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February 2010
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April 2010

March 2010

A new project

It's April tomorrow so time to get the wool and needles out.  This year there are extra reasons to get busy as my niece and my God son and his wife are expecting new babies later in the year.  I hit the shops to see what I could buy and was shocked at this price of wool.  It's been a while since I had to buy any.  I ended up with my old favourite the Bendigo Woollen Mills.  They had the best range of colours at the best price and the best quality.  The parcel was at the front door is less than a week.  Great service.


I wondered what use I would find for this pillow holder.  Just right for wools, especially these big 200g balls.  No joins here.  I thought that I would make some bright rugs that can go into the cot as the babies get bigger.  So now out with the crochet hook and a little work every day.

David Bromley

On by way down the road from the Guild today I walked past the Jan Murphy Galleries where there is an exhibition of David Bromley paintings.  I like his art as it is a mixture of graphic design and straight art.  Looking through the window I realised that the surface of the painting had been stitched.


Taking a picture through a window doesn't really show the beauty of the piece so I took my shopping trolley inside and managed to take this photo.


I have never seen machine stitching over a painted canvas before.  This was painted and then machine embroidered to the artists specifications.  Some of the stitching was very heavy and others more like Kathna quilting.  a really interesting approach.


(Click on the images for a closer view.) 

TAST 2010 week 4 - Portuguese Border Stitch

Gee I have only just made it, tomorrow is Tuesday again.


I enjoyed working this stitch in a frame.  I could control the tension far more than without.  It works with all kinds of thread and will move in any direction you want to send it.  Sorry about that face but once I drew those circles I was gone.

This is a beautiful border stitch and I intend to use it on some of my pieces.  That is when I get around to stitching them!


I also made the slice that Sandy had on her blog.  Hardly any left as soon as it was on the plate.  I used 4 large passion-fruit which made the topping a bit sloppy but delicious.  I must plant some vines.  We always had them planted over the lattice on the outside toilet.  Funny the things you remember.  We had tons of them now they cost $1.00 each.

Sunday rolls around again.

Sunday is the night my family comes to dinner and I try to cook something special.  I never have any photos because they eat everything and it is such a rush to get it ready.  Tonight we had roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and gravy. Roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes and steamed beans.  Dessert was that old favourite, apple crumble.


Cooking is so much part of who I am I forget that lots of other people don't cook, including my daughters-in -law who come for lessons.  I had a visitor at morning tea time so I quickly cooked some scones while we were talking.  "How did you do that?" was the surprised response from my friend.  But it is so easy. Here are some tips.


If I only have one or two people I only make a small batch.  I start by lighting my oven on a hot temperature and have the rack at the top of the oven. 

The ingredients are;

1 cup of Self Raising Flour and 1 tablespoon of icing sugar sifted together.

1 table spoon of butter melted in the microwave and mixed with just under a half cup of milk.

Pour this into the flour mixture and mix with a table knife until the mixture holds together.  It should be just sticking to the bowl and be tacky to touch.

Put flour on your bench and flour your hands.  Turn out the mixture and knead lightly.

Press out with your fingers till it is about 1cm thick.

I use a small floured cutter so that the scones will cook quickly and round off each one as it is cut. (This mixture makes about 6 scones.)

These are put close together on a sheet of bake paper on a scone tray and glazed with a little milk.

I now turn my oven down to about 210 degrees Centigrade or 420 F and put my tray on the top shelf.

They take about 12 mins to cook.

Melting the butter isn't as good a rubbing it in but it is quick and not as messy and if you are going to eat them straight away you won't know the difference.

Oh! and week 18's design is up as well.  A busy day.

End of the week.

I am all behind because of the cookery competition and then the Quilt Fair.  Oh well a bit of pressure never hurts.  I went through the park this morning and that dragon was covered in kids.  No one was frightened.  They were lining up to get on her.

The other momentous thing that happened this week as the removal of our side fence and the building of the new one.  We live on a corner so we have lots of fence.  All my lemon scented tea trees are gone.  it was sad to see them being cut up and taken away.

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Do have a look at Pammy's latest video on the quilt show.  Some wonderful colours and sights.


My local park

I spent today on the Embroiderers' Guild stall at the craft fair so no sewing today.  Everyone liked their Easter gifts at Patchwork so I feel a sense of satisfaction with my work.  In fact I think I will make more pin cushions as it is a great way to try out new stitches.

In my local park there are these amazing Banyan trees.  When my children were young we would spend hours as they climbed all over these trees. Back in those days there were hardly any other children and the park wasn't considered very safe, but we were there most days.


Now they have added a children's climbing frame that winds it's way through the trees and it is super popular, along with the whole park.  So popular in fact that they had added wooden walkways to protect the trees.  They are being loved to death.


The workmen moved out today and look what they uncovered.  I hope she doesn't scare the little children!



Just about finished

Tonight is the last meeting of my patchwork group before Easter and I have just about finished all the gifts.  The designs vary in effectiveness and each one takes about 3 or 4 hours work.  That time would be cut back the more you refined your designs.   I still have two to finish, just hope there are two people away tonight.


I think that I like these six embroidery designs the best. ( I have tried a different design on each pin cushion.)
 And wouldn't you know it three of them have the cheaper felt in the cushion section.  (The red ones.)


And I love using silk threads and the pure wool felt.  I have now found a source in the UK but I like the thicker wool felts I can get here as well.  I have just used those soft drink bottle caps, like coke, which I covered for the base and then a 3" circle for the top, gathered and stuffed with fibre fill.  I got the idea from the V&A museum shop where there were pin cushion rings for sale.  Maybe I will make rings next time.


A sad day

Our cat Fluffy would have been 21 years old in September but I had her put down today.  Over the last year she had got very thin and couldn't clean herself properly so we all took it in turns to brush her everyday.  She loved it. 


Then this afternoon she couldn't walk properly or focus her eyes.  I took her to the Vet straight away and he did an X ray which showed she had a brain tumor.  Nearly 21 years is a long life for a cat.


She wandered in to next door when she was a kitten and my then neighbour, who is a softy for animals, fed her.  But she was moving and my children smuggled her into our home and hid her for three weeks before I found her.  Then it was too late.


She and I have had a love hate relationship and now at the end I find that it was more love than hate.  Good bye Fluffy thank you for being our cat.



I have to go to work tomorrow and for the first time in my life I am not looking forward to it.  Tomorrow is only to see my staff and find out what my timetable is but I do like sitting at home and sewing.

I have been unable to attend the cookery competitions as I have picked up some bug plus I just have no drive at the moment. I went it yesterday and turned around and came home again.  I did take some terrible photos on my point and shoot of part of the "Salon Culinaire"  static displays.  (The poodle is carved from butter.)

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There were some beautiful pieces and the majority of the work is by apprentices.

DSCF0004 Malaysian Rainbow Jelly with passion fruit and kiwi sauce.


DSCF0011  Colourful Brazilian Jelly.

But I think that my favourite was the Korean folding screen.  (The first three photos were it bit fuzzy but still beautiful.)


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There were 53 entries in this category and all of them of exceptional standard.