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February 2010


I have come down with the flu and the past 36 hours are a blurr.  Where did that come from?  I haven't even been with crowds of people and I would have expected this kind of thing when I was working with kids.  Maybe it is a wake up call to get my swine flu injection for this winter.

It is the last day of Summer and tomorrow will be officially Autumn.  I usually get up early and there is a definite crispness at that time.  All this means that it is nearly Easter.  On Ash wednesday I had thought about what I was going to give up but decided that this year I was going "to give" not give up.

So I am making Easter gifts for all my quilting group, (which I can not show you until Easter).  Baking special breads for all my family and Bunnies for the children of my nieces and nephews.  These bunnies are all the nieces and nephews of the Easter Bunny and not only will they bring each child an Easter egg they will keep their breakfast eggs warm as well.  I am in the process of writing a small story to go with each one.

So here they are, from left to right:

                     Elli, (Elinor), Essie, (Esther), Brad, (Bradberry) Grace and Phillis.


(You can buy this pattern from Little Cotton Rabbits)

Some replacements

I managed to find a couple of crocheted rugs in an Op shops at Toowoomba (again) to replace the two I had stolen off my front verandah.  They are not as good as the ones taken but they only cost $6.00 each and that wouldn't even cover the cost of the yarn.


It is amazing the emotional attachment you develop to an item when you make it yourself.  Those original rugs took months to make and I can still remember the feel of the yarn as I worked it.  Looking back at the old photos I see the verandah has changed, well it was replaced actually and my trees have now gone into the garden.  It is still a great place to sit and stitch.

Chairs 1

Getting the homework done

I'm about to turn into a pumpkin.  It is two minutes to 12 midnight and I have been up since 5 am.  The day started with our walk, that is Charlie and I, and it started to rain so we turned around and came home.  The rain seemed to clear up so I thought I would mow the lawns.  That out of the way, I did all the paths, had a shower and was ready for the sewing, then it really rained.

I have been putting this off for months.  I just haven't been able to face piecing fabric.  But as it was our patchwork meeting to night I couldn't put it off any longer.  I worked all the rest of the day and finally had the row complete and the measurements matched all those in the instructions.  I pinned it to the previous row didn't fit.


I couldn't go to the patchwork meeting because I hadn't got my homework finished.  So I stayed home and got that wretched thing to fit. Now I can hand it on.  I hope the next row of this add-a-line quilt isn't as stressful as this one!

The London Jungle Book

Another parcel from Amazon today, "The London Jungle Book" By Bhajju Shyam with Sirish Rao and Gita Wolf.  It is published by Tara Publishing in association with The Museum of London.


Non of those words really explain this book.  To say it is beautiful isn't saying enough.  It captures some of the innocence that we all had at one time.  Sometimes we see it in a little child but to find it in an adult is rare. I have met tribal people in the north of the country (Australia) who had that same quality.  I think it makes me realise what living in a modern world has cost, yet words don't explain it. It is something that you have to feel.

One of the best ways I can explain this is to look at the image of the London Eye.  When I stayed with my son in London I would look out the window and there it was.  At night it was illuminated and it was up there where people could look over the city.  It was a big ferris wheel.


The artist, Bhajju Shyam saw it differently, it was a real eye.  He brought his own cultural references to it and made it some thing so different.  There were all these other perceptions that are right outside my fields of reference, yet they make you look again and think with a sense of wonder.  And the art!


In this book he has does the same thing with many of the London land marks and with the people of London themselves.  I am so happy to have stumbled upon these wonderful books from Tara Publishing and thank you Bhajju for sharing this with us all. A treasure.


More TERS, (sort of.)

I went in to the Embroiderers Guild today and on the way up the street there was a St. Vinnie's store.  Well, now I have started this new society (The Embroidery Rescue Society) I thought I had better see if there was any embroidery to be saved.  Not one piece.  A lot of over priced clothing and bits and pieces but no embroidery.  Then I spied a piece of hot poker work.  You don't usually see much of this stuff around and it is normally expensive and here it was for $3.00.


"What is it?" asked the sales person.  "It looks like a paper towel holder but it hasn't any fittings".

This was made long before paper towels in fact it was signed and dated on the back.


It's a collapsible book stand and will be just perfect on my desk.



