Monday, February 29, 2016

Last of Summer

Happy leap day!

This morning I found the first of the TreeProject seedlings are emerging.

Leptospermum juniperinum, Prickly tea-tree:
 Only one of these has appeared so far.

 Dodonaea viscosa, Sticky hop-bush:
A couple of these had emerged this morning, but by evening half a dozen had popped up.

Lastly, very very tiny Melaleuca parvistaminea, Rough paper-bark: 
 Almost impossible to see - even with my reading glasses on I could just see a tinge of green. Had to look at the photo on the computer to confirm that there were actual plants there. I wonder how the ones with a thicker layer of gravel mulch will ever manage to reach the surface?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Inside and Outside

Inside, I reached the end of the basting job:
Hooray! Now we have the loungeroom back.

Outside, the "lawn" had its first haircut:

Maybe over winter some real grass will grow.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Basting Progress

When I have done as much as I can reach, the quilt is rolled up to allow me to reach the next section. The first edge rolled under, and both armchairs now usable:

That's how much I got done last night, after being out all day.

Modification made to the legs to keep them steady during the rolling process:
This way the side bars of the frame stay firmly in place, and only the bar that the quilt is rolled on moves.

By 2 o'clock this afternoon, the couch is coming into view:

By half-past four, I can definitely see the couch, although it's not usable yet:
By the end of the day I had reached the half-way point. This is definitely taking longer than I expected. I won't make another quilt this large in a hurry!

Monday, February 22, 2016

UFO Seven

How many UFOs (UnFinished Objects) do you have? I have a few too many. Lots of pieced tops! And this is the year to get stuck in to the quilting, and finish those UFOs.

A few Southern Cross Quilters (SCQuilters) are working on UFOs this year. We wrote a list of our own UFOs, and each month a couple of numbers are pulled out of the hat for everyone to work on. February's numbers were 7 and 21. Fortunately I don't have 21 projects hanging around! So I finished my "Stars and Hearts" quilt.

But what about project #7? That was the one I was not looking forward to. It is this one:
"Summer Solstice", my version of Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice mystery. Seen hanging from the garage door two years ago. After that it had borders added, so became even larger.

Earlier this month I borrowed the Ballaarat Quilters' basting frame. Its boards are 3m long, so it is big enough to hold this monster. Today I set it up in the loungeroom:

Starting to pin the first side of the backing. The couch is too heavy for me to move, so it is staying under the quilt. As is one of the armchairs.  And see that cabinet on the far right? That has the TV in it, and it will now have to stay shut until I get this quilt out of the way!

 A little later, the first side is pinned to the frame, and two g-clamps are in place to hold the frame together. Dot is wondering what is going on:

Quite a while later, three sides are pinned, and I'm about to adjust the g-clamp on the corner by the window, to pull that side taut. Dot still confused:

Here's an interesting photo!
Not really. It's batting spread over the backing. Nothing exciting. That got to lie there and relax while I went and ironed the top. The top was a bit creased from being folded up in a box for a couple of years.

This one's a bit better:
Top spread out, and pinned around the edges, ready to baste. But actually basting it will have to wait for another day!

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Day out to the Talbot farmers' market (where I took no photos but there are plenty at that link).

On the way home we stopped at Lambley nursery. Their gardens are always wonderful, but a few amazing plants caught my eye. I want to grow all of these:

 Red sunflowers!

 Pink sunflowers!

 Lemon sunflowers!

And cleome:

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Panic in the Garden

One panic grass seed head on a portulaca:
Two panic grass seed heads in a pelargonium:
Multiple panic grass seed heads around a penstemon and a lavender (sorry that doesn't start with "p"):

Not quite as dramatic as the panic grass invasion in Wangaratta:

Invasion of giant tumbleweeds causes clean-up chaos in Wangaratta

Also, "panic in the garden" - the way I behave when march flies start circling me.

