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August 2009
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September 2009

A major milestone

My life has been over the top for the past few days.  The honeymooners have flown away to the USA and I have just put the last of the visitors on the plane home. 

I hadn't expected the emotions that I experiences with the marriage of my son.  My own mother died when I was only 16 years old and my father when I was in my 20's.  There has been no one to tell me what to expect in life.  The emotions that flooded in at the birth of my children or any of the other major events of life have all come as a surprise.  It is at times likes these that I miss having parents.

It has been the same with this wedding.  My sons came home to prepare for the ceremony and as I sewed the buttons on their vests it hit me that this was my last task as the mother of an unmarried son.


The days of having little boys around the house flooded back.  Their noise, fights, hobbies, friends, sports, school, university and then they moved out into the world.  I often wondered if they would be friends but need not have worried.  They are close and love each other and their sister.  So now I move into another phase of my life and I suppose there will be lots of surprise emotions in the future as there has been in the past.

In his speech as best man,  Guy, the younger of the two spoke about his first day at school and how his brother looked out for him.  He took him aside and told him that "the teachers will beat you but don't worry they do it to everyone."  No wonder there were fights.


So here they stand together at another milestone as bride groom and his best man.  I wish my mother and father could have been here to see them.



I can see clearly now!

This wedding is only 2 days away now and yesterday afternoon we drove out into the dust to the wedding rehearsal.  The wedding is going to be held at Toowong Rowing Club where my husband is a member of the veteran rowing squad.  It is situated on the Brisbane river in the grounds of the University of Queensland.


(The club is located a F,1 at the top of the map)  All these words just mean that is a great location to have a wedding.  We then went out to dinner, which the bride and groom hosted as a thank you to parents.  A lovely touch.  When we left the restaurant we looked into the night sky and could see the moon and the stars.  The dust had been blown away.

This morning I took some after photos of some of the places I showed yesterday.  I really can see clearly now.  It is so good to see the clear sky.




Now I have to clean the house to get rid of the dust!

Weird Weather

I was reading Kathy's blog Material Obsessions and she has this amazing picture of a red morning sky.



We had a normal morning sky here is Brisbane over 1,000 km north of Kathy, but then a westerly wind began to blow bringing the red dust of the desert with it.  Kathy said that the cars were coated with dust down there, but now at midday, everything in my house has a thick layer of dust over it and I have kept all the doors and windows closed.  I wondered why I was coughing and sneezing.  Every breath tastes of dust.

At first it looked like a fog, now it looks like a sepia photo.  The visibility is greatly reduced, and there is this strange claustrophobic feeling.



Then at times it lifts slightly only to descend and smother everything again.  The houses on the other side of the river looks ghost like and colours are changed.  Especially the colour green, mauve and bright red have become nothing colours but the greens are quite different.








I kept seeing a blue strobe light reflected in windows and any kind of reflective surface.  Then I realised that it was the sun.  I'm not sure if I hate this light or am fascinated by it.  A bit of both I guess.





Old Books

I spent the day at the Queensland Embroiderers' Guild, but didn't get a lot of stitching done.  There was a donation of books and patterns and time was spent sorting through the goods.  We often get donations of goods from family of old people who have passed away and normally you have no idea who the person was who collected and loved these books.  But, in the front of these books some one had pasted a label saying who the person was.  Every time I look at these books I will think of Kate Pemberton.


One of the books in this bundle was a Danish embroidery book called 'Sting og Monstre for Skole of Hjem', (Stitches and Patterns for Schools and Home) Gyldendal, Nordisk Forlag, Copenhagen, 1936.  It holds a treasure trove of embroidery patterns.






Some Eye Candy




I was having a look on the Quiltmania site to see if I could find a book I was looking for and came across 6 pages of books, all of which you can have a look inside.  There are so many good titles that I don't know where to start.  I think it will be this book an Islamic Art.  But there are just so many interesting things to look at here!  I think that I might subscribe to this magazine.


Getting too old to party

I have been burning the candle at both ends with parties and trips to the theatre.   I haven't been to a performance put on by a musical society for years.  In Sydney these societies were used by aspiring young performers (including myself) as a starting point to gain experience.  This is where Dame Joan Sutherland began her singing career.

This performance of 'Le Miserables' was given by the Ignations musical society.  The reason for going was that the 8 year old daughter of a friend was singing the role of Cossette.  There were many good performances, in fact all of them were good but Mabel, who is my friends daughter, WAS Cossette.  Not only a beautiful singing voice but the ability to get inside the character.  Quite something for an 8 year old.




Wedding preparations

It is only a week to my son's wedding.  Guests are starting to arrive from around the world, the Netherlands, USA, Ireland, England, Singapore.  It amazes me that his friends will fly from the other side of the world for three days.

Today the parties for the last weekend as single persons for the bride and groom start.  The head bridesmaid forgot about the catering for the afternoon tea so it has been a flurry of cooking.


We had afternoon tea in the Roma Street parklands and walking through the park I past a crane, a duck and her ducklings and the iris' were in bloom.  It seemed to be miles away from the city but the city was just outside the gate.









Taking my own advice

I have a trick I use with my students when we reach the "ideation" stage of the design process.  I make them rule up the page in their drawing book and then tell them just to draw ideas for their design in each of the square.  The girls I tell to use pen only, no rubbers allowed, boys don't seem to worry so much about being perfect.   Even if the drawings are not good there are always a couple on the page that can be developed and they get over that fear of making mistakes.

So, with the designs for the embroidery on the thumb pin cushions I have taken my own advice.  I ruled up the page and drew, no rubbing out.  Some are terrible but some will make great embroideries.


People of the ice

I have been reading the book "The legend of Sigurd & Gudrun" by J.R.R. Tolkien.  (Yes the same author as "The Lord of the Rings".)    The editor, Christopher Tolkien, refers quite extensively, to notes and lectures his father gave whilst a professor at Oxford University.  In one section her refers to the fact that the peoples of Scandinavia have lived there since the Stone Age.  This got me thinking about other peoples who lived in these regions especially the Lapps and the Eskimos.  I have quite a collection of designs from the Lapp peoples and I wondered if Eskimo peoples had designs that they used on the clothing and other items.

I came across a reference to a Russian book that was translated into French and then English Called "The Peoples of the Great North" Art and Civilization of Siberia, so, straight onto Amazon where I found a copy.  It arrived today.  ( Amazon UK)


I hadn't expected anything as wonderful as what I have found inside.  Beautiful clothing.


The designs used to decorate the hides are naive yet so modern.  There are elements that have been developed further in Russian designs and those of Mongolia and China yet they have that indigenous character.

Then I found these two rugs that are made from skins.  The applique is sewn with reindeer hide.  They would make fantastic quilts.

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