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April 2010

It must be something I ate

It must be, I do not feel well.  So I am just going to sit with my crocheting and watch TV to night.

I found this written on Rima Staines site , I often wander there and find things that delight and fill me with wonder.  (The image I found one of my walks.)

You are not accidental. Existence needs you.
Without you something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it. That’s what gives you dignity, that the whole existence will miss you.
The stars and sun and moon, the trees and birds and earth - everything in the universe will feel a small place is vacant which cannot be filled by anybody except you.  This gives you a tremendous joy, a fulfillment that you are related to existence, and existence cares for you. Once you are clean and clear, you can see tremendous love falling on you from all dimensions.


Some new threads

I must have had a senior moment yesterday.  I spoke about Ann Barnett's photo and forgot to upload it.  So here it is.  That is what a convict woman looks like, that same as every other woman of that time, amazing.  When I was looking for information on Ann (married name Tollis) it is obvious that the fact that she was a convict was kept from her children.  It took some time till I found some one who knew her correct maiden name.


My hand dyed threads from the Thread Studio arrived in the mail today.  I bought a surprise pack of 10 different threads for $30.00, $3.00 each.  Now that is a good price.  Better get stitching on my TAST for this week.


Another bonnet for the Project

Firstly, I have to say that I was so annoyed with myself that I sat up late and finished the challenge for week 22.  What a tragic!  Still it is done and now I can start thinking about next week.

This is the last bonnet for the maternal side of my family.  Ann Barnett was my grandfathers great aunt and there is even an old photo of her.  (Gosh I'm a great aunt as well, that brings it into perspective.)


At seventeen years of age Ann was arrested for stealing clothing.  She had been in the poor house and seems to have been desperate not to go back there and it also appears that she  had no family or friends.  She was transported for seven years, leaving London on 5th January 1829 and arriving in Sydney on the 9th May in the same year (123 days). on the Princess Royal.   Conditions on the transports had improved by this time and the health of the prisoners was monitored by the ships surgeon. 

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By 1820 there were far better records of descriptions of convicts.  Ann was described as 4 feet 11 and 1/2 inches tall, fair and pale and little pock-pitted complexion.  Light brown hair and hazel grey eyes with a brown speck inside the right eye.  Her nose was cocked, and she had two large cuts on her lower right arm and a tattoo on the upper, JM I love to the heart.

Ann and Thomas had 11 children all of whom prospered.   Ann’s transportation and consequent  marriage had resulted in a happy and settled life.  Her photo, taken with all her jewelery, including four rings on her right hand, seems to show that she  knew that she was now a woman of substance.  She died in 1885 having in excess of 40 grandchildren and approximately ten great grandchildren.


I am not going to get to my challenge piece until later in the week and then I will be behind.  I do have all the fabric selected and have a design worked out but family and work have now taken higher priority.


I would have started yesterday but my daughter asked if she could bring her boyfriends parents to dinner.  Now that meant that I had to not only cook, which takes time, but clean the house from top to bottom, and that takes more time.  So no challenge piece.  Then I thought I would get to it today but my son wanted me to come and look at his renovations.  He is so proud of his work I just had to go, so there was most of today.   So no challenge piece.  My other son's partner has just started at University so I am the proof reader and academic adviser as well.  I have all my classes to prepare for the week.  That challenge piece is getting pushed further down the list of priorities.

I did take Saturday afternoon to go to the Guild and stitch.  I came away with a lot of half finished work and a list of other jobs to add to those that I haven't finished. 


I am slowly getting on with my crocheted rug and it is looking good but I have an horrible feeling that the original was worked in 8 ply and I am working in 5 ply.  That means that the blocks will be smaller and I will have to make more than the 170 I have started to get the piece to the right size.    Oh well, what is life without a little challenge and stress?

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The gift of peace

Today is ANZAC Day, the day we remember the sacrifices made by Australian and New Zealand men and women in defense of their country.  I am always surprised by the reverence shown by the students at school when we hold this service.  They understand the sacrifice even at this young age.


This morning on my walk I passed through our local park (New Farm Park Brisbane) where there is a memorial to those who died on the death marches at Sandakan in Borneo.  There were 3,600 Indonesians killed who were used as slave labour.  Of the Allied force of 2,400 men only 6 Australians survived.


