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February 2015

Hishizashi Patterns 665 - 676

Hishizashi Patterns No 665 - 676

Download No 665-676.pages

This set of patterns will forever be associated with sitting in the hospital waiting room for 5 hours.  Kogin embroidery is a meditative form of stitching.  You have to concentrate on the count of the pattern and the level of difficulty isn't extremely high. It is just high enough that you can not think of other things, like what is happening in the operating theatre.

I sat by a window looking out onto the grey day and the storms sweeping in on the city but all I thought about was the stitching.  Those 5 hours sped by and the next thing I knew the surgeon was calling my name to give me feed back and I had just about finished all 12 patterns.

When stitching Kogin embroidery my thoughts often turn to those women who first stitched these patterns.  Their lives can not have been easy.  I often wonder if they too found the stitching a meditative practice?


Touching Base

It has only been a week but it seems like a life time since I was able to get to this blog.

Bill has come through the operation fairly well, there were a couple of hick-ups but fingers crossed we will get through those.  When the surgeon got into his heart he found that he had a congenital abnormality that was causing the problem, not disease.  So if anything can be positive I suppose that was.


Then in the middle of all this drama cyclone Marcia came roaring through going from a cat. 1 to a cat. 5 in just a day.  There I was stuck in town and all the ferries and barges stopped.  The barges are still out of service and I'm not sure when they will start again, not until the winds go down and the seas abate I suppose.  I also managed to catch a virus which laid me low for most of the week.  (It always happens when I look after the grandchildren!)  After the storm the beach is littered with boats that have come away from their moorings but not nearly as badly as up at Yeppoon.  It has also done a fair amount of pruning in my garden.  I thought that I had lost this computer it was so full of damp but I have managed to dry it out and crank it up again.

In the middle of all this we are buying a new house as well and I have just been informed that my daughter has asked her prospective in-laws to stay with us when they visit from New Zealand in April.

As to stitching, it hasn't happened and may not for a while.  They will probably want to move Bill out of hospital in the next few days and as there is no access to the island it looks like we will be back in a hotel again until the barges come back into service.  Ho-hum, such is life.

Taking a rain check

I am going to have to take a rain check on my blog for a week or so.  My husbands health has deteriorated quickly over the last couple of weeks and I have booked an apartment close to the hospital so that he can be moved in quickly if the need arises.  His heart surgery is to take place on Wednesday this week and I intend to stay with him until after the operation and he is out of danger.    The risk of staying on the island is just too high at this time because of it's isolation and the specialist has recommended that this is what we do. 

Thank you for all your kind wishes.

A very special gift

When my friend Janey visited last week she brought me a very special gift.  I am so taken aback that she would give me something so special.  It was a thimble that belonged to her mother and grandmother. 


I suspect that perhaps it may have been passed down to these ladies from an older relative, perhaps Janey's great grandmother.  This is because it looks like an Early Dorcas thimble and is Hallmarked making it probably cir 1880 I think.  It does have several holes where the needle has pierced the surface.


I have several Dorcas thimbles that I use all the time but this one is special. What I love about it is that it has been well used by it's previous owner, taking on the shape of her finger which is exactly the same size and shape as my own finger.


It is a very special gift that I will treasure.


My new Street

After living in the same street for over 30 years I now have to get used to another street.  I have moved from the inner city,

to a rather remote island where the street scape is totally different.


Over the other side of the road is a track that runs down to the beach,


And when I look back from the track, there is the house.


Oh dear it is so small.  I have no hope of fitting all my quilting and embroidery stash or my books and other equipment, let alone all the framed work I had on the walls in Moreton St., into the little room that will be my sewing room.   Now comes the culling and that is always painful.


I also found a small squashed python on the road a few doors up.  No getting away from the buggers.

Horror Stories

I have now finished mowing the bush block.  That was a challenge.  The block hadn't been touched for a number of months and was very overgrown, all three quarters of an acre.  It took four full tanks of petrol and I completed it over a number of days.  The first day I became dehydrated, even though I had kept up my water intake, and had to take a few days off to recover.  Everyday I got bitten by sand flies, even though I had covered myself in insect repellent.  I am still struggling with those.


