Tuesday, 5 April 2011

To Bee, or not to Bee - is no longer the question!

Day 10 Monday 4th April

The Bee Question Answered
Actually - this happened on Sunday - Col delivered my (our?) bees in their hive!
J4 trying to get a bee to crawl onto his hand!

The bees are native stingless ones.  They are tiny, black & gentle.  They also only come out once the temperature reaches 17 C or higher.  If the bumblebee, a cold climate bee, ever makes it to the mainland, especially Qld these beautiful animals could be in trouble - they just would have so much less collection time.
The funny 'hat' is to help stabilise the hive's temperature.

The hive entrance.
These social bees make honey just like the honey bee, only slower, they are a lot smaller after all.  I couldn't get a good photo of one today, but we saw lots entering the hive with their legs covered in pollen.  They have been sited with the hive entrance facing approx NE right next to the passionfruit vine, in the first spot to get the sun in the morning.  They should be very happy here.  I am ever so excited to have these hard little workers to help in my garden - along with our other hard working 'pets', the chickens & the worms.

Did you know that most of Australia's bees are solitary?  It is really fascinating stuff.  This is a great site for information about our native bees.

On Monday (Day 11) Mr Skivvy and I worked our b...s off, only stopping once for lunch.  I didn't realise how hard I had actually worked him until he left (after a mug of tea).  But we felt really good about it.

Almost since we moved in to this house over 5 years ago Himself (especially) has been concerned about the possibility of children falling off the edge of the lawn, over the retaining wall, and onto the pavers under the deck.  This worry increased after we landscaped the backyard - and added an extra 'step' to this drop.  And one child, visiting to play soccer, did fall down this first 'step'. So a few weeks ago we bought the materials to prevent this happening.

This is what it looked like 'before', or with only the fence posts up.  Getting them lined up and vertical was the longest part of the job - seeing the retaining wall base isn't perfectly aligned itself.

And then after all our hard work......
This shows you exactly what the drop is like - and why Himself was concerned about it!

The final result - not bad.
It was dark when we got home from collecting children (we went to the golden arches for dinner, as I hadn't had time to think and both the local thai and chippy are closed on Mondays), so it took Himself a little while to notice the change.  I had told him I planned to do some preparation work, but didn't let on I was also going to try to put the whole thing up!  He, L6 & J4 were thrilled!  Now they can use the full width of the pitch!  And he doesn't have to find the time to put the fence up himself.

Now I have another trellis to grow vines on.  Or I wonder how espaliered fruit trees would go here?  Whatever I do, they will have to be in large pots sitting on the gravel on the far side of the fence.  Hmmmm?

Today J4 & I added four further trellises to the garden, two at each side. I would rather not have them, I don't think they add to the aesthetics of the garden.  Their purpose then?  To reduce the frequency with which the soccer ball goes over the fence into the neighbours yards!  They have been placed directly behind the goalposts.
Are you getting a picture of a family of soccer mad boys?

As promised - here are the before & after photos of the felted woollen vest I finished refashioning on Friday.
It started out as a daggy hip or thigh length grey woollen jacket.
After felting, before refashioning.  15mm hole near bottom right front.
After refashioning.  Suffolk Puff & button flowers cover the hole, repeated at neck opening.  6 strand embroidery floss in matching colour to buttons, used to buttonhole stich around armhole openings.
 The larger Suffolk Puffs are made from that felted kimono jacket whose fabric I also used in the Junky Styling scarf.  The smaller puffs are scraps from my quilting, the buttons are from another cardigan I have recently felted, and the embroidery floss is from goodness knows what.  The vest is waist length on me.

It is intended as a gift for someone special.  I hope she likes it.  But what do you think?


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