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Mary's Bag

Mary from my cottage patchwork group is a great vintage and op shop shopper.  (That was a mouth full.)  She came to the meeting the other night with a carry bag she had picked up from St. Vinnies.  Boy it took me back.

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This type of bag was popular in the 1950's and 60's but from the photos on the outside it must have been made in the 1970's and I would say it was made in New Zealand.  The Moaris in the pictures kind of give it away. 

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But just look at these old prints of the Royals.

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I remember as a small child the first visit to Sydney.  We came down from the country specially to see the celebrations.  The Royal Yacht came in through the heads and the place went mad.  You could hardly get another boat on the water in the harbour and the love and respect shown was genuine.

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And it is lined with old wall paper.  I haven't seen that print since my Grandmother was alive.

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We dismissed this kind of thing as old fashioned and cheesy but it does have a certain charm.  I always wondered how thy got those holes so even for the crochet?

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Heads. (These ones don't talk.)

There is a Pottery business here on the island that has been here for years.  Wright's Pottery.

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I have often bought plates and other odds and ends but they also makes flower pots and bird baths.  I would eventually like one of the bird baths but for now I have a new collection of flower pots.

 I want them for my upstairs rear balcony. 

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It is very bland at the moment and I have to be careful with pots in as much as there can't be too much water used up here.  (It will rot the balcony timber over time.)  These pots will all be planted out with succulents that need little water.  I am going to have to design a special stand to put them on under the window.

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I couldn't decide which ones I wanted so I bought the lot.

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They are not the most beautiful but they are unique.  They speak of where I live and everyone has it's own character.  I have started planting them out and each one is to be named.  I'm testing the names, they may change as I get used to them.

This is a mother and son pair and she looks a bit South American.  He is a Rafael, not sure about her yet, but it could be Carmen.

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A woman with presence.  Agatha?

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This is my sister and I.  One dark one fair. Carolyne and Glenyss.

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A husband and wife pair.  Brian and Margaret.

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That leaves just one. A mystery man.  I wonder who he is?

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Back in the swing of it.

Monday is baby sitting day with my grand daughters.  We are up before the larks to catch an early ferry and home as it gets dark.  That means that within a couple of weeks we will be up before the sun and home well after it is set.  But these days are going to rush by.  Childhood doesn't last very long.  We have to take advantage of every moment.

The little one, Jamine is only 4 years old and started prep this year.  (She looks so like my husband and her father.)

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When I woke her this morning I found some of her treasured toys all in bed with her.  Two dinosaurs and Peter Rabbit.  Love her little heart.

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Pinching things

My daughter came home from her trip to New Zealand and I was so pleased to see her.  It was her birthday and she had invited us to the Bowls Club but I was ill again so her father had to go for both of us.  This is the first time I have ever missed a celebration like this.  So to make amends I decided to steal some of her wonderful photos that she has taken.  (They need watermarks Laura.)

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My tramping days are over and I look at her photos and remember her rushing ahead of us when we walked in the mountians.  She was a young teenager and I was a worried mother but I knew I had to let her do it.

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She took up photography last year and has been taking some lovely photos.  I would still like to be able to go tramping with her but know that she is loving every minute of it as I used to.

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These photos are all so New Zealand.

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So that house is no longer overflowing with dogs.  She came and took Chester home and my son will come today to take his dog, Chopper, as well.  (I can hear my husband vacuming up the dog fur.)

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A year ago we visited Melbourne together.  I think I will have to come up with something for us both to do together this year.

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(Gee I look Like my sister!)

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The end of Summer

I know that the cool weather is coming but gee I wish it would put on some speed.  Summer this year has been very hot and tiresome.  Up until this year I have been able to handle high temperatures.  I couldn't sew in them but I could work in the garden and handle a list of other activities.  This year I think I would have expired without the air-conditioning.  I have an auto- immune problem that has been with me all my life but as I get older it is getting more difficult to live with.  My body just can't regulate my temperature very well and I have had a couple of bouts of severe dehydration as a result.  It is getting so uncomfortable I think I might have to visit the Doctor.  I hate the Doctor, he always finds something else wrong.

But, on another note, I seem to be getting the hang of growing flowers in pots.

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And I am experimenting with plants along the side of the house.  The best one is the Rosemary, (my middle name).  I am so pleased that this is thriving in the poor soil and the SE winds that come off the water.  My middle name came from my father's great aunt, who he and my grandmother loved.  My grandmother always used to point out the plant in the garden and tell me it was for remembrance.  She said to me after my Mother died;

"when you crush it between your fingers, the memory of loved ones is carried on the fragrance.  They can always be  with you if you have some Rosemary in the garden."

The best ones were those I bought in the supermarket at $3 each the more expensive ones from the hardware shop at $8 each have all died bar one.