I skipped out of the store feeling very pleased with myself.  So pleased in fact that when a street person asked if I could give her $2.00 I gave her $4.00.  I continued on to the guild feeling I had been very lucky and then when crossing the road looked down and there was a $5.00 note.  It was a good day.

Monday is housework!

Yep, Monday has turned into housework day.  I so envy all my friends that have someone to come in and clean their house.  When I was single I had a housekeeper but when I got married my husband said it was a waste of money.  I said he could do it and he did, for a while and he still cleans his bathroom and the kitchen floor.  But now I'm not working I can see the dirt.  Amazing that I could not see it when I was working!  Oh well, I only have another month and I will be back at work and the dirt will disappear.

I thought I would take my camera with me when I walked this morning. We live in a pleasant street just 25 minutes walk from the city.  I love the light early in the morning and the birds yelling to each other.

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Our local church tower stand tall and that old house at the end of the street is falling to pieces.


My reason for taking the camera is that I have to design a garden embroidery but it is the fag end of summer and living in the sub tropics gardens are not the same as where the weather is more temperate. Here there are more coloured leaves and flowering trees but as I climb the hill I can look back over the houses to the city.


On the side of this hill is a remnant section of untouched  bush.  Here, less than 2 km from the heart of the city you can walk along bush paths and not realise that the city is so close.  I like to walk down the hill, it gets hot walking up in the heat and I start my walk with a view down the hill to the river.


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Starting the day like this is good for the soul and makes starting that wretched housework a bit easier.

I have to get my add-a-line quilt finished this week and an embroidered garden block but I've done my the devil is in the detail block for this week.  I kept dreaming of this face, not a real face but a ghost kind of face.  Out of focus but mauve and grey with mauve lights radiating from it.  Weird! 

A number of years ago our cottage quilt group did a workshop on dyeing.  I used my pieces as a teaching aid in the class room.  I had lots of kids who loved dyeing and used it in their work. Angela has taken her pieces and made this great quilt.  I wish I could quilt like this.

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T. E. R. S.

I am starting a new group called "The Embroidery Rescue Society".  It is a wonderful excuse for diving into bins in Op shops and Antique stores to rescue old pieces, or even new pieces of embroidery.  I have blocked the bobbin lace and cleaned and starched one of my pieces I found at St Vinnie's store that cost me 50c.  To the person who made this piece -" it is beautiful and I appreciate all the love and skill you put into it."


My friend Angela has joined the group as well.  Here are some pieces she rescued from a market in Germany.

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We are one yet we are many

These are words to song that goes on to say "and from all the lands on earth we come".  Like all countries that have an immigrant heritage the stories that come with the immigrants make the culture rich. 

My friend Angela's parents came to Australia from northern Germany, that part of Germany that was sometimes Danish, some times German.  With them they brought this beautiful trunk that was brought into the family as part of the dowry in the early 1800's and has been past on through the female line.  Angela's daughter has just had a little girl and she will be the 8th generation of that family to own the trunk.


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Angela also has samplers worked by her Grandmother and Great Grandmother.  This sampler was worked by her Grandmother when she was 8 years old.  It demonstrates three different cross stitch techniques. Working along a row and back again, completing the cross and a four sided stitch.  They all have the same appearance from the front it is only when you look at the back of the work you realise that there are three different Techniques.


Op Shopping

I spent the day with friends up at Toowoomba. I spent money in patchwork shops and we went to St. Vinnies Op shop.  This is the place for Op shopping.  I needed more time, there are lots of Op shops I didn't get to.

They had a half price sale on today so all the embroidered doilies were 50 cents each!!!  Can you believe it?  I really picked the work over and only choose those pieces that were well stitched.  Some pieces I know what I will do with. 

These sandwich plate doilies are going to be needle cases.


These I will use for quilt labels.  (Who ever stitched them used two different coloured greens.)


This I will use on pockets on a little girls skirt.


The stitching and crocheted edge on this one are really nice.  Don't know what I am going to do with it as it is too good to cut up.


These two are so horrible that I love them and the stitching is well done in sections.


These last two pieces are going to my friend at the Museum. The lace work looks like a mixture of bobbin and needle lace and has been made especially for this piece.  I will starch and block it so that the lace sits correctly first.


I bought all these pieces for the grand total of $4.50.  I'm going back!