In the bright sunshine a crowd of people had gathered for the commemorative service.  Old Diggers with bright medals, families with babies and little children, relatives of the dead, passers by who stopped to remember.  I noticed that the Premier of the State was there to lay a wreath.  But, what I didn't see was one police man or any security guards.   One of the great legacies from these terrible times has been the gift of peace.

James Douglas Floyd At this time I always think of my father who served in WW11 as part of the Australian Air Force.  He died in his 50's as a result of wounds received during the war. 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Saturday walk

Well Pammy has her ipad, I am still waiting for mine.  I ordered it ages ago but the Australian launch has been put off for another month.  So I sit with green eyes and wait.  I hope it doesn't get put off again.

It is a cool damp day and the light isn't too good so I have decided to have a rest from stitching and went for a long walk instead.  It always surprises me what I see in peoples gardens and on their fences.  Like;

grapes on the vine ( this is a city suburb)


Lost items sitting on fences

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 And then there is graffiti.



I think someone paid to have this one done.


There is always plenty to look at on my walks.

How can you forget your Grandmothers name?

I have finished another bonnet for the Roses from the Heart project.  This is for another great, great, great grandmother on the maternal side of my family, in fact my grandfather's grandmother's mother, but her name is not recorded.  I find this really difficult to believe, that whoever filled out the details on the death certificate, didn't know her name and her name is lost to future generations. 

So she is now known as the mother of Sophia Frances Wolford.


Sophia was known by her middle name, Frances.  On her death certificate it states that she was born at sea, her father was Francis Wolford, warder, and her mother unknown.  From this it can be deduced that her mother was probably a convict, who become pregnant to a goal warder in England, and subsequently gave birth to her daughter during the voyage in approximately 1820.  Her mother's name would not have been Wolford.  Frances married twice. To Nathaniel Tollis and then Stephen Upton.  All of her 8 children came from the first marriage.  She died in 1905 at eighty five years of age.


So much family history is lost because people would not talk about convict ancestors.  I lived with my grandparents till I was 5 years old and then returned to them, because I was ill, for eighteen months from 6yrs till nearly 8yrs.  I think I must have been a chatterbox because I remember all of the conversations my grandfather and I had.  There are things that he told me that could only have come from his grandfather who would have heard them from his father.  His great grandfather was a sailor on a whaling boat and he spoke about the smell of Sydney when the boats came into the harbour and especially the smell of 'The Rocks', a notorious part of the city.  About the 'pushes' or gangs that ran the crime in the city and how many of these men were ex convicts or sons of ex convicts.  So much history lost, along with the name of Frances Wolford's mother.

A Scrappy Quilt

I'm late tonight as I have been to my patchwork group.  I rushed home from work to cook, because it was my night for the sweet section of supper.  No photos, everything was eaten.  Anzac biscuits, (it's ANZAC Day this week end), The passion fruit slice from Sandy and a vanilla cake with passion fruit icing.

There has been a rash of scrappy quilts.  Everyone is trying to use up their stash, I think so they can all buy new fabric.  (I had better get sewing.)  I love this quilt made by Barbara.  It had a narrow orange binding around the outside. ( Looking at the photo I see lots of green, Barbara hates green.)

I can feel a scrap quilt coming on.


TAST 2010 - Week 8 - Fancy Hem Stitch

I like this stitch best as a band or stacked in straight rows.  The second circle has potential and I think there are variations that could be stitched using wools.  It is interesting the variations you can develop using different tensions and various thicknesses of threads. I can see a place for it's use but I don't think I would use it on a hem.


A new book

My copy of 'The girl on the wall'  by Jean Baggot arrived today.  I purchased it from Amazon UK so it must have been on one of the last flights out before they closed all the airports.


It is a social history written by a woman who lived it and stitched it into an embroidery.  As an educator I am finding it very interesting.  Often when we study history it is all about what men do, this is about the life of a woman who lives a life much like you and me.  It reflects the lives of many women of that generation and I think gives voice to the lives of other women as well.  I'm glad she used her embroidery to help tell the story.  It is a skills shared and loved by many women and gives depth to the narrative.  There is a promo on You Tube also.