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August 2015

A lttle bird

I saw a little bird just like this the other day at a neighbor's bird bath.  There were about 20 or so little yellow eye honey eaters diving in the water and one red honey eater that was visiting from the mangroves.

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My desktop computer has gone down and I have been having all kinds of problems with my iPhone and iPad.  I had no idea I was so attached to my electronic toys until now.  I bought my desktop 8 years ago and this will be the first time I will have had to put it in for repairs. How will I survive?  Biggest problem is I don't have my drawing program on this laptop and all my old drawings are on the desktop.  I feel very insecure since this has occurred, but I will adjust.

Turning on the lights

After being diagnosed as an adult with Aspergers syndrome I have been trying to find out everything I can about it. This book by Tony Attwood has answered all my questions.

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I have had a life-time to modify my behaviours but there are still things I can work on. Like knowing when to tell a white lie and not be brutally honest or just shutting up when people ask me about my current interest.  Some things I can't change, like how I am super sensitive to touch,  pain, smell and noise.  One thing I read explains some of the reasons I have been able to adapt.  I had a mentor in my Grandmother, who looking back also had the syndrome.  I always knew she was important to me.  It was her example that got me interested in all types of handwork.  After reading this book I understand how her example and teaching set my life on a positive course. With out her it could have been very different.  

If you are a teacher or have an Aspie in your life or if you know an Aspie this is a great book to read.  I wish the Doctor's would have read it before they re-set my arm again.


All these flowers and greenery are classed as weeds where I live.


The asparagus fern looks great in a vase but it chokes out all the native undergrowth and is almost impossible to get rid of.  The little orange flower grows along the cliffs and isn't as invasive.


The Freesias have a special story.  I met the old lady that planted the original bulbs , oh it must be 20 years ago.  I was walking to the beach one time we were here on holidays and the beautiful perfume of the flowers just wafted over me.  I had to pick some for my kitchen and this lady stopped me and said she had planted them to try and stabilize the soil in the cliffs.   The other reason she planted them was in memory of her husband who had committed suicide.


It must have been a cold year like this one because year after year I would look for them and only see an odd flower.  But this year they cover the whole of a regeneration area of the cliffs.  I just picked a few to put in the vase, for their perfume and the memories that they bring to mind.



This is not my work but that of Mabel McAlister.  Mabel was one of the founders of the Q'ld Embroiderers' Guild and they hold the copyright to all her original designs.  I have been given permission to use some of her cat designs for the Guild's Children's Classes.


This is going to be one of two appliqued place mats that will be used in the January 2016 class.  

Avoiding a bug

I received my Telco account from Bigpond with a bug attached to the email.  If I try to open my Safari browser, it attempts to take it over.  I bet I'm not the only one with this problem.  Solution, use another browser.  Only problem is that I can't use my normal bookmarks.  But that has it's positives as well.  Instead of using the same pathways I am forced to try others and I have dropped in on the blog of an embroiderer who's work I have admired since I first saw it, Louise Gardiner.

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She has written about the process she used to construct her latest commission for Liberty.  it is rather like a mini master class, full of great details.  Her designs are hers and there is no way I would copy them, but the process she uses could inform any ones work.

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I really like the sticker on her sewing machine.

Reading the weather

There has been a lovely chill in the air here.  I do so love the cold.  I used to hate it.  Heat was my friend but I have done a 360 and gone to the other extreme.  I was hoping that it will stay cool for ages but I noticed the other day that there are baby birds up in the trees.  Every hollow is stacked with baby parrots,


There seem to be ducklings everywhere.

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And even the Plovers are walking their young.



Another thing that is different here is that the birds fly a lot closer to the ground.  They even forget you are there.  Some lorikeets were chattering so much as they flew by they had to swerve quickly to miss me.  Even then I felt the flutter of wings on my face.


Next thing will be the Kurlews will lay their eggs.   They don't really make a nest just chose a place on the ground and sit.  You can even mow the lawn around them and they don't move.

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These Stone Kurlews are endangered every where but here. They are ionic to this island.  They are night birds and their mournfull crys can often be heard.  The indigenous people believe that if a bird calls three times it means some one is being called by death.  I must start to pay more attention to them.

Some Inspiration

Firstly, I have to say that my arm is feeling a lot more comfortable.   The break was holding when I went to the hospital and they were reluctant to do much in case it fell apart.  The techies in the plaster room nearly had a fit when they looked at it and got to work with the electric saw.  You know what it is like when you have a tooth drilled?  Well just like that only the vibration was in my bones.  Poor man was feeling my pain as much as I was but now the bones are not moving around as much and my fingers have been freed.  Given another week or so I may be able to steady an embroidery hoop and I am not in constant pain.


Now, my find is new to me, but not to a lot of other people.  The artists name is Ivan Semesyuk and he is from the Ukraine.  His focus is Textile Design, Painting and Illustration.

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When I first saw his work I though it was Mexican embroidered motives,

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but then I found he was also using traditional Ukrainian motives as well.

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 He has the feel of Reg Mombassa and I have a feeling that if I could read the Russian script there would be a similarity  to Mambo T shirts.

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I thought at first that all the fill stitching had been done by machine,

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but when I looked at a short animation of his work on his Facebook page I am pretty sure that this is hand embroidered.   These details also looks like hand work.

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You can view all his work online at behance and buy some of his work in this online shop.

The price of the bags and T shirts look very low but I bet the shipping will be expensive.  An original embroidery is around $550 US$.






Well no stitching, but I have finished the first drawing for the background of my "Fusion" piece.

I have drawn it in 4 sections so that i can print it full size, tape the sections together and then pounce it onto the fabric.  I used blossoms as my inspiration as these appear in the cultures of east and west.

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Where I Live

I have always known this is a special place.  From the first moment when I saw the island from the mainland over 30 years ago it called to me.  On all my visits over the intervening years I became more deeply entangled by it's charms.  It speaks to my spirit and my soul some how.   Since moving to the island I have stepped into the flow of the Quandamooka people.


These people have lived here for tens of thousands of years.  They remember what the land was like before the oceans rose.  This bay was a wide and plentiful valley full of all kinds of foods.  It has been proved that these memories, passed down through song and dance, are accurate. This was a valley only 6,000 years ago.  

This places it in the Mesolithic/Neolithic ( ca. 10,000 - 3000 BC period ) and aboriginal people have been proved to have been in Australia since 70,000 years ago, maybe even earlier.  It makes sense of the statement that 'the country owns them.'

1 2 3 4 5 6
Lower Paleolithic
ca. 2,500,000-200,000 BC
Middle Paleolithic
ca. 200,000-50,000 BC
Upper Paleolithic
ca. 50,000-10,000 BC
ca. 10,000-3000 BC
Bronze Age
ca. 3000-1000 BC
Iron Age
ca. 1000 BC-present


This weekend past the Quandamooka Festival came to our island with a series of short films.  The film makers are young with their feet firmly placed in their culture of the past but bringing it with them into the future.

One of the films was this short 5min offering about the crocodile sorcerer.  I have heard of these men from my grandfather  how the aboriginals could ride dragons.  I was never sure if it was just a tall tale  but, it looks like it is true.  I think I would call this doco 'The Dragon Riders'.

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