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October 2011
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December 2011

November 2011

Acknowledging sources

As more information becomes available on the net and in print about past embroidery designs some people are becoming disenchanted about pieces that are marked 'Original Design' or "copyright" only to find that these works have been inspired by past embroiderers, many of whom are nameless.  Some of these works are almost exact copies, with either the threads or colours being changed.

If I was marking an assignment from a student, not acknowledging sources of information would see their work being marked down severely.   In this day and age it is very difficult to be truly original.  Sometimes your work will look almost the same as someone else's without you even trying to copy.  But, I personally believe that it is a question of ethics and it is ethical to acknowledge the source of your inspiration.

This brings me to a little design card I found from the Embroiderers' Guild in London back when they were in Wimpole St.  They were a small postcard size.  This one had a wonderful drawing of an elephant on it.  (I think it is going into one of my pieces.)

And on the back was the  acknowledgement of  the source.

Now, he has probably changed a little when the artist drew him and I will change him quite a bit as well.  But he will be a new elephant inspired by a drawing of an elephant on a strip of chinese embroidery.  He has a history and the design will be richer for acknowledging it.


There is this amazing cake shop, that isn't the right word it is far more than just a cake shop, in Sydney called Zumbo.  Sweets to die for.  The most delicious cakes that are indescribable.  I know what my daughter is getting for Christmas, if I can get a copy.


Follow the link to Not Quite Nigella for the most fantastic images.  Just make sure you have eaten first because you will be drooling.  Oh, and I'm winning that competition.

I wonder who G.C.was?

I bought another thimble yesterday.  It is a Dorcas No 5.  A large size because my fingers swell with the heat in summer and my normal thimble is a little tight.


I have been using Dorcas thimbles for a long time now.  The first one I found in an antique shop back in the 1970's.  It was black but had a wonderful pattern on the outside and I got out the Silvo and cleaned it till it shone.  I just liked it because of it's appearance but then I got to love it because it was so comfortable to use.


Now I always check if I see a thimble stall, where ever I am in the world, just in case.  Mostly I find that they are very expensive,  so I only look, but yesterday these thimbles were affordable.  My new thimble was owned by someone with the initials G.C., I wonder who she was?  She obviously used the thimble a lot from it appearence. 


So G.C., even though we never met your thimble has been bought by someone who will love and use it and think of the woman to whom it originally belonged every time I stitch with it.


Back Home

We had a great time away at O'Rielly's Rainforest Resort and although my mind is rested my body is sore from all the physical activity.  I have a ton of photos that have to be sorted and I must get back to work.  I don't know why but the end of the year always seems to present a bundle of deadlines not to mention the Emails that have to be dealt with.


Since becoming self employed this year I have had plenty of work but not a lot of monetary reward.  This is in contrast to the high paid position I held before.  Being self employed is good for the soul but not so good for the bank balance.  I found this post on Why handmade is so expensive at "What The Craft" very telling.  We, as consumers, and I count my self amongst these, have become used to cheap goods from Asia.  These prices do not reflect the actual amount of work that goes into a piece of work according to Western standards

I have come to the conclusion that I will have to take some supply teaching work next year so that I can subsidise doing what I like.



On the mountain

Well I found some internet.  I have to pay for it and can only use it in the library but still it is working for now.  It is lovely and cool up here.  You could feel the cool coming out of the forest as the sun began to head into the west.  The day has been very hot and humid so the cool is most welcome.

We found a spot down in the valley where a creek ran swiftly.  There was a large pool full of huge carp, turtles and platypus.  As we had to get up the mountain I just couldn't sit and wait for the platypus to come out, which was a shame. We hadn't planned to stop here the opportunity just came so we took it.  Sitting quietly on the bank lots of turtles came to have a look at us.

Well the images will have to wait till I get home, the signal is just so weak.


Off on a break in the rainforest

I'm off first thing tomorrow to have a short holiday at O'Riellys in Lamington National Park.


We have been visiting the park for years.  Weekend bush-walks with our children.  The youngest did her first 15 K walk when she was only 5 years old.  It is a special place.  A lost world of beauty and nature.


But after my last knee operation my days of strenuous bush-walking and trekking are over so I intend to keep to the easier tracks and just attempt a short hike each day.  There are lots of activities around the Guesthouse, like the birds.  We have missed the big bird watching week which was a couple of weeks ago but as I am just a hobbyist that doesn't matter.  That week is for the serious twitchers.

Mark  Wedge-tailed Eagle_250

I have got my cameras ready and my laptop for downloading tons of photos but there is not internet recption and only one TV in the bar.  That reminds me I must get the ipod ready as well.

So off we go for 5 days away from the world.

Some new embroidery

I have been pondering the reasons why so many woman were drawn to stamped embroidery designs over the years.  I suppose that it was partly peer pressure partly an easy way to complete a household item.  


Yet that same form of embroidery has a new following among today's embroiderers, all be it that the designs stamped or transferred onto fabric follow new design themes.  Designers like  Jenny Hart have a huge following. 

So I did a net search to see if I could find any papers on this subject.  So far nothing, but I did come across the work of Renie Breskin Adams and I find it intriguing and very original.  This piece titled "Fear ,Laughter, and the Unkown"  uses a traditional Buddest form for the layout but is full of other unrelated subject matter.

and then the piece titled "Grey Pot" uses simple stitches to achieve a water colour effect.

 I also like the way she will use different techniques to come up with  original pieces. 

I will keep looking for those papers because I would like to explore the theme of stamped embroidery further.


I have a busy week ahead of me with some bridesmaid dresses to alter.  I really think it would have been easier if the girl's had gone to a dressmaker to have their dresses made rather than buying off the peg.  The dresses cost $500 each and they don't fit properly, too long, too short and too tight around the bust.  So I have quite a bit of work ahead.  I do wish they had read this label before they bought those dresses.


(Source: Needleprint)