Showing posts from November, 2013

Progress on my heirloom quilt

I made some progress on my heirloom quilt this weekend.   As I have been sewing this I have been remembering my Aunty Ellen who taught me to chrochet and to tatt.   There is a linen hankerchief with tatted edges in one of the squares.  I remembered my Gran, and her sister Ester who wore these lacy collars on their evening dresses.  I dont know if they made the lace or bought it, but I do remember how they were both always so well dressed.  When I was little I used to look at the photo of them sitting out in the garden brushing ther long shiny hair in the sun.    Because of that photo I would often catch rainwater to wash my hair in in the hopes that my hair would also grow down to my waist.  Alas it never did.  When my machine gave me trouble winding the bobbin I remembered the brother sewing machine that I first sewed on.  I began sewing my own clothes at about 12, and my mom gave me a clothing allowance to buy fabric and patterns.  When the machine gave me trouble I used to si

Sunbird nest outside our study window

This is the time of year that the sunbirds start to build their nests again.  Our units are bing painted, and we thought for sure that the prospective Dad would get tired of dodging ladders, scaffolding etc, but no, the nest passed the test, and mum-to-be has moved in. You can just see her little head and long beak sticking out of the nest.  It is hanging on the washing line just outside our study window, so a perfect place to keep an eye on her.  The windows are tinted and clearly she cannot see in or at least is not concerned about us inside. She often comes right up to the window and peers in as if to say "Hi there, are you allright inside?" Such beautiful chatty little birds, I feel so blessed that they decide year after year to build their nests in our garden.  The male bird has an iridescent blue throat. These lovely photos were taken by my ever so patient hubby. More information:  added 21st November:  Further research at The Australian bird page b

Permaculture and Christmas crafts

I have a very small garden, but do love  to incorporate permaculture principles whever I can. I really enjoyed this video of a couple in Jacksonville where I used to live. Permaculture Garden It reminded me of how much I like to chop and drop. I tend to do that in the flower gardens, but not so much in the veggie garden.  I really dont want to be buying mulch, I would prefer to be making my own, and that is precisely what chop and drop does.  I grow lemongrass which is an amazing plant for that, and besides which it smells lovely.  I also think it might keep pests away, but that could just be wishful thinking. recently on the down to earth forum I took part in a christmas gift exchange and received some lovely scrapbook type ornaments - unlike any ornaments I have.  That is the nice thing about doing a swap - the surprise factor..  Sorry the photo is a little fuzzy.  My swap partner read my blog, discovered I am a gardener, and also sent me a couple of cassava cuttings. -  I ha

Franzipani rust - the wet season starts

I was pretty excited to see that my franzipani was sending out flower spikes, and over the weekend cut back a  lot of the madevilla that was hanging over it and shading it too much. I also weeded the herb spiral, to allow air and light to get into this little section of the garden. My little strawberry pots are fruiting again!  They have never done well in the ground here, but these pots seem to be the answer.  Once the weeds were removed the herb spiral looked a little untidy.  It will fill in agian quickly enough though - hopefully with herbs rather than weeds. Bummer!  I discovered the same brownish bumps underneath the franzipani leaves that were there before.  That happened in the dry season and I must admit I just ignored it.  All the leaves fell off, but that often happens here, and I thought it was just a seasonal thing.  On further researching I discovered that I have franzipani rust - a fungal disease.  I dont remember what I did with the leaves, but I certainly

Old lace and embroidery samplers

I saw an awesome giveaway that I just had to share  here  at Time to Stitch.  I certainly dont think I have the patience that  a lot of those projects need, one caught my eye though - a series of differnt christmas trees, hanging  from a wire stand.  I once saw a display at the Smithsonian of christmas trees, decorated with the artwork of different countries. Awesome!  As we travelled on our boat, at Christmas time I would make home made ornaments   Some years it was origami, some years felt, some years crocheted snowflakes.... So back old lace and old samplers.... I have been working on a project with old lace and old embroidered garments from our family, that my Mom had collected over the years. Here is a sneak preview: and some detail... This is a sampler I found among them.  Isnt it awesome?  Doesnt it just make you wonder if it was a tedious project when she really just wanted to read, or play outside?  Maybe she enjoyed the work - did she have sufficient lighting

The Pig of Happiness

I just had to share this - hope you are haivng a very happy day!

Garden Share Collective Nov 4th

Once again it is time to link to  Lizze at Strayed from the Table.   where we join in monthly to check on the progress of our veggie gardens.    It is great to be accountable - to make lists of things we want to do within the next month- although I didnt do well in that area this month since I had the flu. We are also able to celebrate what we have harvested and what we are planting.  Thank you for organizing this Lizzie. Planting My purple asparagus is so much more tasty and thick than the green that I decided to order more seeds. Yes!  I started the purple asparagus seeds at the same time as I planted the mary washington two year crowns!   Unfortunately only one of the purple asparagus seeds survived, but I will carefully nurture the new ones. I didnt pick this one stalk in time and it has started to fern out - look at the thick juicy stem.   I  have two female plants which put more effort into creating seeds and will never produce a good crop, so need to be removed.  I also