A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

This Month In The Garden.

After a brief absence the Bronze Wing Pigeon is back but is not allowing me to photograph it even though it's not at all shy. 
Broadbeans, strawberries, tomatoes - all doing well and setting fruit despite the wild weather we've had recently.
Most of the herbs have barely survived the cold snaps and I'm sorely missing them especially the sage.  I couldn't help myself this week and bought a measly bunch for $1.99 to add to a soup I made.
I have two zygocactus (both inherited from my MIL) and I always thought they were both the same.
They are not, this one, which flowers later than the other has a much deeper pink flower.
The Rhodanthe has burst forth with paper white flowers.
Initially I purchased twenty two of these plants - only two (and a half survived)!

I've wished for a white violet for a couple of years now, this one popped up on its own!  
I'm assuming that the regular violet growing close by may have mutated.
A busy bee - the flower is a Boronia? Crowea? Wax Flower? If you know then let me know!
The appearance of these little native pea flowers are a sure sign that spring is not far off.
Our mulberry tree is a weed.
It self-sowed in the most inappropriate spot in the garden between two rocks, beneath a couple of Banksia trees and right next to a thoroughfare.
It has to go. Each year I tell myself I will take a cutting and plant it in a more favourable spot in the garden.
But then we got our Grand Daughter some silkworms and I haven't even pruned the tree this year so we can have sufficient leaves to feed them. (That is if the eggs hatch).
She can't have pets because she lives in a rental and found the silk worms fascinating.
This year the tree is smothered in fruit.  This is a sure sign that there will be a battle between humans, birds and possums!

A Silver Eye enjoying a bath.

Another feathered visitor waiting a turn in the bird bath.
This sandstone retaining wall, which I built some years ago, has a nice growth of moss on it now.
Our garden has an abundance of what builders call 'floaters'. Their presence put a restriction (among others) on the building footprint.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Colourful Friday - Leaves.

Winter ground cover.

A spiny wattle.

Pittosoporum (Native Daphne).

Crowea? Wax flower?  Not sure. If someone can positively identify this plant please let me know.

This potted plant comes from North Queensland.
I think it's a Cordyline.  The colour of the leaf's edges is fluorescent pink.

Another unidentified plant indigenous to our local area.  Once again, help identifying it positively is welcome.  Perhaps a tea-tree?

Geebung or Persoonia.

This is a minute selection of (mostly) local native plants growing in our bush garden. 
Our little garden (just over one thousand metres squared) is slowly becoming one of a kind in our street.  This is because our neighbours, one by one, are turning more of their native gardens into usable space for their growing families.
This is not a criticism, just an observation and an incentive for me to preserve as much as I can in our garden as a reminder of what the area originally supported in the way of Wildplants.
Also feel welcome to visit earlier posts:

I'm linking this post to Daisy Quilts.
Thanks Robyn for hosting.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

WIP Wednesday # 37

It's been a busy week in our household.  Mostly because of this guest bedroom redecorating project. Check out the post to see what else needs doing.

I've recovered enough from my 'flu and bronchitis to finish off the front and back of my mohair sweater and have started the sleeves.

Here's a sneak peak of my second Dr Seuss Cot Quilt.  Quilt number one is being bound at present.
WIP Wednesday is hosted by Lee at Freshly pieced, check it out.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Guest Bedroom Progress

It's been a busy week.
Managed to get most of the guest bedroom complete.  
Still need to get a bedside table lamp, a new floor rug and I would like to make some bunting for the blue wall.
The pleated blind is waiting to go to the cleaners so had to make do with the roller shutter for this photograph.
A new patchwork quilt would be nice too!

In this corner I plan to put a small desk which is waiting for a renovation.
The cushion cover is a crocheted cover that I picked up from Frou Frou during a sale...just because I liked the look of it.
The framed embroidery is one I completed in 1997 and has been in hiding a good part of the time since then.

The Bears belong to Youngest Son (who is now 24 year old).
I couldn't resist making new clothes for this one - I knitted a little top and made a pair of bloomers for it.  Grand Daughter loved it and spent hours dressing and undressing both the bears.
In the background are more beautiful lace pillow slips from Frou Frou.

Art works are by Lindy Longhurst. I love Lindy's work and the larger one was one of her first pieces.
They were in the master bedroom but I'm feeling that it's time for them to move on.  I didn't really want to part with them and I think they suit the guest room perfectly.
Still a lot of work to do but I'm feeling very satisfied with how things are turning out.
The room now makes the rest of the house look so dreary that it has urged me on to start on the next room - The Study!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Wednesday Already Dr Seuss?

