Backyard bees, raiding the hives.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

I helped raid the hives! Well, to be honest I did little more than take photos, move stuff around and generally just observe how it's done, but I was all suited up and looking the part so I'm counting it.

Any apiarist out there may find this completely boring, but for all you non-beekeeping folks - read on!

The smell of the honey and the beeswax was incredibly strong from several metres away, even before we disturbed the hives.

With all those busy little bodies in the hive it can get quite warm in there so on warm days like this day you will usually find a large number of them hanging around outside.

It's a fast job, you need to be in and out as quickly as possible so as to not disturb the bees as much as it's possible when you are taking a large part of their home away.

Some of the hives were overflowing, definitely due for a raid. The little black comb like thing in the top is used to get rid of the beetles (mites? they look too big to call mites) that like to make their homes in the hives and contains lime.

This is our hive, there didn't seem to be as many bees in it so possibly some of them swarmed and left to find a new home.

The frames from these boxes will have the honey extracted from them and then they will be returned to the hives, ready to be filled up again. Raiding will slow down soon, leaving the bees plenty of honey to get them through winter.

That's one thing crossed off the list of things I wanted to do in 2017.

And for a bit of a laugh, this is what hearing a bee through a hearing aid looks like:


The boy sweater

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

I've been desperate to share this for several weeks but couldn't as it was a gift. The recipient now has it so I can show you!

This was a gift for my great nephew who recently celebrated his first birthday. Obviously he doesn't read this blog and I don't think his mumma does either but you can't be too careful. There were no surprises from us as far as the gifts went, we gave him a book and some handmade goodies, I'm so predictable!

There was enough yarn left to make a little matching beanie. I used the mock cable pattern from the jumper on the otherwise simple beanie. It looks a little scrunched up in the photo as I don't block my knitted hats, (tried it once and it was difficult and didn't really do anything for it so if you have any tips on blocking knitted hats I'd love to hear them).

The pattern for the jumper was designed by Lisa Chemery and it is definitely one I will use again. It was quick and relatively easy, although I'm still not very good with short rows. The yarn by Bendigo Woollen Mills.

Details Ravelled here.


Bullet journalling

Monday, 13 February 2017

My March cover page, shamelessly copied from this much better version

Or perhaps that should read Trying to let go of perfectionism.

I've never really considered myself a perfectionist but I'm starting to think that I am. I've always though I was satisfied with okay, (especially with the housework) or at least done, but I've started a Bullet Journal this year and it's becoming apparent that I do have at least some perfectionist tendencies.

I've always had a thing for stationary, especially diaries. Every year I try a new one and it usually only lasts for a few weeks. They were always missing something, I want to keep track of something, or put something else in it but there's no room so when I stumbled across Bullet Journalling I was so excited. The idea of making your own diary, containing everything you need and nothing you don't was exhilarating!

Finding the right journal without spending a fortune looked difficult for a while. What's the point of forking out a heap of money on something I was only going to use for a couple of weeks? I finally found one, in a big box office supplies shop (you know the one I mean) after searching it several times. I kept looking in the notebook and journal/diary aisles, but eventually found it when I went for a wander in the other aisles. And it was less than $5! Bargain!

So I started setting it up and stopped again after a couple of weeks. Why? Firstly, developing a new habit is sometimes hard, right? Secondly, it wasn't pretty enough. That's right, it didn't look anything like all the pretty ones all over Pinterest.


So, overcoming my butthead tendencies is something I'm working on. I'm still trawling through Pinterest but this time it's to teach myself to do some of those pretties for my own bujo. And whilst they still aren't nearly as lovely, and if I'm honest never will be - I'm not an artist, they are getting better.

In the meantime, my bujo is helping me stay on top of things, to be more organised (goodness knows I need all the help I can get there) and hopefully it will one day soon give me time to started wading through the enormous list in my head of things I want to get around to eventually (hey, that might be a new page idea!).

Do you have a Bullet Journal? Care to share your pretty pages?


Tomato & Chilli Relish

Saturday, 11 February 2017

We are starting to get into tomato glut season so here's a delicious recipe to use up some of your extras. I found this recipe ages ago but now have no idea where it came from.

1.8 kg ripe tomatoes, blanched in boiling water and peeled
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 mild red chilies, deseeded and chopped (more if you like it hot!)
450g caster sugar
1 tbsp salt
300ml malt vinegar

Halve and chop the tomatoes, place in large pan with all the juices, and all other ingredients except vinegar. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 90 minutes, add vinegar and bring back to the boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until the mix is thick enough that you can see the base of the saucepan when you draw a spoon through it.

Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

If you can resist the lure of the relish, leave for 1 month before consuming.

Enjoy with a  sharp crumbly cheese.



Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Another bit of yarny goodness I knitted up last year (I'm a bit late blogging about it though!).

The pattern is a popular one by Melanie Berg and is easy enough but by the time you get towards the end each row takes forever. Worth every second though, look how lovely it is.

The yarn I used was cotton, something light enough to wear on cooler summer days and nights. The best part about this shawl (scarf?) was that it only cost me $10 and a handful of change. Sure, a month of my life, but only $10! The biggest knitting bargain I've come up with so far.

Details ravelled here.