Books Feed

The weather is still a problem here.  We haven't had decent rain since before last Xmas.  So wouldn't you know, it rained on the day my new book, Inspired by Islay, was delivered.  Luckily I saw it out there in the rain and rescued it before there was any damage.  Normally books are put on my doorstep not out in the letter box.  And this one wasn't delivered until late in the afternoon instead of the morning.  The post lady must by sick.

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This is more than just a book of knitting patterns that Kate has compiled, although these are in the book.  They include patterns for both men and women.  It also features  some really well written essays by other writers.  I found the essay "The Language of the Landscape" by Anna Mac Quarrie very interesting.  Both my husband and daughter have decided to learn Gaelic (I am still ploughing on with the Italian.)  They are both very good with languages but are finding this one challenging.    This essay gives an insight into why they are having difficulty.

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The other memorable essay is by Gordon Yates and has some of the best wild life images I have seen in ages.  Oh to be able to capture images like these.  Now this isn't to say that the essays I haven't mentioned are no good.  They are all very good.  It is just that these two impressed me more than the others.

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I have a complete set of all Kate's books and I treasure every one.

Now to the knitting.  No, it is still too hot.





New Book

I borrowed this book from my Council Library  and I thought that it would be such a good resource.  I thought of copying some of the patterns but decided that there were just too many good patterns to copy.  So I bought the book.

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It comes in both paper and Kindle editions and in the paper edition there is a disc enclosed with all the patterns on it.  Now it is not an earth shattering book but does have great illustrations that I could use with the children's classes.  Some really interesting alphabets and small every day objects.

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  I bought my copy through The Book Depository.  It was here within the week and no freight.

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It is by Sarah Watson who is an illustrator and sewer. She does have another  self-published book which is an introduction to Sewing.  I wouldn't recommend this.  The use of English had my red pen twitching.



A Schoolgirls Work

I received a lovely book as a gift from my friend Angela.

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I had a look on Amazon and I can see that it is quite sort after, prices starting at $125 US!

It has some really interesting work in the book and I see that most of the samplers, which start from 1710, are silk stitched on linen.  But there was one unusual sampler which was wool stitched on linen.  It was stitched in 1809, and the wool hasn't been eaten or even looked at by moths.  So it is possible that stitching in wool could last.

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When I said unusual, I meant the inclusion of a steam engine in the piece.  There are a number of motive here that I could use and I love the borders.  This book is full of great inspiration, no wonder it is sort after. (I have put this image in at a higher resolution so if you click on the image you can get a close up.)

Now why am I worried about moths?  Well in my old house they ate through 2 Harris Tweed jackets, numerous woollen cardigans and a babies Hap.  I continue to keep an eye out for them.



I  took a trip up to Warwick this week.  A long drive, over 3 hours each way.  I left early to miss the trucks going up Cunningham's Gap and there were only a couple of other cars on the road.  Last time I went up here there were road works caused by rock falls.  Non this day thank goodness.

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I wasn't so lucky coming back as there were lots of big trucks crawling down the range.  Once you get up the range you enter thick rain-forest and then out onto rich farm land.  This is where the headwaters of the Condamine River begins , that joins into the Murray-Daring exiting in South Australia.

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I was visiting friends who were staying at Glenrose which is on the fringe of the city.

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They host sewing retreats and you have to book well in advance to get in.  They have 4 cottages sprinkled through the garden and a great conference/sewing space .

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And I very quickly found their patchwork shop before I even found my friends.  And then I found some of my other friends in the shop.  It is a great shop and I came away with quite a bit of loot.  ONLY things I need.

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I bought the red fabric for the pin cushions but I also bought some scented ground nutshells for the filling.

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And two different types of mesh for using in one of my classes.

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This fabric was reduced and only $10 p.m. so I had to take all that was left on the roll.

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And the book was a gift from a friend.  I'm looking forward to getting into that.

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It was unbelievably hot up there, 39 degrees, so I stayed in the air-conditioning as much as possible.  When I got home I found the wind had changed direction and things were cooling off a bit.

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We have now had some rain.  Great for the garden but it has brought out the sand-flys  so repelant is in use again.





Too much heat

I managed to make myself very ill over the weekend.  It was a combination of trying to do too much, extreme heat and a virus.  Result, severe dehydration and I really knocked myself out .

On Saturday we took our Grand daughters and their parents to see "The Snail and the Whale" at QPAC's Cremone Theatre.

We had great seats, second row back from the stage and the girls got booster cushion cushions so they could see better.  But we didn't check just what was going on in the South bank Parklands or  the Galleries, Museum and Convention Centre.  Result, there was no parking, the roads were gridlocked and the heat was at 35 degrees C.  I ended up having to park a couple of K away from the theatre and walking back, I had dropped the others at the door.  Then I had to walk back, get the car and come back and pick them up.  (My son and his wife stayed in town for her birthday.)

We stayed overnight to look after the girls but they have no air-conditioning just fans and I couldn't get cool so I slept with the fan on me which really dried me out.  Next morning I couldn't stand up and the doctor had to be called who said, hospital.  Now that I have been re-hydrated  I don't feel too bad.  So I have been playing around with some water colours taken from what I saw at GOMA last week.  I do have to get back there again. I am going to use these as covers for by teaching booklets.

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(And Typepad is driving me mad with the spacing!!!!!)








A new list of books to read

I have a half dozen new books that I am going to read.  Since my old book club disbanded I have found it hard to get interested in new books.  At lunch the other day my friend enthused about all the books her group was reading.  I have been invited to join and I think I will.

The first book I am reading from her list is "The shepherds life' by James Redbanks.

