Friday, November 30, 2018


The ducks seem to have have stopped laying recently, but when I let them out this morning there were a couple of eggs visible in their straw nest. I opened up that part of their hutch, and discovered that there weren't just two eggs, there were quite a few more hidden in the straw:
Five were turned into scrambled eggs and eaten for breakfast before I thought to photograph the collection. Twenty-one eggs! Those sneaky ducks.

A couple of days ago I said that one variety of dahlia had appeared, but I'd forgotten to note which ones I planted where. Well I know which they are now, as today the other variety is appearing, and it has purple leaves:

That means these ones are Mystic Sparkler, and the first ones to appear were the unnamed orange one that wasn't meant to be orange.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Another Job for the Tractor

Such a handy thing:
Our neighbour needed to move his generator stand, concrete slab and all. Here's the tractor pushing it down the hill.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Growing Things

I planted out my dahlias a couple of weeks ago, in what I hope will be their permanent positions. Half of them are making an appearance:
Not sure which variety this is. I had two boxes of tubers I planted out, but I didn't make a note of which went where at the time. All of one box are now sprouting, with no sign of the other variety yet.

My "garden bed" is starting to develop its patchwork quilt:
Once the plants fill out, the pillow area will be white daisies, and the bed area will be covered in multi-coloured portulacas. If you look very closely the first flowers have opened, but there is still a lot of filling out to happen.

Another of the lucky-dip roses is blooming:
This is another Brindabella Tiger Rose, this time "Golden Tiger". The stripes are quite pale at the moment, but are supposed to deepen in colour as the rose matures.

This is "Raspberry Tiger" that I showed a bud of a couple of weeks ago .
The flowers open to be quite beautiful.

I love this one, too:
It is "Brandy". It was about the only one of the lucky-dip roses that we already had. But that's OK, because it is beautiful.

Lastly, here is a pansy:
All those different coloured flowers are on one plant. I bought a small punnet of pansies last autumn, to stop this bed looking so bare while the peonies were dormant over winter. But the pansies didn't really take off until spring anyway. I wish I had made of note of what these pansies were called, as they are fantastic and I wouldn't mind getting the same ones again next year.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Mystery Week 1

Working on the first instalment of "Good Fortune", Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt:
I'm using the treadle machine again this year. The only adventurous thing I'm doing with this quilt is moving Bonnie's colours around, mainly because of the amount of fabric I have in the various colours, and partly because I want to do something at least a bit different. So Bonnie's red is my blue.

The last batch of 4-patches lined up ready to go through the machine:
And that's week one done.

Added later: Linked to Bonnie's weekly link-up HERE.

Sunday, November 25, 2018


Ready for Christmas:
Not our ute, I hasten to say. This one was spotted in Ballan, where it may have just been transporting decorations to be hung in the street.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

I Didn't Need That

The first clue of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt was released overnight. I still have lots to do on my Christmas challenge. I have some computer-based work I need to do. I have sewing to do for Christmas gifts. I have to read the ballot paper in today's state election. And to do any of these things, I need my glasses.

So this is not good:
I don't know what happened to them. I had them on this morning, then took them off to go and have a shower. When I came back from the shower they were on the floor with one lens out, and both lenses and the frame all scratched. I think they must have somehow got knocked down from where I left them, then the Roomba must have met up with them and dragged them around the floor for a while. Maybe?

Whatever happened, it is going to make life a bit difficult for a while. There is a good reason why I have had these frames for nearly 20 years. I spent quite a bit of time today at a couple of different optometrists just trying to find frames that fit on my face that I don't hate. It was a fruitless effort. I came home very discouraged.

I dug out the glasses I bought on the internet 5 years ago. They are not my latest prescription, but are better than nothing. I managed to do a little cutting and sewing late in the day:

It's a start, but I don't know how I will get everything else done without my proper glasses.

Monday, November 19, 2018

State Rose Garden

Today I had a lovely lunch with a couple of quilting friends. One of them is a long-time volunteer at the State Rose Garden, and before lunch we popped over to have a look.

I have been to the gardens several times, but I've never seen them like this; every bush and climber covered in flowers.

The rose garden is in a hollowed out depression, and is set out like a Tudor rose, although you can't really see the design from ground level. The gazebo is in the centre of the Tudor rose, with paths radiating out between the "petals".

Between the paths there are beds of single varieties of rose.

