11 November 2021

Happy Birthday.

Where has the year Gone?
In a Whirlwind of Firsts!
A lot of which we have missed
But not this One.

 Today it is GD#2

Little Mis H's FIRST Birthday!

30 October 2021

It's Over.

 No more Lockdowns - or so they say...

Time to dust off the tables and press your Work Gear.

It's been long enough.

NOW after 84 days - We are out of "Lockdown No. 6".

It hasn't been the longest, last year Lockdown #2 went for 111 Days.

120 if you were caught in the #1.5 Postcode lockdown that preceded it by a week.

We kept our Sense of Humour and made friends over Takeaway Coffee.

And between these times we must not forget that we had 7 months when life went back to almost normal, as we watched the numbers drop.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could bring back all those Zeros by the 27th November again?

These announcements can then become just a Memory and the Government will have other things to Tweet about.

In the meantime - I am happy to be able to GO shopping again. 
I will still prefer to do my shopping when it is quiet.

Maybe not THIS quiet. 

But it will be a while before I venture into the crowds again.

And that is OK.

24 October 2021

Still Busy

Lockdowns come and go and Life also goes on.

Yes, we can now go out for all the 'Important' things like Coffee & Cake, Haircuts and (my favourite) a Massage!  

The Shops are still to Open when we get to our 80% Double Vaxed but that is not far away. 
(I can wait a week for new Shoes.)

In the meantime I am reminded of my Grandfather saying
 "Spring has Sprung, The Grass has Riz, 
I wonder where the Birdies - or in this case Bee Hive - Is?"

We were somewhat interrupted during our January inspection when DD was Stung, and have not dealt with the hive since. 
So time to deal with it!

Extreme Gardening is Required.
Just as well the Greens Bins were emptied this Morning!

Bees don't like Power Tools - Noise, Vibration and Fumes get them irritated, so this job had to be done 'Old School'. 
Pruning Sheers and a Rake!

With the Workspace cleared and before we can Inspect the Brood Boxes it was time to lighten the weight of the Flow hive Which meant Harvest!

No fancy jars this time - just Get in and Get it done.

And the Result?

Not too bad.
This is what 10 Kg of Honey looks like!

And THIS is what Little Miss A Thought of her first taste of real "Home Made" Honey!

(She only got a little taste. As this photo was taken she dropped the spoon into the bucket - 'never to be seen again'!)

I am a little concerned though. She got very excited when seeing a picture of someone in a Bee suit.  Having only seen us in Bee Suits recently she thought it was Grandma and Grumpy! 😂

12 October 2021

… and then the Phone Rang

 "Hi Wendy.. You know we have that trailer down the back well there is something odd going on..."

At that point the no visiting the neighbours COVID rules went out the window  - or in our case Over the Fence. 

From her description I knew the Girls had swarmed.

And as a registered Bee Keeper it is my responsibility to deal with any swarms that may or may not be from my hive.

Under Covid regulations I am permitted to "Tend to Livestock - Including Bees"

The last swarm I dealt with was back in January when I helped remove one from My DD's friend's garden.

It was a little swarm and we brought them home to our place.

This one was far from small.  

There is an estimated 20,000 Bees in this cluster all hanging out on the Magnolia Tree

And as I had no desire to start another hive or had any friends who wanted their own.

I needed help.

Fortunately it was just a phone call 
(and a 90 minute wait) away.

This was the easiest capture our new Bee Keeper Friends have ever done.

Move the table underneath, 
Put a - no make it TWO boxes underneath and Prune the Tree branch. 


While the stragglers were joining the swarm I had the offer to check the health of my Hive.

It is a 'Good Strong Colony' with heaps of Bees left and TWO new Queens ready to hatch! 

"We will take one of those as well, so they don't Swarm again."

Last I heard they had settled in nicely and were already drawing out Comb.

They will be relocated to happily forage in a Farm in Gisborne.

On another note to the day - 
It was Our Neighbours Son's Birthday and he happily told EVERYONE that he had 20,000 Visitors to his Party! The backyard was a 'Hive of Activity' and he got a real Buzz out of all the Puns.

11 October 2021

Applique - what happened next.