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Not that long ago I read the set of novels by Gervase Phinn about the same landscape but from another perspective.  This is a book by one of the boys who could see nothing but their life with the sheep.  It gives a wonderful concise description about what belonging to this land is all about and puts into words how indigenous peoples experience their land and culture.  It is the first time that I have ever read this in words that bring understanding.


In the section entitled Spring he starts by quoting a poem "The Past, from The Dawn is at Hand" by Oodgeroo  Noonuccal.  Oodgeroo (Kath Walker) was one of the Quandamooka People from over on Stradbroke Island.  Her poem is about her experience of our islands.  This is a wonderful book.  Well written with deep understanding of his subject.  One that I think I will return to a number of times.



An old book

I was looking on the shelves of the Guild's library the other day and came across the book "Danish Embroidery."

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It doesn't have a date of publication on it but I suspect 1960's .  In it are all the cross stitch patterns what were included in the Danish Embroiderers' Guild Newsletters.  In my clean out all those were thrown away so it was strange to see them again.    Most are printed in black and white but there are a few colour plates.

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The other thing about the book is that on one side of he page the text is in Danish and on the other English.  Where I would have used Danish Flower Thread this has been set up for Anchor Threads.  Then half way through the book the content turns to pulled thread work.  Here I found a few patterns I haven't seen before.

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And a table runner I would really like to work.

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There is no pattern but there are measurements.

I have been looking over my list of UFO's and must do's and it really isn't practical to add this to the list, but I want to.



I was raised in the era when everyone stood outside the store and watched TV.  Television didn't arrive in Australia until the late 1950's and we didn't get a set until well into the 1960's. 

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I remember all the neighbours being invited to the Mumford home to watch, and you had to bring your own chair and something for the table.  (Uncle Ray Mumford had been a Rat of Tobruk so he was looked on with awe by us kids.   Yet, his home was a haven for my sister and I when our father was drinking, trying to defeat those devils who still chased him from his time in WW11. )

We had books to read.  Not a lot, you got a new book for your birthday and at Christmas.  You could only get a book from the council library if your parent got it out for you, and besides, that was miles away.  But there were comics. You could get those from the newsagent and buy them or borrow them from other kids.

Being a rather weird kid  'Tin Tin' was my first love.

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The 1960's was the time of the great influx of migrants to Australia and they brought all kinds of wonderful things with them we had never seen before, including Tin Tin.  It was all in French, which I couldn't read, but you could work the story out from the illustrations.

Then there were the Disney comics.  We all learnt to draw Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse.  (You didn't really draw it if it was traced.)  At the Royal Easter Agricultural show you got Phantom, Dick Tracey and Superman comics.  I remember getting into terrible trouble because I had drawn Dick Tracey's watch on my arm with biro and it wouldn't come off. 

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Now I have my own watch from Apple and the inventor was inspired by this very cartoon character.

 This was all when I was a little kid.  When I got into my early teens it wasn't so cool to read comics, but I still read them in secret and by this time the Marvel comics were starting to appear. 

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These appeared at about the same time I started reading Si Fi books and the two seemed to be related in my mind together with grafetti art. (I have a weird mind still!)  I have since discovered that my daughter has a huge collection of comics.  I don't remember talking to her about them, so it must be in the genes.

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Now of course, all the Marvel characters are on the movie screens and designers are making all those illustrations into 3 dimensional creations.  Watching these movies takes me right back to this time.







What happens when you go away

I spent this last weekend up at Toowoomba with quilting friends.  It was a lovely weekend.  I didn't get anything finished but I got quite a lot of things part finished.  Unfortunately they are all Xmas presents and are to be a surprise so they have to stay under wraps until the big day.  We set up in the library of one of the primary schools, which was a great venue.

The problem with that was that there were some interesting books on display.  They are now part of my library, or will be when they arrive from the Book Depository.  Monique will be 6 y.o. next birthday, which is a couple of days after Xmas, and I have promised that I will teach her to knit when she turns 6.  This book has some great projects for little knitters along with a host of other good stuff.

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When I got home my husband told me what a great weekend he had had.  (I wasn't there.)  And then I saw the Xmas tree.  It has all the decorations on it from the past 30 odd years.  He told he he found the old lights and had put them on the tree but then he found some new lights.  He then had to cut the old lights off the tree and there was this box of 6" lengths of lighting cable.  I turned the lights on and I thought the whole house was going to take off into outer space.  He has all these programs put in to control how the lights flash.  I do think he has descended into his second childhood.  I just hope the house doesn't disappear into the stratosphere!

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I have kind of over committed myself to do on line courses.  I signed up a few months ago and now they have all come at once.  So what am I doing?

  • Duolingo - Italian  This one is going to keep going for years I fear.  I am so slow at remembering, but I can now pick out words in conversation.  I have committed to about 30 minutes each day, although I do more than that.  I see that they are also introducing bots. Only in French at the moment, hope they hurry up with the Italian one.
  • The other courses are all at Future Learn.
  • Italian No 1 & 2.  I am using these to support the Duolingo course.  They just give me that extra practice.
  • Radical Spirituality - This is about the beginnings of the Quaker movement and it is the last week, but I will continue looking at the life of Margaret Fell.  I enjoyed this course.  It was history based and having been a History teacher it appealed to me.
  • The Power of Colour - Great for understanding colour and it's uses.  I hope it leads to lots of practical applications.  As of yet there is nothing new but I'm hoping it will give me more understanding.
  • Designing the Future -  This is some professional development to improve my design process.  It is rather academic in it's approach but so different that it could be good.
  • Digital Marketing -  I have been considering developing a business around the embroidery kits I design but need to research how this can be done.  This is the start of that research.  I have a feeling that this one is going to be very good.

When I look at that list it isn't too bad.  It comes down to 5 units of a University course and I don't have to sit in on lectures.  Any library research will be because I am really interested and best of all, no exams or assignments.  But, if I'm doing this I'm not sewing.