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March 2013

February 2013

The Botanical Gardens

We have two different Botanical Gardens here in Brisbane.  The old and the new.  The old gardens are in the city on the river.  The problem there was that they went under every time the river flooded.  The new gardens are at the bottom of Mount Coot-tha about 4 Kilometres from the city.

I haven't been to the new gardens in years so we decided to have morning tea there.  I'm going to have to go back.  I had no idea that there was so much material to photograph and I only took my little point and shoot camera with me.  I need to go back with my bigger camera.  Some of these shoots would look great on a big canvas and there is so much inspiration here.










I might have to take my video camera as well.  Those baby ducklings were a riot.


Hello birdie

We had a coffee with my son and his wife at the park the other morning and Monique really wanted these birds to talk to her.  She kept saying "Hello birdie", but she only got a cheep cheep back. DSC07627
She liked this little noisy minor but it kept being out muscled by the pigeons, so she kept him  some of her donut.

What she wasn't prepared to share was her smartie biscuit.  When it came out of the bag her eyes went wide and a big Ohh was said.  Then she proceeded to tell me all the colours of the smarties.

Then she demolished it.

She is only 25 months old but knows all her colours, numbers and poems and nursery rhymes. Her sister meanwhile liked those birds as well and every dog that was ever born.

Jasmine loved the park and wanted to touch everything.  These wheels kept her happy for ages.

How times change.  When our children were young there was never anyone in the park.  We used to have the place to ourselves just about.  Now you have to fight for a parking spot and line up to get a ride on the swings.



Tiffany Chung - little glass animals at the GoMA exhibition

There were hundreds of these little animals that were spread out as a great herd.  It was only when you got close that you realised there were lots of different animals.


I liked the giraffes.


In the children's area the glass animals were coloured and each little collection were a starting point for a story that the child would write.






Children were writting like mad.


Good thing they were under glass because they looked so picking-up-able.


There have been stories in the news here of Lyssavirus infections. (Hendra virus)  At the moment there is no cure for this disease.  You can catch it by being in contact with fruit bats or horses that have become infected.  There are huge flocks of fruit bats in most parts of Australia, here in Brisbane we have a number of rookeries and there is  a big one just on the other side of the river.

If we go to the park for a BBQ there are certain spots you don't sit at dusk because you know you could be pooed on from above!  We often have dinner at the Merthyr Bowls Club and at dusk you can see them come out of the mangroves in squadrons.  They follow the same flight path every time.   They seem to use a high-rise building as a marker, turning here to fly across the river and then spread out to trees in the area.



Up until now they have always been regarded as pests, eating the fruit off the trees, making a mess on the footpath and squeeking all through the night, but never a threat.  In fact they were part of the indigenous people's diet.  Now it is another story.  (The child in the newspaper story died yesterday.)

Project Link -That baby blanket

I loved the little baby blanket that Di had a link to from the Missourri Star Quilt Comany.    I have made two for a friend's new grand child.


If you have lots of flannel in your stash it is no problem to cut the 30" and 40" squares.  If you have to go and buy the fabric it is a problem because everything here is measured in metric.

I hate wastage and when I did the math 30" = 76.2cm,  no problem just take that to  80cm but 40" = 101.16cm.  To buy 40" of fabric you would have to purchase 1.2 metres, what a pain!  So to change the amount needed, the large square becomes 100cm square (1 metre of fabric)  and the small square is 76.2 cm.  (80cm fabric)  Then you will get the same result and only have 3.8 cm over on the length of the smaller square.  (There are still those bits on the side but I'm thinking about those.)

A couple of extra tips that the tutorials don't mention.

  1.   Make sure you place both pieces of fabric together with the straight of grains running in the same direction.  This will minimise stretch.
  2. Before you turn through to the right side iron your seams toward the outside edge.  Makes sewing that fancy stitch a bit easier if you don't have a stitch that swings to both sides..

Spotlight had flannelette on special today so my fabric cost $7.18c.  Bargain.  (If I had been buying quilting flannel which is $20 per metre it would have cost $36.00. Granted the quality would have been better but babies don't need these blankets for very long.)

 So my first effort is a bit wonky because I was 116mm short on the 40" square, but it still worked.  I stitched around in one direction and then back in the other using a varigated thread.


The second, using the new measurements, turned out great and the fancy stitch looked good on the front and the back.

My sewing machine repair guy is going to love me.  I'm giving all those fancy stitches a workout  and they won't sieze up.

TAST 2013

 No 53 Herringbone Square

No 54 Laced Herringbone Square

I had problems with this stitch.  It wasn't the stitching, it was matching it to the right thread.  On top of that I spilt my beads on the floor.  They are so small they have lodged in the cracks in the floor boards.  I wonder if they will ever come out?

(The design challenge has been added to the 'to do' list.)


Link to Pintangle

Link to Flickr Group


Kogin Project No 2 - February

Project No 2 Diary Cover - February 2013

For this project I have used a Colplan Planner Diary as the booklet I am covering.  The page size is 176mm high by 88 mm wide.  It is also available as a one year diary but I like to have the two year version.  It is produced by Debden/Collins, which is available in most countries, and costs $3.95.

This pattern could be adapted to suit any book for which you wish to make a cover.  As it is a repeat pattern you would only need to either extend or reduce the size.  The construction method would remain the same.



I have used Hishizashi Pattern No 77 (that I will post in March) for this project.  As mentioned ealier, this pattern is stitched on Lugano fabric using Perle 8 cotton.  On this count fabric the stitching is 'intensive' so I have also included a version where you could just stitch a band of the pattern.


Only the front of the book cover has the intensive stitching.  You will notice the corners are not sharp.  This is intentional.  You will find that with use those corners will become softer and can be made sharp in the future.  At this stage it would put too much pressure on the seams to force them.


The back cover uses a single motive.


Once again, I have included a number of instructional images so have broken the project into three sections for easier downloading.

Materials Required and Fabric Preparation - 2pages     Download Sheet 1 pages

Hishizashi patterns - 2 pages  Download Sheet 2 - Stitching Patterns

Construction of the project - 2 pages Download Sheet 3 construction

I hope you enjoy stitching this project.


Why didn't I do this before?

Back in 2006 I disturbed some intruders in my workplace.  I managed to escape without being injured too badly but when one of the men tried to punch me in the face I swerved out of the way and took the impact on my ear.  Over the past few years my hearing has been getting worse, to the point where I had to do something about it.

I have now had all the tests and find I have lost 80% of the hearing in my left ear.  Nothing for it but to get a hearing aid.  Why did I put it off for so long?  Pride, not wanting others to think I was old and impaired, the look of the hearing aid.  The list goes on and on.

Today I got my hearing aid.  I can hear the birds singing in the trees, the music playing on the radio and my husband says I'm not shouting anymore.  (I don't believe him, I never shouted.)  And you can hardly see the thing.

IMG_0004_NEW_0001 - Version 2It is only a few hours since it was fitted and I have adjusted to it already.  The only thing painful about the whole thing was the price of the device, $5,500.  Still can you put a price on your hearing?

I'm blessed that I had the means to pay for it, there are many others that don't.