Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back From The Dead but On The Move

Woah, where did the time go, it's been 3 1/2 years since my last post!
Anyway I just dropped in to say that rather than continue this blog, I am starting afresh soon.

My new blog is called Halfway Over The Hill and you can find it here.

I do hope you'll pop in for a visit soon, it will be a whole new focus as we are about to commence a long dreamed of sea change! :-)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Rescued

Yesterday afternoon we heard a big thud outside, a sudden flash of white hit the window, fell to the ground then scrabbled around the corner. Then we noticed three magpies in hot pursuit. We raced outside and shooed the magpies away then hunted for the mysterious white thing. We found her (actually we have no idea what sex she is, but she has ladylike tendencies so she's a girl ok) sitting calmly on the top shelf in the garden shed. Isn't she just gorgeous!


She is very tame, and let me walk slowly over and pick her up with only a small protest. She seemed uninjured, just a bit ruffled and shaken up, so we popped her into a cat cage with some seed, water and a towel and left her safely in the laundry overnight, out of the way of inquisitive dogs and cats. We thought she might be a homing pigeon but she doesn't have a numbered band on her leg so no hope of locating the owner. Then I got on the phone, and ended up finding a pigeon rescue lady way over on the other side of town, so this morning Meshell and I hit the road and delivered this lovely white young lady to her new home and we felt good that she was safe.

While we were out and about we visited Kings Park (Perth's main park) and wandered about.
This is some of view looking down over Perth, with the Old Swan Brewery in the foreground (no longer a brewery, now restaurants and accommodation) and part of the Narrows Bridge behind.

Di has set us the photo theme of Reflections for the month of July, so I had a go in one of the ponds at Kings Park. I like the clouds in the water.

We have been stuffing ourselves with mushrooms over the last week. I don't know about you but we have tried in vain over the years to grow those Mushroom Farms you can buy, with usually a pitiful result of two or three mushrooms. Well! I think we've found the perfect place for them at last because this batch has gone mad, filling the box over and over. And they grow so darn fast. These ones are Portabello mushrooms, they are browner than ordinary button mushrooms and they are delissssssshus!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Garden Update

Since my blog hiatus I've been up to my elbows and knees in filth, grovelling around in black sand, mulch, manure, rain and anything else disgusting you might care to think of. But the end result is we now have a completely new re-planted front garden. A fabulous team of young men came along and excavated, paved, reticulated and limestoned, and then after they finished I ventured forth with rock carrying muscles, a shovel and expectant green thumbs.

All is going well, nothing has keeled over yet! I am so pleased with how it's all turned out, and every day go for a wander round the garden, visiting each and every plant. I did masses of research for my plant choices, and for now (until my memory starts to fail me) am a veritable encyclopedia, able to spout forth botanical names and growth habits at will.

Without boring you with the many hundred of photos I have taken, here are a few bits a pieces. plants l-r, Grevillea "Bonnie Prince Charlie", mini kangaroo paw "Bush Ranger", Spotted Emu Bush, Polygala.

Look at the different that mulching makes - I LOVE mulch. It hides all the reticulation dripper pipes as well as keeping the plants' roots moist.

I have fallen in love with this plant, Correa reflexa "Federation Bells". It flowers for much of the year, birds love it and it has the most delightful bell-shaped flowers.

You should see how many photos I have of these spectacular miniature Kangaroo Paws "Bush Ranger". They have gone mad and have trillions of flowers, pretty special for something that's only been in the ground a few weeks. They last for ages and are a good cut flower too, although I haven't had the heart to actually cut any. The purple flowering plant in the background is a Polygala, and the bright green foliage ground cover on the right is Acacia cognata.

For ages now we've been wanting a big, ancient-looking statue of sorts, and the Easter Island heads have always appealed to us. We have a small garden bed near the front door that we decided would be the perfect location, so off we trotted to the statue shop. After carefully examining the facial expressions of those on sale, we chose the relatively solemn and haughty looking "Rocky" (why did I name him Rocky I hear you ask - because he is a rock :-) ). And to our immense joy the statue shop was having a sale - 2 for the price of one! So we also chose "Slim Jim", Rocky's skinnier brother who lives in the back garden, guarding the koi pond.

