in focus, here's another one which has just popped up:
To give you an idea of the size of these, the tubes they are planted in (see top picture) are 5cm square (2") and the gravel in each is the same. The leaves on the messmate are only a couple of millimetres across. They will need to grow a bit before I can see them without my glasses.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

At Home or Not?

Took a trip to somewhere I would never normally go at this time of year:
A beach! On a hot day! Not my environment at all.

This was the real purpose of the trip:
A recently-installed prefab house, open for inspection. How would something like this look here?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Scatterday - I

This week's scatterday letter is:

And our categories are money, tools, metal, and inchies from the sewing room.

Indian rupees. After searching through multiple pieces of luggage, this is all I could find. A 10-rupee note and a 1-rupee coin, together worth approximately 20 cents Australian at current exchange rates.

Irwin brand tools at the hardware store.

Iron dog in the garden.

Inchies in my sewing room:
I don't do inch-things in my sewing room (if I can possibly avoid it), so here's a selection of metric quilting rulers. I haven't used inches since Australia went metric when I was at school 40 years ago. However, when I drink a cuppa at my machine I use this coaster, which a friend made for me using 1-inch squares.
So there is something like an inchie in my sewing room after all.

See everyone else's "I" finds via the links on Cinzia's blog here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Autumn

Some of my bees visiting very Autumnal-looking gaillardia Fanfare Blaze plants at the hardware warehouse over the road.