Sunday, October 31, 2010

Street Tree

My street tree (some type of Melaleuca) just before all the heavy rain:
Now it looks very bedraggled, but it is too wet to go out and photograph it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quilt Show in Lilydale

Went by train to Lilydale to see the Sew Blessed Quilt Show with a friend.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lunch With Friends

Went into the city for lunch with some lovely quilting friends. They meet every month, but I haven't been able to go for most of this year due to work commitments.

Had a lovely time catching up, and managed to get the pentagons basted as well.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The pinker one of my bottlebrushes is flowering again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Button Treasure

Today I was given something special by one of my nice readers. Lots of buttons! Thank you!

There are many golden buttons, and some green ones which would probably have worked well for the bag project last week. There are a couple of pinkish glass ones which will be going on the waistband of a skirt I've been working on for the last couple of days. What about that set of blue flower ones? I'll have to think of a special project for them. There are so many goodies! But what's that strange thing on the plate (just below 9 o'clock) that looks like a piece of stone or something?

An opal! I'm sure that wasn't meant to be in the buttons. I'll give it back to you next time I see you, Joanne!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Did a bit of sewing today, but nothing interesting enough to photograph. So here's a magpie that was carolling beautifully when I was out walking the dogs. Until I got out the camera, which he didn't seem too keen on.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Appliqué Complete

Finished the last of these blocks, then started playing with the layout.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Keen Gardeners

Why would anyone choose a morning like this to go to Plantmark?

Friday, October 22, 2010

More White

Here's another white flower in the garden at the moment.

It's a Rhaphiolepis indica - Indian Hawthorn - which came up uninvited under another shrub so I didn't notice it immediately.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

White Flowers

These flowers are a Gladiolus species, possibly carneus.  I planted a small number of them quite a few years ago, but this year is the best flowering I've had.  My camera doesn't like focussing on them - perhaps because the flowers are very deep. I took about a dozen photos, but this is the best I got.

The snowball (Viburnum opulus) is just covered in flowers at the moment.

Although they look a bit green compared with the gladiolus.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Expensive Embellishment

Remember the plain denim bag I thought needed some embellishment?

I made yo-yos out of the lining fabric and appliquéd them, then thought I'd use buttons to cover the centre holes.

First I searched through my button jar, but really I have few green buttons. The only ones I had three of were the very dull square ones you might be able to see at the bottom of this shot.  I contemplated using the golden-brown ones that I have a tube-full of, but I wasn't quite happy with them.  So I bought a button-covering kit, (the red and yellow bits in the centre of the picture) to make matching buttons.  The kit was supposed to make 8 buttons, but so far I have destroyed 4 of them without making one usable button.  Results - a few mangled pieces of aluminium (two visible in photo), one "almost" button, quite a bit of frustration.  Today I went shopping to find 3 green shank buttons.  Good idea, but none available!  How can that be?  Anyway, I bought the smiley yellow flowers.  Total cost so far - nearly $9 for three buttons that aren't really what I wanted!  (Edit: - Plus the cost of the yo-yo maker.  I had forgotten about that!)

Who knows, maybe I'll just end up removing all traces of embellishment.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Open Iris

Last Wednesday's flower fully open.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Taking Advantage of the Dollar

Received a nice box from Amazon today.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Afternoon Tea

Spent the afternoon with quilting friends.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So Cold

It almost seemed like it might snow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Slightly Damp

And it stayed that way all day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pink Mystery

As I was out walking today, a patch of pink on a nature strip caught my eye.

I've never noticed this plant before. I don't know what it is. Does anyone know? Here's a closer view:

Also today I did some adjusting and testing of a summer dress pattern, but that's not worth photographing yet..

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Iris Success

Last November I showed you some iris rhizomes I had been given through Freecycle.  I wondered at the time how they would go, because they were transplanted on a very hot day.

The good news is that they all survived, and the first flower is about to open.

This shot was taken after work, when there wasn't much light around, but the colour appears to be a very pretty dusky purple.  I don't know if they will all be this colour, or a mix.  The anticipation is fun!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Strong Wind Warning

After my class this morning I stopped to visit a friend for a while. I parked under a tree to take advantage of the shade, as the sun is warming up.

