Design Feed


The Physio tells me my sore shoulder is a Repetitive Strain Injury.   I couldn't believe this.  The only thing I do repetitively is stitch and use my computer.  Then I tried to draw a new Kogin pattern and oh boy did I believe her.  I have got the pattern to trail stage now.  I also put a higher chair at the computer and will limit the amount of time I spend here.  

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Seems it is common to get RSI from using your mouse and keyboard.  But I never thought I used it that much!  All those lessons I taught about how to sit at the keyboard when I was a classroom teacher for workplace health and safety were wasted on me.  I should have heeded my own advice.

Starting the portraits

This has been a long process but I have at last begun. 

A number of years ago I asked my patchwork group to make me a block which was a portrait of themselves.  But not a photo realistic one, rather one of how they saw themselves.  I was going to make a wall quilt out of it and for the shashing I was going to have some fabric printed using photos of each lady.  Well the years have gone by and the cost of having the fabric printed was too much.  Then I moved and didn't have the wall space anymore.  Now I have decided to make these blocks into a fabric book and on the page opposite their block I am going to embroider a portrait of each person. 

I have now taken their photos and turned them into line sketches.

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This is Betty who passed away a few years ago.  She got a form of lung cancer from the asbestos fibres that were trapped in her husbands work clothes which she washed.  We all loved Betty and still do even though she has passed.  She was the most quirky, creative person.  At one point she took herself off on the Trans Siberian Railway just to see what it was like.  Back then you had to take all your own food all that was provided was the transport.

Her block is full of her dreams.  She saw herself as still young, and she did look like this when she was young.  The kind of house she always wanted, the flowers in the garden, her cat, the rural setting and her quilting.

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I think this will take some time but it will be full of love.


Stitching birds

My original inspiration for the bird designs has some from those wonderful women in Guatemala.  This woman was selling hand made items in the street.  All the work in the beading and the embroidery.

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Stitching all these birds has really got me looking at feathers.  Their colour, especially the turkeys.  Here are some in the markets in Guatemala.  I don't know how they fitted so many in one basket.

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Here is our one turkey on the island.

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His tails feathers are a delight.

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The range of colours is wonderful.   What stitches can mimic this?

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The more I look the more fascinated I become.

That was quick

My replacement bag clips have started to arrive and my stock bag is looking a lot more healthy.  I paid postage on these, about 15c each, which in the scheme of things isn't very much.  I think I will pay postage in future to get the stock that much quicker.

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I love these little bird clips but they are 8.5cm and only have an attachment loop on one side.

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My bird bags are 12cm.  Luckily I have found some more in the size I like.

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This larger size comes with attachments for a shoulder strap, so I have ordered some of those as well.

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And then I found these lobster claps for jewelry.  I had to buy 100 so I think there will be some embroidered jewelry in next years Children's Classes.

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All this rush is to beat the governments new GST on small imported puchases.  I hope I have enough to see me through?

I must be getting better

I have managed to start stitching again.  That is a relief, I thought I had lost the knack. I take that as a sign that I am getting better.  I think it will take a little longer and I am not going to rush into doing lots of things but it is certainly an improvement.

The other thing that has happened is that I have got carried away with designing  my 'bird bags'.  I sat and came up with another 5 designs so that I could make 6 different versions.  The next thing has been to refine the pattern for the actual bag and after a test run I think that pattern needs to be 1cm longer.

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The width and curve of the top for the clip frame is perfect but if I put a phone and credit cards inside it is a tight fit.

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So another 1cm will make all the difference.  And my husband needs a new cover for his phone.  It is his birthday this month so I have solved the present problem that has been nagging at me as well.

Hiding from the vacume cleaner

I am still in my sick bed or rather I have progressed to the chair beside the bed.  Charlie is still my constant companion and can now go up and down the stairs on her own.  It is so good to see her improving.

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This last virus is continuing to  give me grief and my husband is doing the vacuming.  The noise of that machine just goes straight through my head.  So Charlie and I have retreated to my sewing room so that I can shut the door.  I am now on super strong antibiotics, ear drops and pain killers, all of which leave me tired.  But at least the pain is under control and I have begun to think about sewing again.  I can't remember what I was doing last time so I have decided on a new project.

