Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Hello Autumn!


The long hot days of summer are disappearing and are replaced by the up and down temperatures of Autumn. Most days we are lucky as it still hangs in the low to mid 20s. Glorious, warm sunny days and cooler nights.
So far we have only had to light the fire once.

The garden is still producing vegies and flowers.  We even have two watermenlons growing. I planted the seedlings just after Christmas. I should have planted them a lot earlier in the season but I didn't really PLAN to plant watermelons. I saw them in the garden centre one day, and thought, "Hey, let's see what happens with these!"


The Lebanese zucchini keep on producing. But the Bear and I decided we mostly eat zucchini in our winter casseroles and curries, so we keep offering them to anyone who visits. Otherwise they don't get eaten.
 I've come to the realization that I'm a Dahlia fan. I'm not sure when or how this happened. One day I was rather kind of 'Meh' about Dahlias. The next thing I knew I had them all through my garden and I get ridiculously excited when they flower.
It's all very strange. Has that ever happened to you before?

But look at this gorgeous thing! I can't remember what it's name is, but I bought it from a dahlia bulb seller at a farming expo last April.

 This amazing one was also purchased from the same seller. This one is called 'Starsister'.  I thought I had planted it in a pot. Then that dahlia started flowering with plain little pink flowers and I was really cranky as I thought perhaps there was a mix up of the bulbs at the store. Then a few weeks later this popped up and started flowering in the garden bed. I had mixed the bulbs up when I was planting them out!

I just adore it!
 Here's the little pink one.

I love a good pompom dahlia, don't you?

Our tomato plants went nuts! They are still producing loads of fruit. Loads of little orange pear tomatoes and black cherry tomatoes. They are only 2 plants on this arch trellis but they have been branching everywhere.



Most evenings before dinner, I take my little harvest basket out into the garden and pick limes, tomatoes, herbs and strawberries.
We no longer live super close to the beach, but on my days off after school drop-off, Chuck Norris and I go to the beach.  It's an 'off- leash' beach for dogs. And he loves it.
He runs around and says hello to the other dogs, smells all the smells, pees on Pee Rock, and occasionally runs back over to me wagging his tail as if to say, "THIS IS THE BEST FREAKING DAY OF MY LIFE!!!"
So I started thinking that the cooler evenings mean Chuck might need something to keep him warm.
I'm new to the world of dog clothing. Chuck didn't come with his own wardrobe. But he is a short coated dog who will need some protection when it get cold.
I found this pattern for a striped crochet dog coat by Bernat yarns.

I chose rainbow colours because I am allergic to non-rainbow.

I really like the way the neck ribbing is created. The pattern is fairly easy to follow, but I did encounter a few issues which were answered by some of the comments left on the webpage.

I am using Stylecraft special DK whereas the pattern requires an aran weight yarn (Bernat Super Value).

So whilst Chuck would be a 'medium' size, I altered the stitches a little to crochet his jumper between a 'medium' and 'large' size.

It mostly fits well so far, except for the front leg holes which are a little tight. I think that's more the fault of my adjustments than the pattern.

I have a few more rows to go, then sew in the last ends and it's done!

Doesn't he look like a supermodel!

I have also been crocheting some jackets for a set of metal tealight holders which are kind of metal and naked looking (ie: ugly).
I'm using Scheepjes Catona. I love it's glossy colours.

I simply started by crocheting a flat circle. Then when the flat base was the same diameter as the tealight holder, I crocheted 1 round without increasing in the back loops. Then kept crocheting around without increasing.

This one below was inspired by the silk blue bag that it's sitting on.



This one below is a little experimental and as yet, unfinished. I love the art of French artist Nathalie Lete.
I have a few blank notebooks that are covered in her designs, such as this one.  For months I have played around with the idea of crocheting designs based on her paintings.


 It's not finished yet. I love the vibrant colours and quirky creatures she paints. I also absolutely ADORE, (or should I say 'j'adore') her Christmas decorations. Very expensive and hard to find in Australia.

They give off a lovely warm glow and the tealight holder is large enough that the cotton isn't close enough to catch the flame.

 And while many of you are watching your Spring bulbs pop up, soon I'll be planting mine!
Thanks for visiting!

 Louise
Red Haired Amazona















Friday, 4 January 2019

Summer Holidays

 
I've been looking forward to Summer all year.  

Flowers in the garden, vegie garden produce and Christmas!

The weeks leading up to Christmas were chaos. I was not organised AT ALL! My Christmas shopping wasn't finished until the 22nd of December. 
That was my deadline as the 23rd of Decemember after a 10hour drive found us here...

 On the NSW South Coast at a place we call Paradise. It's not actually called 'Paradise'. It's called Mollymook and it's where the Mothership and the Fatherdom live.

This Christmas was going to be fun as my brother the Red Haired Viking and my Sister the Blonde Amazona were both there with their families. 

We took up our trusty camper trailer and set up on the front lawn.
 My parents have a Maltese x Shihtzu called Koko. We brought Chuck Norris the pugalier with us and my sister brought her miniature Schnauzer Phil Collins.  