For those of you that are horticulturally minded, here is the plant list. They are nearly all Australian Natives and I chose very carefully with a low-water garden in mind, plus a variety of flowering seasons and colours, and most importantly to attract more nectar loving birds -

Acacia cognata "Limelight", prostrate bright green foliage plant
Adenanthos "Albany Woollybush", tall dense shrub with small tubular flowers. Bird attractant.
Adenanthos cuneatus "Coral Carpet", ground cover with new foliage a gorgeous pink/purple colour
Banksia ericopholia "Heath Leaved Banksia" - winter flowering, golden slender banksia flowers. bird attractant
Callistemon citrinus "White Anzac" - smaller slightly weeping bottlebrush, bird attractant
Callistemon "Burgundy Jack" - bird attractant
Calothamnos sanguineus labill, small plant with teatree looking leaves and tiny red tubular flowers
Correa reflexa "Federation Bell" - this is even more lovely than I thought, little bell shaped flowers that birds adore
Correa "Dusky Bells" - same, but more of a ground cover and the flowers are more tubular
Darwinia citriodora "Seaspray" - lemon scented ground cover with interesting flowers that remind me of prawns
Eremophila "Kalbarri Carpet" - groundcover, grey leaves, little yellow flowers, bird attractant
Erimophila maculata "Spotted Emu Bush", tiny bright red tubular flowers, bird attractant
Grevillea rosemarinifolia x alpina "Bonnie Prince Charlie", small plant with the most amazing red and yellow flowers. All the grevilleas are bird attractants and most flower during winter
Grevillea "Gingin Gem" - ground cover with red flowers. apparently can be used as a lawn substitute it's so flat.
Grevillea "Mt Tamboritha" - tiny ground cover with pinky red flowers that look like raspberries
Grevillea "Seaspray", low sprawling one with grey foliage and beautiful little red flowers
Grevillea pimeleoides, lovely clusters of tiny gold flowers with small round leaves. Endangered plant.
Grevillea "Honey Gem" - I've coveted this since seeing it at Kings Park Botanical Gardens. Tall skinny one, with huge arching sprays of gold flowers
Kangaroo Paws - 2 x "Yellow Gem", 2 x "Big Red", 2 x "Amber Velvet", 2 x "Gold Velvet", 2 x "Black Velvet", 2 x "Green Machine" (mini), 10 x "Bush Ranger" (mini red), 2 x mini orange one. All bird attractants
Leucophta brownii "Silver Cushion Bush", small rounded bush of silver foliage.
Nandina "Gulf Stream", tiny little sacred bamboo. Foliage goes bright red seasonally
Prostanthera ovalifolia variegata "Oval Leaf Mint Bush", lovely mint smelling leaves and loads of purple flowers in spring
Westringia fruiticosa - native rosemary
Westringia brevifolia var Raleighii - bigger than above, a medium open shrub with mauve flowers
Viburnum tinus, old reliable favourite. Tall bushy shrub, masses of tiny white flowers that bud as red
Arthropodium Cirrhatum "New Zealand Rock Lily" - lush foliage, big sprays of white flowers
:-)
Choisya ternata "Mexican Orange Blossom" - Lovely glossy foliage and fragrant white flowers.
Ceanothus "Blue Pacific" - Gets covered with flowers of magnificent brilliant blue
Clivea Miniata - bright orange flower clusters in winter
Artemisia Powis Castle - "Wormwood" - I grow this in the back garden, lovely shaped grey foliage. Insect repellent. Fantastic plant for leaf whapping (printing on fabric)
Echinacea purpura "Purple Coneflower"
Polygala dalmosiana - Shaped like a small tree with purple pea shaped flowers
Liriope muscari - tiny strappy thing with central flower spikes
Phormium "NZ Flax" Clumping grassy plant, striped red leaves
Hebe "Blue Gem" - I tend to kill Hebes so here's hoping this one will be happier. Blue flowers
Dampiera linearis - ground cover with gorgeous bright blue flowers
Cuphea hyssopifolia compacta - small mound plant with tiny purple flowers
Sisyrinchium "Devon Skies" - tiny strappy plant with clumps of bright blue flowers in the middle.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Frame Your View

Hellooooooo! Well, that was a long break!

Di has kindly taken over the reins of Scatterday, and the concept is a bit different now - every month there will be a new theme and by the end of the month you choose your 3 favourites of however many you wish to display. June's theme is "Frame Your View".

