Sunday, 25 September 2022

balcony diary

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 It's been a while since I last posted pics of my some of my plants. Itching for an update. 

Meanwhile my annual SQUIRREL made a cozy home for itself in our bird house, stuffing it with what-nots, prancing around, lying atop the roof, entertaining us, and in 3 weeks or so before I could rouse myself to take pics, it left overnight taking all its what-nots with it! I have never understood how the sheer net it manages to snag from somewhere every year, does not get snagged in it's claws.

The CROTON had 3 main stems. Very soon leaves of the 2 shorter ones withered, browned and drooped. The way it happened (all together instead of single leaves) sent alarm signals to my brain. Started looking under the leaves, and sure enough there were tiny brown spore sacs and even one tiny green leaf-shaped bug! I wiped the underside of each leaf down with vinegar and it worked. Saved this and you can see the new green shoots.

The CHILLI plant gave off 30+ blooms at one count, with an equal number of buds-in-waiting. Not a singe one turned into a chilli! Then noticed the top leaves of our chilli plant crinkling. shrinking and twisting. Yes, there were those same pests. So we bought Neem Oil and hubby sprayed it on all plants (including the croton). Worked like a charm and new leaves sprouted.
Eventually I pruned off the tips and some of them are arranged in a tiny pot adorning my study table above. You can still see some distorted older leaves.
We'll wait till end of winter and might replace this plant altogether.

The FICUS is thriving! So many new sap green shoots and some random figs/berries, too. Aerial roots have anchored in soil.

LEMON TREE - We've harvested 4 lemons from our tree and there are 3 more waiting to ripen. At present there is a stagnancy in growth. Growth hormone spray is on it's way. We're hoping it will make a difference.
The arrangement above has a couple of lemon twigs I snipped while pruning back in August. Like I said, I find it difficult to simply throw them away.

The JADE or ELEPHANT BUSH plant has shed most of its old leaves, though the twigs were lengthening with new leaves. I've cut off short lengths and planted the cuttings in another tiny pot for our bathroom in a spot where we get sunlight. 
This same spot has seen Money Plant cuttings in water in several past seasons.

The ASPARAGUS FERN is lush and some new fronds displayed pretty little white flowers. No new fronds for a while now.

The OREGANO/AJWAIN is another sight of beauty. I haven't dried leaves in a while, happy to watch the shape it takes, however one of the twigs will be planted for the 2nd bathroom later.

The GUAVA plant died off fairly quickly (in late August). For sure it wasn't the same pest because leaves dropped off one by one. It did however give us one ripe guava. There was some brown spotting on one side, but the fruit was sweet.

Meanwhile hubby bought a few more plants last week, totaling a dozen now.
This is the MOGRA (Arabian Jasmine) plant with it's first bloom and such a heavenly scent! I went around like Emperor Shahjahan (he had a rose, though) with it between my fingers, sniffing in the aroma all day and night!
We've had this in my earlier gardening stint and simply love the flowers. 2 more bloomed today.
You can see our next-in-line to ripen (5th) lemon on the left-center there.

This is a SNAKE plant variety we've never seen before. Despite what the camera shows, there is not a spot or tinge of yellow anywhere! It feels like snow. Love it.

On the left is a tiny portion of MINT (Pudina). This is the 3rd time we've bought mint and are hoping 3rd time lucky. I have my doubts because it does not get enough sunlight. In my earlier 'garden' when the mint thrived even from home cuttings, the pot was placed on the balcony parapet. It is no longer an option. So let's see - perhaps the growth hormone will play a role?

Our RAM TULSI (Holy Basil) plant has weathered the fall and is again giving off new leaves and shoots.
And the CUURY Leaf plant is in good condition, too.

