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June 2017

July 2017

A small exhibition

While up having coffee with a friend at Cleveland I took time to drop into the Redland's Council Gallery.   It had an exhibition that I had already seen but in a side room was a small display by an indigenous artist, Claudia Moodoonuthi.  

Her work was all based around her two dogs that she had got from the RSPCA  as rescue dogs, Ruby and Hunter and her culture.  The dogs looked a bit wild to me but she obviously loves them.  She has a very interesting web page that gives a lot more information about her.

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Camp dogs are often a subject for art but this is the first time I have seen them shown like this.

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The paintings have that simple presentation and she has added wooden cut outs of the dogs in each one.   You could really feel the personality of each dog.

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She is a very young artist, not long out of school, and it will be interesting to see how she develops.


The year has turned

The year has turned.  My early morning trips on the barge see both the sun

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and the moon in the sky. 

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When I head off for the early ferry I no longer need to take a flashlight with me to light my way.  We haven't had any really cold weather this year, although August winds are still to come.  I am not looking forward to summer, I much prefer the cool weather.

As a treat I took my grand daughters to the dollar shop to buy some 'dress-ups'.  Monique decided to be a pink super girl.  Those mesh gloves have "zapping" powers.  Choppy thought that might bring him some food. Wishfull thinking dog.

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Jasmine got a police hat and pink fluffy hand cuffs.

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When her father got home she slapped them on him saying, " now that  solves the tickling problem!"  He soon escaped and the tickling became worse.



The Xmas decorations are finished and off to the Guild to form part of their Xmas raffle.  That beading around the edge was fiddly but it finishes them off. ( I will attach them to the board with pins that are invisible not these.)  I used a left over piece of velvet made into a sleeve to go over a piece of cardboard to display them.  I stitched these using a perle 8 thread onto 32 count linen.  The cardboard that I mounted them on was cut to a 3" circle.   There are lots of other patterns you could use to make decorations, it is the assembly that takes a bit of effort.  I will put up a tutorial for that in the next couple of days.

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I have also finished the peace embroidery for July.  It is not what I would have thought I would have designed but I have to say that I am pleased with the result.  It isn't exactly the same as my drawing and I added a smattering of French knots.  The lettering looks a lot better in back stitch.  I thought it might have been the colour of the thread I was using that didn't look right but it was the stitch.

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So I am now onto Augusts offering and this has not started well.  I choose a piece of pink even weave linen I had in the draw but find I can not see it any time I try to stitch.  It just all goes invisible and merges.  I mentioned this to my eye specialist who immediately said I think you have Erlin Syndrome. Now I find that my grand daughter has the same problem.  It isn't an eye problem rather a problem with how the brain processes the information.  So although I love pink my eyes can't see it properly.  I have now opted for a white piece of linen and have it tacked out.

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Indian exhibition 3

These were yet again labelled "Dowry Bags."  This was yet again another type of design.  Moving from a heavily embroidered base up to an open Kantha type stitched top.

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The way that the cords had been wrapped was interesting.

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Buttons for decoration and the cord on this one is interesting.

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Besides the stitching, which is stunning, and the use of mirrors and the colours I was taken by the types of tassels used to decorate the edges. Mostly just strips of fabric tied together and maybe some shells added.

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And how the edging was put together.

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So much inspiration in such a small exhibition.






More of the Indian exhibition 2

In the exhibition were a whole collection of what were called "Dowry Bags", which made up the bulk of the display.  I take these to be the equivalent of our old "Glory Box"  which held stitching and items to start their newly married life.  A lot of work went into these bags and there were a variety of embroidery designs.

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These three were the same but different.  Same central medallion surrounded with lines of stitching.  I tried for close ups of the stitching but the camera on my phone just wasn't up to it.  These are as close as I could get and keep the resolution seeable.

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The mirror work is featured on each bag and each shape is treated slightly differently.  I was taken by how those mirrors on the corners of the bag were used as a feature.

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These are some of my attempts to get in close.

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Lots of button hole stitch and variations.  On a similar note you can see how to do some of this stitching on this blog.  Chitra has a number of tutorials on Kutchwork.






Past Exhibition

Back a few weeks ago, (a month ago), in fact back when I went to the Marvel Exhibition, which I want to go to again,  I saw a small display of Indian Embroidery in the main gallery.  (That was a mouthfull. )  It was only because I ran into some friends from the Embroiderers' Guild that I was alerted to the fact that it was the last day it would be on display.

The exhibition was called "weavers, Wanderers".  (Click on the images for a larger version.)

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What I found remarkable about this exhibition was the level of skill on display.  I have seen quite a lot of Indian embroidery but these pieces, besides being beautiful in design were also beautifully stitched.  There were 2 quilts on display.

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Any one of these squares would make a great embroidery.

