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September 2011
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November 2011

October 2011

Using some of my collection

I am a collector, sometimes bordering on a horder, but, I keep pulling myself up and getting rid of the excess when it threatens to overwhelm me.  Sometimes it overwhelms me and then I get rid of it.  One thing that I collect/hord is photos.  I'm up to 8,500 again in my iphoto folder

Some of them I have collected as ideas for embroidery.  I ljust say "Oh I like that",  click, into the folder, no reference or source.  Then, when I am looking for something I can't remember where I got it from.  But as most of my work is for myself and not for sale it doesn't matter too much.   If I want it for a design I can't use it in case I breach copyright.

So these little suits are for my grand daughter.  Two of the designs are from Jenny Hart's book, 'Embroidery Effects' which I purchased.


 The other embroidery is from images I have collected in that folder, and I have changed a bit, and I thank the artists who posted them onto the net.    My grand daughter looks really cute in them.  (More elephants!)



Another way to rescue old embroidery - again

I came across this image at Craftypod and then realised it was done by one of the embroiderers that I follow, Sarah Terry.   Only problem is it is nearly that time of year when these creepy crawlies make there appearance.  Time to get the pest man.

I might stitch one for my niece, she lives south of the border in cockroach country.

(Craftpod has a freedownload for the pattern)

Sunday Markets

I went with my son and family to the Sunday Markets that are set up in the car park of the local shopping centre at Logan Central.  It cost $1 to get in and if you left you had to pay to go in again.


Most of the stall holders were selling things out of the boot of their car but others were small traders. Some people came from the Pacific Islands and I had to go away and look up what some of the foods on sale at this stall were.


Kina I think is the flesh of sea urchins.  The raw fish was sold out. Mussels and oysters I knew, love NZ mussels.  And I know what Mutton birds are but didn't think that anyone ate them.  I was wrong.  I found a recipe for fry bread and will have to give it a try.  Rewana is a Maori bread and I found a clip on You Tube, but it wasn't in English Those Kiwi's may be world rugby champions but they sure have funny food.

I bought some handmade necklaces made from coconut shell from a man from Samoa.


And there was a lot of junk that wasn't bad to look at but I didn't need.

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There was so much going on that the bubble machine just couldn't hold Monique's attention.


I hear there is a good food market on Sundays nearby.  Small farmers bring in their goods and the majority are from Africa and Vietnam.  I will have to check that one out.


DSC03569I really liked those elephants around the border of the Kantha Quilt yesterday, so I did a drawing of one to embroider.  Here it is as a free download. Download Elephant

I never meant it to happen, but I have collected a small herd of elephants over the years.  Statues that is.  They come from India, Thailand and Africa and some from various airports in south east asia when I didn't know what to buy as a gift.  I also stitched a whole section of my 'The devil is in the detail'  challenge that was based on elephants, here, here, here, and here. 

I saw this elephant in Rajestan, live,

and this one painted on the wall of one of the hotels we visited.

 I have two painting on silk of elephants I bought in India as well.

The other day reading Pam's blog and her video about the embroiderers of the Tambani project I remembered that I had bought 6 of these embroideries from Ina in Houston a few years ago.  Amongst them was an embroidery of an African Elephant and the story that went with it.  All the embroideries have stories from the Venda people of South Africa.

Isn't he the most excellent elephant?


Each embroidery comes with a copy of the story that the embroidery illustrates and a small card about the stitcher.  I found this stitcher's story touching.  It was only a few words but it showed her as a person of great resourcefulness and a great faith.


You can buy these embroideries online at their website.  After going back and reading some of the stories I see that I have to buy more embroideries,  just to have the whole set for each story that is.  They are very special and I intend to tell my grand children all the stories and also about the women who stitched the pictures.

Threads - 3

The other large Kantha quilt was titled Village Scenes (2010) , Nakshi kantha quilt: tussar silk with embroidery with a diameter of 223cm.


Just so much detail.  There were elements within the quilt that I loved, like the centre borders and those wonderful elephants around the outer edge.



The scroll design of the background was like a fabric print.


And some of the scenes of village life are delightful.


However, I think I liked the other Kantha quilt better, despite it's imperfections.


Some people are an inspiration and this man and his work, is one of them.  I went to hear Bunker Roy speak at a Sustainability event here in Brisbane a couple of years ago and was deeply moved.  Here he is giving almost the same talk.  He is changing the 3rd world with grandmothers.  

If you google his name you will find a list of videos on You Tube about his work.



Threads exhibition 2

There was one section of the exhibition that featured Indian embroidery, much to my delight.  I love Kantha Quilts and there was one there, worked on silk.  It didn't hang very well as the fabric had dropped on one side and viewed from a distance it wasn't striking.


But up close the stitching and designs were wonderful. 

The acknowledgement with the quilt is a bit blurry but readable.


It was the detail that was stunning.

The border design where running stitch is used so effectively.


And those wonderful motives, all of which could be an embroidery composition in their own right.


In amongst all this detail I found one panel with birds, parrots I think.


I have added these to my collection.  I'm designing a piece using all the birds I have spied. 

Here is the first one as a PDFDownload Indian bird 1

Some finds

When I visited Toowoomba last I just had to go to the Op shop.  I love St. Vinnies up there, I always come away with loads of goodies.  This time I found a set of Japanese bowls that didn't make it past the front door as my daughter claimed them for herself, so no photo.  I also bought this African bead bag, cost $2.00.  All that work for $2.00.


I was also on the lookout for a long sleeved shirt to wear in the garden.  One made from soft shear cotton that you get from India.  And low and behold there was one in my size, cost $2.00.  I brought it home and washed it and then lovingly ironed it.  The more I ironed the more I thought "this is too good for the garden".


It was beautifully made with the bottom hem having a piped insert backed by a bias strip that had been hand hemmed in position.


All the sewing was beautiful with the exception of where the previous owner had cut off the pockets and slip stitched them shut.


When I was ironing the front facings I realised that every button had a different design on it, even the spare one.  I have a feeling that the symbols on them mean something but I don't know what.

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There were no embroideries this time just lots of crocheted doilies. 


I came across this entry on Bronwyn Haye's blog showing tons of ways to use old doilies.   There are also lots of other great tutorials on this site.