Friday, 20 October 2017

A Garden Visitor 11

The beautifully-coloured Pale-headed Rosella is a bird we don't often see in our garden here. The occasional sighting would have us all rushing to the nearest window or doorway in hopes of observing the occasional one who dropped by. This year though, beginning during the very dry months of Winter, we have seen more of these pretty parrots (and many other birds) than ever before. They have been coming in to feast on the grevillea flowers, particularly the tall, red-flowering variety just outside our bedroom doors.

I have been trying for days to capture a decent photo but they are very flighty, taking off at the slightest sound or inkling of another presence. These are the clearest  photos of them in our grevillea that I managed to snap:

 Pretty black flecks, beautiful blue and a pale head.
Brighter colours on a more sunshiny day.

 Can you see the little patch of red feathers just under its tail?

Next week, from the 23rd to the 29th October, our family will be joining in with the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.   We'll be tallying up the number of different birds we see in our garden and sending in the totals to Birdlife Australia, the bird conservation organisation behind the count. Our numbers, put together with numbers recorded in lots of other backyards around Australia, helps to provide information about birds that live where we live and the health of their populations. 

In our backyard we are sure there will be kookaburras, butcherbirds, magpies, currowongs, crows, cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets to count. I think there might be a few Pale-headed Rosellas as well this year.

If you love watching the birds in your garden, and you live in Australia, perhaps you might like to join in with the Aussie Backyard Bird Count too.


Monday, 16 October 2017

Wrapping without Paper: Very Simple Furoshiki

We haven't bought a roll of wrapping paper for a long time now! Instead, we've wrapped presents in the paintings that have come home from kindy, in the pretty papers we've reused from the gifts we have received and in the printed wrapping paper we've made ourselves from recycled brown paper. From time to time, I also make drawstring gift bags out of the calico bags I sometimes buy my flours in. 

Over the weekend, we celebrated a very happy birthday with one of my son's lovely friends. With the days of kindy paintings and cookie cutter printing long gone now, and no suitable salvaged wrapping paper in our stash, we decided to wrap our gift, furoshiki style, in fabric instead. Here's how it turned out:

Ready for giving!

From the very soft cotton of an old pillowcase, that I bought at a market for small change, I cut out this piece of printed fabric. I think the dolphins are lovely!

 Repurposing the soft cotton of an old pillowcase for the furoshiki wrap.

As the instructions said to begin with a square, I then trimmed the fabric down to the required shape. I made sure the dolphins were in the centre of that square! I used pinking shears to do the cutting so the fabric will not fray and can be more easily reused by the recipient.  The excess fabric I trimmed from the edges will make great garden ties too. (No waste!)

These dolphins added a little touch of nature.

Wrapping up our gift, with a few easy folds and a finishing knot to hold it together, was very easy. I just followed the few very simple steps from this You-Tube tutorial. It wasn't tricky at all!


There are lots of ways you can jazz up a Furoshiki wrap with trims and ribbons and such but, as we were giving a little collection of art supplies, I decided to push two graphite pencils through the knot at the top. The birthday boy will be able to use these for drawing so they tied in well with the gift inside our furoshiki wrap as well!

Have you ever tried furoshiki? 


Friday, 13 October 2017

Here & Now 16

It is October and the beautiful Jacaranda trees are in bloom now. Their distinctive seasonal flowering, a soft lavender purple, is synonymous with Spring in our sub-tropical city. In our oldest parks and public gardens and along many streets, these majestic trees put on their Spring display. Here, in my little suburb, there are many jacarandas, their spreading branches covered in masses of their beautiful blossoms. These blossoms fall in a swirl of purple that covers the grass and footpaths below in a soft and flowery carpet. I love to walk beneath them ...

Masses of jacaranda flowers 

A carpet of fallen flowers covers the path.

Soft & beautiful purple blossoms.

An almost-silhouette against a greying sky.

Loving //   Jacarandas in bloom, like purple punctuation marks along our streets.

Eating //  Little chocolate chip cookies made with chick peas and peanut butter. 
                     (Back to school biscuits!)

Drinking //  Cold water with a few lemon juice ice cubes for zing!

Feeling //  So very tired. 

Making //  A set of Melissa's red and white peace doves for Christmas giving.

Thinking //  That Christmas gets earlier every year ... 
Dreaming //  Of this distant, but not too distant, shore. It's only seven short weeks away!

I'm not sure what's blooming in your own Here & Now but if you'd like to share, or to peek into the October of others, you can pop over to Sarah at her beautiful blog, Say Little Hen. A visit there will brighten your day!