This is my house plant diary for now - a way to keep track of their progress or otherwise.
Gardening brings such fun, joy and satisfaction, but a few disappointments and heartaches, too.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

playful hearts

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Hearts want to play, organise themselves into groups and shapes. Well it's not new in our tatting world (see links at the end of post), yet each arrangement takes on the characteristics of its component hearts. So, let's see what the Eye Spy (extracted from pattern #3) or #prettymeEndrucks hearts are playing at ....   direct link to the pattern pdf -

And do scroll down to the bottom of the post for some new spy work!!!!
Also, we have another participant who sent her pretty me heart. I have updated the round up post here -

Anchor Pearl Cotton size 8 is similar to Lizbeth size 20;
and Anchor crochet cotton size 20 is similar to Lizbeth size 10.
I Love this arrangement for an elegant bracelet or bookmark.
The hearts can be tatted continuously in pairs of 2 (like the 2 in the center) with split ring tips.

Another arabesque arrangement for a quilt block or a frame.

4 friends together form a square.

The 4 hearts at the bottom can be arranged alternately for an insertion or bookmark.
These, as well as the earrings are worked in Anchor Perle Cotton size 8. Each earring heart measures about 2.5cms x 2.5cms, and the skewed arrangement gives an earring measuring about 4cms wide and 7.5 cms long (without the teardrop).

The body of this bookmark (Margaret Davies' adaptation), also worked in Anchor Pearl size 8 measures 3.5cms x 12.5 cms.
After adding the braid and tassel, it almost touches 30cms.

A couple of my Indian tatters directed me to where I could purchase the bookmark sleeves online! And I did! Thanks, ladies.While for personal use, I still prefer bare lace (hence the tassel is attached to the bookmark, not the sleeve), the sleeves will keep them protected and flat when not in use or when gifting.
I pulled the tassel through the hole at the tip, thus anchoring it.

The maroon prototype was worked in Anchor size 20 and is 3.5cms wide and 3 cms high.
The other 2 are the enlarged hearts .....

On the left is Margaret Davies' enlarged version, with 16/0 beads. In Anchor Pearl size 8, it works out to 3.5cms x 3.5cms.
The right one is my slight variation with longer top chains and a beaded loop to insert a chain or findings. It now measures >4cms x 3.5cms.

Now for the exciting part ----- Look closely at the center .....
Eye Spy a Pentagon in this coaster ....
[In Anchor size 20 the diameter is 7cms]
.... and Eye Spy a Square in this pendant!
Both pentagon and square can be worked in one pass. Can you figure out the pathway?

It was Carol Liu's colour placement which first brought out the pentagon clearly.

All pattern pdf links are listed in
And of course, you can go to the EP doc for the entire collection of modernised and adapted patterns and ideas -

Thursday, 15 September 2022

idea in progress

Pin It now! When we opened the new game for September (, I wasn't sure I'd be able to participate myself. However after finishing off a few tasks on my list, I was suddenly energized by an idea, by a mental image, and got right down to work. 
Do you see what I see? Do these motifs work as palm tree fronds? These are the first 3 each one different, with quite a few more to make in a darker shade, perhaps even a 3rd shade.

The trunk will incorporate another extraction of block tatting motif.
At this stage I have no idea how far I will be able to progress towards a composition or scenery ...

This is the original motif from Endrucks' pattern #24 and #25.

My imagination swirled with possibilities with merely this pea pod motif(s) -
  • Dragon fly wings
  • Angel or Butterfly wings
  • Thatched roof
  • Flower petals - colour, number of petals, single or multiple layers will determine what flower emerges.
  • Gown
  • Bow (for neck or hair)
  • Flying bird ...........
What do You see or imagine? 

My intention was to work the fronds continuously if only I hadn't been lazy at the beginning ;-P I had wound one shuttle full with 3 strands of Anchor embroidery floss, pulled out a yard or so for CTM and worked only with that one shuttle using direct tatting, etc. 
Anyways, I'm happy for doing them separately - gives me more flexibility to arrange them later.

I am thoroughly enjoying this somewhat free-style winging after what seems like ages of structured tatting. Very relaxing and quick to tat.