Thursday, October 17, 2019

Small Town Attractions

Coonalpyn in South Australia has invested in some art projects to get passing traffic to stop and hopefully spend some money in the town. The biggest is the 30m tall silo mural, painted in 2017 by Brisbane artist Guido van Helten.
The mural features several local children,
to express the theme, "Hope for the Future".
If you click on this picture it should enlarge so you can read all about the mural if you wish:

Another of Coonalpyn's art projects is this gorgeous mosaic mural:

Designed by artist Mike Tye, and assembled by a team of volunteers, it depicts local flora and fauna.

All the info:

There are some other art projects in the town that we didn't see, so we might have to stop there again on the way home.

A bit further up the road, the town of Tailem Bend has a rhinoceros to make you stop:
It turns out to be an advertisement for the Monarto Zoo, but just near it are some steps down to the river and a lovely picnic area. You can watch the ferry cross the Murray:
And check out some local bird life:
A pelican and a cormorant apparently waiting for the ferry. But if you get too close,
they'll take to the air.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


I've finished quilting my temperature year quilt. Hooray!

Now for the binding:
I had planned to use the one on the right, with a full rainbow of stripes. But I have some left-over strips from the binding on my Bloom quilt (which I just realised I haven't photographed yet). That's it on the left. It is mainly aqua with touches of green, yellow, and blue. And now I think I like it better than the stripy fabric. The stripes look a bit harsh to me now.

Which one would you choose?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Pops of Colour in the Garden

Plants all around the garden are bursting into flower. Here's a few that caught my eye today.

The first of the roses is this rugosa:
Many other roses have buds, so we should have plenty of flowers soon as long as we can keep the rosellas away from them for a while.

I noticed this iris had started flowering a couple of days ago;
I was completely surprised by this one on the other side of the house today:
It is actually a much deeper purple that it appears in the photo. It looks great against all those red tulips in that part of the garden.

And speaking of tulips, the final layer of flowers in the layered tulip pot are opening:

They look pale pink from the outside, but the inside is vivid orange.

For the last few months I've been posting pictures on the 15th of everything in flower. But this week our internet connection has been incredibly slow, uploading photos is a painful process! On top of that, it seems that just about everything is in flower, so there would be dozens of pictures. So I might have to give the full catalog a miss this month.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

More Blossom in the Orchard

Cherry blossom:

A hoverfly in apple blossom:
Maybe a common hoverfly, Melangyna viridiceps.

My favourite blossom, the quince:

Friday, October 11, 2019

Quilting Progress

Lots of back and forward squiggling going on here:
I've quilted about half of the background between the hexie rosettes.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Blooming Trees

Redbud Cercis canadensis "Lavender Twist":


There were even some bees in this crabapple, which is surprising given how cold the day was.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

More Basting

Today was the temperature quilt's turn to be sandwiched:
It is much smaller than the last one, so hopefully will be quickly quilted.
Just over 3 weeks to the quilt show...

Monday, October 7, 2019

Violet Babies

Ten propagated African violet babies, moved into Masrac wicking pots:
There is actually more than one baby growing in each of these, so some time when they have grown larger I will have to separate them.

The remaining leaves which have not yet successfully reproduced themselves have had a trim:
On Gardening Australia this week someone suggested that cutting the veins of leaves helps to persuade them to reproduce. They were talking about begonias, not African violets, but I thought maybe it was worth a try for these two leaves which haven't done anything in four and a half months.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Tiny Orchid Quest

Our monthly field trip today was focussed on orchids in Enfield State Forest. You wouldn't guess how many you might see in forest like this:
But if you look carefully, there are tiny orchids everywhere.

A wax-lip orchid (Glossodia) from an odd angle:

Gnat orchids (Cyrtostylis) are the tiniest of tiny orchids:

Spider orchid (Caledenia):

A greenhood orchid (Pterostylis):

Leopard orchid (Diuris pardena):
Maybe another leopard orchid, or something related:

Pink fingers orchid (Caladenia carnea):

Common bird orchid (Chiloglottis valida):
Another species of bird orchid - maybe a lowland bird orchid. The difference is the number of little black "bumps" on its tongue:
Several people spent a lot of time counting those bumps, trying to be sure if there were more or less than ten.