The perfume from all these roses, on a warm sunny day, was overwhelming.

Unfortunately your nose habituates to the rose perfume, so if you try to sniff a particular variety, you can't tell if it is perfumed or not.
But it was fantastic to see and smell the whole garden.

After lunch my friends gave me some useful advice on my Christmas challenge quilt. And I also came home with a car-load of curtains - but that's a post for another day.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Still Peony-ing

This is the last of the nine flowers on my Coral Charm peony:
I cut a couple and brought them inside to enjoy as the colour gradually faded from coral to cream. They are beautiful to the end.

And look what has happened:
This is Vesuvian, which I didn't think was going to have any flowers this year. But one bud was growing unnoticed, and this evening it opened!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Around the Garden

The theme of the guild Christmas Challenge this year is "In My Garden". This pin is in my challenge piece:
Yes, today I was basting my quilt. I now have 19 days to get it finished! A bit different to last year, when I was quilting my Christmas challenge quilt in August.

Here's some of what is happening in the real garden.

The roses seem to be slow this year, but a few are starting to get going.
 The rose above is "Raspberry Tiger", and the one below is "Granada".
 Both of them are from the lucky dip box of end-of-season roses.

"Margaret Merril" is not new this year, but I don't seem to have ever posted a photo of it before:

"Friesia" is gorgeous every year:

The rescued Chinese ground orchids were taken out of their pot and planted in the garden earlier this year. They've just started flowering, too:

The most striking thing in the garden at the moment is this:
 Maybe it doesn't look too amazing there, but what if I step back a bit:
It's a monster echium! I'm hoping it continues to grow tall, and doesn't meet the same fate as last year's.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Straight from the garden:


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tunic Top

I'm trying to get a few things finished and out of the way before the mystery quilt starts next week. This top was cut out last month some time, but now it is a garment:
Not a great photo, but this is just so I have a record of when I made it.

Monday, November 12, 2018


How many ducks?
They are hard to see, but as well as the two adult Australian wood ducks (Chenonetta jubata), there are 6 ducklings.

I don't know if this is the same pair that had 8 ducklings a couple of years ago, but they are in the same spot just down our road.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Bees Like Peonies

Three bees in a peony flower.

Neither of our bee hives made it through the winter, which was very sad. But these bees are probably ours anyway, as we have two newly-established hives which came from a bee keeper in Geelong.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Lal Lal Estate

This morning I stumbled across the information that the gardens of Lal Lal Estate are open this weekend as part of Garden Designfest.

I drive past this gate regularly, but I've never had the opportunity to drive through it before:

Once inside, we spent 2 hours wandering around the garden, talking to the designer, talking to the gardener, and taking photos. Lots of photos. But I will try to restrain myself here!

The approach to the house:

Deep garden beds surround the lawn area:

That lawn is so huge that it has a redwood as the central specimen tree, flanked by a pair of weeping elms the size of houses:

This enormous oak was planted in 1911, when the house was built:

 This yellow azalea not only looks amazing, it has a beautiful perfume:

Fallen petals under a giant rhododendron:

This side of the house looks out over a huge dam, which is the source of the water that keeps the garden looking so lush:

I am so glad I found out about this open garden this morning, and not next week some time when it was too late.

Friday, November 9, 2018

That Didn't Last

Last month in Aldi in Albury I saw neapolitan flavoured milk for the first time ever. Since then it has appeared in local Aldi stores, with a "Look what's new" label.

Yesterday in Geelong I saw what could be the beginning of the end of neapolitan flavoured milk:

Still "NEW", but already 50% off.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Cuttings is an exhibition of work by Elizabeth Gower at the Geelong Art Gallery until later this month.

Prismatics is a trip around the colour wheel:
Each square panel has a different geometric design:
The works are composed of pieces cut from printed paper such as magazines and packaging, but can't you see them as quilt designs?

Delineations are strips of paper arranged on drafting film, to form beautiful, complex patterns:

Savings is a collection of works assembled from packaging and advertising materials:

The most recent work is Monochrome Compilation, which is 21 metres long, so can't possibly be included in one small photo. As you walk along it, the pattern gradually changes. It is a challenge to see what has actually changed from one section to the next,
but the changes build up so that the patterns at either end are nothing like each other.
I found it quite intriguing.

The whole exhibition was fantastic. Worth a look if you will be in Geelong in the next couple of weeks.