Saturday, 30 October 2010

The draw

This is just a very quick post showing you two of my grandchildren, Alexander and his cousin Hannah, conduction the draw for my giveaway.  I am delighted to say Shirley has won.  Shirley has been going through a very rough patch lately so she is a very deserving winner.  thank you all for participating.  I found some lovely new blogs to follow and I didn't realise how many people looked at mine.
Now I need to do the washing up after dinner for eight.  We won't see them for a few weeks now as we go away on Thursday morning.  I am gradually getting through all the tasks I need to do before we go away.  I will post again before we go.  Cheers

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Ta Daa! This is blog 200

This is the October page I made for Wilma - her theme is dragonflies.  this was fun to do.  The background is panne velvet coloured with disperse dyes, then vliesofix, then some mica flakes sprinkled over and a lilac chiffon scarf fused to it.  The dragonfly wings were stitched on Romeo with cheer organza behind.  I wrapped some cords to make the body, then emobssed the head with jade and silver for the eye, adding gel and stitchless beads to finish it off.

Here are some caladiums growing in pots in my back garden.  I thought I had lost the white ones after the tree fell over, but here they are back again better than ever.

The back garden bed is getting more colourful and the creepers are taking off nicely.  By the end of the summer, the trellis should be completely covered, hopefully there may even be some flowers on it.  These creepers should have at least a few flowers most of the year.  The birds love them, and I have missed my birds in the back garden.  This is what I see when I look out my kitchen window.

I couldn't resist taking this photo of the Cape Yok lily leaf which has just erupted.  The texture is superb.  There is a flower hiding under it, but it is not out properly yet.

Jock has a new toy.  We have new neighbours who have a 19 month boy called Charlie.  He and Jock just love each other, but they never stay still long enough for me to take a photo of them together.  The neighbours threw this football over the fence for Jock, it won't inflate proerly any more, that just makes it better from Jock's point of view.  He chases it all round the garden, always bringing it up for one of us to kick it for him.  I have given up on that - does no good for my feet at all.  I have to pick it up and throw it!
As I said in the heading this is post 200.  I will wait till Saturday night when my grandchildren come to visit, then we will put all the names in the hat and draw one out.  So..........leave a comment before then to be in the draw.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Look what came to visit

The Garden Friends had a guided walk followed by a barbecue on the deck overlooking the lagoons last Saturday - I completely forgot to take a photo of the lovely scene, but I found my camera when this lady came to visit.  One minute she was in the palm tree beside the deck, then she came down onto the deck

and up onto the table where someone was very naughty and fed her some chocolate cake.  Thankfully they took it away as soon as this photo was taken.

I was then able to take this photo before she squeezed herself through the wire mesh and disappeared into the cloud garden.  there are several possums living in the area, but also a couple of carpet snakes - they are often seen in the rafters near the cafe, which freaks some of the patrons more than somewhat!

Jock and I went for a walk in the Gardens today.  This teak tree is in full bloom, but I couldn't get far enough away to take a decent photo because there are construction fences all round it for a new waterworks facility being built there.  The noise was deafening, the tree was full of rainbow lorikeets, which again I couldn't capture on film - the light was wrong and I only had shadows.

Here is acloweup of the blossom - it is so pretty, but doesn't have much perfume.

Then we came across this giant heleconia (about 3 metres tall) with its lovely red flower spikes.

My apologies for the photo - I was standing on Jock's lead while I was taking the photo, but another dog appeared - that caused a bit of excitement.

We pass this acalypha on the way home.  People up here think they are pretty boring - you see them everywhere in a variety of colours, but southerners fine them quite spectacular. 
This post 199 so the next post will be the last before I draw the names out of the hat.  Don't forget to leave a comment to be in the draw.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Another page has arrived

blogger has loaded these photos in a strange order, not sure why.  This is a photo of one of the Flindersias in the botanic Gardens - taken when Jock and I went walking a couple of days ago.  I had forgotten to take my camera, so the photos are from my mobile phone, the closeups are not as good.

This is a closer vision of the lovely creamy flowers which cover it.

Isn't this fabric page lovely?  Maureen from Victoria made it for me and I just love it.  She had had the pattern for a very long time, so could not buy the correct threads, but nobody could possibly tell.  The post came faster from her house to my house than mine went to her - but that is Australia Post for you.