Friday, February 19, 2016

More of the Same

The last three gladioli buds are opening, and all three are:
Purple! So the final total for the mixed selection of gladioli is 1 pink, 1 yellow, 4 white, and 4 purple.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Rust Progress

The largest piece of the treadle base I was given last weekend is now getting the rust-removing electrolysis treatment. Here's the first side coming out of the tub:

And here's how it looked after being hosed down:
It was a surprise to discover that the pitman rod is wooden! We didn't notice that before, as it was the same colour as the rusting metal. I hope it hasn't suffered as a result of its soak. It should look nice polished up when the ironwork is painted.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Planter - Planted

Remember this planter?

It was a mark-down bargain at the Bunnings near my old house. When I bought it in November 2014, I imagined it in place at the new house sometime in the future.

Well, today's the day!
It now holds my four Lewisia cotyledon "Little Fairies" plants (also Bunnings mark-downs), some divided pieces of an aloe vera that was bursting out of its pot, and a larger succulent that looks a little sad at the moment because it has been out of its pot since an accident last week. There's also a few bits of a trailing plant that should eventually hang over the edges.

After I filled the planter with potting mix I realised I should have made sure I was happy with its position first! I can hardly lift it empty, so I won't be moving it any time soon.
Luckily it doesn't look too bad beside the birdbath.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

It's That Time Again

TreeProject sowing time:

Three boxes done so far.  (Four to go). There are a range of different seeds this year: an acacia, an allocasuarina (she-oak), two tea-trees, two paperbarks and a dodonea. I

This is the 15th year that I've grown plants from seed for re-vegetation projects. Some of those trees from the first years must be a pretty decent size by now. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Rust Removal

On Saturday I was given a rather rusty treadle base. Of course I forgot to take a picture of it before anything was done to it, but here are a couple of shots after it was dismantled to give you an idea of its condition:
 A wheel:
 The treadle plate:

The first step towards cleaning them up:

Side panel progress shot.
That was after about 3 hours of treatment.

Time for the other end to get the treatment:

The wheels will need some more attention:

But other parts will just need a bit of brushing with a wire brush and they will be ready for a new coat of paint:
It's like magic!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Intriguing Construction

I found a strange growth in the garden today:

From a distance I thought it was a fungus or something, but when I got close I could see that it has been built, rather than grown. Tiny balls of clay make up the walls, and it is hollow inside. There are two:
The second one is smaller in height and diameter. But neither are large; the taller one is about 5cms high.

I presume some sort of insect built them, but I haven't seen anything coming or going from them. Anyone have an idea?

Added later:
This page on the Museum Victoria web site - Who's digging in my lawn?  leads me to think that the builder may be some variety of land crayfish. If so, it's not surprising I haven't seen one, as they spend all their time underground, except for bringing up little balls of dirt at night.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Six Weeks Later

Remember this planting session before sunrise on the last day of 2015:

Here's how those tiny portulacas are looking today:
Each plant appears to have flowers of a range of colours:
But perhaps there was more than one plant in each tiny piece that we planted out.

Friday, February 12, 2016


I thought the gladiolis were finished for the year, but there are a few more with buds developing. The first one of this batch to open:
Not white!

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Popped in to the city to see an exhibition of antique Japanese rags ("boro").

Futon covers:
 Child's kimono:
Exhibition at Kimono House in Melbourne until 20th February.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Full Set

I have three nieces who live interstate. Two of them have appeared on my blog before, but today the remaining one came to visit:

And entertained Dot for a while:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Multiple Wallabies

I have often seen a wallaby along the dirt road beside our property. I've put pictures of it on my blog a couple of times.

In November:

In January:

There was only ever one, so obviously there is just one wallaby, and every time I've seen a wallaby, it was this one wallaby. Makes sense, right? So imagine my surprise this morning:
And another surprise a little further along the road, which is just visible at the top right of the picture above (at the base of the electricity pole). There are at least three wallabies!