Monday, 28 November 2016

New Potatoes.

 This is the first 'bandicooted' Toolangi Delight potatoes for the season. To harvest the vegetables in this manner you leave the plant in the soil but grub around with your hands, sort of like a bandicoot does, to find the little new potatoes. Enough here for a meal with plenty more still in the ground.
This is a different variety, though until I read the name tag I can't put a name to them yet. They are very tall, and doing very well. The wire cage is to keep out the possums and the birds,

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Beautifully Coloured Wasp!

I've never seen a wasp like this before, the markings are so bright and spectacular. It was in no hurry to move from the piece of bark, so I was able to get quite close and capture the shiny blue wings and amazing orange dots and bands. The antennae are white at the base and black at the ends with little knobs all the way along. I must try to find out what it's called.
It appears that this is called a Bottlebrush Sawfly.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Saving Flowers.

 With good recent rains recently, the flowers are doing very well, with lots of colour in the garden. These Coreopsis however were damaged by a heavy rain storm, so rather than toss them into the compost I decided to freeze just the flowers for future 'ice-dyeing' of fabric. Apparently with the right mordant I could expect to get shades of red and orange.

The roses were also battered by the storm so I harvested a good sized basket of petals and froze them too. Now to find the time to experiment with these and also the frozen bluebells, aquilegias and red rose petals that I have in the freezer.

Monday, 21 November 2016


I spotted this beautifully decorated building while on an early morning walk in Dunedin New Zealand. It must have taken someone a very long time to cover all the front wall in such an intricate design. Click on the photo for a slight enlargement.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Stinky Halloween!

 When visiting the Christchurch Botanic Gardens we were told not to miss the stinky lily in the glasshouse.
 It certainly did smell awful, just like a dead animal in the bush.  The flower is pollenated by flies, so the plant needs to attract them with a 'perfume' to their liking..................rotting meat.
As it was October 31st, the gardeners had put some concrete tombstones  behind the plants and also a skeleton.  I didn't spot it at first, can you see it?

Friday, 18 November 2016

Christchurch Cathedral.

 Having only been back from our New Zealand trip by a week or so we were devastated to hear of the new earthquake damage. Here in Christchurch the damage from the previous one is evident all round, with vacant city blocks and damaged buildings.
 Apparently there is controversy about re-building the Cathedral, especially as to do so would be so expensive.
It looks so forlorn with birds flying in and out of the damaged windows and the scaffolding holding it all up.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Some New Artwork.

 Some of these stamps I had carved some time ago, but the small Banksia cone is new for this project as are a couple of the smaller leaves. The branch below was also carved a few weeks ago, but today I removed one of the top branches, as it cut across the cone in an attractive way.
 Using several different shades of green I stamped variations of the leaf placements starting with the top pale green small leaves.
 I also tried different shades of paper too, as I wanted to use an existing frame with a cream mount board.
 I'm not keen on stark white or plain paper, so I first splattered the paper with a copper coloured paint.
 It was quite difficult to get a random spray with less in the middle and without too many large blobs of paint. The lower 2 leaves of this one are too symmetrical, but I could of course add another leaf.
 I tried a couple of different spray bottles, but they were about the same with their ink spray and coverage. I think that this one might be the one I'll use however.
                                           The white is too stark, even with paint splatters.