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The second is appliqued and embroidered.

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There was also a black and white photo of a house which had been decorated with hand painted images.  Lots of design ideas in these three pieces.

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I was also struck by the similarity between the women painted on the left of the photo and folk embroideries I have seen from Sweden.

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I will write a post about some of the other pieces at a later date.

The Weather Report

In the last week the weather has been very temperamental. That is not all bad, variety is said to be the spice of life and we have had a variety of weathers.  Mostly it is fine and dry with a cool nip in the air.  Cool enough to have to wear a light woollen top and pile on the blankets at night.  This has got the flowers all out of sinc.  The wattle thinks it is spring.

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And for the first time in my life living in the sub tropics (or tropics or north of that) I have managed to grow and get fushias to flower.  I have managed to get leaves before this.

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We had an unsheduled weather even during the this time.  That means the forecasters didn't see it coming so no one was prepared.

The day before everything was as usual but it was very still and there were some unusual clouds in the sky.  Peel Island could just be seen on the horizon.  Actually it was very pretty, hence the picture.

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That night it rained and the next morning we woke to fog.    So heavy and so widespread that all the airports were closed causing all kinds of problems for travellers.   It was that wet drippy kind of cold.  You needed a coat, hat and gloves.

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This is very unusual weather for here.  On my walk that day I passed residents sitting out on the verandahs all rugged up in blankets looking at it.  Everyone I spoke to had a theory about it and all were enjoying the novelty.  We were lost in the fog.

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It was thicker in some spots.

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Next morning it was gone.

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Back to business as usual.




All the Van Dyke stitch is finished on the decoration, just the beading to go.  And because I was too lazy to get up and find a thimble I have a hole in the end of my finger!

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I have stitched in most of the ditches to keep the three layers together and flat on the quilt.  I used Aurifil cotton thread for this.  This reel had been given to me and I love it.  There isn't that much difference in price between here and the USA, around about $1.25 a reel more here.  Maybe I can fit some in my suitcase to bring back?   As usual I have underestimated the amount of stitching I will need to do.  There is tons and tons of it.

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I am going to use this quilt to practice using my rulers.  I have bought a Craftsy Class on this so we will see how it goes.  (In the quilting shop they told me they had 15 attempts before they got the result they wanted.)

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And there has been a lot of reverse sewing on the 'July's Peace Embroidery".  I have gone with the grub roses and will just get another frame.

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Really Tired

The "Children's Classes" were a great success last week, but coming on top of my surgery and then getting a wog,  I found that I was really tired after it all.  It isn't helped by that fact that I have to add 4 hours to each day due to travel.  It was catch the 5:30am ferry to the mainland, drive to the city, find a park, drive home and get the 6:00pm ferry home. (Then prepare dinner and wash up.)  The first day I managed to get a parking ticket  because I couldn't see the little buttons to key in the number plate.  (I did manage to get that reversed.) The Second day I parked in a nearby suburb which meant I had a bus trip and a bit of a walk added to the journey.  My watch told me I had averaged 12 Kilometres each day.  And to think I did that most days when I was teaching full time.

But despite all of that the kids had a great time.  I just wouldn't have got through either day without the help of the volunteers, they are worth their weight in gold.

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We had students ranging in age from 5 years through to 15 years and all kinds of ability levels.  It turned out our little one was the first finished.  She had been watching her older sisters stitch and was right into it.  One problem we encountered was that some children rushed in to trace their design onto their fabric and it wasn't properly centred.  It is amazing what you can achieve with a few stars and some glue.

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The 5 year old had the same problem but insisted that the stars had to go all the way around and she wanted a teddy bear on the lid and it must be kept covered to keep it clean.

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We had a table of boys, all about 8 or 9 years of age and they were well behaved and great students.  There was, however, a lot of knots to get out on the threads there.

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We teach the children to use a hoop right from the beginning and the mechanics of that often take a bit of getting used to.

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All three of the designs were popular.  Some of the older students and some volunteers liked the poodle best.  These are samples stitched by our volunteers, great exemplars of what can be achieved.

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I was really pleased to see that lots of students choose Chopper. 

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There was some lovely neat stitching.

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And Choppie shone.

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Now it is time to start testing some designs for the next class in September. 

But I almost forgot what happened at the end of my day.  I walked up the jetty from the ferry, dragging my feet, and a magpie did a poo right on the top of my head.  Welcome Home!!



Google Arts & Culture

I am having a wonderful time exploring this site on Facebook

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and on the web.

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I am really enjoying the the featured story of "We Wear Culture," which is the stories behind what we wear. Fascinating.  At the moment I am caught up in the Fashion section.  I may never get out of here.

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The images are just stunning and you can see the detail better than viewing it at an exhibition.  What a resource!

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