I've labelled this my "Bitza" quilt...not only is it bits of this fabric and bits of that fabric but it's got bits of every theme in it too. Dragonflies, butterflies, cats, dogs, pigs, frogs...you name it.
I'm continuing to hand quilt the border and now  putting a bit of detail into the butterflies...just couldn't resist.
Dr Seuss cot quilt number one is quilted and awaiting binding. I've machine quilted this one  as I've got a deadline (baby due in less than tree weeks).
The second Dr Seuss cot quilt top is almost done but alas no photographs yet!  Hopefully next week.
We're redecorating so I've had no choice but to make curtains for the guest room...almost done.
And I'm contemplating joining the Freshly Pieced Summer Sampler QAL. Okay, so it's already into block number five...hmmm.
French General and Japanese Dragonfly quilt tops have seen no progress!
Drop by and visit Lee at Freshly Pieced to see how everyone's progressed this week.

Managed to complete curtains before posting...here's a sneak peak at the newly painted room with curtains hung...I'm loving it so far but it was a shock to the system at first as it was a TOTAL change.  Can't wait to replace furniture etcetera.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Colourful Friday

¬in not so obvious places¬

A middle-eastern rug

And another.
In the edge of a crocheted doily. 

Another rug.

A favourite etching.

And a second favourite etching.

I love collecting lacy handkerchiefs.
A sun-catcher at the verandah door.

And another.

Thanks to Robyn G @ Daisy Quilts for hosting
Colourful Friday-Triangles.
Drop by and visit her here.

Hope you all have a happy and safe weekend.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Thrifty Thursday.

Do I like chenille?  Not particularly but I instantly fell in love with this double bed bed spread when I spotted it in my local St. Vinnie's store yesterday.
Why?  Well, the colours are just so ME!  It's not often I see something and KNOW immediately that it's right.
And at $25 it's a bargain.
Here it's on a king single bed but it fits perfectly on a double bed too.
Only problem now is do I use it on the guest bed or do I use it on the loft studio bed?
Pink and green...my favourite colour combination.  Just a blush of pink, and such a soft, soft green.
The browns go perfectly with the guest bedroom rug too...hmmm.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Dr Seuss Quilt Top # 1 - Complete.

Couldn't help myself, purchased more Dr Seuss fabric for the two cot quilts work-in-progress.  (The yellow is not part of the Robert Kaufman Dr Seuss range.)
After careful consideration of last week's most helpful suggestions/votes/comments on my WIP post I went with Undergroundcrafter's vote for a yellow frame.  It was so much fun to read everyone's comments!
Above is a detail of one corner.
To separate the centre from the yellow frame I used LynCC's great suggestion of using a thin white line before adding the border.  This step sort of reminds me of a piece of art work and the steps taken to mount and frame it.
This space stops the yellow from butting up against the frames of some of the blocks.
Many wanted to see a red border in the quilt top so I'm using this red-on-red stripe for the binding.  I was going to use a red and white stripe but settled on this one from the Dr Seuss Range at the last moment.

Here it is all ready for basting, quilting and binding.
Thanks so much to everyone who showed so much interest last week.
Unfortunately, no progress on any of my other projects.
Although I'm over the 'flu, I think I have a mild case of bronchitis which has slowed me down again.
Thanks too, to Lee at Freshly Pieced for the opportunity to share our work.

I have linked this post to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday # 35.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Dreams Are Like Stars.

In an attempt to get in early and be super organized I have started making birthday cards for the months of August and September.
The first I have made (above) is for my Daughter. Her favourite colour is purple.
I have used Penny Black's Irises Stamp and the sentiment comes from KaiserCraft Journal Tags.

Thanks to Sketch Saturday for the following sketch.

I've sort of swapped it around a bit.

I have linked this post to Sketch Saturday Week # 163 - 9th July.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Eat Pray Love

