Sunday, November 30, 2014

Wash Day

The last day of spring, with a forecast top of 34 seemed like a good day to give Scruff a much-needed bath:

Jack watched the whole process closely:
He'd never seen anything like this before!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

State Election Day

There were garage sales, church and school fundraising stalls, and people walking to and from polling booths everywhere today. Election day is always very neighbourly, with people out and about and interacting with each other.

This is the closest booth to home:
But I didn't vote there, despite their coffee and cake fundraising stall. They are always very busy, and the queues can get quite long. Instead I went to the much quieter booth a few streets away, which I first discovered four years ago on the last state democracy day.

Instead of huge crowds, this booth has quiet gardens. There's no fundraising and no queues. Look at their huge staghorn Platycerium superbum:

In the afternoon I started Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt, Grand Illusion, but I'll save pictures of that until the link-up on Monday.

And despite predictions that the election result might not be known for a couple of days, I could go to sleep knowing who was in government.

Friday, November 28, 2014


This morning Jack wore himself out chasing a couple of swallows across the local cricket oval:
He ran as fast as his little legs could go, but the birds didn't have any trouble outpacing him. They were sweeping low across the oval, presumably picking up flying insects as they went, although at times it looked as if they were just taunting Jack by flying across right in front of him. When he got home, he fell sound asleep and stayed that way for several hours.

In the afternoon I saw these two young magpies who seemed to be waiting for their parents to bring them some food:

Then a wattlebird chick who looked a bit too small to be out the nest:
I hope it doesn't become a cat's dinner.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Christmas Display

The city is all decorated for Christmas. The queues at the Myer windows are already too long to get a close look. But look at this creative display at Morris and Sons yarn shop:

I love the crocheted star hanging from the ceiling above the tree (a ladder wrapped in yarn and knitting). And the fire made of balls of yarn. And the knitted stockings on the chimney. And check out the tiny amigurumi crocheted teddies! And the hearth rug, and, and, ... just everything!

I would have taken some close-up photos, but my camera batteries died after just this one shot.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Testing an Idea

Raising the front-loader:
Much easier to load and unload, and a bonus hiding place for Jack.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Still Walking

Averaging a bit over 100,000 steps a week, or about 14,800 per day.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Not Found

This made me smile when I found myself stopped behind it at the lights this afternoon:

Farewell, Seedlings

The five remaining boxes of this year's TreeProject seedlings left today:
These were seedlings which either didn't germinate until winter, or were transplants which took a long time to recover and get growing.

It is too late in the year to plant them out now - they would just die over summer. The Landcare organiser we grew them for will look after them, and they can be planted out at the end of the hot weather.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kitchen Plans

Spent a couple of hours at the big Swedish store creating a Ikea-ised version of the architect's kitchen plans:
I had tried it at home, but my computer doesn't have quite enough oomph to deal with the kitchen design program. It was also handy to have the experts on hand to point out the things we had left out or accidentally added in twice. Or the cupboards that had hinges and handles but no doors.

The final price was cheaper than we expected, and probably much less than builders are factoring into their quotes.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Aloe Rescue

Out walking today I found this aloe sitting on the top of someone's green-waste bin, and I couldn't just leave it there to be mulched:
Probably Aloe maculata.

Actually there were two of them, but carrying one home was tricky enough. It's a very prickly customer!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Epiphyllum Flower

Beautiful bloom in the back yard.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Looking Forward

I've only ever been to look at the quilt shows, but this time:

I'll be doing a couple of classes with Debby Brown, on the Sweet 16 machine.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


A day late for Remembrance Day, poppies growing in front of the war memorial in Queen's Park, Moonee Ponds:
Strange reflections a result of taking a photo through a bus window, sorry.

It only struck me recently that in the northern hemisphere poppies wouldn't be blooming on Remembrance Day they way they are here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bargain Bowl

At the hardware barn today, this large planter bowl was on a pallet with some smaller marked-down pots, but it had no price on it. When I asked a staff member I was told I could have it for what I considered a tiny price, so I snapped it up.
It is about 60cm across, and 15cm deep. I'm imagining it planted up with succulents in the garden of the new house some time in the future.

Bonus dog picture. All the pictures I've previously posted of Jack snuggled up with Sam have only shown her from the back, but this morning I managed to catch them both facing me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another Lovely Surprise

Recently I posted about receiving a copy of Jane Monk's book Tangle Stitches, which I won in a giveaway on Jane's blog. Today the postie brought me an extra  parcel from Jane herself (the book came from the publisher), which contained one of her pincushions as featured on the cover of her book:
Jane also generously sent me all the makings of another pincushion. It includes her beautifully quilted spiral on the top section, a backing piece, and pretty buttons to finish it off.

Thank you Jane for your generosity! I hope that one day, with a lot of practice, I can emulate your beautiful quilting and do your designs justice.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Did some Christmas sewing. One item finished, I'm not sure how many more to go!

Friday, November 7, 2014


A long-sleeved t-shirt on a 33 degree day?
Not to wear! I cut this t-shirt out months ago, and sewing it together was an ideal project for a warm day like today. There may be a day or two when I can wear it before summer fully arrives.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cuttings Update

Definitely time to plant out some of the cuttings from my old garden. They are trying to burst out of the top of their bags.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Sixteen Wild and Goosey blocks completed:
Sorry the ruler stand got in the way at the bottom.

Will I make more? I still have plenty of little scraps. I'll leave them pinned up while I complete a couple of other projects and decide.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Five Lakh Steps

since 2nd October, at an average of just over 15,400 steps per day. I've met the goal every day so far, although today was looking a bit doubtful until I went for a 7,000 step walk after dinner when the temperature dropped a bit.

While it was too warm to walk I finished making the components to complete three more Wild & Goosey blocks, which will give me 16 blocks once I remove the paper and assemble them.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Stash Augmentation

Last month I posted about my dilemma regarding Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery. Buy more green fabric, or change the colour scheme?

I bought fabric.
I visited four different shops and picked up some pretty greens. It was interesting to compare the shops' cutting techniques. I won't name the shops I wasn't happy with, but my best experience was at Patchworks Unlimited in Pascoe Vale. Their "quarter metre" cut was generously nearly 2cm longer. So even though I overlock all my fabrics before pre-washing them, the pieces from this shop still have more than 25cms of usable fabric.

At one of the other shops, the fabric was measured and snipped at exactly 25cms, then torn across. The result was a loss of at least a centimetre of fabric due to the distortion of the fabric at each edge, even before I overlocked it. I probably won't go back to that shop.

At another I purchased a couple of pre-cut pieces, but was surprised to discover later that they were not quarter-metre pieces, but quarter-yards. They weren't labelled as such, so that was disappointing. However I also purchased one piece off the bolt, which was cut nicely at just over a centimetre beyond what I asked for, so I don't know why the pre-cut pieces weren't metric (or at least labelled).

So with all these, plus the blacks and whites, I have plenty of fabric ready for the mystery. But there's still nearly four weeks until it kicks off.