Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Fennel Jungle

........and other surprises.... as I take you on a walk through my garden

Although I had access to this house and yard prior to settlement, I really just spent time up on the riverbank, or watering and harvesting the vegetables the Executor of the property had kindly planted for me.

So it's been wonderful to discover pretty things popping up in the garden, this, my first spring  here. These orchids were a huge surprise, I knew there was a lot of greenery in the trees, but had no idea it was all going to burst into bloom, almost overnight. The plant circles the whole tree and is up high in the canopy as well.
Dendrobium orchid in a bottle brush tree

A close-up of that beautiful flower

Masses of rich red hippeastrums everywhere

Citrus trees full of blossoms, and an overpowering perfume, setting fruit for next year
A dozen or more heirloom roses, just starting to flower - the perfume is a delight

And my additions to the garden......


Poppies and cosmos

Pansies tucked in amongst rocket and coriander
Lola - hiding in the "jungle"
Stocks. - the lovely spicey smells wafts up to the veradah at night
More violas amongst the lettuce
 And that fennel jungle, here it is......taking over my vegetable patch.

 All mixed up with the Queen Anne's Lace I planted.  The fennel is self sown, and with the compost I added to the soil, some good rain a few weeks ago, plus hot sunny days, it's sprouted uninvited but is thriving.  It's pretty with it's feathery flowers and subtle, spicy  perfume, and I'll leave it now until it dies off, but I'll be keeping an eye on it next year and removing any plants I don't want.  Buried somewhere under those golden fronds are my silver beet, bok choi and more lettuce!

Just because she's so pretty !

To finish, the view from my new lounge room window,  looking across the river towards Mt Warning. I took this late in the afternoon, just before the sun disappeared behind the rim, from my sofa,  it's a calming and peaceful vista, and the perfect place to sit and relax with a cuppa. I cropped this a little, as the closer view including the yard was already dark, but from inside during the day I see a constant parade of birds, water dragons creeping out to sun themselves, and families of ducks wandering along the riverbank....lovely!

that's it, till next time.....

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

...but not rose red..........

which is the colour for September.  Although I do try to pop in to RSC to keep up with the colour of the month, and to have a browse around to see what others are making, I haven't joined in since January! when I made blue blocks.

So I made progress on the wonky stars and house I showed in my last post, and here's the final star block ...turqoise/teal

and the completed house block with borders added to bring it up to size.  I had thought I might add some embellishments or embroidered words, but decided at the end that a button door knob would be enough.

I forgot to say in my last post that this block is paper pieced, and I have Bonnie at fishsticksdesigns to thank for the pattern, although her tutorial is for freezer paper  piecing, whereas I just did the stitch and flip method.

So here's all the wonky stars laid out with the house block.  Now to get to and put it all together!  I'm hoping to give it to my friend before she heads off to the country to visit her mum and dad next week, but as I have a deadline on a couple of small charity baby quilts to finish as well, it might end up being a welcome back quilt for her.


And because I started these blocks as part of the rainbow scrap challenge.....even though so long ago.....I'm linking to  Angela for a late ScrapHappy Saturday.

till next time......

Friday, September 16, 2016

Jumping back in

..... to play ScrapHappy Scrappiness.

Kate and Gun  host this day on the 15th of each month so we can share any scrappy projects we've made.

Winter sky

In 2014 I joined  Andrea at So Scrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and each month made wonky star blocks with the colour of the month.  I think I got sidetracked a bit last year when I joined again, and made other rainbow blocks, as well as the odd wonky star.  It really got put on the back burner this year, what with moving and renovating, so I decided it was time to dig it out and finish it.

It was my friend Anne who prompted me.....she's been staying here for a bit, while she's been looking for a rental property.....reasonably priced houses that are clean and in good condition are pretty rare here, and everyone wants them.....and each time she saw the folded up stars sitting in my sewing room, she'd stroke them and mutter about "lovely stars".  So I thought what better home for them than as a housewarming gift for her, and to give her something to cheer her up.

I thought I had only one more to make, so decided instead of a star, I'd make a house block...a wonky house of course!  And a good use of scraps.  So here it is, personalised for Anne with her cat and dog peering from the windows.  I still need to do some finishing, a bit of embellishing and maybe some embroidered words, and it needs a border to bring it to the same size as the stars.

Wonky House

Here's the house set out with the stars, not a good pic and not the final layout, but you get the idea. I realised though that I still need one more star block.....maybe a teal, plenty of those scraps!.....so that's on the agenda for today.  These blocks are 15 " square, so not a lot needed for a good size lap quilt.

Go visit Kate and check out her scrappiness for this month, and while you're there, there's also a list of quilters who join in with their own projects.

Until next time......

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Fog across the river to the west
Hello Sun!
Rosy skies to the east
Mt Warning wreathed in colour
 I'm up and out early most days, I just can't get enough of this early morning light and colour. There's been fog the last few mornings, making everything look ghostly, then the sun burns through, revealing beautiful rosy skies and amazing clouds.