And currently being Goddess Of The Last Minute, here I am with mine on the evening of June 30th....

I took this photo at dawn this morning, with the moon framed within the power lines.

I took this shot in Melbourne in 2004, it's the Shot Tower building under the very cool roof of Melbourne Central. The direction of this shot meant I had to squat on the floor of the shopping centre, much to the embarrassment of my family.... they all walked off and left me!

I love this photo of a willy wagtail framed by a wire fence. We were on holiday in Albany back in January when I took this photo.

This is a photo of the Tasman Arch, on the south east coastline of Tasmania.

Another Tasmanian photo, taken in 2007 at the Port Arthur ruins. I was trying to be a clever dick and photographed the back end of the church ruins framed with the window in the front end of the ruins.

Tasmania again. This is one of my favourite photos of Steve, framed by trees and the boardwalk of the Dove Lake wilderness walk at Cradle Mountain.

I've always been rather fond of this photo. It's my mitred square knitted cushion, framed by a chair. Asta cat loves that cushion, she sleeps on it every afternoon in the lounge room.

Maxie was being a very obedient girl this morning when I asked her nicely to sit so I could frame her with the foliage around the little bridge in our back garden. What do you think of our new acquisition to the left - we LOVE our Easter Island head.

After some deliberation, here are my three favourites


July's theme is REFLECTIONS.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blog Hiatus

I'm having a blog holiday for a bit. I feel really bad about it too, like I'm letting the Scatterday side down. Sorry Daisies! But I need a break for a few weeks, to recharge batteries and rekindle enthusiasm.

Next week it's the letter M with the categories of Music, Dangerous, and Cold Things

This is occupying a lot of my time at the moment, big changes in our front garden, which will be terrific after it being exactly the same for over 25 years. And sadly neglected for the last 5. I'm up to my ears in garden plant research and the like. It's going to be great when it's finished.... a lot less lawn, more brick paving, limestoned garden bed walls, low maintenance.... wonderful!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Scatterday K

For my K Scatterday this week I thought I'd choose....

Office Things, my work KEYS, for opening all sorts of doors and cupboards.

Hobby may well be a unanimous choice this week, with KNITTING. This is my progress on Steve's jumper, spun by my own fair hand from a bag of fleece. I haven't laid eyes on this knitting for some months and it's bit yucky.... there is still some lanolin in the yarn and it's gone all stiff from lack of use - that'll learn me for being slack and not getting on with it. T'will be fine after a wash.

Something I Like The Smell Of is the deliciously fresh scent of KAFFIR LIME. We have a tree in our garden which is very handy if only I'd remember to use it. :-)

Next week fellow Scatterdaisies we have the letter T and the categories of Square, Blue, and In My Neighbourhood. Michelle and I are still chewing on ideas for how to change the challenge to make it fresh and new.... if anyone has any comments on that please feel free to speak up!

Friday, April 11, 2008

In Which I Learn About The Importance Of The Swatch


What do you think of this crocheted container? It appeals to me and I like the rustic colouring of the yarn. The only problem is that it wasn't meant to be a container.


Does this give you a clue?


Yep, it was meant to be a hat. Something went a bit massively haywire with my tension. That will teach me to be idle and not do a swatch. Ah well, at least it's a nice container. :-)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Guys and Girls

It's interesting the differences between girls and boys. Steve and couple of workmates had a boys' fishing weekend away, and on Saturday, because Paul was away and Meshell was at work, I was HOME ALONE - a rare occurrence.

It was very pleasant, I pottered around doing a bit of this and a bit of that, talking to myself (I only exhibit my signs of madness when I am alone), and finally settled down for the afternoon to this...

Nothing like a bit of crochet whilst watching the football on the tellie! The Eagles lost so it's just as well I wasn't paying it my fullest attention as I had to count double crochets at the same time.

It rained and rained and rained for 7 hours on Saturday morning (heaven!!) and afterwards we were blessed with some spectacular clouds.


