Mend it, fix it, froggit

So, the coral top is done.

I’m pleased with how it came out, but the process was not without hiccups. Isn’t that always the way? You have a simple job to do, and then the blind animosity of inanimate objects gets in the way. I’ve written about this before, but effectively it’s Murphy’s law, made personal. This time, it was the overlocker (serger). I serged one of the seams, cut the thread, turned the garment over and started on the other side. Nothing. No overlocking. 45 minutes and a 20 minute perusal of the manual later, I had thread 4 back in its correct path through the bottom looper arm. I love my needle-nosed tweezers…. Anyway, I got the job done, stitched down the seam allowance with a decorative stitch, pressed it, and it looks perfectly acceptable.

As I sat editing the above photo, I glanced up and saw the stems of my lemongrass clump (now 12 feet high) waving through the window. There were strange lumps on the stems…. Was this some dreaded new tropical pest? Nope. It was an army of frogs. Apparently, ‘army’ is the collective noun for frogs, although these little chaps, at barely half an inch long, are not terribly intimidating. It’s a battalion of our little tropical tree frogs, and why they’re hanging out in the hot sun instead of in the shade is beyond me. Click on the image to enlarge. There’s at least a dozen of them…

TWX11: a better layout, some quilting… and frogs

There, that’s an improvement, isn’t it?

I’m not sure this is the final layout yet, but I’m getting closer. What do you think about swapping the short X in the top row with the beige-background X on the right in Row 4? And the top right-hand dark X with the bottom right hand dark X in the 4th row? I fiddle around, and swap, and stand back and squint, and I still can’t seem to get it laid out to my satisfaction. Plus, even when it looks right on the wall, there’s a glaring issue when I look at the photo. I think those two changes might work, don’t you?

I’ve got the two middle rows of blocks fully quilted and a couple more blocks on top of that. That bit’s going pretty well, and I can get a row quilted before my back starts whingeing at me to stop. I have to listen to my back a bit carefully just now, because of my ‘morning work’, which is shovelling crusher dust for the drive, picking up dead branches and fallen palm fronds, and raking and shovelling mud and rotting vegetation out of the storm drainage ditch down the side of the property. It’s a long, long ditch. It doesn’t take much before there’s a persistent nag from back there…

Finally, it has been a froggy sort of day. This little chap has been occupying my laundry windowsill for most of a day now. There was another one hanging out in the back of the car when we opened the tailgate to stow the tarp after taking a load of green waste to the dump. He made a break for it, but Laundry Frog is quite contented where he is… He’s about 4cm/1½ inches long.

And I just wanted to let you know that that piece of white thread on his leg is on him, not my camera lens!


The other kind of Frogging…

The sewers, knitters and crocheters among you are probably sadly familiar with the term Frogging.

For the others, it’s the act of unravelling, unpicking or undoing your work – rippit, geddit?

Being currently sadly without any handwork that doesn’t involve a cordless drill and a box cutter, I was wandering around the garden this morning with the Dowager, planning my forthcoming pruning and slashing programme, coffee in hand, and keeping a sharp lookout for green ants, which have invaded in a serious way. We were inspecting the jungly tangle of foliage next to the patio, consisting of Monstera, giant Taro and a lot of ferns. I heard a little trill, and took a sharper look. There were tiny green tree frogs everywhere, the size of my thumbnail and smaller.

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Screen shot 2014-09-28 at 1.40.32 PM Screen shot 2014-09-28 at 1.40.48 PMThis garden has much more wildlife than my former one. There are koels, rosellas, willy wagtails, magpies (who are getting very territorial at this time of year, almost time to bring out the big hat), bee eaters, honey eaters, wattle birds, collared doves – and that’s just for starters. My bird book is still packed, but I’ll be trying to keep a record, in writing if not in pictures. Who ever has their camera handy, turned on and at the right focal length when something exotic flies past…?

I’d like to encourage the frogs. They eat insects, which can only be good. The Husband isn’t keen, as he feels that the water the frogs would need to be comfortable would in turn encourage mosquitos to breed. I’d like to give it a go and see who wins! At least I shall have some trickling water, which the mozzies won’t breed in, since they need it still. A little bit of water will encourage all sorts of useful creatures who will eat the less useful creatures that are eating my garden.

Back to work. I have doors to install in my new pantry cupboard and a trip to make to the storage unit to pick up my baking supplies.