Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Bird Watcher.

I suppose a country childhood started the habit of bird watching.
 Living 40 years on the orchard reinforced the habit and now living above an estuary has extended my constant observing of birds.
 Since we moved here over 4 months ago we have compiled a list of birds we have seen.on or near our property.
 Some daily, some only occasionally and fleetingly.
 These books  are a good reference.( the 3 fiat ones now old, were got when our kids were little ) (the top one Birds of the Waikaraka Estuary and Tauranga Harbour,is more recent.)
( That's not our estuary but the next one along. Ours is an off shoot of the Te Puna Stream. )

 Royal Spoonbills are the most recent interesting sighting. Apparently there are 6. We have seen 5 on several occasions. I can't yet get a good close photo, so have shown the one from the book.They are quite large birds and really good at vacuuming!. 
 One morning I spotted 4 in this old dead tree I can see from the upstairs window.
From a different angle I can see where the estuary comes in a narrow channel to the bottom of our garden.

 This is what I can see downstairs from the dining room windows.

 The birds we have on our list are:-
Sparrows; Thrush; Blackbirds; Tui; Hawk; Fantail; Silver eyes; Doves ; Pukeko; Ducks;Canadian geese; Mynahs; Kingfishers; Pheasants; Seagulls ; Quails; Plovers; Shags; White faced Herons; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Welcome swallows; Pied stilts; Malay spotted doves; Rosellas;Grey Warbler and Royal Spoonbill.

 The Canadian geese and ducks of course leave a awful mess by the water so we watch where  we walk.
Here are some evening photos I took down near the water's edge.

I wonder how many more different birds we can add to our list?
( Click on photos to enlarge ).

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Stitching on a Felt Embroidered Ball.

 Recently I used a voucher I had to get  some new embroidery threads to add to my collection.
 They look amazing together don't they.

Today its not pleasant outside so I have been working on my latest felt ball. # 27 that I have made. It is for Grandson # 2.

 This photo shows the stage where I have sewn all 12 pentagons together and have wound the batting  strip stuffing around a bottle top rattle in the middle and inserted  it into the felt pentagon casing. The final seams have to be sewn on the outside . So that final stitching doesn't show and to add interest, I chain stitch around each pentagon edge before working on the 12 mofits.

 Here you can see 6 coloured pentagons 

 Here you can see the other 6.

 I hadn't used a dinosaur motif before. Here it has a red pin stuck in for it's eye. I doubt I can sew an eye to look as good but will try.
 Next I did a Capital C for Grandson Christian name.

 In both photos you can see the white where I have started a chicken. That is 3 of the 12 picture motifs taken care of. I try to make every ball individual to each will make sure none of the motifs that appear on Grandson # 1's ball get put on this one.

 I make all the balls the same size and keep cardboard patterns of all the motifs I make up. I also have a notebook that I started back at ball 1 stage, 18 plus years ago in which I have recorded the detail of each ball; what was on it, who it was for and the date. 
 I have just been looking at that notebook.
 Balls have been made for ( mostly babies ) named :Noah; Tautahi; Amy; James; Jessica; Joshua; Nancy; Jackson; another James; Alex; Aleisha; Poppy; Chloe; George; Scott; Ella; and Lane.
 3 have been made for adults named Pauline , Annie and  Penny. One was given to a fund raising auction.  I still have 3 here the 1st ,2nd and another for playing with at my house.
 Not all balls stayed in NZ. Balls have ended up in Australia ( 2) ; UK and Alaska.
 My eye sight is not nearly as good these days so the early balls were probably neater..
 Right, back to the needle and thread.