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I have a bundle of old pots that I brought from our old garden and it is time to start replanting.  I know I will lose some but as long as I don't lose more than I plant it will be fine.

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The world and travel

This is  going to be my travel year, or, I hope it is going to be my travel year.  With everything that is happening in the USA what the year will bring is very uncertain and I, like many others, watch unfolding events  there with dismay.  If sane heads prevail, my plans for the year are , Sydney in June to see my family, then onto Japan in August, followed by Huston USA in Oct./Nov for the International Quilt Festival.  Then on to Guatemala in South America.

You might ask why Guatemala?  Well friend Pam is taking a group there and I plan to join them.  I had been tossing the idea around for a while and then I received this wonderful gift from her.

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This is a 'Huipil ' which comes from Guatemala.  It is a vintage piece from the highlands around Lake Atitlan.  The Mayan women usually wear their traje (traditional dress), which consists of a huipol (blouse), corte, (skirt) and Faja (belt).  These designs date back to before the Spanish Invasion.  in the 1600's.

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I am surprised by just how heavy the fabric is. The blouse is made of two pieces of fabric, woven on a back strap loom and then joined with embroidery across the centre to achieve the width needed to make a garment.

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 The embroidery design in then transferred onto the fabric and stitched.

Back of stitching.  You can see how the neck has been scalloped and then faced.

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Front of stitching.

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Close up of stitching.

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I love this piece and would also like to buy one with the bird embroidery on it.

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You can see lots of other examples here.

 

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A hot humid day

The day was fine but very hot and humid.  So hot that I had to retire to the air-conditioning after lunch and leave the celebrations.

As part of the celebration some on our island decided to invite the Quandamooka people over so that we could learn more about their stories and in doing learn more about our shared country and celebrate it together.  I have to say it was a wonderful day.  I learnt lots of things that never made it into our history books and my admiration for how these people have reconstructed their lives after the brutality that they experienced just grows.

Most of the dance group are of the python snake totem.  There was something special about their rendition of their totem song.

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It is in the surrounding bush  that 'George' lives.  He is a very old and very big python.   I have only seen him a couple of times over the last 30 years but he is impressive and others on the island say that he is well over 60 years old.  I hope he was listening.

The time and effort that goes into making their costumes can be appreciated when you see them up close.

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This group of people have set out to reclaim who they are.  They are putting back their culture bit by bit.  They have collected all the bits they have remembered and gone to other tribal groups to have them show them the bits they have forgotten or lost and then improved on it.  Most of their artifacts were 'collected' and sent to museums around the world, including the bones of their ancestors which were 'collected' from their grave yards.   There are a few of the men who have lre-earnt to hunt again and to make spears and other implements and then improve on them.  The story of the spears, woomeras, boomerangs and other items was interesting.   I have often looked at the man on the $50 note, David Uniapon and knew he was a pastor but didn't know that he was a famous inventor.  He was the person who designed the rotors for helicopters pre WW1.  He based this on how a boomerang works  I had no idea that a boomerang could hover for 5 minutes in the air.

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The different types of spears was explained.  How they were made and what they were used for.

I had to laugh when the speaker said they had switched over to using bamboo because it was lighter, easier to work and so much better then the traditional spears.

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On the table behind him you can see a case with rocks in it.  Stradbroke is a sand island and rocks used for tools had to be traded from the mainland.  This collection have been carbon dated at 20,000 years old.  We found a grinding stone in the bush last year and returned it to these people.  I now know what a precious find this was.  It must have been hidden here when the 'collecting' began. The basket on the table is one of 2 that remained after the 'collecting'.

Many people had come to the island for the holiday including a group of indigenous children.  You could see the hunger in their faces as the soaked up all the information.

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They rushed to sit at the front and the men welcomed them and took them under their wing.  They loved the fire making and had never seen it before.

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Some of the stories were hard to listen to.  How in the days of the penal colony the soldiers had decided to kill certain troublesome men but the tribe was pre- warned by some of the convicts and had disappeared into the bush.  The soldiers were not happy that their prey had escaped so the went to Moreton Island, which was then connected to Stradbroke by a sand spit, and massacred the people.

That got me thinking about the convicts.  This settlement was for repeat offenders and the convicts were supposed to be the worst of the worst.  But they had enough compassion and risked their own lives to warn the people about the soldiers. 

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And I heard how Macleay Island, just across the channel was where all the slaves, 'blackbirded' from the Pacific Island were held before being distributed to the cane farms.  Some of these men were headhunters from the islands and apparently caused the local tribes all kind of trouble.  I had never known that before either.

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So it was a good Australia Day for me.  I found good things and bad but isn't that the story of all our lives?

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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!!!!!)


 

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