All my neighbours came out to see this old woman working like a navey, covered in dirt and twigs.  As a result I have now met all of the neighbours.  I found out that they use this land as a source of firewood.  One complained that people came over from the other side of the island to take fallen wood away!  There is a lot of fallen wood on the block and that will be my next job, to collect  it all.  I was wondering how I would get it to the dump, (fires are prohibited), but it seems I have lots of people who will take it from me.   I am going to have to employ someone to take down some of the trees.  Some are dead and there are huge dangerous branches hanging up there just waiting for a high wind to dislodge them.   A number of years ago fire got into this old gum.  It went straight up the inside of the trunk and there are a number of burnt limbs up high.  I will need an Arborist to have a look at this one.  It is a beautiful tree and I would hate to loose it but I would also hate it to come down on one of the houses nearby.


One big tree did fall but fell away from the other houses and was quickly cut up and used as firewood.  They only stopped when they thought the tree might damage their chain saws.


The Rock Curlew eggs were all gone but there is only one new chick.  There has been much discussion regarding what took the eggs.  Cats, dogs or those big monster pythons.  My money is on the pythons. 

Then came the stories of ducks, chickens, cats and dogs that have been taken.  The latest victim was a King Charles Spaniel.  The snake came up onto the verandah and took the dog.  There was another dog there and it came back for the second dog but the owner managed to get the dog out of it's mouth.  She has just had the verandah screened to stop anymore attacks.  My Charlie is a King Charles and she sits out on the verandah.  There is not as much bush were we are in comparison to the block but it is a worry.


We will not build on our land now as we have a contract on another house.  This is on the southern end of the island and not as near to the dense bush.  It is a split level house with plenty of screens and sits up on the edge of the island overlooking the bay.  It is not my first choice for a new home but my husband loves it.

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I am sad not to be building the house we have planned.  So many dreams that have been lurking there for years will never now come to be.  They will just be dreams.   But I have to put my husbands health before any of that.  I am now planning to turn the block into a bush garden and one of the children will build on it in the future.  You never know another house might come up for sale that I could use as a guest house for family and friends to stay and there is always the option of adding an extension onto the back of the building.

One thing though, the orange walls in the sitting room will have to go.

Week five - complete one drawing or design each week - 2015

I thought that I would try and define just what are images that describe life on this island.  There are a number of covered picnic tables placed along all the beaches and these seem to be distinctive to the island.  They are much sort after by locals and visitors because they give shade and shelter and are comfortable to sit at.   You can slide onto the seat and not have to climb over bars that support the other seats available.  The one at the end of my road hosts "The dog's breakfast", a meeting of dog owners every Sunday morning for breakfast.  "The Friday tipplers" and a host of other get-togethers.  You often see people just sitting looking at the sea.


So, this week I thought I would do a line drawing that I could use as an embroidery or an applique design.  I generated this in my drawing program and hope to do a series of them.  I put a figure in the drawing to add a bit of interest.  (Not very well drawn but I think I can improve on this for an applique.)

A life well lived

A dear friend passed away this week.  Daphne was one of the most positive person I have every known.  Despite ill health, unsuccessful surgery and constant pain she never let any of these things stop her from living her life to the fullest.  No matter how bad she was feeling there was always a smile and never any complaining or feeling sorry for herself.  Only once did I come upon her to find her grimacing with pain but she quickly hid that.

Her family placed this notice in the paper:

"Your passing was a blessed release given your suffering.  May many of your dreams for the future be fulfilled in Heaven.  They have great quilter, embroiderers and musicians."

I am so glad I knew you Daphne.

More baby clothes

The other baby dresses that my friend brought over belonged to her father who was born in the 1920's.  The lace on this little dress reflected that era. IMG_1241

The narrow lace between the bodice and skirt is so sweet.


The other pieces were in wool and the dress looked as though it had been bought as a kit.  You can still buy this kind of thing today where the edges are prepared for crocheting.


The other pieces look as though they have been made to match this.  With smocking on the jacket and the crochet edge had not been pre-prepared.


And an embroidered trim stitched in rayon yarn at the hem.


And simple embroidery on the dress.


The change in how we dress our babies over time really reflects the changes in how we live.  From the ornate to the very plain, mostly undecorated clothing of today.