Finally giving up on the idea of FMQuilting the Istanbul Wall-hanging Experiment I opted for a simple all over cross hatch.  

It took time but gave a finish that I was happy with.

I had always considered that the Quilting would be my Nemesis - But never have I had so much trouble and issues with a BINDING! 
It just would not work.  

I pulled it off, put it back on and I even remade it. 

The problems seemed to keep multiplying.
And when I got it all right...

- I cut the tails off on the stitching line instead of the cutting line! 
It is times like this that DH comes in and gently removes me from the project for a nice l-o-n-g walk!

Several days later I was able to once again sit at it and calmly remind myself that it was an experiment and also not going to be subjected to the wear and tear that a quilt is.

A minute seam, a bit of glue, some reinforcing, a tug or two and quite a few short Prayers later the Binding was on and stitched down.

It was then into the Wash. 

Shoving it into a lingerie bag to make sure it got as creased and crowded as the Quilt would be in the machine.

The result: 
It did take up a bit as all quilts do, but each fabric didn't shrink nor did the colours run.

The applique was not quilted (as in the original) and Puffed up which may settle with a good steam but I will leave that until the DS & DDIL see the result.  

The intention after all, was to show them what will happen IF they have to wash their Quilt.

Footnote: I only did this because it was a Custom quilted, hand appliqued quilt -  The everyday pieced quilt I made them can be washed to their heart's content!

23 September 2021

Revisiting Raw Edge Applique

I started off not caring what it looked like - It was only a Quick Sample.

The Idea was to see how "My Istanbul" (that I made back in 2016) would fair being washed. 
Better to ruin a Sample than an Award Winning Quilt!

But, before long my Father's words rang in my ears "If a job is worth doing - It is worth doing well" -So it has taken a little longer than I initially planned.

I found left over pieces of the Applique in my Scrap Stash and decided to make something 'Useful' in the process.

A design emerged and I was on my way - revisiting the past. 

It was amazing how I went from 'Not Caring' to "Where did that stray stitch come from?' so easily.

Eventually the Last Stitch was done and with the help of photographs, Border fabrics were found.

Now, I am in the process of (fighting with my machine while) trying to learn FMQing - a skill that eludes me! 

The Original Quilt was professionally quilted.

Once that is done, I can then throw this project in the washing machine and see what happens!

21 September 2021

31 Years Later . .

Once upon a Time when I was a lot younger and had newborn Twins we embarked on an extension - renovation to our home.  

One Friday, the builders decided that they were done, and just threw together 2 days worth of work in an afternoon.  

It was a rushed job and it showed.

2 Weeks ago, I opened the Linen/Coat Cupboard and "Lost it".  
I had had enough! 
Why oh Why did they leave it like this?  
And Why haven't we done something about fixing it?

In houses built when ours was, the Frame was built into the floor joists before the Timber Floorboards (in our case Tasmanian Oak) were attached.

When you remove walls there is a 90 mm gap between the rooms.

A Good Tradesman would source similar floorboards and repair the gap properly.

We Clicked and Collected some Carpet to go inside the cupboard and cover the unsightly board.  BUT the door wouldn't close.  

More work was required.

The scrap of Structaflor they used was basically thrown onto the bearers and only screwed down because it didn't lay flat. It was noticeably higher at one end and the door barely cleared it without the carpet.

I discovered it also wasn't glued down - which made getting it out an (almost) simple procedure.

Which apparently involved drilling a LOT of holes, and then hitting it with a hammer.

(OK - Point of  no return!)

When that was removed we discovered WHY it didn't lay flat.  

One Joist was over a 1/4" higher than the others.  And attached to that - was an electrical Junction box.

What would have been a 2 minute job for a Chippie with a sharp chisel took DH Half an Hour to fix. 

Mainly because he couldn't find his Sharp Chisel and the need to be careful around that junction box.

We did have pieces of Tasmanian Oak Floorboards (doesn't everyone keep offcut timber in the roof?). 

And DH was able to sand 50 years of Dust off them before he broke not one but THREE of his tools in the process.

We deliberately decided to not fix the boards down and leave the junction box accessible.. 

And when we are out of lockdown I will line those linen shelves.

Now FINALLY the inside of the Cupboard is presentable and I found somewhere to keep the Step Ladder!