More delights to enjoy, with the arrival in the mail yesterday of these F2F blocks from Christina. Thanks Christina, perfect soft low-volume colours.  I just have one set still on it's way, and my own 3 to make, then I can start to play with lay-outs.  

On my to-do list today is making a start on Kate's F2F blocks. She's chosen this sparkling palette of black and white and lime green....nice! Kate has already received some gorgeous blocks, you can see them in the gallery, just scroll down almost to the end.   For those new to my blog.....or returning.....there's a blurb at the beginning of that gallery page, telling the F2F story.

lime green and black color scheme - Google Search:

This delightful girl has been waiting patiently for a while, with her ball at the ready, so we're off for a walk now. 

till next time.....

Monday, May 16, 2016

Gathering nuts in May

..........and fruit as well!


Once again, my house is full of noisy tradies, and as the power's off for a while so they can install the new sensor lights, I've decided to retreat to the riverbank with a pot of tea.  It wasn't until I sat down, and looked from that different perspective, I noticed a pawpaw tree down the bank a bit, full of good size fruit.  So I scrambled down and picked a box full, even the green ones, otherwise the bats and possums will come and eat the lot.....or more likely, the possums will take a bite from each one and leave the fruit rotting on the tree. I don't mind sharing with the local wildlife, but don't want to see good fruit go to waste.  I'll leave these in a sunny spot and they'll  ripen in a few days.

Walking along the grass, I could feel the macadamia nuts under foot, so it seemed like a good time to gather them up as well, and I managed to find quite a lot. There's two trees here, and I was told by a local arborist that the one on the left, in the last picture, is part of the original Gondwana rain forest, one of the most extensive sub-tropical rainforests in the world.  It's a lighter green and has a finer leaf than the grafted variety that you can just see on the right of the picture.  Go  here if you'd like to know more about these rainforests and the primitive plant species that have direct links with the birth and spread of plants from over a million years ago.

Back to enjoying my pot of tea, the view and the peace and quiet.....

till next time.......

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Little left over bits

..... of fabric, of course

In the midst of a week busy with hunting down second hand doors, sanding and painting  said doors, dealing with the electrician, the builder and the tree trimmer, and other pleasantries like enjoying the company of an old friend who came for a surprise visit, and making a start on my veggie garden, I managed some sewing.

First was this for a friend's birthday ....a mug rug, pot holder.....however she wants to use it....made from the trimmings from the latest F2F blocks I made for Claire.  It's around 7 inches square.

 And this one wonky star for green month at So Scrappy. I cheated a bit....I had this lot cut out ready to sew last year when I was making rainbow stars.  Putting my house on the market and getting ready to move meant it was packed away and forgotten but found this week while looking for something else!  

Both were made from scraps, so I'm linking up with Kate and Gun For ScrapHappy May and with Angela for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Lots of bloggers doing amazing things with scraps.
* Edited to add linking up with Cynthia at Oh Scrap!  as well......even more scrappy fun!

till next time....

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

F2F Catchup


The last time I posted about F2F was back in January, when we pulled out all the stops to get Pat's blocks made and away to Sue in the US, so it could be made up, and hopefully give her a chance to see it and enjoy the comfort of it.....a big hug from all of us.....in her last days. Happily, thanks to everyone's great effort, and particularly Sue who put all the blocks together into a beautiful quilt, and her son, who quilted it, Pat was able to see her quilt and enjoy having it close to her for a short while. Sadly, Pat passed away in early February, but her quilt remains as a legacy to her, and will now be used to raise funds for the Ovarian Cancer Society in the US.....a fitting tribute. 

The finished quilt - what a beauty
Looking back, I realised I've not shown any of the blocks I've made for the other F2F'ers since here last year.  So in order from then .........

Susan - August 

Sue - September

Avis -November 
Christine - December
Pat -January

Emmely - February
Claire -March
 You can go to the gallery here to see all the wonderful blocks that've been made, or here to see Avis's completed quilt,  here to see Lyn's in progress (scroll down a bit) or here to see how Sue's putting hers together.....beautifully creative work, ladies.

And so on to me.....April! I'm a bit in love with low volume quilts at the moment, so I chose soft, low volume mauves, and soft light grey or cream for the backgrounds. Here's my blocks so far.....it's been so exciting to open the packages and find these wonderful works of art.....I really appreciate the work that's gone into creating these lovely blocks for me.  Five to come...I think...plus my own, which I'll make once I have all the others together.

Kate has already launched F2F2 and you can follow along at the dedicated  blog if you like, when it starts again in June.  I had thought I'd join in again, then realised I had enough ongoing commitments already for the year, but I'm thinking I might sew alongside and make just my own blocks, I even have my colours picked out.....I'll see when June comes around.

As soon as I finish the son's quilt I'll be making Kate's  blocks, which will be grey, black and white with lime green....a lovely fresh palette. His quilt looked like this a few days ago, it's all sewn together now and has borders, if I don't get dragged away to buy paint or hunt down door handles, I'll be getting onto the quilting. 

Till next time.....