There were several other orchid species seen,and lots of non-orchid flowers. And lots of birds, and a black wallaby. It was another interesting field trip to places down back roads we would never know about otherwise.

Friday, October 4, 2019


Today is my mother's 91st birthday. We took her out for afternoon tea by the lake.
I almost forgot to take any photos, but remembered as we were heading back to the cars. That's my sister and her husband and their youngest daughter, along with Mum and Dad.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Art Quilts at the Wool Museum

My Sweet Sixteen was booked in for its regular service (2 years or 2,000,000 stitches) in Geelong today, so while it was being worked on I went to the National Wool Museum to check out Art Quilt Australia 2019:

There are two sides to the exhibition, because of the different prizes:
  • $3000 for Expressions: The Wool Quilt Prize, for a wool quilt. The winner of the Expressions prize is also acquired by the National Wool Museum for its permanent collection.
  • $3000 for the non-acquisitive OZQN Award of Excellence, which is open to all quilts.
The colourful quilts glow against dark walls:

Here are a few of my favourites.

This photo doesn't do justice to Pat Forster's "Ten Shades of Rhododendron, Seven Blooms Intact":

Lois Parish Evans' "Aussie Bush Delights", an mandala of native flowers:

Alison Withers' "Change for Earth" received a "highly commended" in the wool quilt prize:
I really wanted to touch her woollen floral creations - they looked so tactile.

Denise Griffiths' "Flora Australis" used a 3D padded appliqué technique, which I also would have liked to get my hands on!
It was only looking back through my photos that I realised they all had a floral theme.

The winner of the Ozquilt Network Award for Excellence prize had nothing to do with flowers. This is a detail of Neroli Henderson's "Whitewash", a representation of churning waves:

She used a photo printed on silk as the basis for this piece, then used a heavy thread (12wt) in the quilting to add texture.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Feeling Overwhelmed

I can't believe October is here already. Our quilt show is the first weekend in November, and I don't have anything ready.

Bloom is taking me way longer to quilt than I expected. Being sick for a week didn't help. I still have to baste my temperature quilt, then quilt it. Then bind everything of course. Plus I will be away for a week later this month. How can I get things done?

Today one of my nieces sent me a message that she wants to make a quilt for her parents for Christmas, so would I be able to teach her? I had to reply that I really don't have time for that in the next few weeks.

Stash report for September

One (1,000m!) spool emptied, none added.
Year to date - down 11 spools.

Dress fabric:
None used, 2m added.
Year to date - down 2.25m.

Quilt fabric:
none used, none added
Year to date - up 0.5m.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Pardalote Box

Not long after we bought this land we put up a lot of birdboxes. This is a box designed for spotted pardalotes:
It is showing its age now, but as it's about 15 or 16 years old that's not surprising. There are plans for a similar box here: Birds in Backyards nest box plans. Their plan points out, "spotted pardalotes burrow into clay or soil banks...their nest box requires a tunnel-shaped entrance which can be fashioned from PVC piping."

The spotted pardalote is a tiny bird, as seen in this post from last year:

A couple of years after we put up all the boxes, we checked them to see if they had been used, and the pardalote boxes each contained a ball of eucalypt leaves. What was living in them was not pardalotes, but something much more amazing. Today we finally got to see the critters, thanks to the wildlife camera.

These pictures aren't super-clear because they are captures from a video, but this is what made those balls of gum leaves, and lives in them in small social groups:

Not a pardalote! A common but rarely-seen creature, especially since the One Cent coin was withdrawn from circulation in the early 1990s:

It's the feather-tailed glider, Acrobates pygmaeus.

Added later -

Here's what the balls of gum leaves look like:
Not my photo - I don't climb ladders!