Next day Steve returned, exhausted and smiley. I was asked could I please upload the photos off the camera immediately so I could see the reason for his happiness. This -


Do you think he looks just a little bit happy sitting here cuddling his very large 5Kg salmon? Personally, I'd rather cuddle a puppy any day! :-)
It's been Steve's lifelong ambition to catch a salmon so he is a very happy man.
The boys had a very fulfilling fishing weekend and have talked of nothing else ever since!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Dare You

Soozadoo set a wee challenge the other day, to be brave and show ourselves as we really are. Initially I snorted and thought 'no way hozay' but when I saw that a few ladies here, here and here had taken the plunge, well.... what the hell, why not.
This is me, just woken up, brain not even working yet (which could explain why I've done this). Thankfully it was not an explosion hair day.
Right, so who else is up for it?


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Scatterday A


Something You Find In The Dark, something that you bleary peer at with one half opened sleepy eye, hoping that you can grab another hour in your warm bed before it buzzes insistently, is an ALARM CLOCK.

The is our very mostest bestest favourite buffet Restaurant - the ATRIUM at Burswood. Really nice food, plenty of room and a nice location. Couldn't ask for anything better. The photo is taken from the picture in my Entertainment Book... one of those things that has discount vouchers in it for various stuff. They cost $65 through various charities each year, and considering you save around $25 each time you use it at a participating restaurant, it doesn't take many nights out before you've got your money back.

When I was 15 I went on holiday with my family to various parts of Asia, including Singapore. Apart from bits of trashy stuff that 15 year olds like to buy, I parted with a large chunk of my savings to buy this pendant from a jewellery store. The Turquoise stone is an AQUAMARINE, my most favourite of stones, set in a rolled 9ct gold pendant. The very fine chain busted a few years later and Steve bought me this replacement chain about 15 years ago. I absolutely adore this pendant and I wear it every single day - I never take it off.

Now Scatterdaisies, next week we have the taxing letter K, along with the categories of Something You Like The Smell Of, Hobby and Office Things.

There is a change in the air, Michelle and I are thinking this is starting to become a little boring, perhaps because we've been doing it for so long, so at present we are brainstorming as to a slightly different weekly challenge. Watch This Space!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chopper Squad

Steve and I both had birthdays recently, and Mum and Dad gave Steve a gift voucher for a half hour helicopter ride along Perth coastline. As it sounded like fun, I used my birthday money and bought a ticket as well.


It's interesting how different your city looks from another perspective, and how beautiful - you take where you live for granted sometimes I think. Perth has a wonderful coastline and the colours were gorgeous.

This photo is specifically for my friend Kerry. Kerry, this is the shrine of WA football - Subiaco Oval. I took this a few hours before Hawthorn came along and beat the Dockers on Saturday.

This is the Causeway at the eastern end of the city, and that piece of land in the middle is called Herrison Island. I never knew how big it was. That white dome thing behind Herrison Island is the Burswood Dome, and the tall grey blob in front of that is Burswood Casino and Resort.

One of Perth's fantastic beaches, although in the excitement of the helicopter ride, I've quite forgotten which one it is! We have fabulous white sand.

Further north up the coast is Hillary's Marina, which is heading towards the northern point of Perth suburbia. I was surprised how picturesque this was from the air, all those lovely colours. The diamond shaped white building to the left of the red roofs is what used to be called Underwater World, but I have an idea it's now called AQWA. It's a place worth visiting if you are ever in Perth.

This is the port of Fremantle, and this part here is where all the containers get stored from off the big ships. This is the start (or is it the end?) of the Swan River, where it meets the Indian Ocean.

This is the city of Perth, by gee we don't have many tall buildings compared to Melbourne or Sydney. See that long flat thing in front of the buildings? That is our controversial Convention Centre that everyone hates. If I have my facts right it's meant to represent a gum leaf, but with the appealing (not) concrete sort of colour that it is, that concept has failed dismally. Personally I think it needs some fantastic Indigenous art all over it. The bridge in the foreground is the Narrows Bridge, spanning the Swan River that you can see snaking off into the distance.


Steve is smiling, he and I had a good time. Nothing like a bit of an adventure from time to time!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Scatterday X

If I told you that I had a ride in a helicopter today, specifically for the task of taking a couple of Scatterday photos, would you believe me? :-)
Well, Steve and I did actually have a ride in a helicopter today, and I took my camera and just happened to be on the lookout for appropriate things for Scatterday! Pretty exciting huh.