What I'm Reading ATM.
It's only taken me about two months to read Indigenous Australian Alexis Wright's Carpentaria.
When it comes to reading anything, my philosophy is; 'never give up'.
Set in a fictitious location in the Gulf of Carpentaria, the introduction to the characters  of Desperance is colourful and captivating.
The reader meets with an Aboriginal 'fish taxidermist' extraordinaire  who becomes estranged not only from his wife but also his son.
After the introductions, I think the book falters a little but perseverance pays off and I'm taken on a fantastical journey which I can only liken to a mixture of myth, fiction, fact and legend that only an Indigenious Australian deeply entrenched in The Dreaming can impart.
I liken Wrights' work to an Indigenious Australian's Patrick White style of writing.
This is a poetic work that raises numerous cultural, social, ethical, environmental, ecological and political issues caused not only by white man's presence in a unique environment but including the impact of mining on the Aboriginal's way of life.
Having spent time in northern Australia last year (I lived in a tent from June to August travelling from Broome to Karumba) I had hoped  to travel to Weipa but never arrived there. 
Altogether we spent five months on the road and although this was long enough to see the vast variances in Indigenous Australians' life styles, it definitely was not long enough to even begin to understand the extent of the loss of the continuity of culture and land has had on today's Aboriginals.
The characters' names are ingenious in themselves and I believe make a statement on their own.
Normal Phantom, Angel Day, Will Phantom, Truthful, Mozzie Fishman, Joseph Midnight are just a few of the oddly named characters in this work.
If you can stick it out, this is a thought provoking novel still very relevant to today's Australia. 
A more light-hearted read is Eat Pray Love an autobiographical work by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I'm presently reading about the 'pray' bit and Gilbert's life in an Indian Ashram.
Reading about how she spends hours scrubbing the Ashram's temple floor as meditation inspired me to scrub my entire en-suite bathroom today.
I reckoned that if I could offer it up as meditation I perhaps could tackle a job that has been begging to be completed for some weeks now.  I even washed the curtains and cleaned the curtain rail!
If nothing else, I have that to thank Gilbert for. (Oh, and to realise I'm not the only one who has trouble meditating because my mind wanders off to places it shouldn't.)
The 'eat' bit does raise some ethical questions about the right for women to be able to make any choice they seem fit to make and not have to follow a predetermined path just because of their gender.
I have yet to read the 'love' bit.
Although I haven't seen the movie, I'm sure the book would make a great 'chick flick'.

Finished reading Eat Pray Love before actually publishing this post...the final section on LOVE gives a great insight to the culture and a brief history of the Balinese.
Meditation spoken of in layman's terms is a big part of this part of the book. 
I'm looking forward to reading the follow up Committed.
An easy read and much more insightful than I expected.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Another Cold And Frosty Morning.

Just before seven this morning the temperature got to a low of 0.6 oC.
All the rooves in the neighbourhood turned white with an icy coating of frost.
Despite this the sun is shining, it's calm and the sky is clear and blue.
Off to the park with my Grand Daughter and Daughter today.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Spare A Thought.

Wild Weather has been playing havoc with life in the Blue Mountains.
I would like you all to spare a thought for the people of the Upper Blue Mountains, where many are without power.
The temperature last night reached a low of 1.8 oC in the Lower Blue Mountains.
Our household woke to a frosty morning.  I can only imagine what it must be like for the residents of Blackheath and surrounds where wind chill factor brings the temperature to below freezing. Some have lost their homes and most are without power.
Thankfully, the second cold front predicted was not as severe and this morning, the air is calm and the sun is shining.
Blue Mountains Gazette.
BMG Gallery

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Dr Seuss Quilt Top WIP

This has evolved into the above. Question is do I frame in red, yellow or blue?
My hand pieced quilt is being hand quilted and is now looking like this:
It is very much a scrappy quilt and I want it to have a cottage feel and look to it, so I've quilted the border free hand which hopefully will just give it that look.
In the middle of making two quilts for my Twin Sisters and two more for expectant nieces, I decided I really needed to start two more just for the fun of it!

The above quilt top is made from Moda French General charm pack and will be framed using a terracotta coloured sashing.  The border is yet to be decided.  The option is a French General floral or not.  That is, not if I use it to make a summer dress for my Grand Daughter (see the pattern below).

The above quilt is made from a collection of Japanese dragonfly themed fat quarters which I began collecting about five year ago.  My quarter inch seams are out even though I've been using a quarter inch foot, so each block needs to be trimmed 'cause they're not square!
I've also been knitting myself a mohair sweater, completed two pairs of newborn mittens, and thinking about knitting myself a lacy scarf. (Like I NEED another scarf.)
Half the windows in the house are screaming out for curtains or swags and I want to up-cycle some t-shirts into summer skirts for Grand Daughter.
Oh well...I'm bound to have more time to do all these things when I'm retired...but wait, I thought I was retired!!??!

I have linked this post to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday # 34 Why don't you drop by and check out Lee's fresh looking Churn-dash?
Thanks Lee for the opportunity to share.

Comments Welcome

I welcome your comments; they are little personal notes to me. I enjoy reading what each of you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.