My neighbour's orchids are blooming again, nearly a month early this year.  I don't know the name of them, but they came from her son-in-law's rainforest property just south of Cairns in far north Queensland.  They make a really brilliant show, even when taken with my phone.  Who would have thought a few years ago that we would be taking photos with a phone!!
My new book has finally dried out so now I am drooling and wishing I could stop everything else just to try out all the luscious techniques so beautifully illustrated in it.
I have been playing with my versa-tool, I don't think I would bother trying to transfer images with it, but it cuts through very heavy pellon just like butter.  I can't show you what I have done though as it is the next fabric page I am doing for fibre-fever - later, when she has received it.  Now I am going back to keep working on it.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

At a standstill

I seem to have fallen into a deep hole lately.  I finished these souvenirs - going back to some of my old techniques.  I do like the effect of colouring cheap panne velvet with disperse dyes and working over that.  There is a subtle sheen behind the work which I find very lush.
Somehow since then I have been bogged down with other stuff, appointments, meetings, housework etc.  I have also spent hours at the computer booking accommodation for our trip the New Zealand in November - that is all done now, thank goodness.

I have found time to take Jock for a walk in the Botanic Gardens occasionally.  The lomandras are in full flower at present.  They are good for cut flowers and they last forever as dried flowers.  There are huge clumps of them planted along the edges of the lagoons to give the water birds hidey holes for their nests.  The snakes like them too so I don't let Jock anywhere near them if possible.

The cycads are shooting out with all their new season's growth.  I love the different shapes, some short,

and some very tall.

I am hopeless at linking to a previous post, but the post where I announced the giveaway for my 200th post had a photo of Syzygium Australe in flower.  Well, most of the flowers have gone, leaving these lovely pinky red bases (calyx's?) My botany is non-existent, I don't know the proper term, but they are very pretty anyway, whatever they are.
I have received my copy of the new book by Maggie Grey and Isobel Hall, I was so looking forward to it, now I am very frustrated - the book was very wet when it arrived here.  I have it on a table in the air conditioned office and I am turning (very carefully) a page every so often to try to dry it out so I can read it.  I have complained to Australia Post to no avail, I have no idea what they managed to do to it, but I am NOT happy.
At least I shall be able to play with the versa-tool which I ordered from Dale just as she was leaving for London.  I really want to see if I can transfer an image to cloth with it as the instructions say.  Watch this space - I will sho you if I am successful.  Only three more post to go after this before the giveaway so don't forget to leave a comment.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Planting bee and other things

Today we had the last planting bee for the year at the Botanic Gardens - it is too hot after October.  We had about 15 Friends planting - and watering - and about 200 small plants and trees were placed in the ground - not a bad effort for a morning's work.  Most of these were replacing plants which were lost either in the floods at the beginning of last year or the cyclone earlier this year.  Fortunately plants grow really quickly up here.  This area was completely bare three and a half years ago, so provided we don't have more cyclone damage, there should be a lovely display of plants in another few years.

I don't do any of the actual gardening - most of it is on slopes and my knees and feet will not cope with that, but I get the smoko (morning tea to those of you who are not Aussies).  I am told that that is the most important part of the morning anyway!    Today everything had to be carted quite some distance from the Admin building so I took my camera with me.  This case moth was on one of the shrubs - I assume they exist around the world, not just in Australia - I hadn't thought of that till now.  This one is not very big yet.

Then I saw this caterpillar of the monarch butterfly on the desert rose bush

Here is the chrysalis - we used to collect these as young children, the silver colours were the big drawcard.  They loved the oleanders we had growing in our garden.  These days we are told not to plant them in home gardens as they are so poisonous, but we grew up with about 8 of them and no ill effects.  We would have been devastated if Mum had got rid of them and we lost our annual supply of chrysalises.  they also made wonderful shangais (slingshots), completely illegal these days.  I don't recall that we ever hit anything much with them - we were on the edge of town with lots of open paddocks around us, so there was lots of scope for us.

Here is the beautiful desert rose flower, definitely not a native, but it is growing in the Malta garden, in honour of the Maltese community.
Time to take Jock for a walk.  He thinks it is past time and has been trying to persuade me to go for a while now.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Today was my turn to do a shift at the Visitors Desk in the Botanic Gardens.  This is part of the display which our Visitors Services Officer has set up from seeds and nests etc collected in the Gardens.

I love the textures of these fungi - better seen when you click to enlarge

I went for a walk in the shade garden and found these gorgeous flowers of the Back Scratcher ginger had come out.  I had to kneel in the garden bed to take this photo - fortunately nobody else was nearby.

here is the flower in closeup -  a satin shiny surface.

I love the new pink leaves of the syzygiums - this is Wilsonii and has a lovely red pom pom flower, but the wind was blowing too hard, I couldn't get a photo in focus.

I should have taken this photo when I opened up this morning.  It is a vanilla bean orchid, with creamy green flowers - they were open this morning but closed 5 hours later, not sure if it was because of the cloud cover or not, but the creeper is fascinating and looks great against the wormeaten wood of the old wharf logs.

Lastly here is a photo of my giveaway - a glasses case, a bookmark, a fridge magnet and some paper napkins.  This is blog no 195 so five more to go and I will draw.
Now I had better take the dog for a walk.  Bill has gone away for a few days for work and Jock has been caged up for several hours so he needs the exercise.