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?



Lately the creativity bug has got me and my mind is racing with ideas so I thought it needed to calm down.  What to calm it? Back to an old cross stitch that I started in 2005.  I will finish this, eventually.  In fact I have now got all but the outer border finished.  I have enjoyed learning all the different types of stitches that have been used in Asissi embroidery and even though this piece has taken a long time to complete to this point I'm glad I kept at it.

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That border is repetitive stitching, so perfect when I sit with friends and chat.  I managed to have less than 1 metre of stranded cotton left over from the central design.  Just enough to sign my name and put the date on the piece.

I have to admit that yesterday I took time out to make jam and

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Potato and Leek soup in which I will add bacon when it is served.  I left the cream out of this recipe and made it on a light beef stock rather than chicken.  That will be great for lunches.  I also got to and made 6 lots of vegetables au gratin along with cooking some beef.   If I hadn't done that I might have got more of the border completed.

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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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Peace Embroidery No 3 March 2017

This design offered so much promise but I did it all wrong.  I think it would have been a lot better if I had just used a simple outline stitch instead of arguing with this #*% of a piece of embroidery.  (I might still do that just to see if it would work.)  Don't get me wrong, it isn't that bad, I just think it is worse.

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The other thing I am struggling with here is the light.  In my old home the light came at just the right direction, not so here.  I think that I am going to have to construct a light box for taking photos.  More research needed.

I took another photo of the piece hanging on the wall but the light was even worse.  That is really a fairly light coloured grey linen from Ikea backed with Amourweft interfacing to give it some body.  I used 2 stands of a DMC cotton.  And that is a whole other story! I used thread from my stash but didn't have enough.  Went to buy more, but, the colour has been discontinued.  So I had to use something close in colour. (The embroidery complained.)

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Still there have been some positives.  By the time I got to the final few leaves my satin stitch was smooth.  Now that has to be good news.  It has taken me a life time to get to this point.

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Where I live

I am stitching but I just can't show anyone what I am doing at the moment.  Secrets, secrets.

But I am doing other things.  I went to a book launch in which I am one of 50 women featured in the book.  That was exciting.

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I also attended An International Women's Day event, where some one questioned the day's relevancy.  That had be be spoken to and now I have quite a sore throat.

A magpie also turned up and started singing "where is my coffee?"

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I hadn't realised how loud that bird song would be in an enclosed space.  He certainly got everybody's attention. It has been very windy here with a 30 knot wind blowing in.  And during this time the raggy lillys have bloomed. I don't know their botanical name but they are a bit more ragged after the wind.

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I have been trying to work out how they could be stitched.  Not easily me thinks.  I think I need to go back and get some more close ups of them.








Another one hits the dust! Yoo Hoo. 

The book-cover is finished and constructed.  I doubted this design would stitch up as I had imagined it in my mind.  (A5 book size.)  My direct inspiration for this is the tree trunks of the trees outside the front of my home.

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Moving from the above picture to this wasn't an easy journey.  I had to find a way to get from that tangle of trees to something I could stitch and still keep the feeling of the trees.

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I isolated three tree trunks that I though were similar.

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Then I made a repeat pattern of this.  Next I changed how the limbs of the trees intersected, diguising that pattern.  I then stitched the outline of all the design is stem stitch using Sef Francis fine perle and the water in differing colours of Danish Flower thread with just a little rayon thread for high light.  Where I used the same stitch I had used in one tree I repeated this in another but changed the thread.

The class, for which this sample was created, is called "Exploring More Stitches'  and will be held on Saturday 22nd of April at the Queensland Embroiderers' Guild.





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!)





Not keepings up

I am one of those people who likes to write.  Every piece of embroidery I design becomes an entry in a journal.  I used to keep a daily journal of my life but now it is down to 'notes'.

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But I have kept some of those old journals.  When we moved I had nowhere to keep them so all except the most precious were consigned to the bin,

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At one point I thought I would make covers for everyone but they took up too much space in the book case.

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So the one I am working on at the moment has a tattty old cover.  It is a piece of wool that I was experimenting on regarding how to sew up the covers.

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Actually this journal is about the book cover I have been working on and talked about in my WIPW post.  I think this is the most detailed account I have ever kept of a piece of work.  I have pasted lot of bits and pieces in the pages and I will need a rubber band soon to close it.

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At the front of the book I write my musings about why I am stitching the piece.  Well it actually started as a bit of rhyming verse.  The question I asked myself was "when I look out my window what do I see?"  Kindergarten stuff.  I find the more I write the more images come into my mind.  (I think in pictures.)  This piece is beginning to feel that I haven't scratched the surface as yet.  I walk around the house looking out every window asking, "what am I seeing and how does it make me feel". 

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Yesterday I started taking pictures.  Of the scene I have just finished stitching.

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To some ideas about future stitching.

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Doing this I managed to get photo bombed by a dragon fly.

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From the back of the book I write the nitty gritty of what I am doing.  Threads, stitches, how I changed the stitch, what to expect when I use that stitch that way.  

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I put a full copy of the stitching in there along with the drawings and then take each part and write how I stitched it.  That is great if I then teach a class about that piece.  I am able to assemble the notes easily and it is a great memory jogger when asked a question.

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My friend said I should make a book out some of theses journals.  Now that is food for thought.


Parcel in the post

There is a little shop, nearly at the end of the road to the water, at Kingston Beach in Tasmania, called Wafu Works.

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(image from Wafu Works website.)

There is so much to see in there and so much that I would like to buy and not just textiles.  I really want this tea set.  I'm just not sure it would get here in one piece.  Every since I read the stories of the girl in the moon and her rabbits I have loved this type of design.

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(image from Wafu Works facebook page.)

 On their web page there is an image of an appliqued lady on paper.  You have to see these, they are quiet beautiful.

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I have just bought a bundle of vintage cotton fabric to use in a gift  I need to make and the parcel has just arrived in the post.  Problem is, they are so beautiful I won't want to give it away.

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Now I realise that I have a whole lot of gifts that have to be finished for Easter.  March is going to be a VERY busy month.