Monday 31 March 2014

March flowers

Here I am with my March flowers post, sneaking it in on the last day of the month. It's late because, after being delayed for six months, all of a sudden we got the go ahead for earthquake repairs to our house, and I had to pack up the house, store the contents, organise accommodation and then move into it. It's kind of surreal... after so long it almost felt like it was never going to happen, and then I basically had a week to organise everything... well there's nothing quite like a deadline to spur you to action!

I took these photos in the first week of March and most of them are still flowering, though some are fading a bit. Clockwise from top left: autumn maple leaves, lovely scented cyclamen, an unknown clematis that I grew from seed (not sure if I like the yellow flowers to be honest), scabiosa seed head, white rose that I grew from a cutting, astrantia, penstemon Blackbird, polemonium, scabiosa, cosmos, lavatera, delphinium. In the middle is an arrangement of astrantia, roses and some flower/seed heads which blew down from a tree in the storm.

I'll be back soon with an update on the holiday house we're staying in, and some progress on repairs to our home. (I miss my garden!)

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Getting the bash from Mother Nature, again

 A week ago we had a pretty big storm here in Christchurch. Thirty six hours of rain and gale force winds quickly became known as a "one in 50 year event", and that was later upgraded to a "one in 100 year event". It was a rather eventful couple of days in the city, as rivers burst their banks and streets were engulfed in flash flooding. (Above is a small creek which burst its banks)

 All was ok at my house luckily. We had a sodden back yard, since drainage seems to be an issue after the earthquakes (my theory is that liquefaction blocked all the tiny cracks and channels that rainwater used to use to drain away), but the house and garage were safe and dry. Not so for many whose homes were close to rivers and creeks, or were just in low lying areas.

(Above is the aptly, ironically named River Road. The actual river is to the left of the trees.)

 I went for a walk in the afternoon when the rain finally cleared. I'd been lucky and stayed at home that day... I'm glad I didn't have to try and drive through this!

Debris was everywhere, leaves and branches and fallen trees. On my way home I picked up this bundle of chestnut branches that had been knocked to the ground. They make a nice decoration, but are also a reminder of yet another extreme weather event. It seems to me that these once rare, "one in 100 year" type events are getting more frequent - whether it's earthquakes, rain storms or snow storms, we seem to get something every year now! Hopefully that's it for this year and the rest of it is mild and tame... but with an ex tropical cyclone possibly going to hit this weekend, I somehow doubt that will be the case. Time to buy a new umbrella!

Monday 10 March 2014

Mr Fox fingerless gloves

 Autumn has arrived, so I thought I'd make myself a pair of fingerless gloves. I'd had this cute fox pattern pinned since I saw it last year, it looked a little challenging and I figured it would keep me busy for a while. Once I started, I realised it was actually really easy and it only took a couple of evenings. 

 This pattern was great because I learned two new techiques... foundation single crochet (fsc) where you work the foundation chain and the first row of sc at the same time (this is so great! Working the first row of sc into the chain is always so fiddly!) and Fair Isle Crochet. Fair Isle Crochet is obviously based on the knitting technique of the same name and it's very similar to tapestry crochet, but a bit neater. It was such fun to work and watch the pattern appearing and I'm now quite obsessed with the technique! Must find more Fair Isle patterns asap.

 This pattern is from Little Things Blogged. (I added thumbs to mine for a bit of extra warmth!) I just love the fox pattern even though I know they are pests... but it still seems to me to be a magical thing to look out the window and see a fox in your garden. There's also a sleeping fox amigurumi pattern on the same blog... I have lots of leftover fox coloured yarn so I may need to make one for my windowsill.

Hopefully I won't need to wear these regularly for several weeks yet, but we had a big storm last week and an ex tropical cyclone is forecast to hit next weekend. There's no telling what the weather will do but I'm prepared with my foxes!


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