I decided to bend the rules this week, and instead of finding things beginning with X, instead I looked for X shapes in things. Clockwise from top left...
1/ Yea ol' garden hose.
2/ An intersection on the outskirts of Perth city, taken from the helicopter. According to the pilot, we were 500 metres up in the air, flying at 180km/hr - wow!
3/ Part of an old garden table that we now stack pots on to grow herbs.
4/ The security screen on our laundry door.
5/ A couple of old pieces of bamboo that Steve left lying in a garden bed. He uses it as stakes for his tomato plants, and occasionally they sprout!
6/ Another helicopter shot, believe it or not this is Perth's main cemetery - Karrakatta. I was really taken aback at the regimental grid-like structure of the place.... not the sort of thing you'd notice at ground level.
7/ A boat travelling under Stirling Bridge in Fremantle - another shot from the helicopter.
8/ A nice colourful X in the middle of my unfinished Indian Orange Peel quilt.
9/ And in the middle is a section of a painting that's on our wall.

And for next week it's the Letter A with the categories of Restaurant, Something You Find In The Dark, and Turquoise.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Love Photoshop

Nothing gives me more pleasure than to while away the hours playing on Photoshop, particularly when I've found a handy webpage or an informative library book on nifty effects. So, most of my Easter break has been spent hunched over my computer, playing.

This is called Multiplicity, isn't it cool! You set your camera up on a tripod and a timer so it doesn't move, then take multiple shots of yourself in different positions. Then you choose the furthest back position as your main image, and create layers with the other shots. Then you use the lasso tool to go around the outline of yourself in each layer at a time, click Select-Inverse, then backspace and on each layer that will remove everything except the person. Then you use the eraser tool with feathering just to tidy up the edges to blend everything together nicely.


The other thing I was playing with was how to replace boring sky with something more interesting. This is a photo I took of an interesting lichen covered fence post when we were on holiday in Pemberton. Very overcast day and the sky is a bit samey.

I took this photo when we were on the road to Exmouth in the north of WA. The photos are similar in size and pixels . I used the first photo as the main image, and using the magic eraser tool, selected all the boring sky. Then I put this image behind as a layer and hey presto...


Spiffy sky! It's a bit crude along the treeline as I haven't yet spent the time feathering along the edge but it's an interesting effect don't you think? A little surreal looking with the light and all, but fun to play with.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Scatterday N


My contribution for Scatterday this week is my dear old friend Noel Nome (we all know it's meant to be Gnome, but Noel wont have it, he's thinks he's definitely Human). Noel and his fishy pal Nigel have lived with us for 20 years, they guard our garden with great diligence.

Noel has HUMAN characteristics, from his looks (ignore the funny hat) and he displays HUMAN qualities, such as kindness. Every year he used to make Nigel hold an easter egg in his mouth for the children to find.

Noel and Nigel are also SMALL, standing about 25cm in height.

And they are also made from MINERAL. Now, I define mineral as not animal and not vegetable - with mineral being something created from the forces of the earth. Noel and Nigel are made from some sort of stone, which is probably a MINERAL AGGREGATE.

Next week we have another free-for-all, take three photos of things beginning with the letter X.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Scatterday L

Ello Ello Ello, it's Scatterday and it's the letter L!

I was sitting there, flicking through the dictionary looking for an inspiring choice for the category of Household Item, and there is was - LEXICON - the very thing I had in my hand has another name! Did you know that LEXICON is another word for dictionary? I certainly didn't, and as my dictionary is very definitely a household item then what more perfect thing can there be for the category of household item than LEXICON! :-)

For the category of Round Things I chose a LIGHT GLOBE. Not entirely round but certainly round at one end. I was playing with the photo trying to capture something interesting in the morning sun on the glass.

And finally for the category of Tools I went for LINO CUTTERS, artistically presented along with an example of what lino cutters can do. I made this leaf stamp some years ago and used it to stamp on fabric. Must have another play with that....

I have an "L" story for you.
When Meshell was a wee girl of about 4 we were driving along in the car playing "Eye Spy".
"I Spy with my little eye something beginning with L" says little Meshell.
We went through everything we could think of in the car to no avail, and she sat there very pleased with herself.
Finally we gave up.
"We give up Meshell, you're too clever for us, what's the answer for something beginning with L?".......
"Elbow"

Next week we're looking at the letter N with the categories of Little, Human and Mineral - a nice diverse bunch to ponder.