I decided on a clip purse.  Why?   Well that is a bit of a wander of the mind.  The government here is bringing in a tax on all purchases from overseas and making the persons selling the goods collect the tax for them.  Which just blows the mind.  I don't mind paying my taxes but I hate being ripped off.  I can buy rat tail cord on line for 5cents a metre but have to pay $1.00 a metre in the shops here.  They would buy in bulk and get that cord even cheaper than me.  The same can be said of my purse frames that sell for about $10 to $15 each in the shops or $2 or less on line.  So I looked in my bag of purse frames and found I was down to 3 only.  One I really liked so decided to make a clip purse and I also put an order in on line for some more frames.

He was still vacuming so I did a little vector drawing for an applique.  Just a silly little bird but it is about all I can handle at the moment.  I have found the fabrics, drafted a pattern and got everything ready.

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I have no idea what I am going to do with it when I am finished.  It will probably go into the Xmas gift draw.

Puddling along

I am slowly adjusting my life to accommodate this virus.  That means everything is slower and I try to stay close to my bed just in case the fatigue overtakes me.  But I am adjusting.  Where it would take me one day to make something, now it is three.  I am talking about the nurses capes I promised to make for the ANZAC day ceremony here.  I have 2 put together and 1 more ready to sew.

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But I am still having a problem with my brain.  I have to put tabs on the shoulders and I made the big trip to the shop to buy the buttons.  It wasn't till I got home I realised we have 2 shoulders not one!!!  I still have another 9 days before the day so hopefully I can get some more buttons.  I do worry about my brain though.

Slow living

This virus sees me living my life at a much slower pace.  I have to sleep a lot and just can't do anything at my normal speed.  I am still not able to drive, my reactions are too slow, so life is confined to the island most of the time.  I did get to go to the mainland last week, I should not have gone.  I had to stay in bed for the next 3 days.

As I was coming home a rainbow formed and the end was on the island.  I thought at the time how apt that was.  This place really is a treasure.

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It is school holiday time at the moment and there are a lot of holiday makers on the island.  Before we moved here this was our holiday destination.  I have always felt this is a magical place, everyone I speak to believes that as well.  I have tried to find out from the traditional owners of the land what it is that makes it so special but they have lost that knowledge.  That doesn't change the fact that everyone who comes here feels a connection and it regretful when they have to leave.  As you can see from the message in the sand.  I have no idea who wrote it but I love the island as well.

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But I can be surprised by people who live here as well.  Maxine is a friend who lives a couple of streets away.  She is the author of the children's book who's launch we attended.  Now I find that she makes the most whimsical jewelry. 

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I just had to buy these ear rings.

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And after speaking to her I find that the character is based on a real person, who she says looks like this!.

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They are made under a magnifying glass to get all that detail.  (They are not very big.)

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She and Gary have developed there own materials.

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I need to get some more they are so quirky.  When I was teaching full time I always used to wear unusual ear rings.  I never had to say "look to the front", all eyes were already there to check what I had on that day.  This time I will wear them just to feel happy.


Those bunnies

The requests have been flooding in for more thins for the bunnies.  It must be said that they were a great success.  The girls had seen the new Peter Rabbit movie the day before they arrived, which they loved.  (Both movie and bunnies.)

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My husband and I saw the move as well and I have to say it did appeal to the kid in me.  I at first thought that there was taped laughter on the sound track but then realised the theatre was full of kids who were all laughing.  The animation was very good the the link between reality and fantasy is clear.


Grandpa has made the most beautiful beds, with matresses, that he sewed himself.

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I must say I am envious of my grand daughters their new doll's beds.  The quilts fitted rather well and were pressed into service the moment they were given.

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I also finished new cardigans and slacks.

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And some sleeping bags as the are off camping for the school holidays.

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Jasmine thought that Geraldine need her portrait painted, just like the ones Beatrix Potter did.  Not bad attention to detail for a 5 year old.  You can see she likes those boots.

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After some discussion with the girls I believe that the bunnies will need more undies, seems they need to be changed all the time, and, one pair of boots is not enough for a fashionable bunny.

Those smiles make all the effort worth while.

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