Friday, July 31, 2015

A Host of Golden

Life's been a bit crazy lately, but I did stop for a moment to notice that the jonquils are out:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nine Hills

One mountain of branches and roots is now nine smaller piles of branches and roots:
Thanks to the driver of this machine:
Hopefully these will be more manageable. We'll see!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


More painting:
This time, the edges of the weatherboards.

Meanwhile, on the actual house, the guys have just about finished the preparation for the cladding, sealing up all the little gaps in the insulation, and installing the flashing under the eaves:
This bit feels slow, as if not much is happening. But this fiddly preparation means that when the cladding happens, it will happen quickly.

Monday, July 20, 2015

How Cold Is It?

Apparently yesterday morning was the coldest Ballarat had ever experienced (-6.3), but this morning (which was only -4) seemed a bit colder here for a particular reason. Hot showers were off the menu because the pipes had frozen!

The dogs tried to get warm in a little patch of winter sunshine on the stairs. I sat around waiting for the the temperature to creep above zero so the pipes would thaw out.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


"Artwork" for sale at a market:
I don't think that's true. In my old house I could view the planes by just stepping out into the back yard. And those people who park around Tullamarine to watch  the landings and take-offs haven't climbed any mountains to get there.

Now that all the windows and doors are in, our house is locked:
I like the fact that the builder has put a doormat at the front door.

And this afternoon this arrived:
It will be breaking up that mountain of roots and branches, making several smaller piles. That way we can recover usable firewood, and safely burn the rest in smaller lots.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tour de Western Highway

If we'd known this was happening:
we might have travelled to Ballarat last night instead.

The 105th Melbourne to Ballarat cycling race.
203 riders spread out over about 30 kms of the highway made for a slow trip to Ballarat.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Water Play

I've mentioned before how much Jack loves splashing in puddles:

Dot is curious,

but I don't think she understands the attraction in this cold weather!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pink Blocks

Made a few more blocks with the giveaway fabric rolls:
and then discovered that the original block had shrunk noticeably when I washed it. So now I'm wondering if it is worth sewing this stuff at all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


While the professionals painted under the eaves,
the amateurs were in the shed painting weatherboards:
Not a whole house worth, just enough for a couple of feature walls. And they are cement boards, not timber. We can't have timber ones in this bushfire zone.

Monday, July 13, 2015

At Last!

Look what arrived this morning:
A truck-load of windows!

The installation was meant to be completed in one day, but there was a bit of a problem. The windows were larger than they were supposed to be. So the carpenters had to spend most of the day enlarging the window openings in the frame to match the windows:

I'm sure there will be some discussions between the builder, the window manufacturer, and the architect about all that!

Gradually the windows were fitted. Kitchen:
 (with a view of the other on-going problem, the big pile of tree branches and roots which should have been burnt but now can't be because there's a house right by it).

Under the back verandah:

And across the front of the house:
Workers everywhere! But they ran out of daylight before the job was done, so the window guy will be back later in the week to finish off.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fabric Rolls

Yesterday I was given two of these by a friend:
I think she received them as giveaways with a magazine subscription, but she didn't want them. I've never used these precut strips, and thought I could have a bit of fun with them. I was a bit worried by the instruction to "Prewash before making", though. How do you prewash narrow strips of fabric without making a huge tangled mess of frayed threads and knotted strips? (A couple of people have suggested lingerie bags as the solution.) The fact that the fabric was made in India made me suspect that either the colour would run badly, the fabric would shrink badly, or both.

I decided to make one block with the darkest colour and some white fabric, then wash it and see what happened:
As you can see, the colour did run. There is a certain amount of fraying, but not as much as there would be washing the individual strips. And the colour which ran did not seem to be picked up by the white fabric, except where it remained in contact as it dried - ie in the seams. So I think I will go ahead and make the blocks and wash the whole thing at the end. The pattern is A Walk in the Park by Ellie Roberts.

If you have any of these "Muted Moments" fabric rolls stashed away, be careful with them. This one is not cut straight, and all the strips are narrower than the stated width for the first few cms on either side, and wider than the stated width in the middle of the strip. Perhaps there's a good reason they were giving them away! I wouldn't advise using them in a precious quilt.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Waiting for Windows

The shed is done. Do you think it will be big enough?
Matt the plumber connected the downpipe so that any rain that falls on it will go to our tank:

You may have noticed that I haven't had any house updates for a couple of weeks. That's because we are waiting for windows. Perhaps we should have bought our windows from Germany the way people on Grand Designs always seem to do. If we had, I'm sure they would have been here on time!

The internal plumbing and wiring have been roughed in,

but nothing else can happen until the windows arrive!

Thursday, July 9, 2015


I spent a lot of time today pulling up bluebell creepers. Here's why this will be a constant battle:
That yellow marker on the tree is the property boundary. Our land is in the foreground. The background is the next-door neighbour's place. The bright green undergrowth is bluebell creeper. They have let the weed go, to the point that it is choking everything else.

While I was weeding, the shed guys were doing their thing:
By the end of the day, it only needed a roof:
That should happen tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Lunch at the Rip

Had lunch at the Rip View Bistro again, although only one ship went past today:
It is a chemical tanker called the Axios, which had come from Singapore to Melbourne, and now is on its way to Malaysia. No idea what chemicals it might be carrying between those ports!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Koala for July

Here's this month's Zoo Animals block:

Linked up to Quiet Play, where other koalas will appear throughout the month. Check them out - or grab the pattern for yourself!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

More Pyjamas

About the only time I've done any sewing lately is when Dot needs new pyjamas.
She's growing fast! The dates on the photo might be a bit too small to read, but on the right is the first one I made her on 31st May, the next largest were on 12th June. Last night I made her the next ones. On the left is one I made for the adult dogs, which will probably fit her before the end of winter.  

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sounds Dangerous

Would you want a deranged insinkerator?