After enjoying a coffee and a chat it was time to go. The wind had picked up while I was inside, and here's what I found back at the car:

A fairly large branch had blown off the tree I was parked under. I'm very glad it didn't land right on top of the car!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blue on Blue

These two blue beauties in a neighbour's front yard are attracting lots of bees as well as looking stunning:

The large shrub is some variety of California lilac (Ceanothus spp.), and the upright spears in front are an Echium of some type.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mum's Bag

Today I finished the construction of Mum's denim bag, but I think it needs some embellishment.  Despite the different colour denims, it looks rather plain to me.  It's a bit like the classic Project Runway dilemma: should you give the judges what they asked for and risk producing something less than wonderful, or create something you like and have the judges hate it?

The pattern is the Panel Bag by Nicole Mallalieu, with a slight variation to the pleats.  Nikki's design is not to blame for the blandness of this bag!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Arrivals

Two new pullets settling in at the chook-house.

And a bonus shot of fuzzy babies at the poultry farm:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Moving In?

On my way to work this morning, I spotted this pair of corellas who appeared to be checking out the hollow in the arm of this cross on a church spire.

I've seen magpies up there regularly, keeping an eye on their territory, but never a parrot before.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Spotted on my way to work:

It's a pawlonia, but I don't know which species.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Took the train home because heavy rain was threatening.

And I must report that the myki is working well. I've used it on trams, a bus and a train in the last 24hrs, with no issues.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Customer Service

Warning - this is a rant!

Back in January, I got a couple of mykis.  What's a myki?  "myki is a reusable plastic smart card that you store value on to pay for your fare on public transport." You know, like they have in Delhi, and lots of other cities around the world.

A couple of weeks ago, I was about to run out of the paper tickets myki is meant to replace. So I went to my nearest Premium Station to put money on the myki. Premium Stations are the ones where there are staff, and customer service, and nice things like that. Hey, they've even got a Wikipedia page! At my local Premium Station, the staff consisted of a woman who was conducting a personal phone call behind the counter. Although she was looking in my direction, she wouldn't make eye contact, and didn't interrupt her phone call. I learnt more than I needed to know about the problems in her life before it was all too much for me and I left.

Two days ago, having run out of paper tickets, I went back to the Premium Station. This time the staff was a man who gave me attention straight away.
Me: How can I put money on a myki?
Helpful Staff: You have to use a machine.
Me: Where is the machine?
Helpful Staff: We haven't got one.
Pause. I blink a couple of times.
Me: When I find a machine, are they fairly self-explanatory?
Helpful Staff: Don't know, I've never used one.
That's premium quality, right there!

Today, I went to a different (non-premium) station where I knew there was a machine:

I've cut off part of it, I just realised. The top section with the keypad is labelled that it is for credit card or EFTPOS payments.

So, looking at the machine, do you think it is self explanatory? How would you use it?

I tried putting the card where it says to, touching the screen, kicking the machine, but nothing happened. (Actually I didn't really kick it, just took its photo.)

It turns out that this machine is broken. At another station I found another machine, and discovered that on a working machine there is actually a display on the screen which asks what you want to do, then gives instructions. So now I have money on my card, and can go to a movie tonight (by tram).

Hooray for customer service!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Panel Bag

On Saturday Mum admired my Panel Bag, and said she'd like one made of denim. Today I started working on it, using fabric from several pairs of jeans her grandson either wore out or grew out of.

Today is Mum's birthday, so her present will be a little late, but it's taking shape.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Longer Day

This morning I went to the Friends of the Botanic Gardens plant sale, (where I purchased another couple of vireyas) and then visited Guilfoyle's volcano. There's a picture of the volcano on the Friends page. These tiny flowers (they're each less than 1cm across) are planted at the volcano.

The plant is Euphorbia flanaganii, or Medusa Head.

After I got home I tried my walking foot again and it worked fine! So I did some quilting. I also sprayed a bit of soapy water on my roses as there were a few aphids beginning to appear.

Such a busy day—all because of that extra hour of daylight!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


A small part of the Avenue of Honour at Bacchus Marsh.

I was actually there to visit the Bacchus Marsh Friendship Quilters' Exhibition with my mother and a friend.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Moving Up in the World

While I was at work today, the bees had another storey added to their home.

Between the 2nd and 3rd boxes there is a wire grid to stop the queen going up to the top level. The workers can get through it to store honey up there, but the queen can't go up and lay eggs.

Last time the hive was opened, a temperature sensor was placed inside. I was amazed to discover that the bees keep the temperature in their home at 35°C!