I was really looking forward to us all walking our dogs on the beach and the general doggy chaos. All pups got along very well, except Chuck Norris and Phil Collins had occasional fights over food. 

To add to the zoological bedlam, my sister and her daughter showed up with this tiny creature.
Isn't she adorable?!?!  They were on the highway 45 minutes out of Melbourne when they saw her all alone on the side of the highway. No farms nearby and no sign of a mother or litter of other kittens. So they bundled her up and brought her along. They stopped at the nearest town for kitten milk and food which the starving little cat gobbled up immediately.

They realised she was only 4 weeks old and had possibly been dumped. 
The PLAN was to bring her to Mollymook and give her to a shelter or vet.

Over the next 5 days, she grew strong and playful. She was protected from all the curious canines and cuddled by everyone.

But PLANS change, and now little Sabrina lives happily with them back in Melbourne. They tried calling her Stevie (Nicks) as they already have another cat at home called Lindsay Buckingham, but Sabrina seemed to suit her better.

Christmas Day! This magnificient house was a few streets away from my parents. A blurry pic taken from the car window as we lined up with a stream of other cars to take a look.
 I would have liked to take a photo of all our delicious food, but as you can tell from this photo of my trifle taken at about 5pm, we cooked and we ate.
Yes, it was my usual highly boozey Xmas food contribution covered in fresh cherries, blueberries, raspberries and cream, full of sherry drenched cake and jelly.
 Most evenings we sat on the back deck drinking the wine and playing the games. Our favourite is Celebrity Head.
Have you ever played Celebrity Head? Basically someone writes the name of a famous person (real or a character) on a post it note and sticks it on your forehead. 
You don't know who it is and have to ask 'yes' or 'no' questions to determine their identity.

For example:
"Is it a female?"
"Am I a cartoon character?"
"Am I married to another famous person?"

Each time you get a 'yes' answer, you can ask another question. If you get a 'no' answer, it's the next persons turn. Obviously the first person to guess their celebrity wins.

It took AGES for me to work out who I was this time...

 Remember what I said about zoological?  One day an extra dog arrived. A little Sheltie turned up ownerless and collarless at our front door.

All dogs happily welcomed each other, but his attendance was short lived as the Bear and I took him up to the local vet. Fortunately he was microchipped so the veterinarian contacted his owners for us!
Chuck and Collins say hello to the Sheltie's butt.
 Chuck was completely at home at the Motherships house. He discovered his favourite place on top of the back of their sofa. Sometimes he sort of 'melted' into it...
 At 6pm nearby Narrawallee beach is available for dogs 'off leash'. So we'd use code as Koko understands key words.  Instead of saying, "Let's take the DOGS to the BEACH for a WALK,"  we'd have to say, "Let's take the D's to the B for a W."

There were lots of cicadas on the beach from the surrounding forest. Some were already dead. Some like this little guy were waiting to be rescued.  I'd pick them up, dust off the sand and they would fly back to the trees.
 One day I was lucky enough to visit the garden of one of the Motherships friends'. She has a beautiful garden filled with scultures and interesting plants. Would you like to take a little tour?


This plant actually smells like popcorn when you rub the leaves! Cassia didymobotrya (Popcorn Cassia)
Cuphea platycentra (Mexican Cigar Plant)
A type of Ginger Lily
Brugmansia suaveolens

 The Mothership and the Fatherdom are members of the Ulladulla Garden Club. Their flower and vegetable gardens hold delightful finds...

Eucomis sp. (Pineapple Lily)




So Christmas was done and dusted. And what do you think showed up in the supermarket on Boxing Day?
Yes. Hot Cross Buns. On Boxing Day.
On New Years Eve we drove down to Ulladulla Harbour for the fireworks. And I figured out how to control the shutter speed on my phones' camera.

The Bear did not quite figure out how to spell his name with sparklers... 
 We ran out of sparklers so tried again with glow sticks. Can you read it?


My Nana lives nearby and these toadstools popped up one morning. This photo was taken that afternoon!
Here's another fun name to say fast 3 times after 2 G&Ts: Leucoprinus birnbaumii
 The day before we left for home, we took our final evening walk on the beach. I tried to take a selfie but didn't realise the 'beauty' enhancement was on and added mascara to my sunnies...





The budgies are gonna love this....
 Just quickly, we arrived home to some delicious garden produce... Not pictured (because I ate them) are blackberries and loads of tiny tomatoes.
We also arrived to a Christmassy house which needed to be packed away for another year...
 And this AMAZING Christmas present which arrived in the post from my best bloggy buddy Vicki from Off The Hook via Snufflebean Yarn.

Have you ever received one of these massive colour packs from Scheepjes? 

109. One Hundred and NINE different colours in cute little 10g balls! What am I going to do with these? 

I HAVE NO IDEA! BUT I WANT TO CROCHET ALL OF THE THINGS!!

 Today it's supposed to hit 42c (107.6f) today so I think I'll stay inside with the aircon surrounded with these little skeins. What will I make? I DON"T KNOW!
Ideas?
 
Louise
Red Haired Amazona